When Christians Mock Christians

when christians mock christians

I have watched as the church – just like the world – has divided into the “cool kids” and “not so cool kids”.

I mean the uncool wear dresses to church still…the cool ones wear jeans.

The not so cool – put verses on their twitter – cool ones tattoo themselves with verses.

The less trendy –  love going to church – the cool ones prefer to hang out in a coffee shop – they might even brag that they don’t have a church at all.  They don’t need it.

The uncool don’t drink – the cool ones explore their liberties and celebrate their drinking.

Some say these more conservative ones are less mature in their thinking – they take the Bible so literally and God’s wrath so seriously, the cool kids – are more intellectual and use the motto “grace” to get them to calm down.

The uncool – don’t like bad words – cool ones – use swear words and then call you a pharisee if you judge.

And on and on it goes –  you know what I mean.

I straddle both sides – I like coffee shops and have no problem with Christians taking liberties – and I love grace – but I also like to wear a dress to church, post verses on twitter  and swear words just aren’t in my vocabulary.

To be honest, I am frustrated that there is even such a THING as SIDES within the church.  We are ONE – one body – one in Christ – one bride!

Who CARES how anyone dresses. And if one person wants to post Bible verses – thank you so much for your boldness! And if you drink a glass of wine – I’m not the wine police – don’t apologize to me.  And two of my favorite friends have tattoos – and I’ve never batted an eye at our friendship or questioned their faith – it is clear they are Jesus lovers!

And yes – grace grace grace – but we must balance it with truth truth truth!

I have seen it play out in my own church and I’ve seen it play out on-line amongst bloggers.  There’s even these “cool” Christians that dedicate entire blogs to making fun of their more conservative Christian sisters and brothers.  They call themselves Christians BUT mock other Christians publicly…regularly.  And I have qualified a few times for the public joke of the day.

I get it – I really do, – from a mockers eye – many of my youtubes are kind of funny.  I’m an easy target. lol!  You don’t have to look far to find something goofy that I’ve said – especially in a video.

But here’s the thing – Jesus said – they will know we are Christians by our love. And the part that baffles me is these ones who mock Christians champion the message of “grace” and “loving well”.  And as I watch them mock me and my “uncool” brothers and sisters in Christ, I do not see the grace and love that they shout so high from their rooftops.

And I wonder – do they realize that it hurts? That it’s humans they mock? Or do they realize – I’ve heard this.all.my.life.

Since I was in public grade school – I was the girl who was different.  Who was crazy serious about her faith. Who was sharing the gospel right and left and defending my beliefs even to the teachers and carrying my Bible to even cheerleading camp – yes I was a cheerleader – cool – but carrying a Bible – makes you uncool.real.quick!  And it’s funny – I know – I could laugh at myself back then too – it’s crazy how different my thinking was from those around me.  And when I got the nicknames at school for being the Jesus girl I carried the name with confidence.  But when I got nick names from those in my youth group who I suppose were embarrassed of me at school – it hurt.

I recently told my children the story of my nick names from the youth group – in case it happens to them.  Cause you know – it happens.even.in.church.  And it happens – even.on.so-called.Christian.blogs.

And what other Christians think of me – can’t matter if I know I’m in the center of God’s will for me – and I want my kids to know that. Be secure in that.

And dare I suggest that we also remember that not every.single.person who calls himself a Christian is.

“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits.”~Matthew 7:15,16.

I certainly can’t say which mocker is a wolf and which mocker is my sister or brother in Christ – nor do I really want to.  But since it’s happened so many times in the past – and some of those who mocked are no longer with the church – I know that not all mocking that appears to come from Christians – really comes from a true Christian.

Satan is tricky like that!

So what can we do – I can only tell you what I have done – cause I’ve walked through this valley many times in my life and there’s only ONE way through!

Put on the full armor of God and stand firm friends – stand firm. You are not alone in this battle! And make sure your kids know how to wear the armor too – cause it’s coming.

I Peter 4:12-16-

“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. 16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.”

Update: Someone mentioned in the comments that this goes both ways.  I agree – this post is written from my experience in the last 20+ years of living in the church.  I have been hurt – but I know that the reverse has been true for WAY too many. And for that I deeply apologize.  I pray we will be unified for God’s glory and that we will love deeply those who are different from us.

Grace.

Peace.

Walk with the King,

Courtney

 

Comments

  1. Great Post! I agree and love how you were able to put all that into words :) Keep on Sista!

  2. Courtney, you are a breathe of fresh air! I love reading your posts & getting your scriptures on FB. Keep spreading the word bc you are glorifying the King! Btw, I can’t wait for your book to arrive.
    Kelly

  3. I agree with you, I come from the middle of the road, but I was the person out at church because I didn’t wear dresses all the time, let my kids dance … but I agree that we all should remember not one of us is better than the other and we all need Jesus.

    • I am a middle of the road also. There is nothing wrong with dancing, or listening to other styles of music. I believe God gives us other interests, (isn’t that part of what makes us so different, yet so much the same?) We need to stop being so hypocritical, and accept who God created us to be. For in the end, we all have to stand in judgment of his throne.

  4. I have to tell you… after meeting so many of my favorite bloggers at your conference, I was so encouraged by the “real” people I met. I appreciate that! You are truly a gift of God in my life. Thank you for your ministry to me- and so many like me who may never meet you face to face- who truly want to walk with the King, and live lives to glorify Him! <3 Mandy

  5. Well said :)

  6. I have to say, while I am not privy to these mocking blogs, I am thankful that you have kept the good faith and are fighting the good fight. We are One. We OUGHT to be ONE! God has made me to have a tough skin when it comes to hearing things from unbelievers about how they see me. BUT when I was in college, we had some trying times where people were mocking us because we were trying to implement biblical teaching into our constitution. We were getting grilled by campus affairs, but then, the worst part was when we were getting mocked by people in our own fellowship. It was pretty awful. It was one of the lowest times I experienced in college. Nevertheless, God is faithful.

    I’m sorry you have to experience this. I’m sorry that people feel the need to make you the butt of their joke or the brunt of their insecurity. Walk the way God has called you to walk. He’s the only One to whom you are accountable.

    I wear a headcovering. I wear it every time we go to a worship service. I have felt convicted by God to do this for over 10 years now. People don’t always (or often–or ever) consider it cool. But I’m ok with that. I’ve told a number of them who’ve teased me about it–SCRIPTURALLY OF COURSE–that they were welcome to provide me with the biblical evidence that I shouldn’t wear a headcovering, but none of them have taken me up on it. :) Until then, I’m ok with being unfashionable. I wasn’t cool before I became a Christian, I have no qualms with not being cool as a Christian. :)

    Peace!

  7. jinka bloom says:

    All I can say is this: There are 2 sides to this- overtly holy and overtly gracious. I remember my husband going to Las Vegas for a business trip once. He came back with horror stories of people taking their wedding rings off for the weekend and hooking up. He earned the nickname “Jesus” because he refused to participate in any of it. He went out of his way to protect female co-workers who were drinking too much and being targeted by potential predators. I have never been so happy to be married to Mr. “Uncool” …which makes him very very cool in my book! On the other hand – we do enjoy wine or drinks here and there- I have been dismissed by “holy” Christian friends who have a hard line stand against drinking. (I was once un friended on Facebook by someone after admitting I had spent time with girlfriends at a winery.) That kind of judgement hurts too. There has to be balance and we need to look at people’s hearts and the evidence of fruit in their lives. <3

    • Christy Spurlock says:

      Great response….You said just about everything that I wanted to say. I love being married to “Mr. Uncool” also.

      We are all sinners saved by GRACE.

      “EVERY SAINT HAS A PAST AND EVERY SINNER HAS A FUTURE”

    • Why can’t we be holy AND gracious? I find it funny that you think your friends are judgmental because they don’t approve of your alcohol consumption, but you are not being judgmental because you don’t approve of men cheating on their wives. Both adultery and alcohol consumption are against the bible. The Ming Janes bible should be our guide, not whether or not we want to be cool. I have found that people who were once in bible believing churches and have compromised with Satan and the world are the worst at mocking Christians who live by the bible. We are called Christians because we are to be like Christ. It can’t be both ways, holy AND worldly. But it can be both holy AND gracious.

      • That should say King James Bible, I am not Chines;)

        • I understand her point. She isn’t judging those men for cheating. She is merely stating the fact that her husband’s choice to not participate in such behavior made him less than popular with his coworkers. As far as alcohol consumption, there is nowhere in the bible that it is condemned. It condemns drunkenness. Jesus turned water into wine ant the wedding feast and the Apostle Paul recommended wine to Timothy for stomach problems. Jesus served wine the Last Supper. Also, the King James Bible is merely a translation from earlier texts. It is odd to me that it is held as the only bible one should follow. It was translated from latin which had been translated from greek which had been translates from Aramaic. There are mistakes asthere are with most translations.

