As I talk to people on a daily basis, I hear more than anything how much the world thinks that Christians come off as making themselves to be superior to the rest of the world. Unfortunately, there are many throughout history who have done things or said things that reinforce this negative stereotype of Jesus’ people. Certain groups, even today, continue to tout their “holier than thou” horn over the rest of the word by their actions and words.
So this causes us a problem. While we, as well as 98% of Christians aren’t like that at all, unfortunately the old adage is proven true: “One bad apple spoils the bunch.” So how do we address this issue?
There is a need today, more than ever, for the church to embrace her brokenness. There is a need more than ever to accept people where they are, but to never leave them there. Remember the apostle Paul’s words when he wrote,
“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11, NIV).
While this passage is usually used to defend our stance on homosexuality, (and we must take a loving stand against it) I don’t think that was the entire intended point. I think that Paul was reminding the Corinthian church of where they came from before Jesus showed up in their lives. He was reminding them just how much Christ’s work on the cross mattered to them! He was reminding them that they didn’t have it all together.
What’s the difference between us and the world? We realized and admitted that we didn’t and still don’t have it all together—not that we’re better than anyone else, but that we are just beggars showing other beggars where to find bread! We realized just how hopeless we truly are without Jesus Christ. We acted and repented and were baptized into Christ. Now, we are a “new creation” in Christ and our old ways have been literally forgotten by God and forgiven—not because of what we have done, but because of what HE has done!
There is a need today for the church to realize that on her own, she is nothing—her wholeness is solely found in the washing and sanctification of Jesus Christ! Imagine what you’re life would be like if only perfect people were allowed in the church. Would you be allowed in? How would that make you feel? So what’s the solution to this issue? A humble attitude and a complete and total reliance on the salvation of Jesus Christ that God is offering you, and the world here and now. Remember, there’s no such thing as perfect people, so you, and the world are invited, as Natalie Grant says, “to come as you are, broken and scarred, lift up your heart, and be changed by a perfect God.”