Jul 232012

I hear a lot of talk among Christians about the need to be countercultural. To teach our kids the true right from wrong. To not back down on our convictions. To stand up for what’s right no matter what the “world” is saying.

And I do think we should teach our kids right from wrong. Even if it’s not popular.


Isn’t it countercultural to love our enemies? To bless those who curse us? To show kindness to those who disagree? To have such love for our fellow Christians (with all of our differences) that everyone will know we are Christ’s disciples (see John 13:35)?

Perhaps being countercultural looks less like making sure everyone knows our stand on hot button issues and more like shedding our preconceived notions about certain kinds of people. Or certain kinds of sin.

Perhaps being countercultural looks less like picketing and more like eating with those our culture finds despicable (see Mark 2:13-17).

It’s easy to judge. It’s countercultural to show grace.

Why aren’t we leading the way in grace? In love? In kindness? In hospitality? In respectful conversation?

Are we afraid? Of the sin we might encounter along the way?

We don’t seem to be very afraid of sin. Not sin we consider acceptable anyway. Our sin sits before us.

Our gossip.

Our greed.

Our laziness.

Our worry.

Our gluttony.

Our anger.

Our pride.

Yes, being countercultural does also mean taking a stand against sin.

Our own.

What do you think it means for a Christian to be truly countercultural?

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 Posted by at 12:01 am

  14 Responses to “Being Truly Countercultural”

  1. Oh my. This struck such a cord with me.

    “It’s easy to judge. It’s countercultural to show grace.”

    Sometimes we forget that there are people behind issues being discussed. People behind the sins. People behind the agendas, even. When we focus on the sin or the issue at hand and forget the people it is all too easy to have a spirit of judging.

  2. Wow. The World needs more of this kind of thinking. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I recently committed myself to showing genuine compassion for everyone and refusing to say ANYTHING negative about people in my life. It has been a monumental challenge, but I’ve started to feel the rewards already. Spread the love!

    • “I recently committed myself to showing genuine compassion for everyone…” This is great, Kevin. Showing genuine compassion is definitely a commitment. And if you’re anything like me, one you’ll have to make more than once. Thanks for the comment.

  3. Are you reading Respectable Sins?? Sounds like it – I am too.

  4. Great post. Very sad how it’s so easy for us to compartmentalize sin and refuse grace and care for certain people.

  5. I agree and yet it is hard to know where the line is at times. When we are talking about the “world” or the “lost” judging is not what we should be doing after all they don’t know or follow our God so all we should do is love and assist, but what about fellow Christians? We should also love and assist but we also have to hold eachother accountable not in an angry, hurtful or mean spirited way but we do have to. Proverbs 27:17 “as iron sharpens iron so one person sharpens another”.

    • I agree. When I say we need to take a stand against our own sin I mean our own personal sin and then the sin in our Christian community (though I didn’t make that clear in the post). I think it’s especially important in the Christian community that we recognize and be each other’s “iron” with the sins that are considered “acceptable.” Thanks for your insight.

  6. Wow! This is really beautifully said.

    I agree wholeheartedly that we get too caught up in judging others’ sins to be worse than our own. In my religion, we are taught that God, being perfect, cannot be around sin, no matter how great or small. So when we finally come before him, no matter who we are, we will still need to rely on Christ’s Atonement. How can we look at each other and essentially think, “Well, at least I’ll need Christ less than you do!”

    When you consider it like that, it’s a disgusting habit, and one we need to break by exemplifying Christ, who, just as you said, ate with sinners and people that everyone else considered “unworthy.” We need to do the same for people that may be considered “unworthy” by today’s standards. If they are worthy of Christ’s attention, they are definitely worthy of ours.

  7. Christian counterculturalism.

    More concerned about a clear conscience than a moralistic front.
    More drawn to a brother in need than money, time, and privacy.
    More motivated by local/world evangelism than the fear of man.
    More committed to personal to holiness than the lusts of the world and haughty judgment.
    More focused on the Glory of God than church growth strategies.

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