This was not a t-shirt but a bumper sticker I saw a few years ago. At first glance, it was offensive. Does this person despise Christians so much that they want nothing to do with us? But after thinking about it, I began to realize it was an indictment on modern-day, western culture Christianity. We’re not like Jesus like we want to be. We’re unauthentic, unloving, uneducated, wannabes.
Okay, that’s a little harsh. I’m not saying that all Christians are like that. Maybe its just me. But it can seem that way. I have a friend who is a hard core atheist. She’s an awesome person who is funny, entertaining, and one of the best people to hang out with, but she voices her opinions boldly. One day I was talking to her and she shared with me that in her experience, Christians were the most unloving of anyone she had ever met. I asked what she meant and she explained it this way. You see, when a Christian comes around her, they like to share about Jesus and talk to her about changing her life around. And she’ll put up with it for awhile. But as soon as she lets them know how stupid she believes God is and how she’ll never turn to that belief system, she tells me that her Christian “friends” go away. She said they can handle loving me up until the point that I disagree with their opinion. She finds this ironic since she has friends that differ with her on politics, morality, and even other religions. But no Christian friends. Not one.
When are we going to take seriously the idea of loving someone unconditionally? My friend nailed it. Christians today are so consumer-driven that we don’t want to love someone who is different (the way Christ loves us). We just want to be right. And hang out with other people who also believe we’re right. And live a nice life with a nice car and a nice house in a nice church surrounded by nice people who can all love us too. Suffer for our faith? We’ll do that once a year on a mission trip. After all, loving people you don’t have to hang around the rest of your life is easy. But spending time with a cursing, atheist, pro-choice, democrat and love her unconditionally? Most of us just do not want to try.