The most extreme “Christians” tend to be the loudest. The ones that scream hate, distrust, and hypocrisy for the faith are the ones most likely to be picked up by the media and shared with the world. The result is stereotypes and misconceptions about Christians being believed, despite many of them going directly against what Jesus wants Christians to do.
As Christians, we dedicate our lives to giving glory to God. One way we can do this is by helping erase the stigma that is carried with the “Christian” label. We can share with the world that Christians aren’t all intolerant hypocrites, but instead are people who are full of love, respect and understanding towards others. We can choose to be a “living Bible” that shares a positive example of what Jesus wanted the faith to be about.
Here are four stereotypes about Christians that we are sick of hearing, and falsely turn people away from Jesus Christ.
“Christians ignore science.”
Many non-Christians believe that the Bible has no scientific evidence or backing. They also believe that most Christians throw out the idea of science all together. However there are a lot of misunderstandings about how Christians do incorporate science into their lives. Most Christians see science as a way to further strengthen their faith, as new discoveries reveal the amazing things that God has created for us.
Science seeks to understand the creation that God has made. We can see a rainbow and understand that it’s due to white lights being reflected from tiny water droplets in the air. Christians can appreciate it further, and also see that rainbow as a subtle way God can remind us of the beauty of nature.
Furthermore, the Bible contained many scientific facts that were vastly difference from the beliefs of the time it was written in. For example, many people of the day believed that the earth was a flat disk being supported by a giant or an animal. However Job 26:7 mentions that how the earth is suspended in empty space. Christianity and science are not at war despite what many people believe.
“Christians think they’re better than everyone else.”
A lot of times, Christians are viewed as being too intolerant. They are seen as the group of people that have no room for dialogue with others that hold different values, beliefs or opinions. Some Christians act as if they are always right, and they put themselves in higher regard. This, however, is exactly what Jesus told Christians not to do.
There is nothing found in Biblical scripture that says Christians are any better than others on earth. Furthermore, Christians are specifically instructed not to judge others. Romans 2:1 states that no man has the right to judge. When Jesus instructed Christians to “Love your neighbor as yourself” there were no other stimulations to attach. The verse wasn’t left up for interpretation – Christians are to show love to all neighbors despite gender, race, beliefs, socioeconomic status, and the like.
This misconception about Christianity is one that needs to be worked on the most. Society has kept this idea of intolerance in the faith alive for many years. Christians should be choosing to live out their lives in glory of God, which means providing kindness to everyone. Stereotypes are changed when people receive differing information that helps them shift their view. Be the Christian that doesn’t view themselves as “better than” non-Christians and you might help change the way your friends and family see the faith.
“Christians can’t have fun.”
The idea that Christians can’t have any fun is really dependent on what a person’s definition of fun is. What most Christians find as enjoyable might not necessarily fit the description of what society finds exciting, but that doesn’t mean they don’t ever get to smile and enjoy life. For example, drugs, alcohol, and sex might be enjoyable for some people, but Christians understand how these things can lead down a slippery slope to a miserable existence. To Christians, there is no joy in those activities. There is only heartbreak and separation from the Lord.
Christian’s don’t see themselves as leading boring lives and it’s actually quite the opposite. The love of God is exciting and opens up our hearts to true happiness. Christians find themselves having fun when worshipping Him at church, or reading Bible stories to their children.
However it doesn’t mean that Christians can only find enjoyment in attending church services, either. There is no reason Christians can’t host dinner parties, go see a movie, or spend a day at the beach. God wants us to experience joy – He even has that word written over 100 times in almost all versions of the Old Testament. He doesn’t expect Christians to be serious all the time.
“Christians shove their beliefs down other people’s throats.”
You might have met someone that argued that Christians believe that they should do whatever possible to convert everyone to the faith. They see Christians as being overly-pushy, and shoving their beliefs down others’ throats. Typically people who believe this idea do so due to having a bad interaction with a group of Christians – weather it be a church or close relative. These bad interactions do occur, but this isn’t something that Christians are encouraged to do.
It’s understandable that a non-Christian doesn’t want to have Bible verses thrown in their faces when they just need a friend to talk to. It’s not always the most loving thing to do. Christians are told to live their life in the most Christ-like way possible, and that means meeting people where they are and providing the love that they need. While Christians should share the Word of God when appropriate, they are also supposed to treat everyone the same regardless of that person’s faith. Pushing the Spirit on someone who isn’t ready will only be met with resistance, and shut down potential further conversations about the Lord. Christians are instructed to be sensitive to others, and that means respecting their spiritual wishes.