498 Years Hence, I have taken it upon myself to present a well-intentioned albeit substantially less coherent 47 1/2 Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgent Western Churchianity.
#1: Christians, please stop arguing with atheists in the YouTube comment sections of Hillsong United music videos.
#2: Christians, please stop confusing fighting the American Culture Wars with defending the Gospel. Mayberry ≠ the Kingdom of God, and Bourbon Street ≠ the Gates of Hell.
#3: Christians, please stop defending Republican politicians when they have dumb and unconstitutional policies. If it was wrong for Obama to do, it was wrong for Bush too, and it will be wrong for future President Cruz/Clinton.
#4: Christians, please stop defending the right of businesses not to serve gay and lesbian customers. Just… why?
#5: Christians, please stop pontificating about homosexuality unless you have close LGBTQ friends. Not because it’s wrong to do so… but because you come across as profoundly ignorant.
#6: Christians, please stop feeling the need to defend Christian-esque celebrities that say stupid things on TV or Twitter.
#7: Christians, please stop crucifying Christian celebrities that have made a big mess of their lives and churches. Us turning on fallen brothers doesn’t make us look authentic. It makes us look like rabid dogs.
#8: Christians, please stop blogging unless you actually know what you are talking about. If in doubt… you probably don’t.
#9: Christians, please stop calling Joel Osteen a heretic. For that matter, please stop saying anyone is a heretic unless you can define the word and defend your slanderous accusations. Hint: Pope Francis doesn’t count either.
#10: Christians, please stop arguing with people you don’t know on Facebook threads. It’s only a matter of time before you say something grossly insensitive.
#11: Christians, please stop passive-aggressively calling friends out on social media without naming them. If you’re going to be a judgmental jerk, grow a pair and just slander them by name, for crying out loud. You can always call it holy anger.
#12: Christians, please stop advocating dropping bombs on our enemies (Matthew 5 is a thing I think??)
#13: Christians, please stop attending and tithing to churches that don’t preach the Gospel. Yes. Stop.
#14: Christians, please stop watching Trinity Broadcasting Network. There are a lot of great podcasts out there… with a lot less bad hair.
#15: Christians, please stop thinking that your sexual orientation is the standard for everyone else on the planet.
#16: Christians, please stop supporting crappy CCM music. Not all of it, just the crappy stuff.
#17: Christians, please stop banning your church staff members from drinking beer! Geez! You are missing some of the best ministry opportunities to men that you have available.
#18: Christians, please stop starting private Facebook groups dedicated to arguing about your inconsequential and peripheral theological issues. Although I will say… at least they are private. So thanks for that.
#19: Christians, please stop bashing other Christian churches in your pulpits and small groups. The pulpit is for expounding the word of God, not for sharing your uninformed and unrequested opinions.
#20: Christians, please stop equating TULIP with the Gospel. Or the King James Version, or speaking in tongues, or keeping the Sabbath, or opposing gay marriage, or end-time theories… or whatever other Christianeze thing you are super passionate about.
#21: Christians, please stop shopping at Wal-Mart. For a lot of reasons, most of which can be found by googling the search term “liberal blog.”
#22: Christians, please stop using the words “emergent”, “seeker-friendly”, and “watered-down” to describe the churches in town bigger than yours.
#23: Christians, please stop thinking apologetics is only about defending a literal six-day Creation story. Yeah… I said it. See #11.
#24: Christians, please stop saying that all Muslims are terrorists.
#25: Christians, please… just stop talking so much and listen a lot more. You might actually learn something from someone you thought you hated.
#26: Christians, please START knowing what the Gospel actually is. I Corinthians 15 is a good starting place.
#27: Christians, please DO share the Gospel (the real one) every chance you get to everyone who will listen. It’s good news, and people are starving for it!
#28: Christians, please DO read the book of James and apply it to your life. “Quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.” Good stuff. On that note, the whole Bible is actually pretty good too.
#29: Christians, please DO have close friends in your life of other ethnicities, religions, and political persuasions than your own.
#30: Christians, please DO hold tightly to Biblical truth and led the Word of God shape you and transform you!
#31: Christians, please DO obtain a passport. “Go ye into all the world” doesn’t work without one.
#32: Christians, please START being honest about your own sin and calling it what it is- sin, wrong, forgiven, and redeemable.
#33: Christians, please START being faithful to your Jesus-loving, Gospel-centered church. Dontcha be doing that church hop, ‘cuz once you get started, you just can’t stop…
#34: Christians, please DO give frequent hugs to everyone, but especially those with whom you are about to disagree.
#35: Christians, please DO sponsor a child with Compassion International or World Vision.
#36: Christians, please DO continue to support children through World Vision. The Great Commission is bigger than that.
#37: Christians, please START supporting good music and art. Especially those in your locale.
#38: Christians, please START buying music you believe in instead of streaming it on Spotify or illegally downloading it.
#39: Christians, please DO read the occasional book written by an author who is no longer with us.
#40: Christians, DO learn how to take a joke. We are pretty funny people. Learn to laugh at yourself.
#41: Christians, please DO gather in small groups to encourage one another and build each other up.
#42: Christians, DO admit that Bill Clinton was a pretty decent President. Also the 42nd. 😉
#43: Christians, please DO start living revival instead of begging God for it.
#44: Christians, please DO serve the poor and homeless in your city every chance you get.
#45: Christians, please DO become educated about the humanitarian issues here in America and around the world.
#46: Christians, please DO dig wells for communities that have no clean water.
#47: Christians, PLEASE start making better movies! Hint: God’s Not Dead Again does not count.
#47 1/2: And finally… Christians, Nicolas Cage is only a very small step up from Kirk Cameron. No, there was no START or STOP associated with that one. Just an observation.
Joel is a church planter, father, worship leader, singer of The World In Lights, wonderful preacher and seminary student. You can find Joel at http://joel-herbert.blogspot.com/