I Like Your Christ But Not Your Christians

I Like Your Christ But Not Your Christians

I think we’d be surprised to know how many people in this world actually like the person of Jesus Christ, but aren’t keen of becoming a Christian due to the examples set forth by his followers.

For centuries we’ve used different tools and methodologies to reach people in the name of Christ, but I feel like the ideology of the great commission was intended to be more simple than we make it out to be.

I believe we need to re-think the way we are evangelizing, witnessing, making disciples, or whatever else you may call it. Why? Because the way we’re working isn’t working anymore. Church attendance is on the decline, and the amount of self-proclaimed believers is getting lower every single day.

Why You Ask? 

1. I believe some of our techniques are flawed and outdated.

- The bullhorns and picket signs need to go. You’re not helping anyone.

2. I believe sometimes our approach comes off as judgmental and arrogant.

- You’re not better than anyone, regardless of their belief or disbelief. 

3. I believe some of our focus has become less about sharing God’s love, and more about gaining bigger crowds.

- God doesn’t care about your attendance. He cares about your motives. 

We Must Stop Judging:

As a Christian, your job isn’t to judge someone because they don’t have the same beliefs you do. If you act like a pompous jerk, don’t be surprised when they aren’t keen on joining your Jesus train.

  • Matthew 7:1 – Do not judge others, and you will not be judged.

We Must Re-Think Evangelism:

We need to re-think the way we are evangelizing, witnessing, making disciples, or whatever else you may call it. We must begin to ask ourselves if we are truly reflecting an image of Christ, or an opposite result that is actually harming the expansion of The Gospel.

  • 1 Corinthians 6:15  - And do everything with love.

The Church of Jesus Christ is perfect and flawless, but the reality is we as people are not. I understand that we all make mistakes, but that doesn’t mean we can ignore the fact we need to change the way we are doing things. I want us to begin evaluating the way we live our lives as Christians. Are we truly reflecting the purity and love of Jesus, or have we cracked the very foundation we are called to live on?

I don’t blame people for being timid in their choice of following Christ. Why you ask? Because some of us are pretty crappy examples of Him. I know there are plenty of things I need to get better at. With that being said, I hope we can all begin exuding a brighter image of Jesus that is not only pure and loving, but graceful and forgiving.

Matthew 28:19 - Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

- Jarrid Wilson

About the Author

24 Comments

  • Sam Hopkins January 13, 2014 at 8:24 AM

    I know im a little later in my post, but I just wanted to add my perspective. As Christians, I feel it is our duty to not only understand our own faith, but to also understand other faiths. I am a firm believer that if we are to be effective in witnessing to others, we have to understand things from their perspective and be able to relate to them as individuals, or we risk coming off as arrogant, and selfish. How can I speak to a Muslim about Christianity and expect him to listen if I know nothing of his faith, and where he is coming from. In Sean Covey’s book, “the seven habits of highly effective people”, he states that we must seek first to understand, and then to be understood. I truly believe that by taking the time to understand others in a non judgmental fashion, they will be more receptive to what we have to say. The human race is not ours to judge. leave the judging up to God. It is our duty as Christians to plant the seed, and Gods to make it grow. Im sure we are fully capable of doing that without being single-minded.

  • Ricardo September 15, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    Awesome post Jarrid, bravo! I don’t live in the US but I can relate to a lot of what you wrote.

  • Samantha September 14, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    I just have to wonder, are ALL who are pushing people away doing it wrong? I mean, look at the persecution Christians face, including the apostles. I don’t believe they were witnessing the *wrong* way, I believe the parable of the swine and the pearls apply just as much as *wrong* witnessing. Sometimes people don’t want to hear the truth, spoken in love or otherwise. Even if it’s done in love, you may not be the person to cross thier paths, so you must pray for another to show them. Pray that thier hearts not be hardened to hearing. I just think there is alot of other reasons people don’t like Christians besides the examples that have been shown. I agree with it for the most part, but if Jesus was SO well liked, and his apostles were as well, they would not have been persecuted, beaten and killed.

