#312 – Christians Make Me Look Bad


Years ago my good friend Vince and I would hear about Christians acting very much unlike Jesus and we would just say, “Christians make me look bad.” We weren’t attempting to elevate ourselves through that statement but were simply acknowledging that sometimes Christians do things in the name of Jesus that reflect poorly on the rest of us.

Pat Robertson has earned the “Christians make me look bad” moniker more than once. He did so again last week.

After the Denver Broncos signed Peyton Manning and traded Tim Tebow to the New York Jets, Robertson shared his feelings on the situation. He claimed that the Broncos had treated Tebow “shabbily” and that it would “serve [the Broncos] right” if Manning reinjured himself.

Like Robertson, I’m all aboard the Tebow Train because Tebow loves Jesus. Unlike Robertson, though, I don’t think people who love Jesus should relish the potential of another person getting hurt. I’m sure Tebow doesn’t even want Manning to get hurt and he’s the one who was replaced.

It’s statements like Robertson’s that make me shake my head and think to myself, “Christians make me look bad.” Whenever I think that, though, I’m always humbled to think about the things I do on a daily basis that make Christians look bad.

I’m not that nice.

I drive aggressively.

I’m far too competitive.

Even though he may make me look bad, Pat Robertson needs grace just as much as I do. It’s really hard to show him that grace, though, when he keeps opening his mouth and spouting ridiculous rhetoric that paints Christians in a bad light.

No matter how upset it makes me, though, I can’t stop Pat Robertson from using his platform to say whatever he wants. What I can do, though, is realize we all need a lot of grace because we all do and say things that would make Jesus shake his head.

And instead of getting angry and focusing on all the things Christians do to make us look bad, we need to focus on living lives that redefine what a Christian is in the world. If those around us think Christians are judgmental, unaccepting and mean then we need to live in such a way to change their definition. Because if enough of us are living definition-changing lives, then eventually it won’t matter what Pat Robertson says.

And that will be a great day.

How do you respond when Christians make you look bad?


3 comments on “#312 – Christians Make Me Look Bad”

  1. A very grace-filled and Christ-like response to the Rev. Robertson. Thanks for these good words! I, too, am sometimes tempted toward thinking about fellow believers, “Please, you’re not helping!” And, frankly, I think there can be a place and time for that – speaking the truth in love, and so on. But, you’re right: it’s one short step from that to forgetting that I am just as much in need of grace, too.

  2. If we could begin to come to grips with the actual unity God has created through his Son, we would all be amazed. If Robertson is in Christ, and I believe he is, he is part of the Church. We are sacramentally united with him, becoming the very presence of Christ on earth.

    “Just as there is one body, with many members, we, who are many, are one body, because we share in the one bread.” That bread is the body of Christ, his life. And we are truly united with Robertson, and all others that are in Christ. Through us, and our union, God is made present on earth in a special way.

    If we could only wrap our mind around that, we would be changed.

    1. I fully believe we’re all united in Christ, that we are all one body. That’s what makes it so easy for me to get upset even if it’s wrong. If I wasn’t connected to Pat Robertson then I wouldn’t care what he did or said. But we are all connected and what we do as individual parts of the body reflects on the whole.

      In my arrogance, though, I just want to point at some others parts of the body and say how they’re sickly and unhealthy. Sometimes, though, I’m just as sickly and unhealthy and do just as much damage to the body.

      We need to strive to live in such a way that when people see the body of Christ, the majority of what they see reflects the heart and attitude of Christ. Because we are connected and unified, we need to recognize that our actions don’t just represent us but the entire body as well.

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