Examples of us not being good Christians

11Jun08

In my last post I assumed we’re not very good Christians, and asked for reasons why you think that came to be. I realize many may disagree with my premise! I’ll try to state some of my argument for that belief below:

When I was in the Horizon School of Evangelism, in San Diego (I miss you), we would do street evangelism (crazy, I know). And we would go up to people and try to share God’s love for them. I realized quickly that when people (in San Diego) would hear Jesus or realize that you wanted to talk about God, they would shut-down. 1 in 30 people would talk to you – this definitely depends on delivery and giftedness or whatever.

But I realized that people have a VERY VERY negative perception of God and Jesus and Christianity (I almost want to stop calling myself a “Christian” just because of the HORRIBLE connotations that word carries, can’t I just be a Jesusian and follow the bible?).

This makes people very resistant to the gospel, THE ONLY WAY for them to have life!!!! HOW FREAKING TRAGIC!!!!! I mean, that’s FR**KING TRAGIC PEOPLE!!!! and ironic. They won’t even listen!

Is this because the world is all hard and sinful or whatever. Perhaps a little. But if they won’t even listen!? Won’t even listen!? They don’t even know what it’s about – they think they do – and that’s the problem.

They think they know what it’s about. They think it’s RELIGION, they think it’s LEGALISM, they think it’s rules. In fact, nowadays, they even think it’s HATEFUL and ignorant. How ironic that we’re supposed to be known by our love, but it’s the exact opposite.

So where did they get these wrong ideas?

Well … must be from us. We must have believed in legalism and portrayed it to them. We must have been hateful and portrayed that. Think about it. If we were really loving, would they have all this to say about us? I mean, of course we’re portrayed poorly in the media and we’re behind the eight ball now. So, I believe, we have to be extra loving, sacrificial, gracious, bending over backwards (we should be anyway) to love people. Thereby changing our image (is that even possible) and breaking down the barriers to people getting saved.

Here’s one example that I find interesting. Y’know all those “New Atheist” guys. They’re writing all these books about how religion sucks and God’s a myth, etc. Y’know how all of our debates with these guys, and really any non-Christians – how we’re always trying to use logic and argue them into believing?

Well, that’s really hard to do. It’s impossible (I believe) to create a compelling and fool proof case for Christianity, God, etc. The interesting part is: if we were loving like Jesus, we wouldn’t have to be arguing. They don’t want facts and logic, they want to see real changed lives, love, peace, joy, etc. I submit to you that it’s because we (largely) lack those things that they are able to resist like this. It’s our fault they’re not saved. Logic doesn’t seem to prove God inconclusively (I think he made it that way – yes, I know, Romans 1). Our lives are the proof they’re missing.

Wow, as I say that last sentence, I realize I’m not saying anything new. People have probably said this for a long, long time now (a few hundred years?). What will fix it? Again, I think it’s not a matter of sermonizing the topic to passive Christians, I think we need a fundamental change in how we do church – we’re not getting it done.

Grace and peace to you! =D sorry if I come off with attitude in this post. I’m passionate about the topic.

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17 Responses to “Examples of us not being good Christians”

  1. 1 dewde

    “1 in 30 people would talk to you – this definitely depends on delivery and giftedness or whatever.”

    “But I realized that people have a VERY VERY negative perception of God and Jesus and Christianity”

    “This makes people very resistant to the gospel”

    “Our lives are the proof they’re missing.”

    I’m with you on this one, Jesse.

    When I was an atheist, I loathed Christians. Deeply. Almost joyfully. After all, in my mind they deserved it. You story about street evangelism made me cringe a bit. I’m not trying to come down hard on your methods, but I feel like that approach to evangelism is practically evil. Whoa, strong words. But the way I see it, you potentially sacrificed 29 people for the sake of the 1. Let me get really unrealistic here. Let’s say that we all have a “conversion meter”. At position 1 is evangelic Atheism. Every time Professor Dawkins speaks, you cream your pants. Position 100 is the moment of conversion. The point you become a Christian.

