*just a rant, not related to my Pr32 study*
Evangelical Christians are not the most popular group to be named among these days. I should know- I am one. We are seen– wrongly or not– as being judgmental and holier-than-thou. In a way, I suppose, that is true to some extent. We know that only faith in Jesus Christ saves one from an eternity spent in a very real place called Hell, a place we are all doomed to by default. We also know that it is sin that puts us there. Society would rather we just keep that to ourselves, though… but isn’t that rather like knowing a huge forest fire is down the road, and travelers telling you they’ll take their chances that gasoline-soaked coveralls will get them safely to the other side, so puleeze, shut up? Yeah… thought so.
The issue of sin seems to be the real sore spot. Our society as a whole is so focused on excusing sin. Whether it’s sexual sin, or any other type of sin, it’s excused– and given another name. Homosexuality? Excused as a “lifestyle choice”. Filthy language (including the ubiquitous 3-letter acronyms)? Excused as personal expression. Drunkeness? Oftentimes excused as “winding down” or “de-stressing”. Regardless of what category of sin we’re talking about, what people don’t understand is that sin ultimately is bondage (and not the type that itself falls under a category of sin), it is slavery. It is good and right to hate sin. Unfortunately, most Christians aren’t very good at expressing this (including me). We usually come across as intolerant, hateful bigots, looking down our noses at anyone who doesn’t measure up to certain standards. And sometimes, we are. Most of the time, though, we’re just really bad at telling people the truth in love. And the truth is– sin is sin. You can call it whatever you want, but it’s still sin. And it separates us from a Holy God. As unfair as that might seem– it’s not. God loved us enough to send His Son to pay with His own blood the death sentence we all deserve. Christ is a gift, but it’s not enough to just know about a gift– for it to be yours, you have to accept it from the Giver. On His terms.
That being said, Evangelical Christians do tend to pick on certain sins– generally ones they aren’t struggling with at any given moment. And yes, we do tend to be judgmental over others struggling with ones we’ve gained victory over or never struggled with to begin with. And most of us have our “pet peeve” sins, the one(s) that it doesn’t matter whether it’s a saved or unsaved person in it, we get on our soapbox. Yes, I have them too. The “How can anyone in their right mind not know this is WRONG???” ones. I won’t list them. Read my blog, tweets, or Facebook statuses long enough and you’ll figure them out.
So… this is essentially the truth about Evangelical Christians: we are horrible at being consistent (like most non- or nominal Christians). We want to do what is right, and pleasing to the Lord, but we suck at it. And really, deep down, we want others to know the incredible gift we’ve been given in the person of Jesus Christ, but are terribly clumsy at expressing it– and pointing out the way to it. We often have the opposite effect, of sending people screaming and running in the other direction (who then get on Facebook or Twitter slamming those intolerant/ narrow-minded so-called Christians). Newsflash: we feel that way about each other, too, sometimes. We tend to go in for the kill when our own are injured or hurting. Yup– we are not perfect (far from it). But, we are forgiven, which makes all the difference in the world.