The folks over at BuzzFeed want to understand me better. That’s what I’ve concluded after watching their latest video where their cast of progressive followers of The Way posed a series of questions to “other” Christians. In other words, those rather close-minded, unloving, overzealous Christians. In more other words, “bad” Christians like Pat Robertson, the Duck Dynasty guys, or whichever Baldwin is the Republican.
Granted, I suppose it’s possible that these questions were not asked out of a genuine desire to understand those who refuse to change their position on gay marriage or believe that salvation comes through Christ alone, even after being reminded that it is no longer the Middle Ages or 1997. After all, the Feeders of Buzz did release a similar video in September where they boldly asserted that they are the kind of Christians who are better people than the kind of Christians who think they’re better than other people. So maybe this litany of questions was actually designed to demonstrate why the askers are so thankful that God has not made them like other men, namely the asked. But being the charitable fellow that I am, I’m going to assume that the BuzzFeed Christians raised these questions because they honestly want to understand the bad Christians. And as a self-appointed representative of the bad Christian community, I’m more than happy to help them find that which they seek.
1. ‘Do you really think [Jesus is] freaking out because his name isn’t on a cup that you get to hold for ten minutes while you drink a pumpkin spice latte?’
I’m going to assume that you don’t actually interact with many of us bad Christians. I assume that because none of us were actually upset about the Starbucks brew-ha-ha. Even though we don’t run in the same circles, this should have been rather obvious to you, especially since something important was conspicuously missing from the 10,000 “Uggg, Christians Are Totes Stupid About Starbucks” articles published on the non-issue. That ‘something important’ being any evidence of upset Christians. So I’d imagine Jesus is as freaked out about his absence on a Starbucks cup as we are — which is to say zero percent freaked out.
2. ‘Why does Christian music always sound like a mixture of Nickelback and Third Eye Blind?’
I think you’re just listening to terrible Christian music. Sometimes terrible Christian music sounds like a mixture of Nickelback and Third Eye Blind, and sometimes it sounds like Air Supply puking on Barry Manilow’s piano. But good Christian music doesn’t sound like that. Good Christian music, like this Lutheran hymn and this one, sounds like heaven beating hell to death with trumpets and angels and forgiveness.
3. ‘How come everyone’s still supporting Donald Trump?’
4. ‘How come we all love Chick-fil-A?’
Because anyone with taste buds and a soul loves Chick-fil-A.
5. ‘Why are we so afraid to talk about sex? Sex is good. Have you read Song of Solomon?’
We’re not afraid to talk about sex. We just don’t talk about sex the same way that you do because we have a different understanding of what is morally good sex and what is morally bad sex.
As best I can tell, for you good sex is any form of relations between two to 8,000 consenting adults of unlimited gender combinations. Bad sex, you seem to believe, is any non-consensual union. We would also label non-consensual sex as bad sex. But it’s certainly not the only type. The only thing under the category of good sex, we believe, is that which occurs between one man and one woman who have been joined together in holy matrimony, as reflected in Song of Solomon, the Scripture’s great poetic depiction of Christ’s love for his Bride the Church.
So we certainly talk about sex. We teach our kids how babies are made and when engaging in sexual activity is God-pleasing and when it’s sinful. But we don’t like to speak in ways that glorify non-marital sex because we don’t want to condone what God has forbidden. And as for marital sex, we tend to keep a little mum about that because — and I know this might be a novel concept to Millennial BuzzFeeders — it’s private. And I must say I’m a little confused. Do you feel an aching sense of emptiness in your soul because your evangelical aunt isn’t sufficiently regaling you with tales of the night she and Uncle Herb conceived your twin cousins?
6. ‘Why do you feel like I have to be preaching constantly in order to be a good Christian? Is showing my friends love and grace not allowed to speak for itself?’
7. ‘Did your devotions actually happen if you didn’t post about it on Instagram?’
8. ‘Why do you think Facebook is an appropriate place to discuss theology?’
Wait, so your problem is that we talk about Jesus too much but don’t talk about sex enough?
9. ‘Why are we as Christians known more by the things we hate than by our acts of love?’
Two reasons. First, by virtue of hating Christ, the world will always hate Christians and want to paint us in the worst possible light to justify that hatred. Second, nobody can seem to find any of the videos you guys made where you talk about the stuff you love about us.
10. ‘Why do you think Christianity and science are incompatible?’
Science is the discipline of seeking to understand the natural world by gathering, analyzing, and interpreting data. I think we agree on this point. Where we disagree is whether to include one very important piece of data when we’re undergoing the gathering process. Christians — and in particular, creationists — believe that the Bible’s account of the earth’s creation should be factored into our understanding. Non-creationists don’t. That’s why we come to different conclusions about these things. So contrary to what a Bill named Nye or Maher might have told you, Christians do believe in science. We also believe in algebra and giraffes, in case you’ve heard otherwise.
11. ‘How come when we talk about men having many wives in the Old Testament, we talk about “cultural context,” but when we talk about marriage today, we say it’s strictly one man and one woman?’
Because Jesus totally, literally, exactly said that marriage is between one man and one woman.
12. ‘Why do you feel like “love the sinner, hate the sin” is an OK thing to say? You realize that’s condescending and still separating them as an “other,” right?’
You realize that your video is called “Questions Christians Have for Other Christians,” right?
There you have it, BuzzFeeders. Bad Christians do the terrible, confusing stuff we do because we believe that the Bible says true stuff, that the true stuff doesn’t stop being true just because it was said long ago, and that we should therefore strive to act and speak in ways that reflect that true stuff. Very often, however, we fail to act and speak as we should. And if ever we have wronged you with these failures, we ask your forgiveness and would love to share a pew with you one Sunday morning. Whether your questions were asked from a sincere or spiteful heart, the truth is that nothing we do can heal the divide between us. The only way to end the sad division between BuzzFeed Christians and bad Christians is for Christ to heal us with his mercy, for Christ to drown our sins in the flood of his blood, for Christ to give us the freedom to disown the sins he has struck dead at our feet, and for Christ to fill our hearts with a common love and common confession of his eternal, unchanging Word.