What does your hashtag say about you? 

I am not going to declare war on Relevant or tell people they absolutely shouldn’t read it, it isn’t all bad.

I will say however that I have thought for a while that the magazine was less about the Gospel, growing closer to God, and advice for righteous living for today’s young Christians and more about being hip and culturally sensitive in order to bridge the gap between Christianity and the world, this could be the worst example yet.

For a magazine that seems to pride itself on making Christianity culturally relevant, it’s hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that they sometimes publish articles on issues worth discussing yet leave theology out completely. 

How does Relevant, a Christian publication, justify telling their Christian readers they ought to refrain from using  #alllivesmatter without even trying to explain biblically why?

Lack of theology aside, the logic they use to make a case that #alllivesmatter should not be used (a point I don’t completely disagree with by the way) is so flawed, from the terrible and ironically irrelevant imaginary conversation it opens with to the final sentence, I wouldn’t even know where to start a critique. Really, it’s one of the worst things I’ve read in a while, and that’s saying something. 

As I said in the beginning, I’m not at war with Relevant, it isn’t entirely bad.

I would however, urge Christians to use discernment when reading it, especially if they are inclined to believe it’s good for biblically sound teaching. 

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Categories: Christianity

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27 replies

  1. I have never read it. I may have to now

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You won’t like it wally. Very progressive/liberal in their theology. Think Tony Campolo

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a pretty good description Mike.

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      • I can see what they are saying though. All Lives matters is true, but in this particular context it tends to give the impression that the shootings by police of black men as disproportionate has nothing to do with racial issues. It minimizes the issue and removes race as a possible consideration.
        Basically it tell people, nothing to see. Move along

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        • Mike,

          In all honesty I don’t care much for hashtags at all.

          That being said, there is a good case one can make that #alllivesmatter should not be used.

          My problem with the article is that it assumes there is a ton of negative context and evil intent on behalf of those who use it while those who use #blacklivesmatter are somehow better, more reasonable, more rational.

          I wrote this after a friend of mine posted #alllivesmatter on Facebook and then was rebuked by a Christian who posted a link to the Relevant article which surprised me a little.

          I know both of these people personally and know there was no evil intent and that niether of them meant any harm either way.

          Point here is telling anyone they just can’t use a hashtag is a horrible idea and it won’t help the debate at all.

          Really, it seems like we are all fiddling while Rome is burning.

          Hope this makes sense, on my phone and short on time.

          Good comment btw, thanks for weighing in

          James

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Never heard of the mag.
    If the above blather is typical, I will continue to be unaware of them.

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  4. All emergent church hipsters trying to be “relevant” need to become Calvinists.
    Immediately.

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  5. Hi James,

    I followed the link, fully expecting to read something badly written and maybe even offensive, but what I read was a well thought out explanation and defence for the #blacklivesmatter movement. Please note, I have never used that hashtag or its counterpart, but I’m in support of what they are saying.

    I don’t know the policy at Relevant magazine, but I imagine they give some creative license to their writers, and so the views expressed may not entirely be that of Relevant Magazine, just like the views expressed on your blog by other bloggers may not be entirely representative of your views.

    I also don’t think the mark of a Christian piece is in the quantity of references to the Bible. In your current post and in many others, you’ve been able to take your stand on views without resulting to a Bible study. So I think it’s an unfair criticism to Relevant and the author of that post to demand that they should have quoted scripture to validate their argument. It didn’t require scripture, just logic and sensitivity.

    I am really struggling to believe that this is the worst thing you’ve read all year… Really really struggling to believe that.

    Anyway, I just thought I should share my point of view, and hope you’ll take it to heart. You can disagree with people without trying to make them look unChristian, which is what came across to me.

    Cheers, Ufuoma.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Ufuoma,

      Thanks for reading and commenting . You make a few good points here but also a few errors.

      For one, I did not say this is the worst thing I have read all year I said it was one of the worst things I have read in a while and I stand by that.

      If you’ll note, the context of that statement was relating specifically to the logic the author of the article used to support the thesis. I’ll repeat, the logic was so bad I don’t even know where to start.

