Words, Part 2

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Last week I wrote a post entitled Words, where I suggested that what we write must serve a purpose. I received a comment that I didn’t really understand at first because I was reading it within the context of what I had written. The author was kind enough to explain where he was coming from in a later comment, and I couldn’t agree more with his point:

@kelybreez said:

At the risk of being a hypocrite, because I’m usually guilty of anything that gives me pause…

It troubles me when I read something done in the name of “doubt,” questions about God, or the motives of the church or ministers, etc… And the overall feeling is that the person is actually just trying to fit into the trendy, cute genre of “being a questioner.”

It’s great form these days. People read it. People love it. And so it’s cute, and it’s fashionable…

And the writer doesn’t even have to ask intellectually honest questions of themselves anymore, such as, “Do I really have the doubt myself, or am I writing this to sell my blog more?” (and as a result, their novel, or their persona, or whatever it is they’re trying to drive traffic to.)

Or they don’t ask, “Does this question truly help someone work through their doubts and grow into a place of seeking God, or am I just tossing out controversy for my own benefit?”

Again, I’m honestly not trying to be a stick-in-the-mud. I just want us, myself included, to be honest. When we write our words in such a way that they CAUSE more doubt, rather than with the hope of probing doubt (with a growth of faith as the hopeful result)… Well, then I think we’ve missed it.

If our desire is just to rattle people’s cages so we’ll be more popular, then I’m asking myself, Am I being like Jesus?

He rattled cages, yes, but with a loving purpose in mind. Always. (I think.)

Being the sarcastic and sometimes snarky person that I am, I often find myself laughing at things that perhaps wouldn’t be so funny if I took the time to consider if doing so would be at the expense of others. Yes, I post some fairly outlandish things, but I make a serious effort not to be hurtful. To Kely’s point, I have found some blog posts published by Christians to be mean-spirited and sometimes downright cruel. And I have to ask myself the same question Kely posed: “Does this truly help someone work through their doubts and grow into a place of seeking God, or am I just tossing out controversy for my own benefit?”

A couple of months ago, I watched a video on a very popular Christian blog. There was no story to go along with the video, and as best I could tell, its sole purpose was to laugh at the woman on said video because she was praying and speaking in tongues (and causing those around her a considerable amount of discomfort). Based on the comments associated with the post, the blogger’s apparent intent hit its target. The comments were incredibly cruel and insensitive, and I couldn’t help but wonder how the subject of the video might react to reading that post. I’m not going to mention the name of this blogger, and if you mention it in the comments section, I will not approve your comment. That’s not my point. My point is, if you feel it’s necessary to make fun of an alternative viewpoint in order to bring weight to your own, might I suggest you spend your time making a better argument? As Christians, we can laugh at ourselves and we can laugh with (and sometimes at) each other. Jon Acuff and Matt Appling accomplish this consistently and effectively without being cruel or overly offensive.

Warning: Some may find the following video offensive, but if you’ll hang in there, I do have a point:

I am a Christian who writes a blog, but I don’t consider katdish.net to be a Christian blog. The words God, Jesus, Christ, church or Christian do not appear anywhere in the title or description of this site. Does this mean I think I have a lesser responsibility to represent Christ through what I write on this blog? Yes, actually. I do think that. Because I’ve never represented this blog to be anything more than my own ramblings. Yes, I write about my faith, but that’s not what this blog is primarily about. I don’t think I’m ever un-Christian, but that’s not my only focus here.

As Bob Kelso says, “There is a time and a place for the truth.” If you’re a Christian, you have the added responsibility of speaking the Truth in love. It may not always be sexy or hip, but consider Who you’re representing and to Whom you belong.

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13 Responses to “Words, Part 2”

  1. Duane Scott August 19, 2010 at 2:13 am #

    Once again, I sorta love Scrubs.

    I do agree though, (and I’ve had to learn the hard way) that we as Christians can laugh, but never be hurtful.

    Words are important and as writers, we are responsible for everyone.

    “A fitly spoken word is like a gold apple in a picture of silver.”

    And that’s somewhere in the Bible. I don’t know where and I really doubt I have it correct.

    There I go again, using words I hardly know anything about.

  2. A Simple Country Girl August 19, 2010 at 7:34 am #

    Honestly, some of this I followed okay and some of it left me feeling like that little beach pebble rolling about in the surf. The blood of Jesus beats through my heart and fills my veins so I literally live Him in every thought, word, and deed. Spoken word and written word.

    I think much like you Kathy, I have a nutty covering (and you know I say that in a good way) and who I am is who He made me to be… I think because of all the differing paths and pasts from which we come before joining Christ’s journey, we are more sensitive to certain things. For example, from the title of the video, I did not watch it. That is me–I feel way too uncomfortable.

    Regarding the “doubt” commentary, I don’t doubt Who God is or that He saved me by grace or where I will spend eternity. I do have biblical questions that rattle around in my head and heart. Is the commenter saying that if I pose those aloud, I am adding fuel to some fashionable fire? I don’t know what is in or out or hip or not… I just know my heart. And what my God expects of me.

    It is 4:30am here. Perhaps I just rambled a lot?

    .-= A Simple Country Girl´s last blog ..On Being Me =-.

