I am a part of Facebook, and at this point I really don’t know why because I don’t really use it. Anyway, there is a section on Facebook for you to indicate your religious views. Most of my “friends”(many of which don’t even know how many siblings I have) on Facebook are Christian, but have chosen to not use that word as an indicator of their beliefs (myself included). Things like “born again”, “friend of Jesus”, “Christian–the non religious type”, “Follow Yahweh”, “Jesus is a pretty cool dude” and my description: “religion sucks, Jesus rocks” are included on the profiles. I noticed it right away and have been rolling a few thoughts (none are directed to my Facebook Friends specifically-just thoughts) around in my mind as a result of the observation. I also had these same thoughts after I saw this video. I don’t like the video. I understand what they are saying and I agree with the overt message, but it is the implied message that disagrees with me.

In the last year I have been embarrassed to be a Christian. Not because of Jesus, but because of the stigma that is clinging to the name Christian, like hot wax. I went into graduate school undercover. Thinking that if they didn’t know I was a Christian right away they would get to know me for me and not immediately assume that I was “one of those Christians.”

Those Christians that would be most likely to commit a hate crime.

Those Christians that talk about unbelievers like they are a museum exhibit.

Those Christians that use scripture like the cat of nine tails that dug into the back of Jesus.

Those Christians that wear a cross and spout the name Christian like a badge.

Those Christians that treat Christianity like an exclusive club.

Those Christians whose god seems to be a type-A, two-dimensional elephant.

Those Christians that feel by loving “a sinner” they are guilty by association. So they don’t.

One of those Christians that…

Sins.

Sometimes you look, read, whatever and wonder if you and those Christians are serving the same god and reading the same Bible. I’m sure our message, by our admission, is to make sure others know that those people on the news are not what they will become if they come to know Jesus. I’m sure that our goal is to make sure people know that Christianity is not about that stuff, but about a personal relationship with Christ. But is it possible that in our creative efforts to distinguish the “true” Christian, the follower of Jesus from those people that we are doing the very thing we do not want to be associated with? Is it possible that we, in an ever- so- subtle- definitely- not- meaning- to- way, are denying Jesus? That we ourselves have attached shame to the name “Christian?”

1 Peter 4: 16 says, However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.

Praise God that I bear that name? But God! Those Christians are making me you look bad.

…I am convicted.

I understand that “Christian” has become such a bland, generic term like Kleenex or Coke (for you Southerners). I understand that “true” Christians want everyone else to know that those Christians are not representing Christ properly. But what makes us think we are?

I’ve been using the same logic that one of my old college friends used for not giving her life to Jesus. She said something like this, “Look at them, the way they act and how they treat people. Why would I want to be a part of that?” And I said to her, “It’s not about them, it’s about you and God. You don’t have to be that way.” And we all agree with her, right? Why would we want to be associated with that, if that’s what being a Christian means? But it isn’t about that. It’s about us and Christ. A Christian is a person who professes to believe in the teachings of Jesus. And I do.

Jesus IS represented poorly, but we are not immune to poorly representing him. We are no better than those Christians. Jesus can handle himself. Really. There need not be an us nor them. A true nor those. A slave nor free. Jew nor Greek. Those who are in Christ are all one in Christ and only he knows who are his.

Hello, My name is Dancer, and I’m a Christian.

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