Outta This World


Overheard during choir practice:

“As long as you continue to sin by playing in that rock band you cannot sing in the choir. It’s your choice, not ours.”

Overheard in church on any Sunday morning:

“Do you SEE what she’s wearing? How disrespectful! She looks like a tramp. Thank God she sits in the back.”

Overheard in a toy store during the Christmas shopping season:

“Whaddya mean that’s the last Super Barbi? Look, you idiotic clerk! ! I stood in line 3 hours for that @#$&* damn doll!”

Overheard in a restaurant:

“I said I wanted my dressing on the side. Take this salad back and get me another one. Oh, by the way. I have a coupon.”

Overheard one afternoon in a bank:

“I’m sorry you’ve been laid off, sir. But that’s not our problem. If you can’t make your payment by the end of business today we will be forced to take legal action.”

Overheard at a neighborhood association meeting:

“Children are not allowed to play in the street and we don’t want the liability of playgrounds. If you have kids then you should’ve moved somewhere else.”

Overheard at a White House cabinet meeting:

“We estimate that there will be some civilian casualties. But we feel these are acceptable losses in light of our national interests.”

Overheard on the television:

“I believe that the Hurricane Katrina was, in fact, the judgment of God against the city of New Orleans…I believe that New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God, and they are — were recipients of the judgment of God for that..”

“AIDS is the wrath of a just God against homosexuals. To oppose it would be like an Israelite jumping in the Red Sea to save one of Pharaoh’s charioteers …

Overheard at an insurance company claims meeting:

“Hey look at this. According to these medical records the claimant had a prescription for blood pressure medicine back in the eighties. Since he never told us about it we have a legal excuse to refuse his claim.”

Overheard one day during rush hour:

You moron! Get your fat a** outa my way!”

Overheard in the human resources department of a garment factory:

“Look. We need to hire more people. Some of the current employees are getting over 35 hours and benefits kick in at 38. We can’t afford that. Let ’em fight for shifts.”

Overheard in a Christian Book Store:

“No ma’am. We don’t carry any Catholic books. That’s not a religion, that’s a cult.”

Meanwhile….

Overheard in a rock-and-roll bar:

“Yeah, I think Geddy Lee has it all over Jon Anderson, too. Hey, can I buy you another beer?”

Perceptions. Brent and Buddy have been talking about them on their blogs. It seems that a lot of Christians perceive some places, activities and even people as being more ‘sinful’ than others: Bars, nightclubs, R-rated movies, rock and roll concerts….God forbid if you should belong to a rock and roll band that plays in bars! But why should Christians avoid these places and people? Is it about the demon rum? Bad language? The animal sensuality of the rock and roll rhythm? Is it because places like bars and concerts are full of ‘sinners’, so obviously engaged in ‘sinful’ behavior that we might be led astray?

I wonder if these are really representative of the ‘world’ that Christians should have no part of. Perhaps, while the Church was distracted by other ‘sinners’, it missed how much an integral part of the ‘world’ it has become.

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  1. #1 by Steve on September 2, 2008 - 1:12 pm

    One of the sad effects of taking Satan to (only) be an actual being, an entity apart from ourselves, is to think that we can run and hide from the sin that he promotes. When we realize that Satan (also?) is a very useful metaphor for our own corrupted egos then we can understand that it is not the outside influences that are as harmful as an unchanged (non-religious) “heart”. In this case we can see how we each of us brings the uninvited Satan to sit in the pews with us every Sunday.

    On the other hand, taking the view that Satan is merely a ‘metaphor for our own corrupted egos’ denies his reality and seems unscriptural. Don’t we war against ‘the world, the flesh and the devil’? You seem to be rolling the three into one. You’re right that Satan can be a convenient scapegoat. Remember Flip Wilson’s ‘the devil made me do it’? that’s equally unscriptural. In the end it comes down to personal decisions whether or no to follow Christ, but don’t discount external evil in the mix of influences.

  2. #2 by Christian Beyer on September 2, 2008 - 4:28 pm

    Hey, I said ‘only’. I personally think that we do pretty damn good job conjuring up evil without the help of Old Scratch, but I don’t see much problem if someone sees him as an entity (except for what I mentioned above). Unscriptural? I’ve read that (and talked to) Jews who say that they never took Satan to be anything other than a metaphor. Look how he keeps changing rolls.

    “The world” – the powers that be – the ruling authorities – the culture that is all about power, conquest and profit at the expense of others

    “The flesh” – my animal nature – that part of me that might be perfectly content to keep on ‘rutting’ around – my need to survive even if it means that I might kill.

    “The devil” – well, I’ve already covered that one.

    My internal evil manifests itself as your external evil and vice versa. And when we get together on being evil – look out!

  3. #3 by nate on September 8, 2008 - 4:13 pm

    Hey, I am a little late in this conversation, maybe I missed it…were these all statements overheard by you personally?

    EEESH…I had to cringe at many of them.

    Since you brought up the Catholic Church, I am reminded of Luther, who in frustration at the mass confusion amongst those claiming to be of reformed mindset, threw up his hands and said, “every man has become his own pope!” Or something like that…

    My point is, in response to your last paragraph, when it comes to morality, doctrine, gray areas, sin, etc…the non-believing faction of the world is confused by every man saying something contradictory from the other with solid assurance (pride?) that he is right.

    Cult my ass…at least they (Catholics) are on the same page when it comes to issues (and the can have a beer and play cards on church property).

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