A Common Misconception About Christians


Picture by Bessi – Pixabay

There is a very sad misconception that many people have about Christianity. It is an extremely common error held by many non-Christians, but even more unfortunate, it is even believed by many people in the Christian faith. A big part of the reason the myth is so bad is that the myth is nearly the exact opposite of what the bible, and Jesus, teach. What is it?

Many people think that only the righteous, the ‘good’ people who lead exemplary lives, can be part of the Christian church, the Christian faith and that only such righteous people can enter the kingdom of God. The truth is that the Christian church is for sinners, for people who have messed up repeatedly and for those who are nowhere near being righteous. Many times, when I’ve explained this, I’ve had people saying things to me like, “But brother Rex, how can that be? Are you saying that the Christian church is filled with screw-ups, sinners and wicked people?”

Not only is that exactly what I’m saying, I praise God for it. Let me explain why.

Ever since the original sin of defying the word of God and his commands, as well as doubting him, every man and woman has been sinful. It is as stated in Romans 3:23

 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

That means that all of us, Christian and non-Christian alike, are sinners. Jesus was the only man who was without sin. That means that he was the only one who was righteous. Oh, we receive righteousness through Jesus and the bible explains this, but we are not otherwise righteous. That means that there isn’t a single Christian who isn’t a sinner, who is righteous or who deserves to enter the kingdom of God. Why? Because there aren’t any people anywhere who aren’t sinners and who don’t fall short of righteousness. Not one of us deserves to enter the kingdom of God.

Before anyone thinks that this is very gloomy news, think again. It is actually the most tremendous news we could hear. You see, Jesus suffered, shed his blood and put up with torment at the hands of men for only one purpose: So through Him and because of the grace of God, we can live in the kingdom of God. Re-read that last statement. Notice that it doesn’t say that we can live in the kingdom of God so long as we didn’t do one thing or another. It is all inclusive. Everyone can have entrance to the kingdom of God, regardless of what they’ve done wrong in the past, no matter how great the mistakes in their lives have been and no matter how wicked they’ve been in the past. All are free to share in the glory, the love and the everlasting joy of God.

It can be hard to grasp the fact that our Father is that loving. Even the disciples questioned it. They did so because time and again, Jesus ministered to the least worth, the greatest sinners; thieves, prostitutes, murderers and adulterers. Others asked the question, too. Mark 2:16-17 explains it in a crystal clear way:

16 When the scribes who were Pharisees [eg., holy men] saw Jesus eating with these people [eg., tax collectors and sinners], they asked His disciples, “Why does He eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 17 On hearing this, Jesus told them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” 

The more sinful a person is, the more in need of Jesus that they are and the more ready He is to help them. Again, we are all sinful and broken. We’ve all made mistakes and some of them might have been exceptionally bad ones. But Jesus didn’t die on the cross and spill his blood for people who were without sin. There weren’t any except Jesus, but still, the whole point was that he lived and died in order to open the door to the kingdom for people who were formerly sinners.

“Brother Rex, it can’t be that simple.” You’re right, it isn’t, but it isn’t much more complex, either. To enter the kingdom, we must repent from our wrong-doings and ask Jesus for his forgiveness. We must also believe in Jesus, acknowledge that he was the Son of God and that he died for us before being ressurrected. John 3:14-18

14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that everyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. 18 Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

I’d say that this is putting it pretty plainly and it would be hard to mistake what is expected. God deserves that praise and far more, while we don’t deserve to enter the kingdom. It also makes it plain that no Christian should treat another person with a ‘holier-than-thou’ attitude, because we’ve all sinned an no person is better than another.

Christianity isn’t just a faith for the righteous, the exemplary or the unflawed. It is a faith for the real people who have and do make mistakes, that have and do sin and who are broken. This is whom Jesus ministered to and these are the people that God loves as His children. That should give hope to all, because saying that you’ve “made mistakes that were too bad for you to ever receive God’s blessing” has no meaning. You are welcomed by God, the Father who has always loved you, even when you didn’t love him.


  1. Andria Perry

    You are right!

    There was this preacher that was at the church on the corner in my neighborhood, he was in the Army with my dad, He would go house to house and ask people to come to the church, but he did not skip anyone, even the people who were drinking beer and smoking pot. This was Tony`s cousin. He told us ” I like that preacher, he came right in the house sat down and talked to us about God and Jesus, he did not care that I was half drunk.”

    I stumbled this article.

    1. Rex Trulove Post author

      THAT was a true Christian preacher. I wish there were more like him. Our church here is blessed with three good pastors who are like that and if anyone in town needs help in the middle of the night, he will answer the phone, then drive to church and help them in whatever way he can. I’ve never heard of him turning anyone away, nor have I ever heard him ask a single person in need what their religious beliefs were.

  2. Kyla Matton Osborne

    Excellent insight! To be honest, I don’t think many people actually believe the myth. But it is easy to feel out of place or unwelcome if there is someone in a religious community who is obviously playing holier than thou. Even though a person can understand intellectually that all are welcome in Christianity, it can be harder to get over not feeling good enough.

    The thing is, with almost any religious path, these feelings of shame and worthlessness or of not being a “good enough” follower of the faith are part of the work the devout must tackle. Learning to accept our weaknesses and atone for the wrongs we commit – and even more importantly, to not compare ourselves to others – is all part of the journey.

