Saturday, August 29, 2009

#41 Skipping Church

Alright, we're up to post 41. Now that we've built up a little bit of a relationship, dear reader, we're going to let you in on a little secret. We're not even sure if we're supposed be telling you this... but the fact is that white Christians secretly like skipping church.

Don't get us wrong- white Christians love going to
Church. They love it. But they occasionally take "day of rest" far too literally- they rest for an entire day.

Not that we condone this behavior... but the fact is that white Christians like to play "holy hooky." With the contemporary service
beginning at 11:00 AM, there's very little excuse for sleeping in, but white Christians still find a way to roll this one out.

For new parents, babies represent a giggling, drooling, adorable church-skipping excuse. "The service is just right in the middle of my son's morning nap- and if you throw him off of his schedule- look out!" is an all too common line of church-skipping rationale for new parents.

White Christians hold regular church attendance as a vital to their faith, which makes their enjoyment of skipping all the more perplexing. White Christians who skip church have found a clever compromise that enables them encounter both their love of church, and their love of skipping church: They attend the Church of the Divine Comforter with Reverend Sheets. This church offers services every Sunday, though the sermons have been known to put people to sleep.

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Saturday, August 22, 2009

#40 Discernment

Many white Christians like to bunker down and wall themselves off from the unholy culture in which we live. Other white Christians prefer to engage secular society, seeking to help redeem a fallen world. The latter is quite risky, as it’s often unclear when a white Christian is trying to redeem culture and when he is simply enjoying it. The white Christian who chooses this path must develop powerful defense mechanisms to ward off the corrupting influence of the world.

Discernment is the most important defense against secular culture. By exercising discernment, the white Christian can figure out which enjoyable elements of the non-evangelical world have redeeming value. He can then safely proceed with “engaging culture” by watching TV and movies or listening to secular music. You might think that an example of redeeming value would be art or entertainment containing Godly themes, despite some objectionable content. For example, a movie might have some swearing, but in general it promotes themes of love, truth or justice. However, this is not how the white Christian evaluates redeeming value. Instead, the redeeming value of a certain album, TV show or movie is directly correlated with the enjoyment the white Christian receives from the entertainment in question.

The white Christian will look down on those who watch a certain TV show with questionable content only if she does not enjoy that particular show. A show with equal (or more) objectionable content, but with more critical acclaim is said to possess redeeming value, which justifies watching it guilt-free. Think “Two and a Half Men” vs. “Mad Men.”

Discernment is hard work. Sometimes white Christians find that it's easier just to decide that some things are good, some are bad, and that's that. However, after a while TBN gets a little old and they will inevitably change the channel so they can "be in the world but not of it" by watching a little reality television.

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One Shining Moment

Youth Pastors is the champion of the Tournament of Like! Youth Pastors eked out a victory over Casual Church Attire, a worthy adversary. To celebrate, we have created a Facebook group in its honor. You can join by clicking here. Here's the original Youth Pastors post if you want to see what all the fuss is about. Thanks to everyone who voted.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

#39 The Drum-quarium

White Christian drummers really get into praise music. They interpret "praise the Lord with the clash of cymbal" to mean "hit those things so loud that you drown out all other instruments, voices, and internal thought processes within a 3 block radius." As a result, the sanctuary (or worship center) resonates with the resounding boom of the drum set, and there is no containing the sheer volume that the energized white Christian drummer generates.

This problem lead to an interesting evolution in white Christian
praise bands. At first, the solution was simple- white Christians proposed placing a rudimentary walled structure as a sound barrier between the drummer and all other life forms. This had the advantage of containing the previously uncontainable pounding of the drums, but the disadvantage of making the highly energized human rhythm section invisible to the congregation- a fate that few musicians are willing to endure.

Enter the Drum-quarium. Like the drum wall, the thunderous thumping of the terrible timpani is deflected heavenward. But unlike simple wall structures, the Drum-quarium is constructed with transparent materials- allowing the drummer to blast to his delight, not dominate the worship experience, and still be seen. Behind the fish-tank like Plexiglas the drummer can sit atop his drumming throne like a rhythmic
King Triton reigning over his sub-aquatic realm. He's now in the the perfect intersection of drum hit-ability, general hear-ability, and congregational visibility.

Of course, we suppose that churches could just ask their drummers to play a little softer... but we all know that's just not going to happen.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Championship Match

And then there were two. It's been no bed of roses, no pleasure cruise, yet Youth Pastors and and Casual Church Attire have defied the odds and marched their way into the championship match up in the Tournament of Like. Will it be soul patches and spiky hair or jeans and a polo? Let the voting begin.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

#38 Focusing on Family

Let's face it - we live in a big, dangerous, busy world. There are a lot of potential distractions for white Christians. That's exactly why millions of white Christians like to keep their focus on the family. In 1977, Dr. James Dobson created an organization to do just that. From McGee & Me and Adventures in Odyssey to Faith-Based Family Finance, Dobson has delighted white Christian parents with a faith and family focus.

Dobson began his empire by becoming an expert on raising Christian children. The mere sight of a Dobson book on their parents' nightstand could immediately reform the most unruly of white Christian children. However, many a "strong-willed child" has wished her parents had not "dared to discipline" and had chosen to use reason and bribery instead.

Dobson's expertise in child-like behavior served him well in his next area of focus - politics. White Christian parents were so thankful for Dobson's guidance - their children were now too busy icing their bottoms to cause any problems - that they were more than willing to vote for Dobson's favorite candidates for public office. Dobson has been much maligned for only supporting "pro-family" candidates while completely ignoring or even opposing "anti-family" candidates, but his critics fail to understand that as a child psychologist, Dobson is more than qualified to select our nation's leaders.

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

2009 Tournament of Like: Final Four

Well, folks... the field has been narrowed from 32 posts to the Final Four: (1) Coffee-Themed Ministry, (7) Youth Pastors, (2) Christian E-mail Signatures, and (1) Casual Church Attire.

Here's how the Elite 8 unfolded:
  • (1) Coffee-Themed Ministry ended the Cinderella run for (6) Morphing Traditional Christian Vernacular with a final vote of 29-18. It was a great run for the 6 seed, but Coffee-Themed Ministry proved just too strong.
  • (7) Youth Pastors continued the dream tournament with yet another convincing upset over (5) Getting Married Right Out of College. Final vote: 29-17.
  • In the closest contest of this round, (2) Christian E-mail Signatures defeated (5) One-Hour Church Services by two votes: 24-22.
  • (1) Casual Worship Attire took care of business over (2) Sunday Afternoon Naps with a 25-15 vote victory.

This sets up the two Final Four match-ups:

  • (1) Coffee-Themed Ministry vs. (7) Youth Pastors
  • (2)Christian E-mail Signatures vs. (1) Casual Worship Attire

Saturday, August 1, 2009

#37 Golf Pencils

If it's a gift to be simple, then there's no better gift than golf pencils. "Golf pencil" is actually a misnomer. In reality 86% of the "golf" pencils never see the links- they're shipped directly to white Christian churches.

volunteer church maintenance crew appreciates the pragmatic purchase of golf pencils because they're extremely low maintenance. It is a little-known fact that most white Christian church golf pencils were purchased, sharpened, and placed in those little holes during the Nixon administration.

The golf pencil's intended purpose is for one of two options:
  1. For visitors filling out their information cards.
  2. Taking sermon notes in the margins of the bulletin. Expert level white Christians will take notes directly in their personal Bible.
Unfortunately, these eraser-less graphite sticks are frequently abused beyond their intended purpose.
  1. Inevitably, a child in the church will draw designs on the side of the Bible pages in order to rapidly leaf through the edge of the Bible like an animation booklet.
  2. All too commonly, these pencils are used for writing the emergency "Oops-I-forgot-the-check-at-home-and-I-don't-want-to-be-the-only-one-in-my-row-to-not-place-anything-in-the-basket," check.
Much to the shock of the prayer-peeking child, this emergency check is frequently written under cover of darkness- during the pre-offertory prayer (the checkbook is subsequently balanced during special music). If a white Christian child catches his mom in the sin of having open eyes and "busy hands" during prayer, he dare not accuse his parent for fear of the catch-all prayer-time hypocritical retort, "And how do YOU know that my eyes were open during prayer?" This is truly one of the ultimate paradoxes of white Christian childhood.

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