    Lets say that the 1 person out of the 30 that the conversation when so spectacularly for added 10 points to their conversion meter. Yay! Go God! Maybe this conversation planted seeds that other conversations with other people will build upon down the road and cumulate, eventually, to a conversion.

    But what about the other 29? Negative points, baby. Sure for most they will be -1 here and there. But a few will be -5 or -10. Never under-estimate the power of people to be annoyed and hold a grudge.

    I’m not self-deceived enough to blame Christians for the decade I spent as an Atheist. I own it. Period. But I lived in South Georgia at the time. Deeeeeeeep South Georgia. Even though I started the fire, the Christians in my environment dumped heaps and heaps of fuel on it. If they would have just stopped talking and started loving I would have been left with a lot less noise and a lot more signal. I’d have been in a better position to evaluate Christianity on its actual merits. Not its perceived merits that I based on the actions of others.

    peace|dewde
    http://dewde.com

  2. 2 dewde

    One of Andy Stanley’s key phrases is “Relationship paves the way to influence”. That seems true to me. And building on what you are saying I would add, ” and love paves the way to relationship.”

    peace|dewde
    http://dewde.com

  3. 3 Paulg

    Amen! Jess, you’re right on…as I hinted about in the post from “We’re not very good Christians” our fierce individualism plays a gigantic role in all of this. Jesus said that it was going to be our love for one another that will prove we are his disciples.You can only love someone for a brief time unless you know them in deep community. Jesus said that the degree in which the church is “one, as You and I are one” is the degree to which the world will be that “You sent Me”. I mean when you look at our culture, we have so much loneliness, depression, etc, and you see the exact same thing in the church. We all believe to one degree or another that I have the right to see life from my own point of view. But, where does that belief come from? It’s not Biblical. I mean, we all study the Bible and come away with our own conclusion and then aline ourselves with the teachers we agree with. We say like the people in Corinthians “I am of Bell” “I am of Stanley” “I am of Driscoll” etc. and those of who don’t align with any of them say “I am of Christ”. But, as I’ve said where does that belief that I have the right to decide what’s right for me come from? I’m not talking about relativism only because the people who rail against relativism believe the exact same thing. They both believe they have the right to judge existence from their own point of view, from “how they see it.” The only difference between a relativist and a traditionalist is that the former says other people can be right too, while the latter says that other opinions are from the devil. But, as I said, both begin at the same place, the individual self.

    You talk about new ways of doing things, Jess…What if the assumptions of individualism were undone. That is, instead of seeing ‘normal’ as the ‘pursuit of happiness’ as an individual pursuit, we would know it as a communal (non-socialist meaning) pursuit? What fame would the name Christian (and by extension Jesus) gain if the people in the church would gladly give up their inalienable rights to pursue love? All that we do in our churches are geared towards individuals. We have a “individual alter calls to invite people to a ‘personal relationship with Jesus'” “individual baptisms”, “our communion sacraments are single serving (much like the single serving friends of Fight Club)”, we design small groups around individual tastes, we speak of community but send a different message with our actions while forgetting that by definition an individual is outside the community.

    I believe Jesus when he tells us the answer to our credibility problem is found with His body and with His bride. That when we come together, truly as a united bride, when we love each other enough to become a unified body, then, and only then, will the name of Jesus be praised. Amen

    With every head bowed and with every eye closed, if there are any of you out there who have yet to surrender your individuality to Jesus, could you just raise your hand wherever you are, believing that the Lord sees you 🙂 lol,…that was my way of apologizing for the sermon. If you’re interested I gave a message sort of on this on June 1, it’s tittled Love is not Self Seeking http://www.sonrise.net/media/sunNight.asp?Y=2008&messageid=525

  4. 4 dewde

    Good stuff PaulG.

    Side-note alert. I’m reading a book right now that has a section on relativism. It states that relativism has an inherent flaw in that it violates the foundational philosophical law of contradiction. A relativist says, “Truth is relative. My truth is relative to me and yours to you.” But the logical fallacy is that once someone says truth is relative, truth is 100%, absolutely and unequivocally relative for all people, what they are saying is that the only thing that is absolutely true is that absolute truth does not exist. And that is just nonsense.

