Why are so many people who self-identify as Christians so different than the person of Jesus Christ?
I’m not talking about a failure to live up to his high standard of morality- which includes both inner attitudes as well as outer actions. We all fail here, and he has made provision for this on the cross.
I’m talking about the great disconnect, the total lack of resemblance between so many Christians (which once meant “Christ-like ones”) and Jesus. I’m referring to the puzzling situation we find ourselves in, in which this gap has become normalized, expected and mostly unquestioned.
The simple answer to this question is that so many who carry the name Christian are not actually following Jesus. They don’t intend to use him as an example, they don’t try to represent him in their daily lives, they don’t consider his teaching in their decision making, they don’t allow his voice to challenge and shape their values.
The fallout from this tragedy is far-reaching with both global and eternal implications: Some never come to faith, some walk away from the faith, some pretend they don’t have faith, the name of Jesus Christ is slandered and the power of his teaching is discredited.
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