By Caleb Keith –
Starting Monday evening, a new hashtag showed up in my twitter feed #IAmChristianBut. This hashtag was the result of a video released on Buzz Feed labeled “I am Christian but I’m not…” The video and the hashtag at first greatly depressed me since they are designed to attack the moral beliefs of Christians.
However, one positive side effect is that this social media explosion presents how Christians are viewed in online media, and secondly it shows what the unbelieving media wants Christians to believe.
Within thirty-seconds of watching the video it is apparent that Christians are depicted as bigots, homophobes, and moral extremists. Early into the evening the twitter hashtag also portrayed this same point of view. Many, mostly young people, wrote comments insinuating that mainstream Christianity is made up of hateful conservatives who would be happy to get rid of those who have “open minded” belief systems different from their own. The interesting thing here is that the video and the hashtag focused on attacking one thing, the Law. The minds of these young Christians were entirely occupied with the do’s and don’ts of God’s word and how they chose to either accept or deny those things. These Christians see that God’s Law is terrifying and demanding, and they want out from under its crushing weight.
In an attempt to escape the Law, the video constructs a view of how the Christian ought to live and think. Looking inward the Christian ought to filter out those parts of the Law that are too difficult to follow or too heavy on the heart. This means the Christian should allow their faith to operate independently from their moral point of view. Ironically while trying to escape the Law these Christians double down on most of it. They remove the parts that clash with their desires but demand that everyone adhere to rules of love, respect, and kindness.
I am not as angry as most Christians after watching this video. Instead I feel sad because I see people broken by the Law who look to themselves and the completion of a watered down law for justification. Galatians 3:10 points out that, “For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, ‘Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.’” We sinners, no matter how much we water down the law, are cursed and are incapable of completing it. Thanks be to God that Christ came to save sinners and took our curse under the Law from us. Galatians 3:11-12 grants us hope proclaiming, “Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for ‘The righteous shall live by faith.’ But the law is not of faith, rather ‘The one who does them shall live by them.’ Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us— ‘Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree’ so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.”
We should not be angry at the Christians in the video. Rather, we should proclaim Christ as the only means of salvation for them and for us. When we come across people like these, we have an opportunity to proclaim Christ with his full saving power of forgiveness and declared righteousness on account of Him.