Are you a Perfect Christian?

Perfect Christian?  I don’t think so!

I read a very interesting article by Demetria L. Lucas  on the Grio this week posing  the question, “Is the Pressure to be perfect Christians undermining the Church?

Demetria’s article noted several examples of high celebrity profiles who were bashed for claiming their rights to Christianity because church folk questioned their lifestyle.

A highlighted example included  Kandi Burruss  going gospel at the same time promoting sex toys.  In other words, how can she proclaim herself as being a Christian yet still acting worldly.

Well, my take on this conversation is that if we were to keep it real, we all stuggle every day with trying to live like Christians in a secular  world.  Yes,  Kandi sells sex toys, but that doesn’t mean that Kandi is not a Christian?  Maybe still young in her own personal walk with God and maybe,  still a babe in Christ, Kandi is a Christian, point blank period.

I am sure that you will agree we all know Christian women in our churches who buy sex toys, Let’s just keep it real yall!

By the way, who are we to judge. God did not put us on earth to judge Kandi or her behavior.  God  put us on this earth to meet Kandi where she is and lift her up to become an empowered disciple  that would use her tests in life to become a testamony to someone else as they try  turn their lives over to Christ and begin to live as a  Christian in a secular world.

So I guess I would have to answer the author’s question by saying yes, Christian Church people will turn young Babes in Christ  away from wanting to be a part of organized church.  Keeping it real, the organized church can sometimes make a babe in Christ feel as if  they have been thrown in a den of wolves at the same time, they are struggling with their own demons.

Read the story then shoot me your thoughts!

By:  Demetria L. Lucas

“You’re a Christian, right?” a friend asked me recently.

Years ago, I would have given a knee-jerk, “Of course!” However these days, I find myself offering a long explanation, one that lays out my internal conflict with claiming Christianity without sounding like Judas.

I believe in God, pray multiple times daily — for myself and others, and the world at large. I read The Bible occasionally. I work out to a various selection of gospel songs, mostly classics that I was raised listening to or sang—a long time ago — in a church choir. I actually think, “what would Jesus do?” when I debate doing something that I have no business doing. I actively try to correct negative on-goings in my head, because I honestly believe God knows my thoughts. But I intentionally don’t go to church anymore and I’ve actively stopped referring to myself as a “Christian.”

Somewhere along the way, it seems that to some — certainly not all — Christians being Christian became synonymous with being perfect. Last week, Real Housewives of Atlanta co-star Kandi Burruss released her first gospel single, “Stay Prayed Up” featuring gospel great Marvin Sapp and was swiftly derided by other Christians for what they deemed her un-Christian-like ways, including a sex toy business, a racy radio show and speaking openly about having sex with her live-in fiancé. “I knew when I decided to do it that I would be criticized,” Burruss wrote on Instagram. “I believe in God but I have always struggled with the rules of the church, just like a lot of people.”

That same week, NBA player Dwight Howard, also a self-described Christian, took a few verbal jabs for declaring he wanted to “raise the name of God within the league and throughout the world.” Howard isrumored to have as many as five children out-of-wedlock by as many women. Tracey Edmonds, who was once accused of being a mistress of ex- NFL star Deon Saunders (an allegation she swiftly denied), also raised a few eyebrows when she recently announced she would launch a TV network “with Christian values.”

I’m not here to debate whether Burruss or Edmond or Howard are good-Christians or pick apart their alleged shortcomings. Frankly, I have too many of my own to concentrate on rather than harping on those of others. Still, I would like to suggest that people who aren’t perfect should not be derided for professing Christianity. The pressures of being a “perfect” Christian are more likely to turn people away from God than to bring people who are faulty, flawed and trying anyway into the fold. Anybody who has tried to walk with God knows it’s a rocky path where folks fall and stumble all the time. If ministers,pastors and popes —  the appointed leaders of Team Christian (after God, of course) — can waiver on the terrain, then certainly their followers can get some extra rope as well.

And it’s not like Christianity doesn’t need the shout out from younger, relevant self-professed Christians.  A 2011 Hartford Seminary study on America’s churches found that not only was attendance at Christian churches down across the board, but the pews were increasingly “grey”, i.e., the younger people, me included, have gone missing. However, it does seem like they are listening. Despite all the hoopla, Burruss’s single shot to the number one spot on iTunes’ gospel chart.

If Christians want to maintain relevance among the younger set, it would be helpful if those with holier-than-thou attitudes stopped alienating other flawed members of the flock. It doesn’t make Christians appear more righteous or more perfect; it just serves to silence imperfect people who want to avoid judgment and drives well-intentioned, but flawed sinners away from the church.

Demetria L. Lucas is the author of “A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life” (Atria), in stores now. Follow her on Twitter @abelleinbk