Christianity gets a bad rap. Most world religions do, but for some reason, especially in America, Christians are the loudest complainers.
Christians in America feel they are being “persecuted” for their beliefs. Every December, Bill O’Reilley does his “Attack on Christmas” special, where he complains that Christmas is being attacked based solely on public school not allowing Christmas carols to be sung or the installation of “Holiday Trees.” Glenn Beck, over and over again, talks about how Christians are being held back and repressed in the name of tolerance.
The problem that I see with these different “repressions” and “attacks” is that they aren’t attacking the Christians themselves, but rather the label they fall under. For a while, I refused to be called a “Christian” because of the stigma attached to it.
Ask anyone who speaks out against Christianity what they hate about Christians, and everyone you ask will give you a different answer. But mostly, the Christians that are being hated are closed-minded, intolerant, ignorant individuals, who cling to religion and guns and views anything that is different from their “Utopia” as evil. Christians vote Republican, eat red meat, and usually live in rural areas. Christians will happily tell you that you are going to hell, and will shove Christ down your throats with scare tactics.
I found this website recently that does a great job of this tactic. It starts off discussing the deaths of rock stars, and how the rock and roll culture leads straight to Hell. The practical side of me likes to think that it doesn’t, and the logical side of me knows it won’t, but for kicks, I read the tract.
At the bottom of the page, you’ll notice that, after all of that propaganda, you’re given a choice: CHOOSE LIFE, and rid your system of rock music and be welcomed into Heaven, or CHOOSE DEATH, and burn in Hell after you die because of your music choice. For kicks, I decided to choose death, and was immediately brought here.
This page talks about my awful choice of rejecting Jesus Christ as my Savior, and goes on and on and on about the eternal lake of fire that my condo will be next to for all eternity. After reading all of this, I’m given another choice, my last chance: Accept Jesus Christ, or reject Him. Again, for kicks, I chose to reject Jesus. And oh man, did I make the wrong choice.
This page talks about the torment of Hell. It’s all about Hell, using Biblical descriptions about Hell and how much I will suffer by going there. It talks about how National Geographic and PBS both accept that Hell is a real place, and by rejecting Jesus, that is where I’m going. The page is black, the text is red, as if to prove that I’m a wicked person.
This, from the same people who believe in a God of love, will scare me into salvation. That is not what people want.
So what should a Christian be instead? Exactly what Jesus preaches. I feel like I’m repeating myself every time I say it, but that’s what is said, and it was said to be the most important commandments: “Love your God… and Love your Neighbor.”
The simple act of loving someone is all that someone might need to be brought to Christ. Jesus isn’t angry or upset or mean. Jesus is Love. Religion and Christianity shouldn’t be something scary or something that causes you to fear the unknown realm of death. Religion and Christianity should be something that is desired.
To answer the question in the title: A Christian is one who is loving, not scary.
If the majority sets a good example for the rest of the world, maybe Christians won’t be as “persecuted” as everyone thinks they are.