I’m a Christian and I love Christians, but man, my people can do stupid things sometimes!
I’ve seen people make monumental wisdom blunders and perform flat-out evil deeds, all in the name of God. These theistic face palms do so much for setting back Christianity by either making us look like horrible people or just plain idiots. So, I thought of a few things and came up with a top-ten list of the dumbest things Christians do that I’ve seen. I don’t think this is all-inclusive because I’m just one guy. Plus, I tried to make this list for both Christians and non-Christians, so there are some I deliberately skipped because they only apply to one or the other. If you have more, I’d like to hear them!
As I said, this list is actually for both Christians and non-Christians alike.
To the Christians…I love you, but some of you need to step up your game; you’re doing more damage to Christianity than anybody else. As someone once said (I can never remember who), “The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians.” So listen up and examine yourself carefully. Make the world a better place, not a worse one.
To the non-Christians…I love you, too, and I really want to help downplay the disasters my people cause for themselves by showing you what a true Christian is and is not.
And, hey, if all goes well, we may get to have a little fun! So let’s dive in!
NUMBER 10: Sticking to traditions because…uh…well…um…they’re traditions!!
My favorite movie is Fiddler on the Roof. In the opening, Tevye is talking to the audience about the Jewish culture. “We always keep our heads covered and wear little prayer shawls […] You may ask ‘How did this tradition get started?’ I’ll tell you…I don’t know…but it’s a tradition!”
Traditions are great because they establish a good routine and a healthy dose of organization. But at some point, every tradition needs to be questions. Not necessarily thrown away, but questioned nonetheless.
If you do things the way you’ve always done, you’ll get the same results. Unfortunately, the world changes every day. Peter and Paul didn’t have to think about the Internet or Social Networking. They didn’t know that Elvis would come and gyrate his hips into a new music form. I’m not saying all change is good, but if you’re just sticking to your good old ways because that’s the way you’ve always done things, you need to wake up.
Nothing in Christianity should be done mindlessly. NOTHING! If you have a single thing in your Christian walk (prayer, reading, church-going, songs, ideas, habits) that you don’t know why you do it, stop and figure it out. If you can find a good reason to keep doing it, then by all means do so. But don’t just do things for the sake of tradition. God gave us a mind for a reason, so we could use it. Everything he does, he does with a purpose, not just to see how long we’ll do it.
NUMBER 9: Refusing to support their church.
(This one’s more for the Christian folk.)
I just LOOOVE how people come to church all the time and receive and receive and receive all those blessings, prayers, and instructions, but absolutely refuse to contribute anything to the church themselves and expect the church to just keep on running as it always has!
People, God doesn’t just rain money, people, and resources from the sky (usually). It comes from you, sitting in the pew. The church is a family and and organization and it needs your support, be it money, resources, time, or skills. The New York Yankees would not exist if no one bought tickets to their games. The Komen Race for the Cure would be extinct if nobody ran! And a church will not survive if all you want to do is take, take, take.
If you’ve been attending a church for a while and you’re really getting something for it, find it in your heart to give back in whatever way you can. The church runs on you.
Okay, back to ones everybody can laugh at…
NUMBER 8: Hyper-Spiritualism
BY THE BEARD OF SAINT JOHN, THAT CHILD IS POSSESSED!!!!
No, he’s just toddler…though I can see the confusion.
The Hyper-Spiritual Christians take spiritual matters WAY too freaking far. Every creak of the house is a demon trying to get in. Every sneeze is a bit of holyness flying out (Bless you!). Every time a child acts out, it’s the Devil! I picture the mom from Adam Snadler’s Waterboy. “Mama, when did Ben Franklin invent electricity?” “Oh, that’s ridiculous. I invented electricity! Ben Franklin is the DEVIL!”
These are the same people who use every single bit of news to predict the Apocalypse. Let’s see, today’s the 6th and 6 is an unholy number, so I’d better stay inside today. Don’t want to get raptured to death.
Y’all, I believe there are good spiritual forces (God/angels) and bad ones (Satan/demons), but you know what else I believe in? Material forces (humans/earth). Not everything that’s bad is demonic. Not everything good is Godly. You have to factor humans into the equation, too.
This kind of Christian goes way too much by the spirit, being “led” do decide what to have for dessert (Angel’s food cake is holier than Devil’s food cake). I do believe God works in us and guides us, but note the key word: GUIDE, not MANIPULATE. God has no interest whatsoever in being a puppet master. That’s why he gave us brains! To use them to make our own decisions! Not every decision you make is a good one, but God doesn’t want to make it for you. You’re a Christian, not a marionette.
NUMBER 7: Going to Starbucks for every single outing.
NO!! I WANT TACO BELL!!
