Saturday, September 25, 2010

#97 Designated Worship Stances

Once a church transitions to contemporary worship, every white Christian faces the solemn responsibility of adopting his or her own designated worship stance.

Worship stances are peculiar things. As much as the white Christian wants to get completely spiritually wrapped up in the worship moment, they can't help but to allow their social inhibitions to get in the way. Whenever white Christians face a dilemma like this, structure is the name of the game. This has lead to the adoption of 6 acceptable designated worship stances. SWCL takes an in-depth look at these 6 favorites:

Stance: The Nothing-But-The-Truth

Technique: One Hand Raised

Details: Simple, elegant, demonstrative- the gold standard of worship stances. The Nothing-But-The-Truth screams, "Yeah, I know that this makes you uncomfortable, but that's your problem... not mine." Interestingly, the NBTT can be a "gateway stance." Once white Christians take the plunge into raising one hand, soon they will be experimenting with harder stances. The NBTT is the go-to stance for white Christians.

Stance: The Touchdown Jesus

Technique: Both Hands Raised

Details: If one raised hand is good, it stands to reason that two raised hands is better. Frankly, if human beings could evolve a third arm, white Christians would experiment with raising this arm as well. Only expert level white Christians should attempt this bold proclamation that combines spiritual emotionalism with "look at me" attention grabbing gestures. Touchdown Jesus stance is only for the sure.

Stance: The Self-Hug
Technique: Self-explanatory

Details: Warm, emotionally intimate, and humble. Perhaps best of all for the social-conscious, this stance goes on virtually undetected by those in close proximity. For single-and-ready-to-mingle white Christians, anything that draws other's eyes to an embrace of your body can't possibly be a bad thing.

Stance: The Gratitude

Technique: Palms Upheld

Details: Where other hand-centric stances rise above eye level, The Gratitude allows the white Christian to do something with their hands without actually distracting anyone outside of their row. Any song that involves the word "thank" is perfect for this stance. Many Touchdown Jesus stances repetitiously downgrade to this stance during the less-peppy verses, only to jump back into Touchdown Jesus for the louder (and therefore far-more-spiritual) chorus. The Gratitude is a great middle-ground stance which features a perfect combination of self-confidence and humility that all white Christians crave.

Stance: The Nonchalant

Technique: Hands in Pockets or held together behind back

Details: Power is the name of the game here. Clenching a fist behind the back shows those other sissy stances who's boss. Rocking a hand or two in pockets keeps this "silent assassin" representing the old school. As a fringe benefit, having your hand on your wallet is always a good reminder about the upcoming offering.

Stance: The Literalist

Technique: Body and words are one- a veritable worshiping mime

Details: This stance is either for the career white Christian, or the recent, on-fire convert. Not for the meek, all eyes within a 50 foot radius will be upon the literalist. This stance takes a much more literal attitude to worship lyrics and physically does whatever the lyrics call for. For instance, "We fall down, we lay our crowns at the feet of Jesus" is accompanied by literally laying down (and removing any crowns where applicable). "We stand and lift up our hands," is accompanied by literally standing and lifting up hands.

**Don't forget to take our poll listing YOUR designated worship stance**

Saturday, September 18, 2010

#96 Social Justice

White Christians are deeply bothered by sin in society. However, those in secular society don't much like it when white Christians discuss abortion, sex before marriage, or homosexuality - it's not politically correct. Speaking out about against poverty, on the other hand, is like denouncing those couples who sit on the same side of a booth when no one is on the other side: it's something everyone can agree on.

"Caring for the poor" isn't terribly nuanced or sophisticated though, nor is it very specific, so many white Christian churches seized upon the term "social justice" as a substitute. This was all going along swimmingly until the political commentator Glenn Beck urged his viewers to abandon these churches, arguing that social justice was just disguised left-wing politics (and as such, equal to Nazism and communism).

Left-wing churches became very angry that their schemes were being revealed, while non-political churches were angry to find out that the trendy phrase they were using to mean "caring for the poor" actually could mean left-wing ideology. Other churches were angry to find out that "caring for the poor" by voting for greater income redistribution is considered a political stance. And the white Christians who select their churches based on the advice of Mormon political commentators were angry that the social justice types were angry. In short, everyone was angry.

Thus the common purpose that white Christians sought with secular society and each other was all for naught. This lack of agreement could easily spread to other issues. In the future, it's possible that not only will couples be able to share the same side of a half empty booth without derision, but these same couples, when talking to their pets, will be allowed to refer to themselves as "mommy and daddy."

Saturday, September 11, 2010

#95 God Things

If you are approached by a white Christian with a twinkle in his eye, brace yourself - you are about to hear of an experience that can only be described as a "God Thing." God Things will not be held a secret for long. No matter how arcane the back story, God Things demand to be shared with the nearest white Christian within ear shot.

What is the difference between "God Things" and "Good Things"? One "O." That is it.

God Things have many variations. They can apply to anything from finding spare change on the ground to miraculous conversion experiences. Interestingly enough, despite God's obvious omnipotence, God Things are not typically linked to bad things or natural disasters - that is so Old Testament. For instance, not one white Christian ever exclaimed, "Wow, that Hurricane Andrew was a total God Thing," or "Remember when Becky pooped her pants in second grade? God Thing." On the other hand, any silver lining to these clouds WILL be deemed "God Things." As in, "Remember when that family was displaced by Hurricane Andrew and a Christian family took them in? That was a God Thing." Just to recap - hurricane: not a God Thing. Good stuff that resulted from the negativity of the hurricane: God Thing.

In addition to the many variations of God Things, there are also varying degrees of God Things. Depending on the level of divine intervention involved, a white Christian may soon be telling everyone they know about a standard God Thing or a "Total God Thing."

Saturday, September 4, 2010

#94 Hipster Christianity

White Christians will not rest until every man, woman, and child attends church on Sunday morning. The young have to go - their parents make them. People with families will be there - where else will they meet other people with kids? But the people in between, those aged 18-29, are no where to be found. After years of hand wringing, white Christians have finally found a solution: hipster churches.

These white Christians have little interest in anything that isn't relevant. Hipster churches provide a relevant alternative to boring old normal church by holding services in bars or old theaters. These services are lead by a young, independent thinking pastor with messy hair, thick rimmed glasses and skinny jeans.

All the normal hipster stuff is well documented: the cultivated coolness of wearing clothes from thrift shops and American Apparel, only listening to the right Radiohead albums and going through each day with a world weary expression on your face. However, in addition to the ability to properly critique mainstream society, white Christian hipsters must also master the appropriate hipster reaction to Christianity and Christian culture.

Being adequately rebellious against mainstream Christianity is easy. Read a little Donald Miller, N.T. Wright, or if you're really cool, G.K. Chesterton. But what about all the CCM you've come to know and love during your mainstream Christian upbringing? Not a problem: listening to your old DC Talk cassettes ironically actually enhances your white Christian hipster bonafides.