The Christian faith is about redemption – or at least, it is supposed to be. But in our era, the word Christian itself is in need of redemption. As Miguel De La Torre wrote recently, “We are a nation that has made humanitarian aid a crime, and has made fidelity to the Bible a felony.” But those who have done that have done so not thinking it is an attack on Christianity, but in the name of Christianity, thinking that they are defending it rather than tarnishing its witness.
What can be done? Damaris Zehner wrote recently about “Rebranding Christianity.” Here is an excerpt: “Christianity has become so odious to so many that even acts of mercy may be seen as manipulative or hypocritical. Instead let people know that we are good people, gentle, helpful, supportive, and quiet, only by the way we act; we can talk later.”
As my wife and I were talking about the mud-slinging that Christians have been engaging in, and how the insults and mischaracterizations shape popular perceptions of Christianity, I said that we need to provide an example of a different sort of Christianity than that. When she asked me how I thought we might do that, I suggested: by cleaning up after the mud-slingers!
If you are a Christian, or a member of another group whose reputation has suffered because there are highly visible people associated with that identity who speak hatefully and disrespectfully, what are your thoughts about how to redeem your identity, assuming of course that you think this is possible and worth doing?
Of related interest: