Christianity Has an Image Problem

25 10 2007

unchristian.jpgIn my Fusion Group, we’re in the middle of a study about reaching out to “walking across the room” to share Christ with people. We’re learning practical ways to extend a hand of love to someone far from God and helping to point them to faith. As we talked last night, we found that one of the major hurdles is the perception that people have of Christianity. For many their first hand experience with Christianity and Christians left such a bad taste in their mouth that they were turned off from exploring God. As we talked we came to the realization that words like “uptight,” “judgmental,” “pushy” and “self-righteous” commonly describe Christians.

People something is wrong. This was not the community that Christ was dreaming about when He said, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” This was not what Christ was calling the church to be when He said, “You are the light of the world.”

Maybe your knee jerk reaction is to get defensive. But here’s the deal…this perception will only change when when we as followers of Christ get as sold out in offering love, grace and value to people, in the same way which Jesus offered love, grace and value to us. The negative experiences people had with Christians are real. Let’s be honest…let’s listen…let’s apologize when necessary…and let’s love.

The next few weeks, I’ll be sharing some thoughts and solutions from the book, “unChristian” by David Kinneman.

To gain awareness of breath of the challenge, post a personal story from your life about a negative experience you’ve had with Christians or Christianity. Not to slam. Not to judge. I’ll remove it if you do. Keep the person or church anonymous. Let’s be honest and collectively learn from our experiences, so that we can better represent our Savior.

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3 responses

27 10 2007
Denise Hillbom

I saw a news segment this morning about a group of Christians protesting at the grave sight of a fallen soldier, holding signs that said “God Hates America” and “America is doomed”. I think the soldier was gay. I was furious because the God I know doesn’t hate any of us and is only full of love for us and wants us to react in the same way. Than I go to this sight and watch the two video clips and am filled with tears. I know I haven’t always been the best example of a Christian and it remindes me that God is calling each of us to be a light in this dark world. …Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deds and praise your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16. A fire is burning inside of me to turn up the thermostat on LOVE! There is no other way we can show this world what a great and loving God we serve. Let’s turn up the heat on LOVE!

31 10 2007
Michelle

I had a very discouraging experience not too long ago. I was at a church early Sunday morning, using the copier. I was having trouble with ours so I needed to get access to their copy room, which was locked. It was getting close to when I needed to leave so I was desperately searching for someone to help me. I wandered into the hall in front on the sanctuary where people where gathering for the early service. I was very frustrated at this point and I’m sure it showed on my face. I looked around at the people, they looked at me and not one person asked me if they could help me. I did end up finding someone in the halls who could unlock the door. I wonder what the people were thinking, maybe they didn’t really notice me, or maybe it’s because I had jeans and boots on and didn’t look like I belonged there.

2 11 2007
Tim Kade

I can’t say it better. We need to turn up the thermostat on Love and reflect the amazing and unconditional love that Christ has shown to us. It’s the only thing that will turn things around.

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