Tuesday, July 28, 2009

On to the Elite 8!

Here are the results from the sweet 16 round of the tournament of like:

1 Coffee-Themed Ministry 35
4 Faith-Themed Tattoos 22

6 Morphing Traditional Christian Vernacular 29
2 Visitors 25

1 White Jesus 26
5 Getting Married Right Out of College 29

6 Calling Themselves Followers of Jesus 15
7 Youth Pastors 40

1 Breaking Down Scripture into the Original Hebrew of Greek 19
5 One-Hour Church Services 26

3 Being Passionate, Yet Vague About Politics 27
2 Christian E-mail Signatures 28

1 Casual Church Attire 33
5 Potlucks 20

3 Sunday Dinner 18
2 Sunday Afternoon Naps 34

For more helpful Bracketology analysis, check the comments on this post.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

#36 Unofficial Church Roll Calls

Attending the Sunday morning worship service is thought to be just short of mandatory for the white Christian. While past generations had to be dead or dying to justify their absence, today's white Christian has no qualms about missing an occasional service because they have a stuffy nose, were out late the night before, or are going out of town. Some white Christians will also skip if there is a guest pastor scheduled to preach that Sunday, because that doesn't really count.

While white Christians know they are always justified in skipping church for any of these reasons, they are quick to judge other church skippers on Sundays when they are actually in church. They will wait until after praise and worship is over (since it is generally acceptable to enter the sanctuary at any point up to the end of the last praise song) and then commence with the unofficial church roll call. The white Christian will scan the pews around him, checking off names in his head: "I see Paul and Margaret, there's the De Young family, hmmm no Armstrongs today? I guess they have better things to do than going to church."

Some white Christian churches still do an official roll call, utilizing a book that must be signed, under penalty of disapproving glances, by all in attendance. This is typically called the "Friendship Pad" or something to that effect, but everyone knows its real purpose. The book usually asks you to indicate whether you are first time visitor, frequent visitor or member, as well as providing a box to check to record your age category. This can be especially traumatic for white Christians who suddenly find themselves moving from the "18-26" box into the "27-60" box.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Tournament of Like Update: #1 seed wins by casting of lots

Well, the tie has been broken: it's the 1 seed Breaking Down Scripture in the Original Hebrew of Greek over the almost-Cinderella 8th seeded Non-Denominational Churches.

The tie was officially broken during a lunch break with a very ceremonious casting of lots. And by "casting," we mean "flipping"... and by "lots" we mean "coin."

To tell you the truth, we didn't really have any lots. Even if we did, we would really know how to cast them. The whole coin thing was really just much easier.

We know what you're thinking, and no, it was not done with some Two-Face type of coin where you "make your own luck." First of all, white Christians don't believe in luck (it's called providence). Secondly, that coin says "E Gothamus Unum," which translates into something along the lines of "Out of Gotham, One." This phrase is downright stupid.

Finally, nowhere on that coin does the phrase "In God We Trust" appear. A true white Christian would never allow such a coin to determine the fate of anything.

So the Billy Graham Semi-Final round one is now set: It's the 1 seed Breaking Down Scripture into the Original Hebrew of Greek vs. the 5 seed One Hour Church Services.

Happy Voting!

Monday, July 20, 2009

SWCL Tournament of Like: First Round Complete

Thanks to outstanding voting by our readers, we're glad to announce the completion of the first round of the Tournament of Like:

From the Billy Graham Region:

1 Breaking Down Scripture and 8 Non-Denominational Churches tied at 24 votes each (more to come on this)
5 One-Hour Church Services eked out a victory over 4 Contemporary Worship 24-23
3 Being Passionate, Yet Vague About Politics defeated 6 Church Superbowl Parties 25-20
2 Christian E-mail Signatures took care of business against 7 Combined Summer Services 28-15

From the Rob Bell Region:

1 Casual Church Attire handled 8 Puppet Ministry with a 40-9 Margin
5 Potlucks took down 4 Retreats 27-21
3 Sunday Dinner beat 6 Waxing Nostalgic About Hymnals and Organs 29-17
2 Sunday Afternoon Naps easily beat 7 Flannelgraphs 35-7

This sets up the Tournament of Like Sweet 16.  These 8 match ups will run from now until next Monday at Midnight.  Keep those votes coming, faithful readers!

As for the tie vote, Abraham and I will determine how to break this tie.  Right now, I'm leaning towards the Biblically sound "casting of lots" but we'll check in on this later.

For bracketology analysis for the Sweet 16, check out the comments to this post.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

#35 Volunteerism

It has been said that in most organizations, 90% of the work is done by 10% of the people. This is far from true for white Christian churches- where 2% of the people do 100% of the work, and it's all thanks to volunteerism.

Volunteerism is the Bermuda Triangle of white Christian churches. You drift into it unwittingly, and you seldom find your way out. Prospective volunteers would be wise to be careful what they sign up for- one special music might land you as the anchor of the soprano section in the church choir, one lock-in
chaperone gig might designate you for assignment as youth group leader-for-life, and one errant cake could anoint you as committee chair of every bake sale until Jesus returns.

When a volunteer has been firmly entrenched in a position of authority for such a long time, standard practices and procedures are developed as THE way to do things, in an almost militant manner. When you're the 20 year tenured head of the decorations committee, and you've poured countless hours, your heart, and your soul into the general church decor, and you find yourself in the wake of some criticism because you placed a patriotic-themed floral bouquet on the church alter that happened to contain an American flag as part of a Memorial Day weekend, but the critics view this act as an unatural elevation of "country over Christianity," you need to squash this opposition with any means necessary. As president Theodore Roosevelt once
famously said,
"It is not the decor critic who counts: not the man who points out how the committee chair stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have decorated in a more Biblically-sound, and visually appealing manner. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood of volunteerism..."
Unfortunately, while the volunteer has always played a vital role in white Christian churches, there are some who theorize that the volunteer is actually an endangered species. This is perhaps due to a recent trend in which long-time volunteer positions are morphed into paid positions. Whereas volunteers used to get worked like rented mules, they are now worked like hired mules. There's a big difference.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tournament of Like: first results are in

Congrats to the first round of winners in the 2009 Tournament of Like:

(1) Coffee Themed Ministry defeated (8) Pretending There’s a Santa Claus 55-28

(4) Faith-Themed Tattoos defeated (5) Gossip 42-36

(6) Morphing Traditional Christian Vernacular defeated (3) Babies 55-22

(2) Visitors defeated (7) Candlelight Ceremonies 47-30

(1) White Jesus defeated (8) Christian Radio Stations 42-37

(5) Getting Married Right Out of College defeated (4) Greeters 45-29

(6) Calling Themselves Followers of Jesus defeated (3) Diversity 46-30

(7) Youth Pastors defeated (2) The Message 60-16 

Quite a few upsets already... keep up the work, dear reader!

The next round of voting starts right now and lasts through Sunday: the first rounds of the Billy Graham Region and the Rob Bell Region

Saturday, July 11, 2009

#34 Non-Traditional Biblical Names

White Christians consult the Bible for all of life's decisions, so it follows that they will take comfort in choosing Biblical names for their children. Church nurseries have been full of kids named Peter, John, Sarah and Rachel for centuries.

White Christians are often torn between following the pull of secular society while staying true to the traditions of their upbringing. This conflict comes into play in naming children, as celebrities have popularized very strange baby names. People magazine is the white Christian's favorite reading material, after the Bible, so it should be no surprise that they feel compelled to match the weirdness of "Apple," "Suri," or "Moon Unit."

White Christians have found that they can take part in this trend while staying true to their background by choosing uncommon Biblical names for their children, giving them a desired odd meets God vibe. While names like Moses or Isaiah do the trick, this isn't quite good enough for expert-level white Christians. These white Christians will select names like Gideon, Adinah, or Boaz, which are both non-traditional and demonstrate a superior knowledge of the Bible that goes far beyond the well known Bible stories.

Atheists will most likely soon join in on this trend as well, except they will name their children after non-traditional Biblical villains such as Jezebel, Goliath, Herod or Nebuchadnezzar.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

2009 Tournament of Like: Voting Begins Now!

Well, dear reader, it's on. The 2009 Tournament of Like is officially under way.

The official 2009 Tournament of Like bracket has gone live. Feel free to download it (click here), review all 32 likes, fill out the bracket, and vote your way to victory (Polls on the right hand side of the website).

You'll notice that the tournament has been broken up into four regions based on the Mount Rushmore of contemporary white Christian pastors: Graham, Olsteen, Warren, and Bell.

Voting for the first round of match-ups ends on Wednesday.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

2009 Tournament of Like

Thanks to an idea from our genius reader base (specifically Micah), Stuff White Christians Like is proud to present the 2009 Tournament of Like.

Abraham and I have seeded the first 32 white Christian likes and placed them in a "Tournament of Like" bracket- pitting like against like. Picture Babies vs. Morphing Traditional Christian Vernacular, or Retreats vs. Potlucks - there are sure to be some heated contests.

Here's how the tournament will work: the official 2009 Tournament of Like bracket is now available for download: click here to download the bracket. Click on the individual topics to read any that you missed. The tournament will officially start this Saturday, July 11. Each match up will be accessible on this website and our faithful readers can vote their favorite like on to the next round. This will take place round by round, week by week until our readers have voted the 2009 tournament champion.

We can't promise that some misfits won't be gambling on this tournament (or at least casting lots) but we can promise a pretty funny tournament and a reader-voted tournament champion.

The Tournament of Like is proudly sponsored by Abraham's other site, Wozofoto.com - buy fine art prints for only $10.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

#33 PowerPoint

Despite the hymnals and organs that many white Christians love, the fact is that digital projectors and PowerPoint now dominate the white Christian contemporary worship experience. PowerPoint is fun for white Christians because it's power that they can point to.

For better or for worse (really for worse), this power has been placed in one man's hands: the church tech guy. Unfortunately, while the tech guy is rich in technological know-how, he is too poor to pay attention. With great power (point) comes great responsibility, and absolute power (point) corrupts absolutely.

There is a major risk/reward to putting so much power in one man's hands- the entire congregation is at the mercy of one man and one mouse. The problem is that the man does not follow along, which leads to a slight delay on everything. During songs, the verse slides will be on a 2-3 second lag time as you lead into the chorus.

Similarly, during the sermon, the tech guy frequently leaves the pastor wriggling like an ordained worm on a hook. The lag time sometimes forces the pastor's hand as he breaks the universally understood "code of silence" between speaker and support staff. The pastor is forced to literally ask "could we put Isaiah 40 up on the screen?"

When this code of silence is broken, the tech guy wakes up because his need for Ritalin has been exposed to the entire congregation (
or assembly). Now the tech guy is on a four-alarm alert, and he's trying to compensate for the many times that he was behind.

This leads to a string of pre-emptive slide changes. While the Pastor is talking, any number of bulleted points, Bible verses, or Biblical maps could be flashing behind him. These images have little or nothing to do with what the Pastor is currently saying, but it sure is entertaining.

Despite the short-comings of the church tech guy, white Christians continue their love affair with the Power Point. This particular love-fest began back in the renaissance with Michelangelo's "The Creation of Adam," in which the Italian master captured the essence of the first ever PowerPoint.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend