Okay, not all of them.
I suppose I'm speaking in general terms here about some christians. The ones who are negative, the ones who spend more time seeking what is wrong, instead of praising all that is right.
The church (as in all churches put together) is losing members every year. We've achieved a very negative image in the eyes of those who are not Christians. Now, I know that some are quick to blame others for that issue. They blame the atheists for vilifying us, they blame the muslims for "acting like victims," they blame liberal media...in truth, though, most of the blame lies on Christians who push those negative images.
I see it more often than I should...this group is a prime example. Posts raging against gays, against public aid, against abortion, against atheism...don't get me wrong, I'm not saying Christians can't have or express opinions on those things. And I know that there are non believers in here who are as guilty of negativity.
But my point is this...the problem with Christians is this...we're too dang negative! SO many churches, and thus followers, spend their days going on and on about what we are doing wrong as people. They spend more time telling others that they are sinners than we do anything else. And that is why the church is falling down. When you're negative all the time, it tends to bring everyone around you down as well.
We need to focus more on what is right in this world. Jesus gave christians a pretty good example of how to share the message with others. His words were generally positive, and he spoke of the importance of love and kindess to others. Even the Bible gives us examples of how to speak...a message we all (myself included) forget regularly.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come from your mouth, but only what is helpful in building other ups according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Sorry, I don't think that calling gays disgusting sinners, or labeling pro choice supporters as "pro abortion" fits that bill. Why can't we speak to the good of our faith? About how it changed our lives for the better? About how we found peace? About how we can use ideas and teachings of the bible to improve our thinking,a nd thus our outlook on life?
I'm not saying we should skip over the bad or sugar coat that sin is death. That's not what I'm saying. I'm saying we shouldn't put our focus on that. Jesus, and the salvation he gave, should be the focal point of our faith. Not sin, not what we're doing wrong. We've taken the focus off of Christ, and put it on all the ways people are breaking God's laws.
I'm blessed to attend a church that does just that. Our messages are always uplifting, the teachings always leave me feeling better upon leaving than when I arrive. I've had numerous people who don't follow my faith that tell me that as far as churches go, we've always made them feel welcome.
That is what people should say about a church. No one should ever feel intimidated or uncomfortable in a church. If they do, that church is failing. And as a whole, I think we are doing that. We've been so negative that there are people who will likely never set foot in a church, and who have turned away totally from God.
Not sure how "hot" a topic this is, but it is to me. The church can be doing a lot more to uplift others, so I don't understand why we choose to focus on the negatives. There are christians out there getting right, though. I am thankful for that. And there are people out there who, though they do not follow our faith, support us.
Anyway I'm curious to see opinions from Christian and non christian alike on this one.