Sometimes it is easy for Christians to roll their eyes and ignore the criticism and general dislike that others have of them. Just reading the opinion letters in the SMH can give you the idea that there is nothing more distasteful or abhorrent than being governed by a government leaders who on the record declare themselves to be followers of Jesus (http://www.smh.com.au/comment/smh-letters/god-help-us-if-these-are-the-politicians-leading-us-20140427-zr0c0.html)
I’ve been thinking about this issue for a while and I wonder if the general dislike of Christians can be described in the following formula:
dislike of Christians = dislike of Jesus + dislike of perceived (and actual) Christian hypocrisy
Jesus said that people would always hate him and his followers, but the longer I’m around, I see that often his followers don’t always make it easy to be liked either!
When you’re in your thirties it’s very hard to make a new friend. Whatever the group is that you’ve got now that’s who you’re going with, you’re not interviewing, you’re not looking at any new people, you’re not interested in seeing any applications. They don’t know the places … They don’t know the activities. If I meet a guy in a club or the gym, I’ll tell him, “I’m sure you’re a very nice person, you seem to have a lot of potential, but we’re just not hiring right now.”
Seinfeld, “The Boyfriend (1),” Directed by Tom Cherones, Season 3, Episode 17, Broadcast date: February 12, 1992 – sourced from http://www.preachingtoday.com/illustrations/2014/april/6042114.html
I was just looking up Jerry Seinfeld quotes and I came across one of his that explains why it is so hard to do personal, relational evangelism. Basically the premise of personal evangelism is making friends and through those friendships, sharing your life and the gospel. If at the heart of it, in our western culture, people over 30 don’t seem to want to make new friends, then that kind of kills any chance for relational evangelism!
Thankfully God is bigger than our cultural tendencies….