Part of the joy of blogging is the feedback. I get lots of encouragement, thoughtful input, and (for the most part) graceful challenges. My rule is that disagreements presented in a civil tone deserve a thoughtful response. Angry, name calling challenges deserve a purposeful punch of the delete button. That relates to my other rule. I am paying the fees for my little piece of cyber real estate so when you come into my cyber home those are the rules. There are lots of blogs where you can SHOUT and be a jerk. That is not how we play blog here. Those are the ground rules as we set up another edition of the wildly popular “Ask a Bad Christian” feature. This is the third installment of the blog that answers questions and challenges sent my way by faithful musers.
The first question for Bad Christian comes from dear friend Randy in Oklahoma. He was challenging me about my views that politics should stay out of the pulpit in my recent post about the controversy at a church in Minnesota.
Dear Bad Christian,
If the church doesn’t speak out on the matters of life and other relevant social issues (read: homosexuality, adultery, pornography), who will? Who should?
Thank you for the opportunity to clear this up. I am not at all against teaching what Scripture has to say on any relevant issue. My position is that issues of life (sanctity of life, cultural issues) come up naturally and non-politically in the expositional study of the Bible. I believe we can and must address cultural issues from the pulpit. Giving people a biblical worldview will empower them to make good political decisions. But I have found out that the taint of politics diminishes the message of truth in God’s Word. As I study the teachings of Jesus it just seems He focused like a laser on individual change…not trying to change the culture. And as individuals changed…the culture changed. Hmmm. But in the words of Dennis Miller…that’s just my opinion and I could be wrong. God and my wife both know I often am.
Apolitically yours, Bad Christian
Reader Jeff wrote about the impact of Reggie White’s celebrity Christianity in his part of the world.
Dear Bad Christian,
I can’t honestly attest to any true Christian value (not that there wasn’t any, but I never saw it). Just having a big name talk doesn’t mean any no-names are listening.
Plus, we all know God would never speak through a Green Bay Packer. Go Bears. Jeff
I cannot prove textually in scripture that God would never speak through a Green Bay Packer. He seems to be able to speak through anything from rocks to bushes. In fact, I have claimed Numbers 22 numerous times as a example of how God could use me.
Then the LORD caused the donkey to speak.
While I honor your devotion to the Bears I do believe that God pours more mercy and grace on Cleveland Browns fans. I suspect that Browns fans immediately look up Job when they get to heaven. There they can compare notes on their respective suffering. Job can offer genuine empathy as they discuss the drive, the fumble, and Art Modell. As for the Christian value of Reggie’s testimony…I am sure God used his willing heart. I know I was impressed as a young man exploring faith that a former defensive end for the Cleveland Browns, Bill Glass, had become a minister. The memories of him stuffing running backs and also talking about Jesus dispelled my misplaced notion that being a Christian resulted in being a wimp. I would point out that Bill Glass was a mature Christian before he started his public ministry. That is the hope that I have for those who disciple “celebrity” Christians. God can certainly use celebrities. But the path He generally takes all of us down is a difficult path of refining. That is true even for celebrities.
Sincerely, Bad Christian. Go Browns.
Patricia writes about my blog where I imagined Diogenes searching for an authentic Christian.
Dear Really Bad Christian,
Thank you for your genuineness in following Christ. While I am striving to do the same, I always feel like I am always not good enough to be an authentic Christian. I try, but I fail again and again. I am not excusing myself, I just sometimes get frustrated with myself. You will always be my “fallible human role model” for what it is though to live for Christ. Patricia
You are so welcome. I have always believed my ministry was making other Christians feel superior. It is a burden. Seriously, the first definition of fallible is “capable of making an error”. We all fall short of the glory of God. Some just won’t acknowledge that truth.
Remember, Bad Christian is always available to answer your questions and field your gentle rebukes. Who knows…maybe God still speaks through donkeys.