I just finished reading “WHEN BAD CHRISTIANS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE” by Dave Burchett. The sub-title is “Where We Have Failed Each Other and How to Reverse the Damage.
What a powerful and honest book regarding a persons Christian walk! An opening quote in the book is by Brennan Manning and it states, “The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips then walk out the door and deny Him by their lifestyles. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.” That is just leading up to the first chapter!
I have been pastoring small rural churches for about 20 years and I have been hurt more by “Christians” within the walls of the church than I have ever been hurt by unbelievers in the workplace. How painful! Dave relates how he and his family were terribly hurt by church members. How unacceptable is this? The church should be a place…. a safe place for people to come. I learned of a man today who lost his son and when told that someone would pray for him said, “Thanks, but I am not a religious person.” He went on to tell how he had worked with Christians and bent over backwards to get their work done and have never paid him for his labor on their behalf. Now, in his 70’s, he wants nothing to do with church or Christianity.
How do we reverse damage like that? Dave Burchett gives examples in each chapter of how Christians hurt one another and those that are looking at us and follows each example up with at least one method of reversing the damage that has been done.
It boils down to having Christians having their walk match their talk. We talk a good game but our steps really do not match our words. Do we follow Jesus or rules? Do we follow a set of morals or look up to those who seem to try hard to be a Christian? Do we truly believe in Grace?
Much damage is done by unexamined assumptions, words, and actions. Have you been hurt? Have you hurt others? This book is thought provoking and eye opening. I received this book from the publisher.