Originally I was going to write about how to be a good Christian but then what do I know of that? I’ve spent years of my life developing my expertise in the opposite area so that’s what I’m going to write the guide on.
Ladies and Gentlemen, without further ado, I present to you: The Idiot’s Guide to being a Rubbish Christian
Let’s start with the basics and you don’t get any more basic than reading your Bible. Initially I was going to recommend you didn’t read it all but then if you don’t even do that what’s the difference between you and the heathen?
No, to avoid feelings of guilt it is best to do some Bible reading. But this chore can easily be circumvented. First, read the Bible at irregular times, you’ll be more likely to forget this way but you can still feel better about having planned to read the Bible. Second thing is to read the Bible in a place or at a time when distractions abound. This makes the reading go very quickly and generally stops you from having concentrate on what you read.
Another fantastic piece of advice I’ve found that works is to read the Bible as quickly as you possibly can. Whatever you do, do not, I repeat, do not try and apply Bible passages to your own life and circumstances. Read it like you would read a trashy novel – in one ear and out the other.
Oh, and if you come to a bit you don’t understand I won’t recommend seeking advice. It’s probably not meant to be understood or you’re not intelligent to understand. Definitely don’t pray before you read the Bible, it could lead to all sorts of trouble.
You’ll hear of some people who memorise scripture. They’re abnormal freaks. You’ve got far too much to do and too little time on your hand to invest any energy into doing that.
Unfortunately, it is very hard not to pray at some point during the week. You’ll lose your keys, hear bad news, become stressed, feel anxious or worry and a prayer will just slip out. Don’t worry, this is perfectly normal and is generally considered acceptable behaviour. Even non-Christians pray at times like this.
What is to be avoided are extended (i.e. more than a few minutes) sessions of prayer. This, you’ll be pleased to hear, is easy to achieve. Again, like with the Bible readings try and make sure you’re distracted while praying. An excellent idea is to pray just before you have something one; this way you’ll rush through your prayer requests.
Do not under any circumstances make a prayer list! Not only is it a bit pathetic it also helps you remember all you have to pray for and it stops you being distracted. This is bad! Extended prayer will often lead you to opening yourself up to God and if you do that God opens himself up to you and who knows where that could lead! Ten out of ten cases of ECA (Extreme Christian Action) are a result of prayer.
Ok, as a Christian going to church is generally unavoidable. Fear not, there are ways and means around this. The best tip is to only go to one service. Who needs two? You’re a good enough Christian to only need one. Secondly, never get involved in your church. In fact, try and change churches mid year. This will help avoid unwanted attention.
The worst thing that can happen would be to get a student worker or older Christian on your tail, phoning you up, checking how you’re doing and making you feel guilty for your lack of commitment. If this happens the only option left to you is to change church. When you choose a new church choose a big church as you’re more likely to go unnoticed.
You also want to avoid any church whose Pastor preaches challenging sermons. This is not why you go to church. You go to church to meet friends, socialise and get invited out for a meal.
To do list:
Add up the hymn numbers
Play noughts and crosses with a friend
Check your phone without anyone noticing
Subtract hymn numbers
Think about the TV show you were watching to the early hours of last night
Repeatedly zone out of the sermon
The first rule about prayer meetings is DON’T GO TO PRAYER MEETINGS!
You only go away feeling encouraged, challenged and fired up for Christ. Prayer meetings are in the evening for a reason – to give you an excuse not to go. Try to find a sports group that has training sessions everyday your church has a prayer meeting.
If you do happen to find yourself at a prayer meeting then whatever you do don’t open yourself up before everyone there. They don’t care and more importantly they might see through your shallow façade.
What? Are you kidding me? Bible studies are for Bible bashers. Avoid.
No, you're pulling my leg here. Do you really think that studying theology is a good use of your god-given mind? Do you really think that trying to formalise your thoughts on the great truths of the Bible is a good idea? Who to you think you are? Some argumentative dolt?
