Somebody recently told me of a Christian who became an atheist because he said the hypocrites in the church made him turn away from God. I shook my head in disbelief and replied, “That’s like me saying to my wife ‘I’m leaving you because I don’t like the way our kids are acting!’” If Christianity is just an “Ideology,” just a system of beliefs and values, then I can see how someone could leave the “system” due to the inconsistencies of others who supposedly embrace it. But Christianity is not an ideology… it is a living relationship with a loving Father. I am not denying that there are hypocrites out there, but I want to offer a different viewpoint to give you something to think about.

If you have a large family then you have many different ages and levels of maturity within that unit (just like in God’s Family). There are newborns, who mess their diapers, throw up on themselves, and cry frequently. There are toddlers who are learning to walk, who stumble and fall, who make messes that we have to clean up. There are adolescents who are full of energy, growing rapidly and changing daily, trying to find their place. There are teenagers, who are truly young adults, but who still look like kids, who are discovering their independence while pushing our buttons and testing the boundaries. All of these age groups are part of “The Family.”

You don’t leave the Family when the baby messes his diapers, when the toddler drops his cup, when the adolescent’s voice cracks, or when the teenager stays out past his curfew… that would be nonsense. We understand that they are not yet grown and mature, so we show them mercy, because we see that they are part of the FAMILY. If you are in GOD’S FAMILY the same thought applies. We are all at different levels of maturity in our relationship with Him. If you leave His family because a baby “messes his diapers” you don’t understand what FAMILY means…. and you’re acting like a 4-year-old who runs away from home when he doesn’t get his way.

Christianity is a relationship with a Father and His family. Sure, some of His kids are stinkers, but I’m not severing my relationship with Him because of the immature behavior of one of His other kids… that would be pretty immature of me!

Ephesians 3:14-15 (NAS)
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name.

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