Monday Morning Insights

Photo of Todd

    Reversing Christianity’s bad image

    Reversing Christianity’s bad image

    A group called "Changing the Face of Christianity" has started a new campaign that they hope will... well... change the face of Christianity.  But the way they're going about it seems to me that it may backfire.

    The plan:  Have Christians publicly confess their shortcomings by leaving nots in public places and posting them on a website.

    The goal, according to an article in the Christian Post:  to help Christians to acknowledge problems such as hidden hypocrisy, intolerance and homophobia... you know, all the things that give Christianity a bad name.

    My thought:  leaving notes posted in public places declaring our hypocrisy and sin will, in unbeliever's eyes, make us look... well, hypocritical AND weird.

    I mean... who does that?  Who leaves a not on a telephone poll or public bulletin board unless they're looking for a lost dog, selling weight loss programs, or confessing their sins?

    Here's the founder, former atheist R. Brad White's confession he tells the Christian Post:  

    "My confession is I’ve allowed my religious convictions to make me numb to the human rights of gays and lesbians... while I haven’t consciously fought against gay marriage, but I’ve allowed outspoken Christian political activists to limit the human rights of LGBTs and let them speak for me through my silence... My confession is I've been a homophobic Christian. The gay community deserves love, not discrimination,” he said.

    That will play well on the laundrymat wall.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm glad that White and his group are doing SOMETHING.  I'm just not sure that it will help more than it confuses.

    I do agree with White that the first part of reversing hypocrisy is to admit the problem openly.  I'm just not sure the anonymous note to the world is the best way to do it.  

    That said... I've often thought I wish I could think of a way that would reverse Christianity's bad image and bad wrap.  I have a couple of thoughts, but they would never be doable.  I have a couple of other thoughts, that if we ALL did them, have the potential.  

    Do YOU have any ideas?  If you could had a year's paid salary and the mission to change the bad image of Christianity... how would you do it?  Oh, and you also have a million dollars.

    I'd love to hear your thoughts.




    Like this story? Get MMI in your Inbox Every Monday Morning!


    if you want a Globally Recognized Avatar (the images next to your profile) get them here. Once you sign up, your picture will displayed on any website that supports gravitars.

    1. Emmanuel on Thu, January 27, 2011

      I think the gospel flows through relationships better than it does through telephone poles, bulletins, or even bullhorns.

      But that’s just me…

    2. Peter Hamm on Thu, January 27, 2011

      I think Paul said we were supposed to be the scum of the earth… and then we get upset when we get treated like that?

    3. Spica on Thu, January 27, 2011

      I think that whatever we do, we will never change the “bad image” of christianity : Jesus said ““A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. (...) If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household.”

      So whatever we do, the goal is not to change the view people have of christiannity, but just to demonstrate God’s love and care around us…

    4. Scott on Thu, January 27, 2011

      It sounds like a painless, risk-free and ultimately meaningless gesture. But I’m sure it makes them feel sooo good.

    5. Leonard on Thu, January 27, 2011

      Every day prayers are going up to God in a variety of ways.  Some are direct and overt and some are the heavy sigh that mutters OMG.  Christians have spent a huge amount of time figuring out/trying to figure out means by which we can participate with God in answering that prayer. 

      One time Jesus said as He prayed for us, Father make them one as we are one…  His description of this was relational.  I in you, you in me…  Make them one father. 

      When this happens Jesus said two results will follow.  First the reality of who Christ is will become clear and second, people will know that God indeed loves them.

      I spoke from John 17 to a group of Pastors and the main point of the talks was that before I can build a church that God uses to answer the prayers of people who need Christ, I need to build the kind of church and relationships that are the answer to Jesus prayer. 

      Want to take the dirt off of Christianity?  Maybe we should find a way to become one.

    6. CS on Thu, January 27, 2011

      Bridging off of Peter’s point, we are supposed to be castigated and vilified by the world if we are doing things right.  If we follow everything obediently in Scripture, we will have a, “bad image,” by definition. 

      Now, I realize that this does have to be tempered with people who use the moniker, “Christian,” without any sort of regard for the Bible (after all, there isn’t some sort of Christian License).  Yet, we will always be scrutinized in the public eye.


    7. Todd on Mon, January 31, 2011

      Leonard, I love that closing comment and plan to ‘steal’ it (don’t worry, I’ll confess on the bathroom divider at the local gas station).

    8. Todd on Mon, January 31, 2011

      We must also acknowledge that part of our image problem is an integrity and Truth problem. In the process of something like this, we need to be careful to distinguish that recognizing and even confessing sins is not the same as apologizing for being a Christian, holding strong to clear Biblical Truth (in precept and principle), and associating with those who do. From the admittedly single example given, it sounds like this group is more about the latter than the former.

    9. Todd on Mon, January 31, 2011

      i.e. “Hey, world, a know all those other ‘Christians’ are narrow-minded intolerant bigots and weirdos, and I may have in an ignorant, indirect way once become part of the group, but I’m not like them any more - I’m better and more lovable. Please like me even if I am a ‘Christian.’”

    10. Page 1 of 1 pages

      Post a Comment

    11. (will not be published)

      Remember my personal information

      Notify me of follow-up comments?

    Get MMI in your Inbox Every Monday!