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“I was a druglord & gangbanger...”

“I was sleeping around w/ men just playing the whore....”

“I was a homosexual sex addict....”


Few things do more to reinforce dominant cultural pathologies than the Christian Testimony™
The function of these types of testimonies is to reinforce things like racism, sexism, and homophobia while simultaneously exoticizing the “sinful lifestyle” to make the person’s present-day self-righteousness look “cool”
Those w/ power appropriate the stories of people like this and turn them into ornamental “proofs” that the straight, white, cisgender, middle-class way of life w/ men in charge is the “Christian Life” & the only way your life should look after Jesus
“Look at how bad their life was before compared to how cleaned up their life is now. Jesus saves.” Here, the “cleaned up life” is code for the Western white Christian ideal of what a good life should look like compared to the supposedly miserable people out in the world.
Ever wish you ever could have had one of those “intense” Christian Testimonies™ as a kid? Be glad you didn’t have one. They are toxic.
As Christians it’s important to think about how we discuss Jesus’ saving work in our lives without smearing entire groups of people and perpetuating harmful stigmas.
If you *were* a “druglord & gangbanger” or “sleeping around” or a “sex addict” before coming to Jesus, that doesn’t mean you can’t talk about it. Just think about your words. Be intentional about disrupting the assumptions & stigmas that your listeners no doubt have.
Sharing our testimony is important. But the trademark “Christian Testimony™” perpetuates self-righteousness at the expense of other people. Talk about Jesus and what he means to you but protect the dignity and worth of other image-bearers in the process.
Jesus is bigger than the Western Christian narrative of the “good life.” Reflect that bigger Jesus in your testimony.
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