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."

Saturday, October 16, 2010

#100 Reformation Day

As much as the white Christian loves candy, he isn't about to celebrate the occult in order to satisfy his sweet tooth on October 31st. Besides, there is another holiday falling on the same day as Halloween that is every bit as much fun: Reformation Day.

Children in the public schools celebrate Halloween by making jack-o'-lanterns, eating candy corn, and worshipping ghosts and goblins, presumably (white Christians aren't quite sure what goes on in these public schools, but it's not good). Christian school kids, on the other hand, spend the day coloring pictures of Martin Luther and John Calvin and nailing scotch-taping the 95 Theses to the classroom door.

Some white Christians seek to redeem Halloween by wrapping tracts around the candy they pass out to trick-or-treaters, but the preferred method of claiming Halloween for the kingdom is dressing your kids up as Bible characters. Unfortunately, all Bible character costumes tend to come out the same - just a beard, a robe and a staff. "Hey, nice Abraham costume." "I'm Elijah, you moron."

Saturday, October 9, 2010

#99 Knowing the Motions to Praise Songs, but Not Doing Them

White Christian music has a strong tradition of visual imagery and many praise songs have motions. When the hands-free PowerPointed lyrics replaced the cumbersome hymnals white Christians were now able to do something with their hands. Some white Christians settled on a designated worship stance, while others took to synchronizing motions with praise songs.

From Sunday School's "Father Abraham" to Audio Adrenaline's "Big House," motions during praise songs remind white Christians to move various appendages while singing, and to pantomime the throwing of a ball in "A big, big yard where we can play football."

And yet... praise song motions seem relegated to Sunday School or summer-time Bible camp. Occasionally, a worship leader will awkwardly attempt to force-feed motions to a full congregation, but this is ill-received and oft-ignored.

If a white Christian doesn't know the motions to a song-there's no worry as the vast majority of praise songs are so repetitive that they'll be well aware of the intended motions by the fifth time the chorus rolls around. Once they know the expected motions, the white Christian is free to ignore them like the rest of the white Christians sitting next to them. For instance, there are very distinct motions to the popular praise song "Days of Elijah," (motions here) that white Christians have learned along the way. However, just because they know the motions to "Behold he comes, riding on a cloud, shining like the sun, at the trumpet call, lift your voice," doesn't mean that they will actually act them out.

For white Christians desperate to learn the latest praise song motions, they can always learn motions from online video tutorials like this:

Saturday, October 2, 2010

#98 Post-Legalism

In the New Testament, Jesus is often found arguing with the religious leaders of that day. These Pharisees were always making up all sorts of new rules for daily living, which made Jesus as angry as a hornet... or a bear, or maybe a bull - whichever animal is angriest. This has not stopped white Christians everywhere from making up their own extra-biblical rules about alcohol, dancing or rock music. This tendency, coupled with how popular culture portrays Christians as judgmental hypocrites, is vexing to white Christians.

Adulterers, drug users and the like used to be the most looked down upon evil-doers, but no more. Now the legalists, with their lists of do's and don'ts, are enemy number one. Clearly, if something is wrong, the exact opposite is right, so white Christians have replaced performance based Christianity with anything goes Christianity.

After switching from legalism to license, not only do you get to do anything you want without judgment from your fellow believers, you also get to feel a sense of superiority over legalistic Christians. These white Christians quickly transition from being thankful that they aren't like those sinners who watch Jersey Shore and go to the mall on Sundays to thanking God that they're not like those smug pharisees.