After observing some back and forth “religion” debate on Facebook the other day, it made me start thinking about all the things that people will do and say, “In the name of the Lord.” Maybe the Lord did tell you to buy that lotto ticket. In fact, my son’s pastor told him it was fine, but if he won, he’d need to tithe double as there is a sinner’s tax, I guess? (he was kidding!) And I know He leads a lot of folks to our local casino. “Thank the Lord” is heard most often when a person wins! My hubby and I were raised in church. His dad was a pastor,and my hubby has a theology degree because the Lord told his parents that he should. They also said he needed to marry a woman who could play the piano. Well, that didn’t work out! I hope that wasn’t Lord issued, too! Forgive me, if you think I am being sacrilegious (ugh….Christianese word, sorry!) because that is not the intention of this writing. The true intention is to make me think more and to make you think more about your words and actions and the long-term that goes with them.
For several years, I worked for Hobby Lobby, a national retail store. The owners are Christian people who are very generous to the missions and ministries that they choose. This was well-known in the area where we lived at the time, and it was amazing what “Christian” people would expect because of this. Discounts, donations, cash. All in the name of the Lord, mind you. The fact that this was a business AND that the employee/manager would lose their job, never seemed to occur to them. But it’s for “the church”, you would here most often. Not all were unkind. But many were and unfortunately, “The Church” folks were the ones the employees wanted to avoid. Why? Their words turned meaner, quicker. Sometimes I would be extremely embarrassed for the scenes they would make! If you think I am exaggerating, okay. But I’m not~
A sweet friend of mine used to waitress at Pioneer Pies in Oklahoma City. She loved her job and was very people friendly. But she said she and her co-workers always dreaded Sunday lunch rush. In her very southern accent, she would say, “Those church people are the most demanding and then they don’t leave much of a tip at all, if any.”
I know that “Christian” does not mean perfect. BOY do I know that. I know that everyone has their day and messes up. But when it happens, do you fix it? Or do you just leave that person standing there with that bad taste of Christian in their mouth? If you are going to play the Christian card and speak for the Lord….then you better choose your words carefully. I sure don’t wanna be standing next to you if you don’t!
I must say that I do indeed love Jesus. And He does prompt my heart to do things for people, often. Here is what I want you to know about me on this subject. 1. If I “Bless your heart” or “God bless you”, it is with sincerity. 2. And if I tell you that I’m going to pray for you, you can count on it. 3. If you are ugly to my friends or family In the Name of the Lord, I’ll be on you like june bugs on the front porch screen. 😉
Don’t be that church. Don’t be that person. Be nice to people! ♥ We really never know what that other person may be dealing with ~
So eloquently said, Paula.
I’m a PK too! All I can say to this is AMEN!! Wow – you hit the nail on the head. My pastor tells us if we go out to lunch on Sunday we should tip double:)
lol! well I kinda figure this post may tick some folks off….but it’s been on my mind…so I just put it out there! 😉 thanks for the support! ♥
Beautiful, just beautiful!
♥ ty ♥
Thank you, thank you, thank you…..and may I say, you are very brave to post this. I agree with you !
I had to rewrite it a couple of times to “nice” it up! lol! Thanks, Debbie…appreciate you!
You are so right! I have seen more hurt caused by “christian” people than any other. (see my blog Casting Stones at http://dwelchel.wordpress.com/2012/03/24/casting-stones/ )
I remember that there was a certain pastor at TOF that had the worst rep at a local eatery. In fact, they finally had to ban him from coming in. And I too have witnessed first hand the character of church people in public places.
I always taught my girls when they would experience or witness someone being un-Christ-like, “let this be a lesson on how NOT to act.”
We cannot help or make others behave like Christ; but we can make sure that all our own actions and reactions glorify Him.
Thanks again Paula!
Yep ~ I agree, Darla. We need to play nice!
I think you’ve done a good job of producing a well balanced argument here: well done!
I am not a Christian, though I was raised one. I can relate to much of Christian teaching: love thy neighbour, do as you would be done by, obey the ten commandments, &c. It seems eminently reasonable to ask “if being a Christian doesn’t make you a better person, then why do it?” Of course, it’s a poor experiment. We can’t say how much better or worse these people would behave if they were not Christians.
