The Imperfect Christian: how that may not be an oxymoron like you think.

Alright, Christianity gets a bad rep...I mean a REALLY bad rep. In fact so many people, believers and non-believers, have misconceptions and debates about what it and what it is not, that there are books, courses, etc. dedicated strictly to Christian apologetics. Apologetics, according to Brittanica, is defined as “the intellectual defense of the truth of the Christian religion, usually considered a branch of theology.” The problem occurs that many people try to argue for Christ via emotionalism and even via Christian bullying of non-believers and neither one of these are affective OR a good look. There must be extensive research to dispel these myths and bring forth the truth otherwise we do Christ and our faith a disservice. I will say that I too have questioned my faith a time or another, particularly in college. As an intellectual, some biblical concepts and principles can be hard to accept without it being taught the right way with the right interpretation of scripture as it makes sense to MY overthinking brain. Also without the proper defense, science and other religions can freely attack what we believe and the attack be accepted as truth because we are not well versed in our defense. This blog today was inspired by a thread of mild biblical apologetics amongst acquaintances via Facebook that I would not have properly argued say maybe 2 weeks ago. I’m no scholar or theologian, but LUCKILY, my home church, The Well has been tackling this extensive topic week by week through a series titled “Hard Questions.” If you’re a deep thinker like me who wants to understand and know God and the faith for yourself, this series is a great start. I even recommend watching the old sermons to catch-up.

The questions so far being:

Week 1: Can I trust the Bible?

Week 2: If God is good and loving why do so many bad things happen?

Coming Up

3. Is Jesus and Christianity just copy cat of other religions?

4. Is Christianity the White Man’s religion?

5. How is Jesus the only way when there are are so many other sincere religions?

These questions get to the REAL and would leave the unlearned Christian’s mouth gaped open. You mean, you actually talk about these things openly in a MULTI-ethnic church with no riots? Yes. It is quite possible. My point is, these questions NEED to be addressed. If we keep avoiding hard questions we look fraudulent, naïve, cultish, etc. There must be spaces to attack these things in a effective way, so why not IN church.

One of the things discussed in my Facebook thread was: can you worship God WHILE in sin. From the scriptures I was able to pull, I would say yes, but I’d say more so struggling with sin and not in it. There’s a slight mindset difference between the stances, but let’s take a look at the scriptures first:

“Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem.” Jesus told her, “Believe me, woman, an hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know. We worship what we do know, because salvation is from the Jews. But an hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and in truth. Yes, the Father wants such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in Spirit and in truth.”

‭‭John‬ ‭4:20-24‬ ‭CSB‬‬

In David’s prayer for restoration after Bathsheeba: “The sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit. You will not despise a broken and humbled heart, God.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭51:17‬ ‭CSB‬‬

And lastly via my own experience and testimony: I am far from perfect. Society and toxic Christianity taught me to hide. Hide in my sin, and be ashamed. Put up a front. The works. This is not the gospel and it is not how God wants relationship to be. When we are struggling with sin, God wants us to run TO him for help, not away. Some change is a process and through this process he teaches us many things. So my advice is, don’t shy away from Christ while in sin. Worship him in truth and put those burdens on him. Be honest. I’ve literally had conversations with God like “hey, I like this, and I really don’t want to change right now, but I know I need to do better.” I know he listened, how? Because he kept talking BACK to me and showing me things the more I confided in him my shortcomings! I would define that state to be more so "in sin." A state where you're not fully ready to change. But the Bible also says, that "for it is God who is working in you both to will and to work according to his good purpose" (Philippians 2:13 CSB). Working is continual a process. Just because you aren't ready yet keep reaching out to at least develop relationship and He will do the work through you. He will give you the will to want to change. The more I prayed, the more I worshiped, the more I confessed wholeheartedly the closer I felt drawn to him. Since then, some of those things aren’t as fond to me or have already changed and that’s how I KNOW you can worship while imperfect. Imperfection and Christianity in fact go hand in hand.

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