Christians Are Mean!

I was in the middle of actually writing a useful post (imagine that), but the words just weren’t coming. And contrary to popular opinion, when I freeform write and the jokes are that bad, I actually do manage to figure out where the delete key is. So for now, I thought I would relate a little story that I found quite interesting a few weeks ago.

I was having a conversation with some fellow musicians (that means I was on a message board), and the discussion was having mostly to do with music as it pertained to worship. As such, there were a fair amount of Christians in there. In fact, almost all Christians. Except for this one guy. He’s a friend of mine, and I know he’s not into religion. And as the conversation became heated (how crazy would the world be if we didn’t have the internet to make us feel real), people were no longer…um…nice. Except the one guy who wasn’t a Christian. How he managed to have a soft answer for everyone, especially when it came to the inevitable religious topics, was admirable.

And it made we wonder why Christians are so mean. And I include myself in that generalization. I’ve met a great many people who don’t believe in God’s love for them, who love a lot more than I do. The only reason I’m able to post this is not because I was so magnanimous in the afore-mentioned conversation, but because I have recognized how mean I can be and can now identify (sometimes, hehe) when to just back out of conversations because I know I will not be able to control myself. But that’s treating the symptoms…like throwing out the chocolate cake. Sure, you’re not getting fat right now, but that’s only because there’s no cake. Get in a room with one again, and the gluttony comes back. There is a deeper issue here, and it’s one I might venture to say, if I may be allowed to be so bold, that we might want to look into. And it starts with each of us individually. That means me. Blast. ;)

Paul talked about our battle not being against flesh and blood. But sometimes I think we (meaning me) get that confused.

Oh, and…

Splendid.
Karl.

P.S. This is not necessarily a Gear Page post, although I have seen it happen there many times. And it has nothing to do with the last post, in which I obviously uttered the magic conversation words, ‘Line 6.’ I thought there was a great and healthy conversation going in the comments there, and I hope it continues!

39 thoughts on “Christians Are Mean!

  1. You, sir, are correct … i sometimes catch myself meaner than any of my non-christian co-workers/friends. just imagine what they think especially those times that i didn’t even noticed … hypocrite maybe is the word … oh and i’m ill-tempered, too … and you probably know that already :(

  2. I know…isn’t it weird that we’re like that? Ah, it’s sad.

    I’ve never met you in person, but here on the blog, I’ve never thought you were ill-tempered at all. Actually that’s one of the things I’m so thankful for here, is that somehow this place has managed to stay rather civil. :D You’re one of the nicest ones here, bro!

  3. the unique dichotomy of being real people (previous sinners) that are now cleansed. Its sometimes difficult to throw off the judgmental cloak and remember we’re really here to spread the peace of Christ to a mixed up world. Two things my wife and try to distance ourselves from:
    1) pastors who preach of the evils of alcohol and the lack of self-control to those addicted while they themselves look as though they have never put down the chocolate cake (aka: its okay to speak against a particular sin, just not our own)
    2) Christians who are always “right” and unable/unwilling to look at scripture and have meaningful, challenging contact with another– even if we disagree still, hey, we’re all brothers right?

    I want to thank alot of the guys on here and back in Puerto Rico (where I just moved from) for showing me how our differing cultures worship sooo differently, yet praise the same King. From Aussie, to los hermanos, to the great Maple Leaf, God bless you all.

  4. Ah, wonderful comment, my friend! :) I love it. Love is all you need, and you displayed that beautifully.

    And yes…the gluttony issue is one that I’m still working to formulate a full opinion on. For sure, you don’t usually kill people in a drunken rage or driving accident because of gluttony, and I do feel for those with extenuating circumstances, such as an injury, old age, or just bad genetics. So it’s not one of those things we can always notice or judge from the outside. But at the same time, the Bible does mention gluttony, so we should be taking it seriously, and not just on the food side of things.

