Just about every day a blog post or video comes across my path that claims to say ‘what no one else has the guts to say.’
That claim is usually followed by an angry tirade of extremist and/or conspiracy-theory rhetoric that we’ve all heard a thousand times before.
Nothing new. No guts. Just outrage.
It’s even worse when the ranter is a Christian. Or a minister of the gospel.
If you’ve done this, you’re thinking about doing this, or you’ve shared a link from someone doing this, please stop.
You’re not helping. You’re hurting.
Here are 11 reasons why:
1. It’s Not True
Outrage blogs never give us a new viewpoint. They may express an overlooked, under-represented viewpoint. But they're never the 'only' one saying it. There's nothing new under the sun. Or on social media.
Maybe there aren't as many people saying it as there should be. Okay. Fine. More people need to say it. Good points can always bear repeating.
But don’t claim you’re the only one with the guts to say something. And stop believing those who make that claim for themselves. That’s never true.
2. Anger Is Not Unique or Courageous
You’re angry. I get it.
Your anger may even be warranted.
But you’re not the only person angry about it or talking about it, so don’t claim that you are.
Self-made claims of bold, unique courage are always suspect.
3. It’s Arrogant
Really? You (or the preacher, writer, or amateur videographer you’re reposting) are the only person who’s A) figured this problem out and B) got the courage to state it?
Here’s something we all need to have the guts to say. You’re not that uniquely smart or brave. To claim that you are is arrogant.
4. It’s a Cheap Way to Get an Audience
Titles like ‘what no one has the guts to say’ are called clickbait (Google it). They’re shoddy, cheap and they always disappoint the audience.
Weak arguments use cheap stunts and outrageous claims. Valid arguments are made with strong, well-reasoned writing and speaking. And they start with compelling, but accurate titles.
5. It Undercuts Your Good Points
When you use cheap stunts and outrageous claims to make your point, you don’t strengthen your case, you weaken it. Sometimes irretrievably.
6. It Lumps You In with the Crazy People
Crazy people make crazy blogs with crazy titles and crazy claims. No, they're not all crazy. But 'they're not all crazy' means too many of them are.
If you have a valid argument, don’t dress it up in the clown makeup of untrue, arrogant, outrageous claims. A Rhodes Scholar in clown makeup still looks like a clown.
7. It Lumps Me In with the Crazy People
I don’t mind when people I disagree with make outrageous claims. They’re hurting their own cause.
But I can't stand it when people I agree with act clownish, because you’re not just lumping yourself in with the crazies, you’re tainting me, too.
8. It Lumps the Church In with the Crazy People
If you’re a believer and you’re posting or sharing extremist stuff, please stop. You’re not just hurting the church, you’re distancing us from the very people Jesus has called us to help.
9. It Lumps Jesus In with the Crazy People
Worst. Thing. Ever.
10. It’s Always Negative
Why is it that the supposed facts ‘no one else has the guts to say’ are never about how extreme God's grace is, how reliable the Bible is, or how many Christians are feeding the homeless and rescuing orphans?
Be careful of people whose message is always negative, mean, loud and angry. Sure, there's plenty to be angry about. But truth without joy isn’t true.
Their incessant negativity should call their validity into question.
11. Anger May Be Warranted, But It's not Redemptive
Even if people stopped doing whatever sin you’re angry about, there’s no redemption in it. People can stop doing bad things and still not be saved.
Salvation includes repentance, of course. But saying 'no' to sin neither saves us or sustains us. Saying ‘yes’ to Jesus is what saves and sustains us.
I know that’s not a unique, angry message. It’s not very clicky. And it doesn’t yell well.
But it is gutsy. And true. And world-changing. Especially when we don’t just say it, but act on it.
That’s why a lot of people are saying it. And doing it.
But there are never enough people saying it. We can always use one more voice. Your voice.
Speak redemptively. It may not give you a viral video, but it is contagious.
(For more on how to speak and write critically, but redemptively, check out The Church Needs Better Critics (9 Ways to Win Hearts, not Just Arguments).
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