One of the things that continues to vex me is the way Christianity is portrayed in the media, especially social media. The news networks are somewhat observant about how they present religious people and their respective articles of faith, but I am still disappointed in their presentations with considerable regularity. This is especially true for those farther left on the political spectrum, who have a tendency to demonize Christianity. It is not uncommon to hear talk show hosts or their interviewees make outrageous claims, such as “Christianity is violent” and “Christians hate (insert name of social/political/ethnic group here).” It seems that the most frequent portrayals of Christianity are offered by those who are often (1) the most vocal, and (2) the most ignorant. It’s funny how those two things seem to go together.
We are portrayed as contentious, but as Christians we are called to live peaceably with all people (Rom. 12:18; Heb. 12:14). Critics occasionally bring up forced conversions, especially those during the medieval period where a monarch required conversion at the point of a sword. But Jesus says we are to shake the dust from our feet after encountering someone who will not accept the gospel (Luke 9:3-5) – a sign that the person was leaving to move on to the next opportunity. Christians are labelled as elitists, yet James says that believers should treat others impartially (Jas. 2:1-9). He says those failing to do so are guilty of evil (v.4).
Every Christian should remember that he or she is the face of Christ to a world in desperate need of him. We may be the closest thing to Jesus that another person may see in this lifetime.