I’ve started writing a book about Changing the Face of Christianity. I’ll post excerpts here as I go in order to get your feedback before the book is published.
Let’s end this chapter 2 book excerpt with this crucial reminder. Stereotypes CAN be changed, through one-on-one personal experiences when those experiences defy the stereotype.
Even the most extremely deep-rooted stereotypes are malleable over time. We simply must keep our minds open, think for ourselves, seek out broader experiences, and allow what we are taught to be tempered by our personal experiences.
Key Points to Remember:
1) Althouh a stereotype is an attempt to label a group of people into a nice little box, a stereotype itself isn’t something you can precisely define in a dictionary or put in a box.
2) Stereotypes are impacted daily by people who reinforce the stereotype or who often unconsciously work to shape it in a different direction.
3) Everyone you meet either reinforces the stereotype or slowly works to change it.
4) When what you’ve been taught agrees with your own personal experience, that stereotype is almost impossible to change.
5) When your experience is different than what you’ve been taught, the stereotype is already in the process of changing.
6) Stereotypes are changed one person at a time, through direct personal experience, when that experience is different than the stereotype you are familiar with.
Stay tuned for chapter 3, where we will provide an introduction to the current negative Christian stereotype.