Chris The Perfectly Intolerant Superficial Christian

Chris, the perfectly intolerant Christian will talk to anyway, especially the “lost” and “hell bound”

Websters defines a stereotypical Christian as superficial and intolerant. Well not really, but let me introduce you to someone who fits that description. His name is Chris.

The Stereotype

You’ll notice Chris straight away because he always carries his Bible close to his chest in one of those fancy leather covers with a massive cross on the front. He always smiling and very outgoing. He will talk to anyone, especially the “lost” and “hell bound”.

I do have to warn you about a couple of things. For a start, he rushes through pleasantries so he can tell you his redemption story. Once he’s done this, he turns everything you say back to God, and quotes scripture too (that includes when you ask him if he wants a coffee). If you have anything negative happening in your life, he’ll tell you it is the result of sin and will begin praying over you.

No Cussing Aloud

Oh, and whatever you do – don’t cuss around him. And when I say cussing I don’t mean dropping the f-bomb. I mean any word that would be even slightly offensive to a toddler. Because if you utter even the slightest naughty word, he will instantly fall to his knees, command Satan to leave you and start pleading for your soul.

Does he sound familiar? That’s the stereotypical Christian isn’t it? Chris the perfectly intolerant superficial Christian is the person many people picture when they think of someone living the Christian faith.

Let’s Not Be Superficial

I’m not a stereotypical Christian. I’m not a completely mature Christian and I don’t know the Bible inside out. But I’m pretty sure the Bible doesn’t tell us this is how we should act. In fact, I’m pretty sure we are told multiple times that God chooses us as we are, that we should come to Him as we are and pray to Him bringing nothing but our true selves;  to remain humble and not judge or condemn others. Somehow we read this, find comfort in it, thinking it’s just for us, then place the Bible down and proceed to create this fake, intolerant Christian stereotype.

I know a lot of people living for Christ who won’t even call themselves Christian’s. They know all too well the stereotypes that come with it.

I know a lot of people living for Christ who won’t even call themselves Christian’s. They know all too well the stereotypes that come with it; the pressure to never fall, to try and live up to totally unrealistic standards of perfection inconsistent with human nature. I see their point.

Let’s Be Real

I am a follower of Christ trying to live my life authentically. I want to be REAL and live as an imperfect human following Christ. I want to show not just what is considered acceptable, but show God’s grace and His gift of redemption, through my flaws, in a way my words or any stereotype ever could.

It’s not enough to say that the Lord will heal, if we pretend accepting Christ exempts us from pain.
It’s not enough to say the Lord forgives all, if we hide our failures.
It’s not enough to say we are Christians, and hide that we are human and loved anyway.

People will never come to God if they believe they have to be perfect to do so.

People will never come to God if they believe they have to be perfect to do so.

What God Asks of Us

The only thing God asks us to do is to show His love to others and to lead them to Him. Where are we leading them if we hide behind the “perfect Christian” stereotype? Let’s drop the stereotype and just live authentic Christian lives, full of flaws, full of pains, full of failure. Then, let’s rest in Him who loves us as we are, and share that love with others.

By Suzanne Physick. Read Suzanne’s Bio below.

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  1. Dan says

    While I like the premise of the article, and fully agree that many “Christians” see their role as putting up a facade of perfectness, I do take some exception to a few of the points in this article. We are all sinners and none of us is perfect, but we are to be working towards an understanding of how Jesus wants us to live out our faith in Him. While we are not to be running around casting condemnation and judgement on others, the Bible clearly states that we are to rebuke others if we find them in sin. “Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also will be fearful of sinning.” 1 Timothy 5:20 (NASB) Also, coming to the Lord as we are and as our true self makes sense, but the Bible also teaches that when we do come to faith in Him we become a new person. “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NASB) Jesus Himself says that if we love Him we will obey His commandments. (John 14:15) and that we will deny ourselves and take up our cross daily and follow Him. (Luke 9:23) No, salvation is not about works but when we place our faith in Christ, we become a new person, receiving the Holy Spirit who will guide us in following Jesus. Lastly, as to your point of people following Christ but ashamed to call themselves Christians, all I can say is to read Luke 9:26 “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” CFC-Response: One thing we appreciate so much is people’s passion around these topics. So, first, thanks for taking the time to post your comment and share these verses. I agree with your points, and only offer one thing to consider, specifically about the 1 Timothy 5:20 reference. Context is CRITICAL to not misinterpreting the Bible. 1 Timothy is a letter written by Paul to his mentee Timothy, who was commissioned to lead a church community…a community of believers. 1 Timothy’s focus is instructing Timothy on how to shepard and lead the church being left into his young hands. So, I’d encourage you to re-read 1 Timothy, and then re-assess your understanding of the truth of this verse. Here is a “cliff notes” verse to help you if you have limited time: 1 Timothy 3:14-15 (NIV) 14 Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that, 15 if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. What I’m hoping you will see upon a more comprehensive read of it, is that the rebuking of sin being referred to 1 Timothy 5:20, is conclusively targeted at existing believers, not those outside a church community, or non-believers. We should rebuke FELLOW BELIEVERS for their continued and unrepentant sinful behaviors or attitudes.

    • Dan says

      I am aware of who 1 Timothy is addressed to. In the article, it seemed to me to be more a statement of judgement of any kind toward anyone. I just wanted to point out that their are times when it is appropriate for a Christian to make certain judgments of others – I should have specified others who are in Christ. One of the ways Jesus converted those around Him was to use the law in pointing out their need for salvation in the first place. It’s tough because I completely agree that casting judgement and condemnation at the non-believing world does nothing but drive them further from Christ, but there is a time when people’s sin does need to come to the surface as the reason why we need to repent and believe in the Lord. I lived for many years in a homosexual lifestyle and have only been a true believer for about a year so I know fully the venom that can be preached by some in the church. This did nothing but make me want to distance myself further and further from Christianity. What drew me in, reluctantly, was of course God’s grace and a developing friendship with a Christian who took time to show concern for me and my future.

    • Ian McKerracher says

      I think that there should be an added facet to all of this “rebuking” etc. It is a given that most Christiians would be horrified if it was their behavior that turned an outsider from considering Christ as a viable option. In the same way, as we fellowship in collectives called churches and seek to serve God corporately, we don’t want to be the stumbling block for a brother or sister who are immature in some issue. Also, there MUST be a strong enough “bridge” between people to convey something as heavy as a rebuke. That kind of relationship is not forged in a couple of hours every sunday. It would be patently mean-spirited to attempt to correct someone who is not an extremely close friend or is not mature. If you want to enter into a mutual-accountability kind of partnership with a close friend, that would be a biblical application of submitting to each other (Eph 5:21). If the understanding has not been clear to both parties though, it would be much better to remain silent or share your concerns with a pastor who has been given the responsibility in that other persons life.

  2. KC says

    I often wonder why people might feel the need to act so self righteous, as if without sin when they meet another person. I think there definitely are those who are motivated by pride and true false self righteousness. But I also think there is a percentage of Christians who are truly unsure of how to behave around non-believers. I recall being a baby Christian and strongly aware that I should be standing up for Jesus and let others know that I was a Christian, but I really didn’t know how to convey that very well. I wanted to be bold in my faith and it would take overcoming some fears to even tell people I would pray for them. I wanted to be obedient to God’s word..I just didn’t understand how to do that sometimes. So often times, I think that Chris the Christian…is nothing more than a new Christian trying to be obedient, but not sure how that really looks. I agree very much with you, Ian, that it takes more than a “drive by” to rebuke others. It requires relationship and trust.

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