Posted by: JennyRain | May 25, 2010

Are you a one-liner Christian?

Christianity today is filled with “One-liners”

It’s not about you.
Yes God, now what’s the question?
God doesn’t make junk.
Don’t be a mile wide and an inch deep.
Jesus is Lord whether you believe in Him or not.

There is nothing inherently wrong with one-liners. In fact, I like some of the one liners out there.

One-liners are often powerful. Memorable. Unique. Distinct.

People can remember one-liners.

One-liners stick with you like popcorn kernels inbetween your molars.

I am the queen of one-liners.

When I’m writing, I’m always looking for that catchy nugget of truth that I can smoosh into my posts.

I’m always looking for that powerful take-away that encapsulates the center of gravity of my story.

One-liners work for story-telling.

But do one-liners work in conveying the gospel?

If we tell people, Jesus came to heal you everywhere you hurt, does that convey the gospel truth that God can indeed heal, but it may be a long and arduous process that requires faith, discipline, and daily clinging to the cross?

If we share that God is love, are we missing the other side of the story that conveys God as Just, Holy, and Pure?

Incessantly searching for the ultimate one-liner places us on the precipice of losing the whole gospel.

One-liners encourage us to omit, edit, and shorten truth.
One-liners force us to go for the memorable rather than the eternal.
One-liners push us into the land of marketability instead of durability.

God is eternal, durable, and His truth is long and wide and deep.

God cannot be shoved into only one line and to attempt to do this is to rob Him of the expanse of who He desires to be in our lives.

God desires to inhabit our senses, not just our intellect.

He wants to crawl into the hidden places in our hearts, sit down, and begin to tenaciously invade all of who we are.

See, contrary to popular belief – God is not always a gentleman.

How can God be a gentleman when He so actively lurks and stalks our hearts until we turn them over in glorious submission?

God as gentleman is a one-liner that has definitely done some damage to our Christian journey.

Who wants a gentleman when eternity is at stake?

I’m just sayin…

One-line cannot encapsulate the beautiful, extraordinary, magnificent, incomprehensible God that we serve.

It just can’t.

It can convey aspects of Him… but not the whole truth of how He chooses to exist or work in the world.

So if you are a one-liner Christian (and I am guilty of this too, so I’m talkin to myself here) I want to challenge you with this…

What is falling out of your God message because you are limiting it to one line only?

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Responses

  1. “Who wants a gentleman when eternity is at stake?”
    That is a powerful statement. I started to make some more comments, but I keep erasing them because I cannot put it better than you just did. Powerful. I think I may have to have your permission to borrow that statement. 🙂

    • girl – all imitation is allowed 🙂

  2. Great post Jenny,
    I had this idea to be funny and comment in all one liners, trying to be funny, but that would be making light of the very serious point you have just made. Christians already have issues with a stereotype “church lady from SNL” and other negative views. God is real, loving, peaceful, and involved in our lives in every way. Cheapening Him with one liners is definantly doing a disservice to the Creator of all we see. Thanks for the great post.
    God Bless you and John
    Jim

    • OOO be funny anytime you want Jim! We Christians can be so uptight sometimes, and funny is the best gift of the day. I believe funny can also be a gift from God too… I’m smiling as I write this… you are a blessing Jim!

  3. I don’t think it’s possible to put a complete truth in one line.

    • agreed. And I am so guilty of loving one-liners, yet I know it is impossible to encapsulate the magnificent character of God and all He has done to a few short words…

  4. What’s falling out is that I can not fit the gospel in one line…. without giving theological background, I could sum it up in a name ~ Jesus!
    My heart gets that it is wrapped up in ONE… but until the scales are removed from their eyes, other’s won’t understand. It is foolishness to them.
    We know that know one comes to the Father unless the Holy Spirit draws him… no matter how catchy our one-line phrases may be.
    I really enjoyed this Jenny!

    • Amen sistah!!! I once heard a preacher say that if all he gets to say is one word to spread the gospel – let it be JESUS!

      • I honestly need to re-read responses before I “publish”… those spelling/grammar errors are atrocious. Hahaha
        Thanks for stopping by today… My road trip was fabulous.
        You’ll have to read Monday and Tuesday’s posts to see how it went.
        ((wink wink))

  5. twitter is FULL of one liners. =]

    gospel in 140. ha!

  6. While I agree with everything you pointed out, sometimes that’s what pulls someone in with questions. If some cheesy one-liner gets someone to ask me about my beliefs then bring em. There are a lot of people with short attention spans! But, the Body should also be welcoming & not just pull in strangers for the numbers or $$$$. There is such a plastic world out there. Many people live life based on a series of one-liners to live their lives. They are missing out on what God & eternity have to offer and teach! If we don’t teach people that God’s love is so much deeper and eternal, then the next generation will be at a loss. I don’t want to be a plastic person. I want to be transparent. To shine with what God has given me. For His glory. (3 word one-liner).

    • Agree – sometimes one liners are so very effective in reaching out – I totally agree… and I’m soooo one of those short attention span people you talk about. I think my gripe comes when we develop entire doctrines around one line of text or one line of an idea… then it seems like we are missing so much of what God gives us. annnnd i like your 3 word one liner 🙂

  7. I enjoy some as these one liners to switch me back onto track . As women are not counted in biblical times I love :
    I am a Princess , daughter of the King”and think little girls should have this shirt
    also : Yawah is a warrior and does not need our help!

    “Do not put God in a box” we tend to do that.

    These remind me of His infinite Power and goodness.I love to read some of the shirts kids wear . there is no hatred in these… as I see taught in Jahad. They are uplifing ,the ones that I have seen . Always “Jesus” is the one word that says it all.


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