Sadly, Christian behavior doesn't always match Christian belief. Working at a church, I'm still surprised, at times, when someone comes to me with gossip, swears, or ends up drinking too much at a function. It happens. I still love them. I know I've probably done some things in the past early on in my faith that had people wonder whether or not I really was a Christian.
The question always seems to be how do we deal with it? One of the things I love most about our Fellowship Church family is that when someone in a Growth Group slips up and swears, there is no gasp, there is no condemnation, no one kicks them out of the group. They just listen. They also usually get a quick apology. But there's no judgment.....none. We are in this together. If we quickly tell them we will not allow this behavior, what are we doing? There goes the church because the only difference between the person swearing and the others sitting in a circle is that he or she was exposed. Their sin came out while the others in the group were allowed to be perceived as still "perfect".
Whether it's a Growth Group or the church itself, once we start being careful about who we allow in, we've lost complete touch with Who Jesus is. The more I read about Him, the more I see who He hung out with and it was clear no one filled out an application to do so.
We love people here at FC. We're full of people trying hard to do better. They'll have slip-ups and make mistakes. They may even offend you but all in all their heart as well as ours is for everyone here to draw closer and closer to the only Hope we have Jesus Christ.
Up and to the right! We're in this together.