Whenever I’m tempted to spout theological wisdom, I just remember: Nobody cares.
Social Media has taught us that success depends upon branding yourself. You have to produce content, get followers, retweets, and likes. Get your message out there. Effectiveness is measured by how many people you can prove bumped into your content.
This mentality has come into the Christian world as well. Pastors feel this pressure constantly.
We are told to follow the Big Name pastors out there and we’re basically taught to envy their numbers. John Piper can put some cheesy good morning poem on his Twitter feed and by noon it has 2.5k likes. I put out one finely crafted Tweet succinctly summing up justification and it gets zero response.
I then feel pathetic and dumb. John Piper, bolstered by the 2.5k people who liked his poem, continues to write weird poems as though people need such things for sanctification to continue. He Tweets away, then occasionally lectures people for spending too much time on social media.
I did a theologically minded blog for over 15 years. There were about five people who regularly read it. There used to be nine, but I banned four of them from commenting anymore, so they eventually left.
I put out all kinds of stuff for my church people to use. I speak three times a week, yet hardly anyone shows up. I put out, what I think, is good theological content. Really helpful and inspiring stuff.
No one cares.
I hardly open my mouth during conversations anymore. After all these years of being ignored, I find it increasingly difficult to think that anyone cares one bit what my opinion is about anything.
Yet I’ll share an opinion about the McRib sandwich at McDonalds and soon everyone I know is commenting on my opinion, even buying me a McRib every once in a while. Why does the stupid stuff that comes out of my mouth get attention and the deep theological stuff gets ignored?
I like to conclude it’s because people will not endure sound doctrine, that biblical truth is not palatable, that people like the darkness and not the light. People feel safe talking about the pastor’s fondness for McRib sandwiches, but not so much for his opinions on substitutionary atonement.
When a pastor says he likes McRib sandwiches, people take this as an OK for them to indulge in their fleshly desires. When a pastor drops heavy theology with implications leading toward holiness; nah, not so much. Go back to talking about fast food sandwiches.
No one cares about your theology. The only time they do is when they will tell you how dumb you are for holding such theological views.
I have largely backed off giving my opinion unless I am asked. Even those who ask don’t care most of the time; often they are trying to trap me.
But, like Jeremiah, I keep my mouth shut until His Word burns in my bones and my soul is weary with forbearing and I let it out.
I keep sharing theology, just less and more timely now. I understand that I’m still learning, that I’ve changed theological views here and there, enough to make me humbly consider if I even know what I’m talking about. Then I kick a few more people off my blog and get some hate mail and lose some church members. But every once in a while people lead me to believe I’m helping them, enough to keep me talking.
And, like Ezekiel, the watchman has to give the warning or else he becomes accountable for the people’s destruction.
No, no one cares about your theological insights (unless you’re John Piper and can make a cheesy poem out of them), but you’ve been called to teach the whole counsel of God. Go, stand, and speak.
But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said, Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.