Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Atheist at Christian College Finds That Christians Aren’t All Self-Righteous Dogmatists

Christians aren’t all holier-than-thou hypocrites.

There. I said it. But before I continue, I have to stress:

1.      I’m sorry if that statement infringes on any deeply held biases. It’s true nonetheless.
2.      I don’t mean it harshly; I just can’t always make my writing sound the way I want it to.

With those clarifications made, let’s move on…

As a group, Christians aren’t one giant collection of obnoxious dogmatists. Though I’ll be the first to admit to seeing individual examples of immature, hurtful and self-righteous behavior among people who profess to follow Christ. I’ve had plenty of personal run-ins with “that” kind of Christian. You probably have too to some degree or another. And I’m just as familiar as you are about the Church’s history of negative behavior. I’m not stupid any more than I’m ignorant.

Nor am I going to play the “Christians are humans too” card. While Christians aren’t perfect people, when they make mistakes, they need to be corrected appropriately, not excused.

(I’d argue that, if they’re making those mistakes repeatedly and without any real attempts to change, they’re not walking with God anyway. Just because people “say” they’re Christians doesn’t mean they “are.” But that’s another sermon altogether. So is the way non-Christians behave brutally and don’t get called out as being representative of their entire belief system.)

So yes, Christians behave badly sometimes. And sometimes, they have no excuse for doing so. However, Christians aren’t all judgmental jerks, as Eric Fromm found out while attending Northwest Christian University in Oregon.

He was an atheist when he first decided to attend the college due to its “solid communications program,” and he stayed an atheist as he rose in the student ranks to become class president. Concerned about being judged, he kept his mouth shut about his beliefs until just recently when somebody asked him a personal question. As news of his viewpoint spread around the campus, Fromm decided to address it through one, far-reaching article that has since gone viral. He wrote,

“Every day I’m burdened by the fact that my peers might reject me because I’m different from them. I won’t be rejected because of my race or social class, but simply because of the fact that I don’t believe in God – because I am an atheist.”

Sure enough, he did get some negative feedback from the kind of self-righteous hypocrite Christians are often universally painted as. But he ultimately found that the overwhelming number of opinions were actually accepting like Christians are supposed to be and often are.

“It’s a very strange thing,” he says.

Or is it?

No comments:

Post a Comment