    I like what you say about “I am of Stanley” and “I am of Bell.” Man that hit close to home. I know absolute truth exists. I know Andy gets it wrong in some places and Rob gets it wrong in some places. But I’m sort of stuck. I’m sitting here trying to make sense of the universe with faulty scientific equipment which I inherited from the fall.

    Which is why it makes even more sense to stop talking and start loving. For some reason, as faulty as our equipment may be, our love sensors seem to be one of the most reliable parts of our human machine. We should capitalize on that and broadcast at full volume.

    peace|dewde
    http://dewde.com

  5. thanks Paul! You’re sooooo deep! What do you propose we do?

  6. 6 Asher

    Our “love sensors” are perhaps the most dangerous parts of the “human machine” not the most reliable. As anyone who has pursed love or done something in the name of love know love is quite a dangerous thing. Beautiful and dangerous. People can do great acts in the name of love or do horrible things. Over the past twenty centuries of Christian influence I wonder which one is dominant or the tendency of Christians (or humans for that matter)? If love was then this conversation would not be happening.

    I would like to know your reasons why you think Christians are not being good Christians. More so please, than the 30 people you encountered in California. There are other possible reasons why the 29 people did not listen. Perhaps they had been approached by three other Christians that day or perhaps they were late for a plane or had a lunch appointment coming up. I think as Christians we tend to easily go to one extreme and automatically assume the worst. Just because some people do not choose to hear the gospels doesn’t mean that hate Christians or think we are not loving.

    In fact, there are Christians that preach on the street and talk to people here in downtown Atlanta. They try to get my attention and try to get me to stop by I keep on walking. I do not stop and hear what they have to say. I got a class to go to or I got to get to work. They may view me as a pagan hypocrite but the fact is that I’m busy and I’m already a Christian. I have no obliagtion to stop and that does NOT reflect my relationship to Christ.

    If you are saying that you are not being a good example of a Christian then I can understand how the 30 people in California or your experience with small group has gotten you upset/frustrated. But you said “us” are not being good Christians. Can you clarify who “us” is and what reasons/facts/evidence are you going by….

    To provide sweeping general statements is do at least one negative thing. One we are committing a culturalism stereotype ( i.e Christianity as a culture is unloving, uncaring, all about individualism). This Jessie is what you talked about earlier, and here specifically is where I think culturalism names a real thing.

    I do not mean to imply that what questions you are raising is bad or that you have to have extensive evidence and statistics. All I mean to do is to make sure we have the problem corrected and that are are looking at it correctly. That way we can better offer a real/practical solution that addresses the specific problem.

  7. 7 Paulg

    Asher, have you read the book “UnChristian”? In it, it details the reputation of the church has in America in the eyes of people not in the church who between 18 -29 years old. Now, if you believe the statistic (and your response made me think you were looking for ‘proof’) there is no denying that we have a horrible reputation among outsiders. Further those inside the church ages 18 – 29 feel the same way as those outside only not as strongly. Here are the stats, they reflect an answer of ‘some and a lot’ to a questionnaire or an interview.

    (In order of highest response)
    91% Antihomosexual; 87% Judgmental; 85% Hypocritical; 82% Teaches the same as other religions; 78% old fashioned; 76% has good values and principles; 75% too involved in politics; 72% out of touch with reality; 71% friendly; 70% insensitive to others; 68% boring; 64% not accepting of other faiths; 61% confusing; 55% a faith you respect; 55% consistently shows love for other people; 54% offers hope for the future; 52% people you trust; 41% seem genuine and real; 41% something that makes sense; 30% relevant to your life.

    Now, when I look at the above stats, I can only come to a few conclusions, of which I’ll name 2. Either, the people in the survey are lying or ignorant about Christians and are intentionally trying to hurt us (like the liberal media 🙂 ) or they’re telling the truth. My personal experience both as a Christian and a pastor would confirm these statistics as accurate. Does that help to explain where we’re coming from?

