If, like me, you’ve ever been an atheist, then you probably remember exactly why you became an atheist in the first place. Nine out of ten times, it’s, well, DC Talk explains it better.
“The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today
Is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips
Then walk out the door and deny him by their lifestyle.”
Which makes sense, given that Christians are supposed to be Christ-like. The name does mean “little Christ.” And this isn’t just something that can happen overnight. It’s a process, and it’s one we have to try to achieve. The Holy Spirit helps, but it’s up to us to maintain the lifestyle. And no, I’m preaching a lifestyle change gospel. This is for post-salvation Christians. If we want to stop ourselves from being the number one cause of atheism by being more Christ-like, and by pointing out the places in our lives where that isn’t showing up.
Jesus isn’t hateful.
This isn’t just for Westboro. Think of the one person you know who everyone looks down on. She’s a slut. He’s a druggie. And you join in on that conversation rather than try to get to the bottom of the problem. Did Jesus do that? No. How many women did Jesus approach that were seen as sluts. How many people at the bottom of society did Jesus directly interact with. How many of Jesus’ disciples were well-known for their sinful nature?
Let’s not turn people away because of sin. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. If you hate someone for breaking God’s law, you need to look in the mirror, because you’re breaking what Jesus Himself called one of the two most important laws in the Word.
Jesus isn’t soft.
Heckles no. Jesus will flip over your tables if you take the name of His Father and make a mockery of it. Don’t believe me?
” And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’but you make it a den of robbers.’” (Matthew 21:12-13)
I’m not saying you should flip over tables or get angry over everything. But at least, when you see a Christian going against God, call him/her out on it. You never know what kind of help that can be.
Jesus Isn’t Emotionless
Jesus was angry, happy, sad, scared, the whole nine yards at different points in His life. Don’t think you have to be neutral about everything. Don’t think you can’t be completely afraid of where God’s leading you. Jesus was afraid. Jesus begged God for another way. But Jesus recognized that God’s will was above all the rest. As long as you recognize that, emotion is fine.
Jesus Isn’t a Sinner
This is tough. After all, we sin all the time, right? What can we do? I’ve acknowledged that it is impossible to live from this point forward without sin as long as we do it for the right reasons, but we’ve already sinned at some point in our life, and in all likelihood, we will sin again. What can we do?
Here’s an idea. Be open and honest about it. The primary reason people on the outside think Christians are hypocrites is because, quite frankly, we are. We preach perfection at people when we aren’t even close to reaching it. Sin is an issue. But hiding it is even worse. So be honest with people. “Yes. I sin. And Jesus has covered that. I need Jesus because I do sin.” If we would do that more often, maybe more people would realize that our gospel is a gospel of grace and not hypocrisy. Just something to think about.