Lets introduce eachother. I am a bit of a negative minded christian. I’m that guy who doesn’t show up to church every week and when he does he’s probably in between last weekends hangover and next weeks depression. Not only that but the times I do show up, I’ll probably end up saying something so un-christian(ese) it’ll open up interesting debate that makes some people get a little shakey and twitchey. The equivalent of saying “God’s dead” in the face of a relatively new believer. I’m probably the guy that you think of as “good grief look at that mess, partying all the time, has a skewed theologie, and doesn’t really commit to God, God please show him the error of his ways”. I’m more likely then not to be an artisticly creative person who in your eyes is way too much into worldly stuff and should spend more time listening to wholesome worship music. I get a little bitter and angry when I see a bumperfish or similar christian themed sticker. The positive minded christian thinks I should get some decent clothes and a haircut. I’m more likely then not to be a contradictory person in that I try to stay as far away as possible from conservative christianity yet at the same time theres something “doom and gloom” about me that hearkens of the generations of old. And wouldn’t you know it, I’m always that guy who doesn’t believe enough and just sucks the faith right out of the room when theres prayer going on. Will you just put your hands in the air already? And leave those other beliefs for what they are, Christianity is the only way to go because of Jesus why do you even bother looking up that other stuff? Despite all this I will stand strong on my beliefs and do everything to convince you (the other believer) that I’m right eventhough deep down there lives a fear of hell. People in the world I generally tend to agree with to some degree and I usually have more peace with them then I do with other christians. Also I believe God is good and wants the best for us…but I’m not afraid to look at all the evil in the world and ask why, not to mention my personal conflicts and unresolved dreams…God can be a harsh master. I’ll even be angry at God and let those emotions run their course, besides prayer didn’t work last time, why would it now?
Thusfar caracturising the negative minded person.
And then theres you, the positive minded Christian.
You’re probably that person who does show up to church on most occasions. You are that kind of person who gives it their all during the worship part of the service and takes notes during the preaching. You’re always on the lookout for God to do that next big thing you’ll be able to testify about and build up the body of Christ with by encouraging them. You wish you could stand on top of a building and shout “Jesus is alive” and have a glimmer of guilt for not doing so eventhough the whole of your faith is built on grace and words of encouragement. But you also shy away from “hyper-grace”. You love going to any form of meeting that involves the holy spirit. In fact sometimes you’ll be the kind of person who doesn’t really go to anything else besides gatherings that involve a heavy focus on the holy spirit. You get excited when you see a bumperfish. You like catholics and other variations in the body of Christ but lets be real here, we keep it on the straight and narrow just to be sure. Oposed to our negative brother, you probably feel that the church is the bastion of God’s children and is something to keep on building. You feel empowered by church and anyone who tries to talk down about it is a naysayer. That other brother in christ sometimes allows himself to stereotype you as a ken and barbie kind of situation. Also you are firmly convinced God is ultimately good and no matter how long it takes the best solutions are always around the corner and in His hands. You’d rather deny a tangible negative situation in the belief that faith and prayer can overcome.
Thusfar stereotyping the positive minded Christian.
Now ofcourse these are some random aspects that I dream up to sketch some stereotypes. I ABSOLUTELY am aware that everyone has atleast one or two things that make them fall slightly outside of these categories. I can’t think of one person as one dimensional as I describe them here. In fact most people I know that are “in” christianity are usually an evolving mix of the two. I myself in fact have been both and I tend to swerve back and forth a bit eventhough I don’t see myself putting on my best suit for prayer meeting any time soon. Think of these two personea as aspects that live in all of us.
What are we to do with these two people? They are in the same family yet so much at odds with eachother it sometimes brings conflict. Truth is (you can already guess it) we need eachother.
Postive minded christian don’t ever give up pushing forward and praying you are truly an inspiration of faithfullness and devotion. Eventhough you sometimes take defending God a bit too far sometimes your admiration for Him is in itself admirable and contageous. You keep church toghether because the rest of us would rather go out for a beer instead.
Yet at the same time, I wish sometimes you’d accept blessing from God when they come dressed or packaged a little less christianese then you’re used to. Healing herbs from a yoga teacher are just as much medicine like the one from the pharmacy (in fact the yoga teacher might be more of a christian then the pharmacist even).
Negative minded christian don’t ever give up beeing a realist and keeping your feeth on the ground. Your relatability to people in the world is what makes you unique in the body of Christ and also needed. You dare to challenge everything, even God which is sometimes scary to the rest of us but at the same time you confront us with things we usually don’t like to talk or think about.
Yet at the same time you’d do well to stop hating Christian culture so much, we understand you don’t like it but instead of hating it you might want to use that energy and actually change it by beeing part of it. Nobody said beeing an influence of pioneering was gonna be easy.
This article is just an experimental one, leave your thoughts! Maybe I’ll correct it allong the way.