When I ask people, “What is a Christian?” they don’t usually respond with words like love, compassion, grace; usually they describe a person who’s anti-something. Jesus was not primarily known for what he was against. He was known for serving people who had needs, feeding people who were hungry, and giving water to the thirsty. If we [Christians] were known primarily for that, then we could cut through so many divisions…Christians often have a bad reputation. People think of Christians as uptight and judgmental. Odd, I thought, that [our version of Christianity] has come to convey the opposite of God’s intent, as it’s lived through us. (quote from Philip Yancey)
I think we Christians should listen humbly, thoughtfully, and carefully to people who express their misgivings about us. Somehow in our efforts to “speak the truth” we have too often forgotten about the love that God intends to undergird the truth. We have forgotten to let our speech “always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that [we] may know how [we] ought to answer each person.
Jesus was offensive to smug, judgmental, religious people. He was a breath of fresh air to broken, nonreligious people. Can the same things be said about his followers today? If not, what are the reasons why? Why are there still people who think that “Christian” and “anti-something” are one and the same? P. 82