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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

"Christians Aren't Perfect" When It's Convenient

Image source.
I recently saw an image like the one above being shared on social media. It says "Christians aren't perfect... just forgiven." Actually, the version I saw added a bunch more, about "When I say I'm a Christian, I'm not saying I'm better than anyone else, I'm saying I'm weak and I need God" and so on.

Yeah, and I'm not okay with this.

By itself, "Christians aren't perfect" is a true statement, and something all Christians should remember. Being humble, being honest about your mistakes- those are all good things.

But.

Has anyone else noticed that the phrase "Christians aren't perfect" only tends to come out when a Christian did something bad and someone is trying to convince us that it doesn't matter?

Y'all remember when we found out that Josh Duggar had molested 5 girls when he was a teenager? Christians on my facebook page shared a blog post that basically said, "Geez, you guys, why is anyone surprised by this? We have never claimed Christians are perfect! Of course Josh Duggar is a sinner, and we are all sinners! Nothing to see here!"

(And then "the world", which, as we all know, has abandoned the very concept of morality, argued that molesting children is a big f***ing deal and yeah we know no one is perfect but we're pretty sure "don't molest children" is a reasonable expectation.)

When a Christian does something bad, Christians all want to talk about "it's not a big deal, because Christians aren't perfect."

But what about when they want to tell other people how to live their lives?

Christians want to tell everybody who's not allowed to have sex with whom. "The bible is clear," they say. In other words, "my understanding of God's laws about sex is perfect."

And then there's evangelism. Christians know that everyone needs Jesus, and that your life definitely sucks if you don't have a personal relationship with Jesus. And then a non-Christian says "no, I'm fine. I don't have a 'God-shaped hole in my heart'." Ah, but the Christian knows not to believe it. The Christian knows- with perfect certainty- that no one can be truly happy without believing the correct things about Jesus.

Every time Christians judge someone and say "this person is sinning", every time Christians judge someone and say "this person is not a real Christian." What they're really saying is "My definition of 'sin' is perfect. My definition of 'Christian' is perfect."

What they're really saying is "Christians aren't perfect, but are still perfectly qualified to tell everybody else how to live their lives."

And I just realized, that's the whole point.

When they say "Christians aren't perfect" they're only talking about behavior. They're only saying "we don't follow the rules all the time", not "we might be wrong about what the rules are." 

Wow. Suddenly "Christians aren't perfect" doesn't sound humble at all. What it really means is "we know all the right answers, you'd better listen to us... oh but don't expect us to actually obey all these rules we talk about, we're not perfect ya know."

Yeah, okay. Then they wonder why "the world" thinks we're judgmental.

"Christians aren't perfect. They just want you to be." Image source.

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