Pet Peeve Month: Christians Who Are Always Peeved About Something

I once lived in a glass house.

It was pretty nice at times, lots of sunlight, but it tended to be drafty in winter and taking showers was awkward.

One day it shattered when a rock hit it.

February is over and I am done. It’s been fun. It has indeed made the month go faster and I enjoyed it but am also glad it’s over. It’s better to be for things than against them.

To all those who were offended that I was peeved at something you do, don’t worry about it: I’m peeved with myself on a daily basis and as I’ve learned over and over, my opinion matters very little. I get peeved as a source of entertainment. Life goes on. Relax, plenty more serious things to worry about out there, like people who buy bottled water. Seriously? You don’t have faucets and reusable containers near you?

Oh wait, there I go again. Relax.

March onward and upward!

Pet Peeve Month Recap:

Christians who are Always Peeved about Something
Pastors and Sex
Christians and Alcohol
Holy Spiritless Christianity
Keep Your Seeking God Statements to Yourself
Basing Your Salvation on Being Like Others
PMS and the Gospel
Ranking Sin
Sin
Paul, Grace and Law
Blaming Church for Kids Wandering Away
“The Call” to Ministry
Coexisting
Christian Parents
Christian Success
Creationism
I’m Spending time with God so I won’t be blogging, Facebooking, etc
Oh, I Don’t Watch TV
If God be for Me, Who Can be Against Me?!!!
Not Agreeing with Everything a Theologian Says
Christian Compliments After Arguments
The Man Upstairs
The Inoffensive Gospel

It’s A Mystery!
Bashing Men
When was the Last Time you Heard a Sermon on That?
Happy Christians
AIM’s Pet Peeve Month

Pet Peeve Month: Pastors and Sex

Couple things on this subject.

1) Lately it has been a fad for pastors to talk about having a better marital sex life. I really have no idea what this has to do with anything, but it has swept the country in the last year or so. The Bible does indeed talk about sex, but usually as incidental to the story. There is no sex advice in the Bible, nor is your sex life used as any sort of a point for anything remotely close to a measure of the health of your marriage or your faith. The Song of Solomon is not advice about sex. I preached the Song of Solomon and, quite frankly, it’s just a weird book. It was not written for you and your spouse to have 30 days of great sex.

2) On the flip side, there are the pastors who view all sex as bad and if it does come up it’s in relation to homosexuals and teenagers. A classic example from Church History is Augustine who said our sexual desire was, “a disease–a wound inflicted on nature through the treacherous counsel given by the Devil–a vice of nature–a deformity–an evil that comes from the depravity of our nature which is vitiated by sin.” Augustine saw all sex as bad. This has created many a conflicted person who can’t figure out what to do with those weird sensations welling up within them that can’t be thwarted. Am I merely evil scum who shouldn’t be feeling this way? This “sex is evil” or the denial of the existence of sex is as equally unhealthy as an obsession with enjoying it.

3) What is up with pastors always talking about their “smoking hot wives?” I mean seriously. What do you hope to achieve with such statements? Do you want men checking out your wife? Do you want other women to hate your wife? Do you think others are not aware of the smokingness of your wife already that they must be informed? I mean, seriously, everyone knows if your wife is smoking hot or not, and generally it just makes everyone uncomfortable. Name for me one other profession where you have heard the professional discuss the relative hotness of ones wife? You can’t. Pastors: shut up about your hot wife.

4) Your sex life is not a major issue with God. Your sex life is an outflow of your spiritual health. If you are spiritually healthy more than likely you won’t have sex problems. Focusing on the sex issue because you know it will make you seem cool, attract more attention to your otherwise boring sermons, or whatever fleshly point you are hoping to achieve, is missing the point. Focus on the spiritual health of a relationship and the physical aspect will generally take care of itself. Don’t put the cart before the horse. Don’t treat the symptom over the disease.

5) There are kids out there in the audience, which means be respectful of the subject. Don’t turn it into a standup routine. At the same time, most kids have seen more sex during one hour of watching commercials during football games than you did the first 15 years of your life. They are rather well informed. Don’t treat them as if they don’t know what’s going on. If the world is screaming at them, there is nothing wrong with respectfully dealing with the subject and giving the Bible’s take on it. Treat it with respect and dignity, the exact opposite of how the world treats it.

6) The world makes sex the point of any male-female relationship as though it’s some sort of nirvana state. At the same time, they treat it as worthless and cheap. It’s an odd combination. Sex is for marriage. Marriage sex is for making babies and for enjoyment. When I was first married, a married guy explained the sexual part of marriage to me like this, “It’s like going to the beach–It’s one more enjoyable thing you can do with your wife.” It’s not the all and end all of marriage. It’s one part of a whole. Keep it that way.

