Twice in the last week, I’ve come across Christians with a similar “I’m telling it like it is” attitude about sin. To their way of thinking, calling everybody out for being sinful sinners will remind them that God hates sins (but loves the sinner), will make them feel sorry, and will ultimately lead to their repentance. It sounds sort of like “an intervention” but they’re missing a key step: having a relationship. Every successful intervention involves friends and family members asking a person with substance abuse problems and addictions to consider how their actions affect everyone else.
What if every single time you walked into a Church, saw a Christian forum online, or happened to have a conversation with a Christians, they berated (admonished, chided, scolded, rebuked, reprimanded, etc. – chose your favorite synonym mentioned in the Bible) you for every sin, every little thing gone wrong in your life. You’d avoid them right? When your neighbor walks up to you and says, “You’re such a horrible person for having that sort of addiction, it’s cheating. God will punish you for that unless you repent.” When your co-worker happens to stop by and says, “You’re still giving into that temptation aren’t you? Why don’t you make it official and just divorce? God knows your spouse deserves someone better.” When you happen to get an e-mail from an old friend whose words sting worse than a thousand bees or wasps ever could – you would get tired of Christians, Christianity, and quite possibly Jesus Christ, too.
Christians – let me tell it like it is, all sins are equal. Gluttony and hatred are on the same tier as homosexuality and murder and adultery and theft and telling lies. You aren’t a better person because you’ve quit sinning, in fact, there rate of obesity in the church indicates that some sins are ongoing. You aren’t a better person for telling it like it is, because nobody in the church tells it like it is. The only thing that sets you apart is because you let Jesus pay the price for your sins, past, present, and future.
Without a relationship, everybody who is lost will look at the inconsistency of your words and actions and will go on not knowing what they are missing – or being glad to miss out. Without a relationship, an intervention is little more than a jury that decided ‘guilty’ five minutes after they met you. Without a relationship, you won’t inspire change for the better. It’s scientifically proven that children just don’t hear criticism from their parents with whom they do have a relationship (http://www.wired.com/2014/11/teen-brain-shuts-hears-moms-criticism/), it would not surprise me if the same was true of complete strangers in general when Christians “tell it like it is”.
Look, I know that by telling it like it is, you think you’re telling the truth, but where in the whole history of Christianity that emphasizes being brutally honest – how many complete strangers have responded positively to that? Billions? Millions? Thousands? Hundreds? Did you? Worse yet, Christians also do everything in the name of God’s love. Some Christians also chose derogatory and insensitive words in the name of God’s love. Some Christians hold up signs declaring how God hates evil in the name of God’s love. For some odd reason, non-Christians see it as hypocritical for loving Christians to be so hatefully judgmental (about the sin) seeing as how Christians used to be sinners, too. It’s as wrong as a fresh-water stream to also be a salt-water stream. It can’t be both.
Non-believers that grew up in my country have been steeped in Christianity their whole lives. If Christmas and Easter haven’t brought them around – what do you think “telling it like it is” will do? Odds are they know where they stand and where God stands and where you stand, they just don’t care to be made to move – they have to choose it. Its just, if I were them, I wouldn’t join a team where everybody was a champion berater. It’s annoying enough to put up with them for a life-time, but forever is asking too much of anyone.