Simon Arscott
Simon Arscott Simon has been sent by the International Presbyterian Church to lead All Nations Church, Ilford. Born and bred south of the river in Camberwell, London, he studied in York.
21 June, 2023 3 min read

It’s a word that’s invaded Christian speech, but could I suggest a moratorium on this adjective, please? It’s for two reasons.

Firstly, ‘toxic’ is a lazy image. It’s like the word ‘nice’. I know it attempts to describe a situation as ‘dangerous’ in an invisible way, but it leaves the nature of that danger unclear. All it really tells me is that you didn’t like a situation. People might say that a particular church is ‘toxic’, or that a person was ‘toxic’, or that a marriage was ‘toxic’.

Doesn’t the Bible give us a bigger vocabulary for sin? Paul has various lists in which he catalogues different species of sin. Why not use them more? Why not say: ‘Those church leaders were domineering and bullying?’ Or ‘He failed to forgive’, or ‘She’s a gossip’?

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