Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor:

After reading Ms. Petersen’s article “Christians, please do as you say,” I could only imagine the slew of letters to the editor that would be flying into your inbox in protest of this article. Unfortunately for Ms. Petersen, this is yet another one of those letters. I am a Christian. I regularly read my Bible, attend worship and even spent my last two summers interning for Christian non-profits. I love Jesus and truly believe that his radical message of redemptive love has the power to change lives and restore people.

It is this redemptive love of Jesus that I believe Ms. Petersen’s article lacked. Reading her article, I could not help but feel almost apologetic to my friends who were hurt by the blatant judgmental tone of Ms. Petersen. My biggest fear was that I would be judged by my peers, whom I love and care for deeply by this article, peers whom I have spent years building close relationships to during my time here at Kent State University.

Recently, the Barna Group, a research firm that specializes in Christianity, conducted social science research that found that an alarmingly high 87 percent of 16-to- 29-year-olds thought Christians were at least somewhat judgmental (UnChristian by Kinnamen & Lyons, 2007).

This statistic is fueled by articles like Ms. Petersen’s, which explicitly stated was not targeted towards people who would not consider themselves Christians; however, Ms. Petersen surely must have known that this article would be presented to a mixed audience, an audience who may not fully understand what Christianity is, but certainly now have a lower opinion of it based on the content of this article. To quote one person I overheard reading the article, “Who is she to judge me?” I imagine that this was a common sentiment from readers while reading this column.

Perhaps I should spend more time reading the gospels (accounts of Jesus’ ministry as a human, the four canonized ones in the Bible are Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) as I do not recall coming across a passages in which Jesus judged people whom he had never met before. Ms. Petersen goes as far as to judge every Christian she feels has failed to meet her understanding of what it means to be a follower of Christ.

Simply because Ms. Petersen cites one case where someone was hurt by the intricacies of sex and relationships does not give her carte blanche to judge all Christians in such blanket statements. When we lose the spirit of the law by strict interpretation of the law, we Christians become the very Pharisees that Jesus came to free us from.

Rather than continuing to fault Ms. Petersen, I would actually like to take a moment to apologize. I apologize to those people who Ms. Petersen’s article hurt. I apologize to those who have ever been hurt by Christians. I apologize to those who have been blinded by the light of judgment rather than being given sight by the light of Christ. Please know that not all Christians think in such base terms, and that there are some of us Christians who believe in shaking hands and not shaking fists.

– David Allen

senior interpersonal communication major