Our Church Has Sinners

You’re preaching to the choir if you think that this is a ridiculous statement to make. After all, who thinks that their church isn’t full of sinners? I doubt anyone would actually say their church had no sinners, but for whatever reason Revolution (where I serve) receives that as a criticism often. We are often lambasted for having a church full of sinners. I am so confused and so annoyed by this criticism that I’ve decided to respond in writing here. All churches have sinners. And at Revolution we are thankful for that fact.

The incredulous looks reveal naiveté. Our church is not some how more sinful than any one elses. We have sinners just as all churches have sinners. If you are a Bible believing Christian then you must admit with Paul that “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23), and that “there is no one righteous, no not one” (Rom. 3:10). Even the mere suggestion that some how your church is not full of sinners is a completely unbiblical idea. Your church, my church, and every other church that has ever existed is full of sinners, because we are all sinners.

Of course, most Christians will readily admit this. They must have something else in mind when the criticize our church for being full of sinners. They must be thinking of something else. I suspect what they mean is that many of the folks who come to our church are still struggling in a very public manner with their sin. We have a messy congregation, there’s no doubt about that. But, again, it’s not as if we are the only church still struggling with sin. Your church has people struggling with sin too, friends. Pornography is rampant in the church, and while you might think no one in your church is doing it, odds are not in your favor. Furthermore, pride and self-righteousness crop up unsuspecting, as does gossip and bitterness. There is sin in the heart even when it is not coming out in the actions. Our folks may not hide it as well, but then we don’t ask them to hide it. We ask them to deal with it and by the Spirit of God put it to death. Yes we have immature Christians in our congregation, but so do you. Growth is a process and we are all growing together.

In addition I think the reason we have so much “public sin” in our congregation is because we have a lot of folks who are not Christians who come to our services. That is to say, part of the reason that we have a lot of sinners in our church is because they have not yet been transformed by the gospel. Some of the frustration people have with our sinfulness is completely absurd. Why would we expect the sinner to stop sinning. They do not yet possess that power. Yes we have addicts, yes we have people struggling with homosexuality, lust, anger, drunkenness. But the bulk of those folks have not made up their mind about Jesus yet. They are not yet Christians, and in that regard we want sinners there. We want them to come to our church and you should too. Where else would you want sinners to go?

I know that many of the folks who criticize our church are well-meaning. That is I don’t think that they are all self-righteous legalists. But at the same time I simply don’t  understand their complaints. They make no sense if we believe the gospel and know our theology. Sanctification is a process. Sinners will sin. And sinners should come to church. If we can all accept these facts then put these nonsensical criticisms to rest.

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