          • Without going into a lot of detail, I will just say that you and I disagree on the subject of the bible. The bible says that God will preserve his word pure and I believe God. That means there is only one pure bible for English speaking people. I believe it is the King James for many reasons, one being that if it is not King James, there would have been no pure word
            for us until recent years. If it isn’t the King James then which one is it? There has to be a pure word because God said he would preserve it pure. Concerning wine in the bible, there are MANY verses that teach we should not drink alcohol, Proverbs 20:1 being one off the top of my head. It says, Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. All juice in the bible is referred to as wine. Jesus would not serve a drink that is a mocker at a wedding or at a supper or he would be going against his own word. Jesus was sinless or he could not be our Savior. Also I belive the apostle Paul to be the best christian that ever lived. He also would not tell someone to drink a raging drink to help stomach ailments. Juice on the other hand would be good for the stomach. I am not wanting to debate. I just want to clear up my stand on the word of God.

      • Penny U sound Judgemental saying the “KJV should be our guide??” Other Christians may extract more Biblical application from the NIV. What is important is reading a BIBLE!!!

        • Penny-

          The King James Bible is indeed an old and long used translation. I found a nice article here:

          http://www.contenderministries.org/biblestudy/kjodebate.php

          I like this article about KJV because it gives a good overview of the origins without trying to discredit the KJV. I would not try to steer someone away from their preferred translation unless I was aware of inaccuracies, but KJV is not the only accepted English translation.

          I grew up with the NIV but my church uses ESV and NASB. I have found that by consulting a few translations I get a better understanding of what was said. Maybe someday I will have time to learn Greek, but until then I will make do with what I have.
          :)

        • Judy, you sound judgmental when you call me judgmental. The Bible says He that is spiritual judgeth all things. Tracy, I would disagree with the sentiment that any old book will do. It MUST be the pure words of God. I don’t believe we need to know Greek and Hebrew do have a preserved pure word of God. Things that are different are not the same. I would highly reccomend the book “Purified Seven Times” by Bill Bradley to anyone truly seeking truth on this subject. Many nights, while reading this book, tears would run down my face as I read what great men of God went through to put God’s word into the English language. If anyone would like to debate me after reading this book, I would try to find some time to do that.

    • Penny, I agree with you. Been preaching the gospel 40 years , I have taken a stand against alcohol. It really disturbs me when “Christians” say Jesus made water into wine. When John 1:1 In the beginning was the word and the word was God.” Verse 3″ … all thing were made by HIM…” {the word } verse 14 “And the word was made flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory the glory as of the only begotten of the father…” So in the beginning of creation God created everything without corruption, “And God saw everything he had made , and behold it was very was good.” So why would Jesus the living word, perform a miracle, of corruption [fermentation] . It is just not in his character. James !:17 Every and perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” There is no dark side of the Father, pure light. When man sinned corruption entered. The whole creation groans for redemption. It is a lie of the Devil That Jesus created fermented wine. I agree with you concerning King James Bible. I have been reading, preaching, and studying, for 42 years. King James Bible . It is wonderful!!!

      • I read a sermon by John MacArthur regarding alcohol…. Yes; wine was a part of life back then but it had an incredibly low alcohol content (not like today’s wine). It was more for helping to make sure their water was potable. There may have been other reasons, but regardless, the translation “water into wine” is correct. It’s just not like our wine. They watered theirs down substantially (with the exception of the drunkards, I’m assuming).

      • I agree with you about the King James version. They have made many changes when it comes to the NLT or NIV due to copyright.

      • I want to begin by saying that I choose to read the KJV on a daily basis because it is the translation I feel the most comfortable with being close to the original. Should all other translations be banned? Not unless you are willing to take up studying Hebrew and Greek to determine what is appropriate for each verse (which my mother did by learning Hebrew). I think we have to be very careful about comparing the message in each verse against the whole (chapter, book, and Bible). Otherwise it is easy to get confused or take things out of context. I do think those who hold on to the KJV as the only preserved translation and then argue that “wine” actually means “juice” should re-examine their tight grasp on both issues – KJV and wine. As a Christian, it is sometimes difficult to see the extreme damage something like wine can cause and then not decide that Jesus just couldn’t have condoned it. Be careful about putting God into your own limited box. At the marriage of Cana, the governor wondered why the best was brought out later, rather than not introducing it before the guests had heavily drunk wine. That would be true of actual wine, but it would take a big stretch to figure out why non-fermented grape juice would make a difference when it was served. Personally, I don’t drink alcohol and would caution a Christian to be very careful of counting the cost of doing so (testimony, dependency, etc). However, I would be practicing a smorgasbord style of Bible reading if I chose to believe Bible Christians did not drink wine – sometimes to their determent. God has created many things that could be used in evil ways. Wine is not the problem, but the way a person uses it that can be. God created the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Was the tree itself evil? Was God evil in creating something that could be (and was) misused? Every day we’re given choices as testings and temptations. We can’t blame God or question His goodness if we allow the Flesh, Satan, and the World to sway us to take the wrong path.

        As to this blog in general, I say Amen to standing on a Biblical conviction (Biblical being the key). Do what you determine to be Scripturally sound, regardless of Christendom around you. It makes people feel convicted if your light shines and theirs is weak, at best. I admire anyone who stands on their convictions against the mobs, even if I don’t share them. I have good friends who don’t wear pants, a mother who wears a full-time head covering, and I don’t cut my hair. As long as the belief isn’t in place that these things will affect your eternal destination, I would never try to deter it. In fact, it is called sin if a Bible led conviction isn’t upheld in my life. James 4:17 17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

      • Paul Swaw..sorry ur tone is offensive. Ur part of the problem in most churches.. U feel ur the only right way bc ur preaching from the kjv? Smh..Ive heard ur kind for yrs.. Preaching hate instead of love? Most preaching fr kjv pick & choose from it? If u preach against alcohol U must also preach on the body is a temple? So why r soo many of you overweight? It is a sin to overeat? That also is abusing ur body? Christ followers should honor God with their life & love others. Ur tone is offensive to me & i have grown up on the church, i cannot imagine how an unchurched w/ feel? Christians need to unite instead of being part of the problem. courtneys blog had no ref to kjv? What is important is that she is pointing ppl to Christ. That is what matters when we face judgement. God will ask how many ppl have we led to heaven. Not what Bible did u study from? Peace!

    • I couldn’t even read any further. Jinka, I apologize for those that made fun of your husband for standing for what he believes but I do praise GOD that he honored you an GOD in that way! How awesome a testimony! But I do believe it can be both holy and gracious! And I pray GOD opens the door for some friendships that display both of these.

      As for the person who said KJV is the only “pure” version, I would like to see the Scripture on that. I think that is judgmental in itself and is a weapon the enemy uses with Christians who believe what they think is the only way. That’s what got us to the point of being a sore in the world’s eye, NOT because of Jesus’ name as the Word speaks. There are a few versions out there that are watered down, this is true, but where in the Bible does it say KJV is the only? I think that should be a personal decision between a person and their Creator who in fact wrote the Book, not a mass of people.

      I won’t even touch on the rest except to say we each have our own logs. Lets take those out before attempting to reach for someone else’s splinter and poking them in the eye instead helping them pull it out.

      Courtney, I rarely comment because I don’t like some of the discussions and I am passionate about showing love and those who are struggling or not seeing the love are the ones I am called to. But I love your posts!! I love your boldness! I can’t always relate being a black woman with kids in their early 20′s and one teen but GOD had me follow your blog for a reason and this is why!! Thank you! You help me to know Christian women are not perfect but can strive to perfection in Christ, not man! Bless you! Keep posting boldly!!

      • By the way, for those who decree whether someone in Christ can drink or not, the Bible states plainly, “Everything is permissible, not everything is beneficial.” I do not drink, but have sipped wine. That doesn’t mean He loves us any less than someone who abstains all together. The Bible also says “Do not become drunk…” Not do not drink. Just as the commercials and ads during Nee Years say drink responsibly, we must also SPEAK responsibly. As children of GOD, as joint heirs with each other and Christ, not joint judges. Blessings all.

  8. I love this! I read different Christian blogs, and I will just love someone until they start mocking or publicly naming names a negative thought about someone else. I honestly get disappointed because they are in a position of leadership and others will follow because so-and-so went to Bible school so they must be bring the doctrine and thoughts correctly. I am glad you brought this up because we should not be putting another person down, we should only be lifting them up. Thanks for the post.

  9. Someone made fun of you? Turds.

  10. Linda Wells-Harr says:

    I love this post there is so much truth to be digested here. It makes one check their own motives.
    Where in the divisions do we stand? I hope I can be in unity with God and the true believers. Sometimes it may be hard to distinguish who is real and who is a pretender. That comes only through the revelation of the word of Christ. He knows us and we should know him, and his.

  11. I have to say that when I came across your blog a few years ago I reacted like some of the”cool” Christians. I thought all the typical things that you have heard a hundred times before. Thoughts like”that’s so outdated” and ” she kinda sounds like a stepford wife”. Even though I don’t know you I i do apologize for judging you like that.
    What’s interesting is that even tho I disagreed and mocked some of your posts, I kept coming back to your blog! Id never seen someone so happy to be a wife and mother. Deep down i wanted to have that kind of happieness but didnt think i could because i didnt have that kind of influemce in my life. A lot of the people i knew with familys didnt seem to have healthy relationships. thats over the past few years i have been so encouraged with your blog and beleive that it was Gods will for me to stumble accrosed it. I consider it a very helpful resource as a new wife and soon to be mom! Keep up the good work for the Lord.