    • Samantha September 14, 2013 at 11:32 AM

      I would like to add that I am not making excuses for the Christians who DO set a bad example, there are alot of them them out there – ALOT – I just think its not always a cookie cutter situation. :)

    • Unknown September 14, 2013 at 4:46 PM

      Amen! I love your response. I actually came across John 15 it says the world will hate you because it already hates Jesus. Jesus actually wasn’t liked; he didn’t seek entitlement; he was the most humble guy I know. He was sinless; and we can be humble to. Wow <3 We must read the whole bible; not just parts of the bible as truth and spirit. As alot of Christians with bad examples; there babes that need to be taught; I was one of them with experience. We can be Christian for 1-100 years and still act as babes in Christ if we're not willing to grow up but studying the word will make us grow and mature; learning experience. I love learning from others. <

    • John wallace October 30, 2013 at 6:04 AM

      I think you are right! Is the “right technique” decided by it’s success rate? I don’t think so. We need to fill our hearts up with the word and share our faith whenever we can. Love others like the word says. Live like the word says. We are only messengers. The Holy Spirit works on the persons heart. Not us

  • Danica September 12, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    I agree and disagree. We are called to love others and build relationship but it also says do not be conformed to this world by being transformed in your mind. Yes we are called to love sinners; I myself was a sinner; I gave my life to Jesus at 16. I found him in my bedroom; I didn’t find him at church. I encountered who he truly is. We are not perfect and yes we do need to grow up. Nobody had to tell me I was living wrongly; I read scriptures and was convicted by God’s spirit before I was saved. I didn’t even know what Christian even meant when saved lol I didn’t see the fruit of Christians characters and that is judging others for there fruit. We must see ourselves as responsible and passionate on fire for God. We are the church. When were open to more of God; he is open to us. I am the only one saved in my family and my nation; im first nations. I grew up traditional; nobody had to tell me it was wrong to follow that belief; holy spirit revealed and the word of God opened up my blindness to see by the gift of discernment and prophesy. God is Good. :)

  • Nancy September 12, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    Jarrid, If you’re going to quote Matt 7:1 you should really quote the entire passage. (Matt. 7:1-5).Christians are often accused of “judging” whenever they speak out against a sinful activity. However, that is not the meaning of the Scripture verses that state, “Do not judge.” There is a righteous kind of judgment we are supposed to exercise—with careful discernment (John 7:24). When Jesus told us not to judge (Matthew 7:1), He was telling us not to judge hypocritically. Matthew 7:2-5 declares, “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” What Jesus was condemning here was hypocritical, self-righteous judgments of others.
    It is a Christian’s duty to lovingly and respectfully confront the person with his sin (Matthew 18:15-17). This is not judging, but rather pointing out the truth in hope—and with the ultimate goal—of bringing repentance in the other person (James 5:20) and restoration to the fellowship. We are to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). We are to proclaim what God’s Word says about sin. 2 Timothy 4:2 instructs us, “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage — with great patience and careful instruction.” We are to “judge” sin, but always with the goal of presenting the solution for sin and its consequences—the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:6).

    • Anonymous September 12, 2013 at 3:06 PM

      I’ve always wanted a good way to explain this . VERY well said! This is the #1 pushback I get from non believers. Thank you!

    • Anonymous September 20, 2013 at 12:58 PM

      Thank you Nancy! You took the words out of my mouth.

    • FunkyInTheSouth September 23, 2013 at 8:19 PM

      Speaking as a nonbeliever, I think you might be missing the point when he says do not judge. You say that Christians are accused of ‘judging’ whenever they speak out against a sinful activity and later say this is not judging but pointing out the truth. Although you try to define it as a non-judging activity, a nonbeliever will perceive it as judgement, and I think in most cases it actually is judgement, even if you try to call it by a different name. A nonbeliever hears your argument simply as an excuse to judge without actually calling it judgement.

      For example, if you judge a gay or lesbian and tell them they are wrong because the Bible says so, then say you are not judging but speaking the truth, a nonbeliever does not accept this as truth. A nonbeliever considers this an opinion based on religious belief, not truth. So then to say you are only speaking the truth, not judging, sounds kinda preposterous to a nonbeliever. To a nonbeliever it simply sounds like a judgemental opinion.

  • Jamsel Glen Almariego September 12, 2013 at 9:35 AM

    At some parts, I disagree.
    It’s good for self evaluation, but to blame others for another’s faithfulness is just wrong. It’s like blaming Jesus for not being able to make the whole world a Christian.

    Every person is accountable of their faith. I believe the church is flawless and the people who leave the church(for selfish reasons) was allowed to leave because they choose to follow their way instead of God’s way.

    We must be conscious of our own actions. We may become a stumbling block to others, and that is very wrong, but God also tells us that when we face something to stumble upon, we can always overcome and if we do stumble, we can always stand back up.

    We do wrong when we make others stumble, but it is also their choice if they stay stumbled.

    Like the parable of the Sower (Lk. 8:4-15; Matt. 13:3-23)
    The Good seed is sown, but the type of soil determines how it is nurtured.
    “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” ~ Phil. 2:12-15

    :)

    • Rachael September 12, 2013 at 5:50 PM

      you’re making this seem as if every person is in it for themselves. Which to a certain degree is true. We as humans can only determine our own salvation. We can have a hand in whether someone is pointed in the right direction though. I think that you’re wrong when you say that the church is flawless. The church is the body of Christ.. The body of Christ is made up of humans.. we by our very nature are flawed.. If we cause people to stumble we are supposed to fix that. We have a duty to other believers and nonbelievers to help them on their walk. Why do you think the Bible talks so much about fellowship? If someone stumbles they can be confused and disoriented by Satan.. That would cause them to “stay stumbled”. Aren’t we are Christians called to help each other? you can’t just say, “well Bobby is choosing to be the way that he is.” There are more forces at work than just our own free will. We have an enemy up against us.. Though are battle is already won.. we still have a duty to help other people make it to the end..

    • Jamsel September 13, 2013 at 8:20 AM

      I’m sorry. That part about ‘the church is flawless’ is misleading. What I was referring to was not the individuals of the church, but the one true church. The fellowship of each true Christians, seeking God. Us Christians, we’re in the process of being made perfect. Let us strive for Christ-likeness.
      And I agree with what you said. We also have that duty to be God’s instruments for those who do stumble. To encourage and/or rebuke them to direct them closer to God.
      We’re called to love God and to love each other. Not just who we want to love, but everyone God loves.

      Thank you for pointing that out! :)

    • Tweet September 15, 2013 at 4:46 AM

      Totally agree!

    • Jamsel September 15, 2013 at 10:30 AM

      Hmm… :-/
      I think you have to read carefully what I said here.
      I don’t seem to find myself putting here about it. I’m only pointing that we’re responsible for our own choices. Whether we help, love, hate, etc., what we choose to do, whether it affects others or not, all falls down to us. Being accountable to our choices, the consequences and the blessings that it follows.

      And about the reason part, that’s the reason why I placed it inside the parenthesis. I only meant those who leave for selfish reasons. There are people who leave their local church to evangelize to other places. Plant churches to other places. I only intended that for those who do leave for selfish reasons.

      I guess that one is also misleading. Well, here’s my explanation then. Hehe!

      Hope this clear things up.
      We are called to love. Not just the people who also love, but more so to those who hate, and much to those who hates us.
      Love your enemies. Cause if we only love those who love us, what difference do we have to those who doesn’t believe in Christ?
      ~ Luke 6:27-36

      Personally, I encourage those Christians who are pushed away by other ‘Christians’ to keep on loving. We’re called to love, not to be conformed by the world’s pattern on loving, but to be transformed, becoming more Christ-like as we overcome such circumstances.

    • Tweet September 15, 2013 at 4:45 AM

      Your point about leaving churches isn’t always true. There are so many people in church who intentionally or unintentionally push others into leaving that church; it’s saddening, but people definitely don’t leave for selfish reasons.

  • GeorgieGax September 11, 2013 at 11:27 PM

    Yes! Yes! Yes!!! Absolutely love this! As a college student, I am sometimes ashamed and embarrassed to tell my colleagues that I’m a Christian in fear that they’ll view me the same way they view the jerks that give Christianity a bad name. It’s only the courage the Spirit gives that when I do tell them, they’ll give me a chance and let me show them the true Love of God.

  • Adriana T September 11, 2013 at 6:26 PM

    Thank You for this post! I love it! Everything here is so true.

  • Valerie September 11, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    This is the exact reason why so many people dont go to church anymore, we christians are doing it ourselves without even knowing, it’s time for a change.

  • Kenneth Vega September 11, 2013 at 5:17 PM

    awesome post, what are some of the approaches you would take in terms of evangelizing to people in quick evangelism

  • Larry Canales September 11, 2013 at 5:15 PM

    Right on point Jarrid! couldn’t have said it any better.

  • Molly September 11, 2013 at 5:13 PM

    This is exactly why I stopped going to my church. I missed a few Sunday masses from being sick in bed and instead of seeing if I was okay and helping me, I was automatically treated like a black sheep that did something wrong. And that was only one event out of many that made me feel like I didn’t belong their and made me not want to go to mass. I am currently in the search for a new church, but thank you for writing this post, it makes me feel much better and like I’m not alone in feeling like Christians don’t always treat Christians how God wants us to treat each other!

  • Chad Bryant Collins September 11, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    Jarrid, this is a great post. Thanks for sharing the truth. I completely agree, in fact I posted something very similar a couple weeks ago. If you want to check it out you can at my website. Glad to know God is working very similar truths into other men of God.

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