Adults Aren’t Children–and None of Us is God

I get a lot of the same argument against my idea that we’re working against the Great Commandment by persisting in our efforts to fulfill the (already fulfilled, in America) Great Commission. That argument goes … well, here, from two recent comments on my postings on that matter: “. . . a parent can love a disobedient child but that doesn’t mean any behaviour is accepted,” and, “For example, good parents LITERALLY tell their child that they must change certain behavior becuase it is BAD. Yet they maintain a loving relationship with that child.”

So lemme just say: The very common “nonbeliever as child” analogy is critically flawed, and (I’m afraid) smacks of exactly the kind of  condescension that keeps nonbelievers from us. Nonbelievers are NOT children.

 Okay? So can we stop with that analogy? Nonbelievers are not children; we are not God.

This is about peer-to-peer communication. If a peer asks you for advice, of course you’re free to give it. But if , before you’ve been asked for it, you just start volunteering advice–you start telling that person who they should be, and what they should believe–then about the last thing they are ever going to suspect you of being is morally superior.

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About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. Don't forget to sign up for his mucho-awesome newsletter.

  • snowhite197

    I agree and would like to add a bit. Hypocrisy is really lame. It’s a shame that the body of Christ in America is so riddled with it.

    If you are in a group of people and need advice, you are probably going to look for the person that seems to have all of their ‘stuff together’ at least in the area you want advice in, right? We need to be really careful when we give advice as Christians. I think a good rule of thumb is to wait until you are asked for it.

    And if nobody is asking, maybe you need to examine your life a bit? As a whole, i think the Body of Christ needs to examine itself and start getting serious about making disciples of one another, and lovingly making sure that our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ have their ‘stuff together’, before we go out trying to make disciples of a world that, in some areas, look more like Jesus than we do… (these stats were taken from Barna)

    Example: the divorce rate within the church is greater than the divorce rate outside of the church.

    Example: within the current generation, only 27% of Christian American CHURCHGOERS claim to be ‘absolutely committed’ to the Christian faith. Among ‘born-again’ Christians, this commitment rises only to 2/3. :(

    Example: 33% of born-again Christians believe that a person can earn their way into heaven by doing good works. Almost as many believe that Jesus sinned while He was on earth, like a normal person.

    Example: Sadly, 80% of young people who are raised in the church will leave it after graduating from high school. Most will not return. I wonder how that compares with, say, children of atheists or Muslims….


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