Nerdfighters

Lately I've heard a lot of hate toward from Christianity. It seems that a lot of people have been hurt from being judged by Christians and  therefore hating the religion. But hey can you blame them? The modern church is corrupt and based only on certain parts of the bible instead of embracing it all. What are y'alls thoughts of the modern church, the church going stereotype, and people hating Christianity but still respecting Jesus?

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Ooh, this is a tricky topic!

 

First of all, while the Church at large is a group of Christians, individual Churches are very different.  They likely haven't tried all of them and I wouldn't be surprised if the bad ones are more common because they are easier to start.  

 

Second of all, if they critique the Church like this, we can't really answer them because we don't have a specific situation to respond to.  It becomes a lot clearer when their specific disagreement is with Westboro Baptist or Focus on the Family and even clearer when they refer to a specific document or series.

 

Third, we have limited processes for handling disagreements within the Church.

Matthew 18:15-17 says “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector."

These processes are in place in order to prevent gossip and preserve the unity of the Church.  Trying to discipline someone from another Church, such as if they treated one of their members poorly, would be very difficult.  Of course, doctrine will be freely debated, but I don't think that that is the issue here.

 

Finally, the Church and Christians will never be able to please non-Christians.  Jesus says that non-Christians will hate us simply because we follow him.  Our words and actions condemn sin by having Jesus live through us.  A non-Christian will feel condemned by that, even if we don't address their sin directly.  The best that we can do is honor God and follow his commands, so that at least we know that we have done nothing wrong.

We had an interesting discussion about hypocrisy in the Church last Sunday.  I contributed by working out a definition of hypocrisy based on a blog post by the Maverick Philos....

 

In my own terms, Christians are accused of being hypocrites because they tell people not to sin even though they sin themselves.  What Christians actually do is call people to repent from their sins, which is a little bit different.  With repentance, we know that we will still sin, but we set our will against it.  Rather than calling people to live without sin, which would be impossible, we call them to turn their back on their sin, which is realistic if Christ works through us.

I dislike the stereotype I now have with my friends where they assume that just because I'm a Christian and love Jesus, I suddenly have the Bible memorized, will never swear/say something I shouldn't, etc. Also, the idea that I'm prude/uptight because I'm waiting for marriage. It's like being Christian makes me a completely different person, instead someone who's just trying to better themself, even if I fail miserably a lot of the time. It would be nice to have their support instead of their judgement, because I'm closer with them than I will ever be with my church friends. 

I think about all of this a lot. I like to think it's my life purpose to end these negative thoughts to Christianity because of a few individuals who happen to be Christian.

I can't stand it when people yell at us for judging, hating, and shoving our beliefs down people's throats when they're the ones doing it to us.

 

Just because I state my opinion doesn't mean I'm shoving my beliefs down your throat. I'm defending my beliefs. Something I'm allowed to do as long as I don't get mad about it or twist God's words. I just enjoy talking about God, is that a crime? I can see how it would get annoying, but I see atheists talk about how dumb, annoying, biggoted and hypocritical Christians christians are or how stupid Christianity or God is. How is that different from a biggot Christian saying you're a moron who's going to hell if you believe in evolution?

 

Yes the modern church can be corrupt, but there is no perfect interperetation of the Bible, so it's best for people to do what makes them feel closer to God and search for the truth individually. And it's not at all bad if they go to churches of different denominations. Like if I go to a methodist church, then a Presbyterian church, then an Episcopal church in the span of a couple months.

 

I like it when people still respect Jesus even though they don't believe. They don't make me mad or anything, but it makes me sad. Even if I pray for them, or remind myself of God's mercy, it still hurts to know that they may not have all the love and guidance they could.

 

 

I was once travelling home on the busses and I stopped downtown for a while and I didn't have shoes and I hadn't slept much and I only had enough money to get home, which meant no eating until I got home which was still over an hour away and I'd already been travelling that long and I was just so upset so when I saw a Jehovah's Witness outside the entrance to the bus terminal I was delighted because, while I don't share specific beliefs with them, I find the members to be friendly and warm and inviting and it sounded great that morning to have someone to talk to about God and just someone to talk to for a few minutes. While I was talking to this guy a complete stranger walking by yelled out something about 'it's all a fairytale' before running off and the last of my patience went out the window.

