We will be hated.
That’s what Jesus told us, we will be hated because of Him. And it’s not hard to see why, what with the humanistic dogma infiltrating much of society coupled with antagonistic mentalities towards anyone who claims that there is one truth, and one truth only.
In this sort of relativistic world, what non-believer would want to hear that they are broken and not capable of saving themselves? That their choices in life can lead them to damnation should they not choose to focus their life on the One who created it?
The Church and church culture are facing an uphill battle, in part I believe of the perpetuation of Christianity as a part of good society, rather than following Him who is good.
It may sound odd, but I am much more suspicious of a Christian that I meet within church gathering settings than I am of a nonbeliever, or someone I interact with outside the church.
(note: Church refers to the body of Christ as a whole, whilst church refers to one specific congregation)
I know it’s strange, I’ve never been hurt by someone pretending to be a saint (although I know those who have), perhaps it’s because a good portion of my life we didn’t go to church regularly and so I spiritually grew independently without a connection to a particular group.
I prefer to not exude an overly sunny disposition, particularly an insincere one, so perhaps it’s why I mistrust small talk exchanges during the “welcome” part of service, when we greet each other in our Sunday best with neat hair and honeysuckle smiles (I’m from the South if that didn’t clue you in).
I’m not saying we should not appear our best at church, I think it’s respectful, or that we shouldn’t be pleasant to one another. But perhaps we shouldn’t work so hard to seem all together, with our ducks in a row and following us down the straight and narrow path to Jesus.
It’s been ingrained in our society that Christians/church goers are holier-than-thou and are nicer and cleaner than any non-Sunday-going heathen will ever be. That’s why when events like the Ashley Madison leak occur, you see countless stories about the vocal Christians being caught; it’s a “gotcha” moment that secularist revel in.
Because for too long, churches, particularly American, Bible Belt churches, have been saying “I’m good, I’ve got Jesus”.
Maybe, then, we should say, “I’m broken, but it’s OK, I’ve got Jesus”
So rather than presenting ourselves as all-together, and everything is good, maybe we should introduce ourselves more honestly,
“Hi, I’m an apathetic over-thinker with an amazing ability to hold grudges, but I’ve got Jesus so we’re working on that.”