Summary: Myth: Christians are Better People
MYTH: Christians Are Better People
Series: Myths: Exposing the False Beliefs that Bind Us
Brad Bailey - April 7, 2013
(Could open with humorous story came out this week about poodles being sold that were actually weasels on steroids.) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/08/ferrets-rodents-sold-as-toy-poodles-argentina_n_3037094.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular
We are continuing in our series: MYTHS: Exposing the False Beliefs that Bind Us.
Myth: a widely held but mistaken belief.
Recall last week...
A sincere Christian + false beliefs = A disillusioned Christian
False beliefs or distorted ideas about life and faith can lead to discouragement and disillusionment.
Our goal is to mine the myths and so we can more fully enjoy the truth ...to discern what is false in order to grasp what is firm and foundational.
Today: "Christians Are Better People."
Now...this statement may really get your head spinning around different aspects of what it implies.
Remember... that some of the ideas we are engaging are not simply false...they bear truth in some ways...but they can imply some false assumptions....which are myths.
This is not as often an idea expressed explicitly as the other myths we will be engaging in the coming weeks. But even if not stated outright...it can certainly be a common unspoken belief or assumption.
How does this idea raise tensions?
Let me raise some questions that can arise around this idea...or claim...or assumption. 
• Women who has sought to be faithful to following Christ marries a man who expresses a serious commitment to the same faith in Christ.... marriage unfolds into control and abuse.... ending in divorce.... she finds her own community more distant from her. As she begins to consider future relationships... her Christian friends and family only ask her one question about any man..."Is he a Christian?" And she wonders about the assumption being implied.
• A news correspondent works with public response from social media... and notices that the most callous responses come from those claiming to be Christians. He wonders.
• One of the local restaurants near a large church gets a lot of business on Sunday afternoons....but it has become the least popular shift to work...because these religious people are known for being low tippers. Each of those waiters and waitresses wonders why.
• A young life, growing up as part of a church community, always felt their parents desire for them to be a "good person"...and an underlying assumption that “Christian” was synonymous with “good person.” “Non-Christian” was synonymous with “bad person." As they began to develop friendships over the years....it didn't always prove to be true. And they wondered.
• Perhaps as the years go by and one carries such assumptions...they begin to travel....and spend time in countries where the dominant religion is different.... and they find themselves befriended by Buddhists whose self sacrifice is inspiring....or Hindus whose simplicity is challenging....or Muslims whose hospitality and kindness is striking. And they wonder.
• Then there are so many leading the way that fall in the ditches of depravity themselves. From child molestation to secret encounters, Christianity is at no loss for scandal. Then there are the great historical black-eyes from forced conversion (inquisition) to wars being lead by the church (the crusades). I don’t want to blow this out of proportion or be unfair here, knowing that fallen leaders will always get more press, but the fact is that leaders who seem the most devoted and passionate...fall...and fail...and we may wonder.
• We may look at our own lives...and wonder. (What I see in myself...and wonder.)
We all may wonder about what to make of the assumption that Christians are better people. Something may seem wrong with what we have believed. There is some assumption that doesn't always seem to fit our experience...and it can bring disillusionment to our own inner world...and conflict in our relationships with others.
What do the Scriptures actually tell us?
> No where does the Bible simply declare that Christians are better people.
What the Scriptures bring is clarity into some of what is true and false related to such an idea.
1. All lives bear aspects of God's goodness which should be appreciated.
The Scriptures tell us that human life was created in God's image... and never does that fundamental nature entirely change. The Scriptures go on the explain how we sought to exist apart from God and our condition fell from what it was.... we became lost in reference to our source of life...out of orbit. But it does not declare that there is no longer any aspect of that image left. All of the created order has been corrupted....but it has not become something else. 
> So we should not only SEE good qualities in everyone....but APPRECIATE such qualities.
Are you surprised by the kindness of a co-worker who hasn't yet began a relationship with Christ? Don't be.