It’s Time to End the Snark, or Why I Took a Stand Against the CFA Stand and Bought Jimmy Johns (for my coworkers lunch break)


Sorry for those already tired of the topic[1], but as people comtinue to pester me about my stand against today’s stand, I will try once again to explain myself. After this the Rickman is moving on (hopefully to more pleasant topics like discussing Hitler). Matthew 5:44 says “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” My problem with CFA Appreciation Day has been stated better by the American Jesus post attracting attention on my wall. My problem has not been with the right of Cathy to say and believe something. It has been with the way the Christian community has handled this.[2] Rather than creating more us versus them moments, we need to be showing the love of God to those who are different than us. Paul says for the Christian, all things are permissible; but all things are not beneficial. And there has not been anything beneficial to either community about how either group has handled itself. There has been plenty of stupidity to go around. However as a heterosexual and Evangelical I have been more concerned by the lack of benefits for the Church I love. I am more an more convinced that it is quite possible to win the argument, and / or battle but lose the war[3]; and that is what has happened in the culture war.

For me the central turning point has been the work of Dave Kinnamen and Gabe Lyons, authors of unChristian, The Next Christians, You Lost Me. Young people are fleeing the church because of actions like what happened today. Rather acting defensively, getting upset, and setting up a day to show up our detractors, we need to redefine the narrative. We need to stop reacting, and begin to proactively seek to change the narrative about Evangelicalism.

Think of it like this: suppose your spouse asks a tough question of you, and you answer truthfully (yes honey you are fat). Would your spouse rather you stick to your guns about being right and truthful in your response (he / she had put on some unnecessary pounds), or would they prefer that you step back, apologize for hurting their feelings, and him / her how you could make the relationship right? I would guess very few spouses would like their spouse to stick with an unapologetic, defensive “I was right, and need to be able to tell the truth.” There are times for the brutal truth, and there are times to bid one’s tongue and live to speak another day. We in the Church can stick to our guns about being right about sexuality or any other hot button political topic, or we can choose to at times bid our tongues, and remain in relationship with the world at when we the Church lord others’ sinful habits over them; while overlooking the sinful habits in our own lives. And who gets to choose whose sin is worse than another (their failures in the realm of exterior or our interior failures of pride and avarice).

There is a great story in the Gospels, two men approach the altar with Jesus watching. One man, who was an elder in His church says, “Thank God, I am not a liberal, socialist, or reprobate. I tithe to the Church. I do missions trips every summer. I support candidates with values like mine.” The other was a transgendered individual who said, “Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.” Jesus turned to his disciples and asked, “who’s prayer found the Father’s ear?” We in the church can be like the Pharisees in our pride at being right; yet our prayers are worthless next to the humble prayer of a repentant person that the church has called a reprobate.

What has been miserable about all this has been the call to choose up sides; and this mandate has not been limited to the CFA fiasco. Similar flare-ups have occurred with Target, Amazon, and others. The LGBT community is saying, “if you’re with us, you will support these groups,” and the Christian community has been saying, “if you’re with us then you will support these groups.” Yet all this choosing, something  important is being lost. As Paul has written “Salvation comes from hearing, and hearing from the Word of God.” But who can hear if neither side is milling about together. Both sides have been going at each other with nastier snark, and worse ideas. What is needed is for some to stand up and commit to living above the snark, to maintaining relationship despite offense, and to loving each other as Christ first loved us (that is self-sacrificially). Someone needs to be the bigger man or woman. Someone needs to end the ever evolving cycle of offense and retribution. I would think Christ would like it to be His Church. So when the world takes offense at our message, and shows up at our doors with crosses I say we, do like Christ, take up the crosses, ask where to carry them, and hop on board. That is why I bought sandwiches for a group of people who have been neglected or rejected by the church today. I would so love[4] to be right and tell them all their sins, but I would rather they know that I love them, will always be there for them, and one day would really enjoy introducing them to the man who changed my life for the better; but until them I will keep loving them, keep supporting them, and keep them close to my heart.[5]


[1] I have written thrice on topic. The first post explained why I was tired of this debate and upset at the inability of both sides to act in mature ways. In the second post I linked to Jen Hatmaker’s post in which she discussed her frustration with the idea of a boycott, and discussed why I understood the boycott, but would not be participating in such an endeavor (but would not be showing support for CFA either). The third post I discussed how I Cor. 10 applied to a decision not to buy CFA on 8/1. For the record that is post against both the boycott and CFA Appreciation Day (both for the same reason BTW).

[2] A great post discussing the problems of CFA support for FRC can be found here. Also of concern has been the dishonest signs attributing the loss of the Muppets toys to defects in the toys, the use of fake facebook pages by a CFA corporate honcho to post positive statements about the company in the comments of negative articles, and the popping up of supposedly honest and apologetic facebook posts by local owners avowing love for the LGBT community which were found to have been  taken verbatim from a memo passed on by CFA corporate.

[3] A great post on topic can be found here. It occurred on Scot McKnight’s blog but was written by Jeff Cook.

[4] OK so I really hate confrontation and really would take no enjoyment in such an action.

