In the 1960s, the Supreme Court debated censorship and pornography. Justice Potter Stewart was asked to define pornography, and he replied, “I know it when I see it.”
I’m not entirely sure how putting a bed on the roof and live broadcasting yourself to the world is different from using a prop in a sermon, but it is. I know it when I see it. It’s why jumping the shark became jumping the shark.
I shouldn’t have done that series on sex. It might not have been morally wrong, but it wasn’t wise. I should not have given someone a tattoo on stage (even though it was an incredible metaphor for the Old Testament passage I was explaining) because it’s all people would talk about.
I shouldn’t have tried to be the cool church because I think many in our town saw cool and not Jesus.
When you think about the awkward teenager trying to be cool, you’re sad because you kind of want him to make it. But you know deep down that arriving at a state of cool will untimely disappoint him. So you feel sorry for him.
The kid who wanted to be cool looked like he was worried about other people, but his ultimate focus was on himself. What could HE do to get their attention? What could HE say that would get them to notice? He wasn’t thinking of other people – his mind was squarely on himself.
People in your community know it when they see it. They DO pay attention to your church in the short term, but it comes with a long-term price.