Stuff Christian Culture Likes

Christian culture is obsessed with making an impact. Churches hire marketing teams and ministries hire strategists for this purpose. “We need to make an impact!” “We’re making an impact for God!” But any impact that is made for good is God’s doing entirely, and the more we contrive to impact the more we get in the way. The church isn’t a business to be promoted, and Jesus isn’t a commodity. How well a church is really doing isn’t reflected in the number of people it draws. Concentrating on your impact can be a distraction, and then it’s a warp tunnel straight to the core of Christian culture: Doing Things and Avoiding Relationship. Big numbers can make a church feel good about itself, but then God’s purpose is lost. And then where is your impact? Probably up your arse.

Jesus said in Matthew 23:

“Do you want to stand out? Then step down. Be a servant. If you puff yourself up, you’ll get the wind knocked out of you. But if you’re content to simply be yourself, your life will count for plenty.

Frauds! I’ve had it with you! You’re hopeless, you religion scholars, you Pharisees! Frauds! Your lives are roadblocks to God’s kingdom. You refuse to enter, and won’t let anyone else in either. You’re hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You go halfway around the world to make a convert, but once you get him you make him into a replica of yourselves, double-damned. You’re hopeless! What arrogant stupidity!

You’re hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You keep meticulous account books, tithing on every nickel and dime you get, but on the meat of God’s Law, things like fairness and compassion and commitment–the absolute basics!–you carelessly take it or leave it. Careful bookkeeping is commendable, but the basics are required. Do you have any idea how silly you look, writing a life story that’s wrong from start to finish, nitpicking over commas and semicolons?”

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