Leading people to Christ … and reasons they reject Him
People reject Christianity for a lot of reasons. I sometimes spend time thinking of ways I can draw people to Christ. Do you? But, the more intelligent inquiry is exploring what is running them away from God in the first place? What are the reasons people don’t want to follow Christ?
More often than not, it’s “us” – Christians. I use the word “us” figuratively in the great context of “us”.
Some of it is not even our fault personally and we have little control over those “bad publicity” Christians. They are often on television, radio stations talking crazy peddling riches, judgement or criticism. It’s those Christians who are narrow-minded and so bent on being right they are repulsive to the [very] people they are trying to draw. Instead of just living the Christian life and building relationships, they prefer to focus on rules and laws.
Sort of unfair that a man on television or an old lady in another state can make witnessing harder for me.
Anyhoo, in my years of living, I’ve learned several reasons people reject Christianity. But, there are a few excuses I’ve heard over and over again. Let me share them with you. I also hope you’ll find answers you can use when you encounter these excuses.
“Christians are messed up
and tore up people.
Godsy Girl Answer: Yes, I agree!!!! I am a ‘hot mess’ myself – without the convicting power of the Holy Spirit and the power of His Word. He deals with me daily (sometimes hourly) and convicts me of sin and missed marks. Honey, I’m not perfect, I admit I mess up often. If you’re honest, so do you. The good news is the Holy Spirit gives us the power to assume authority over the sins that try to beset us. We grow stronger in Him. Perfect? No way, it just means I don’t ‘mess up’ as much as I used to. I am no longer a slave to sin; instead I am more than a conqueror since I’ve come to know Jesus Christ and His way of living. I’m so glad I don’t struggle with the things He delivered me from years ago – the cursing, drinking and anger is gone. It simply doesn’t occur and are not temptations for me. I still have other temptations, some newly developed, but I’m working to conquer those as well. He is changing my heart and my desires. He can change you too. I’m proof.
The Word of God (regular Bible study and reading) is the key to living a successful Christian life. The Holy Spirit uses the Bible to reprove you, teach you and free you. These two alone are valuable tools for victory over sin – Scripture and the Holy Spirit.
Tools only work when you use them. Here’s an example: imagine you’re creating a lengthy and important document on the computer, but you forgot to save it. The screen suddenly goes blank and you lose everything you’ve been working on! Who’s at fault? Sure, you could go around touting “Don’t use computers! They don’t work!” However, the reality is that you didn’t work the computer. You should have saved the document.
That’s the way people treat Christianity. They say it doesn’t work, but they failed in so many areas of execution. Hey, you have to “work” the Christian resources properly to live victoriously. Christians who don’t spend consistent time with the Lord tend to do “messed up” things – often and habitually. Simple as that. They hurt the banner of Christianity for others.
God has surely gotten a “bad rap” because of some of His children and their disobedience. Yes, you may have seen Christians who regularly curse, are hateful, and act crazy without apologizing or repenting. I’m sorry you witnessed that. They don’t know their actions are actually keeping people from coming to the Lord. Let this be a lesson for all of us.
If you’re one of those people who has witnessed silly Christians, please just keep your eyes on Jesus Christ and who He is. Please don’t focus on people and what they do; because people will fail you every time. Why? Because they (like you) are all messed up! Especially when we don’t work our tools!
We ALL need the Savior to make us whole in these “flesh and blood” bodies. We’re frail. The good news is we can still be made whole in Him. You can beat that addiction and master that sinful habit – work those tools and get the help you need. Keep your eyes on the Author and Finisher of your faith – not me, him or her and you’ll be just fine.
“Christianity is a crutch, it’s for weak people”.
Godsy Girl Answer: You got that right, Bub!
Do you even know what a crutch does? First of all, let’s chat about it. A crutch is a resource used to provide support when a weakness prevents full functionality. Get where I’m going, Godsy Girl?
With that said, people who use reason 2 are exactly right. We, as human beings, are incredibly delicate, weak entities. We require (and long for) the sort of supernatural support that only God can supply. Here’s how it plays out: in order to be genuinely strong, we rely on and trust in God completely. We can “lean” on Him and we do.
Many people don’t have enough courage or faith to do that; they want to fix everything themselves. News alert: they cannot. Some things in life render you powerless. You need a crutch. In Him we live, move and have our being. No way around it. (Read John 15:5) Everyone needs a crutch sometimes. Sadly, most people’s crutches cause more harm than good.
Without the energizing power of Jesus, you are destined to meander through life saying “there’s just something missing” and asking “what is it?” A lot of people mistakenly assume earthly stuff satisfies the void. Doesn’t work. Other folks try one relationship after another to feel fulfilled – that doesn’t work either. Then there are those who go the route of personal achievement to remedy that enduring emptiness – but they are soon disappointed. In fact, I’m sure you’ve heard of countless billionaires confirming money doesn’t even come close to fulfilling the lingering void of humanity. Imagine with all the money, power and fame at their fingertips, their lives still lack that “something”. Many of them don’t even know what that “something” is. I do! That “something” is Jesus Christ. We so desperately need Him to touch that aching place in the depths of our souls. We need Him. Everyone needs Him.
