What do you know about Buddhism? Islam? Hinduism? or any other faith? Unless you have embarked on an intentional exploration of that faith, it’s likely all you know about these or any faiths are on the basis of media reports or people of faith you know.
I suspect the latter is in many ways more powerful than the former. The former is what I am told and experience from a distance, but what I know from a personal encounter with someone from that faith is so much more significant. After all, I can read the newspapers, watch TV, or listen to the radio and these can frame up for me a perception of Islam. Yet, if I personally know a Muslim, I have to rethink my perceptions, especially in the face of the person I know. Whilst that experience might not undo all I perceive about that faith, it certainly makes it harder to characterise all Muslims a particular way.
Jesus said. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5: 14-16)
The church is the way in which God speaks his intention to the world. The church is meant to be the ones who make known what God is like to our world. Few people in our culture will actively explore Christian faith or pick up the Bible. The church, followers of Jesus, may well be the only Bible many people will ever read.
If you are sick and tired of the media or other voices framing up our cultures perception of Jesus and Christianity, then take seriously the words of Jesus. Let your light shine. Invest in the lives of others. Engage in acts of compassion and kindness which reflect the character of God. Tell the greatest story ever told, of Jesus.