I’ve been thinking a lot about this question lately. Why do we keep secrets? Why do we hide? Why do ministers fall? Why is the h word that people who don’t know Christ associate with people who do know Christ, “Hypocrite,” instead of “Honest?”
I think there are a host of reasons but there’s one that bothers me the most. My friend Reggie Joiner’s idea was actually the original spark for this. He’s some kind of super genius and runs the Orange Conference as well as an organization called Rethink.
He believes that sometimes the church just uses fun for outreach events. Once you’re in the church though, the fun is over. We’ll do crazy Vacation Bible Schools, community events and retreats, but once we’ve got you as members, the fun stops.
Now granted, your church is non-stop fun and this post is ridiculous for you. Fair enough, perhaps you go to one of those churches that constantly causes atheists to describe Christians as “hosts of the absolute best parties.” That might be happening in your zip code.
But the principle Reggie talks about is interesting and I think there’s an even more sinister version. Here it is:
Non Christians get grace. Christians get judgment.
I think far too often, if we’re gracious, we’re gracious to people who don’t believe and then judgmental to those who do.
Grace is an event that happens with salvation. But upon that moment, as you emerge new, you are expected to be new through and through.
It reminds me of the worship leader he told me he doesn’t sing the lyric “Prone to Wander” because he no longer is. He sings “Prone to Worship.” There’s this deep sense that our sinning days are over, our salvation days are here.
And that’s where lying comes in. Christians feel a need to be perfect and when they’re not, they feel the need to cover up. To hide what they’ve done or hide the fact that they’re still not the person they wanted to be by now. Pastors feel this pressure worst of all because leaders often worry that admitting any weakness calls into doubt all of their strengths.
We create shadow lives that shine on the outside, but crumble on the inside.
I don’t have an easy fix to this issue, but I will say I hope we’ll work on it.
When I became a Christian, I did not become immune to sin, I became in tune to how desperately I still needed grace.
Grace is for non Christians.
Grace is for Christians too.