Monday, August 1, 2011

Smoke, Drink, Cuss

Since the Jesus Movement in the seventies, the average church-going Christian could probably be outwardly defined in action as someone who doesn't drink, smoke, or use rough language - a fact that has kept pastors awake at night and inspired thousands of sermons. 

It's not because the conviction to not drink, smoke or cuss is a bad conviction, it's because the average Christian is defined by inaction rather than action, a problem that Jesus spoke so passionately against.

I can see the heart of the conviction to not do certain things. It's a good heart. Christians are called to live differently, and not drinking, smoking, or swearing is a practical way to show that you've set yourself apart. It's not just because the Bible says to watch your tongue and not be a slave to anything, it's also a great conversation piece, and I'm sure many a spiritual conversation got started when someone asked, "Hey Joe, I noticed you don't say the F word, you only drink soda at the bar, and you don't laugh at my dirty jokes... what's your deal man?" And Joe gets an opportunity to share his deal, which is Jesus, and that's a good thing because Jesus is good.

But somewhere along the way this inaction became the Gold Standard. The frosting on the cake became the entree, and church-going Christians all across the western church have been primarily viewed as people who don't do what other people do because of religious reasons.

There are a number of problems with this. One is that the same thing that attracts some people to christianity, this projected cleanliness, has at times alienated others. It's also caused self-righteousness (which is the most unattractive thing in he world), and it's been used as a ruler to judge a persons spiritual healthiness. "Do they drink, smoke, use coarse language? Then no, they're not walking with the Lord." I can't count how many times I've heard something along these lines. 

For a lot of church-going people, the definition of a true Christian means a person who does not drink, smoke, or use foul language.

I'd be remiss to not point out that one could define a Mormon, Muslim, or a Buddhist the same way. In fact, I'd wager that so many other religions do a much better job of "living righteously" when it comes to vices and speech. These are religions that would make the average western Christian uncomfortable to be categorized with, but when it comes to the category of inaction, most religions reflect the same values.

The problem is obvious. If the focus is on inaction - the list of things you don't do - then you are free to live your life however you want. What I'm saying is there are plenty of people who don't smoke, drink or cuss, but do business like the majority in every other aspect. They are viciously self-centered at work, stepping on anyone to get ahead. They do what benefits them the most regardless of who gets hurt (which is usually justified under the guise of "What's best for my family"). They value money the same way everyone else does. They criticize the underprivileged and justify not helping people. They are vindictive and prideful and selfish. Their coworkers would not define them as loving, gracious or compassionate.

So if Christian really does mean "Little Christ," we should probably see what Jesus said about all this, after all it's His name Christians carry. What does Jesus say about what our focus should be? Turns out he said a lot. In fact, the entire chapter of Matthew 23 is Jesus getting angry with the Pharisees, the religious elite in Israel at the time, because of their lack of focus on the things that truly mattered. They followed all of the outward aspects of the religion, tithing, fasting, wearing the garb of "holy people." But they did it for the wrong reasons, for selfish reasons, and they had long lost touch with what truly mattered.

If you haven't read the chapter you should. It's a pretty good one, because Jesus is the underdog sticking up for the little guy, and he gives the bully a lashing like he never had before. My favorite verse in the NIV translation is verse 23:

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24 You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.
Isn't that great? What wonderfully creative and harsh language. The truth is they were so religious and so focused on a thing like tithing - even down to their herb gardens! - that they forgot about justice, mercy, and faithfulness, the things Jesus says Christians should be characterized by. Of course, Jesus does validate Jewish law by saying "You should have practiced the latter without neglecting the former," so he's not saying don't tithe, tithing is a good thing, but only when done out of faithfulness. You have to have the right focus, otherwise you risk hypocrisy like the Pharisees did.

Over the last ten years or so we've seen a gradual change in the western church. People are meeting for Bible study in pubs, Bible college students are picking up a tobacco pipes to look more like C.S. Lewis, and even pastors have shortened their list of forbidden words. Of course this has been met with resistance, especially from some in our parents generation, who have always defined Christianity as an alcohol-free, smoke-free, slang-free way of life. They struggle to see any good in even moderate delineation from these staple rules, and I can't blame them. I can respect their conviction, especially when it's out of a heart of faithfulness and obedience. 

