I was scrolling through Facebook the other day and came across a post talking about abortion. It encouraged people who consider themselves pro-life to show grace to mothers who did choose life, but didn’t do it in a conventional way: the teenage girl who dropped out of high school to have her baby, the married woman who gave her baby up for adoption, the unmarried woman who had a baby with her boyfriend, or the woman using food stamps at the grocery store to support her five children. The writer shared that all of them chose life, yet still get judged by the people who claim to be pro-life because they have a non-traditional lifestyle.
The comments quickly dissolved into a fight, and one woman told the other commenters that they were going to burn in hell because they were all wicked and evil. In response, there was one single comment that I will never forget: “God has the worst fan base.”
Friends, can we just admit that maybe the church has messed up? Maybe we—as human beings—got a few things wrong?
Maybe we have tried to portray ourselves as “better” instead of letting people know we are the same. We all struggle, we all fall short, and we all deal with guilt, and fear, and sorrow. People shouldn’t look at Christians and see perfect people with perfect lives and say, “Oh, I want that.” They should look at broken, messy people and see forgiveness, love, and hope and say, “Oh, I want JESUS.”
As a whole, Christians aren’t always the most tolerant group. Sometimes we try to hold non-believers to a standard we can’t even meet. We are all sinners, and we aren’t better than anyone else just because we are saved. Believing Jesus died for you and your sins is not the same as believing you deserved it.
The only difference between them and us is that we are forgiven and free from the weight and shame that comes from sin. And we should want the people in our lives to be forgiven and free, too.
This is not a liberals versus conservatives issue OR a believers versus non-believers issue. It is a Christians versus the enemy issue because he is more than happy to hold up a veil between “us” and “them” and let us push people further and further away from the Cross with our self-righteousness and judgment.
We should never compromise our beliefs, but we should also avoid compromising our witness. When we say things like, “If you believe <something>, then just delete me” or “We can’t be friends if you support <something>,” we are closing the door on any chance we might have had to speak into their lives. We are losing the opportunity to share about grace, and truth, and a God who loves them desperately—the way we are supposed to.