Let’s get real. There are a lot of Christians out there. There are a lot of assholes out there. And sometimes you get a lot of cross-over between those two groups.
But it’s cool though, right? Because God forgives our assholery. Except you know who doesn’t forgive our assholery? People.
Because when someone’s an asshole to you, it hurts. And it’s really difficult to forgive someone who’s caused you pain.
But, Kristy, you say, I’m technically correct, even if I’m kind of being an asshole about it.
Oh, we love being “technically correct”, don’t we? It’s our favorite kind of correct because we can easily justify any actions or words on our part. Oh, I chopped off your hand without warning you or numbing the pain? Well, technically you had gangrene, so I’m totally in the right here.
I have to wonder, though, is it even possible for a Christian to be both correct and an asshole?
I don’t think it is possible. Because if you’re being an asshole, then you aren’t acting like a follower of Christ.
Is just believing in Jesus and God enough to make you a Christian? Nope.
You have to actually follow Jesus’ instructions and live in the spirit to be a Christian. And people who are doing those things aren’t running around being assholes. Not being an asshole was kind of Jesus’ thing.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. – Galatians 5:22-23
Christians are supposed to love others, even our enemies. Do you really think we’re supposed to run around, wounding the people we love, and then justifying it with crap like, “Well, they had it coming because they haven’t read the same books I’ve read.” You really think that’s what Jesus had in mind? For his followers to deliver zingy, little put-downs?
Sometimes we like to justify our assholery because we know our shit. And we’re tired of dealing with all the theologically stunted simpletons out there who just can’t wrap their minds around this theologian that we so brilliantly “get” better than anyone else over the past 100 years.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. – 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
But screw that, right? Because the world shouldn’t be without your magnificent insights. And sometimes those insights are a hard pill for the uneducated to swallow. Why bother sharing your knowledge in a gentle, understandable way? Patience is for losers and hippies.
Basically, you want to worship your own genius instead of God. Because that Jesus guy specifically told us not to be assholes to other people, but you and your infinite mind power obviously know better than Jesus, who you claim to follow. I mean, I don’t know. Maybe Jesus should’ve followed you. It’s obviously not logical to allow yourself to be arrested and crucified. I mean, what an idiot, right? If only you’d been around to show him what a moron he was being, maybe he could have avoided all that unpleasant suffering business.
Fine, fine. That’s all nice to say and everything, but people need to hear the truth.
Well, sure they do. But they don’t need to hear it from the mouth of an asshole. Seriously. There are plenty of non-assholes out there sharing the same point you’re trying to make, except people are a lot more likely to listen to them because their words don’t have the aftertaste of, well, we all know what assholes produce.
Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. – Ephesians 4:15-16
Christians should totally speak the truth, but they should totally do it in a gentle and loving way. Do you really think anyone’s going to respond favorably to, “Hey, asshat! God loves you!” You can’t insult someone and bring them closer to Christ in the same conversation. Human beings don’t work like that.
Now, I’m not saying you forfeit your salvation every time you slip up and act like an asshole. Most people have their off days, and hell, even saints will punch a heretic or two sometimes. What I’m saying is there’s more than an intellectual side to Christianity. (Shocking, right?) You can’t just know the right things. There’s a spiritual side as well, and both sides are important. And we know if our spiritual side is healthy by judging our actions against the fruits of the spirit. If we aren’t exhibiting these fruits, we aren’t “right”.
And when we aren’t right, maybe we ought to shut up until we are.