Pet Peeve Month Recap:

Christians who are Always Peeved about Something
Pastors and Sex
Christians and Alcohol
Holy Spiritless Christianity
Keep Your Seeking God Statements to Yourself
Basing Your Salvation on Being Like Others
PMS and the Gospel
Ranking Sin
Sin
Paul, Grace and Law
Blaming Church for Kids Wandering Away
“The Call” to Ministry
Coexisting
Christian Parents
Christian Success
Creationism
I’m Spending time with God so I won’t be blogging, Facebooking, etc
Oh, I Don’t Watch TV
If God be for Me, Who Can be Against Me?!!!
Not Agreeing with Everything a Theologian Says
Christian Compliments After Arguments
The Man Upstairs
The Inoffensive Gospel

It’s A Mystery!
Bashing Men
When was the Last Time you Heard a Sermon on That?
Happy Christians
AIM’s Pet Peeve Month

Pet Peeve Month: Christians and Alcohol

Alcohol can be a nasty thing, but it is also just a thing waiting to see what you’ll do with it. Christians take up two annoying camps on the issue of alcohol:

Camp 1) Alcohol is horrible! If you even go to a grocery store that has a liquor department you are supporting the antichrist and are destined for hell! Jesus didn’t turn water into wine, because wine back then was just grape juice, it was impossible to get drunk on it. If you drink alcohol, you can’t be filled with the Spirit, Bible says so.

Camp 2) Alcohol is the bomb-diggity! I drink alcohol so much that alcohol is practically my middle name. Alcohol alcohol alcohol. I talk about alcohol. I dream about alcohol. I have alcohol in my pocket. I have alcohol in my fridge and alcohol in my basement and when I go to eat with other Christians I purposely order mixed drinks of alcohol so I make everyone feel as uncomfortable as possible as I talk about my mixed drink of alcohol as though it’s no big deal and aren’t you all dumb for staying away from alcohol. Alcohol. Alcohol. I love me some alcohol.

Both camps are highly irritating. Camp One is irritating because alcohol is not forbidden in the Bible. Jesus did indeed make wine and drank it at the last supper. Wine was not merely grape juice and it was capable of making you drunk, which is why the Bible says, “Be not drunk with WINE.” Alcohol back then was much safer than water. It’s what they drank.

I admire people who have standards and avoid alcohol. I admire people who try not to do business at places that offend them. God, in fact, specially blessed a family for their commitment to avoid drinking wine. At the same time, personal standards should be kept personal, not bragged about and used to bludgeon others.

Some of the least cited verses in the Bible are Proverbs 31:6-7, “Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.” The Bible is giving sanction to let certain people get drunk. Apparently we skip these verses to more quickly get to judging women for not being Proverbs 31 women.

On to Camp Two. Although Proverbs gives the OK to let certain people get drunk, the Bible is filled with commands not to get drunk. Not getting drunk is different from not drinking any alcohol. Drinking alcohol appears to be just fine, as long as you are in control, so Camp Two has a point.

However, they do the same stupid that Camp One does and turns their liberty into a flaunt before others. What is it about alcohol that turns people into joking like junior highers? I’ve seen this so many times to know it’s not coincidental. Otherwise mature and respectable people will turn into joking, dorky 13-year olds upon seeing a bottle of beer. What gives?

Paul said he wouldn’t eat meat ever again if he knew it offended someone. People know alcohol is a touchy subject, that being the case, keep it to yourself. Keep it at home. Don’t flaunt it. When you’re with other Christians, don’t turn into a dork, shoving your umbrella drink under everyone’s nose.

To both camps: Be like an ice cold beer and chill.

Pet Peeve Month Recap:

Christians who are Always Peeved about Something
Pastors and Sex
Christians and Alcohol
Holy Spiritless Christianity
Keep Your Seeking God Statements to Yourself
Basing Your Salvation on Being Like Others
PMS and the Gospel
Ranking Sin
Sin
Paul, Grace and Law
Blaming Church for Kids Wandering Away
“The Call” to Ministry
Coexisting
Christian Parents
Christian Success
Creationism
I’m Spending time with God so I won’t be blogging, Facebooking, etc
Oh, I Don’t Watch TV
If God be for Me, Who Can be Against Me?!!!
Not Agreeing with Everything a Theologian Says
Christian Compliments After Arguments
The Man Upstairs
The Inoffensive Gospel

It’s A Mystery!
Bashing Men
When was the Last Time you Heard a Sermon on That?
Happy Christians
AIM’s Pet Peeve Month

Pet Peeve Month: Holy Spiritless Christianity

God is a spirit. The Holy Spirit is not an off-shoot of God, He is God! The Holy Spirit is also not an “it.” The Holy Spirit is not a force or an energy; He is the person of God.

The Holy Spirit gets muddled with lots of “stuff” so that, in general, most believers get uncomfortable even talking about Him. One branch of Christianity sees the Spirit as being present or absent based on emotions. Another branch sees the Spirit present or absent based on head-knowledge.

In the end, both pick an element and make it the whole.

The Holy Spirit is what makes Christianity unique. No other religion claims that God takes residence in a person. The closest some heathen scum get is to say we become gods, but this is actually vastly different. It’s not that we are raised up to be gods; it’s that God humbles Himself to indwell us to live through us!

If we only had a clue what it meant to be “partakers of the divine nature!” Of what it means that I am crucified with Christ, it is no more I who lives but Christ who lives in me!”

