Saturday, July 31, 2010

#89 Washing Each Others Feet

White Christians are very fond of the passage in the book of John where Jesus washes his disciples' feet. This act of service has inspired youth pastors everywhere to repeat this ritual with their youth group members. These impressionable youths get the message loud and clear: serving others is gross.

Horny high school boys may disagree, as they jockey for position to wash the feet, ankles and lower calves of the one hot girl in the youth group. However, no one wants to touch 99% of the rest of those sweaty, stinky feet. While the washing of feet was a valued service in Jesus' day, what with walking in sandals all day down dusty trails, today we have shoes and socks. Feet are wonderful anatomic structures for enabling locomotion, however, while in public it is best to honor God for these gifts by keeping your feet in your shoes - out of sight and smell.

White Christians have also taken to performing this routine during their weddings. Inevitably, the ordeal runs long, the music ends, and the bride and groom scramble to get their shoes back on in silence. While waiting, everyone beyond youth group age gives thanks that they will never be required to wash someone else's feet again.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

#88 The Insurance Conversion

White Christians love Heaven. They're terrified of Hell. Thanks to God's handy-dandy sovereignty, a believer's salvation-stance is really a one-and-done scenario. So when that conversion takes place (no matter how mundane the back-story might be) there's really no reason to wonder about the ultimate outcome.

And yet, ever the cautious critters, white Christians just don't want to leave it to chance. They've been known to repeatedly ask Jesus into their heart... JUST in case the previous conversion(s) didn't "take."

"Back in Sunday School, I remember singing Into my heart Lord Jesus, does that count?" wonders the white Christian. "Or does it have to be verbally said? I've always just sort of assumed that I was a Christian since that point. I'd better say it again out loud just to play it safe."

It almost seems as if white Christians have more faith in their insurance company than in their Lord. Perhaps if God had some sort of jingle for his salvation, there would be a little more confidence. Something along the lines of, "You're in good hands with Yaweh," or "Like a good neighbor, Salvation is there."

Expert level white Christians may even refer to a base-level conversions such as the thief on the cross as "Fire insurance."

Saturday, July 17, 2010

#87 Church Yard Sales

In the summer, most white Christians head for the beach in lieu of going to church. While combining the first and second services solves the problem of near empty sanctuaries, it doesn't much help with the huge declines in giving that coincide with drops in attendance. You might think that white Christians would tithe whether or not they skip a few services, but in reality, they tithe only in the weeks they actually attend church, as if they were paying for admission.

Enter the church yard sale. This event serves to get rid of all the old furniture and other unsolicited rubbish that has been graciously donated over the years. When this junk is combined with new crap specifically donated by the congregation for the yard sale, the profits can provide a modest boost to the church's bottom line.

Signs and newspaper advertisements will draw in hundreds of unchurched pack rats to the yard sale. Rumor has it that on occasion, a few of these heathen hoarders become so impressed with the junk on display that they immediately decide to join the church. So even if the gross receipts of the sale are hardly worth the man-hours invested, the opportunity for outreach makes it all worthwhile.

The church yard sale also allows white Christians to demonstrate stewardship by giving away items that are slightly too good for the garbage can. While one person's trash may be another person's treasure, in the case of church yard sales, one person's trash is that same person's treasure in heaven.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

#86 Agricultural Imagery

Ever since the parable of the sower, agricultural metaphors are all the rage in white Christendom. Any mention of farming hearkens back to a simpler- and therefore more Christian- time.

This yearning for agricultural imagery is especially fascinating since the vast majority of white Christians are at least 2 or 3 generations removed from any relatives having earned a living off of the land. This imaginary nostalgia surfaces in a wide range of ways for white Christians:

Farm-themed Vacation Bible school
Training up your covenant kids in week-long, farm-themed Vacation Bible school will have them bringing in the sheaves like gangbusters. Without actual farming experience most white Christians children can only imagine what planting something is like. In order to remedy this experience gap in the modern-day white Christian upbringing, a common VBS lesson includes planting actual seeds in leftover styrofoam cups that weren't used up during post-worship refreshments. While the harvest from this plant won't produce a significant yield, white Christians strongly link farming (no matter how minute) to character-building, so this styro-farm is valued as a vital rite of passage

Church Planters
Where entrepreneur meets evangelism, you'll find church planters. Amidst this faith franchise, established congregations seek to expand their ministry by allowing a motivated pastor to take his show on the road. Merging efforts with growing home church conglomerates or worshiping in rented movie theaters is standard issue. Like a rogue wolf, the church planter typically operates completely independently of the church who supports him. Despite paying his salary, the church typically has absolutely no accountability over what he does.

Many churches literally brand themselves with agricultural names such as Plentiful Harvest Bible Church. The vast majority of these churches are Non-denominational, though a few Presbyterian or Baptist harvest churches might fly in under the radar. Regardless of church structure or affiliation, it is an absolute pre-requisite to heavily incorporate wheat or grain into the church logo. For congregants of these churches, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few," doubles as both a marine-like mantra and an back-door excuse if the congregation numbers starts to decline.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

#85 Boycotts

White Christians are a very nice sort of people. They will try to turn the other cheek and follow the golden rule, but even nice people have their limits. When white Christians get angry, they aren't allowed to riot, smash windows or set things on fire (like normal people). Instead they will organize a boycott against the offending party.

When people exhibit sinful behavior, white Christians will reach out to them in love, unless of course these individuals have filed paperwork with the government to become a corporation - then these people will face righteous anger, indignation and a boycott. Not only do boycotts help white Christians express their anger, they are also one of the best ways to sit in judgment of unbelievers.

With so many competing Christian boycotting organizations (many of whom may be boycotting each other), white Christians have a hard time knowing who to boycott. McDonald's? Disney? Pepsi? Also, the success of the boycott is largely dependent on how much white Christians like the company's products. White Christians are happy to boycott products they don't use but for everything else, they'd prefer to just sign a petition.