All of the Cool Christians Cuss

Or drink. Or smoke. Or all three.

At least, that's the way it seems sometimes. Every modern progressive Christian author seems to gain attention and credibility by talking about his penchant for booze or the f-bomb. I almost feel like I should join in, like I should say something cool involving booze so that everyone will comment on my blog.

"As I was sitting in my Humidor, with an exquisite whiskey, cussing out my hampster and sharing the gospel with the meth addict I hired to organize my TWLOHA shirts, this thought came to me..."


You know you'd read this more often if I started every post like that. And you'd do it for one of two reason. Either you'd think I was super cool for living on the edge and bucking the tired old establishment, and want to leave a comment so that everyone would know how much you love TWLOHA (a worthy cause, indeed), and by association, how cool you are...

Or you'd want everyone to know that YOU are still standing for TRUTH among all of this APOSTASY and COMPROMISE. That, and you'd get to CAPITALIZE a few words in EVERY sentence, to make sure YOUR POINT is made and the TRUTH has a chance to cleanse my HERETICAL soul. Or something like that.

All kidding aside, I feel almost as if there is this new counter-legalism among the more progressive Christians. It is like we are creating our own set of rules for people to follow, a new orthodoxy that centers around drinking and/or smoking (or insert alternative non-homosexual vice here) in an almost excessive moderation.

I know where the heart of this started, that there was a desire to break away from the legalistic mire that had left the church sinking quickly into perceived irrelevancy. I commend that desire, and what the resulting actions have done to bring Christ-centered fellowship and community into the lives of people who would have previously remained unreached.

But I wonder if this new emphasis on "freedom" is less like a liberation and more like a reaction, the creation of another option for those looking for a place to fit. Rather than being released from our old prison of legalism, are we simply moving to a nice new cell pretentiously named "liberty"?

Even more, I wonder if any of this is really "new" at all... or if this is an old problem in a shiny new package (made with 35% post-consumer materials).

I long for the day when we don't look down on the Christians who live differently from us, when we don't ridicule and antagonize the conservative rule-keepers or the liberal trendsters because they "just don't get it." I am tired of hearing a person, or a group of people, deride any one sort of Christian. I cringe when I hear that happening, as I think of the amazing friend who would be hurt and rejected if they heard the cutting and snide remarks aimed directly at their heart. I long for a place where everyone is welcome, where no one is taken lightly because no one takes themselves seriously.

I know that you, concerned reader, may have some sort of higher purpose for the things you say or do that come across as insulting to the untrained ear. Even if you don't, and you are just a jerk, who am I to talk anyway, since I'd likely join you in ridicule for fear of rejection? It's just that... there is something more out there, a new creation we are being called to, that could be truly beautiful if we'd just stop dragging our old problems into it. The only question is... how much do you want peace? How much do you want beauty? How much do you want the Kingdom to come, on earth as it is in Heaven?

Are you willing to fight for it, even if it means fighting your own self-doubt and desire for acceptance? I don't know if I am, but it's something to know that something isn't right, that life as we know it can, and one day will, change.

And I can sure drink to that.

Sorry... couldn't resist :-P.

6 comments:

sundaestubad15 said...

at first this sounds a lot like the Protestant Reformation, with their crazy ideas and their spitefulness of the church's legal system. then i remember what they were fighting for. I remember that many of them died to have freedom from the church that ruled over them. They wanted to follow the freedom of love that God offered and wanted to be set free of the freedom of law that binds us from love.
I don't know if this is the same..
and i was going to rebuttal what i just said.. but i think where i'm getting is that we're driven to follow a freedom of love, and we're inclined to follow a freedom of everything.
just my before 7 am thoughts.. love you richard!

Jeremy said...

This is a very insightful post Richard. I have had these same thoughts. I think our tendency is to move to one of the extremes and make enemies out of the other side. The challenge, is to find the healthy balance in between.

And btw...this is a brilliant sentence:
"As I was sitting in my Humidor, with an exquisite whiskey, cussing out my hampster and sharing the gospel with the meth addict I hired to organize my TWLOHA shirts, this thought came to me..."

Romi said...

RIGHT ON and well-said, Richard!! You bring to light some really excellent points and questions. I too have wrestled on this topic and especially this question you articulated so well..."wonder if this new emphasis on "freedom" is less like a liberation and more like a reaction, the creation of another option for those looking for a place to fit. Rather than being released from our old prison of legalism, are we simply moving to a nice new cell pretentiously named "liberty"?"

And here's some SNOE (side note of encouragement)for you....in all your post topics I see God totally stretching and growing you!! It really is an awesome thing to see and allow your readers to share and journey along with you in that. I really appreciate your willingness to always be authentic and say what's on your heart whether it ruffles feathers or not! You talk about the stuff most people won't take the time and thought to write about. I also love how you take a simple observation and build it into a really relevant and interesting post. All that to say, you've got ALOT of keen insight in that TX sized brain of yours (but don't u go letting that make your head big(ger), k?! lol ; )

Richard said...

Sunday, I miss the conversations we'd have, kiddo.

Jeremy, I'm learning more and more the value of balance.

Romi, thank you for the encouragement! It means a lot, and it's definitely your gift!

leanna jackson said...

mmm. this made me laugh a lot. and say 'word' a lot.


it is so INSANE to me how many xians i know these days are like 'when i was smoking' and i'm like, 'you smoke?' and they're all like, 'yeah...' like it's old news. how does this become hip in the church??!

people make zero sense to me.

leanna jackson said...

not that i think any of these things send you to hell, but i definitely don't get why it's so cool to do rebel against legalism by being an unhealthy idiot.