    • Sheila Payne says:

      Thank you MJ. I love how well you put this. This is so encouraging to me and I don’t even write this blog.

    • I can totally relate to this comment!!! I used to mock women like the author of this blog…. Yet I kept seeking out their blogs/opinions/etc. I can see now that Jesus was using these women to teach me. And now? Now I am a married mother of two, stay at home wife and mom… Cook, clean, support, nurture, love….. I have become the “stepford wife” that I used to scorn. And I could not feel happier or more fulfilled. Keep shining your light, Courtney!!

  12. Courtney, I’m so glad you shared this!! I’ve read some of these blogs, some extremely popular, and just cringed. I really have a hard time with sarcasm, which I think is really mockery in disguise. This doesn’t build up the church, but rather causes such pain.

    I really appreciate your sweet and fun spirit which you share on your blog here. I love that you are just you. Keep up the good work! : )

  13. Thank you for expressing your concerns about this, Courtney. When it comes to my own story, I have been considered ‘liberal’ by some (despite being moderate) and I’ve also been made fun of, cut down to size, and rejected by conservative believers because of this label. And in my darker moments, I’m grieved to say, I responded in kind.

    Believe me, I dream of the day these man-made factions in Church cease to exist. To get there, though, we just can’t keep pointing fingers. That’s why I wish your post hadn’t framed ‘liberal’ Christians as the mockers and conservative believers as the victims. It’s a move that reaffirms and exacerbates harmful stereotypes and divides among believers.

    Character and maturity doesn’t come to us naturally based on our particular set of doctrines. In truth, no matter our theology or politics–we’re all vulnerable to sin, to arrogance, conceit, and cutting remarks.

    Instead, character, maturity, integrity, humility, and wisdom–God painstakingly brings these things into existence in our hearts despite the natural rebellion that plagues all Christians in equal measure.

    I am truly sorry for the mocking and judging and arrogance of fellow believers that targeted and wounded you. It was not right, and it wasn’t Christian.

    Your experiences, and mine, as painful as they are, remind me of Romans 12:21. Namely, to overcome evil with good. They inspire me to build bridges between these factions in the Church, to foster dialogue, to share our stories for the sake of truth-telling, reconciliation, healing–and ultimately for the sake of glorifying God, and giving the world a brighter, more refreshing example of Jesus’ love and message.

    I hope you’ll join me in building these bridges, in encouraging character and integrity on all sides, and working towards a transformed Church where “us vs. them” simply becomes “us.”

  14. This was so tastefully written and made me think of my own shortcomings. I struggle with it constantly because of my work environment. they all swear, they bash God by saying horrendous things, and I sit there and judge them in my heart. I try not to but I guess its trying when you’re on you’re own in an environment like that.

    Another thing I find myself doing is falling into their ways and I’ll start engaging in u godly conversations about someone else or I’ll even start swearing. . they say you become who you are around and its literally a daily battle to not fall in that trap.

    Sorry for the rambling

  15. Those who claim to be believers, yet do as they please and yell, “Don’t you judge me!” have apparently never read 1 Corinthians chapter 5, where we are taught that we ARE supposed to judge such people. “Judge not lest ye be judged” does NOT mean that we won’t be judged if we refrain from doing so. We WILL be judged by our actions, as we see in the Scripture I shared above. PAUL judged! “Test the spirits”, “You will know them by their fruits” . . . what do people think these statements mean? It means we JUDGE!

    • AMEN, Roni!! He that is spiritual judgeth all things. 1st Corinthians 2:15. The liberty we have in Christ is NOT liberty to sin, but freedom from sin. No, we won’t be perfect until we get to Heaven, but the Lord expects us to obey the Bible while we are here. The bible is the word of God. The instruction therein is not a few suggestions. They are commandments. They are not up for vote or opinion.

    • We are to judge other believers righteously. When you judge another believer because they do not share the same convictions as you do, then I have an issue. I am experiencing this right now. I could never force my convictions on someone else merely because it sets a bad example. Ever think about why there are so many denominations? We can only speculate what we know based on the Bible, but only God knows our hearts. And our human minds cannot conceive it all.

  16. Amanda Cross says:

    What a great post! I’ve been seeing this same thing especially in the blogosphere. If you think it is just women doing this, think again. I’m seeing it big time in regard to John MacArthur’s upcoming Strange Fire Conference and it’s mainly men doing it. Courtney, I was also called Jesus girl at school and my friends from church thought I was too radical. Sadly, I became proud of my outward standards and convictions and my heart began pulling away from the Lord. I began compromising on prayer and Bible reading. After that happened, my life did a down spiral to which I am still recovering from. Thankfully, the Lord is gracious in mercy and love and has been establishing me in His Word through your ministry and Kay Arthur’s ministry. I shudder to think where I would be had I not come across this site in 2011. God’s Word has literally saved my life.

  17. I get this! I am often referred to as the rebellious one in my very conservative family & get not so friendly looks by other believers for my tattoos & I have been questioned about it when I wanted to serve in a ministry. They are reminders of a time in my life where I wasn’t walking with The Lord, but now over a decade later they have marked me as “unworthy” it feels like at church sometimes. As much as this has been a stumbling block for me, God has used these to help me love the unlovable & learn to forgive. But it hurts so much more it seems from Christians!

  18. Courtney one thing I love about your blog, and is so encouraging to my Christianity more than you can know, is how even though from my own perspective or place in things it is YOU who are the “cool” or quite worldly-seeming type of Christian, I have never seen you have to regularly get all your own digs in against Christians who are more conservative in their understandings or lifestyle than you are. That means so much! My heart hurts every time I try to start reading what seems like a nice Christian blog, but then there are always coming up all the mentions and criticisms and insults against other Christians. Thanks so much for all you do! I love this post and am going to read it again and again.

  19. You know it’s interesting. Where I come from, it’s always the super-conservative Christians who go out of their way to make ME feel like crap. I don’t even do anything to them.

    This post is so bizarre to me. It’s like “let’s attack the less-conservative, tattooed Christians for being big meanies who won’t hang out with us.” Seriously? What fantasy planet are you living in? Why would I want to be around somebody who constantly makes fun of me for wearing black or having some (non-offensive) tattoos? Why wouldn’t I go to a coffee shop to read my Bible instead of a church? It’s clear that the “church” doesn’t want me there anyway, posts like this just confirm it. That’s a sentiment pretty typical among the “Cool Christians” you describe, they feel like they aren’t accepted or loved at church. So they go elsewhere. Are you really that shocked?

    The whole “let’s not be divisive at church” post is just as divisive as the people you gripe about. Maybe you were trying to get a different point across, I don’t know. I’m just a faddish “cool-kid” christian with all my tattoos and whatnot.

    • Dawn,

      I can see what you mean, but I think it definitely goes both ways. I think there is a current trend in the church to want to be cool and seen that way in society, not uncool. That becomes a place to mock and judge people who don’t share one’s style. Then there’s the judgmental person on the other extreme, the extreme conservative who sees anyone who doesn’t look like X to be in sin. I think Courtney’s post is coming from her perspective, of the way she has been treated. Your reply has come from the other side, from how you have been treated. She is saying, in the end, I think, that it’s the judging on either side that’s hurtful and not scripturally supportable. If someone’s coming from a viewpoint of anger, rejection, and judgment, then they’re not coming from a perspective of love, no matter which side of this style war you’re on.

      • Ann Knowles Tucker says:

        I know what Jesus said about it , He said love the Lord your God with all your heart and mind and soul . That was the greatest commandment , and the second was like it : to love your neighbor as you love yourself ! He said ” On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” …If we can love our Lord, and love each other we have done all that is required of us ! If we cannot reach this love in our Christian walk , then we need to hit our knees and pray until we can love as we should . No Christian should be feeling bad ! ” There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
        Romans 8:1 …one of my favorite scriptures . We need to pray for strength in our hourly walk and He will gladly answer with love .

    • Hi Dawn. I just wanted to reach out to you and tell you the hurt I hear in your voice. (I hear Courtney’s too in her writing.) I didn’t grow up in a church. I love Jesus. I church at home. Wear dresses, read KJV, have a tattoo, drink a glass of wine on occasion, dance and act all kinds of silly. I don’t fit any mold. I love Jesus. I have been ridiculed for my faith and been encouraged. We will be persecuted as believers.
      You know maybe there is no mold, just Love. He is so big, I am so small.
      I just wanted to say, if I saw you with a Bible at a coffee shop, (which I often frequent), wearing black and tattooed, I would be apt to say hello, and find out more about you. Dress, KJV reading, long haired, tattooed and all weirdo me. I love people. I am sorry some conservatives have mocked you. May the Lord build you back up!!!!!!

