Saturday, November 27, 2010

#106 Black Double-Breasted Pea Coats

In cool-climate white Christian churches during winter months, you can expect the coat racks to be jam packed with black double-breasted pea coats. There may be a few reds, greens, yellows, or even single breasted coats, but these coat wearers are frankly ridiculous.

Navy blue or silver coats are acceptable- but barely. The simple fact is that the vast majority of White Christians like their exterior winter garments like they like their gospel singers: black and double breasted.

Unfortunately for the coats, every white Christian church has a dysfunctional coat storage system. Back in 1972, the church maintenance guy was charged with purchasing coat racks and/or hangers for the temporary coat-storing needs of the congregation. Being a visionary leader, this man planned on having a maximum of 20 people come to church on any given Sunday. Now, with a church population in the hundreds (or thousands), a coat-soiling game of russian roulette takes place. Miraculously, the 20 coat rack is maximized, and the first hundred congregants are able to store their black double-breasted pea coats in a "just jam it in there" haphazard manner.

With a nod to the Netherlands'
public bicycle program, there is no need to fear that their coat will be stolen... because there is no motivation to steal. Since the white Christian coat market has been saturated and everyone already has their own black double-breasted pea coat, any temptation to steal has been suppressed.

The black double-breasted pea coat is the white Christian's best guess as to the earthly version of a heavenly choir robe. They're unisex, simple, stylish, and timeless. An 80 year old woman and a 13 year old girl could wear the same coat to church, and not think anything of it. What other article of clothing can make such a bold claim?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

#105 Health and Wealth

The Bible is filled with people who followed God's will, only to be put in fiery furnaces, beheaded, stoned, or crucified. Naturally, many white Christians interpret this to mean that if they put their faith in God, they will be rewarded with health and wealth all of their days.

And not just health and a comfortable living, mind you, but anything your heart desires! Ferrari? Beach house? Season six of the Office on DVD? Just "name it and claim it" and God has to give it to you - it's in the Bible... somewhere. Limited numbers of Word-Faith type church members have had sports cars magically appear in their driveways, but it's an entirely different story for the pastors of these churches.

Prosperity theology is quite the deal for charismatic pastors like Joel Osteen and Jim Baker. As long as the congregation believes that a winning lottery ticket is only a bigger tithe away, at least the pastor will be living his best life now.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

#104 Telling People That They're Going to Hell

Hell. Eternal damnation. Separation from God for all of eternity. The lake of fire. With devils and those caves and the ragged clothing. And the heat. It's pretty much the worst possible place that you could be. As terrible as this place is, many white Christians love telling people that Hell is precisely where they're going.

Judgemental? Sure. In-your-face? You bet. But you know what else is judgemental and in-your-face? The firey fires of Hell. Boom - suck on that nugget of truth for a few moments! Not as creamy and delicious as you thought was it? Check and mate!

Once a white Christians has told their first person that they're going to "H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks," it's really a slippery slope of judgmental joy. Pretty soon, they're telling anyone who disagrees with them, looks different from them, or even minorly inconveniences them that they're going to Hell. It's only a matter of time before the judgmental white Christian claims that all Democrats are going to Hell, all Republicans are going to Hell and that guy that cut you off in traffic is going to Hell. They especially like telling Bloggers that they are going to Hell (anonymously).

Upon instructing the lost that they are, in fact, on a highway to Hell, the white Christian is then able to elevate their standing by informing the lost sheep that they are praying for their soul. It's through welcoming techniques like this that the white Christian seeks to save the lost.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

#103 Fill-in-the-Blank Sermon Notes

Since every contemporary white Christian sermon is generally taught at a 2nd grade level (often as simple as "Jesus Loves You and So Do We") white Christian pastors figure that they should allow a note-taking style that is becoming to that of a 2nd grader. That's where fill-in-the-blank sermon notes come in handy.

When the mind starts to wander, pastors know that those blessed little blanks will bring 'em back. Expert level white Christians will have entered the church building prepared. Having previously received the scripture text in the church's weekly e-mail newsletter (and having subsequently read and/or memorized said text), this expert level white Christian will enter into their own little game of "predict the blank before the pastor says it aloud."

The golf pencil graphite will etch below the blank, and any correct predictions will result in a nudge in the ribs or a knowing glance to the white Christian family member sitting next to them. Conversely, malcontents in middle school might use the blanks as their own little personal game of "mad-libbs."

As if blanks weren't enough to keep the attention the blanks are digitally filled in on the screen so that white Christians can keep up.

Well-intentioned white Christians tell themselves that they will take the completed notes (or "answer key") home and place it inside their Bible or post it on their refrigerator. More than likely, however, these notes will be jettisoned during post-worship refreshments. There's only so much that a white Christian can hold onto. With a cup of coffee in one hand and a cookie/napkin combo in the other, the long-term storage of sermon notes for future contemplation is a necessary sacrifice.