Christian Cuss Words and Other Lame Excuses

I was informed by a student yesterday that there are such things as "Christian cuss words." Did you know about this? Apparently you can call people names such as "butt-monkey" or exclaim "Shut the front door!" and these are acceptable alternatives to those words that we shall not utter, at least while no one from church is around. What a relief to know that we can cuss holy, right?

Funny story, I know. "Those crazy things that kids say!" might come to mind. But let's be honest, the concept behind the "Christian cuss word" has oozed its way into our thinking so stealthily that we apply this illogic to so many areas of our lives.

Let's consider the issues that many Christians champion, for instance. The entire world is well aware of what Christians are against because we do such a darn (oops, Christian cuss-word, sorry!) good job of vocalizing those very things. We are against abortion, against same-sex marriage, against radical Islam, and against anything anti-Chick-Fil-A. And don't get me wrong, if you are follower of Jesus, taking a stand against things that offend the heart of God are what we should be doing. Yet I am afraid that while most people know what Christians are against, they aren't quite sure what they are for.

So, if you are a follower of Jesus, what ARE you for? Better yet, WHO are you for? The way you answer this question is incredibly important, because I have never known anyone who was shamed or bullied into an authentic relationship with Jesus. Just in case you aren't sure how to verbalize what you are for as a follower of Jesus, let me remind you of what Jesus is for:
  • Grace - Jesus gave us the greatest gift possible without the hope that there was anything we could to earn it. His death gives us life, His shed blood forgiveness. Jesus is all about loving the unlovely in spite of the fact that no one else does. We should be too.
  • Forgiveness - Hurt feelings yield hard grudges. But not so with Jesus. Whatever sin you commit, you ultimately commit against the heart of God, and this is incredibly personal to Him. Yet Jesus offers forgiveness for a flat fee of $0. In fact, Jesus offers you forgiveness before you know you even need it. We need to be like that.
  • Second Chances - I love the story of The Prodigal Son found in Luke 15:11-32. Long story short, youngest son takes dad's wealth and blows it on sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll lifestyle before coming to his senses and crawling back home. Dad, who represents God, sees him coming and runs to welcome his son back, offering him a second chance to live life the way that God intended. Jesus came so that we all could get that second chance from God. Has anyone in your life blown it so bad that they don't deserve a second chance from you?
  • Obedience Over Perfection - In 1 Samuel 15:22, the prophet Samuel told King Saul that "to obey is better than sacrifice." Translation: God loves it when you do your best for Him, but what He really wants is your heart. He isn't looking for perfect Christians because there aren't any. But God is looking for those who will love Him with heart, soul, mind, and strength. If you anchor you ship to your works, you'll go down with that ship.
  • Loving Others - Jesus tells us in Mark 12:30-31 that the two most important commandments are to love God and love people. Some of you are really good at loving God but pretty lousy at loving other people, especially when their skin color, lifestyle choices, political beliefs, or past failures get in the way. So get this: If you can't love people, then you really don't love God in the first place. Jesus is for others.
  • Personal Holiness - If you take any time at all to read the gospels (the first four books of the New Testament in the Bible), you will find that Jesus spends a lot of time rebuking those who thought themselves to be uber-religious. Why? Because they flaunted a version of holiness that was phony at best and hypocritical to the core. The whole plank-in-the-eye analogy is for those of us who believe that we have the right to regulate the lives of others without first making sure that our walk with Jesus is actually a walk in the first place.
This list could be much, much longer, but you get the idea. What does any of this have to do with "Christian cuss words"? I'm glad you asked.

When we choose to live out our faith in Jesus screaming about what we are against rather than who we are for, we are doing nothing more than making excuses for our lack of spiritual integrity. Maybe we think our Christian activism will make up for a lack of personal responsibility and holiness that we pray no one sees up close. I realize this may sound harsh and unfair to paint all Christians with such a broad brush, but when we choose to lump ourselves together to fight for causes, we ought to be able to take it on the chin when we lose sight of where we are going. And yes, I include myself in this discussion as well.

Let's not be this way any longer. May we be a people united for the cause of Christ, desiring to see as many men and women come to faith in Him as we possibly can. And let the world see us loving the unlovely, seeking to lead the broken, hurting, and confused to healing and hope found only in Christ. Because dangit, we don't need any more excuses. 

1 comment:

holly browns said...

thanks, sterl. wonderfully written.

The honest hypocrite

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