Monday, July 2, 2012

I Call Bull*&$% (Warning - Swearing Ahead)

I want to call bull*#(% but I can't.

Not because I don't use that word, I do (but not around my kids or most people), but because some Christians don't swear. Some Christians don't drink. Some don't dance. Some don't gamble or play card games. Some don't watch television shows about homosexuals or movies that have nudity in them. Some believe sex is for marriage - marriage between a man and a woman. Some believe that women are to be subordinate to men. Some... Some... Some...

And I have to respect that - all of that. I have been told I need to adjust my language, my behavior, my calling, my politics, to these standards. I need to be respectful.

In the church for some reason, we are expected when we engage the larger Christian community to live up to the highest common denominator. We are expected to not cause our neighbor to stumble by using an offensive word or serving alcohol at a wedding. We are expected to accept their demeaning of us as women or as other than them. We are expected to live up to their standards and rules of behavior.

And while I am all for being respectful in our dialogue. While I am teaching my kids that vulgar and obscene language is both. I am also calling bullshit - because sometimes bullshit is the only word that fits.

I am calling bullshit on holding the entire church to the highest common standards. That is not Christ's standard. Jesus hung out with the sinners. He sat with the woman at the well without a chaperone. He called his people to love, to grace, to family with one another. He did not shame. He did not accuse. He did not require a life lived according to rules.

Christ called us to the live together as one with the lowest common denominator among us - because the only denominator that matters, the only glue we need to bind us together is Christ. Anything more becomes an idol. A dividing rod that splits us up into the righteous and the sinners.

This does not mean that I will be swearing in my blog posts. I do have a large enough vocabulary to speak more intelligently and precisely as I explain to my kids when they say something sucks. (What specifically sucks? Is it frustrating? Devoid of any fun or adventure? Broken or mean spirited? We brainstorm better words or at least I brainstorm and they sit there patiently waiting to be free from the conversation.)

This also does not mean that I will bring a flask to someone's wedding or turn on an R rated movie at my inlaws house.

But I will call bullshit when a political/social policy is meant to keep "them" out, to protect our way of life. We are called aliens in this world, as our home is with God. How dare we claim America as ours and ours alone. How dangerous for us to put our trust in this country of ours instead of where it belongs - in God.

I am in no way saying that anyone else should agree with my views. I do respect differences of opinions, differences in values. I know that I am not right in everything. I know the world is full of complex issues that do not have any one right solution. I know that God has placed different passions, different boundaries, different needs, and different callings on our hearts. But I will call bullshit on anything that smacks of my needing to agree with you simply because I am a Christian.

So I guess my point is, have your opinion, have your point of view, have your boundaries but when you try to force it on me, when you try to tell me that I need to uphold your Christian standards or my faith, my very salvation, is in question, I will call it out.

I write this all because I am angry and tired. I am angry at the powers that be who continue to present Christ as a series of action steps. And I am tired of seeing so many Christians bound so tightly to these social expectations which are causing them to drown in pretense and feelings of failure and shame.

I am strong in my faith. Someone needs to call bullshit for those who are too weak or oppressed to do it for themselves.


  1. Beautiful, honest, raw... and truthful. The world needs more Christians like you who truly reflect Christ.

  2. Awesome. Yes!  There -- your voice. Love it, friend.

  3. Such kind words. I was actually pretty nervous about pressing publish on this one. Not because I don't believe my words, but I still cringe at the idea of offending anyone. I really don't want to but I also don't want my silence to be misconstrued as agreement. I really do believe that if we watched Jesus's life through the witnesses of the Bible, we might be more grace filled. 

  4. ahhh.... thanks. Nervous to publish but felt that I needed to take a stand. We have a generation of Christians feeling like they are a disappointment to God because they don't measure up, they don't toe the line perfectly. That was never God's intention or what he wants for us. Grace brings freedom, not a to do list.