That Kind Of Christian

Note: This post is controversial, but please just take it as a message about preserving the love of Christ and not the spitefullness of the devil. We all have our different views on this subject and my object is not to ignite debates or send people away from my blog. Rather, I want to spread awareness about the view that many non-Christians sometimes have on us as Christians.

We were sitting under the shade of a big, lumbering tree in the park one day before our acting class. She and I were as different as different could be. I was three years older, shorter, and enjoyed memorization while she disliked it. Most of all I was a Christian. I was religious. And she was not religious at all, in her words. But somehow, that didn’t matter — we always had a conversation and it was almost always sprinkled by spirituality.

One day, she hesitated before finishing her sentence. “Wait, are you that kind of Christian?”  

“What do you mean?” I asked, in order to avoid what I knew was coming. She’d been talking about her mom’s lesbian friend. It was doubtless why she would ask this kind of question before proceeding onto such dangerous grounds. Yet I hesitated, too. I didn’t know how to answer just then.

“Like, are you Anti-Gay?”

I looked at her for a moment. What should I say? How could I explain myself? If I said one wrong thing, I could give her an even worse impression of Christianity than she already had. One slip of the tongue, one even slightly judgemental sentence could turn me into that kind of Christian and her from all hope of a loving God.

“Well, I–um, we had a discussion about this in Bible study once,” I stammered. “I have my Bible here, actually. Let’s look at that and see what the Bible says.”

“Okay.”

We searched and we found. It was still hard to explain. Even so, I tried.

“Deep down, Christianity is about love,” I said. “We are called to live a certain way but our highest calling is to be like Christ–to love as He loves. So I hope I’m not that kind of Christian, but a Christian who loves.”

She understood or so it seemed. We were friends for the rest of the class and continued with our conversations. I prayed for her and tried to be the kind of Christian she needed, the kind that we all need, the kind that loves.

Sometimes, I think of her again and wonder…am I ever that kind of Christian?

A popular speaker I’ve heard says that the main assumptions about Christians are that they are judgmental and anti-gay. He was right in my friend’s case. In fact, she had been so turned off by the judgement, that she barely wanted anything to do with Christianity.

Oh, how I do not want to be that kind of Christian. But I know I am at times and have been in the past.

Lord, make more like you. Make me a true ‘Little Christ.’

Note: This is NOT a post about Gay rights or the Christian response. It is simply an observation of the way that Christians often come across to non-Christians. Please refrain from statements on Gay rights and anything disrespectful about either side. If I see any comment like that, I will not publish it. Thank you.

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8 thoughts on “That Kind Of Christian

  1. This is a really valid observation, Liz, and it comes in many different shades of “kinds.” I know a lot of people like the girl you’re talking about in this post, who have been scared off by what they dub “that kind of Christian.” . . .not just about gay rights, but all kinds of things. What a lot of people don’t want to acknowledge–and I really do believe that there is a double standard in that people like to hold Christians to impossible moral standards and refuse to admit that Christians, and people of other religions–are capable of making mistakes. We’re only human. We are capable of being spiteful, hurtful, judgmental, and sometimes, flat out mean. You don’t need a history book to see that.

    I like your prayer at the end. I want to be a little Christ, a man who did not come to judge, but to love and to save, and, let’s face it, when people put him on the spot, he was WITTY. There’s a book I think you should invest in–you can order it online–and I have a feeling it would greatly inspire you. It’s called “Beautiful Outlaw.” It’s an analysis of Jesus…anywho, I’m digressing! We have all been “that kind of Christian.” But, to me, it seems like when Christians or Muslims or Jews happen to lean on the side of spiteful, they’re held eternally accountable for it by non-religious folk. . .yet when an atheist makes a hurtful comment, they say “well, I’m only human.” Are the religiously convicted not human or something? 😛

    Anyway, great post, as usual. 🙂 I love your response to her question. I want to be a loving Christian. Christ loves me, so I suppose that’s what I need to give the world in return: a little compassion.

    • Wonderful comment, Kate! Thank you!

      Yes, I agree that there are some non-Christians with a double standard. It can be very annoying! I guess I hold a higher standard for Christians though. For instance, someone who isn’t a Christian doesn’t really have a reason not to judge someone. I’m not saying that non-Christians are really judgemental, but they aren’t trying to portray the love of their God in their daily actions. Wheras as Christians, the bar is higher because we are to be representing Christ in our everyday life, as hard as that is.

      But I do like your point. We are only human, whether athiest or Christian. Of course, as a Christian we still have to keep striving to serve Christ. But it is evident that we’ll mess up… because like you said we are only human. As Christians we should really be able to use the “only human” thing even more because we have the grace of God! Not that it should be taken lightly or abused, but sometimes Christians (and non-Christians) forget that as followers of Christ, our debt has been paid for and we have grace no matter how badly we’ve messed up.

  2. Yes, there are some of “that kind” of Christians, but I have discovered that very few people of the people who are “turned off” by them have actually met one. My wife is very sensitive to when people say things about “that kind” of Christian. She is always asking, “Do they think that way about me?” I have finally gotten her to start being brave enough to actually ask the friends she has that say those sorts of things if they really think that about her. They usually respond with, “Well no, you’re different.” She then follows up by asking how many Christians they have actually met that act that way. The answer is almost always, “Well, none.” Do not let the world convince you that the “judgmental Christian” is really the reason they reject Christianity. Almost all of the people who talk about “judgmental Christians” have never met any.

    • Hello! Thanks for visiting my blog. 🙂

      Well, that’s great that none of your friends have actually come into contact with judgmental Christians! But the truth is that a lot of us have. In fact, I have met many judgmental Christians who have turned me away from certain aspects of the faith in the past. I have also been a judgmental Christian, at least in heart. I think we’ve all been judgmental at one point or another! And although some non-believers will always consider us judgmental for having belief in God and sticking to our morals, we should do our best not to portray ourselves in a self-righteous way.

      Also, it doesn’t matter if they have proof of meeting a judgmental Christian or not. If that is someone’s perception about us for whatever reason, then we need to do our best to show them that although Christians mess up, our Saviour, Jesus Christ is perfect in His love for His children. 🙂

  3. Wonderful post. It seems I have put been put in the path of people who have been turned away from Christianity because of THOSE types of Christians, and yes I have been one of those too at times, but its something really on my heart lately so thanks for writing this. How do we reconcile (or explain) a God that loves unconditionally and a God that requires obedience?

    • Thank you, Brittany. 🙂

      Ah, same here! It’s hard, isn’t it? I really can’t explain the “right” way to do it because I don’t even know what it is myself. I think the only thing we can do is keep modeling Christ more and more everyday. It’s hard and sometimes we’ll stumble. I know I mess up a lot! But I think the more we love God, the more we will love other people and the more He will show us how we can witness. I think it comes in the simple word of love… which is not so simple to carry out perfectly.

      The important thing is that we’re trying! We can’t be perfect and we are not responsible for the salvation of those around us. We can only be responsible to witness in love and the Lord does the rest. 🙂

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