Watch atheist Ira Glass comment on how Christians are portrayed in popular culture and why they’ve captured his sympathy:
Do you ever get discouraged by how Christianity looks to the watching world? Watch this.
video via Justin Taylor
I appreciate Glass’ reasonableness, respect, and balance. There are two take-aways from this:
1) Christians are not in control of how we are portrayed in culture and media. There’s no getting around that. But, nobody is in control of their portrayal – not even kings or presidents. We have to listen to what the world says about us and take responsibility for how we are heard. We can’t on the other hand, let ourselves become shamed by how others see us. Many Christians get shamed by media portrayals of traditional Christianity and start treating the Faith like a teenager treats their parents at the mall.
2) See how personal interactions with real Christians forces a reasonable secular atheist to reconsider the popular view of them. Real connections with real people, coloured with respect and kindness, make someone sympathetic and more realistic. This is the effect of Matthew 5:16, Philippians 2:15, 1 Peter 2:11-12 and 4:15-16, lived out.
Don’t be concerned with you can’t control – the larger stereotypes of Evangelical Christianity
Be concerned with what you can control – personally connecting with others who don’t believe and ‘shining like a light in the world’.