A common objection towards Christianity is that we’re hypocrites, immoral people who don’t follow God’s commands and shove our religion down the throat of the masses.
All I can say is, Amen. That’s exactly what I would expect. Why? Because the Bible teaches a certain anthropology and our behavior confirms this anthropology.
A popular secular anthropology is that human nature is basically good, that everyone tells a white lie, maybe they cheat on their taxes, they cuss at people in traffic but they aren’t serial killers. We aren’t all so bad.
While I understand the reasoning, this anthropology only makes sense if we presuppose a system of morality. What system of morality are we using when we say people are basically good? It seems we are using a comparative morality. Imagine it as a 1-10 scale. 1 is good, 10 is bad. In the 1 category we have Jesus, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. In 10 we have Hitler, Stalin, Serial Killers, etc. Most of us are between the 2-5, so we are okay. Once you get into 6+, that’s when you’re probably serving prison time.
When we compare ourselves to others, we inevitably make excuses for our own behavior over someone else’s. So our comparison is like trying to look at yourself after taking a shower, cloudy and not accurate.
If we are to compare ourselves to someone who had no sin, we realize just how bad we are.
Pointing out that Christians do bad things is not an argument against Christianity, it is an affirmation of Christianity.
Because all that claim points out is that the biblical anthropology, that all men are sinners who fall short of God’s standard (Romans 3:23) is true. So when a Christian fails to love his neighbor, that is to be expected, though not encouraged.
Jesus tells us that we have to perfect, like the Father is. (Matthew 5:48) That is terrifying. Because we are not anywhere near the perfection of the Father. The Apostle Paul comforts us, by telling us this precious truth.
“The Messiah did not know sin, but God made him to be sin on our behalf, so that in him we might embody God’s faithfulness to the covenant”
(2 Corinthians 5:21 , Kingdom New Testament, N.T. Wright’s Translation)
Because of Jesus, I can be perfect like he said I had to be in Matthew 5. Some take this to mean that we can achieve perfection, I think that is nonsense. What it is instead is Jesus took our place on the cross, effectively taking our place in judgement. So when God judges us, he could rightly condemn us for all sins, what Jonathan Edwards called Cosmic Treason. Even secular nations know, the penalty for treason is death.
But praise God, because the verdict from the heavenly judge will be “Not Guilty” because Jesus has imputed his righteousness to us. So, yes, we christians are immoral, but our savior isn’t. You weren’t called to follow our example but his. This doesn’t mean we are fine with our sinful behavior, the Apostle Paul tells us that we should not sin just because grace abounds. (Romans 6:1)
This is a heart disposition, because any sin counter of just how much sin is too much is arbitrary.
So to the accuser, who says “Christians are immoral”, I ask, what’s your point?