Christians are often seen as hypercritical, close-minded, homophobes who spend every waking hour casting judgment down on all who don’t believe.
They are seen as dangerous xenophobes or at best a group of moral and social Dinosaurs. As a Christian myself, I am more than willing to admit that such a reputation is a direct result of people claiming the Christian faith while forsaking things like love and grace for legalism and judgmental firing squads.
However, the greatest misunderstanding surrounding Christians is this notion that Christians think they’re somehow morally superior people. This is simply untrue. In reality – the true Christian feels that he is in his own right altogether less than nothing, yet he believes without question that he is the apple of God’s eye and that for him the son of God became flesh and died on a cross of shame. If not for this Christians know they are nothing more than dead men walking.
A Christian does believe however, that our heartache and most of our physical troubles spring directly from our sin. Pride, arrogance, malice, greed: these are the sources of more human pain than all the diseases that ever afflicted human flesh. The Christian knows he attempts in vain to keep God’s moral standard yet strives toward its ideal none-the-less. This is often misunderstood for moral-superiority. The non-believer is simply shooting the messenger by calling a Christian chasing this moral standard pious, or self-righteous, for it is God they have the real problem with not the Christian. God’s word is the essence of truth. He is not offering us an opinion. His words are supported by deeds mightier than any preformed on this earth. It is simple wisdom for us to listen.
The Christian faith is in fact a divine paradox, and at first glace it is a marvelous contraction. For example the Christian believes that in Christ he is dead, yet he is more alive than before and fully expects to live forever. Although the Christian was born on earth after his conversion he is not at home here. The Christian loses his life to save it, and is strongest when he is weak, weakest when he is strong. Though poor he has the power to make others rich. The true Christian has the most after he has given all he has away and has the least when he possesses most. The Christian is often highest when he feels lowest and wisest when he admits he does not know, keeping his heart glad even in sorrow. He fears God but is not afraid of him. The Christian loves deeply one he has never seen, and although poor and lowly he talks intimately with one who is King of all Kings and Lord of all Lords. This might appear to be a contradiction but the Christian message is not addressed simply to reason but to faith.
At the very core of the Christian faith is a startling and almost unbelievable reality. Though men are nothing but a vapor in the wind, here today and gone tomorrow, the very son of God came into the world to save sinners. Christians are saved by Christ alone altogether apart from any works or merit. Have you ever heard anything more puzzling?
Despite the many mistakes the church has made in the end the Christian will always rub many the wrong way. After all, the very essence of Christianity will always be in its opposition towards, never in its agreement with, the ways of men. Christians long to be nothing more then little Christs. And their greatest honor lies in being just what he was and is. Christians will be accepted by those who accept Christ and hated by those who hate him.