If you’re from any other part of the world, you’ve probably heard stories of how nice we Canadians are. Like painfully, ridiculously, apologizing when you do something wrong nice.
While we do (strangely) apologize for things we didn’t do all the time, can I let you in on a secret?
Canadians aren’t really that nice.
Canadians are actually a pretty passive aggressive lot. We generally avoid eye contact with one another. We don’t really speak to people unless we have to. We enjoy the benefits of being in close proximity to America while
projecting our own issues slamming its people/government/fatness endlessly. We convince ourselves our “free” healthcare system1 is pretty great when a trip to the ER usually requires a minimum five hour wait unless you’ve got a knife sticking out of your chest2…
And we don’t really like it when people tell us the truth.
One of the things we desperately need in our church cultures is a willingness to tell people the truth—people who are willing to speak plainly, rather than waffling about trying to find a “nice” way to say something, or outright lying to people altogether. This doesn’t mean we should be going about blasting people willy-nilly, nor does it mean we should be unnecessarily hurtful or rude…
It just means being honest people, and it’s something we clearly need more of. Church leaders need honest people around them who have the chutzpa to tell them what’s really going on. Church members need honest pastors willing to discipline them when they sin. And the lost need Christians who are willing to tell them that sin really does have consequences—that these ideas in the Bible about wrath, judgment and eternal damnation aren’t figurative, but the certain fate of those who remain apart from Christ.
And we also have to be honest about the good stuff, too—we need people willing to encourage pastors who struggle with a heavy burden. We need pastors who are capable of comforting grieving church members with the hope of the gospel. We need Christians willing to share the glorious benefits of the gospel—that it’s not simply a “get-out-of-hell-free” card, but a new identity and new life in Christ.
But what we really don’t need are more church people who are “nice” like Canadians.