NUMBER 6: The Fear of Everything
Remember the Charlie Brown Christmas when Lucy diagnoses Charlie Brown with Pantophobia, the fear of everything? Charlie Brown jumps up and screams, “THAT’S IT!” Yeah, it’s kind of like that.
This is actually related to the hyper-spiritual Christian, who thinks everything is evil. Every new gadget is a new tool for evil. Folks, iPads are not sinful. Looking up porn on the iPad, however…
These people fear the world because it is a sinful, Godless place. I’ll admit that the world is not where God wants it to be, but when has it ever been that way? From the dawn of time, the world has been screwed up and full of messed up people doing messed up things.
There is no such thing as “The Good Ol’ Days” in terms of sin. It’s always been here and will be until the end of the world. So don’t run from it, don’t hide from it. The Christians in the Bible didn’t hide, they stood up and worked through it. Good Christians aren’t recluses that try to block out every bit of the world’s influence. They are cautious, but not fearful. They stand strong in the midst of the world and keep pressing forward.
But there’s one fear that ruins more lives and marriages than any other…
NUMBER 5: The Fear of Sex
What movie was it that said, “Don’t have sex. If you have sex, you will get pregnant, and you will die”? When the crap did that become the motto for Christian sexuality?
This is a centuries-old thing: don’t have sex. The Bible says lust is bad, but somehow, people contributed that to sex itself. Sex is evil and used by the devil to…um…stir the hearts of men for evil deeds and…stuff.
And I’m wondering where Christians get this kind of stuff! True, the Bible preaches abstinence, but even when you’re married, Christians tell you to have sex as a duty, and that you’re not supposed to enjoy it. WHO SPREAD THAT LIE?!
1 Corinthians 7 and the ENTIRE BOOK of Song of Solomon details marital sexuality and how FREAKING AWESOME it’s supposed to be. Sex should be pleasureful! It should be fun! It should be creative! Your marriage bed should be your favorite place in the world to be! God created sex, not the Devil. And he created it for more than just procreation. It’s not bad that sex feels good, it was MEANT to feel good. How do I know this? Because it FEELS GOOD! It’s not the product of some ancient demonic rite, it’s not a once-in-a-blue-moon phenomenon that only occurs when you’re doing something wrong. The natural motion and friction creates what I like to call feelgoods. The feelgoods travel up and down your body and create a general feeling of goodness. That’s the natural occurrence of sex.
Yes, guard your heart against lust. But if you’re married, you’d better be sweating!
NUMBER 4: Misogyny
Translation: the hatred of women by men.
I read a post yesterday about a woman in a sundress who confronted a pro-life person and said, “So, you think someone who is raped should be forced to have the baby?” That’s a tough and sensitive issue, and the pro-lifer responded with perfect Christian grace by saying, “If they dressed like you, they should!”
I remember my forehead going for the keyboard, then everything went black…
Yeah, that’s right. Call her a slut, tell her the rape was her fault, fill her full of shame, and avoid the question entirely. You’ve just won a soul for Christ.
This is a disturbing trend: people who claim to be Christ followers putting all the sins and sorrows of the world on women.
“Well, Eve bit the fruit in the Garden of Eden and cursed all mankind forever!”
Keep reading, Jethro. In the same verse (Genesis 3:6), it says that Adam also ate the fruit. It also says that he was right there the entire time. He knew that eating this fruit was forbidden, yet he didn’t try to stop Eve or tell her it was wrong, nor did he resist when she gave it to him. He ate it, just like her. And God didn’t come down until after they’d both eaten. Then, Adam was a coward and blamed his wife for his own sin!
“Yes, but Eve was specially cursed by God.”
And immediately afterwards, he cursed Adam. In fact, the WHOLE WORLD was cursed because of Adam’s sin! Read the whole story, y’all, Adam was no better than Eve, and neither are you.
Christian men have been misusing and manipulating the Bible for centuries to try and make themselves better, stronger, more powerful, while the women get the table scraps. Even today, they’re allowed any evil and make excuses, but if you’re a woman, you’re inherently sinful. I’m not saying this is all Christian men, I certainly know many, many great ones, but it’s a troubling trend either way.
Several men have used the Bible as an excuse to rule over their wives like a tyrant. Keep reading, guys, there are instructions for you, too. In fact Ephesians 5:25 says to love your wife like Christ loved the church. How did Christ love the church? He died a horrible, painful, humiliating death for her sake. If you want to be a leader in your home, that means you’re the first to the cross.
Even better, 1 Peter 3:7 basically says that if you don’t treat your wife right, God may very well close his ears to you. Whose the spiritual head of the house then? You, or the woman still connected to God?
The Bible says men and women are different, but in the sense that a right hand is different from a left. They’re similar, but unique. Neither is more holy than the other, neither is better. They are both valuable and to complement and help each other. That’s why there’s two of us.
