Are Christians too often defined by what they are against?

Here’s some lazy blogging er, I mean a Flashback Friday post.

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Something worth thinking about.

Sometimes [as Christians] our stances on issues are stronger than the Bible’s stance on them.

Look at the comment section of any quasi-religious story or video and you are likely to find a Christian explaining why they are against whatever is being discussed and why it’s wrong in the eyes of God. It seems we mistake taking a stand for Jesus as synonymous with taking a stance against everything we personally don’t like or agree with.

It’s like we build these soapboxes of self-righteousness and then we climb on them with our bullhorns trying to win everyone else over to our point of view. Try asking someone you know who isn’t a Christian what it means to be a Christian. You might find that their answer has little or nothing to do with following Jesus, but they probably know what things Christians typically view as sinful.

In building our platform on what we are against we have often neglected to establish a foundation of what we are for.

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Categories: Christianity

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23 replies

  1. These have been so many of my thoughts lately

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good point, stressing what we are “for” might be more edifying!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. James I totally agree with you premise and would add this. I think many times we are so consumed by calling out sin that we leave out the part on how we can be saved from it. Both are necessary. What good is it to identify the problem and withhold the solution?

    @David. Nobody is discounting the importance of discussing sin but merely that we seem to leave out the grace sometimes and only talk about the judgment. Salvation requires that we understand both to some degree.

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    • I agree as well Wally. The Gospel is only the Gospel if it both presents the problem, as well as God’s provided solution. God’s revealed record of His Redemption (the Bible) spends a good long while, several thousand years in fact, laying down the framework of the problem of Sin, before Christ finally arrives and finally deals it with fully. The entirety of the Mosaic Law, which the Pharisees and majority of Hebrew people clung to as though it was capable of imparting righteousness, was given simply in order to underscore the issue of “all that God is against”, and also demonstrate our inability to live a righteous life in our own strength. The temple and sacrifices and priesthood, all were put in place by God in order to show how grave the problem of sin really was, and how it could only be dealt with through blood sacrifice. Take away all that stuff, and the “positive” stuff leftover that we might think would sound nicer to talk about what we’re “for” (instead of against) really wouldn’t mean much anymore….

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Perhaps, but we otn fail to articulate why or for whom we abstain! Plus we miss articulating the benefits of abstaining.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Letting others know what we stand for is the best way for us to reach them. It’s all about the wonderful gift God has given us – freely!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Christians are patriots and they are concerned about the moral decline they see. Nothing wrong with that. On the other hand, being an American and being a Christian are not the same thing. America is lovable, but it is not God or his church. There needs to be enough emotional detachment to realize that culture will go one way and we will have to go another.
    And in the end, it does not matter if Christians are loud or quiet about their objections. The world is a jealous god, and it is not afraid to persecute those who will not submit, no matter how quiet they are.
    St. Paul proclaims the Gospel, and expounds lists of things one is not to do within a few paragraphs: he was not shy about what he was “against”. Of course, he is writing to confirm the faith of people who are already believers, his public preaching was probably different, but the gospel was a whole cloth to him: ethics, ritual, spiritual experiences and the story of Jesus were all one thing to him.
    I often wonder what a first century boy prostitute (they were extremely common and socially accepted) would have thought of St. Paul’s message. Would he have felt offended? Or liberated?

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  7. We often forget to deliver our Christian message with respect. This often includes the ability to climb down off the soapbox and ditch the bullhorns. I like the saying…”Always preach a sermon; use words when necessary.”

    People will watch us far more often than listen to us. If our lives are Christian-like, that will speak volumes to some. Yes, we will still need to speak to people about Jesus, but we must incorporate a softer tone with humility. And we can never engage them in endless debate, one after another! This leads nowhere fast in most cases…

    Just my opinion,
    Steve

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What christians – as should all religious people – need to do is ”take five” and seriously consider why they need to shout about what they are against and focus on what they are for.
    This way you might find more people become interested.
    It is not the religious person’s job to continually beat on the lifestyles of others, or
    rant that morality only comes from their god.
    Let the christian god be the judge of such things.
    If you wish to ”save” people then begin by setting the ultimate positive example.

    Be humble, be quiet and be Christlike.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Human beings tend to thrive on conflict. Somehow, we need it. It’s something I know about us but I don’t really understand. “Iron sharpens iron”. I think God uses conflict to shape us but you’re right, at some point, we should stop to consider what we are as well as what we aren’t.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. That will preach! I’m afraid our soapboxes have turned many who potential believers against Christianity completely. If we tried promoting what Jesus is FOR, we might just get somewhere.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. James, it really filled my heart to read this. We cannot promote Jesus by saying, “Yes, there is love, but….” We need to focus upon love, grace and mercy as He did. We often quote John 3:16, but forget about the verse that comes after: “(16)For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. (17)For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him..

    If God did not send Jesus to judge, why do we think we should?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Sad but true. Sometimes we are known more for what we are against. We published a similar article:
    http://donewithreligion.com/2012/07/26/what-are-you-against/

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