Stuff Christian Culture Likes

Stuff Christian Culture Likes


#93 Saying you’re married to your best friend

posted by Stephanie Drury

Christians aren’t the only people who say this, but they make up 93% of the people who do. The remaining 7% are some rogue non-Christians who are unabashed corndogs.

In a Christian’s blog profile it’s categorically impossible for the spouse-as-best-friend declaration to be made without also stating that they love God most of all.

Married people who are not Christians generally don’t announce that their spouse is their best friend. Christian culture might counter that this is because Christians have better marriages, but the divorce rate in the church would not support that hypothesis.



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Anonymous

posted August 4, 2009 at 11:12 pm


I don't rank my passions because, despite my sincere efforts, my love of really good curly fries outweighs my love of Jesus. I'll go way out of my way driving to get some crispy delicious curly fries. I'm not saying I feel good about that. I'm just admitting it out loud.



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Annagrace

posted August 4, 2009 at 11:50 pm


Once again: BRILLIANT. And completely true.And Anonymous? Exactly.



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Kevin Markley

posted August 4, 2009 at 11:51 pm


what is the divorce rate among evangelicals. I ask because much of your blog seems to be pointed a this demographic, but your "data" about Christians are much more broad, and include anyone who claims them selves to be Christians. KevinP.S. I know that this is a very satirical blog and not everything (in fact most probably) is meant as such. I just thought I would raise the question I always ask when people quote data about "Christians"



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Ben

posted August 5, 2009 at 12:20 am


i'm sort of disappointed with this particular post.maybe it's because australian evangelical culture hasn't taken this up as much.. i don't know.and i noticed the espresso, macs and moleskine journals thing.. starting to sound a lot like Stuff White People Like.. anyway it's more likely that those 3 things would normally come out of an emergents/relevants mouth e.g. someone who loves Rob Bell. That said, it might be different in America.



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Billy

posted August 5, 2009 at 4:40 am


So should we not be very close to our spouse? My spouse is my best friend, literally. In high school we were very close and would hang out together even though we both were dating someone. There was never any funny business between us, honest. We eventually began dating each other when I was a senior and she was a sophmore. So yes, I am married to my best friend, doesn't mean we like each other all the time, but we do love each other all the time. On a grander scale, I believe even without our history she would still be my best friend. I would rather my wife and I go camping or (fill in the blank) than go with a guy friend of mine. I have dragged my wife to ball games before because I just like to be with her when I do stuff. So having your spouse as your best friend is not such a bad thing.From what I can gather, Steph, is that you still consider yourself a Christian, you just don't like Christian culture, right? I don't know, this post just seemed a little down right mean, not so much funny.



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Trev

posted August 5, 2009 at 6:38 am


Billy, I think you may be taking Steph's outlook a little too personally. Her post isn't attacking the idea of two people being close – but rather, the action of advertising it in a particular (and typical) fashion.



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The Thief

posted August 5, 2009 at 7:14 am


This is spot-on. Though I have an awesome wife, and though I think spouses should be close, the "I married my best friend" advertising (that's what it is) makes me want to puke in one of those cute his-and-hers toilets.



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jeremy

posted August 5, 2009 at 8:03 am


In the event of marriage, my spouse and I are going to have BFF necklaces instead of rings.No, I'm not serious. :)



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Jason

posted August 5, 2009 at 8:30 am


I think The Thief hit the nail on the head. And what's also worrisome is advertising it like this is almost akin to a kid who closes his eyes as he walks through a cemetery at night and repeats "I'm not afraid of ghosts I'm not afraid of ghosts."



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Wulfys outpost.

posted August 5, 2009 at 9:20 am


that's funny, i've heard that at every wedding i've been to, it's true, they always say they married their best friend but honestly if they did marry their best friend it would be rather "unchristian"like except if their best friend is a girl and btw when did christians start using macs?



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amywithlemon

posted August 5, 2009 at 12:59 pm


i'm of that *small* percentage who actually did marry a close friend. one day, after years of being just friends, i asked if he ever thought of more for us- and he proposed on the spot (i know, 'awwww'…now STFU). anyway, that's just us.i like my husband. i have other friends. he has other friends, some i find as annoying as he finds some of mine.but i think the key to a nice marriage is what my mom taught me:"if you can't be friends, what are you going to do the other 23 hours you aren't having sex?"(or 20 hours, you know, whatever.)btw- this "my spouse is my BFF" thing is also usually associated with how hot the other spouse is and how blessed they are to have him/her.it's like high school. or youth group. (which explains so much of that shit.)



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amywithlemon

posted August 5, 2009 at 1:02 pm


also, where can i get one of those toilets. my husband and i aren't bff's, but you know, we're sorta into that thing. that's hot.



