Why is it that some people make these assumptions about Christians?

My exposure is limited, as is my experience. I base my ideas here on my experience here in this forum. This is just my opinion, but it seems as though many non-Theists make sweeping generalizations about Christians. What do I mean specifically? Well, sometimes, it appears that some folks assume the following about Christians:

A. Christians are not and cannot be free thinkers

B. Christians do not dare question their faith

C. Christians cannot be skeptical

D. Christians never have fun

E. Christians cannot be rebellious

And so forth. It seems as though "free thinker" is used as a synonym for atheist, the implication being that the group cannot contain any believers. I cannot speak for all Christians, of course, but I personally question whatever I wish. That includes my faith and my belief in God. My faith is strong at times, and at others, it wanes. It isn't a constant horizontal line. Even during the times of doubt, I maintain a respectful and loving attitude towards God.

I often question authority to a fault.

So are my observations valid? Is it true that non-Christians sometimes assume the above? Why is it that they do so?

31 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    many of the people on this sight are rather simplistic attention whores, they do not represent atheists that i know in real life very well, consider the source, people with no life who just try to make drama on the net.

  • 1 decade ago

    In general, and because you base your statements on your experience here in this forum, I agree with you. In fact I would like to add two more to the list: F) Christians are all Fundamentalists, and G) Christians are all Creationists.

    As for whether or not Christians can be free thinkers or not: The fact that there are so many denominations of Christianity, each founded an a different viewpoint ( many of which are often very different from the others), would seem to indicate that Chrisitianity is one of the most free thinking and tolerent religions on the face of the Earth.

    God Bless You!

  • I personally believe that many people assume things about Christians because that's what they see, and/or how they experienced Christianity. Some people who are ex-Christians were raised to believe that it's a sin to ever, ever question faith and/or God. Some denominations seem to teach that to question one's faith is weakness. What they forget is that even the Apostles doubted! They even doubted to the point where they abandoned Jesus! If even the Apostles, whom Jesus blessed and gave authority that His other disciples did not have, could and did doubt, what does that say for us?

    I think too many Christians just believe that if they question God, if they go against the crowd, if they formulate their own beliefs and opinions, if they're skeptical of the claims of the Bible, that that will lead them down the road to atheism. Maybe they think that because, let's face it, sometimes it does! But I think that this happens because the Christians feel guilt about questioning, about going against the grain, about having their own opinions and interpretations, and that leads them further and further from God. I believe that we often forget that God isn't just the God of answers; He's also the God of questions! Why else would it be possible to ask so many questions about Christianity and the Bible? I believe it's God's will that it is that way, so that we have no choice but to take our questions to Him. But we forget to do that.

    But I digress. I think that people see that, and/or experience that, so they think that's the way it has to be. And they're so, so wrong! The only thing we Christians really share in common is Christ. We speak different languages, we have different backgrounds and life experiences, we have different interests, different education levels, and different personality types. Based on those things, we form different interpretations regarding Scripture, and even regarding God Himself. Many of us can and do doubt, do question, and be skeptical. We do have fun. We do have rebellious streaks. Some of us, like me, have a rebellious streak a mile (or a thousand miles) wide. Being a Christian doesn't change that. Becoming a Christian usually doesn't change a person's entire personality. And in general if it does, the person is "changing" because they feel that's what they have to do. They don't realize that God wants us exactly as we are. He *made* us the way we are!

    So I don't think that it's the fault of non-Christians for seeing us that way. It's *our* fault, because we're not showing them any different.

  • 1 decade ago

    Yes, we do assume the above, but not all. I have a very open mind to people's opinions and they're ways of life. I respect a person based on their personality, not their religion, race, or culture. I believe that Christians can be free thinkers, many of my friends are actually.

    It's because, when you're a non believer, it's like Christians don't seem as open minded as we do. MOST of them may even try to say well I'll pray for you and things like that. After about 2 times, it gets pretty annoying, then people assume that's the way all Christians are.

    It's the same thing with race and culture. If one person from Germany was evil then they're all evil! If one Atheist was an A hole, then they're all Aholes! It's ridiculous, but I do agree with you. Non believers do assume many things about you Christians. Not all Christians are annoying and not all Christians don't respect us non believers.

    Source(s): Atheist.
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  • 1 decade ago

    I am having fun when I rebell and freely think when I sketically question my faith.

