Bad Apple Christians

I don’t usually get too preachy on my blog…although preaching is in my genes, it’s definitely not my gift. However, today, I have a single thought to share.

If you are going to be a Christian, be a good one.

Be the best, in fact, because if you are not, you cost the rest of us deep grief. You (We) are an ambassador of Christ, like it or not, especially if you (we) wear the title of Christian openly. Bringing disgrace to the family name is not something I want to be guilty of, although at times I have. Know that those around you (us) are watching you (us), some openly, some with quick glances and some with only short glimpses into your (my) character. But they are watching and noticing and you (we) are reflecting Christ (positively or negatively) in all that you (we) do.

For some reason, perhaps divine, I keep running into people who have been completely and thoroughly turned off to the gospel by their observations of and encounters with what I have come to call “bad apple” Christians. I think bad apple Christians do the worst kind of damage to the name of Christ and the Kingdom. In this case, one bad apple really can spoil the whole bunch.

Jesus takes a dim view of half-hearted bad apples:

I know you inside and out, and find little to my liking. You're not cold; you're not hot -- far better to be either cold or hot! You're stale. You're stagnant. You make me want to vomit." (Revelation 3:15-16; The Message)

There is no half way.


Debby said...

You are so right. I've learned over many years to filter things I do or say, whether thought out or spur of the moment, through how they look to others. Of course, this also means that to set those filters I have to spend time in the Word. If I'm not spending time in reading, studying and meditating on the Word of God, then those filters tend to slip. The more I immerse myself in Godly things the easier it is to filter! Thanks for sharing - it's good to know that I'm not the only one out there that has noticed how a "bad apple" effects those we should be trying to draw to Christ.

Jennifer Stewart said...

I agree completely with you. People who tag themselves as Christians and don't show it thru their actions do more damage to Christianity than people who aren't Christians at all. I used to have a friend who called herself a Christian but exhibited completely unChristian behavior every weekend. I'm not being judgemental. ANYONE would say her actions were nonChristian. I used to ask her to please not even tell people she was a Christian. By Monday morning she was regretful and asking forgiveness, but it was EVERY Monday morning. I said, "just don't tell anyone you're a Christian until you can be one on Friday thru Sunday as well."

BeckyD said...

Unfortunatly I have met my fair share of the bad apples. Those bad apples are the reason I no longer attend church.

btw, I am considering Chicago. LOL

TracieClaiborne said...

Great post! I think too many people call themselves a Christian without trying to be "Christ-like". I certainly fail God constantly, mostly in my attitude. I pray about it constantly and it's the number one thing I work on with myself. But I think that those who know me, know that I love Jesus and he gives me great joy and peace that can't be found anywhere else. I guess we all fall short of God's glory daily, huh? It's just by the grace of God that he forgives us.