When Christians Are Unchristian

This week I began reading When Christians Get it Wrong, a book written by Adam Hamilton, the leader of the church that I attend.
I thought that it might help me (and maybe even you) if I recapped the book chapter by chapter. Today I'll hit the highlights of chapter one (which has the same title as this post) and add a few comments along the way.

Adam begins by telling the story of John, a young man who is very disillusioned by the actions of Christians that he knows. Adam builds the chapter around the objections of John and others like him. Here are a few points that Adam makes:

Christians sometimes act like Pharisees: Adam tells us that the religious leaders of Jesus' day often acted like hypocrites.. a term that denotes a person who is a pretender. I find this idea of being a pretender an interesting one. It speaks to me of being something that you are not. Here are a few ways that people act this way:
  • Wrong Motives: Adam begins by addressing the heart of the matter. I can relate to doing the right things for the wrong reasons.
  • Pointing out the sin of others without seeing our own: Adam cites Jesus' admonition to take the log out of our own eye before we attempt to remove a speck from another's eye. I think that it is true that we act like a Pharisee when we sit in judgment on another person's soul.
  • Majoring on the Minors: I think that most of us can relate to emphasizing our pet doctrines. My favorite saying in this area is: "In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity!"
  • Being Two Faced: Adam, referencing the cup that is clean on the outside and dirty on the inside, speaks to the issue of being one thing on the outside and something else on the inside. 
We are all recovering Pharisees: I wish that this is not true but I can relate to the idea of struggling in the four areas above. I agree with him when he says that Non-Christians understand that we are all hypocrites but do not like it when we act like we are not.

Getting it Right: Many do get it right.. they love sacrificially.. are filled by the Spirit and manifest His fruit all of the time. Adam speaks about Kathy, a beautician who regularly cuts hair for homeless people. I loved how he spoke of using our gifts to show the love of Christ to people who do not know Him - it is the way that Christians get is right.. it is the means that He often uses to draw people to Himself.

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