Candid Chatter

Just Say It

Undoing the Damage April 30, 2009

Filed under: Life... The Way I See It — candidchatter @ 3:29 pm

I wonder if we even can…

[sigh]

Christians have all but ruined the name of Christ.
How can we spread His love if we keep not loving?

This is so hard for me because sometimes trying to undo the damage is like fighting against the wind. I’ve met people that downright seem to hate anything and everything to do with Christians and our God. We almost can’t speak the word Christ without some attack on our character either point blank or behind the back or in a way that isn’t obvious to anyone but us.

I’ve started asking questions. It’s about time probably. When I say something or type something unpopular, I wait. I know a hater is out there. So I sit back and just wait to see who starts to vomit. Someone always does. Then I ask.

“Who do you mean?”
“What does that mean?”
“Why do you feel that way?”

Sometimes I get no response.

Spewing verbal vomit is so darn easy. Especially when it seems so anonymous. But having to clean up your mess is not pleasant. It’s much like cleaning up real vomit. I’ve had to clean up both. So I know how unpleasant they are.

Please people who claim Christ as your Lord & Savior… PLEASE stop hating on people. You are ruining the name of Christ to those who might otherwise be interested in the love we know and share.

Please people who merely tolerate Christians, but secretly have serious issues with them… PLEASE be honest with us. Why don’t you want us to talk about our faith? Why does it make you so uncomfortable and mad?

What can we do to undo the damage?

The problem might seem huge. But, it starts with one. Let that one be you.
Let this generation make a difference. Let us show love and stop the hate that was shoved onto people before us. Let the hate stop with us. Jesus told us to love and give and turn the other cheek and give your shirt if your coat is stolen and to pray for our enemies.

Undo the damage. It starts with Y.O.U.!
And M.E.
It actually starts with me.

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12 Responses to “Undoing the Damage”

  1. Jillian Says:

    I understand how you are feeling…I can’t take much more of the hatred toward Christians…and I too, don’t know “why” they must hate Christians so. I do know Jesus said if we say we are followers of Him we will be persecuted just like He was. Somehow this helps me understand it will happen and we are not alone.

  2. Ivan Says:

    Good post.

    Do you think there’s more anti-Christian feeling around now than there was a few years ago? Say ten or so years ago? I think there probably is, or at least that it’s more mainstream, but I’d be interested to hear about any perceived changes from the inside as it were.

    Also, it seems to be “Christians” who are the target, rather than say “Catholics” or “Anglicans”. One easy answer would be that some Christians ally themselves with extremely conservative political views, and it’s those views which are attracting the bile. I think there’s truth in that, but I think it’s a red herring.

    Personally, I think conviction per se (and faith, about anything) is anathema these days and Christians get it in the neck because they are going round being full of it. The conviction for our times is fatalism, and a kind of misanthropic hopelessness (climate change, weirdos round every corner, vile people eating vile food, etc..

    Personally, I’m a bit of a contrarian and it’s possible that one of the reasons I’ve finally started my project now is that religious feeling is so out of favour (that’s maybe it — it’s religious feeling that is hated). You may find people are attracted by your outsider status.

    I wouldn’t worry too much about the intra-Christian infighting.

    Such a long comment! Sorry!

    Ivan

  3. candidchatter Says:

    Ivan: I grew up Catholic. Until about my teenage years I just did whatever mom and dad said to do regarding church, faith, education and so on. Once a teenager, I started to have serious doubts. Unfortunately, nobody addressed them. So when I met my 1st husband (who was Atheist) I thought “damn, now here’s a guy who knows the Bible and doesn’t believe a lick of it”. Hmm. He made more sense to me than any religious person ever had. I became pretty apathetic about faith type things. I’m not sure I was ever Atheist. Agnostic, probably, if I really think about it. It was more like I just didn’t care either way. I’ve only been a born-again Christian for about 6 years so I have no idea how Christians were treated 10 years ago. I haven’t really been involved in Christian culture for too very long either. In the beginning of my faith walk, it was more a church thing and not a friend thing. Now I’m surrounded and I quite love it. So I don’t know. But I see the hatred and it comes from both sides. Christians hating on gays and the president. Gays hating on Christians. It’s sickening to me. Christ was about love. That is His whole message summed up in one word. Love. We are misrepresenting the Christ we claim victory in. It’s so sad.

    PS: I love it when you use all those big words. Makes me go to the Dictionary. You keep me on my toes!!

