Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Why I am writing about stuff.

Why I am writing about stuff.

So about a week ago I started a new site called "Stuff Christians Like." I thought it might be a fun way to poke some fun at my faith and the things I do. I could not have anticipated the two things that happened as a result.

The first was the growth. In a single day, that site had more traffic than four months of Prodigal Jon combined. Readers from more than 80 countries have read more than 50,000 stories. I am truly blown away and humbled.

But those are just numbers. What has been amazing is the reaction from non-Christians. The comments they have been writing have really encouraged me and I wanted to share one with you today.

On one of my posts, I jokingly said that I think Christians are slightly less nice than Mormons. The point I was trying to make was that I know a lot of mean Christians but have never met an unkind Mormon. I argued that when we don't allow Christ to change our hearts, we can sometimes justify rude behavior with false holiness. That is, some people use Christianity like a bully uses karate. It's just one more weapon to judge or attack you with. It was a simple post, but one gentleman named Eric responded by writing:

Absolutely brilliant. These posts are so honest it's stunning. I wish every religious person I knew approached life with this attitude. It's unflinchingly Christian but not arrogant, and #62 gives incredible insight as to why. It takes a humanist approach to God, which is what Christ is anyway. No offense to anyone reading this, but if I weren't an atheist, I'd strive to be this kind of Christian.

It's always nice to hear things like, "you are brilliant," but it is the last line of his post that spoke loudest. "If I weren't an atheist, I'd strive to be this kind of Christian." That is why I am writing that site, that is why I am penning silly things to a wide audience. I want people that would never read Prodigal Jon or 97 seconds with God because it's too "churchy" to know that "this kind of Christian" exists. I want people that maybe don't know how much God misses them to know that he is watching the road for their return. I want atheists to see that we can be funny and real and maybe even honest.

I will continue to write on all three sites but since many of you have been with me when no one was with me, I wanted you to know why I have been writing so much on www.stuffchristianslike.net

I hope this post makes sense and that you'll tell all your friends that aren't Christian that there's a different "kind of Christian" with a different kind of site that just might challenge their understanding of our very different God.


robyn collins said...

praying for him... and for the countless people that came to mind as i read his words... thx. jon

Susie said...

I know I am always humbled and blessed by your writings. Honesty is a powerful way to minister to people. After all, we are all sinners in some way, and that is the power of Christ's mercy. He loves us all.

Jim said...

I stumbled across your blogs tonight in a fit of Facebook-denial-and-avoidance, but this post really struck a chord with me as a believer. I agree that there are mean Christians out there who swing their holiness like a club. Don't dare cross them or question them about their beliefs or they'll bash you in the head with their aluminum-bound large print KJV. What gets me is how they feel that this behavior puts an attractive face on Christianity or that Jesus would want that approach to start with. Pleasant, huh?

But I digress. Somewhere along the line I filled out one of those cool "spiritual gifts inventories" that told me I have a strong gift of discernment. I tend to think this just makes me suspicious of everything I encounter, but the brief time I've spent in your writings leads me to think that I will enjoy your ramblings for a long time to come.

Keep the faith and keep it honest.

amberWIRE said...

I love your new site! It was funny because I saw the name linked on someone elses blog and since I read through google reader I didn't see that it was written by you! Hilarious! I should have known it was you!
Nice work! Kepp representing a different kind of Christian!

Anonymous said...

you really are a talented writer. and i just spent the last two hours reading your various posts. your a christian realist. if thats a term. and its refreshing.

Helen said...

Wow, you only started that blog last week? I agree that this is a really good way to give nonChristians a better view of what Christians are; weak, fallible, but desperately trying.

Good work.

Katie said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE your 'stuff Christians like' page. Oh my gosh. My room mate and I have been sitting in our separate rooms reading through some of them, laughing out loud, and hollering out things like "#90-The Tankini!". Not only are your posts clever and well-written, but they satirically bring to light the ridiculous, strange, self-righteous, selfish, or simply humorous aspects of "living the 'good' Christian life". I love it because it's true, it's hilarious, it's honest, and you're not afraid to be like, "Hey, look, this is the superfluous stuff that Christians get wrapped up in" while silently making your point that as the list grows, the steadfast truth that is the foundation of this "religion" remains the same...

Scott Fillmer said...

I totally agree with your perspective and have enjoyed reading the "stuff" site as well.

Keep it real and fresh and you may end up finding that those non-Believers that are reading may find out that not all Christians fit in the exact same box.

I always though if you get three Baptist (or whatever) in the same room you will have three different opinions, and certainly different kinds of Christians present.

Pete Wilson said...

Love the site. It keeps me in stitches. Just found your blog and can't get enough of it. Keep up the great work.

April said...

love this site and stuff christians like. you inspire many and keep people laughing. thanks for being honest. blessings to you!

Babs said...

I absolutely agree. I also think we have to be very careful not to become too worldly...the church has been getting progressively worldlier in the interest of attracting more people, and the end-result has been an explosion of a man-centered religion of tolerance instead of a Christ-centered faith of grace and accountability for the gift we have received. It's a line we have to be careful not to tow. The world will still hate us, because it hated our Master...and it's okay if they do.

Am I saying that it's necessary to thump people over the head? Nope, Christ even said to the seventy he sent out - if they don't listen, kick the dust from your shoes as you leave. People don't realize that when you ask Christ into your heart, you have to step aside and give him some room! :) Much of what we have going on is the result of the lack of that, I think. The best testimony is the Spirit indwelling within us, outward and visible signs of an inward and glorious faith.

Jeffrey said...

I just wish Christians would strive to show the world a Christianity with the love Christ showed in the Gospels. And love is not just saying what people want to hear, but telling them they true love them because of Christ and there is a need for life change.

But too often we see people in the church judging and condemning people rather than loving people. As a Christian I would just like to see more Christ like love.

I do love (now all of your blogs) Because so many things you write and deal I feel the same way and sadly it can be isolating to think this way in our churches. Keep on writing and sharing your life in the virtual community. All of us Christians need this level of honesty more in the community.