The Barna Group, a respected Christian survey organization, recently asked young people to identify which perceptions they most strongly associate with Christianity. The three most commonly agreed-upon were: anti-homosexual, judgmental, and hypocritical.
Westboro Baptist church has made headlines with their “God hates fags” philosophy where they protest soldiers funerals. Also making headlines are abortion clinics being bombed & protests for nearly everything under the sun.
At almost every event with a large crowd you can find “the megaphone man” yelling about hell and eternal damnation.
All in the name of Jesus??
If this is the Christianity the world sees than no wonder many people are not interested.
My dear friend Katelyn posted this awesome quote:
I have decided to stop letting political and religious organizations represent me on the issues. I have decided to represent myself, and in so doing I hope to accurately represent Christ.
-Mike Foster “Unchristain”
Dear friends, Forgive us. Forgive us for the embarrassing things we have done in the name of Jesus.
We are imperfect people for sure. Our attempts to model Jesus are clumsy at best. He calls us, imperfect and broken, to transform us so we are no longer the same. We just don’t always leave the old us behind.
Please don’t reject Christ because of Christians. We are still trying to wrap our head around the God of the universe wanting to make disciples out of us.
Despite our misrepresentation, Jesus was a pretty amazing guy.
He was the preacher of all preachers yet you could find him dining with some of the worst “sinners” of his day. Mark 2:15
He was the King of all the universe yet he was born to regular people in a palace no wait, a manger. Luke 2:7
He deserved servants and crowns, yet he washed his disciples feet. John 13 1-17
He is the only one that was or ever will be worthy of all the fame and fortune of the world, yet he was a servant. Mark 9:35
He spoke love into the people no one loved. John 4
He would touch those no one else would touch. Mark 1:40-45
He did nothing wrong, but he never tried to defend himself. John 18:28-38
He could have had a thousand Angels come to take his place on the cross, but he took mine instead. John 19:28-30
I want to invite you to consider that maybe the televangelists and street preachers are wrong — and that God really is love. Maybe the fruits of the Spirit really are beautiful things like peace, patience, kindness, joy, love, goodness, and not the ugly things that have come to characterize religion.
The Jesus I know is turning the world upside down with his love. The less I get in the way the better he can “advertise” through me.
Have you ever witnessed a not so great “advertisment” for Jesus?
I find it interesting that the Barna Group surveyed young people. In today’s world and society, the younger generation (my generation) has the potential to be world changers. But yet, so many have experienced the complete opposite from the church and people who call themselves “Christians”, making them throw in their towels.
But, in the midst of all of this, there is an uprising of young believers who know that above all else, God is all that matters. He is love and He loves us. He yearns for us. The Spirit of Christ allows for a fire to burn in a believer. I pray that our fires ignite for His glory and proclaim the Christ who is true, that came to live a perfect life and died on the Cross for our sins and shame. But, the beauty of Christ’s death is in the resurrection. Because, He is alive today. Waiting for us to say yes to Him.
UnChristian by David Kinnaman is a great book, as is the Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne, I’ve heard.
Love this post!!!! Great job! #EnjoyJesus
Katie @ Imperfect People says:
Thank you so much for your comment! Yes it sounds like we are on the same wavelength my friend. Thank you so much for being a light!
Brad Wise says:
It is indeed very sad that the Westboro Baptist and people who bomb abortion centers are lumped in with us true Christians and that is the image people see when they think of Christians. I’ve been following the Westboro Baptist Church for some time now and when I look into Fred Phelps eyes all I see is hate. And we all know God is love. As we get closer to Jesus’ return darkness and lawlessness will grow, and indeed they are just as He told us. Knowing this and seeing it come to pass in our world, in our generation right now can be overwhelming and depressive. But if we keep our eyes on the prize and keep focused on Jesus, knowing his return is near, our hope and spirits are lifted and we are comforted. It is my prayer that keep our eyes on the prize and not lose heart or let our love grow cold as darkness grows. Let us keep striving to mirror our lives after Jesus’ so that we can be an example, a light for a world filled with darkness.
Katie @ Imperfect People says:
Thank you brad! Such true words! It is an honor to have you as part if our family
Yep, nothing brings people to Christ like the corner preacher with a megaphone, pointing at women and calling them whores, or telling passerbys that they’re destined for an eternity in Hell.
The biggest reason people turn away from Christianity is the ugly self-rightousness, hypocricy, dupliciousness, and visable hate of people such as Jim Phelps and Tedd Haggard. Wikipedia has a list of “fallen” prominent evangelicals from 1920 to the present. There were 35 people on this list:
They, along with pedophile Catholic priests, and Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson claiming that immorality and anti-Christian groups were to blame for 9/11, do more damage to Christianity than all the lectures, debates and book tours of the militant athiests combined.
But then, unexpectantly, you come across the actions of Christians such as Shane Claiborne of the Red Letter Christians; or the Amish who forgave the killer who slew five of their little girls; or the Christian couple from Northern California, who, after their young son was gunned down and killed during a tour of Italy, donated his organs to the Italian people. You hear about these things and you think, maybe they do know something I don’t know.
If more Christians demonstrated the grace and magninimity of these folks, Christianity would have far more adherents.
Jesus said, He whom has no sin cast the first stone.