Stuff Christian Culture Likes

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#117 Saying “not in that order”


When writing their Facebook or blog profiles, evangelicals are fond of stating their interests are “not in that order.” For example, they frequently specify their interests as coffee, chocolate, their hot husband/wife, working out, Jesus, and their family, but not in that order.

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Rocky Presley

posted January 7, 2010 at 10:02 pm

Well, people need to know that your mac is quite possibly more important than your motorbike!

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posted January 7, 2010 at 10:19 pm

It’s how we establish normal street cred but also live online for Jesus at the same time…

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The Grizz

posted January 7, 2010 at 11:37 pm

My interests are in order.

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posted January 8, 2010 at 1:47 am

I love how in practice it seems to code for “I’m actually rather boring and conventional but like imitating clever people”.

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posted January 8, 2010 at 7:23 am

Hahaha. Keep ’em guessing about order, it lends your profile mystery.
It could also be code for “I have forgotten how to take an extra few seconds to arrange my interests according to their importance to me. I also have no clue how to use a semicolon.”
But then, if one did take that extra few seconds: which order? Ascending in importance, descending in importance…so confusing, so possibly misleading…maybe it’s safest to put Jesus first or last (and there’s biblical precedent! wow! you CAN’T go wrong!).

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posted January 8, 2010 at 11:20 am

And you could make a case to put him right in the middle of things.
What I find disturbing is the knee-jerk expectation that one can judge and be judged by a list of “interests” in a fb or blog profile.

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posted January 8, 2010 at 12:14 pm

D’you think it’s part of the “describe yourself in three words” reductivism that happens when people substitute personal marketing for real communication (or maybe I should say, communication for communion)? And in the end everyone comes out looking nearly identical.
Myself, I like beheading chickens, scalding them, plucking them, roasting them and eating them…but not in that order.

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posted January 8, 2010 at 12:52 pm

If I had interests they’d be in order

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posted January 8, 2010 at 3:01 pm

This is pretty common in the “secular” arena as well. I’ve seen alot of folks use this. Cogent observation, just not acutely endemic to Evangelicals

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posted January 10, 2010 at 8:08 am

I agree with ransacker. I’m pretty sure that I’ve said to someone in the last two years that my two greatest fears are spiders and cancer, although not in that order.

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posted January 10, 2010 at 3:39 pm

This seems to me part of that wretched “I am third” culture that American Evangelicalism loves so much–“God first, others second, myself third.” Where does the Bible teach this? No, I don’t think Jesus intended any kind of prioritization when he answered the question about which was the greatest law. On the contrary, I think he was grouping together the commandments about love of God, neighbor, and self precisely because within love there is no priority: to love God is to love myself. To love myself is to love my neighbor. Etc.
All this is what any mystic will tell you–within the experience of love, there is no differentiation.

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posted January 10, 2010 at 7:44 pm

I have 2 thoughts on this issue, if Jesus is mentioned in our interests:
1. It is a way of acknowledging that Jesus sometimes slips out of #1
2. It is a way to say Jesus is #1 without being overtly smug
But not in that order

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Your Name

posted February 10, 2010 at 4:54 pm

So true so funny–like a digital attempt of humility

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