  8. 8 Paulg

    Jesse, your sooooooooo awesome…what do we do about it? Well, if we’re speaking about the individualism, one action we need to recapture our value of presence as an essential Christian virtue. Practicing presence, ie actually being with people instead of always having somewhere else because we are always so busy. If I am with you, then we can be one in that moment. If we practiced this virtue inside our whole community, we would move towards being one. I’ll respond more after America’s Next Top Chef

  9. PAUL! thanks for your comments, good insights.

    Asher, thanks for your comments! I love that you want to get to the bottom of this and discuss solutions! thank you!

    Answer: You’re right. I can’t speak for everyone. It’s been my experience that, a lot more than 30 people, probably talked to a few hundred, and they’re really resistant to the Gospel – not because they disagree with it, but they resist as soon as they hear Jesus or gospel or whatever. Also, I’ve read books that talk about this phenomenon, that our reputation sucks. I identify with what Donald Miller has said, that we care more about not cussing than actually loving people – that we’re known more for being against abortion and homsexuality than being for loving people and helping the poor.

    I believe that if we were known for loving people and helping the poor, that we’d be better received. That people would actually listen to us, hear the gospel out and then accept or reject it based on its own merits and not our horrible reputation. perhaps.

    I realize that the south is very different from California. I guess people are more liberal there. Even in So-cal where there’s a church on every corner, and we’re very progressive and evangelical and more conservative (especially in San Diego) – they’re like this, but it’s still less of a Christianized culture than Georgia.

    But, yeah, even if we have a bad reputation, doesn’t mean we’re bad Christians, that’s true. Sorry for saying that – I do have a problem with making those generalizations. I have found in my life that I tend to be more legalistic than loving – and I’ve seen that in most of my contemporaries. Even if they’re not legalistic, we just aren’t much like Christ.

    would love to talk more, but have to get to work! thanks guys!

  10. 10 Asher

    Thanks Paulg for the stats. Now I’m not sure where the questioner posed his/her questions or if it was a random sample, but I will assume that the questionnaire is a sound one.

    So where do “we” go from here? Well Paulg has suggested that we practice Jesus’ presence and Jessie has suggested we help the poor and love people. Yet, do not these possible solutions to Christian’s bad reputation (which I think is the problem being addressed here) strike any of you as odd? Are there not Christians practicing Jesus’ presence, are there not Christians loving people, and are there not Christians helping the poor. How millions of dollars have been invested in mission trips and helping the needy?

    You might respond not every Christian is doing these things, and if every Christian did then the world would be more receptive to hearing the Gospels. That might be the case. But that is just like saying if everyone was peaceful then there would be no war. While that is a solution to the problem it is not practical nor is it likely (in any sense of the word) come to pass. Yet, I wonder why we are surprised when many people do not want to hear the Gospel? Jesus said that many will hear and few will actually follow. In fact, people rejected the Son of God to his face. What makes you think that people will reject Jesus, a person they (and us) have never seen nor heard. Is it not entirely possible that some people would rather just live their lives and never have to submit themselves to God? Even when we love more, help the poor more, pray more, and serve for.

    Furthermore, people know and can sense when a Christian is trying to convert them. In fact, many of my non-Christian friends do not like Christians because they feel that Christians are just trying to build a relationship with them and “love them” just to convert them. They feel that they are treated like a project and not as a person.

    To be clear I think the proposed actions are good ones. I do believe that if Christians did certain things more (tithe, serve, love, etc) that Christianity reputation would improve. But instead of thinking of the big picture (how Christianity can win favor with the world) why don’t we zoom in on something tangible and something we know A LOT about. Ourselves. Is this not what Paul did. He addressed specific letters to specific churches and to specific people. While it is true that some things can apply to all Christians, he specifically addressed issues/problems in a particular church. He did not just write a letter and say love more, forgive more, but he went into the details and gave reasons.

    I feel like we should do what Paul did. Only then can we be in a position to help/suggest solutions for all of Christianity. An added bonus is that by working/thinking on ourselves, real data and results will come out of it as opposed to focusing solely on the big picture.

    So why is it that the people around “us” feel/think that we (Jessie, Paulg, Asher) are not good examples of Christians?

