Let me start off by admitting that I am making two very broad generalizations. One, I am generalizing the entire Christian population which is very diverse. Two, I’m generalizing all of those who don’t like Christians which I’m sure is also very diverse. I think if you continue to read this post however, you’ll find that these generalizations will be pretty darn accurate… you’ll see what I mean.
Now that I’ve gotten that out-of-the-way, let me start with another confession: I was once a person who didn’t like Christians. In fact, I didn’t like them so much that I figured I wouldn’t even bother to really look into Christianity. Why would I want to follow a religion if it meant I was going to become a close-minded, cold-hearted, ignorant drone? I highly valued being open-minded (and by that I mean loving of all people which is ironic because I didn’t have much love for Christians) and I also valued critical thinking. The perception that I had of Christians was one that mostly came from movies and not a whole lot from real life. I assumed that Christians were full of white supremacists who loved gun rights and hated homosexual people. Now, I know that I was the one being close-minded.
In high school, I took a biology class in which our teacher admitted that the theory of evolution hadn’t been 100% proven. I had been a firm believer in evolution and although I still believe that hints of it could be true, what is important to realize is that believing in evolution takes an element of faith. I realized that science wasn’t always 100% reliable. At the same time, my great-uncle began to pick me up from school and a friendship formed between us. He was a Christian (I say “was” because he passed away) and was an amazing man. He told me that ,’Jesus loved me whether I believed in him or not.’ I had to chuckle at his confidence. He never apologized for his faith but he didn’t force it on me either. He was the first Christian I met that I really genuinely admired.
Now, fast forward a ton of years (ok maybe not a ton, I’m not that old yet) and I can tell you that I have met many incredibly intelligent, loving Christian people. My perception of who Christians are was being tainted by my own assumptions, by the media, and by many out-spoken people who I thought were representatives of Jesus.
So why don’t YOU like Christians? Let me give it a guess. You don’t like Christians because they’re so ______________ (insert your preferred adjectives there). Am I right?? I’m totally right. I told you. Now let me tell you why they’re so ______________. It’s because Christians are really broken people. In fact, those out-spoken people I talked about earlier, they are incredibly broken but they are representatives of Jesus nonetheless. I am one of those broken people too.
When Jesus came to gather followers and then to die for us he said specifically that he did not come for the righteous but for the sinner. (Mark 2:17; Luke 5:32) You could replace the word sinner with the words: broken, sick, or imperfect.
It’s really quite unfortunate marketing. It’s like Jenny Craig hiring a ton of overweight people to do their commercials except you never seen the “after” photos.
So here’s the thing, you can’t judge Jesus by looking at his followers. It just doesn’t work. What you can do, however, is look at us totally broken Christians and think: Wow, if God still loves them, he must be REALLY loving. That’s really the best way to look at it. We haven’t earned God’s love, He just GAVE it to us because he’s that RIDICULOUSLY loving. Most Christians that I know will gladly confess to you that they are imperfect and that they have only been accepted by God because of his grace.
He loves us even when we’re self-righteous or hypocritical or condemning. He loves us and forgives us for being all of the things that you hate about us. He loves us in spite of all of that. See how loving he is?? Pretty crazy. It doesn’t make sense, I know. The cool thing is, you can rest assured that God is working in our hearts to make us more loving and humble. So next time a Christian annoys you for being hateful or judgmental or whatever, you can at least know that.
Here’s the other thing, you don’t have to ascribe to a certain political party or throw-out your love of science to be a Christian. In fact, I know many very devoted followers of Jesus that are on complete opposite sides of the political spectrum. There’s no guarantee that you won’t change your mind on some things though, that I have to admit. If you decide to accept Jesus’ love and salvation, your heart will be changed. You will see things differently. But I think if you got to know who Jesus was (instead of looking at his followers) you would be ok with him changing you because he is absolutely perfect.
If you’re curious about learning about this absolutely-perfect Jesus person, maybe try checking-out the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke or John in the New Living Translation Bible or some version like that. Use a Bible that’s considered a “study bible” so that you can read more into certain passages that might seem odd. Recognize that you might need to ask questions about why Jesus did or said certain things because there is a lot of historical context to consider. Go into it with an open mind and let me know what you think.
Oh and one more thing, try not to judge us so much k? You know, cut us sinners some slack. Thanks. 😉
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