Stereotypes in Christ
We don’t fit in and no two believers are alike. We stand out in the world and we are separate from the world. What makes us stand out and separate is our undying expressions of love, freedom, obedience, hard-work, self-sacrifice and faith as daughters and sons of the Almighty Lord. We walk, talk, and breathe Jesus Christ and this is reflected in everything we say and do. No two believers are alike too; in character, personality, appearance, language or background. We are individuals in Christ yet bound together in one holy and righteous body. This is who we are. Embrace it, walk in it, love in it and be blessed by it.
The world sees us very differently, however. The world fixes us with certain labels defining who we are in their eyes. We are stereotypes in Christ.
What do those stereotypes in Christ look like?
As a body we are a stubborn, mindless block incapable of reason and rationality. Ignorant and blind to how the world really works and how life really is in the 21st century. We are an out-dated group living in by-gone days. We operate in the past, incapable and unwilling to adapt to the new reality of our fast-moving and ever-changing scientific and technological world. The world pays us lip service, of course. I mean, who can be against love, hope, peace, freedom, goodness, compassion and forgiveness? We are not taken seriously though, for the world has more practical ways and means to live by such as entitlement, consumerism, individualism, financial gain, power and competition.
Individual stereotypes in Christ are much worse.
In popular news, Christians are often displayed as hypocrites. Sunday Christians who follow the teachings of Christ one day a week, conveniently forgetting who they are the other six days. High-profile conservative Christian politicians who get caught with their pants around their ankles or their hands in the cookie jar. Prominent Christians twisting the words of God and manipulating others in their rush to fame, power and financial gain. False prophets committing horrors and atrocities against their followers in the name of the Lord.
We see stereotypes in Christ in media too – print media, movies, television, and the Internet. Loud-mouth, gun-toting nasties ready to die to protect their God-given individual rights and freedoms (praise-God-and-pass-the-ammunition); clean-cut, plastic phonies walking around in tacky suits and dresses speaking and acting like clones; back-woods rednecks singing the praises of Jesus from broken windows of their battered, old pick-up trucks.
Where is the love of Christ in all of this mess? Nowhere. Mass media and popular news will not go there. They will not talk about our love, hope, compassion, mercy, grace, tenderness we have for the world. Instead, we are labeled and given twisted and demeaning stereotypes.
There is hope. We can turn this around and show the world what it truly means to be a Christian.
The body of Christ is not outdated. Our beliefs are eternal and fit perfectly in the 21st century. Certainly many of us do fall from grace but that is because our walk is long and hard and the enemy tempts us at every step. In our hearts we are love emboldened. We reach out to the lost and forgotten and work hard to save souls and help turn lives around. We are believers on the move and nothing will slow us down as we try to change the world for the better, how Jesus Christ wanted the world to be through the way, the truth and the life.
If there is a stereotype in Christ, it should be this one: Cool Christian.
“Hey, check out these people. Aren’t they something? They give, give, give and never think about themselves. Why, I’ve never met anyone with so much love for humanity. Isn’t it awesome how they glow, how this light shines through everything they say and do? I mean, they walk into a room and suddenly everything changes. I feel good when I hang out with Christians. They are not insecure or full of doubt about who they are…not like me. They are solid, dependable, accepting, have a great sense of humor and are so much fun to be with. They are so cool. I wish I could be like them.”
Unique, loving and cool. This is our new stereotype.Let's show the world who we really are in Christ Click To Tweet
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Copyright © 2017 L.M. Patrick, British Columbia, Canada