  11. 11 Asher

    Oh and its only natural for us to point the finger to the “other” Christians and say that the non-Christians have a problem with the “other” Christians and not ourselves. That is the very hypocritical thing that non-Christians dislike so much in Christians. Also Christians refusing to listen/understand/respect the other points, views, and perspectives to life.

  12. Thanks Asher, good point. I think you’re right, that I need to focus on myself – that if we all focus on ourselves we’ll fix it, right?

    Still, I affirm that there is place to recognize the problem and move forward. I would argue that most Christians, churches, pastors don’t even recognize the problem. I want to get them to recognize the problem so they can work on it too. I can’t fix our problems by myself, I need the whole team on board.

    GREAT POINT! about non-Christians sensing when a Christian is trying to convert them. So that’s a bad thing, right? We need to love them as people and not as projects, right? So should you keep that information to yourself and hope that the Christians that are doing that will catch-on someday? Or would it be appropriate for you to point-out to them that,

    “hey, it doesn’t work when you try to befriend them just to convert them, it’s the wrong attitude, and, from my experience, it makes them dislike all Christians.”

    I think it would be good for you to share that information with the rest of us. Similarly, I see things that I think the rest of the body should consider in order to be more effective at completing the Great Commission and keeping the Great Commandment central – so I want to share them with the group.

    I think it’s how I’m wired – I want the whole group to be working together, on the same page, doing things effectively. I’m an efficiency and productivity, strategy, research, problem solving guy. My passion is the Church. My wiring applied to the Church is these questions and my theories – I don’t think they’re meant to just sit in me only.

    Now, I disagree with you on the gospel thing. Yes most people will reject Jesus. But people now don’t even get to Jesus b/c they’ve already rejected Christians. They can’t even look at Jesus objectively because we’ve tainted his image so much with what we’ve done. I know that they’ll reject the gospel, bible is clear, but they’re not even getting a chance to learn the gospel b/c they hate us so.

    I don’t think most Christians realize the extent to which this is a problem. So for me, that’s the first thing – recognizing that we have tainted nonChristians’ views of the gospel and Jesus because we’re not loving like Him, or gracious, or caring for the lowly, like Him – or like we should be, I guess. If a Christian doesn’t even recognize this, then I think it’s a problem.

    Furthermore, as you said, some of us are doing these things and others aren’t. I think it’s a structures issue. Andy Stanley says “structures create behaviors” – I think that also applies to how we’re doing church and that through changing structure we can change the behaviors of Christians – which (according to the above) I presume are the problem. Not just structures changing, but I do think it’s an important piece, and one I’m interested in.

    welll, and, does that make sense?

  13. And let me add, that non-Christians do submit themselves to religious and spiritual beliefs. My step sister is very spiritual, but she will not even consider Christianity – it has too bad of a reputation, I guess. So, they may not want to submit themselves, but I don’t think that’s entirely what’s keeping them away.

    Yes, great point, I do need to focus on myself. For me I think its:
    1) I don’t have any non-Christian friends to begin with.
    2) I’m an asshole
    3) I’m selfish
    4) I don’t give to the poor or help the needy very much
    5) I don’t sacrfice for God in my life much
    6) I’m not very happy, kinda depressed actually. I don’t have that abundant life that I think would help to attract people to Jesus.

    So I am way messed-up. I guess I don’t have the right to tell anyone what they should be doing. yet, I persist…

  14. 14 Asher

    Hey Jessie. Thanks for your detailed response. I want to press back with the “Gospel” thing and affirm your step sister’s spirituality. I do not think people are not getting the chance to “hear” the Gospel. I have only met a handful of people who have never ever attended Church and never knew what the Jesus thing was about. Only a hand few. Everyone else that I have met in my life knew what the Jesus thing was about and had an opinion on way or the other. So from my experiences what does this tell me? Not that people do hear or listen to the Gospel, but that people (who are not Christian) reject the Gospel (for one reason or another). Often times the damage (i.e. J. Bryer from the homosexuality post) is done before other Christians “get to the scene”. We keep talking of developing loving relationships, but often times we are not sensitive to the fact that “other” Christians have already done that and fail. Sometimes horribly. This makes it extremely (and I mean extremely) difficult for loving Christians, to make a difference in a hurt non-Christian life. Put your self in J. Bryers shoes. Wouldn’t you have a mistrust in all Christians (though you know its a stereotype) and wouldn’t you be hostile to Christian teaching? Sure you would. So would I. So what to do?

