Are Christians the Problem with Christianity?

So I know this is kind of old news, but I saw an article on Facebook the other day about this and it literally made my blood boil. (Okay, not literally…)

A while back, a picture went viral on the internet. It was a picture of a receipt from a restaurant that a server posted. A pastor brought a group of people to the restaurant, racked up a $200 bill, and then, when the ticket came with the automatic 18% gratuity added onto it, Pastor Bell crossed it out and wrote beside it “I give God 10%, why do you get 18%?” This picture spread like wildfire on Reddit. The waitress originally posted it not because she was upset, but because she thought it was amusing. She told one online magazine, “I originally posted the note as a light hearted joke. I thought the note was insulting, but it was also comical”.

Pastor Bell is the reason waiters hate working Sundays. I can tell you from experience. I waited tables all throughout college and I would have to work 3 times as hard on a Sunday afternoon to make less than I would on a Friday night. It was pathetic. Big groups of people all in their Sunday best, racking up big bills to impress people that really couldn’t care less and talking about the morning’s sermon. And then when the bill comes you’re lucky if it’s a 15% tip. It’s clear by their lip service they’re Christians, but they don’t act like one. They definitely aren’t showing Christ in how they treat people. As a waiter, you’re at the bottom of the totem pole and if you forget that, don’t worry, the shaking of the tea glass as it nears empty and the snapping of fingers to get you to come to the table will remind you of that dreaded fact.

This story doesn’t end here though. Pastor Bell was caught and the word was out. Did she apologize? No, she called the restaurant and demanded that everyone involved be fired. FIRED! As if the note wasn’t insult enough, the waiter, who works for $2.13 an hour called you out and now you’re lashing out because you don’t have the guts to own up to what you did?? That irks me in so many ways. According to an online magazine Gawker, Pastor Bell called this a “lapse in judgment that has been blown out of proportion”. No kidding! And why is that exactly? Because you blew it out of the water! Reddit, particularly the subreddit that it was posted in is a place where us poor, lowly servers have a chance to vent. It is anonymous, and a place to unload, not a place where we should be afraid of posting because people like that might see it and get us fired! It’s all in light humor.

Reddit has since exploded with articles and blog talks about this subject, from all sorts of viewpoints. And the responses from the atheist perspective is nothing short of heartbreaking. One user, talking about pizza deliveries to churches and people with crosses on their doors or something symbolizing that they are Christian, said this in a post; “Every time a person with a cross around their neck or a crucifix on the wall shuts the door, stiffing their delivery driver, you tell that person that you don’t care about them”. That is terrible. Is that the example that we want to show the world, that we don’t care about them as a person? Absolutely not!

There was also an AMA (ask me anything) request, asking Pastor Bell some hard hitting questions that I feel are extremely valid and should be answered. These were questions like, “How do you feel your act represented the Church?” (I would add, not just your church, but the body of Christ as a whole) and “Are you only upset because you got caught?” Pastor Bell needs to answer for these actions, and how Christ was so falsely represented.

When I was in college, I had a lot of friends that were atheists. People that I love. On many occasions I would talk to them about my faith. It was heartbreaking to hear responses from them like “I would follow Christ, but I don’t like Christians”, or “I don’t have a problem with God. It’s his follower’s I can’t stand”. That’s something that I never want to hear. It’s a heart check. Am I doing something that isn’t displaying Christ? Am I falsely representing the God that I claim to love? We all need to step back and wonder, are Christians the problem with Christianity?

2 Corinthians 5:20 ~ Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

1 Comment

  1. Hi Bri! Good questions, and it really makes me think about my actions and words. I think you and I have talked about this as well. I know it grieves my Father when I do or say something I regret later. Part of this is we are humans. However, what I take issue with in my experience is the ministry. I had a very dear friend who is in the ministry, a very dear woman of faith ask me yesterday “Why do Christians in ministry emotionally and verbally kill their own?”. I wonder that myself frequently. And why do we do the same in churches? Are the body of Christ not here to help people and love one another. Why do selfish lifestyles always get in the way? Why do the “I’m more important than you” attitudes continue. Are we not to be humble? “Humble yourself before the Lord”. And “The greatest commandment of all, I give to you. Love one another as you love yourself.”. Some days I have problems with loving certain people. That’s the human side, but we should try. I understand your story and your point. Been a server and understand. Are we not to give freely and gladly as well? If I had more money than I do now, I would help a couple I found out about yesterday with medical bills and Christmas presents for their children that they won’t be able to provide this year. I don’t know who this Pastor Bell is, but maybe he should take a turn in the dish pit, or be a servant as a server for a day.

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