It’s a phrase that we are hearing more and more. “I am a Christian, therefore…” It is the beginning of a statement, and more often than not, the end of the related discussion. Whether it involves baking a same-sex wedding cake, asking someone to leave, or any other various actions, it’s almost always the closing of a door of some kind.

But before you say this to someone, I implore you to consider what it is you’re really saying. Think long and hard before you finish that sentence.

You see, as a Christian, you are — by definition — a follower of Jesus Christ. And you are identifying Him in yourself, your attitude, and your behavior. And in what you say.

By saying this phrase, you are placing the power and majesty of Jesus Christ Himself in what you are about to say. You are interjecting the Creator of the Universe into your decision to discriminate. It’s not even an implication. It’s the very definition of your statement.

You are placing the Lord Himself into your decision to exclude, to cast out, or to push away.

The very same Lord Jesus Christ that went out of his way to minister to a Samaritan woman who lived in sin.

The very same Savior that, as his first miracle, not only healed the boy servant of a Roman Centurion, but commended that man on his faith.

The very same Immanuel that embraced a tax collector, a poor servant, and even a prostitute.

You are a Christian. Therefore, you will exclude, cast out, and discriminate — in the name of the One who embraced all of us?

You are a Christian. Therefore, you will say to the “least of these” that you will not clothe them, feed them, or house them?

You are a Christian. Therefore, you will deny your primary business service to a same-sex couple?

Are you truly going to place His authority, power, and grace into your own prejudices? Do you seriously think you’ll be rewarded by the Prince of Peace by sowing discord and grief?

Yes, you are a Christian. But are you going to follow the Christ who gave His abounding grace for you by refusing to extend that grace to others?

Who are you to deny others in the name of the Lord that washed the feet of his own servants?

Jesus said to “Follow me.”

Are you? Really?

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