Christians are acutely aware of dirty words. Our ears are specially trained to pick them out from amongst the noise of a crowd, especially if they are spoken by a fellow of the faith. However, dirty words are not solely of the four letter variety, as they also include particular names.
On both sides there are certain people who you just can’t mention, as it’ll immediately draw your own beliefs into questions and discount what you were about to say, no matter how valuable or insightful. We do this with fundamentalist names, evangelical writers, health and wealth preachers, emergent-types and people in between. Sometimes we do it with 3/4 of the groups mentioned, meaning anyone who doesn’t sleep under our tent.
The idea of “hey if you support this person then you must support this (crazy thing he holds to) and that (heretical idea he mentioned in a magazine article 5 years ago)” is so silly! I’ll even say it’s immature, which means I’ve acted immaturely very recently. Everyone has value. Truth be told I would likely be described as an emergent sympathizer, but I wouldn’t say I’m emergent – there are some places I can’t go. But, I’m tired of being afraid to reference emerging thinkers just because they are a dirty word.
Early on in Jesus’ ministry someone questioned if anything good could even come from Nazareth. It turns out, well, oh yes. However we wonder the same things today, not just about place but with people as well.
I wrote this post simply because tomorrow I have a blog planned that is based off some thoughts of a Christian who is a dirty word to many people (fear not, it’s not Rob Bell). I was hesitant to write the blog because immediately for some people they’d label me and start the attacks. I’ve long wanted to reference this writer or similar ones to him, but I’ve been afraid. And that, my friends, is freaking ridiculous.
It’s perfectly normal to naturally flock with birds of the same feather. But that doesn’t mean you should dive bomb other birds just because they don’t fly with you, or just because they have blue on their wings and not yellow. So, please, go ahead and share that insight Greg Boyd had, tell us that story John Piper gave one day, fear not saying Jerry Falwell actually contributed some good to the world. I’ll bet there was something worthwhile in Rick Warren book that sold 50 million copies. I’m even open to hearing something from Joel Osteen. Doesn’t mean I agree, but I won’t write him or demonize him just because…
Who are some Christians you like who are dirty words? Have you too been afraid to reference them?