8/15/12 Will, Brandon both 20-something
What about the attrocities done by "Christians" throughout history? Two twenty-something African-American men were conducting a photo-shoot at a park, but were happy to take time out in response to my questions. Will, a personal trainer and Brandon, his photographer, were getting some shots for a training video. They both rejected organized religion, but called themselves "spiritual". Both had been raised in traditional - though not biblical - churches, but now their spiritual beliefs were made up of disconnected thoughts and ideas taken from a variety of sources and their own imaginations. I used some simple logic to show obvious inconsistencies between these beliefs, but they didn't seem to care. As I thought about it later, I tried to find some common denominators in their different beliefs, but they seemed so disconnected from each other that the best way I can describe them is - "Anything but Jesus". Why? From asking about their past experiences I believe their rejection of biblical Christianity comes from a mixture of the misunderstandings that come from the man-made traditions of their church backgrounds and the barbaric acts done throughout history in the name of Christianity. Much of this awareness may have come from the great admiration they have for the rapper Tupac Shakur and his Black nationalist leanings. So how can we share the Gospel when people cite the horrible things done by "Christians" throughout history? I asked Will and Brandon what they disagreed with about these attrocities, and everything they said that these people had done went against Jesus' teachings. "Do they really sound like true followers of Jesus then?" "No", they had to admit. Many people use the negative actions of supposed Christians as their reason to reject Christ. It may sound overly simple, but we need to remind them that just calling oneself a Christian doesn't make it so. It didn't thoughout history, and it still doesn't today.