This is the second blog on examples of why non Christians have little interest in investigating Christianity.
These days we constantly read about Christians filing lawsuits against other Christians. Liberal and conservative wings of a denomination file lawsuits over church property. Christians sue each other over alleged slander. Faculty and former faculty of a Christian university file lawsuits against the university management.
Why are Christians taking their disputes to secular courts for resolution? It is very plain the Bible forbids such actions. In 1 Corinthians 6:1-8 Paul uses strong language in taking the Corinthians for task for bringing their differences to secular courts. Paul’s argument is that in the afterlife Christians will judge the world and angels. This life is to be a preparation for the next. So how can we prepare to judge the world and angels unless we start practicing here on earth? Paul wonders why we are not able to find individuals in the church who are qualified to judge such matters.
Instead of learning how to resolve our own problems, we take our disputes to the secular courts because our sinful self wants its own way, our sinful self wants a bit more wealth, or our sinful self wants its bruised ego healed. It is obvious we are more concerned about our ego or material possessions than about living the new life God has planned for us. The result is that we ignore what God says. If we ignore what God says, how can we claim to be Christians?
Jesus tells us in Matthew 18:15-17 how we are to handle disputes with fellow Christians. If a Christian brother sins against us, we are to first discuss that problem with our brother. If the brother will not listen, we are to take one or two other Christians with us to convince our brother of his error. If the brother still will not listen, we are to bring the issue to the attention of the church. If the brother will not listen to the entire church, then we are to treat him as an outcast.
This is a good system because it requires that we ensure we have a legitimate complaint because we must convince other Christians of the validity of our position before we publicly confront a fellow Christian with whom we have a dispute.
Imagine if Christians never took each other to court to resolve their differences but resolved the problems they faced within the Christian community. Imagine the inquisitiveness of the world when they saw that Christians would rather be wronged (suffer financially, suffer the loss of a right) rather than take a fellow Christian to court (Matthew 5:40 and I Corinthians 6:7).
Jesus tells us Christians are the light of the world and we are to so live our lives so others “may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven”. (Matthew 5:16) Are lawsuits between Christians an example of the good works Jesus was talking about? They are not but instead, as Paul tells us, they are a signal of defeat for Christianity (1 Corinthians 6:6).
Part of the reason Christians file lawsuits against other Christians is because they see Christianity just as a belief system. All they need to do is to believe in Jesus and his death for their sins and they will be saved. Implementing Jesus’ teachings is not important. They do not see Christianity as a new life we must live, as the necessary renovation of our sinful soul. If we want Christianity to have an impact on this world, that must change.
In the next blog, we will examine the reputation Christians have of being very judgmental.