Beliefnet
A Fear of Whales

“We could play ‘Uproar’ She said”

I cringed. I had no idea what kind of game “Uproar” was going to be. But I was sure it was going to be some squeaky clean mixer game like Charades, or Pictionary, that I had played one too many of, only more christiany.

Jill continued “It’s like a mix between Charades, Taboo, and Pictionary”

…CRAP…

Jill is one of the most stereotypical Christian girls I know of. She’s  reasonably attractive, but very plain, engaged (of course) to a immaculate Christian Security Guard. She herself? she’s a teacher. She avoids R-rated movies, plays poker only when the chips have no cash value and we share them if someone runs out and speaks in a particular christian-girl cadence that gets higher near the end of a sentence, making everything sound like it’s a question. And boy does she love mixer games! Especially the “rules” part of mixer games, this girl loves rules!
And in case you can’t tell, I can’t stand her

Which is odd, It’s odd for two reasons, One for me and one for her.
It’s odd for me because I don’t have trouble getting along with most people. I spend time with debaters, unicyclers, philosophers, artists, athletes, Asians, anteaters… the list goes on. It’s unusual for me to be put off by a people group.

And it’s odd for Jill because she’s there’s nothing exactly wrong with her. It’s not like she’s some kind of hypocrite (not any more than average) she’s a good person, she’s polite, I’m sure she’s nice to her neighbors, she probably votes, and she’s actively involved in making the word a better place by building up special needs children… I didn’t mention that did I? I said teacher, yeah, she’s a special-ed teacher.

See I often have problems getting along with really Christian Christians, but usually I can find some reason. Usually they are stupid, or useless, or dogmatic, or judgmental. Jill is none of those things. She’s just flipping annoying.

And so she’s a proof of concept for me that I don’t just dislike certain things common to Christians. I actually Dislike Christians. The personality traits that for me represent someone I’d like to spend time with, and the personality traits that I see expressed in a typical Christian, are worlds apart.

And this all makes me wonder “why?” Why should Christians be like this? Why does the average christian young person play Apples to Apples more often than he takes communion?

How did there get to be a standard christian dress code?

When did Jesus add the admonition to the Lords Prayer that the names of God needed to be spoken more often in any prayer than all the other words combined

“Lord, we just ask Lord That Lord You Lord would act Lord God, and God Lord Jesus join us Lord in Lord Our Lord Worship Lord God Jehova Jirah Jesus God El Shaddai Lord my aunts cancer, Eloheim Lord Logos God Holy Spirit Lord Lord…”

And when… When the HELL did the community surrounding the BIBLE be the same community that’s perpetually preoccupied with simple answers, black and white thinking, and comprehensive lists of rules? How in the world did they get this from that?

God gave us 10, Jesus reduced it to 2. Now I have more than 100 just governing what I have to do before a first date! Where did that come from?
The answer is I don’t know. But my friend “MB” has a theory. MB is a blogger and Christian leader from Iowa. Her blog can be found here. She and I

have been discussing our own theologies for a few weeks by e-mail and this issue came up.

Here is my understanding of MB’s theory (my own words):

It’s all about power structures. From very early on in church history Christianity was discovered to be a powerful tool for gaining political power and it still is. These power people then govern the church in a way that encourages the things they like (power, rules, simplicity, submission, tradition) and discourages the Christ-like things they don’t like (Sacrifice, authentic humility, ambiguity, complexity, rebelliousness, vulnerability) until such things begin to permeate the culture.

Now Sunday school teachers are not actively and consciously trying to gain tremendous power and influence, but might make it a point to be the only one with the keys to the craft closet, because she likes being indispensable, and the next generation being raised up in that Sunday School will get along more easily with their teacher and their peers if they jump in the bandwagon and act like everyone else, so the cycle repeats and perpetuates.
Until now, people begin to feel out of place even around powerless churchgoers, simply because power structures have imprinted these unwritten rules on our collective unconscious.

…Like I said I don’t know if that’s it, but it’s certainly the closest think I’ve ever heard to an explanation that makes sense, and it’s certainly an idea that’s going to haunt me…

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