4.25.2014

Thought, Provoking

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I run in fairly secular circles.  With the exception of church activities, rare in my daily travels are intersections with other serious Christians.  In many settings, even nominal believers of any faith are in the minority.  In fact, in some circles Christians and Christianity are met with strong negative feelings: mockery, dismissiveness, or rage.

This post isn't about complaining about all the bile or defending Christians and Christianity.  My curiosity is where the forcefulness of feeling comes from.  Apathy I understand; but why does this matter so much that it makes the blood boil?

Perhaps it is indignation.  Christians are accused of bigotry, hypocrisy, and bad politics, so the topic generates an adverse response; indifference is not allowed because destructive behavior must be called out.  

Perhaps it is, ironically, certainty in one's opposing belief.  The main tenets of the Christian faith are seen as so wrong, so morally perverting, or so scientifically implausible that they invite wide ridicule and feverish correction.

Perhaps it stems from a bad experience from the distant or recent past.  If you were hurt by Christians or by Christianity, another encounter can provoke a harsh reaction.

Perhaps it is a signal to others that you would not be caught dead in that camp.  You don't necessarily feel strongly on your own, but by acting so you let others know where you stand.

I am sympathetic to many of these positions.  Again, my thrust today is not to defend or complain.  Rather, I seek to understand, and then to self-examine to see how I can be a better representation of what I believe.

Whether we are religious or not, whether we call it "evangelism" or not, we all have beliefs and we all seek to influence.  As for me, I seek to influence people towards Jesus, and in doing so I must better understand where those around me are coming from and why the topic of my faith provokes such strong negative reactions sometimes. 
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