Friday, December 2, 2011

Bethlehemian Rhapsody


Combo of nativity scenes and puppet ministry. Couldn't resist this sacreliciousness.

Friday, May 27, 2011

#108 Communion Plate Passing Anxiety

When the communion plate is passed, white Christians know that they're supposed to be focused on the serving of the Lord's Supper, but they just can't help but feel nervous. Communion plate passing anxiety dominates the mental capacity of the white Christian during this sacrament.

When that tray full of the elements is being passed, there's a lot at stake- including the mother of all white Christian faux paus... dropping a loud, metal tray full of the biggest stain creaters on the face of the earth- making a racket during the most contemplative, introspective moment in white Christendom, and on top of this, staining everyone within the 4 foot spash-zone radius.

With the silver tray packed to the gills with potential energy, white Christians get nervous. "Which side of my row will it come down?" asks the swivel-headed white Christian as they do the odd/even plate-passing technique mental math to determine if the plate of great stain potential is coming from their right or left.

The prequel to this logistical nightmare is the passing of the bread. This is like the plate-passing training camp. If you drop this tray... all that's at risk is a lot of noise. The grape juice, however, brings the situation to threat-level purple.
There's a reason that stain-removal commercials use wine or grape juice to demonstrate "the toughest stains."

In white Christian mega-churches with theater seating, there is no "pew slide," so some white Christians are required to literally stand up and side-shuffle10-15 seats to the next person. This carefully tip-toed path is a
veritable time-bomb of embarrassment. The white Christian is forced to ponder, "Will he come over to me? Should I walk it over to him? What if we both get up?" The one benefit of the Mega church is the built in excuse. White Christians are passing the tray to a complete stranger. This allows them tomentally pre-emptively blame the other guy for any mishaps.

This anxiety is not limited to the pew-sitter. It extends to the plate passer as well. "What if my passing partner (or "communi-buddy") accidentally get two plates going on the same row toward each other?" ponders the petrified volunteer. "What if I wind up with all 4 plates? I can't balance that!"

Saturday, December 11, 2010

#107 The Annual Public Nativity Scene Legality Debate

God promises that "where two or three Christians are gathered, there He will be." Unfortunately for American white Christians, local government has decided that "wherever two or three Christians are gathered for a nativity scene, there no one will be ever."

Every year, when Christmas approaches on the calendar, white Christians enjoy several traditions to get themselves into the spirit of the season: reading Luke 2 (any other Biblical accounts of the Christmas story pales in comparison to this particular version),
candlelight ceremonies, advent candles, and even pretending there's a Santa Claus. But nothing quite captures the white Christian "reason for the season" like the annual public nativity scene legality debate.

Here's how it breaks down every year: Somewhere in Anytown, USA, a sleepy little village has recently outlawed a nativity scene. 99.9% of white Christians worldwide have never heard of this town, but 100% of white Christians are outraged by this turn of events. After all, local news reports indicate that they've had a nativity scene in the Anytown, USA fire department parking lot for the past 33 years, but now the Washington fat cats are taking this beloved spontaneous zoo fantasy camp away from the once simple (now angry) townspeople.

This group anger pools into action and culminates in two additional white Christian Christmas classics: protests and boycotts. Protest signs with "Jesus is the Reason for the Season," are now on par with Christmas lights. Nothing says "God With Us," quite like a good ol' fashion picket line.

Tournament of Like

False alarm, the new Tournament of Like will debut next week. Enjoy a new post instead.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

New Tournament of Like!

Next week we will premier the 2nd Tournament of Like - a fight to the death between all the SWCL posts since the last Tournament of Like. You, dear reader will vote, matchup by matchup on your favorite posts. Last time around, Youth Pastors vanquished Casual Church Attire for the championship. In lieu of our usual post, please enjoy one of the top ten raps about the Heidelberg Catechism I've heard recently.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

#106 Black Double-Breasted Pea Coats

In cool-climate white Christian churches during winter months, you can expect the coat racks to be jam packed with black double-breasted pea coats. There may be a few reds, greens, yellows, or even single breasted coats, but these coat wearers are frankly ridiculous.

Navy blue or silver coats are acceptable- but barely. The simple fact is that the vast majority of White Christians like their exterior winter garments like they like their gospel singers: black and double breasted.

Unfortunately for the coats, every white Christian church has a dysfunctional coat storage system. Back in 1972, the church maintenance guy was charged with purchasing coat racks and/or hangers for the temporary coat-storing needs of the congregation. Being a visionary leader, this man planned on having a maximum of 20 people come to church on any given Sunday. Now, with a church population in the hundreds (or thousands), a coat-soiling game of russian roulette takes place. Miraculously, the 20 coat rack is maximized, and the first hundred congregants are able to store their black double-breasted pea coats in a "just jam it in there" haphazard manner.

With a nod to the Netherlands'
public bicycle program, there is no need to fear that their coat will be stolen... because there is no motivation to steal. Since the white Christian coat market has been saturated and everyone already has their own black double-breasted pea coat, any temptation to steal has been suppressed.

The black double-breasted pea coat is the white Christian's best guess as to the earthly version of a heavenly choir robe. They're unisex, simple, stylish, and timeless. An 80 year old woman and a 13 year old girl could wear the same coat to church, and not think anything of it. What other article of clothing can make such a bold claim?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

#105 Health and Wealth


The Bible is filled with people who followed God's will, only to be put in fiery furnaces, beheaded, stoned, or crucified. Naturally, many white Christians interpret this to mean that if they put their faith in God, they will be rewarded with health and wealth all of their days.

