“I like your Christ; I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
It happened again. I was embarrassed to be a Christian.
No, I am not a heretic and I haven’t turned my back on what I believe. And if you confuse embarrassed to be a Christian with being embarrassed by Christ, you’d be way off base.
The problem I have with being a Christians is, well, other Christians. Not all of them. But a select few cause me to completely understand why we would be a colossal turn off. When it’s kooks like the folks from Westboro Baptist, I can take solace in the idea that surely most people know they are completely insane. They don’t represent normal Christians. Most people do know that, right?
But then there are days when someone like Scott comes along and causes me to want to pull my hair out. Or hide. Or both.
It started out promising. Pastor Pete Wilson posted a story from the Huffington Post that gave me hope. The writer, who hadn’t been to church in many years, attended the first service that CrossPoint Community Church held at their new campus. She then went on to relay her experience which was seemingly quite positive. In a time where there is no shortage of negative media regarding evangelical churches, I found her comments refreshing.
I should have just followed the link, read the story, re-posted it and gone about my day. But no, I had to get distracted by the amount of comments there were. And that’s where I ran into Scott and wished I never had.
In the article Ms. Pinto made the following statement. “There was a huge population of gay parishioners and people of every color.” This was in no way the focus of her article; it was a statement given from her perspective as a visitor. For some reason Scott, and a few others, took this statement as their cue to take Pastor Pete and CrossPoint to task because some ‘gay parishioners’ may or may not attend there. The hate and venom that followed both offended and saddened me. And it made me mad. Mad!
When did it become acceptable for Christians to vilify and malign each other? How can Scott speak with such authority on Cross Point when he, admittedly, has never been there? And what makes his pride, hate, and self-righteousness permissible? Have we reduced Christianity to class A, B, and C crimes?
As Christians we have the freedom to choose where we worship and whose teaching we sit under. If you don’t agree with what a pastor or church is teaching, then don’t go there. To me it seems that simple. When I think of all the time and effort that was completely wasted in the 100+ comments that followed I can’t help but think of how that time could have been better used.
I believe that each of us is called to effect change in our circle of influence; to be the hands and feet of Jesus. What opportunities are we missing out on when we misuse our time castigating each other? And more importantly, what do the civil wars Christians engage in say to outsiders? It paints us all with the same brush, and we Christians wind up looking very different from the Christ we profess to follow. People see the Scott’s of Christianity and want nothing to do with it.