Author Michael Brown, who claimed last month that the Capitol riot shouldn’t be blamed on Christians just because there were a bunch of Christians there, is very unhappy that Christianity has such a bad reputation.
In fact, addressing a popular worship tune that says “They will know us by our love,” he wonders, with tongue firmly in cheek, if it ought to be changed to “They will know us by our hate.”
It’s actually not that outlandish a suggestion. For a large segment of the American Christian population, that sentiment may well be true.
… We have become terribly disfigured in recent years, in many ways, the opposite of God’s intent. How on earth did this happen?
If you don’t believe me, visit some of our personal, Bible-affirming, Jesus-believing, social media pages, where we savage each other and attack each other and spread hearsay and even lies about one another with reckless abandon. They are hate-filled pages, pages filled with venom and poison, yet pages that ultimately reflect what is in our own hearts. I ask again: how on earth did this happen?
Yet I see this every day. We are vile. We are vicious. We are mean-spirited. We treat each other with disrespect and disdain. There is little honor. Little humility. Little grace.
I don’t say this often… but he’s right. Though it’s not just Christians to blame for that. The internet has made it much easier for people, religious and otherwise, to say terrible things behind a screen that they would never say to a person’s face.
But Brown veers off course when he claims that Christians can stand against sin without being known for hatred. The way Brown and his ilk have gone about that makes them deserving of their negative reputation.
The problem with so many evangelicals isn’t just that people find many of their beliefs outdated or harmful; it’s the way they go about trying to enforce them through law in a nation founded on separation of church and state. Furthermore, their undying support for the most recent president, who built a campaign entirely on hate, doesn’t help their desire to be seen as “loving.”
Brown doesn’t give any specifics about the ways Christians have earned this reputation, or what they can do to improve themselves. He encourages some vague soul-searching. That’s it. It won’t help.