A Massive Jesus Juke?

buddy christ A Massive Jesus Juke?Recently, Jonathan Brink , blogger and publisher asked the following question on the Christian Left Facebook page:

“To my LGBTQ friends: does the act of apologizing for another person’s oppressive act serve as a meaningful substitute for your pain, or is the value in simply someone acknowledging the pain. Or something else?”

Now, I’m not gay, so the question isn’t addressed to me, but I have an answer anyway. And, that’s while the first two maybe true, I lean more toward “something else”. What I’m beginning to think is that all these apologies from people who really don’t have anything to apologize for is huge Jesus Juke. Now, in the past, the Jesus Juke seemed confined to more conservative Christians but recent events concerning the LGBT community,  progressive Christians have stepped up with their own version of the Jesus Juke. Take a look:

billy graham billboard copy11 A Massive Jesus Juke?






If you can’t read it, here’s the text: “Missiongathering Christian Church is sorry for the narrow-minded, judgmental, deceptive, manipulative actions of those who DENIED rights and equality TO so many in the Name of God.” Missiongathering Church is from California and has a sister congregation in Charlotte, NC whom they worked with to put this billboard in on Billy Graham Parkway in Charlotte. MGC originally posted the billboard in California after the passage of Propositition 8 back in 2008, so don’t get your panties in a wad thinking these Cali fruit loops are butting in; as I said earlier,they have a connection to NC. But, the question remains, is this a Jesus Juke? Fortunately, Jon Acuff has given us a checklist and you know Christians love a checklist:

  1. Does it promote shame? I think calling your opponents narrow-minded, judgmental, deceptive and manipulative might meet that criteria.
  2. It doesn’t lead to good conversation. Read the comments on The MyFOX8 page and make up your own mind.
  3. Is anyone ever been Juked to Jesus? I’ll let Acuff answer this one: “I once tweeted, “No one’s ever said: ‘The way you bitterly mock other Christians helped me begin a life-changing love of Jesus’ (Be kind).” I wrote that because I wanted to remind us that our jerkiness never led folks to Christ. I don’t think our jukes do either. I don’t really see it as a conversion technique. It’s more of a conversation killer technique.” In others words, being a jerk doesn’t really help spread the gospel.

So, is the Billboard a Jesus Juke? Maybe, but then again, maybe not. I’ve long said those of us on the left need to speak up and let the world know that all Christians aren’t fundamentalists Baptists. On that end of things, this billboard does an excellent job. But, we also need to speak up without coming across as condescending assholes. Here, the billboard falls short in my opinion. Whenever you oppose something, there is always a danger of turning into what you’re fighting. I’ve been down that road and it’s not pretty.

I don’t think the sign needs to come down, but we do need to be ready for some backlash over it. And, not whine about it when it comes.

  • http://deep.mastersfamily.org BJohnM

    I think the UCC does this very well. Rather than apologizing for the actions of some of the more ignorant “christians,” they simply talk about their inclusivness.

    But I do agree, progressive Christians do not do as good as they should about calling out hate speech. I believe that hateful face is the one too often presented as the face of Christianity, which is a big part of the reason so many leave “the church,” but continue to call themselve Christian, or at least spiritual.

    • joerie1

      I think there’s a fine line we have to walk when it comes to this. One the one hand, we do need to make sure that what were saying is coming out of love (that’s what we’re supposed to all about). On the other hand, sometimes it takes strong language to get people’s attention and that’s hard to do in love and not come off as an asshole. The problem with the apology thing is that it is very easy to slip from actually apologizing to saying “Oh, those guys over there are jerks, but we’re not. We’re very nice and we like you. A lot.” Then, it ceases being a true apology and turns into ego stroking. Not good.