Dear Non Christians
I have heard a lot of weird things about Christians lately and wanted to take a moment to clarify some things and offer one small unsolicited piece of advice.
We (the followers of Jesus Christ) don't hate you. God loves you so much that He died for you. We're not smarter than God. If He loves you, we love you. It's really that simple.
We don't judge you. The only people we have any business judging are those who call themselves Christians. And we don't even judge them too harshly. When we do judge them, it is always with an eye toward their restoration, never their destruction and never their harm.
We don't want to avoid you. We are you. The only difference is we heard and responded to the call of Jesus Christ. We want that for you, but we aren't going to pressure you, manipulate you or guilt you into accepting or loving a God you don't know. We want to be around you because we love you (see statement 1) and we would rather show you God's love in person than yell at you about it from a distance. There are people who stand on the shore and hope you don't drown and people who jump into the water to swim with you. We're excellent swimmers.
We will never use guilt or shame against you. Period. We have been freed from our own guilt and shame at the price of Jesus' life. We would never chain you with something that cost Him so much from which a to free us.
We aren't perfect. We have feelings and bad judgment and rough days. Sometimes we screw up. Sometimes we swear. Sometimes we're mean. Sometimes we're awful. There is no deep lesson here. We're human, just like you.
We don't have a list of rules we have to follow to go to heaven (neither do you). Even our love for God isn't a weird requirement for salvation. It's a natural response because of what He's done for us.
We aren't soft, weak, flowery, timid, stupid, angry or bigoted. Our love is fathomless and powerful because its source is the God of the universe.
It's hard to identify Christians by the things they hate, the things they stand against or the shouts they throw at you from the picket lines. Those people are confused at the very least, and even worse, some may not know Jesus at all.
The best way to identify true followers of Jesus Christ is this: You will know we are Christians by our love.
And that's the secret.
Don't listen for a Christian to say to you "I'm a Christian". Instead, look for the people who love you without seeking anything in return. Then, if you want to know, just ask: Are you a Christian?
If they say yes, here's my small unsolicited piece advice: If you are at all curious about God, these are the people to ask about Him, because they know Him and He knows them.