What is hard for me to put up with is the type of pressure, criticism and judgement that sucks the joy out of a room. If you look carefully you can read the underlying script at some wine-filled conservative Christian weddings. You can look around and see it in some of the guests eyes, it reads "We disapprove of this, and thus we cannot fully celebrate with you." 

I find it sad when people are so tainted with judgement that they cannot see the beauty in something. They can't see the beautiful moral of a story because the characters used harsh (realistic) language, they can't celebrate the beauty of a marriage because of champaign toasts, they can't connect with co-workers on a deeper level because they refuse to enter a bar. (Side note: When I was 11 years old I was kicked out of my Sunday school class for arguing with my teacher that Jesus would enter a bar and love the people inside. I still believe I'm right about that.)

Convictions in the grey area can be wonderful until you try to apply them to the group, and then they start inhibit beauty and joy and love and all things good. We should be giving a reason for the hope that we have, not giving a reason for why we don't say the S-H word when referring to poop. Hope is beautiful, so let's make it part of the entree. Who really gives a shit about poop anyways.

In the last ten years there has been a movement in Christian culture trying to shift the focus from inaction to action. Some Christians are trying not to major in the minors anymore, and that means that loving, passionate people who give their time to the church and put others before them also enjoy a beer with friends and don't get offended when someone drops an F-bomb. 

I think this is a good thing. 

I also think it's a good thing that those who have convictions follow them when it comes to their personal choices. If you have convictions for not drinking, don't drink. Have a Diet Coke or something. The problem arises when we want to blanket a group of people with our personal convictions. We want to play God and decide what is wrong and right for everyone, but the Bible leaves a pretty grey area when it comes to consuming alcohol or using slang (For my opinion on language use, see blog post Profanity vs Slang), but one thing Jesus is very clear on is criticism. He starts out Matthew 7 saying this:

 1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.   3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
I think the point is you'll never get the plank out of your own eye. We'll never be righteous enough to be justified in our criticism of our brothers and sisters. Or perhaps the point is that the action of trying to pick the speck out of our brothers eye reveals the fact that something in our own souls is fundamentally flawed. That if we were truly living right, we would never criticize our brothers and sisters on the grey-area issues. Perhaps our criticism reveals the plank in our eye, the plank that is our lack of focus on the fundamental dietary staples that Jesus laid out for the Christian life. Our focus should be inward. Jesus was very clear when he said "Do not judge," so why do we allow judgement to run rampant in our churches?

I think we have to take a hard line on things like love, mercy, justice and faithfulness, and leave a lot of wiggle room for the little things. The Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. 
and then...
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

It doesn't matter what you don't do, it doesn't even matter what you DO do, if you don't have love, whether in inaction OR action, your efforts are meaningless. Plain and simple.
Everyone will be convicted in a different way about the grey area, and we can't be quick to judge or criticize those who think differently than we do about the "frosting" issues. We have to show love. 

So for those who lean conservative, don't go sucking the joy out of the room when not everybody follows your convictions, and those who lean liberal, don't go criticizing those who choose to abstain. 

Let their hearts decide what is best, but in all things, may we have love.


  1. This is so beautiful and refreshing. I don't feel i need to say anything more than "thank you for writing and sharing this".

  2. Thank you for this post Matt. It is a topic that has been on my mind recently and it was awesome to hear your thoughts about it with verses to back it up. Look forward to seeing you play at Kingdom Bound on Wednesday.

  3. Such a great post, thank you!

  4. Thank you for always addressing the pertinent issues of our society. You steal the words out of my mouth time and time again.

    It's one thing to have personal opinions. It's another thing to be able to back them up with solid rhetoric and a biblical foundation...something you do a fantastic job of.

  5. Well said, its because of you that I am constantly changing my favorite quotes on Facebook. This is great!

  6. I'm a college student who is in love with Jesus, but has been feeling so much persecution in my church. I truly believe there is freedom in Christ and that God looks at the heart not the outside. I had begun to feel discouraged like maybe I was crazy, but this put my beliefs all back into perspective and strengthened them. Thank you so much! Just what I needed!

