The Unpresentables: Rethinking Our View of God's Grace to Broken People

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  • Tyler Mase

    I think this is an extreme elaboration of the accusation that Jesus was a friend of drunkards and gluttons. Jesus never flinched or hesitated to declare the message of repentance.

    • Jim Watson

      Jesus also never flinched at telling Pharisees that they were wrong about how sinners should be treated. There is nothing in the video that says that a call to repentance would be inappropriate. But, unlike Jesus, many church members forget that love comes long before (and must be part of) such correction.

      • paul

        And Jesus never flinched at telling sinners “go and sin no more” either. Is the WHOLE church to be blamed for a few, as you say, Pharisees in their midst? If so it could never speak into the lives of it’s people. Clearly this video had the Church in mind not a few Pharisees. Christ died for the church, we should honor it!

        • Jim Watson

          We should love and honor the Church. But, at the same time, we should be aware that others are looking at the Church from the outside. We need to be mindful that those “few” are the ones getting the attention of the lost. The only way to change that perception is to return good for ill. But, we will never do so if we bury our heads in the sand and ignore the problem.

          • paul

            I agree, the Church, being the body of believers we should let our love for one another be without hypocrisy. We should Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord not running around trying to be PC with every complaint made against brothers/sisters in the faith. Should a brother/sister act in a manner that is inappropriate toward an unbeliever we should correct him/her. And remember that we too were once lost.

            Having said that, this video is no where near what you and I are saying, it is a blatant attack on the Church and it’s members with a broad brush meant to shame and silence

  • paul

    This is just more Christian and Church bashing. I grow weary of the Christian critics who think they are :”edgy” with their insights. Enough please.

    • Jim Watson

      Sounded more like modern-day Pharisee bashing to me. There is nothing “edgy” about their insights. To deny that churches have members that treat their fellow sinners poorly would be either naive or intentionally false..

      • paul

        Let’s face it the easiest group and institution to go after is the Christian faith and His Church. I agree with you there is nothing edgy about the video.

  • Mario Brown

    This video is CRAP! This video harps on what an un-regenerated, unborn again person “resents”. In other words this group that the narrator is speaking of is a groups that despises and resents any form of authority. And lets face it, when people come into a bible believing church there is the expectation of CHANGE! How is it that we preach a Jesus that will change you but still tell you there is nothing wrong with you? How can we teach regeneration and allow you to remain the same? This group hates to be told to repent, put away, forsake, be like Christ which are all of the instructions in the New Testament epistles. I reject the thought that churches are unloving and mean because they instruct and advocate godliness. Not all churches fight about foolishness. They fight for the causes of Christ. Sadly, the sedition within the church has caused the church to look like the world just to fill seats and accomodate the need to feel significant.

    • Broilerroom

      This guy is doing what the liberals are doing to America, they keep saying negative things about our country, some of them are true but, they harp on the exception to the rule causing people to hate our system of government, which is the only way to over through it and get us to embrace socialism. Our system is the first system in the world that hated and ended slavery, gave poor people a chance to climb out of poverty and decide there own destiny, I feel like alot of these guys hate the church and really just want to destroy it’s foundations and they keep attacking people who preach repentance and right living and dying to self. If you can get the preaching of repentance out of the church it’s dead. If you want to destroy something, feel it with leaders who tare it down repeatedly and make the believers start to hate and doubt it’s teachings and they will leave and go were sin is celebrated. I know 1000’s of christians and only a hand full of real angry pharisees. Enough, preach the word, if someone is preaching some added doctrine like, women can’t wear pants or some such nonsense, rebuke them and specify, but this continued assault on the church and the preaching of the word, needs to stop. If someone does not like the thou shalt not of scripture, they need to stop calling themselves christians and go do something else.

  • Broilerroom

    I have been a soulwinner since 1988, I have lead hundreds to Christ, one on one. I am not including from the pulpit. I have only met maybe a hand full of people who even thought about church or living for God, I was raised around the church and never thought about God until I left it, I don’t see anybody except victims of some type of abuse who have anything against the church, and most people who talk bad about the church, have gotten it from a video that talks bad about the church or the secular media that constantly try’s to make Chrstians look bad. I have preached in gang parties and preached on repentance and had the gang members over my house for pizza and to watch pilgrims progress and they loved it by the way. We don’t have to get repentance out of the gospel, it’s necessary and it produces true conversions. People surrendering to Christ, rather than just adding him to there sinful lifestyle which is what religion and being a pharisee is. We just need to love them while we are preaching repentance. I started explaining to a young man recently, how we are all sinners and what sin was and and how Jesus took the punishment for it and he started crying and was truly touched by GOD. True conversion starts with conviction of sin and repentnace. We should be lead by the Spirit, sometimes I preach a hardcore repentance message and talk about hell and judgement, have lead people Christ that way and other times I talk about love, I lead a large portion of my family to Christ that way. It’s time for these guys to stop bashing Christians enough, this was not as bad as some, but I have had enough Christian bashing from people who are supposed to be Christians.

