No Amen To That!

The above cartoon from The Ongoing Adventures of ASBO Jesus makes a crucially important point. Very often, Christians allow themselves to be manipulated by those who speak with confidence and enthusiasm – and in some cases, understand such manipulation to be the very essence of their faith. Many Christians believe that it is the definition of being a faithful Christian to accept what a pastor, or evangelist, or prophet, or even Paul or a Gospel author says, provided that they claim to be Christians and speak with authority, certainty, conviction and fervor.

But the Bible and the history of Christianity both ancient and modern provides ample indication that Christians can be wrong – even well-meaning ones, even ones who knew Jesus personally, even enthusiastic, devout, and utterly certain ones.

We owe it to ourselves and those around us to consider matters carefully, no matter who is demanding our assent or how much we instinctively like what they have to say.

“Amen” is not the only possible Christian response to “Can I hear an Amen?”

  • Gary Burnett

    Well said, James. Disturbingly, this is all too true. Anyway, nice to catch up. All seems to be going well for you. Gary Burnett (http://downatthecrossroads.wordpress.com)

  • http://citygatestheology.org Samuel Irlapati

    Thinking of people who speak confidently … have you ever heard of the Dunning Kurger effect?

     http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect

  • Gary

    ““Amen” is not the only possible Christian response to “Can I hear an Amen?””. OK, very good point. But let’s be realistic. A quiet non-response is possible. But in a church setting, if the minister says “Can I hear an Amen?”, do you REALLY mean that you would say “No you don’t”? I don’t think so. I don’t think any church-goer would do that. I’d actually like to see it happen one day, but never have, and probably never will.