This is also part of a much bigger problem…
NUMBER 3: Corruption/Hypocrisy
Man, Christians are good at being evil!
We think of the Medieval Catholic Church, but a lot of it still goes on today, not just in churches, but in businesses and homes, too. People twist and bend the rules to fit their own selfish desires. They look for loopholes and “outs” to get themselves out of a bad situation while letting everyone else burn. They are hypocrites.
You claim that God is omnipresent and omniscient, that he’s everywhere and knows everything. You think he doesn’t know who you really are underneath that cross necklace, that verse on your shirt, or that Jesus fish on your bumper? You think he doesn’t know your heart? You think you can hide from one who is all-knowing?
These same people will preach one thing, but then go live their lives in a contradictory way. Now, some of that is people who are trapped in sinful cycles and addictions, but so many people try to twist the rules so that they don’t apply to themselves. You should tithe and give all your money to the church. But not me, I’m special, I’m a different class than you are. You should work hard to make a buck! But not me, I’m too educated for that. And they do it in the name of God.
This is one of the main reasons I made this list: I’m sick of it. I’m sick of Christians thinking that they are better than God, smarter than God, or more powerful than God. You claim God is also omnipotent, and yet you think that this great king is going to change the rules just because YOU are so gosh-darn special?! In the words of Mark Driscoll, “How dare you!”
You’re lying and you know it. You’re corrupting God’s word all for your own gain. And you’re not only tarnishing the world’s view of Christianity, you’re turning away potential Christians in droves. When people see a Christian, they get a picture of what Christ is like. Are you painting a hypocrite?
And this on stems from one of the biggest mistakes any Christian can make…
NUMBER 2: Pride/Arrogance
Let me clarify this one: there’s a healthy pride in anything. Don’t be ashamed to be a Christian. I’m talking about arrogance, when you think being a Christian makes you better than anybody else.
You became a Christian because you were a sinner. If you were so wonderful, you wouldn’t need Christ.
And yet, I see this all the time: people who hold their nose high and frown down upon the “sinners.” I’m not like those people way down there; they’re earthly and evil, while I am holy and set apart. These people love to lift themselves up because they carry a Bible. Clearly, they never read it.
Jesus was God, but he chose to be a poor nobody. He was immortal and eternal, but he chose to die. He was a king, but he allowed himself to be scorned and hated.
There was only one group of people Jesus ever condemned or criticized: the Super-Religious folks of the day, the ones who claimed to be special and holy because they were religious and held all the festivals and followed all the rules. They were so full of themselves that they couldn’t see Jesus, even when they hung him up for everybody to see. But which of them was raised from the dead: Jesus or the religious folks? Which one rules as king over everything?
God exalts those who humble themselves, and humbles those who exalt themselves.
And the biggest, stupidest thing any Christian can do…
NUMBER 1: Saying “You’re Going to Hell!”
When has this phrase EVER worked?
“Hey, you! You’re going to Hell!”
“…Really? I am? Wow…I guess I should get my butt in church and turn off my “gay” switch. Do you know where I can get a pro-life bumper sticker?”
It doesn’t work that way. You know why? It was never meant to! “You’re going to Hell” is not a soul-winning phrase: it’s a condemning one. It’s when you try to make someone feel horrible about who they are. That’s not Godly. In fact, the Bible says Satan is the accuser, pointing out all our faults.
Now, I believe in correction. There is definitely a place for guiding people down the right road and telling someone they are wrong, but it’s the heart of the matter that I’m trying to stress. Any kind of correction or rebuff should be done out of love and tenderness. “You’re going to Hell” is neither loving nor tender.
In his entire ministry, Jesus did mention Hell once or twice, and he said that many would end up there, but never once did he see someone who was sinning and holler at them for being a sinner. In fact, when the adulterous women was about to be stoned, he protected her! He told her “Go and sin no more.” By doing this, he acknowledged the fact that yes, she did wrong but he didn’t condemn her, didn’t lecture her about what a bad person she was, and didn’t tell her where she was going.
Jesus spoke life into the sinners, not death. He didn’t curse, condemn, or scream at them. He didn’t hold a sign up that said “God hates you.” He never used any harmful or wounding tactic. The people he spoke to were touched, encouraged, and emboldened. They were convicted, but not condemned. How many followers would Jesus have had if he called them names and said what horrible people they were?
So why do you think screaming at people is going to save them? Or here’s my better question: do you even care about whether or not it saves them?
Don’t fight people. Fight FOR them.
So, that’s my list of the top 10 dumbest things Christians do. I hope you were able to smile at some and think about others. Again, I know this list is not complete, so if you have any other ideas, or any thoughts in general, please let me know! I want to hear them!
Love you guys!