Last week I wrote a short post called, “Are Christians too Anti-homosexual, Political and Judgmental?” …because according to the world, we are! I was overwhelmed by the opinions that were given in the comment section on that post. To sum up the majority of opinions, I’d say we all agree that the church, and Christianity as a whole, has an image problem. We, as followers of Christ, haven’t always done a very good job looking like Christ.
We’ve treated others unkind in the name of religion. We’ve talked out of both sides of our mouths, saying one thing and then doing another. We’ve been harsh, critical and condemning. We’ve often drawn lines in the sand, where God never intended there to be lines. We’ve preached uniformity instead of unity. We’ve praised God for His grace on Sunday morning and then after services we’ve been very ungracious to our waitress for not keeping our glass filled up. We’ve been hypocritical.
I understand that we are sinners. We make mistakes, and we’ll continue to make mistakes, BUT that’s NO excuse for how we treat others. We need a perception change, and it must start with the person you see in the mirror every morning.
So what do we do about it? How do we change the perception the outside world has of us? That’s a tough question. I’m not sure there’s a simple answer, but here are a few things that I think would help. A man can dream, can’t he?
- I dream of a church that welcomes all people despite their looks, backgrounds or beliefs.
- I dream of a church that not only welcomes people different than themselves, but also goes out and serves people different than themselves.
- I dream of a church where every Christian makes it their passion to be just like Jesus.
- I dream of a church where Christians show Christ’s love to the people they disagree with, whether they are gay or straight, Democrat or Republican, religious or atheist, conservative or liberal.
- I dream of Christians and a church that doesn’t just preach against abortion, but looks for options to help adopt and find others to adopt babies that aren’t aborted.
- I dream of churches that refuse to pour in millions of dollars into fancy buildings, but are satisfied with adequate facilities and spend the rest of their money on feeding the hungry and reaching the lost.
- I dream of churches and Christians who don’t divide over things that aren’t important, and start being unified over things that are.
- I dream of what would happen if Christians and churches started trying to out-grace one another.
- I dream of what would happen if Christians and churches started doing the two things that God calls the most important things, “Loving God with all your heart, and loving your neighbor as yourself.”
- I dream of Christians who instead of freaking out over the economy, health care reform and politics, will simply trust in their God to take care of them, like He’s done since the beginning of time. When will we realize that Jesus never staged a political protest, nor did the apostles ever attend a political rally, instead they were too busy reaching out to others with the message of Christ and serving their fellow man.
- I dream of Christians who would realize that how you live outside the walls of the building has more to do with your relationship with God than what you do inside the building three times a week.
- I dream of a church and Christians that pursue learning God’s word in order to be transformed, not to simply gain knowledge.
Even though these are just my opinions … I still think there were also some REALLY good answers in the comment section here.