    Jillian: Thanks for the comment girly! Good to hear from you! Just be sure you don’t hate back. Love and then love till it hurts. πŸ™‚

    Heidi

  4. Lana Says:

    what did you think of Christians ten years ago? Before my decision to walk with Christ, I thought Christians were holier-than-thou weirdos that I could never manage to be like… they intimidated me, and I used to judge their sins as making it impossible to be “Christians”… I thought a Christian had to be perfect, and it sickened me that there were people claiming to be perfect. I was so confused.

    But I’ve seen such a transformation in myself over the last couple of years even. I became one of those untouchable Christians… I was so committed to conservative Christianese, that I was pushing away the people God has placed into my life to witness to. Sometimes Christians “do” so many things that popular culture finds extremely strange or unnormal, and that is what those people see first. For example… homeschooling… yet, I would say the majority of Christians homeschool to protect their children, rather than because it is what God has put on their hearts… but in the long run, that protection alienates their kids from loving other kids like Christ loves us! And when unbelievers see this, they think, “Those Christians think they are better than us. They think we are so repulsive.” Christian behavior is internalized by non-believers.

    I can sit here and vividly remember Christian kids in my schools, since elementary. I can say they were the kindest, smartest, and least popular kids around… but, I can say they didn’t judge me or ignore me… the witnessed to me… and I believe God used those kids…

    ok, i went off a little

  5. roxx Says:

    My heart breaks at how we humans have misrepresented him. The sub culture of Chritianity is not always representative of Christ. We forget it is all about relationship not religion. Great post. Got us thinking. More importantly, praying. xoxox, R

  6. Will_nottheactor_Smith Says:

    Unfortunately, it’s not new. False prophets – people claiming to be, but deep down are not spreading Truth – have been around since Jesus’ time. Jesus even described them as wolves in sheeps clothing – and what does a wolf do to a sheep?

    @Jillian – it will get worse, for these are the beginning of birth pains.
    @Ivan – Yes, it is significantly stronger, and your thoought is not a red herring at all. Look at TV programming now compared with the 70’s and 80’s – Love Boat, and Fantasy Island were “out there” on the edge, and it was countered with some “good shows” that dealt with character. Even the police shows, like Hawaii Five-O, Adam-12, or Emergency (fire department) were not bad. Now you have openly promiscuous scenes, sleeping around and excessive drinking as the core “value” (2.5 men, How I Met Your Mother, Desperate Housewives, etc). Even “Friends” and “Seinfeld” were not exactly wholesome shows. The emotions are as strong as the slavery/anti-slavery positions about 150 years ago. Both sides are passionately standing for what they believe, just like Shadrach, Mesach, and Abed-nego stood firm against what everyone else was doing.
    @Lana and Ivan – To the lost, our faith in Christ IS repulsive to them, thus the reason they hate us so. But we are blessed by those who hate us because of Christ. FYI, the greek for “hate” in that verse means to be repulsed.
    @Lana – But the public schools of today are not the same as when we were kids. It’s the fact that society CAN’T CONTROL what’s being taught to those homeschooled kids – THAT is the reason there is such focused attempts to restrict or to regulate homeschooling. I’d counter your point about alienation with this- in that same way, homeschooling is no different than any Christian Private School, where kids are protected from what is being taught in the public school system. I also challenge that God might have put it on the parents hearts IN ORDER to protect the children – to keep them grounded with a Biblically oriented curriculum, not an anti-Christian perspective.
    @Roxx – God is working His perfect plan, until the time He appoints. Until then, we must test what we “a href=”http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=69&chapter=4&verse=1&version=49&context=verse”>are told aganst the scriptures, since there are many false teachers among us, even now. Yes, we must pray.
    @Heidi – sorry so long of a reply. Passionate, I guess. πŸ˜‰

  7. First, my disclaimer: I have been a Christ-follower for many years and I am a pastor to boot. So I come from a different glass house than many of you. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand we are told that we are to be discerners because wolves will mix with the sheep. On the other hand, how far am I (as a Christ-follower and a pastor) supposed to go in silence and in love? I do believe that there is a far more “militant” effort against Christians/Christianity these days. When someone is chastised and silenced for praying in the name of Jesus but nothing is done to those who pray to Allah…something is wrong. I tire of being called intolerant while those who preach tolerance are the most intolerant. Try speaking against the gay movement for example and see if all h*** doesn’t break loose. But at the same time, as Will as pointed out, it is “that time.” It is like the old Keith Green song when he said (speaking of Jesus) “When the funniest thing that He’s done is love this old stubborn rebellious world and the hatred just goes on.” If the greatest lover of all can be crucified why should we expect an easier time? As you can see I am still working through my thoughts. Sorry they are so jumbled. I type as I think (that can be dangerous too!) I think perhaps a stronger question might be “where is the line between tolerance and acceptance?” Just my .02 worth but sorry so long. πŸ™‚

  8. wbppsh7 Says:

    For me, I’m not a hater, however I’m not an active religious follower. My issues stem from the people in my life that “believe”, yet are the most judgemental. I use quotes b/c I thought that “Christians” (religious followers) were supposed to love (I won’t say unconditionally) – but I guess more forgiving in the love area. It isn’t just one person in my life, there have been multiple instances. I have seriously only met one person that has made religion easy for me. I try very hard to remember the things that I learned from that person as I do not attend Church regularly.

