3 Things Christians Do That Non-Christians Despise

non-christians despise

Spend two minutes talking to almost anyone outside the Christian faith and you’re almost certain to hear a list of complaints they have about Christians.

The problem has been around awhile.  As Mahatma Ghandi famously (and sadly) said: “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

He’s not alone.

The problem with many non-Christians isn’t that they don’t know any Christians. The challenge is they do.

So what gives?

Many Christians would tell you we have an image problem: we’re treated unfairly, we’re being persecuted, or we’re just badly misunderstood.

I’m not so sure.

It’s not so much that Christians have an image problem. It’s far more likely that we have an integrity problem.

Do we get misunderstood on some issues? Of course. But that’s outside our control.

There are more than a few issues entirely within our control that give us a bad name with people outside Christianity.

Here are 3 things Christians do that non-Christians despise.

1. Judge

It doesn’t take long for non-Christians to tell you how much they hate the way Christians judge other people.

Another two minutes on social media will reveal Christians and preachers condemning unchurched people for their sexual habits and preferences, life-style choices and even political views. I doubt this is what Jesus had in mind when he gave his life in love for the world.

Disclosure: without the mercy and intervention of Christ, I’m very judgmental. And years ago, I realized how devastating judgment and criticism can be to others. So I’m waging a life-long battle against it. Confessing it, repenting of it almost daily.

I realized years ago that very few people get judged into life change. Far more get loved into it.

It also occurred to me that the presence of judgment almost always guarantees an absence of love.

Think about it through the lens of your marriage, a friendship or even someone you work with: it is virtually impossible to love someone and judge someone at the same time.

But wait, you ask: what if they’re making a mistake and I need to correct them?

First of all, look at your mistakes and the depth of your sin, and deal with your issues first. In the process, you’ll encounter a loving God who forgives you despite your rather egregious sin.

And having been loved, you can love others.

I try to remember this rule: If I’m judging someone, I’m not loving them. You can’t judge someone and love them at the same time.

What would happen if Christians stopped judging the world (isn’t that God’s job?) and started loving it instead?

I believe that’s what Jesus did.

2. Be Hypocritical

There’s a word for Christian who say one thing and do another. The word is hypocrite.

It’s far easier to call someone else a hypocrite than it is to admit you’re one.

The truth is that as much as I hate it, I’m a hypocrite. My walk doesn’t always match my talk. That’s why I don’t have a fish on my car. When I’m in a hurry and my natural impatience surfaces, the last thing some person God loves needs to see is a Christian cut him off.

Of course, it’s worse than that. I’m not always a loving husband, kind father, steadfast son, patient boss, or even compassionate friend. Like you, I’m a mixture of good and not-really-that good evil.

What did Paul say? Nothing good lives in me. Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 7:18). That could be a life-verse for me. Well, actually, it kind of is.

Sanctification is a process that never ends.

I am not who I want to be (yet). I am not who God wants me to be.  But I’m different. I’m changing. And Christ is at work in me.

I believe that’s the reality for every person who calls Jesus Savior.

So what do imperfect Christians do? I mean just deciding you’re not going to make mistakes never keeps you from making mistakes.

I think the answer is simple: you watch what you say.

Don’t pretend to be something or someone you’re not.

I find the more humility I add to my words, the smaller the gap is between who I am and who I say I am.

When you admit your shortcomings, you build a bridge between you and others. Owning your sin is different than living in it; confession is never an excuse for complacency.

So what do you do if you live in the tension between what you usually say or want to say and what you do?

I think you change both.

You change how you live through the power of Christ day by day (getting better), and at the same time, you change how you talk about your faith, yourself and how you live (adding more honestly and humility to your words). I wrote about things modern Pharisees say today in this post (the Pharisees were an ultra-religious group Jesus strong criticized).

Want a quick fix for hypocrisy? Accelerate your walk. Humble your talk.

Nothing closes the gap between word and action faster than that.

3. Stink at Friendship

Friendship is hard.

We all have ideas of finding the perfect friends with whom we’ll never disagree, share 1000 common interests and ride off into the sunset with.

Well, very few human relationships ever work that way. Even in marriage, the best marriages are almost always ones in which people have overcome deep and real obstacles to find a powerful love that’s far deeper than emotion.

Perhaps the first obstacle between non-Christians and Christians is that relatively few Christians actively pursue meaningful friendships with people who don’t share their faith. Between churches that offer programs 5 nights a week (leaving little time for Christians to make friends outside the church) and Christians who are afraid of the world, many Christians don’t pursue authentic relationships with non-Christians.

Which means much of the interaction non-Christians have is situational and observational rather than truly relational. They observe Christians in life and at work, notices traces of judgment and hypocrisy and draw all kinds of conclusions. I get that.

But Jesus went so much deeper than that. Jesus pursued friendships with people who were different than him. Whose lifestyles were far different than anything God had in mind for them (or for people in relationship with him).

Yet Jesus was their friend. He went to their house for dinner. They traveled together. They shared moments and meals and life.

It scandalized the religious leaders of Jesus day, and sadly, when it’s practiced authentically, it still scandalizes most of us today.

Think about it. When was the last time you hung out with a hooker?

When was the last time you had someone who’s not your skin color, not your political persuasion and doesn’t share your value system over for dinner, or when was the last time you broke bread with an addict (who’s not in recovery)?

Often when Christians do pursue ‘friendships’ with people far from God, it’s more of a project than it is a friendship.

But people aren’t projects; people are people. People can smell it a mile away if you see them as a project, not a person.

Which leads us to another tension in our friendships with those outside the Christian faith.

Some Christians do have a relationship with unchurched people. So: how exactly do you talk about faith?

Great question!

Most of us swing to one extreme or the other: either we always talk about faith, or we never talk about. Both are mistakes.

Always talk about faith, and you’re turning the relationship into a project. Never talk about, and you miss the most important thing in life.

Real friendships always drill down on real issues, and few things are more significant than the meaning of life.

How do you talk about? Naturally, organically, in the context of your story is a great place to start.

Real friendships are like that.

Want a simpler place than that to begin? Try this. Just like the person. As much friend Reggie Joiner says, people will never believe you love them if they feel you don’t like them.

Boom.

What Do You Think?

Anything you see that people who are not Christians despise about Christians?

If you’re a Christian, what helps you overcome these issues, and what other issues do you struggle with?

Scroll down and leave a comment!

225 Comments

  1. Rusty on April 18, 2018 at 4:27 pm

    American Evangelical Christianity is a scourge upon this land. I say this as a former Evangelical who has left the church, and in so doing has grown ever closer to Christ. I left both because of the behavior of the church as a whole and of its individual members. It and they in no shape, way or form resemble or honor the words or example of Christ. I have never felt better and it was absolutely the right thing to do. The straw that broke the camel’s back was how the church vociferously and with great boldness supported the current resident in the White House during his campaign for office and how they continue to support him with idolic fervor to this day. It’s been horrifying to witness, utterly shameful, and has only served to confirm that my decision was the right one to make. Evangelicals should be ashamed of themselves, but they are not. Perhaps they do not have the capacity for it.

    • Marion on April 23, 2018 at 10:07 am

      Rusty,
      I’m an evangelical Christian who didn’t vote for Mr. Trump. Or Mrs. Clinton. I found them both so unacceptable that for the first time since first voting in 1964 I could not bring myself to support either candidate. (I did vote for all the other offices on my ballot.)
      Please don’t judge Christianity by the hypocrits who claim they are Christians but who are not. Most of them don’t even know what the Bible says.
      ANY faith should be judged by it’s founder (Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, etc.), by it’s tenets, and by the true followers of that faith.

  2. Ellen on April 18, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    Number 3 is very, very true!! Always be a friend FIRST. If you meet someone, let’s say at school, seek out interest that both of you have. Don’t shove church down that person’s throat. If you insist on talking about your faith to that new friend or anyone, be quiet for a time and let that person speak about his faith. All faiths, even non-Christian faiths have important traditions and values.

    I had a friend in school, and I would say that at least 75% of the time she and her mother were always carrying on about Good and religion, and that I should go to their church or I would go to hell. Over time I noticed that she was not being that much of a friend to me. Most of the time, she would call me only to see if I would go to church with her and then nag me if I said no. She was always telling me that she cared about me and what is best. But she was rarely there for me as a friend, only when it was convenient for her. I like the last sentence in #3, people will never believe that you love them if you don’t like them. I may be a little guilty myself, because for my friend, I like her when we spend some quality time together, but I do not like her that much as a church person.

  3. Jeff on April 2, 2018 at 2:52 pm

    The problem with this article is that EVERYONE is guilty of these thing, not just Christians. Talk about hypocritical!

    • Tony R. on April 3, 2018 at 2:01 am

      So true….May I offer to shed some truth on a matter that I see in this thread that is causing much consternation…Judging is NOT pointing out a believers sin…Judgement, as God is talking about, it like scripture that says, “All Cretins are liars.” Today, judgement would be saying: All whites are racist–All blacks are thugs–All Latinos are here illegally
      or: All Baptists are lunitics–I saw you sin the other day, you’ll never be of any use to God
      You had another drink? You will always be an alcoholic.
      THOSE are judging…Pointing out sin is NOT judgement…But, so long as it’s being done within the Church…Of course, amongst believers, there is nothing wrong with saying abortion is wrong, sex changes are wrong, orgies are wrong…Remember, when Jesus called out the clergy leaders, called them a brood of vipers, He did not sin, but was addressing the so-called church leadership…If all you ever do with anyone is just “love” on them, then God will hold you responsible for not helping them to see the err of their way…Too many wussies in the Church today, and that is an absolute truth, not a condemnation…Have some sincere backbone people, and clean up the Church first before worrying about ANYTHING the world is doing. Blessed be all of you.

      • Kenneth Whisman on April 13, 2018 at 5:07 am

        Well said.

      • Faith on April 15, 2018 at 1:45 pm

        You said: “Pointing out sin is NOT judgement…But, so long as it’s being done within the Church…Of course, amongst believers, there is nothing wrong with saying abortion is wrong, sex changes are wrong, orgies are wrong…”

        Please note that unless I’m quoting you, the words “you” are not necessarily about you, but an address to possible readers who may be who I’m talking about. Please do not consider this an attack.

        Pointing out sin =/= judgement.
        Making people feel bad by “pointing out sin” and shaming them for it, trying to force them to change rather than help them by having them talk with you and trying to help them fix their habit = judgment.

        There’s a difference between seeing a fat person and pointing at them going “You’re so fat! You must be fat because (insert assumption here)…. Just do XYZ and you’ll be all better” instead of asking them about WHY they’re that way. Maybe they have a thyroid disorder and it’s not actually fat but bloating. Maybe they’re on steriods to suppress inflammation. Maybe they have a disorder like Prader-Willi Syndrome? Why not sit down and ask “Are you binging because you’re depressed? Why are you sad? Would you like to work out or diet with me? How can I help you be better at achieving your goals or just be a better person if that’s all you want to do?”

        Blaming women for having abortions (which I don’t approve of anyhow) and then trying to force all women to abide by your moral convictions is judging. God has given us all free will. It is not your job to force others to “behave” Christian. Christianity comes from within, not from outer behaviors which society can control through legislation. Laws such as restricting abortion, while intended to promote good ideals such as chastity & responsibility (I despise the modern version of “feminism” which apparently means being empowered means you must sleep around like a used rag & the ridiculous men who encourage that behavior which I do believe is morally incorrect, but I do not know sin.) are far less effective than sitting down with someone and trying to help them change their behavior.

        I cannot judge whether someone is sinning. God alone knows what is within someone’s heart. You do not know whether someone was raped. Whether she is in a relationship with a man who uses sexual/contraceptive coercion like forced impregnation (it actually exists & is quite common in men and domestic violence. Stealthing, switching a woman’s birth control, forbidding her to use shots, refusing condoms, etc.)

        You are not to judge. You are not to force your will on others when God has given us the right to choose our own destiny. Your duty as a Christian should be to encourage those who engage in such behaviors to improve themselves as persons. They do not necessarily even have to know what Christianity is or who Jesus is before becoming Godly. The Spirit of God can change us all without going to Church or professing our belief every day through prayer and crosses and other symbols, imagery, and fake rituals and patterns that mean nothing and do not affect our relationship with God nor our brothers and sisters. He changes others through kindness. A God of love lifts us all, whereas Man puts others down by shaming them. Nothing good comes from telling someone “You’re bad, doing evil, sinning, etc.” It pushes others away until they become isolated and cling further to these “sinning” behaviors which many times stem from deep psychological problems. Hypesexuality is not usually a character flaw, but is caused by illnesses or negative emotions created by our very own society (Bipolar mania, Schizophrenia, repeating the pattern of sexual abuse, Borderline Personality Disorder, anorexia/bulimia, anxiety & loss of control, bullying, and so on.)

        A judge is someone who decides on the fate or determines the reasoning behind someone’s actions. Judging is NOT pointing out. Acknowledging a sin is extremely different than either of those two. Such examples as listed above (You are sinning) are judgments compared to (This person is engaging in an act that is described a sin, but unless I know 100% for sure, why don’t I not make any declarations yet?). If a man kills another man when fighting for his life, is it sinning or is it self-defense? Why is murder of an individual any worse and evil compared to soldiers, many of whom are trying to protect themselves and their countries, killing dozens of more people in war? Why are soldiers who are forced to kill in battle worse than the politicians who institute drafts and force the commoners and the non-elites to fight their battles for them while they think of any excuse to avoid sending their sons into the war that they themselves started and then choose to profit of the war that causes our soldiers’ and others’ deaths? Jesus says to turn the other cheek in certain situations, but does standing up for yourself when someone bullies your sister or child mean you are sinning because you are disobeying God or being mean/possibly even violent and hurtful to others? Is disobeying your parent, if he or she is a psychopath, narcissist, or just plain abusive parent considered a sin? Are you bad? 1% of the people in the world meet the clinical criteria for psychopath/sociopath levels of Anti-Social Personality Disorder. You have met many, and you probably don’t know who they are. 4% of CEO’s are too. Many high-risk surgeons such as neurosurgeons are. They are drawn to power and exist happily in politics. Is someone like that who never acts on their impulses despite having essentially no filters/blocks that would make them feel guilt over doing something bad considered bad?

        Is a woman who divorces her husband after cheating on him (not out of lust, but a desire for the love & Godliness in a man that the Bible says a husband should treat his family with) equally as guilty of breaking the covenant of marriage if her husband cheated on her for years before she ever cheated on him, beat her, abused her psychologically, stripped her of humanity and the rights that God has rightfully bestowed upon her?

        If your mother was a drug addict and overdosed as a result, is she sinning by engaging in gluttony of drugs, addiction, placing material objects above God & spiritual duty when she had no ability to do anything else? What if she only began using drugs because she narrowly escaped being captured by a serial killer, who kidnapped her best friend right from her own eyes? If your mother, as a child, tried to help her friend escape, but she got into the serial killer’s car instead and was never seen again until they found her body. Sound far fetched? Well that’s what happened to my mother. It happens. What if she had Bipolar type I and Schizophrenia during that time? Decades ago, there were no medications to handle those diseases. They weren’t understood or believed in, especially in children? You think you understand what is going on inside the minds of men and women when most likely, you do not. I do not know why you wrote what you wrote. The best I can do is make assumptions. Judging others involves acting on those assumptions and engaging your ego & belief in superiority. Even if you yourself do not see yourself as superior, that is what judging does to the victim.

        I do not know God. None of us do. He knows us, and the most we can hope for is to grow closer with Him over time. We do not know what is in His head, as he has plans for all of us that we ourselves don’t know, yet alone what He has planned for others. Therefore, it is not our right to force our beliefs on others or tell others they are wrong.

        Did Jesus despise, punish, humiliate, belittle, or do anything of that sort to Mary Magdalene? Was not the Virgin Mary pregnant during a time when birth out of wedlock could easily result on stoning the woman, due to such harsh judgments against an individual created by God? Had her people acted on their judgement, would Jesus have been born when he was?

        Does your faith outweigh science? Can you prove heaven or hell exists? No, you cannot. Nor can science prove that God doesn’t exist, or that heaven and hell don’t exist, or that Jesus & the strange miracles that happen even today are due to scientific, natural phenomena and not the hand of God or his workers. Neither of you have the right to judge others and tell the other side they are wrong and should conform to a specific belief system OR a specific set of behaviors that are acceptable with your own belief system.

        You say: “so long as it’s being done within the Church. If you behave Godly in public but worship the Devil alone, does that make your behavior wrong? Does it change the fact that you worship the Devil? No. If you judge others behind their backs with your fellow behaviors, does that change the fact that what you believe and what you speak out loud is in fact, still judgement of others?

        Are LGBT persons wrong and sinning by doing what they believe is right? They very well might be, according to God. Bisexuality and homosexuality is common among those who are victims of abuse. Do you blame them for sinning after being inflicted with extreme punishment by fellow Man? It is not our job to punish and harm them either psychologically, through law, through society, or discrimination. Doing so pushes them further into such behaviors. Discriminate & make them poor by never hiring them or allowing them to enter college and they will be surrounded by others who encourage behaviors that lead them further towards destruction by giving company to suffering with their own suffering. Drugs, drinking, smoking, violence, anger. They all complete the cycle that leads further and further away from God, and judgment is indeed at the heart of that cycle.

        Hypocrisy is far too common in Christians that I have seen. I have been hypocritical many times myself. I have judged others and myself as well. I am a sinner & always will be. So will you. So will everybody else. We can only try to reduce our sinning as much as possible and rely on God to do so.

        The Bible instructs us to aid the poor, help our neighbors, and so on. Most Christians I’ve met hate those who rely on public services (food stamps, SSDI/SSI, public housing, etc.) because they deem them as takers and losers and drop outs (i.e. they JUDGE them). It is not our job to judge. If someone is that opposed to helping the weak and vulnerable as we are commanded to, then he or she should probably re-think their position on what religion they follow. Jesus was dirt poor, but he gave to others. He gave his life for us, yet would we give our life for a stranger, a sinner, on the street?

        “If all you ever do with anyone is just “love” on them, then God will hold you responsible for not helping them to see the err of their way…” All Jesus did was love others to change them. It is extremely different to call out obvious corruption and bad behavior like found in the financial industry with greed and elitism, but when you cannot see what is within the hearts of others, it is much more difficult to know what is right and wrong. Jesus did not say “You’re so wrong. You’re such a bad woman for abortion. Shame on you! You’re a slut for getting pregnant and you’re even more irresponsible for killing the child!” Does that sound like Jesus? No. Yet, this is the blatant accusation I hear from many Christians about this issue. Not all, but many. If suicide is evil and a sin, what should a mother do if she is pregnant & has deadly genetic diseases that could kill her and her child easily through giving birth (rupturing uterus, etc.)? Abortion may be murder, but what about our soldiers killing enemies? Does God see us as enemies? Do you blame the soldier for following his commander’s orders? Do you blame him for killing to protect his life? God will keep and protect the child in Heaven until he can return. God sees all and has known us since before we were born and conceived in our mother’s womb. Logically, that means the woman did not murder the baby. He will be born again some day at God’s will.

        Helping them see the err of their way takes time. Compassion. Love. God let us make tons of mistakes until we came to recognize we needed Him. Let us do the same for others.

        I went to a youth group for teens like 2 years ago. People have a lot of hatred towards “Fundie” fundamentalist Christians for a lot of reasons. At the time before I went there, I was an atheist. I would never have bothered even considering Christianity as being anything more than a hoax filled with delusional, irrational people. What I saw there would most definitely never make me consider ever becoming a Christian. My friend who invited me was judged by the kids there, in schools for how she dressed (I met her at music lessons & she is a singer & dresses like typical musicians but NOT Lady Gaga-style Bikini insane stuff. She’s not wearing strip-club outfits, either. She is also not a slut and is a virgin but they obviously didn’t care about who she was, just what they wanted to think about her. They kept people like me who were always ignored, shamed, etc. for not being a believer way outside of the “group” when it is supposed be our job to spread the Word. Instead, they acted just like every other group of Christian kids I’ve ever met through the school system. Kids bullying me because I was mentally ill. Christian principals telling me I “just had to pull myself up by my bootstraps” because obviously Bipolar & Schizophrenia that got triggered once my mother died when I was a toddler can be changed with self-help books, right? Even though my legal guardian and I kept begging them to let me transfer schools, they wouldn’t let me, and we didn’t know why until one of the staff told me it was because of my test scores. I scored extremely high on standardized tests (99th percentile usually) so they were delaying and delaying the process until the end-of-year exams and these “Christians” kept me suffering every day in a horrible environment so they could get better marks & funding every day when I contemplated suicide and had extreme aggression? They refused to let me go until my legal guardian threatened to go to the local news and press.