  7. .....mmmmmmmm...I'd have to agree with that statement! I get it, but if you refer to the Bible, there is a lot said about language. Like you, I'm sure that Jesus went into bars and other places less desirable, seeking the lost, but don't believe that he would have drank more than enough to refresh himself and would not have used foul language to address those he was trying to reach (although He was more often on the receiving end of it!). If a bible study can be held in a pub, (which might be hard because of the noise) and the participants stay focused on what matters (are their hearts sincere) and not get carried away, I guess it could work, but it sounds more like the church trying to fit into the world instead of getting back to the real message of Christ. Jesus went where He had to, but He was not of this world and though He was in the world, he did not become a part of it. So if we as Christians or just as followers of Christ, could ever perfect that, our actions would speak louder than our inaction!

  8. I agree a lot is said about language, but nothing about specifics, keep in mind it wasn't written in English. But my opinion on Profanity vs. Slang is already out there, so I'll go no further with that.

    I just wanted to address the "In the world not OF the world" comment. I liken that saying to "hate the sin, not the sinner," in that it's done more harm than good. Whenever I hear quaint sayings that sum up the mystery of the Bible I get leery. I think those sayings are thrown around as justifications to be exclusive, and to even harbor bitterness for the lost.

    When Matthew the tax collector invited Jesus to a party at his house, with all of his riff raff friends, Jesus accepted a seat of honor at the table. Do you think they used religious-leader-approved language? Or held to their limit with wine? I'm guessing not. The religious leaders were flabbergasted that Jesus would hang out with these folks, "Look at this man who dines with sinners," they criticized him.

    The way I see it, If my dining with sinners ever draws criticism from the religious elite, I can rest assured that I'm following Jesus.

  9. Also, on Jesus using foul language, I don't think you can get any more foul than how he addresses the pharisees in Matthew 23. We translate it into politically correct English, but who knows, it could have been coarse slang in Greek. Either way, it's pretty brutal.

  10. Spot on, Matt (as usual). I really appreciate how you worded the sayings as 'justifications to be exclusive' because I have seen so many people who seem to think they should segregate themselves from 'sinners.' (which the exact opposite of ministering to them)

    I also think it's interesting how many people i've talked to who judge people's sins as worse or better than other sins (whether subconsciously or not). Most people naturally assume other people's sins are worse than their own. For example, someone at a church might learn that a certain individual commits a certain sin… or even a vice which isn't necessarily a sin (having a smoke/drink). Immediately they might unnecessarily question their Christianity…. or avoid associating with them… or worse, associating and communicating with them in a condescending manner (in my opinion, equally as unattractive as self-righteousness). However, we really cannot discern people to be better or worse than us based on their apparent sins. I think a better approach is that everyone has something to teach us and vice verses.

    In Proverbs there is talk of putting a knife to the throat in consequence of gluttony. If we saw someone vulgarly swear (and I don't mean 'slang') in a church, many people would probably tell them to leave and even assume them not being a Christ-follower. However, if one was simply overeating gluttonously, most people would probably not think any different about that person. In seems there's a double standard. Certain sins are 'acceptable' to commit while 'walking with the Lord' or being at church, and some are not. Instead of judging peoples' salvation, I believe we remain nonjudgmental to everyone. (Christianity is for non-perfect people, right?) Again I think your reference to David be called a "man after God's own heart" is a fascinating concept to think about. If many people met an adulterer and murderer, I'd be scared to even imagine the judging that would occur (from me included, honestly).

    Things like smoking and drinking are an even further step back - the 'sinfulness' of the is questionable. Obviously letting one of the substances take over your life and letting them become and idol is sinful. However, I have found nowhere in the Bible strictly prohibiting either. (in Proverbs it even mentions taking wine for those 'bitter of heart') Because of this, I would be very wary of considering these things sins or proclaiming those who do them as 'lukewarm' or less committed. As far as excessiveness and harming our 'temple' goes, I believe it's a line that we'd be best to simply not draw in the sand, because we're not God or judges. Trying to define exactly where harming our body (our temple) becomes 'sin' is tricky business, because we have no eternal scale on which to make measurements. Is driving an automobile a sin because it increases your risk of bodily harm the same way smoking a cigarette could be a sin because of the increased risk of cancer? Who are we to say?

