Thursday, August 27, 2009

Holier than thou


I was asked recently, "How come a stereotype of the church today is one of a 'holier than thou' mentality?"

Great question. It's a real problem. Three thoughts.

One, the problem is not sin in the church. The problem is concealed sin in the church. That problem is intensified by Christian aloofness: "You people over there have cooties. We Christians are better." Are we?

Two, when church people put others down, there are two possibilities. One, their faith isn't in Jesus' superiority. Their faith is in their own superiority. There is no awe, gratitude, humility, because they aren't really Christians. Two, they're new Christians, they're coming in with some baggage, and they're learning. And can any of us say, "I'd never do that"?

Three, if you accuse Christians of being judgmental, are you being judgmental? Do you feel that Christians are beneath you? Why are you so comfortable with your non-Christian friends? Does their company help you feel safe from Jesus? Is that what really bugs you about Christians -- you feel another Presence, and he scares you?

I know this. We Christians will see more repentance in our city when our city sees more repentance in us. And we can be honest about our failings, because it isn't our performance that makes us okay. It's Christ's performance for us. That's the gospel. It's so freeing.