1/15/16 Chang 19
Most people who criticize Christians as hypocrites have one specific standard in mind. Jesus! We fail to live up to his standard of perfection, set both by his teachings and his life. Maybe they don't realize that we don't come to Jesus because we are already saved from sin, we come because we are sinful and need the Savior! If we compare other religions with their human founders, or even with their gods, we don't see the same hypocrisy in their followers, because they don't have the same standard of perfection that Christians have.
But what about people with no knowledge of Jesus? Do they see Christians as hypocrites? If so, what is their standard of comparison? Yesterday we talked with Chang, a physics major from China who grew up in an atheistic household and has had very little exposure to Christianity or any other religions. He had 45 minutes before his next class, and he welcomed an explanation of basic Christianity. I began with "In the beginning, God created…" and explained the biblical narrative of our creation, our fall, and our redemption and restoration in Jesus. Chang had one question when I finished. "Why should I worry about heaven when I can just focus on being a good person here on earth?" Though he hadn't thought much at all about religion, he already sounded like hardened atheists who say they can be "good without God". But why does he want to be good in the first place? If Jesus isn't his standard for goodness, what is? Paul wrote of this in Romans 2:15 - "They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them." Whether we believe in God or not, we all have the same basic general standard - our God-given conscience – too often we do the bad we know we ought not do and we don’t do the good we know we ought to do, and yes, we are all hypocrites and we all need the Savior.