The Church is a collection of wonderfully unique people who Lord has brought together in Jesus. I love the Church. This odd group of people makes life fun and interesting as we journey together in faith. There is so much good that happens when we connect ourselves to other believers in a Church community.
The flip side of this is also true. Sometimes being a part of a community is a pain. All Christians have flaws. We are sinners who are saved by grace and are slowly being transformed into the image of Christ. On this journey of transformation we have flaws, make mistakes and do things that are quite frankly, ungodly. While I understand the need for growth in everyone who calls Jesus their Savior, there are a few people who not only resist their change into Christlikeness but make ministry more difficult. I am not writing this to be judgmental of other believers. Instead, I hope to open our eyes to ways we might be hurting the Church and the name of Jesus.
1. The Angry Christian –
The Bible acknowledges that anger is a struggle for everyone. Quite often people have been hurt, and now they are the ones who are hurting others. They usually do not see the pain of their explosive anger, and occasional outburst can be to the family of God. Many times I have been called upon to clean up the mess one angry Christian has caused and often it is like trying to put toothpaste back in the tube.
2. The Carnal Christian –
The struggle with the lust of the flesh is powerful and dramatic. It does untold damages to the name of Jesus across the world. This one does the most destruction when it comes from a Christian leader, no matter what position they hold. Anytime I start talking to a non-Christian, I know they can name several cases of fallen leaders who keep them from listening to me talk about Jesus.
3. The Uneducated Christian –
I do not mean this in a mean-spirited way, but some believers are very uneducated. They have not read their Bible or done any study on the things of God. They parrot something they heard on talk radio, Christian TV or some preacher say. Quite often I have to spend my time trying to explain the truth to some unsuspecting person after they have been with an uneducated Christian. Social media has made this problem worse as poor teaching can now spread like wildfire.
4. The Unforgiving Christian –
Once again a life of faith pushes us to change our perspective on the world. If we have been forgiven of all our sins by Christ, then we are called to forgive others. This is true even if it needs to happen over and over. Some people resist this teaching. It is hard to tell someone about the forgiveness we have in Jesus when someone they know refuses to forgive them.
5. The Half-Hearted Christian –
In the book of Revelation Jesus calls these people lukewarm. They are neither hot nor cold in their faith. Usually, they can cite a conversion experience that happened to them while they were in school. They know they are saved but don’t take their faith too seriously. I mean, they do not want to be seen as some fanatic. As a result, they paint a picture that a believer is just like every other person in the world and faith is of no real value other than some moral instruction. It is hard to convince someone that being a believer can be a life filled with joy and adventure when every Christian they know is no different from them.
Much of my ministry has been made significantly more difficult because of the impact of other Christians on the world.
I share this with you for two reasons. One, a group of you will know exactly what I am talking about and I want you to know you are not alone in this struggle. Two, I wish that every one of us would take a long look in the mirror and see if these people are us. I know I have been one or two of them in my life. Through the grace of God I have been forgiven and transformed, and I pray the same will happen for you.