I was driving by a church recently and the sign out front had the quote from John 20:8…”he saw and believed.” It started me thinking about the image that we, as Christians, project to a world that desperately needs to believe. Benjamin Franklin is quoted as saying “Believe none of what you hear and half of what you see.” If those around us take that advice, they are basically ignoring what we say and are forming an opinion of us based at least partially on their observations of what we do. What are we, as Christians, doing to influence those around us? What do people think of us as individuals and as Christians? I did a little internet research on the perception that our society has towards Christians in general. I found a blog (andrew-ong.com) entry about a 2007 book by David Kinnamon called UnChristian: What A New Generation Really Thinks about Christianity. Kinnamon discussed 6 negative perceptions that non-Christians have toward Christians:
Christians are hypocrits
Christians are too focused on getting converts
Christians are anti-homosexual
Christians are out of touch with reality
Christians are too political
Christians are judgemental
The Great Commision says: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Yet, how can we successfully make disciples or teach people to obey God’s commands when the world has such a negative opinion of us?
Ultimately, to me, the real question is, what can I do to make people see the love of Jesus Christ and the positive aspects of Christianity in my daily life? Because, no matter what I say, I know they will not believe unless they see.