    All I can say is that I personally struggle with gluttony. Of getting into financial trouble because I can’t pass by the string cheese (which work out to like a dollar every two little pieces sometimes!!), or not being able to calm down and relax happily without something to snack on when I’m already full. And needing a new car in the past when mine has still driven fine. Ah, man! When did this turn into a confession thread?! lol :)

  5. I like how you handily avoided mentioning the possibility of getting into financial trouble by purchasing gear that “need” (notice that need in quotes…and yes, I include myself in that category). :)

  6. Aren’t we really just talking about self-control or self-discipline? Not to make excuses, but isn’t the goal to reach a point where we don’t need to control or discipline ourselves because we are just good people doing the right thing? So I guess I have to ask, are you saying that as a Christian you can only have a lapse in self-control or that you just can’t be a good person naturally?
    Because today I don’ t feel like a good person and I don’t seem to have much self-discipline.
    And to top it all off I didn’t play the guitar at all today.

    • Yes, you’re totally right. The goal is to get to a place where doing the good or right thing comes naturally. But, I know for myself and I would venture to say as I look back on history for a lot of other folks as well, that doesn’t always come naturally. It’s a process to work towards. And a good way to get there, is to practice making a habit of doing the next right thing.

      The reason it’s so ironic that those of us who call ourselves Christians sometimes (or all the time, hehe) aren’t loving, is that we all claim to follow the teachings of Jesus, most of which were about love. Not to mention that we also believe that God is helping us get to the place where we just love naturally; so for me, it’s like, wow if I’ve got God’s help and I’m still sucking, then I must be doing pretty bad today! :) I’d say it’s close to the same irony for any other religion that claims to follow loving leaders…like Buddhism.

      And I didn’t practice the guitar either today…there was this terrible Jackie Chan movie on and I couldn’t tear myself away. So ya…I failed today, too! haha

  7. KennyG–lol Yes, I can definitely have issues with gear also!! Although, the nice thing about gear is that it can actually be used for art and ministry, unlike the consumption of a brick of cheese I just had to have. Also, I buy everything used so that in times like the present, when things get tough, it retains its value and I can sell them. Again, unlike food. hehe When I do get into trouble is when I walk into a gear store and have to have a pedal not because I need it, but because it’s cool or shiny or whatever. Luckily, gear is usually too expensive for me for impulse buys. :) But it is something I try to keep an eye on!! I remember one time I bought a DOD 680 just because. And then I got it and couldn’t figure out what to do with it. ;) That is bad.

  8. I thought about this many years ago. It’s not an excuse but the reality is that Christians often discuss issues of “cosmic” proportion. If the average non-Christian is discussing golf or the Kiwanis Club, how fired-up is he likely to be.

    Now these days people get really fired up about politics, and I don’t like what I’m seeing ( bring your gun to the rally ?? )

    Anyway, there is no excuse for being uncivil even if you are discussing the future of people’s souls.
    On the one hand, I’ve believed the bible to be without error for a long time, and that faith in Christ is the only route to salvation. On the other hand I’m just a man — can I pronounce with absolute certainty who God is bringing into His family and who He is not? Might I be wrong?

  9. From what I’ve experienced, people don’t know how to debate any more. People only know how to argue.

    When I’m debating a topic, I can be persuaded to change my belief if the other person has enlightened me to see that point in a new light. When I’m arguing, I’m hyper-focused on getting my point across.

    Debate = open mind.
    Argument = closed mind.

    That being said, when a debate starts, people are quicker to take it as the start of an argument than an exchanging of ideas.

  10. Perhaps we’re following our “leaders” such as in the U.S. Senate. That is, religious discourse is becoming more like political arguments. I read that during the civil war one Southern Senator actually took his cane and beat up another Senator. So much for following any such leader — more examples of what not to do.

