The authors of UnChristian based their book on surveys of non-Christians and their negative views of Christians. They use these devastating survey results to urge Christians to change their behavior for the better. There are four major problems with this whole mindset:
- There are so many false converts in Christianity that it’s nearly impossible to tell who really is a Christian and who isn’t. Non-Christians judging Christianity by its false converts would pervert the results of any survey. In Mark 4:1–20, Jesus explains false converts—people who think they’re Christians, but really aren’t. Christians are certainly capable of sinning, but they’re not capable of a lifestyle of sin (1 John 3:8). If someone doesn’t act like a Christian, he or she probably is not a Christian. If a person gets drunk on Saturday and then goes to church on Sunday and work on Monday where he or she earns a dishonest living, is that individual a Christian? More than likely this person is a hypocrite who will be spewed out of Jesus’ mouth. I believe there are a large number of false converts in this country, which affects people’s view of Christians, and the accuracy of the research.
- Who cares what non-Christians think? Non-Christians are enemies with God (Colossians 1:21), dead in their transgressions (Ephesians 2:1), and children of the devil (John 8:44). Certainly, we should care about non-Christians and not elevate ourselves above them, as salvation is a free gift for all. But we should not care what they think about us when we have forsaken this world.
- If 100 years of watered-down gospel and friendship evangelism haven’t made people like us, why would anyone call for more gimmicks? The modern gospel is that Jesus loves you and wants to make your life better, and if you pray the sinner’s prayer, you’re guaranteed heaven—don’t ever doubt it. There is no discussion of repentance or God’s justice or hell. The boldest evangelists are those who invite people to church, but most people are content to not speak to anyone and simply offer their lifestyle as an example. This has been the M.O. for the average Christian’s evangelism for several decades. Those who endorse this method and are proponents of this book now have data to show that it isn’t working. Rather than going back to biblical evangelism, they endorse continuing down the path that—demonstrated by their own data—is going in the wrong direction.
- Christians should live holy lives, not for outsiders or as an evangelism method, but because we’ve been commanded to by Him who saved us. God has given us eternal life, and living an obedient life is our reasonable service to Him (Rom. 12:1). Obedience includes being obedient to Jesus’ command to preach the gospel (Mark 16:15), not just hoping people will notice our great lives, but warning them about the hell they deserve, and telling them what God has done to save us. Some people will hate you for it. Some people will love you for it. I’ve been hugged by more strange grown men on the street in the last two years of witnessing than in the previous 28 years of my life. I can’t say that I really want to be hugged by strange men, but I’m glad that the gospel caused them to react happily, and I pray that they won’t just have a moment of happiness, but they will find eternal life.
We don’t need books and surveys to tell us people don’t like Christians. Jesus told us that 2000 years ago (Luke 21:17). Our duty is to preach the Gospel and leave the results up to God. Some will love us for it, some will hate us.