    I want to now bring in your step sister. She says she is spiritual but wants nothing to do with Jesus. Because of Christianity reputation. That too in my experience, is the number one answer why non-Christians reject Christianity. They agree that Christians can be loving and can be kind to the needy, etc. But they also know that those same Christians can be arrogant, selfish, ignorant, racist, etc. So again… what is one to do?

    You wanted me to share some information with the group. I was not clear as to what information you wanted me to share. But I will share one thought on this particular issue concerning Christianity and its reputation. This is something we each individually (which is not a bad word. In fact Christianity is the thing that brings this notion of individuality out to the fullest) can do and also apply globally. When a non-Christian tells me they won’t follow Jesus because Christians are (fill in negative quality here), I usually have to address that first. It is our reputation, namely our historical past, that needs atonement. We have no reason to suspect or hope for people to follow Jesus if their past, and especially ours, is not accounted for and atoned.

    This means that before I ever go forward I must to go back first. Back being the past. I can not tell you how many times I have acknowledge and confirmed a non-Christians assault on Christianity and all the bad things Christians goes on. I mean people tell me SHOCKING things that I thought only happened in movies. These Christians have hurt, abused, stole, and destroy this particular non-Christian self-esteem and dignity. No wonder he/she is so hostile towards Christ. So what do I do in those moments? I do what a human being would do. What a human being should do. I weep. I weep with them as they weep and I’m angry with them as they are angry. There is no Christian or non-Christian, Jew, Gentile, white or black. There are two human beings sharing in one another pain and suffering. Its in those moments, especially in those moments that Jesus is there..

    After writing what I just wrote I will share two things. Two things that would actually change our individual lives (again, not a bad word) and Christians everywhere:

    1) History matters. Context matters. Do not try to rationalize someone’s hurt or try to argue that what they experienced was not really real. Whenever you talk with someone there is always baggage and perspective one brings with them. To disrespect or fail to understand them (as human beings not projects) is to fail them and to fail yourself. If you are not with them in the “trenches” you will never gain anyone’s respect or time. It will not be the failure of God to move, but it is a failure of you to stop and listen. If you are only in the trenches to gain their respect/time you will fail them and fail yourself. People are very good at sensing this, and you will only further muddy Jesus’ name.

    2) Stop dividing the world into Christians and non-Christians. I know the bible says that God only sees two types of people (Christian and non). While this is biblically correct I think sometimes people fail to extend compassion and respect to one another. Thinking exclusively of the world of Christian/non tends to make Christians think they are better than everyone. Or at least superior in some way. Or arrogant. Rather it would be helpful for Christians to see everyone (especially themselves) as people. To see people as people first. Try it out. This not only deflates one’s ego and pride but it elevates people who believe different things. It elevates people to full human beings and it allow us to experience and extend true compassion. This is when we will stop seeing people as projects/commissions, but rather as people. People who hurt as we hurt and suffer as we suffer.

    To put this in another way… how many people like salesman? The pushy, annoying, arrogant, disrespectful, lying, rude, fast-talking salesperson. I can’t imagine many people who do. Certainty not me. Now, these salespeople always have some special deal they are offering or some product that will completely change our life. Even if they have a deal of the century or the best product ever no one wants to listen to what they have to say. They get in the way of their product. Even if they get you to buy something you feel awful and tricked. You feel like you got cheated and it leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Naturally you tell all of your friends to stay away from salespeople.

    Non-Christians see Christians just as this salesperson. Pushy, annoying, arrogant, disrespectful, deceitful, and rude. Even though Christians are offering the product (Jesus is not a commodity. Just go with the illustration) Christians get in the way of Jesus. Even if some Christians manage to convert some non-Christians, the non-Christians feel used because now there are a bunch of rules to follow and the love (they were so attracted to) is gone.