  20. Leila James says:

    I just have to say how damaging it is to experience this. For me, it wasn’t so much as the “cool” V the “uncool” but rather the haves and the have nots *which could easily fall in the same bracket*… I was on the “side” of the “have nots” and was made to feel that way for most of the 10+ years I was at my church. It’s extremely damaging, even more so when your own pastor dejects you because your parents don’t have as much money as some of the other parents. I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth, but my parent’s made sure that we wanted for nothing. But at church it didn’t matter that we had food on our table, clothes on our backs, and shoes on our feet. It didn’t matter that I came from a 2 parent household and was taught to love others and regard everyone with compassion, etc… It mattered what I wore – or in my case, what I didn’t wear. I was accepted, but I soon realized that I wasn’t really accepted. It wasnt a genuine acceptance; because I was a member of “their church” they HAD to like because their parents told them too, not because Jesus commanded us to love one another. God released me from this church about 3 years ago and every now amd again I am still hunted by my experience. However, He did teach me valuable life lessons before releasing me and for that I am thankful.

    I’m ok with not being the cool church member. And you know what? God uses us in spite of what others think of us. He has a way of making people flockto you not because of your appearance or your bank account, but because He trusts you with their heart and spirit. I do not take ministry for granted. People’s lives are literally hanging in the balance and wgi are any of us to mock, reject, and treat them differently because they don’t look like us.

    Thank you for sharing, I usually don’t comment, but I had to this time.

    God bless you all!!

    Leila

  21. Thanks for sharing. It’s my first comment ever. I live in Nigeria and I love your blog.:) The way to have unity in the Church is when we receive the infilling of the Spirit of God. He fills us with love for God and for one another. He is gentle and grieved when we hurt each other. So He constrains us from acting that way and makes it easier to forgive when we are hurt (because sometimes it’s not easy I know)

    Keep your sweet sister. Love you all.

    Liz

  22. Thank you for the Bible verses. My son has been getting teased at church and at football related to him being homeschooled. I am going to share those verses with him at breakfast.

    In His love,
    DeAnna

  23. Wow! You are a bold person to write all these thoughts down…and I thank God for your boldness. I could totally enter into this whole post and understand your thoughts as I’ve travelled a similar journey…even experiencing the mocking from my own dear Christian relatives. May the Lord help us to fix our eyes on Jesus and run the race before us. It makes me even more aware of the pain and suffering our Lord Jesus must have gone through, being mocked, insulted, accused and yet He bore it all and still went to lay down His life for ME. May our Lord help us to guard our tongues from words that may hurt….and yet to speak the truth in love. Let us never forget…..they will know we are Christians by our love!! Let’s get out there and show more love today!

  24. Well said Courtney!!
    I have to add also….while you have the “cool” and the “non cool” Christians, which is sad, realizing our purpose as Christians is very important. As I was talking with my sister yesterday who is a believer, but still “straddling the fence,” she says why go to church when you have people in there talking about one another and basically not living a true Jesus like lifestyle. She says she would just rather stay at home and deal with her own drama.

    So while some are trying to be so “cool” within the church, they are being watched by the lost and hurting people. Those people don’t want to be “cool,” they truly need the Pure love of Jesus to bring them in from the world. So while we war within the church building…we are losing the fight to save the lost. –Live the kind of life that Honors the Lord….

  25. So well said Courtney! So true. I thank the Lord that you stand firm and keep going. How much like Christ you are when you get mocked and you can still say all of that. It hurts you and yet I believe you still keep loving them back. I work for a bishop in a denomination and I see leaders in the church mock others all the time. It hurts to even watch. I always want to pipe up and ask them if they remember that while we were still sinners, and haters of God, He loved us and died for us anyway…..and then ask them how they could repay Him with hurting the children He loves…..but I feel that’s the bishop’s place to do. When I get teased or mocked personally, I just remember that people who aren’t there with me….YET…..see Jesus and reject Him in me, not me personally. Instead of being angry, I look at it as feeling sorry for them. I make sure I don’t dismiss them though, because God is always working in the world and His children, and you never know at what point a person will feel His calling and have a transformation of heart. I pray this every night….prayers that all hearts will turn to Christ…and follow Him. Thank you for your ministry and answering your calling from God….and sharing it with us! Agape……

  26. Beautiful and so true! When I was in high school I took comfort in the fact that I was like Mandy Moore in A Walk to Remember. Now that my faith is more mature, I take comfort in Christ! :)

  27. Oh, Courtney! I have even been in a church that thought the song “They will know we are Christians by our love” sounded too “contemporary”! Several years back we had to leave a church we were in. The final thing that happened was when we were no longer allowed to participate in our ministries (music and teaching) because I was “caught” out in public wearing jeans! Others have left there over the years for various reasons. The sad thing is, leadership in that church instructed its members to “shun” those of us who are now gone. I wonder if we will be shunned by them when we get to Heaven?
    We all have different ideas about what is right and what is acceptable. What God is dealing with in my life is most likely different from He is working on you in your life. That puts all of us at different places in our walk with God. I am totally opposed to alcohol (having grown up in an alcoholic home) – but I have Christian friends who drink wine. We can agree to disagree and can continue to love each other as followers of Christ.
    On a lighter note – I had a FB friend who made the comment that “real men wear suits and ties to church”. I informed her that my husband was a “real man” and didn’t need to wear a suit and tie to church to prove it. She unfriended me!
    Lord, please forgive me when I’ve been Pharisaical in my actions towards others – help me to love and do good to all – especially to those who are of the household of faith.

    • Dear Denise, I didn’t realize you went to my church! (just kidding) My family is in the same Pharisiacial type of church where you can’t listen to music with syncopation or has the emphasis on the 2nd & 4th beat. (Try explaining THAT to your more moderate relatives.) The boys coming to youth group can’t have any jewelry or “cool” haircuts. Any tattoos had better be hidden or you’ll get talked about. And we’re reaching NO ONE! In the five years we’ve been at this church, not one decision has ever been made at the alter and not one adult has ever accepted Christ. We all just sit in the pews becoming more holy and separated. Both I and my husband were raised in this type of church and we know we need to make a change, but we’re afraid of what we’ll find if we venture out. I’ve never been around “cool” christians making fun of “uncool” ones, but I’ve heard lots of nasty things coming from the “separated” against anyone who isn’t exactly like them. Frankly, we’re sick of the hypocracy. Our kids deserve to be taught how to love people who are different from themselves.

      • Rachel, you are in a tough situation. It is difficult to make a change, especially when there are children / teens involved. When we thought about where we would go, the mind would go back to the negativestatements made about those potential churches by the church we were leaving. That’s pretty sorry! I have friends who wanted to leave a church, but didn’t want to get their kids all confused at first, so the dad would visit a new church on Sunday AM. If he thought it was a good possibility for his family, they would then go back as a family. That may be one way you could start looking for some place new. Praying that you and your family can find a church that will help you grow closer to Christ.

  28. Amen, Courtney, thank you for standing up for Jesus! It’s not always easy, but Godis always with us, and I know I’m not perfect! I’ve fall in’ too. We have to encourage each other as well as reach the lost! I appreciate your honesty! Walking with the King is such a great way of life, not easy, but it leads to eternal life! Thank you! Love in Christ, Sue

  29. I don’t typically post comments but thank you for sharing! I only read a couple of blogs but I read yours faithfully! I did not have a “good wife” role model growing up and still don’t have anyone in my personal life that I can learn from, but I admire you and learn from you! Keep up what you are doing, sister! There are those of us out here who respect you and are glad that you are “uncool”—-but totally cool in my opinion!! God bless

  30. Unfortunately I’ve seen it go both ways too many times. Working at a seminary for 7 years you see the best and worst side of Christians. And that’s sad. Yes we’re human, but when you’re unloving it just makes Christ look bad.

  31. It’s not fun to have all these, ‘sides,’ ‘standards,’ and, ‘groups.’ I think Satan loves it because it gets our focus off of Jesus.

  32. I agree! I’ve had a long time friend that was always my rock when it came to realizing Jesus was real and that God wanted me in his kingdom, but when my long (and quite winding) road finally realized the truth, she found a different truth. She preached to me about finding the real truth and acted as if my little country church was juvenile. My truth relied on one simple fact…JESUS WAS AND IS AND WILL ALWAYS BE REAL. and hers was moving away from that into the old testament. Her approach broke my heart and once again for awhile I started questioning everything from how we celebrated holidays to our lifestyle that we had finally came to. I still miss her but I feel more like who I am supposed to be for the first time in almost 15 years.

    • Amanda, I’m with you, Jesus is real and He is the one we need to focus on. Some others in the replies mentioned how he is grieved when we (either side) are unloving toward one another and I believe that too. Funny thing about the Old Testament, it points to the coming of Jesus and of course explains our need for him because we are all in this sinful humanity thing together. There is so much rich truth in there, but it is so easy to get sucked back into following the law and not grace if we forget that. i believe the OT needs careful study too, but to read it without seeing the larger picture of God’s plan for our redemption misses much of why it’s there. And I have a long way to go towards understanding everything in there, it’s a lifetime of learning. I understand the idea of it pointing to Jesus more as an adult, and wish it had been more clearly explained to me when I first became a Christian. And it hurts when we don’t see eye to eye with other believers, I think we’ve all been judged by one another at one time or another.