    • Jim Watson

      I will start off by saying that what I am about to write is not easy to write. But, after reading several of the comments here, I did some soul-searching and decided that I should not remain silent.

      You used the word “I” over a dozen times. You used “God”, “Spirit”, “Jesus” and “Christ” a total of 9 times. You reject how other people feel, tell them why they feel that way (without knowing them at all), and then tell them that you preach repentance while you love them. Jesus Himself told us that the world will hate us. And, that was before videos existed.

      You say we need to be led by the spirit, but then you suggest that we preach a hardcore message about hell and judgment while ignoring that God IS love. You say that you have had enough Christian bashing from people who are supposed to be Christians in a message that you wrote that is designed to bash those Christians. And, you see nothing wrong with that.

      I wonder why you are accepted by the groups you describe. It seems that you want everyone to be just like you. How does that make you any different than a gang member? The difference between a gang member and a Christian is love.

      Christians were commissioned to go and make disciples. They were commissioned to teach those disciples what Jesus had taught His disciples. They were commissioned to baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. It is a very serious matter. But there is an even more serious matter.

      We were not commissioned to love our neighbor. We were COMMANDED to love our neighbor. We only have two commandments as Christians. And, when you ignore either of those commandments, you are making people YOUR disciples, not Christ’s disciples.

      So, you should ask yourself who you are winning their souls to.

      As I read your comment, the first thing that struck me was the anger. This was not a post filled with the peace of the Holy Spirit. I believe that should give you pause. If you cannot lead off with love, you probably shouldn’t be preaching at all. Perhaps you should take a short break from soul-winning to do some soul-searching. I believe that your intentions are good. But, your gospel message seems to currently be in conflict with the Bible. You can’t choose which parts of the gospel to present to whom.

      There is only one gospel.

      • paul

        WOW Jim, should have followed your first instinct. Broilerroom, I believe is a brother in the faith. At least show him the same love and honor you would show an unbeliever!.

        • Jim Watson

          I did, Paul. My first instinct was that something needed to be said. And, you misunderstand me completely if you think I do not give the same honor and love to Broilerroom that I would a nonbeliever. I may not always express myself well in writing. But, I would gladly sit down to that cup of coffee and time of fellowship with him. I think that we would find ourselves to be much more in agreement than disagreement about the gospel and its presentation.

          • paul

            Really? Your use of the “boney finger” word “You” 16 times
            in your response to Broilerroom’s post, appears to me you want him to be silent. In fact at the end of your response you encourage Brouilerroom to take a “pause” because he is NOT preaching the Gospel, and that what he is preaching is in conflict with the Bible! For a Christian not much harsher unloving words can be said

            Wasn’t John the Baptist’s, whom Jesus called the greatest man on the earth, entire ministry an as you say “in your face” call to repentance, should he too have taken a “pause”? There are lots of things worse than a call to repentance; like silence!

            As for your “initial instincts”: You started off by saying: “ …what I am about to write is not easy to write. But, after reading several of the comments here, I did some soul-searching and decided that I should not remain silent.” Implying that
            you initially would be silent to Brolieroom’s comments but AFTER some soul searching you decided that you should not remain silent. Clearly your first instincts was to be silent.

            Where’s the love and honor brother?

            I guess words are in the ear of the beholder. What I hear in
            Broilerroom’s post is a passion for the lost and what you hear is anger.

            Back to the bigger point; I would recommend that you take another look at the video that prompted all our comments, listen to the narrators comments carefully to see if the narrator is speaking of a “few pharisees” or if it a sweeping indictment of the entire church body.

          • Jim Watson

            The narrator is speaking of the view of those who have been hurt by
            those inside the churches. Those who have been injured DO view the
            entire church with that lens. So, they DO indict the entire church
            based on the actions of the Christians with whom they have had contact.
            And, such injuries can only be overcome by love. It is important that
            the entire church be aware of those injuries when they reach out to a
            lost person.

            In public speaking, that is known as considering
            your audience. Speaking the gospel accomplishes nothing if you do not
            consider the audience. And, ignoring who the person is and the baggage
            that they carry does not show them the type of love that is needed to
            overcome past hurts.

