DEAR REV. GRAHAM: My uncle doesn't have anything to do with the church he grew up in (or any other church), because he says Christians are just a bunch of hypocrites and aren't any better than anyone else. How can I answer him? My faith is very important to me, and his attitude really hurts me. —M. M.
Dear M.M.: Perhaps you've seen a sign outside a church or on someone's bumper that says something like this: "Christians aren't perfect — they're just forgiven."
Even the Apostle Paul — the greatest Christian who ever lived — often found himself weighed down by his old sinful nature. He wrote, "For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do — this I keep on doing" (Romans 7:19). Why do I mention this? The reason is because your uncle doesn't really understand what it means to belong to Jesus Christ. It doesn't mean we're perfect — because we aren't. But it does mean God has come to live within us by His Spirit, and it does mean we now have a whole new direction in life.