October 11, 2013

There’s a card game that I have played with folks on occasion that we call “I doubt it.” Some have a little more expressive name for it related to male bovines… go look it up. J I’ll try to describe the game. It’s very simple but not easy to put onto paper. Basically all of the cards in a deck are dealt to the players. The first player begins by placing face down in the middle all of the twos they have. If they don’t have any twos they need to bluff and say they are twos. Then the second player places their threes and this continues around the table until a player challenges (by saying “I doubt it”) to someone who has placed their cards down. If you get challenged and in fact you have the cards you say you have then the challenger has to pick up all the discarded cards. But if you don’t have the cards you say you have then you have to pick up the discard pile. The game continues until someone gets rid of all their cards. I write this simply to focus on the phrase “I doubt it,” or the more salty “bovine speak.” (If you don’t know what I’m alluding to… well… I can’t help you)

So, on to politics. I am so weary of our political “leaders” playing the blame game. It is always the fault of the other party! Whichever moron is speaking (sorry, did that sound harsh?) always plays the innocent victim, i.e., “Well, our party has tried to fix the _________ (fill in the blank with your own political/social concern) but the other party doesn’t want it fixed.” I want to say “I doubt it,” well, in fact I want to use “bovine speech.” The truth is, THEY ARE ALL CULPIBLE and so are those of us who want the government to step in and provide for us, care for us, fix our lives, spend more than they have… When is someone going to step up and courageously say, “We are all to blame for this mess! And frankly I don’t care if I get reelected!” When will our leaders stop playing the victim/blame game?!?! What does it model to the culture anyway?!

Here’s what it models: Sadly we all play the victim game. So few of us want to take responsibility for our lives and the mess we find ourselves in. Don’t get me wrong, I know there are uncontrollable events that steer us in directions we don’t want to go. I am not insensitive to these realities. But let me give you a simple example that I see often. Here it is… wait for it… wait for it… “ I don’t go to church because ________.” Oh my goodness… the things we say to fill in that blank! Few folks ever take responsibility for their own lack of corporate worship. More likely they say it’s because:

  • someone offended them
  • they don’t like the minister
  • the organ is too loud
  • the organ is too soft
  • they don’t like guitars
  • they like guitars and don’t like organs
  • worship is too long
  • there are too many changes
  • there aren’t enough changes
  • they have been sick (for 10 years?!?!)
  • the sermons are irrelevant
  • the sermons are too long
  • the seats are too hard

to infinity and beyond!!! (If you think I am kidding… I have heard every one of those reasons over the years.)

Hey, stop being a politician! I suspect that God cares little for our excuses . Outside of a few rare legitimate reasons… the truth is…we don’t go to worship simply because it is not high on our priority list… and we choose to say that the God we believe in does not deserve or desire corporate worship. Take some responsibility for your own faith and how you live it. Stop playing the victim/blame game. If you don’t like your church or some of the people in it or it doesn’t meet your needs… have you noticed that there is one on every block?

So, the next time you get disgusted with our political leaders and you want to use “bovine speech” toward their comments, use that as an opportunity to ask yourself how you are doing in the faith/worship area? If it’s not so hot, how come? It is likely because of decisions you make and no one else. I’m not being critical of those who choose to not go to church. Frankly you are accountable to God not me. I’m being disparaging to those who take on the victim mentality and choose to blame others for things that are very much in their control and are a result of their decisions… NO ONE ELSES.

If this sounds angry… it’s not intended to be. Mostly I’m just sad. Sad for those who have sold out their faith for a lie. Sad for those who have been deceived by the world. Sad for those who have made their own pleasure a priority over a gracious, loving, kind God. Sad for those who refuse to face their own decisions and choose to blame their lives on others. Sad for those who confess faith while rarely taking time to worship with the other broken people of God. Just sad.

I want to end this by saying “I’ll see you in church” but frankly… I don’t know that I will.

Hebrews 10: 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.


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