What troubles me more, however, is what appears to be a lack of responsibility that Christians take for the actions of Christians. I understand the argument that an individual’s actions are a matter for his/her own conscience. But you all belong to this global ministry that has some quite unequivocal rules. For example “thou shalt not kill” doesn’t seem to leave much room for manoeuvre to me. Yet the church welcomes unrepentent killers, executioners and soldiers. So it also seems eminently reasonable to ask “if belonging to the club doesn’t mean trying to obey the club’s rules, then what’s the point?” I cannot take Christians seriously whilst they harbour and foster folk who openly declare that they have no intention of even trying to obey the rules.
I am not sure I can agree with your position of Christians not taking responsibility for other Christians… what do you mean by unrepentant killers, executioners and soldiers ? You’ve lost me there…
Sorry I did not make myself clear. Churches all over the world and the Christians in them accept and welcome people into their midst who kill. There are even priests and vicars serving in the millitary. How can Christians accept these people and allow them to call themselves Christians, conferring tacit approval, when doctrine says killing is forbidden?
I’ll leave it that we agree to disagree Rob, hope you have a wonderful evening… It’s beautiful here.. suns out .
Rob ~ I appreciate your words and find you have made some very good & interesting points! Never in my life have I thought about it as being a “club”! But I do believe you are dead on, there. The rules were indeed posted before we “joined”. ♥
OK, I think the accepted word is “communion” rather than “club” but the principal holds true, I believe.
Hey…I like the “club” word! lol!
Guess I am just an emotional person, but this brought tears!! You have really put some thought in this and I think you did it perfectly!! There is a lot more to being a Christian than just showing up in Church!! Thanks again Paula!! Wish I could give you a big hug!! Just imagine that I just did that :). Would like to know where you took the pictures!! Love ya! 😀
Thanks for the hug, Dottie. Right back at ya! The pics were taken in Leadville, CO, last September. BEAUTIFUL place with so much character. I’ll be featuring Leadville in small town America, very soon. Love you, too! ♥
I think the more people advertise, look at me… “I’m a good Christian!”
The more likely they’re not.
yep….that says to me, “if they have to tell me that…I’m not gonna get my car fixed here!” 😉
Great post Paula,
I think what’s upsetting about folks who wave a “Christian” Banner is that for those Christians who are truly trying to be good “Christ Like” Christians… (and we all know that’s no easy task and something that has to be worked on every minute of every day) it’s frustrating on several levels.. it gives all Christians a black eye-
You know they know better.. and you truly want for them to follow what they’ve been taught-
it can put you in a bad position yourself.. for example, my husband and I used to own a silk screen printing business..our most frequent customers were the local churches.. and I have to tell you, I’d rather shoot bamboo up my nails than to do business with a church…. they want EVERYTHING for nothing.. the one thing I’d hear all the time was, ” well you know we’re a non profit and we rely on donations”, we’ve got such a small budget and this is for God.. which put me in the position of having to reply… well, truth is I chickened out.. I let them set the rules and we lost money … on every order ever.. we never had an order from a church where we made any profit.. finally after 5 years of it… I sent out a letter to all the local churches explaining we WERE NOT a non profit and that we did indeed need to make an income due to our small budget as well … and included new pricing… we lost every single church we had done business with for 5 years… and I was THRILLED!!! My sister and I discuss this issue at length often and I feel it’s a double edged sword at times… because trying to be a good Christian I don’t want to judge peoples actions… yet when you see something that’s wrong.. how do you not ? I can tell you like Paula… if I say God Bless you … I mean it literally…. if I say I’ll pray for you.. I really am praying for you..I believe because as Christians we have the bigger responsibility… we know better.. Having said all this… please understand truly… I am a sinner.. I don’t want to sound all puffed up with pride… I am not perfect far from it..as the saying goes.. God isn’t finished with me yet.. I’m not better than anyone else.. just trying to be more aware of doing the right thing….
Sheeeesh I apologize for the book….really great post Paula….
