After reading David Mobely’s post on how he became a Christian, I was struck by these three paragraphs: (emphasis mine)
I grew up in a very moral family, always trying to be a good person, and, indeed, trying to be better than most of the people around me. My parents home-schooled me, and many people home-school for religions reasons, so my circle of friends and fellow home-schoolers included many people who were at least nominally Christian. However, I grew up thinking, as many people do, that the Bible was simply a book written by men, full of a lot of errors, and that Jesus was just a good moral teacher like many other religious leaders. Perhaps he was a good example, too, but certainly he wasn’t God.
Now, one might think that it would have some impact on me spending a lot of time around Christians — the other home-school students I knew. But for many years, it didn’t. I thought they mostly were a bunch of hypocrites – I knew Christianity had something to do with living a moral life, and I thought I was more moral than most of the “Christians” I was spending time with. And perhaps I was — some of them didn’t seem particularly moral. So I really had no interest at all in Christianity. I figured that the Bible was false, so I had no need to study it, and even if it were true, I was already living a better life than the Christians I knew — so surely I would go to heaven, if there were such a place. And, to make matters even worse, many of my friends who were nominally Christians didn’t seem to have thought carefully about why they believed Christianity — it seemed to be just something they believed because their parents believed it. I liked to think of myself as someone who thought carefully about things, so I thought I was better and smarter than them because I didn’t believe Christianity.
Furthermore, I grew up thinking that people are basically good: If only we could find the best way to do things, as a society, then everyone would be so much better off.
That’s a pretty bad testimony for homeschoolers. I was especially struck by the fact that he thought they were all a bunch of hypocrites. Why? Because he thought Christianity is about being moral. He hadn’t seen the whole story. And it seems that those “Christians” around him either had the same view or failed to share with David what Christianity truly was about. I don’t want to condemn homeschoolers, but this story, I’m sure, has happened elsewhere. Things are assumed. And that person many be in a homeschool group. Then when he’s older, he’ll go off thinking Christians and homeschoolers are hypocrites.
Homeschoolers and Christians must display Christ in their lives (if he truly is in their lives…if he’s not they really are hypocrites). We are to be like Christ, displaying His glory in our lives. When we are perceived as all-out hypocrites because we never act as we should, we’ve really got some issues to deal with. I find it very sad to hear such a story–a story that really throws a bad image of homeschoolers (Dr. Mobely, I’m sure, did not intend anything of the sort, but I just want to say that his story and others like it can show what can happen in a group of Christians). Think about your homeschool group that you may be a part of. Are there children their that aren’t saved? We just cannot assume anything. We need to bring up Christ and salvation to everyone we meet. And that can be done.
David Mobely also saw Christian homeschoolers as hypocrites because he didn’t understand what Christianity was. He believed it was about being a morally good person. But Christianity isn’t about that It’s about sin and redemption. It’s about imperfect human beings regaining fellowship with a perfect God. See, God has set a standard for us to keep, the Law. And I can tell you right now that you haven’t kept these commands of god perfectly. And God will someday judge you by those commands. And what will you say? You can’t say anything. But God has sent Christ to pay for your punishment–sin.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
“For God so loved the world that he gave he only begotten son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”
Even as Christians, we stumble, and we’re never going to be perfect. But when someone sees nothing in our lives that display Christ, we have serious problems. My head hangs down to think of all the times I’ve missed an opportunity to affirm someone’s salvation. We take so much for granted, and many times we don’t even take our faith seriously. We need to live a life that someone like David Mobely (as a kid) would look at and say, “Wow, those people must really be Christians. Their faith is real.” Make sure your faith is real, and live like your faith is real. Step up to the plate and live for Christ. Make much of Jesus.