As a college student, I think I speak for many when I say that certain people give Christians a bad name. I grew up a Christian, and not once did I ever get the impression that I should judge others, condemn others or view someone in a lower light for having a different lifestyle or beliefs than me. I was taught to love everyone like I love myself. Simple. I was taught that God is merciful and He loves us. I was taught that no one sin is worse than another. Every human has sinned, and it isn’t our place to rank which sins are the worst.
I look at the people around me who are supposed to be representing our faith. I find that more often than not, people who call themselves “Christian” don’t act this way at all. All of the “Christians” who choose quote Bible verses at gay people are completely confusing to me. Are these people claiming that God thinks being gay is a higher offense than every other sin? Do they think that being "Christian" gives them the divine power to judge someone and condemn them? If these individuals were actually Christian, they would know that faith doesn’t work that way. It's a Christian’s job to spread His love, and leave others’ sins between them and God. It's not up to the social justice warriors of Facebook to tell people whether or not they’re going to Hell.
When I meet individuals who are averse to Christianity, it’s hard to explain to them why their first impressions are wrong. People are turned off from it because they think it's too intertwined in politics, or that Christians “shove Jesus down everyone’s throats.” Sometimes I don’t even know what to say, because I have an entire childhood of good memories associated with Jesus, and I can’t give that to someone, as much as I would love to. It’s sad, because if all someone knows is what they see on Facebook, Christianity doesn’t seem like such a good deal. Who would want to be like those people? The ones who turn their noses up at others and adopt a superior attitude, handing out one-way tickets to Hell like they are God’s personal assistants? These people give Christianity a bad name, which is something that's supposed to be so good. And it’s sad. It’s sad that someone who associates themselves with Christianity would act this way. And I see this all the time.
I hate the fact that because of these types of people, others avoid the Christian faith. They don’t get the comfort from listening to Casting Crowns when they have hit rock bottom. They don’t know the happiness of having a prayer answered. They don’t know the feeling of always having someone to talk to, even in the loneliest of times.
So if you are Christian, ask yourself how you live out that role. You don’t have to voice your harsh opinions every chance you get. God is a just, loving God. And Christians should be that way too.