And Another Thing…

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Don’t ask me why, this is just how it is

A recent post by John Dobbs on the arbitrary rules that churches enforce got me thinking about some of the imposed, man-made, and mostly unwritten standards and opinions that I have encountered in my experience.  Most ideas and opinions are harmless until we act as though they are fact and attempt to enforce them as such.  I have listed below some of the more odious ideas and unspoken-yet-commonly-held beliefs that I run into over and over again. Some of these are adhered to by individuals, some by entire congregations, and some by Christian colleges. Note to readers: I am openly soliciting any and all feedback on the extra-biblical traditions and viewpoints that you may have encountered, from the sublime to the ridiculous.  Many of these items will reflect the religious tradition that I grew up in (churches of Christ), but comments on any tradition are welcome.

  • “Our God He is Alive” must be sung while standing.
  • “Passing the plate” is a leadership role.
  • “Command, example, and necessary inference” is a divinely-inspired method for interpreting and applying scripture.
  • It is alright to be vicious and thoughtless when “correcting” a brother who is “wrong.”
  • Believers should not listen to any music other than church music or contemporary Christian music.
  • Contemporary Christian music is wrong.
  • The Grace Game: “God’s grace extends far enough to cover me but not you.”
  • God will forgive overt sinners but not sincere believers who make an honest mistake.
  • Dancing is a sin unless it is for a Christian college’s spring recruitment extravaganza.
  • Even though church buildings are never mentioned in the New Testament, what we do with them is still important enough for congregations to divide over it.
  • Sending your children to public school (or a state college) guarantees that they will eventually lose their faith.
  • Every chain e-mail that I receive about various churches, prominent preachers, or political candidates that I do not like must be true and it is my duty to forward it.
  • Everything Jesus taught about money and how we treat others was really just a suggestion.
  • Emotional manipulation of teenagers and children at summer camp, retreats, and youth rallies is okay if it “gets them in the water.”
  • If it makes me uncomfortable, it must be wrong.
  • The sin that you struggle with is worse than the sin that I struggle with.
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Filed under: Faith and Religion

5 Responses

  1. johndobbs says:

    Excellent list, Mike! Good job! I hadn’t thought of some of those!

  2. Leann says:

    A nice little laugh for me this Wednesday morning, but then sadness for the people who believe that these things have such a strong hold on the Gift of Eternal Life.

    THANKS! I loved the Footloose sin of dancing unless otherwise authorized. Also, I FOUND my faith at a state school…what does that mean? Where can I find my answer in God’s Word? 🙂

  3. odgie says:

    Thank you John and Leann. And Leann, state college graduates can be saved, but they get fewer stars in their crowns 😉

  4. Trey Morgan says:

    I too got a laugh out of this one. Part of it was a good laugh and part was a “how true” laugh. You had some excellent points that are often considered law.

    I bucked the trend of the last 100 preachers at the Childress congregation this year when I encouraged my kids to actually attend the prom … and have fun.

    The were good kids. I wasn’t worried about them.

  5. odgie says:

    Thank you Trey, and welcome. Don’t be a stranger. I am enjoying your blogs as well.

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