    I think folks can view things through both the prism of science and the prism of faith. They are not mutually exclusive. I believe there has to be a tie between what the Bible says and what science has found to be fact (not conjecture, not theory, just fact). When/if God is ready to disclose this tie, He will remove the scales from our eyes. There are many other things He has yet to reveal, such as the location of Noah’s Ark, the Ark of the Covenant, etc. Remember that "A thousand years are but as yesterday with God." (Ps. 90:4.) Time is relative.

  • 1 decade ago

    A. You cannot "maintain a respectful and loving attitude towards God" and be a free thinker at the same time.

    B. I am sure everyone questions the faith they hold (most simply deny it). However, you also may noticed that theists often come on here and state what the believe as fact, without any evidence to support it.

    C. Same as B.

    D. That's a matter of opinion, one that I don't hold

    E. Same as B

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I try very hard NOT to make any generalizations about any large group.

    All generalizations are wrong (think about it) :)

    But at any rate, there have indeed been self-proclaimed christians on this forum that have, at one time or another, demonstrated that at least for *some* christians, your A-E are in fact correct.

    Generally, I just point out that faith is worthless. If you question that assertion, then tell me why the "faith" of a Hindu, which is just as strong as any christian's "faith," is wrong but a christian's isn't...?

    Peace.

  • 1 decade ago

    I think the people who make these general assumptions haven't had enough positive exposure to Christians.

    I can only speak for myself here, but I have a lot of really hard feelings toward Christians. I see a lot of negative traits in some Christians and because of human nature I tend to put those traits on all Christians at times. I'm a gay atheist, so I'm everything a Christian hates, and I get a lot of grief for it.

    However, I come from a religious family who are Christian and I can tell you they are very free thinkers. In fact when I told my mother my feelings about religion I said to her, "you raised us to be free thinkers, and we are." She agreed and is proud that her children can think for themselves and come to their own conclusions. Two of my siblings are strong Christians, one of my siblings is also an atheist.

    I know my parents have questioned their faith. I know they don't always agree with it, but at the end of the day they believe the basics behind it because it gives them peace and comfort. They are very fun people and both of my parents have a degree of rebellion in them.

    So when I start to have the sweeping generalization that all Christians are like you mentioned above my thoughts immediately go to my family, then to the many Christians I know in real life who have some of the things you mentioned.

    I know I'm guilty of generalizing, but I also know what happens when I assume. And I know most Christians I know in real life are very open minded, kind and great people.

    Feel free to remind me of this when I start to generalize. :)

  • Right on!! I am not a Christian but my family is! Would these ignorant anti religionists only get to know some Christians before generalizing and stereotyping? That is just as bad as any other stereotype! "Cannot be skeptical"? HAH!! The Bible says that you must test stuff and things! Christian think in some ways more free then atheists. You guys have an undeserved bad rep. Sad.

    Source(s): Buddhist
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    A - You can be free thinkers if you follow the rules of the bible

    B - No you can't, as a Christian you must accept what the bible says and not argue any point it

    makes

    C - Again yes you can, as long as your not doubting anything in the bible or Heaven.

    D - Hell yeah they do, I party hardy with a lot of them. Just don't over indulge yourself, that is a sin.

    E - Yes you can, as long as you don't rebel against God, Jesus, or your parents.

    And yes I see it all the time, some nonbelievers think you can't do anything unless you consult the bible, just keep your faith and remember what are sins, and if you want give me a fake email address and I'll send you the list, there is 666 sins in the bible and I have that list. Good day, have fun stay safe.

  • Ernie
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Hey, another word for free thinker is rebellion, and atheists walk in rebellion to God and His word. Christians can have more fun that the world, because we are free in Christ to enjoy life, and not be bound with fear and worry; like non-Christians. True for one point; Christians who want the blessings of God in their lives cannot live in rebellion, but we can be skeptical, and question our faith. The end result is we must seek God for answers to our questions, and not accept what man says that is contrary to God's word. They assume the above because they are ignorant and blind to the word of God, and don't want to submit to anyone but themselves. The truth is, they are servants and slaves of Satan, without knowing it. See this in 2 Timothy 2:25-26 - In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. They forget that since they are not God's children, they are Satan's children ( John 8:44 ). Romans 10:9-10 is the way of salvation, if they will ever turn to God. Otherwise, they know, but reject, where they will be going.

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