And then came The Help.
I read the book, but I somehow glossed over the scene where Mrs. Phelan's DAR group is visiting her home. And then I saw the movie and was cruelly reminded. Although they call the group "Daughters of America" in the movie, there's no doubt that it's the DAR. They even wear the little blue ribbons with the pins, just like we do!
And they're not very nice.
My husband leaned over and said, "You're in that, you know."
Yes. Yes, I know. But it's not like that! I mean, maybe it was in the 1960s, but the ladies I've met thus far are terribly nice and don't appear to have any racist qualities. I mean, I guess we haven't had a discussion about it, but I'm in it, right? So they must be decent. That can't be representative of the whole group, but now everyone who sees this is going to think that we're all like that!
And then I realized that I've had the same conversation in my head about Christianity.
When some loud, crazy person does some loud, crazy thing and says that the Bible says so (but it's twisted) or God gave them a personal revelation (and it's clearly not something Christ-like), I feel horribly embarrassed.
I'm in that group, you know.
Now whenever my friends see or read The Help and they watch that unflattering scene, they're going to think of me, Rachel, who's so proud to be in the DAR. And I'm sure a lot of my friends think of me when they see stories about Christianity or Christians, and they think, "Wow, Rachel's associated with them?"
The good thing about Christianity is that it's for everyone. Everyone on the planet is welcome to be a Christian. No exceptions. Unfortunately, there are a lot of Christians who aren't living Christ-like lives. And it's not like we kick people out or anything. I mean, even I have my less-than-stellar moments, but fortunately none of mine have been televised for the world to look at and say, "Look, there's one of those Christians doing un-Christian stuff again." But I'm trying! Don't kick me out!
So what do we do when we hear of Christians who are being hateful or violent, supposedly in the name of God?
Well, after the initial embarrassment, I usually feel sorry for them, shake my head and turn the channel. But I'll bet praying for them would be a better option. Pray that their hearts would be turned toward truth and away from hatred. Pray they would learn to love like their Creator loves them. Pray that I would love them like their Creator loves them. I dunno. Just a suggestion.
Do you ever feel embarrassed by the words and actions of other Christians? What do you do when it happens?