Friday, October 05, 2007

Meme: These Four Things

I've been tagged by Brother Maynard in a meme based on the book unChristian, which is apparently a book about why people don't like Christians.

Here's the scoop:

List four things about Christians: three negative perceptions and one thing that Christians should be known for.

Negative Perceptions:

1. Christians are arrogant.
They are so comfortable in their rightness that they often are not able to relate to unbelievers without talking down to them.

2. Christians are difficult.
Ask any waitress. Christians are frequently known for being bad customers. They can be demanding and seem to believe that they are deserving of special treatment.

3. Christians are hypocrites.

It doesn't take watching Christians very long to realize that we fall far short of the ideals we espouse. Perhaps this is related to the first one. If we were more humble in our attitudes, maybe we wouldn't be judged as harshly in our weaknesses and failures.

Positive Thought:

4. Christians should be generous.
I'm not sure if this is the number one thing, but it is a concrete way to put our love in action. When we are generous with our time, our money, and our attitudes we can begin to exemplify the love we claim to have.

Tagged:
1. Barb
2. Heather
3. Mary
4. Paul

I look forward to hearing their thoughts on this.

Do you like Christians?

9 comments:

Alexander Fear said...

I like people.

Just people.

I hope the best for them. But I'm not afraid to confront most people either.

grace said...

alexander,
I like people too. In some ways I didn't like doing this meme, because I don't believe these things about Christians across the board.

However, I also think it's important that we take a look at the negative stereotypes of Christians and take responsibility for any part we own in perpetuating those stereotypes.

Barb said...

Thanks Grace, mine (or the lack of mine) is up at my blog. :0

Will Hinton said...

Grace: thought you might like to check out this interview I conducted last week with UnChristian co-author Gabe Lyons.

paul said...

thanks grace - challenge accepted :)

Sarah said...

"Do you like Christians?"

There are some Christians that I really like a lot! In general, I tend to be a little more wary towards Christians (even though I am one) than unbelievers. But maybe that's because I live in a hyper-religious town that once held the record for number of churches per capita (a horrible sign of division if you ask me).

In my experience, I have found Christians to be quite presumptous towards each other (assuming they know what everyone else should be doing), putting expectations on another Christian to do whatever THEY think is best. I find unbelievers don't usually have that kind of attitude (although some do - but I consider these to be "religious" people even though they are secularists). So there seems to be more freedom from outside expectations with unbelievers. That's just been my general experience...

It will be interesting to hear the other responses...

grace said...

Barb,
Great post and I'm looking forward to part 2.

Will,
I really enjoyed the interview and I'm glad that I took the 15 minutes to listen. I hope that others will also. You and Gabe both brought up some really important points about how the reputation that we have developed and what can be done about it.

Paul,
I'm looking forward to your thoughts.

Sarah,
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I agree that presumption is a big problem in the image and attitude that we present to others.

My hope is that the emerging/missional trend is that, as individuals and as a group, Christ-followers are moving toward a more humble attitude of authentic love, service, and genuine care for others.

Mary said...

Thanks for the tag. I've finally posted my list. I don't necessarily believe these negative perceptions about all Christians, but we've developed a reputation nonetheless.

paul said...

thanks grace, i've got mine up now :)