    Reminds me of the worst elements of Islam, believe like I do or I’ll cut off your head. ( a very small minority, I’m sure )

  11. Yeah…”Christians” are mean (If that’s what they really are.)! I’m the worship director at my church. Some weekends my wife has to give me pep talks on Saturdays AND on Sundays. Just to over ride the negativity you pick up from some people. Satan is an x-worship leader. One of my friends says that he still feels at home hanging out there. ;)

  12. Especially when I am among Christians, but even if I’m not, I think one of the best ways to argue/discuss is by quoting Scripture. It tends to change the nature of the conversation.

    Prov. 29:11 A fool gives full vent to his anger,
    but a wise man keeps himself under control.

    So I would say that not being mean is largely a matter of wisdom.

  13. Christians are a tough breed. We have “read each others mail.” We know our own shortcomings and therefore we know everyone elses too. We know the truth therefore we know the lie. We know the sin in the secret place and we are quick to point it out in others. We shoot the wounded and form our firing squads in circles.

    The stroke is broad on the brush with these statements, but search yourself. How many times have you judged someone? Only to find out that the sin is in your camp. It is in my temple. Praise God for Grace.

    “The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because generally they are the same people.”
    — G.K. Chesterton

  14. I can be really mean at times. Like, reeeally mean. But then I’m really nice a lot of times, so that negates it, right? …right?

    I’ve been improving slightly recently when it was pointed out to me how exactly mean I have been in some situations. I’m learning to consider what I say before I say it, which sounds like a given, but I’m learning that I’m not good at the given things.

    I love getting fired up about stuff, but I also try to be open to other’s opinions while still being fired up. And when I get really fired up about something and just absolutely know I’m right and it actually turns out I’m wrong…well, that’s a good exercise in humility.

  15. one thing i heard someone say in reference to “non-christians” is that it’s not a very good label. maybe if we referred to people as pre-christian our message would be a little more accepting instead of just black and white either you believe or you don’t(which is still true though) idk, just a thought

  16. So…I just typed a large response to each comment…and then my internet lost it. So awesome. I’m about to be a mean Christian right now in my own head. ;)

    Suffice it to say, so much awesome wise stuff said. You guys just rock. And my contribution will be Proverbs 10:19, which I totally suck at following. Some versions translate it to, ‘Where words are many, sin is not absent.’

    Yikes. That one haunts me. Hey, maybe that’s why my comment got lost! I think God may be trying to tell me something…… hehe

  17. Now if you guys are not going to be mean, you will help me with some cable advice :-) It’s time to upgrade from Monster Rock cables. It’s not so much pro sound quality I’m after as rock solid durability and no hum/noise from the cable and it’s jacks. I suppose Lava is one option — I only need 10 or 12 feet and it has to have a right-angle jack on at least one end – both would be better. http://www.amazon.com/Lava-Magma-Instrument-Cable-Straight/dp/B003YK7X0I/ref=sr_1_1?s=musical-instruments&ie=UTF8&qid=1282224170&sr=1-1

  18. Sal–lol Comment of the day award.

    Mark–hehe Absolutely.

    Randy–I usually do that with long comments; but sometimes I get going and forget and then…errrgghh. hehehe

    And I’d totally go Lava over Monster. Not only do they sound better, but he offers the same lifetime warranty that Monster does. :) I’ve sent in a few cables over the years and he’s replaced them, no questions asked.

    Zach–ya, Canare’s are good, too. I have a couple for my pads and acoustic and stuff. :) Lava also sells some Canare’s, but they might be more.

  19. I vote Lava over Monster as well.
    My friends who roll their own use Mogami cable.
    I’m using Evidence Audio cables but I’m going to get some Mogami 2524 10 foot cables as back ups/effects loop cables.

  20. I only have the Lava mini-elc but I would like to hear if there is a difference between EA Lyric HG and Lava ELC. There was an improvement from the Whirlwind Leader and George L cables I was using. Whirlwind is great for the price and lasted a long time – it only got microphonic after 18 years!