    Imagine a different picture. Imagine with me a picture (using the same illustration) what Christians could/should/can look like. A salesperson (again we are not selling Jesus but go with the model) who takes the time to get to the customer. Who understands the customers bad experiences with other salespeople. A salesperson who listens and treats that customer with respect and dignity. A salesperson who not only listens but does not immediately explain how their product can change a customer’s life. Rather the salesperson admits their own bad experiences and shares how this product helped to change them. Then the salesperson does not entice the customer with cheap gimmicks nor advertises false promises (i.e. following Jesus is easy). The salesperson simply tells the customer where the product is and how to get it. Then the salesperson walks away and lets the customer decide if the customer wants it. The salesperson also lets the customer know that if they have any questions he/she is around and that the salesperson lets the customer know that he/she recommends the product 100 percent.

    Now which salesperson would you go towards? Surely the second. Yes, the analogy is not perfect and there is someone who will be offended by the business model. Isn’t this how we normally treat non-Christians and the Great Commission. If two people converted two people and then those people converted more people…. We play these number games with people lives and we turn the Great Commission into a burden and duty instead of a heart thing. Instead of a love thing.

    So to summarize.
    1) History matters. You can not forgive other people sins, but you can acknowledge it and be sensitive to it. You can affirm and acknowledge the inherent value people have despite what people in their past have done to strip it away. Whether they are pro Jesus or not.
    2) Everyone matters. Everyone. When we actually see people as people we will treat them as people. The way Christ loved.

    Does this help?

  15. 15 jbryer

    The christians came to town on a heavenly bus,
    they said to the lesser, “be one of us”
    despite what they say they mean,
    these christian jerks ain’t what they seem.

    The christians like to make you feel,
    as if your life has no appeal.
    They think they got the bible all sewn up,
    we’re entitled only to drink from their cup.

    They decide who god will choose,
    they decide who will lose.
    they say jesus is coming back to earth
    as magical as that virgin birth.

    they claim that all this stuff must pass,
    so when jesus comes back i hope he kicks their ass.

    amen.

    jonas bryer “tainting so called christian blogs one poem at a time.”

  16. 16 Paul G

    Jonas, is that an original poem? It’s really good and I think it expresses a lot of reality. Like the author of the poem, I, likewise, am bothered by Christians who marganilize people’s experience and who seem to hope that the lives of those who don’t agree with us would fall apart. That way if ‘outsiders’ life sucked enough, they would want to be with Jesus. It’s so arrogant, unloving, and despictable…

    I think this comes about because our culture is so interested in the legal aspects about life. When describing the colonists in the 13 original colonies, it was said that the people sued each other for just about any reason. So, the gospel of Jesus is presented along legal terms. You’ve heard it, you have made choices against your conscience, those choices are sin. Sin seperates us from God, and since God is just, His Justice demands a payment. So, God in his great love, sent Jesus to be a sacrifice for our sin. Jesus’ death satisfied the legal requirements. All a person has to do is to accept this free gift by believing that Jesus is God and that he died and rose again. These aspects of the gospel are true and real; however, it is an incomplete picture.

    In addition to the above description, we should also emphasize the reality that Jesus’ death and resurrection was the equivalent to a marriage proposal. And that when you accept this gift, you become engaaged to Jesus. (I think we don’t emphasize this because most Christians I know don’t experience this truth in their own lives.) When someone chooses Jesus, it’s like saying ‘yes’ to Jesus’ marriage proposal. When we enter into this relationship, we become intimate with the very God of the universe. Anyway, as I said before, it’s difficult to provide a proper context to these words. But, I think thses aspects make the poem less true. 🙂 I gotta go to a timeshare presentation! Just say ‘No’

  17. 17 jonas

    Did I mention that most christians don’t get sarcasm? Fools. I’m not in the habit of worshipping invisible fictional characters from a boring book called the bible. and furthermore, i’m not interested in the hateful, homophobic plain that most of you losers drift around on. you can pray all day. there ain’t nobody listening. i’m not here to join in. i’m here to piss people off. and it’s working. they keep coming back to see what i’ll write next. ha.


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