Stuff Christians Like and the things they don’t

by Kevin on August 12, 2010

There is a Christian writer that I read every day. His name is Jon Acuff and he has a website and a book called Stuff Christians Like. Most of the time, Jon has funny articles about some of the strange ways we Christians do things. He is into pop culture and I am into cowboy culture. Most of the time, I don’t even understand some of the TV shows he talks about (I’ve never seen an episode of Lost) and he knows more famous people’s names than I know my own family’s names. Jon and I are about as opposite as you can get, but Wednesday, I wanted to drive to Nashville, TN and just take him out for a chicken fried steak and a glass of sweet tea. I wanted to tell him not to worry about anything and that he was doing a great job.

Jon went through some of the same things I have gone through. He wrote an article that was from his heart and encouraging to others. But some people, just a few, thought that they would point out all of the things that they perceived as mistakes in his message. I thought about trying to paraphrase everything, but I would encourage you to just go read it by clicking here.

I write this because I know how Jon felt yesterday. Actually, I don’t presume to know how Jon felt, but I felt bad for him. There were over 150 comments that were very positive to his message and then there were the others. They were not trying to be rude or anything, they just thought it was their job to point out everything that they didn’t agree with. I like to call this “nitpick the capitals”.

What is nitpick the capitals?

I sometimes fret over whether or not I have capitalized all the right letters. For example, if I were to write, “God is holy and his wondrous love is available to everyone through his son Jesus.” They will miss the entire point of the statement and focus on whether or not all the words were capitalized correctly.

  • There is only one that is holy and that is God (trinity form). So if there is only one that is holy, shouldn’t that be capitalized?
  • Anytime we refer to God and use “his”, should we capitalize it or have we blasphemed some theological doctrine of the quintessential truth.
  • Am I showing irreverence to the word love by not using an uppercase “L”? God is love and even Paul said, “Three things will last forever–faith, hope, and love–and the greatest of these is love.” Surely it must be capitalized.
  • There is only one son of God. Do we capitalize it only when we say Jesus was the Son of God or do we still capitalize it if we say he was the Son of a Jewish carpenter. A lot of people just missed that whole message because they forgot about the capitals and now want to argue that Jesus was not really Joseph’s son–He’s the Son of God.

I know that it is very hard to get up every single morning and try to encourage people to follow God. I don’t mean to say that it’s burdensome, it’s not. It’s just not as easy as it looks. You can read ANYTHING that I write and find something that is worded wrong, not shown enough reverence in your opinion, perceived that I’m trying to focus on something other than God, and the list goes on.

But let me say, most of the people that are out there stepping up to the plate for God have pure intentions. We are only human. I tried last night to get ready for the next person that slams something that I have written. I thought about formulating a generic response such as, “Thanks for stopping by. I really appreciate you giving me the benefit of the doubt.” There needs to be a universal sarcastic font for that statement and I would probably need to capitalize some of those words.

But instead of all of that, I read this morning in Romans 12  what I think we should do. This particular chapter is basically a summation of (C)christian living. I know not everyone will abide by Paul’s words, but I will.

Romans 12:16

Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! (emphasis is Paul’s, not mine)

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  • I’m totally “feelin'” this one! Looking forward to reading this guy’s site. Thanks for sharing. (Goes well with my post today about the gray areas 😉 ) Keep on, brother-friend.

    • Kevin

      Lara, as well as Seiji below, are two other authors that I read everyday. I would encourage everyone to stop by their blogs and check out how God is using them for good things.

      Headin’ your way now Lara….thanks for takin’ the time to stop by the campfire–the light shines brighter every time you do.

  • Here is a response from an email subscriber:

    It’s all about EFFORT-capitalized- lol- get um in the pen- doesn’t matter how, if they liked the way you did it or appreciated the dog on their heels or the rope on their butt. You stay the course. God will use your words according to the readers need… some need less words and more dog.. bless you vaya con Dios


  • You know, as I was reading this I felt kind of bad because I think I may be that kind of person :-\

    I like to think that I don’t grab at stuff like that to be contrary or because I don’t like what the person is saying (although I’m sure I have) but to facilitate discussion. Granted that it’s probably just as annoying one way or the other and I should remind myself to keep it relevant and stay out of the kind of annoying minutia that just irritates people.

    If the devil is in the details, perhaps we shouldn’t put our focus there.

    • Kevin

      I don’t think you are that kind of person at all, but you do add value like you did here.

      I think it’s all in the “tone” and “intent”. I welcome other points of view. As a matter of fact, I encourage it. However, when someone takes an idea and trashes it because they don’t agree…that’s another matter entirely. Sometimes, people have a knee jerk reaction and just start disagreeing instead of contemplating on whether or not God may be speakin’ truth through the author.

      In Jon’s post for example, a disagree-er said that God doesn’t always let us do the things we like to do. I agree with that, but I don’t think that God intentionally tries to make us miserable in the things he calls us to do. They pointed out Moses and Jonah as an example of that. There will always be situations that he calls us to do that are uncomfortable for us, but I don’t think that its an every day occurrence.

      I may not agree personally with everything someone writes, but I trust that they have prayed about their topic and that God will use it for His glory–no matter what I think. I know that God has used more of my mistakes than He has used the things that I have done right. I hope I capitalized all that correctly 😉

      • Dude – Glory should def be caps 😉

        • Kevin

          And you forgot to put a period at the end of your sentence Homey.

          • OK. you guys are just too funny. In my years as a newspaper editor, I have made more typos than a lot of people have ever written. When I occasionally asked someone to write me an article…and they worried about their spelling and grammar…I told ’em not to worry, that I would clean it all up later. That’s me….hoping to get my act all cleaned up later…in a biblical sense that is.

  • I like Seigi’s comment about the devil in the details. You have reminded me to give a little more grace to our fellow bloggers. Oh, and I’m sorry for that time I pointed out your confusing the words cavalry and Calvary in a comment (it’s one of my pet peeves) but it probably falls into that category of “nitpicking the capitals.”
    I really love your stuff (and Jon’s too). –Richard

    • Kevin

      I don’t remember that at all Richard. I obviously didn’t take offense at it, but that’s a pet peeve of mine too.

      I remember readin’ a blog the other day that said we couldn’t base our religion on believing that Jesus was the Son of God. I know what he meant (it must be more than an intellectual knowledge), it just wasn’t worded very well . His overall message was great and although I wanted to point out that believing Jesus is the Son of God is a “must have” starting point, I didn’t.

      Like I said with Sage, it’s all in the intent if we disagree with each other. My biggest question when I disagree is: What if they are right and I am wrong?

      I usually go try to study it or pray about it….not just criticize it on someone’s blog.

  • I know I am coming to the party late, but this is a great dialogue. I admire you guys for putting your heart on the line every time you press “publish.” It takes a lot of courage to open yourself up to criticism. Truth is, most of us that blog enjoy the discussion that comes when people come from different points of view. Intelligent discussion helps each of us see things a little more clearly and sometimes allows us to have more grace. Unfortunately, there are those that get caught up in the details. They are the one’s that inadvertently throw the baby out with the bath water.

    I like Kevin’s question, “What if they are right and I am wrong?” Most of us would choose are words more carefully if we would approach things from this perspective.

    • Kevin

      Lookin’ back on this post, it may seem that I was being a little “whiney”. I sure didn’t mean that people couldn’t disagree. I think it’s all in the tone and intent. When I don’t agree with something, I always go back to the scripture that states, “God uses the foolishness of the world to confound the wise.” Whenever I think that someone’s writing is foolish and I know something they don’t know–I pause and read that scripture over and over again.

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