Jump directly to the content
The Myth of the Christian Nut Job
The Myth of the Christian Nut Job

The Myth of the Christian Nut Job


Jan 15 2013
Relax. Non-Christians think your faith is less weird than you do.

Humans will be indecisive. That doesn't mean you need to hammer them over the head with another gospel tract. It likely means they're considering. That's cool.

Some people will love you

When Daniel went off to the University of Babylon to train for a PhD in Wiseman Advisorship, he received top honors. The Bible says the Lord caused people to show favor to Daniel (1:9). Kings found themselves praising The God of Daniel.

God also brought public favor to Joseph as a slave, a prisoner, and a leader of Egypt. And to Jesus and many early Christians. Often enemies of Christians could do nothing "because all the people were praising God for what had happened" (Acts 4:21).

My husband and I recently gave away copies of our coauthored book. One winner surprised us with this review:

I have nothing in common with the authors. They are Christian and, well, I am not. This book was not preachy, stifling, or alienating. It offers practical, honest, and relatable stories and advice [and] has joined the ranks of my "Actually Helpful Spiritual Guides" shelf.

I've heard it hinted from so many Christians that "people think we're nut jobs," that I forget not everyone does.

Some people will hate, some of the time

Christians are called not to hate anyone, ever.

Sure, plenty of people disagreed with Jesus. Plenty will disagree with you with big, deep hatred.

Daniel, Joseph, and the early Christians all had times of rejection. Daniel got thrown in a lion's den for praying. Joseph got sent to prison for not sleeping with his master's wife. And most apostles in Acts eventually got martyred.

The trick is this: They didn't hate back.

Our hating back happens in subtle ways. Sarcastic comments about the stupidity of our classmates. An expectation that nobody is ever going to believe us (they're all too stubbornly wrong). We act like being Christian means defending our beliefs with fully automatic weapons. Be ready. Shoot big bullets liberally. And if you're not firing, you're too shy.

We have to be clear about what we believe, and the Bible does call truth a weapon. The gospel is called an offense and stumbling block, and thus we have to expect that some will reject it, and us. But we also have to speak truth fully expecting that some people will agree with it. Truth isn't a pedestal we stand on to set ourselves apart. And we can't go throwing truth in anybody's face like a grenade.

To add a comment you need to be a registered user or Christianity Today subscriber.

orSubscribeor
More from Her.menutics
Memoir in the Me-Generation

Memoir in the Me-Generation

How social media helps us tell our stories.
Slammed in the Spirit

Slammed in the Spirit

Hope for a Christian blogosphere that focuses more on God than each other.
Ian and Larissa Murphy: Trusting God through Traumatic Brain Injury

Ian and Larissa Murphy: Trusting God through Traumatic Brain Injury

A viral video made their marriage famous, and now, their story continues.
Diversity in the Dorm Room

Diversity in the Dorm Room

How college roommates teach us about race, culture, and ourselves.
Include results from Christianity Today
Browse Archives:

So Hot Right Now

Forgiving My Pastor, Mark Driscoll

As God rebuilds, I see Mars Hill shift its focus to love.

What We're Reading

CT eBooks and Bible Studies

Christianity Today
The Myth of the Christian Nut Job