Can it be? Can Christianity be explicit? Can a follower of Jesus be rated as explicit?
1 My first reaction was no way.
But let me not be so stereotypical as a judgmental Christian.
Over the years I’ve found that many non-believing people assume that all Christians are judgmental. They’ve known us by our judgment.
Before I explain the question about explicit Christianity, lets explore some definitions.
When I say Christian, I am not talking about earning a membership card at some 401(c)3 non-profit organization. A membership in a social club with meetings, special language, and inward focus.
When I say Christian I mean someone who’s read the words in the Bible and have decided to submit, release, and follow Jesus. To count on the saving grace of Jesus’ death and resurrection for not only eternal life, but power in this life.
But … what about the word explicit.
Explicit adjective ex·plic·it \ik-ˈspli-sət\
- a: fully revealed or expressed without vagueness, implication, or ambiguity. leaving no question as to meaning or intent explicit instructions
b: open in the depiction of nudity or sexuality explicit books and films
- fully developed or formulated an explicit plan or an explicit notion of our objective
- unambiguous in expression was very explicit on how we are to behave
- of a mathematical function : defined by an expression containing only independent variables
Not what I expected, how about for you? When I say the phrase Explicit show my mind immediately goes to parental warnings.
But that is just one part of four of the given definitions of the word.
If I take a step back, shouldn’t all talk about things we truly care about and believe be explicit?
Shouldn’t we talk clearly being fully revealed or expressed without vagueness, implication, or ambiguity?
Shouldn’t we talk clearly leaving no question as to meaning or intent?
Nah, we can’t have explicit Christianity.
So what got me thinking about explicit Christianity?
A business coach and follower of Jesus, Garrett J. White. He comes from a financial background, a business background.
He’s blatantly real and raw. If you’ve been around Christianity for any amount of time, listening to him will leave you reeling.
Honestly, I can’t decide if I love or hate his approach.
He’ll be reading King James scripture, then fire of a stream of swear words. F-bombs and Jesus in the same sentence.
As Paul says in Corinthians, he became like everyone to in hopes to share the message.
For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.
So if I try to push the limits and rock through time and culture. What would Paul think of Garrett’s use of language?
My gut says he’d be right there, front row in the Warrior on Fire audience. My gut says that Paul would love it, because it pushes the limit. It makes the message of Jesus real, raw, and relevant to an audience that is not served by traditional church.
In Paul’s era the traditional church killed Jesus.
So Now What?
While I’m not about to start streaming out swear words, listening to Garrett’s Warrior On Fire podcasts makes me reconsider how bold I live my life as a follower of Jesus.
Am I willing to be myself: good, bad, amazing, or terrible.
I’m tired of sitting in church audiences, small groups, and other stale Christian settings with others only to find out that they are hiding.
I’ve been in marriage ministries where the leaders end up in affairs and result in multiple divorces. I’ve had families in small groups surprise us with news that they were splitting.
Life is rough and bad things still happen. But too often I find that Christian circles expect life to be neat. The social pressure is so great that people can’t express or wrestle through the real trials of life.
That’s wrong. I don’t want to be involved in a stale form of faith in Jesus. I want to believe that He saved me and he’s left me hear on earth to live out my days vibrantly working through the ups and downs faced each and every day.
I want to live Explicit Christianity. How about you?