        “All whites are racist–All blacks are thugs–” These are generalizations based on personal, limited experience usually involving a combination of racism, stereotypes, and socialization. Yes, this is judgmental. However, this is the same mixture causes the same judgmental, hypocritical, and anti-social remarks and thinking that the author is talking about and is just a different manifestation of all of the examples I gave in my comment. They ALL have the same roots.

        “Too many wussies in the Church today, and that is an absolute truth, not a condemnation…” This is judgmental, too. Neither you nor I know the truth. “Too many wussies” is another generalization, the same as “all whites are racist” and so on. Based on your personal experience, socialization, and opinions. It may or may not be an absolute truth. How many are too many? In your opinion, there are too many. In another’s they may find you to be a wussy. God knows all. We know what he lets us know. We are not omniscient. I don’t know what you think. You don’t know what I think.

        It is an individual’s opinion that causes judgment to others, not others themselves.

        “clean up the Church first before worrying about ANYTHING the world is doing. ” That is not what Christianity should be about, in my opinion. Believing in Christ does nothing. You and others may be happy to clean up the Church, but we share this planet with all of God’s other creations. Dogs, cats, wild life, plants. Global warming may or may not be real (I believe it is) but it doesn’t matter what you believe is causing it. Pollution from fossil fuels is proven to be bad for our health, our cities, destroy wildlife (especially in the ocean) and we are stripping our environment. By around 2050, scientists expect our mass commercialization (read: greed and need for easy production processes to mass-market/catch fish and freeze and transport them) of fish from the Asian oceans will have driven most aquatic species to the point where there is no way to sell fish commercially. Our biodiversity is dying. Our coral reefs are decaying. Mankind is being bombed, starved, murdered and tortured everyday. The homeless are out on the streets, and society chooses to do things like plant stinky flowers near the intersections where they are and remove all the bushes and shrubs for them to sleep in instead of doing anything to fix them. The majority are not bums. They are seriously ill. The average American is one or two paychecks, one illness, or one accident away from losing everything they own. That could be you. They say the reason so many hate on the homeless is because deep down, they know that could be them.

        The Bible says it is our duty to be stewards of the Earth, to lead exemplary lives to the best of our ability through kindness, generosity, and love. Instead, though there are over 1 billion Christians on this planet, what are we accomplishing? We are killing ourselves while enslaving others and murdering the planet that God has given us because our species’ egos are huge, as after all, did we not want to be like God, so we listened to the serpent which told us what we wanted to hear? We are smart. We’re the best generation. We can do anything with technology. We can, we can, we can.

        I do not go to church. I probably never will. I am perfectly happy and content to stay alone for the rest of my life. I don’t enjoy seeing my peers or wanting to talk to fellow students. I go crazy if I have to be around others for large periods of time (read: 1 hour or more). Going to church doesn’t make you Christian. Believing in God, Jesus, etc. doesn’t make you Christian. You can accept God and profess your faith as much as you want, but unless you walk the talk, I don’t believe you’re a Christian. I don’t call myself a Christian either. I just believe in God and try to behave how God would probably expect us to. That’s my judgment.

        I never bothered reading the Bible front to back, though I’ve read it throughout the years. I probably don’t have a clue about most things or specific stories in it. I ask God to guide me. I try to be good the way Jesus talked about in the Bible. I don’t believe God is the type of God who would happily kill every single person who said “I don’t believe you’re real.” or “I never even knew who Jesus was since I lived in 2,000 B.C. way before Christ ever came along”. Or “I never knew who Jesus was even though I was alive when Jesus was and after he died because I was in another continent like South America or India where nobody ever heard of him!” That would be a mightily odd strategy for a God as mighty as the one I believe in to do after he thought humanity was wicked enough to warrant drowning them in the flood. Why would he create and plant humans in Australia and the Polynesian islands without giving them a chance to go to heaven?

        I believe that believing in Christ has little to do with acknowledging him as Jesus the Savior and more to do with Jesus being the savior, you know? You are saved through him. When you are holy, it is through Jesus working through you. By following in Jesus’s footsteps, you believe IN Him. You believe that He and His teachings were right, and you reject the path of material obsession with things like cars, money, possessions, and so on. He is the way. The path that he walked, the hardship, and the suffering he endured is the only way. That IS Him.

        If the majority of Christians are so righteous and do not engage in sin, then why does Jesus say:
        “21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!”?

        “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few”

        My mother, an atheist all of her life, prayed to God that she hoped I would be born healthy since she used drugs when she was pregnant with me. I do not blame her. She could not help it. She promised to name me Faith if I was okay. Here I am today, blessed and cursed with many illnesses, problems, and strife by God, though the curse I believe He only made to make me stronger.

        Born beautiful, smart, and gifted in many ways while struck with Schizophrenia, Bipolar type I, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Fibromyalgia, skeletal/ocular/orthopedic/muscular/internal problems from some type of syndrome I still have to see a Geneticist for and being unable to much almost any day. I have been stuck as a senior in high school for 2 years due to these illnesses, but everything I have lost has only given me more in the end, even though most days I beg to die to end the pain I’m in every single day, whether it be swollen joints, muscle pains all over, headaches, fatigue, coughing, inability to breathe, bursting blood vessels, or anything else.

        Also, although the following term is used in many different religions, the term “Blessed be” is frequently used by Wiccans and neo-Pagans. I’d know, since I used to be one when I hated God and thought if he existed, he must have made my life hell because he hated me instead. Ultimately, I believe it is entirely wrong to punish other people for believing in false gods. They may very well believe in a fake god, but a rose by any other name smells just as sweet, no? Though the god is fake, those who follow God may not even know they’re doing it. He watches us all the time & will always be with us. Surely those in the Pagan eras must have realized that killing girls for being girls, being sexist, being wife-beaters and engaging in human sacrifice & forcing girls into prostitution and concubinage, enslaving prisoners and the rampant corruption and violence as the end of Rome began creeping towards them was not a sign of a just and honest, real god or even the Christian religions in Byzantine & the Holy Roman Empire & the Western Roman Empire, as there was much corruption in the Church as the heads of state corrupted Jesus’s words and the Church and began mutilating it to increase their power and control over the people and allowed the Catholic church to engage in syncretism. I am sure that when they spoke to God asking for guidance, even if they had no idea who to ask way before Jesus ever came on the scene, God was there, and he led them away and into the right Path.

        • Julie on April 25, 2018 at 2:21 pm

          Wow…thought there was nobody out there in the world like me. Hallelujah! for your riveting admonitions to all/most confessing Christians. I was once a person like you’re describing and I have renounced that way of life. Just want to become more loving to all. The Bible says greater love hath no man then he lay down his life for his friend. ” For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son “(who was actually God himself wrapped in a body of flesh)

          HE LOVED THE WORLD AND DIED FOR EACH AND EVERY PERSON FROM THE BEGINNING OF TIME TO THE END OF TIME. The Bible also says: “While we were yet in sin He loved us” wow… not enough self professing Christians even know their Bible. Jesus was totally ” into” exactly what you’re saying and the religious leaders of that day (who by the way, we’re actually just standing up for the God given Mosaic law and based on that, Jesus was sinning in their eyes) How paradoxical that the very God who brought the law brought the Savior to save us from the law. Something very big to be learned here folks. I found LivingGodMinistries.com and it completely changed the way I interpret the Bible. Aaron Budjen is Jewish who through years of unhappiness began to search out God. After lots of study of the scriptures he concluded that Jesus Christ was indeed the Messiah. The man has keen insight to what is wrong with modern Christianity because he approaches the Christian faith with the background of Judaism. He is able to poke holes ALL OVER our Christian beliefs. He goes so far as to say Christians believe a religion they know nothing about. His teachings might not be for everyone, but he helped me out a lot to get me out of Christian fundamentalism. Don’t even like to be called a Christian because the word is so over-used and means different things to different people. Rather, I heard someone say when asked if he was a Christian he replied: “Well…. I strive to be like Christ and fail miserably” Only deep humility brings about a loving nature. Having humility is to look at all your own faults and realize that you’re no better than anyone else, cause Christ died for them too.

          • Julie on April 25, 2018 at 2:27 pm

            Faith….you’re awesome!!!!!



    • Steven Wagner on April 3, 2018 at 7:16 am

      I totally agree with you!

      • Steven Wagner on April 3, 2018 at 7:18 am

        I meant to say that I agree with the first comment left by Jeff,,

    • Mark Seydel on April 9, 2018 at 2:01 pm

      The problem with your statement is that it is Christians who preach against this stuff and talk about what God demands from us.

      I can’t recall many non-believers running around telling others not to judge people.

      Christians have placed themselves in a “higher position” and are expected, by the rest, to act in a certain way. Christians claim a higher morality and are therefore expected to live by it.

      • Tony R. on April 9, 2018 at 4:10 pm

        I can recall non-christians telling others not to judge–every liberal out there who calls us a bigot, or racist, or any othe name telling us, “Don’t judge me/them.” Christ is the only one who can judge me, my morality, or my ways…The unsaved are completlely unqualified to judge me. I live in a “certain way” not because anyone expects it, but because Christ’s sacrifice is absolutely worth it…I don’t do things based on expectations but on devotion…No true convert should ever live their life in a certain way just because it’s expected by someone. However, we are called to live a life that is different from the world’s, that is true…Your point is taken.

  4. CARL STATON on March 16, 2018 at 10:55 am

    When reading ALL the comments below one could assume that the blog was written afterwards in response to the comments because it proves the author’s thesis (and a bit more). Yes, it is formidable task to be an ideal representative of Christ in a fallen world. Paul was both loved and despised by those in and out of Christianity. Jesus places this disclaimer front and center: John 15:18-19 KJV  If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.  (19)  If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

    That deserves a “Selah Moment.” Bottom line is that I strongly agree with some when they commented on what Paul said about leaving the judging to within in the Church in the sphere of leadership for discipline and assistance with sanctification. Paul went on to affirm that he as a leader had nothing to do with judging those outside of the Church. Outside we are to be salt (not the wound stinging kind but the flavor kind) and light (the spiritual illumination of what it means to be a child of God kind and not the glare of the lights of interrogation and torture kind). Otherwise those outside will not see our “good works” and glorify our Father but see only dysfunction and of children of poor character. Who would want to join that sort of family with a Father that allows that kind of behavior in His children?

    Finally, our primary directive is not to be “friends of the world” as both James and John warns us of, but we are to proclaim the Gospel to every creature and teaching them what Christ taught His disciples. He did this in three ways: Oral instruction, illustration (parables), and (most importantly) had them go out into society and actually do what He taught them to say and do.

    One last thing: I applaud the owner of this blog to allow those comments that are angry, distrustful of Christians, and down-right nasty. Those responses are real, show the hurt and tragic drama of the human condition, and must be dealt with by a Church that is ready, willing, and (above all) able to present to them the healing balm of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So let’s go fishing with a bait that is savory; the Lord will do the cleaning.

    • Tony R. on April 3, 2018 at 1:47 am

      Carl, Carl, Carl…Finally, someone understands that Paul, Peter, etc., made it clear we are to judge WITHIN the church, not the unsaved world…One of the big problems, is that most Christians don’t realize the Bible was not written to 7.2 billion people, but to believers…Sort of like a sports team’s playbook…The BIGGEST problem is that so very few people actually understand the definition of “judge” as God meant it in His Word…If you are a Christian, and I see you sin (only sins that are flat out listed in the NT), then I am NOT judging you if I come to you in private and point out your sin…The Word commands me to do this…You may not judge many into true salvation, but we will certainly see untold myriads “loved” into hell because christians did not want to “offend” anyone.

    • Kerry S. on April 9, 2018 at 5:25 pm

      Tony R. being a born again Christian, all I got to say to what you said is AMEN! Kerry S,

  5. jesse on March 13, 2018 at 2:54 pm

    i like this it was very help full thank you good job

  6. Ken on March 12, 2018 at 2:45 am

    Hi, While I agree these are the 3 main criticisms, I’d just like to comment / ask if there is a better way. For example the 1st point is about judgment. This is a bit of a dilemma because if one is to talk about Christ, the conversation has to turn to sin simply because this is the main issue of Jesus ministry. Jesus makes it clear though that the issue is about the heart and that actions are simply reveal the heart. Therefore the heart is the heart of the issue. However, people generally react very badly to the word “sin” taking it as a personal criticism when in fact it is not personal at all but in Christ’s teaching it is simply a fact. Scripture describes him as eating with “sinners” but it is clear the he regards the “righteous” as sinners as well, even more so because they are proud. I think the bible and also some traditional extra biblical texts regard sin as simply not fulfilling the purpose for which we were made. Much like a potter makes a cup, if it holds water, it’s righteous but if someone comes along and cracks the cup so that it leaks, it’s in a state of sin (missing the mark). Neither condition is the fault of the cup, it’s just a fact. It fulfils its purpose or it doesn’t. OK, I’ll agree it’s a bit more complicated when will is added but that to is a result of something that happened in creation. There is an archery term used for sin that literally means to miss the mark. The phrase “fall short” is also used. So the question is how do we get the concept across without people feeling personally insulted? You know, for a person to actually be a christian, they must have accepted they themselves to be in sin. Looking at how the world works, gathering incredible wealth and power by exploitation, dispossession and murder. Just hunting a bargain means someone is exploited at the least so I kind of have to agree that the heart of people is selfish and corrupt. How do we have a discussion about sin without people going, oh how dare you judge me!?

    Ken

    • Karen Reid on March 14, 2018 at 8:25 am

      Jesus said in John 7:24, “Do not judge mere appearances, but JUDGE WITH RIGHT JUDGEMENT.” Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 5:12-13, “For what do I have to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those INSIDE the church whom you are to judge? ‘Purge the evil person from among you.” And Ezekiel 33:10-20 makes it clear that God holds us accountable for not warning others about their sins!

      • Ken on March 14, 2018 at 6:05 pm

        “WITH RIGHT JUDGEMENT.” is the important bit. It cannot be right judgment if you make yourself God by doing that which belongs to Him to do.

        • Kelli on March 19, 2018 at 6:49 am

          So you can’t look at Planned Parenthood and say, “that is wrong. What they are doing is a grievous sin.” ? Isn’t that a judgement? When God says don’t judge he didn’t me you can’t see or acknowledge a sin when it’s right there in your face. What if your unbelieving wife decides to have an affair? Are you going to say only God can say if you are sinning but not me? What if your child says they want to smoke pot, drink and sleep around? Is that a sin you can judge for yourself or no? Why did God give you a brain and say “Look, I’m sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as serpents and as innocent as doves.”? When he says do not judge, he is saying not to write anyone off in a final way and decide they are not worth anything. God may have a plan for them we don’t know only He knows. That is what he is saying.

          • Ken on March 20, 2018 at 5:56 am

            Kelli, I have never said planned parenthood is a grievous sin. Look, it’s up to you to decide and be reconciled with whatever you do. Perhaps you are assuming my position form painful past experiences and interpreting my words through this filter. I don’t know, but feel for you if this is the case.

            A lot of this perception of sins and condemnation/judgment comes from old covenant thinking. I see a lot of “Christian” behaviour in the media, particularly from the USA that just makes me despair. I am not sure if it is a cultural thing or just the media grabbing the most dramatic story available. If it is your reality, then I can understand why you are seeing it all this way.

            However, Jesus clearly says actions follow the heart and we all have a heart problem. It’s been this way since the fall of Adam, it’s all we have known. What we think is normal is a grievous wound that has a deadly spiritual consequence. It is pointless talking about actions as sins and condemning others is a vain attempt to elevate ourselves. That doesn’t work. Sinning or not sinning makes no difference, looking better makes no difference, forcing people to behave better makes no difference. High status and wealth makes no difference. Nothing we do can make any difference at all because we all have the same heart problem that leads to the same spiritual consequence. The old covenant “the law of sin and death” has only the power to condemn and bring death there is no salvation and no justification in it, only death.

            Jesus though does not share this heart problem because inheritance is through the father and his father is no son of Adam. This shows, His spirit is divine. So he has certain unique Mosaic legal qualifications as kinsman redeemer of Adams inheritance and all his children. As Redeemer, He makes a new covenant with us “the law of the Spirit of life”. In this law, there is “no condemnation”. Certainly we have to judge things as in discern truth and make valid decisions and act to love and protect others but this is not meant to be a condemning judgment.

            Now I know that many struggle to make this transition and there is a lot of bad teaching around and some who don’t want people to be set free from sin and death but keep them confused and enslaved to maintain their high position. I can only hope that this clarifies the vast gulf between Jesus teaching and what some “christian” groups teach. If you think I’m lying, go read the Gospels and Paul.

            Just one last thing, the new covenant is not a licence to do whatever our evil hearts want, no it is life lived in relationship through the Spirit of the most high. Myself, I probably don’t do it particularly well, can only try though.



          • Kelli on March 21, 2018 at 6:54 am

            Ken it looks as though you didn’t understand what I was saying or you didn’t read it closely. I gave you a list of sinful behaviors and asked if you can look at them and say, “that is a sin” or “that is wrong.” If your wife is having an a affair can you say to her, you are sinning against me and against God? It’s just an example. God gave us the law to show us we can not do it perfectly. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t want us to obey it to the best we can. Jesus fulfilled the law but he wants obedience from us out of our love for Him and with His help. And He wants us to tell others how they can escape sin, death and the condemnation of the law through Jesus. “Before this faith came, we were held in custody under the Law, locked up until faith should be revealed. 24So the Law became our guardian to lead us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25Now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.…”Galatians 3:23 if they don’t know they have sinned and that God doesn’t accept that, how can they know they need Jesus? If they don’t know the bad news they aren’t going to care about the good news. “And indeed, have mercy on those who doubt; 23save others by snatching them from the fire; and to still others, show mercy tempered with fear, hating even the clothing stained by the flesh.” Jude 1:22



      • Ken on March 14, 2018 at 6:38 pm

        1 Corinthians 5 is about church discipline and particularly about extreme immorality (offensive even to unbelievers) in the church. In the context, this is an eldership role to deal with. It should not be taken lightly and there are also warnings to not weed the church lest the elect be expelled also. This is not a licence for immature christians to judge and condemn each other. It is not relevant to the original thread which is about judging unbelievers, in fact it explicitly indicates we should not do so. Ezekiel is old covenant so we have to be very careful with the relevance of it’s application. Never the less, I think we have accountability covered with 1 Corinthians.

    • Kelli on March 14, 2018 at 3:31 pm

      Ken, You were close until you said it’s not your fault for sinning. Yes, it is our fault and we all have to face that fact and take responsibility. Jesus ate with sinners yes, but it was in order to draw them to Himself so he could love them and help them see they were in need of forgiveness and he was the One able to forgive them. It is tempting to water down the gospel to make it more appealing and to keep people from hating us but we must avoid that temptation. We are not to care what mere men think of us, only God it the One we need to fear.

      • Ken on March 14, 2018 at 5:59 pm

        I never said sinning is not your fault, I said sin (assumed context, original sin) is not your fault. I gave a very simplistic and short explanation as to the root of the problem. Sin, as an inherited heart problem. I did say it was complicated by will and did not address that aspect at all. I emphasised a point in the same way scripture does by discussing only one aspect, not the whole. Sure, self will means that at every point we have a choice. At every point there is the option to choose righteousness each time but the heart is corrupt. It is hardly surprising that people make the wrong choice sometimes. What else could be expected of fallen creatures. Even the saved fall short short at times sometimes, often if we are honest about it. If we are saved, we were a guilty person who has been forgiven all past and future wrongs. How can we judge and condemn as the pharisees did? This judgement does not belong to us.

    • Kelli on March 14, 2018 at 3:38 pm

      When people say we are not supposed to judge I’m sorry but that is just laughable. Come on people use your heads. You make judgements all day long. God gave you a brain for a reason and it is to be able to “discern” which is another word for judge. Really? How hard is this. I love when people who think they know what’s in the bible or what it means just because they heard some random verse used somewhere. Your ignorance is only surpassed by your ego.

      • Ken on March 14, 2018 at 6:17 pm

        Discernment is from the Spirit. Yes we have a mind but that needs to be submitted to Him also. Yes we do discern many things all the time. Sometimes we get this right by doing it in the Spirit and sometimes we get it wrong by doing it in our flesh nature. Scripture tells us we are conflicted by these 2 natures. I think we need to be intentional about this so that hopefully we will get better at doing it the right way.

    • Kelli on March 19, 2018 at 7:00 am

      Ken you asked how do we get the point across to an unbeliever that that he is a sinner in need of Jesus without offending him? Think about the rich young ruler. It says that Jesus told the young man what he wanted form him and he was offended and walked away sadly because he loved his money too much. Jesus let him go and it says that Jesus loved him. But he still let the chips fall where they may and the guy walked away offended and lost. Jesus showed him the standard, the man saw his sin and turned the other way and left Jesus. He basically judged himself not worthy because Jesus showed him his sin.

