Tuesday, March 6, 2012

BQOTD: The Christian Church

We've slowly been working through Lord Save Us From Your Followers by Dan Merchant during Adult Sunday School at church. I've mentioned my absolute, undying love for the book on the blog before, and I'm so glad Justin's dad was willing to try something that's a little out of the box for a few weeks--it has been such a blessing to me, and fits so well with our last study on Galatians.

Anyway, if you've not read the book or seen the movie, the catch-phrase of sorts is "Why is the Gospel of Love Dividing America?"...and I think that's definitely a question worth asking. It NEEDS to be asked. Anyway, during one portion of things, Dan Merchant goes out to ask people on the street a series of questions, and I'd like to steal two of them here today for my burning question of the day, as well as to add a third:

1-What's one thing that Jesus is known for?
2-What's one thing that Christians are known for?
3- Overall, have your experiences with people who identify themselves as being Christian been positive, or negative?

Answer these however you wish, with the first thing that comes to mind! Please feel free to be honest here, even if you think what you have to say isn't necessarily what I hope to hear. My hope is just simply to start a conversation about how people both in and out of the church view Christianity and Christians...because I think it's important.

Also, this should go without saying, but be kind to each other in the comments. Disagreeing with others is fine, but I simply won't tolerate bashing, from either side of the equation.


  1. Wow! Brave, questions. I'll do my best to answer them as coherently as possible.

    1. It seems to me, that the one thing most people associate Jesus with is, love. I've talked with people who don't know much about the Bible, but with out fail, they believe that Jesus was full of love & compassion.

    2. I'd like to believe the same could be said of Christians, but, alas, I'm afraid that is wishful thinking on my part. Especially in today's society, there seems to be so much anger directed toward the Christian community. Hypocrite, is a word I hear time & time again to describe us. Judgmental, is another. I always wondered what happened to the whole, "they will know we are Christians by our love, by our love. Yes, they will know that we are Christians by our love."

    3. My dad was a youth pastor, then an associate pastor, & my hubby is an evangelist, so I've been dealing with Christians my entire life. Overall, I would say that my dealings with fellow believers has been a positive experience. The people I have been privileged to know & work alongside in ministry, have truly had hearts that long to share the love & hope that comes from knowing Jesus Christ as Lord & Savior. On the other hand, in everyday life, I read the news & hear about so called Christians who picket homosexual funerals with signs that read, "God hates fags." Where is Christ, in that? This is a subject, tender to my heart, but I don't want to get on a soapbox, so I'll stop, here.

    These are indeed, burning questions. Thanks for giving us a platform to share our thoughts.

  2. This is my first time visiting your blog. I got here from a home design blog, so you might say this was not a subject I was looking for, but it's one that has bothered me very much for the last few years, so I felt moved to respond to your questions. I am NOT a Christian and I can assure you I never will be, no matter how hard - this is my own personal experience now - some Christians try to make me one. I know that I am a good person just as I am. I am honest and I truly care about ALL of my fellow beings (not just the ones who are just like me). I do not need saving. I feel a true Christian would understand that and accept me, but I rarely find that to be the case. My mother, as well as many other people I know, is a person who is completely devoted to her faith and considers her faith to be a personal issue. In my eyes that kind of faith is beautiful. But more and more often lately, when someone identifies themselves as "Christian", I want to run away, because I feel the judgement and zealousness coming a mile away. If Christians want to know why people are so uncomfortable around them, they should look into their own souls and question why they think people who are not Christian are not acceptable. If God is as wonderful as everyone says he is, I know he would accept me for the good person I am.
    Sorry for the rant (and this is just the beginning), but this subject bothers me. I am not afraid to identify myself - if anyone needs to respond to this I can be reached at gately.karin@gmail.com Thanks and have a beautiful day.

  3. I'll probably be in the minority here, but I will go ahead and answer:
    1. What's one thing that Jesus is known for? Dying for people to have eternal life in heaven.

    2-What's one thing that Christians are known for? Believing in Jesus as their savior.

    3- Overall, have your experiences with people who identify themselves as being Christian been positive, or negative? Both- people who understand my thoughts about Christianity are usually positive, but those who don't seem extemely judgemental and self-righteous, even thought they say they aren't.

  4. 1 - I would agree with Michelle, that I think most people associate Him with love. The love He had for us to die on a cross and rise again, the love He has for us to forgive us of our sins and show complete grace on a daily basis.

    2 - Again, with Michelle, I'd like to think Christians are associated with the above... love and grace. But, unfortunately, I think in the world's eyes we are viewed as a negative, hypocritical, judgmental "religion". A lot of times I believe Christians do wrong things, with good intentions. (ie: trying to share the gospel by beating it over people's heads... obviously an over-exaggeration, but you know what I mean. Or people who bash the gay/lesbian community... again, with good intentions (to share the truth), but do it in the wrong way.

    3 - For me, it has been positive. I have negative experiences with different "denominations" of the church and their rules/etc, but Christians in general I have had a positive experience with. I have been shown love, grace, and service by fellow Christians that demonstrate the complete love of Christ and the way that He can use us to bless each other and others.

  5. 1- I agree with everyone saying he's known for love. However, I think people mistakenly take that love for 'acceptance' and thinking that 'to each their own', where as even though Jesus loved everyone, He also told them to repent of their sins, you know?

    2- I think it depends on who you ask what Christians are known for. I think lots of people think Christians can be hypocrites or hateful or judgmental or 'holier than thou'. On the other hand, I think other people see Christians as charitable and loving. But, I think there are Christians that fall in both groups. We are human :)

    3- Overall my experience with Christians has been way more positive than my experience with non-Christians. But, then again, most of my friends are Christian, and I fundamentally disagree with most non-Christians on a boat load of (mostly controversial) topics...

    How would YOU answer the questions.. ? :)

  6. Great questions! The statement is SO true!

    Here are my albeit short, but honest answers:

    1. Love
    2. It depends on the opinion, but, to me, true believers, are known by love as well
    3. It's mixed. I'm surrounded by loving believers, but we all fall short, and I've had some negative experiences as well.

  7. I'm in:

    1. Jesus is known for smashing up the temple when the tax collectors parked their stuff there. I'm paraphrasing here, but it's what I hear a lot about from Christians and non-Christians. I don't see him as a peaceful man, but he did preach for a peaceful world. Maybe he thought the ends justified the means.

    2. Christians are known for being narrow-minded and hypocritical. They preach love but don't love others. They preach acceptance but don't accept others. Yet they are the doers of some of the most wonderful actions on the planet, in the name of their faith.

    3. Growing up with Christian pastors, I've been around a lot of Christians. My gut reaction to your question as to say both. I've seen awesome Christians who are nothing but goodness and love. I've seen horrible Christians who use the Church as their political playground and make it and unfortunately its message a toxic place. They made me learn I love God, but am cautious of church.

    This was my gut reactions to the questions. Written in less than five minutes. I hope it's what you were looking for.


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