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Thursday 22 October 2009

101 Christian Things That Make You Cringe!

This 101 list came out of a fun discussion on Worship The Rock called 'Top 10 Christian Things That Make You Cringe!'. There are some things that christians do and say that just make us cringe. Some of the points below are serious ones and others are definitely funny ones. So have a read, enjoy the list and make sure you laugh a lot!

1.    Proclaiming: "We are redeemed by the shed blood of the Risen Lamb", and similar such statement made around non-believers who are confused about our bizarre goat-sacrifice rituals!
2.    When people have something they want to share with the congregation, and they keep repeating the same word every other word E.G. "My brothers, amen, I want to share, amen, something that happened to me, amen, last weekend, amen."
3.    Xmas hymns done by worship leaders who think that you can make anything "contemporary" by adding drums and cranking the tempo.
4.    Using Xmas rather than Christmas!
5.    Too low cut blouses on women. I don't want to see, and I don't want you to reveal all to my husband!
6.    Name badges
7.    Making newcomers stand and be recognized.
8.    Obviously uncomfortable people leading worship (bad body language, continually looking over at the band instead of the congregation etc).
9.    An unprepared band - with disconnect between musicians and singers.
10.    Feedback (from the PA).
11.    A really bad singer leading worship.
12.    Or someone who just can’t sing "at all" and they’re singing with all they’ve got. It’s hard not to laugh but everyone in the congregation has a smirk on there face. I feel for them every time.
13.    Bad drama scripts done badly.
14.    When "Christians" spread words of disrespect and even "hate" towards the President.
15.    Preachers that always use some goofy inflection when they say the words, "God" and "Lord". i.e. "the Lorrrrd in heaven".
16.    Or the TV pastors that say JEAEE-ZUSS.
17.    When the same person gets up and runs the isle to the same song every time it is played.
18.    Forwarded emails that include the tag line: "If you're not ashamed of Me. . ."
19.    When Christians view their relationship with Christ as some sort of membership into a Good 'Ole Boys Club only doing business "with someone from the church", or hiring someone "from the church".
20.    When, because of the multiple people/ministries involved on a Sunday, there are multiple prayers in a row. One person prayers, leaves the stage, only for another person to get up, and do another prayer right away. Once we had it 3 times in a row: Prayer at the end of the worship set by worship leader ("Let us pray...") followed by chairperson's congregational prayer ("Would you please bow down and pray with me...") followed by speaker at the beginning of their sermon.("Let us pray, again..."). I think the congregation got whiplash! Up & Down. Up & Down. (BTW I have nothing against prayer... only whiplash...).
21.    When the same person hogs the spontaneous prayer every single time, and you just know they are going to go on, and on, and on....so there's nothing left for anyone else to say, and it's usually the same person that gets pictures every single time.
22.    Trying to spiritualise things by using words like 'ministry' to mean 'business', and 'The Lord has told me..' to mean 'I've just had an idea'.
23.    Visiting a church on a Sunday morning and finding the Pastor signing and selling his latest book in the lobby entry way.
24.    A "seer" in small groups that interprets and decodes others comments and testimonies. Kinda like they have the "direct line" to the throne.
25.    Preachers that use the term "Gauwwd"
26.    Musicians / singers that look like they were just baptised in lemon juice.
27.    Obvious church goers in restaurants after church not tipping servers properly.
28.    Band members ducking out during sermons.
29.    Closet prayers being offered in corporate prayer times.
30.    Band members that ate baloney, boiled eggs, and raw onions on the previous night.
31.    Pastors reviewing sermon notes while the worship is happening.
32.    Simon says by the worship leader...close your eyes, lift your hands, repeat after me, etc.
33.    The 'holy face' some people wear during prayer or worship - for newcomers it must look soooo stressful to be a Christian.
34.    When people who claim to be Christians and raise their hands in praise and worship and then when outside of the church (sometimes even inside the church) every other word that comes out of their mouth is a curse word.
35.    Vocalist and instrumentals off rhythm, not listening to each other. Hope I don't sound snobby, but sometimes it makes me physically ill when it's done poorly. I try to push past it, but it never works. Eventually I just stop singing. I know I know it's my bad. It's like I've been spun around and I'm losing my equilibrium. My mind can’t decide what to follow.
36.    When we literally aren't backing up what we're singing. If the songs says "I'll stand, with arms wide and heart abandoned", but are sitting down with my arms crossed. If you're not even going to back-up the simple things like this, how are you going to follow through on the much harder parts?
37.    Christians who see the devil in everything.
38.    The worship leader that is all about rocking the tambourine...every song and every Sunday...
39.    Misspelled words in slides, or wrong words like "Sun" instead of "Son".
40.    The (usually older) person that is doing announcements with the wireless mic that he holds kinda around his belly button so the sound tech cranks up the gain in a futile attempt to get people to hear him. The system feeds back and so he realizes the mic is down by his waist and quickly raises it up to his mouth, which since the gain is still as high as it can be without feeding back, causes the volume to be sooo loud....
41.    The worship leader who apparently buys his tambourines in bulk - because once you hide one, he has another one (this time green) ready to go!
42.    The sound guy not muting the pastor’s wireless mic channel during the worship, so everyone can hear how tone deaf the poor guy is.
43.    The guy that is "called" to play on the worship team because over the last few weeks he has been learning how to play drums from YouTube videos.
44.    "Christian" romance novels.