[5]And by that I am using Rob Bell’s definition of what prayer is.

Sorry for those already tired of the topic[1], but as people comtinue to pester me about my stand against today’s stand, I will try once again to explain myself. After this the Rickman is moving on (hopefully to more pleasant topics like discussing Hitler). Matthew 5:44 says “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” My problem with CFA Appreciation Day has been stated better by the American Jesus post attracting attention on my wall. My problem has not been with the right of Cathy to say and believe something. It has been with the way the Christian community has handled this.[2] Rather than creating more us versus them moments, we need to be showing the love of God to those who are different than us. Paul says for the Christian, all things are permissible; but all things are not beneficial. And there has not been anything beneficial to either community about how either group has handled itself. There has been plenty of stupidity to go around. However as a heterosexual and Evangelical I have been more concerned by the lack of benefits for the Church I love. I am more an more convinced that it is quite possible to win the argument, and / or battle but lose the war[3]; and that is what has happened in the culture war.

For me the central turning point has been the work of Dave Kinnamen and Gabe Lyons, authors of unChristian, The Next Christians, You Lost Me. Young people are fleeing the church because of actions like what happened today. Rather acting defensively, getting upset, and setting up a day to show up our detractors, we need to redefine the narrative. We need to stop reacting, and begin to proactively seek to change the narrative about Evangelicalism.

Think of it like this: suppose your spouse asks a tough question of you, and you answer truthfully (yes honey you are fat). Would your spouse rather you stick to your guns about being right and truthful in your response (he / she had put on some unnecessary pounds), or would they prefer that you step back, apologize for hurting their feelings, and him / her how you could make the relationship right? I would guess very few spouses would like their spouse to stick with an unapologetic, defensive “I was right, and need to be able to tell the truth.” There are times for the brutal truth, and there are times to bid one’s tongue and live to speak another day. We in the Church can stick to our guns about being right about sexuality or any other hot button political topic, or we can choose to at times bid our tongues, and remain in relationship with the world at when we the Church lord others’ sinful habits over them; while overlooking the sinful habits in our own lives. And who gets to choose whose sin is worse than another (their failures in the realm of exterior or our interior failures of pride and avarice).

There is a great story in the Gospels, two men approach the altar with Jesus watching. One man, who was an elder in His church says, “Thank God, I am not a liberal, socialist, or reprobate. I tithe to the Church. I do missions trips every summer. I support candidates with values like mine.” The other was a transgendered individual who said, “Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.” Jesus turned to his disciples and asked, “who’s prayer found the Father’s ear?” We in the church can be like the Pharisees in our pride at being right; yet our prayers are worthless next to the humble prayer of a repentant person that the church has called a reprobate.

What has been miserable about all this has been the call to choose up sides; and this mandate has not been limited to the CFA fiasco. Similar flare-ups have occurred with Target, Amazon, and others. The LGBT community is saying, “if you’re with us, you will support these groups,” and the Christian community has been saying, “if you’re with us then you will support these groups.” Yet all this choosing, something  important is being lost. As Paul has written “Salvation comes from hearing, and hearing from the Word of God.” But who can hear if neither side is milling about together. Both sides have been going at each other with nastier snark, and worse ideas. What is needed is for some to stand up and commit to living above the snark, to maintaining relationship despite offense, and to loving each other as Christ first loved us (that is self-sacrificially). Someone needs to be the bigger man or woman. Someone needs to end the ever evolving cycle of offense and retribution. I would think Christ would like it to be His Church. So when the world takes offense at our message, and shows up at our doors with crosses I say we, do like Christ, take up the crosses, ask where to carry them, and hop on board. That is why I bought sandwiches for a group of people who have been neglected or rejected by the church today. I would so love[4] to be right and tell them all their sins, but I would rather they know that I love them, will always be there for them, and one day would really enjoy introducing them to the man who changed my life for the better; but until them I will keep loving them, keep supporting them, and keep them close to my heart.[5]


[1] I have written thrice on topic. The first post explained why I was tired of this debate and upset at the inability of both sides to act in mature ways. In the second post I linked to Jen Hatmaker’s post in which she discussed her frustration with the idea of a boycott, and discussed why I understood the boycott, but would not be participating in such an endeavor (but would not be showing support for CFA either). The third post I discussed how I Cor. 10 applied to a decision not to buy CFA on 8/1. For the record that is post against both the boycott and CFA Appreciation Day (both for the same reason BTW).

[2] A great post discussing the problems of CFA support for FRC can be found here. Also of concern has been the dishonest signs attributing the loss of the Muppets toys to defects in the toys, the use of fake facebook pages by a CFA corporate honcho to post positive statements about the company in the comments of negative articles, and the popping up of supposedly honest and apologetic facebook posts by local owners avowing love for the LGBT community which were found to have been  taken verbatim from a memo passed on by CFA corporate.

[3] A great post on topic can be found here. It occurred on Scot McKnight’s blog but was written by Jeff Cook.

[4] OK so I really hate confrontation and really would take no enjoyment in such an action.

[5] And by that I am using Rob Bell’s definition of what prayer is.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: