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10 Bumps

I am impressed.

As a very outspoken atheist, I often come across questions asking why non-believers have so much "anger" (or whatever term they choose to use) against Christians. I've explained this in another post, but essentially it's a backlash against all the constant proselytizing we are forced to endure in various forms from Christ's "followers". The question usually includes an accusation that this animosity tends to be exclusively directed towards Christians. So I've also explained that the reason for this is due to the fact that Christians tend to be the most outspoken and pushy with their beliefs towards others - far more than any other religion.

We have all read the famous Gandhi quote "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." I completely agree with this. Due to the near intolerable disposition of so many Christians, I often view Christ in a very negative light... despite being raised as a Christian during the first 17 years of my life. However, will admit that I look at him with far more scrutiny than I do any other religious leader or philosopher. Obviously this is because there are so many people who claim to be Christians, yet constantly show themselves to be little more than egocentric hypocrites with regard to his teachings.

I frequently wonder why so many Christians allow other self-professed "Christians" to drag his name and teachings down, but never dare to admonish their words and actions beyond simply claiming that "they are not 'true' Christians". I have always thought that if those "Christian" hypocrites were directly confronted for their actions, not by non-believers but by other Christians, they might start to see the error of their ways, but unfortunately that never seems to happen.

Until this evening.

In another thread, I saw a Christian, who I have come to respect through her responses here, oppose another member who claims to also be a Christian, yet whose behavior is far from Christ-like. It was a rare moment and it made me stop and think.

If all Christians were like her, conducted themselves as she does, and stood up to those who are misrepresenting the Christian faith, I could perhaps give this religion the respect that followers so fervently demand it should have - despite the fact that I will still never actually "believe".

So, since this should be a question, I'll ask this... If you are a Christian, are you willing to stand up to those who are misrepresenting your faith, or do you prefer to just idly denounce them as not being "real Christians", and allow them to continue to cause animosity in others towards your religion?

 
Eek_a_Geek

Asked by Eek_a_Geek at 11:47 PM on May. 1, 2011 in Religious Debate

Level 20 (8,522 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (24)
  • Eek a Geek, your opening statement was one of the best I've ever read. It summed up so many things I felt, but could not find words for. As I read down through all the comments, many of you continued to help me find even more words for what I've been feeling in my heart. Each of you are absolutely brilliant and insightful. I like the idea that you are trying to understand and build a bridge of respect and communication between yourselves and other who see things differently.

    My experience speaking with Christians has not been a good one. I once studied to be an ordained minister, I tried my very best to practice the things I learned both in private and in public. One of the things that I found so bewildering is so few Christians actually lived the lives they preached. It hurt me...and I was not well received because I questioned some of their actions.

    More...
    CallMeAngie

    Answer by CallMeAngie at 4:21 AM on May. 3, 2011

  • I'm not a Christian anymore, but I'm going to answer based on what I've noticed about different Christians and my personal opinion about how they respond. The ones that are the most Christ-like IMO are not usually the ones who tell others their beliefs or practices or wrong or say 'you're not a true Christian' if you don't believe xyz. Often they are just trying to stand up for themselves (or stand up for others) that their beliefs are valid as well and should be respected, but without the exclusivity and intolerance of some individuals--or even some denominations. They seem to generally allow others to come to different conclusions or interpret the Bible differently than they do, and just ask that they are given the same consideration in return. They don't seem to panic that someone believes a little differently than they do, so IMO they are more mature in their faith and actually practice love and compassion.
    pam19

    Answer by pam19 at 12:09 AM on May. 2, 2011

  • I'm not a Christian (anymore), but I will say that I never felt comfortable telling someone else they weren't a "good Christian" because I never felt it was my place to judge them. I always believed that only God could judge and I still do. That's not saying that I never judge anyone, but I make an effort not to. While I agree with you on a lot of what you said and I think I know the poster you're referring to and I often love her answers, I just never felt right making that judgment myself. I think that IS a problem with a lot of Christians. They're too quick to judge. I never wanted to be like that.
    LovingSAHMommy

    Answer by LovingSAHMommy at 11:54 PM on May. 1, 2011

  • Pam, excellent answer. This is how I feel for the most part, I'm not just not good as putting it into words. :)

    I think that the best example a Christian can set is one of kindness and love. But really, that goes for people from all belief systems. Really, don't we all benefit most from kindness and love? I don't believe in any specific religion, but I do believe in God and I think that he wants us to be kind above all else, and to love one another. If we all truly loved one another (as the Bible preaches and some other religion teach), there would be way less judgment. It's much easier to be compassionate towards someone when you love them.

    Now, if only loving everyone was easy, lol... :)
    LovingSAHMommy

    Answer by LovingSAHMommy at 12:16 AM on May. 2, 2011

  • Well the problem with the eek, as I'm sure you know, is that each believes themselves to be a Christian and thus will denounce or call out any other that does not behave as they do, whether they are acting in a Christ-like manner and practicing love and compassion or condeming others for not believing in God in the same manner they do. Each believes they are in the right and animosity will continue regardless.
    KristiS11384

    Answer by KristiS11384 at 11:55 PM on May. 1, 2011

  • Eek a geek, I agree with you 100%

    BUMP.
    mrsziemann

    Answer by mrsziemann at 12:42 AM on May. 2, 2011

  • as a xtian, its hard to swallow. watching (or being) the person being rebuked by another xtian isn't always done correctly. a public tongue-lashing isn't necessary, and what you refer to was public, even if online. although i agreed with some of what was said, and i showed it by voting up, it wasn't necessary to continue. biblical speaking, when a brother/sister is in conflict, we are to FIRST go to them privately. pointing out wrongs in a public thread is not private.
    i can respect anyone for wanting to 'right a wrong', but i think someone got carried away.
    which brings me to my first thought: xtians are often told we are judging and not loving, when we rebuke each other. its not a matter of respecting a belief. its a 'your wrong, i'm right'. its a delicate situation, one that shouldn't be taken lightly, or be spurred on by emotion. being Christlike is the ultimate motivator, or should be.
    dullscissors

    Answer by dullscissors at 7:35 AM on May. 2, 2011

  • If you are talking about the post I think you are, I thought it was handled beautifully. It was a tactful response to repeated posts filled with much arrogance and a condescending attitude.
    SpiritedWitch

    Answer by SpiritedWitch at 11:08 AM on May. 2, 2011

  • don't you find it ironic that non-Christians often are able to see the difference between the two so clearly?


    I don't know that ironic is the word I would use. I find it rather commonplace that non-Christians are capable of noticing the differences where-as those Christians who do act in such a negative manner are not. Almost as if they are blinded by their bad behavior or hypocrisy.
    KristiS11384

    Answer by KristiS11384 at 6:03 PM on May. 2, 2011

  • Just as you are a very outspoken atheist, Christians are very outspoken as well. I know the poster you are referring to. I agree that she hasn't given very tactful answers as of late, but I know that her heart is in the right place. In other words, I really do believe she means well. As for "true" Christians, I have never agreed with that term. If you've accepted Christ as your Savior, you are a Christian. Period. Either you are a Christian or you're not. It's not my place to question someone's personal relationship with God. I don't feel that she was misrepresenting our faith because she told the truth. But I will agree that there are more tactful ways of relaying the truth. Many times when I'm answering a question, I'll reread my answer to see how it comes across. I have to delete and rephrase all the time. lol. OP, how do you feel about atheists that make post without using any tact? Just curious.
    popzaroo

    Answer by popzaroo at 12:32 PM on May. 2, 2011