Let’s face it – being a Christian (most like any other organization, club, group, etc) comes along with certain stereotypes. Some are good… Some are bad… Some true… So flat out lies… However, I do not think we can just ignore them and just move on. I think we have to take an honest look at them and learn and grow.
As a Christian – the stereotypes are vast – most of them negative. Even Ghandi was quoted by saying:
“I like your Christ, just not your Christians”
That is something we have to take note of. Ask questions about. Learn from. So we have to ask ourselves 3 Questions:
1) What is the stereotype? 2) Is that stereotype true? 3) What SHOULD the world see from Christ followers?
So are we stiff? Are we goody two-shoes? Are we in our Christian Bubbles? I can say this – that we have not made a strong case for us either way – and Media does not help. It seems that every time a Christian is displayed on Television or in the Movie – it’s one of two scenarios. 1) The really sheltered, perfect, unstained, goody two-shoes Christian that is all put together and clueless to the world around them. Or, 2) The rebellious Christian kid that is trying to “stick it to their parents” by going away from what they were raised in to go their own path – exploring all the temptations of the world.
That’s it. One of two extremes. And I can honestly say – we have a hard time as believers knowing which road/path to take. We as Christians are supposed to be the “Light of the World, a city on a hill that can’t be hidden” (Matthew 5) – but we more often than not mostly feel like we are choosing the world we live in (and fitting into it) OR Jesus (and going against the world we live in).
So, is the stereotype true? Sometimes. Do Christians say stupid stuff? Yes. Do we have cheesy Signs/Marquees? Yes. Do we argue about stupid stuff and make stances on trivial things (like dancing or Christian Music)? Heck Yes.
But – aren’t there a lot of things that we do well? Yes. Aren’t some Christ-followers living out the Great Commandment and the Great Commission? Yes. Aren’t some Christians instead of crucifying “sinners,” loving on them and having conversations with them? Yes.
So – third question:
What SHOULD the World see from us as Christians?
I think the answer is found in Romans 12:2:
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
John 17: 14-17:
“I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.”
Answer – People in the world should see Christ Followers who, don’t have all the answers or have it all figured out, but who are being TRANSFORMED, RENEWED, and SANCTIFIED by Jesus Christ and the Gospel. As we walk in this world, and try to walk that line between the World and Christ – that we would do so as people who are being transformed and renewed to discern God’s Will is as they walk. That we would walk as people who are being sanctified by the Word of God (the Bible) and live in such away that SCRIPTURE is our guide and nothing else.
Lastly – 1 Peter 1:3-9 describes the salvation, hope, faith, resurrection, eternity, and assurance that we have in Christ as a follower of His. And in verse 8-9 to end this JAM-Packed Section – it says this:
“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now,
you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,
for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
Let’s not be stiff Christians – but let’s walk around FILLED WITH AN INEXPRESSIBLE AND GLORIOUS JOY!!!!
We have every reason to have that kind of joy. Let your Light Shine Brightly Brothers & Sisters.