REPRESENTING CHRISTIANITY

Do you ever wonder why so many people dislike Christians or even hate us or our Christian beliefs? Do you ever wonder why so many people call Christians hypocrites? I use to wonder, but not anymore. To find the answer, all I had to do was open my eyes to what is going on within our Spiritual community and the actions and beliefs by many that give non-believers plenty of fuel to think negatively about us. They see Christians can’t even get their act together as to what is truth so why should they believe us and all our confusion? And if they did want to believe, whose truth and belief system do they believe? In a way, I can’t say I blame them for not wanting to get involved in all our chaos, hateful speech, hypocrisy, and confusion as to what is truth and which scriptures are to be followed. As a Christ-follower I have learned, been involved with, seen and even been a party to some of the negative actions by Christians that turn off non-believers. Let me give examples. 

First, I must say that I believe Christianity is the perfect religion (faith). We have the Creator who is perfect, loving, and just. He has given us a choice either to follow Him and His ways and receive salvation, or to refuse His gift of love and mercy and choose to reject Him and receive condemnation. God even gives us the Scriptures that tell us exactly what we need to do to inherit salvation and makes it very clear what He expects. We also have the Holy Spirit who will help and guide us. He also explains in detail what will happen if we refuse Him. He made His words clear, but it is us who stir up the water and make it murky! God’s words are so beneficial that if the unbeliever lived the life that Scripture tells us to live (but without accepting God), they would have a wonderful, prosperous, life filled with love and compassion. However, in the end they would receive condemnation and eternity in hell. 

Now to what types of negative examples do we Christians give that turn nonbeliever off? 

Disunity within the body of believers. Scripture commands us to love our neighbor and forgive people that sin against us. But, they see us hating each other and forgiving non-believers more quickly than we forgive brothers-in-Christ.

We say all scripture is true and must be followed, while at the same time, they see us ignoring certain parts that don’t fit in with our cultural or personal narrative. 

We believe money is the root of all kinds of evil, we are called to give to and help the poor and to support missionaries spreading the Gospel. What do some of us flaunt in public? Lives of extreme luxury, pastors who’s wealth runs in the multi-millions of dollars, fancy clothes, cars, jets and multiple million dollar mansions (and yet they still charge fees to come to their conferences). All the while the true disciple-making missionaries of the faith are struggling to feed their families, obtain necessary supplies and Bibles for the people in their charge, and driving broken down vehicles…to name a few challenges they face due to a lack of adequate funding. My opinion is that with all the money these multimillionaire pastors are making, there should not be one missionary in the need of anything that keeps them from carrying on the call the Lord has placed in their hearts. If only they would part with their riches!

At one time, homosexuality and sex outside of marriage was a sin. Now many pastors and teachers have changed their minds about that saying, “No, it is not.” We have an extremely popular teacher Beth Moore telling people “Calling Homosexuality a Sin is Exceeding Scripture.”  

Scripture states that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” but then Andy Stanley tells his congregation that he would rewrite scripture because it is too difficult to follow.  Scripture also tells us how to have salvation and go to heaven, then people hear Joel Osteen state on Larry King Live that he doesn’t know if the Mormons, Jews or JW will be in heaven or not! He is a pastor and he doesn’t know the requirements for salvation!   

We can’t forget about the preachers that promote prosperity, “name it and claim it”, social justice gospel, Intersectionality, reparations, “if you have enough faith you can heal yourself” and that we are responsible for the sins of our fathers. 

The up and coming New Apostolic Reformation Movement believes that there are now Apostles on earth who have the same power as the Apostles that Christ appointed (but so far they have not healed the sick, raised the dead or done any miracles).  

Other hypocrisies nonbelievers see in the actions of Christians are believers that are pro-abortion, Christian pro-life protesters using graphic signs and hate-filled speech at abortion facilities and during marches, churches that soft pedal the Gospel and do not talk about sin and the command to repent in order to keep their flock in the seats every Sunday. (I actually know of one pastor call his parishioners “giving units.”)

There is also a unity movement in progress that believes anyone who “believes in God” is saved no matter what church or denomination you belong to and you would be surprised to hear some of the popular mega church pastors that hold that belief. They also think we should all work together in unity while Scripture tells us the opposite. Do not be un-equally yoked (I know this means in marriage but it also has other meanings), stay away from false teachers and have nothing to do with them. Scripture tells us we are not to spiritually associate with people who worship idols or who don’t believe in the triune God, that Jesus is God, and say the Jesus was just a great prophet and not God etc.  

Think about it. Can you blame anyone for doubting our sincerity to the faith we say we believe in when we act in the above manner and show the world the bad fruit in our lives all the while NOT REPENTING?

Yes, Christians have been hypocrites; they have lied, stolen, sinned in many ways just like all people. The difference true Christians need to make sure non-believers see is that we acknowledge our sins, repent and ask for forgiveness from God and those we have sinned against and strive not repeat the sin. That is the difference between a true Christ-following believer and one who is only giving lip service to God and those around him.  God and people will know who is being sincere and who is not. 

As believers, we need to:

Repent when sin and ask for forgiveness and don’t forget to forgive.

Bear good fruit because you want to, not because you think you have to.

Test everything. Hold on to what is good and resist evil. 

Do not partner with things contrary to the Word of God but expose it.

Help others stand strong in the faith. 

As Christians we need to do a better job of putting our faith in action, not for others to see (which they will) but because we said we would when we accepted Jesus and desire to be obedient. Remember we are told, “they will know us by our love.”  Or will they?  

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