 

That is why I take speeches about how awful Christians are with a grain of salt because, while I know very well how bad some Christians are, I also know how bad some members of every group are and I know for a fact that Atheism isn't the Holy Grail of civility that some people purport it to be.

It's so annoying when pompous atheists and agnostics complain about how pompous and self-righteuos Christians are when just as many of them act the same way.

HELLO! Just because some of us aren't perfect doesn't mean you are becasue you disagree with us.

At this point in our history there is no, "The Church." We've splintered so much that it's no longer down to the denomination, it's down to the individual church.

 

Semantics aside. I think some among the ranks have made a bad reputation for the rest, and overall it's just a part of this trend among Christians to assume that when they speak about their specific church's beliefs that they speak for all of us. As John Green said {and I love using this quote, it's so well put} religion is not one monolithic thing. I have so very little in common theologically with the folks at the Discovery Institute and the folks at Exodus International, but they claim to speak for all Christians. It's infuriating, because it means that among my Atheist friends I'm largely assumed to be a bible-thumper even though I've never given them a reason to think that, and among my Christian friends I'm largely assumed to be "lost" which is extra condescending because it feels like they're looking at me as if I'm some confused child.

 

I think this is a situation of the squeakiest wheels getting the oil. The church that accepts everyone and then everything was fine forever and we all had donuts hurray doesn't make the news. And for the most part I think it's an internal problem rather than an external one.

A church shouldn't really accept everyone as a believer though. If they don't believe in most of the things Christianity is all about, Jesus being the son of God and dyign for our sins, the Trinity, etc, then they should definately be allowed to attend the church, just not as believers. Accepting everyone regardless of culture, race, heritage, status, job, money, politics, or family situation is one thing, but if their beliefs are more than noticably different, well, I'd rather have one true believer than 1000 people who just call themselves Christians and don't really follow the true word of God.

The New Testament talks a lot about teaching only the Good News, only the one you were taugh, only the one you believe to be true, and to teach anything different is bad. If someone told me, " I'm not a Christian mainly because I don't think Jesus was God's son", or "I don't believe in God because I don't think anyone could actually part the Red Sea or survive a furnace like in the bible." Then I wouldn't tell them it's okay because whatever they believe COULD be true, or tell them they're right, because that would be distorting the truth and what I've been taught and believe abotu God.

Or if they believe in God but say, "I don't think it's bad for me to have a lot of really nice things when I can easily help others because God gave me those things for a reason and they're mine." I would strongly disagree with soemthing like that because the reason God gave us opportunities to have things and money like that is so that we could use them to help the poor, and the bible clearly says multiple times to get rid of your earthly possessions and help the poor, you can't serve God and money, you should think of others first, so if someone is blatantly wrong like that I wouldn't accept what they believe at all. If we continue to allow people to believe those things, we shouldn't force our beliefs obviously, that'd make it way worse, but we should try to help them understand our side, the church will just become corrupt. I'm sure God would rather have one honest and loving follower over a large number of selfish and hateful church-goers.

Sorry for the accidental sermon, but my point is, there isn't really a church that accepts everyone, because there shouldn't be. "Everyone" refering to regardless of race, politics, money, family, past, job, social status, absolutely. But "everyone" referring to anyone who believes anything or appeasing to someone who is just plain wrong just so they'll call themselves a Christian or join the church, no way.

 

I can't stand it when my friends roll their eyes or get pissed or something just becasue I mention or enforce my beliefs. Thankfully, they never call me a "bible thumper" just for believing what I do and wanting to act the part sometimes. That must seriously suck. No one ever talks about how a Christian helped someone out, only how they irritated them or tried to "convert" them.

The thing about judging people really gets to me because I have several friends who have been hurt by churches because they were being judged and even talked bad about and I think that as christians we need to listen to the bible when it says to not judge others and also treat them with love, because in the end its up to God not us.
The sad thing is, some peole, only one I've talked to, but that probably means there's a few others, think the Bible WANTS us to judge people. You know, completely disregarding that we still have to treat them like people with feelings even if they are sinners. Not wanting someone to be a part of your church I can KIND of understand, because the bible says the churches should not tolerate people who don't turn from sin to avoid corruption in the church, but talking about someone behind their back instead of confronting the problem, talking it out and trying to help each other is just wrong. It's just aweful when anyone is hurt by a church because people couldn't just deal with their problems openly.
I completely agree. I cant even realy add anything because you hit it so spot on.

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