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Some Christians Give Christ a Bad Name
Depiction of Jesus
Some Christians are Hypocrites
Why is Jesus Holding Lambs and Sheep?
Have you ever wondered why Jesus is seen in pictures holding lambs and sheep? This is because Jesus is called the Good Shepherd. Christians are considered his flock. Jesus was so devoted to his flock that he would leave the flock if one sheep would wander off. Jesus was so devoted to his flock that he would sacrifice himself for every human.
Science or the Bible?
Science and the Bible are compatible. It is only bad science that does not agree with the Bible.
Sadly, atheists believe you must pick one or the other. When a Christian acts like a hypocrite, then the atheist throws the Bible out altogether.
Atheism is really just a moral issue. The atheist lives a lifestyle that has a conflict with morality in at least one area. To the atheist, it looks much easier to continue in a life of sin, than to surrender it over to Jesus.
It Is No Surprise So Many People Hate Christians
If you live in the Southern U.S., then you may already know that the many people claim to be Christians. Not everyone is a Christian. Some people that claim to be Christians don't even go to church. I've heard many excuses, including believing in Christ, but not believing in "corporate worship."
That is very sad because a Christian that is not in fellowship with other Christians, cannot experience the accountability and guidance as one is being discipled. This principle comes straight from Hebrews 12:24-25:
"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching."
The sad thing about these nominal Christians is that they set a bad example for devoted followers of Christ. People that call themselves Christians, but live like non-believers are a horrible witness, and the atheists watching only confirm their preconceived notion that all Christians are hypocrites.
The only way for Christians to overcome this stereotype is to do something about it. You have to prove the world wrong. After all, the ruler of this world is Satan, and his number one goal is to make Christians ineffective. So many people have already bought into his lie of evolution and that you have to believe either science or the Bible.
Atheists are looking for reasons not to believe the Bible. The easiest reason is to point out that all Christians are just hypocrites, so why should I follow people that don't practice what they preach?
Everyone is Watching You
You May Not Realize That You Are Being Watched
I have heard the quotation: "The only thing keeping me from being a Christian, are the Christians."
That is because many Christians are bad examples, and do not show Christ-like behavior.
There was one guy on my college campus that would walk up to people and say: "Do you love Jesus?" If the person said "No," he would then proceed to give a forceful explanation of why that person needs Jesus.
Now I am an evangelical Christian, but I think witnessing should be conducted in a manner that shows that you respect other people and genuinely care about them. If you don't care about someone else, then you should not be attempting to share the gospel. You will give Christians a bad name.
This same guy said that he wanted to convince other people that they are wrong and he is right. That even included other Christians that did not have the same doctrine as he did, since he was a proponent of speaking in tongues as a love language between man and God. His church teaches that one cannot be baptized in the Spirit until one shows evidence by speaking in tongues. I did not agree with him on this doctrine, and shared with him what the Bible says.
This guy talked to several of atheist friends on my college campus, and came off as arrogant and gave the atheists a bad impression of Christians.
I have since seen him working at Lowe's. This is five years after I have graduated college. He doesn't seem to act like he remembers me, and we did have direct contact in the store. Not even a wink or a nod. Nothing.
I don't know if he has mellowed some since college. In fact, I don't know if he even graduated from college, given that he is working the register at Lowe's.
So there you have it, an over-zealous Christian, apparently not graduating from college.
Does that mean that God wasn't there for him? Not in any way.
Similarly, I had three atheist friends in college that didn't graduate from their first undergraduate school.
What does this prove? It just shows that anyone can hit-and-miss their first time around, no matter what you believe.
You can read more about these atheist friends in my previous Hub: Atheists Losing Their Religion.
Christians Can't Stop Bad Examples
As hard as it is to hear bad experiences from non-believers that are turned away from Christians, these memories cannot be erased.
Christians can attempt to disciple and share the gospel, but it is impossible to stop nominal Christians or those that simply claim Christ from being bad witnesses.
Even things in history were supposedly done in the name of Christ, that weren't very Christ-like.
So many people bring up the Christian Crusades. They say Christianity is bad because of the Crusades. What am I supposed to say? I'm sorry?
Deaths in history caused by "Christians" are a stumbling block to many.
I can only say that not everyone who claims to be a Christian is acting accordance with the Bible.
The only perfect man was Jesus. He never sinned. He will never let you down.
If you are expecting Christians to be perfect, then that is a tall order. Anyone and everyone in your life could let you down, Christian or not.
God can change your life. Study what Jesus taught. Understand that no man can live perfect like Jesus. Some can do a better job at it, but don't let Christian failures get in the way of a relationship with God.
Perhaps a relevant read would be the book: When Bad Christians Happen to Good People