Writing to meet your readers’ demands is one thing. Writing to provoke a response can have its place. Even courting a bit of controversy to get people thinking can be accepted.
But there is a line. We could probably even select a passage of scripture and create a grid of what we should and shouldn’t do. Maybe along the lines of what is permissible under the law, and what is helpful. I can see the attraction in that sort of approach, it would help us know where we stand. What is fine and what is beyond the pale.
Because someone who belittles men because of their personality or effeminate manner shouldn’t be paraded as a hero.
And hopefully we can agree that advocating fighting as an expression of Christianity is not the best way of imitating the suffering saviour.
Surely we can see that a book about marriage should have at it’s centre the model of Christ and the church. But instead spends too much time in crude, reductionist, interpretations of scripture.
Without a doubt we should know that encouraging a nation to intentionally raise up celebrity pastors is a step in the wrong direction.
Because when these sort of messages are pushed it harms the church. When these things are said it cannot just be accounted for and excused by looking to the following the author and speaker has, or the size of his congregation, or his place in the Amazon best seller charts.
It is not enough to say that because someone is popular and have had success in building a church they should be given license to say what they like.
It is nonsense to say that certain messages are necessary because men are leaving the church. The problem is not solved by taking lessons from the worst parts of a consumer driven, sex obsessed, violence glorifying, celebrity culture.
When such things are said by people with a following it is even more urgent that they are not allowed to get away with it. That they are corrected, and rebuked, and then in the future ignored. No more invitations to conferences, or interviews in magazines – then trailed to increase publicity, building second hand on his penchant for the controversial. Just left alone.
Maybe I should just man up, get on a flight to Seattle and pull him into the car park and smack him down. He’d probably have some respect for me if I did that.
But that would miss the point, because that’s not how I work, or who I am. Instead I’m just a granny in her pyjamas writing behind the invisible walls of the internet.
I’m not going to call anyone out in a fight to prove I’m right, after all, I’m not always sure I am right, especially about all this. If I’m wrong I’m sure Pastor Mark will be happy to help me out.
My hypocrisy evidenced in this post is duly noted.