A while back, I saw a man wearing a t-shirt with a cross and an X through it that said “bad religion.”
At first, this made me upset and I felt that it was very disrespectful – it would have been disrespectful to any religion – but as I thought more about this man and his shirt, it made me upset with Christians. What happened between this man and the Christian religion? He couldn’t have been wearing that shirt without having a reason for thinking of Christianity as a “bad religion.”
I instantly got sad for this man. Something must have happened for him to have a negative view of Christianity. Maybe this man didn’t have a bad encounter with a Christian and there was a different reason, but it made me realize how many people have had unpleasant encounters with Christians.
If you’re a Christian, it’s your call to love others. We all fail at this sometimes for sure, but it is so important that we speak and act with love rather than with hate. Even if you have different views or don’t agree with somebody, you should not act hateful or say that others are wrong.
People lose respect for Christianity when we give them a reason to. Bible thumping, for example, has been a contributor to some people losing respect for us. This is not what being a Christian is about.
The behavior, words, and actions of Christians are to resemble Jesus Christ. Remember the term “WWJD?” from VBS. How often do you actually consider this? Jesus would act and speak in love. Not hate. Not condemnation.
There is already so much hate in this world that we should be spreading as much love as we can. As Christians, humans, friends, and family, we should strive to love each other more each day.
1 John 4:20 states, “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar’ for he who does not love his brother whom he has cannot love God.”
Hating others, but claiming to love God is not representing Christianity. Christianity is about love.
I hope those who have bad views of Christianity understand that hate and judgement is not what Christianity is about, or how Christians should act. I hope as Christians we can all agree on the importance of trying to love like Jesus every day.
As Bob Goff said in Love Does “[we’ll] know the extent of our love for God by how well we [love] people.”
Always strive to love like Jesus.
words by Sarah Gerard and photo by Kiana Dundore