Christian Dick Syndrome

Last week someone asked a very good question. How can we be a Christian around non-Christians without being a dick. How do we meld these two worlds together?

Hence why today we’re exploring a subject that may well be a world first. And it’s a term that I’ve coined, called Christian Dick Syndrome.


No, it’s not some kind of strange religious STD. A Christian Dick is the way that some Christians, and only some I might add, have this way of saying or being that makes you wonder if they really get what Jesus was on about at all. They tend to deal in strong words of judgement, but aren’t so good at radical acts of love.

Normal folk look on in terror and amusement at Christian Dicks, counting their lucky stars that they themselves aren’t stuck being Christians. But before we get on our high horses, I’m even pretty sure that quite a few of us at some stage have been Christian Dicks ourselves – or at least had Christian Dick moments that we shudder when we think about. I certainly do.

But is becoming a Dick just part and parcel with being a Christian? Well I don’t think so…

Christian Dicks think they have all the answers and are willing to share them at any moment…They think they’re just a bit better than everyone else even though they’d never admit it…they aren’t willing to engage in relationships with people who society views as losers because it might make them look bad… and they’d rather cut themselves off from reality than risk being contaminated by real, alive, normal, everyday people….

None of us are like that right? So surely we’re in the clear! Hmmmm….before you think this following Jesus thing is an easy add on to your social life, I’m afraid you’ll have to think again.

Lets be honest, now days it’s actually incredibly hard to be someone that believes something. It’s much more popular to not be tied down to anything – whether it be spiritual beliefs, a political party or your internet service provider. People live for flexibility, so as soon as you say you believe something you’re sticking your neck out. And all of us want to accepted by our pears – none of us want to be rejects.

But… Jesus did say we should be in the World, but not of it. And in the verse we just heard (Matthew 5:10-16) Jesus hits us over the head with the idea that we should be prepared to suffer and be scoffed at and be lied about if we choose to follow him.

Here’s what I think Jesus is getting at. He’s saying we should fit in, but at the same time, stick out a bit. This doesn’t mean you should be a social retard for Jesus – in fact in some ways it means the opposite. You can’t get to really know people unless you really live with them. Not as some holier than thou, stand offish person, claiming to have the answers – but someone who shares there life with other people – laughs with them, cries with them, eats with them, listens to the same music, is interested in the same things.

Look at Jesus! He didn’t stay up there in the clouds looking down on us with binoculars in disgust – but instead he became human and got amongst it!

Christian Dicks have this way of being noticed– but not for the right reasons. They’re always at arms reach – never willing to get involved in the dirt but always ready to give instructions on how the clean up operation should go.

This is nothing like what Jesus told us to live like. The measure of a good Christian shouldn’t be on how much someone knows about theology, or how much someone reads the bible, or how much they go to church…they’re all good things – but the main way that a Christian should be judged – is by the way that we treat other people.

Jesus said that We are to be the light and salt to the world! That’s a pretty hefty burden. He’s got to be kidding right? Us guys, sitting in this room, are the best plan that Jesus could come up with. No billboards, no myspace profile, no readers digest “you could win $120,000 dollars and you’ll get this free watch”… It’s us.

So as opposed to taking the Christian Dick approach of telling people what they should be doing, we have a much harder job – we have to BE the message. We have to look after the weak, fight for justice for the oppressed, befriend the unpopular, like the un likeable.

Unlike the Christian Dicks, we have to fit in by being a huge part of peoples lives.

But at the same time we need to stick out by the way we treat those people we share our lives with.

This might mean making some counter-cultural, counter-social actions sometimes. Sticking up for people when it would be easier to run them down with the rest of the mob. And it might mean we’ll have to take a bit of flack from people because we’re the one’s who go against the grain when it would be easier just to pass judgment, rather than actually help out.

But the truth is, the only reason that people will diss us for being caring, loving, ethical, right living people is because deep down they know that you’re doing the right thing – and that by you going around look out for people sort of shows them up.

Click on the images below. Each one details a potentially challenging situation and then shows a typical response that a “Christian Dick Syndrome Sufferer” and a “Regular Non-Christian Kiwi Hipster” might have. Think about the situation – and creatively imagine how you would be the light and salt of Jesus in this situation.






  1. Mahlah Said:

    This is challenging…I like it though…I think I struggle with the idea of relating to Christian ‘Dicks’, without in turn judging them. But just accepting where they’re at and trying to help them get the right idea without being a dick myself….urg….
    good message though!


  2. Brad Said:

    christians have standards to live up too . this world doesnt & its standards continually lower . “freindship with the world” is touched on in James 4 v 4

  3. dave Said:

    Christian dick syndrome has been around a while before you coined it – I have been doing semins on ” how to be a disciple without being a dickhead” for many years now….

  4. dave Said:

    .. sorry that should be seminars – I’m half asleep.

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