09 February 2010

Judgmental Conditioning

"In our national surveys we found the three most common perceptions of present-day Christianity are antihomosexual (an image held by 91 percent of young non-Christians), judgmental (87 percent), and hypocritical (85 percent). These 'big three' are followed by the following negative perceptions, embraced by the majority of young adults: old-fashioned, too involved in politics, out of touch with reality, insensitive to others, boring, not accepting of other faiths, and confusing. [...] This is what a new generation really thinks about Christianity" (Kinnaman - UnChristian, pg 27).

And so pattern many of the other books I have been reading lately.

None of these perceptions are new. Nonchristians and Christians alike know these things. Problems is (well, a good problem), I do not know very many (if any) Christians like this. Perhaps that is because I am a religion major on a Christian college campus. I still would like to believe that the majority of Christians do not match up with these perceptions. Where do people get all of these ideas? The media? What other people say? Personal experiences? Why do they assume that all Christians are like this? You don't have a bad experience with one (or even a few) Russians and assume that all Russians are bad. Today we would call that "discrimination." Why do we generalize all Christians?

Here's the irony: These books are critiquing Christians for being judgmental, which in turn is making me judgmental toward Christians. I am tired of being angry and critical of other believers. I am tired of thinking of myself as more "righteous" because I am not like those judgmental Christians. Sometimes I think I may have been taught to be more judgmental toward my own family than unchurched people are.

Can I please read something positive? Hear some good things that Christians are doing? Please?

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