Maybe You Get Bad Church Experiences Because You’re a Bad Christian

Disclaimer: this post is written to Christians. But even if you don’t consider yourself a Christian please keep reading anyway. This may serve as a good apology or at least an attempt at an explanation for much of what you’ve likely experienced.

ketchup

You might have seen the post from Matt Walsh that has been growing in popularity recently. He titled his article Maybe You Get Bad Customer Service Because You’re a Bad Customer. It’s an article written to a person who berated a fast food employee for getting the ketchup wrong on her meal. It’s worth reading in it’s entirety but here are some of the highlights of his argument to this lady:

Now, I replay this back to you because I realize you probably scream profanities at minimum wage customer service representatives every time you run an errand or grab a bite to eat, so you might not recall the specifics of this one incident. And that brings us to the possible answer to that query you posed in the midst of your ketchup rant. You asked: “Why can’t I ever f*cking get good customer service?” Well, ma’am, that might have something to do with you being a vulgar, miserable, malicious person. Maybe you get bad customer service because you’re a bad customer. Did you ever consider that possibility?

Do you ever wonder why we have so many atrocious politicians in Washington? Well, you shouldn’t wonder. Just look in the mirror. Bad politicians are generally bad because they can’t handle power. It goes right to their head and they become narcissistic, petty, controlling sociopaths. But at least it’s a lot of power so the temptation to be corrupted by it is almost understandable. You, on the other hand, become a maniacal tyrant when society hands you temporary and meaningless power over 17-year-old fast food cashiers. I shudder to think what you’d do if you had an army at your disposal.

Intense words for sure. But Matt’s logic is spot on. It’s far too easy to point the finger at the ketchup lady we only heard a story about. If we can be honest, we know this hits home to each one of us on one level or another.

I watch Christians use the same logic as ketchup lady when they leave a church in anger or frustration.

  • Can you believe they played worship music I didn’t like? (or at a volume I didn’t like)
  • Can you believe they didn’t transform my kids into spiritual giants for me?
  • Can you believe they stopped doing that program that I loved?
  • Can you believe they let someone go who I liked?
  • Can you believe they don’t do things the way I would do them?
  • Can you believe they aren’t as traditional or as cutting-edge as I prefer?
  • Can you believe they had the audacity to confront me or challenge my spiritual complacency?

Just this weekend I had someone who served in our department for more than five years quit without notice and in a very harming way (for one of the reasons above). Really? Is this what we think we’re entitled to?

Christians – I don’t know what you think of your church. Hopefully it is a source of community and encouragement for you. But if you are harboring resentment toward your church, or if you have changed churches in anger, it’s time to look in the mirror. It’s time we considered Matt’s logic. Maybe you’ve had bad church experiences because you’re a bad Christian. Perhaps “bad Christian” isn’t the right term. We could just as easily say “selfish Christian,” or “consumer-driven Christian.” I don’t say that to put condemnation or judgement upon you. I’m no filter for who’s in or out. But as a pastor who gets a front row seat to hear all of the crazy reasons people go sideways with church, it’s time to realize that our consumer mentality has to stop.

The Church is the Bride of Christ and He sacrificed everything for it. It’s time for us to stop treating Her like she owes us something.

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Jeremy Jernigan

Speaker | Author | Founder of Communion Wine Co. https://linktr.ee/JeremyJernigan