How Christians Get A Bad Rap
Lifestyle

How Christians Get A Bad Rap

Why Condemnation Is Not Evangelism

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Every year, an extremist preacher comes to Tennessee Tech, stands at Centennial Plaza, and hurls insults and words of condemnation at students circling around him. My freshman year, I was walking past and stopped to listen for a couple of minutes.

I (like most students who decided to listen) became far too angry to stay for very long and left complaining about the way he was representing Christianity. I have not stopped to listen since, but every year when I have to walk past and hear him screaming at students under the pretense of sharing the Gospel, I think about how incredibly unfairly people like him represent Christianity and Christ Himself.

Christians in some ways have a bad rap in modern society, and that saddens me deeply. As a Christian, I try my best to live in a way that pleases God. That doesn't just mean avoiding sin (which, if anyone tells you they can do that completely, they're delusional because humans cannot be perfect), but it means that in my interactions with my peers, I have a responsibility to treat them as Jesus would. That is where many people who call themselves Christians fall short and contribute to earning everyone who follows Jesus a bad rap.

People like this preacher that comes to Tech seem to miss the whole point of evangelism. Shouting at people who walk past that they are headed for Hell isn't evangelism. Pointing to a sign of sins and asking onlookers if they're guilty of those sins is so far from sharing the Good News.

Trying to "put women in their place" has nothing to do with the Gospel and has no place in trying to tell people about Jesus. Jesus Himself came to Earth and proclaimed that even HIS purpose as the Son of God was not to condemn (John 3:17), so why in the world would a mere follower of His possibly believe that they have the authority to condemn an equal?

Sometimes, Christians forget that they are in no way superior to anyone else. Some believers forget that salvation is a gift, and while they may intellectually believe that it is, they behave in a way that suggests they have done something to earn it or keep it, which simply isn't true (Ephesians 2:8-10).

The Gospel is about JOYFULLY sharing the good news of Jesus and what He has done for one individual and what He can do in the lives of others. It's about His unconditional love for humanity. Nowhere in the Bible does Christ tell His followers to go and point out the sins of others. In fact, He does the opposite (John 8:1-11)!

People who claim to evangelize but primarily use that opportunity to sit in judgment over or condemn their listeners sicken me because it is such a wasted opportunity. Who would want to be a Christian if all they heard were hateful ramblings about their wickedness? Who would want to follow Jesus if all they were told was they were headed for Hell and they were in big trouble with God?

The focus of the Gospel is the savior; sure, sin is part of the story, but it's not the end. The end is hope. The end is Jesus and His loving sacrifice to atone for the sins of all who trust in Him.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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