Thursday, August 7, 2014

A bad example?

One of Billy Graham's readers complains that their neighbor seems to be a bit of a hypocrite. But does Billy's opinion on the matter really make any sense?
QUESTION: What do you think about someone who claims to be a Christian, but thinks nothing of gossiping about other people, lying, or things like that? My neighbor is like that, and her attempts to get me interested in her church really turn me off. — Mrs. S.J.
He was a Christian, so yes... yes it would.
A believer that doesn't live up to what another believer thinks believers should be like? Nothing new there...
ANSWER: I can’t blame you; it’s hard to respect someone who claims to be a follower of Jesus but doesn’t act like it. Some of Jesus’ harshest words were directed at hypocrites – at people who claimed to follow God but denied it by the way they lived. Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commands” (John 14:15).

Sadly, your neighbor may not even realize what she’s doing. In fact, she may think she’s a good Christian – she’s active in her church, lives a moral life, is concerned about others, and so forth. These things are important, of course; they’ll be part of every sincere Christian’s life. The Bible says, “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ” (Philippians 1:27).

But God doesn’t only want to change our outward behavior – important as that is. He also wants to change us from within, transforming our hearts and minds so we become more like Christ.
Here's the thing... Nothing SJ's neighbor is allegedly doing  is in conflict with her Christianity. Maybe she's not the same 'kind' of Christian as SJ or Billy, but is still likely a genuine Christian.

Remember the words of Ephesians 2:8-9...
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
So it would seem that one doesn't need to be 'like Jesus' to be a Cristian. Also remember that we are told that Jesus will forgive any sin so long that we believe in and worship him. Given that any sin, no matter how major or minor will be forgiven,what incentive is there to change? If salvation is your chief concern, and Jesus will forgive you for being a twat, you may not be discouraged form acting like a twat in the future.

I however, am not concerned with impressing some magical being, so my concerns lie with those around me. Many believers are concerned with their neighbors as well, but just remember... A belief system that will forgive anything will also ultimately allow anything.

-Brain Hulk

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