In Defense of Outspoken Young People

I am an Outspoken Young Person, I guess.

By no means do I always speak when I think – but often I do. I’m not a secretive person. I enjoy, and learn a lot from, open dialogue. I think that when done with a respectful spirit, honest discussion and even disagreement truly makes the world a better place.

And there’s a subtle weapon used against Outspoken Young People like me, which is starting to disturb me quite a bit. No, perhaps “weapon” is too strong of a word. Most of the time I don’t believe it’s brandished offensively. Rather, often it tends to be used defensively. Perhaps I should call it a “tactic” or better yet, simply an assumption. I’m seeing a certain assumption made about Outspoken Young People, and I believe it to be dangerous.

I am noticing that if an Outspoken Young Person brings to light an annoyance or a complaint on facebook about a larger issue – an assumption is made that said young person only deals with this issue on the realm of the internet. A jab or quip will be made about “getting off facebook and doing something about it” or “it’s easy to complain,” or “I’ll leave you to your Internet argument and actually go do something about it.”

I am noticing that sometimes when issues are raised by Outspoken Young People, people will respond by vowing to work on their own hearts, their own defects, and encouraging said Outspoken Young People to step back and to the same. The assumption is that Outspoken Young People are ignoring their own faults and obsessing over the faults of others. I’m not sure how many circles this assumption invades, but it’s certainly prevalent in Christian circles, and often accompanied by an admonition to focus on the plank in one’s own eye before examining the speck in another’s.

I hope the point I’m about to make is not surprising…

I hope this makes sense…

Why are people making these assumptions?

Why, as an Outspoken Young Person who interacts regularly with her community via social media, does my outspoken Internet voice necessitate that my physical, “real” life is passive and lazy and inactive?

Why does my critique of Christian leaders, government leaders, or otherwise public figures necessitate that I am ignoring or even ignorant of my own flaws?

It shouldn’t be mind blowing, but many of us Outspoken Young Persons are so outspoken and such a constant Internet presence because we care about these issues with every aspect of our lives.

Sometimes I speak passionately about caring for the poor and handling our money loosely, living as stewards of God’s property and not our own. And guess what? I also give food to homeless people and one of the largest categories on my family’s budget goes to helping people in our community who are in need financially because of job loss, car issues, or whatever else. When I talk about how important it is, it’s because I believe it, and I live it, and I want to grow in it – and I want others to grow in it too. I know I’m not perfect. Money decisions are hard. But it is not hypocritical of me to say I believe Christians don’t give enough to the poor, because I live a fairly simple life with very few luxuries. I sacrifice many things so I can honestly live what I believe about Christian money management.

Sometimes I critique public figures – specifically Christian public figures – for behaving in ways or speaking words that I believe misrepresent Christ. In no way does this mean I think I have it all figured out.

But you know what? I do some things better than Mark Driscoll does. Like knowing how to correctly, contextually interpret 1 Timothy 5:8. I do that better than he does. Maybe Christians aren’t supposed to say this (*shrug?*) but some of us are better at things and some of us are better at other things. Mark Driscoll is a powerful leader and figurehead – he strikes chords with people, especially, I hear, floundering men who need to get their acts together. But that doesn’t mean I think he should be shepherding, writing books, or using poor exegesis to tell people erroneous things about Christ and the Bible. Because he chooses to do all of those things, and also regularly claim to speak for the God I worship, I feel no reservation about critiquing his ministry and letting other people know my deep concerns about what he says.

Do I do it perfectly? No! He makes me too angry and emotional. But, if we’re being brutally honest, that’s because (in his own words) “there’s a pile of dead bodies behind the Mars Hill bus” and there are ministries devoted solely to helping ex-Mars Hill members heal from the brokenness they experienced from the teaching (and sometimes actual person) of Mark Driscoll.

I care about broken people. Ergo, Mark Driscoll upsets me.

Moving on.

So I don’t just complain about Mark Driscoll. I read and study and care so much about properly representing my faith. I open myself up to learning from those around me. I am willing to sacrifice anything to the guillotine of truth. If I’m not willing to, how can I truly call myself a disciple of Christ? I may come to different conclusions than many, but I’m doing it in sincere passion and devotion to the God of the Universe, and I work daily to humble myself and listen to his truth, no matter who’s speaking it.

