Sermons

Summary: How we are to accept those that don't always fit into our mold of Christianity

3 Three B’s of Christianity and how they get mixed up.

In the last few weeks the Lord has led us through the difference between the old and the new covenant and how the old was a covenant based on performance.

Lots of do’s and don’ts.

Most people don’t like to be told what to do.

It robs them of their personal power.

However, there are those who like it because they don’t have to take responsibility for making choices or for their actions (Although, I would argue they are still 100% responsible for their actions, but that’s another sermon. )

Anyway, for many of us being told what to do is a “Hot Spot.”

For me, at times it’s NUCLEAR.

I have to restrain myself from jumping onto those that make those demands.

Seriously, every cell in my body wants to scream and lay hands on them!

Don’t tell me what to do!!!”

And, I’m even more volatile when people tell me I can’t do something, when I know good and well that I can.

Nothing gets me to doing it faster.

My mind starts to race, “Well, we’ll see about that.”

“Oh yes I can!

Who says I can’t do that?

You and whose army says I can’t?”

“You aren’t the boss of me!!!”

I believe one of the greatest problems in the church is that the church has been playing God and placing all these rules and regulations on people to make them conform to the mold that they perceive as a being a Christian.

There are a couple of things I want to address this morning in this message.

One: We’ve shared this before but it is a good place to start today.

We need to let God convict of sin.

John 16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

The problem that I see is that the church is condemning people for their sins.

We take the phrase: Hate the sin, love the sinner, and use it basically to condemn the actions of those that we feel are not doing right.

But the scriptural reasoning behind this phrase is unclear.

Jesus never asked us to “Love the sinner, hate the sin” and neither did any other Biblical writer.

The clearest use of this phrase actually derives from Mahatma Gandhi (Buddhist) in his 1929 autobiography: “Hate the sin and not the sinner.” But Gandhi’s full statement has a bit different flavor: “Hate the sin and not the sinner is a precept which, though easy enough to understand, is rarely practiced, and that is why the poison of hatred spreads in the world.”

Gandhi rightly observed that it is difficult - perhaps impossible - to see someone else firstly as a “sinner” and to focus on “hating their sin” without developing some level of disdain for the person.

Perhaps this is why Jesus did not ask us to love “sinners” but to love “neighbors” and “enemies.”

I think Jesus knew that if he commanded his disciples to ‘love the sinner,’ they would begin looking at other people more as sinners than neighbors.

And that, inevitably, would lead to judgment.

If I love you more as a sinner than as my neighbor, then I am bound to focus more on your sin.

I will start looking for all the things that are wrong with you.

And perhaps, without intending it, I will be thinking about our relationship like this:

“You are a sinner, but I graciously choose to love you anyway.”

If that sounds a little puffed up, self-righteous, and even prideful to you, then you have perceived accurately.

Spend two minutes talking to almost anyone outside the Christian faith and you’re almost certain to hear a list of complaints they have about Christians.

The problem has been around awhile.

As Mahatma Ghandi famously (and sadly) said: “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians.

Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

He’s not alone.

The problem with many non-Christians isn’t that they don’t know any Christians.

The challenge is they do.

So what gives?

Many Christians would tell you we have an image problem: we’re treated unfairly, we’re being persecuted, or we’re just badly misunderstood.

I’m not so sure.

It’s not so much that Christians have an image problem.

It’s far more likely that we have an integrity problem.

Do we get misunderstood on some issues?

Of course.

But that’s outside our control.

There are more than a few issues entirely within our control that give us a bad name with people outside Christianity.

Here are 3 things Christians do that non-Christians despise.

1. Judge

It doesn’t take long for non-Christians to tell you how much they hate the way Christians judge other people.

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