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April Suits

posted August 5, 2009 at 1:13 pm


Despite the mocking tone of this blog, i can't help but be complimented. Thank you. It is exactly true that I love my husband, but not as much as God, and heck I love my coffee! Nothing to be ashamed of in any of these statements. And oh yeah… my husband is my best friend :)



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Anonymous

posted August 6, 2009 at 6:26 am


I didn't know it was common in Christian Culture. I thought it was just common among sappy romantic types who have no lives (like myself and my BFF wife). We are hermits and spend, literally, nearly all our time together (except work), even if we aren't doing the same thing. I'm not saying we have a better or worse marriage than anybody else. We just are social misfits and each other's very best friend. :-)



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Anonymous

posted August 6, 2009 at 7:54 am


You really need to examine what you are doing here. Your hardened heart towards Christ and others is very sad. You have set up a site where others can go and make fun of people who follow Christ. True, none of these things have to do with your personal relationship with Christ, but you are attacking those people who may be making earnest strides to know Christ better. How is your walk? What do you think Christ will say to you one day about your blog? Will He laugh at your sarcasm and putting down of these people or will He have hurt in His eyes and ask why you drove people away from Him?Examine your motives and their eternal implications. We all will have to answer for our actions. It's true whether you believe it or not.



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stephy

posted August 6, 2009 at 8:03 am


"How is your walk?" is classic.I don't think you're truly concerned for me, anonymous, which is another very sad thing about Christian culture. The point of this blog is that there is something about clinging to a culture's ideas of how to be a "good Christian" that cuts out so much of the beauty and mystery in knowing God. It's like squishing something into a box to make it fit and make it palatable instead of being in an open field that isn't packaged and predictable but there is so much room for beauty and joy.



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Anonymous

posted August 6, 2009 at 8:19 am


See, you take something as symbolic as "How is your walk?" and throw it in my face. Think about those words! It is a walk, a JOURNEY with Christ. It is a real personal relationship that we are striving for. God does not fit in a box like you said, but God can't be anything you WANT Him to be. God has clearly revealed himself to us. He is love, grace, and compassion. But he is also truth, justice, and wrath. God hates sin. The only reason we can come into his presences is because of Christ. If you spent half as much energy trying to help people KNOW Christ instead of bashing those people who are trying to know Christ, think of the good you would do!



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stephy

posted August 6, 2009 at 8:24 am


I've had several people say they are interested in God because they have seen from this blog that Jesus isn't the same as all the people who follow him. I don't think Christian culture knows how they come off. I'm just having a laugh while showing the disparity between the culture and the actual person of Christ.



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Anonymous

posted August 6, 2009 at 8:29 am


I can get behind that idea! Please give some thought to ending your blog posts with more of who Christ really is! Instead of pointing and laughing at those silly Christians and that be the end of it, why not end your posts with some meat to make people think about who Christ REALLY is? As it stands you are coming off a little bitter and hardened.



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stephy

posted August 6, 2009 at 8:37 am


Only a little bitter and hardened? I'm VERY bitter at the bastardization of religion and sacred relationships. When you say to end my posts with some "meat" I imagine you might mean some statements that I would hope people take to heart. I don't think that's nearly as effective and has the potential for change that posing questions can do so I choose to do that instead. You are welcome though to make your own blog with "meat"!



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Anonymous

posted August 6, 2009 at 8:45 am


Which leaves us off where we started. You are a bitter hardened person bashing people trying to know Christ.



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stephy

posted August 6, 2009 at 9:03 am


I appreciate your concern for truth as you see it. Please pray for me, and I will pray too, that we will all know what truth is and that we will be humble and loving as we seek it.



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Jesus

posted August 6, 2009 at 9:06 am


OMG! LOLZ! we are totally stuck on dialup in heaven, so it took me like haf hour to catch up on these internet posts. i just wanted to clarify that YES! there will be abundant time for me to scold/shame/spank everybody in heaven for all the sarcastic things they've ever done. because heaven is forever!looking forward to meeting you there, as soon as you die,Jesus.



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amywithlemon

posted August 6, 2009 at 9:13 am


@stephyyou are awesome.perhaps a new post?SCCL: taking everything so personalorSCCL: anxiety



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Anonymous

posted August 6, 2009 at 9:24 am


It's all fun and games until someone goes to hell because of your actions.What we do has eternal consequences whether you want to admit it or not!



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amywithlemon

posted August 6, 2009 at 9:26 am


so you say.