And again, I’m not good at everything. I never ever have pretended to be. So while I point out specks, please be aware that my own logs are not being neglected.

I know the logs are there.

But that doesn’t mean other people don’t have them. That doesn’t mean I pretend other people’s specks and logs don’t exist.

So my petition is, don’t assume you know about my life and the things I do or don’t do because of what ideals I hold, what arguments I participate in, and which leaders I criticize. If you’d like to know about those things, I’d be more than willing to share them with you.

Iron can only sharpen iron by clashing and making sparks. That’s what so many of us Outspoken Young Persons are trying to do: sharpen ourselves, sharpen others, and cause some sparks that maybe (if we’re lucky) burn up some choking weeds, card houses, prisons or facades.

The gold will be fine – our sparks won’t bother anything of worth or value or strength.

Advertisements

“A Disgraceful and Dangerous Thing”

“Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he holds to as being certain from reason and experience.

Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men.

If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion.”

St. Augustine, from “The Literal Meaning of Genesis”

“It’s the Church’s Job”

Have you ever heard, or said, these words?

“Of course we should be taking care of the poor. But that’s the church’s job, not the government’s. And besides, he government is horribly inefficient.”

I’ve heard them. I’ve said them.

And of course that’s true.

But guess why our (their, any) government is trying to take over the specific duty of caring for the poor? Because the church is failing.

If every christian family, if every church, in the entire United States of America, did everything it possibly could to help the poor in its midst, at its doors, maybe the government wouldn’t need to have such massive food stamps programs or pass legislation like the Affordable Care Act.

Why do we spend so much energy saying “it’s the church’s job!” instead of just doing our jobs?

For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason (Romans 13:4).

The government will wield the sword, make no mistake. It’s easy to apply that verse to matters of capital punishment. But, maybe, in this time and day and place, just maybe the sword is for our wallets and our overstuffed bellies.

If I’m tired of my neighbor taking “my hard earned tax dollars” for food stamps to stay alive, maybe it’s time to forego my daily Starbucks trip and and start buying them lunch so they don’t need the tax dollars quite so much.

I’m going to be brutally honest. I applaud efforts at giving I see in my community and family, but I don’t exempt anyone from this: we suck at giving. We really, really suck at giving.

Our megapastors buy mega-houses and drive mega-cars.

We fritter away thousands of dollars sending our indecisive freshmen kids to expensive, private Christian colleges when they don’t even know what they want to do yet, and who are perfectly capable of taking Bio 101, Comp 101, and College Algebra at the local community college while they figure it out.

We pay hundreds of thousands of dollars so doctors can do fancy things to our eggs and sperm, because we simply can’t bear the thought of missing out on the glorious pregnancy experience, and holding a baby that looks like me is more important than taking in a foster kid, adopting an older child, or starting a trust fund for a niece or nephew to get an education or, I don’t know….. have food for the rest of forever.

I have always, ever since I can remember, felt this ache in my heart about money. I am blessed and rich and privileged, even if it doesn’t feel like it most of the time. And in this middle-class American suburban culture (the only culture I’ve ever known) – we’re just obsessed with spending money on things we don’t need.

So guess what? Politicians are always going to fight for bills we think are crazy. The government is going to govern too much, and we’re going to be grumpy about it all. That’s a fact. I don’t like it any more than you do.

But please, please, the next time we fidget and find ourselves wanting to say, “it’s the church’s job…”

-do it. Do that job. You’re the church. You’re holding Christ’s emblem. If you want the government to stop doing the church’s job, then the church better get it done right.

Dear John Piper and Mark Driscoll: Please Stop Trying to Take God Out of Things

Sorry, ahead of time, to my compatriots & readers who feel uncomfortable calling out fellow believers for wrong-headed theology. Yes, I know everyone means well. But “means well” without “and goes about it rightly” leads to a lot of danger, hurt, death, and pain, though, so…I’m going to do it. I don’t mind if you to it to me, either, just so you know. Especially if I ever become a mega-pastor-prolific-author with a ginormous worldwide platform. Please, for the love of God, if that ever becomes me, call me out on my crap, pronto.

