Posted by: everynation | February 25, 2007

I love Jesus, it’s Christians I can’t stand…

by Joey Bonifacio

joey1.jpgThese words reflect the sentiments of people who have heard of Jesus and His teaching but cannot reconcile why His followers behave otherwise.

I realize that much of this is due to the hypocrisy found among “church people”. But there are other reasons that may not be quite as bad as hypocrisy but is simply a matter of adjusting the way we do ministry. Here’s one thought you may want to consider:

People are looking for relationship and not religion.

Our goal should not be to convert others rather it is to establish a relationship with them in the hope that one day we can introduce them to our God. Keep in mind that people don’t like being convinced. Neither do they want to be told that what they believe in is wrong and what you’re offering is right.

The truth is without God people will always be in need, they just haven’t realized it yet. In the meantime our job is to build a relationship where people can trust us. When the time comes that the Holy Spirit draws them we will be there to usher them into the ultimate relationship they should have – with God.

We become religious when we want people to believe what we believe. When we want them to join our church. When we want them to behave the way “Christians behave”. Fact is when people enter into a relationship with God they will believe (not in what we believe) but in Him. As their relationship deepens they will begin to behave differently. Eventually their genuine hunger for God and His Kingdom will draw them to a church.

This is the way we can reach people with the truth of Jesus without being disagreeable or obnoxious.

To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. 1Corinthians 9:22

(Joey Bonifacio — aka “The Wizard of Blog” — is the senior pastor of VCF-Fort Bonifacio in Manila, Philippine and the author of Discipleship is Relationship, In Good Company, and Joey’s Prayer Site.)

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Responses

  1. Joey – very well said and a great reminder to love the lost and simple allow the Holy Spirit to love them through us

  2. i agree — i think a lot of the time, when you identify yourself as a christian, you inevitably come up against every association — good and bad — that person has with “christianity.” jesus loved people and served them regardless of what they thought of him or “religion.”

  3. Great stuff. At the Globe, Dave’s mentioned a couple times how outdated the word “Christian” has become. It’s now a label for everything from music to books to bumper stickers. Lately I’ve started using “Christ Follower” instead. It seems to capture the original meaning as defined in Antioch.

  4. The Wizard of Blog has done it again. Short, concise and the point is well delivered. I met with someone last week who has had lots of interaction with “Christians”, but still wanted to talk to me. We spoke for 5 hours and then I invited him to my house to meet my family and have lunch. He asked, “You’re not going to try to convert me, are you?”

    I started laughing and told him I only possess the power to love and wanted to be his friend. He agreed to come over. It’s obvious from that comment that he has been made to feel like a notch on someone’s belt, rather than a person before.

  5. I love Jesus too, and believe it or not, there are actually a few Christians I also like.

  6. smurrell Says:

    February 26th, 2007 at 9:11 am
    I love Jesus too, and believe it or not, there are actually a few Christians I also like.

    hi pastor steve,
    what does this mean that there are few Christian you like, why? is there any problem o loving them all or its just your being honest.


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