            You see the video as a church bashing. I
            see it as a reminder that nonbelievers do not have the inside
            information that Christians do. They don’t understand that people who
            hurt do not represent the churches well. They just understand that they
            have been hurt by people who DO represent the churches. And, they
            remember that hurt. Everything they think about churches is colored by
            those hurts. They define their relationship with churches by those
            hurts. Therefore, they define their relationship with God by those
            hurts.

            And, the narrator reminds us that those hurts are real.
            Those hurts affect their interaction with us. And, those hurts MUST
            affect our interaction with the injured party.

            We need to stop
            complaining that we are being attacked and take a step back to hear what
            they are really telling us. Until we do that, we are no good to them
            or to the gospel presentation.

            In a perfect world, we would not
            need to take such factors into consideration. But, in a perfect world,
            spreading the gospel would not be necessary at all. That world is
            coming. But, until the Lord returns, we need to be treating these
            hurting people the way Jesus would. We need to meet their needs without
            worrying about what other people say about us. And, we need to have
            ears to hear what the people we are commanded to love are telling us.
            Even if they use the narrator of a video to do so.

          • paul

            The narrator after only 56 seconds of this 5 min. video stops reporting on what this young ladies feels and moves into his own diatribe about the “arrogant, self assured and smugness” of the church body today. He is now giving his own opinion of the church body not reporting what this young lady was saying about how she was made to feel.

            If you doubt this listen to the closing words of the narrator, “…it’s time for the churches to be filled with such again.” Clearing implying that the churches are not filled with such today.

            I guess one only hears what they want to hear. When one is locked into a paradigm that the church today is unloving, arrogant, smug about who is in and who is out that how they view anything said from it’s body members. For those who’s minds are made up that the church today is hopelessly condemning and judgmental no words or arguments can alter their view.

            With regards to your comment about the Gospel “… Speaking the gospel accomplishes nothing if you do not consider the audience” is not Biblical.

            Isaiah 55:11 says “So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”

            God’s word spoken through imperfect men/women will have it’s intended affect.

          • Jim Watson

            Clearly, we will have to agree to disagree about the purpose of the narration. And, we will have to disagree as well about the difference between our words (the presentation) and God’s word. While His word will always accomplish His plan for it, our words can (and, if we fail to consider the audience, will) fail to accomplish our purposes or God’s.

            And, you seem to know that. Otherwise, you would find a sentence like “For those who’s minds are made up that the church today is hopelessly condemning and judgmental no words or arguments can alter their view.” to contradict what God has said about His word.

            We are not called to draw people to our churches. We are called to tell people about Jesus. The rest is up to the individual and the Holy Spirit.

          • paul

            Thanks Jim for a good exchange. I’ve never seen anyone argued into the Kingdom. May happen, but I’ve not seen it. Only the power of God can change hearts.
            Churches are not buildings, churches are bodies of believers. It is within these “bodies of believers” that we are call to live out our lives together. To “encourage one another”, to “love one another”, to “help one another”, to “honor one another”, to “instruct one another”, to “carry one another burdens”, to stop passing judgment on one another” and on occasion to “admonish one another”. It’s hard to do these “One Anotherings” as I call them, without coming together on a regular basis. Sometimes we use buildings, sometimes our homes, sometimes a park but we should never forsake coming together.
            While we may and do disagree on most of the issues we discussed, it’s good to know we are still Brothers in the Lord!

            In His Grace,
            Paul

          • Jim Watson

            Always will be, Paul.

      • Broilerroom

        You said I suggested preaching a hardcore message about hell and reject the message of Love. So, preaching repentance is not love. Preaching repentance is the most loving and important thing we can do, those gang members let me into there circles because, I told them why I am sharing the gospel with them is because I love them and do not want them to go to hell, I used I because I was using my own life as an example, proving that you don’t have to change the message to reach people. And I said in the same statement that I preached sermons on love and lead people to the Lord that way also, I wrote this because I am tired of hearing people say you have to stop preaching on hell and repentance to get people saved when it’s a theme through out the bible and we are instructed to do so. My point is, as christians we are supposed to be lead by the Spirit, I had a young man throw me up against a wall when I was witnessing to him and said, ” don’t talk to me about Jesus, I told him, I love you and I am going to tell you about Jesus, he became one of my best friends because he understood I loved him enough to tell him the truth. It bothers me that everytime someone says repentance, some christian accuses them of ignoring God’s love. I told you when I wrote the post that it angers me when people continue to say preaching on repentance or on hell is some how off, when Jesus preach frequently on it and the disciples, is Jesus off, in the book of Revelations he preaches that message to the 7 churches. There is righteous indignation and that is what I feel when I hear people attacking a legitimate expression of the Gospel. If I met you I would probably invite you to a cup of coffee and fellowship with you, but I would still ask you to please stop attacking the gospel.

