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Thursday 6 October 2022

Winsome Christianity Falls Short

Only staying winsome in the face of all outreach and teaching situations is not Christianity, it is pseudo-Stoicism.

Grin and bear it is not Christianity. Fake being nice and happy is not Christianity. 

True Christianity does not deny the full range of human emotion in this world. You are supposed to get angry. Just don't sin in your anger. You are supposed to condemn oppression and evil. You are supposed to imitate Jesus and not give the time of day to some opponents, and furiously rebuke others. There is a time and a place for different emotional responses to people, and we should not deny this. 

Being winsome might be a default position in most social encounters. Most of the time we want to be warm and welcoming. But it is not a sum of Christian approach to this world. It is ungodly to just affirm one emotional approach to engaging with people in this world. Anyone who says you should is deficient in their understanding of how the Bible affirms the full range of human emotion as good, and appropriate in different contexts. A simple reading of the Bible from start to end, proves this to be the case.

After all, to some Jesus said visibly shake the dust off your feet and leave them (Matt. 10:14). A highly offensive gesture in Middle Eastern culture, and in many other cultures, as Kramer demonstrates

You cannot be winsome in every encounter, and be faithful to Jesus, because different situations call for different kinds of responses. And the evil in our world sometimes needs to be challenged with righteous indignation, not a smile. 

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