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  • Credibilty Gap between Christians and Sinners

    If God wants everyone to become a Christian, why does He allow credibility gaps between unbelievers and us? I realize that being a Christian doesn't take away our free will, but wouldn't being perfect remove the credibility gap between us? Whenever a Christian makes a mistake, unbelievers cry out HYPOCRITE at them. If God made us perfect, that would take away their ammunition against us. I cannot think for a minute that He will chuck people into Hell just because they had no confidence (often justified) in our religion. High profile cases like Ted Haggard, Fred Phelps, and Jimmy Swaggart are well known examples. But credibility gaps exist between us and our unsaved family members as well.

  • #2
    You answered your own question... Free Will.
    For what mortal has ever heard the voice of the living God speaking out of fire, as we have, and survived? ~ Deuteronomy 5:26

    If you're not prepared to risk your very life for your "enemy" you have no right to speak to him of love. ~ Daughter

    Many say they are called... but I am pretty convinced that with many of them it was the wrong number. ~ Project Peter

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    • #3
      I understand that, but what if the unbeliever has had a genuinely negative experience with a Christian? How can God hold that against the unbeliever?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Sherry W View Post
        I understand that, but what if the unbeliever has had a genuinely negative experience with a Christian? How can God hold that against the unbeliever?
        Why would a negative experience with a Christian negate the truth of the Christian message?

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        • #5
          It doesn't. But they feel that a Christian should live up to the message. If not, they assume the message is invalid..

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          • #6
            I've said this elsewhere in these forums, but it applies to this topic.

            The Holy Spirit put a thought in my head, which brought me to Christ.
            "You can't see a perfect God, by looking at imperfect people."

            Until then, I judged God by the actions and speech of His people.

            Richard

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            • #7
              We walk by faith not by sight. The same is true for non-believers. If they saw perfection and converted, then they also would be perfected. It is not God's plan to make us perfect, so others will also become perfect.
              Otherwise that Negates the work on the cross.
              GOD's power is made perfect through our weakness. Unbelievers see in us the ability to be imperfect but still have hope, trust and peace.
              To stumble and through Grace still prevail.
              Granted some will never turn and that is why there are and will continue to be many people in Hell.

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              • #8
                Other's actions are just an excuse to deny the gospel.
                For what mortal has ever heard the voice of the living God speaking out of fire, as we have, and survived? ~ Deuteronomy 5:26

                If you're not prepared to risk your very life for your "enemy" you have no right to speak to him of love. ~ Daughter

                Many say they are called... but I am pretty convinced that with many of them it was the wrong number. ~ Project Peter

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Urban Missionary View Post
                  Other's actions are just an excuse to deny the gospel.
                  It can be, but actions can also become a real stumbling block to salvation.

                  To dismiss those stumbling blocks as being the responsibility of the blind is just plain - not right. (perhaps that is not what you meant)

                  We're to be examples of the difference of how a relationship with God can change a person for the better.
                  We may not be perfect, but better than we were.
                  ...Certainly different than the sinner.

                  Richard

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                  • #10
                    If every Christian I know sold out and started worshiping the devil, I would still have no excuse. When I stand before Him, I will stand alone.
                    For what mortal has ever heard the voice of the living God speaking out of fire, as we have, and survived? ~ Deuteronomy 5:26

                    If you're not prepared to risk your very life for your "enemy" you have no right to speak to him of love. ~ Daughter

                    Many say they are called... but I am pretty convinced that with many of them it was the wrong number. ~ Project Peter

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Urban Missionary View Post
                      If every Christian I know sold out and started worshiping the devil, I would still have no excuse. When I stand before Him, I will stand alone.
                      I agree.
                      However, sometimes the only "Jesus" the lost can "see" is us.

                      Without being prompted to look past the actions of some Christians, they feel that their "excuse" is legitimate.
                      To a certain extent (as far as the blind can see), it is.

                      Some DO use it as an excuse, but to some - it is a legitimate stumbling block not of their making.

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                      • #12
                        When people stand before a holy God to give account for their sin, they're not going to be able to use others as an excuse, because God has given everyone the ability to make up their own minds and seek Him for themselves.

                        Our concern as Christians are our brothers and sisters that are less mature in the Lord. For their sake, we ought to refine our own behavior and make sure we walk worthy of the Lord, so they can look to us as examples (as parents would with their own children).

                        Mark 9:42
                        “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.

                        Romans 14:21
                        It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak.

