This is my third time to release a list of pet peeves in as many years, oddly enough with the same amount of time between each release. For a previous release, see here. Again, “a pet peeve is a minor annoyance that an individual identifies as particularly annoying, to a greater degree as others may find it.”
For this list, I would like to limit my pet peeves to “Christian” things (note the use of quotation marks) or the things I see around church and things done by church-goers. I intend to graft one peeve from a past list and provide more detail here.
Here they are:
- The ad nauseam repetition of the word, “Lord” in one’s prayers. As in, “Thank you, Lord, for this morning’s service, Lord, and for the good weather, Lord, and Lord, we would like to confess our sins, Lord, because you are holy, Lord, and we are sinful, Lord, and you demand holiness from us, Lord, and Lord, please take care of Mrs. So-and-So, Lord, as she is having her check-up today, Lord, and also her family, Lord…” (I suggest you say the prayer out loud to hear how silly it sounds.) Sometimes, the words “Jesus,” “Father,” or “Father God,” are substituted for Lord. It doesn’t make the prayers any less painful to listen to. Two reasons why I really find it hard to even like something like this: First, it is annoying. On a sub-note, it is also an indication that the guy (or girl) leading the prayer has absolutely no idea what the prayer is about and is mentally providing filler material to pad out the prayer. Second, it is distracting. Try pretending a conversation with someone, and that someone repeats your name every two or three phrases. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Some of you might argue that since the prayer is directed to God anyway, it shouldn’t matter what we think. True, but so what? Maybe that would be a consideration should the prayer be a private one, but what if it is done in the corporate setting and prayer is done corporately as a body? We shouldn’t be sidetracked by a lot of sputtered nonsense from the one assigned to pray, capish?
- Related to No. 1, sort of. Christians I know have this really annoying habit of shouting “Amen” to every bit of utterance by the speaker. I have no problem with believers giving a hearty Amen! when the speaker quotes a passage from Scripture. This means that they are giving accord to the promises of God in the Bible. But what about those times when listeners just shout amen to every darn fool thing the speaker says? Imagine a scenario like this:
Pastor (or speaker): I have an impression from the Lord that he wants us to build a bigger church!
P: The Lord wants to heal your sickness, sister!
In cases like the ones above, obviously these are not promises from God being bandied about. They are merely examples of wishful thinking on the part of the speaker.
- Apropos the last point, don’t you find it odd when speakers actually beg for an amen? (“Wala bang Amen! diyan?“)
- “Jesus is the answer!” Right, so what is the question? Of course, since the Bible talks about Jesus and since Jesus is central to the proper understanding of Scripture, in some sense, Jesus is the answer. But it bothers me that people would treat Jesus’ name like some money-producing pendant to be used for good luck. I find it especially annoying when, confronted with another soul’s problems, Christians assume that “accepting Jesus into your heart” is the way to go.
- Christian songs that have little theological foundation.
- “Power in Prayer.” Don’t let me even get started on this one.
On the other hand, I dig this: