church nonsense

We Don’t Need No Nitpickin’


I have a friend who works at the Cru HQ in Orlando. This morning he shared this on Facebook:

“Donna and I saw a pre-screening of [“The Shack”] last night (in theaters March 3). It was emotionally powerful and well-acted all around. I pray it becomes a fantastic God conversation-starter for a very long time!”

Good prayer. Great desire.

One of the brethren immediately chided him:

“That book was a theological disaster. I encourage you to read Tim Challies review before recommending the book or movie to anyone.”

He provided a link to that review.

We don’t need no theological nitpickin’.

Half of this country is in a frenzy of fear because they don’t know and/or trust God.

Right before the election, many, many, just about all of my Christian Facebook friends – Republicans and Democrats alike – posted something like this: “No matter who is in the White House, God is on the throne.”

After the election, those who hold that truth did not gloat or panic.

Those who don’t hold that truth did.

In the midst of this fear-filled frenzy, we don’t need no stinkin’ nitpickin’.

The book is a NOVEL.

Since when do novels have to have every theological i and every theological t dotted and crossed correctly?

And by whose theological standards must they be dotted and crossed?

The novel beautifully portrays the caring heart of God.

Who wouldn’t want the caring heart of God portrayed in theaters for all to see?

Fifty percent of this fear-filled country NEEDS it.


When Campus Crusade for Christ changed its name to Cru back in 2011, the purist accused them of bowing to political correctness, of being ashamed of Christ’s name. HQ received angry phone calls, critics took to social media.

You can read about it here.

Back when Amy Grant released a pop album – one in which every single song wasn’t overtly about Jesus, or Christianity, the purists dropped her from their playlists. She was selling out, ashamed of the gospel.


She was trying to reach a wider audience WITH the gospel.

Christian Purists:

Take the straight jacket off the Truth already.

Stop loading the gospel down with burdens it’s not intended to carry.

Stop guarding the truth so heavily that no one can penetrate it.

People need to come into the safe arms of Jesus and you – however loyal you think are being – might be standing in their way.

They will know we are Christians by our L.O.V.E. LOVE.

And they just might know God cares by our “theologically disastrous” songs and books and movies.

Just as the first Christians knew Jesus was the Son of God by His theologically disastrous teachings and Sabbath healings.




I Need to Think.

Really good conversations are rare these days. In my life, anyway. I had them with my dad often when he was still here. I had them with my friend, Dale, when we were both single and had nothing to do but ride our bikes and talk.

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When I was a kid, I might have told you this before, I often wandered away from the play of my fellow kids, preferring to sit and listen to the discussions of the adults.

My daughter and her young friends talk about God the way my friends and I talked about God, back when we were young and single.

But conversations change as life progresses. They become about wallpaper and curtains and upholstery swatches. The men talk about cars and sports. About things that grow boring after a second or two.

Perhaps old age will circle them back ’round to God.

I want to talk about God in all His glory, beauty, kindness and grace.

And then, when someone says something that scratches the surface of True and Deep, I want to be by myself.

So I can think.

So I can plumb the depths.


It’s kind of ironic, isn’t it? That the best conversations are the ones I can’t wait to leave.

Because I need to think.