      • Kelli on March 19, 2018 at 7:03 am

        I forgot to post the reference for my statement above. Mark 10:17-27 The Rich Young Ruler
        17 As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments, ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” 20 And he said to Him, “Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up.” 21 Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” 22 But at these words [a]he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property.

        23 And Jesus, looking around, *said to His disciples, “How hard it will be for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 The disciples were amazed at His words. But Jesus *answered again and *said to them, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 They were even more astonished and said to Him, “[b]Then who can be saved?” 27 Looking at them, Jesus *said, “With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.”

      • Kelli on March 19, 2018 at 7:07 am

        And Ken, what about when Peter said in Acts 8:9-24 to Simon the Sorcerer, “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! 21 You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. 22 Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope that he may forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. 23 For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.” Is he not making a judgement? I dare say yes.

  7. Krishna conscious on March 11, 2018 at 4:49 am

    There’s a million things Christians do that I despise, like worshipping a murder, burning heretics, and condemning your religion as evil/demonised. Most religions are not a demon, the perfection in them is better than that of Christianity. It’s the only religion with a faith in a book without any proof, it’s a lie! When I left Christianity it’s because of excessive suffering being venerated. The saints aren’t that good. St. Thomas Aquinas was more rational, Christian Science I hate a little bit because it eschews science. Christians are stupid, they say such a troublesome thing as the Bible is perfect, I think it’s absurd. Jesus was weird and did what he did because he was stubborn. Offering help is OK, Christians are intolerant and tell anyone of other religions that they’re sinning, they have a demon in them. Get real, religion is subjective, it’s not an indisputable fact. You can’t get the truth out of a Christian, it’s all bullshit. Religions other than Christianity are blessed in their own way, Christians should respect my religion, they shouldn’t scare me with their lies.

    • Kelli on March 19, 2018 at 7:12 am

      Well, Krishna conscious or whatever your truthful name is, you are judging something you clearly have not studied and out of total ignorance. Men throughout the centuries and today with far greater intelligence highly educated and accomplished in their respective fields would beg to differ. Thanks for your little thought though.

  8. Praisewhoeverpick1 on March 8, 2018 at 7:24 am

    I never understood why a lot of christians can be so mean and nasty. Why do Christians say they are truth when there is no possible way for them to even know what the truth is? I never had a problem with them before until I opened my eyes and now I see the light. I have never seen so many felons all of a sudden be righteous in everything they do. Its like this I am very good with all Christians and Catholics staying far away from me since I am a proud atheist and they are so righteous. In fact I encourage it daily. I am willing to bet my life on the fact that when I am dead and gone I wont be delivered to a hell or heaven. In fact I am betting my life on it because my intuition says gtfohwtbs.

    • Linda Jeanine Coffman on March 14, 2018 at 9:50 pm

      I pray Jesus will open up your eyes to see and ears to hear before it is too late.God is love he sent his son Jesus Christ to die on the cross in our places so that we can be saved. How do you explain the fact that so many scientists and so much evidence out there proving Jesus Christ really exist, that’s not even disputed and also how do you explain why 12 men chose to go through horrendous torture, beheading, thrown in pots of boiling liquids etc just to all supposedly take a lie to there grave? 12 men,and they died knowing that truth,they did not all die terrible deaths for a lie.

      • Kelli on March 19, 2018 at 7:14 am

        Amen Linda Jeanine Coffman

  9. David on February 15, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    Also: you christ-tards are LIARS. And then you excuse by your scapegoat magical jesus.

    • wayno on February 26, 2018 at 12:24 am

      1 non-christians want to blame their rebellion against God on God’s followers. that’s not going to cut it on judgment day.

      2 sinners feel convicted around christians and they feel “judged” by them. Often it’s the Holy Spirit, “when He comes, HE will convict the world of sin righteous and JUDGMENT.”

      3 “Friendship with the world is enmity with God” and “what fellowship has light with darkness.” and “how can two walk together unless they be in agreement”

      the article kowtows to sinners. yes Jesus loves them, and i guess we’re supposed to too but that doesn’t make them right and us wrong. this reminds me of how when criminals (or the deep state) go on murderous rampages, who gets blamed? the law abiding gun owners. this author is a little bit caught up in political correctness. yet he reminds us to be more careful around unbelievers and shore up any faults, however as i implied, the fault is usually their’s.

      • John on February 27, 2018 at 12:57 am

        Brilliant how you turned this “love filled ” response , into a political gun ownership issue in less than 100 words. “I guess we’re supposed to too.” You really do exemplify the article.

        • Katie on March 1, 2018 at 7:44 am

          You nailed it, John. Very well put.👏👏👏👏👏

  10. Steve on February 11, 2018 at 10:12 am

    You hit the nail on the head with this post. Christ would disown and be ashamed of the views and behaviours of most people calling themselves Christian today, and since the church was established. I suspect many “Christians” today would reject Christ were he alive today as being some kind of soft liberal. The irony is that for those who strongly believe they will be judged in the afterlife, saying you believe in Christ as the Son of God, whilst patently rejecting his teachings and philosophy, is only likely to get you a one way ticket to a very hot place. Where those who believe and follow the teachings, but are surprised to arrive at the Pearly Gates as they didn’t believe the God theory in life, are likely to need harp lessons. Jesus rejected much of the intolerance of the Old Testament and founded a new morality. If you don’t agree with his new morality you are not a Christian and should not use his label. If you try not to judge, try not to be a hypocrite, you at least know right from wrong and can be saved. Most judgemental hypocritical “Christians” don’t and those are deserved of pity rather than hate. Trouble is I feel I am judging the judgemental hypocrites. Dilemma.

    • Neil D on February 12, 2018 at 11:15 am

      To be frank, yes you are being judgmental towards “hypocrites” and have become one yourself. He didn’t create a new morality. He corrected the misapplication of the Old Testament and not abolished it, but fulfilled it.

      And He most certainly is not a liberal of any kind. He is the incarnation of the same God who calls homosexuality an abomination, gave the death penalty repeatedly to unrepentant sinners, never endorsed any government welfare or any democracy, and led the Israelites on a practically genocidal campaign against the Canaanites. Then you have to be willing to accept other teachings liberals hate, like saying no food for those who don’t work hard (2 Thess 3:10), for women to be submissive to their husbands and have their heads covered in worship, for slaves to obey masters (but get freedom if they can), etc.

      Truth is, Jesus Christ would’ve been rejected today for not being politically correct or ignoring people’s sin (He said to go sin no more), and be misunderstood as someone promoting violence (He said He came to bring not peace, but division). Grant it, we shall not judge as in condemn people. But we need to not twist this and we need to call out sin and encourage others to surrender everything at the cross. Jesus is the only Way.

      • Steve on February 12, 2018 at 6:50 pm

        It’s very difficult because those were different times in a different place. Liberal and Conservative can’t really be applied. We don’t keep slaves or (in the Christian world) oppress women, as would have been the norm 2,000 years ago.

        Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
        Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
        Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
        Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
        Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
        Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
        Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

        Not to mention that the wealthy are going to have a tough time getting into heaven by all accounts.

        Definitely sounds left of centre to me. Jesus taught tolerance and compassion for the disadvantaged. He condemned sin, that’s true, but without condemning sinners. Sinners can repent and if they do so genuinely they will be forgiven.

        As to making judgements, you’ve just judged me so 15 all. In truth it is simply not possible to avoid it altogether and it doesn’t make you a hypocrite. The alternative is complete anarchy and the breakdown of society. In most cases theft is to be condemned and the thief restrained from repeating the sin, but if they are truly repentant then the civilised Christian society forgives and rehabilitates. Should the repentance be false then inevitably they must be restrained again. What of the mother who steals food to give to her starving child, taking none for herself. Or the grandson who steals coal to keep their elderly grandfather from dying of hypothermia. Does it make a difference as to whether the theft is from a neighbour whose child will go hungry or grandfather die of cold as a result, or from a big corporation with big profits. We have to make some judgements to apply justice. Do we restrain or do we help the sinner, with food and benefits, so they do not have a need to sin again. The latter would seem preferential, and I for one am more than happy to pay taxes and send money to charities for that. But sometimes the former is necessary to protect the vulnerable in society,

        However, man cannot make the judgement as to whether a sinner is condemned to eternal damnation; that is reserved for a higher authority. The thing that some so-called “Christians” do that others hate is to make the judgement that only that higher authority can make about who will sit on a cloud with wings and a harp and who will burn. What I would suggest is that the genuinely repentant thief will be saved whereas the unrepentant intolerant misogynist racist homophobe will probably burn regardless of how many times they went to church and pretended to be Christian. I can identify the thief and the intolerant misogynist racist homophobe with relative ease. What I can’t possibly know is what is in their heart so I am not qualified to judge their eternal fate. We all know what is in our own hearts though, and there ain’t no fooling that higher authority when the time comes. Live your lives accordingly.

        But what do I know, I’m just an ordained Minister.

        • Neil D on February 16, 2018 at 11:12 pm

          Steve,

          “Liberal and Conservative can’t really be applied.”

          But that’s what you’re doing right now. You’re teaching based on a liberal slant, and you are preaching the Social “Gospel”. “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!” (Galatians 1:8).

          Liberalism comes from the Enlightenment, which is of a very different intellectual and spiritual movement from Christianity, and is actually a different worldview. Liberalism is a political philosophy or worldview founded on ideas of liberty and equality. While there are aspects of liberty and equality in Christianity, it is not central to it as it is to liberalism (especially compared to progressivism). Since liberalism is part of the modernist worldview, to be a liberal Christian is in a sense a form of syncretism. Additionally, there are limits as to how free or equal we can really be socially in this fallen world.

          Conservatism, however, is willing to give up the perfectionism. Conservatism is a political and social philosophy promoting traditional social institutions in the context of culture and civilization. So it depends on the kind of conservatism. Theological conservatism, then, would be promoting the traditional values and institutions of Christian theology.

          “Not to mention that the wealthy are going to have a tough time getting into heaven by all accounts.”

          You’ve really missed the heart of the message. It’s not being rich that is wrong in and of itself. The problem is greed. And yes, I’m aware there are a lot of greedy people in the 1%.

          “Definitely sounds left of centre to me. Jesus taught tolerance and compassion for the disadvantaged.”

          That doesn’t make Him left of center. Tolerance and compassion for the needy are apolitical. In fact, social justice in its original definition actually was an apolitical concept of the people getting together to form associations to help the needy. That’s the social justice I support. But the left twisted it into a government-enforced egalitarianism that calls for the redistribution of wealth to essentially erase class distinctions. The Bible does not support that. It’s the Church’s responsibility to help the needy, not the government’s.

          “As to making judgements, you’ve just judged me so 15 all.”

          I criticized you, but I did not condemn you. So I didn’t “judge” you in the way that verse says not to.

          “What I would suggest is that the genuinely repentant thief will be saved whereas the unrepentant intolerant misogynist racist homophobe will probably burn regardless of how many times they went to church and pretended to be Christian.”

          Um, you’re judging (condemning) again. There is nothing in the Bible that speaks against “homophobia”. Far from it. We need to be loving to them, but homosexuality is still condemned as a sin, and too many people inside and outside the Church do not see the wrong. Leviticus 18:22, Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, and 1 Timothy 1:10 say homosexuality is sinful, and that includes the consensual. Yes, I know the Hebrew and Greek words behind it.

          And I’m not racist or sexist either. I’m aware they are still around, but not like it was back then. Sometimes what you think is racist or sexist isn’t actually so. It has to do with whether it intends to demean someone for their race or sex, and whether it implies a race or sex is superior or inferior to another.

          “But what do I know, I’m just an ordained Minister.”

          What difference does that make? You know what the Pharisees (i.e. the ministers and religious leaders of the day) did to Jesus? They arrested Him and had Him crucified. Jesus never deserved it, and yet that obstruction of justice saved all mankind, put in effect for those who put their faith in Him. So being an ordained minister does not give you much of a difference from other Christians in how much you understand the things of God.

          But what do I know? I’m just a student of Biblical Studies.

          • Michelle on March 30, 2018 at 11:33 am

            I could not have articulated my thoughts nor what I believe to be truth better than you did Neil. Thank you!



      • Tonya Hansen on March 11, 2018 at 10:58 pm

        People are people, all were born into sin, sinners. When someone recognizes that and thier need for a savior, they are to turn from that sin to be reborn with the holy spirit and be renewed day by day by the reading of his word. If the people are not being renewed by the word of God, they will continue in thier sin….which makes them not any different than they were before. So they give sincere Christians a really bad name.

  11. Neil D on February 7, 2018 at 12:46 am

    Carey, you seem to have gone too far in criticizing the church. And not even for the right reasons. You speak the same platitudes of being too “judgmental” and not “friendly” enough. For you and the many who always talk about that, your salt has lost its saltiness. The real problems going on inside the church are not being addressed. What we really need to be concerned about are rampant apostasy, unrepentant false converts, and bringing more people to Christ. No more beating around the bush. We live in a serious spiritual battleground and many have not been fighting the good fight of the faith, and we need to start doing so.

    • Shirl M on February 23, 2018 at 11:24 am

      Amen!

  12. ss on February 4, 2018 at 4:11 am

    These 3 “points” are equally true of non-Christians as they are for Christians. All humans are judgemental hypocrites that love conditionally. Only Jesus Christ is perfect, offering forgiveness and unconditional love. If you dont understand this, you dont understand Christianity.

    • Ayesha on February 16, 2018 at 2:03 pm

      Yes, and you accept the (free) gift from God given to you through Christ: unconditional love, mercy, grace. If you truly have accepted Jesus into your heart and are one with Him- he is the vine- then you will see Him “prune” you before your very eyes!! “He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful” (John 15:2). As you allow Christ to live in you and follow the Holy Spirit, what will happen is that you will begin to show more and more of the Fruits of the Spirit, those Godly qualities (not coming from humans): love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” And there are many Christians, unfortunately, who judge and do not understand this; therefore, they are taking Christ’s name in vain.

    • DEEPAK CHUGHANI on March 14, 2018 at 2:47 pm

      “Only Jesus Christ is perfect”? That is why fundamentalist Christians are so disliked because you continue putting down people of other religions. It is you who does not understand other religions.

  13. Dudley Walden on February 2, 2018 at 12:24 pm

    Love your podcast and articles Carey, but this was your worst work ever.

  14. ted baldwin on February 1, 2018 at 1:42 am

    This article REEKS of judgmentality, hypocrisy and coldness.

    It simply is not a loving piece.

  15. Chance Weslowski on January 27, 2018 at 4:56 pm

    Thank you so much. I’m a Christian and I’m not going to lie, I have been struggling with all these issues. But thanks to this, I can seriously start working on it more. Thank you so much. God bless you.

  16. John Jacobs on December 30, 2017 at 7:32 pm

    Thanks to those sorry slimebag hypocrite East TnChristians at Eastman Credit Union on on E Stone Dr in Kingsport I have found christianity to be total god damn bullshit. Wouldn’t be great to see them get their husband or male friends get their fucking ass beat. I will be glad to fight them if they have God Damn guts to fight my God Damn ass. Fuck all christians and fuck Jesus Christ!!! Come fight my God Damn ass you God Damn chicken shit Kingsport motherfuckers. Fuck Hillbillies and fuck all Kingsport chicken shits. Name the God Damn time and the God Damn place. Hail Satan! I am a Satanist now thanks to you sorry slimebags!
    Lou C. Fur

    • Neil D on December 30, 2017 at 11:16 pm

      You’re going to run from God because of bad Christians on one street of one town? That’s like refusing to go to the gym to workout because of overweight people working out there. Haven’t you thought, maybe they turned to Jesus BECAUSE they were messed up and realized they couldn’t hold their lives together without Him? I suggest you do the same. BTW, what did these Christians do to you that made you repulsed by Christianity? If you could explain, that, maybe that would help me understand your situation.

      You know being a good Satanist is dependant on the Christian God being the one true God? Satanism could not exist without Christianity. When one belief system is dependant on and antagonistic towards another, something’s wrong with the former. Before you tell me I’m in contradiction for Christianity stemming from Judaism, let me say that the two rather are rival claimants to inheriting the Old Testament Judeo-Christian religion of the ancient Hebrews. Neither Christianity nor Judaism are antagonistic towards the ancient Hebrew religion they split over.

      At any rate, turning to Satan will not be better for you in the end. Satan doesn’t care for your own good, but wants to destroy you. You do not have to let him do this. Jesus Christ, however, gives you eternal life in Heaven if you put your faith in Him. And He may very well use you to deal with other Christians making a bad name for the rest of us.

      • kelli blaser on February 5, 2018 at 2:40 pm

        Neil D, very well said. Thank you!!

    • kelli blaser on February 5, 2018 at 2:37 pm

      John Jacobs You are completely unhinged and you sound like you need to be hospitalized or jailed. So no one is going to take you seriously. Jes sayin.

  17. alan schmidt on December 4, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    I don’t completely agree with this article about love and correction. Revelation 3:19
    ‘Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent. The act of informing someone is an act of love, it’s quite biblical. It’s tha manner in which it is done is lekely the problem. It is easy for someone to say your judging them when confronting sin, because they don’t want to hear it. No one likes to have thier sin pointed out, but pointing it out is not judging. If I say that this or that is sinful is one thing, but if I say your sinning and going to hell then I am judging.

    • Jesus of Pennsylvania on December 24, 2017 at 12:14 pm

      No one really cares what you think or believe.

    • Marty Gordon on January 5, 2018 at 8:13 am

      When we say judge, what do we mean? Correct? Condemn? We can’t condemn anyone. But we are called to be kind and to correct. And 1st Corinthians 5 and 6 is adamant about that. Paul says we will judge the Angels! We certainly need to judge each other, he says!
      And, no, we can’t wait until we take care of our own faults first. Then we could never help anyone else! Some blatant sinful lifestyles corrupt the whole group, Paul explains.
      As for making good friends with non-Christians, aren’t we called to come out from among them? Yes, we are. We can’t avoid the whole world, but we don’t have to immerse ourselves in it. As Paul says, we can be corrupted by bad company.

  18. porno on December 2, 2017 at 11:40 am

    This site was… how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I habe found something which helped me.
    Kudos!

    • Me on March 12, 2018 at 4:20 pm

      I really get upset when i want to talk to a family member and they cant just real talk. It has to be preaching and given me christian advice. I didnt ask for advice and i would love to have a normal conversation. And trust me. My entire family are Christian and they are all of these mentioned.

  19. Deconverted on November 29, 2017 at 9:24 am

    A perspective from the ‘unchurched’

    Christians fail in their primary mission, which is to bring souls to Christ. One would think that they view this goal as so important that they would endure much to see it succeed. If you saw a man about to fall to his death, would you give him a gentle warning? Or would you do whatever was necessary to draw him back? I ask, are the unsaved at the church? Jesus sought them out at the bar, drank with them, kept unsavory company. Why? Because the goal was all that mattered. Too often, I see Christians are timid and unwilling to do this very basic task.

    Christians do not know who their neighbors are, much less how to help them. There are just over 560,000 homeless in America and just over 300,000 churches. With these numbers I ask, why are there ANY homeless in the state shelters? Do we believe the homeless are too proud to sleep in the church library? 13% of the homeless of veterans, are there not enough veterans in the church to help these people? The church is failing to provide for bodily needs.

    Christians depend on the Bible to do the work of converting souls. But the Bible is a difficult and often inconsistent document that has a lot of hands on the ink. Firstly, which Bible do you read? If you aren’t supposed to read it literally, how do you decide which parts are figurative? Why isn’t the Bible taught in the its entirety and in order? The best answer I can surmise is that if God exists, it’s a relationship you feel and that is enough for you. So how do you share this feeling? By demonstrating how you live and seeking real fellowship with people. Don’t drag them to church, bring the church to them. But what I know? I‘m agonistic at best.

    • Jim Pemberton on December 2, 2017 at 1:59 pm

      Just a question since you posted here. You are an agnostic. Why do you care about how well Christians are evangelizing? If you want us to succeed, then why don’t you become a Christian and show us how to do it better? If you don’t want us to succeed then why are you giving us advice on how to do it better… unless you are intentionally giving us bad advice? I’m just curious as to why you are interested in this kind of a discussion.

