Archive for October, 2012

Over on his brilliant blog, Stuff Christians Like, Jon Acuff occasionally posts a re-run. From what I’ve observed, this happens more often on “Serious Wednesdays” (the one day a week when Jon puts down his humor and satire pens and reflects more seriously on what God’s showing him). And, seeing as how he isn’t Carlos Whitaker (who sees spiritual lessons in everything), re-runs are understandable.

Plus there’s the whole thing of the fact that we don’t always seem to get truth the first time that we hear it. Heck, apparently Paul felt like he even had to repeat himself in the same verse!

Well, this was one of the weeks where Serious Wednesday was a re-run of something that Jon had written a couple years ago. There were scores of comments thanking Jon for the article, many of which even acknowledged it’s re-run nature and stating that now is when they needed it.

But then some goof came along and started griping about the re-runs and related issues (e.g. Jon often gives his big platform to a lesser-known writer once a week), positing the theory that Jon was losing interest in his blog and stating that he (the goof) saw less and less reason to read it. Oh, and said goof posted all this anonymously.

Now, to be honest, no one’s going to even come close to the brilliance of Jon’s reply:

Did you just anonymously criticize me for not giving you enough of my personal time?

But even acknowledging that fact, it was all I could do not to fisk the anonymous comment, as it was dumb six ways from Sunday. Fortunately, others had already responded, so my desire to feed the troll was lessened and I was able to resist.

But the whole thing got me thinking about something. The anonymous goof was complaining about something that he got for free.

I’ve noticed a rise in this tendency of late. As the ‘net and digital delivery of information and entertainment grow, more stuff is free (or at least really cheap) that would have been expensive 5 years ago or — more likely — didn’t even exist. Yet kvetching has become such a common occurrence, it’s a wonder that we all don’t speak Yiddish.

And then I realized that excessive complaining about free stuff is older than dirt.

I woke up ridiculously early this morning* and couldn’t get back to sleep. Actually, I take that back. For a Saturday morning for a normal person, the hour was ridiculous — for me, it was obscene. I was off my game a large part of the day and would probably be in bed now if it wasn’t for a nap that didn’t really accomplish much this afternoon.

Then Jesus said, “You woke up.”

* (I wrote this Saturday evening)

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Code words are such fun. For those unfamiliar with their usage by the critics of this site, its writers, and those who we dare to think might occasionally have something to contribute to the faith, here’s a handy-dandy guide. Some are adapted from the Bible, whereas others are lifted directly from Scripture (and then twisted like a contortionist’s pretzel):

  • sheep-beater: any straightforward pastor/teacher with whom I disagree
  • compromiser: all others pastors/teachers with whom I disagree, especially if I don’t like his Hawaiian shirts
  • another gospel: any belief with which I disagree, regardless of its relevance to the gospel
  • persecution: anything negative that I have to endure, regardless of its causation or its relevance to my faith
  • post-modern: any thought or belief whose inception occurred after my great-grandfather’s birth
  • emergent: anyone who is friends with anyone who is related to anyone who read a book by anyone who once quoted anyone who once ate dinner in the same restaurant as the fourth-cousin twice removed of anyone who has already been declared emergent (by this definition)

Although that last one is the most ludicrous (and the most common), it’s not my favorite. Rather, my favorite abuse of Scriptural language is to call someone an “enemy of the cross” when you disagree with them. So whence cometh that phrase?  I’m glad you asked:

Philippians 3:18
For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:

I’m pretty sure that every contributor to this blog has been labeled an “enemy of the cross” at one time or another. Yet, strangely enough, I’ve never seen anything even approximating “weeping” accompanying that accusation. The actual attitude of the labeler is left as an exercise for the reader.

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