      • Well said! We are not under the OT law…We do not sacrifice animals… Jesus died for our Salvation. xoxo

        • Sooo glad we don’t have to do that! And that we have the Bible written down, in multiple translations, and that we have the Holy Spirit to guide us as we pray and read through the word. We really are kinda spoiled!

  33. Thanks, Courtney. I’ve been on both sides. You are right. I love the comment ” Yes we’re human, but when you’re unloving it just makes Christ look bad.” Pastor S. M. Davis has a wonderful sermon on “What the Bible Says About Scorn and Mockery.” We grow and change and learn, and hopefully become closer to Jesus through it all. God bless you all as you walk with Him.

  34. In the past, I would have been one of the ones being mocked. Our family was unified and strong and seeking to serve God in a unique way, apart from the influences of the world. But everything changed due to some circumstances out of my control. Suddenly I was trying to survive and keep my kids as damage free as possible. You cannot imagine the pain, the despair I endured over this. So when a family is no longer unified, they seek love and grace and understanding. Some families and women are not able to live by the same standards as others. I have felt the sting of misunderstanding and judgment by those who could not understand that sometimes a person must choose between the lesser of two evils. I wish I could explain the whys of it here, but cannot. Just keep in mind that not all families are able to completely walk out the standards that you present. It is well intentioned, but some are just trying to survive and waiting on the Lord to redeem their circumstances. It is possible that the mocking is due to feeling unloved and even deep pain over the differences. Understanding, respect and love. That is what we should seek.

  35. I have not yet been mocked about my faith, but I have for other reasons and even though those reasons are not because of my christian faith, it still hurt. BUT I know that with age (wisdom mostly) that after awhile you realize that those people who have made fun of you were immature and among st other things too. I am glad to finally be happy for trying to be better in my life instead of the regular status quo. I want to please GOD, not anyone else (except my IMMEDIATE FAMILY). I love this post. I just wish I grew up in a God filled home like you.

  36. Uh oh……Busted!!!!! guilty, guilty, guilty. Not so much for making fun of “cool or uncool” people, but I am more so guilty of making fun of people in general. (my friends, family, co-workers etc.) Usually behind closed doors, rather than to their face, so that makes it a little bit ok right?…… Ha ha I know that is absolutely not true and I know my words and thoughts are a far cry from loving. I am slowly attempting to “nip it in the bud”. The process is slow and began first with awareness and conviction, then followed by a sprinkling of faithfulness. I actually wear a bracelet now as a reminder of this struggle. When I catch myself in the middle of a “laugh out loud at someone else’s expense” the bracelet jumps out in front of me and says “whoa, whoa, whoa. — Remember Laurie “they will know us by our love”!!!!!!! -(I just love that one song by Christy Nockels) I still from time to time find the words a flowin’ at someone else’s expense, but the moments are less often and perhaps they last only 2 minutes as opposed to 10. I am a sinner kind of lady and I need Jesus. However I have learned to laugh it off some too, because satan, he is a meanie little peon – and he attempts and often time succeeds at strangling me with guilt.

    SO LADIES — If this is something you struggle with too, join with me in this fight to take that satan guy down. Memorize verses, wear bracelets, tell our husbands that not even they are exempt, and ask them to please help hold you accountable. Ya see, me and God we are going to rock this. And together you and God can rock this too!!!!

    Courtney!!!! thank you so much for your posts. Your insights inspire me and motivate me to continue to keep on trucking…….more Jesus and less me. Thank you!!!

  37. James 4:4 – “Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” — Thanks for reminding me to have God as my friend first, before the world. Being “uncool” is the coolest thing of all. Thanks :)

  38. I love our church. Our pastor never says anything negative about other pastors or anybody for that matter. He said it should be written in every churches beliefs that there will be peace among the brethren. All the other churches I ever attended were filled with strife, even among the elder board. What joy it is to attend a church without strife, to be in a marriage without strife, to seek peace and to live at peace.

  39. What a good word! Thank you for sharing and being vulnerable in putting yourself out there. You have a wonderful ministry that God has truly blessed, but sometimes the nay-sayers are quite loud and hurtful. Another aspect of this is that of the Pastors and their families. My husband is an Associate Pastor, and I never realized until we began dating (married 2 yrs) how truly cruel and petty “Christians” can be. And very ungracious. It has definitely been eye opening into my own past as a church member quick to be negative towards the leadership and also has been an incredible lesson for me to extend grace and forgiveness.
    Earlier this year, I was crying in the hospital room before I was induced into labor to have my son, not because of anything to do with my pregnancy but because I had just read negative comments shared in a blog and on social media regarding my husband and our church, from a church member. But holding on to anger and sadness is harmful and releasing that through forgivness and by extending grace brings a peace. We cannot control the actions of others, but we can control our own actions.
    “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.”Romans 12:18

    Peace to you, Courtney. And thank you for sharing!

  40. Wonderful post. I often speak of your blog as encouraging to people. I have been around for some of the times people have blasted you and honestly, I felt so sad for you and for who I thought was reading your blog. I could not believe that “Christians” were so divided on things that Scripturally are pretty clear. I at one time thought we were more united than we apparently are. No wonder our world is in such decline. I went to read the comments today because I wasn’t sure again how this would go. Thank you for having the courage to continue on even though you have been hurt at times. We need you.

  41. Courtney,

    Well said! Thank you so much for sharing your heart!

  42. Lovely post! I think the key thing we need to remember in any situation it’s not our position to judge, anything.

  43. Wow. This is so ironic

  44. Hi Courtney, Thank you for the post as it is terribly relevant in these recent times. Mocking seems to be going on full force, especially with the advent of the internet, where it is so easy to express one’s opinion, often without even having to take face-to-face responsibility for it. I, myself, have seen terribly, heart-wrenching and terrible things going in within church walls in the last 3 years. My heart has been deeply grieved and confused at the behaviors I have witnessed by other Christians. It has been a scary time and yet a purposeful time of seeking the face of Christ. I certainly do NOT believe we should mock others, Christians or not, but I want to add, and only because of my recent experiences, that exposing or identifying error is not the same as mocking. I say that because I often see that the two are confused. We are never to mock, to tease, to jest at another’s expense and only to make ourselves look better .. that is not biblical and causes much pain and division. However, after so much of the terrible things I have recently seen, I would also say, as Christians, we need to be bold enough to say when something is not only not biblical, but that it is damaging to the name of Christ. And unfortunately, I do mean sometimes things that apply to other Christians. I also don’t feel it is should be a license to tear other’s down or be the “police” but, there comes a time when behaviors, attitudes, actions and patterns start to reveal something very detrimental not only in a single person’s life, but in those around them who have become affected. I think for a long time I have been taught by the church that we should never make another Christian look bad, but sadly, that can be abused as well, in that it allows another person, in the name of Christ, to get away with a lot of terribly deceptive and non-biblical behaviors that can (or are) hurting others. It takes courage to stand up when in that position but it is so important…and it can be done with love and bathed with prayer as Christ would want. I hope you understand I see the heart of your post and I agree with it, but this has hit home for me recently and I wish so desperately more believers were courageous enough to stand up when something is not biblical within their church walls.

  45. I don’t like the term “Christian Liberty”. No where in the Bible does it say that we have liberty to do wrong. If it was wrong for Christians to drink alcohol before..then why is it ok today. If the Bible tells us to stay away from the appearance of evil, then where did it change so young people can hang out with friends after work or on weekends drinking in nightclubs/bars. There are still consequences to these sins. We don’t have liberty to do wrong and I am sad to see so many young adults posting pictures on Facebook etc of them holding a drink in hand and hanging out with their friends. I am sure it makes Jesus sad to see this too. It bothers me to see people coming to church in shorts and flip flops. This generation is turning our lazy Christians who care very little how they look. Even some pastors are coming to church dressed this way. If you don’t have proper clothing for church is one thing. But, most just don’t care enough to dress up for church.

    • AMEN, Judy! I belive many who claim to be christians just want to go to Heaven. They are not really interested in Jesus, The Father, or the Spirit. They bible says by their fruits ye shall know them. This implys that there will be certain things in a christian’s life that are not in unbeliever’s lives. Also vise versa. You can’t liove wrong and die right.

  46. I don’t like the term “Christian Liberty”. No where in the Bible does it say that we have liberty to do wrong. If it was wrong for Christians to drink alcohol before..then why is it ok today. If the Bible tells us to stay away from the appearance of evil, then where did it change so young people can hang out with friends after work or on weekends drinking in nightclubs/bars. There are still consequences to these sins. We don’t have liberty to do wrong and I am sad to see so many young adults posting pictures on Facebook etc of them holding a drink in hand and hanging out with their friends. I am sure it makes Jesus sad to see this too. It bothers me to see people coming to church in shorts and flip flops. This generation is turning our lazy Christians who care very little how they look. Even some pastors are coming to church dressed this way. If you don’t have proper clothing for church is one thing. But, most just don’t care enough to dress up for church. Then there is the lukewarm Christians. The Lord desires us not to be lukewarm..middle of the road Christians he wants our all or nothing at all. We can’t just sit on the fence to hang with the world and Christians. We must take a stand for right.

    • Judy, where in the Bible does is say what we are supposed to wear to church? (Obviously we should dress modestly, I don’t mean that.) I am not asking this to be argumentative. I am truly asking with kind words and respect. :) If it does say that we shouldn’t dress casually I would like to know.

      Also, what is your stand against alcohol? My take is that the Bible warns us against being ‘drunk’ or drinking enough to alter our state of mind. I don’t understand why Jesus would serve wine at a wedding if it were sinful.

      Again, I am not debating with a bitter heart. I love all of my sisters in Christ. I just like to hear the opinions of other women.

      Others can chime in if they would like.

      • Sunni, The wine in the bible at the wedding was unfermented wine. In bible days all juice was called wine. All references in the bible concerning alcohol are in a very bad connotation. Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. Proverbs 20:1. If Jesus had served fermented wine at the wedding or the supper, He would have been going against the bible, and Jesus would never do that. He ws perfect or He could not have died for our sins.
        Concerning modest dress, it should be worn at ALL timws. When God clothed Adam and Eve in the garden, he covered them with coats of skin. Coats are loose fitting and cover all nakedness. God covered from the neck to below the knee. He calls that area our nakedness. Our nakedness should be covered at any time others see us. (Times alone with our husband’s are different, of course.) Deuteronomy 22:5 says that it is an abomination for men to wear women’s clothing and for women to wear mesn’s clothing. God hates that. If God says there is a difference in men’s clothing and women’s clothing, what is it? If a man wears a dress today, we call him a cross dresser, but if a woman wears pants, we don’t call her a cross dresser. But God’s word does not change. You appear to be a lady that really wants to know and learn bible truth with a sweet spirit. I pray this helps.

        • I certainly do. :) Thank you for your kind response.

          • I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to answer you Sunni, I have been out staining my wood swing and picnic table. But, I could not add anything to what Penny has said. It just really bothers me when a youth Pastor who is supposed to set a good example for our youth, comes to the pulpit wearing shorts and flip flops. How are parents going to get their children to dress proper on Sunday if the Youth Pastor doesn’t care enough to set an example. Christians should look good for their Lord and look and act different than the world. That was all I was trying to say.

        • Penny?? SMH…Shaking my head?
          Ur quoting all Old Testament?? As Christians..we r no longer under Old law..U walk in New Life. We do not follow OT & sacrifice animals on alters anymore?? Jesus Died for our sins. Your tone is judgmental?? What about the scripture I Tim 5:23?? ” Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomachs sake and thine often infirmities.”

          • All juice in the bible is referred to as wine. Jesus would not serve fermented wine because fermentation is coruption. There are three types of law in the old testament. the dietary, the cerimonial and the moral law. We are certainly still accountable for the moral law today. The sacrifices and diet laws were done away when Christ was nailed to the cross. (read the book of Colassians). If the moral law was done away with, I guess we can kill people, lie, swear, covet, commit adultery, etc. Those were also old testament laws. When God says something is an abomination, such as cross dressing, he does not change his mind about that. Dressing properly is a MORAL law. The old testament was given to us for our example. Why would God give us a huge book, (The OLd Testament) to read if it didn’t concern us. Psalms anf Proverbs are two of my favorite books. They are in the OT. I’m sorry if you think my tone is judgmental. In Corinthians the Bible says, He that is spiritual judgeth all things. I am only trying to give input to a subject. I’m sorry if I offend, but if THE WORD offends, I can’t help that.

      • I Tim 5:23 read this plz..”A lil wine is good for the belly” Christ follower but have wine occasionally and I have God’s Blessing on my life. xoxo.

  47. You are right about the problem. It’s as old as the hills. The main thing is Jesus and His Word. We all must do what we believe He would have us do, according to His Word and remember that not all who call themselves believers really know Him. We must follow Him, no matter what anyone thinks or says. I love your excitement for the Lord. My girls and I watched one of your videos on youtube during our Bible time. Don’t ever back off from sharing because of others. I know it must hurt. But your excitement for your precious Lord is evident, and isn’t He the only opinion we truly seek? You go, girl. Thanks for what you do!

  48. Tammi Mitchell says:

    Perfectly worded! It is why my husband and I are no longer interested in attending”church”. We will always be believers,but, we have no interest in cliques, social clubs, QUeen Bee attitudes in the “church”. Make us sick. And sad.

  49. You inspire me so much! Every since my friend told me about your blog, I have been hooked! My family life is so much better now, thanks to your Godly wisdom! I watched your videos on YouTube every day. I take what you say to heart because I know that you gain your knowledge from Christ and the experiences that you have had. I am thankful for you. I believe that if we were to ever meet, it would feel like we had been friends for a long time! You are so cheerful and happy and that is so rare and beautiful!!!!!!!! I got made fun of so bad since I was a preteen because I was very positive and cheerful. People made fun of me for being a Christian and that never bothered me that much until I got older. It takes boldness and the realization that God’s opinion is the only one that matters!!!!! Thank you for sharing the truth!!!!!!!!!!!!! The truth in love!

  50. *ever

  51. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Sharing right now with my homeschool teens who are sold out for their Lord and experience the same thing from their “Christian” friends. Great encouragement, and such God-timing!

  52. I am so sad to read this. For both “sides”. How about grace for each and everyone and how about rather rebuke in love (when someone is really out of line) than to judge by sight? Most of the time there is a way bigger story and history behind the public appearance!
    Thank you Courtney for your post and I pray one day, we all will be truly one body of Christ.
    Our church just recently started to change their statement and how they want to step into the future. It cam to: Love God, Love People, Make Disciples. And a big theme of course how we love and seek out the lost and how we act and behave and live out our CHRISTIAN life and I think not to judge and mistreat others will be a big pill to swallow for a lot ;)
    Thank you!
    Finding Hope

  53. So much truth and it certainly does go both ways. I think it’s exhausting for those who are always looking for some reason to say, “I’m a better Christian than YOU!” I’ve been in your shoes many times in real life. There are so many things we choose to take a stand on and then some like to then point fingers from their pedestal. I think we all get caught up in a lot of nonsense and someday we’re going to be straightened out when we stand before the throne.

  54. I certainly understand why you are saying dear Courtney and it does make me sad at the amount of bickering and infighting in church today. To those who say “That’s why I don’t go to church” don’t forget that the Bible commanded us to “forsake not the assembling of ourselves together” we don’t go to church for people we go for God!
    I would also say that I have been hurt a great deal by more “conservative” Christians then anyone else, and I consider myself to me very conservative. The reason? I am divorced out of an abusive marriage and because I no longer fit the bill as a Godly wife and really never can even though I’m remarried to a wonderful Christian man I am now somehow less then. I have learned to ignore this because I know this is not how God sees me but many of the posts even here on this blog seek to shame and hurt me because of my past mistakes. I however have no notions that I have never hurt someone with my thoughts and words. I know I have because what we may speak in encouragement may be heard through ears that have different experiences then us and they only hear the judgment and not the love in which it was spoken.

  55. Cassie Collins says:

    AMEN sister! I am like you, having characteristics of both types. I also FIRMLY believe that mocking and judgement have no place in a Christians heart. I know it can be a struggle not to mock or judge others who are doing wrong, but it should be a no brainier not to judge other believers on how they walk out their faith!

  56. Well said, Courtney. I think it’s nice and respectful to wear dresses to church and I don’t like to see that change, but sometimes I appreciate being able to wear jeans, if I want to. I don’t think God cares what we wear as long as we’re there. It’s awful that people are taking sides! It’s not Christian to mock people or judge people. I respect and admire people like you who carry their Bibles everywhere. That takes courage! Coffee shops, tattoos, Twitter… none of it matters! We need to unite as lovers of Christ and try to be good examples and make others want to become Christians.

    I’m sorry you have been hurt so many times. Stay strong, Sister. <3

  57. Thank you Courtney for posting this! I love your blog. I am so sorry that you and the other responders suffered hurt because you love Jesus. I encourage those of you who do not attend church to not forsake the assembling of yourselves together. Do not be deceived by Satan’s lies. You need church and church needs you. There are thousands of churches. I grew up in church and as an adult I found that my home church no longer suited me. So I found a new church. I had to visit several, but it was that important to me. At my new church people wear blue jeans, suits, shorts but its about the preaching of God’s word for me. I can read the bible for myself and I do but I learn so much more from my Pastor and others at church and in the women’s ministry. We learn from each other and encourage each other. No church will be perfect because none of us are perfect so that is impossible. I would urge you to join a new church and maybe help with the children’s ministry and teach them that words hurt.

  58. What we have to remember here is that the TRUE Church of God are all believers who have been born again of Gods Spirit! 2 Cor 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new. That inward heart change should also be evident on the outside – e.g the way we dress to church, and generally, our speech and conduct should all reflect Christ’s glory! If I were to visit the Queen of England I would dress in my very best attire; how much more when we are meeting with the King of Glory!! As christians we are to encourage and build each other up in our faith, not tear each other down! As Romans 12:18 says If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Of course we are all sinners who make mistakes, we are saved by God’s Grace! Ephesians 2:8-9 Yes we have liberty in Christ, I will have a glass of wine at Christmas, and praise God for all things He gives are good! 1 Peter 2:16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. So I am definitely in the uncool category, and that has to be just fine! We have to be reminded that in Matt 24:13 it tells us: But he that endures to the end, shall be saved! So there we have it friends, not to give up hope on what we know is awaiting us in the future!!

