Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Bad Christians

News Flash: Christians are bad people. I know that the common perception by people who are not Christian is that Christians fancy themselves to be good people - better, in fact, than everyone else. There are some people who are Christian who claim to be sin-free:

When I was studying physics at UNC Charlotte, I would frequently see evangelists come on campus and gather small crowds in corners of the campus "square". Frankly, most were kooks and didn't present a true gospel. A few were okay. I came up on one of the kooks one morning who was preaching against sin. One vocal atheist challenged him.

"Can you say that you don't sin?"

The kook replied, "I haven't sinned yet today."

The fact is, we live in a fallen world, and no matter how hard we try, we can't escape sin. The difference between Christians and everyone else is that true Christians admit it and want to do better.

With this in mind, there are three items in the news that bear analysis.

First, a teacher at a Christian school has been arrested for molesting some of his students. I don't know if the teacher is a Christian. According to the article, he's been well liked in the school and those who know him are disappointed with what he did. The fact is, this came to light because he confessed - not because he was found out or a student he molested turned him in.

Second, Merrill Keiser Jr., a Democrat, is running for the US Senate in Ohio. This is not so remarkable in itself. What is remarkable are his beliefs. For the most part his political views follow the more conservative Republican platform. However, he departs even from this in that he believes homosexuality should be a capitol crime punishable by death. His reason is that we need to return to a more Biblical government. What's wrong with this is that the legal killing of homosexuals in the Bible is part of the old Jewish Law and has no place in a society the Christian roots of which recognizes grace as the operative factor in obedience to God and for which justice is now more commensurate with natural law. The fact that he hasn't taken the time to change his affilliation to more closely match his views and doesn't recognize the need for the political viability of the stated position of an electable representative is an indicator that he will not be an effective legislator. Among thoughtful Christians he would be understood to be somewhat legalistic. With ministries like Exodus International, advocating the death penalty for homosexuals places him solidly within the "kook" category.

Third, Mute Math is a band that sings songs with Christian lyrics, sings for Churches and at Christian events with other bands known as Christian bands, is made up of members who are Christian and has a strong base of Christian fans. However, they don't want to be known as a Christian band. Their reason is that bands known as "Christian" bands are expected to minister and present a context of Christian messages along with their music. This band doesn't want the hassle of ministry. It's like a couple living together without being married. They want the benefits without the commitment. Mute MAth is so committed to not being committed that they are suing their record label, Warner Music Groupā€˜s Christian outlet Word Records, for billing them as "Christian". The band appears to have an identity crisis of sorts. If they want to play Christian music, they should expect to be required to minister in the name of Christ. Otherwise, the Christian message in their lyrics is in vain and they will misrepresent Christ to people in general.

Music is a tool. It communicates a message through words and emotional energy in a programmatic context. Context is everything. A band that wants to escape the context of a Christian program while using Christian thematic elements in their music will profane the Christian message. A Christian context can bring a "secular" message into subjection before Christ, but it doesn't work the other way round.

Yes, Christians are fallible. Visit any church for any reasonable length of time and you will find out how awful Christians can be sometimes. Who would want to hang out with all these imperfect people all the time? What should be clear to those who would give Christians a fair hearing is that Christians are not Christians for the sake of being Christians. No. Christians are Christians because Christ is real... and He forgives us for being so bad.


Blogger Mark Pemberton said...

I am a sinner. I am a Christian. Can't be a Christian without being a sinner. Not that I choose to continue to sin, but our sin nature doesn't go away when we accept Christ into our hearts and become a Christian. A church is a group of sinners, sick of their sin, trying to focus on God who is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins. When He forgives, He chooses to forget.

Ok, got to go to bed.. :)

Fri Mar 24, 11:52:00 PM GMT-5  

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