Have you ever been asked a question and immediately thought, “That’s a stupid question!” Then you realized that you actually had to give an answer, and it suddenly becomes a really hard question. In those situations we often answer and then walk away thinking, “Ugh! I have a way better answer now. I want a re-do!” I wonder how many of us would feel that way if we were asked the questions in the video below.
What’s Good in the Video
I appreciate the emphasis on compassion, humility, and acceptance. Those are good things that we should embrace as Christians. In reality, there’s no such thing as a self-righteous Christian. If
you’re self-righteous, then you aren’t a Christian at all. To be a Christian, you need to admit that your righteousness isn’t worth much at all and confess that you need Christ’s righteousness. (I’ve written more about self-righteousness here)
One of the ironic things about this video comes when they criticize and condemn the self-righteous Christians who put themselves on a pedestal. As soon as you do that, you become their judge and place yourself on a pedestal above them. Ironic, yes?
They are right, though. Too often Christians are not known for their love. Instead, we can come off as proud and judgmental. When that’s true… shame on us.
How Would You Answer those questions?
The things that arise as your first answers are probably the very things that you consider most important about what a Christian is and what a Christian isn’t. That’s why I think this video is so interesting. Think about what they said:
- Christians are not: homophobic, perfect, closed minded, unaccepting, uneducated, conservative, ignorant, on a pedastal. These all focus around tolerance with such a single-minded focus that it’s become the clearest way they are describing how a Christian should be.
- Christians are: accepting, queer, gay, feminists (three of them said this), scientific. Again, there’s a huge emphasis on tolerance as the primary way to describe Christians. There were a few answers about “things Christians do” (go to church, serve as a Young Life counselor, listen to Christian music), but those seemed to be mentioned as evidence that they really are Christians rather than as descriptions of what a Christian actually is.
What’s Christianity All About?
The biggest swing-and-a-miss in this video is simply the observation that there is no mention of God, Jesus, or the Gospel. Christianity is about a great announcement: God loved us so much that he sent his son Jesus Christ to live and die on the cross in order to pay the penalty our sin deserves, and we have hope because of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead and we expectantly await his glorious return when our faith will become sight. That was completely absent. And yet… that’s the bare-bones minimum of what it means to be a Christian.
Being a Christian is not about being a good neighbor. It is not about being a nice person.
Instead, Christianity is about God’s love for us demonstrated through Jesus’ death and resurrection, and our love for him in response.
There have been many articles you can read that give a more detailed critique of the video above, but my point is this: Christianity is about God’s love for sinful people, demonstrated through his sacrificial death on the cross. And it’s about our loving response to what he has done.
Are You Ashamed of Jesus?
Romans 1:16 says, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power for God for salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.” I simply ask the question, are you ashamed of Jesus? Are you ashamed to be known as a Christian?
There is power in the gospel. That doesn’t mean you’ll be spared teasing or being made fun of. You might be put in some really hard spots because of your stance for the gospel. But the gospel is the power of God for salvation, and you don’t need to be ashamed or embarrased of Jesus.
How is God calling you to stand confidently (with humility and love!) for the sake of the gospel?