On Sept. 7, BuzzFeed, an online entertainment and news website, famous for videos such as “How Couples Think They Look vs. How They Actually Look” or “If Girl Best Friends Acted like Guy Friends” released a video titled “I’m Christian, But I’m Not.”
The video showed five women and one man give statements such as “I’m Christian, but I’m not homophobic” or “I’m Christian, but I’m not judgmental, conservative or ignorant.” After giving their statements regarding what they were not, they then say what they are: “I am accepting,” “queer,” “gay,” or “a feminist.” Lastly, each participant is given the opportunity to state what they wished people knew about Christianity, ranging from “I guess what I’d like people to know about Christianity today is that we’re not all crazy” to “But at its core it’s really about love and acceptance and being a good neighbor.”
Something that each of them express is the idea of acceptance. You can come to Jesus, no matter what. If you love Beyonce, which we all know that every Covenant student does. Or if you love wine. Under this premise of acceptance, the video is fine.
If you have seen it, you will notice that not once is Jesus ever mentioned. In fact, there is no mention of God at all.
In Luke 18:9-14, Jesus tells the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector, where the pharisee thanks God that he is not like the tax collector. That the tax collector fasts twice a week and gives a tenth of everything he has. But before we set ourselves above the people in this video, and think that we are better than they are, we as the Covenant community are much more like the people in the video than we would like to think. We all sin; we all struggle between right and wrong; we all live sinful lives.
However, this video is clearly selective: the people in it chose to ignore some of God’s commands in pursuit of likeability and Christian pop culture. In other words, what most people would like for Christianity to be.
1 Corinthians 13:6 (NIV) says, “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth.” In accepting those whose actions are clearly defying God’s commands, we are accepting ungodliness—which is unacceptable.
Before we jump ahead of ourselves, the problem is not just one-sided; God called us to love. In fact, John 13:34 (NIV) says, “A new command I give you: Love one another.” We are called to love and to be a good neighbor, but not to delight in unrighteousness.
While Christian pop-culture can seem fun, entertaining and delightful, it is not what God has called us to. We are called to strive after Him and to rejoice in His name. The essence of Christianity is not that we love one another. The essence is that Jesus Christ gave himself up for sinners and died on a cross, so that anyone who trusts in his name may be saved.
Therefore, we delight in bringing glory to God, by loving one another and by exalting his name. For “In Christ alone my hope is found. He is my light my strength my song.” (In Christ Alone - Keith and Kristyn Getty)