I’ve wanted to write this for a while, but it’s not the easiest topic to speak on. But criticism is a daily practice for most of the free world, so what the heck.
I wanted to tell you, WordPress friends and beyond, that not all Christians are obnoxious. (I see your eye rolls… stick with me).
I’m sure you’ve come into contact with people who say they are Jesus-loving but whose treatment of others is on par with Mean Girls or a blood-thirsty politician. You’ve interacted with individuals who claim to love the Lord: they go to church every Sunday, they even serve at the front desk or in Children’s ministry, yet they put their righteousness right in your face and tell you that you’re not really living right because you’re not in a pew every Sunday like them. You know people who talk about how much you need Jesus, but they judge and ridicule and curse out the people who “screw them over”, and they give their haughty opinions when they have no business doing so; they treat others as though they are above the rest. They know Jesus so they are more worthy, more deserving of the good things in this life.
Here’s my challenge to you – If you still have faith inside of you, any hope at all, for mankind, please believe me: we are not all like this. I hope you’ll give us a chance. Here’s why:
Some of us talk about going to church, but also treat people with decency and respect. Some of us talk about going to church, invite you, but don’t crank up the righteousness to guilt trip you into it. Just look for us, listen for us, we’re around. Look for the Bible readers who drink a beer or two on Friday night because they know it’s okay to do so. Look for the ones who take genuine care of their marriages like the Bible asks us to do; the ones who have friends outside the church walls; the ones who don’t shy away from their beliefs but they don’t sandwich-board it every chance they get, either. We’re out there. I like to think I’m one, and off the top of my head I can think of 16 of my closest friends and family who are God Lovers and their MO is treating others with kindness and grace. Sixteen may not seem like a lot, but in the day-to-day Facebook Religion Wars/Drama that might as well be a reality show, 16 feels like a lot. Forgive the rest for their misgivings, and look for the diamonds in the rough – the Christ-followers who try their best to live out what their relationship with God expects of them.
There are a LOT of facets to being a Christian. A lot of directives, a lot of expectations, a lot of details to the theology. That’s not what this post is for.
This is to say that truly, honestly, on behalf of any person who has claimed to be a Christ-follower but has been purposefully rude, righteous, or prideful to you… I am sorry. I am sorry if anyone representing the Church has treated you as if you were less of a person because you don’t believe, because you look different, if anyone representing the church has made you feel like you don’t belong because you don’t believe what they believe. Truly, I am sorry. Because that’s not supposed to be our message.
(If you’re wondering what our message is supposed to be, here it is: Jesus walked this earth as the perfect man. He lived a perfect life. Then he died the death we should have died, on the cross, bearing the sins of all mankind, from then through the end of times. He wants to be our Savior, and He will be if we let him. E-mail me if you want more info/more of a discussion. For even more: Go here and watch this.)
So, I hope you’ll believe me that not all Christians are obnoxious. Some of us are quite nice. Stick around and I’ll prove it to you. If you still feel like all Christians are obnoxious after reading my stuff, I’ll send you a free copy of my book. You’ll have to make a good case for it, though. 😉