Perceptions: What Jesus Taught vs How Christians Are Seen

Jesus gets a bad rap a lot of the time. There are three reasons for it: Christians, people who don’t know Christ well enough to tell the difference between what he taught and how they act, and something called the availability heuristic. James Clear has an article with information on it titled 5 Common Mental Errors That Sway Your Decision Making here. Summed up, we hear very little of what’s happening in the world and it’s always something that has the shock value to get our attention.

How do we reconcile perceptions about Christians?

I don’t want to shock you, but I read a couple of books awhile back. One was The Fifth Gospel, the other was Jesus>Religion. In The Fifth Gospel, there is a chapter called “Image is Everything.” From that chapter, I got a few ideas on how Christians are seen and what Jesus said about it.

Christians Are Boring

Jesus:

Christians Are Reclusive

Jesus:

Christians Are Hateful

Jesus:

You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7: 5 Emphasis mine

I go deeper into that here.

Christians Are Hypocrites

Jesus:

  • Couldn’t stand self-righteousness (Matthew 23)
  • Warned that not all who say they follow him will get to Heaven (Matthew 7: 15-23)

In 6 Things That Don’t Make You A Christian, I go in depth with what does.

Christians Are Violent

Jesus:

His anger was at behavior, at sin. He did not condemn others. He also would not condone their sin. Frequently, he would say ‘go and sin no more’ and not tell them it’s okay. Sometimes he would flip tables and scare livestock. Other times he would call people out for their action like in Matthew 23.

Just keep in mind Christianity is about Jesus. He is the standard and Lord. Some of us don’t know better; others are in open rebellion against him. Most commonly is that a Christian will fail. Our Savior is perfect; we are not so we turn from it and move on.

Summed up, it’s Jesus>Christians.

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