At one time or another, you will need Him as a crutch.
Someone you love will die and you will need a Crutch. Your marriage will test your patience and you’ll call on your everlasting Crutch, Jesus. Your children may hurt you to your core and you will reach for your heavenly Crutch. Disappointment, illness, financial problems and heartbreak are all Crutch-worthy too!
So, yep, Christianity is for weak people – just like you and me. I proudly admit my weakness apart from Him. I need a Savior and I need Him every second of my day! Honest people admit that they do too!
Accept Him; invite Him into your life and watch Him blow your mind, Godsy Girl! You’ll begin wearing t-shirts bragging about your Crutch. You may even put something on your car to let the world know about your crutch. You’ll like find a way to wear a symbol of your Crutch around your neck.
“Never work just for money or for power. They won’t save your soul or help you sleep at night.”
Marian Wright Edelman
“Hey, I grew up in church”. I’m a Christian.
Godsy Girl Answer: We’ve all heard – or said – this one before. Although, logically it makes sense, in reality, it’s just a smoke screen. For instance, I grew entering and exiting my home through the garage, but that didn’t make me a Buick, did it? Growing up in church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than frequenting McDonald’s make you a chicken McNugget.
The fact of the matter is the past doesn’t really matter at all when it comes to spiritual things. Just because you spent time in church doesn’t mean you made a confession to Christ. If you did and you’re living like the devil now, you must wonder if you genuinely gave your life to Him. It’s not too late. Do it now.
Everyone who claims the Lord won’t be recognized by Him. We must know Him, serve Him and be convinced of our solid relationship with Him. (Read Mathew 7: 21-29)
So, as you minister to the lost and are leading people to Christ , be patient, Godsy Girl. Listen and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you. Pray He touches the heart of the person to reveal just how much they need Him to live a life of peace, comfort and security.
More Scriptures: Read John 15:15, John 11:25-26, John 5:24 and Jeremiah 29:11-13
“I don’t go to church because
that preacher only wants your money.”
Godsy Girl Answer: This excuse always cracks me up. Because it’s true! You didn’t expect that from a preacher’s wife, did ya? But, it really is true.
Well, here are my thoughts:
People have no problem shuffling their money to Kohl’s, Macy’s and Nordstrom’s to get whatever it is they believe will enrich their lives. Honey, Macy’s only wants your money too! Why is giving it to them more justifiable than giving it to the local church? Why should ministry cost nothing? Let me get this straight – a Coach bag for $350 is OK, but church should operate expense-free?
At least pastors are giving you something priceless in return. You’re getting spiritual counsel, learning God’s Word, being part of a community and experiencing God in fresh and new ways. In order to accomplish this, some expenses are necessary. You need lights because who wants to worship in the dark? You better have heat in the winter or you won’t be able to feel your nose. I double-dog dare you to have services in a church with no air-conditioning. That all costs money, Honey. So, yes, the church wants your money.
Now, let me be clear. If you’ve got a greedy pastor that wants ONLY your money, you’ve have a problem. You need to pray about abandoning that leadership. Especially if they drive luxury cars and live in expensive homes not reflective of their homes of their congregants. I have a problem with a pastor living large while his people are struggling. That’s my opinion.
I am not advocating for those pastor “pimps” of the world. I understand some pastors parasite off of the congregants. That’s sad and dangerous. God will deal with them. But, A responsible pastor will have regular business meetings with easy-to-understand financial statements and full disclosures to build confidence and spotlight accountability.
No excuses for lazy pastors who beg money for personal gain. Shame on them!
On the flip side, if you desire a pastor that will stand by you in trouble; come to see you when you’re in the hospital and counsel you through difficulty – he’ll need to be one hundred percent supported by the church. Otherwise, the next time you need him…he may be busy…at work.
So, don’t be angry when your pastor encourages you to give. The Word of God tells you to give; not to judge. If you cannot trust your pastor with your money, how can you trust him with your soul? Think about it. Trust God with both.
People have lots of reasons for putting off the salvation decision. Remember the Winan’s song “Tomorrow”? People always feel they have “enough” time. Only God really knows. Keep witnessing.
In the end, don’t be disappointed when people don’t come to an immediate decision to follow the Lord. Trust Him and embrace what my husband always says “Some plant, some water, but God gives the increase.” That 1 Corinthians 3:7 reference removes the pressure to make it all happen while we are with the person.
I love what Jack Hayford says in an article on his site. The article is called “How Do I Lead Others To Christ”. As pertaining the leading folks to the Lord, he admonishes us to “recognize that new birth is multi-processed.” It takes time and process. Leave the process to the Lord. Only He knows where your encounter [with the person] is actually occurring in that “big picture” process.