Lately there have been a glut of memes, articles and cartoons online that mock Christians and call us out for all the ills in the world. I know, I know…it’s been going on for a long time, but for some reason I’ve finally had enough.
I love my non-Christian friends. In fact, I love them so much that I have to clear up some misconceptions because what they post affects me on a deep level, even though it probably shouldn’t. Besides, if I don’t step up and say something, who will? Many of the non-Christians I know have very few, if any, believers as personal friends. (And I’m exceedingly thankful for the non-Christians in my life who respect the beliefs of others and don’t make sweeping generalizations by posting ugly things! I don’t want to purport that all the non-Christians I know do this.)
What I Want My Non-Christian Friends to Know:
Not all Christians are political conservatives. While some Christians might be conservative, many are not. But let’s think a little more deeply and realize that true Christianity does not fit neatly behind a D or an R, especially since it’s not a political thing, nor is it just an American thing! In fact, neither party truly reflects our faith and many American Christians vote in the way that makes them feel the least slimy. Many of the ones who are staunchly for one party or another would likely vote that way whether they were a Christian or not.
Second, memes never changed anyone’s mind. Think about it, have you ever changed a deeply held belief based on an internet meme? I doubt it. Memes are only a hit with the people who already think like the person posting them, and are often used to stir up anger and hatred toward a certain people group. Is that your intention?
Which leads me to my next point. Do you know any Christians IN REAL LIFE who are just like the memes you post? I mean, really know them. The Christians I know are nothing—literally nothing—like the memes I see online. If you know actual Christians in your circle of acquaintance that behave or think like the media caricatures, I have to know where you’re digging these people up!
Before you post another meme, consider why you’re really doing it. Do you intend to stir up more hatred? Do you want to get extra likes from people who think like you because it makes you feel good? Are you posting a meme at the expense of a relationship with the real-life Christians you know? Is venting in an echo chamber worth it?
There are people in my life who I will never share a close relationship with because they feel free to take potshots at my faith any chance they get. That’s probably fine with them, as their cultural and political ideologies are more important to them than I am. That’s probably why it hurts.
Most Christians I know will give someone the coat off their backs, feed people they don’t know and work hard to make the world a little better. Most of us Christians already realize we aren’t perfect—in fact, many of us know how messed up we are and that’s why we need a Savior—and therefore we don’t need to be bashed with our faults.
Remember, I am not a meme. I am not a media caricature. I’m just a Christian girl doing the best she can with what she has and hoping for a little grace.