45.    "Church coffee" I live in the Seattle area... you'd think that at least here it would be good.... but no.
46.    The worship leader who after having all of his tambourines hidden, busts out his egg shakers which are just as annoying.
47.    Congregations that don't stand for praise and worship!
48.    Christians who make all sorts of judgments about people who smoke, especially the ones who go to their church.
49.    Christians who make judgments on immodestly dressed women in their church.
50.    Christians who give you evil glares because you’re not wearing a dress or suit for church.
51.    Christians who think that Christians who drink are somehow not as "Godly" as them.
52.    Christians who seemingly care so much about helping others, but when someone in their midst is in need of help they suggest you go and get government assistance...after all that's what it's there for!
53.    Christmas sweaters...need I say more
54.    When someone asks for prayer. and fifteen people, all tripping over one another, run to be the first to lay their hands on top of other hands that are on top of other hands and all of them praying in tongues not having a clue how to pray or what they are praying for…and this poor person is in shock and thinks it’s some kind of cult.  (I am surprised some of them have not been covered with pepper spray!).
55.    Christians who try to tell you how to vote.
56.    Or preachers who use the pulpit to bash certain people.
57.    Or television preachers telling us to sow seed into their ministry in order to get your prayers answered.
58.    People who see a message from God in everything - my favourite recently being: "I saw a forklift truck out my window and felt God saying I should have a face lift!" - True Story!
59.    People mindlessly doing whatever a song says: Shout, Shout, everybody shout - WAAAAAAYYYYYY!!! WOOOOOO!!!! People should feel free to shout if they want to whenever they want!
60.    Extreme Christianity, where exclusion, rather than acceptance, seems to be the name of the game.
61.    Rainbow guitar straps
62.    Socks with sandals.
63.    The gangly guy that dances to all the songs and looks a bit like a drunk grasshopper.
64.    The guy who always plays recorders through every song, regardless of key.
65.    Generic "Words of Knowledge" that could mean anything to anyone.
66.    Christians who live in a Christian bubble and have no idea about what is going on in the real world!
67.    That moment when someone comes up to share something, speaks to the pastor/host and then returns to their seat, having been told it is not appropriate... I always cringe at that and feel particularly more pleased than usual to be standing behind my guitar, with my rainbow strap and sock filled sandals, safe from the decision making responsibility of host, with the added rejection factor that comes with said responsibility!
68.    Using “christianese” - what is a "hedge of protection" or “travelling mercies”?
69.    Musicians who think they are "church" musicians and don't need to practice because of the anointing.
70.    Or musician's who don't practice because "it is just church".
71.    People bringing their own tambourine into the congregation.
72.    Mobile phones going off during the service? Isn't there an eleventh commandment about that?
73.    People who are late to everything related to church - music practice, Bible study, Sunday school, the worship service - but would never be late to their job because they would get fired.
74.    Cliques.
75.    Control by way of intimidation and/or manipulation ('it's OUR way or the highway').
76.    Fads and Fan Clubs ("did you hear Dr. So and So or Prophet So and So or The Big Boxes are going to be at the Ritz this weekend ?" but won't support a local church activity or fundraiser).
77.    Chauvinists & Feminists ("We can't have women preachers because Paul said..." and/or - "He think he has to be the boss just because he a man and God left him in charge").
78.    Dressed for Success (demands a dress code based on the latest fashions from GQ and the N.Y.Garment District).
79.    Credentialists ("Where did you attend Bible College?" "Where and when were you ordained?" "What denomination were you raised in?" "Where did you last attend church?" and the ever popular "How long have you been saved?")
80.    Pastor's Pets (Usually like to get close to the senior pastors and gain special rank).
81.    The insistence that one form of music is more worshipful or holy than another form of music (contemporary vs. traditional).
82.    Greeting time DURING the church service.
83.    People who think that abstinence from alcohol is Godly and Biblical.
84.    People who try to use Biblical texts as a science text book.
85.    People who avoid the stinky drunk guy
86.    People who won't sing the song unless it is a song that they like.
87.    People who make our corporate worship offerings about themselves (or the people) - this includes many worship leaders!
88.    Christmas carols sung during worship all month.
89.    Top ten lists.
90.    Drummers who won’t let guitarists tune.
91.    Worship leaders that have this preaching testimony talking over the music playing while they and the band are playing the same 3 chords over and over. They could have expressed it in just a few sentences. They are almost putting on a show - reminds me of this "Vegas" worship style.
92.    Tattoos, especially the pagan tattoos, all over their arms, legs and necks of worship leaders.
93.    Churches which think "worship service" should be seeker friendly.
94.    Pastors who have no clue that the Spirit can actually speak to worship leaders.
95.    Worship leaders who talk really fast and follow every sentence with AMEN. E.G. Hey everybody stand up and praise the Lord, AMEN? Today I brushed my teeth, AMEN. How many are here to worship, AMEN? Is everyone here to have a good time, AMEN? Who likes chocolate chip cookies? AMEN... After about 40 AMENs it gets old. (Seems like a filler for nervousness or something).
96.    The morning the pianist and two acoustic guitars played "Lord I Lift Your Name On High" in C and the Bass player played it in A.
97.    Worshippers that don't care about their testimony OUTSIDE of the "worship service".
98.    Worship leaders that get in the way of actual worship by constant talk-overs, or exaggerated behaviour.
99.    Tech guys who change your monitor setting.
100.    Prima Donna singers.
101.    Christians who can't take a joke!

