Why Can’t We Talk About Christianity
One glance at social media will offer you a lot of posts about religion. I don’t know about your pages, but I find that any posts about Christianity aren’t very kind.
People are more then willing to talk about God. People are more than willing to talk about how Christians are hateful. They post clever memes featuring depictions of Christ with phrases that usually don’t represent the actual moment depicted.
The occasional Bible verse is usually left alone, but defend the idea of salvation through Christ or state your belief in salvation through Christ alone, and the reactions turn heated or, at best, people politely tell you they’re not interested.
In fairness, I don’t see many posts explaining the doctrine of a lot of religions, but the vehemence with which people react to Christianity is only matched by the amount of false doctrine and unloving misrepresentation of Christ’s teaching.
There are those who are angry at the idea of Christianity. I’ve seen it. I’ve been told I was doomed because I have a Native American brother in law. I’ve been screamed at while trying to go to sporting events. I myself used to say things like, “I don’t believe in organized religion.”
After being screamed at for years by people claiming to be Christian, I simply assumed that’s what Christianity was. That treatment made me unwilling to listen.
This means the first reason people are unwilling to listen to Christ’s message is false teaching or false evangelism.
There are people who take the doctrine of salvation and twist it. They try to blend the Law and Christ when Christ is the fulfillment of the law. There are people who take the message of Christ’s forgiveness and want to forget that forgiveness is through Him, and those who don’t follow Him aren’t His.
All these mixed messages don’t do anything but confuse a very simple concept: Man sinned. The price of sin is death. The sacrifice of animals, introduced through Moses, could never cleanse man. This required a man to live a perfect life and then die a substitutionary death. This is the fundamental concept of salvation through Christ alone. Those who follow him, accepting Him as their savior, are redeemed. Those who follow Him turn from Sin for His sake.
That is Christianity. The term Christian was coined in Antioch (Acts 11:26). The very word means one who follows Christ.
I’m not, nor have I ever, told anyone what to do in regard to religion. That is, in fact, your choice. It’s the same choice Christ gave people. He gave it to the rich young ruler (Matthew 19:16-30). When many left him, He even gave the apostles the chance to leave (John 6:67). The choice of whether or not you follow Christ yours. Christ, being God in the flesh, knew who would follow and who wouldn’t. He knew whom His Father chose and those His Father did not. I don’t have that advantage.
There are many who feel that belief in Christ alone as a way to Heaven is wrong. Again, that is their choice. The reason I need Christ is because I know I’m a sinner. I know there isn’t anything I’m going to do to earn God’s favor. Therefore, I need someone to advocate for me. I need someone to pay the price I can’t pay.
However, the challenge is patiently inviting people to hear about who Christ is and what He’s done for mankind.
What confuses me is that people who are angry at Christianity often are scathing or judgmental because they think “all” Christians are scathing or judgmental. On a rational level, I can understand those who simply don’t want to hear the word. What I struggle understanding is why people would do the things they say no one should do. It gets even more baffling when people do the things they say no one should do in response to others doing those same things.
When we do evil, we are, in fact, being evil. One can not do evil for good. God can turn evil for his purpose, but He’s God. When we strike someone who strikes us, we’re guilty of the same offense.
So when when we judge others for judging, we are, in fact, being judgmental. This isn’t opinion. This is simple, rational truth.
This may cause people to be upset. They may defend or explain the reasons for their actions, but if a deed requires defense, there must be a reason it needs that defense.
What would happen if everyone in the world committed to the idea of treating others the way they would be treated? What would happen if this commitment wasn’t predicated on the belief that someone should treat them the way they want to be treated first.
The rule says treat others how you want to be treated. Even assuming most people want the same things, what two people want exactly the same treatment? So the rule can’t be, “treat others how you want to be treated, but wait until they treat you the way you want to be treated first.”
All this comes back to a question I’m struggling to answer. Why is it I’m not allowed to speak about my faith in Christ, but everyone who wants to bash Christians is free to do so? If I defend my faith, I’m evil. If I calmly, patiently offer to explain my faith, I’m, at best, turned down.
There is a double standard in the world, and it is sharply pointed at Christianity. It’s not the only double standard; it’s just the one I’m talking about today. It seems to me in some situations that a person can be anything except a Christian.
They argue this is because Christians are judgmental.
I want to cry out, “So you’re judging me because you believe my religion is judgmental?”
Now, this very book, posted originally on my blog, hasn’t come under any particular scrutiny. But what would happen if I post this same comment on something other than a blog visited by less than 40 people a day?
The truth is no one has to listen. I’m not trying to make anyone. But it feels sometimes that speaking is in itself met with scorn and ridicule. At least once a day I see some sort of content that says why “Christians” are wrong or how “Christians” shouldn’t claim they have the only way to God.
The very nature of being Christian is to believe that Christ is the way (the truth and the life) to God (John 14:6).
If I’m wrong, I’m screwed, but that’s my problem. The irony is people claim they should be allowed to believe “whatever makes them happy.”
My reply is that they can. But not everyone goes to Heaven. Again, I believe Christ is the way to Heaven. If I’m right, good for me. If I’m wrong, bad for me. I don’t even know the number of other religions out there. I am, however, certain anyone who follows a religion does so because they truly believe that path is the right one. So how is Christianity all that different in that respect?
Another thing that doesn’t help is how politics warp religion. A guy can stand in front of a church or even in a church all day every day; it doesn’t actually make him a Christian. Christ himself proclaimed that there would be many who call on him on the last day, and he will tell them, “Depart from me, you workers of evil. I never knew you (Matthew 7:21-23).”
I don’t know the nature of anyone’s salvation. I’m not God. But looking at the fruit one bears is an indication. Even then, I leave it to the church to discipline its members (that’s a function of a church). I leave to to the justice system to judge and punish crime. All I can really do is live like Christ as much as I can. He’ll judge me.
But when someone uses Christ or Christianity to tie it to a political agenda, it aligns Christ with a cause when Christ should be the cause. So people argue over this or that. Do some of the things people argue over (abortion) align with religious issues, yes. Do others? Probably not.
All of this debate makes passing the good news very hard. And Christians indeed need to do this. We’re commanded to go forth and make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20). The gospels and all of Acts show how this is done.
So we need to look at those examples. I intend to follow those examples. Offer the good news. If people hear it, rejoice. If people reject it, shake off the dust from your shoes. The current landscape makes that difficult, but it’s one I feel we need to navigate with patient persistence. I don’t feel it should be done with aggression or accusation, but it should be done.
For our panel: So why is it so hard to talk about Christianity? How should one respond when they don’t want to hear the gospel? How do we correct those who aren’t speaking truth? Should we defend our beliefs when they’re challenged on social media? If so, how?