1) Humanity’s problem is not that we do bad things. Humanity’s problem is that we are the kind of people who are prone to do bad things. Our wrong, bad, sinful actions do not occur in isolation. They have a source. Our wrong, bad, sinful actions flow from hearts that want wrong, bad, sinful things. Our actions are not the core problem. We, ourselves, are the core problem.
2) Christian and “good person” are not synonyms. In fact, being a good person may be an obstacle to being a Christian. There are these guys in the Bible called the Pharisees. People in the church have been villifying them for decades, but they were actually very good people. They were greatly respected as men of the highest character. Jesus’ harshest words in Scripture are directed toward these good people. Christians are people who recognize their lack of goodness and continuously turn toward God, who is the only one that is truly good.
3) When Christians say that an action is a sin, we are not saying that you are worse than us. Again, we recognize that we are not good people. When we say an action is a sin, we do so because we know the consequences of sin, and they are not good. We do not want you to experience the ultimate consequences of sin. We want you to turn away from sin and turn toward God who saves us from the ultimate consequences of sin.
4)Judgmental, self-righteous people in the church annoy Christians at least as much as they annoy you.
5) Are we guilty of hypocrisy? Absolutely! We fail to live up to the standards that we proclaim are good and right. But, be honest, you are guilty of hypocrisy, too. You fail, at times, to live up to your own standards of goodness and rightness.
6) Christianity is a life-long process of learning how to live with God. It is often a painfully slow process. We will continue to sin. However, the difference between the sinning of a Christian and the sinning of a non-Christian is that Christians hate their sins and long to be rid of them. Non-Christians defend their sins and fight to keep them.
7) We believe that everyone should be a Christian. But, we know that it is neither desirable, nor even possible to force an individual to become a Christian. Behavior/morality can, and is, legislated, but legislation cannot cause a heart to love and cherish Jesus. You cannot force belief because belief happens at the heart level. So, when we share the message of Christ with you, we are not trying to cram anything down your throat or hit you over the head with anything. We are simply extending an invitation for you to join us.
8) Christians have certainly been guilty of shallowness of thought. There are plenty of mind-numbing platitudes that adorn coffee mugs , t-shirts, and car bumpers. But, there are Christians who think deeply. There are Christians who have studied evolution, philisophical thought, and whatever else you may consider to be the mark of a thinking person.
9) Christians do not believe that God exists to make our lives better. He is not a genie that fulfilles our wishes. Christians believe that God, Himself is the only true and lasting satisfaction for the human heart. We exist to enjoy Him. This is why sin is so damaging. Sin is settling for inferior enjoyment. Infinitely inferior.
10) All people are sinful at the core of their being. Sin is seeking anything other than God as the highest good. Therefore, God hates sin. God is just and must punish sin. He would be unjust not to. God also loves people. God desires to express His love to people who deserve to be punished by Him. God devised a way in which He expresses His justice and His love. He entered into this world in the person of Jesus. Jesus experienced temptation, fatigue, hunger, ridicule, betrayal, and everything else we experience… except sin. At the right time, this sinless God-man, Jesus, was found guilty in a rigged trial and condemened to death. In this, the innocent Jesus took upon Himself all of the guilt of humanity’s sin, satisfying God’s justice. Through faith in this act, Christians, though guilty, are declared innocent by God and experience His love. Being God, Jesus could not remain dead. He rose and ascended back to His rightful place. Because of His resurrection, Christians are united to His very life and have the hope of ascending with Him. This is what it means to be a Christian.