In most of my conversations with people who are critical, doubtful, or flat out hateful toward Christianity, almost 100% of the time their problem isn’t with Jesus. Seriously.
Now granted, they often have a tough time believing some of the unbelievable claims we make about him. They may find it difficult to digest the resurrection or buy into miracles or make sense of a virgin birth. But for the most part, they absolutely positively love everything else about Jesus.
They love what he stood for… love. They love how he stood for it… lovingly. And they love the fact that he was willing to die for his deep seated convictions. They even think that he has a significant amount of wisdom that, if applied to their life, could transform it for the better.
However, they still refuse to come to church. And when I ask why, it always comes down to one thing – church people. They don’t dislike Jesus, they dislike his followers (because they are nothing like him). The reason why they hate church is because they’ve encountered some really hateful churches. The reason why they claim church is boring is because, well, the church their parents drug them to for all those years could put even the holiest of holy saints to sleep. The reason why they think they don’t belong in church is because the churches they’ve attended made it very clear, “You don’t belong!” The reason why they see church as oppressive and restrictive is because that is the gospel that was unapologetically forced upon them for years.
How does this jive with the FACT that we, the church, are the Body of Christ? I’ll let you answer that.
To be honest, the news articles and blog posts and people who make me most mad on a day in and day out basis are usually Christian, rather than non-Christian, because they should know better if they’re reading the same Bible I am.
All this to say that Jesus is always a good place to start with people. And the life of Jesus is always a good place to start with your life. You might be surprised how far that might go with even the most critical skeptics.
And non-churchers, cut us a little slack. Sin was a prerequisite for becoming one of Jesus’ disciples way back when, and ain’t much changed since. We’re still a bunch of tax-collectors, prostitutes, and sinners riding the coat-tail of our Savior…
Sorry. No wonder you’re disappointed. But who could measure up to those standards? Of course we’re all hypocrites. The Christians you should really worry about are the ones who think they aren’t.
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