Swain: Niceness Is Counterfeit Meekness

“Niceness” is a counterfeit of meekness or gentleness. The nice person always compliments, never disagrees because he is unwilling to risk his reputation for the sake of the good by opposing with anger what is evil.

Scott Swain

Subscribe to the Heidelblog today!


  1. Many thanks! Hence the reason why my husband and I continually feel the “Gospel vs the World” dichotomy raging within: We’re angered by much of the (oft anti-Judeo-Christian) leftist agenda, actions, etc: We believe we’re fighting — via carefully-spoken-and-written words, actions and donations — against this world’s ever-blackening darkness. But in turn, a good many fellow church members look at us like we’re over-reacting nut jobs outside the church walls…guess we don’t come across as “nice”! We’ve told a few people that while we believers are not of this world, we ARE nonetheless living and interacting within its surly confines…and our Savior would not want us to close our eyes to and not call out evil. Therefore, as the song goes, “I will not go silently”.

    • I hear you! I think the two kingdoms doctrine might be quite helpful in deciding how far we should go in our niceness. In matters of the civil sphere, that are “indifferent,” you can go along to get along, and you probably should, in the interest of being, “easy to get along with.” But when it comes to our faith and duty to God, compromise in the interest of
      not offending, is denial of the Truth. Heretics and false teachers love nice people who are afraid to offend by pointing them out. In my experience, over niceness of our members and a fear of controversy is a besetting sin that is fostering the down grade in Reformed churches. A pastor in the United Presbyterian Church of Canada once told me, “we do not hold to any of the creeds or confessions because doctrine only divides.” That denomination has completely sold out to Liberalism. When we compromise, by losing our grasp on our creeds and confessions, it is only a matter of time until we slip our doctrinal moorings and drift into seas of error. I pray that many people in our churches would follow your example, and “not go silently.” But is your name really, “Gladsome”?

  2. By way of relevant follow-up, I’m sharing this excerpt from https://www.theaquilareport.com/where-pietists-and-presbyterians-differ-on-christian-freedom/:

    “But the kingdom he proclaimed isn’t just spiritual. We are free to proclaim a gospel that has consequences in this world. Freedom in Christ means that we are free to go forth in the name of the Messiah who was “anointed to bring good news to the poor… to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18-19).

    Freedom in Christ is freedom to give freedom! To free those kept in the spiritual bondage of sin and the physical bondage of human trafficking, to free those mired in poverty and hunger, to free those oppressed for no reason other than who they are, what they think, or what they look like.

    Free from sin, we are free to do what Paul says is the only thing that actually counts: “faith working in love” (or making our faith active in love).”

    • D. G. Hart answers: “For Presbyterians, though, freedom from the guilt and penalty of sin means submission to the powers that God has ordained. The gospel doesn’t lead to social activism or wars of independence; it nurtures living quiet and peaceful lives….And that’s a reason why Presbyterians should be a tad reluctant to hitch Christian notions of freedom to Independence-Day ideas.” From the linked essay you quote.

Comments are closed.