I need your help. I am working on a theory, and I could use some input. My theory is this:
As I look at the Gospels, I see Jesus talking very firmly to the religious leaders and those who claim to know God (Pharisees, etc.) However, when Jesus talks to “non-believers” he seems to be much more gracious, patient, and not judgmental. In other words, Jesus seems to have a double standard. One set of expectations for God-followers, and another set of expectations for those who are not God-followers. If my theory holds true, I think it has significant applications for us. For example:
If we want to be like Christ, how do we relate to people who are believers and those who are non-believers?
Can we expect a non-believer to be held to the same standards as a believer?
What might this mean for how we relate to our culture, both within and outside of the church?
Again, this is just a theory. I’m happy to be proved wrong. This is where you come in. Will you help me read through the Gospels carefully and identify passages where this theory either holds true or where it is incorrect? Once we’ve compiled some results, I’ll post another message that will clarify our findings.
I think it is an important distinction that Jesus makes, and especially important for us who live in a culture that is increasingly distant from God.