If you ask most people why they don’t go to church, or why they don’t want to become Christians, one of the most common answers is, “Christians are a bunch of hypocrites!”
Those who have left the church often give the same answer. Both groups have encountered Christians, experienced their inconsistencies, and decided, “If that’s Christianity, you can keep it.”
Even those of us who remain in the church are often deeply disappointed and discouraged by the failings and double standards of some fellow-Christians. Of course, some are Christians only in name, but not in reality. However, even the best Christians have blind spots and inconsistencies that baffle and upset us.
We might not see them at the beginning when we are first converted. In the first bloom of Christian love, we might even think that some Christians and preachers belong to angelic ranks. But, before too long, our initial impressions are discovered to be initial illusions and we might even wonder if it’s the fallen angels we’ve fallen in with!
Sometimes we too are tempted to give up and withdraw from our churches in angry disgust, but usually we just keep going along, inwardly seething or perhaps loudly criticizing the failings of others.
At the root of this disillusionment is the successful satanic strategy of turning our attention away from Christ and towards Christians. The more the devil can keep people thinking and talking about Christians, the less people will be thinking and talking about Jesus. And the more people think and talk about Christians instead of Christ, the more dismayed and downcast we will become. When negatives outweigh positives, there’s only one way to go, and that’s down.
I’ve certainly fallen into this soul-sapping habit at various points in my life, and I’m sure most of us succumb to it to some degree or another. Tomorrow I want to outline strategies that will shift our attention away from the double-standards and the no-standards of some Christians, and to lift our eyes and hearts upwards to the soul-elevating Christ.