Friday, March 18, 2011

The Question

About a month or so ago, PM2 came up to me with an idea. A teenager had asked him "Why do so many people hold grudges against Christians and the church?", and PM2 told me-

Why don't a group of us bloggers get together and answer this question? We can all blog about it on the same day and see what happens.

Thus, the birth of  The Question.

So here it is... the day of The Question.

I have been working with the organization of the bloggers for this day. Emailing, recruiting, reminding, and it's here.

And while I've done A LOT of thinking of the topic -

I still am unsure of what to write.

Leadership fail.

It's not so much of an issue of "what do I write" but... "where do I start?"

And when I think of that... how there are so many reasons I can give. So many explanations I can talk about... it makes me sad. That there are SO MANY reasons.

I mean... think of what Christians through history are known for:

The Crusades
Telling people they have to pay for "indulgences" to receive forgiveness
Leaders of the church living in castles & conspiring with political figures while the people outside are starving
Whipping themselves as penance- and doing the same to others
Killing people who don't agree with them
Burning "witches" at the stake
Turning away "sinners"
Blowing up abortion clinics
Essentially "stoning" the homosexual community
Shoving their beliefs down other people's throats
Using words like "retard" and "gay" as insults
Jesus Camp - watch the movie if you don't know what I'm talking about
Telling people they are going to hell all the time
Being just plain ANNOYING
Only hanging out with other Christians
Listening to crappy Christians music all the time
Those obnoxious t-shirts (yeah.... you know what I mean... THOSE)
"Christian" schools/churches/youth groups being the most closed-minded and un-accepting groups
Burning groups of people of other religions in buildings
Saying things like the tsumami in Japan is God's wrath

The list can go on and on...

And it makes me so sad. If you still don't know what I'm talking about, check out this trailer from one of my favorite movies:

(Sorry I couldn't get the actual video in this post.... youtube was being dumb today.)

If you haven't seen this movie yet- you really should! It's hilarious, raises some great points, and through all of their insults to Christians (which aren't all that off...) I LOVE how it ends.

But in all seriousness... how did we get to be like this?

How did "Love your enemies. Pray for those who torment you and persecute you", "Jesus looked up at him and love him", "Even the Son of Man came not to be served, but to be a servant - offer His life as a ransom for others", and "You should love the Eternal, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second great commandment is this: Love others in the same way you love yourself. There are no commandments more important than these."

turn into...

How did a message of love, forgiveness, and mercy, get so messed up so quickly?

And I know that I've participated at times. I know there have been times when I've judged others, been overly in your face about faith, and been really obnoxious. (I don't know how some of my friends tolerated me at times in high school...)

So... I'm sorry. 

I'm sorry we Christians have messed everything up so badly. 

I'm sorry we warp Christ's message into something  that we use for our own gain.

I'm sorry we don't listen to what other people have to say.

I'm sorry we judge others.

I'm sorry we don't forgive the way Christ forgives. 

I know Christians aren't perfect, and we can never be perfect. We are always going to mess up somewhere along the line. 

But we can do better than this. 

We believe that God's Spirit (the Holy Spirit) is in us - so if that is true, then we can do better than this.

What are your thoughts? Why do people hold grudges against the church and Christians? Have you been hurt by Christians? What can we do better?

Do you like what you read? Want to read more? Or maybe you want to join in on the conversation. Check out the official blog and/or “like” us on Facebook to see what other bloggers are saying:

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  1. A good book that talks about this is "They Like Jesus But not the Church" by Kimball.

  2. I enjoyed this post. I am very wary in my life to talk about my beliefs around self-proclaimed Christians because often it becomes a heated debate about something like how homosexuals will go to hell because that's what the bible said. I find it really hard to buy into the "these people will go to hell, and these people won't go to hell" concept. I think it's hard to take seriously because the people who are rattling on about who's going to hell are just as flawed, interpreting a flawless being. Who's to say what? We're all just human trying to make the best of our life.

  3. I'll be the first to say that I am extremely suspicious of religion and religious people. My ex boyfriend was very aggresive with his faith - jesus camp style - and the way he broke up with me and used God and the bible against me has scarred me.

    But this post was so sincere, it really touched me. Reminds me that religion doesn't make a person 'bad'.

    I think being overly pushy with ones beliefs is something every one goes through - wether it's religion, or a diet, or the best vaccuum OMG you need to get it! - but I think with the two latter it just sorts of fades away naturally but within religious circles that kind of enthusiasm is often encouraged and fired up even more.

    Personally, I would be way more intrigued by a religion if a person was acting it and not speaking it.

    (also, thank you for your sweet comment on my blog. *fistpound* sweaters rock)


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