I am a Christian. I stand solidly on the foundation of God and faith in Him. I am not ashamed (2 Tim. 2:15). This is important in light of what I'm about to share.
Today on my way to work, I came up behind someone who had one of those "I'm making a statement" sticker things on the back of their car. Usually it's the "Peace" one with all the different worldviews represented, or something from a kid's school (or their university), or those images of their family. Or opinions on the government: who they support(ed), go army, quit army, etc. Or 26.2 or 13.1. They are noticeable, they make a statement, they are not something i dwell on, but it is interesting to see what people want you to know about them.
This was like those, but not. Oh, so very not. It was huge, round, and white. It sort of looked home made. It covered at least a quarter of the back of the van. It said, in very large, handwritten letters, "Islam is Evil."
My heart almost stopped. "Oh my word," I thought. "That- wow. Wow! I'm actually offended by that! That is SO not the way to make your opinion known!" Now, of course, being a Christian, I think that those who are Muslims don't have it right in terms of eternity, who God is, and how we can be saved. That said, I whole-heartedly believe that the way to help another person transition in life from whatever it is they believe that is wrong (whether they be muslim, atheist, christian, buddhist, or anything else) is NOT in bashing what they believe! It comes through relationship, it comes through God working in their hearts and minds, it comes through conversation, through care - real, honest, truthful care of the PERSON. Each individual has a different spin on what they believe. That's how our minds work, and our hearts too.
The other part that breaks my heart is that it is often these types of bashers who are what the world sees as Christians. When I tell someone new that I'm a Christian, I can almost see them cringe as they think to themselves, "oh, she's one of those... well, I guess I'll put up with it today, but then, forget it." And I feel this immense pressure to out-live or over-live what they expect - the crazy, you're-going-to hell-you-awful-person-you, I'm-better-than-you-because-I-found-God - that just shouldn't be ANYONE's first impression of God (because that's what we are, folks, if we're Christians).
That's all I have to say right now. There's more rolling around up in my head, but I don't have the time to flesh it all out at the moment (it is a workday after all). Maybe I'll get it out this weekend.
In the mean time, let's all be truthful (I don't go for the "inclusion-of-all" thing) but let's not bash people with it, ok?