Andy Stanley made an interesting point on his podcast* this morning. He said, “If you are NOT a religious person, in fact, you might even be anti-Christian and you feel anything but accepted and loved by us, then that is OUR fault. That is not our Savior’s fault.”
Believers and unbelievers alike love the famous quote from Ghandi, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
Why is that? Is it because they so fully agree with Ghandi? Well, that’s no shocker. We do too! No one is denying that we as Christians are “works in progress.”
You’ve probably heard the joke “Churches are not full of hypocrites! There is always room for one more.” You see, the church is made of people and people are flawed. However, we don’t put our faith in people. We put our faith in Jesus. Jesus is at the center… not the fellow sinner sitting to your left and right.
I understand the logic.
If Italy’s ambassador came to the White House and acted like a fool. We would say, “Man, I guess everyone in Italy acts like a fool. Italy itself, must be a big fool.” Right? Of course not, we would say, “Well, it’s unfortunate that Italy’s ambassador embarrassed himself. The people of Italy are probably not all like that. Italy deserves better.”
To deny Christ because of His followers is absurd. Jesus deserves better than us. That much is certain! We study and pray and we still fail. We get it wrong more than we get it right. We embarrass ourselves with our own hypocrisy time and time again. That’s because it is only through Jesus that we can ever succeed. When we rely on ourselves we are doomed to fail. God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever (Psa. 73:26). Jesus is our power source, not man!
Like Mr. Stanley said, if we do not show you love and compassion – that is our fault, not God’s! Please do not risk your soul on the poor behavior of Christians! Do not look at the follower, look to the One we are following. We will let you down. Jesus will never let you down.
May God’s Love be with you.
*Your Move with Andy Stanley, “Follow, Part One – Jesus Says”