    I wouldn’t say that religion repulses me – however with some other members in my family I question just how much faith they put in Christ. I mean there is fate, faith, karma – whatever you want to call it but did you as the human being have some decisions to make to come to the point that you are at?? I don’t see that with some of the people in my life – they want to give it all up to Christ and not deal with the real life decisions. It makes me question the intelligence in that kind of faith (maybe that isn’t faith, maybe that is avoidance but this is the stuff that I see in front of me!)

    When it boils down to it for me, I personally see it as ‘whatever floats your boat’ – however “easy” that may seem to you. I have a friend that tried to tell me that she would be there in the end with Jesus at judgement time. What really pisses me off about the conversation that we had is that from what I do remember about Christ (going to church as a young person), that isn’t the way it goes down and it pisses me off that she would make judgement on me when we both did things that we might not have been proud of. I accept the fact that she is a major follower, it that what helps her through the day so be it. But don’t make it out like I’m the loser b/c I’m not an active follower right now (or then when we had the conversation).

    That is my $.02 on it! Thanks for letting us all think about this one Heidi!

  9. Amelia Says:

    Hmm. Well, as an atheist, I’m sort of a weirdo because I like reading about theology and trying to understand why people believe the way they do (hi, I’m reading your blog), and I don’t believe a lick of it (like your former husband)…but I think it’s a nice idea to build your life around if you DO believe it. It’s not for me, but I’m glad it brings you joy and peace. Where I get freaked out is when one religious group overpowers everyone else or forces religion on others.

    I think the hatred I’ve felt from SOME Christians goes a long way to explaining why some non-Christians don’t want to share their lives with believers…personally, I’ve been told I’m going to hell (which would probably be scarier if I thought there was such a place), that my love of gay friends isn’t “what God wants” and that the man I love (who I am marrying) and I are sinners because we live together (and, duh, have sex…and isn’t EVERYONE a sinner, anyway?). I don’t think those things are wrong, and when someone tells me they are, I just can’t understand who this God that hates the love I have in my life IS to people. I can’t understand how my parents, who love each other SO much (and aren’t really part of any religion) and have such big hearts and, really, have devoted their lives to service to others are damned in Christianity. None of that really computes for me, so I’m not going to become a Christian (uh, kind of couldn’t if I wanted to since I don’t think there’s a God), and I have good reasons for that. I just think that my choice NOT to believe in something on sheer faith that I don’t even agree with should be respected.

    For me, Christianity isn’t a problem (no individual religion is), but fundamentalism of all kinds really scares me. It scares me when someone thinks their faith gives them the right to restrict other people’s lives or kill people or judge them as “bad.” My grandmother was a very religious person who once said that a dear friend of my mother’s who was dying of AIDS “deserved” that since he was gay. That was one of my earliest experiences, in the mid-1980s, that showed me how hateful religious people can be (we all have that capacity, I’m not picking on Christians) in the name of God.

    And, a lot of times, I think they’re just using God as an excuse to be hateful – because then it’s “okay” to be a jerk. I don’t have any respect for that sort of thing, hanging your BS on God (if you believe, that seems like the definition of taking the Lord’s name in vain, and if you don’t, have the guts to say what you believe).

  10. Amelia Says:

    Oh, and P.S., I don’t hate Christians. I just don’t think I should have to live by their rules.

  11. candidchatter Says:

    Amelia: Thanks for your thoughts and honesty. I think I like you. πŸ™‚

  12. kate Says:

    I agree with Amelia wholeheartedly. But im always a bit confused when modern christians get upset when people dont want to hear about their faith. You do know this is a recent phenomenon, right? For CENTURIES christians held the mike and spoke super loud, anyone who disagreed most likely met an untimely death…perhaps now more than ever people have the freedom to walk away from a message that simply cant be heard until all the innocent blood of people killed “in God’s name, or in the name of Christ” washes away…which, sorry sweetie, it will take at least another hundred years to wash the kind of bloodshed committed by “christians” over the centuries away…if your upset about people who dont want to hear about your fabulous faith, and want to know why…open a history book.


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