I will often appear to be “out of it.” Sometimes I’m just wiped out from worship, allergies, or illness. Sometimes I’m just “out there” pondering the existence of the universe (or pretending certain household items are spaceships in a battle for survival – don’t ask). It’s usually difficult to figure out the reason why I’m not mentally present. One thing, however, is certain. If I’m lucid it means coffee has recently been ingested.
Posted in Comics
Tagged coffee, Comics
Christians often mean well, but we are often so immersed in our world and our lingo that we fail to see how we are being perceived by the people we are attempting to communicate with. This comic is memorial to all the tragic misunderstandings we Christians have caused over the years.
We say we trust in the LORD for our lives. I think we show too often, however, that we really believe in the power of marketing.
People seem to think I know what I’m doing. The truth is, I’m just willing to fall on my face to see if something “works.” That’s half the fun (and much of the agony).
A few years ago I selected “Lift High The Cross” to sing at the Closing of worship. As people left quite a few told me they didn’t care for the “new hymn” (which was written in 1916). That experience is the inspiration for this strip.
I’ve been reading articles again. What surprises me about the things I come across is not that people are using religious language to promote their agendas. That’s been going on for years. What surprises me is when a political agenda is presented in place of the Gospel, and Christians angrily go to bat for the false presentation! Years ago this happened with communism, now it’s happening with American Nationalism. Do any of us actually read the words of Jesus any more? This is one of the reasons I’m preaching on Revelation at the moment, it’s message is so needed nowadays and it’s been hijacked for far too long.
I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned “Pastor Appreciation Month” before, that might still be the case if I hadn’t gotten a sudden impulse to pay homage to Monty Python.
I have never gotten any special recognition during this month, mostly likely because no one from Central was aware that such a month existed. I mean, really, this is the Christian version of a “commercial holiday.” It’s a way for Christian book stores to guilt believers into spending money on pastors before the Christmas shopping season hits. Yes, I’m a cynic.
Even though I’ve never gotten any special recognition during this month, the Central Baptist community has shown it’s appreciation of me time and time and time again. Presents I’ve gotten from folks here always of the “we genuinely believe you’ll like this” ilk (I’m even still trying to come up with a sermon illustration from Ren & Stimpy), and I feel very little pressure to play a character for the congregation. Central gives me the best gift appreciation of all – they appreciate me.
I only hope I can joyfully return the sentiment.
“That’s just a ritual.”
It’s a phrase I hear too often by people in churches, and far often by pastors who want to prove their own superiority over “those Christians.” I’d find it funny if it went so alarming. It’s funny because people who bash rituals will jump to their feet when they hear the National Anthem played before a ball-game without even thinking. Ironically, it’s alarming for the same reason.
Human beings create ritual, its the way we connect our ordinary actions to a larger narrative. When we deceive ourselves into thinking we don’t do rituals, as our society has done (“ritualistic” has become a synonym for “empty,” after all), we end up allowing rituals to mold our lives in ways we might not consciously want. This is a spiritually dangerous state in which to live. The fact that Starbucks seems to understand ritual better than many Churches is just plain sad.
NOTE: If you don’t understand the title for this comic, read Apocalypse & Allegiance.
I often feel pressured to join various ministry groups. The pressure is often voiced as encouragement, “Look what we can do for you!”
Reading Making Friends, Making Disciples has helped to understand why I’m so wary of these groups which promise benefits I never asked for, and relationships which are artificial at best. If groups push me to join by assuming I’ll only be part of them if I get a direct benefit, then I tend to think they really care all that much about me. I also wonder if I’ll ever get to know the group members well enough to care about them.
If you’re nodding your head right now, you might want to ask, “How many in our neighborhoods think of our churches the same way?”
I have to say, I often wonder if Christians (or any other “Culture Warriors”) have given any thought about what would end up happening if they “won.”. A coalition is a great political force, but movements inevitably shift towards being more particular, and “Us” quickly becomes a new “Us versus Them.” I think a lot of people would be shocked to suddenly see themselves shoved out of the circle once more.