(Photo: Calvin and Hobbes, written and illustrated by Bill Watterson)
Every time I hear someone, Christian or not, make a statement like “Christians are such hypocrites” I always want to reply by saying “yes they are, thank you captain obvious.” This may come as a surprise to you, but Christians are humans too. Big shocker right? Many try to impose an unrealistic expectation on people, in a religion, that they them selves know very little about. There seems to be a false ideology that floats around amongst people of all worldviews which says Christians are supposed to be perfect. You may have heard this argument before, and as I think about it, seems to be one I hear more often than not. This is turned into an argument against Christianity once they find out that Christians are not perfect (a fact that does not take long to discover), upon which ammunition is given to what they think is an inconsistency in the theistic belief system. For some reason this view is common for people wanting to have a go at Christianity. The reality is that whether it be in our hypocrisy or inconsistent behavior, when people point these things out they are doing nothing more than stating the obvious. Thank you all by the way for stating this, I would like to officially give you your captains wings for achieving this goal. What does that mean then, if we are all still sort of messed up, how does Christianity have any validity? Are Christians not supposed to be made instantly perfect? Being a Christian is not about being perfect, it is about moving towards perfection in the one who is perfect (Christ.) Unfortunately, we, still possessing our humany wumany selves, struggle with the flesh, meaning we are not always going to do things in Christ, and may very well act on the notions of our flesh. Everything from lust to lying can be a reality for even folks who are believers. When someone disagrees with me or does something that for whatever reason I deem as “dumb” I can be just as cruel and unkind as the best of them. Anybody who says that believers do not sin and are perfect is smoking something, because just as many atrocities have been done at the hands of Christians as there have been at the hands of any other person’s worldview. If you read the book of 1 John, John talks about two aspects to a believer, the one who walks in the Spirit, and the one who walks in the flesh. We still have the capacity to struggle with and deal with the flesh, and that is okay, that is normal. When you look at the whole of Scripture there is not one person of faith who was perfect. They all struggled, and at times were a poor testimony to the work of the Lord. The Bible takes no liberties in showing us the downfalls of the people God used. Even throughout Church History there is not a single person you could say was perfect, yet God’s perfection was magnified through the imperfections of these people! The only way to achieve perfection is to recognize and repent of your imperfections before the one who is perfect. Obviously, as a Christian there is a different standard in which we are to strive for, and we are set apart positively by our actions, more so than other belief systems, but the only reason that is the case is Christ and Christ alone. The message we hold is not of ourselves being perfect, but living a life for Christ who is. Christians are not perfect, and need just as much grace and patience as anyone else, so give it to us when you can please. The next time you see a Christian acting “un-Christian”, remember they are human too, not perfect and susceptible to the flesh as much as anyone else is.