|Stuff Jesus Never Said - www.nakedpastor.com|
Q: It seems that our society is becoming tolerant of almost everything except Christianity. Why is this? Could it be that the love Christians are to show is offset by fire and brimstone preaching condemning to hell those who do not comply?
A: Has Christianity been so marred by inaccurate representations of God that many have determined that Christians at large are bigots, fear-mongers, hateful, and nasty people? One survey determined that the least desired potential next-door neighbor in the United States is a fundamentalist Christian. Some might say that’s because many people don’t want Christians next door making them feel guilty. Perhaps. But it’s also true that most people can get by without a relentless diet of criticism and condemnation.
Has Christendom missed the primary emphasis of the gospel of Jesus Christ? Is the gospel really more about hell than it is about heaven? Is it more about doing stuff, following rules, regulations and rituals—or is it more about God’s love, mercy, and grace? If Jesus showed up today in our towns and cities, in our schools and courtrooms, in our cafes and malls, and yes, in our churches—would we recognize Him? Would He resemble what our churches have taught us? Would religion welcome Him? How closely would He echo the outspoken and reactive Christianity that is accepted as the norm by many?
* * * * *
This is an excerpt from Greg Albrecht's book, BETWEEN RELIGIOUS ROCKS AND LIFE’S HARD PLACES: 101 Answers to Tough Questions about What You Believe (available through www.ptm.org). The book documents questions from real readers along with Greg's pastoral responses. PTM has now made a pdf file available free here: