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Are Christians held to a higher standard by non-Christians?


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  #1  
May 15th, 2007, 10:40 AM
bright future's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I keep reading that Christians are hypocrites. I keep reading that because Christians do things that their religion calls "sin" that they are no better than the rest of the world so their religion must be senseless. I read that Christian marriages are falling apart at the same rate as the rest of the world and it seems to come from a place of condemnation as a means to say "your faith is stupid becuase it hasn't helped your marriage".

Does society hold Christians to some higher standard because of what people know or think the Christian religion teaches? Do people expect more of Christians than they do of people from other religions?
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  #2  
May 15th, 2007, 11:50 AM
chloe82
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YES!

I find I hear that a lot in discussions (I am a Christian btw)....it's annoying because the Christian faith doesn't claim that it's followers are going to be any less apt to screw up in life than people who aren't Christians. Christianity isn't supposed to be about living sinless lives (because it is completely impossible), it's actually kind of about the opposite...it's about acknowledging that ALL fall short, ALL sin, and Christians are simply those who have chosen to believe that Jesus Christ died for our sins, to allow us all complete forgiveness. It's a matter of faith and acceptance of grace.

In short, it bugs me. Yes, Christians should TRY to live lives that follow God's laws and are a reflection of Christ's life, but the whole concept of being a Christian is saying, "I will try, but I can't do it on my own and that's why I need and love Jesus." Because He is that gateway between perfection and helpless imperfection.
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  #3  
May 15th, 2007, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
YES!

I find I hear that a lot in discussions (I am a Christian btw)....it's annoying because the Christian faith doesn't claim that it's followers are going to be any less apt to screw up in life than people who aren't Christians. Christianity isn't supposed to be about living sinless lives (because it is completely impossible), it's actually kind of about the opposite...it's about acknowledging that ALL fall short, ALL sin, and Christians are simply those who have chosen to believe that Jesus Christ died for our sins, to allow us all complete forgiveness. It's a matter of faith and acceptance of grace.

In short, it bugs me. Yes, Christians should TRY to live lives that follow God's laws and are a reflection of Christ's life, but the whole concept of being a Christian is saying, "I will try, but I can't do it on my own and that's why I need and love Jesus." Because He is that gateway between perfection and helpless imperfection.[/b]

Yes! Its called persecution!!!!
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  #4  
May 15th, 2007, 12:01 PM
~*Dina*~'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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As a Christian, this drives me crazy! I'm only a sinner "saved by grace" I'm not perfect. It's so frustrating when someone know's your a christian and see's a mistake you make and really throws it back in your face. I dont think I'm better than anyone else, just because I'm christian, I'm human. I do try to live my life the way the bible tells me to, but I do fall short some days. No one is perfect, not one.
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  #5  
May 15th, 2007, 12:16 PM
dinamommy's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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DINA!!! Tsk tsk! You said you were going to stay away from the religious debates, girl! Hahahah!
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  #6  
May 15th, 2007, 01:14 PM
~*Dina*~'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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DINA!!! Tsk tsk! You said you were going to stay away from the religious debates, girl! Hahahah![/b]
OH my word girl you scarred me... You caught me!! I came out of lurkdom for one post
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  #7  
May 15th, 2007, 01:31 PM
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Instead of trying to emulate fellow Christians, I strive to emulate Christ. It's important that we be a good testimony to others, but it's also important that others not lose sight of what Christ-like means. Of course we all fall short and it's natural to hold someone to a higher standard. There has to be a balance.

It's a double-edged sword; you're a wacko if you live by the Word and a hypocrite if you don't.
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  #8  
May 15th, 2007, 02:07 PM
oicyur's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Well, there's a line. People aren't perfect of any religion, but when you preach something you should practice what you preach. People mess up, but if you're preaching perfection you should at least be striving for it. People aren't perfect but I hate that excuse for someone doing something wrong. You can throw that excuse into anything that you've done that you think is wrong to cover your butt. Not saying that everyone does that, but it seems to make people feel better about screwing up so it's used a lot.

Anyways, that's my take. Practice what you preach.


ETA: When observing someone and you know what their religion teaches and they don't do it, it sheds a poor light on their religion and you lose respect. But on the contrary, if you observe someone and you know what their religion teaches and they DO do it, it's much more respectable of both the person and the religion. It'd be wonderful if everyone had the mindset that a person doesn't represent their religion necessarily, but it'd be even more wonderful if people DID represent their religion and practiced what they preached. Christians have high standards and should live up to them, otherwise who are you prompting to come unto Christ by not setting a good exaple of what Christianity teaches in the first place?
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  #9  
May 15th, 2007, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Well, there's a line. People aren't perfect of any religion, but when you preach something you should practice what you preach. People mess up, but if you're preaching perfection you should at least be striving for it. People aren't perfect but I hate that excuse for someone doing something wrong. You can throw that excuse into anything that you've done that you think is wrong to cover your butt. Not saying that everyone does that, but it seems to make people feel better about screwing up so it's used a lot.