    1. Rex Trulove Post author

      That is absolutely true. The truth is that in EVERY case, we are a work in process. None of us has reached the top of the mountain yet, and we won’t until the rapture. There is always room for improvement and a good Christian will constantly pray to God that they can become more like Jesus with every passing minute of every passing day. I’ve made horrendous mistakes in my life and I don’t for a second think that I’ll go through the rest of my life without making another mistake, unless I was called home this moment.

      Sadly, there really are people within the church who think that they are somehow better, but in acting that way, they violate another principle; Jesus was exceptionally humble. A person who acts holier than thou can’t be humble because it is a contradiction in terms. Arrogance is the exact opposite of humility. Here is the thing, though, nearly all of us get caught in the arrogance trap, too. That includes me and I freely admit it. Satan rules this world at the moment and he knows exactly what buttons to push. All I can do is pray that I can become more humble.

      Well, that isn’t ALL I can do. I can also do what I did here and let people know that it is impossible to be “too bad” to be a good Christian. It is something all good Christians can do, to spread that word and every one of us should strive to live our lives that way; accepting and loving.

    1. Rex Trulove Post author

      Have you ever noticed that it is a never ending cycle, though? Because we have a sinful nature, we commit sins. Asking Jesus for forgiveness and repenting, meaning trying diligently not to make the same sins again, still doesn’t prevent us from sinning in different ways. That means that we must continually ask for forgiveness. It is a work in progress and it isn’t a case of asking for forgiveness once and being done with it.

  3. Jacky Hughes

    One of the hardest things to get my head around as a 17 year old from an abusive background, living alone, had sex, done the drugs and been around the block, was that I rather liked Jesus, but I could not relate to the Christians witnessing to me. They had not been down where I had and still was. Then God sent a man in a fur coat with long hair and sandals along to sing a song that seemed just for me. I became a Christian within hours. Too often we are self-righteously saying how wonderful we are and how good or not really thinking about it at all. Jesus came to save sinners. Sinners are not perfect and in Christ we are being perfected. From the Minister who as a young Christian took a trip on acid, married the wrong person, got divorced and generally got lots wrong. Still here, still loving Jesus and guess what I even made mistakes AS a Christian and was forgiven. If we all started to share our faults the churches would be full because people would know why Jesus came to die and rise again and overcome sin and death. I always maintain I survived with my faith intact in contrast to many I have known along the way because I understood what I had been saved from.

    1. Rex Trulove Post author

      You are right. Admitting to our own shortcomings is one of the best ways to reach those who have shortcomings. That is also turning a disadvantage into an advantage. It is a very good thing to lead by example, but it lacks impact unless we admit that we have been and are as bad and as broken as everyone else. That is part of the humility that a true Christian should display, but many don’t. We must not be judgmental, too, and this is a huge stumbling block for most Christians. Only Jesus is worthy and qualified to judge anyone, yet we all occasionally find ourselves judging others, whether we mean to or not. It is very hard to reach people if we come across in a way that is judgmental, because then it becomes a matter of hypocrisy; saying one thing and doing another.

      Very sadly, it is the judgment trap that many Christian churches are caught in, to the point that they may actually make up rules that are specific to their church and obviously not from God. There are churches that won’t welcome someone who isn’t in nice clothing, well groomed and so forth. Some churches don’t welcome our youth to their services. (The bible was pretty explicit about how Jesus felt about children and our youth.) In many churches, they want only quiet, somber services, which really is judgmental and it is one that I can’t identify with. In the bible, there are many examples of people glorifying God by singing and playing musical instruments, like horns, but in not one of them was the sound quiet.

      When the walls fell at Jericho, it wasn’t because Joshua and the people were quiet. 🙂 They blew their horns and game a mighty shout. The bible doesn’t say that the good news should be whispered from the rooftops, it says that it should be shouted. It says that we should make a joyous sound, but I haven’t figured out how to do that quietly, in a subdued manner. Still, some churches actually have that in their rules, that everyone should be somber and quiet. Sorry, that was a bit side tracked. It is a peeve of mine, and yes, I’m working on it and praying about it. 🙂

  4. Ann Bailey

    Churches are sometimes their own worst enemy. Do we truly know how to act the way Jesus asks us to? We have a hard time doing this, though some will act like they have it all together. To be determined later…..

    1. Rex Trulove Post author

      Well, we know how to act as Jesus asks. The bible is quite plain about that. The issue is that there is a huge gap between the knowledge and the application of that knowledge. 😀

  5. Cris Bernal

    We are lost, (Humanity) We need Christ in our lives. We cannot say, we are righteous because only Jesus is the righteous and God. We will be righteous if Jesus lives in us. Well, if some people say that Christianity is for sinners and they are not belong to sinners, they committed sin when they say that.

    1. Rex Trulove Post author

      The problem is that many people, even a lot of Christians, don’t stop to think that Jesus specifically came and also allowed himself to be crucified, for sinners. It is that great love that gives everyone hope. A person can’t be too bad to become a good Christian because that is exactly who Jesus is there for; the people who’ve sinned. A person can also not be too good to become better Christians, because we all sin, so it is a continuous battle to become less sinful. When people start thinking that Christianity isn’t for people who’ve sinned, they lose track of the message of the bible and of who each of us is. The wonderful and remarkable thing is that Jesus is very willing to forgive us of our sins, even knowing that we are flawed and will sin again. It is astonishing and can encourage us to become better than we are.

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