Grace and Peace,
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. (Matt 7:15)
My plans for the day on Wednesday were quickly disrupted by a text from Mother Shivaun that announced my email had been compromised. Someone had decided that church websites, because we are generally trusting and kind, would be a good place to defraud well meaning people of their money.
Creating an email that looked similar to my own email, and stealing an image of me from the website to further the masquerade, this wolf in sheep’s clothing started to contact parishioners with an “I am really busy and need your help” story. Ultimately this criminal was looking for eBay gift cards which are easily turned into cash. This is not a victimless crime.
Even though no parishioners succumbed to the urge to assist the wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing me, my time was stolen, parishioners’ time was stolen, and a little bit of our faith in humanity was stolen. It would also be expected that any future email from the real me would likely face extra scrutiny before anyone would read or follow through with it; so perhaps a little bit of my own credibility was chipped away.
This is also the situation for Christianity when we are found not being Christian.
If we are not being Christian in all aspects of our lives what message does that convey? Being a saint on Sunday does not help the mantle of Christian if on Monday we are a sinner. God judges us on how we live our lives 24/7/365 birth to death. One day we will account for our lives as we stand before God.
Before that happens though, others will judge Christianity based upon how we, and other Christians, live our lives. Are we Christian through and through, or are we a wolf in sheep’s clothing? Are we Christian in name only? Are we Christian on Sunday, or Christmas and Easter only? Are we Christian when it is convenient or someone is watching?
The real test is are we Christian when no one is watching?
I am very much in favor of the evangelism that you will find with Mother Shivaun, a “I am happy to talk with you about my faith” approach. I am also in favor of the evangelism that comes from our actions, the actions that occur when people are watching and when no one is watching, that will label us as Christian and will ultimately be an invitation to others to walk with us. This is not an either/or, it is a both/and; we all need both approaches to evangelism.
Living a true Christian life, where our actions are constantly informed by the will of God, will draw others to God; and isn’t that what we are to do.
God be with you until we meet again,
PS: All emails have been removed from our website. If you need to contact anyone, please use the chat icon or Drop Us a Line button on the website. I will never, never, never, email you asking for eBay gift cards or money.