Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ricky Gervais on Christians and Christianity

Ricky Gervais is a British comedian known for his work on the television franchise The Office among other projects.  He is indeed a funny man.  I was doing some internet research on a Christian topic recently and came across an article Mr. Gervais wrote this past Easter.  Apparently, Mr. Gervais is an atheist.  He is a smart, articulate man, so he is quite adept at explaining his opposition to Christianity.  The link below contains his article.
I share this article in this particular forum not because I take offense and advocate that we Christians should band together to retaliate against Mr. Gervais.  Instead, I share his ideas in this forum because I anticipate that many Christians have an interest in the themes in my blog, and I think it is insightful for us to hear our we are perceived by non-Christians. 
Being a Christian is not easy.  Jesus’s teachings were not a piece of cake.  And being open about one’s Christian faith leaves one vulnerable.  Many non-Christians love to point out the imperfections and even inconsistencies in the behaviors of Christians.  That sort of negative attention can be frustrating and even hurtful, but I don’t think it should ever lead us to be bitter or antagonistic in any way.  If we are secure in who we are in Christ and in our relationship with God, I think we can be at peace with whatever criticism comes our way.  Instead of lobbing insults back, we can just thank the speaker or writer for sharing his/her opinions with us.  And we can try to learn from the insights such people have shared.
Truly, I feel sorry and saddened when I read words like Mr. Gervais’s.  I find his judgment and smug superiority just as bad as the judgment and smugness that he sees exemplified by Christians.  Such traits are tragic whoever exhibits them. 
I also feel sorry for Mr. Gervais because I cannot imagine my life without the guidance and comfort of Christ.  I would imagine feeling very lost and alone if I shared Mr. Gervais’s philosophy and lack of belief. 
Over the years, I have heard many different Christian pastors teach about the importance of Christ followers being mindful of how they are perceived by non-believers because of the impact it can have on their ability to accept the Gospel.  Such pastors point out that a leading cause of atheism is unflattering or inconsistent behavior of Christians.

Mark 9:24
The Message (MSG)
No sooner were the words out of his mouth than the father cried, "Then I believe. Help me with my doubts!"

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