I just read some well-meaning, but somewhat confusing words from John Piper about how “Doing a good deed for others with no view to any reward” is wrong, godless, and to be avoided (you can read more here). His main point, I believe, is well-meaning. Even appropriate in ways. As believers, we should do things primarily for the glory of God – not for ourselves or others or some nebulous standard of right and wrong.

But if it is directed toward Christians, does that even need to be stated? Christians, by DEFINITION, don’t believe in nebulous standards. They believe in Yahweh and Jesus Christ and that good flows out of him, and bad flows out of opposition to or distance from him. So most of the article seems fairly pointless to me.

Then he speaks of reward. It’s ungrateful, he claims, to speak of “doing good with no hope of reward” – because we do in fact have a reward in Heaven. That’s great and all, but that misses the point of a really really large percentage of the Bible, and what Christianity is all about. “Eternal reward” is not the point of Christianity. God wants us to know him – that’s the point of Christianity. Christlike-ness, communion with our Creator, living in the rightness of his plan, building God’s Kingdom here on earth while we can…that’s Christianity. If the saga of Wisdom books found in the Bible teach us nothing else, it’s that -here on earth- doing good for the sake of holiness and God’s approval is a worthy, worthy cause. I suppose we can drag Heaven into it. Heaven is cool. But it’s really beside the point here, isn’t it?

However, Piper is not only talking about Christians, it seems. Later in the article he mentions the oft-repeated idea that actual love and actual goodness are impossible without knowledge of and relationship with Jesus Christ. To a point, I understand and agree – there is no love without God. But where I differ with John Piper and Mark Driscoll, and apparently a fair amount of Christians, is that I don’t think you can remove God from a given situation. You cannot remove God from love.

It doesn’t have to be that atheistic love is Not Really Love. Maybe that atheist is just participating in God, whether he knows it or not. We alienate and exclude nonbelievers every time we pontificate on such things. Many people who don’t acknowledge Jesus as Saviour (for whatever reason) believe in a a higher power, or believe in universal right and wrong. That instinct in them, from my own Christian perspective, is evidence that God has indeed written his law on the hearts of men. Our sense of justice and mercy, our selfless deeds, stem from souls that were created in God’s image. Even if someone doesn’t believe that, I believe it – and it strengthens my belief in God as a majestic, invasive God.

When I say invasive, I mean that you can’t escape the God I worship. He is everywhere. He’s in the altrustic, atheistic help that a young man offers to an elderly woman who’s dropped something valuable out of her purse. He’s in the yoga studio (sorry, MD). He’s in the sea in the belly of a fish. And as the Christian literary giant C.S. Lewis proudly affirms in his Narnia series, he is in the heart of the pure, sincere worshiper and servant – even if they’ve nominally been worshiping Tash and not Aslan.

(I think God can tell who is really following him, and who is not…even if we’re confused about it ourselves)

God is in every good and true thing. How could he not be?

Jesus said whoever is not against us is for us. Why do we make enemies where God invites friends?

God blessed Rahab because she wanted to do right. Rahab, the pagan prostitute who knew nothing of Yahweh except his brute force. God was in Rahab’s right-for-the-sake-of-right. Rahab was blessed, rescued, and grafted into the biological lineage of Jesus Christ. Right-for-the-sake-of-right just means we haven’t glimpsed God in the world, doesn’t it? Just because you call “Godliness” or “righteousness” something else, something closer to your own understanding, that hardly negates the presence of truth. That hardly negates the presence of God in the world.

Sociology and the Way People Work

1. //

I only took one Sociology class in my undergraduate career, though I would have taken more if I’d had the chance. Even so, I feel like I learned and got to discuss some really important things. In that class I developed a deep reverence and empathy for lawmakers and government officials, simply because I realized I would never, ever want to do their jobs. In that class I learned a little bit about how culture is shaped, and how things change, and how people react to different aspects of society, and how that leads to more changes.

