Ask the Pastor
by Pastor Daniel Rudd
Have you ever met someone who claimed to be something they weren’t? Maybe they boasted about how good they were at sports. Embellished the story about the fish they caught or the character they have. What would you say about a person who says they love Jesus but they don’t live like he acts?
I remember meeting a woman who told me that she was done with going to church because her two uncles were the biggest hypocrites she ever met. Typically, we don’t do this with anything else in life; if we play sports with someone who boasts, it doesn’t make us never play sports again, or games, or fishing or anything else. So why is there such an easy trend to use that as an excuse to not go to church ever again?
I think sometimes there is an expectation on people in church that is unrealistic and sometimes I believe Christians do it to themselves. I believe there is an expectation that Christians have to put up a front that they never struggle, never suffer, and that Jesus makes our lives perfect. The reality of that belief is far from it. Yes, Jesus makes our life better but Christians are nothing more than works in progress. You see we all start off the same way living in rebellion against the God of the universe. But for the Christian we believe that God has forgiven us of our sin through Jesus Christ who died on the cross and rose again for our sins. We will still sin; I am a pastor and I will be the first to say I still sin. I still make mistakes. But Jesus forgives me when I do. We are not perfect but we are forgiven by Jesus.
Am I saying that because Jesus forgives us that we can do whatever we want? No not at all! I believe that if you have come to know Jesus as your Lord and saviour he doesn’t leave you where you were. He helps us by the Holy Spirit to change how we are living.
There is a story a pastor named David Platt tells. He said, “Imagine that the person introducing me to speak today gave an introduction and I wasn’t here. I come in five minutes late and I tell you that I got a flat tire on the highway on the way here and I pulled over and I was fixing my tire. While fixing it I stepped too far into traffic and got hit by a Mac truck. I got up, finished changing my tire, and came here to speak. You wouldn’t believe me because when people get hit by a Mac truck they look differently! You cannot have a personal encounter with the God of the universe and not look different!”
Not everyone who claims to be a Christian is actually a Christian so don’t throw away the church for a few people who don’t live like Jesus calls them to.
I am a local pastor at The Gathering House, and I was speaking with the editor about the idea of writing an “Ask the Pastor” column in Nation Valley News. I would like this to be an opportunity for anyone who is struggling with any questions to have them answered in this column. Submit questions to Pastor Daniel at firstname.lastname@example.org.