This week, the Lord is urging me to talk with those of you who have become disillusioned with Christianity – those of you who no longer practice the faith you once did because Christians have disappointed you or hurt you, those of you who don’t want to sit with a bunch of hypocrites who give lip service to the principles of Christianity, those of you who blame God for the wrong things that have been done to you or the bad things that have happened to you. You get the idea. This is for those who don’t think Christianity is all it’s cracked up to be. You’re tired of “Fake Christianity.” Fake Christianity? There is no such thing! Unfortunately and fortunately, there are just imperfect people who don’t always get it right . . . and maybe you got stuck in the middle.
Christianity in its purest form is just God loving us through Christ (John 3:16). Unfortunately, the only avenue (outside of the God’s written Word) on this earth through whom God can demonstrate Christ is imperfect people. Imperfect people sometimes get it wrong. Look at Jesus’ disciples. Just one example is Simon Peter who cut off the ear of the high priests’ servant who came to arrest Jesus, and Jesus had to heal the guy (Luke 22:47-52; John 18:10). Peter denied Jesus three times, and yet Christ forgave him showing us the more perfect way. (See John 18:15-18, 25-26; 21:15-17.) I believe Scripture gives us these examples, and others like them, to show us that Christ-followers aren’t always perfect, and they don’t always treat others the way they should. Separate their mistakes from the message of Christ – Christianity. The message of Christ still shows us the more excellent way!
So, though Christians may have done things that hurt you, disappointed you, or cause you to be disillusioned, that doesn’t mean the message of Christianity is wrong or invalid. Are you perfect? Do you always get everything right? Well, neither do Christians. You may have been improperly or harshly judged by Christians. They may have cheated you or lied to you or stolen from you. Welcome to the world! We live in an often violent, harsh, unforgiving, tumultuous world, and though Christians have an example through Christ of how to cope with and react to such an environment, we don’t always get it perfectly correct. We don’t always act just the way Christ would want us to. We, unfortunately, let our emotions get in the way, rather than letting the Holy Spirit in us, Christ’s example, lead the way, and we hurt other people – even those we love.
If you are one of those people who has distanced yourself from Christianity because of a situation similar to what I have just described, you need to understand that walking in offense is not going to help you. I’m sure you have done things to others that have hurt them or disappointed them, and you wish you could take it back. You hope that others can forgive you or realize you made a mistake and didn’t mean to do what you did to harm another. Well, why don’t you give Christians the same forgiveness or tolerance or understanding that you desire? We are all imperfect vessels trying to do our best. We are jars of pottery with flaws and imperfections trying to be containers of the perfection and purity of God. That’s a tall order. It’s not always easy, and no matter how we try, God is so good and so glorious and so loving and so perfect, that no human could ever fully reflect or transmit to another all that He is.
Regardless of what others have done to you, you are responsible for your own walk before God. Finding fault with Christianity because you think Christians are hypocritical is really just another form of making yourself a victim or blaming someone else or God. Don’t allow imperfect people to steal your road to victory! Don’t let broken vessels drain you of the rivers of life! Don’t “throw the baby out with the bath water” as the saying goes. Don’t equate Christians who have hurt you with Christianity or with God. True Christianity demonstrates the love of God toward us at all times, but each one of us is constantly learning how to walk in that love, and the only one Who ever did it perfectly is Christ. Don’t hold others to a standard you can’t fulfill yourself. Aren’t you thankful God doesn’t judge you the way you may be judging those who have “wronged” you.
Above, I said “unfortunately and fortunately” there are just imperfect people. I explained the unfortunate part, but let’s look at why I said “fortunately” there are just imperfect people who don’t always get it right. It is fortunate that God uses the imperfect because that means He can use and wants to use each one of us. That includes you. Thank God that he uses the imperfect, because that means that when we make mistakes, He understands and has compassion for us. Read the Word and see God’s character of peace and joy and love and excellence and restoration and redemption and forgiveness and victory and healing, and become someone who brings all of that – to the best of your ability and with His help – to this world! Instead of distancing yourself from the good that true Christianity – God’s love for us through Christ – offers, embrace its goodness and give it out. Where you have been hurt or harmed, offer healing. Where you have been disillusioned, offer hope. Where you have been shown strife or turmoil, offer peace. Where you have been met with hate, offer love and forgiveness. The only way to do that, the only “philosophy” that demonstrates that, is Christianity – the life of Christ. Draw from the true teachings of Christ. Don’t let the imperfections of others rob you of all Christ offers you. Renew yourself to the message of Christ and His love for you!
Thank God that He allows us to be imperfect and uses us anyway,
If you have never made Jesus the Lord of your life and desire to, pray this: Dear God, I believe that Jesus is your Son, that He died on the cross for me and was resurrected for my redemption. I choose to make Jesus the Lord of my life. I thank you for forgiving me and for filling me with Your Holy Spirit. I thank You that I am Your child, that You are my Father, and that You have great things planned for me. Amen.