        • Jim Watson

          You misunderstand. I am not attacking the gospel (and would never do so). It is the method in which it is presented that must be done in love. I agree that repentance must be preached. I believe that hell must be preached. But it is the in-your-face presentation of that gospel without the love accompanying the presentation that turns many lost people away from God.

          It is the misrepresentation of God as an unloving, uncaring being who is just waiting to send each person to hell that nonbelievers react negatively to. And, it seemed to me that the people making such misrepresentations are the subject of this video.

          I may have missed the part where the video attacked all Christians (or even all churches). It never occurred to me that there was any objection to a proper presentation of the gospel (i.e. ALL of it, not just parts of it). It is the people who leave the good news out of the gospel that seem to be under fire here. And, the video seems to have touched raw nerves (as, apparently, did my comments).

          There are far too many people who call themselves Christians and have no understanding of the gospel. And, these same people often deal with others (particularly nonbelievers) in a very legalistic and non-scriptural way. As presenters of the gospel, we cannot realistically ignore that such people do exist and do have the effect that the video portrays.

          You seem to see it as a call to water down the gospel. I see it as a call to put the rest of the gospel back into our gospel presentations. We may have to agree to disagree on that point.

          Gospel means “good news”. We need to emphasize that good news to those who have been beaten up and beaten down by Christians. In no way does that mean we should not tell them what they are being saved from. But, by and large, nonbelievers have already heard they are going to hell. (Whether they believe it or not is another matter.) They need to hear about how Jesus has paid the price so all that changes. They need to hear about grace, the grace of God.

          Jesus died for them. He loves them. We should, too. And, we should let them know that Jesus loves them, and we love them. And, THAT, is the most loving thing and important thing we can do. That is why Jesus Himself commanded us to do it.

          Jesus also told us that no man had greater love than to lay down his life for another. Jesus laid down His life for those you are preaching repentance and hell to. You need to tell them about that. Otherwise, your “gospel” is all bad news. And, giving just the bad news seemed to me to be what the video was really all about.

          • Broilerroom

            I read in a study, that only 59% of Americans believe in hell, 74% believe in heaven. I understand what your trying to say, but one of the problems, I believe we are having in America is the lack of preaching about hell, I very seldom meet people who even know about hell and even christians tell me, a loving God would not send a person to hell. We seem to be forgetting about the God of justice who will deal with the unrepentant. I have been to conferences all over the USA and have not heard one sermon on hell in about 10 years except on the radio. How can people be pushed away by something that is not being preached, which is also what I believe is at the root of Americas decline. When I was a child, I stole some money, my mom found out about it, and told me if I stole, people would not trust me and she would not be able to trust me. I did not steal again after that because I loved my mom and wanted her trust. She taught me right and wrong and price I would pay if I chose wrong, I did not want to pay that penalty, so, I stopped doing the wrong thing. When I heard I was a sinner and the penalty for my sin, eternity in hell and how my sin grieved God. I started weeping like a baby and asking God for forgiveness, I knew I was saved because I wanted to do right and I knew I was forgiven. When 74% of the people believe in heaven and 59% believe in hell, That means they have not been taught about it. The good news is that my sins are forgiven and I will go to heaven instead of hell for eternity. The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. No, one fears God, they mock him like he has no power, I feared him when I was doing wrong and fell in love with him when I was forgiven and when bad stuff comes in my spam and I am tempted, I say no, and that is because I love him and I know he loves me enough to spank me when I’m a bad boy. Whom the Lord loves he chastens! He is a daddy who spanks his kids and a Judge, who judges the unrepentant wicked and if the world does not know that, we have not done our job. I would hate hear someone on judgment day say, Lord, no one told me I would go to hell for rejecting you. The bible says that people who don’t want to repent will be offended by the gospel, should we be surprised when a unbeliever who does not want to repent, gets offended. I submit to you, that is what’s supposed to happen.

  • Debra Hillier

    WOW I cannot tell you how disappointed I am. Another video which could be used on social media to reach the lost – to soften a heart towards The Lord and once again… I cannot use it because Christians need to argue back and forth their stubborn personal opinion. So very sad that Christians person agendas get in the way of reaching the lost, hurting world. Shame Shame Shame