Stereotypes

Sunday Sermon

A stereotype is an idea, thought, or belief that people have about a person, place, or thing, or group of people, which may be true, partly true, or false. … Just like those Dude Perfect videos show different stereotypes, there are some stereotypes of Christians that people believe. 


Stereotypes Believed about Christians.


Stereotype number one: Christians are hypocritical. … What's a hypocrite? It's someone whose behavior doesn't line up with what they preach. In Matthew 23 1-7 Jesus condemns hypocrites. We're told being a hypocrite is wrong. In Matthew 23:27-28 Jesus condemns the pharisees for being hypocrites. It's pretty clear that we are supposed to not be hypocrites. Let's live what we preach. 


Stereotype number two: Christians are judgmental. … Judgmental people rush to conclusions and believe they are always right, lacking compassion and full of arrogance. In Luke 6:37-42 Jesus speaks against blindly judging others without taking into account our own shortcomings. We must take care of our own faults and sins before judging others for theirs. It is best for our first thoughts to be ones of grace and understanding. 


Stereotype number three: Christians are legalistic. … Legalism can be damaging in a couple ways. It can make Christianity seem like just a list of rules and it can falsely add to the Gospel. Acts 15:1, 5-11 tells us we don't have to be perfect to be Christians and in Mark 2:17 Jesus says He came for the sick, not the healthy; He came to help sinners. 


Stereotype number four: Christians are ignorant of their own faith. … It's important to be able to defend our own faith. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 shows us how we should use God's Word to prepare ourselves for that. Gd's Word teaches us truth and rebukes us when we are wrong. 1 Peter 3:15 says we should be prepared to defend our faith. How? Not with hypocrisy; not with judgmental tone; not with legalism. But with kindness. A study by Lifeway Research from 2014 showed that approximately 60% of Christians read their Bible at least once a week. That leaves 40% who don't. In a survey from 2019, around 70% said they read the Bible at least once a week. That's still 30% who don't. If we don't read the Word of God, how can we know about our faith? We must read the Bible, learn what it says, and live it. 


Five things to fix these stereotypes

  1. Read the Bible … It's how we learn about God. 

  2. Pursue Holiness … Throughout the Bible, God is never lackadaisical about sin. Sometimes it's easy for us to shrug our own sin off, but we should be actively trying to remove it from our lives. 

  3. Grow in Your Faith … Growing in faith leads to better understanding. 

  4. Pray … Everything we do should be under the umbrella prayer. 

  5. Treat Others how You Want to be Treated … It's the golden rule and a great way of showing others that we care, that Jesus cares. 


The only way we can get rid of these stereotypes is to live differently. Read the Bible. Learn what it teaches. Live it out (or as a Steven Curtis Chapman song says, "Live It Out Loud.")

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