While the ideals of Christianity have a basis in Jesus, in the history of the world - from the Crusades to Calvin's oppression of Geneva - we have often seen everything but Jesus' love. Culturally, Christianity has met with resistance because of this pained history, and also because, to most of the world, embracing Christianity means embracing Western civilization, Western policy, and even Western rule.
Even within the boundaries of our own "civilized" countries, we can see the systemic problems within Christianity. Picketers, political manipulators, and cultural warmongers all tend to have their own versions of Christianity. Many racists consider themselves Christians. The same goes for many corrupt politicians, gangsters, and abusive parents.
... Within the domain of Christianity, we all suffer beneath the weight of sin. Understanding the doctrine of forgiveness does not deliver us from sin. Jesus does. Our Western logic, our reason, our "right thinking" cannot deliver us from evil. ...
As Christians, we're faced with a problem difficult to see because it's so obvious. We're aware of Jesus, but we are obsessed with Christianity. We're stuck on its requirements and we're defined by its doctrines, caught in an endless struggle to find out where we fit, if we've "arrived" yet, and if we're doing it right. We struggle with sin, and yet, because of the boundaries, we're forced to decided between being honest about our feelings and hiding for fear we'll be judged. In this state, we're not living in the grace of Jesus. We're trying to maintain our membership.
excerpt from pg. 72-3 of Speaking of Jesus by Carl Medearis