Wednesday, January 28, 2015

"Speak the truth." As if.

Image source.

What should I do if my friend gets engaged?

How about telling her congratulations? Maybe ask her how the proposal happened. Just generally be happy for her. It's not really a hard concept.

No no no I mean my friend, who's a Christian, just got engaged to a guy who's not a Christian. What should I do?

Umm... see my previous advice? Rejoice with those who rejoice.


But actually, this is a legitimate question that a lot of evangelical Christians would ask. And I listened to the people at Boundless discussing this. What to do, what to do?

Because, you see, The Rules For What Christians Are Supposed To Do clearly say that Christians are not allowed to marry non-Christians. Actually, many Christians confuse the bible with The Rules For What Christians Are Supposed To Do; in fact, each of The Rules has some kind of basis in something that the bible says, but they are in no way the only interpretation. In no way are they agreed-upon by all Christians.

The Rules say that Christians should not marry non-Christians. So, understandably, when one's Christian friend gets engaged to a non-Christian, one would be very concerned about that friend. She seems so happy, but she's making a terrible mistake- and the reason we know it's a terrible mistake is because The Rules say so.

(Does the relationship seems healthy or unhealthy? Do the two of them truly love and care about each other? Has the relationship harmed her? We don't know. In the discussion at that link, we know nothing about the relationship itself, other than the fact that the woman is a Christian and the man is not. And, because we know The Rules, that is enough information to know that it's wrong.)

Only one piece of information. And yet, as the Boundless team discusses this, they continually use language about "speaking the truth about this situation." Over and over, the word "truth." Hopefully you'll get an opportunity to tell your friend "the truth."

Does anyone else think it's a little strange that random people on the internet who know none of the actual facts believe they are qualified to identify the truth in this situation?

Ah, but The Rules. The Rules For What Christians Are Supposed To Do tell us that a Christian marrying a non-Christian is always bad. That's the only truth that's really relevant to the situation.


How about some other truths?

Truth: There are a lot of Christians married to non-Christians, who have healthy marriages.

Truth: Different Christians have different interpretations of the "unequally yoked" passage.

Truth: My boyfriend is not a Christian, and he loves and accepts me like no one else does. Meanwhile I feel nervous about going to church because I fear Christians won't accept me. (Wow, I wonder why I would feel that way, could it be related to this Christian culture where people believe they should butt into other people's relationships and make judgments?)

(Aha! Perfect Number just admitted her boyfriend is not a Christian! She's biased! Therefore we can disregard everything she said in this entire post. Because the less you know about a situation, the more qualified you are to "speak the truth" about it, apparently.)

Image source.

It's not just this issue. There are so many cases where Christians feel they should confront someone and "speak the truth" because, though we don't know much about the situation, we do know that it is against The Rules and therefore this person needs someone to help them by pointing that out.

We need to "speak the truth about homosexuality", apparently. We need to "speak the truth" and warn people that they are going to hell. "Speak the truth" about how other religions are all wrong and useless and bad. And "speak the truth" about how abortion is always bad.

We may not know much about your life or the reasons why you make the choices you make, we just know that it's wrong and clearly you need someone to tell you that.

In the evangelical culture I come from, Christians believe that they know your life better than you do. They know your needs better than you know yourself.


Christians, if you want to go "speak the truth" to someone, how about you just shut up first and recognize that acting like you're an expert on another person's life IS NOT LOVE. And I think Jesus said something about loving each other.

This is not love.

And, this is not truth. If you really listened, if you really believed people when they talked about their own personal lives, you would find many of those "truths" from The Rules For What Christians Are Supposed To Do are bullshit.

And you may find that the gospel truly is good news.


  1. Random Former Methodist ReaderJanuary 28, 2015 at 12:37 PM

    Can I like this x100? This is so true, and I've dealt with this !@#$#@ before myself. Thank you so much. :)

  2. Good points! And you know what troubles me a lot? A lot of Christians who feel they need to speak out about others' personal lives, feel no need to speak out when a friend says something racist, sexist, etc. It's backwards.

  3. Not sure if you read Nate Pyle's blog, but he posted the other day about how love sometimes requires rules to be broken. Kinda reminded me of your post. :)

  4. Yes! Exactly. They keep going on about how people have a "sin nature" but assume it has no effect on the systems and structures in place in society... apparently we are all the most horrible sinners, but OF COURSE that doesn't mean we've built a society that is racist/sexist/etc, generally oppressive toward certain groups of people.

    Nope, apparently sin is just confined to one's personal life. Specifically, who's having sex with who.