Why Are Christians So Mad?
Often Christians come across as pretty insufferable in our culture. We try to “save” or “take back” CHRISTmas from the “Happy Holidays” people. We stand on soap boxes and yell at sinners on college campuses. We jump up and cheer when we think we’ve intellectually defeated those evil Atheists and secular philosophers on their own turf of logic and reason. We tend to put ourselves on a moral pedestal and look down on the rest of the world.Why do we do all that stuff? Here are 5 reasons (there are probably more):
1 - We expect people who aren’t Christians to “act Christian”.
Should we be surprised when people who don’t know Jesus “use His name in vain”? Should it offend us when store employees say Happy Holidays at the end of a transaction? Should we expect politicians to be our spiritual leaders too? Or immoral behavior! When we see immoral behavior should we feel a sense of responsibility to tell people how much Jesus is displeased with what they’re doing?People who don’t have a personal relationship with God don’t have a mental framework for being under His authority. It would be like me telling you, “My mom says you have to clean my room.” My mom has no authority over you and you have no relationship with her so why would you do what she tells you to do?Unbelievers do have an inherent framework of morality that comes from the “common grace” we all experience since we ARE under God’s authority whether we realize it or not, but that morality likely values self-preservation and actualization more than the glory of God.Furthermore, saying “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” hardly counts as a morally reprehensible act! There are multiple legitimate holidays that are celebrated around Christmas. We can’t expect people who aren’t Christians to act like Christians. What would happen if we stopped trying so hard to force people to “act Christian-y” and pointed them to Christ instead?
2 - We think we’re the truth police.
In John 8:32 Jesus says, “the truth will set you free” and later in John 14:6 He says, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”Since Christianity holds such high truth claims it can be easy for Christians to become callous and unheeding toward opposing views. Sharing truth can quickly become more important to us than the person we’re sharing truth with.Anyone reading this who isn't a Christian, we’re sorry. Not for the truth, but for the way we wield it sometimes. Too often we’re more concerned with the truth making us right than the truth setting us free.
3 - We’re tired of being called “intolerant” by self-proclaimed “tolerant people.”
American society has arrived at this weird place where we’ve become egalitarian toward people’s ideas yet elitist toward the people themselves. In other words, “If you will not tolerate opposing views, I will not tolerate you!”Christians feel the brunt of this. Because of our high truth claims and our view that Christianity is the only way to be in right relationship with God (or “get to heaven”, which kind of misses the point, but that’s a blog post for another time), Christians are labeled INTOLERANT! We become frustrated that we, and our message, get silenced by such a label when it is actually intolerant and hypocritical for people to oppose the Christian view which opposes the view that no one’s view should be opposed!However I think we can too easily fall into the trap of that frustration leading us to become elitist toward opposing views AND elitist toward people, and the label we hate becomes self-fulfilling!
4 - We think that since we’re supposed to be like Jesus, we can condemn people too.
Jesus is God. We’re not. Jesus is holy. We’re not. Jesus is righteous and His anger is just. We aren’t and ours isn’t. Jesus has the right to condemn people as a holy, righteous and just God. We don’t as people who are also sinners. Actually, Jesus reserved His most condemning words for the religious leaders who were too busy trying to get people to act like a religious person to notice that they were speaking with God Himself, their Messiah! (see point 1). And guess what Jesus said to one of those religious leaders in John 3:17-18:“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”Jesus didn’t even come into the world to condemn the world! Why? Because He didn’t have to! Apart from belief in Him, we’re condemned already! All on our own. Jesus came that the world might be saved through Him. We don’t need to do what Jesus didn’t need to do.
5 - We don’t believe the gospel
Guess what. There is no such thing as a good Christian. We’re just great sinners with an even greater Savior. When we lose sight of that we turn into judgemental, intolerant and insufferable Christians. We forget what Titus 3:3-7 says:“For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”Jesus suffered so we don’t need to be insufferable.It is a thin line to walk in writing this blog post to not do to Christians what I’m asking them not to do to people who aren’t Christians. I’m not sure I’ve walked it very well. Please hear me when I say that we ALL need Jesus. He is our standard, not some phantom ideal Christian person or Christian society we conjure up in our minds. None of us will live the Christian life perfectly, but that’s the point. Jesus is the One who makes us holy, righteous, sinless, worthy and acceptable. He is our only hope. If you are a Christian reading this feel free to join me in praying something like this:LORD, through the power of the Holy Spirit, please grant us the wisdom we need to most glorify You as we strive to make Jesus known in the time, place, culture and society in which You’ve placed us!Amen.