  11. We are all getting quite technical now, but my premiss was that if we are called to be followers of Christ and through Christ ultimately God, then what we do or say should be honoring to God. Most of us have lead a life of excess in some way or another, smoking, sex, drinking, drugs and even cussing. I am certainly guilty of all of the above, but when I answered Jesus's knock on my door in the middle of all that, I realized there had to be a change, if I was going to follow Christ I was going to have to make a conscious change, therefore I began to make those changes in my life, not in the lives of others. So while I agree that we should not look down on or judge others, we need to put forth the Lord the only way we can by trying to show others that our lives were legitimately changed by Him and that we would like to share this blessings with them.

    And yes your explanation of Profanity vs Slang was quite informative, but I still believe that there is some slang that is profane and is mean to be. I wasn't questioning your interpretation of the situations Jesus put himself in, others around him used whatever language they were accustomed to, I just felt that He would have conducted himself in an appropriate manor befitting God. But I confess I also wonder what was really said back then and where all those words we use came from originally, but that doesn't change my feeling that we should "honor God" in what we say and do, some how using the S-word instead of dung, just doesn't seem to do that! Anyway this is just my two cents, you can take it or leave it!
    (Sorry about that, the song "Nuisance" by John Reuben just popped in my head!)

  12. Cate - I totally respect your convictions and believe you should follow them. I just want to be clear about that because it goes both ways. I think I know a bit about your story from previous comments and I believe (not that it matters what I believe) culturally the guidelines you follow are right. To be abundantly clear, I'm not trying to convince anyone to drink, smoke, or cuss! I just wanted to point out that neither side of the debate is right or wrong all of the time. Convictions make exceptions based on the heart and culture of the individual, and we are called to love and respect those who are different from us.

  13. To which John MacArthur responded - it's time to grow up.

  14. If that's a response to the last line written in this post, I'm going to have to say no. But I'm guessing you stopped reading at the point where you disagreed.

  15. Actually I do care what you think, Matt, that’s why I stop by your blog along with some others. It helps me sort out some of my own thoughts. Here’s another thought I’d like to throw at you, don’t the teachings of Christ go against the grain of culture? I would think that the acceptance of Christ and his teachings goes against all cultures, so I think that any changes one makes in their life after accepting Christ would be of choice due to the love of Christ and not based on culture. Those choices would depend on where you are in your personal walk with Him and not necessarily the influence of culture or religion. After rereading your post, I see a different view, but I will still struggle with the uncomfortable feelings I get when in certain situations, but will do my best to respond in LOVE!

  16. Yes, the teachings of Jesus went against the grain of the culture of the religious elite, those who put enormous pressure on people to conform to heartless religion and chastised them when they didn't. Jesus preferred the culture of the poor and outcast. He picked fishermen to follow him. I imagine Peter probably used some colorful sailor-language.

    Where I get leery is when the religious majority creates a standard to conform to that has nothing to do with love or mercy or the big ACTIONS Jesus calls us to. When the standard is inaction, the religion gets diluted. Again, I support the heartfelt convictions of my conservative friends, and I would be way out of line to tell them they are wrong. I think they're trying to follow Jesus just like I am. Trying to figure what it means to do so in the context of our surroundings. We're all in the same boat.

  17. Matt, I LOVE all your posts! I think this is something people really need to hear. One recurring comment I get from friends who aren't Christian is that Christians don't even act like Christians unless they are pointing out the speck in someone else's eye. It is so important to remember that Jesus was a doer, and he was right out there hanging with the sinners.

  18. I’m sorry Matt, but I have another troubling thought running through my head, you mentioned that Christianity sometimes seems to be exclusive and not inclusive, but if you think about it that really isn’t totally our fault. The gift of salvation is offered to all for free and I believe there are many roads that lead to Christ, but Christ said he is the only way to the Father and Heaven. So there are only two options really, Hell or Heaven, so if you don’t accept the gift of salvation, you are left out or excluded. But my new question is this, you mentioned not letting church doctrine dictate rules and regulations that would exclude people from attending, you were talking about things like drinking, smoking and cussing, but what about another gray area, if people like say, homosexuals, want to attend a church? The bible has some definitive things to say about that, Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of that very thing. We are called to love them as humans, but if we accept them as Christians aren’t we condoning their lifestyle? Our culture says this is acceptable and has even added marriage to the list of things they can do. It’s not that I would think I’m above them or more righteous, but that The Word says it’s not the way God intended it to be. I have not had to deal with this kind of issue yet, but there are churches that do welcome them. It’s my thought that if they were sincerely interested in following Christ eventually they would see the light and consider change.