Anyways, that's my take. Practice what you preach.


ETA: When observing someone and you know what their religion teaches and they don't do it, it sheds a poor light on their religion and you lose respect. But on the contrary, if you observe someone and you know what their religion teaches and they DO do it, it's much more respectable of both the person and the religion. It'd be wonderful if everyone had the mindset that a person doesn't represent their religion necessarily, but it'd be even more wonderful if people DID represent their religion and practiced what they preached. Christians have high standards and should live up to them, otherwise who are you prompting to come unto Christ by not setting a good exaple of what Christianity teaches in the first place?[/b]

GREAT POST! Ditto!
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  #10  
May 15th, 2007, 02:53 PM
~*Dina*~'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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It's a double-edged sword; you're a wacko if you live by the Word and a hypocrite if you don't.[/b]

Exactly! Being a Christian is hard, but I would NOT live any other way.
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  #11  
May 15th, 2007, 03:08 PM
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I've been thinking of how to reply to Betsy's post... and I DEFINITELY do not want this to turn into a doctrinal discussion of LDS vs. whatever... but it is interesting that LuvEmm agrees exactly.

While I do agree for the most part with what Betsy wrote, I guess there are two issues that come up for me... the first is the issue of striving to live up to perfection, and the second is the difference between Christians holding themselves to a higher standard vs. society at large holding them to that same standard.

As far as striving to life up to Jesus' example of perfection, that does seem to be a distinct difference between the LDS faith and my... I'll call it generic protestantism. I'm from the "once saved always saved" camp, so I don't believe I have to work for my salvation. I also believe that it is not me who has to live up to that perfection but Christ IN me who does it. So am I off the hook? Absolutely not. I still have to allow the Holy Spirit access to all of me, my goals, ambitions, dreams, hopes, failures, shortcomings, fears etc. to allow him to do His will with me. I am just the clay... God is the potter. At the same time, because I am a fallen human I can't possibly live up to God's perfection and there really isn't any point in trying in my own strength... it won't happen no matter how hard I try. And even if I do find success in certain areas and/or happen to do things that are giving, charitable, helpful, loving, patient or whatever, there will always be areas where I am not Godly. I'd say there have to be far more things on my sin list than on my redemptive list. To say that I am a "good" Christian would be losing sight of all my shortcomings... and I firmly believe that if anybody believes they are without shortcomings, they need to look at themselves. They should really remove the log from their own eye to see fit to remove the speck from their brother's...

That kind of leads me to the next point... whether we consider it holding ourselves to a higher standard, or just knowing the HS dwelling within us has the potential to move in God's perfect wisdom and, thus, holding Him to a higher standard, neither of those is the world holding us to a higher standard. Should we (all Christians) "be held" to a higher standard by those who don't give a hoot about God's law anyway?

I find it ironic that people don't seem to think any less of Jews who aren't kocher, or Catholics who only attend church on Christmas and Easter. At the same time, society at large seems to be able to bash Christians because they are as imperfect as everyone else - that just doesn't make any sense to me... to me the answer is simple: we are no different than everyone else. Even as I type that I hear all the scriptures of Romans running through my head... put off the old self and its sinful desires... the sin nature crucified through baptism... I know all these things, but they don't change the fact that we all have a sin nature, just like unbelievers... it is God who gives us our measure of faith, so why question the measure of faith he has given someone to believe, walk in truth and be obedient?
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  #13  
May 15th, 2007, 08:33 PM
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From one atheist's perspective on Christians:

I don't care if you live up to the principals of your religion. I don't care if Muslims live by the Koran or if Jewish people live by the Torah. I don't care if ancient Romans lived by the... whatever their god system was called.

