Monday, May 13, 2024


Have you met an anti-Christian? 

Perhaps a more important question is: have you been one? (Or maybe you are one now.) 

By now, you know that I follow theological sources that I both agree with and don't agree with on social media. I don't need to pretend that I have everything figured out; in fact, I would probably like to re-write many of the blogs I have posted in this space over the past 16 years. We are human. We grow. And we grow by being challenged to either re-examine or re-affirm what we think we know. 

But it's finally struck me what is so aggravating about some of the theological persons that I follow, and it's this: 

They are anti-Christian. 

Full confession: as I pondered what I might write in this space, I realize that there have been times and seasons in my life, too, when I have been an anti-Christian. 

So what is an anti-Christian? 

An anti-Christian is someone who cannot just preach or teach what he or she thinks the Bible says or believes is the important message to get across. No, the anti-Christian must first throw the rest of Christianity under the bus and proclaim how wrong and backward we've been getting it for so long. They must first make a point about how the teaching you've received prior to this is entirely wrong and not only wrong, but damaging and hurtful, and then go on to preach whatever they think the truth of the matter is. 

This attitude comes out of two places, really. The first is a place of authority. You want others to listen to you and to believe you are right, so you have to put yourself in a position of authority. You do this by getting them to question other authorities in their life. (And acknowledging those other authorities gives you bonus points because it looks like you understand.) So if you want others to listen to something "new" you're going to teach, especially something that goes against the status quo, you have to establish some kind of authority first. Hence, you explain why everyone else is stupid so that you thus declare yourself smart. 

The second place is one of passion. And this is where I'm guilty most often. I come across an idea or something gets inspired in my heart, and it's something I've never heard taught before (or not often enough), and I get excited. And I want others to get excited. I want everyone to understand how lifechanging and wonderful this idea is and how lovely and how theologically defining. I want them to share my passion. So I pull an old Jesus-based "you have heard it said, but I say to you...." and try to get the fires burning. 

The problem is that being an anti-Christian, whether for authority or passion, sets up a hatred in the heart first. It sets up a dismissal. It sets up a rejection. It pits us against everything we've known and grown up with, and that's a hard row to hoe. It's hard to get someone to fall in love with your version of Christianity if you've just thrown all other versions of Christianity under the bus. It's hard to draw a line and say, "We love this, but we hate that," especially when at the end, it's all Jesus. It just overcomplicates things and introduces a hate that isn't necessary.

The truth is...if what you're about to preach is the truth, you don't have to preface it. You don't have to get everyone to hate everything they've always been taught. You don't have to throw the way we've been doing it under the bus and call down fire from heaven on it. 

If it's the truth, it'll preach itself. If it's the truth, it will catch on. If it's the truth, those who hear it will fall in love with it as they fall deeper in love with Jesus.

So I pledge to stop being an anti-Christian. (Or, at least, to try. I'm still human.) And I challenge you to start looking for the anti-Christians around you...and in you. Those who don't think they can build up without tearing down first. This should be a red flag that something may be weird.  

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