  19. Cate - the gay issue is probably too big to discuss in the comment section of this post, but I will say thy Jesus died for everyone, all types of sinners. Also, Jewish law in Moses' day was pretty harsh, if your son disobeyed you, or instance, you were supposed to take him outside the camp and stone him. Many a harsh law is mentioned in the same breath, but people only like to focus on the gay thing. Jesus didn't mention homosexuality even once, so maybe its an issue that we aren't supposed to have all the answers for. I know we're required to love everyone, so I personally wouldn't attend a church who shuts it's doors to certain types of sinners and not others.

  20. I agree, life is not cut and dry, it would be so much easier if it was, there are so many things that take some thinking and soul searching, I guess we can only truly survive by opening our hearts to the heart of Jesus! Thanks for listening Matt!

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  22. I relate to this post to a great degree. I do my best to put on that ole christian smile, hold to my morals and spread the word of God.

    Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to do something different. There was this campaign for people to drink nothing but tap water for 40 days. The idea is that after 40 days you would donate all the money you saved from not spending it on beverages. My last drink was YooHoo at breakfast with someone who would become my current girlfriend. For more than 40 days after that, I stuck to that simple resolution.

    Unfortunately for me, my company's annual convention was held in Atlanta. I say unfortunate because I garnered a lot of ridicule for my refusal to imbibe. But every time someone offered me a drink, it gave me an opportunity to share with them why I was only drinking water. It raised a lot of awareness that weekend. Even if almost every single beverage available was without cost.

    On Mother's Day I went to church with my mom, and while she changed out of her choir robes in the church basement, I was in her living room nearby. It was at that moment that I parted with $100 towards the cause by donating online. I then joined my Mom at the pancake breakfast at the church and enjoyed a glass of OJ with my mom and those with the misfortune to be at the table with us.


    Think of this. As Christians, when we wake up and peer into the mirror, are we seeing Christ in our reflection? We probably see who we think Christ wants us to be. But when we leave our house for the day, are we cutting people off on the highway, and giving stares and hand gestures to those on the road? I mean, I know Jesus was fond of walking, but if he had to meander through the streets of Manhattan, he might grab a cab once in a while.

    As much as we might see ourselves as holy, most often it is done with righteousness, and not the humility it sometimes takes to impart the words and love of God.

  23. So over Christians who spend 99% of their time and energy in "their walk" and the remainder on actually doing what Christ did. Self-centered, much? Seems like Christ spent all his time doing, and hardly mentions your "Christian walk" at all. So get off...Jesus spent his time with the sinners and the poor. Show me a big mind that's consumed by hemlines, necklines and grape juice, praying for the economy. How about praying for those starving in Africa?
    Nauseating. If you're (that kind of Christian) not the Pharisees, I don't know who is.

  24. And Bekki, I don't know anything about you, but I do know a lot of Christians who go through their life super insulated from all "sin." that mens they're also, rather ironically, insulated from all "sinners." How much of your time do you spend around people who think differently than you do? How much of your time is around people who look different than you, who have different socioeconomic circumstances, who are politically or denominationally opposed to often to you engage people that are completely dissimilar to you?

    I don't know the answer to that question with regards to you, but i am sick to death of Christians who are more concerned with not being sullied by the world than they are with actually engaging it in order to demonstrate Christ's love. Where are the Christians who are fighting for mercy for the poor? Or for justice for the politically disempowered? Why am I always subjected to the Church's current pet issue, whether it be gay marriage or whatever else, instead of the Church's unconditional love for God's children?

    That is what I want to know, people. When did the church become all about YOU, and YOUR walk and YOUR family and YOUR marriage and YOUR testimony and YOUR faith and stop being about everyone else?

    I have washed my hands of all of it. You can have your self centered, narrow minded and xenophobic churches. I'll take Christ's message any day.