I only care if you are a nice person and not hurting others.
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  #14  
May 16th, 2007, 08:47 AM
bright future's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I only care if you are a nice person and not hurting others.[/b]
If I were to hurt someone would you call me a hypocrite because I'm a Christian? I've hurt people... I've hurt my husband; I've hurt a friend. I'm sure there are other people at some point in my life whom I've hurt. I couldn't possibly say I've never hurt anyone and I also couldn't possibly say I've always been nice to everyone. Does that make me another example of a hypocritical Christian?
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  #15  
May 16th, 2007, 03:56 PM
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Personally I don't hold christians to any higher of a standard than I do people of other religions. Everyone makes mistakes and does things that they shouldn't. For me it's not about whether a person goes to church every sunday or observes dietary laws, but the way they use thier religion when interacting with people. I dont feel the majority of christians are hypocritical. However, I do think that SOME christians believe that their faith makes them better than others. They use their religion as a platform to judge and spread intolerance and hate. That is where I have a problem. I also believe that's what people are saying when they call a person a religious hypocrite.
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  #16  
May 16th, 2007, 06:30 PM
irishxrose
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Personally I don't hold christians to any higher of a standard than I do people of other religions. Everyone makes mistakes and does things that they shouldn't. For me it's not about whether a person goes to church every sunday or observes dietary laws, but the way they use thier religion when interacting with people. I dont feel the majority of christians are hypocritical. However, I do think that SOME christians believe that their faith makes them better than others. They use their religion as a platform to judge and spread intolerance and hate. That is where I have a problem. I also believe that's what people are saying when they call a person a religious hypocrite.[/b]
You said it much better than I could!
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  #17  
May 17th, 2007, 05:14 AM
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Quote:
I keep reading that Christians are hypocrites. I keep reading that because Christians do things that their religion calls "sin" that they are no better than the rest of the world so their religion must be senseless. I read that Christian marriages are falling apart at the same rate as the rest of the world and it seems to come from a place of condemnation as a means to say "your faith is stupid becuase it hasn't helped your marriage".[/b]
I think when asking those questions, you should think to yourself - what religion has persecuted the most people? What religion has told people that their lifestyle is wrong (if they're gay), their lifestyle is wrong (if they divorce), and frequently talk about the word of God openly? What other religion goes door-to-door or sends missionaries to other countries to convert people? I don't want to say "and uses scare tactics", but I just watched "Jesus Camp" and woooow...8 year olds should not be rallying for abortion bans. Anyway.

I'm NOT saying that Christianity is bad, or that Christians are bad. I used to be a Christian, and the majority of people I knew were nice. I in fact don't think I ever met a fundamentalist, and if I did, they haven't tried to convert me.

I'm saying, that you know as well as I do that there're fundamentalist Christians out there that put a bad taste in your mouth. There are people of ANY faith that can put a bad taste in your mouth. I've talked to Buddhists who just talk the talk but don't bother to walk the walk. Same with Jewish people and Muslims. However, there's a disproportionate amount of Christians (like, 75% of America), so if you have lots of outspoken people...

I can see how people would have animosity towards ANY religion if they heard someone say that their gay brother was going to hell; or listened to someone preach about how you shouldn't lie and then turned around and lied. Whoever said practice what you preach is right on target.

Are Christians held to a higher standard? No, I don't think so. Judged? Probably. I don't think it's right but I can see where people come from with it.
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  #18  
May 17th, 2007, 06:53 AM
mommyKathyX3
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I am apalled at the way some Christians act. And I'm a Christian. Seems like most I know are one of two types, either the "judgmental super conservative is shocked if I have a beer or watch a movie that is over PG" type or is a huge hypocrite and goes out doing things blatently wrong, but acts all "holyier than thou" on Sundays. It agrivates me to no end. As Christians we are forgiven not perfect, but that doesnt give us a free pass to do whatever. It just means that we should strive for the right thing. I think Christians SHOULD be held to a higher standard. Doesnt mean we have the right to condem. We can know what is right and wrong, but if you arent living by Gods law should we expect them to follow Gods law? Of course not. I feel that way about any of the religions, and thier "rules". One of my biggest peeves is "sunday christians"
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  #19  
May 17th, 2007, 09:15 AM
bright future's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I am apalled at the way some Christians act. And I'm a Christian. (...) I think Christians SHOULD be held to a higher standard.[/b]
I agree with you, but I think we should hold ourselves to a higher standard. I don't think it's our place to hold anyone else to any standard - Christian or non. I also don't think we should be held to a higher standard by non-Christians than anyone else is. At the same time, if we say we hold ourselves to a higher standard we risk being considered "thinking ourselves better than others" or judgmental. It's no-win.

I think part of the problem, especially in North America, is that many people consider themselves to be Christian yet aren't. Perhaps they were raised in a Christian home; that still doesn't make them Christian. Perhaps Christianity's "traditions" were passed through their family from generation to generation without ever really being believed or lived and so we end up with generations of North Americans considering themselves to be Christians but not actually really believing for themselves or having a personal relationship with Jesus. That leads us to many people who aren't spirit-filled Christians trying to do whatever they can to "be good Christians" without having all the information, so to speak.

There are many self-professed Christians out there who do some terrible things in the name of Christianity... I think this is a separate issue. I would boldly say that every single one of these people has lost sight of Jesus' teachings as a whole and have stopped to focus on one small thing while ignoring the greatest commandments: love the lord your god... and love your neighbour as yourself. In essence, I would say these people need more study and prayer... they are misguided despite having intentions of doing what Jesus wanted; they are absolutely in the wrong. You can't say abortion is wrong because it's murder and then go ahead and kill people. You can't be loving someone if you're condemning them for their sexual practices. You can't say killing people is a tragedy and then fight back with war. Jesus was the biggest peace-maker ever... he would be appauled by some of the things "Christians" have done.

Quick Edit: I am a fundamentalist Christian... so for any of you who have never met one, you have now
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  #20  
May 17th, 2007, 01:21 PM
glasscandie's Avatar What I make is what I am
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lol Hooray! I know a fundamentalist!

OK, is fundamentalist and evangelical the same thing?
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