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  1. Very funny, some of these. But hmm doesn't #49 contradict #5 ? :)

  2. Hi Seth,

    Well spotted - it does. But as they were both suggestions form different people on Worship The Rock I thought i'd include both :-)


  3. Let me add one:

    #102. Dancers who wear bizarre outfits

    (and note who I am!)

  4. This last had a lot of good, true points. But it also made me sad because many of them had to do with our "humaness". Do we really think the bass player played in the wrong key of purpose? That the misspelled words were done intentionally? Most mistakes are just that-- not a lack of preparation or from not caring. We of all people should be concerned with not judging. Please note, I am NOT condoning a lack of practice or concern for excellence.

  5. Hi Heartlight,

    This list is simply a fun chance to express what makes you cringe. It doesn't mean that they're all "sins" or even wrong in any way. Let's not fall into the 101st cringe point :-)



  6. Hey, Dancer...funny #102. :-)

    Good job, Phil. Love how WorshipTheRock is branching out into this very kewl blog. =)

    Blessings from Texas!

  7. What? Nothing about bumper stickers?

  8. Thanks Priscilla - glad you're enjoying it :-)

  9. I especially appreciate no. 41....Why is it that those who play tambourine have no sense of rhythm? But they always have lots of enthusiasm.
    Which is sometimes more than what could be said for the others on the worship team.

  10. How about christians who look down their noses at those of us who have tattoos, or who dress alternative or goth?

  11. How about ridiculous exclusive non-biblical 'Church signs' like: Turn or Burn! or You think it is hot here..

  12. Being less forgiving than Hollywood. A Christian messes up.. cheats on his wife or vice versa and they are considered 'forever' unclean by the 'real' Christians who apparently never sin, but in a short time in Hollywood you'd be forgiven and embrace.

  13. What about the much anticipated guest speaker that everyone knows will bring such a breath of life.... only to have the worship leader and pastor hogging every possible second to a FUUUULLLLLL HOUSE - leaving the guest with bearly 5 minutes to share what theyve obviously laboured, prayed, prepared and fasted over..

  14. some of these were funny, but others were almost sad because we look so much to the "whats really happening" factor instead of the Who is this for...I realize that it can be difficult to see past those miss spelled words, or the out of tune guitar, but we were told to make a joyful NOISE, not a perfectly on key one. I dont know, I just think this goes along with the book Radical.

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