Just when I thought you couldn't get any dumber, you go and do something like this ... and totally redeem yourself!
The book's cover was too enticing to leave in the "Super Bargain" section: The 10 Dumbest Things Christians Do, by Mark Atteberry.
I've decided it's a worthwhile read, but also worthy of a blog series and perhaps even a Sunday school series.
By way of introduction, I share some quotes and the table of contents, intending to offer a weekly post interacting with each chapter's theme.
Along the way, I welcome your feedback, stories, and suggestions for "dumbest moves" runners up.
"Right now, there's every reason to believe that several people in your church are working daily to frustrate God and hinder the progress of His kingdom." (xi)These 10 are things often done in ignorance. That is, the people aren't intentionally trying to sabotage the work of God with their actions, but they are nonetheless.
Why do Christians do these dumb things? According to the Mark Atteberry ...
- "in some cases there's no 'book, chapter, and verse' that condemns them. As a result, they're very rarely discussed, let alone denounced, from the pulpit or in print."
- "they often involved some sort of religious activity or behavior that makes it easy for us to blindly accept them."
- "they tend to be things we've done for years without anyone ever shrieking in horror, calling the cops, or telling us we can no longer serve on the deacon board."
- "On the contrary, some of the dumb things we do actually earn us respect and hearty congratulations from other believers who are just as blind to them as we are." (xii)
One of the things that rang true with me was his observation that these 10 dumbest things not only act to frustrate God's activity, but they must please the devil, who loves to see God's church in-fighting and being selfish and unsuccessful.
"I'm going to identify what I believe are the ten dumbest things we do to frustrate God and keep the devil in stitches." (xiii)
What are these 10 dumbest things?
- Dumb Move #1: Slinging Mud on the Bride of Christ
- Dumb Move #2: Winning People to the Church Rather Than to the LORD
- Dumb Move #3: Living Below the Level of Our Beliefs
- Dumb Move #4: Speaking Above the Level of Our Knowledge
- Dumb Move #5: Hopping from Church to Church
- Dumb Move #6: Fighting Among Ourselves
- Dumb Move #7: Missing Golden Opportunities
- Dumb Move #8: Settling for Mediocrity
- Dumb Move #9: Allowing Wolves to Live Among the Sheep
- Dumb Move #10: Accepting the Unacceptable
I think the pastors out there will most readily recognize and appreciate these 10 dumbest things, even though we all might have been guilty of at least a few of these in the past. Hopefully, these aren't in our future.
Atteberry offers 2 Cor 6:3 as our goal with regard to church ministry:
"We put no obstacle in anyone's way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry" (ESV)
I pray our churches don't contribute to the trite excuse of "bad church experiences" being used to justify the lack of church involvement.
(Click to get a copy of The 10 Dumbest Things Christians Do, in case you want to read along.)