Double-edged 真理報雙語版

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A bilingual and bicultural Christian young adults blog //////////////// 青年華裔基督徒的博客

The Radical Fringe of Christianity

Vickie

There is something consoling in the fact that there are millions of people around the world that share our belief and convictions as Christians. Knowing that we are all intricately connected as one family under God infuses hope into my future outlook for the world and instills warm fuzzies in my inner being. Now, before I get everyone to join hands and mislead you into a rousing chorus of Kumbaya amidst a swarm of laughing multi-ethnic children, I feel obliged to forewarn you that this article does not focus on this inner ring of Christianity, but rather I feel the need to address those Christians that are marching to the beat of a different drum—an angrier, more abrasive drum. I’m referring to those Christians who claim the gospel but engage themselves in activities that exemplify anything but Christ’s character.

Statistically speaking, out of the aforementioned millions of Christians in the world, there is bound to be a spectrum of characters and personalities. With every population sector and demographic, therein lies the unavoidable radical fringe. In Christianity, it is this select group of people that draw more attention to their lunacy than what they are preaching. I’m sure we have all encountered one of this kind whether on television or in person. Case in point: the clown, endearingly dubbed the Rainbow Man, who strategically seats himself within camera range at sporting events, garnering warranted attention if not for his clown get-up but for the “John 3:16” sign he has conveniently displayed to the viewing public at home.

Now, I feel as if a disclaimer is in line before I continue on with my disquisition. I do not harbour any deep-rooted animosity for these Christians—in fact, I appreciate their zeal for Christ. I fully realize that their intent is not mean-spirited and their heart is in the right place (for the most part), but they just remain misguided and imprudent with how they choose to proclaim their faith. Personally, I have had my share of experiences in which I acted in a manner that did not represent His character. But the glaring difference between me and Rainbow Man is that I have managed to not make a public spectacle of myself (for the most part).

Perhaps the most heinous offenders in the realm of the radical fringe of Christianity are the anti-abortionists who fight for the lives of the unborn—most notably, the protestors who verbally abuse troubled soon-to-be mothers and the extremists who murder and maim doctors and nurses working in abortion clinics. I truly find it hard to believe that they are blind to the sheer irony of their conduct. It is conceivable that they work by a moral code whereby taking one doctor’s life is redeemed by the many possible lives of the unborn that are saved. However, I am more than convinced that this is not how God would see it. It is this brazen and bold display of misguided intention that degrades God’s name and His character.

From my repertoire of experiences, I have personally encountered members of the fringe in Downtown Vancouver—the lone person strategically situating himself on the corner of a busy intersection, proclaiming “the good news” at the top of their lungs that we are all doomed to hell—hardly good news at all, if you ask me. I’m all for not sugar-coating the gospel, but I can’t help but believe that these people are not out to convict passersby but rather to condemn them—an exaggerated, aggressive public finger wagging, if you will. Equipped with catchy slogans, such as “God Hates Sinners” plastered in large bold font on oversized signs (a great craft project for the kids!), the epic failure of their attempt at evangelism is attested by bystanders who consequently adopt a negative perception of Christianity and are ultimately turned away from God.

As much as their actions infuriate me, I still envision their endeavours starting off as well-intentioned seeds that were just planted on the wrong soil and nourished with polluted water…and then received too much sunlight that induced them into a state of slight delusion. As Christians, we are called to be the light of the world. And I perceive this to be an alluring and engaging kind of light, not the glaring and hostile kind of light shone directly into one’s pupils not unlike a police interrogation. The fact of the matter is that our words and actions should draw attention to the goodness of God and not embarrassingly to ourselves.

Perhaps my true gripe with this radical fringe of Christianity is not that they bring infamy to the Christian community, but rather they ironically act as stumbling blocks for those who are sincerely searching for spiritual truth. My above musings were a mere echo of thoughts that have been communicated to me by non-Christians who have put up walls and refused to believe the Christian theology and question our God based on what they perceive in other Christians. They cry foul and see the glaring hypocrisy in the actions of these extremists, and this is understandably distracting for them in their pursuit for spiritual truth. So, to those who do not belong to the Christian faith: your criticism is well-deserved and we do need it as a friendly reminder to keep ourselves accountable. Just don’t blame God. As much as He unconditionally loves this radical fringe of Christianity, He wholeheartedly agrees with you.

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Welcome

"Double-edged"is bilingual blog in affiliation with Truth Monthly, a Chinese Christian monthly print publication based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

This blog features mostly original writings as well as comics, poetry, and other works of art by local Christian young adults.

For more information or to submit your own writing, please email tm.double.edged@gmail.com

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