Over the last few years, some friends and I have compared notes about “funky” Christians we have encountered. Funky for me is not a term of style, but a term of aroma. When something is funky, it smells bad.
- A principal of a christian school who appears to be having an affair with the school administrative secretary.
- A church that made some bad financial decisions, then tried to avoid paying off their debt.
- Christians who go to college campuses to yell at students, telling them they are going to hell.
- A church who has decided it is a good idea to blame every natural or human initiated disaster on God’s judgment for our society’s sinfulness.
All these “Christians” give of an aroma, and from where i sit, it is not the aroma of Jesus. It is funky – like toe jam or worse.
A wise pastor once told me that “The gospel is offensive, so be prepared for people to be offended when you share the gospel. Just be sure that it is the gospel that it is offending them, and not you personally.”
Jesus when he was on this earth, was much more harshly critical of the religious establishment than he was of sinners. He came to this earth to save sinners, including you and me. The problem with the religious establishment of his day was that they weren’t willing to admit they needed His salvation. He criticized their hypocrisy and their tendency to love the honor that was bestowed upon them by their “followers”. He criticized them for making up rules that made it harder rather than easier for people to be in relationship with God. He said in almost as many words, “You Stink!”
At work, we have a saying – “The cream rises to the top, and so does the scum.” It is a rather cynical point of view that says that those that are truly talented and motivated advance, and so do those that bend rules and abuse people. Unfortunately, this can also be true in the Christian world – among the most well-known Christians are truly honorable people and some pretty despicable people as well. When well known Christian leaders fall, their fall into sin and hypocrisy and corruption is perhaps the worst smelling of all.
Let us each resolve, personally to give of a fresh aroma, the aroma of Jesus himself. Lord, help us.