Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Well, That's Embarrassing

I've posted before about my newly minted membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). I'm all patriotic and whatnot! Woo!

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?


  1. Great topic. For quite some time I have been thinking about changing (officially) from Christian to Follower of Christ or something like that. When you wrote

    "Look, there's one of those Christians doing un-Christian stuff again."

    I thought if that's the response there is still a chance with that observer. Too many times the response is "Look, there's one of those Christian doing crazy stuff again," meaning the viewer doesn't even recognize the behavior is un-Christian.

    When I see the nutso antics of some of my ,dare I say, brothers I am embarrassed. We are missionaries in Paraguay and due to someof this same type of lunacy in the Christian community here we have had to separate ourselves somewhat to be able to make an impact for Christ.Sad.

  2. @ramblingwithbarba Good call! I think most people are vaguely aware of how they think a Christian should act, at least. But with more exposure for Christians responding in hate, now that's the new normal the world expects for Christians. It's super sad.

  3. The saddest part is that many people DO see what an "un-Christlike" Christian does and uses that against Christians as a whole. It's what I like to call the "grouping" theory. If you see something that you don't like about a particular person and they claim to be a part of a group, you assume that they are representative of the entire group.

    This is the same argument that Christopher Hitchens tends to use when arguing against Christianity in particular and religion as a whole. He assumes that because of the horrible things that some Christians claim to do in the name of Christ (i.e. The Crusades, bombing abortion clinics, etc.) that ALL Christians are somehow tainted and evil.

    It's as ridiculous as my saying that YOU shouldn't visit ANY McDonald's restaurant because of a very bad experience that I had at one particular McDonald's. It's a ridiculous assertion and you would probably laugh in my face.

    The answer? Prayer definitely. That these "un-Christian" Christians would see the error of their actions, but also a reasoned approach to someone who decries ALL Christians for what one or a small few do.

  4. Good advice. Pray for them. I need to do that way more often than I do. :)

  5. Do I? Do I ever!

    Mercy...coming from the background I do...I find myself quite embarrassed at many Christians actions and attitudes. In fact, I have been the target for much of the criticism. Most of the time I have experienced this has been when I have met face to face with another Christian who has been churched their whole lives...and they find out I haven't and come from a Jewish upbringing and delved deeply into a Pagan life for a handful of years before accepting Christ nearly 8 years ago. The response I often receive is a haughty huff and attitude of "you're not Christian enough because of..." In fact, I have had those words spoken to me directly...all because I haven't been raised a Christian. When does one who wasn't churched in their youth ever get to that point of truly being a Christian to such people? Ever? At all? It embarrasses me to no end at times to be lumped into the same group of people who hold the same beliefs I do...but they live it out loud a whole lot differently than I do. Honestly, this has my heart needing to explore this more now for some study and growth. I don't like that I get embarrassed still.

    Thank you for bringing this to light, Rachel. I needed to see this.


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