      • DK on December 4, 2017 at 12:54 am

        I won’t pretend to speak for Deconverted, but I do share part of his sentiment. I also consider myself agnostic at best, having been raised as a Christian. Part of the reason I care about this issue is the huge amount of money that is given to churches in the form of their tax exempt status. It’s estimated that religious organizations in the United States save over $71 Billion by not paying taxes. It’s hard for me to believe that much of these savings are being used to help people, especially in the age of the megachurch. It’s not so much that I want to see churches succeed; I want to see humanity succeed. Deconverted’s idea seems like it could help achieve both goals.

        • Neil D on December 16, 2017 at 3:01 am

          DK and Deconverted,

          As a Christian I agree. As much as it should not be the main focus of the religion, helping the needy does seem to be something that a lot of us are not very good at. Honestly I personally have not really been around many homeless people. And whenever I do, I remember of numerous people who pretend to be homeless, but are really faking it to buy something illegal or scam us in some other way. Of course not all of them are like that, and it’s not an excuse for me to never give to a homeless person. Besides, if the churches are giving more money and running the homeless shelters, then they’re less likely to feel like they have to turn to the government for welfare.

          And yes, the megachurches disgust me. Some of their money probably is helping people (I don’t know though), but I doubt it’s much. I don’t think church was ever meant to be like that, with stadiums of people and preachers making a profit out of their ministry, much less enough to make them millionaires. A lot of churches like that practice the “Prosperity Gospel”, a false gospel that claims that God’s will for your life is to be materially prosperous, in health and in wealth. Good health is a good thing, and God does provide you what you need. But there is no guarantee or promise of material prosperity from living a godly life.

          We all need to be honest and humble about our faults. I follow Christ to seek something greater than what this world has to offer, to be closer to God, and to transform me into the man I need to be.

          In fact, sometimes when something is deeply bothering you inside your heart, it is a sign that you may be called to be part of solving the problem. Your concerns with the state of the church may be best solved by you two turning to Christ and helping us out with spreading God’s Kingdom and do His will. “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field,” (Luke 10:2). We could use all the help we can. And God can use anyone to accomplish His will for our own good and for His glory.

  20. Cheryl on November 25, 2017 at 9:59 am

    Thank you for your article. I have been struggling with these concepts for a few months and the article and some of the comments that I read through will definitely help me to work on changing myself. I can be judgmental, and I see that, and I don’t like it, and I want to actively work on changing it. I do struggle to love/like certain people, because I have walked with them through years of struggling with addiction and making bad decisions, selfishness, inability to look at themselves honestly, that I just don’t know how to be of help anymore and I have grown bitter. I see it, and I don’t like it, and I want to change that about myself. I thank the Holy Spirit for allowing me to see those things in myself and how un-Christlike they are, and will pray that He will help me to make the changes I need to make so that God can use me more effectively. We all, Christian and non-Christian, can benefit from a good, truthful look in the mirror.

  21. Tom Sinclair on November 6, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    I was recently at the memorial here in NYC for the bicyclists killed in the terrorist attack. There were some Christians from Billy Graham Ministries milling around. I talked with one of them and he went right quick into the whole “we are all sinners and Christ is the only bridge to God” and tried to push one of his pamphlets on me.

    This is disgusting and makes me sick. You people, like some sort of insect, flock to the scene of a murderous rampage with your mouths watering at the thought of the opportunities this presents for taking advantage of the weak position some might be in in order to pull them into your dysfunctional shame-based belief system.

    My disrespect and abhorrence of Christians was reinforced by this experience. People at the memorial needed love and understanding, not judgment and condemnation from bullying creeps in neon vests.

    I’m glad to see your numbers are declining consistently, because that leaves more room for people who look to comfort others and exhibit empathy and understanding for them; a slot occupied far more by atheists, than by you Christians, who always prove to be mere spiritual schoolyard bullies.

    • Joel1245 on November 6, 2017 at 7:40 pm

      Tom, you’re ascribing the actions of a certain group who call themselves Christians to everyone. As a Christian myself, I would have definitely thought the same as you regarding that. There’s a time and place for everything and that was definitely not the time.

      On that note, there are a lot of people who lack any sense of a ‘bedside manner’ or understanding of compassion. They have a perverted idea of teaching the gospel. The Westboro Baptist Church is a good example of this. Christ directed Christians to teach the gospel with love and compassion yet it’s clear that a lot of people out there calling themselves Christians don’t.

      • GRACE MOGBO on November 7, 2017 at 12:56 am

        YouTube: Why the world hates Christians by David Wilkerson:

    • Jim Pemberton on November 7, 2017 at 12:20 am

      You’re pretty good about meting out judgment yourself. I’d say “welcome to the club” but I don’t think I match your description or your manner. That’s not to say that I’m not guilty at all. We all are, but just as a good doctor needs to diagnose an illness correctly in order to help a patient, so we need to be able to judge each other wisely in order to be of any help to each other. Otherwise, you could accuse a good surgeon of stabbing a patient to death when he was the patient’s best hope.

      • Tom Sinclair on November 7, 2017 at 10:41 am

        Your reply is so typically “tickling cymbal” Christian. You attack me, defend yourself (but make sure to slip in a bit of pious admission of guilt while you do), and then end with an oh-so-clever down-home comparison that contributes nothing but only more evidence of the simple-mindedness and hypocrisy Christianity is chock full of. It is you, and the millions of others like you, who drive people away from Christ with your self-centered, defensive behavior, and utter lack of humanity. The worst thing that ever happened to Christ are people like you.

      • Tom Sinclair on November 7, 2017 at 11:16 am

        On second thought, I don’t know if my reply is exactly appropriate because I’m not sure what you’re saying. Doctor? Patient? Stabbing? Illness? Diagnose? What is all that nonsense about…?

        I would delete my reply but there’s no option to do so, so I’ll just do what I’ve been doing these last 30 years – staying away from Christians and out of any conversation with them about what they believe.

        This brief break from that only proves that was the right path to take.

        • Jim Pemberton on November 7, 2017 at 11:45 am

          Those are analogies, kind of like calling Christians insects was an analogy. So I know you know what analogies are. Perhaps they referred to categories you aren’t accustomed to thinking in. I’m sorry that your hatred and vitriol are closing your mind to civil discussion that could help everyone.

  22. Ventan on November 6, 2017 at 3:10 am

    Cristians need to stop living in sin, repent and serve only God without sinning. Then the non christians can see the God’s light in christians and will come to God. Problem with a lot of christians today that they live for themselves and not for God .

  23. Ven on November 6, 2017 at 3:09 am

    Cristians need to stop living in sin, repent and serve only God without sinning. Then the non christians can see the God’s light in christians and will come to God. Problem with a lot of christians today that they live for themselves and not for God .

    • Marlene Meinhard on December 2, 2017 at 12:57 am

      I agree on that Ven. That alot of Christians act like there living for God but are more for their own self hierarchy. Recently my nephew was going away overseas for 1 to 2 years studing. His going away party was from his close church friends and my sister. As with other parties when I arrived there was hello from my sister then very little contact, like I wasn’t there at all. When church friends and super religious friends arrived and I standing right there. I was not introduced or vaguely and the new comers were wisked away from me, to all the other known steadfast christians. I am a Christian, not the wall thumping devotion that if something negative happens its the Devils fault, everytime. From the deer that was hit 1 car up from my sisters car, as the body. Careened past her van very closly. It was the devils fault she said. I said NO, you give the devil to much credit. The deer was just at the wrong spot and crossed was hit. The devil has better things to do then seek you out always come on now. Come back to the real world. But because my son and fiancee had a baby before marrige they are being judgemental.
      Tonight my neighbor lady, who I have a landcontract with. Now mind you she goes to church every Sunday, told me she works at the church alot too. But complains over everything that doesn’t concern her. Well this summer strong winds blew shingles off much. Insurance said tarp it. They came i only was paid alittle toward 1/2 roof. She called me and b!#@hed that the roof needs to be fixed. I said Im trying but 3 surgeries in 5 months, kept me with no money issues. I dont have enough. She screamed,, told me GOD dammit, listen read your contract. Screaming fix the roof. Then hung up on me. Wow Hypocrite. Women of god, church every Sunday judging me, harassing me. Telling me shes a good Christian. I have more trustworthy friends, who dont judge lesser individuals and will drop everything to help others whether godly or not. Well I guess i will fix the few spots because I pay house off in 3 years, but i havent been able to work. Bad bad arthiritis. Hip and hand surgery. And huge tumer removed 2 months ago. I guess I might lose my house if not done. This I will share with god in Prayer. Because its relevent. And I am sad if house is gone. So all you floor thumping Christians stop acting like your mightier then thou. And realize a little humility goes along way then venomous words

      • Jim Pemberton on December 2, 2017 at 2:12 pm

        You seem to be pretty “judgmental” and “mightier than thou” with the “venomous words” you are using against Christians. Truly speaking, mature Christians submit to the wise counsel (good judgment) of godly Christians. Immature Christians resist. Proverbs 9:8

        You see, we all judge, but no one really likes being judged. You want Christians to stop judging you, but you don’t want to stop judging Christians. How’s that working for you?

        • Neil D on December 16, 2017 at 2:30 am

          Jim Pemberton,

          The way you are approaching these criticisms of our Christian faith is not helping at all. You are only driving the agnostics on here further away by criticizing them for finding faults with how [some] Christians are. Yes, we are living in a time where people will not listen to sound doctrine, and not all of the concerns raised by those on the outside are good arguments against what Christians are doing. But before you judge another person and point out any issue with them, start with yourself.

          They are absolutely correct about how Christians are not immune to sin and will continue to sin throughout their lives. Even sins that we may never think it possible for a Christian to commit. The difference is not in whether the wrong was done in the first place, but whether one truly repents or not, as well as whether their conscience remains clear enough to sense that it is wrong. We are not holier than they are. We only have found the Way and are being renewed.

          Look at the patriarchs. They were inbreeds and polygamists who did not know it was wrong to lie and say their wives were their sisters, and it took ungodly kings to tell them that was wrong. Noah was a drunkard even though only him and his family followed God and were saved from the Flood. Moses told God to find someone else to deliver the Israelites from Egypt, and yet he did it anyway and was closer to God than most others in the Bible (Numbers 12:6-8). It was Aaron, the high priest of Israel, who made the Golden Calf. Paul himself said “what a wretched man I am!” (Romans 7). David was “a man after God’s own heart”, yet he broke six of the commandments simultaneously in just one chapter in the Bible (2 Samuel 12). In fact, sometimes it is those who follow God who are more messed up than the nonbelievers.

          No, it is not better to be a nonbeliever. Far from it. Nor should any of these sins be condoned or should of us be unrepentant. But we need to humbly consider how wretched and lowly we all are regardless of our faith. We Christians have the Truth and only those who surrender to Christ will be saved, but we are incomplete. God is still forming us into the men and women we need to be. Sanctification is an ongoing process that will never be completed in our lifetimes. But let that be all more the reason that we earnestly seek Him and draw closer to Him continually.

          Is there any sin in your life that you need to work on that you have not addressed? If so, that needs to be taken care of before you can minister to those who need to be saved. The same principle applies to me, to the people you are refuting, and to everyone else. God bless.

          • Marty Gordon on January 5, 2018 at 8:23 am

            If we wait until we’ve”worked on” all of our own sins before we witness to anyone else, no one will ever get saved. It would be ideal if we did, but God uses us, warts-and-all. Thank God.



  24. Tammy Tolman on October 2, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    One of your best blogs yet – thanks

    • Gee Alexander on October 21, 2017 at 11:58 am

      I agree and disagree. There’s balance with everything. Yes it’s true some Christians have a tendency to be harsh however some Christians also can be TO EASY. We are to follow Christ and love is the key to it all. The Holy Spirit should be our guide. We should not have a Pharisee Saduccee mentality. Summing it up: We should not be SO SPIRITUAL that we’re NO EARTHLY good. But..We should not be SO WORLDLY that we’re NO SPIRITUALLY good. Christ was meek and loving but He also called into check some things as He saw it. As Christians we MUST examine ourselves daily to make sure we are right within OURSELVES before God Yahweh before trying to help others. If we’re not right INWARDLY…it WILL show up through our words and actions toward others. But we ALL WILL MOST DEFINITELY BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE TO GOD EITHER WAY. Remember: THIS THING WE CALL LIFE…THIS PLACE WE CALL EARTH…ITS “”TEMPORARY””…GOD HAS A MUCH BETTER BUT “HERE” THIS “LIFE” IS OUR DECIDING FACTOR FOR IF WE MAKE IT IN GODS NEW. REVELATION CHAPTERS 21-22 ❤️

    • Anna on October 26, 2017 at 3:19 am

      Reading through all the comment all I keep thinking is book of James, so many verses id like to quote however I’m just gonna throw the entire book into the mix. I have to say I’m a little bit surprised at some of the conversations I read below….

  25. Valerie on September 21, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    I was looking for an article on how to tell my Christian friends that we are no longer Christian and found this title intriguing so I clicked. I have a lot of these problems with believers and hey, non believers too, but the author so kindly put this article in a way that was balm for my broken heart after leaving the Christian faith after 23 years. The comment by Jim was one of the reasons we left and don’t want to raise our children in this environment. Snooty, know it all’s who justify their actions with Scripture verses. Thank you to the author for truly being loving in your faith, love is what changes people’s hearts.

    • AL on September 22, 2017 at 9:19 am

      Sounds like This article scratched you right were you itch? Good job Carey! “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”(2Tim 4:3)

      • Susan on September 22, 2017 at 9:45 am

        You might like Jeremiah 5:31 too: “The prophets prophesy falsely, And the priests rule on their own authority; And My people love it so! But what will you do at the end of it?

        Valarie, no need to leave the “Christian” faith. Come to my community where a comedian/ celebrity pastor will do Saturday night live on a Sunday morning — complete with rock band. At another local church you can learn how to “Simplify” and turn your life into Better Homes and Gardens — all to further the gospel. And lets not forget to go out into the community and create life change — benefits abound for the Food Pantry, Animal Shelter, Backpacks for Back to School, 5K for Cancer and Diabetes. You would love the new “Christian”.

      • Joel on October 19, 2017 at 1:57 pm

        Reading through these comments, although some are spot on, I can see why the Church has such trouble changing: A Chrlstian leader, who loves Jesus and His people, points out that we all can do better at relating to non-Christians, himself including, and “everyone” gets defensive. When did we stop believing in sanctification, people? Unless we’re all perfect now because we’re saved, the idea that we all have growing to–including in our approach to lost people–should not be controversial!

        • Joel on October 19, 2017 at 10:30 pm

          Let’s try this again, minus the auto-“corrections” inflicted on my first post (one just happened again, as I saw “inflicted” morph into “inflicting” & had to delete the ending!):

          Reading through these comments, although some are spot on, I can see why the Church has such trouble changing: A Chrlstian leader, who loves Jesus and His people, points out that we all can do better at relating to non-Christians, himself included, and “everyone” gets defensive. When did we stop believing in sanctification, people? Unless we’re all perfect because we’re saved, the idea that we all have growing to do-–including in our approach to lost people–-should not be controversial!

    • Leon on October 19, 2017 at 5:18 am

      Valerie, do not be dismayed by the way society works. Your faith shouldn’t be dictated by other humans and neither is Christianity. Christianity is about your relationship with God, not about how many church events you attend, etc. It’s about you and the God that has the perfect plan for you and all mankind if he wishes to trust Him in that plan.

    • Veronica on October 21, 2017 at 4:31 pm

      If you’ve decided to jettison Christianityy after 23 years, because of other people’s behaviour. Then it goes to show that you were never sincere or serious about it to begin with. Jesus was never the Lord and master of your life. Other people were.

      • Joel1245 on November 4, 2017 at 1:53 pm

        Valerie, in what way were they “snooty, know-it-alls”? From your post, it doesn’t sound like you understood what Christianity was. Christians are to live their lives according to the teachings found in scripture so yes, by all means, they were to justify their actions with Scripture.

        Besides, the author of this post wasn’t admonishing people to leave their faith. I was discussing how Christians need to improve on being relatable to people in the world. That doesn’t (and shouldn’t) change the reality of what Christ did on the cross and the reality of the resurrection. Not trying to be a “snooty, know-it-all” but Christians do need to grow spiritually and yet, by the way some former Christians talk, it’s apparent they never did. That’s the truth.

    • Kerry on November 4, 2017 at 2:09 pm

      I understand that we can get offended by people in the church, but we are not justified to leave the church…if your Pastor is not following Christ and living his life by the word of God then you can find another church, we will always have problems with folks who are not following and loving God.. we seek out our own salvation with fear and trembling. Find a church that loves and be a part of the body of Christ! Jesus loves you and your family and wants you to be fullfilled in your walk with Him! Remember that great peace have they which love thy law and nothing shall offend them! Psalm 119:165. God has a beautiful plan and work for you and your family! Stay close to Him 💟✝️

  26. Jim Pemberton on August 12, 2017 at 11:22 am

    Well, to be sure, non-Christians do each of those things too. Why do they expect Christians to be any better? Possible answers:

    a) They are using it as an excuse to continue to deny God.

    b) Because they know that Christians should be better, but the Christians they have met aren’t.

    c) Many Christians are better, but they either haven’t met those Christians or are blind to their own transgressions.

    d) They are making category errors. Take judging for example. Christians are called to judge righteously – not to refrain from judging at all. But unbelievers who criticize Christians for judging when they judge righteously are judging Christians unrighteously. So it’s a different category of judgment. Part of sharing the Gospel is getting people to acknowledge that they are sinners. Someone resisting the Gospel will be sore on this point and will accuse the one sharing the Gospel of being judgmental. So the righteous/unrighteous judgment categories apply here.

    • William Cole on August 15, 2017 at 1:51 am

      I just thought of another thing to add to the list, and this one’s really important:

      GETTING DEFENSIVE
      (Instead of enacting real change)

      I get the impression that this article is partially aimed at trying to save Christianity from wasting away, but instead of heeding its advice you decided to cross your arms and say, “Well other people do this too.” That’s just one more thing that’s chasing people away. So, by all means, you can ignore this article and watch your pews gradually empty, week by week and year by year, until you stand alone at the pulpit, talking to yourself.

      • Jim Pemberton on August 15, 2017 at 7:14 am

        As long as we’re adding to the list, another thing to add would be falsely accusing people, which is what you just did by completely misconstruing my intentions.

        By the way, if we are going to measure faithfulness to God by the particular fruit of how many people are attending, my church is growing.

        • Susan on August 15, 2017 at 9:24 am

          In the last days, the love of many will grow cold. Will Jesus find faith on earth when he returns? If I were a betting woman, I would say “He will find a remnant of believers.” As in the days of Noah.

          The article, along with many of the postings, are a living example of what happens when one mixes the Gospel of Jesus Christ with Madison Avenue advertising and marketing (business) strategies.

          Jim, don’t demean yourself by equating the measure of your faith-fulness with the growth of your church. One can draw crowds with: a movie, a concert, a sporting event, a parade, a state fair.

          The measure of fruitfulness should be fully committed disciples of Christ — people who know Him, love Him and serve Him. Anything less gets you Matthew 7:21-23 (Depart from me, I never knew you.)

          • Jim Pemberton on August 15, 2017 at 10:10 am

            Susan,

            If you follow the argument, I was responding to William’s implication that if I wanted my church to stop losing people, then I should stop ignoring the article. To whit, he said:

            “So, by all means, you can ignore this article and watch your pews gradually empty, week by week and year by year, until you stand alone at the pulpit, talking to yourself.”

            I fundamentally disagree with his implications here. On the other hand, my church is yet growing. We don’t have gimmicks. We have a faithful pastoral staff and a deacon board that actually gets along well together. We have a mature enough congregation such that our former pastor was able to retire among us as a fellow member without causing power struggle problems. We have mission endeavors that span the globe in some of the key target areas for the Gospel, we actively evangelize in public schools and in various neighborhoods in our Bible Belt community, and are in the process of planting a church across the country in relatively unevangelized Portland, OR. Our church grows because we are trying to be faithful to fulfill our purpose in the Great Commission and be a covenant community that is faithful to God according his Word. The growth is tangential to all of that, but is to be expected.



          • Susan on August 15, 2017 at 11:41 am

            Jim, I “get it”. Basically the message is: If you aren’t buying into the “new modern”, then you won’t be successful at reaching the “unchurched.” You haven’t purchased the $99.99 package which provides such sage advice as: “Don’t Judge”, “Don’t Be Hypocritical” and “Don’t Stink at Friendship.”

            Where I live (Central Ohio), I can go to church and learn how to “Simplify” — my schedule, my stuff, my media, my work, my health and my relationships. Because don’t ya know, Jesus came so that we might have Better Homes and Gardens. And additionally, the Gospel is all about ME, ME, and ME.