I was reading the post to my hubby over his lunch time….he is a retail mgr…anyway, he said, “I HEARD THAT TODAY!” from a customer. And when I read him the part about shooting bamboo up your nails….he laughed and truly identified! 😉 No apology needed for your “book”. You needed to vent! And it needs to be out there. I’m just sorry for what you had to deal with. When I was in college, my dad didn’t want me “being run over” so to speak, so he said these words and I will always go by them (!): ” If the person has the nerve to ask, you have the right to tell them NO.” And while at the time he was referring to other classmates wanting to borrow my car…..I just started applying it to everything. I can sure clear a room if I need to! lol! Thanks for reading and sharing, Carri ~ ♥
Good job Paula! I think you hit the “ouch” button! Our former pastor used to say “standing in the garage doesn’t make you a car, anymore than sitting in church makes you a Christian.” Actions speak louder than words. When I’m behind a vehicle that has the metal fish (signifying these people are Christians) on the back, and they are driving while chatting on their cell phone or even trying to text, and not paying attention to the cars around them….it reminds me that if we are going to show the world that we are a Christian, then we should drive as though we care about the safety of our fellow drivers. I have one more observation: So many people say: “Honest to God” when they are trying to prove a point. I hear teenagers saying that a lot. Does that bother anyone else? Now I’m all riled up and probably need some chocolate.
HAHAHA I love it Delores… you are quite right… passing the chocolate…
Well I hope I didn’t rile ya up too much, Delores! I always said I would never put a Christian symbol on my car….and then I went and had one tattooed on my shoulder! So I guess that makes me only have to be nice in the summer months when it shows? Naaa…you know I’m kidding. I am a very direct person, but I try and do it in a kind way….the first time anyways! And as for using God’s name inappropriately, yep…it irks me, too. I have said to people before that “damn” isn’t God’s last name. That shuts em up fast. If I had any chocolate left, I’d send it to ya! ♥
When someone tells me what a wonderful christian they are…..i just think….oh no….and escape as quickly as possible….not to be trusted! Actions speak more loudly than words!
sad, but true ~ run Forest run ~
Maybe this is a bit out of context, but then again, maybe not. Your post, along with multiple comments discuss Christians asking for handouts. This is one reason I have a difficult time listening to Christian radio stations, as they so often find a means to guilt listeners into donating to them, because they are “listener supported.” It is actually more of an infomercial, and I believe that some do feel that they need to give, some want to give, while others are convinced to give. Possibly, because the listeners want the DJ to shut up and play some music.
In addition, many churches are filled with successful business men and women. I would be willing to guess that most of these people worked their asses off to get where they are. With this, these people have become successful due to hard work, and capitalist tendencies, not having things handed to them without working for it. I would also argue that churches want their people to be successful, because when people are blessed, they tithe more. If this is so, then the church itself appears to support capitalism, even though they continually ask for handouts, a socialist tendency. This in itself presents a contradiction of the church.
I was just thinking that! ♥
You can’t play the piano???? Now you tell me!!!
chopsticks is about it!
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Great discussion. I’m not allowed to voice my “complete take” on several: co-erced giving, blessed offering, Guilty giving for hoarding Money (if you have it) for a 100 causes and a hoard on new ones on the way(nearly all good). And if you have more than average the supposition that your gain was some how illicit. I do agree with your positions Paula, and hope this kind of careful, thoughtful discussion will help level the thinking field. g
Well, G….I recall that mindset with some in our church growing up. If you weren’t broke you weren’t giving enough. Heaven forbid (pardon the pun) you get ahead in life by working hard. Guilty giving happened to my mother-in-law when she had nothing. When she could barely afford to live and even the week before her going into the nursing home, her “pastor” showed up for her check. It was cashed immediately. Yep….guilt giving is most certainly NOT in the name of the Lord!
Christians are first and foremost…PEOPLE…as every person is diff, so is every single variety of Christian…have never met another who shares the EXACT position on EVERYTHING as myself. The really cool thing is that our gracious and loving Lord IS the same…yesterday, today and tomorrow! Christians may disappoint us along the way (giving in the name, guilting, etc etc) but God never does! I never doubt anyone who tells me they are a Christian…not my job…their faith is between them and our Maker, not between them and me. (Although, I do not extend that same courtesty to those Westborough “baptist” kooks in Kansas…but that is something I personally have to work on). Great discussion…
To Garland Sims…LOVE it how even though you are “not allowed” to voice your complete take on things that you come through crystal clear and leave no doubt as to what those complete thoughts are and where you are standin’! Love ya (Wonder where stuffItellmysis gets her gift of writing?!?!)
If it were not for a God of grace…..where would any of us be? Love you, my dear ♥