Friday, February 26, 2010

do christian-bashers have a point?

i watched a couple of tv shows recently in which there was some christian-bashing going on. i admit. it was hard to hear what they were saying. on one hand, i'm a conservative christian. i'm the stereotype they were making jokes about. but i'm also disillusioned with the institution of church so in some respects i can understand their perspective. i've even secretly thought the same things.

my heart ached a little because i see where they're coming from. christians have begun to be known for what and who we're against. every time you turn around, we're boycotting this, or we're outraged about that. we're supposed to be known by our love. we're supposed to possess the fruit of the spirit which, in addition to love, is joy and peace, patience, gentleness, kindness and goodness, faithfulness and self-control. we're told in philippians to not only look out for our own interests but also the interests of others and not to be selfish and proud, but give more honor to others than ourselves.

yet this is not how we christians are perceived today. the people spoke about our negativity, our dogmatism, our rigidity, our condescension, our hypocrisy. i asked myself, "do they have a point?", "am i guilty?"

they may indeed have a point. i admit that when i act out of woundedness, i can slide into that stereotype. i can be guilty of one or more because i become self-focused, i push people away, and i hide emotionally or put up a front to protect myself. insecurity manifests itself in condescension and arrogance. i know i'm guilty of this at times. so once again, i am in one of my introspective, self-assessing modes.

i can point to many examples of christians being a poor representation of GOD. i've been turned off as well. i heard someone say that their problem was not with GOD but with his children. i get that. and i don't want to be that.

since then, i've apologized profusely to GOD, and i am truly sorry for being a poor representation myself. i want to be known for pointing people TO GOD not away from him. GOD is FOR people. i want to be known for being FOR people, too. i want to be known for my love and openness and caring attitudes and actions. i want to blow that stereotype out of the water that christians are angry, arrogant hypocrites. i'm not perfect. i will disappoint. but i'm trying to change and be that person that represents a good and loving GOD. that's who he is, even when i'm not.

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