What Non-Believers Think of Christians

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The other day I had a very interesting conversation with three of my coworkers, all of whom are non-believers, about religion and Christians. They were discussing how religion doesn’t appeal to them and how religious people are mean and make them feel uncomfortable. It made me upset to think of what our reputations are as Christians.

In that moment I asked the Holy Spirit to speak through me because I knew that this was an opportunity for God to reveal himself through me. I explained to them how I dislike the terms religious and religion because they have a negative connotation. I said that “religion is all about rules, but for me, God is my best friend and I don’t follow a set of strict rules. Being a Christian, to me, is a lifestyle, not a religion with rules and regulation.” I feel that one of the main reasons why non-believers are repelled from being a Christian is because they believe that we have to follow rules and cannot enjoy life. Many churches even make people feel how no matter how much they do, they will never be pleasing in God’s eyes and this couldn’t be farther than the truth. We can’t work ourselves to Heaven because “for it is by grace [we] have been saved, through faith–and this is not from [ourselves], it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast” Ephesians 2:8-9.

 

“We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy” – Titus 3:3-4.

 

Non-believers dislike how some Christians push their faith on them and accuse them of being bad people. I know that not all Christians do this, but some do and truthfully that is not a way to spread the word of Christ. I explained how some Christians make me ashamed to be associated with them. I know, I know, that sounds awful, but those Christians are not embodying what it truly means to be a Christian, a child of the Almighty God.

I feel that at least half of the Christians today do not know what it truly means to be a follower of Christ because they do not have a relationship with God. That’s the difference between religion and being a follower of Christ; one has rules and the other has a loving relationship.Having a relationship with God can’t compare to any human relationship. The love I feel from God can’t even come close to comparing the love of another human being. It is sad that more non-believers and even some Christians, are not told of this amazing relationship they can have with God. If more non-believers were told of how wonderful it is to have a relationship with God, instead of all the things they need to stop doing, more people would come to Christ. I told my coworkers that I am not going to push my faith onto others, I will respect their decision if they decide to not believe, but if they want to learn about God then I am willingly here to share the wonders of being a child of God. In response, one of my coworkers made a good point, she said: “I am more likely to want to be a Christian by looking at you and saying ‘Alicia is a good person, I want to be like that,’ instead of being told that all I do is wrong and I am going to go to hell.” That told me that we as Christians need to be an example of God, we need to be the example that people look at and say, wow I want to be that happy and that kind, and that loved by God. I want God to radiate from my being. We are the only lights in this dark world and it’s time we truly turn the switch on and reveal the love of God. We need to stop telling non-believers how bad they are. They are sinners just like we are! All sin is equal. Judging others is a sin and that is what more than half of Christians do to non-believers and, unfortunately, it is leaving an everlasting effect, and not the kind of effect we wish to have on them. They are now thinking of us as hypocritical, mean, and judgmental. I want non-believers to know that we are just like they are, we are humans who make mistakes, the only difference is the one that truly matters in life, we know God and He helps us live a better, more fulfilling life. God knew that we were all sinners, but He didn’t send Jesus here to condemn us; like the verse says: “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him” John 3:17. If God did not desire to condemn us, who are we to want to condemn others for not living righteously. I am not perfect and never will be, Jesus was the only perfect human being on this earth. The best I can do is strive to be like Him: gentle, patient, humble, caring, faithful, unselfish, and most importantly, loving.

We need to embrace the love of Jesus that is within us and help change the way that non-believers think of God. The more we embody Christ the more they will desire to be a believer, and ultimately that is our goal while we are here. We are here to represent Christ in all that we do and to show others the wonders of being a child of God.
I want to lastly say that, I am not always the best witness or best example of Christ. We all make mistakes when trying to represent Christ and that is okay, God knows we are not perfect. I believe that God gave us each separate gifts on spreading His word. I know that we are not all going to share the love of Christ the same, but I just hope that we all can take a step back and reflect on how we have been treating our brothers and sisters who have not yet come to know God. We need to keep in mind that we are children of the God of love. We are to embody what it means to be loved by God and to love others. That is our top priority, spreading His love. “No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us” 1 John 4:12. Condemning others for their actions is only going to hurt them, not lift them up. I hope that we all can change the way non-believers think of Christians and more importantly how they think of God. Our actions solely reflect back on how non-believers think of God. If we are mean and condemning, then ultimately they will assume God is a mean God. In the end, all I think we all want is to know that we helped someone and that God is proud of us. So, now we should go out and help this crazy world and be a good examples of our Heavenly Father.

 

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  • I love this because I love differentiating between being religious and being spiritual. I feel like sometimes people who are a part of a religion can get so caught up in the rules and regulations that they forget the spiritual aspect of it. I feel like the basics are the most important, to love each other and life each other up, who cares about all the small little itty bitty details. I mean, obviously points to whoever can do it all, but I don’t think God would want us to tear other down for not obey a tiny rule in our religion. That to me (tearing others down) is worse than breaking small religion rules! Also, I’m a mormon adn I feel like we get a lot of slack for being weird and stuff, so I get it haha. Like I feel like people have just been exposed to really weird, judgemental mormons so I always want to be like, “Wait!!! Let me change your mind! We’re normal!” Haha.

    • Yesss!! I completely agree! I feel like if we focused on the spiritual aspect then it would be more fulfilling and helpful to others. The rules of the religious aspect really repel people. I love how you mentioned that the basics are what really matters and you couldn’t be more right. All we need to do as children of God is to love unconditionally and help others in all ways. I feel like no matter what religion we all are we are still all children of God and shouldn’t judge how we each serve Him. Thanks for your insightful comment Emily 🙂

  • Lauren H.

    Stopping by from Peony Project. Definitely a tough read, its hard to think about Christians as a group being labeled as “mean” or “uncomfortable”. Although, I have even had uncomfortable conversations with fellow Christians myself! What a difficult balance.

    • That is very true. I am a Mormon, and I believe I am a Christian as I have a personal relationship with Christ as my Savior and he is the center of our church, but it is very hurtful not only when non-believers say we aren’t Christian but a cult, but it also hurts when fellow Christians say the same. I believe all churches have truth to them, and that as long as you are following Christ, you are doing what He has asked of you, I wish I was treated the same sometimes. Actions are stronger than words!

      • Taylor, I am so glad that you brought this up! I feel that many other forms of religion are divided and even other forms of Christianity. Many believe that their way is the best way and it shouldn’t be like that. I respect all forms of religion and try not to judge the way others serve the Lord. I have a friend who is Mormon and I really feel bad for her at times because I feel she really gets judged more than Christians because her form on worship is more noticeable. I wish it wouldn’t be like that. Thank u for your insightful comment.

    • Hi Lauren! Nice to have a fellow peony stop by 🙂 and yes it was definitely upsetting to hear my coworkers say how they feel about Christians. And I totally agree that even having conversations with other Christians can be uncomfortable due to them judging how we each serve the Lord. It’s surely a difficult situation.

  • It’s so important to sometimes look out and see what people are saying! My Christian college used to do events where they had non-Christians come and they would share what they thought of us. It’s really good to step back and see how we’re being perceived.

    • That’s pretty awesome that your college had those events. I had never really knew what nonbelievers really thought about us. When I found out it was pretty upsetting and I hope somehow we can change the way the outside views us. Thanks for your comment 🙂