Have you ever encountered Christians who are EXTREMELY hateful and judgmental in their self-professed righteousness? There are actually “Christian” organizations who make outrageous claims who ultimately end up looking like hate filled, doom and gloom groups. Their witnesses make God out to be this tyrant who is out to kill and destroy all sinners. These self-righteous “Christians” end up thinking of themselves as God’s spokes people. They take their angst, bitterness and hatred and say that it has God given ordained them the authority to be His sounding board.
For example, Pastor Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, KS leads a campaign that is hate-filled and offensive to anyone who does not hold to his convictions and personal interpretations of Scripture. I cannot mention some of the outrageous claims he has made without sounding crass or bigoted. His message of hate and God’s judgment have caused people to make a mockery of Christianity and a mockery of God. As a result many have turned their backs to God and Christianity.
On the other hand how often do you read in the papers or hear in the news of Pastors, self-professed Christians and religious leaders falling into sin? There never seems to be a shortage of news stories about Pastors of congregations who have been caught in scandalous sex affairs or leading a double life contrary to what they preach. In recent years we hear the sickening stories of supposed men of the cloth (Priests) who have molested hundreds of children throughout the generations. The divorce rate among Christians is embarrassing as it is just as high within professing believers as it in with non-Christians.
Pre-marital sex and adultery are running amok among Christians as well. A number of years ago Mel Gibson who was adamantly open about his Christianity when he released the movie “The Passion of Christ” and he announced he and his wife are divorcing and his girlfriend is pregnant. Huh? I am not trying to be judgmental but something doesn't sit right with that.
I think the problem arises in so many Christians is because they have taken on this false sense of security. Some say, “I have faith in Christ so I am a Christian and saved so it doesn’t matter what I do.” This attitude only leads to prideful presumption and arrogance which ultimately leads to self- righteous, self-centered, and heartless individuals.
Some professing Christians fail to see that their sins not only affect themselves and the ones they hurt but it also brings disgrace to God and the body of Christ.
So what is our response to all of this? I hope the answer is painfully obvious… Since you are a follower of Jesus Christ (Christian), you need to practice what you preach? Is your life and actions reflective of the God you serve? Like it or not, if you are open about your faith in Christ you are a representative of Him. What you do does reflect on Jesus and the body of Christ. People are watching you and sadly, many are looking for an excuse to call you on the carpet when you sin. Don’t give them a reason to blaspheme God because of your freedom to live however you choose.
Pray that God would fill you with the Holy Spirit to enable you to live a life that is pleasing to Him and brings honor to His name; because the Holy Spirit is key to living the spirit-filled Christian life.
Jeff has been in ministry for well over two decades. He currently serves as Campus Pastor at West Bradenton Baptist Southside Campus in Bradenton, Florida.
Jeff Has authored an Advent Devotional (The Advent of Jesus) and a devotional on the book of James (James: Where Faith and Life Meet). Both are available on Amazon.
He is married to Carrie and they have four children, Micaiah, Gabe, Simon, and Berea.
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