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Christians are viewed by many as self-righteous bullies who operate from a judgmental standpoint rather than a vessel of grace. They tend to call themselves fruit inspectors in order to validate their rude and abusive behavior. The sad thing is these are the very ones that cause others to say, “I love Jesus, but hate the church.”
A great deal of believers have become citizens of the “Christian Bubble.” They do not have any connections outside of their circle of Christian peers. These citizens wear their Christian t-shirts, put the little metal fish or religious bumper stickers on their cars, and will only go to the amusement park on that special day when Christian bands are featured. They even have their own language which is filled with non-biblical phrases or words they have heard and repeated but have no concept of their true meaning.
Ironically, Jesus came to burst the “Christian Bubble” so that a new generation of believers could get in. There is no room in many of today’s churches because they are so segregated and judgmental love has no place. Jesus spent time with folks outside of the bubble. He tried to show Christians the only way to reach outsiders is to open up to them and attempt to understand their culture before trying to strip them of it.
What happened to the church? It has become an organism of self-righteous judges. Of course, not all churches or believers operate that way but these judges take up space in every church. Just take a look through your social media timelines and see how the “Christians” criticize anyone that does not think or act like them. Unfortunately, since they fail to get along with one another, a non-believer has no chance of survival.
Jesus was not shy about condemning those with a self-righteous attitude. In the book of Matthew he is found harshly addressing the Pharisees and scribes for rigidly, or religiously, adhering to the letter of the law in order to make themselves appear better than others. The danger of this thinking is it allows Christians to believe God loves them more because they are “saved” and because they go to church; nothing is farther from the truth. If anything, the responsibility to show love and operate in grace is greater because “to whom much is given, much is required.”
People who operate in self-righteousness mode view life in black and white while shunning anyone who attempts to interject shades of grey in their worldview. They get upset when anyone says or does something that does not fit into their concept of right and wrong. That mentality is abusive; truth is, it is senseless to compare yourself with another because no one can measure up to a holy God in and of themselves.
God never intended for his followers to live a life of self-righteousness. He is the only one righteous, all else is as filthy rags. The Pharisees were so consumed with their own righteousness they were constantly patting themselves on their backs for their many good deeds. Jesus condemned that way of thinking back then just as he does today.
The question remains, “Are Christians abusive to society?” Any Christian that chooses to operate as judge and jury instead of walking in love and grace is not very Christlike; as a result, any true believer would answer, “Yes.” God’s word may never change but methods have to in order to reach the current culture. It is time to step out of the closed-minded mentality and into abundant life. Life is to be lived in high-definition not in black and white.
Opinion by Cherese Jackson (Virginia)