            The Great Commission has been rewritten to “go into your community and create life change.” Yep, that’s what Jesus said. (Or Maybe Not.) It does wonders for the local food pantry, cancer run/ walk, the homeless shelter, and the like …. but there are plenty of non-profits that do the same things.

            It is awesome that you and your Church are making real disciples in real outreach and are creating spiritually mature disciples. People get the difference between real and fake; what is worth giving one’s live for and what is not; what is of God and what is of man. God Bless You.



      • martha on September 22, 2017 at 4:39 am

        I thank the writer for reminding us as christians our duty,the truth is we cant compare us with the non-christians the bible says do not be like them dont do what they do,dont worry about unbelievers jugding us christians if you really know what Jesus went through you will know He was criticised too and He humbly loved them, and to my understanding the writer is talking to us christians to try and stop judging not the other way round,the bible says we must be the light of the world,we cant worry ourselves about non christians who judge wheres we also judge. and to get to the writer’s comment some nonchristians think christ does not exist while other somehow know He does exist but think their deeds will save them from the wredge that is coming others think as long as you go to any church and call God’s name you will be saved,its all said because the world need us christians to love them and ask God for mercy to stop judging, others believe theres Jesus but the fact that He is coming is not realwhile others still think we christians think we know God better than them and they lose interest. And as for me i struggle with judgementone minute i remember not to judge the next am judging unaware sometimes even aware we need God’s grace cause we cannot do it on our own and the time is near for christians to go forth and back in our walk with the Lord

    • baa on August 22, 2017 at 9:48 am

      Wow, just wow. You read the whole article and what you got out of it was
      (a) they do it to
      (b) Christians are better, but ‘they’ just haven’t met all these ‘better’ Christians. But you don’t share where all of these better Christians are hiding.
      (c) Non-Christians are blind but you are not blind to your transgressions (The whole point to the article)
      (d) And the best for last, I know better than non-Christians so I can judge, but you can’t.

      “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” – can’t say it any better.

      • Jim Pemberton on August 22, 2017 at 11:04 am

        * Wow. Just wow. You read my whole comment and what you got out of it was that “Your Christians are so unlike your Christ?” *

        You have demonstrated here that you are like the Christians you criticize in the way that you criticize them.

    • martha on September 22, 2017 at 5:02 am

      jim what is the difference between you and non christians its like you fighting to be like them we not suppose or maybe we are not like them because of the grace rather pray for them that God could touch their hearts, you know after i received Jesus in my life i used to say “why didnt i know Jesus long before maybe when i was still a child or somehow” but i have learned that the fact is not about when you received Him,as i was worrying myself about it something in me said “as we are walking in darkness God is with us He wants us to go through that line of judgement and other unpleasing things so that when He/God touches our hearts to turn to light we fully understand those who are still in darkness what is it like not to know Jesus,you look back and say “i was once like this and other christians had patience with me

    • Darren Fite on September 29, 2017 at 1:24 pm

      My question to you would be, How can any of us judge “righteously”, when none of us are “righteous”?

      • Susan on September 29, 2017 at 1:59 pm

        How can anyone judge rightly when none of us are righteous? How can you determine whether an apple has is rotten and not edible? How can you do that? Here are some tips: Maybe there is a brown, squishy, foul smelling area of the apple which you can see visually. Maybe if you go to bite into that section of the apple, you have an immediate “yuck” taste and you spit that bite of apple out of your mouth. That’s how you judge.

        If we apply that lesson to a person, a bad tree produces bad fruit and a good tree produces good fruit. What benchmarks does Scripture leave us by which to make an evaluation? Let’s see … the theological virtues, the fruit of the Spirit, multiple parables, the Beatitudes, and much much more.

        You cannot tell that someone who is mainlining heroin, breaking into houses and stealing, lying to your face, carousing and roaming the nights, etc. is bearing “bad fruit”? You have no idea and cannot judge? Seriously? You cannot tell that someone who lives a life of charity, chastity, prudence, wisdom, sobriety, etc. is bearing “good fruit”? Seriously? You can’t tell the difference?

        When it comes to a person’s eternal destiny, only God decides whether someone will go to heaven or to hell. We cannot judge that as it is not for us to judge. We most certainly do judge, we can judge and we should judge the fruit of a person’s life — otherwise, one might find oneself in a bad neighborhood with bad company with a very bad outcome. The verse, “Judge not lest ye be judged” doesn’t mean what most people think it means.

        • GRACE MOGBO on October 22, 2017 at 11:22 pm

          SUSAN, I will very much like to keep in touch with you. You seem to rightly divide the Word of Truth. God bless you abundantly.

      • Jim Pemberton on September 29, 2017 at 2:07 pm

        Obviously there is more than one category of “righteous”. Paul quotes the OT in Romans 3:10 saying that there is none righteous. But he then asks the question in verse 31, “Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.” (ESV) So being not righteous by verse 10 doesn’t absolve us of our responsibility to pursue righteousness. In Romans 6:13 we read, “Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.” (ESV)

        Now, what about the idea of judging righteously? After all, Jesus tells us in this oft-quoted Matthew 7:1, “judge not lest you be judged.” However, Jesus himself tells us to judge with righteous judgment in John 7:24. Is Jesus at odds with himself, or is there something else going on here? Many people quote Matthew 7:1 because they want to justify their sin apart from Christ and they don’t want anyone holding them accountable for their sin as we are instructed to do. We must judge righteously according to God’s righteousness understanding that we ourselves aren’t perfect if we are to hold each other accountable as Jesus and all the Apostles taught to do. It is of ill effect if we do this without realizing that we ourselves stand guilty before God without the blood of Christ. This makes a lot of people uncomfortable, and if it means that they don’t come to church because they can’t bear to have their sin confronted, then they don’t need to come to church. Rather, the church needs to go as we were told to do and proclaim the true Gospel of forgiveness for our sins (which means confronting sins) so that these people might hear and come to faith. Then they will be ready to join a body of believers and grow in their faith.

    • Ss on October 6, 2017 at 10:10 pm

      Jesus said Judge not you be not judged. You’re not supposed to go around telling the unsaved their faults as a way to show them they are sinners, all you have to do is point go scripture and say, no one is perfect except God and all have fallen short of the glory of God. Also straight up, the bibpe says judge not and Jesus hates hypocrites, but the world doesn’t have that standard. Jesus said to whom much is given much is expected. The righteous judgement has to do with law and legality, so it would be like a judge who’s required to pass righteous judgement. As for a believer, we are called to forgiveness and not justice or revenge, that’s reserved for the law and that law requires righteous judgement which is not my profession nor yours.

    • Brett Friedheim on October 28, 2017 at 12:59 pm

      Part D reminds me of the horribly offensive response I got from someone who says he used to be Christian when I truthfully and carefully stated my side on a certain law. He just flat out said “That’s * up.” I was pretty shocked at him giving me such a critical response, so I mentioned that my Faith speaks against certain social aspects of living. I told him that because of my desire to follow God’s word rather than the views of the world, I would refrain from supporting while at the same time not condemning these changes in society. Rather than giving me an understanding response like “If that’s truly what you believe, then I won’t condemn you for it”, he instead spits in the face of religion altogether. Keeping in mind that this guy has to know that I’m a Christian at this point, he still thinks it is a rashional idea to say (I can’t remember his exact words nore to I want to remember them much longer) that “isn’t religion just a ploy to scam you out of your money.” Though I did abandon the conversation with him because I did not even want to look at him at that point, I did later try to talk to him about it. At this time, there are other students present. When I tried to reason with him, he and the other students basically saw me as stubborn and ignorant and didn’t even apologize for what he said before.

      My point is that in much of society where a status quo is set, its most purest form seeks to condemn certain religious people just their beliefs don’t meet this status quo. This is why it’s so hard for me to talk about the Gospel to others because I know there is going to be someone who calls me stubborn or decides to gang people up against me. While this should open the opportunity to teach them about my beliefs, they act stubborn and refuse to even take into consideration what I have to say. While criticism is expected, I find it hard to even initiate a religious statement without the probability of someone getting offended and closed-minded to something that isn’t even built to be offensive in the first place.

      I’m sure there are ways to go around this and I would appreciate some input to encourage my or even better my speaking to others about the Gospel and when necessary why I do not follow some paths of the world that others see as “the politically correct path.”

      • Susan on October 29, 2017 at 10:07 am

        So what are we talking about here? Are we talking about the US Supreme Court decision permitting gay marriage? If you are looking for “well reasoned and considered responses”, you might hunt down Ravi Zacharis’ youtube videos (Christian apologetics ministry) which address homosexuality and same sex relationships. He is rational and kind, steadfast and faithful in his approach. Of course, these days it may not matter what one says or how one says it. If you don’t agree with their view, there are those who are intent on destroying anyone who hold to a contrary/ dissenting view.

    • DEBORAH STEVENS on November 3, 2017 at 3:52 pm

      This is my problem! I have had a friendship with an unbeliever for the past 3 years. Someone I knew from my childhood. The Lord had told me to plant seeds into her life, but about 4 weeks ago I began to notice she began mocking everything I said to her. She began to question things, whether it pertained to the Lord, or something else. 2 days ago I called simply to ask a question & heard a strong voice of mockery until I commented calmly that someone had told me if you don’t ask questions, you will never receive an answer. She did a 100% turnabout! Am checking myself out to see if I did something to bring this on, but in the past I had to cut the cord in our relationship so I could continue to grow. I sense she has rejected the very Jesus I love & the Bible makes it very clear not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers. . . It goes on to say Come out & be ye separate! Comments? ? ?

      • Jim Pemberton on November 3, 2017 at 8:37 pm

        Deborah, I commend you for being faithful to sow the seeds of the Gospel in a friend’s life. Striking a balance between being in the world but not of it can be difficult. The “unequally yoked” part is in the context of marriage, but it could apply to other kinds of relationships. Whatever the relationship, it must be referring to a covenantal kind of relationship. I think it’s great that we have friends and associates that are nonbelievers precisely so that we can witness the Gospel to them. However, it does mean that we can’t enjoy the same level of friendship that we can with a believer. This too can be difficult. I’ll give a couple of examples that come to mind from some of my trips earlier this year:

        We met with some members from some of our churches in a sensitive area in the Middle East that shall remain unnamed. One lady in particular stood out. She was covered as though she were a Muslim. The fact is that she had been Muslim until recent years and her husband was still Muslim. Although her husband allowed her to participate in worship and other activities with her fellow Christians, she remained covered out of respect for him. Truly, they are unequally yoked, but Paul has advice for people in that situation and she is walking that line as best as she can in all faith in Christ.

        I climbed into a boat with some friends for some worship on the Mediterranean Sea, but we weren’t alone. Some other passengers came aboard with us, three young women: a Druze, a Muslim, and a Christian who had recently converted from Islam. The country we sailed from didn’t have strict rules about dress, so they were all dressed in western attire. They has been good friends for some time, but the Christian didn’t want to let the friendship with them go because of the opportunity to bring them to faith in Christ also. We struck an immediate filial relationship with the young Christian woman, deeper than she had with her friends because we all knew Christ. But she continued on with her friends because as a Christian they were now her mission field.

        Our unbelieving friends may reject Christ. They may even display great antipathy toward us because of him. In fact, the Bible promises that people will do this. But we are to be faithful to lovingly proclaim the Gospel to them as long as they will listen. From they way you write, it seems like your approach was most godly. You adorned the Gospel with grace and kindness, and I encourage you to continue in that. Blessings, sister.

    • Matt on November 18, 2017 at 4:21 am

      ‘Judge not lest ye be judged’ comes to mind in response to your mental gymnastics about why it’s OK to be pious and judgemental towards non-christians and why non-christians who judge you for your behavior are somehow judging from unrighteousness.

      • Jim Pemberton on November 18, 2017 at 11:52 am

        All of us are unrighteous, but if you say, “judge no lest ye be judged,” (Matt 7:1) and not also take into consideration passages like, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves,” (Matt 7:15) which requires righteous judgment, or, “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment,” (John 7:24), then you aren’t admonishing according to the whole counsel of God through his Scriptures. You need to look back at Matt 7:1 and understand what Jesus is saying in context rather than throwing it out as a challenge to some pet problem you have with Christians who are willing to call a sin a sin. By the way, it’s a loving thing to admonish someone for a sin they commit so that they can be held accountable for it for the purpose of being reconciled to God. Are there unrighteously judgmental Christians? Sure. Some of them are church members in good standing but not actually regenerate Christians. But it doesn’t mitigate the command we have to judge righteously, and it doesn’t mitigate the command we have to be a part of our covenant fellowship with other believers. Finally, it is no way “mental gymnastics” to point this out.

  27. Kenny White on August 10, 2017 at 11:49 pm

    Carey! Love your posts. I especially found myself chewing on this one. I feel like social media is not a good place to communicate controversial things. Having said that, I am very interested in what has worked for you in proclaiming truth and yet not judging. I get it’s a fine line but practically… how?

  28. Carolyn on June 27, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    Yet another Christian who gets the whole “judging” thing wrong. Your entire article is a judgement, for pete’s sake. Watch the One minute apologist at youtube.com/watch?v=oMBrsa2bTwA

    • Susan on June 27, 2017 at 4:26 pm

      Ha! That “yet another Christian who gets the judgment thing wrong” is the pastor of a growing mega-church and marketer of “leadership materials for Church growth”.

      I seriously doubt Carey will be watching any one minute apologist videos.

  29. Connie Garrett on June 21, 2017 at 11:41 am

    Number two (being a hypocrite) goes without saying but number one (judging) and three (befriending) go hand in hand. I have never judged a person because that will be left to God at the end but I have pointed out the wrong-doings in a persons life because I care about their life and their salvation. But you can’t point out a person’s sin when you don’t have a relationship with them. Developing friendships with non-Christians is essential to winning the world and that takes work. It takes putting yourself in some uncomfortable places and shining like a beacon in a sea of sinners. Most Christians aren’t willing to do that and they use the excuse that they’re Christians and shouldn’t be hanging out with people like that or be in places like that. It’s a fine line but there are times when it’s called for and most Christians aren’t willing to sacrifice their own comfort and time to make that effort.

    • martha on September 22, 2017 at 5:30 am

      thank you connie you for the truth the bible says “the truth shall set you free”Jesus never belittled anyone and we christians suppose to be doing axactly what He did without any excuses again the bible says”it cost to follow Jesus and again if you want to follow me you must deny youself”thats how serious faith in our Lord is

  30. Doug Stockton on June 18, 2017 at 9:35 pm

    I think the observations shared in this article are pretty much spot on. However, I don’t agree with the statement that you can’t judge and love at the same time. Because God obviously does this as shown in the article’s realization that judging is God’s job. God doesn’t stop loving when he is judging. The two are simultaneously part of God’s character.

  31. Ron Anderson on June 17, 2017 at 7:29 am

    A pastor friend of ours once reminded us that when we are disappointed that fellow Christians don’t act like Christians that is about our unreasonable expectations. Part of that is us judging the fellow Christian and part of that is about the hypocrisy we too see in fellow Christians. It is unreasonable to expect professing Christians to behave as Christ would have them? I don’t know. All we can hope to control, with the help of the Spirit, is ourselves. Thanks Carey for a wonderful reminder of what a Christian really should look like to the observer.

    • Susan on June 17, 2017 at 8:44 am

      So I have a question. If Christians are no different (or demonstrate little difference) in their words, deeds and lives in comparison to non-Christians, then what is the point to being a Christian? Say a prayer (the Protestant sacrament of the Sinners Prayer), claim salvation and then live like a pagan … I am sure God will be impressed. Not!

      • martha on September 22, 2017 at 5:52 am

        amen to that susan i already mention the fact “dont be like them” there has to a difference we have to be the light and shine brighter and the bible clearly states our actins deeds must speak more than our words something other than this…..

  32. Nancy Mahoney on June 12, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    I love God because he first loved me. How did I come to know God loved me?
    I didn’t choose God so much as he choose to love me (and each one of us). I came to know this through the Hebrews and Christians that wrote the Bible. I can’t boast in being a Christian. Paul only boasts in the cross. Yes church means “called apart”. Called apart for what? Called to be the body of Christ. What does Christ in body do? He lays down his life (body) and he takes the towel and becomes servant of all. That’s holy and holiness. I can give my body to be burned so that I might boast, but if I do not have love…

  33. Susan on June 3, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    Discernment is the ability to distinguish between what is “true” and what is “almost true”. Much of what is stated in this blog post is accurate, but it is not “truth”. The problem is foundational. The gospel will never be attractive to non-believers. Why? Because it demands repentance of sin, conversion, denial of self and taking up one’s cross and following Him (Jesus Christ) as a disciple.

    There is no way to make that message attractive and/or palatable to non-Christians. And to try and make that message attractive will necessarily mean leaving a few things out (like sin, hell, and judgment) or watering them down (making Jesus into a Savior but not Lord, creating classes such as “carnal Christians”, “believers but not disciples” and “disciples but not disciples-makers”, etc.) and/or spinning the message into life and relationship skills and psychology/ motivational/ life coaching with a few Bible verses from the Message as window dressing (can we spell “bait and switch”).

    So tell me: did Jesus tell his disciples to go out into the world and love people into “life change”? Well, not if you read the Great Commission in Matthew 28, he didn’t. I can experience life change by joining a 12 step program, having a near death experience, getting married, working with a good therapist and/or having a baby. None of these things are “Christian” or are about being a disciple of Christ. The problem is that the seeker friendly house of worship is built upon sand — not solid rock — and when the rains come, the house will collapse. That I believe is truth!

    • Lisa on June 3, 2017 at 3:44 pm

      I find your opinion about this article rather interesting. I DO believe that what you are saying is correct and yet as someone raised as a Christian, turning away from that, having a major addiction that forced me to find help and having that turn me back toward the Christian faith I knew all along, I have to agree with this writers’ approach to bringing others to Christ.I have many non-Christian friends and I hope every day that I can show them that I am a work in progress BECAUSE I am a Christian and thatvI am in no place to judge them. I am no better than they are. There is time to talk to them about what you believe once they see you are a genuine, imperfect person who is a Christian because God loved you enough to save you through Jesus’ death and resurrection. Peace be with you.

      • Grant Barber on June 3, 2017 at 4:45 pm

        I’ve consistently witnessed and then reflected back: if I have 5 people in my congregation who are still taking it one day at a time but have been doing so for awhile that their lives and keep it very real insights can transform a congregation, lead/push/pray it deeper in spiritual growth.

      • Eve on June 12, 2017 at 6:33 pm

        Cool! That’s a clever way of loonkig at it!

      • shadow fight 2 unlimited coins android on June 25, 2017 at 6:56 pm

        Gee willikers, that’s such a great post!

    • Mike on June 4, 2017 at 8:54 pm

      I’ve been an evangelical Christian my entire life. I asked Jesus into my heart at 4 years old. I grew up attending church 3 days a weeks and participated in all types of ministries: choir, orchestra, youth group, Bible studies. To this day I’ve never smoked or drank alcohol. I’m a one woman man and try to be a good father. By all accounts I had my life built on a strong foundation.

      A few major life events forced me to reevaluate and deconstruct everything I’ve been taught. Mostly I had to ask myself why I believed what I did. And is it possible I was wrong.

      The foundation I found, the foundation on which I stand is the way I believe Jesus demonstrated. I believe he left the perfection of heaven and entered our world to love people. He came for the outcast, for the sick, for the needy.

      Susan, this may seem like a weird question, but what would you give up to be in a loving relationship with a sinner? Someone who you found repulsive and absolutely destined to burn eternally in hell. What would you give up to show them that you cared about them? Would you trade the security of your beliefs to be in a relationship with them?

      • Grant Barber on June 5, 2017 at 7:01 am

        Well, like you started with, The Word became flesh, Jesus. You just described humanity. At least if you believe in a wrathful, cruel God who would give up on one of his creations. I think you just articulated the scary judgemental position pointed at in this article.

      • Edwin Crozier on June 5, 2017 at 8:09 am

        What does giving up the security of your beliefs to show you care for someone look like?

        • Mike on June 5, 2017 at 1:38 pm

          Hi Edwin. For me, it looks like doing church with people that think differently.

          When I look at the churches in the New Testament, I see them labeled by geography (church of Laodecia, church of Corinth, church of Ephesus, etc). When I look at the churches in America I see them labeled by denomination (Baptist, Methodist, Asssemblies of God, etc).

          I think we’ve made our salvation contingent on our understanding of the Bible rather than the love that God demonstrated through the cross. And because we can’t all agree on how to interpret the Bible we divide.

          How do you think most Christians would respond to ditching their statement of faith and gathering to just love God and love each other?

          • Edwin Crozier on June 5, 2017 at 2:29 pm

            The congregation I’m part of doesn’t have a statement of faith. We do strive to teach others to love God and love each other.