The Holy Spirit is the life of Christ in you, He is the divine nature. He is the newness of life. He is the embodiment of the law written in our hearts.

Manifestations of God in you are varied, from emotions such as joy, peace, hope to practical applications of God’s divine power in the exercise of gifts and the growth of fruit. There is no hope to teach or learn from the Word of God apart from the Spirit.

We are ever dependent on the Spirit, yet He gets so little playtime in our churches, unless it’s the breathy worship leader trying to “bring us into His presence,” whatever that means (what happened to omnipresence and us being the temple of the Holy Spirit?).

Are our prayers in the Spirit? Are we asking to be filled with the Spirit? Are we calling on the Spirit to mortify the deeds of our flesh? Are we relying on Him to teach, guide and direct us? Are we getting us out of the way, so as not to grieve and quench His work?

We are comfortable being the captain of our own ship, we don’t like someone else being the pilot (which is why Jesus has usually been relegated to co-pilot, this makes it sound like we still have the wheel).

But it is my contention, based on my reading of Scripture, that we can do nothing apart from the Spirit, but with the Spirit all that God asks of us is possible.

You’re not on your own! Don’t cut off the Spirit’s work because you think God’s commands are impossible, impractical, annoying, outdated, or whatever other dumb excuse your flesh is using to war against the Spirit.

There are two things that the Bible says God promises to give to all who ask for it: wisdom and the Spirit. Ask for more! Be like Elisha and go ahead and ask the impossible: ask for a double portion! You can never have too much of the infinite God.

Pet Peeve Month: Keep Your Seeking God Statements to Yourself

Over my years around Christians I have heard many long to “go deeper” with God or “go higher” with God. In all honesty, I do not really know what this means. I don’t even know if those who say it know what they mean.

I have no particular thing against those who would like more of God, I’m all for it. I am, however, against those who have to tell everyone about it. (In my experience it is usually college age people who say these things, this may be for any number of reasons).

It seems to me those who blather on about “wanting more of God” and desiring to “seek His face” and various other Christianese phrases, really don’t want more of God, they just want you to know they think they are better than you.

Now, right off, let me state that I am casting a judgment here. The Bible doesn’t tell me not to judge, it warns me that I’ll be judged the same way. I am setting myself up, no doubt. However, I can confidently say I have never publicly uttered these phrases in my life, so I feel I am one who has not crossed this line so am in a position to share my judgment.

I could be wrong. someone will undoubtedly inform me.

It seems to me someone who truly desired to want more of God wouldn’t pause to tell everyone and would just go straight to God with it. Why talk about what you want with God instead of going and getting it?

I don’t have a problem with someone telling me this, as in a personal conversation, but general, for the public statements, things like “I can’t come with you guys on Friday, I’m setting my heart to seek God” are what I’m referring to.

When Jesus said to look happy when you fast, to give so your right hand doesn’t know what the left is doing, or to pray in a closet, He meant not to do religious looking things for show.

I’m glad you want to go deeper or higher, wherever it is you think God is in relation to you, just keep it to yourself and go do it. He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him; those who make a show of seeking Him get a reward too, and it’s not more of God.

Pet Peeve Month: Basing Your Salvation on Being Like Others

Some of my pet peeves of the last month have been a bit facetious, a tad opinion-based rather than actual, real problems. I assure you, I am not equally stirred up about each of these!

That being the case, I can assure you the pet peeve of today legitimately gets me fired up. The reason why is because actual eternity hangs in the balance with it.

Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” This is one of the central verses I repeat all the time in my sermons. The Scriptures are our source of faith. We walk by faith and not by sight, which means our eyes are not our guide.

God’s Word is heard with the ears (unless, of course, you are reading it to yourself, but come on, work with me). This means that our one standard for living is God’s Word and cannot then be anything we see.

If God had never said anything there would be no reason for faith.

Without faith it is impossible to please God, because we can only please God if we know what God wants. He has told us and faith is what we use to figure it out and do it.

OK, the last 7 sentences have all said the same thing so that we are clear on this point–faith is evidenced by how we listen to God, not by anything our eyes show us.

So, when God’s Word says to flee fornication and worldly lusts, to give away our stuff and money, to not be entangled with the affairs of the world, to put off lying, covetousness, slander, gossip, that all who live godly will suffer persecution, and so many other proofs the Bible gives of whether you are saved or not, do we hear this?

I have heard many Christians respond to such notions with the idea, “Well, my mom never did that, and she died and went to heaven, so I’m good.” Or, “No one in my church does that and they’re all saved.” Or, “I never went through any of that and I know I’m saved.”

We compare ourselves to others, rather than God’s Word.

It’s easy to see why we do this–God’s Word is a steep standard whereas other people are pretty easy to surpass in our minds.

But who is the Judge? As Jesus said, “the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.”

What is your salvation based on? It is ingrained in us that we are saved by faith, sola fide. Yet we continue to base our salvation on so many other things.

This dooms people. “But to this man will I [the LORD] look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.” Do we tremble at His Word or do we console ourselves by comparing ourselves between ourselves?

I can’t let it go without saying–hear His Word and tremble and run to Him for grace to help in time of need.