The age old question: Why don’t Christians Act Like Christ?
While this question was raised in early childhood, it became increasingly an issue in college where I saw a much greater representation of the church than simply right wing, conservative, Bible believing, homeschooling Christianity. Certainly that brand of Christianity, which I was raised in, thought they were the truly faithful Christians. But I soon learned there were many other types of Christianity which had the same basic beliefs in God and Jesus as the way for salvation, but were quite different than how I was raised.
At Bob Jones University I was struck by intense legalism. This was the incredible focus on numerous rules and regulations which could not be readily derived from the Bible as if they were necessary for Christianity. If you’ve read my story up to this point, you’d probably think my childhood was legalistic to some level. It was to some extent. But Bob Jones was whole new level.
While Christ certainly stressed that there was a spirit of the law (Old Testament) which superseded the letter and was perhaps harder to follow, he also stressed not judging others, showing forgiveness, and not seeking outward approval of others. This was so clear to me even at a cursory reading of the New Testament, that to see it so clearly ignored by the majority of leadership at BJU was surprising. Bob Jone’s leadership seemed convinced that one couldn’t be a real Christian without following their ridiculous rule set.
I could at times perhaps forgive them for their rules and traditions (though in reality they were basically the Pharisees Jesus condemned); however, I found it nearly impossible to excuse their incredible lack of love or actual care for individuals. I left this school with a profound disdain for fundamental Christianity in its strictest form.
Upon arriving at Liberty, I found another interesting phenomenon. The most exuberant of Christians seemed to have the greatest flaws. The girl who partied the hardest, got the drunkest, and slept with the most guys, was also the girl who religiously attended church and posted Bible verses weekly on her Facebook.
Let me be fair: there were hard core party animals who didn’t attend church and there were Bible verse posting students who would never dream of partying. But it left me with an interesting conclusion: either these supposedly immoral acts weren’t really so bad or some people could truly live a double life without blinking. In retrospect I think it was a combination of the too.