I distinctly remember us discussing the family unit. Why do human families interact the way they do? Why do we form life-long bonds in ways that so few members of the animal kingdom do?

The simple answer is: our babies.

Human babies develop so slowly, and humans learn so much about how to take care of themselves from their parents and caregivers. This is not how baby frogs and toads work. This is not how giraffes work. Many animals begin to reproduce by the time our human babies are toddling or crawling around, not even yet able to speak.

Whether or not we believe in a higher power or deity, the fact remains that this is how human beings grow and mature. Families must stay together, in some form or fashion, in order to raise healthy children and propagate the species.

2. //

I just read an interview with a strong, upright, compassionate doctor and abortion provider. I so respect his humanity and his desire to help women, and I so respect others who share his opinions and his desire to help others.

But I ache for how much we have forgotten how humans work, and how families work. I ache that we put ourselves in situations where life is created, and unprepared for, and unwanted. I don’t believe that marriage = sex = babies = Glorify God = end of story. I may, at the end of the day, have a biologically childless marriage, myself. I would never, never tell anyone that their ability to have children is what makes their sex valid, or their marriage valid.

But still – still I ache over the separation of “rights” and “how human beings work” in many, many situations that lead to abortion.

Maybe I’m coloured by my own experiences.

You see, I know two girls who got pregnant when they didn’t want to be. (I know more, I’m sure, but for now I’ll stick with this)

One girl was young, a teenager, but had the most loving family in the world. A life-giving, we’ll-stick-it-out-through-anything family, a young family with a home and open arms. A family trying to follow Jesus, who never yet rejected this daughter for any of her previous mishaps and terrible choices. And yet, though her family explicitly offered her all the help, and all the love and desire for the baby she carried, this girl got an abortion. I don’t know what she was thinking. She was scared, I’m sure. Perhaps she didn’t want to experience the pain of childbirth. Perhaps she didn’t want her parents to raise a reminder of her own broken relationships. Her mother cried over the baby so much, the baby who was already loved and wanted and now sacrificed on the altar of Separation of Recreation and Actual Bodily Functions.

Now, the second girl was young as well – in college. I’m sure her circumstances were not too different from the first, but I cannot say. She’d made mistakes, she’d made poor choices. But this time she didn’t insist on her rights, and she put the child up for adoption after carrying her to term. She faced judgment and glares and tsks, but she did what she did and moved on with her life. Someone else, some family, now rejoices in that baby daughter.

My experience taints the emotions I experience over the idea of abortion. I would never, never condemn a woman faced with the agonizing choice of an unwanted or unplanned pregnancy. But all the unwanted pregnancies I’ve known about happened to girls who should have taken that sociology class.

{{Does it seem like I’m trying to preach against having sex before marriage? I’m not advocating for new laws or universal codes of conduct no matter your belief system. But I’ve written before about the heartache that sexual choices have caused – in my own life, and the lives of others I know.}}

It’s not about “GOD SAYS SEX BEFORE MARRIAGE IS WRONG.”

It’s, Precious sister, things happen that we cannot prepare for. Actions have reactions and sex sometimes makes babies. Why, why would you take the risk with an unfaithful ex-boyfriend? With a boy not even out of his parents’ house? With a man who says he loves you but isn’t able to care for you?

It’s about knowing you can deal with a situation before you do certain things.

{does that make me ill-fitting and heartless? I KNOW abortion-situations aren’t all this way. I know that. But some of them are and it turns my stomach in knots.}

I’ve been brought to the altar so often recently, dragging my rights behind me. Because I don’t serve a God who insists on rights – his own or anyone’s. I serve a God who gave up his “rights” and reached out to me. I serve a Christ who asks that I do the same. The religious right and the progressive left in this country both demand rights for their various causes, for various people.

And yeah, we should give rights to others. I absolutely 100% agree with that.

But it’s still my job to lay down my rights, even once they’re given to me.

//Is that just getting the gift but never opening it? Is my tear-stained gut even making any sense?//

Can Men and Women Be Friends?

