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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Embarrassed (07/19/07)

TITLE: Who's Embarrassed Now?
By Amory Calcott


A group of local evangelists will be standing at a busy intersection this weekend. They've been doing it for years. These individuals will be carrying signs informing random passers-by that they're going to burn in Hell. They'll also single out women who they feel are dressed immodestly, and will proclaim to these women that they're going to suffer eternal damnation for wearing a pair of shorts on a hot summer night.

As a Christian, this embarrasses me.

There is nothing whatsoever in their message regarding the love of Christ. Not one little reference. Instead, their behavior merely serves to perpetuate the stereotype among non-believers that all Christians are intolerant and spiteful toward those whose opinions and beliefs happen to differ from the right-wing Christian perspective.

I find myself wanting to approach these people and yank those signs right out of their hands. I want to tell them that they're a public embarrassment, and that the only thing they're going to succeed in doing is turning people away from Christ in droves.

But I haven't done it yet.

That's because I'm embarrassed to tell them how embarrassed I am.

I despise confrontation. By nature, I'm a quiet person. I dislike the idea of causing a public scene by telling them how wrong I think they are. And they probably think I'm wrong, as well. They'd likely tell me that I'm a weak Christian, not strong like they are. They might even attempt telling me that I'm not a real Christian in their book, and that I'm going to burn in Hell right along with the "harlots" who dare to go outside wearing skirts cut above their ankles.

I feel spineless for not confronting them, but I have no desire to hear the doubts they'd almost certainly try to cast upon my own Christian faith. I'm embarrassed that they feel a need to behave like this in the first place, and am doubly embarrassed that they claim to spreading the word of Christ by damning random strangers to an eternity of pain and suffering. On top of that, I feel embarrassed for judging them. Who am I to say that they're right or wrong? They must choose their own ministry, and their own approach. My judgment of them makes me a hypocrite. As Christians, we are not to judge. At least these people are honest about judging others and take it to the streets, whereas I do my judging quietly and privately from the safety and anonymity of my armchair.

I don't have any clear-cut answers. Who's right and who's wrong?

I don't know anymore. I just know that I'm embarrassed on a number of different levels. I'm embarrassed for them, embarrassed for the passers-by they're confronting, and above all, embarrassed for myself and my continued weakness and indecision.

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This article has been read 518 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Martha Ford07/26/07
Thank you for reminding me that silent indignation rarely serves the Lord. Your story was well written. Congratulations!
Dee Yoder 07/27/07
I've had several thoughts like this! I wonder how far I should go to let some of my Christian family know when I disagree with them. I wonder if it will be worth the hurt feelings, and I wonder if I'm even right to do it. You brought up some perplexing questions! Good writing.
Joanne Sher 08/03/07
Congratulations, Amory. Your entry has placed 13th in Level 2. Well Done! The Lists for the Top 15 in each Level and the Top 40 overall is available in the Weekly Results and Highest Rankings forum of our Faithwriters Message Boards.