For many years, I felt like a Christian outsider. I'd see people in church and knew that I didn't fit into their mold: happy, clean-cut, sin-free, never even a sinful thought. Of course, it was a myth. Everyone has sinned, and whether we want to admit it or not, continues to sin. Sin means acting in a way that is contrary to God's will. Unless you've scrutinized your heart and God's Word (the Bible) before taking any action, you have very possibly acted in your own interests, rather than God's. And that is sin.
So the truth is that we are all, to varying extents, spiritual outsiders. The real question is whether or not we will admit it. Admitting it means that we recognize we've acted in this way and determine to do something about it.
So, to my Christian brothers and sisters:
There are non-believers all around you; at work, neighbors, at school, even family. These people see you and think one of the following three things:
1. "I could never be like that. I've made too many mistakes. I've lived a bad life. I can never be good enough for God. It's just too late."
2. "I don't want to be like that." These people see what they perceive to be the hypocracy of many Christians, especially the failings of high-profile Christians. We don't practice what we preach. These people see Christianity as a phony religion. Worse, they see it as a religion that says, "We're right and you are wrong."
3. "I don't need that." To these people, either this life is it, or they view life and the afterlife as a sort of cosmic justice system, where one's good deeds are weighed against the bad.
Of course, no one is good enough for God. That's why He did what He did with Jesus. And it's why Christians act badly. It's part of our DNA. The difference is that the Christian knows that God forgives them. And knowing that, along with the fact that God has taken up residence in the Christian's heart, enables the Christian to get better. Although we continue to sin, we look back on our lives and see a trajectory toward goodness (and Godness) that can't be explained any other way. As to the people who think that their lives will be weighed on a cosmic scale, if they are really honest with themselves, they will quickly realize that their bad deeds will always outweigh their good deeds.
If you know one of these people, give them a copy of "The Reasonable Person- Due Process of Law, Logic, and Faith." (CreateSpace, June 21, 2012). Or, send me their name and address and I will.