A caricature is defined as “a picture, description, or imitation of a person or thing in which certain striking characteristics are exaggerated in order to create a comic or grotesque effect.” You have probably seen a caricature drawing in political cartoon.
Unfortunately caricatures are not limited to thought-provoking cartoons in newspapers. They are also represented in pictures, stories and cartoons that fill the internet. Politicians are one of the most frequent people groups that are caricatured, but Christians are probably the second most popular.
There are several portrayals that I am tired of seeing –
1. Uneducated – The idea is that most Christians are not very smart. They reject science they don’t read and they generally reject good reason.
I have never found this representation to be true. Most of the people I have served are college educated and very knowledgeable people. In fact, most of them know about their religion, a little about other religions, about history, psychology, philosophy and politics. Most pastors I know have multiple degrees and continue to take classes until their ministry ends. The majority of Christians I have encountered read, study and discuss so that they continue to grow.
2. Mean – The idea is that many Christians are hard-hearted with little tolerance of those who disagree with their beliefs.
Most of the Christians I know are the kindest people in my life. The donate time at food pantries, homeless shelters and numerous projects for the benefit of others. The share their money, their food and even their time. They are the first to show up after a tragedy and the last to leave when others are struggling. Christians are typically the kindest and nicest people I know.
3. Crazy – This view comes from the belief system that Christians posses. They have a belief rooted in the teachings of the Bible. The Bible does contain stories that are hard to accept. There is a story with a talking snake along with one of a talking donkey and there a stories of numerous miracles that are hard to explain.
While they are hard to explain to people, believing them does not you crazy. In fact, almost everyone I know believes in something greater than the physical world. I know people who have belief in fate, destiny and Karma. Some people even believe they affect their favorite team by the shirt they wear, the position of their hat or some other strange superstition. Maybe crazy is in the eye of the beholder.
I grow weary of the ongoing caricatures of Christian. Most of them are the blown up pictures of just a few random individuals or groups. Part my life is spent proving the skeptics wrongs. I hope you will join me in showing these people that their picture of Christians are wrong, not only with our words but with our actions.