A couple of years ago now when my wife and I lead the meetings for our young adults ministry in our home, we had one young man come visit our group for the first time. When I talked to him on the phone before he came over that night he made it clear to me that he was not a Christian, and really didn’t want to have anything to do with it. But… he was making some changes in his life and was told about our group so he decided to check it out.
He came that night and our discussion for the evening was centered around Rob Bell’sNooma video. The idea of the lesson was centered around the perception that we (as Christians) give other people about Christianity. My first question to the group after the video stopped was, “what do people outside of the church think of people inside the church?” After a short silence from my regulars, this young man boldly stated, “WE hate them!” Wow… did this young man just come to a Bible study in MY home, and make a statement about how much he hates everything that I stand for?
Amazingly then young man came back the following week, and God touched him! He surrendered his life to Jesus that night, exactly one week after making such a strong statement. This young man has an amazing testimony, and is still actively serving the Lord today. But I am not writing this to share his testimony. I am writing because of a troubling trend in society today where Christianity is loosing ground because Christians are not behaving the way that Jesus would have wanted us to. Check out this video about current perceptions of Christians…
So my question to you us, “what message are you sending the world about Christianity?” Do people see a 1 Corinthians 13 Christian? How about a Great Commandment or Great Commission Christian? Or do they see someone who causes division and strife? How about a judgemental or hypocritical Christian? And if you are reading this and thinking about how someone else needs to change, then you probably need to seriously check yourself (or, take the plank out of your own eye instead of complaining about the speck in someone else’s eye).
Here’s a better question… How can we change the perception of Christianity? What types of things should we all be doing right now, today, to send the right message?