Does this title sound familiar? If it doesn't, that's exactly why we're sharing this again. If it does, then you probably remember this from November 2013 when we published it at www.un-learning.org, the blog that started this whole BADCHRISTIAN thang. We love the church and we won't let anyone think otherwise.
We have a feeling that many people have specific visions of who we are. Some see us as this group of guys who are God’s gift to the punk-rawking, non-conforming, “down with the mega-church” bad-ass crowd. Others think we encourage using the gospel of Jesus’ grace as an excuse to “let grace abound,” and not try to resist sin while we shout “legalism” at everyone who disagrees with us. While we are at it, we obviously cuss for the mere sake of ruffling feathers in an attempt to distinguish ourselves as an elite squad of progressive Christian super-soldiers. Those who are close to us know that these things could not be any further from the truth.
Our motives aren’t completely pure by any means. But make no mistake about it, we love the corporate church. We’ve seen first-hand the impact that mega-churches, as well as smaller churches, make in people’s hearts and in the communities they serve.
Above all other reasons, we love the mega-church because it is filled with many of God’s people — which is, by the way, the true definition of the word “church.”
As Toby said on his Facebook page,
“You didn’t go to church this morning, you are the church.”
BADCHRISTIAN is not our solution for the church. We are part of the problem. Jesus is the solution, and He continues to work on us, little by little, making us more like Him. He’s got His work cut out for Him and we are constantly thankful that He keeps at it.
Now, make no mistake about it: we believe that God has given BADCHRISTIAN a voice and we absolutely aim to use it for His purposes.
This voice can help mend many of the broken and dysfunctional practices of “church.” The practices that foster the feelings that Christians need to “save face” at the expense of bringing attention to the face of their great Savior. The practices of the church that fuel a permissiveness for self-proclaimed “Good Christians” to consume on Sunday mornings, stay busy for themselves during the week, and not to even try to do anything that Jesus did.
But, we have no interest in rallying together a group of behind-the-keyboard rebels whose only aim is to gripe, complain, and “female dog” about the corporate church. The group that blogs about them being judgmental, ineffective, and accuses them of being more concerned about big buildings with cool cafes. Or about how they are so proud that their pastor has tattoos and so psyched for the visitors to hear the worship team’s cover of that new Killers song.
We don’t have time for this. The gospel is the gospel. If a church preaches it, then we are your home-boys cheering you on, not spectators picking you apart. And we’re sorry that we are such a group of goofy-looking cheerleaders.
We want to help.
We believe God gave us, with tens of thousands of others, a vision for the future: a vision for a major shift in which the church will take.
Honestly, there are pioneers who were way ahead of us who have been approaching “church community” in the same light we’re advocating. Our contemporary churches had to break off from traditional services in this exact same way in order to preach the same Gospel to a different generation.
We all need each other. God has created each of us to have different functions in order to make a complete body. (1 Corinthians 12: 12-19)
“The church has to change,” as Matt says in this video. It has to figure out how to do things differently.
The Bible is a collection of stories that all revolve around a great God and an incredible Savior using seriously jacked up people to accomplish His glorious will. This is the model He laid out for us and we believe God can use us, regardless of our brokenness, in order to affect an entire culture of broken people.
There are pastors and leaders within the church, including those in corporate and/or mega-churches, who are also vocal about the need for change. Matt, Toby, Joey, and the Pastors whom we serve under, are among them.
True change will not happen at the hands of a rebellious group of extreme, standoffish know-it-alls. That kind of attitude serves to drive wedges between potential relationships, and only separates us from one another. (Yeah, God has a plan for you guys too, but check your heart and realize that you don’t have it all figured out, either).
Change is going to happen if we all listen to each other. We’ll gladly accept the ears of leaders in successful, well-established churches. These guys have had our ears for most of our lives and will continue to have them for many years to come; we are grateful for you.
Want to read more about our stance on the church? We talk about it—along with our struggles with sex, anxiety, depression, and a hell of a lot more—in our book BADCHRISTIAN, GREATSAVIOR. Check it out right here.