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amywithlemon

posted August 6, 2009 at 9:37 am


@kevin markleythe barna group is a pretty good source of statistics, and we used them often when i was in seminary.so i looked the divorce rate among evangelicals and found this fun fact:"Divorce rates among conservative Christians were significantly higher than for other faith groups, and much higher than Atheists and Agnostics experience.""Barna released the results of their poll about divorce on 1999-DEC-21. 1 They had interviewed 3,854 adults from the 48 contiguous states. The margin of error is ±2 percentage points. The survey found:11% of the adult population is currently divorced.25% of adults have had at least one divorce during their lifetime."(from: http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_dira.htm )(my guess would be because christians tend to marry young (not always smart) so they can finally 'get it on'. and non-religious people don't often feel the need to 'put a ring on it' to have sex, so they tend to marry later in life, when they are more mature and have already enjoyed the sins of passion.)also check:http://www.adherents.com/largecom/baptist_divorce.html(baptists and non-denominationals have the highest divorce rate among faith groups.)and:http://www.sullivan-county.com/bush/divorce.htm



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juls

posted August 6, 2009 at 10:31 am


HEY Anonymous:You are a bitter hardened Christian bashing another person. God loves you despite it though. In Christ's Love, julie



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mme. bookling

posted August 6, 2009 at 10:38 am


If you weren't sensitive to how this were affecting people, then you would certainly be the wrong person to do it. But you have done this out of beautiful intentions and a sincere affection for those people trying to recover from all the bull shit AS WELL as showing christians still immersed in it that Christ DOES NOT BELONG in all of the silly nothings.Someone goes to hell because of your actions?!!! OMG.Because their salvation is entirely dependent on you.He may as well say "Fuck the cross. It's your responsibility, Stephanie."



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Roman de la rose and Pygmalion

posted August 6, 2009 at 10:47 am


Usually, Steph, your posts are spot-on, but I don't think Christians have cornered the market on this particular practice. I've known lots of people (many of my friends are non or ex-Christian) who claim their spouses as their best friends. Queen even has a song about this, and I don't think they are a Christian band! Haha.However, I do think you have identified the connection between the "best friend" label and our divorce culture. Saying "I married my best friend" is a way of boasting that one's own marriage is more solid than most people's and (presumably) more resistant to divorce. Best friendships are now expected to last longer than marriages, although people change freinds just as frequently as they change spouses.



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Roman de la rose and Pygmalion

posted August 6, 2009 at 10:48 am


"friends", not "freinds". Sorry about the typo.



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Anonymous

posted August 6, 2009 at 10:56 am


Yes I said 'hell'. That is something the current Christian Culture does NOT like. Everything is sunshine and lollipops. All they want from the pulpit is a warm fuzzy feeling. They don't want to feel convicted or change their ways. They want to do what they want regardless of what should be done. I see that SAME attitude here. Forget what is right and wrong. This is what makes me happy and what I want to do.Sounds lovely except for the fact that we are accountable for what we do! If we cause someone else to stumble we are accountable for that! and of COURSE you cannot cause someone to go to hell, just like you can't save someone. I was being sarcastic for crying out loud!What I see Stephy doing is fitting God into HER little box. I see her making a mockery of the cross and I see this being the perfect soapbox for people who aren't Christians to make fun of Christians. I'm NOT saying I am better than anyone here. I am a pathetic, disgusting sinner who is only saved by faith in Christ. But what goes on here is not good. It does nothing to glorify God. God is SO good and he loves us so much. He even loves these silly Christians who are actively and with purpose trying to know him more. I'm so sorry this is lost on you.



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juls

posted August 6, 2009 at 11:05 am


Hey Anonymous…What I see you doing is venting a lot of anger and aggression. Seems very misdirected. Maybe you should try to love others as Jesus commands or shed that grace and compassion you were talking about. Your postings have nothing to do with the original post. just saying, have a great day!



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kaybear

posted August 6, 2009 at 11:10 am


Dear Anonymous: Maybe you misunderstand us. I don't think there is anything pathetic or disgusting about me, except perhaps my love of Chunky Monkey. My pastor and family used to tell me this was prideful, but I've come to view it as self-respect. I don't owe God or you anything. If you have a problem with how we're portraying Christian culture, change the culture or leave us alone. Your anxiety for us and your own self-loathing is kind of pathetic. Kelly Dear Steph: Thanks for this! I've been reading the posts and comments all week. It's so therapeutic for me to know that I'm not the only one who finds these things funny!Kel



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Anonymous

posted August 6, 2009 at 11:18 am


Thank you for making my point for me Kelly. I could not have said it better. There is nothing self loathing in recognizing that you are a sinner and a wretch. We all deserve to go to hell except for Christ interceding for us.Just because this upsets me in no way means my heart is not breaking for all of you. I apologize for going this far off topic. I won't bother you with my comments anymore. As you were.



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kaybear

posted August 6, 2009 at 11:44 am


No, I do not deserve hell. I have never done anything to deserve eternal torment. If God considers torture to be a suitable punishment for being born a human, then I want nothing to do with Him. We do not agree at all.



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Steve

posted August 6, 2009 at 12:09 pm


Anonymous: Your concern for heaven and hell is misplaced. Anyone whose primary religious concern is going to heaven or avoiding hell has completely missed the point of what Jesus taught. They are religious mercenaries (yeah, I'm talkin' about you). Our primary concern should be loving God for himself.And remember that both Jesus and Paul heavily satirized those in their time who had missed the point of true faith. Ultimately, there is no hell. Hell is something we invent. The great medieval mystic, Julian of Norwich, taught that there is no wrath of God, except for whatever we make up. God is all love and no wrath.