      My main point in the post was, if you are going to site Relevant, and many Christians do, the articles should be read critically first, they are not all very good.

      James

      Like

  6. I have to agree with Ufuoma here. Just because someone disagrees with your theology or has a more “progressive” view, it doesn’t mean we need to label them (cults, heretics or even a waste of time). The Bible is the Living Word, and God lives each of us. He and it are living, breathing entities; Scripture is one way He communicates with us. It is why I can read Paul’s letter to the Ephesians six times and different phrases will jump out at me giving significance to my life at different times.He also communicates with us uniquely through His Spirit.

    If we do not approach our brothers and sisters in Christ with open hearts and minds (who also earnestly preach the gospel with the Spirit’s guidance in love and truth) how will we ever come together in unity as Christ commanded? If we are not even willing to listen to each other, how will we ever come together as a nation and listen to those far different from us, hear their pain with compassion and open a pathway to the saving grace of Jesus?

    Like

    • Hey Susan,

      When and where did I say anything about cults, heretics, or a waste of time?

      I generally like your comments very much but this one has me a little confused.

      James

      Like

      • Hey, James. I admit I took a few of your commenters replies and extrapolated out to things I have read from others. From “progressive/liberal in their theology,” to “emergent church hipsters,” I tend to see labels for what they are – a way to close the doors of dialogue.

        I have learned as much from Relevant as I have from Christianity Today, and continue to seek out opposing points of view to ensure I do not become rigid in my thinking and to help me mature in my faith. I think you do the same. Just adding my 2 cents to the conversation.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thanks for the comment Susan.

          Although I have judged and closed doors to dialogue, I try really hard not to. In the case of this post, I specifically said not to completely disregard Relevant but to read it with discernment which, in reality, we should do with everything we read.

          Closing doors on dialogue is a good point and I think that’s what hashtags do. I use #alllivesmatter, a lot is assumed about me because of it, meaningful dialogue becomes extremely difficult.

          Part of the post I particularly disagree with is the part about context. A person can, in fact, use #alllivesmatter with nothing but good intentions. Oftentimes they are shut down only after a bunch of context that may not be accurate is assumed.

          I am working on a follow-up post where I say Christians should really be above these divisive debates anyway. Really, they serve to distract and sow discord thus distracting us from focusing on Christ.

          Your two cents is appreciated btw, can’t have any kind of discussion if people won’t say what’s on their mind.

          God bless,

          James

          Liked by 1 person

          • You’re right, James. Our focus should always be on Christ.
            God bless you, too. ❤

            Liked by 2 people

          • I can’t wait for that post!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Too bad I can’t tell you when it’ll be done but here is the jist.

            When someone tells me what I should/should not do, I bump their instruction against The Word and, for all my looking, I can’t find any Bible passages that tell me I can’t use a hashtag, no matter what it is.

            That being said, Christians are to be slow to speak, slow to become angry…and we are to guard our tongues. If we know a hashtag will cause people to become angry then we have a solid biblical reason to refrain from using it.

            However, the idea that #alllivesmatter is offensive comes from culture and culture is a terrible guide for any Christian. Culture tends to think telling people are sinners is offensive so, should we stop doing that? Culture thinks Hell is offensive so, should we stop talking about that? What about the biblical idea of marriage? What about the countless other things about Christianity that turn culture’s stomach?

            Roundly condemning hashtags because they may offend is a slippery slope for The Church to put itself on and most certainly not a hill worth dying on.

            In all honesty, I think much of what we debate is, as I said in another comment, a distraction that causes anger and keeps us from talking about Jesus.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Yep, and as best as I can, I plan to keep that very focus

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  7. I avoided paying for a subscription years ago after being given several issues by a friend who thought I might like the content. He was not ready for my litany of issues!

    I think this particular article would be better (and more relevant) if, as you stated, there was any biblical theology (i.e. Scripture references and applicable commentary) to back it up. I do not think the points about being insensitive or overlooking where people are coming from are wrong, but this article ALMOST comes across that way toward Christians!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You’re a lot more gracious than I; I have found in the past so much of Relevant to be irrelevant to truly biblical informed living…but that’s just me.

    Liked by 1 person

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