I hate opera. And Brussels sprouts. And spiders.
But I'm glad they exist. Because they all serve important functions.
Saying I don't like something is not the same as saying it's bad.
Opera isn't bad. In fact, it's artistically important and brings joy to many people. It just doesn't float my boat.
But sometimes we have a hard time distinguishing between things we dislike and things that are wrong. For too many people, "I don't like it" is virtually indistinguishable from "this is bad."
This lack of discernment is bad. Really and truly bad. Especially in the church.
When we elevate matters of taste to the level of right and wrong, we undercut our moral authority. It causes others to distrust us when we speak on things that truly are wrong.
As mature believers in Jesus – especially as Christian leaders – we should be able to tell the difference between our personal preferences and moral absolutes.
For example, here are five things I dislike, even though I know they have value. (Plus a few bonus mentions at the end.)
1. Theological Disagreements
It would be great if we all agreed on exactly the right theology all the time. But we don't. And we never will this side of heaven.
So I've learned to appreciate the value of disagreeing agreeably – you know, without calling someone a heretic for having a different Second Coming timeline than I have.
In fact, I've come to be distrustful of any group of Christians who seem to be too agreeable on every fine point of theology. It makes me wonder who's hiding what – and why they're afraid of speaking up.
When non-essential theological disagreements are vocalized strongly, but respectfully, it's usually a sign of a healthy spiritual and theological environment.
2. Blended Worship Styles
Musical styles are changing.
What inspires one generation bores the next one. And what excites this one, confuses the previous one.
Some churches are attempting to smooth these waters and please everyone by blending musical styles within the same church service. Mix in the new with the old.
The usual result? Neither style is done well and no one is happy.
I can't stand it.
Pick a lane.
I love a church that knows their identity and expresses it unapologetically.
- Liturgical? Let's hear that pipe organ roar.
- Southern Gospel? Turn up the twang.
- Contemplative? Bask in the intimate solitude.