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massminuteman

posted August 6, 2009 at 12:39 pm


"Anonymous", you're exactly what Stephy is writing about and exposing. She may not call it the paganization of Christianity, or occultism with Christian labels for things, but it's what people like you are about.



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Billy

posted August 6, 2009 at 1:18 pm


ok, you changed the toilet seat picture. That's just gross. My wife and I have been married or dating for 15 years (since high school) and we still want total privacy when dropping a duece. I mean, really, what if I shot one of the fthhhhhwat turds. You know, the one that is preceeded by a gas. I would be so embarrased. And would I have to look away when she wiped just in case it was gross and turned me off of our romance time. Just sayin'.



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Jennifer

posted August 6, 2009 at 3:44 pm


Steph, you really got folks going with this one…and it seemed so safe…loved reading it all though.



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amywithlemon

posted August 6, 2009 at 4:10 pm


so how do i get in on that sunshine and lollipop action?i was unaware we would be serving sunshine and lollipops.



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George

posted August 6, 2009 at 5:17 pm


Anonymous,Your heart isn't breaking for me, so cut it. You're just bitter about the fact that mainstream evangelical culture in America is masturbatory and self-centered, and has more to do with getting people to share the same set of beliefs (in an attempt to establish order) than it does with understand God at all.



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amywithlemon

posted August 6, 2009 at 5:19 pm


wow.nailed it.



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stephy

posted August 6, 2009 at 9:05 pm


Everything anonymous wrote sounds like something I would have written a few years ago. I used to be like that.



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MarksMomma

posted August 7, 2009 at 12:01 am


I find it interesting that "anonymous" has remained anonymous. What is it with people posting negative comments under the cloak of anonymity???!Interesting blog, Stephy. It makes me both laugh and think. I think you should write a post about "Christianese" and "Prayer fill words."



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Mon

posted August 7, 2009 at 1:38 am


@ Anonymous:I don't understand your anger. The key word in this blog is "Culture". Not Jesus, or necessarily Christianity for that matter. I've found that in a variety of faiths, doctrine and culture are mutually exclusive. And it's that relationship that is this blog's focus. I was raised Catholic in a predominately Evangelical Protestant community. I first saw the difference in doctrine and culture while growing up Catholic. Heck, even in the Catholic community there's difference in Irish Catholic culture and Mexican Catholic culture… and those cultural nuances have little to do with official doctrine. (And, yes, there could very well be a related satirical blog on "What Catholic Culture Likes")When I switched schools where most of the kids were of some Protestant sect – (though mostly were of some Evangelical movement), my observations on culture vs. theology broadened even wider. In high school, some of my closer friends were Lutheran and Episcopalian; and I saw that their relationship with those denominations were completely different than those who belonged to the strongly fundamentalist / evangelical movements – which in my opinion (and correct me if I'm wrong Stephy), is the main group this blog targets. And I get a kick out this blog because so many of the observations are right on with the ones I always saw. You said that you see Stephy fitting "God into her little box… making a mockery of the cross". Looking back on her posts, I hardly see her making any postulations on the nuts and bolts of Christian doctrine. But to me it seems you bent your arguments in an entirely different direction, going into theological debates of heaven, hell, salvation and the nature of Christ. There are many other blogs that serve to discuss those points in the length you suggest. Perhaps those would be healthier outlets for your frustrations.



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Joel

posted August 7, 2009 at 6:15 am


I was raised Catholic in a predominately Evangelical Protestant community. I first saw the difference in doctrine and culture while growing up Catholic. Heck, even in the Catholic community there's difference in Irish Catholic culture and Mexican Catholic culture… and those cultural nuances have little to do with official doctrine.(And, yes, there could very well be a related satirical blog on "What Catholic Culture Likes")Monica, if you start oe of those, I want to contribute. Being a convert from Evangelicaldom, I frequently run into things that baffle me and/or make me laugh like a hyena.On the original subject, I don't think the "best friend" thing is advertising. I think it's a result of the sad fact that in our culture, a best friend is more permanent than a spouse. I wish I could see the statistics on the divorce rate among people who describe their spouse that way as opposed to those who don't.



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pete in oregon

posted August 7, 2009 at 12:01 pm


Boy, Steph, did you get a live one in Anonymous. What a perfect foil for the whole blog. I keep thinking that people are unjustified in calling Christians hateful until I read someone like that.I think the reason so many American evangelicals are pissed off these days is the same reason the writer of Psalm 137 wanted to smash babies' heads against rocks. We used to live in a "Christian country" (at least, that's the mythology we'd been taught), but now we are exiles in our own land, marginalized and taunted. And the most painful mockery is that which is done by our own (e.g. you).But I think what you're doing has great value. A stripping off of our masks — as painful and awkwardly humorous as that might be — so that we can get on with what following Jesus is really about.



