I don’t know how many times I’ve had someone tell me they aren’t interested in Jesus because of how hypocritical they see the Church. This comes in many forms: televangelists, “Christian” politicians, the church they grew up in, the pastor they grew up with, their Christian parents, the Church throughout history, and the list goes on and on.
I enjoy telling people who are anti-religion that they have a lot in common with Jesus, especially those who also have a desire to care for the poor. Just a few of the many fun words Jesus had for the religious people of his day:
You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:
“ ‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain;
their teachings are but rules taught by men.’” -Matthew 15:7-9
And of course there are many more, Matthew 23 potentially taking the cake as Jesus rattles off these harpoons to the religious leaders, calling them “a son of hell (v.15)”, “blind guides (v.16)”, “blind fools (v.17)”, “blind men (19)”, saying that while they clean the outside of their cup, “inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence (v.25)”, calling them “whitewashed tombs (v.27)”, and then the big finish, “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? (v.33)”
My point is simple: People should not look to religious people/leaders for their example of Christianity, they should look to Jesus.
(A side note: I think a lot of people use this as an excuse to not have to deal with Jesus)
Let Jesus tell you who Jesus is. It’s only fair. Curious? Read his biography, the book of John.
Religion stinks. A relationship with Jesus doesn’t.
A cool spoken word poetry video that hits on this very topic:
I preached on this topic on Sunday 1/8 as we begin a sermon series in a Galatians, a book that deals with this very thing: