10 Things I Will Never Get About Christians
I guess this should be qualified with the fact that I am, in fact, a Christian.
So, I guess I am talking about myself here, too.
I think it should also be said that the subjects I am addressing here are largely WESTERN, FIRST WORLD topics. Many of my brothers and sisters in other cultures would not relate to any of these issues.
Also, while my thoughts, concerns, and questions are indeed sincere I cannot deny some level of snarky-ness.
Feel free to be snarky back…but, please be sincere in your snarky-ness. In fact, I would love to read your OWN lists!
I will probably regret this later. Here I go.
- Christians and Tipping
For a brief time in my life I waited tables in college. I cannot tell you how embarrassed I was when groups would come in after church. They were often the most demanding and the worst tippers. People, if you cannot afford to tip when you go out to eat you should stay at home. Period. Tipping is part of our society’s way of paying for servers. Servers are paid less than minimum wage by the restaurant business. I am sorry if you do not agree with the system. It isn’t changing any time soon.
Lobby your congressmen about it. Otherwise your lack of tipping is a passive-aggressive stance against protocol.
Tipping also goes beyond the restaurant business. Your valets, your hairdresser…even just a small amount…tipping is the cultural norm for showing appreciation. A sincere “thank you” is NOT enough in these situations. A sincere “thank you” coupled with a few dollars communicates generosity and appreciation. Not doing so gives you a reputation for being ignorant at best and stingy at worst.
However, since the person is likely NOT to remember your name unless it is someone you see on a regular basis…what they WILL remember is WHO you represent.
The reputation that gets tarnished: the organization with whom you arrived, the company they know you work for…the church they know you attend.
Christians…the ones who are supposed to be generous and pay the worker what is his/her due (1 Timothy 5:18)…why do you not tip well…or at all? I will never understand this.
2. Christians and Global Warming
I am always a little surprised and taken aback when Christians are so vehemently against the idea of global warming. Often these Christians will make fun of people who try to show evidence or concern for the state of our planet. I try to figure out if their arguments are biblical. All I can come up with is that Romans 8:22 seems to agree with the fact that the whole earth IS groaning for the redemption of Christ…that the sin of humanity even impacts our physical earth. Our consumption, our greed…these are manifested in the “groans” or our world.
If you don’t agree with global warming…that’s fine. I hope you are right. I have no need to ridicule you or argue with you. I just don’t get the passionate mockery of those who do. I just don’t understand how the idea of global warming threatens your Christian ideologies. I know it doesn’t mine. In fact, the groanings of our earth only confirm what I know about my faith: we are desperate for a returning Savior.
3. Christians and the Presidency
I plead NO political persuasion unless apathy is a new political party. There are many things I do not care for in presidents (and other political figures) present and past. At the same time I am APPALLED at the remarks Christians make about the leader of our country. Disagreement is one thing…mockery and disrespect is something else altogether. I think we look like fools. We end up proving right those who have called us bigots and narrow-minded. Please, please, please, let’s not act like the world. The world slanders presidents they disagree with mocking them and blowing things out of proportion. Can we not show them another way? Can we not be an example of grace and wisdom expressed in love and resolve even if in disagreement…rather than slander and hate?
4. Christians and Television
So while you all are mocking global warming and making fun of the President you seem content to allow you and your children to watch just about anything on TV. I don’t get this. I don’t get how you can have such high (albeit confusing to me) standards on some issues, but sit and support (by watching) the Bachelor. What the heck?
You also are dumbfounded about why your children talk sarcastically and hatefully to you after they have spent three hours watching shows like Modern Family and iCarly.
5. Christians and Feminism
Ok, I can kind of get Christians and their distaste for and fear of militant, burn your bra, kind of feminism. Kind of. But the abhorrence, rage response? No way. I get the fear that feminism elevates women over men and leads to a host of other problems. However, here’s the thing: in the strictest definition of feminism…Jesus was just that. He cared and showed deference for the marginalized. He lifted women up to a place in society they had never been. He encouraged them to learn (Mary at his feet), spoke directly to them (woman at the well), defended them in public (Mary Magdalene), and allowed them past the men straight to His feet (the woman and the alabaster box). When men were constantly trying to put women in their place, Jesus rebuked this idea (Matthew 26:10) and the men who voiced it.
Wikipedia defines feminism as “a collection of movements aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights for women.”
What is so wrong with that?
I imagine that God looks down on women who have been beaten and abused and relegated for centuries and, even if He doesn’t agree with how everything gets played out, I am guessing He gets their anger. I am guessing He sees the intense hurt.
Women’s issues ARE Jesus issues.
6. Christians and Abortion
Maybe it is because I have had four pregnancies now. Maybe it is because in ultrasounds I have seen the eyes open at 16 weeks and the heartbeat thumping at 8 weeks. For whatever reason I have a very difficult time understanding the support of abortion by a Christian.
I have had friends and clients who have had abortions. I have never experienced anything but concern and love for them as they navigated the murky and painful waters of grief after such a decision…whatever their resulting beliefs are about it.
I just struggle with the idea of nonchalantly approving or suggesting the choice from a christian perspective. It is a significant act in the life of the mother and the child.
And, when you have seen the ultrasound…that is what you see…a child.
7. Christians and Pretty
Ok, so I probably need to narrow this one down to SOUTHERN Christians. For a group that claims to believe that “charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting” (Proverbs 31:30) we are obsessed with looks…especially in girls. It is the first thing (maybe the only thing) we compliment. “Wow, she is pretty!” “She sure is cute!”
We perpetuate the idea that all that matters…all that truly matters…is what is seen on the outside.
Marmee from Little Women said it best:
“If you feel your value lies in being merely decorative, I fear that someday you might find yourself believing that’s all that you really are. Time erodes all such beauty, but what it cannot diminish is the wonderful workings of your mind: Your humor, your kindness, and your moral courage. These are the things I cherish so in you. I so wish I could give my girls a more just world. But I know you’ll make it a better place.”
8. Christians and the old earth/new earth debate
Similar to global warming, I also do not get the need for Christians to have a new earth. Maybe the earth is 6,000 years old. Maybe not. Maybe a day in Genesis represents an “age” rather than an exact 24 hour period…as in “back in the day…”. I really don’t know. Honestly? I don’t care. I took a class in college called “Science and the Bible”. I had two different professors who were both devout Christians and had completely different takes on this issue. One was “new earth” and one was “old earth”. I benefitted spiritually from their healthy debates. When I left that class I left with an appreciation for God’s word as well as science…not a need to defend either side. Can we really know? What does one or the other threaten? What are we so afraid of? Is God not big enough to still be God in either of these scenarios?
As a therapist I know that strong reactions, slander, and mockery usually conceal and protect a multitude of insecurities, questions, and doubts. It hurts my heart when I see Christians making fun of anyone who entertains a new earth OR an old earth stance. I know that there must be a lot of fear and questions underneath.
9. Christians and homosexuality as the worst sin
Do I think homosexual acts are sin? Yes. You can read my general thoughts on the subject here. Do I think it is the worst sin?
Proverbs 6:16-19 tell us:
There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.
I think that if some Christians spent as much time eliminating these things that the Lord hates that we would be in a very different place as a church.
10. Christians and Snobbery
James chapter 2 makes it clear. Deference and partiality to the rich or to those in high position has no place in the Christian church.
So there you have it. Some things that continue to make me go: “Huh? Wha?” I am sure each person could come up with their own list based on your own opinions and your own experiences. Again, I would love to read YOUR list!