If you love your children properly–they WILL claim you hate them, at some point.
Maybe they’ll scream “You’re so mean!” or “You don’t love me,” when they’re barely out of diapers.
If you’re lucky, by the time they’re teenagers, you’ll hear, “You’re the worst parent in the entire world!!!!”
What would happen if good, loving parents started taking these statements seriously?
What if good, loving parents started measuring whether they were, in fact, good and loving…by keeping track of how often their kids approved?
Well, they would stop enforcing rules. And they wouldn’t tell children anything they don’t want to hear.
And, ultimately, it would be anarchy.
Mark my words: if parents stopped loving their children the way they need to be loved and instead started “loving” them like they want to be loved, there wouldn’t be any good, loving parents anymore.
I’m afraid far too many Christians are being convinced to stop loving lost people–because the lost people don’t like it very much.
That’s my only explanation for the popularity of articles like this one: Christians Shouldn’t Be Culture’s Morality Police.
“Church, the world is watching us. They see the articles we float around the Internet, they read our billboards and bumper stickers, and for many outside of the Body, they feel one thing with crushing weight: judgment.”
Lost people feel judged.
Therefore, Christians are doing their job wrong.
No other possible explanation.
But it continues…
“If the world will know we are His disciples by our love, but Christians are instead characterized by judgment, we will not be known as disciples of Christ but as hypocrites…”
So the world thinks we are judgmental AND hypocritical.
End of discussion.
…Except not really, because I have some things I’d like to clarify for the (several thousand) brothers and sisters who enjoyed the above article…
#1. I agree wholeheartedly that we’re not called to “police” the culture.
As Christians, our job is to live predominantly by example. And we shouldn’t be surprised when non-Christians act godless.
As the “We Shouldn’t Be Moral Police” article puts it:
“We were never commissioned to demand that secular culture reflect biblical principles. We were commissioned to reflect biblical principles, in the middle of secular culture, pointing to God’s redemptive story.”
I want to make it plain that I don’t have a problem with that statement at all.
#2. According to the most recent polls, a whopping 83% of Americans claim they are Christians.
That means somebody needs to explain how we’ve ended up with such a “secular culture” in the first place!
Again, I agree that we shouldn’t expect biblical morality out of the 17% of our people who admit they are unbelievers. But the VAST MAJORITY of us don’t fall in that category.
Supposedly, the VAST MAJORITY of people in the culture belong to the Body and have agreed to the responsibility (and accountability) that comes with that. Christians absolutely are called to watch and correct fellow brothers and sisters. (Gal. 6:1, Matt 18, James 5:19,20)
With freaking 83% of us claiming the name of Christ–how in God’s Name did homosexuality and abortion become hot button issues in American culture???
#3. The reason we live in a Pagan Culture is because Christians have been too cowardly to “police” for too long…
For awhile, the Church tried to pull off a Good Cop/Bad Cop routine when someone sinned within the congregation–with people like me playing the bad cop, and the non-confrontational folks just waiting quietly for the uncomfortable stuff to be handled so they could go back to planning showers and pitch-ins.
But now, we’re to the point where the “good cop” Christians don’t want the “bad cops” to have a role at all.
In fact, now the former good-cops are sharing articles about why the police force should stop “policing” altogether.
…and the nonbelievers keep shrieking, “Why can’t you other Christians be more like these nice ones???”
It’s exactly what happens when the “fun” parent throws the rule-enforcer under the bus.
Thanks for worrying about my reputation, “Good, Loving” Christians…But you and I are supposed to be on a team. You’re causing the anarchy I described in the first paragraph–because you’d rather do away with tough love and avoid rocking the boat.
You’re worried about upsetting children, so you’re letting them take over…
#4. They will know we are Christians by our love FOR EACH OTHER.
Maybe we won’t get so bogged down with “being known by our love” if we realize that Jesus was talking to the disciples–about fellow disciples. “…if you have love for one another.”
Jesus said the nonbelievers will watch as Christians interact with brothers and sisters, and they will know there’s something different about us.
They will see the way we live righteous lives within our Christians communities, and they will know we belong to God.
NOT– “They will have the power to decide whether we’re good Christian–based on whether or not they like the conviction and repentance that love demands.”
Let’s not get confused.
In closing, we need to ask ourselves whether we really believe that we hold the secret to eternal life.
Do we really believe we know something that blind/sleeping people don’t?
And if so, why do we keep asking for their opinion?
Why do we keep checking with people who don’t have a compass, to make sure we’re heading in the right direction?
Yes, I realize they can read blog posts like this, and I realize they will be offended by it. Yes, I realize being compared with children or blind people doesn’t seem very loving to them.
Maybe I’m “the worst Christian in the entire world!!!” 🙂
But I’m prepared to say things people don’t want to hear.
I’m speaking the Truth to a culture of which–theoretically–83% should already agree.
As for those “Good Cops” who agree with me in spirit, but continue to share articles like “We’re Not the Morality Police,” please just consider the points I made above. I agree we’re not called to condemn the nonbelievers. But ask yourself: why is a majority-Christian culture still “secular” in the first place?
Maybe it’s because the so-called good, loving parents have been too cowardly to show Real Love for far too long…