When Bad Christians Happen to Good PeopleWhere We Have Failed Each Other and How to Reverse the Damage

Book Cover


About This Book

Have you been betrayed by a Christian friend?

Are you disillusioned with the church?

If you have been hurt by Christians, you know all about anger and resentment. But what about a workable solution? How can the words and actions of “bad Christians” be addressed so the mistakes are not repeated?

When Bad Christians Happen to Good People offers a workable response and, ultimately, a new way of living. In this revised and updated edition, you will find healing for hurts infl icted by others. At the same time, you will discover ways to help Christians and church leaders recognize the damage that is done by unexamined assumptions, words, and actions.

After dealing with his own hurt, Dave Burchett now shows believers how to:
■ Live as Jesus followers, not rule enforcers
■ Stop using religious performance as the standard for accepting others
■ Let go of moralism, legalism, and an allegiance to trying harder
■ Discover God’s grace as a daily reality, not just a word to use in evangelism

Working toward a solution will benefi t your own life at the same time it helps
others. Whether you have been a bad Christian in the past, or have been hurt by one,
there is a better way to live.


Praise for When Bad Christians Happen to Good People

“In When Bad Christians Happen to Good People, Dave indeed succeeds in making Christians think carefully and in getting us out of our comfort bunkers. I know that Bob would be chuckling with me at Dave’s sense of humor as he addresses very tough issues. I recommend it heartily to all who are serious in their commitment to be Jesus to our world.”

—Marty Briner, widow of Bob Briner, who authored Roaring Lambs and Final Roar

“Even though I’m not a betting man, I’ll bet you’ve never read a book like this one. Here is a no-holds-barred look at what’s right, what’s wrong, and what’s really weird about the Christian movement in America. At the end of the day, Dave Burchett has a heart for the church, for the gospel, and for people who don’t know the Lord. Christians could make a powerful difference in our world. But we ourselves must change. This book points us in the right direction.”
—Dr. Ray Pritchard, author, conference speaker, and senior pastor of Calvary Memorial Church in Oak Park, Illinois

“This book is excellent. Dave Burchett sends a wake-up call to all believers that our behavior and our attitudes can have a profound effect on how the Message is received. National research shows that there is a great disparity between how the world views Christians and how it views the person of Jesus Christ. When Bad Christians Happen to Good People challenges people of faith to live a life that shows the world love, hope, and encouragement.”
—John Frost, noted strategic broadcast consultant

“Dave allowed God to navigate him through the pain of religious moralism to arrive at insightful, compelling, and gracious wisdom. He remains a sincere lover of God’s church and people as he directs weary pilgrims to safer lodging. His self-effacing humor allows us to examine our religious culture without having to defend it.”
—John Lynch, coauthor of TrueFaced and Bo’s Café

“After reading this book, I was motivated to take a personal inventory of my daily walk with Jesus. As I read page after page, I jotted down nuggets of wisdom, words of encouragement, and new ways to strengthen my relationship with Jesus, with other Christians, and with those who are not believers.”
—Clint Hurdle, manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates

“Dave Burchett strikes out sometimes but happily hits home runs like Sammy Sosa. His comments about the sinner-sensitive church and CSL (Christian as a Second Language), his WJSHTOT question (Would Jesus Spend His Time on This?), and his “Don’t Know Much About Theology” song are all terrific.”
—Marvin Olasky, editor of World and senior fellow of the Acton Institute

“When I need someone to convince me that there is still hope in spite of the bad Christianity I see all around me, I talk to Dave Burchett. He makes me laugh, makes me cry, and makes me think. And in the end, he helps me fall back in love with the bride of Christ. In the pages of When Bad Christians Happen to Good People, you can join in that conversation.”
—Ed Underwood, author of When God Breaks Your Heart and Reborn to Be Wild

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  1. Thank you for your book, “When Bad Christians Happen to Good People.” You made me laugh, cry, understand another perspective. I never finish books because I get board, but I hated when I finished yours, it was so good. Just wanted to say thanks .

  2. Sara

    I have recently read an article of yours dated April of 2013 on the devotion app on my phone. It is about being hurt by the church. I would say I stumbled upon it by accident if I didn’t know that God had that article for me, every word, just on time because of the things I’m dealing with. I had no idea that pastors did such a thing as go to the internet and get sermons from websites. Let’s be very careful and say that I would not expect someone to site every single book or article they read to prepare for a sermon; however, using someone else’s sermon as your own including illustrations that you tell as if they had been your own personal experiences can send someone in a congregation into questioning everything they have believed if they find out that’s what a pastor has done. I also must say that because of some of the ways I have failed I know that I am the least deserving of an opportunity to serve in any kind of ministry but the Lord allows me the opportunity. I understand why this person has felt the need to do this and as I have found word for word the sermons I have heard for four years on a website I tried to be encouraging and kind. His response was to feed me just enough to not admit it but also be defensive of using sources. When the conversation came to a point of him saying God worked through other resources at the right time and I was putting God in a box which was damaging my faith the next logical response from my brain would have been that my faith felt damaged but not because I don’t believe God gives us resources to use when we need them (example.your article) but because I found proof that he had not put study time in and that at times he would say “I,prayed and this is what God said to me about this topic,” but that statement was part of a script that someone else wrote; however I know he is chosen and anointed by God and ya just don’t mess with the Lord’s anointed so I didn’t further explain what I knew. Yes this made me question some things but I thank God for being the Good Father that He is. I knew that if I wanted wisdom I needed to ask Him; He gave me exactly what I needed to hear and read. All of this had gone in the process of the one person who I trusted during my darkest hour was leaving our church. I have not told the church what I found and I won’t. I’m glad the church doesn’t know everything I have done for one thing and I don’t want anyone else to be as hurt as I was. Pastors are human. What hurts on top of everything is that he insulted me in a very indirect way recently. I do not know that he even gathered from our conversation about him,using other sources that I know he had indeed taken sermons from that site word for word since I never did come out and say it. I do know, since I am a sinner too, that when I’m reminded of something I’m convicted about, that I get uncomfortable and I’m sure that I remind him at least of things that make him uncomfortable to think about. So since I honesty want to be friends with this family (I’ve had the pleasure of being the kid’s Sunday School teacher so they will always be in my heart) I asked how I could pray for them. I was told that I am everything that I had told him I don’t want to be to sum up his response and that I shouldn’t let my emotions dictate my walk with God. “That should be the direction of your prayer life.” So did he really just say in so many words “don’t pray for me”? I will nonetheless. I see and understand more of the battle the family is fighting than they think I do. I am hurt and I feel like I have worn out a welcome that was never really extended to me so that makes me feel like a fool. If everyone knew all the things I’ve done, they’d feel the same way. I’m very thankful for Grace and I can not help but extend it when I know I’m much more undeserving than anyone.