A few days ago I passed a church near my house. Outside, on the church’s lawn, there is a banner that reads: “No Perfect People Allowed.” The ‘P’ in Perfect spelled backwards. I smiled at this, as it resonated a great and inherent truth. And I greatly appreciated the perceptive and shrewd theology behind it. I don’t know this church’s denomination nor doctrine, I didn’t look. But it hardly matters because both are irrelevant. Instead, what does matter is that the banner made me recognize the value in understanding one of the greatest principles of Christianity. Whoever created that slogan has abundantly grasped and fathomed a meaningful understanding of that principle. What’s more, that person is aware of how, over time, the images connected with Christianity have been comprised, tainted, and construed.
There is a long-standing label (and with just reasoning) that Christians think they are somehow, “Perfect People.” Similarly, those so-called, stuck-up "Perfect" persons, tend to think anyone not a Christian is a hell-bent heathen. Unfortunately, this attitude indeed, has
been ignorantly practiced and lived out by far too many self-proclaimed Christians, who have facilitated in this stereotype becoming the terrible misrepresentation of Christ, as opposed to the exaggerated actions of a pompous select few. And quite frankly its sickening, and needs to be addressed.
Among many “religious” circles there seems to have always exist a mentality of “I’m right, you’re wrong,” or “My beliefs are right, and yours aren’t.” Well truth be told, that’s all wrong. Every bit of it. Sadly, it’s still too often the case and in addition to that fallacy, generations of new believers continue to be cultivated and brought up with a sense of holy entitlement—that somehow they are better than everyone, when in reality, they’re no better (if not worse) than anyone.
There’s an extremely negative view of Christianity because of the often inevitable condescending conversations to ensue when someone who doesn’t believe in Christ is addressed about their beliefs. “I’m better than you and if you don’t convert right now, you’re going to hell!” —Yet we have the audacity to even wonder why this animosity and resent towards Christians exists! It's pitiful that that sort of behavior has been condoned and widely accepted as truth. I can only speak for myself and those I’ve personally held conversations with, but if someone told me I’m a terrible person, it’s hard to believe I’d be very interested in anything else they have to say after that. I'd be a little disenchanted with the idea. In fact, I wouldn't listen at all. Seems obvious doesn’t it? And where does someone, anyone, get off making a claim/judgment like that? Nevertheless, so many Christians become enamored by this farce, adopting this false doctrine to the point of believing that “being saved”, means “being perfect.” News flash: It’s time to smell rotting corpse of that sentiment. No where in the Bible has is ever said such a thing, rather the Bible explicitly denounces those acts.
Let's try this on for size: “Hi, I’m a Christian, and I’m
a terrible person.” Now that’s
the type of straightforward introduction we really need to say and hear and live out through grace. Jesus wasn’t proud. Jesus was humble. Being a Christian does not make us lord of others, it means we have humbled and submitted ourselves to Christ and recognized that he is our Father. It means that because we've experienced a rebirth of our lives that's so amazing, we can't help want to share it with others, so they too can partake in our jubilation.
Christians are not better than anyone, we are terrible people too, spared only by the grace of God. Who in their own self-righteousness is worthy to judge others? No one. As the the well-known verse goes "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone." It's so pinnacle and yet so overlooked.
There are no perfect people. The sooner that’s realized, even by something as simple as seeing it hung from a banner on a church lawn, the sooner we will realize as Christians, what kind of people we are, and what kind of people we should aspire to be.
The kind of people we are, is sinners. We are all sinners. But you know what else? We’re saved too—washed clean by the blood of Jesus dying on the cross. So if you really dig deep, a clergyman and a serial rapist are both standing on the same ground. They’re both sinners, they’ve both been forgiven by Jesus, and they’re both loved by him, too. And so am I, and so are you, and so is every other imperfect
person on this earth.
As for the kind of people we should be, we should be men and women of God. The serial rapist is clearly not following what God desires, but too often, neither is the clergyman. Sometimes they're the same person. Get this though: in spite of those faults (and this is the great thing about God) He never gives up on us, never lets us out of his sight, never stops loving us, He knows that we can change and live a life that honors Him. As long as we continue to pursue Him, though we’ll falter and screw up daily, no matter how many times we do, we’ll still be following what He wants and desires from us in order to be his disciples. We'll still be living in grace. What it means to be a Christian is to always maintain our focus on Christ, trusting Him to guide our life, and filling us with His Spirit. It is not our duty to ‘convert,’ it is our duty to love
. It is not our duty to pass judgment, it is our duty to show compassion
to those around us so that they may feel God’s presence by the infinite impact He has had on our lives. He, and He alone is the only one who can change someone’s heart. Let Him handle the hard stuff, after all, He’s God. I’m sure he can handle it.
Love, compassion, forgiveness, repentance, rinse and repeat. Leave the judgment and the perfection up to God.