Opinion | Pop Culture

Controversy Is Not a Christian Virtue

I don't think Jesus set out to make headlines.
Controversy Is Not a Christian Virtue
Image: Bradley Gordon / Flickr
Controversy Is Not a Christian Virtue

In the age of Twitter marketing, the road to fame and fortune seems paved by status updates and hashtags: #YourNameHere! #YourCleverQuoteThere! #YourSoundbitesEverywhere! These days, even church figures go on publicity parades, making headlines and grabbing attention.

One problem with this is that most big headlines are based in conflict and controversy. When a religion report makes news, for instance, it's typically over a clash of faith and culture: a church-affiliated person or group takes a harsh cultural stand under a supposed flag of faith (Westboro, anyone?) or a church-affiliated person or group embraces culture in a way that flies in the face of orthodoxy. Neither of these types of controversies is helpful; each is an extreme that misses the mark.

Take last week's religion press release, for instance, which involved a former megachurch preacher and author making remarks seemingly in favor of same-sex marriage during his latest book tour. His expressed views lined ...

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