Recently I met a lady when we were paired together for a round of golf and our conversation turned to our church life.
She shared that she was “spiritual” but not “religious”. I’ve never really understood what that meant but listened intently as she spoke. “I believe in God, but not the church. I dated a guy for over a year that was elected to serve on his church’s board. To everyone else he was the perfect Christian. I saw the real man: he didn’t report all his income to the IRS and wouldn’t loan his brother money when he was out of work for a year. He started dating my best friend and I had to find out when he accidentally called my phone by mistake. I broke up with him because of his lying. If that’s the kind of Christians there are in church, I don’t want any part of it.”
It’s “Christians” like this who often give Jesus a bad name.
Recently, a guy contacted me on FACEBOOK and we traded messages daily for about 10 weeks. He told me of his mission work overseas and how he helps out in an orphanage with kids ravaged with malaria. His FACEBOOK profile lists “The Bible” as his favorite book and it says “Christian” this or that in every other category. I was really looking forward to meeting him when he was back in the States over Christmas.
One day his email asked for money for an orphaned girl on a ventilator in the hospital. “Even $20 would help.”
I responded quickly that I couldn’t give him any money, but I’d add them both to my daily prayer list and pray for them in church each morning.
He quickly sent me an email thanking me for my prayers, and that was it. Not another word from him. After 10 weeks of daily emails, they stopped.
I’m not going to blame Jesus for his behavior. I don’t know if it was just a scam for money all along, or if he really is a Christian. Only he and God know his true intentions.
If he is a Christian, he doesn’t know how to gracefully accept an offer of prayer in response to a need.
In 1 Timothy 5:20 (ESV) we are instructed, “As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear.”
Maybe we need to do a better job of rebuking each other as Christians in the church so that we don’t give Jesus a bad name.