TBT: Truly Bad Theology

wp_20170104_14_18_20_proThere’s something I haven’t been entirely up front about on this blog. I haven’t hidden it, exactly, but I haven’t proclaimed it from the mountaintop either.

What is it, you ask? Well, if you must know, it’s that I belong to a church, buy into the whole faith thing, and got the t-shirt. (Really. Our church has t-shirts.)

Now, don’t worry, I’m not turning this blog into a religious venue. But I thought I should mention where my allegiance lies before I go much further.

You see, whenever I come across instances of Truly Bad Theology
Oh, here. Just read this. It’s from a local church’s newsletter:

manger-524x404On Sunday, December 18th during both services we will have our “March to the Manger.” On that day, during the closing hymn, we will invite the congregation to bring a special offering to place in the manger to help us try to cover some of the additional expenses of 2016. Currently our expenses for the year are running about $12,000 ahead of our income.

Yes, you read that right. During the beauty and joy that is Christmas, this church asked its worshipers to lay money in the manger, hopefully to the tune of $12,000, but really anything you can spare will help.

Because as we know, Jesus was all about money. Right?

I’m tellin’ ya, if it was my first time attending worship that Sunday, it may have sworn me off churches for good. If I were a member of that church, I would quit.

This is the sort of thing that makes people say churches are out to get your money and they’re all a bunch of hypocrites. In truth, I don’t think it’s greed or hypocrisy behind this church’s move; I think it’s fear. And fear has a way of clouding judgement, even for people of faith, and can take us down that slippery slope toward Truly Bad Theology.

Anyway, I’ve made a decision not be quiet about it anymore. When I find instances of Truly Bad Theology, I’m going to shout it from the mountaintop.
(Well, I’ll post it here, at any rate.)

Oh, and if you’re a church trying to make up a shortage in the budget? It’s time to: a) have a heart-to-heart with your church members, b) never, ever, guilt worship attendees into giving, c) rethink your budget for next year, AND, d) increase your mission giving and projects, because you need to let go of your fear and focus on what being a church is all about.

Last thing, a personal request: A friend from work started a blog! (I’ve mentioned her before, she’s our lovely receptionist.) If you are someone who likes positive talk and being happy, you’ll enjoy her writing. Check it out and say hi! Here’s her link: Celebrate What’s Right

19 thoughts on “TBT: Truly Bad Theology

  1. You’re not alone, I belong to a church and have the t-shirt and coffee mug. And I say AMEN! to everything else. Plus, I’m that guy on the church council who said, “We should reduce the operating budget to match donations.” I am not on the council anymore.

    1. Oh, I forgot about the coffee mug! 🙂
      I think we’d have been quite a pair serving on a church council together, woe to all who crossed us!
      Our current church has kind of tricky finances due to several members who are either freelancers or business owners who, depending on how they do during the year, might give a lot, or non-members who give, but would rather not pledge. So we have what’s called a “faith-based” budget. Somehow it always works out, but it sure makes our financial people uncomfortable!

  2. I’ve been an atheist since I was 15 (almost half a century!), but I still enjoy your wit and humor. I suspect Bad Theology will become one of my favorite themes in your blog.

    1. Interesting, as I think I was 15 when I found religion. I lost it a few times and wrestled with it many times over, but in the end I’ve always returned to it.
      I hope you enjoy the theme as much as I’m enjoying and weeping over it. Honestly, this is turning into a far too easy of a topic.
      People, STOP THE MADNESS!

    1. I can’t overstate how much that means to me, Brian. I was a little worried what my regular visitors would think of this departure from our usual folly.
      So thank you. I think you’re really swell too. 🙂

    1. Exactly! My suspicion is that there are more of us than anyone knows, as we tend to be a quiet breed. Which was one of the reasons I decided to go with this topic, thinking maybe it was time I spoke up a little. 😉

  3. I consider myself agnostic, but my aunt is a nun and I went to Catholic elementary school. I was never baptized though. My family and I believe in a higher being and being good to others we just don’t like organized religion and sadly most people who attend churches. I’m typing this on my iPhone, so I’ll get to the point. I’ll admit when I first realized you were religious, I was like, “oh boy what kind of religious person is she?” Thankfully you seem to be a real Christian, like my aunt who is a nun. In other words I’m glad there are people like you in the world who have faith, are kind and good to others, and are only slightly judgmental, usually towards those who don’t treat others well.

    1. I understand you completely, and your concerns are totally justified. Sadly, the task of being a real Christian is never easy, so maybe that explains the scarcity? I know I fail many times over, but every morning starts a new day.
      Thanks for the comment, I really appreciate it. 🙂

      1. It’s hard to be a good person in general. Doing the right thing is extremely important to me, but it’s so hard sometimes. Some stuff is easy, like not stealing, but man, I sometimes feel guilty for just not liking someone. Which should be fine, that should be ok, but if they haven’t really done anything to me and I don’t like someone, I feel guilty and double guilty if I say something about that person. It’s exhausting sometimes, but I’d rather be exhausted then someone who does’t care about others at all.

        1. I hear ya! Although your profound sense of guilt over the situation may be on account of your Catholic upbringing. 😉
          Whenever I dislike a person for no good reason, I analyze the heck out of it. It might be because they remind me of someone from my past, or worse, I discover some hidden prejudice on my part. Either way, as uncomfortable as it makes us, it’s good we have that awareness and are able to change. Because as you said, the alternative is far worse.

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