All Christian subcultures read the same Bible and pray to the same God, yet all interpret Christianity differently. They promote different sets of values. Some denounce allowing mixed-sex swimming at church youth events, yet condone smoking cigarettes. There are conservative Brethren churches in Scotland where the women wear head coverings and do not speak in church.
Yet, other Irish pastors and church members see nothing wrong with consuming alcohol at meals. Christians are not all cut from the same cloths. Trying to make everyone the same eliminates diversity as well as God’s grace. Christian subcultures may develop their own values but this can become destructive when they try to force their values on others.
Christians also seem to expect instant holiness from new Christians especially in areas where they feel they are doing well. For example, Shia Labeouf was criticized by some for using curse words a few weeks after converting to Christianity. Some people even doubted his conversion and suspected it might have been an elaborate act. Christians seem to sometimes forget that only God can judge another man’s heart. God knows true believers from fake ones. It is not for men to judge other Christians based on their language. Some bad habits like cursing can take some time to remove. Judgment and pride often show in Christians who forget that these things are also a sin. Grace means that all Christians are working toward eliminating sin from their lives. It takes time for God to work in the lives of Christians at all stages of their relationship with him.
This was proven in Jesus’ choice of his twelve apostles. These men were not the saints they are sometimes portrayed as. Peter walked with Jesus for three years and witnessed miracles and sermons. Yet, he denied Christ three times the night before he was crucified. James and John were nicknamed, “sons of thunder” and definitely had anger management issues. They once wanted to destroy an entire village for not allowing them to spend the night. This destruction included women and children. Jesus interceded to stop them from murdering the entire village. Matthew was a tax-collector. Men in this profession were thought to be committing religious and political treason. Tax-collectors were not just known for extortion but for leading notoriously immoral lives. Simon was a “Zealot”, they were fighters known for killing Romans as well as Jews they viewed as sell-outs. They were aggressive and violent and not known for loving their enemies.
Christians can’t regular grace. God does not create mass-produced Christians who are all exactly alike. There are many shades of righteousness and Christians should be patient with each other not judgemental. God makes sinners holy by meeting them where they are and making them holy. This is holiness that serves the poor, prays, and loves their enemies. Holiness preaches the life-giving Gospel of a crucified and risen Savior in Jesus Christ.