When I reflect on what is said in and around church, here are ten statements that border on the absurd. We state them as fact or truth, but when we think about what they mean they are absurd.
- Inactive member. At the heart of being a member is belonging and being active in the organization. Is there such a thing as inactive members?
- Designated offering. This one has always troubled me because all offering should be given to God freely without any strings attached. When offerings are designated they come with strings attached.
- Half-hearted commitment. Here the idea is going part of the way, but not all of the way. Like leaping across a chasm in two jumps. Can’t be done.
- Partial tithe. What? Tithe means ten percent. Partial tithe is less than ten percent and therefore not a tithe. The word tithe is not synonymous with giving.
- Casual worship. I saw this on a church sign. The church was promoting their worship service for people to come casually dressed. I get that. But, in true worship of God, nothing is casual about coming face to face with the God of the universe.
- Backslidden follower. An impossibility. One can’t be walking away while following. Yet we have lowered the standard of discipleship by making allowance for people who once were active with Christ but now who are not.
- Silent witness. Really. We’ve all heard how one should witness with their life. Someone may quote the ancient church father: Preach the gospel and if necessary use words. Yet in all the gospels I never read of someone coming to Christ by just observing Christ. And, if people, didn’t follow someone who was perfect, what makes me think they will follow me in my imperfection. Furthermore, Jesus never spoke of living a good life as being an acceptable form of witnessing.
- Lukewarm Christian. This one is closely akin to backslidden follower. The church folks at Laodicea were condemn for being lukewarm. One gets the impression they weren’t truly believers. And, it’s interesting that Revelation 3:20 in this same context is often used in gospel presentations: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me” (Rev. 3:20 ESV). Can a person be lukewarm and a Christian?
- Prayer meeting. Meeting implies agendas, protocols, business, form, and structure. Prayer is none of that. It is a conversation with God. John 17, Jesus’ prayer, is a perfect example. Jesus rambled and repeated himself in as he communicated with the father. Our problem is that we have made prayer more a formal business gathering rather than an intimate, free-flowing conversation with God. I think we would be surprised and aghast at an early church prayer gathering.
- Boring worship. Ok. I get it that some people get sleepy in worship. Even Eutychus went to sleep when the apostle Paul preached. But can true worship be boring. I don’t think Isaiah was bored when he saw God high and lifted up.
Do you have an absurdity you would like to add?