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Mark (under construction)

posted August 7, 2009 at 4:50 pm


Stephy … another great post!!!! This blog is getting more cutting edge, it wipes way the mascra and @###!!!! we Christians hide behind and I love it!!!!Can we become best friends forever?



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Mikaela

posted August 7, 2009 at 10:12 pm


Hello Stephy,I discovered your blog not long ago, and it's been a breath of fresh air! Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for not being afraid to speak your mind about "Christian" culture…probably the worst part of the culture is not being able to speak up with any sort of criticism, even the constructive sort, and as a result I think there are a LOT of people out there who feel like you do, but we're never aware of each other. (Though lately I've noticed things opening up a bit. Just my imagination?)I also admire your patience in dealing with commentators such as Anonymous. It just further goes to show that you are the right person for this job. (I'm not sure I could be nearly so conciliatory!)



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joellen

posted August 8, 2009 at 8:22 am


man these comments, what the heck. oh my. when you get to heaven, Jesus will laugh and say, i love you and i love your creativity in your blogging and writing and i just plain love you. he made us, he loves us, he meets us where we are…he doesn't say clean up and come see me when you're good. uhhh no, that's not how it works. he knows you and he gets you. keep being stephy and poking at our false idols. it's good stuff. we need to hear it.



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Andrew

posted August 8, 2009 at 9:31 am


"Contemporary author Eugene Peterson attended in his adolescence a religious conference where people met by a lake each summer. They had fiery spiritual intensity and used phrases like 'deeper life' and 'second blessing.' As he watched these people's lives, however, he noticed little continuity between the exuberance at the conference grounds and everyday life in town. 'The mothers of our friends who were bitchy before were bitchy still. Mr. Billington, our history teacher, held in such veneration at the center, never relinquished his position in the high school as the most mean-spirited of our teachers.'I mention these failures not to dampen anyone's faith but to add a dose of realism to spiritual propaganda that promises more than it can deliver. In an odd way the very failures of the church prove its doctrine. Grace, like water, flows to the lowest part. We in the church have humility and contrition to offer the world, not a formula for success. Almost alone in our success-oriented society, we admit that we have failed, are failing, and always will fail… That is why we turn to God so desperately. 'The Christian has a great advantage over other men,' said C.S. Lewis, 'not by being less fallen than they, nor less doomed to live in a fallen world, but by knowing that he is a fallen man in a fallen world.'" – Philip Yancey from "Reaching for The Invisible God"



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jackmatt

posted August 8, 2009 at 12:11 pm


I guess Christians should say then, "we hate our spouses." I guess that kind of talk would warrant an entry into this blog too. As a Christian when I log into this site, I always come away with a "damned if I do, damned if I don't" feeling. I don't like my inconsistencies and my sin. However I follow Jesus because of His unconditional love for me.



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Joel

posted August 8, 2009 at 9:14 pm


As a Christian when I log into this site, I always come away with a "damned if I do, damned if I don't" feeling.Are you suggesting Stephy is a Calvinist?(I know, cheap shot. But I couldn't resist.) :)



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Trev

posted August 9, 2009 at 9:02 am


@Joel,Best cheap shot. EVER.



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Melanie

posted August 10, 2009 at 12:54 pm


@jackmatt: What I take from this blog is not that you shouldn't do these things. i mean, there's nothing WRONG with saying you married your best friend. Or with jumbotrons. Or with waiting to have sex until marriage. Stop thinking of it as a black-or-white thing (also something that Christian culture does ALL THE TIME)What I think Stephy is asking is that you and everyone else take a look at these cliches, these things Christian-culture-land does, and ask: is this Christian (as in truly Christlike) or is it simply cultural. If you believe something is truly Christlike, then you have no reason to feel damned-if-you-do. And if it's not, well . . . i agree, it's uncomfortable to have your assumptions called into question.



