Christians Are Jerks! Update

Jennifer Johnson on The Examiner offers more insight of this story in Local church makes headlines. She quotes the people behind the billboard, Pastor Chris Beard of Christ Covenant Church.

“We actually blew up a lot bigger than we ever expected,” Beard told The Examiner. “We talked with (CNN’s) Headline News today (Oct. 15). We wanted to reach out to the community and send the message that as a church we messed up – and it looks like we’ve got people’s attention. Really, we want a chance to say that all the things people say about Christians can be true, and we want to change that.”

This sermon series actually sounds interesting. I’m curious to hear which things came true that people say about Christians. Are we really jerks? Does this mean the non-Christians are not jerks? I agree that Christians can be jerks. The preferred term is sinners.

I have to wonder if this perspective of Christians comes from a moralistic gospel which paints Christians as those who are supposed to be perfect. While Christians are not supposed to be ‘jerks’ we are also not going to be models of perfection.

Sure, Christians strive for God’s standards which are standards even we can’t meet. So, maybe we should more honestly and openly explain that we were once lost sinners under God’s wrath condemned to eternal hell until believing the gospel of Jesus Christ by faith alone. Furthermore, if we explain that every non-Christian is under the same eternal judgement without Christ, would we be called jerks then?

I do wonder, in light of 1 Corinthians 9:19, what Christians can do to improve their PR.

Update. The first two sermons in this series are here:

Did he make his point? It’s a bit awkward to listen to these two sermons in light of the huge billboard and the national news attention. It’s a sizzle and steak issue and I’m not quite sure what I got.

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The above article was posted on October 16, 2010 by Mark Lamprecht.
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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 prchrbill October 16, 2010 at 1:56 am

I don’t mind being a jerk, especially if it means that I am not willing to drop orthodoxy to follow the direction the world is going. So the presupposition of the author is that for Christians to be more like Christ, they need to start following the direction the world is going? That is not being more like Christ, in fact, friendship with the world is enmity with God.
The author was a former Liberty student and probably was in the apologetics program.
If we are called ‘jerks’ because of the Gospel(which includes defining sin), then let us be jerks. If it is because we are like Westboro Baptist or some other ‘shock Church’, then Lord grant us repentance.

2 Dave Miller October 16, 2010 at 2:51 am

When I saw this title, I thought it might describe the discussion between Peter and myself.

3 john hickey October 16, 2010 at 12:17 pm

I am a vet,, wife is disabled,,and I totally agree with what the billboard says. Every church has some sort of agenda. Becuase one goes to church every Sunday,,and drops a few bucks in the collection plate doesnt grant you a free pass to heaven. Instead of worrying so much about life beyond your time on earth,,,churches should help people live,,and act “right” in this troubled world we live in now.

4 Mark October 16, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Bill, I’m with you concerning doctrine and the gospel though these things don’t have to be presented in a manner that might come off as being a jerk. I’m waiting to see what the sermons series is actually about so I know what this church is getting at.

5 Mark October 16, 2010 at 1:26 pm

Dave, ironically enough, I did think about that when posting this. I just posted it on a whim and it just so happened that the scenario you mentioned taking place.

6 Mark October 16, 2010 at 1:28 pm

John, do you think one’s focus and understanding of life beyond should effect how we treat people today? How do you think these things should work out?

7 Sandie October 19, 2010 at 3:49 pm

Christ loved the church. He calls us saints, the light of the world the salt of the earth, his children, his bride, imitators of him, What he calls me is precious. I AM NOT ASHAMED

8 Sandie October 19, 2010 at 4:06 pm

I realize this is just a gimmick. My husband is a pastor also, so I have a pretty good idea what the sermon is about. But by resorting to gimmicks we must be careful not to send the message that the gospel is not relavent or powerful enough to make a difference in this world.

9 Mark October 20, 2010 at 12:04 am

I’m not sure if it is intended to be a gimmick, but it can certainly come across that way. I listened passively to the first sermon in the series today. I think the billboard had more sizzle.

I certainly agree with you about the gospel being relevant today. Amen!
Thanks for stopping by.

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