Although we'd always like to imagine that we're turning hearts and changing minds on a daily basis, every once in a while we can't help but ask ourselves, "Are we just talking way too much? Should we maybe quiet down a bit?" We don't have the answers to these questions but... If you're looking for a politically correct Christian blog that's sole purpose is to make the authors look like awesome, "got it together" dudes, well, you're in the wrong place. On the other hand, if you're looking for a place where we drag sin out into the open (regardless of how embarrassing it may be) so that it can be addressed - welcome to BadChristian.
Does BadChristian Talk too Much?
But I’d rather talk too much than not enough. Why?
Partly because the Church (that we love) is too soft; and through a consumerism-oriented approach to ministry, we’ve taught others to be soft as well.
We’re all like, “Man, oh man. We don’t want to offend someone. Can’t do that.”
My Senior Pastor @gregsurratt has instilled in my mind the concept of “honoring people’s journey.” I love this. It’s helped me a lot.
What exactly does this mean? I can assure you what it does not mean. It does not mean that we refrain from tough conversations with other Christians. It does not mean that we ignore fellow brothers’ and sisters’ blind spots and sin.
There’s no honor in not loving someone enough to speak truth.
And “love” is the key here. It is possible to “honor someone’s journey,” “love,” and simultaneously, “speak hard truths.” But there’s been so much crap in the Church’s history that unfortunately helped to paint us all as a hypocritical, judgmental, divisive group of liars.
Some of you don’t remember this, but a prime example of what I’m talking about is Jimmy Swaggart, in the late 80s, calling Jim Bakker out for his one-night affair only soon after getting busted for his lengthy history of porn, sex addiction, and hanging out with prostitutes (and not for the same reasons that Jesus did, by the way).
What is the Church’s solution to our history that’s wrought with mean-spirited back-biting? We swing hard the other way. Our rationale goes something like this:
The world sees us as judgmental, hypocritical and divisive.
They don’t see us as loving.
We have to change our reputation.
In order to do this, we have to be soft, refrain from confrontation, and be politically correct in how we expose our own weaknesses and sin.
This sort of approach served some good purposes, and to be fair, has indeed resulted in some changes to how the church is perceived. At the same time, an unfortunate byproduct of this has been a weakening of the Church.
And a weaker church equals less of Jesus’ work getting done.
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You ever heard that saying, “Soft words make hard hearts and hard words make soft hearts?”
We believe that.
So let’s get back to our original question. Do we talk too much crap about people? Probably so.
And, you know what? We are sorry and sincerely ask for your forgiveness. We are going to try and communicate the right way, but will never completely get it right. It’s never our intent to go overboard in how we talk about people, but it is the natural byproduct of what we are trying to do.
So what ARE we trying to do? We are trying to jolt this pervasive and yet harmful desire within the church that people have to personally appear to have “my stuff together” amongst fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
We want to swing the pendulum the other way, and to do that the cost will be us making mistakes along the way.
We love the church. We love Pastors that fell into “moral failure.” We also want to ask everyone, “If Jesus’ forgiveness is so glorious, why do we feel the need to speak code and walk on eggshells in public speech about other Christians?”
Is “tip-toeing” around issues to protect people’s feelings really the best way of loving our fellow brothers and sisters? Maybe it is.
Let’s look at what Jesus says in the seventh chapter of the gospel of Matthew:
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
While this doesn’t necessarily support our public “straight-shooter approach” in talking about issues and those involved, it does however seem to reveal Jesus’ desire for all Christians to address it all.
Matt, Toby, and I aren’t sure if our approach to certain things is right, but here’s what we stand by.
We don’t think that anyone in the greater worldwide Church can afford to be overly concerned with personal image, reputation, public standing, and what people say about them. The less this is a concern for each and every one of us, the more attention Jesus will get and the stronger the Church will be.
So, here’s a question for you, our reader. What if we were all candid with each other and OMG, maintained this candidness in a public forum? And what if it was all motivated by love?
Would this be a breath of fresh air within the Church that would encourage us all to be real and not hide? Wouldn’t it be an unbelievable message to those outside of the Church that all too often write Christians off as fakes, hypocrites and “holier than thou’s?” Don’t you also think it would further drill down the truth that Jesus is the Victor, He’s running things, and the only righteousness that exists on this Earth is His and His alone? We think so, but we could be wrong.