  59. I loved how you said this! It is easy for both sides to get caught up in comparing who is better rather than focusing on lifting Jesus up. Thanks for sharing !

  60. One of the things that I have had to learn over the past five years of being a community leader who is also a strong and outspoken Christian is how to have thick skin while keeping a soft heart. Many people are always going to be haters, and quite often it is because they want what you have or see a lack within themselves. I wish it wasn’t the case–especially among believers. I wish that we could all just know that God created us with unique purposes! There is plenty of work to be done. We all need to work together! Yes, it is hurtful when people mock or judge us. As women I think we are meant to have our feelings and to feel them deeply. But the key is to not let it harden our hearts or make us bitter.

    I think that as the Lord has allowed your ministry to grow, Courtney, unfortunately more of those negative nancies are going to come out of the woodwork. The key is responding to them with grace. Even though I don’t know you personally, from what I do know of you, it seems like you do a great job at that.

    As far as the humorous aspect of the mocking goes, I think sometimes people are just trying to have fun with you. There might be something deeper there, but chances are they just want to laugh in good fun (and it makes people aware of your ministry and how you respond). Think of it as your opportunity to show how classy you can be. :)

    A verse that helps me when other people say things that aren’t true about me is 1 Peter 3:16: “However, do this with gentleness and respect, keeping your conscience clear, so that when you are accused,those who denounce your Christian life will be put to shame.”

  61. Courtney – Amen! In reality, there are two camps…those camps not being “cool” Christian and “not-cool” Christian, but the camps being “all people”…and “Christ”. In the “all people” camp we reside in, its title is “Sinner”. The other camp is “Christ” and it’s title is “Holy”. We too often forget that we are all sinners fallen short of the glory of God and the only way to step into the Christ camp is by the blood shed because of Jesus love for us! Thanks for helping us UNITE today, seeing we are all on the same side, all needing His mercy and grace in our lives!

  62. Thank you for this post! Our church is suffering greatly because of the division between the traditional attendees and the contemporary attendees. Church wants to put all services into one sanctuary and traditional folks don’t want the contemporary folk in the same space where they worship, even if it is at different times. Please pray for peace, unity and wisdom for our church and it’s members. Satan wins when we attack each other.

    Stine

    • Leila James says:

      That really breaks my heart. At the end of the day we have one putpose and that is to serve God. We cannot advance the Kingdom of God if we can’t even get “church” right. Smh. I will definitely be praying with you for the members of your church. We’ve forgotten the very reason we go to church in the first place. In my community, all the pastors have a saying “this is the Holy Ghost hospital where sick folk come to get well” only it’s everything but that. This is not the church Jesus had in mind. I’m thankful that He is giving us time to get it right. I pray we use His time wisely.

  63. I’m so grateful for your openness, boldness, and God’s loving spirit that is so evidently at work in your life. God bless you.

  64. Dear Courtney, I love many of your articles and posts. I would love to share some on my FB page. My issue is that I have made a covenent with the LORD that I would not knowingly repost anything that does not use King James scripture. Would you have a problem with me changing the scripture references to King Jame scripture and then reposting sometime? Thank you.

  65. thanks you for this. I keep telling people it shouldn’t matter what’s on the outside but what your heart says about you. My mom hates the fact that most of my church goers dress down. We are praying people though. some of us ride motorcycles and have tattoos, but if you need a meal they are the first to step up and get it to you. So this was a breath of fresh air to me…..

  66. I guess I’m one of those “uncool” Christians. I am learning in life that it doesn’t matter what others say, it matters what Christ says. Regarding bad language- the Bible says “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers” Ephesians 4:29 and “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.” Exodus 20:7 Regarding tattoos- God says “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.” Leviticus 19:28 And so forth in the Bible. “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21 “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Luke 6:46. I don’t make myself the judge of other’s hearts nor do I shun them for choices that are different than mine. However I keep in mind that in the final judgement it will only matter what God said and how I related to it, not what was said by anyone else, including myself.

  67. Oh, I absolutely loved thsi article. In fact, I shared it on my Facebook page. Sometimes it’s hard to turn the other check when people are being unkind, especially fellow Christians…and especially when the first cheeck still stings from their proverbial slap on the face… Sometimes Christians are the best at shooting down their own wounded, too…but we press on and continue to show love and grace to others because that is what Jesus Christ would do :) :) Thanks again for sharing this. I hope it will be a blessing and encouragement to many. Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather ;)

  68. This has hit a nerve I’d say with all these comments. I’m glad you wrote this post because it is right on! If we would love each other with the love of Christ we could transform our world, not be the laughing stock of the world.

    Amen. Keep up the great work!!

    Praying for you Courtney.

  69. I think that we should love each other no matter what we look like. We all come from different walks of life. Who cares if you have tattoos or if you don’t. We don’t know each others past. Just because one has tattoos doesn’t mean that they have come from a bad place or done something terrible and if one doesn’t have tattoos doesn’t mean they haven’t. Our job is to love each other regardless of appearance and our past. Yes I have felt judged, but honestly I think that it is more on myself than the other person. If there is no outwardly action(s) done then it is just a feeling towards myself. I think that we all have insecurities and while we may feel that it is someones feeling against us it could just be our own feelings against ourselves.

    If there is an outwardly action then that is where we show grace. Yes, it is hurtful and hard, but most of the time what is being directed at you isn’t about you. It shows a lot about a person and they are probably going through something we don’t know about. Is it right? No, but it is our job to show grace and kindness even when someone has done something to hurt us. If we have done nothing wrong there is no foundation for the words said against us.

    Everyone is in a different place with their walk with God. Nobody is perfect. Even Christians make mistakes as well as learn and grow. If we continue to be an example then others will follow. Like MJ said, she was once a mocker of this blog, but followed anyway because she wanted the happiness she saw. People want Jesus and it is our job to be an example no matter what side you feel you are on.
    (I’m not trying to call you out MJ I just thought it was a great example and thank you for being so honest. :))

  70. Courtney, I know a pastor who always says what you said about balancing grace with truth. I’d like to share the verse Matthew 18:15: “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. When we see a brother sinning we must confront him ALONE, based in God’s Word, not based in our opinion. Confront by the Word of God cannot be confused with judgment. We have point out someone’s sin because we LOVE this person. If the person doesn’t hear us, we still have the verses 16 and 17. So mock is an attitude of immature christians like the church in Corinthians and it doesn’t help our brother to turn from his wicked way. Thanks God I can see my closest brothers and sisters walking on the path of Matthew 18:15-17. We have others problems, but we don’t suffer gossip or mockery among us.

  71. Amen Courtney. They will know us by our love, love for Jesus our Lord and love for the human race. I’ve been the uncool one most of my life. I now know it was preparation to stand on the solid rock of Jesus and not to be swayed. You go girlfriend I am so encouraged by your posts.

  72. Courtney – I have been seeing the same trend lately and it is sad but it is true that Satan will attack in a way that hits us where we are vulnerable – who likes attacks on our person on any level? I commend you and stand with you as you proclaim the truth day by day here and wherever you go. Apparently, your past experiences were preparing you for today’s experiences in this arena. It is so good to know you are preparing your children too. I will make it more of a point to prepare mine too because of your encouragement! I love your heart. True believers will stand together. The rest, I fear for them. The Lord will reward those who are steadfastly for Him. I think it won’t be long now. Let’s pray for those mockers. It goes both ways?! Not so sure about that, I have yet to see anything that you have written that is deliberately offensive or mocking! Enough said on my part, just know you are on the right track. The mocking is proof! Keep going; many of us are cheering you and joining you too!!

  73. I was raised conservative independant fundamentalist Baptist..reading only the KJV. I attended church 4-5 days a week.. in the 20 yrs at church..I saw alot of hypocrites. Ppl being make fun of because they did not wear the “culottes” or other deemed “appropriate attire” by the “church”. Tattoos, Highlights, modern haircuts & other versions of Bible were deemed “Worldly”. Where exactly where they getting this in scripture?? I attended their Christian school for 12 yrs & we were not allowed to highlight or attend movies, etc. It seemed to me all that was ever preached was a list of “DO Nots”. I do not ever remember preaching about LOVE which is most mentioned topic in the Bible. This church has not grown in yrs. Thankfully as a educated adult I have found a church that preaches God’s truths and does’nt judge ppl the way my former church did. Guess what– my new church is growing & growing. I have no problem with other versions of the BIBLE..as long as ppl are reading A Bible. Not drinking alcohol does not a better Christ follower make. I Like…this verse. (I Tim. 5:23) KJV- “Drink no longer water, but a little wine for thy stomachs sake and thine often infirmities.” Very few churches preach about being overweight..which if ppl want to quote “I Cor. 6:19..our bodies are a temple verse??” should’nt we all be in shape & not overweight?? If you know your Bible ..You know we are no longer under the old law..ie Old Testament..We do not have to make animal sacrifices, Jesus died for our sins. CHRISTIANS!! quit quoting old testament scriptures about tattoos?? & stuff that does’nt matter. I strongly think.. Matt 7:20 “by your works ye shall know them”. This sums everything up ppl that are truly following Christ will not have to “judge others.” I am in law enforcement & deal with true Evil everyday. I’ve had ppl say they know I am a Christ follower by the way I conduct myself. It does’nt matter my hair color or if I drink wine?? It matters how WE Treat people & point them to Christ. xoxo peace

    • Thank you, Judy. I also grew up in a conservative church also where there were “the rules.” It took me a long time to sort out actual sin from the worldly list…dancing, card playing, bowling in places that served beer, even earrings, make-up, colored nail polish, shorts, jeans, movies, etc. My husband grew up in a Christian home, not so conservative church, and parents with a very acute view of social justice for the 50′s. He actually accepted the Lord into his heart and life after we met.

