I was going to respond to this with a tweet of my own (I’m on Twitter too! Follow me! @cynicchristian!), but I wanted to spend a few more characters on it. The tweet in question:
To think that Christians should base their actions on the “common perception” of them is to believe that we live in a world without lies or evil. It’s to believe that the common perception is always presented in good faith and without ulterior motives.
I understand what Donald is trying to say here: there’s a stereotypical view of Christians–judgmental, hypocritical, rule-bound, etc.–and Christians should strive to differentiate themselves from it.
But if you have standards, you’re going to be considered judgmental and divisive by people who don’t like those standards. It doesn’t mean that those standards are bad or wrong. It doesn’t even mean that people genuinely believe that you’re judgmental and divisive, rather than just saying that about you to diminish your beliefs. The temperate man will always be hated by the drunkard; the honest man will be scoffed at by the liar.
The beliefs of Christians are always going to be disdained in a fallen world. Common perception will continue to be negative until Jesus comes back. To adjust our beliefs or message or actions based on the opinions of non-Christians is a bad idea. It’s to be lead by the world rather than by Christ.