Two encounters with Christianity
The first was this afternoon. After leaving work I walked down to Courthouse Square to catch my bus. It would be about 20 minutes until it came, so I sat down to wait. I noticed three women handing out tracts. I thought "ok, that's cool" and then went back to my random thoughts. But then, I noticed a guy at the end of the street was yelling out a sermon to the people standing around (waiting for the bus) and those walking by. They had a couple big signs are there were others passing out tracts. I half felt like going up to the guy and asking him if he really thought that yelling at people on their lunch break was showing them God's love, and if he thought that they were really making a positive impression in the hearts and minds of everyone there. One businessman walked by and, when offered a tract, politely waved to indicate he didn't want one. The man handing out the tracts continued to hold out his hand and then said something about not being able to buy your way into Heaven. I'm sure their hearts were in the right place, but I think it should be painfully obvious that that isn't a very positive way to witness to people.
The second was tonight. I've been going to Apex on tuesday nights the last few weeks. Apex is a church service that's mostly high school and college kids. It's really cool. It's really similar (in format, style, etc) to my church on Sunday mornings, only different people, a different pastor, and a lot more casual. I had a great time; the sermon really spoke to my heart and the worship was great. I had a great time, and I love going.
The first encounter made me realize why so many people hate Christianity. It's because they never really see true Chrsitianity, they just see street corner preachers and televangelists. Instead of seeing Jesus they see religion. In my life I saw people who were different, who had this light in them, I got into a couple bands that really showed me Christianity, I saw the beauty and the happiness, and that's what drew me into it. I'll bet more people come to accept Christ at Apex in a month than do in a lifetime of that street corner preachers ministry. At Apex I see people I never would have thought I would see in a church. A couple weeks ago a guy my friends and I were talking to afterwords said that he ran into a girl he used to by drugs from at Apex. Apex is like a family, it's what church should be, it's what Christianity really is. I just hope more people see Apex and not the guy on the street corner. I hope the ones that do see the guy on the street corner don't think that that's what Christianity really is.