Wednesday, December 17, 2008

They don't answer to us

This is something I wrote a couple of years ago and decided to post so I could get something up on this page. New stuff coming soon!

"So I was talking to a guy I work with the other night and he was sharing with me his thoughts drinking (as he often does and I don't mind listening), and he asked me why I don't drink. I explained that growing up I was never really around it, then when I became a Christian, I had even more of a reason not to. This turned the conversation towards our thoughts on Christians. He shared with me how he had several friends who he used to hang out with a lot who, after joining a Free Methodist church, shunned him because of his "sinful lifestyle." He basically held the opinion that most Christians are judgemental and hypocritical.

My first thought was that of sorrow for this guy. I know what it is like to have people drop you from their lives, and I felt for him. My second thought was to ask where we as Christians get off talking about other people's sins and struggles. I know I have enough of my own garbage to worry about that I have no business judging other people for theirs. I started thinking about why Christians have such a hard time accepting those living a lifestyle we may not agree with.I think the answer lies in our perception of we would call sinful acts.

Make no mistake, the Bible is very clear about how God feels about these acts, and I wouldn't dare try to water that down or call scripture into question. However, behind every sinful action is a desire for life beyond what we are currently experiencing. So, in essence, those who are leading what Christians would consider a sinful lifestyle are doing so because they recognize that there is something more out there then the life most of the world leads. They see that there is more to life then waking up, going to work, coming home, eating, watching TV and going to bed. While they may not be consciously searching, their actions are rooted in a desire for fulfillment.

While I don't condone sin by any means, I do respect that desire, because its a desire I feel. Its like the U2 song, "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For." So instead of condemning those who partake in alcohol, drugs, sex, and partying, can we please realize that these folks are 1.) loved by God as much as we are, 2.) are as much His glorious creations as we are, 3.) no more or less sinful in the eyes of God as we are, and 4.) merely responding to a desire for life. Instead of pointing out the wrong way they are following, let's lift up the fact that they are at least looking for life, and then point them in the direction of where the true source of life is: a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Let's communicate how much we are in need of a savior before we start telling anyone else how much they need a savior. And for the love of God, let's stop cutting people out of our lives simply because we don't like their choices. They don't answer to us."


  1. For anyone who resonates with this posting, read the book: Unchristian. It will rock your world as it discloses truths of unbelievers and opinions they hold of Christians.

  2. I love how you use U2 to drive the message home. Good job, Eric! I like your writing style and wish you the best of luck in this new adventure! (M. Miller)

  3. OK, I understand the sentiment of this post, and I agree wholeheartedly with the intent of this post, unfortunately it misses the mark a bit. I always tell people to read revelation 20:11-15 before reading the famous judge not verses in Matthew 7. It puts things into perspective as to why we should not judge. We cannot judge because the very standard we judge with will be raised against us! That is frightening.

    Your life as a Christian is a rebuke to the unbeliever no matter how loving and accepting you are. Christ promises persecution... in fact in a very real sense if you are well liked by everyone and never despised in anyway for your faith you ought to examine your faith.

    The problem with books like unChristian is at the outset they seem to affirm that being liked by the world is a virtue... though Christ warns us not to be surprised when we are hated by the world see John 15:18.

    I agree there is a lot of unbiblical judgmental people professing Christ... at the same time Christianity is frame by Christ, the word made flesh, not the world's ideas on judgment and what Christians should be like.

    If a man becomes a Christian and stops going going out to get plastered, is he being judgmental against those who are continuing to go out? Or just seeking to be as pleasing to Christ as possible. From the people who still are getting smoked they see it as judgment, but it is not the case at all.

    I so agree that we must not judge esp in light of rev 20... but often times the Spirit is using our lives as a rebuke to someone we haven't judged at all, and there is nothing we can, or should do about it, but instead let the Spirit do its work, and accept the rejection and the unfounded label of 'judgmental hypocrite'.

    Guess that is my side of the story.

  4. Jay I agree 100% with what you are saying. Rather then judging other people, let's make sure that the light within us is shining before men and that our good works do the talking for us. Nothing is more transformational then seeing one's life more fully lived then your own and responding to the desire to go to the next level.

  5. It is a fine line to walk, I mean I go back and read my own comment and it sounds judgmental to me.

    I guess what I meant to say is simply that the world's perception of us is not our concern at all. Christ goes out of His way to teach us that, over and over again. At the same time it seems that almost every church growth model, every youth ministry strategy, and so on is to survey the world, appeal to the things of the world, find out what the world thinks and pander to it. If the world says we are too judgmental, then we need to tone it down. If the world labels our attempts at holy living as 'holier than thou' then we should be more discrete in our holiness... If the world doesn't like our music we should use theirs and so on. Eventually we come to the point where the world has the final say on what the Church does, and honestly I think in America we have arrived at that point.

  6. oh yeah it was good to see you at Pizza hut again today!! I would have talked to you more, but as you saw I had a youth with me. Anyway see ya sometime soon!