Archive for June, 2012

How Christianity is Hurt by Professional Christians

June 4, 2012

The question of how is Christianity hurt by professional Christians has gotten my attention over the last couple of years. I have spoken at conferences on this theme and discussed it with a few colleagues. I define the professional Christian not by the the fact that a person simply works for a church or some type of parachurch organization but rather how they seem to approach ministry. This type of  individual as he is working is doing so with a personal agenda “up his sleeve”. This type of person is not always easy to identify unless you have opportunity to observe him for a great deal of time or have a chance to work along side him. After awhile it becomes obvious that there are patterns that emerge through behavior and other tells (obsession with accumulating wealth, status, how he treats those around him in the same ministry etc) that will help to identify this type of Christian charlatan.

Granted, there is a fair amount of subjective analysis that goes into my appraisal of the professional Christian but I believe this issue is well worth looking at. Now, I have been in active ministry in the field of teaching and evangelism since 1983. Over these  years I have worked with many individuals in these two related areas. Some of which are people who do not derive any income from their activities but quite a few whose sole income comes from some type of Christian ministry.

There are a great many great Christians serving Jesus Christ humbly and sacrifically all over the world. These men and women who strive to emulate their Lord through Christian service are a wonder to behold. Their way of life, their obvious love of other brothers and sisters in the Faith are their calling cards.

When you see professional Christians in operation their demeanor, the way they approach ministry, seems to be almost always completely self-seriving and more concerned with advancing their ego and their image in the Christian world than serving a sin ravaged world.

How does this harm Christianity and the Christian message? Well unless you have lived in a cave for the better part of your life, you will find many people who only wish to denegrate Christianity. These people like nothing more than to spot the professional Christian. It helps them to cement their belief that Christanity and Christians are all about power, wealth, and domination. 

Also Christianity, in most cases, is hard enough for a sinful person to accept. It is asking that person to give up on self and take up the cross of Christ. However, the more road blocks you place before the individual (in this case the professional Christian) the more difficult it will be for that person to accept the free gift of Jesus’ shed blood. While obviously not the entire reason for for a lost person to reject the Gospel, the professional Christian must share in the blame in many cases.

The bible intimates that the hypocrite will always be with us but we must not be foolish enough to support them in their hypocrisy. It only adds fuel to their ego driven fire and aids in the undermining of the Christian Church on earth.