I get weary of hearing that question. I get even wearier of hearing some people answer, “no,” or a “yes, but-” with a thousand qualifying factors, like the prohibition of ever being alone with a member of the opposite sex. I guess I’m not going to say what anyone else hasn’t said before, but to anyone who struggles with this question, I just want to let you know:

I exist. The answer is simply an unqualified “yes.” To deny the possibility that men and women can enjoy plantonic friendships is to look me in the eye and invalidate my existence, my experiences.

What I’m NOT saying is that this is normal (in this, or possibly any, culture). I cannot promise that your opposite-sex friendships will look any particular way. I cannot even know whether you, yourself, are capable of living in platonic intimacy with someone who belongs to the sex you find attractive. I would never be so presumptuous. Every person is different, and so many factors play into such situations, like childhood, hobbies, school, parenting, siblings, and more.

All I’m trying to do is just clarify that yes, I exist. This “mysterious” and “debatable” topic isn’t as mysterious as we like to think. It’s just hard. It’s just rare. But just because Sally and Harry couldn’t keep out of bed, doesn’t mean there’s no hope for the rest of us.

[As one author recently put it, I am not a sex-fueled robot.]

I guess I just think my story is really beautiful, and I hope more and more people become open to stories like mine.

1: I grew up with brothers. I know many people who never experienced the joys of opposite-sex siblings, and that always made me sad. I think there is something so special, so human, about learning to interact early with different sorts of people. Boys and girls don’t take the same journeys growing up, for better or for worse. They often do different chores, attend different extra-curricular activities, and deal with different things during puberty and the transition to adulthood. To learn how to respectfully, lovingly, joke, touch, play, write, talk with a boy helped make me who I am. I absolutely wouldn’t be Me if I hadn’t grown up with big, creative, loving brothers.

2: Home. Because I was homeschooled, family meant a lot. Because I grew up in and around church, I learned that the body of Christ was like a family. I spent so much time at home, at other people’s homes, and loved the feel, smell, taste, of just Being Family. When people asked me to “feel at home,” I learned to feel at home. I learned to see boys in houses as brothers; to not get offended at their sass, to roll my eyes at their silliness, to play video games with them, to listen when they needed an ear, to give back as much spunk as they gave me. Because that’s what you do with brothers, right?

3: Being a company. I started doing theatre when I was thirteen, and there’s a reason why subcultures of dance and drama know more about intimacy without romance than the average person. In high school theatre, I learned to hold hands with my company members, to dance with them, to pray with them, to give a much-needed back rub (even amidst the consternation of select mothers). We napped, cried, prayed, laughed, sang together. Sure, we tiptoed through some of it with awkwardness. And we definitely were told to “avoid the appearance of evil” more than we should have been. Because our hearts were young and noble and our hands sought to help and hold, not molest or defame. Sometimes we listened and obeyed. Sometimes we rolled our eyes and gave bear hugs anyway.

My aunt came to pick me up from a rehearsal one time and was taken aback by all the hugs. “Do you have to hug every single person before you leave?”

Well, yes. Of course.

It was a culture of hugs that we cultivated. A culture of love and silliness and memories and inside jokes. Sure, eventually some of us paired off romantically. But a pretty significantly low number, what with all the hugging and loving and being together. The hugging never led to the pairings. The specific attraction between the specific people had more to do with that, I think.

In high school, one of my dearest friends was a boy a little older than I. For much of the summer, I spent a lot of my time working part-time right in his neighborhood, so after I was relieved from my duties we met at a stopsign between our respective locations and gave each other a huge hug. Then we took a walk, or played on the playground, or went back to his house.

Part-way through the summer, his family went through a major upset. His world started crumbling at the foundations, and he was lost in a whirlwind of questions, confusions, heartache, and tears. So after we met at the stopsign and hugged, we normally walked to a park bench and I put my arms around him and just let him cry. Weeks of this. Weeks of whispered words of comfort. Weeks of wet faces touching in solidarity. Weeks of his scent on my clothes, his tears on my shirt. Hours and hours sitting in the sunshine in an empty playground, talking about heartache, encouragement, or just not talking at all and holding hands instead.

He’s the baby of his family, accustomed to a family full of arms and hands and faces. He was always particularly adept at connecting emotionally with girls, and not so he could take advantage of them. That summer when I was fifteen and he was seventeen, I laughed with him and sistered him and sometimes we talked about the girl he was in love with.

