Let's face it - sometimes Christians don't exactly get the best rap sheet in the world. Often people see us as judgmental, hypocritical, and sometimes juts as plain awful people. But do we ALL really deserve to get lumped in with people like this, even if we denounce them? Joey shares his thoughts on why putting all Christians together in one, big group isn't always a great idea.
Not everyone who acts in the name of Christ is a Christian. It’s frustrating, and frankly cheap, when people point to the actions of the KKK, Westboro Baptist, and those of the Crusades (1095 – 1291 AD) to discredit Christianity.
It is not fair to any group of people to encounter this type of stereotyping. Let’s look at a list of 10 groups that have potential for receiving similar stereotyping, and you decide for yourself the fairness.
1. How would PETA like it if someone defended vegetarianism while eating jerky on a hunting trip? What if people then declared all ardent PETA followers as frauds?
2. How would Minor Threat, Sex Pistols and Bad Brains fans feel when music fans champion “Time of Your Life,” by Green Day, as a punk classic? What if punk rawk then got re-classified as this bumble-gum pop?
3. How did Shooter McGavin feel when Happy Gilmore presented himself as a real golfer?
4. How would the makers of the bumper sticker, “Coexist,” feel if the sticker’s integrity is called into question after teens go joyriding to heckle homosexuals and Jews with the message glowing with contradiction pasted on the back of the car?
5. How would dudes feel if Bruce Willis, Dr. Dre, and Clint Eastwood proclaimed the greatest “dude movie” of all time to be “You’ve Got Mail,” with “The Notebook” a close runner up?
6. How would thrift store junkies like it if all Old Navy stores changed their name to Old Navy Thrift Store? Would “thrift store” lose its original meaning or would people simply ignore the bizarre label that Old Navy put on itself?
7. How would NFL or NBA players feel if all players were labeled traitors because of Brett Favre’s move to the Vikings back in ’09, and LeBron’s move to the Heat in ’10?
8. How do Germans feel when they are still seen as Jew-haters because of what their ancestors did?
9. How do Atheists feel when people say unbelief in God will always lead to mass genocide, pointing to the actions of Hitler and Stalin as proof?
10. How would Americans feel if we were all portrayed as racists because of the country’s historical cruel treatment of Native Americans and the deplorable slavery of Africans?
Are you seeing the craziness here? And yet many persist to paint Christians, or even all religious groups, as evildoers. How should we deal with this?
Here are a few thoughts:
– Not all the stupid things that are/were done in the name of Christ (or Christianity) can be attributed to Christians, because the people that did them did not know Jesus and are NOT Christians!
– Jesus is perfect, but Christians are not. Why else would we need a savior?
– God is continually working on His kids to make them better.
With all of this said, however, there is still a level of responsibility that all people need to take for any evil done by their ancestors, race, country, or religious group. The Church can do a better job of owning its sins. But, what does it say about our society that Christians still need to defend themselves because of the evils done by a few? Furthermore, what does it say about us that the wrongs done by Christians eclipse the charity of Christians in the public eye?