John Alan Turner

Speaker, Author, Mentor, Coach, Facilitator

Life in the Big City

It seems many Christians view life in the big city with a jaundiced eye. And that prejudice is returned in kind. Many city dwellers view Christians with suspicion or downright hostility. Christie Brown left a comment the other day suggesting that it's because so many Christians give off a vibe that says, "We're intolerant and exclusive." I think that's kind of a two-way street, because many of the urbanites I know give off that same vibe -- only they add an air of sophistication bordering on elitism -- towards those who live in the suburbs or (heaven forbid) rural areas.

I've lived in big cities, and I've lived in tiny towns, and I currently live in suburbia. As much as I would like to say, "People are just people," I'm not sure that's true. The folks who live in these various areas have distinct personalities. Granted, they share many of the same maladies and idiosyncrasies. We are all human, after all, and the issues that affect us are not legion, there are only a few things that make up what we know as "the human condition". Loneliness. Regret. A desire for meaning and purpose. Fear. Hope. Doubt. Love. These are universals.

And yet....

Life in the big city shapes a person, no? As does life on the ranch or life in the great outdoors or life in the sanitized housing tracts dotting the suburban landscape.

So, what gives? Why do so many Christians (and the vast majority of the Christians I know live either in suburban or rural areas) view city dwellers with such suspicion? And why do so many city dwellers view Christians with such disdain?