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stephy

posted August 10, 2009 at 1:08 pm


Thank you Melanie for getting it, you hit the nail on the head. xo



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Andrew

posted August 10, 2009 at 2:00 pm


I wonder now… is it worth the effort to tear down "Christian culture"? As I survey history I see this one thing stand out: anything and everything is eventually corrupted. Life itself works this way. We live in this world of death, of constant corrupting influences, even on a physical level (bacteria, virus, error, chaos, and everything else gunning to pull down life). But life is perpetuated in this world. How? By allowing the corruption to eventually overtake a particular body, leaving it behind, and then moving on in the life of the newborn. It is this cycle of death and new life that keeps life going in the face of corruption. God never tries to keep established groups, churches, or sects alive. He simply leaves them to their own corruption/devices and moves on to something new, something that once again is alive. Eventually, that too will become corrupted, and once again God will move on. I think we all here can agree with that sentiment. Who would ever want to fix "Christian culture"? No, just leave it behind and move on. Rarely does God tear down the old, he just lets it be. That's why we still have sects and groups that are hundreds of years old, but dead as a doornail. Yet, if you look into their beginnings, you will see that they were very often genuine at one point, and God was at work in them. God didn't destroy them, He moved on. Maybe our job isn't to destroy "Christan culture", but rather to focus on growing in Christ in the our closets, in secret, with the doors closed. When Jesus saw the Pharisees hypocritically praying openly on the street corners, he didn't mock or condemn prayer, rather, He told them they were doing it for the wrong reason, and told them to pray in secret. Prayer is good, the way it had been corrupted was bad. Christ Himself will take care of the dead in His own way, like He did with the Pharisees. Besides, it was Jesus who told us not to try and separate the wheat from the tares now. He said specifically that if we try to do that now, we might pull out wheat along with the tares – like many of those who would visit this blog and not fully grasp what is being "pulled out" here, and so go away disillusioned with Christ altogether because they can not yet divide Him from Christian culture in their mind. The wheat and tares will be separated later, and it will not be our job even then. He told them, "The Son of man will send forth his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all things that offend…" For now, it is our job to tend to the wheat, and bear with the tares, just as Christ has decided to do. I would argue that the approach taken by this blog is ineffective, at the very least.So, how do we know where God has moved? By following the fruit. "You will know them by their fruit," Jesus said. The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, gentleness, meekness, patience, and so on… while the fruit of the flesh is arguing, quarreling, anger, and so on. Look for where people are relating in the fruit of the spirit, and there you will find something genuine.It should be a clue to us if we see ourselves attacking and judging Christian culture in the same way Christian culture attacks and judges the world. Both are equally wrong, and both are equally void of the fruit of the spirit. Leave it all behind and just follow Christ. Thankfully, we don't have to carry the yoke of pulling out the tares. I don't know about you, but that's a big burden off my back.



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George

posted August 10, 2009 at 2:19 pm


Er, Andrew – it's meant to be lighthearted? Not so much "tearing Christian culture down" as seeing the funny side of it. At least it is to me…I just came over here again because one of my Facebook friends is celebrating his wedding anniversary, and has mentioned his wife's 'hotness' in his last four status updates. I think there's a blog entry about that here somewhere…



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Andrew

posted August 10, 2009 at 3:03 pm


Yes, all lighthearted… but how is this any different than some fundamentalist Christian putting up a sight called "stuff homosexual culture likes", and then, in the exact same format and way as this sight, goes on to make "fun" of homosexual culture? (I use homosexual culture as an example here, only because we all know pretty much what fundies think of it) It's generally a good idea to deal with others the same way we would want them to deal with us. I know some will come on and say, "I wouldn't mind at all if someone did something like this to make fun of me!" But, is it really truly how you want people to deal with you, and does it really stay true to what we say we believe? Again, the risk is that we end up becoming just like those we make fun of – Not in the culture of our life, of course! We know better than that! – But in our spirit and the way we deal with those who do not see eye to eye with us.This is simply an appeal, a plea, to take a different approach. I'm not going to press it. I'm just going to make my point and move on. But, please, hear me out. Don't dismiss me, but weigh what I'm saying in your heart. If you still think I'm wrong and your approach is right, then fine, I'll leave you to it. As one friend to another, though, I've seen it happen too many times where people slowly become like the thing they gaze upon. Not in outward ways (you won't catch anyone here calling their spouse a BFF), but in inward ways (you might catch someone here mocking someone who does call their spouse a BFF). That inward spirit is the exact same spirit that lives in the hypocrites of the Christian culture.



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jackmatt

posted August 10, 2009 at 9:48 pm


Melanie, I appreciate the soft tone you use in responding to me. I am an American who has moved my family to another part of the world for the sake of proclaiming Christ. There are many things about USA Christian culture that makes me laugh, even disgust me. For example, there is always the latest book that everyone "must" read. I pride myself in being able to say, "I have no clue what book you are talking about." But this blog is not an inhouse discussion. It has given those outside of the faith plenty of fodder and plenty of reason to reject Christ. I have heard it said that Christians shoot their wounded. To me, that is the very tone I hear in this blog. We are a sinful, ragtag bunch. But that is what makes the grace of God so treasured, so valuable and so wonderful. Besides Christians who live lives truly as salt and light don't make interesting topics to talk about. But they are out there and they do make a difference. Just not a lot of noise. I am passionate about the things of God but I see a line crossed where not just our quirkiness is mocked but our very belief system.Okay, what am I missing here? Do I just have my panties in a wad?



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Still Breathing

posted August 11, 2009 at 2:35 am


Andrew and Jackmatt,The way I see it is that Stephy is poking fun at the cultural baggage that one particular form of Christianity in the USA carries. In doing this she is doing what Jesus did to the Pharisees – did you hear the one about the man with a log in his eye?



