Monday, November 12, 2007

Christian Groups that annoy me

I am a Christian myself, and I am one who has been in the Christian underground culture for a long time (mostly during college) and there are various types and groups who really annoy me. It's not because they don't have faith, nor is it because they are necessarily fanatics, but simply because their behavior does not seem to attract new Christians or strengthen the faith of the True Believers.

1) Christian Reactionaries: These are Christians who will react with great offense whenever something even slightly anti-Christian is portrayed in the public arena. I'm not saying that I'm not offended by anti-Christian statements (a fact that makes it hard to watch Penn and Teller's show sometimes), but I don't let such things get the better of me. I don't call for the banning of TV shows, no matter how offensive they are. I don't call for apologies from public figures when they make comments that are counter to my Christian ideals. Sometimes members of this group can be extremely violent, although these people are rare.

2) Christian Imitators: These are Christians who will use just about any method to evangelize (that's marketing their religion) to anybody. Unfortunately, none of these methods is original, but a mock of something found in the secular world. Good examples are the various Christian bands who imitate prominent secular musicians. Find an original form of music or whatever and go with that. WWJD is a good original example. Siphoning of a pop culture to promote Christianity is taking 1 Corinthians 9:19-22 way too far.

3) Christian Segregationists: No, these aren't necessarily racist Christians, merely Christians who separate themselves from the rest of the world and/or other Christians. They consider any Christian who watches secular movies above PG, listen to secular music, watch secular TV, etc. as someone who is not a true Christian. Often times, they also shut themselves off from the rest of the world because of their own personal disgust of immorality.

4) Christian Hierachists: These are Christians who make up hierarchies that don't exist. Examples include Angel hierarchies, Demon hierarchies, and hierarchies of the gifts of the Holy Spirit (a more popular one these days). The fact is, if it isn't in the Bible, then it's probably not a true hierarchy. Only God determines who is last and who is first. If He hasn't written it in fire in the sky, then I will have trouble believing it.

5) Christian Lawists: These Christians have a tendency to make up whole laws from select verses of the Bible where the context says otherwise. For example, some Christians consider that tattoos are sinful because of 1 Corinthians 6:18-20. They will also take things stated in Paul's letters to Timothy as law, rather then guidelines for structuring the Church during Roman times. Again, this is mistaken context.

6) Televangelists: I tend to view television as the lowest common denominator in all of entertainment. I know this because I am a recovering television-a-holic and I've gotten more out of reading books like Mere Christianity then from a TV person asking for my money.

7) Christian Theocratists: These are Christians who actively promote Theocracy as a viable means of governing and spreading the Word. Sadly, this will only breed resentment and fear to the overall message. Not everyone will convert to Christianity. I know it's frustrating that a lot of people don't accept the Word of God, but we cannot force it on them. Shake the dust off your feet and move on (metaphorically speaking).

The bottom line: there are many Christian groups/types who annoy me and sometimes make me feel embarrassed as a Christian. I don't define my faith through these groups, but their influence can be great in the public arena and many of these people are usually held up as examples of what all Christians are like by various disseminaters of information, such as the press giants.

I will admit, that I have fallen into one or more of these categories at past points in my life and I may fall into one later on (though I hope not).