"Christians" Giving Christians A Bad Name
How do you respond to people who refuse to accept Christianity because they have met some 'bad' Christians? A renowned apologist, Dr Frank Turek, was asked this question. His response is below.
Imagine you were at a wedding or bar where a band was playing. It wasn't your favourite band, but they played your favourite band's songs. However, they played them poorly. Which band would you blame? The band that played it poorly or the original band that wrote the songs and performed them well? Clearly, it is the band that played poorly that should be blamed. Likewise, don't blame Jesus when people don't emulate Him. Just because people do not emulate Him well, that does not change the fact that Jesus is God and our Saviour. Therefore, do not attribute Christianity to bad Christians.
So then, what is a bad Christian?
having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. 2 Timothy 3:5
These are people who have a form of godliness but denying its power (2 Timothy 3:5). Those with a form of godliness make an outward display of religion. They present themselves as godly, but it is all for show. They gossip, slander, are insolent, haughty, and boastful. They are quick to judge and slow to forgive. They attend church and may even serve in the church but use hate speech at work to create divisions.
True Christians are not like that! The true Christians are loving, gentle, kind, and always willing to help others. True Christians do good things in their community and give their hard earned money to the poorer communities. True Christians build up people and communities, not tear them down. True Christians are not interested in their own comfort if it means helping someone less fortunate. True Christians are not quick to judge others. True Christians follow in Jesus' footsteps and try their best to live a life that shows the love of Jesus through their actions!
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. – Gal. 5:22-23
The power of God, which should accompany the form of godliness, is shown through the Holy Spirit and results in the transformation of our lives. The Holy Spirit indwells the believer (1 Cor 6:19) and enables him to bear fruit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal 5:22–23). These are the attributes of a true Christian.
Despite the fact that I do not deserve Your mercy, You have shown me such extravagant love. As I reflect on Your forgiveness daily, may I be able to extend the same love to others. Whenever I feel tempted to lose my temper or gossip, Lord, guard my mouth. As Your Word commands, help me cultivate and develop the fruit of self-control through the power of Your Spirit so that I may walk peaceably, with all gentleness and humility.
In Jesus’ name, amen.