Skip to main content

5 ways Christians fail

Saw this article by John Shore on the Huffington Post – I’m copying half of it here. Helps us see and understand our blind spots. When nonChristians look at us, too often, they see hypocrites. A tough article like this helps us to search our hearts and address the dissonance that may be there.&nb…
By Seth Barnes
Saw this article by John Shore on the Huffington Post – I’m copying half of it here. Helps us see and understand our blind spots. When nonChristians look at us, too often, they see hypocrites. A tough article like this helps us to search our hearts and address the dissonance that may be there.  -sb
 
Speaking as someone who, well, had the conversion experience 14 years
ago that I recounted in “I,
a Rabid Anti-Christian, Very Suddenly Convert
,” we Christians too
often fail in these ten ways:

1) Too much money. “Wealthy Christian” should be an
oxymoron. In Luke 12:33, Jesus says, “Sell your possessions and give to
the poor.” In Matthew 19:21, he says, “If you want to be perfect, go,
sell your possessions and give to the poor.” In Matthew 6:24, he says,
“You cannot serve God and Money.” Christians are generally pretty huge
on cleaving to the word of God. I just don’t see how those particular
words could be clearer. (For more on this, see my post “Christians: No Fair Heeding Paul on Gays But Not Jesus
on Wealth
.”)

2) Too confident God thinks we’re all that and a
leather-bound gift Bible.
I’d like to humbly suggest that we
spend a little more time wondering how we displease God and a little
less time being confident that we do. (See my post “Certainty
in Christ: A Blessing and a Curse.
“)

3) Too quick to believe that we know what God really
means by what he says in the Bible.
The Bible is an extremely
complex, multi-leveled work. We’re sometimes too quick to assume that we
grasp its every meaning. Take this passage, for instance, from Luke 8:
9-10: “His disciples asked him [Jesus] what this parable [of the sower]
meant. He said, ‘The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has
been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, “though
seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.” Huh?
And that’s Jesus “explaining” what is generally regarded as one of his
most readily understood parables! Are we really all that confident that
we always know exactly what Jesus meant by everything he said? Wouldn’t
we do well to sometimes admit that the words attributed to God
manifested on earth are just a tad, well, Greek to us? (See my post “The
Bible’s Two Big Problems
.”)

4) Too insular. When I became a Christian, one of
the things that most amazed me about Christians is the degree to which
they tend to hang out only with other Christians. We should stop doing
that. How are we supposed to share Christ’s love with non-Christians
(which we’re forever saying we want to do) when we barely know
any non-Christians? Time to widen that social base, I say. (Plus,
Christian or not, we still want to throw good, fun parties, don’t we?
Well, let’s face it: The heathen class has all the good music. We might
as well invite a few of them to our next party. Maybe they’ll bring
their CD’s!) (See my post, “My Answer to Christians Denouncing R. Crumb’s “Genesis
Illustrated.
“)

5) Too uneducated about Christianity. Generally
speaking (which of course is the most offensive way to speak about any
group of people), Christians tend to embarrass themselves by knowing so
little about either the Bible or the history of Christianity.
Believing that the Bible is the word of God, for instance, is one
thing; knowing nothing about the long process by which men decided
which texts would and wouldn’t make it into the Bible is another. It’s
not that all Christians should be full-on theologians or historians.
But if you’re a Christian who doesn’t know the Great Schism
from The Great
Santini,
or the Diet of Worms from
… well, the
diet of worms
, then you’ve got some homework to do.

Comments (28)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *