I read the following tweet the other day: "Friendly reminder, church people like to HEAR sermons, lost people like to SEE them.”
And, it happened again the other day. It happens many times--too many times. And, it doesn't happen just to me--it happens to you--too many times as well. This is what happens.
I'm having a conversation with a potential seeker of the truth--someone who has not surrendered to Jesus, but is not an atheist. Someone who has some genuine interest and some authentic questions about Jesus and the Christian faith. Here's how the conversation went:
'Okay, do you mind if I ask you a question?' my friend says.
‘Sure, ask away,' I respond.
'So, you know Frank (not his real name--trying to protect the innocent?) I know—and you do too-- he is a faithful church person. He follows the church, attends, gives money, cooperates and says he is a Christian.'
(I'm getting nervous, I could finish this off for him)
'Well, why does he do--such and such and so-and-so….?’ asks my friend.
Here's the problem, according to my friend. He thinks this guy is missing the boat on this Jesus' stuff. He is not really living right--he is missing some basics, some obvious things that my friend would see as signs of authentic faith.
It’s a conversation I have had too many times. He further enunciates his disapproval with the generic ‘the church is full of hypocrites!’ I offer him some half-baked answers—here they are:
- Just because Frank isn’t a perfect Christian—don’t let Frank’s life style cause you to miss heaven.
- Regarding hypocrites. I ask him, “Like where do you want them to go? The rotary club?” I told him it all depends on what you think the church is all about. I told him I often think of the church as a hospital for sick people—that’s why I like hypocrites in my church—it’s a place to be healed. Plus, I told him about my often used line at the communion table. This table is for sinners—the perfect church is down the street.
That's what I told him.
But what I tell myself and followers of Jesus is this: "Friendly reminder, church people like to HEAR sermons, lost people like to SEE them.”