Because We Can, We Should?


I'm not into today's CCM. The worship leader at our church must think me a pagan because I have a blank look on my face whenever she brings up the latest hot Christian band and their equally hot quasi-worship song that's blazing up the Christian charts. Who? What song? Let me guess; it has the same beat as all the others….

Today, I had one of those crazy days of endless errands. Oil change, allergy shots, soccer practice, a ten-item grocery list that necessitated trips to three different megagrocers just to get common items any ONE of them SHOULD have had. You know the drill. So desperate for a little spiritual refresher, I turned on the big Christian radio station in town to hear one of the afternoon teaching programs. Instead I got an earful of tedious music. 

Whither the teaching? Well, the station's booted all its teaching in favor of a non-stop music format. I guess every station wants to be just another vapid K-LOVE clone. In some corporate roundtable, station management decided to give the people what they want rather than what is best for them, thinking that 24/7/365 of the Pablum that passes for Christian music today better enlivens the masses than Ravi Zacharias talking about techniques for witnessing to Muslims.

Ugh. Maybe I'll call 'em up and request Keith Green's "You Love the World (And You're Avoiding Me)."

It's symptomatic of a gigantic problem. 

One of the most worldly concepts you'll find in our culture is this idea that "because we can, we should." Name a moral failing or a political ambition and I'll bet "because we can, we should" empowers it. Abortion and fetal tissue cultivation are the sick offspring of that thinking. You can probably come up with a million more.

Christians are not immune to this mistake. In fact, we rationalize a lot of  "because we can, we should" under the guise of redeeming things. Kids love Saturday morning cartoons? Well, let's make Christian cartoons! Your son wants an action figure? Why not give him a brand-spanking new Jesus action figure complete with a whip to drive out moneychangers and a glow-in-the-dark sword that springs out of his mouth to slay the wicked?

Almost all "Jesus junk" hatches from "because we can, we should."

Truth be told, I feel queasy walking into Christian bookstores. They're so utterly derivative and reactionary that if I were an unbeliever plunked down in one, I'd guess the first stage of being born again is losing one's sense of beauty, creativity, and charm.

Yet for all the WWJD paraphernalia floated over here from Shanghai, a more soul-killing expression of "because we can, we should" exists. is a recent addition to the Web. Some Christian organization thought there weren't enough avenues for confession for Christians, Confession or Gossip?so because the Web exists and is (somewhat) anonymous, it's the perfect medium for confessing one's sins. 

Except it's not. Not in the slightest. Instead, stands as a warning to us all, the epitome of "because we can, we should"-ism in the American Church.  

The site raises my ire for a number of reasons:

1. It's pornography. Like some lurid afternoon TV talk show, the site parades sin as entertainment. By offering verbal voyeurism (consider the domain name), it's no different than a hardcore porn site. One click and you can read the details of someone else's failure before God. "But doesn't the Bible show great believers failing?" Sure, it does. But if anyone here's calling for adding to the canon, well….

2. It usurps the role of the local church. No doubt, Evangelicals have dropped the confessional ball. Too many Evangelical churches would rather judge than offer grace after a confession. But building a site like actually circumvents local churches improving their dealings with confession, sin, and grace. It provides a cheap excuse NOT to fix the problem in our local churches. It asks for none of the commitment inherent in a Christ-centered community, cheapening how we relate to each other in an age when real community in the church is already on its deathbed.

3. It asks for no repentance. Enough said. 

4. It offers no grace. Real grace doesn't come with a disclaimer. Jesus Christ gave us a model for how to dispense grace to the repentant. It's the church body of real people who hear confession, cry with the sinner, and offer grace by the Holy Spirit working through people. But expunges all face-to-face restorative human contact. Therefore, by removing the links in the chain of how grace should be dispensed, it offers no grace at all.

5. It offers no accountability. After people confess on, what follow-up occurs to help them work through the ramifications of their confession? None that I can see.

6. It offers no restitution. How does one walk out the end product of a confession on Well, if nothing is asked of the people who confess on the site, then no restitution occurs. How that benefits the one confessing is beyond me. 

7. It demeans the death of Christ on the cross. If angles to be a Christian-sponsored site that takes confessions, yet offers none of the hallmarks of true Christian confession, repentance, accountability, and restitution, then it's not Christian in the slightest. That mocks the Lord.

I could name a half dozen more failings in, but its concession to "because we can, we should" speaks for itself. When considering this site's premise, it appears no one asked if it undermines everything the Church should be. They just plowed ahead and slapped it up on the Web. Alakazam, now you can confess to boinking your kid's babysitter and feel better about yourself for doing so. (And yes, all you grammar mavens, I intentionally wrote that last sentence for maximum {read ironic} ambiguity.)

Is anyone else disturbed that so much of what passes for Christianity in America displays the same hollow core as A group sees a need in the Church, but instead of pursuing tough answers that might require a complete overhaul of how our churches live out the Gospel, they settle for the cheap and meaningless—because they can.

Cerulean Sanctum exists to find ways to better our churches and the people who comprise them. For this treason, I loathe cheap answers to the pernicious problems we face as Christians in America. I see a site like and my blood boils. When another blogger told me about the site, and I checked it out myself, my jaw dropped at the utter lack of discernment behind this online confession booth.

(If you're a regular reader of this site, you know I almost never single out a particular ministry or program for scorn. I don't like to name names because so much out there needs to improve, even on good sites. I know that Cerulean Sanctum lacks in some areas. I also know I'm not satisfied with cheap and easy.)

I pray this post gets us thinking about finding the narrow path, rather than the wide, destructive one behind "because we can, we should." Too many Christians trudge down that "because we can, we should" superhighway leaving the rest of us to wonder if we're the ones going the wrong way.

Our response to the problems of our day will cost us something precious. When we're not prepared to pay the price, we'll settle for the path of "because we can, we should."

But Jesus won't be waiting at the end of that road.