                        1 Corinthians 8:11
                        And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?

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                        • #13
                          We as Christians like to sit around and say that "they had their chance, it is nobody's fault but theirs." That is very easy to say when you grew up in Christian America. It is alot harder when you have been taught since your childhood that Allah is god. Do you really think if you were born to Muslim parents and had 1 missionary come to you, that you would have believed something that went against your faith? I know that for some of you it will be "yes", but you really need to think long and hard on that. Most Christians won't consider ANYTHING that goes against what they already believe, even if it is still within Christianity. Why would a Muslim be any different?

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                          • #14
                            Lets us remember who we are talking about--God!!!!!

                            Originally posted by Sherry W View Post
                            If God wants everyone to become a Christian, why does He allow credibility gaps between unbelievers and us? I realize that being a Christian doesn't take away our free will, but wouldn't being perfect remove the credibility gap between us? Whenever a Christian makes a mistake, unbelievers cry out HYPOCRITE at them. If God made us perfect, that would take away their ammunition against us. I cannot think for a minute that He will chuck people into Hell just because they had no confidence (often justified) in our religion. High profile cases like Ted Haggard, Fred Phelps, and Jimmy Swaggart are well known examples. But credibility gaps exist between us and our unsaved family members as well.

                            It's not "if" God wants everyone to become a Christian--HIS Word says, HE sent HIS only begotten SON so that NONE should perish. That pretty much takes the "if" out of the equation, don't you think???

                            Let us not be a "men pleasers!!" Let the loss say what they may, it's just "talk." They use sooooo many excuses not to surrender, just like I did before HE SAVED ME.....If we live the way God wants us to, nobody should be worried about being called a "hypocrite."

                            Maybe we shouldn't be looking for a way out of doing what HIS Word so plainly tells us is our "commission!!!!"

                            Confidence in religion!!?? Hope that's not where our confidence is!!!! Cause if so, we're in biggggggggg trouble. Religion can send you straight to HELL!!!! My confidence is in Christianity which means it is in my LORD AND SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST!!!! HE says not to rely on your own understanding...Rely on HIM; you can't go wrong!!!!!

                            And those names you mentioned, they will still go to Heaven if they have repented and asked our LORD AND SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST, for forgiveness!! Remember, to God there is no "high profile" sin. A sin is a sin is a sin...except blasphemy against the HOLY GHOST, no forgiveness!!!!!!

                            God made us in HIS image, but not for us to be "God." The Children of God have the ammunition, not the unbelievers. WE have God...if HE is for us, who can be against us???!!!!~~~ Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia...

                            Maybe that'll help clear things up for ya.

                            God Bless
                            John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that HE gave HIS only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in HIM should not perish, but have eternal life.


                            My testimony: http://bibleforums.org/forum/showthread.php?t=137007

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Sherry W View Post
                              If God wants everyone to become a Christian, why does He allow credibility gaps between unbelievers and us? I realize that being a Christian doesn't take away our free will, but wouldn't being perfect remove the credibility gap between us? Whenever a Christian makes a mistake, unbelievers cry out HYPOCRITE at them. If God made us perfect, that would take away their ammunition against us. I cannot think for a minute that He will chuck people into Hell just because they had no confidence (often justified) in our religion. High profile cases like... [names withheld] are well known examples. But credibility gaps exist between us and our unsaved family members as well.
                              'An interesting OP, Sherry.
                              In my opinion, God allows a "credibility gap", because:
                              · We just are not perfect. We can only attain righteousness through faith in Jesus. That way we rely on Him and not ourselves.
                              · so that our faith would be strong enough to endure "high profile" cases, because our trust is in the living God and not in imperfect people.

                              Those without ears to hear, think they have understanding, but their wisdom is not God's wisdom.
                              Hypocrisy in the church can be a real stumbling block to the sinner, but ultimately they are without excuse.

                              We should endeavor to live godly lives and use clean speech with wisdom, not so much to please the world, but to please God.
                              Also, (as Dani pointed out) to be examples for those still maturing.

                              Closing this "credibility gap" in our own lives, distinguishes us from sinners, so they can see the difference.
                              And yes, it is quite important in one’s witness to unsaved family members, as they know us very well.

                              To those who seek our lack of perfection as an excuse, I'd explain that we cannot see a perfect God, by looking at imperfect people.
                              We must all give account, and they're short-changing themselves, by thinking it's an acceptable excuse.

                              Richard

                              BTW: God is a holy God.
                              The ONLY way to stand in His presence is when He sees us through the blood of Jesus the Messiah - the Mediator.
                              Without His righteousness, paid at a very high price, we cannot be in the presence of YHWH.
                              Religion cannot save us - only Yeshua/Jesus the Christ.

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