The Common Good

Contend for the Gospel, But Please Don't Be a Jerk

In a pluralistic world of a plethora of thoughts, ideas, philosophies, and worldviews, it makes total sense to me that Christians need to be equipped and engaged in "contending" for the gospel.

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I get it. I really do.

It's a larger marketplace of ideas and, as such, Christians ought to engage in this marketplace. We're no longer entitled the majority of market share -- if we've even ever held that distinction.

But here's one thing I'd like to convey: In the pursuit of contending for the gospel, please, don't be a jerk.

Because, honestly, "Christian jerks" are a tragic paradox -- especially when they think they are doing the kingdom a great favor.

Let's contend for the gospel but let's not be jerks in the process. Nowhere do I read in the scriptures, "Contend for the gospel as a jerk."

What I'm suggesting isn't all that radical. As it says in the Bible:

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. (James 1:19-20)

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:26-27; 31-32)

This call is apropos to everyone, in my opinion, because if we're all honest with ourselves, there's a little bit of "jerk" within all of us, right?

We don't have to be mean spirited. We don't need to pummel someone down into submission.

Or in other words, while I do indeed appreciate the value and importance of theology and doctrine, I would suggest that what will fascinate people to consider the gospel of Christ will ultimately be how we live our lives.

The Holy Spirit will convict and change. May our lives simply testify and point to the truth and gospel of Christ.

Here's a short snippet from a recent sermon from Philippians about not being a jerk:

The Tragic Paradox of the Christian Jerk from Quest Church on Vimeo.

Eugene ChoEugene Cho, a second-generation Korean-American, is the founder and lead pastor of Quest Church in Seattle and the executive director of Q Cafe, an innovative nonprofit neighborhood café and music venue. You can stalk him at his blog or follow him on Twitter. He and his wife are also launching a grassroots movement, One Day's Wages, to fight extreme global poverty. This blog post originally appeared on Eugene Cho's blog.

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