from my notebook

My head is full of thoughts, and I have to write them down.

The Ideal Christian Image

Survey after survey has been conducted to find out what the unchurched think about us Christians. Responses like, “they think they’re better than us,” or “they’re too closed minded,” are common. Allow me to pose a question here. Whose opinion of what a Christian ought to look like should we be concerned with? I agree that how others perceive us affects how they respond to us and presumably the gospel we proclaim. But aren’t non-Christians supposed to be somewhat uncomfortable around us? Aren’t we supposed to present a challenge to live a better, and dare I say, holier life to those around us?

People will naturally complain about, put down, and turn away from others who challenge them or make them uncomfortable. So while we strive to be relevant in today’s culture, we must remember the adage, “we are in the world but not of it.” We must look different. We cannot dress in the extreme way of the world. We cannot use slang and profanity like the world. We cannot practice many of the same behaviors as the world.

In the same light, we cannot go around condemning to hell those not like us. We cannot whack someone on the head with our Bible, figuratively or literally, when they do or say something we deem un-Christian. Being relevant doesn’t mean dis-owning the label “Christian” any more than loving others means acting as badly as they do when we’re with them so they won’t feel uncomfortable or guilty.

The ideal Christian image lives a progressing holy life publicly as well as privately in all humility and waits for the Holy Spirit to prepare those around us with the right kind of uncomfortableness and challenge.


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