The important thing to remember about theology is that you should never allow yourself to be open to correction. Your theology is perfect just the way it is. A lot of the deep truths of the Bible such as: pre-destination, election, free will vs. God's sovereignty, the Trinity, etc are just too difficult for you. Ignore them. They might even go away
If you go treat CU as a dating club or at the very least a chance to catch up with friends. Try not to go regularly or you might get roped into doing something.
You’ll be pleased to know that there are only three categories that other Christians fall into.
Holier than thou
These keen beans are seemingly filled with an irrepressible desire to do ‘God’s work’. Don’t feel guilty than you’re not like that. They’re special people doing special things and you can no way hope to live up to the example they set. Anyway, you want to be the cool kid not the keen bean. If God had wanted for you to be like them he won’t have made you a lazy lackabout.
And anyway, who to they think they are? Ghandi? They’re probably only pretending to be keen to show off. You must always remember the golden rule: Holy = bad. Cool = good.
Same as thou
Worse than thou
The excellent news is that you’ll also be able to find a Christian who is worse than you. Look down on these people! Thank God that you’re not like them. Use them to boost your own self importance and ego. You’re better than them and you should always remember that. If you ever feel guilty about your low spiritual state think about these guys and you’ll feel much better.
There are two schools of thought when it comes to non Christians. I’ll mention them both.
They’re heathens. They’ll corrupt you. Stay away. Find a holy huddle of Christians and stick right there. Do not attempt to befriend, to not associate yourself with them, do not pass go, do not collect 200.
Why? Because non Christians have a nasty habit of noticing inconsistencies and asking difficult questions. Obviously, you don’t want to have to say you don’t know the answer to a question they ask. And you definitely don’t want to be confronted by your own hypocrisy and weakness.
Only make non Christian friends. Do not make any Christian friends. If you make friends with a Christian then they might be better than you! They might challenge you, make you feel guilty or worse try and pray with you (see above for note on praying).
Why would anyone want to hear the good news of Jesus Christ as Saviour of sins? Why would any want to hear the promise of eternal life? Why would anyone want to know that they are a sinner desperately in need of salvation?
Non Christians don’t want to hear and you don’t want to tell them. It’s a win-win situation. You’ll only embarrass yourself if you try or make them think less of you.
But if you do find yourself feeling guilty try and compartmentalise your evangelism. Don’t treat as something you should try and do with your entire life; just do it an evening a week (or two weeks). Set your Facebook status as a bible verse and that will last you the month.
Yes, yes, God first, you know that. But…well, put it this way. If you want to go to the pub rather than help spread the good news of Jesus Christ I’m sure God will understand. If you put an essay before church then that’s fine because God wouldn’t want you to fail uni would he?
Bad word! Rubbish Christians don’t sin. If you become convicted of a sin in your life do everything you possible can to drown out this thought. Do anything other than confront this sin. Do not pray. Do not be accountable to anyone else. Certainly don’t see God in repentance asking for forgiveness.
You’re poor and a student. Giving is only for relatively rich people. You can give later. You gave ten pounds about six months ago, you’re fine. Buy another useless product from Amazon. Your bank account is far too low to give.
Make no mistake, to perfect the art of being a rubbish Christian the most important aspect is to pretend you’re not. The whole idea of rubbish Christianity is that no one will ever know your engaging in it. You need to clothe yourself in a false veener of self righteousness. Judge others before they judge you. Never, I repeat, never, I stress, never admit any weakness, sin or fault. You Are Perfect. And you need to damn well make sure everyone knows it.
I’ve done all I can. I’ve given you the best advice I can. I encourage you to take heart – being a rubbish Christian is actually rather easy. It merely involves not doing things. And that’s no big deal. The trick is to fill your life with other things that obscure the whole Christianity thing. Oh, and you’re not alone. By default every Christian follows the above guide.
I’m afraid that I’m going to have to end on a bit of a downer. Unfortunately, Paul writes at one point:
“In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 1 v 4 – 6
So, as you try and become a rubbish Christian bear in mind that it’s you against God.
You’ll need it.