Excellent article in Esquire Magazine called, "What if Jesus meant all that Stuff"?
...The more I have read the Bible and studied the life of Jesus, the
more I have become convinced that Christianity spreads best not through
force but through fascination. But over the past few decades our
Christianity, at least here in the United States, has become less and
less fascinating. We have given the atheists less and less to
disbelieve. And the sort of Christianity many of us have seen on TV and
heard on the radio looks less and less like Jesus.
At one point
Gandhi was asked if he was a Christian, and he said, essentially, "I
sure love Jesus, but the Christians seem so unlike their Christ." A
recent study showed that the top three perceptions of Christians in the
U. S. among young non-Christians are that Christians are 1) antigay, 2)
judgmental, and 3) hypocritical. So what we have here is a bit of an
image crisis, and much of that reputation is well deserved. That's the
ugly stuff. And that's why I begin by saying that I'm sorry.
Now for the good news.
want to invite you to consider that maybe the televangelists and street
preachers are wrong — and that God really is love. Maybe the fruits of
the Spirit really are beautiful things like peace, patience, kindness,
joy, love, goodness, and not the ugly things that have come to
characterize religion, or politics, for that matter. (If there is
anything I have learned from liberals and conservatives, it's that you
can have great answers and still be mean... and that just as important
as being right is being nice.)...