  3. katdish August 19, 2010 at 9:56 am #

    I think I need to clarify what I said in this post. I think doubt is healthy. As for me, doubt has caused me to look deeper into the Scriptures to make sense of some things that don’t make sense, and I’m still searching. What I’m opposed to is a “platform of doubt”. Folks who question everything for the sake of controversy and ultimately, to draw attention to their own platform, and then attack anyone who might have an alternative viewpoint. Blind faith is not much faith at all, I’m only suggesting we be respectful in our discussions.

    • A Simple Country Girl August 19, 2010 at 10:27 am #

      Thank you Kathy for clearing up my muddlement… I don’t take too kindly to that ole bait-n-switch ploy. I reckon with those sorts of people, opening my can of whoop wouldn’t do any good. It is best to not argue with a fool.

      .-= A Simple Country Girl´s last blog ..On Being Me =-.

  4. Helen August 19, 2010 at 10:31 am #

    I get what you are saying. Jason made a similar point on his blog a few weeks ago. The idea that we can say honestly we struggle with something without putting it in such a way that we bring other’s faith down (at least that is what I took away from the post.).
    .-= Helen´s last blog ..Earthly Treasures =-.

  5. *~Michelle~* August 19, 2010 at 10:47 am #

    I just posted this a while back over at our friend, SharkBait’s place.

    Regarding people’s intent to mock and drag down others all while proclaiming to be living for His Kingdom. It’s simple, like me and my Simple-Simon thought process.

    Remember when you point your finger at someone, there are always three fingers are pointing back at you.

    on another note….one of the reasons I love to visit your place, Kathy….is that you keep it real.
    .-= *~Michelle~*´s last blog ..V is for Victory! =-.

  6. *~Michelle~* August 19, 2010 at 10:54 am #

    and once again….I botched up the quote. *snort

    that should have been:

    “…..when you point your finger at someone, there are always three fingers pointing back at you”
    .-= *~Michelle~*´s last blog ..V is for Victory! =-.

  7. Maureen August 19, 2010 at 12:12 pm #

    Excellent post, Kathy.

    Btw, on Image Journal today, Joel Hartse has posted the question “What is Christian Music Criticism For?” He asks some very good questions. You might enjoy reading it.
    .-= Maureen´s last blog ..Thought for the Day =-.

  8. Maureen August 19, 2010 at 12:13 pm #

    Here’s the link:
    .-= Maureen´s last blog ..Thought for the Day =-.

    • katdish August 19, 2010 at 2:02 pm #

      Thanks, Maureen. That was an excellent article. He raised some good questions and some good conversation going on in the comments section as well.

  9. jasonS August 19, 2010 at 12:43 pm #

    Good discussion to have. As much as we may hate it, motivation matters. We have to be able to come to the Father and ask Him to “search us and know us, see if there is any offensive way in us.” There are ways to open discussion that don’t tear people down, and Lord help us if we’re willing to tear others down just to promote ourselves. Yikes.

    I don’t know if it’s the same one, but I saw a video like you described on another blog and yeah, I was pretty disappointed to see the reaction from people. We need more grace (and it only comes from Him).

    I do have one slight disagreement with you. I think we have the same responsibility as any other Christian even if there’s no mention of Jesus, church, or Christian in the title or description. If someone read a post and later found out you were a Christian and it made them stumble or falter- how sad would that be?

    That said, I’ve never found anything on your blog that would cause someone to stumble so you can keep up the good work. You’re honest, sometimes random, but always respectful and real. It doesn’t have to be ‘spiritual’ to be valuable (and “just fun” is awesome too).

    I appreciate you, Kathy! Good stuff–you’re making us think. I like that.
    .-= jasonS´s last blog ..Let It Be Said =-.

  10. Jeanne Damoff August 19, 2010 at 4:29 pm #

    “I have found some blog posts published by Christians to be mean-spirited and sometimes downright cruel.”

    I couldn’t agree more. I get the impression that some “hipster” Christians are so ashamed of their evangelical/fundamentalist/charismatic/Calvinist/name-your-outcast brethren, they’ll bend over backward to disassociate themselves in an effort to come off as relevant or approachable or non-threatening or whatever. And, obviously, they think they’re funny. More than once I’ve wanted to write private e-mails to individuals suggesting they borrow a page from Jon Acuff’s playbook, but I never have. I was afraid I’d end up the butt of their next joke.

    I, too, have been amazed by Jon’s and Matt’s ability to be hilarious without being offensive. I don’t know who posted the video you mentioned, but there is one popular Christian blogger/author I stopped reading because he/she routinely gets laughs by mocking other Christians. The attitude is condescending and, like you said, inevitably prompts a flood of equally cruel comments. When I read posts like that I think, “There goes the Bride of Christ, shooting herself in the foot again.”

    When we “consider Who we’re representing and to Whom we belong,” I think we should include the rest of Christ’s body in the picture. Humor is great, but mockery is destructive. And airing our secrets (and even embellishing them) to create self-serving buzz without offering any redemption is pathetic or worse.

    Thanks for your ramblings, Kathy. The church needs more voices like yours. You’re a delight.

    Love, Jeanne
    .-= Jeanne Damoff´s last blog ..Day Nine in Seattle- Capitol Hill =-.

  11. Sandra Heska King August 19, 2010 at 6:13 pm #

    Oh, may my words and even my doubts always point to the One who holds the truth, who has the answers, even if I don’t understand.
    .-= Sandra Heska King´s last blog ..Squirrel Thoughts–Pensively Disturbed Today =-.

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