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stephy

posted August 11, 2009 at 7:21 am


I can understand where jackmatt is coming from because there was a time when it was really distressing to me to hear people say they didn't believe in God or were angry at him. But the truth is that God honors our wrestling with him. I'm fine with people voicing their thoughts here because their feelings are valid even if you or I don't agree with them. Nothing anyone says can change what truth is or thwart God's will. He doesn't want us to be lukewarm. He said be hot or cold. In half the Psalms the psalmist raging at God, just filled with anguish. There is relationship and movement and potential for beauty in that even if it doesn't seem polite and palatable.



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Like a Mustard Seed

posted August 11, 2009 at 9:57 am


yeah that's weird, your view on this… cause i've not met any 'christians' thus far who say those words and actually mean it. i was best friends w/my husband before we ever hooked up… so maybe we fall in the margin here, but yeah… i meet a lot of christians who 'think' they are best friends w/their spouse, but definately favor their 'friends' over their spouses and don't treat their spouse as a friend at all. you should do a post on christians who marry for sex, that's one that i see a lot more of and this typically falls in line w/i have to act happily married, but really can't stand my spouse and now am stuck with them unto death. heather



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pete in oregon

posted August 11, 2009 at 2:18 pm


I can't cite chapter and verse, but somewhere that near-biblical dude C.S. Lewis wrote this about humor. All the best humor is about important things are fundamental (not fundamentalist!) to your life. That's why faith and politics are the main targets of intelligent humor. But he also wrote that when we lose our foundations, we lose our humor and we're left with sex and body functions as our source of humor.Jews, who have suffered not just for centuries, but for millennia, are our cultures main humorists because of, not in spite of, their suffering. They've kept their sanity and humanity by laughing in the midst of great pain. Otherwise, they would have turned over and died.Christians, get your laugh on!Christians, take a look at yourselves in the mirror and start laughing, because you are dang funny!I can't think of anything more appealing to those who aren't Christians than Christians who laugh at themselves and the culture they live in and love. That's far more appealing than the uptight, self-righteous haters many people think of us as being.



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Rebecca

posted August 11, 2009 at 11:12 pm


My husband was my best friend's boyfriend (as you can imagine, she's not my best friend anymore). But I don't think that counts. BTW, it might be time to shut off the opportunity to post anonymous comments to this fabulous blog. People hide behind anonymity as if it's a mask and they seem to think this gives them the license to say awful things without needing to be accountable for their words.I really don't think Jesus would approve. And he knows who they really are…



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Ava

posted August 12, 2009 at 12:29 pm


I don't really like the term "Best Friend" in general, I mean everytime I even say it about someone I cringe inside a little. They usually aren't my best friend and if I say it about more than one person it just becomes redundant. I feel like I'm five and need to get one of those broken heart necklaces and give the other half to someone.Also, this post is so true, I used to try and call my hubby my best friend when we were first married (probably remnants of being pentecostal) and he'd get really annoyed and say, "I'm your husband! Isn't that so much better?". It is.



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Jon Juane

posted August 12, 2009 at 9:09 pm


amazing blog!!! im telling all my friends



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Max

posted August 13, 2009 at 12:45 pm


Thank you for making me laugh today. I really needed it. I will be checking back for updates!!



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Anonymous

posted August 14, 2009 at 6:44 pm


@anonymous, last time I checked, calling out hypocrisy *was* Christ-like. The hypocrisy involved in some elements of Christian *culture* (not Christianity) is what turns many away, not finding that somebody is willing to challenge the culture. And since I have no ID and no wish to be "anonymous", I'm Caitlin.



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Ruth

posted August 17, 2009 at 8:58 am


Ok, so The thing about Jesus turning over the tables in the temple out of anger for the pharisees: Do you ever hear in the Bible of when it was good for a regular person having this kind of anger toward his fellow human beings? You all seem to think that we are on the same plane as Jesus. Um…hello. Jesus was GOD. HE had a right to turn over the tables in self-righteousness, because HE alone is self-righteous. He is God and is the only person who ever had or has the right toward this kind of self-righteousness. We, on the other hand, must practice humility in our dealings with each other, since we ourselves are fellow sinners. We ourselves have been and still are so completely off base as well in so many areas, that we must deal with others the same way that we would want others (and God) to deal with us. I'm just really tired of hearing the justification for ungraciousness toward others being that Jesus turned over the tables in the temple in anger so that we also have a right to turn over hypocrisy in anger. No, the Bible tells us to take the log out of our own eye before we try to take the speck out of our brother's eye. The point is, there is sooooo much hypocrisy in each one of us which we do not even realize is there, that we must be extremely careful and humble in dealing with the sins of others. Otherwise we, ourselves will end up far worse.



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amywithlemon

posted August 17, 2009 at 11:41 am


this is a very interesting take!but i'm a little confused…so god is above us in righteousness but behaves like he he is less than us, and uses "um, i'm god" as an excuse but we should rise above his actions and set an example by dealing "with others the same way that we would want others (and God) to deal with us."wait- now i'm confused. are you saying that we should not act like god, so that other people will know how wonderful and great god is?or- that we should act better behaved than god to show god how to deal with others?i would never have guessed that a supreme loving god would be able to get a free pass on behaving badly and then expect us to be "his light" to the world in order to show his love.i honestly thought that god being god and all- he'd be at least a smidge above human weakness and tendencies.



