Everyone Is Awesome?

This past week, I took my oldest son, Jeremiah, to Baltimore for a father-son trip. It was a special and memorable time together that included sharks, black light mini golf, arcades, jogging, junk food, cicadas, Lord of the Rings movies, episodes of Darknet Diaries, meaningful discussion, and indoor skydiving (ask Jeremiah about that one). But it was while perusing the Lego Store that I saw an intriguing 346 piece LEGO set. On the front of the box was a picture of the set – a striped rainbow backdrop and platform with a matching LEGO figure standing in each colored stripe. On the box was the phrase: “EVERYONE IS AWESOME”.

Matthew Ashton is the Vice President of Design for the LEGO Group and a producer of the clever LEGO movies. He is obviously a very talented and creative man. He’s also an open homosexual. He designed the “Everyone is Awesome” LEGO set to express his feeling that “as a society, [we] could be doing more to show support for each other and appreciate our differences.” [1] He wanted to “make a real statement about love and inclusivity.”

Now, on the surface, there’s no problem with a society striving to support one another and to appreciate differences. Nor is there an inherent problem with love and inclusivity. The problem exists in the definitions and applications of these words and the inconsistencies within the “everyone is awesome” worldview. Everyone is not awesome, and even Matthew Ashton believes this (at least I assume he does). Like every worldview that diverges from God’s authoritative Word, “everyone is awesome” self-destructs under scrutiny.

Was Hitler awesome? Should we have celebrated his differences and supported him in his pursuits? Of course not! I would guess Matthew Ashton does not think Hitler is awesome. Are internet hackers who steal your identity awesome? No, they are not. Though we can appreciate their expertise, skill, and problem solving, we cannot celebrate the way they misuse their abilities to exploit others. Are pornographers awesome? I don’t think so. Pornography is a brutal industry. Pornographers are image-bearers of God, they even have artistic talents, but we should not celebrate or support them because they exploit, abuse, and manipulate people with their talents. Are those who exploit others for personal gain awesome? The philosophy of “everyone is awesome” is indefensible.

There’s another way that “everyone is awesome” thinking fails. As much of society and culture applauds LGBTQIA+ individuals, why aren’t LGBTQIA+ individuals applauding Christians for their Biblical views on sexuality? Why aren’t they showing support to and appreciating the differences of Christians who also feel ostracized for their beliefs and practices? Orthodox and Spirit-filled Christians striving by the Holy Spirit to love God and their neighbor whatever the cost are a true minority group. Don’t those who champion the “everyone is awesome” worldview also think Christians are awesome? I guess not everyone is awesome after all.  

As a Christian, I relate to what Matthew Ashton wrote in his piece about the “Everyone Is Awesome”LEGO set. I think Christians resonate with Matthew’s thought. He said:

I came out in my late teens. For some people, it’s easier than it used to be, but there are still a lot of struggles for people that are coming out and it’s a really scary process. You don’t know how friends and family are going to react. You’re afraid of what the consequences may be. [2]

I think many Christians feel the same way about their Biblical views on human sexuality, me included. In today’s America, holding to Biblical sexuality is a good way to be socially ostracized and hated. I for one don’t enjoy conflict and confrontation. So, when it comes to sexuality, trying to be faithful to God is a difficult journey. I think LGBTQIA+ individuals should empathize. Do they empathize? As they want so badly to be heard, are they willing to hear? Do those who advocate the “everyone is awesome” dogma actually believe it? Do they think everyone is awesome or simply those who tell them what they want to hear? Unless “everyone is awesome” includes Christians and their Biblical view of sexuality, the “everyone is awesome” creed is a lie, a mere cliché, an empty and hypocritical statement.    

I don’t believe everyone is awesome. I confess another creed. In fact, I don’t believe anyone is awesome (in the full sense of the word), including myself. There is one exception. 

Christians don’t think they’re awesome nor do they celebrate themselves. Anyone who celebrates themselves is a deluded narcissist. Christians don’t think anyone is awesome, with the exception of One. Christians think God is awesome and they celebrate Him and what He celebrates, for God alone is worthy of celebration. After God delivered Israel from the Egyptians in hot pursuit, Moses and all Israel sang these lyrics: “Who is like you, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders” (Ex. 15:11)? No one is like the LORD. This is why Christians believe Almighty God alone is awesome and worthy of celebration. The first commandment sets the parameters of what we celebrate.  

“Everyone is awesome” is idolatry, and idolatry is bad for everyone. Christians cannot celebrate anything that God thinks is bad for people (i.e. all sin). We cannot give approval to anyone living a lifestyle that leads them to death (Rom. 1:32). To do so would be, according to our heavenly Father, unloving. As Paul alluded, Christians “approve what is excellent” according to God’s definition of excellence.  

Christians should recognize the inherent human value of LGBTQIA+ individuals and commend their admirable talents and gifts when those talents and gifts are used appropriately, because in them, we recognize the common grace of our glorious God, and His grace is praiseworthy. But to the extent that the LGBTQIA+ community misuses their talents, gifts, and even sexuality, we will not celebrate, we will grieve, precisely because we love God and them, we know that sin leads to death, and we desire LGBTQIA+ individuals to experience the forgiveness and freedom of God in Christ. True peace, love, joy, and contentment will come when the “everyone is awesome” dogma is exchanged for the “God is awesome” truth.  

To the LGBTQIA+ community, if you are listening. We Christians think like this, not because we think we are awesome, or because we want you to celebrate us, or because we want to be rude to you. We think this way because we believe God alone is awesome, and we want to celebrate Him and what He celebrates. And if you wonder what God celebrates, He has kindly told you in His Word. Visit a thriving Reformed or Presbyterian Church. Listen carefully to the preaching. Bravely ask a Reformed or Presbyterian pastor to explain for you, from the Bible, what God celebrates. I invite you to email me for an open and cordial exchange. I’d love to talk with you. Show your support and appreciation for differences by seeking to understand the Christian faith a bit more, and you may end up finding God and his divine intent for your sexuality awesome and worthy of celebrating.

[1] https://www.lego.com/en-us/page/why-i-designed-everyone-is-awesome?icmp=LP-SHCC-Standard-Project_Rainbow_CC_Block_1-PR-MT-QAXDTRW46D

[2] Ibid.

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Jonathan Shirk

Welcome to the online home of Jonathan Shirk, family man, Reformed pastor, author, podcaster, and small town theologian. Whether you're from a small town or big city, may this website help you find deeper comfort and joy in the gospel.

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