            That being said, since loving God and loving others means keeping His commandments (1 John 5:2-3), doesn’t that require actually believing something? What would that something be? And if someone else didn’t believe it, does that mean they aren’t “one of us”?



          • Mike on June 5, 2017 at 3:36 pm

            Hi Edwin,

            That’s really cool to hear about your congregation letting the foundation be about loving God and others! How big is your congregation? How is the love shown in your gathering?

            As to non-belief meaning someone “isn’t one of us” I think for me I would try to answer it by first understanding what I’m believing and what I’m a part of.

            For 30+ years I believed that the gospel is we are dirty humans, dead in our sin. Jesus came to pay the blood sacrifice needed to satisfy the wrath of an angry God. And we need to trust that sacrifice otherwise we’re going to hell. Part of living out that belief is telling people their going to hell unless they belief in this act of sacred violence.

            What I now believe (or trust) is that God is a loving Father. He sent His son Jesus to us to undo the separation we felt (and continue to feel) at mankind’s fall in the garden.

            The high priestly prayer Jesus prayed in John 17 is an example of the relationship God the Father wants to have with humanity. He wants to be in our midst. He loves us with the same tender ferocity He loved Jesus. He wants us to not just that He loves us but wants us to walk in the awareness of Him loving us continuously.

            My wife and I heard a really good line at a marriage seminar. “When you’re in a relationship, you give up your right to be right.”

            I think that’s really what Jesus came to accomplish on cross. God gave up His right to be right and wanted relationship with mankind.

            For me belonging proceeds belief, not the other way around. And I think people can feel which way we relate to them. As a project or as a person.

            I dunno. I could be totally wrong about this, but it makes sense to me right now. What do you think?



          • Edwin Crozier on June 5, 2017 at 4:59 pm

            Mike, we are close to 400 strong. Our love is demonstrated by offering the gospel to all and relying on the grace of God to strengthen us to overcome sin and observe all that He has commanded. We demonstrate our love in our gatherings by singing with and to one another, by praying with and for one another, by opening God’s Word, by sharing from our blessings to do the Lord’s work and care for one another when in need, and most of all by remembering the Lord’s death and resurrection through His supper.

            I am struggling with you representation of your new understanding of the gospel. Namely at this point: “He sent His son Jesus to us to undo the separation we felt (and continue to feel) at mankind’s fall in the garden.” I do not believe the separation is merely a felt one, but is felt because it is real (cf. Isaiah 59:2). Man was removed from the Garden of God, cast down from the mountain of God as Ezekiel 28:16 pictures it, because he profaned God’s sanctuary. Jesus does not merely demonstrate the example of the great relationship we can have with the Father, but offers Himself in divine sacrifice to pave the way back to the tree of life.

            If the separation is merely felt, and Jesus was simply given to show us the kind of relationship we can have with a God who ferociously and fervently loves us, why did He go to the cross in such a violent way? I must be misunderstanding something about your presentation because the cross seems unnecessary to your point. Please explain further.



          • Mike on June 5, 2017 at 10:17 pm

            Hi Edwin.

            I could totally be wrong in this, but I’ll unpack more of what I mean.

            I’ve been asking the same question you mentioned: Why did Jesus have to die so violently on the cross? I get the symbolism of Him being the perfect lamb, and the tie back to the temple sacrifices. But why does God demand a blood sacrifice? Why does He require the shedding of innocent blood to make us right with Him?

            As I think back to the very first animal sacrifice mentioned into Genesis 3 it was when God killed animals to make skins to cover the nakedness of Adam and Eve. But their nakedness wasn’t a problem to God. It was only when they were aware of their nakedness that it became a problem. So I wonder if the blood sacrifice isn’t so much because God requires but that mankind requires it to remove their shame.

            This may seem out there, but I wonder if the “original sin” of mankind wasn’t disobedience to God but the felt experience of separation between God and man. And the only way God could restore the relationship between Himself and mankind was to allow us to have what we wanted, namely the desire to choose justice (right and wrong) over relationship.

            So the sacrifice of Jesus was absolutely needed to restore the relationship between God and man. Not because God has blood lust, but rather because we do. I think that’s why God kicked Adam and Eve out of the garden; He couldn’t stand the schism between mankind and Himself. He wanted to our relationship to be one were we trusted Him and His goodness.

            So He allowed us our religion and law. He let us have our justice and then at the right time came and fulfilled our sense of justice. And now He’s calling to us wanting to us to see ourselves as His kids. He wants us to forgo justice in favor of being family.

            Does that help to describe more of what I said? Again, I could totally be wrong. But my gut feeling as a father myself sees the beautiful heart of God in this perspective. One who redeems what is lost.



          • Edwin Crozier on June 6, 2017 at 6:30 am

            Mike, where did you find this new understanding of the gospel? In particular, I am asking you to help me out by providing me scriptural evidence for it.



          • Mike on June 6, 2017 at 10:11 am

            This new understanding requires a bit of backstory.

            I first came across the idea of God loving us as a father when a friend invited me to a week long retreat with James Jordan of Fatherheart Ministries (you can find some of his sermons on YouTube).

            It was during this retreat that I experienced what I would call a heart shift or new paradigm. To that end it required me being still and letting God speak to me in a rather subjective way to my own specific wounds.

            The premise is our heart is our true self and affects how we experience the world, how we relate to others and even how we read Scripture:

            Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:23 ESV

            A glad heart makes a cheerful face, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed. Proverbs 15:13 ESV

            A wise man’s heart inclines him to the right, but a fool’s heart to the left. Ecclesiastes 10:2 ESV

            With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Psalms 119:10-11 ESV

            So when we read Scripture we read through a bias of how we see God in our hearts. If we see God as vengeful and angry those passages will stick out to us more.

            For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. Romans 1:18 ESV

            If a man does not repent, God will whet his sword; he has bent and readied his bow; Psalms 7:12 ESV

            Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. John 3:36 ESV

            If we see God as love those verses will stick out more to us.

            How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings. Psalms 36:7 ESV

            They refused to obey and were not mindful of the wonders that you performed among them, but they stiffened their neck and appointed a leader to return to their slavery in Egypt. But you are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and did not forsake them. Nehemiah 9:17 ESV

            And he prayed to the Lord and said, “O Lord , is not this what I said when I was yet in my country? That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster. Jonah 4:2 ESV

            So how do we know the motives of God? Is He kind or is he wrathful? For me I think the answer is in the parables of Jesus. I believe Jesus taught in story form because he knew just getting the “right answer” misses what needs to happen in our hearts. We have to walk with him through the parable, chew on it and let our hearts be changed in the process.

            Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: “‘”You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.” For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’ Matthew 13:10‭-‬15 ESV

            A key parable I found to understand the heart of God as a father is the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 5.
            Both sons have a broken relationship with their father. The younger son wishes his father would die so he could have his money. The father gives him his money knowing he will blow it.

            The cool thing is he waits for his son to come back. The story implies the father had his gaze to the horizon and the moment he saw his son he sprinted towards him, forgoing all cultural decency and propriety. Somewhere in this encounter the younger son finally understands his father just wanted relationship with him.

            The story concludes with us not knowing if the older son understands this relationship. The older son is angry with his father because he feels slighted. Here he’s been faithful to the estate the whole time and not once did his father throw him a party. We’re left with the father trying to reach out to his older son but we don’t know if he comes in to join the feast. The older son is physically present with his father but miles away relationally.

            I suppose for me that’s the biblical foundation for how I came to this understanding of the Gospel. I grew up being a Christian because I wanted to do the right thing and eventually go to heaven. It never occurred to me that God wanted to have relationship with me because He actually liked me.

            Okay, I wrote a ton. Does that help with explaining my perspective?



          • Edwin Crozier on June 6, 2017 at 2:28 pm

            Mike,
            Yes that is helpful. I have a real question, did you really never hear that God loves us as a Father before you went to that retreat?

            Second, while I get that different people with different views of God may be attracted to different passages that describe God, it seems to me that we shouldn’t view those sets of passages as either/or. God is both/and. People who prooftext God as merely a relationship seeking God who will stop at nothing to be in relationship with us (especially if they assume He will merely overlook their sinfulness) are making just as big of a mistake as those who prooftext Him as merely a vengeful God exercising wrath against those who refuse a relationship with Him (especially if they assume He’s excited about that and looking forward to the opportunity).

            God does want a relationship with us. He wants it fervently, even ferociously, even violently. But there is something between us and Him–not our shame, but our sins (Isaiah 59:2). Praise God, though we cannot reforge that relationship with Him, He would stop at nothing to have a relationship with us, so He came into the world in person of His Son, Jesus Christ, not to overlook our sins but to atone for them. Jesus’s death reconciles us to the Father, saving us from His wrath, not from our shame (Romans 5:6-10). Jesus’s death doesn’t assuage our bloodlust and need for justice, it pays for our debts (cf. Matthew 6:12).

            Sin does make God angry. And yet in that anger, He loved us so much to provide the means of reconciliation. I think the prodigal’s story is a great one. While the father was scanning the horizon and ready to accept the young son back, the father was not travelling into the distant country trying to let the son know they could still be in relationship while the young son was in the far distant country. He was willing to let the young son face the consequences of his choice to abandon the father. When the young son felt separated from the father, that wasn’t just his shame. He really was separated from his father. He had to actually return. Additionally, with the older son, while he let the older son live on his land, he didn’t follow the older son around saying, “Now, you know you can have the fatted calf, right?” He let the older son suffer the consequences of his misunderstanding.

            I think the children of Israel at the Promised Land is a great illustration. God loved Israel. He promised them great blessing. He had a land prepared for them. He promised to give it to them. But that first generation got to the edge of the land and decided the risk was too great. They knew they couldn’t take it, and they didn’t believe God would give it to them. So they cried out, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness!” (Numbers 14:2, ESV). God didn’t chase them down, telling them about what a great relationship He was still going to have with them in the wilderness they were choosing. Rather, He gave them up to the choice they begged for. He says, “Say to them, ‘As I live, declares the Lord, what you have said in my hearing I will do to you: your dead bodies shall fall in this wilderness, and of all your number, listed in the census from twenty years old and upward, who have grumbled against me, not one shall come into the land where I swore that I would make you dwell, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun'” (Numbers 14:28-30, ESV).

            God does want relationship with us. The problem is not all of us want a relationship with Him. And that isn’t just shame speaking. We aren’t separated from Him by our shame. We are separated by our sin. And some of us neither want to be forgiven or have freedom from our sin. Some of us don’t want to be forgiven because we want to prove we don’t need it. Some of us don’t want to be forgiven because we are convinced we don’t deserve it. Some of us don’t want to be forgiven because that means admitting we are sinners. Some of us don’t want to be free from our sin because we want to enjoy our sins and continue living in them. But Jesus came to forgive us and set us free from sin, not to walk with us hand in hand while we purposefully and impenitently continue pursuing our sins.

            Jesus did an amazing thing when He told the woman caught in adultery that He didn’t condemn her. But He also did an amazing thing when He told her to go and sin no more.

            Okay, so now I’ve rambled on long enough.



          • martha on September 22, 2017 at 6:03 am

            There is no love without faith in Jesus Christ,love begins with God and ends with Him



        • Bonnie provost on August 11, 2017 at 10:25 am

          I wonder the same thing… what does ” giving up the security of your beliefs” look like to the author? Wording well is one thing but putting it clearly into practice through words is another, and actually more useful

      • Susan on June 5, 2017 at 9:44 am

        Whatever does your question mean, Mike? “What would I give up to be in a loving relationship with a sinner?” So I hate football, but my “target sinner” is a devoted fan. I learn all about the game of football so I can have a friendship with her and then (maybe) tell her about Jesus Christ and the gospel? Or maybe I am not artsy and craftsy but my “target sinner” is. So I should take up scrap-booking and jewelry making so that I can be in a loving relationship with her? Is that what you have in mind? Is that what Jesus, Peter, James, John, Paul and the others modeled for us in order to win converts and disciples to Christ?

        “What would I give up to show them that I cared about them?” What in the world are you talking about? So I do not swear or take the name of the Lord in vain. So should I swear like a sailor to fit in with my “repulsive and destined to burn in hell friends”? So I don’t drink. Should I take a class in mixing drinks and take up drinking so that I can be friends with my “target sinner”. She likes to drink you know. So I don’t go to sex shows and strip clubs. So should I take up these forms of entertainment so that I can befriend “repulsive and destined to burn in hell friends” and in this way show them how much I care?

        Please note, by the way, I absolutely do not walk around categorizing people as saved or not and/or destined to burn in hell or not. Only God knows that. And I certainly do not go around calling people “repulsive and hell-bound”. What Jesus did tell us, however, is that we will know people by their fruit. Good trees produce good fruit and bad trees produce bad fruit. And the Bible also tells us that bad company corrupts good character. That is in Proverbs.

        Would I trade the security of my beliefs to be in relationship with them? What I hear you asking me is whether I would abandon truth in the pursuit of “love”. No I would not. It is not merciful or loving to “love” someone into hell by failing to and refusing to speak the truth. With that being said, you can’t have love without truth and you can’t have truth without love — because to do either is indulgence or harshness. And neither indulgence nor harshness is love.

        I truly believe that if Jesus, John, Peter, James and any of the other twelve apostles showed up at the vast majority of churches today and asked to preach a sermon, they would be booed, shouted down and literally driven out of the church — because they weren’t loving enough, tolerant enough, relevant enough, hip enough — and instead they were much too much harsh and judgmental.

        What Jesus gave up was his home in glory to come to earth as Savior and Messiah. He is/was a King but instead He took on human flesh to be born as a baby in the humblest of circumstances. He suffered all the ways that human flesh suffers — thirst, hunger, pain, hurt, betrayal, abandonment, exhaustion, loneliness, grief, and so forth. He suffered mocking and ridicule and hate. He suffered a brutal and torturous death from scouring and crucifixion to win our salvation.

        What Jesus didn’t do was to become the world in order to win the world. And I see nowhere in scripture where Jesus asks us or even remotely hints that we are to take this approach (i.e., become the world to win the world). I see nowhere in scripture where on the day of Pentecost, the first thing Peter and the rest of the apostles did was to rush off to the Roman Square Plaza and hire the Barna Group to advise them in advertisement, marketing, and leadership strategies.

        But hey, what do I know? The times, they are a changing. 2000 years later and the Bible is no longer relevant or hip or effective. New strategies are in order.

        • Mike on June 5, 2017 at 1:23 pm

          Thanks for the response, Susan.

          I think you’re touching on what I’m driving at. What I see today in institutional Christianity is dogmatism or an insistence that “we’re right, you’re wrong.” What I don’t see is an attitude of humility in the church or an acceptance of our own falliblity, especially around our beliefs or convictions. We seem to have a hard time saying, “Maybe we’re thinking about this wrong.”

          Personally, I think this stems from our Protestant perspective that proper belief is what saves us (i.e. not by works but by faith). I’ve come to understand that there are two modes of belief: one is cerebral and one is heart-based. One is ego-driven and one is relationship-driven.

          I’ll eat my own dog food and confess I could be wrong in this perspective, but I think most churches teach that saving belief is a proper cerebral understanding of the Bible.

          What I see Jesus teaching is that saving belief is a trust that God desires relationship above all and the barrier of sin is not a problem for God to overcome.

          When I listen to Christians use the phrase “speak the truth in love,” what I sense is that Christians are insecure with their relationship with God and want to prove their loyalty to Him by condemning sin in others. This is exemplified in the parable in the Pharisee and the tax collector.

          Here’s another goofy question for you. Is there any sin too large that the love of God cannot overcome? If God’s plan is to make a way for all people to get to heaven, are you be okay with that?

          • Edwin Crozier on June 5, 2017 at 2:30 pm

            What does it mean for the love of God to overcome a sin?



          • Edwin Crozier on June 5, 2017 at 2:32 pm

            Also, to be clear, I believe God’s plan is to make a way for all people to get to heaven. I am very okay with that. But what if there are some people who refuse to take His Way? Should I tell them they aren’t taking His Way?



          • Susan on June 5, 2017 at 4:03 pm

            Mike,
            Let me begin with answering your question. I truly believe that Jesus would have forgiven and restored Judas to ministry/ apostleship if Judas had repented and asked the Lord for forgiveness. What is the difference between Judas and Peter? Both men betrayed the Lord. With respect to Judas, Our Lord said it would have been better had he not been born. With respect to Peter, Our Lord asked him three times times if he (Peter) loved Him (Jesus). When Peter responded in the affirmative, Jesus told him (three times) to feed his sheep. There were two thieves on the cross: to one man, Our Lord promised that he would be in paradise with him. To the other man, Our Lord made no such promise. What was the difference? Both men were worthy of their earthly death sentence. One man was saved; the other man was not. I will take that a step further: if Hitler had repented and believed the Gospel, I truly believe that God would have forgiven him.

            And yes, God has offered/ extended salvation to all men. With that being said, however, not all men will desire and accept that offer of salvation. Now we are into TULIPS and Armenians. By the way, I am not of Calvinistic bend. Yes, I am well aware that there are those who believe Calvinism is the gospel and the gospel is Calvinism. I am not of that theological persuasion. So in answer to your question, not all people will get to heaven. I do not believe in Universalism. Jesus himself spoke repeatedly of the fires of hell, of weeping and gnashing of teeth, of outer darkness, etc. I am told Jesus spoke more of hell than he did of heaven. (I’ve not personally tracked the verses on each topic so I can’t vouch for that statement with my own experience.)

            Something no one seems to mention here. In most countries, there is a system of justice with judges and various punishments for certain criminal actions (as well as civil violations). No one is yelling: “Judge not.” “You can’t make a determination that this individual was guilty of (whatever) … say theft, or murder, or drug trafficking, or rape, or slander/ libel or speeding or running a red light or any number of things that are part of our secular criminal codes and civil laws. In fact, we here in America have both juries and judges. And not only do we determine guilt but there is a judge who decides punishment: whether that be community service or probation or a fine or jail time or monetary damages or a combination of these. No one seems to have a problem with this. It is perfectly proper and acceptable.

            But when it comes moral matters and the church, we are not to say: having an affair is wrong and is against God’s law, or dishonesty/ lying is wrong and is against God’s law, or being disobedient to your parents’ legitimate authority is wrong and is against God’s law. We are not to quote any verses that say …. if you do these things …. you will not inherit the kingdom of heaven. Nope. Now we are going to say, “Judge not!” Now we are going to say, “You can’t say that.” We can’t tell anyone about sin or righteousness or holiness or purity unless our own lives are perfection. Really? My very best friends are those people who have loved me enough to tell me the truth about myself. They say something like: “I love you, and I love you enough to tell you that you are going wrong in this area of your life. Doing these things are not honoring to God and not in your own best interests.” That is Love.True. Love.

            The institutional church, in my opinion, has gone off in a number of different directions. The first direction is what I will call “Love, Tolerance, Inclusiveness and Unity.” All truth is truth — even incompatible truths are truths. Everything is tolerated except, of course, intolerance. Another direction is what I will call “We are Right and Everyone Else is Wrong.” That’s pretty much self-explanatory. A third direction is what I will call “Doctrinal Minimalism and Doctrine Doesn’t Matter.” Also self-explanatory. A fourth direction is what I will call “Theological Schools of Thought Become the Gospel”. The best example of that would be “Calvinism is the Gospel and the Gospel is Calvinism” together with the two Pope Johns (John MacArthur and John Piper). A fifth direction is what I will call “Essentials, Non-Essentials and Everything Else.” Of course, the problem then becomes “no one can agree upon what is essential and what is not.”

            In my opinion, what the world of Protestantism has become is the modern-day religious Tower of Babel. No one sees the problem here? 500 years later and look at what Calvin and Luther have wrought.



          • Mike on June 5, 2017 at 10:23 pm

            You’re a pretty cool lady, Susan! I think you and I would get along just fine. 🙂



          • martha on September 22, 2017 at 7:16 am

            when we speak salvation or trying to win soul i think we cant leave this 4 behind;sin faith love and hope your “not works but by faith” maybe i dont understand it faith is when you believe n someone like Jesus and when you believe its like you agree in everything He says including turning away from personal sins, yes God is capable of forgiving any sin while we are warned to turn away from it we cant keep on sinning deliberately because God is capable of forgiving. i believe salvation starts with one believing that Jesus christ is the Lord and saviour and that He died on the cross for us/our sins
            but it also doesnt end there we start by sinning no more and continue in His good work grace through faith love and hope and we cant do all this without being obedient to His word,reading the bible fasting and praying if we do this it will help us because He knows our hearts we need to be humble we need His presence every day when we humble ourselves and be obedient to His word the holy spirit forsure will dwell in our hearts



        • Bonnie provost on August 11, 2017 at 10:31 am

          Susan This was great, I enjoyed your writing and the questions you’ve asked. I feel the same and am unsure of this authors writting. I will pursue answers.
          Thanks for posting your comments here. The article was confusing. God bless

          • Susan on August 11, 2017 at 1:31 pm

            Bonnie, I am glad you appreciate my writing. I have worked through these sundry issues in my own life which is why I write as I do. There is no need for any confusion as to the article and/or the author’s writing. One of the comments (it is rather long, and I suspect it is written by a pastor) explains things perfectly. He begins with: “There is a whole movement today within the church that has completely removed the New Testament call for Christians to pursue holiness because our God is holy …. ” To condense it all into a single word, that word would be “modernism.” And make no mistake, it is a plague upon Christianity.



