If you have read any of my previous articles, you could probably gather that I'm strong in my Christian faith. I want to live, sleep, and breathe Christ, so that others can see Him through me. I am not ashamed of my faith and that most of my articles surround it, and I never will be. Others may not believe the same things that I do, but I want to share His love with others.
I may be a hypocrite at times, no matter how often I try not to be (can I get an amen?), but in the end, God is the only one I live for, no one else. Christianity isn't as much of a religion as it is a relationship. With that being said, there are some stereotypes about Christians that just need some light shed on them. We aren't the stuck-up, perfect, Jesus freaks that people often see us as.
"You don't like homosexuals. You hate them."
This might be the biggest one for me. I know plenty of people, most of which I'm close with, who are homosexual. We do NOT hate or dislike homosexuals. Christ calls us to love everyone, but to hate the sin. However, we are not to judge because it is not our place.
If one has God in their heart, they have love for others in their heart. We may not agree with your lifestyle or choices, but we do not hate you. Our Gospel teaches, and we affirm, that homosexual sex is a sin. Homosexuals are just as worthy of our love and God's love. I share the grace, love, and forgiveness of my Savior that is available to all people who accept Christ as their savior.
"You think you're better than everyone."
No. I do not think I'm better than you. I can promise you that we struggle just the same as you do and go through the same rough patches in life. We are not immune to trials, temptations, and tragedy. Our lives are not perfect. We all go through our rough patches, but we are all so valuable in the eyes of the Lord. No one is any more or less valuable than the other.
I understand how one might get this impression, but humility is one of Christianity's greatest attributes. I don't think I'm better than you regardless of who you are or what you've done. We are all on our own journey and everyone's looks a little bit different. No one's perfect.
"What about science? Do you ignore it?"
Well, while I can see why you might be under the assumption that things like the "Big Band" and natural selection kill my theory for religion, so I just ignore them altogether. The truth is, I love science (so much that I'm studying it at a university) and it doesn't crumble my faith at all. I'm just as interested as you are to see how God did the things that he did and have yet to come across something that shakes my faith to the core on whether or not there is a creator.
"You can't have fun."
This one is so funny to me, because how do you define this universal term of "fun?" What is fun to me may not be fun to you. My kind of fun is not the type the world has portrayed it to be. I don't need alcohol, drugs, sex, and provocative dancing to have fun.
To me, there is no joy in that. My joy is in praising and worshiping the Lord on Sunday mornings with my congregation. My joy is in children worshiping the Lord on Wednesday evenings while dancing and giggling. What I find joyful, the next person might not.
"You're all hateful and judgemental."
There is no denying that some people use Christianity to prop themselves up above others in moral comparison. This, however, is not what is taught by Jesus and cannot be found anywhere in scripture. In fact, in Romans 2:1 it states that no man has the right to judge. When Jesus tells us “Love your neighbor as yourself,” it doesn’t suggest which neighbors we are to love. That’s because we are meant to love all neighbors — those we like and those we don’t.
We should “Love Thy Neighbor: Thy Homeless Neighbor, Thy Muslim Neighbor, Thy Black Neighbor, Thy Gay Neighbor, Thy White Neighbor, Thy Jewish Neighbor, Thy Christian Neighbor, Thy Atheist Neighbor, Thy Racist Neighbor, Thy Addicted Neighbor.” To me, it demonstrated perfectly the principle that we, as Christians, are meant to live by. The example we are to follow is the one Jesus displayed when He kneeled in the dust next to the woman and told the religious crowd, “Let
"So, you're going to beat me with the Bible now, aren't you?"
It's important to note that the same biblical reference can be interpreted multiple ways, depending on the perspective of the one referencing it. That's not to say there is no such thing as ultimate truth, but the Bible was written and translated thousands of years ago, and it's worth taking time to consider that many things we encounter today that were present in the lives of the biblical authors.
Being a Christian isn't about ignoring the problems of the modern age and referencing a Bible passage written for and in context of first-century Christians to back up our arguments to the twenty-first century. Sometimes, being a faithful witness means listening more than it does laying out tons of verses on a person in what comes off as judgemental and holier-than-thou manner. I can understand why people wouldn't want the Bible thrown in their faces or beaten into them with a two-by-four; it's not the most loving thing to do.
Granted, there are probably a lot of Christians who practice every single one of the above, but don't assume we're all the same. As Christians, we have to dedicate ourselves to eradicating these stereotypes and stigmas that cause people to turn away from Jesus. Some light just needed to be shed on these common stereotypes that float around. I am not full of hate. I am not a bigot that believes my way or no way. I am not a homophobe. I am not these stereotypes, and any person who has the Lord in their heart isn't either.