Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Stuff White Christians Like
This site is pretty funny (riffing off of the "Stuff White People Like" blog), though it really ought to be titled "Stuff White Middle-Class Contemporary Evangelical Christians Like". Anyhow, here are a few of my favorites:

#5 One Hour Church Services
The only acceptable reasons for going over the one hour allotted are communion and multiple baptisms (a single baptism is expected to replace either a praise song or one out of the three points of the sermon), and even then it better not be more than 15 minutes. White Christians will allow the Spirit to move them to clap or sway slightly during praise and worship, but they prefer that the Spirit does not move them to sing any additional, unscheduled songs.

#9 Breaking Scripture Down into the Original Hebrew or Greek
White Christian pastors, ever eager to prove that they went to seminary, like to break down scripture into the original Hebrew or Greek. While the congregation marvels over the accurate pronunciation (they assume) of words like "rhua" and "metanoia," the pastor proceeds to translate these foreign words into English. Inevitably the congregation comes to a new and profound understanding of the passage, which ingratiates them to the pastor. For this reason, a great conspiracy exists among pastors and Zondervan (the Halliburton of Bible publishing) to keep a Bible that actually translates the original Hebrew and Greek into English from reaching the marketplace. Zondervan will go to great lengths to maintain the dominant status of its New International Version. The NIV, although it is in English, apparently is sort of like Cliff Notes for the real thing, necessitating further translation by the exegetically superior from the pulpit. Pastors that begin to raise a fuss are immediately offered book deals (e.g. Rob Bell, Rick Warren) in exchange for their silence.

#12 Waxing Nostalgic about Hymnals and Organs
Having moved from a traditional church service into the aforementioned contemporary worship, many white Christians fondly recall "the good old days" when organs and hymnals dominated worship experiences (even if these days were only 3 years ago). These Christians enjoy waxing nostalgic, but not to the point of actually wanting these items in their worship experience... In the mean time, praise and worship songs are PowerPointed to the marvel of all. Song lyrics will likely be on delay and slightly out of sync with the music because of the tech guy's inability to follow along, but to white Christians, this is a minor pittance to pay for the glory of digital text without music to read. Forget those old-fashioned "musical parts"- now everyone can sing the melody!

#13 Diversity
The only thing more highly valued in a white Christian church than visitors are minority visitors. As the deer pantheth for the water, the white Christian longs for diversity. Unfortunately, as much as white Christians want diversity, they are unable to achieve it. Part of the problem is that white Christians prefer their diversity candidates to dress like them, talk like them, like the same style of worship as them, and, ideally, to have attended the same Christian college as them. In short, the average white Christian church wants to attract white Christians who are not white.

#14 Potlucks
White Christian children all know that potlucks represent their eating something other than their mother's cooking, that the food will be far worse than their mom's food, and that they're going to be required to sample a lot of other family's crappy casseroles or "crap-eroles." White Christian children are encouraged to "just try it," knowing full well, that with the author of this devil-dish watching their every gag reflex, there's no praying themselves out of this dining purgatory.

#15 White Jesus
White Christians are quite familiar with the Bible (well, the New Testament anyway). Based on careful analysis of the Gospels, all white Christians have come to the conclusion that, without a doubt, Jesus was white. Despite rumors of Middle Eastern ancestry, our Savior is always depicted as having white skin, angular features, long brown hair, and piercing blue eyes... White Christians effortlessly counter claims of an olive-skinned Jesus with historical evidence of their own: Arthur Maxwell's The Bible Story and the Hanna-Barbera video series "The Greatest Adventure Stories From the Bible" clearly show that not only was Jesus white, but so was every other person mentioned in the Bible.

#19 Calling Themselves Followers of Jesus
"Christian" seems very non-inclusive in this day and age and the likes of Jimmy Carter and Jerry Falwell have poisoned the "born again" well - leaving "follower of Jesus" as the only viable option for the white Christian. Being a follower of Jesus automatically distances the white Christian from all of the unpleasant perceptions about white Christians. The follower of Jesus no longer has to apologize for the Crusades, "Bible-belt people", or the passages in the Bible non-Christians find distasteful.

#25 Retreats
It should be no surprise that white Christians like retreats- they combine the outdoors (known to white Christians as "creation"), "getting away from it all," and the opportunity to dabble in different worship experiences (prayer vigils, raising hands, publicly crying, etc.) that would never be attempted in regular white Christian society.


posted by Mike Clawson at 9:52 AM | Permalink |


At 5/27/2009 12:36:00 PM, Anonymous Miko

For this reason, a great conspiracy exists among pastors and Zondervan (the Halliburton of Bible publishing) to keep a Bible that actually translates the original Hebrew and Greek into English from reaching the marketplace.Quite ironic, given the pre-Lutherian attempts to maintain the priestly class by keeping the Bible out of the vernacular.


At 5/27/2009 01:00:00 PM, Anonymous Karl

That's pretty funny. I liked the one about non-denominational churches.

Have you seen the "site stuff christians like"? It's also modeled after Stuff White People Like and it's been around longer than this one. He's up to over 500 posts now but his older ones were the funniest, IMO. If you check it out I'd start with the earlier posts.


At 5/27/2009 01:02:00 PM, Anonymous Karl

oops, I put the quotation marks in the wrong place. The site is "stuff christians like."


At 5/27/2009 04:20:00 PM, Blogger Abraham Calvin

Thanks for posting a link to our site. I see you are a "follower of the way of Jesus" - so you should feel right at home on our blog.

We became aware of the other site after we had started our blog, but we were having too much fun to stop and I think our style is significantly different, so hopefully there's room for both.


At 5/28/2009 09:37:00 AM, Anonymous Karl

I definitely think there's room for both sites. The more Christian sites with a sense of humor about the evangelical Christian subculture the better, as far as I'm concerned. We should take God and his commands seriously; we shouldn't take ourselves so seriously.


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