    • AL on June 5, 2017 at 8:58 am

      Well said Susan.

      • Susan on June 6, 2017 at 9:36 am

        Thank you, Mike. Do you have any other questions I can answer for you? (That is said with a smile and a wink, because I have no idea how to use the icon button.)

    • Roger on June 9, 2017 at 9:52 am

      Thank you for saying this.
      We must love the sinner, but hate the sin as the old saying goes. If we love the sinner, we will not attack them, but show them the truth by our life style and speak the Word of God which is truth. Often the person feels attacked because we state what the Bible teaches, and they mistake conviction with being attacked.
      No one likes being corrected or being shown they have it wrong or lack understanding, but if we keep silent, what kind of friend are we? What kind of love are we showing when we don’t show others what is right and true?

    • Anna on June 17, 2017 at 9:12 am

      Right on!!

      repentance of sin, conversion, denial of self and taking up one’s cross and following Him (Jesus Christ) as a disciple.

      There is no way to make that message attractive

  34. ST on June 3, 2017 at 7:10 am

    ” When was the last time you hung out with a hooker?”

    I believe I’ll take the fifth. . .

  35. Larry Davis on June 3, 2017 at 6:59 am

    Pray without ceasing. Love others as ourselves. Realize we are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God.

    There is so much debate in congregations, between denominations, and even here in these comments. Jesus taught us by the example of his life, yet we as people muddy the waters and complicate things with our thoughts.

    The three brief statements above are a creed I personally strive to live out each day and it’s a struggle at times. Being humble and living in humility is the key to opening all the doors.

    Why is it that we who label ourselves as “Christians” feel the need to debate and pick apart the words of others to justify our own positions? Pray, love, realize…live in humility.

    • Isabelle on June 12, 2017 at 7:22 pm

      How lucky are you!I think my postman has moved to do his round in a different village, where there is not a little girl always asking him where Jess is, so be caVfnul!raeessa x

    • http://www.coinsgeneratortech.site/ on June 23, 2017 at 11:26 am

      We’ve arrived at the end of the line and I have what I need!

    • Bonnie provost on August 11, 2017 at 10:33 am

      Nicely said!

  36. Edwin Crozier on June 1, 2017 at 10:14 am

    Can I push on something in this article? I know the question I’m about to ask is going to seem like it needs a “well, duh” response, but I’d like to dig a little deeper on one aspect of this.

    Carey, you write: “But Jesus went so much deeper than that. Jesus pursued friendships with people who were different than him. Whose lifestyles were far different than anything God had in mind for them (or for people in relationship with him).
    “Yet Jesus was their friend. He went to their house for dinner. They traveled together. They shared moments and meals and life.
    “It scandalized the religious leaders of Jesus day, and sadly, when it’s practiced authentically, it still scandalizes most of us today.
    “Think about it. When was the last time you hung out with a hooker?
    “When was the last time you had someone who’s not your skin color, not your political persuasion and doesn’t share your value system over for dinner, or when was the last time you broke bread with an addict (who’s not in recovery)?
    “Often when Christians do pursue ‘friendships’ with people far from God, it’s more of a project than it is a friendship.
    “But people aren’t projects; people are people. People can smell it a mile away if you see them as a project, not a person.”

    What you have said about Jesus seems to me to be the “common” wisdom about Jesus’s life. However, can we dig a little deeper than just “we all know this is true”? Can you please give me biblical evidence that Jesus pursued friendships with impenitent sinners?

    Perhaps my question is actually about definitions of words. Did Jesus shun impenitent sinners when they came to Him? Of course not. Did Jesus go where He was invited no matter who did the inviting? Absolutely. Did Jesus even sometimes invite himself over to someone’s home? Yes. If this is what you mean by being friends, then I concede. However, these are not what pursuing friendship means to me. That is especially so in the context of a relationship evangelism approach this blog post seems to suggest. Did Jesus pursue friendship with impenitent sinners and just let the conversation eventually, naturally lead to gospel conversation? I’m struggling to find that.

    Please help me see this description of Jesus in the Bible.

    BTW: Please don’t simply throw out Matthew 11:19 or Luke 7:34 without some serious explanation. These passages also claim Jesus was a glutton and a drunkard, but I don’t think I’m supposed to take that as the description of His character.

    • AL on June 5, 2017 at 10:03 am

      You are correct Edwin. There is a whole movement today within the church that has completely removed the New Testament call for Christians to pursue Holiness because our God is a Holy God (1 Peter 1:16, Rom 12:1,2, etc.). We no longer call people to living righteously and to “put away sin” (Heb 12:1). Instead, we hear the opposite. We hear: 1. It can’t be done. It’s useless, futile and even arrogant to even try to live righteously. In fact, we don’t even like those words anymore in the church (Righteousness, Holiness, Sin, etc). 2. We are reminded that we are all (currently) terrible sinners even after we are “saved”. 3. Therefore, you should worry about your sin and I’ll worry about mine. Until you are perfect (which will never happen) you are forbidden to point out sin or even mention the word in regards to anyone but yourself, lest you be judgmental. (Even though Gal 6:1 tells us to. But I digress….) 4. Don’t have opinions about right and wrong, as that is being judgmental. 5. People who say things like “Pursue Holiness are Judgmental/Hypocritical people who think they are “Holier than thou”. 6. We all sin every day and your sin is no different than my sin. God views all sin the same so why “judge” someone because they sin different than you? (This may be the most dangerous of all of these false teachings today. But again, I digress……) 7. Jesus hung out with sinners and rebuked religious people. Interpretation = Church people are a bunch of evil, judgmental, hypocrites……sinners are awesome! (I even heard a Preacher recently say that “Hey, Jesus brought the Kegger to the Wedding! He loved to party with sinners, etc.”) – The problem is that in today’s internet world, our churches are filled with Pastors who don’t study the Bible anymore. They simply download sermons from the internet and read blogs by guys like Carey Nieuwohof, so all we hear is the same broken record. There is nothing new or revolutionary about these three accusations against Christians and the Church in this article. So, at the risk of being labeled “judgmental” for having an opinion…….Consider this: In Ezekiel 36 God points to the time when He will establish His Kingdom (His church) calling people from all parts of the world (Jew and Gentile) together to be His people. He says “I will give you a new heart and a new spirit. I will put MY SPIRIT in you……and HE will Move you to follow my commands and way”. This is the key! As a Christian I have received the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit living in me! It is no longer I that Live, but Christ in Me. I cannot just say “Hey, I am a pathetic sinner who sins every day just like everybody else……but heck, God will forgive me. That’s what he does….blah, blah, blah”. No, I am not the man I should be……but I am not the man I used to be. Here is the Bottom Line in my opinion on this ridiculous article: 1. Carey has completely bought in to the postmodern definition and interpretation of Matt 7:1. 2. Though Christians are far from perfect, they (we) have historically been the ones for 2000 years who have been feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, caring for the sick, educating the poor and leading lost people to a saving relationship with Jesus. The church is made up of the best people in the world. The Church is also the Bride of Christ, and God sees her “without spot or blemish” (Eph 5:27) and those who are making careers out of besmirching the Bride of Christ, ought to maybe try and say something nice about her from time to time. Don’t you think?

      • Susan on June 5, 2017 at 11:22 am

        Oh my, oh my. Someone gets it, truly gets it and is not afraid to be “judgmental”, “hypocritical” and a “very bad friend” (that was sarcasm) to speak the truth in love. There is a remnant who know and understand and have not bought into the lies.

        I honestly can’t tell the difference between “Christian” and “non-Christian.” Divorce rates, business dealings, pornography/ affairs, addictions, abortion and the list goes on. Christians these days look exactly like non-Christians. So why be Christian?

        Why? Because “life change” and “doing good in the community and in peoples’ lives.” Yeah, that’s the ticket. Deeds, not creeds — the second Reformation. (Why? Because we can’t agree about doctrine, and doctrine doesn’t really matter anyway, does it?)

        But you see, I don’t have to be “Christian” to “do good deeds”. I can volunteer for the Red Cross, help at the local food pantry, read stories at the library, walk the dogs at the animal shelter and run 5K for cancer AND be Jewish, Muslim, atheist, or New Age.

        There is no longer any need for holiness, sanctification, righteousness, purity (and certainly no need for repentance and conversion) because we are all sinners whether we are “saved” or “not saved”. Just repeat this “little prayer” and it’s all good.

        And it helps if you ignore the Lord’s (chilling) words in Matthew 7. Many will say on that day, “Lord, Lord … ” and Jesus will say, “Depart from me, you workers of iniquity, for I never knew you.” The folks who said “Lord, Lord” sound “very Christian” to me.

    • Roger on June 9, 2017 at 10:10 am

      There is so no evidence in the Bible that Jesus was friends with sinners. Yet, Jesus did interact with sinners for the sole purpose of bringing them to the Father, because He didn’t want anyone to be lost. Jesus spent most of His time with His disciples. Yet, he took every opportunity to speak into the life of the sinner.
      Just because your objective in befriending a sinner is to bring them to Christ, it does not mean that you don’t love them or care about their needs. It actually means you love them because you want them to have Christ, and took the time to reach out to them. The greatest thing that any one could have is a relationship with Christ.

  37. Edwin Crozier on May 31, 2017 at 11:50 am

    I finally figured out why this blog post has been bothering me so much. In my mind, I’m going back and forth. To be honest, when I read the post, I wanted to come out against it because it doesn’t sit right with me. The funny thing is when someone speaks against the suggestions in this post, I come out against them as well. So my mind, heart, and spirit have been playing ping pong with this post.

    You asked “what do you think?”

    I think there are three pieces of good, godly advice–take care with your judgment, don’t be a hypocrite, be a better friend–that Christians need to hear. But the foundation of this article is faulty. I should not change my behavior or encourage anyone else to change their behavior because non-Christians despise it. Rather, I should change my behavior and encourage others to change their behavior because Jesus despises it. After all, Christians will always be despised by non-Christians. Even when we are doing everything just the way Jesus wants, non-Christians will despise us.

    • W Barber on May 31, 2017 at 12:27 pm

      I’m with you until the last sentence. Leave room for the Holy Spirit brother. If we do everything right, as God would have us, things can change. The disciples were sent ahead of Jesus not to convert people but to tell them the Kingdom is coming near; it was up to Jesus to do the work. “Glory to God whose power working in us can do infinitely more than we can ask or desire.”

    • Mike on May 31, 2017 at 4:10 pm

      Hi Edwin,

      I often hear that if we are doing Christianity right the world will hate us. Why do we think that? Where does that idea come from?

      • Edwin Crozier on May 31, 2017 at 4:55 pm

        John 15:18-21

        “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.”

        Matthew 5:10-12

        “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for their is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

        Luke 6:22-23, 26

        “Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets…Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.”

        • Mike on May 31, 2017 at 9:38 pm

          Thanks for the response, Edwin.

          This is where I get confused. Any time I’ve shared my beliefs with “non-Christians” they don’t hate me. They don’t persecute me. They just kinda say, “cool” and we keep hanging out.

          When I look at the context of the verses above, I see Jesus talking to the disciples the night before the Passover. (John 15) and speaking to a Jewish congregation (Matt. 6, Luke 6). I could be wrong but it seems the disciples and early followers of Jesus faced the greatest persecution from the existing religious establishment, not from the Gentiles.

          When I think back on the times I did encounter the most persecution for my beliefs it was from Christians of other denominations that wanted to fight with me about what certain verses meant.

          So is it that I’m not preaching the gospel correctly because I’m not making people angry? Or is Jesus possibly preparing his disciples for a lot of pushback from the religious elite because he’s taking away their power?

          • Edwin Crozier on June 1, 2017 at 9:24 am

            Mike,
            Those are good questions.
            First, I don’t believe Jesus’s teaching means every non-Christian will hate Christians in general.

            Second, I don’t believe Jesus’s teaching means every person you share the gospel with will hate you individually.

            Third, I do think it is interesting that Jesus, in one of those passages, speaks of some of the persecutors doing so while thinking they are doing it in His name because they don’t actually know God. That suggests some of our persecutors will be religious people. That being said, I do notice that many who support same gender sexual activity and marriage, when they rebuke people like me who teach against it, they often claim they are on the side of Jesus’s love whether or not they claim to be Christians. So, here is a setting where people ridicule and at least verbally persecute, claiming to do so in Jesus’s name but, I believe, they do not know God.

            Fourth, I do not believe our goal should be to make non-Christians hate us or persecute us. That is, I do not believe we should justify a judgmental attitude, hypocrisy, or being mean claiming non-Christians are supposed to hate us.

            Fifth, all that being said, I know that Jesus did live properly and He was crucified. He wasn’t just crucified by the “religious right” of the Pharisees, but also by the “liberal left” of the Sadducees, and also by the pagan Romans, and also by the common crowds of the Jews. And He says if we live like Him, we’ll be treated like Him. I don’t know you, so I’m not saying this about you. I’m saying this about me. This does concern me. I’m not treated like Jesus was. Of course, I don’t think that means I have to be crucified, but I’m not very ill-treated by anyone.

            Sixth, as I read about Paul in Acts who walked in the footsteps of Jesus, I see that he was equally persecuted by folks of all walks–pagans and Jews alike.

            All this together does make me question my own following of the Lord when it comes to making disciples.

            I will draw attention to the way you worded something. You said, “Any time I’ve shared my beliefs with ‘non-Christians’ they don’t hate me.” I know we live in a post-modern day when many people don’t care what anyone else believes. Every belief is cool. So, I imagine that many times just sharing what you believe would not upset people. My question is this, Jesus came on the scene not just sharing what He believed, but saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Paul came on the scene not simply sharing what he believed but claiming that what he believed demanded action like repenting and surrendering to Jesus as Lord. It is one thing for us to share what we believe, it is another to believe it enough to call people to repentance. Perhaps that is included in what you mean when you say you share what you believe. However, I’m guessing no matter how well we live, when we call people to repentance, some will surrender, and others will persecute.

            Sorry for the long response.



          • W Barber on June 1, 2017 at 10:33 am

            Regarding number 3, does disagreeing equate with ridicule and persecution? You further go on to say people who say they follow Jesus and affirm that God loves lgbtqi folks in a similar manner to God’s love for straight people are not…really Christian i think you say. I understand disagreement, implying an exchange of ideas, interpretations, perspectives on faith to be a mark of adult conversation, a way of allowing some light into places where there is just heat. The culture of outrage short circuits that, from many sides. Saying people with an understanding different from yours are not Christians, or don’t understand scripture, or however you phrase it: that shuts down conversation, is dipping your toe at least into the troubled waters of fractious, door-closing judgement (sorry, mixed metaphors on display). Jesus, and later Paul, do have conflicts with people: the Pharisees who judge based on their understanding of law.



          • Edwin Crozier on June 1, 2017 at 11:21 am

            Mike, I guess we’ve reached the limit of the nesting on this conversation. I hope this comes up in order so the conversation is understandable.

            Anyway, no, disagreement is not the same as persecution. However, I do believe when people “utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account” (Matthew 5:11), that is verbal persecution.

            Additionally, I didn’t say anything about people affirming or denying that God loves folks who participate in same gender sexual activity or same gender marriages. God loves all and demonstrated so by sending Jesus to die for all and giving all the opportunity to repent. I actually commented on folks who support such behavior. There is a difference. Further, I did say folks who mock and ridicule people who claim the Bible teaches against same gender sexual activity sometimes say they are doing so because Jesus is love, thus claiming they are offering their verbal attack “in Jesus’s name.” If I am correct in my understanding of the Bible on this activity, then these are people who do not know God in much the same way the Pharisees did not know God. I am not saying they aren’t otherwise decent people. I’m not saying they don’t know anything about God. I’m simply saying they are not submitting to His Lordship. Of course, if I’m wrong, then that statement applies to me.

            I do not believe the Bible condones such behavior. I believe the Bible calls such behavior a sin which will separate people from the Lord. I believe people confessing and surrendering to the Lordship of Jesus will turn from such behavior. As with all other behaviors I believe are sinful, I do call folks to repentance. Admittedly, that will stop many conversations just as Jesus’s call to the rich young ruler stopped the conversation. However, that won’t stop the conversation because I’m unwilling to keep discussing the disagreement. That will stop the conversation because people, in general, don’t like to be called to repentance, which gets to the heart of my final statement in my previous comment. Jesus, Peter, Paul, Steven didn’t just share their beliefs. They called people to repentance. I think they did it with kindness, gentleness, and love. Nevertheless, it ended many conversations (see Acts 17:30-31, though admittedly this conversation stopper was tied with the resurrection which demands repentance). That will lead to persecution, verbal almost certainly, and possibly even beyond that.



    • Dave on June 1, 2017 at 11:10 am

      In my experience, those who authentically follow Jesus are more despised by those who simply want to “play church.” Following Jesus will always challenge our assumptions about God, ourselves, and others.

      “Playing church” does nothing but placate a false anxiety that we have to appease a distant, disappointed God.

      Now, there are some people who hold a staunch opposition to Christianity (or any religion) and will make it known, but I find those people are fewer than the ones who are content with going through the motions and remaining unchanged.

      • Laticia on June 11, 2017 at 10:52 pm

        Sunny, it was wonderful to meet you this weekend! You are very well-named and your sunny, upbeat pelstnarioy made the conference even more fun. So looking forward to seeing you again soon! xoxox JanP.S. That soup looks yummy! I am eager to explore your blog and see what I can cook up

      • http://goanalyze.info/dmi.dk on June 27, 2017 at 4:18 am

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    • Ppodlas on June 3, 2017 at 5:55 am

      The Bible says Do Not judge those outside the body, but judge those within the body. Lets just do that

      • Edwin Crozier on June 3, 2017 at 7:25 am

        Ppodlas,
        Thank you for the reminder. That is from I Corinthians 5:12. I Corinthians 5:13 goes on to say, “God judges those outside.” Should I warn those outside the body of that coming judgment?

        • ppodlas on June 5, 2017 at 8:44 am

          Absolutely – by loving loving them to death! Then you will earn the right to speak.

  38. Jeremy Fretts on May 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    “Christians don’t believe in science or logic.”
    Further, the complex systematic gyrations many Christians go through to explain incrogruities in scripture is befuddling to those who live in a world of measurable facts and logic.

    • Mike on May 31, 2017 at 10:40 am

      So true!

      One thing I love about about science is it allows for us to be wrong in our hypotheses. Christianity doesn’t seem to give the same courtesy.

      It seems churches are organized on a foundation of belief, rather than a foundation of relationship. So when your belief changes, the community can’t handle it and you gotta leave.

      I wish we as people could do wrongness better.

      • W Barber on May 31, 2017 at 11:19 am

        I give thanks for the gift of reason and intellect. Along with scripture and tradition it shapes my belief and how I see and understand the universe, my place in it, who my neighbor is, friends and loved ones. I give thanks for antibiotics, understanding of anatomy and surgical interventions. I do not worship reason or mistake the fullness of being human, loving, making some sense of suffering and the good news that evil and chaos do not define us. We have faith as believers, unafraid of knowledge. Just don’t elevate knowing to being fully w understanding

  39. Tom on May 31, 2017 at 6:59 am

    Im a christian and at times i dislike myself and christians because of what is said and done. If we could just accept one another in love as a person whom is loved greatly by God. Agree that we all have this sickness or virus and we need each other and a doctor to heal us. Agree that we cant handle the truth that people sin both believer and non believer. This might make engaged conversations easier when we can understand each other because we are all the same. Lets play nice in the sandbox and feel ok if we have dirt on us and your friend has dirt too. Let God stand back as a parent and leave Him do the punishing when we are not so nice. The sandbox is for all so invite all.

    • Mike on May 31, 2017 at 10:51 am

      Me too, Tom.

      I don’t even like to call myself a Christian anymore because it makes hurting people hurt more.

      This is a bit heretical, but… here it goes.

      What if Christian universalism is a possibility? Or at least living in the hope that everyone will eventually will be reconciled to God?