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amywithlemon

posted August 17, 2009 at 12:11 pm


ruth, god can't be hypocritical if you want him to also be god.and why can god be hypocritical? because he's god? does it even make sense to believe that god can behave ungodly because he's god? how he can say that it's wise to act with self control and then not do it?so, just so i have it straight, you're saying: we aren't righteous enough to act without self-control. only jesus is.because he's god.what kind of god behaves like an ass just because he's god- and expects me to love others and please him by acting better than him?no kind of god i want.



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AD

posted August 17, 2009 at 12:47 pm


I think you miss Ruth's point. She is saying that only Jesus can act in that way without being wrong or hyprocritical. Think about it, of every human being that ever lived, Jesus is the only one that is perfect, or righteous in and of his own self – in other words, he is self righteous, and there is nothing wrong for him to be so. The only thing that makes self righteousness wrong or hypocritical is when people who are not perfect or righteous in and of themselves attempt to act as if they are. When I act as if I am better, it is hypocrisy and wrong, because it is a lie: I'm not better. When Jesus acts like he is better and a judge of others, it is not hypocrisy or wrong, because it is the truth: he is perfect. For me to put myself into the place of judging others' hypocrisy is wrong, because I, an imperfect human, am judging the imperfections of others. For Jesus to do the exact same thing is right and just because not only is he perfect, but he has that authority. That is Ruth's point: because we are not perfect (sinners) and because we do not have that authority, we should not give ourselves permission to act as if we do simply because Jesus did. Jesus did often demonstrate to us how we should live with each other (he was the one who said to treat others as you want them to treat you – he was the one who washed the disciples feet), but there were also things he did that were his alone. Rarely did the disciples ever confront the Pharisees like Jesus, and the few times they did, it was only because the Pharisees forced them to by demanding a response. There is not a single disciple or apostle who went around specifically confronting hypocrisy, such as you see in this blog. Even when Jesus himself did confront hypocrisy, he did so "as one having authority", which means it was in a spirit of authority, not in a spirit of sarcasm and mocking.



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amywithlemon

posted August 17, 2009 at 1:09 pm


"Think about it, of every human being that ever lived, Jesus is the only one that is perfect, or righteous in and of his own self – in other words, he is self righteous, and there is nothing wrong for him to be so. "really?how do you know?



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amywithlemon

posted August 17, 2009 at 1:14 pm


also, i think i got ruth's point (and yours) exactly:"Jesus can because Jesus can."right?



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Still Breathing

posted August 17, 2009 at 2:08 pm


AD, “There is not a single disciple or apostle who went around specifically confronting hypocrisy" – that would be apart from Paul confronting Peter about his hypocrisy in not mixing with gentile believers!Ruth, Anger is a reaction to threats to ourselves or things we value. If we are living with the indwelling Spirit of God (albeit imperfectly) we should be angry in the same way as Jesus when He cleared the Temple about anything that stands in the way of the Kingdom of God. Personally this means I get angry about unfair trade practises (often called Free Trade) and people who use religion to suppress and abuse others.



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amywithlemon

posted August 17, 2009 at 3:27 pm


^^^^what he/she said.^^^^that.well put!



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Anonymous

posted August 26, 2009 at 9:09 am


@pete: "I can't think of anything more appealing to those who aren't Christians than Christians who laugh at themselves and the culture they live in and love. That's far more appealing than the uptight, self-righteous haters many people think of us as being."We have a winner!I picture someone who is struggling with life going into a Full Blown Christian Culture service, complete with all the happy shiny stuff, and seminars on how to be better at everything if you just follow our steps!!! Or pray this prayer!! Or read this book!! Now let me take it down a notch and I want you to listen to the words of this next song. And that poor visitor just feels exhausted by it all. Heck, I'm a Christian and it tires the heck out of me.Then you find someone who points out that yes, sometimes this "stuff" is way silly. And you breathe a sigh of relief.And sorry, I'm not anonymous — just can't get my google account to open. I'm Flah.



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Anonymous

posted September 1, 2009 at 12:55 pm


this site is fucking gay. christians are delusional pricks. FUCK YOU. "christian teens" can suck my filthy asshole.



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Robin Norgren

posted September 11, 2009 at 5:08 pm


dang, you could not have said this better-I'll admit it -my hubby IS NOT my best friend



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Anonymous

posted September 14, 2009 at 10:06 am


married to best friend = boring sexWhy do you think so many pastors of mega mall-churches have to resign after being outed for steamy affairs with their secretaries.



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Mel T

posted September 29, 2009 at 10:42 pm


If my wife is my best friend, how can I have a Christian dog?



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Anonymous

posted October 17, 2009 at 11:23 am


I think the best part of this post is the usage of the screen capture from the SNL commercial parody of "The Love Toilet."



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