RENJE: Ugly Christians are no excuse

Bill Renje

Bill Renje

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” John 14:6

There’s three truths that I’d like to focus on in this week’s column. The first truth is that there’s no shortage of Christians who act ugly. Be it hypocritical, insensitive or rude, it’s not hard to find Christians who behave badly and act anything other than Christ-like.

The second truth is that Christians behaving badly is no excuse for people to either turn their back on Jesus or to deny him as Lord and Savior altogether. If I’ve heard it or read it once, I’ve heard or read it a thousand times that people deny Jesus because of the actions of his so-called followers. Paraphrasing a quote first attributed to Gandhi — It’s not your Christ I have a problem with, it’s your Christians.

While that excuse should give all Christians pause and force a self-examination on how we relate to the world to make sure our lifestyles line up with Jesus’ life, to the extent that we can of course, the reality is that nowhere in the Bible does it say that people will be given an exemption for making the conscious choice not to follow Jesus because of the conduct of a few of his followers.

John 14:6, nor any other salvation verse such as John 3:3 — “Jesus declared, I tell you the truth, no one can see the Kingdom of God unless he is born again,” — gives an exemption at the end of it.

The third truth is that if you’re looking for an excuse, you’ll always find one. And my experience is that most people who choose to deny Christ do so because they don’t want the accountability and want the so-called freedom to indulge in whatever lifestyle apart from Christ that they are indulging in. Unfortunately, that “freedom” becomes a slave master that keeps the individual from the true freedom that can come only from a right relationship with Jesus.

I know that’s not a popular message in this day and age of self-indulgence. So as Christians, we do have our work cut out for us and we do need to strive to live like Jesus so “they will see our good works and glorify our father in heaven.”

The good news for Christians is that Jesus still matters and is relevant to a dying, lost, hungry and thirsty world. In campus ministry, I’ve seen our high school students tired and disillusioned of trying to gratify themselves in this decedent culture. I’ve seen them in tears, craving a relationship with the only One that can fulfill them. I’ve seen the joy and relief as they accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior right in front of me.

It’s easy to get jaded with our youth and our culture in general, thinking people don’t want Jesus and don’t care about Jesus. But we have a culture (especially our youth culture) that hunger and thirst for something. And when we can both show and tell people about Jesus, they’re going to crave that Living Water to quench their thirst.

Bill is on staff with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and a Deacon at Eagles Landing FBC in McDonough. He lives in Locust Grove with his wife Amy and their three children. You can follow Bill on Facebook, Twitter @billrenje and learn more about him at his website www.achosenbullet.com.