I am so tired of hearing Christians say “Christians aren’t perfect” as an excuse for bad Christian behavior. ⇦ Tweet that!
The statement can also come out like this:
“Well, the church is a hospital for sick people.”
“No church is perfect.”
“Christians are sinners too.”
or my favorite of all (*barf*),
“Christians aren’t perfect … just forgiven.”
These sorts of statements are usually said when you are critical of a church, a church leader, or some other Christian for something they said or did.
If you say that a pastor doesn’t practice what he preaches, or if a church makes poor decisions about how to spend their money, or if a Christian group behaves meanly, arrogantly, or rudely toward some non-Christian group, the response you will often get back is “Well, Christians aren’t perfect.”
What is so hard about saying
“You are right. That was mean. I am sorry.”
“That was selfish. I am sorry.”
“That was insensitive and judgmental. I am sorry.”
It is true that everything we need to know in life we learned in Kindergarten, and one of the main things we learned in Kindergarten was the importance of saying we’re sorry to others when we hurt them.
Many of us Christians need to go back to Kindergarten to learn the lesson all over again. When we hurt someone (even if it is unintentional), we need to say “I’m sorry.”
(By the way, apologizing for all the pain we experience in life is one of the things God was doing in Jesus on the cross. Think on it!)
And please, don’t add a “but” to your apology. Don’t say, “I’m sorry, but …”. Grace has no but, and neither do apologies.
And as long as I’m on the subject …
Usually when Christians say, “Well, Christians aren’t perfect either,” they then go on to point out the sin in other people, and if you challenge them on why they can point out sin in the lives of others, they say, “I can’t just overlook sin. Someone has to point out sin in people’s life. If I keep silent, I am condoning the sin.”
I have three things to say against this line of thought.
First, maybe someone does need to point out sin in other people’s life. But that someone is not you. It is the job of the Holy Spirit to convict the world of sin (John 16:8). So unless you are a member of the Trinity, you don’t need to point out the sin in other people’s lives.
Second, if you point out sin in other people’s lives, but then justify your own rude sinful behavior by saying, “Well, nobody’s perfect,” what kind of hypocrisy is that? You don’t want other people to justify their own sin, but you are more than happy to justify your own by saying, “Christians aren’t perfect”?
Third, yes, yes, yes, I am falling into the same trap here myself by pointing out sinful behavior in the lives of others instead of just letting the Holy Spirit do it, and yes, maybe my tone here is not that loving or kind toward my sinning Christian brethren who talk rudely and unkindly toward others.
But you know what? You should just let me be mean and rude and angry toward you because, after all, “Christians aren’t perfect.”