My friend Steve Brown is big on being real, on being authentic. The cool thing is that he is that in real life, unlike so many religious professionals I’ve known. Steve sometimes says that most Christians think it’s very important that other people think you’re mature, pure and spiritual. He says it’s far more important that people know that you’re not. We’re so worried that our Christian witness will be harmed by our lack of total obedience and near perfection but this is not the reality of the situation at all. Our witness will be hurt more by our pretense of being holy and obedient. Steve says, "I don’t think I’ve met a person who found Christ because a Christian was pure and righteous. More often it makes them think that this thing is only for good people."
The famous Indian Christian D. T. Niles, in an oft quoted statement, said evangelism was one beggar telling another where he found bread. If this is true, and it really is, then it changes our entire perspective on witness as Christians. We are to point others to the place where we found food, not to ourselves as bread makers and saints. What turns people away from Christ is not our disobedience, at least not generally speaking, but our dishonesty, especially about the way we live and what we tell them about our lives.
By the way, Steve Brown will speak for ACT 3 at our first annual "Friends of ACT 3 Evening" on Friday, September 5. Watch for details. This will not be a fund-raiser but an opportunity for fellowship, fun and a chance to get to know our ministry first-hand.
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The bigger problem is the familiar casualness of the familiar with fellow travelers.
I’m guessing Billy Graham’s kin were unimpressed with him despite our adulation.
I know Jesus’ mom and siblings and neighbors weren’t impressed with him.
Until he rose from the dead.
We make judgments about other Christians and leaders by the apparent lack of maturity or holiness when that shouldn’t be the measure at all. The measure must be who they are in Christ. Nothing else.
Peter would have been disqualified a dozen times if we used the measure that many Christians use in measuring others.
We are a pitiful bunch. If I were God I’ll be pretty cranky with the whole lot.
It’s only by his mercy he doesn’t wipe us off the face of the earth for our flaws. He should start with me. I take another breath only because mercy trumps judgment.