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Jonathan Martin @theboyonthebike
, 12 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
I’ve had folks tell me they get tired of me talking like I do now. That’s more than fair, cause I’m tired of talking about the things I talk about too, & even more tired of thinking about the things I think about. Frankly, I want to crawl back under the covers & go back to sleep.
You know what I want to talk about? I’m not being sarcastic here—I really DO want to talk about a new season, or how your comeback starts now, or how God is gonna turn it around. I want to say something vaguely but universally hopeful. I love to preach things, that preach easy.
The trouble, is that none of these things are universally true. The people who we actively oppress will not be free, because we tell them to think free. The people who we actively place in cages will not be free, because we tell them they are no longer slaves. It’s NOT. TRUE.
I am told this kind of talk is not helpful because it divides rather than unites. What’s more helpful—uniting in our apathy toward children being divided from their parents? “It’s bad branding.” I think the real “bad branding” is when we treat folk like cattle.
Look man, I try to be nice. But some of y’all make me bang my head against the wall, acting like it’s business as usual, like we aren’t riding shotgun on the titanic. What do you have to lose with your “platform”? Afraid you’ll not get to be a footnote on Wikipedia?
“It’s just not my calling, I stay above the fray.” Awesome. Who exactly likes “the fray?” Who doesn’t want to “transcend the moment?” I want out of the fray. But I’m living in it. I want out of the moment. But it’s the only one God has given to me. Who doesn’t want to be exempt?
I hate confrontation. I’m a peacemaker by nature. I want us all to be friends. But you know what? Living above the fray is a luxury. Avoiding the conflict is a privilege. Too bad everybody can’t choose self-care. If a refugee heard your sermon or read your book, maybe they could?
I know you don’t want people to leave the church. I’m legitimately sensitive to this. I want to bring people along too. But you know what’s worse than losing the people of the church, preacher? Losing the Lord of the Church. What’s worse than losing tithes? Losing your lampstand.
Before I read a single reply, here are my preemptive responses: no, I’m sure I’m not outraged by all things equally. “But abortion!” is not a moral argument against any other injustice—sorry to ruin your Perry Mason moment. No, I’m sure I’m not doing enough, about any injustice.
“Virtue signaling!” Let me assure you: I am most unvirtuous. I’m a horrible Christian. I failed in marriage. Having a consistent prayer life is a constant struggle. I’m not trying to signal anything. I don’t want to now knowingly propagate a false religion. That is all.
Bonus round: Have I read all your (clears throat) trendy new intellectual dark web thinkers? No, I haven’t. Have you read Aquinas’ Summa Theologica? No? So in fairness, neither one of us is surprised at the other’s answers, & we both think the other is missing out.
Last thing: I am a Pentecostal preacher. I do believe in miracles, signs & wonders, a God who turns things around, & delivers us over & over; & in speaking the promises of God over one’s self. I just think that’s not the only message you preach, when the world is on fire.
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