When Christians Get It Wrong

I read a great article a while back ago online at relevant.com entitled “When Christians Get It Wrong” by Adam Hamiltion. Here’s a portion of what he wrote…

If Pharisees are religious people who struggle with wrong motives, with being critical and judgmental of others, with missing the point and with being two-faced, then I’ve got to confess, I am a recovering Pharisee who often falls off the wagon. Everyone I know, religious people and atheists alike, struggle with these four tendencies.

It is so easy to do the right things for all the wrong reasons. It is so easy to point out the sins of others while ignoring our own. Most of us are experts at “majoring in the minors” while failing to do the really important things God demands of us. And which of us has never put on a face and pretended to be something we’re not? It is only in recognizing our tendency to be Pharisees that we have any hope of remaining in recovery. My experience with non-religious people is that they do not expect Christians to be perfect. In fact, one young adult said: “I don’t mind that you Christians don’t live up to your ideals. I don’t live up to all of my ideals either. In the end, I guess we’re all hypocrites. It’s just that I and my friends recognize that we’re hypocrites. It seems that many Christians haven’t figured this out yet.” Again, the hypocrisy of Christians is most troubling to non-Christians when we point out the sins of others.

I’ve got more hypocrisy in me then I’d like to admit. It’s not a surprise to any of us that there is a gap which often exists between Christians and non-Christians fueled by this issue of hypocrisy. What I want to know is what do you think we can do as believers to help close that gap?

What’s one thing you think you can do today?

5 Responses to “When Christians Get It Wrong”

  1. I believe you meant relevantmagazine.com. Good article!

  2. kristen says:

    I think we have to stop treating non-Christians like theyre not human… we have to start loving them with the same undeserved love that we are shown daily. They are humans, & they deserve to be treated & loved as so.

    Great post.

  3. Chris Walker says:

    Funny Answer: Point out to all of the Christians I know why they are all hypocrites.

    My real answer: If we all could find a way to be vulnerable with others instead of always trying to protect our pride. Let’s just tell it like it is and take ownership of everything we say and do.
    Short verison – Cut the crap.

  4. Mike in Milwaukee says:

    The gap between ourselves and non-Christians is best closed with honesty. Honesty first with ourselves about who we are and our tendencies toward self-reliance and sin, and honesty with non-Christians that we come from the same stock as them, from a long line of failed and fallen creatures. It is that kind of transparency, coupled with the solution given us by God’s grace that helps makes the message of redemption winsome. It sends a much better message than the judgmental spirit that says, “Hey, follow my God and you can learn to be just as abrasive and unforgiving as I am!”

  5. Patrick says:

    I think pastors need to make their sermons more understandable. When I say that I’m not talking about Cross Point at all but other Churches. I am not going to mention the Pastor’s name but his church has online services as well and one sermon in late summer was talking about how we can’t impress God but a few months later around Christmas time he gives a sermon and now all of a sudden God is impressed with percentage giving. Pete the verse you used for the first part of your Heaven and Nature Sing series was the same verse that he used yet yours made a lot more sense about how we should give and you said it wasn’t about impressing God. The Pastor’s who name I won’t mention has done a lot for his city and people around the world and his good deeds beat me by a long shot. I listened to this guy for 3 years and when I heard that sermon during Christmas time I stopped listening to him. That sermon hurt because I have been trying to tell family members and friends who are not Christians that we are saved by grace and we can’t earn slavation but we should give cheerfully not in fear that we need to impress or please God. Sorry for the long comment its just that was something that almost made me lose my Faith and I felt I needed to post this comment whether its seen or not seen. I have been watching CrossPoint for about a year and my non christian friends have been watching your sermons as well. Since my non Christian friends watch your sermons I think CrossPoint is doing a great job. I’m sorry again for the long comment but its frustrating when my friends feel God doesn’t love them because they have done to many wrong things or that they haven’t done enough to earn his love.

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