    1. God how I wish I could find like-minded people here in Chattanooga that sees this truth!! My experiences have garnered the same result as you Anonymous!

  25. Hooray!!! Great article!! You took the words right out of my heart and put them to "paper"!!

  26. I agree with the post, but I will add a couple things based off of the word of God. The word judge is thrown out a lot in the Christian world. We cannot forget that we are called to bring the fallen back to Christ and show them the error of their ways.
    James 5:19-20
    “Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.”
    Galatians 6:1,
    “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.”
    We should not do this in a judgmental way however, but with a kind and loving heart, making sure they know we too, are sinners and fall short.
    1 Corinthians 5:11-13,
    “But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner — not even to eat with such a person. For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? But those who are outside God judges. Therefore ‘put away from yourselves the evil person.’
    How do we judge those inside the church? I take this as holding each other accountable for our actions in a loving way. If we see someone engaging in sin we should not sit by idly.
    That is just my understanding based off of the bible. I could be wrong and would love to hear any responses.

    1. Hey Paul B, I'll take a shot at responding. The context of those versus written by Peter and Paul (church planters and leaders), is that they are addressing very tight communities of church-goers. The key term here is "Brethren." Each of the verses starts by addressing the topic of "Brethren" and "Anyone named a Brother."

      I don't take the term loosely. I consider it to be someone I know deeply who shares the same faith, someone I could hold accountable. This does not apply to strangers who I don't know and don't hang out with. I already don't "keep company with them." This especially does not apply to those outside of my faith and set of moral convictions. Paul and Peter are clearly addressing house churches and groups of close friends.

      If I had a friend of mine in my small group from church who was going out every weekend, getting black-out drunk, and hooking up with girls behind his wife's back, I think as a brother I would #1: When he invites me to the club, politely say no-thanks. #2: Try to have coffee and sit down and talk with him, listen to his problems, try to reason using his professed faith, try to bring him to reconcile with his wife and stop the damaging behavior, and #3: If he doesn't admit anything he's doing is wrong, I'd probably just naturally not want to hang out with him, because I don't like to hang out with open liars… so the "do not keep company with anyone named a brother who does a bunch of bad stuff" line would come pretty naturally.

      The basis of your reference verses say that we are called to be responsible for our brothers. To me this is obvious. It's called being a good friend, saying the hard thing because you love someone. This is a far cry from commenting your disappointment on a Facebook post of someone you don't know. That is clear judgement in it's poorest form.

      These verses are about being a good friend to those who share your faith. "Restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted." That's all just common sense I think, and was probably written because people in those tiny, house-church communities were misinterpreting the words of Jesus when he said "Judge not" in defense of their own bad behaviors, or worse, polluting the others with their bad behaviors. It's our job to be good friends and say the hard things, but to criticize people we don't know? People who are outside of our community? People who aren't "brothers"? I think that is in direct opposition to the Word of God.

    2. Wow that is a very good point! Thank you for pointing that out. I always figured those outside meant the unbelievers, but it makes sense that it means only be accountable for those locally that you know and know you. I totally agree on the facebook post thing. Been dealing with a lot of that recently haha. Thanks again.

  27. Amazing, Matt!
    I've come from a family all-Christian, all generations. My grandpa is a reverend and I've always have grew going to church and listening the Word. And I'm really blessed to have this family. But, at the same time, when I became a teenager, all my friends were doing "wrong things" to my eyes and I was really really judgmental but I didn't use to look at my mistakes. I've been through a lot of stuff and I grew a lot. Now I think I'm more comprehensive to other people, to other point of views. We, Christians, became too separate from the "secular" world, when it should be exactly the contrary... I mean, Jesus went there and spoke to prostitutes, to homeless, to diseased. We may, unconsciously, think (or make other people think) we're way "too pure" for that, that we are saints. We are not. We are sinners just like everyone. My family is still really conservative and I love them but sometimes I just wish they would understand that you have to attract people, to show them the Lord's love, instead of pushing them away. I can't even make a tattoo because I guess they will just freak out.
    Anyway, thank you for this post! I'll be following your blog since I love your music and the lyrics just reflect some things that I think and live. Wish you the best, for you and your family!