If the title sounds odd or deceptive it’s because it is. Imagine as a non-believer you are approached by a random person who clearly doesn’t like you. They spout off some drivel about a God who has a great plan for your life then walk away. They don’t even stick around to answer any questions you may have. Is this someone you want to listen to?
Christians do a good job marginalizing our responsibilities. We do things out of some obligation that someone else has put on us, or that we feel will fulfill some sort of Christian quota. If we witness to people, it’s because the church has planned a day and we go out in droves to assault the masses with Christ. When we’re done we sit around talking about how big of a blessing it was for us.
When we send our church out on missions overseas we sit back and listen to them tell us about how blessed they were to see the poverty and depravity, and that they are thankful we don’t live in those conditions. We drop our tithe in the box, sign the check and move on. We’ve met our “requirements” from God not back to ourselves.
If we as Christians can see ourselves doing this, do you think the secular world can see it as well? They do, I assure you. Non-believers are always looking for ways to shirk their responsibility to God. We give them lots of opportunities and excuses based on our actions or non-action as a Christian.
Christians are good at closing ourselves off to “sinners”. The only interactions we want to have with them is when we are telling them about Jesus then we run back to our safe zones within the church and hope we can wash off all the dirt we collected with the seculars. It’s nice to be in a place where we aren’t challenged by outsiders who refute some of the things we believe in.
Non-believers aren’t stupid people. They are well aware of how genuine we actually are and are quick to dismiss us as quickly as we dismiss them. When we say things like “love the sinner, hate the sin” we know what it means but it’s a phrase that seems completely contradictory to them as should be expected.
Before Christ we are married to our sin, it’s part of our thought processes, our decision making. It’s for all intents and purposes our physiological make-up. Our sin is us. This is why the previous phrase is actually harmful and offensive to non believers. It is, of course, important for us to make clear that acceptance isn’t agreement and vice versa, but we need to think first before speaking on many occasions.
Jesus spent most of His time around non-believers because they happened to be more accepting of Him than the religious people of His day. He did have a small group of friends that He spent personal time with but the majority of His ministry was for those who didn’t know Him and I think we should do the same. Keeping our convictions intact of course.
It’s time that people start looking at us as Christians in the same way they’d look at a friend and confidant, they should know that Jesus loves them, and we do too.