Archive for the ‘The Church’ Category

Christianity and Image Problems

June 10, 2010 Leave a comment

“Christianity has an image problem.”
–David Kinnaman , unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity (Baker Books, 2007).

Kinnaman is the president of the Barna Research Group, and he bases that conclusion on interviews conducted with thousands of young people across the country.  He notes that their responses are not only neutral, but in many cases negative. Their complaints against Christianity—and the Christians and churches that have shaped their views—is that it is:

1. Hypocritical.
Too focused on getting converts.
Too political.
6. Judgmental.

The chapter entitled “Judgmental” captured my heart right away.  I’m guilty.

Why is it so common for Christ-followers to be so judgmental? I am interested in your thoughts.  Agree, disagree, ho-hum . . . What has been your experience of the church and/or your circle of the Christian community.  I see many clients who are afraid of God and steer clear of the church. They have experienced the church and/or Christians to be an unsafe haven – a place where they can hear and receive Christ’s gospel of forgiveness and healing.  C.S. Lewis writes . . .

There is someone I love,

even though I don’t approve of what he does.

There is someone I accept,

though some of his thoughts and actions revolt me.

There is someone I forgive,

though he hurts the people I love the most. That person is me.

There are plenty of things I do that I don’t like, but if I can love myself

without approving of all I do, I can also love others without approving of all they do.

–[Quoted by Jud Wilhite in UnChristian]

Jesus put it this way and by the Holy Spirit has empowered all Believers to do the same [thank God for that, my default mode is judgmentalism, I need His help]

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me,
for the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted
and to proclaim that captives will be released
and prisoners will be freed.
He has sent me to tell those who mourn

that the time of the Lord’s favor has come,
and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.
To all who mourn in Israel,

he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks
that the Lord has planted for his own glory. (Isaiah 61.1-3, NLT)

Categories: Judgmentalism, The Church