      My husband and I no longer attend church because he does not feel welcome. It seems now that if you do not have conservative political views, one will be mocked and shamed in the context of the church service/sermon with the in-crowd jokes and after-church social banter and sometimes salvation questioned. He has been a union official for 35 years and they are quick to call all unions corrupt and more. This is not true, he is honest and has helped many people through the years. If we attended a liberal congregation (in the sense of the way the Bible is interpreted) I think we would be okay in this regard, but we would not be at peace with that either. I don’t expect other Christians to agree with me, but the contempt? We are seen as part of the opposition in the war for our culture’s values and we are not contending for abortion on demand and gay marriage. A couple decades ago this was not a problem or issue. I also believe we should have fellowship with other Christians and we should be more thick-skinned and forgiving to deal with what we feel is unwarranted disrespect for Christ’s sake, be quiet and get out of it all that is positive in that fellowship. I’m sad to be in this situation.

      • I agree, Jean. It’s so sad that it seems that conservative Christianity = far right political views. It alienates many from the church when it should not be so. I maintain that ‘separation of church and state’ is the best policy and when churches get into suggesting (or telling) people how to think politically, then they don’t deserve their tax-free status either.

  74. Thanks Courtney ….this just came to me at a time that I needed some answers to my questions. I guess we need to be careful about mocking others not matter which category they fall in!

  75. Sept 20th post in Dr. Adrian Rogers daily devotional , Daybreak-Practicing the Presence of God is taken from John 15:1-2 and He adds:
    “When Solomon built his temple, he employed 80,000 stone cutters. They chipped and shaped those stones in the quarry before bringing them to the Temple Mount. Why? Because Solomon didn’t want the sound of the hammers and chisels heard on the Temple Mount.

    In the same way, you are part of the living stone of His Temple and God is shaping you down here in the quarry called “earth” . Part of your shaping is in the form of persecution.

    So don’t look at your persecutors as enemies, but as God’s stonecutters. ~ next time someone criticizes, mocks! or reviles you! offer this prayer:’ Thank You God for bringing me another stonecutter’ God is shaping you to be what you ought to be.” Dr. Rogers. (my former pastor)

  76. Courtney, I think this is probably one of my favorite posts that you have written! It automatically made me want to evaluate how I am treating others…and then it confirmed so many things I have felt as well. You are so right. Like you, I stand in the middle…not really fitting on each “side”, because I don’t feel at peace with either.

    Thank you for your honesty and for confronting an issue that is huge in the church. I love your balance and how you strive for holiness, not coolness or uncoolness.

    God Bless!!!

  77. Annie Aviles says:

    The core of the issue is this; Jesus Christ says you will “know them by the fruit that they bear”. The fruits of the Spirit is; love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. Galatians 5:22. Am I reflecting these attributes? This is the question anyone proclaiming the Gospel should ask themselves before speaking. Also, when Paul was speaking of “judging” another believer, he suggested to go to that fellow brethren to discuss the discrepancy out of a place of caring and consideration of the other. Are our motives coming from a place of sincere care and concern for the other person with whom we are speaking of or to? This is the next question we should ask ourselves. If the answer is no to either question, then going to God in prayer to ask Him to cleanse our hearts of all unrighteousness, will be the first step in abiding in the will of God, otherwise, we are probably motivated in our own self-will that will ultimately keep us from living a life free, free of bondage.
    In sum, it does not matter which side you are on, “cool” or “uncool”, just be the one with a pure heart that truly seeks the will of God and not that of man.

    • kathy falat says:

      I agree with a lot of what you are saying.I especially am bothered by Christians who think it’s their job to pick apart and criticize preachers they don’t agree with. But the only thing I am unclear about is what you wrote about grace. You said grace,grace grace but balance it with truth. It sounds like there is a balancing scale that says the gospel is about grace but also about something else that needs to be balanced. It’s all about grace. If it needs balanced with truth it needs to be balanced with the truth about what grace is. I think that’s where the problem is. The church has given such a mixed message about grace. Example: Saved by grace but keep it by works and performance. No wonder our young people are so confused I think they feel they have to figure out their own way of believing because the church has given them mixed messages,

  78. “And what other Christians think of me – can’t matter if I know I’m in the center of God’s will for me. ” Amen Courtney! Great post! No matter what ‘side of the fence’ you find yourself on, all true believers are under the loving guidance of our awesome Father. Our walks won’t be an exact replica of each other’s because God created us all to be so unique. Our differences are wonderful and should be celebrated, and as long as our words and actions line up with God’s Word and the leading of the Holy Spirit, that is truly all that matters!

  79. Thank you so much for speaking this truth in love! You expressed in words what so many of us couldn’t. I will be reposting and forwarding to friends.

  80. Thank you for addressing this. My heart has mourned over the mocking tones some bloggers have taken on toward other sisters-in-Christ. I know I am fully capable of speaking or blogging without thinking through how I may be coming across so I hope this keeps me on my toes.

  81. Carissa D. Huffman says:

    Courtney–

    I have been beseiged on both sides by Christians who thought they knew better–I have been told I am not good enough, and that I am a goody-two-shoes.

    I LOVE your blog because you speak the truth with love. None of us is perfect–none of us has cornered the market on salvation, or Christian behavior. God made us different to reach all the different beautiful souls He wants to bring to Him. Dresses or jeans, tattoos or Twitter, crafty or not, home schooled, public or private schooled, whatever race or background–GOD LOVES EVERYONE. He does not love our sin, and all have sinned. WE are all sinners saved by grace. If we can remember that Man who dies on a cross and rose again to forgive our sins and give us hope–He is what we have in common, and He is most important. I am PROUD that my less-than-perfect 4 year old knows this–Jesus died to forgive our sins and rose again to give us hope.

    I love you, my bloggy sister–keep on doing what you do. I want to be in the center of God’s will and plan for me, as well!

    Carissa in eastern Iowa

  82. I read this post and it broke my heart. I have been blessed and encouraged so much by your blog. I pray the Lord keep you safely in him. I cannot imagine sharing my heart in hopes to inspire others and yet be mocked. I pray your faith is strengthened through these things some how.
    I’ve never taken the tone of your blog as self righteous, rather I’ve seen you as selfless and sharing light!
    Thank you!!
    Stacey

  83. Great post Courtney!! The comments only go to show that this is a very real issue and Christians are the one’s hurting themselves not unbelievers:( I have been guilty over the years of being on both sides and hope and pray that eventually I will mature into a place in my relationship with God that I can say I never mock another believer. I have had to learn to determine what convictions I hold for myself based on my salvation and not allow what others think to matter to me. I have relaxed greatly and I am finding I enjoy the freedom of pleasing God first and not man!! I think so many Christians are confusing cultural norms with biblical principles. Like dressing casual for church or the genre of music or drinking..I think it’s the “uncool” Christians are getting a bad rap bc they are trying to say that these are all bad and not willing to change with the times. Changing with the times does not mean you change your standards/convictions. I don’t understand why so many people get hung up on things that don’t matter. The gospel is the same in kjv as it is in NIV..it’s all about Love and Grace and Jesus Christ!!!! That’s the most ironic thing I heard all day..where is the love people??

  84. Yes, Courtney, I agree. I wish that we Christians would give each other more grace. Sometimes I think we give more grace to unbelievers than to our own brothers and sisters in Christ. And I know how cruel some Christians can be when they disagree with something we’ve written. I wish that we could be unbending on the clear guidelines of Scripture without making all of our doctrinal differences divisive. I know I’ve done this in the past, and hope to do it less and less in the future.
    Thank you for sharing this message.
    Gail, Bible Love Notes

  85. Great post, as always! I think Christians who make fun of other Christians for things like posting Bible verses on Twitter and wearing dresses to church are just immature.

  86. Thank you for addressing this. I have been disheartened by the mocking of Christian sisters in the blogging world; as well as, the new ‘in thing’—swearing. Our Jesus never met people where they were at by using profanities.

  87. I just commented today on a post about the little foxes that gnaw on the vines. The big foxes just eat the fruit, but the little foxes gnaw at the vine and cause the vine to die and wither away. Sometimes people say things that hurt and sometimes I say things that hurt, even though that was never my intention. I realize, sometimes I am the vine and sometimes I am the little fox. “Lord help me to be the vine.”

I love hearing what is on your heart.

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