Chapter 03: Introduction to the Current Christian Stereotype: Excerpt 4

Chapter 03: Introduction to the Current Christian Stereotype

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.

 

In 2010’, my organization created a “Christianity Quiz” which can be taken at www.ChristianityQuiz.com. It’s a 10 question self-assessment which intends to gauge how well a given Christian lives the teaching of Jesus Christ.

It’s not like a biblical trivia quiz where you will score well based on memorization of key names or events in Christian history. Instead, you are presented with real-world scenarios that test how you typically think or respond. Spiritually mature Christians would respond one way, while worldly Christians might respond a different way.

A representative question on the quiz would be something like: if you discovered a co-worker stole money from you, would you:

a)      Look for an opportunity to get back at them, or possibly sue them in an attempt to make them pay severely for their crime

b)      Tell them you forgive them, but continue to tell others about what they did to you because you are still angry

c)      Forgive them in your heart, but be less trusting of others in the future

d)      Truly forgive them, and pray that God will forgive them and YOU for your own transgressions.

The principle here is that Jesus teaches us to forgive others, not harbor bitterness against our fellow men and women, pray for the welfare of others (especially those that have done you wrong), and accept God’s forgiveness of their and your own transgressions.

A spiritually mature Christian will do all those things. Someone not truly following Jesus’ teachings would be more likely to angrily make them pay for their crime and hate the person.

And so through questions like this, a picture takes form of the type of Christian life you are living. Are you following God’s teaching, not following God’s teaching, or are you somewhere firmly in between? That’s what our quiz is trying to help you realize.

We understand it’s not a perfect science and we aren’t trying to suggest who is or isn’t a Christian (ie. Who is saved or not saved).  No quiz, whether long or brief can do that. Whether you are or are not a Christian is ultimately between you and God alone.

Over 30% or roughly 1 in every 3 “Christians”, admit they rarely live the teachings of Jesus Christ.

The results however are compelling. Since 2010, we have had over 5,000 self-professed Christians take the quiz. Over 30% or roughly 1 in every 3 “Christians”, admit they rarely live the teachings of Jesus Christ.

So, much of what non-Christians say about Christians is unfortunately true. To oversimplify the results, it’s like saying 1 in 3 Christians act just like the rest of the world, 1 in 3 Christians are trying with some success and yet frequently fall short of the teachings of Jesus Christ, and 1 in 3 Christians truly and consistently practice what we preach.

It’s easy to see how we have created a reputation for preaching, but not a reputation for practicing what we preach. Very few of us consistently carry out the commands of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I’m personally less concerned about striving for some unattainable level of perfection. And again, I’m not suggesting that even coming close to such perfect practice of our faith is somehow a guarantee of our salvation. I am a proponent of salvation by grace through faith, not through works.

But Jesus didn’t say “hey, believe in me and forget about putting what I say into practice.” He said in John 14:15, “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” John 8:31-32 says, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples.”

The plain fact of the matter is that a large percentage of self-professed Christians don’t think as Christ tells us to think and don’t act like Christ calls us to act. That’s why we are often labeled “unChristian”

.So, beyond the question of salvation, Jesus expects Christians to DO what he commands, and to obey his teachings. The plain fact of the matter is that a large percentage of self-professed Christians don’t think as Christ tells us to think and don’t act like Christ calls us to act. That’s why we are often labeled “unChristian”.

Key Points to Remember:

  1. There is a positive Christian stereotype to balance against the negative one. This should give us hope and encouragement.
  2. The negative Christian stereotype includes: intolerant, judgmental, hypocritical, anti-homosexual, too political, and superficial.
  3. The Christianity Quiz shows that 1 in 3 self-professed Christians rarely live the teachings of Jesus Christ.
  4. The primary cause of the negative stereotype is that Christians often don’t act very Christ-like.

Please share any comments or constructive feedback below. Thanks. It’s VERY APPRECIATED!


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About Brad White

R. Brad White is the Founder and President of Changing the Face of Christianity Inc. Brad is a former atheist and became an "on fire for God" Christian in 2005. In 2008, Brad became incredibly burdened by what he perceived as a Christian faith far off course, and Christians far from living the teachings of Jesus Christ. In 2010, Brad submitted to the calling to reverse these negative Christian stereotypes, by starting "Changing the Face of Christianity" (a 501c3 Texas non-profit corporation). Read more about R. Brad White


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Comments

  1. John says

    Christianity is not a religious exercise as in the many religions of the world which require works. Christianity is the personal relationship with Jesus as Lord, and God as Father. Christianity is walking in love as Paul states in 1 Cor 13. Jesus tells us there are two commandments in Matthew 22:37-40. Love God and love others, On these two hang everything we do in life. Your walk with the Father and His Son is simple, but the religious minded want to make it difficult, hard and filled with works (for your salvation). Allow the Father love you. John 3:16 – please study, meditate and your life will be enriched.

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