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19 Types of Christians

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19 Types of Christians

The editors at Online Christian Colleges thought we'd poke a little fun at ourselves and put together an infographic that explores the different ways most people see Christians. Doing this was eye opening because scripture says that as Christians we are supposed to be known by our love, but many of the common stereotypes are about as far away from that ideal as possible.

Take a look at nineteen typical types of Christians to see if you fit or break the mold--or know someone who does.

"Jesus Is My BFF"

- Teenagers who think Christianity is trendy

- Can be spotted wearing "WWJD" bracelets, "Jesus Is My Homeboy" t-shirts, etc.

- May profess their faith, but not practice it or know much about it

- Favorites: Justin Bieber, Twilight, Christian rock/rap

True Heroes

- Focused on benefits of religion, good will and humanitarianism rather than debate, disapproval and antagonism

- Seek equality, happiness and prosperity for all

- This belief may sometimes take precedence over strict, literal biblical adherence

- Often martyrs--willing to die for what they believe in

- Examples/Inspirations: Martin Luther King, Jr., Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Right-Wing Zealots

- Some overlap with Haters and Reactives

- May participate in The Tea Party

- Actively opposed to liberalism, atheism, and all that comes with it

- Notables: Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Pat Robertson, Glenn Beck

Punk Rockers for Christ

- Often wear tattoos

- Aim to dispel the myth that Christians must be plain, simple, quiet

- Express themselves through appearance and music

- May attend skate church--a freeform, youth-focused, progressive church

- Notables: Steven Baldwin, MxPx, Good Charlotte, Tooth and Nail Records


- Open to theological/world view debate

- Can be more open minded and tolerant of other religions

- May read RELEVANT (a fittingly intellectual Christian publication)

- Take their studies seriously

- Often well-traveled--may have engaged in studies abroad, especially in Europe

- May point to passages of Matthew and Mark, wherein Jesus asks, "Have you not read...?" "Do you not yet perceive or understand?"

- Favorite authors/scholars: CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien, Alvin Plantinga

Holier Than Thous

- Draw attention to their faith through public displays of faith

- Publicly declare moral accomplishments that are rare (e.g. virginity through marriage)

- May believe they are spiritually superior to their peers

- May then believe their views are more important/correct

- May judge others based on their own moral compass

- Run the risk of hypocrisy

- Notables: NFL player Tim Tebow (his praying on the field inspired the verb "Tebowing"--to pray on one knee when no one else is)

Serving the Poor

- Work to correct humanity's wrongdoings

- Often sacrifice own comforts for the benefit of others

- Belief in public service/doing God's will

- May work in shelters, soup kitchens, missionary services, Peace Corps, or similar organizations

- Inspirations: Jesus, Mother Theresa, Shane Claiborne


- Reminisce about the "good old days" (the '50s)

- May still wear antiquated hairstyles/clothing from said era

- Don't understand the modern, crass incarnations of Christians

- Favorites: Leave it to Beaver, piping hot dinner at 6:00 sharp, pies cooling on the windowsill


- Poets, painters, musicians, writers, designers

- Channel God/spirituality through creative endeavors

- Taste in art often changes over time

- Choice of books may be dictated by cover art/typography

- Overt religious implications are usually avoided in favor of unique and subversive expressions of faith

- May dress in layers, with lots of draping, scarves, long tops, leggings... and the more vintage, the better

Salt of the Earth

- Try to lead simple lives

- Have less need for material wealth

- May indeed disassociate from all cultures of excess; may be Amish, Mennonite

- Primary interest is personal fulfillment/holiness

- No focus on admonishing others


- Avid fans of precious/delicate art with Christian undertones

- Scenery, happy families, children, etc.

- Mantles, living room and hallways may be decorate extensively with such art

- Favorite Artists/Collections: Thomas Kinkade, Precious Moments

- FYI, Kinkade has a history of fraud and a DUI arrest... so don't believe everything you see


- Old Catholic ladies never seen without rosaries, saints around their necks

- May strongly adhere to myths related to mother's backs and black cats

- May do well to remember the First Commandment, and that carrying superstitions indicates a lack of trust in God


- Blind, unquestioning faith, which may be professed more than practiced

- Favor faith over logic in all cases

- Keep a crucifix on the wall--it may be the only decoration in the house

- Probably have not read the Bible


- Those who try to market Christianity as a good/service

- Healers, psychics, etc.

- Notables: Benny Hinn, Sylvia Browne, Steve Martin as Jonas Nightingale in Leap of Faith


- Nearly opposite of Salt of the Earth

- Insist that others must hear and share their views

- Just as Holier Than Thous believe they are spiritually superior, Moralizers believe they're socially/morally superior

- May associate with Holier Than Thous, Reactives and Right-Wing Zealots


- Respond to those they disagree with with disdain and hatred

- Make people feel judged


- Define themselves in opposition to some movement or group (anti-government, anti-evolution, etc.)

- Focused on eliminating what they perceive to be false teachings/schools of thought

- May support removal of evolution from public school curriculum (as fact, at least)

- May in turn support Texas' mission to replace evolutionary theory with creationism in textbooks

- Arguments in favor of their own opinions may take a backseat to the quest to prove conflicting viewpoints wrong


- Christian because, hey, everyone else around them is

- Attend church only on significant holidays (Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas)

- Memorize a few biblical verses to recite them at strategic times

- May wear crosses for fashion rather than faith

- Considerable room for overlap with the other types

Doubting Thomases

- Question their faith

- From the disciple Thomas (Didymus), who did not believe Jesus had risen from the dead

- He insisted he must see Jesus and his wounds before he would believe

- Modern version: The former Christian who has become agnostic but is still open minded about Christianity

- Want to believe, but sometimes find themselves unable

- May find that science or other Doubting Thomases are holding them back from full faith

Time Tebow