I’ve grown up in the Christian circle nearly all of my life, while I did grow up in a broken home with drugs and alcohol addictions, I was taken to church by a couple church members throughout my preteen and teen years. My mom took us to church on and off throughout my childhood, sometimes faithfully and sometimes not. But I have gone to the same church since I was born so I’ve heard and seen many things over the last 3 decades.
I’ve witnessed so many disgruntled people leave the church and even leave the faith. I have seen 2 church splits. I’ve experienced such pain from within the church. I’ve lived through pastors being hypocrites. I’ve seen Sunday school teachers leave and talk badly about the church. I’ve seen old faithful laymen lay down the torch and simply disappear. And I’ve also watched the aftermath of each of those situations. It’s always the same story. The people who leave always say and do the same things. People who refuse to get right and go back to church are always thinking the same thing towards the church.
Throughout my experience, I’ve seen one thing rise up as always being the one reason people either leave the church or refuse to go at all.
The biggest myth about Christians is that we are judgmental.
I’m sure that this isn’t a shocker. If you are a Christian you’ve probably heard it. If you’ve been in the Christian circle for any amount of time then I’m sure you’ve heard it many times. “Those Christians down there at that judgmental church are such hypocrites!” How familiar does that sound?
Why is this a myth? It’s a myth for one main reason. Let’s break it down.
Yes, we have to be judgmental when it comes to sin.
We have to be discerning. If God in heaven hates sin, if He can’t let sin into heaven, then how we can allow sin to run rampant in our churches? We can’t. If there is gross sin going on then we need to address it. It’s the pastor’s job to preach against sin, to disciple you and help you spot the sin in your life. It’s the churches job to bring you to the foot of the cross and help you pursue holiness.
Church, the preaching, the relationships you form, the service that you do all has one purpose-to keep you walking with God. If the people are hanging out with at church aren’t encouraging to live righteously, maybe you need a sphere of friends. If the preaching isn’t convicting you, maybe it’s time to check your heart or find a church sin that preaches sin. You cannot have a close relationship with the Lord with sin in your heart. It’s the churches job to help you see that sin in your life.
If you are offended by the fact that Christians are preaching the Bible and against sin, then you have a problem with the Lord and not the church. Maybe you aren’t liking how it feels to have your sin under conviction?
Now, what about personal decision issues, not sin issues? Things that the Bibles leaves for us determine. That invisible Christian line so to speak. Such as pants versus skirts, strict Christian music or Bluegrass, skirts to the knee or the ankle? Should the church be judgemental about these issues? Not all. The church should care more about your heart. The church doesn’t have the authority to make that decision for each family. What the church can do is set a standard that they believe is biblical and ask any staff working in the building during the week or at the school to abide by those standards while on the clock. The church should have higher standards to be an example. But other than that, it’s not the churches job to dictate every standard your family has. Can they encourage you and influence you? Yes. But once your decision is made I would hope that they would love you no matter where you land on any of these issues where God has not laid out a clear path. Which leads me to point number two.
We should be the least judgmental church out there.
Wait, what? I thought that was a myth. Stay with me, keep reading.
The church is a hospital for sick people who are afflicted by sin. We are all affected by the same disease, so we need to be the most loving church out there. We are equal at the foot of the cross. We all need His cleansing blood to wash us white as snow. We are all growing at different rates.
The church should love you where you at in your Christian walk. Whether your family wears pants, shorter skirts, or listen to Bluegrass.
The church should embrace everyone who enters, whether it’s a first-time attender, a backslidden layman or someone who left church 10 years ago on bad terms.
We called to have charity above all things.
1 Corinthians 13:13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
Jesus’ ministry while on earth was to the sinners. The church’s ministry is among the sinners still today. We are to love them more than we love ourselves.
So if you’ve believed this myth about Christians, may I invite you to give them a chance? Attend the local church near you. Go back to the church you’ve left. If you have a besetting sin the church has offended you on, maybe get on your knees and talk to the Lord about it. If you feel the church judging you on your standards, maybe discuss it with the pastor and if he belittles you maybe try a new church in town. Just don’t let this myth stop you from having a relationship with the Lord, it’s not worth it.