And not just health and a comfortable living, mind you, but anything your heart desires! Ferrari? Beach house? Season six of the Office on DVD? Just "name it and claim it" and God has to give it to you - it's in the Bible... somewhere. Limited numbers of Word-Faith type church members have had sports cars magically appear in their driveways, but it's an entirely different story for the pastors of these churches.

Prosperity theology is quite the deal for charismatic pastors like Joel Osteen and Jim Baker. As long as the congregation believes that a winning lottery ticket is only a bigger tithe away, at least the pastor will be living his best life now.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

#104 Telling People That They're Going to Hell

Hell. Eternal damnation. Separation from God for all of eternity. The lake of fire. With devils and those caves and the ragged clothing. And the heat. It's pretty much the worst possible place that you could be. As terrible as this place is, many white Christians love telling people that Hell is precisely where they're going.

Judgemental? Sure. In-your-face? You bet. But you know what else is judgemental and in-your-face? The firey fires of Hell. Boom - suck on that nugget of truth for a few moments! Not as creamy and delicious as you thought was it? Check and mate!

Once a white Christians has told their first person that they're going to "H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks," it's really a slippery slope of judgmental joy. Pretty soon, they're telling anyone who disagrees with them, looks different from them, or even minorly inconveniences them that they're going to Hell. It's only a matter of time before the judgmental white Christian claims that all Democrats are going to Hell, all Republicans are going to Hell and that guy that cut you off in traffic is going to Hell. They especially like telling Bloggers that they are going to Hell (anonymously).

Upon instructing the lost that they are, in fact, on a highway to Hell, the white Christian is then able to elevate their standing by informing the lost sheep that they are praying for their soul. It's through welcoming techniques like this that the white Christian seeks to save the lost.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

#103 Fill-in-the-Blank Sermon Notes

Since every contemporary white Christian sermon is generally taught at a 2nd grade level (often as simple as "Jesus Loves You and So Do We") white Christian pastors figure that they should allow a note-taking style that is becoming to that of a 2nd grader. That's where fill-in-the-blank sermon notes come in handy.

When the mind starts to wander, pastors know that those blessed little blanks will bring 'em back. Expert level white Christians will have entered the church building prepared. Having previously received the scripture text in the church's weekly e-mail newsletter (and having subsequently read and/or memorized said text), this expert level white Christian will enter into their own little game of "predict the blank before the pastor says it aloud."

The golf pencil graphite will etch below the blank, and any correct predictions will result in a nudge in the ribs or a knowing glance to the white Christian family member sitting next to them. Conversely, malcontents in middle school might use the blanks as their own little personal game of "mad-libbs."

As if blanks weren't enough to keep the attention the blanks are digitally filled in on the screen so that white Christians can keep up.

Well-intentioned white Christians tell themselves that they will take the completed notes (or "answer key") home and place it inside their Bible or post it on their refrigerator. More than likely, however, these notes will be jettisoned during post-worship refreshments. There's only so much that a white Christian can hold onto. With a cup of coffee in one hand and a cookie/napkin combo in the other, the long-term storage of sermon notes for future contemplation is a necessary sacrifice.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

#102 Vague Bible Quotes


During conversation among white Christians, throwing out a quote from the Bible is welcome at any time. Regardless of the topic of discussion, a little bit of memorized scripture is always appropriate. While expert-level white Christians will execute their Bible quotation flawlessly, most white Christians are too far removed from Sunday School to be able to cite chapter and verse, or even remember the exact phrasing.

Instead, they will start with "Like the Bible says..." and then offer up something that sounds vaguely familiar and Bible-ish to the other church-going people in the vicinity. These Bible-quoters knows they are mangling the verse, but as long as they can muster at least fifty percent accuracy, the others will nod approvingly.

The Bible is the ultimate authority, so citing scripture is the perfect response to any problem or question raised in conversation with others. A half correct Bible verse has at least some words that are in the Bible, surely this is better than saying something that isn't in the Bible at all.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

#101 Gender Neutrality

Many within white Christendom have discovered that there are way too many male figures in their Bibles. In an effort to correct this rare Biblical "error" from this infallible Book, inclusion, diversity, and political correctness are valued over hermeneutical accuracy. Just about any general reference to gender is neutered. While this movement is well intentioned, it definitely ruins the recitation of previously memorized Bible verses.

Take John 15:5 for instance. If you've ever memorized this verse previously, try to navigate through this verbal mine-field: "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man person remain in me and I in him him/her, he he/she will bear much fruit."


This rote-memory-vs.-newer-version-conundrum mirrors the familiar public Lord's Prayer indecision. When attending a non-native church and the Lord's Prayer is liturgically spoken, the white Christian is always forced to wonder, is it "Forgive us our..."

  1. "Debts as we forgive our debtors?"
  2. "Trespasses as those who trespass against us?"
  3. "Sins as we forgive those who sin against us?"

No matter what the white Christian TRIES to say with their co-congregants, rote memorization from years of doing it "the right way" will take over, and the wrong phrase will be invariably uttered- much to the embarrassment of all within earshot.

More than just making Biblical laymenpeople into gender neutral eunuchs, these white Christians have the castrated cajones to turn God into a woman. Using that one reference in Isaiah, this father/mother God is little more than a back-door approach toward women serving in church office- "Hey... if God is father/MOTHER, then maybe it's not such a bad thing for Barb to serve as an Elder."


On the other end of the white Christian spectrum, you have the literalists who not only use the Father symbolism, they literally picture God the Father as a dude: Beard. Flowing robe. Sandals. He's viewed as a really old man floating on a cloud and taking care of things on earth below. These people might even blasphemously refer to their Creator as "The Big Man Upstairs."