Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Why are some Christians a-holes?

I’m not quite sure when I put things on my blog where they’re going to go, but my buddy Justin’s response to my criticism of ‘gay for Jesus’ worship songs is very funny. I’d be tempted to try and write my own ‘manly’ worship songs too, but I’m not sure I could top his.

Also, another buddy, Jo, put me on to this article about how homoerotic worship songs are theologically unsound. It’s a great article and worth reading, but also carry on reading through the comments and you’ll understand the title of this blog post. There are some real haters out there and many of them seem to be ‘hating for Jesus’.

I really don’t understand that mentality. You disagree with someone, so say you disagree. ‘I think you’re wrong and here’s why’ is all fair enough. But to verbally attack someone for not loving Jesus the way you think Jesus should be loved (even if that means 'unthinkable' manlove) is bizarre.

It’s tempting to dismiss this kind of flaming as an American thing, but it’s not exclusively American. A friend of mine was brought nearly to tears by an unjust flaming he received in a Welsh Evangelical magazine (published by) a couple of years ago. And with haters who are also Christian, there’s no right of reply, and no editorial balance. Heathens are fair game, and if you don’t agree with my narrow blinkered view of Christianity then you’re obviously a heathen.

Maybe it’s a church culture thing. A church that preaches a gospel of hate will rear disciples who hate, and encourage them to spew forth their hate and condemnation on a hateful world. Stand up to those bullies and suddenly you’re not a “real” Christian, or even worse, you’re discriminating against Christians with your anti-Christian views.

One of the most interesting bits of the God Delusion was the section when Richard Dawkins reproduced all the hate mail he had received from Christians. Twisted gloating letters full of joy that one day Dawkins would wake up in hell. Those letters made me ashamed of my fellow Christians and want to stick up for Dawkins. Okay, I think he’s wrong, but that doesn’t mean he should be treated with contempt or subjected to hate mail. Especially not in the name of Jesus Christ.

So, my question is, why do some Christians behave like complete arseholes? Of course, you might ask that of me, given that I’ve just slagged off people who slag off people (and used the word arseholes to boot). But I don’t think calling some Christians out on their bad behaviour is going to drag the name of Jesus through the mud as much as letting people carry on hating in his name.

Or have I missed something?


  1. Good point, Jon - well made.

    I too am ashamed of my fellow Christian brothers and sisters who fear and hate anything remotely different from their own way of doing and thinking.

    Yes, differing points of view are important and healthy (and stop people getting into cult situations) but should be expressed with love, humility and respect.

    I think the angry haters are driven more by some inner tribal urge than the true love of Jesus.

    Ho-hum ... just pray for everyone... pray for 'em all...!

  2. Jon, forgive the public comment, but I couldn't find contact details for you.

    I'm a member of the editorial board of the EMW's Evangelical Magazine. It certainly wasn't our intention to give anyone an "unjust flaming", and don't recall having done so. Could you let me have some details if there's something we need to put right?

    You can contact me through my blog if you want to send me a private message.