Why it makes me so angry

So, my hubby asked me this afternoon what my scathing post the other day was about.  I told him that I’m sick of being lumped in with people who are Christians in name only.  There’s more to it, though, and I thought that I would share it with the blogosphere.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that I was not raised a Christian.  I grew up in a family that was Catholic in name only (they are born-again Christians now, so I feel okay writing about that).  We went to church on Sunday, but the rest of the week we did whatever we felt like doing.  We usually said grace before dinner (Bless us Our Lord for these are thy gifts which we are about to receive from thy bounty through Christ our Lord, Amen…it was usually one strung together word).  I decided at around age 12 that I didn’t believe any of it, and so, I wouldn’t continue going to church on Sundays (I can’t believe that my mom let me get away with that).  Even at that young age I wanted to be consistent.  If I didn’t believe it, then I didn’t want to act as if I did.

So, since I didn’t want to act as if I believed in something that I didn’t believe in, I ran in the complete opposite direction.  I was very vocal about my disbelief and would often argue the finer points of atheism with my believing acquaintances.  My disbelief followed me for approximately ten years, through high school and college.  In college I met several “Christians” who were no different than anybody else.  Hypocrites.  They would claim Jesus, some even did it more than just on Sunday, but then they would do the most morally questionable things (I did morally questionable things, too, but I didn’t claim to be a Christian).

Those people only solidified my insistence that Christianity wasn’t true.  It went like this:

If those who claim to be Christians do exactly the same things as those who do not make that claim, then why should I accept their claim to be different.  Therefore, I will continue to do whatever I want without being accountable to a God who doesn’t actually make a difference in people’s lives.  And what I want to do is sleep in on Sunday.

I look back and realize that there were some individuals in my life who were real Christians back then, but I didn’t see them for what they were.  It wasn’t until I met my (now) husband that I realized that Jesus could really change a life.  He was different in ways that nobody else who claimed to be a follower of Jesus was.

The point is this: those people who claim to be Christians but act exactly the same as anybody who is of the world turn people off of Christ.  That is what makes me angry.  I know it to be true because it happened to me.  Jesus didn’t stand for hypocrisy and I don’t intend to, either.  So, beware if you claim Jesus and act as if you are of the world.  I can tolerate a lot of things, but misrepresenting my God is not one of them.  Better to be an unbeliever and challenge my faith than to be a “white-washed tomb” and lead others astray.

[Once again I feel compelled to state the fact that I am by no means free from the sin of hypocrisy myself.  I call myself out just as often (probably more often) as I do anybody else.  I’m not perfect and I know it.  Only one Person was ever perfect and to Him I pledge my allegiance.]

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. reconciling viewpoints
    Aug 09, 2011 @ 10:14:42

    Your testimony (growing up Catholic, ending up Christian later) is similar to mine in a lot of respects. I did believe God was there as a kid/teen, but I was clueless as to where the power to overcome sin was supposed to come from. For the most part, I lived feeling guilty for every little thing I did, and there were plenty.

    I agree that Jesus had little patience for hypocrisy. The one thing I’ve noticed — it seems to be a natural tendency to let “self” take over, even for those that are “real” Christians. And whenever self takes over, we’ll tend to live by some set of rules that we’ve written for ourselves — if we’re “good Christians”, the rules will be closer to living like Jesus, and if we’re not-so-good Christians, our internals won’t be very Jesus-like.

    I think that’s where a lot of the hypocrisy comes from — people living by a set of rules that they think look like Jesus, but they miss the mark.

    Sheep and goats, right?

    Reply

    • Stacy
      Aug 09, 2011 @ 10:48:08

      Thank you. I’m not exactly sure that it was your intent, but I was convicted that I need to remove the log from my own eye. What in my life doesn’t look Christ-like? Usually my only rule is to take it back to the Bible, but I need to make sure there aren’t some other self-imposed rules that are poking their heads in there. Again, thanks.

      Reply

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