I don’t know very many adults in my life who, had they been a bird at that park, would have been 100% OK with our afternoons. Not because we did anything wrong, or broke anything sacred. But because boys and girls can’t be friends like two girls can, I guess. Because touch and intimacy are somehow thought to be elements of Marriage Only, or at the very least, gateways to unholy sexual behaviors.

I loved this boy more than almost anything. But never “like that.” Even now that we’ve both married other people, I regret none of that summer. I cherish it and know that my arms were there for him when he desperately needed them. I rejoice that my time was well-spent, and a fragile young man who might have had his faith all wrecked was able to remember that he is loved no matter what.

Aside from my husband, my closest, most long-standing best friend has been a boy (though I suppose he’s mostly a man now). When we were young, making that sometimes-awkward tween transition, we wrote letters and emails and played video games and dreamed. We danced and did shows and made a box full of memories that still sits in my closet. He was the eldest in his young family, struggling to know right things, behave right ways, and still be himself. He walked a fine line between caring and noticing the opinions of those he respected, and being oblivious to (or simply ignoring) the judgments of others. He half-reluctantly became friends with the limelight. He wrestled intensely with how attraction fit into his penchant for making friends with girls (if, indeed, it did). He stubbornly wore glasses instead of contacts so girls wouldn’t fall in love with his pretty blue eyes, and he got in a lot of trouble for his tendency to “woo” his new, young, female friends and then innocently move onto the next new friend to be pursued, leaving a trail of broken hearts.

All this …and there was always me, pestering him and hugging him and sometimes holding his hand on the couch while we watched movies or talked about the latest Life Struggle. There were long delayed good nights inching toward the front door, with muted laughter and goodbye-kisses on the hair. People thought from time to time that we were an item, I suppose, but when asked we clarified, “No, my brother.” “No, my sister.” Eventually people stopped noticing, caring. Eventually people caught on to the possibly unusual wavelength we lived on. Our relationship, a strange combination of banter, mockery, tenderness, loyalty, nerdiness, intimacy, and family-sharing, has been one of the most treasured parts of my existence.

And it wasn’t that gender or sex was ignored or didn’t matter. He’s a boy and I’m a girl and that’s important. It’s part of who we are. We wouldn’t have the same sort of friendship if he were a woman, or I a man. Skirts and dancing and strong arms and intuition and different perspectives helped define our relationship. We dealt with different lenses, different bodies, different experiences, different frustrations, different struggles. But those things were factors, not foundations. Those things were peripheral, and not core. Those things were, are, variables to discuss and explore, not boundaries or fences that keep us from love or friendship.

I don’t want to make you feel lacking if you haven’t this same story. I don’t want to say that it’s possible for everyone to have such stories, such friends. I don’t even want to say I’ve never broken hearts, never make unwise choices in my opposite-sex friendship, never taken anything for granted when I should have thought more about it.

But I know, I know, that I have experienced glorious agape, soul-closeness, with boys who never wanted to undress me. So please believe me, believe others, when they say it’s possible. We may be few, but we exist.

(And it’s actually kind of nice over here.)

What I’ve Learned from the Internet This Week

What The Internet Told Me This Week…

1. Apparently, when young Christians write about why they are leaving the church, they’re not REALLY leaving the church for those reasons. By claiming to disagree with specific theological emphasis, politicizing of Christianity, shaming, excluding, and the barriers many churches have erected between faith and science…

…what they really mean is that they think the church should follow their every whims, cater to their personal tastes, and abandon the truths which have lasted since the dawn of the church.

2. Apparently Christians are not allowed to have differing opinions on Atonement Theories. Even though there are many-

(Moral Exemplar, Christus Victor, Satisfaction, Penal Substitution, Sacrifice, Governmental, Recapitulation, Expiation/Transformation, Reparation, etc)

-and no one theory has ever been declared Orthodox by Christendom, for a denomination to dislike one, or wish to pull one out of focus, inherently makes them “liberal” and discounters of Actual True Scriptural Doctrine.

(tgif?)