CHEAP AND YUMMY BROWNIE RECIPE!
6 TBSP cocoa, 1/4 C butter, 1 C sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1/3 C flour, 2 eggs, Cook 350 - 25 mins.

10/26/09

MY CHURCH PET PEEVE...

I have a pet peeve that I feel the need to mention. I know I'm not alone because I've actually met other Evangelicals who have experienced this.

First I would like to place a memory in here for my boys so that in the future, when they read this, they do not confuse the rant to follow as something they should actually put into practice. It is a rant and should be consumed with that knowledge.

First Here is my memory:

A memory I hold dear to my heart is one of a preacher who I really liked. (Pastor Howard Wilson) He came to my job to buy something to fix the church a bit and said something to the effect that he didn't see me in church last Sunday. Being that he was a nice guy and did talk to me other than just to ask this question I said with a smile, "Yeah, that's because I wasn't there." He smiled too and said something like, "Well I hope everything is alright." I don't know why, maybe because I'm me and like to tell the truth I said with a halfway embarrassed squinty nose , "I just didn't feel like coming." To which he laughed openly. It became apparent that no one had ever actually said that to him. I then said,"Do you ever feel like that?" He gave a sideways grin, paid for his merchandise and said, "That, my dear, is something I'll never admit to." "Oh that's right!" I said, laughing at that point "You get paid to be there!" He turned with a loud laugh and walked out cracking up.

Now this is the same pastor who roped me into being the central and only secretary for the entire disaster relief efforts for our town when the flood came through and devastated so many homes and uprooted so many families. I have to think that honesty is the best policy since he respected me enough to entrust that responsibility to me after that conversation had taken place. :-)

Now on to my Pet Peeve and Random Rant for the day...

One thing that annoys the crap out of me is when I and my family arrive at church and some random person comes up to us to say,

"Why weren't you at church the other day...last week...last night..."

Whatever the case may be.

OR

"We really missed you at church the other day...last week...last night..."

Then they look at you with the silent look of fake worry trying to prompt you into divulging the reason for your shameful church absence.

Did they really miss me? Did they really miss us that much? Aren't they really asking where we were? At least those who ask where we were are getting to the point. They are nosey and they don't care that we know they are nosey.

I've so often wanted to say something like...

"Well Janet I had to get some hemorrhoids removed and I just couldn't sit in the pew that day."
or
"Well Pete I had a hot date with my lover and just couldn't make it to church." *wink*

(Mom, I didn't actually say or do these things so don't faint!)

Now why would I really want to say these things? Because they are being so NOSEY! What if those were the reasons? What if there was some very embarrassing reason and you had to just stand there and make up a lie because they are so NOSEY!?

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not talking about your buddy who you usually sit with or your friend who would have liked to go to the ballgame with you. I'm talking about church acquaintances who mention this ridiculous comment because what they really mean is...

"I was at church and because I was at church, I noticed that you were NOT so I want to mention it to you in person, even though I would otherwise never talk to you. I have to ask this of you because you didn't get to see that I was in church, so I want you to know that I was in church and that you were NOT because I am now just that much closer to Heaven than you are because I was there and you were NOT there to see how holy I am because you are NOT."

Yes, I have a tad bid of unimaginable irritation built up. It must be from my childhood. I would see people, who would otherwise not give me the time of day, come to meet me at the church door just to ask that ever so unassuming question. I cringed as they came down the isle with that concerned look on their face. I could have just kicked them in the shin.

I wish I were the person I am now...that would have been a hoot!

Yep, that is a big time pet peeve of mine, to the point that I've named the affliction that these people suffer from.

It's called,

"I've become arrogant in my Christianity-itis" It affects those Christians who have become so sure that they know all there is to know about their religion that they have widened their judgement net to encompass those who are actually OF their same religious faith."

Gotta be the top of the heap there I suppose.

If you recognise yourself in this rant please put this clue in your pocket.
If you have never been invited to the person's home. Don't ask them why they weren't at church.
If you were only invited with a group of people. Don't ask them why they weren't at church.
If you think people need a reason to miss church. Don't ask people why they weren't at church because..

1. You may not like the answer.
2. If they had an emergency or tragic event and you don't know by now then it's none of your business.
3. You're being a busy body.

Instead you could say, "Hi there friend. I was thinking of you the other day and would really like to go to Starbucks to hang out sometime with you. " or "Hi there buddy, I was JUST thinking about you yesterday and was wondering if you would like to come over to hang out sometime."

If you don't feel like you can do that then BACK OFF! If you can do that and they say no then there's your answer. If they say yes, you are well on your way to connecting with a new friend.

(That's my rant)

6 comments:

Joanne said...

Too funny! I get that false concern question as well especially of late. My parents' home burned the week before Christmas last year and the rebuild is just now completed. They've been in a rental since w/anything that survived being transferred to a facility to be cleaned and stored. During the month of May they've been slowly moving things in to the rebuild and as they are on in years my kids and I have been helping w/the heavier items. As such, we are not always at our own parish (St. Peter's). My parents live 35 miles NE of us and w/gas prices being what they are, we just stay the weekend and attend their parish (St. Rose) which is actually the parish I grew up in. There have been a few people from St. Peter's w/whom I'm not really familiar who have come up and asked, "We haven't seen you in church lately. Surely you haven't left us?" These same people have never talked to me otherwise, not at the luncheons or dinners, nor at any other time they may see me.

Anyway, just wanted to let you know you aren't alone w/regard to your rant.

Eevee said...

I'm a new reader and let me tell you your my kind of Gal :) lol

I LOVE the straight up honesty of your post.You don't get much of that now a days.

Blessings,
Eevee

Valerie said...

Yeah - I know what you're saying. Although for me, I truly feel bad when I am not missed. But for so many years I tied myself up into ministry work, that there was no time for me to build relationships, and now that I have taken a step away from the leadership role and have become an attender, there are no solid relationships there and so no one even realizes I am not there and have been home sick for 2 weeks.

You are so right, attending worship is about relationships with fellow believers and God, not about checking off the religious attendance duty. Unfortunately too many are stuck in that ritualism to understand that God cares where your heart is when attending a service, not if you are there and what pew you're sitting in.

Sometimes I think we are better off not attending, when we end up further away from Him, rather than closer to Him at the end of the service.

Tracey said...

I LOVED THIS! I get that a lot too....it annoys me...I agree....whether I go to church of not is my concern not yours...God knows why I'm not there and that is all that matters.

Heather said...

Is it okay to say, "Welcome back. We've missed you" to someone you've noticed not there returns?

I've done that. He replied about our kids; he remembered when we didn't have ANY. :)

Just Joany said...

I completely agree with the whole insincerity issue. I have been fortunate that where I go, there's a great deal of love and we're small enough that everyone cares (fourteen members, including children).

I do appreciate this post. Thank you. I have felt this way at times, myself. ~ Just Joany
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