      When I think this way, every man becomes my brother and every woman my sister. I don’t need to convince them of my beliefs and can just have relationship with them. I can help them with their struggles and they can help me with mine.

      That’s what I wonder right now. Is God’s love big enough and Christ’s blood strong enough that it can melt even the coldest of hearts?

  40. Whosure on May 30, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    Mine is an easy one. People that do not know me begin conversations about church. They invariably use the pronoun “our” rather than “my” when talking about their own activities. It drives me crazy — it is not MY church, and the use of “our” forces me to have ownership of this “church.” I have no issues of people that tell me about their church activities, as long as they use “my” church.

  41. Grant Barber on May 30, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    If you are the pastor of a congregation, you can’t also be friends w/members. Muddies up waters too much. Lay person…got it, at least one relationship option. Actually, I look for men of other faith traditions with whom to be friends…Buddhists for example. Or even an RC layperson. Someone I don’t have pastoral responsibility for. There are sides to all of us that we show to others depending on nature of the relationship. My wife hears some of my humor that parishioners will not. Friends do as well, and sometimes frustrations of being a pastor. Alas, I find after being friends w/someone, I end up sooner or later in a pastoral relationship of some sort. Maybe it’s a question of balance…. Authenticity is the key I think. That and love. “Telling truth in love” is code for being angry or judging. Bogus. We are called to love–Jesus did so w/Samaritan woman at the well, with the Roman Centurion, with the Syro-Phoenician woman (crumbs, dogs under the table), and used a Samaritan as model of compassionate behavior (Good Samaritan) and then there’s the Prodigal Son’s welcome home. None of this is conditional. At least two were pagans. It’s love, period. And darn hard. Thank God for the Holy Spirit and the opportunity for daily conversion and forgiveness.

    • Trish K on June 1, 2017 at 10:52 am

      “other faith traditions with whom to be friends…Buddhists for example. Or even an RC layperson. I’m an RC layperson. Are you suggesting that Buddhists and Roman Catholics are not Christians? I cannot speak for Buddhists but as a Roman Catholic I can assure you I am a Christan. Perhaps I misunderstood what you stated, but your comment have me the impression that you classified Roman Catholics as outside the Christian faith.

      • Grant Barber on June 1, 2017 at 11:40 am

        Yikes! No, and apologies. Was thinking of newish friend raised by Jesuits in high school and college. He is rock solid in his faith. He receives pastoral and spiritual counsel there. So…doesn’t have to come from me. I believe I am authentic in various roles, such as pastor/priest or husband or friend. But they are different roles, and I’m so glad for that freedom that friendship allows. He is a brother in Christ.

        • Trish K on June 1, 2017 at 12:39 pm

          Apology accepted! 😁 As a Roman Catholic I hold very strong positions about controversial issues such as birth control, abortion, homosexuality, etc… and I find it extremely difficult to converse about these issues for fear of hurting another’s feelings. I usually steer clear of these subjects but I wish I could be more open (in love of course). However, strong positions cause others to feel judged. I do not feel I’m judging them but they feel judged so maybe I’m not showing enough love. Hmmmm… something to pray about.

          • Grant Barber on June 1, 2017 at 2:16 pm

            Ah. And I am a progressive as they come Episcopal priest. Were we to meet IRL I suspect the weather, where to get a good cup of coffee, or how to get deals on overseas flights might be high on conversation list. BUT if we were able to talk dearly held religious positions…and still like one another and look forward to the next conversation…then we could take it on the road. Maybe help the Middle East out of their messes. But I bet if I were thirsty or hungry you’d give me water (or coffee…I really like coffee) and nourishing bread in the spirit of mercy and compassion, as I would do for you. That’s a starting place.



  42. Edwin on May 30, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    In response to the specific question asked at the end of the article, and knowing full well this may make me sound just like those being rebuked by the article, I do think we should consider the answer Jesus gave in John 3:20-21 and 15:18-21.

  43. Joyce P on May 30, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    Jesus judged the Pharisees. He judged the money-lenders in the temple.
    Non-Christians judge Christians, putting all of us into the same bucket. They also judge among themselves.
    The laws of the land judge us when we step out of line.
    We make judgements every day as to what to buy, wear, words we use. We stay away from people we’ve judged to be violent, filthy-speakers, chronic drug and alcohol users, even those who never wash.
    Point is: judgement is part of everyday living. It’s the condemnation that is wrong. How are Christians to be “salt” or a “light on the hill?” A person CAN point out wrongdoing without condemning.
    Hypocrisy is by far the most devastating to our reputation.

    • Eileen on May 30, 2017 at 4:06 pm

      Loved this article. This is the where I have come to after many years of not getting anywhere with others who aren’t Christian. Just love them and not worry about judging them and feeling I have to make them, as was said, a “project”.

      • Roberta on June 12, 2017 at 6:52 pm

        Deep thinking – adds a new diesmnion to it all.

      • http://goanalyze.info/tut.fi on June 27, 2017 at 4:10 am

        Om ett företag vill skicka något till henne, men inte kan hitta hennes adress, så mailar/ringer de nog henne och förklarar situationen..

  44. Luz M. Malespin on May 30, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    You don’t necessarily have to be a Christian to point out to a friend when they are acting against their best interest, I don’t think that is the problem, but I have found in the church a lot of arrogance when speaking about things we do not understand. I can not judge someone else’s troubles if they are not my walk, I have no problem avoiding lying, but that is my walk, others have trouble telling the truth, I’m better then they are? no. And that is where I have a problem, just because I am not a homosexual and do not understand what it feels like, do I have the right to judge who’s struggling with that issue? I know Jesus did not teach us to go around pointing fingers at others for their own personal struggles. And the best preaching is done by actions, you act like Christ (all the time) and believe me people will notice and will seek out your advice. Best preaching I have received are by men who have loved the unlovable and treat everyone with the same love. Like Jesus. I can’t stand hypocrites. Walk the talk. Actions speak louder than empty words.

    • Al on May 30, 2017 at 2:26 pm

      Isn’t it being judge mental to say “there is a lot of arrogance in the church”?

  45. Kevin Hicks on May 30, 2017 at 10:56 am

    None of the three behaviors are peculiar to Christians. Look elsewhere for an answer to why the world criticizes Christians (Hint: John 15:18)

  46. Sheri on May 30, 2017 at 10:38 am

    I’m finding the comments just as interesting as the article! Although I agree with the article that we cannot and have no right to judge others, I also agree with many of the commenters that we need to speak the truth (in love). It boils down to that old saying, love the sinner but hate the sin. It’s a very fine line, though, as people tend to see no disconnect between what they do and who they are. For example, homosexuals – when you try to tell them that homosexuality is a sin (thinking in the context of what they do), they see it as a condemnation of who they are. So what is the answer? Personally, I’d rather err on the side of love and relationship, as stated in the article. If you develop a relationship with a non-Christian, become friends and show that you truly love them, then from that perspective, you can share the truth with them and they won’t be offended because by that time, they understand your motives.

    • Wendy on May 30, 2017 at 12:38 pm

      I find your last sentence particularly revealing: “If you develop a relationship with a non-Christian… by that time, they understand your motives.” That strikes me as saying that the only reason to befriend non-Christians is to try to get them to see the “error of their ways” and to listen to you preaching at them. This is precisely the attitude Carey warns us against in the OP. Carey urges us to love our neighbors uncritically and not to view them as a “project” or something that needs fixing. Yes, Jesus called out the Pharisees – for their self-righteous attitudes. But he supped with prostitutes and tax collectors. And in John 8, he gently rebukes the woman – “go and sin no more” – but reserves his harshest words for those who sought to stone her – “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

  47. Al Serhal on May 30, 2017 at 9:51 am

    Non-Christians Despise Christians and are always going to despise Christians (John 15:18). So do you honestly think they are at all objective in their opinion of us? It’s like the the pro golfer years ago who got put in a foursome that included Billy Graham. Later in the locker room a friend asked him what it was like playing golf with Billy Graham? He slammed his golf bag on the floor and said “I don’t need Billy Graham Preaching at Me!” The guy said “Really? Did he preach at you?” The man admitted, “Well, no. But I don’t need Billy Graham preaching at me!” – Guys, you can drive yourself nuts trying to make the world Love you and the Church. But they will always have a chip on their shoulder toward us because they are in rebellion against God (Romans 1:18-24). They will always accuse Christians of being “Judgmental” because we seek Holiness. They will always accuse the church of being “Judgmental” because she stands for righteousness. They will always accuse us of being hypocrites because it makes them feel better about themselves and their lifestyle choices. And when it comes to relationships………….The deepest relationships in the world take place in the family of God. Why do we allow the World’s opinion of us direct our Church and ministry? Anyway, I suppose having this opinion qualifies me as being judgmental by today’s definition. Right?

    • Rbrown on May 31, 2017 at 12:06 am

      Well, it isn’t going to help you love people.

  48. Shannon on May 30, 2017 at 7:00 am

    So far I feel that I have come closer to overcoming the struggle with non Christian friends. The sad part is that my two non Christian friends are less judgmental and more available to talk to where many Christian in the churches I have attached and currently attending have been very critical and even having a try to fix me attitude. I used to avoid non Christians but the Lord has convicted me to build relationships with these friends. And that I am not the saviour and to not try and save them but just love them the way I want to be loved. I have come to terms with not putting my beliefs I have chosen for myself on them if that is not what they have chosen. I hold them accountable to the standards they have chosen for themselves. I try and be real and let them know that when I talk about my faith it’s never to convince them to convert but that my faith is just a part of who I am and if they like me for WHO I am then just requires respect Most people don’t try to convince others to follow their beliefs unless it’s backed up by a large group of fallowers as we see in religion. The friends I have don’t fit in any category so I never feel the pressure. The problem most Christians have is one I face in building these relationships is trying to find boundaries to have that don’t cross over my beliefs and in that these are the question or situation I have had to face at this current moment.
    So the questions are: have a beer at a pub over some wings and garlic bread talking about their life challenges . This is a controversial issue with most Christians. I know it’s clear in Ephesians to not get drunk but…. one beer? Or two?
    We have become such good friends and they want friendship tattoos? Leviticus, no marks on the body? Yet I have seen some amazing stories come out of people with tattoos and they have reached people that most ordinary people could not have.
    Multiple pearcings? Or making a cake for homosexuals friends after moving into their new apartment?
    So I keep searching…. what would Jesus do in these moments that could potentially bond with someone who may or may not chose Jesus because we loved them right where they are?

    • Lakiesha on June 11, 2017 at 10:28 pm

      Turgay Demirci / 27 Ekim 20>oa/<1Ç1k güzel olmuş elinize sağlık, lakin Murat abi haberlerde gülüyor falan bu 2li videolarda hiç gülmüyor dikkat ettim sana O videonun sonunada şaşırdım tam yorum yazıyordum Cevaplamak için giriş yapın

  49. Sheila A. on May 30, 2017 at 2:25 am

    Lack of humility. That is a big one for me. stop the chest thumping “Aren’t I just wonderful because I do good things for my community”. There’s no humility in advertising your good deeds. Do good work because it’s the right thing to do.

  50. Jay Wallar on May 30, 2017 at 1:06 am

    I do not believe we have the right to intrinsically judge the worth of someone’s soul before God. No one has the authority to determine whom God loves. Every soul is valuable in His eyes.

    Having said that, we make judgements everyday, and these are not all evil or wrong. We don’t let our kids play with everyone…that’s a judgement. We don’t eat at every restraunt…that’s a judgement. There is a book in the Bible called Judges…for crying out loud. (Ok not the point, but funny none the less) My point is, there is a Biblical command to judge right and wrong, and that can be very scriptural and relevant. Every leader should make judgments daily.

    For clarification sake, we must realize that there is an unrighteous judgment and a righteous one. Judging right and wrong…even if it’s in someone else’s life, doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Culture doesn’t like it, but you can’t correct what you won’t confront. Pointing out sin is the first step to getting forgiven of it, whether it’s holding the mirror up and taking a hard look at yourself, or preaching from the pulpit to call a sinner to repentance. How can they give their life to Christ, if they don’t know they are a sinner? How can they know they are a sinner, unless someone points it out? (judgment)

    Jesus judged the Pharisees and called them a “brood of vipers.” I would like to see how that would go over in most churches today. Paul commanded the Corinthians church to judge themselves, so God wouldn’t have to. So the idea of no judgment under any circumstances is taking Jesus words and pressing them past the concept taught throughout all of Scripture.

    Just my thoughts.

    Carey, you do great work! Love the blog. It has helped me tremendously. Keep it up!

  51. Joshua P on May 29, 2017 at 9:32 pm

    The focus of this article was what non-Christians hate about Christians. In that sense, I agree with the article. However I disagree with the author’s use of scripture to tell Christians what they are or are not to do. The author also basically says because non-Christians hate this then Christians must not do that thing. Although I don’t disagree with the end necessarily, I certainly disagree with the reasoning.

    Most specifically the idea of judging. What is meant by judging? Is it “judging” to point out to someone that having an affair is wrong? Is that being judgemental? The author would seem to indicate that is being judgemental.

    I believe there is a tension. We see it in how Jesus dealt with the ‘woman at the well.’ He didn’t ignore her sin but he also offered grace. I think that is really the issue. Too many Christians ARE judgemental in attitude and in purpose. However, it is equally wrong to not speak truth. Someone has to understand sin in order to understand salvation. The best way I can say it is this. Truth is not truth without grace and grace is not grace without truth. The two have to be held in tension, just like Jesus did it. And truth spoken with grace is done for a person’s benefit, done with the right attitude, and done in relationship. When it’s done like that it is not judgemental, even if someone perceives it is.

    The Bible doesn’t say don’t “judge.” It actually says be careful for you will be judged with the same measure you judge others. That’s why we must keep the tension of offering truth AND grace. We all fall so far short of God’s perfection. We all need God’s grace.

    • Heidi Chick on May 30, 2017 at 4:31 pm

      Totally agree. when there is no grace with “judgement” that is when one just feels rejected as a person.
      This tends to go hand in hand with hypocrisy, we are all so imperfect but we are all still God’s children, so be careful not to tramp on each other in your efforts to “correct” another.

  52. Criag Elliott on May 29, 2017 at 9:07 pm

    I’m not a Christian. The article is spot-on from my perspective about things Christians do that non-Christians despise. Interesting that the comments above mine are nearly all supportive of being judgemental. The mirror is being held up for for a look, but it seems to me that the pro-judge people simply don’t care why they are so irksome to non-Christians, and maybe they are not interested in forming friendships with those outside their faith. To me, folks that are “IN” the circle of the religion celebrate their IN-ness, but it can only exist when those that are “OUT” are clearly identified. Could that be part of the attraction?

    • Elizabeth Wharton on May 30, 2017 at 12:39 am

      I appreciate reading your thoughts, Criag. After reading such a great blog post I get discouraged when the comment section represents Christianity so poorly. When I read the Bible, and when I see the way God meets me personally in the middle of all of my inadequacies, nothing about that makes me want to judge or ostracize people.
      I hope you come across some people in your life who love Jesus and represent him well, because a lot gets said and done in his name that breaks his heart. We’re all works in progess and the kindness of others goes a long way in making the journey smoother.

    • Mike on May 30, 2017 at 6:49 pm

      Dude, that is SUCH a good way to put it! Christians seem to celebrate their “in-ness” by wanting to label the “out-ness” in others.

      Craig, how does this strike you? It seems Christians preach Jesus to the world. What if Jesus didn’t want people to “preach” Jesus, but rather “become” him?

      For me, I just look for people around me and try to be kind. No doctrine. No signing on the dotted line. No magic prayer words. Just be a friend because we’re better together than alone.

      • Flora on June 11, 2017 at 10:19 pm

        I have to say this post was certainly inoamrotifnrmative and contains useful content for enthusiastic visitors. I will definitely bookmark this blog for future reference and further viewing. nice one a bunch for sharing this with us!

  53. Don A. Stowell on May 29, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    I think there has been a misunderstanding about the difference between “judging” and “condemning.” We have a right to judge by the Word of God (and that alone) and it must be done in love (Ephesians 4:15). Nowhere do we have the right to condemn. That kind of “judgment” is left to God.

  54. Ann Blough on May 29, 2017 at 6:10 pm

    I am glad that Jesus will be the final judge.

  55. Norma Sue Lott on May 29, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    I hear the “judging ” issue in different ways from “you think my grandma is going to hell, don’t judge me and who are you to judge?” The only thing I can honestly tell them is that God didn’t send any of us to judge another person’s soul . He only ask of us that we share his word. We can’t judge a person but we are required to judge a behavior according to what God has said in his word. If grandma did all she knew to do then you can honor her by doing the same thing. I have friends who aren’t Christians but they are not close friends. I have to guard the effect people have on my and how I could be pulled into giving approval of a situation because of my love for the friend. We need to be busy loving others enough to teach them and show they we love them by our deeds. Give help when needed, food when needed and find a way to show kindness so our light shines.

    • Jeffro on May 29, 2017 at 3:32 pm

      Norma Sue Lott, you are on the money. Loving someone also includes telling them when they are wrong. We cannot love someone without telling them the truth through calmly talking to them or asking them to stugy with you.

  56. Dis Guy on May 29, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    I understand your agenda to “stamp out” judgemental attitudes, however your statement “you can’t judge and love at the same time” is theologically inaccurate. God Himself is love, yet the Word is clear that He will judge the quick and the dead. This is the exact misapplication of the Word that is leading so many astray. It is our job to love, yes, and to use the Word to lead the lost to the Lord, it is not our job to de-fanfmg the Gospel because it makes us and others uncomfortable.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on May 29, 2017 at 2:12 pm

      Sure. But you’re not God, and neither am I. Our job isn’t to judge.

      • Jeffro on May 29, 2017 at 3:38 pm

        Yes, but it is our job to spread the Word to everyone. We are given a bad wrap because we don’t JUDGE. The world says we judge but we really are telling the world that God has already judged them by His Word. We only repeat what the Word says.

        • Mike on May 30, 2017 at 7:54 pm

          Jeffro, how is saying “God judges the world” good news?

          Maybe this is part of the issue Christianity has. Do we know what the Gospel of Jesus is?

          • Buck on June 12, 2017 at 6:55 pm

            These pieces really set a standard in the inturdsy.



          • Susan on June 13, 2017 at 8:05 am

            A new standard in the industry, indeed. And they make merchandise out of you. Come one, come all, let us create life change in our communities. This advertisement (oops, I mean public service announcement) brought to you by the Christian Industrial Complex. Color me shocked! The Church has become the religious version of Amway and Jesus the Judgmental braids a whip to drive the money changers out of the temple.



          • kelli blaser on February 5, 2018 at 2:51 pm

            Mike, The answer … it’s good news that God judges the world because now you know that God judges you were as before you didn’t and there for you had no choice to follow HIm and learn what he wants from you so that you can be forgiven and renewed and brought into His family and live eternally after this life is done. Because this life will be done in the not too distant future for each one of us. You can not receive the good news until you know the bad news. The bad news is God had judged you and found you wanting. You don’t measure up. The good news? He has made a way for you to measure up. But you must believe it and receive it. It’s that simple and that complex.



          • kelli blaser on February 5, 2018 at 2:59 pm

            Mike if you find it distasteful and reject what The Lord says you are only doing what your father the devil wants you to do and what Jesus says many will do. Just because you don’t like what He says doesn’t make it less true. He is the last Word not you. Your rejecting it is you judging yourself unworthy of Him and making your own bed which one day you will lie in like it or not. It’s your choice. He gives you that. But He does love you and He does want you to choose Life. And that Life is in Christ.



  57. Elizabeth Wharton on May 29, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    Yes! “People can smell it a mile away if you see them as a project, not a person.” This is so true. I see this in the context of discipling one another in the church family, as well. No matter who we are in relationship with, the moment we take on the role of trying to fix them we walk away from the ability to love them well.

    • Kat on April 24, 2018 at 7:32 pm

      You have made good points. I appreciate that. But you have missed one very important thing. An awful lot of non believing people these days are very familiar with the teachings of the Bible. Many atheists have read the Bible cover to cover. Many used to be devout Christians. They know the scriptures. The scriptures say that they will burn in hell fir the crime of nonbelief. As long as Christians believe that kind of horror then you haven’t hit a chance with them. A true friend does not believe that I am going to burn for my non belief. And that I deserve to, to boot!! The Bible is so full of the ‘us vs them’ belief that you simply can’t get away from it. Nonbelievers are not stupid. They know Christians are cherry picking what they want to believe and teach. Nonbelievers don’t expect Christians to be perfect. But we expect you to be honest. And you guys never are. Therein lies your biggest failure.

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