Why I "call out" other christians

Shouting through a megaphone

Guest post by Jim Saint

I’m a pretty regular christian. I use Facebook quite a lot – I find it is a very effective witnessing tool.

One of the best things about Facebook is that it provides a great opportunity to call out christians who are leading people astray. Put them in their place and stop them doing damage.

Let me tell you about it.

Preserving the truth

The truth doesn’t change. We have it written down for us, and all we have to do is follow it. But these days too many people are playing games with God’s word.

I’m very zealous for the truth. I find it very easy to identify heresy and error, and I know it is important to help other christians who don’t have as much discernment to recognise these errors and not get tripped up by them.

These days it’s really my main ministry. I used to visit people at the aged care home, but I don’t have time for that now as I’m too busy on the internet.

People I’ve called out recently

I like to call out bloggers, authors, megachurch pastors, televangelists – anyone who gets doctrine wrong. I’ve become pretty good at sniffing out bad theology. Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer and Rob Bell are people who regularly need calling out, but also lefties, emergent church wackos, liberal Professors who undermine the Bible and, really, anyone who stands against the authority of the word of God.

Reasons why it’s OK to ignore Jesus on this one

I know Jesus prayed for us to be united (John 17) and leave the judging to him (Matthew 7:1-5, 13:24-30), but, trust me on this, these teachings don’t apply in this case. Here’s why ….

They aren’t real christians anyway

Let’s face it, many so-called christians aren’t really on Jesus’ side. It’s OK to blast them. Fortunately, I have insight into who’s a REAL christian and who’s not.

Calling them out is the only way stop them

Someone’s got to stop the rot, and I’m up for it. This is one time where just praying is for wimps – the only way to stop these people is to shame them.

Just showing where I disagree with them isn’t enough. It is really important to “call them out” so the people I call out take more notice of me. And other people who read my comments can see that I’m right and these other pseudo christians are wrong, which builds up my reputation too.

What’s that? How many have I stopped so far? Well, maybe not that many, but I’m sure some of them are feeling the heat!

Calling them out is the loving thing

When I call them out, I’m speaking the truth in love. It may sound harsh to you, but really, I know the truth and I’m always motivated by love.

Besides, if I’m too namby pamby with them, they won’t take any notice. It takes a bit of ridicule and strong language to deal with these people.

Jesus called people out himself

Yeah, I know I’m not Jesus, but really, I’m sure if he were here he’d be hammering these guys. Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind – though being funny can be even more effective sometimes.

Gotta get back to it

Well I’ve got to get back to sniffing out heresy. The price of truth is eternal vigilance!

Afternote by unkleE

Jim Saint is an old character who has written for me in the past. I hope none of you took him too seriously.

This post was a reaction to a “calling out” which I won’t reference here lest I fall into the same mistake, but it contained gratuitous insults and mockery, ascribing motives and being judgmental (effectively saying the prominent christian on the receiving end was destined for hell).

I think it is good to discuss important topics and disagree when we have to, but I see too many people making it personal – arrogantly calling other christians out, presuming to know the truth without doubt and making their comments in a way that sounds unloving to me.

I don’t agree with everything said by the people Jim named, and I think it is legitimate to disagree with them in public. But I don’t think spending much time on pointing out errors is helpful or necessary unless they are very directly having a seriously bad effect on the people we know – which mostly isn’t the case. If we feel we have to criticise, we should do it lovingly, with the minimum of personal references, and avoiding cheap shots. It is easy to criticise, but it rarely builds our listeners up – better to teach the positive than focus on how to avoid the negative.

And just maybe, the people we so confidently criticise may in fact be right – God may sometimes use them to teach us new ways.

“Therefore, let us stop passing judgment on one another.” Romans 14:13

Photo Credit: mikeyp2000 via Compfight cc

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  1. Ha… I started to think “what is my friend E doing posting this duds post?”
    Once he dissed Rob Bell I was on to you ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Awesome attention getter and may I say you’re a great example (not perfect but great ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) of disagreeing with love at the for front!

  2. Thanks both of you. I don’t usually do satire because I’m not sure if I’m funny enough, but I thought this was worth a try. I’m glad it got you in for a moment YMM, but equally glad it didn’t fool you for long!

  3. I’m sorry to scare you, but I’m glad you persevered! I think we all (certainly me!) need to be reminded of the need for grace!

  4. What scares me is that I did not detect this was satire until I read the afternote. Though I will admit I was surprised to find it on this particular site. It was a post that would have sat very comfortably with many other Christian sites.
    Sometimes I almost think it is a badge of honour to be called a heretic. Virtually every great Christian figure is thought a heretic by someone. I would prefer to follow the person who has lived their faith and borne fruit consistent with their Christian profession rather than the person who snipes at others from the sidelines.

  5. Hi Peter, that is scary. I started to write this post as a pretty normal rant, and then I recalled many years ago I wrote articles for a small christian magazine and I used the Jim Saint character to make some reverse points. I decided to use him again, but when I had completed it I was worried how people might react so I decided to add the afternote. I’m glad I did.
    I first chose to follow Jesus in a church where doctrinal correctness was a badge of honour and knowing who was worthy of our trust and who wasn’t was very important. But in the intervening 50 years I have learnt so much from people who would not be acceptable to the doctrinal police, and who I disagreed with on some points.
    I agree with what you say – the reformers were seen as heretics by the Catholics, both the Catholics and the reformers persecuted the Anabaptists, many evangelicals think CS Lewis was a heretic even though he may have influenced more people than anyone else, etc. And I have learned a lot from Rob Bell, although I haven’t read his latest more controversial books.
    Thanks for your comment.

  6. I believe bad things have been done in the past, just as they are being done now, by evil, apathetic, or simply ignorant people. I accept this. Indeed, it is my awareness of my own ignorance on so many things, past. present, and future that I believe restrains my own tendency to “call-out” bad when I see it. However, I do also believe it is easy to cross the line from tolerance to cowardice and that goes to your point of discerning when the wrong we see is “serious” or not. This is where I think doctrine and tradition can help. At least I believe it has helped me.
    I am Catholic and I want to better understand the implied and explicit criticisms directed at doctrinal faiths here. And while I admit I haven’t read the Catechism of the Catholic Church from cover to cover, I can honestly say that wherever I have gone into it I’ve never read anything in it that I didn’t agree with. In fact, I usually come away inspired. I would honestly, really appreciate it if someone here could find anything questionable or just plain wrong in its pages, found here:
    As this is the doctrine of the Catholic church, all that has and is being done that is bad by members of the church would seem to me to be issues of personalities, bureaucracy, and sin. And, for these reasons, to walk away from a doctrine built over the centuries by people far more learned and pious than myself seems (for me at any rate) to be both errant and pertinacious.

  7. Hi Mark, thanks for your comments. I agree with what you say about there being times when tolerance becomes cowardice, but I think these times occur less often than some think, and I see no reason why the need to point out error requires rudeness or even the arrogance of “calling out”.
    I had a quick look at the document you referenced, but it is too large for me to read it all, and I don’t really want to try to find fault. I agree with you that the bureaucracy of the church and the misbehaviour of priests are a significant cause of problems in the Catholic Church. I find the hugeness and wealth of the organisation and the unnecessary (in my opinion) detail of its doctrine seem to obscure Jesus, but I wouldn’t want to suggest that would necessarily be the same for anyone else.

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