    Am I the only one who gets annoyed with sound guys and other band members stepping on my not so cheap cables?! They’re not mean – they just don’t know better (or want to lean in close to ask a question – yikes!).

  21. Well at least we’re keeping the notion of “meannesss” in here. Sorry for changing the subject.
    P.S. I ordered a 12 ft Lava Magma for $20 at Musicians Friend. I was willing to go to $30 — don’t think I can justify more than that until somebody like Mark Knopfler gives me a call to join up. :-)

  22. hey, so i have an offer to get a billm moded blues JR for $400. has anyone tried these mods and are they worth it? thanks

  23. Hey has anyone on this forum ever played a GMD Luther Drive?

    I’m totally intrigued. Up next to the Timmy it was almost identical… the only difference was the transparency wasn’t as nice as the timmy… but you can find them used for under $100…. just curious. They are hand made :D

  24. Dan–gotcha…and 18 years is amazing for a Whirlwind! haha Wow!

    But no…I can’t get mad at folks stepping on my cables, because I am all over the stage stepping on them constantly myself. *Sigh.* hehe

    Rhoy–lol Orange and green are the best sounding colors.

    Randy–lol Ya, I hear ya. I’ve been using Mogami XLR’s, and they’ve been great. :)

    Nater2–I have not tried those mods, but I do know others say they just love ‘em. It doesn’t sound like a bad deal, especially considering un-modded they can go for around $350. Did he change the tubes, too?

    Ben G–nice! No, I’ve never tried one, but sounds like a great shootout candidate!!

  25. Karl, I have to comment. It seems like the subject of the church being an ill representation of Jesus has been coming up a lot lately in many different forums and discussions. I appreciate you being candid about it. Something is beginning to change…I hope it is God placing His finger on us saying ‘let’s deal with this area!’ I myself can concur that when I feel insecure about who I am in Christ, man I can get angry or mean, or I don’t see the sin in my life that I feel is so apparent in someone else. The church has become schizophrenic. Loving God and trying to be His body. At the same time doubting His love and criticizing the very body they are a part of. This is crazy. This is why people get irate, nobody likes to be wrong (pride). What’s so hard about letting God work things out in someone’s life. We feel like we have to be clean (non-messy) disciples, and so does everyone else. Frankly, growing in God IS messy…anyone who tells you different is trying to hide something! ‘Mean’ comes in when we don’t have the patience or grace to put up with a differing point of view while that individual is growing in Christ. Even when talking to a non-Christian, is losing your temper over politics or an ignorant point of view going to help anyone get any closer to knowing who Jesus really is? Well…sorry…I’m on my soapbox now, this is just food for thought. Good discussion…love the guitar forum, you’re awesome! Keep being real!!!

  26. Yikes, brother, that was an awesome comment! I’m not sure I could say any of that better. I love what you said about growing in God being messy…and that we need to let it be, instead of trying to always have everything have the appearance of being perfect, especially other people. I know that’s when I have a tendency to be the most mean, is when I am frustrated with other people not growing (seemingly) as fast as I’d like them too. And then God usually points out to me that the very fact that I’m getting un-loving about that, probably means that I’m not even as mature as where those I’m getting angry about are. hehe

    I can’t wait for five years to pass and for me to look back on this post and go, ‘Wow! And look at all the places in my life that were going on at that time where I wasn’t showing love personally.’ haha Ah, we are funny little people.

    Anyway, thanks again for that fantastic comment, and thanks for joining in!

  27. For me, personally, I find that I’m “mean” or preachy when I forget about the plank in my own eye. What’s helped me is taking seriously “working out my salvation in fear and trembling” (recommended reading: Crazy Love by Francis Chan)– it’s when I allow myself to be so secure in my eternal security that I lose sight of my own faults and failings, especially considering I’m the one with the Spirit and who should know better!

  28. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the
    book in it or something. I think that you can
    do with some pics to drive the message home a little bit, but other than that, this is excellent blog.
    An excellent read. I will definitely be back.

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