I’m reading the book unChristian from the George Barna group. The thesis is that those outside the church better understand Christianity and how Christians should act than Christians do… and their view of us became the title of the book… unChristian.
I did a search for “Christian” on You Tube and one of the replies was “These Christians Groups Have Lost Their Minds” by comedianne Margaret Cho. Since I had been reading the book, I played the video (I don’t suggest doing so as I would rate it “R.” I turned it off after grossly offensive language while misquoting Matthew 4:17.). But one comment she made that I believe is dead on too often was…
They have no right to call themselves Christians because they have no Christianity to them. They have no kindness, no compassion, no charity. I want Jesus to come back and say… “That’s not what I meant!!!” (Margaret Cho)
I’m troubled that in many ways the book’s title is correct. I’m troubled that to a great degree Ms. Cho is right. The way many Christians conduct themselves is in fact unChristian. That is the reason young people ages 16-29 are rejecting Christianity. It’s not because of Jesus… it’s not because of what Scripture teaches… it is because of Christians! As Ghandi is supposedly to have said, “I would have become a Christian if it weren’t for Christians.”
Why do people reject Christianity? Because of Christians. Christians contradict the way Jesus said the world would know we are Christians. Christians are known more for what they oppose… who they support politically… the kind of people they believe God hates… and their public failures instead of The Gospel. We have given the ones we’re called to tell about Jesus a stick to beat us with, and that’s a shame.
Compare our unChristian reputation to the Biblical admonition found in 1 Timothy 2:1-4,
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Before anyone will listen to the Gospel, they must observe a life that lends credibility to the truth. If there is not a platform of believability which is a believer’s life… then the message will be rejected. We must quit making enemies of the people God has called us to reach with the Gospel!
The problem with the world is not that sinners are sinning… they’re supposed to do that because they are sinners. The problem is that Christians are sinning as bad as, and in some cases worse than, the sinners they are to share the Gospel!
Maybe it’s time we quit giving outsiders a stick to beat the church, The Faith, and our Savior with. And that begins with me! (Click here for an interesting Baptist Press article!)
7/18/08: For an update to this post Click Here.