College Jesus-Boy Who Didn’t Do His Homework Prayer

One time when I was eating at this fairly awful but cheap all-you-can-eat pizza joint, there was this group of local college boys from our local Christian College sitting at a table nearby, and one of them was telling the others that he had a test last week that he totally blew off and didn’t study for and the next day he prayed to God for help because if he flunked the test he was in danger of losing his scholarship and getting sent back home in dishonor and honest to God the teacher told the class he hadn’t had time to prepare the test so it was postponed for a week.  And this kid was bragging about it.  He was sharing this story with his friends as a blessing from God.  And claiming it as a spiritual victory.  And all his stupid college friends were high-fiving him and shouting God Is Good and I was more than a little bit appalled. 

Because in my Methodist-upbringing world, the idea of even asking God for something so selfish and stupid is sacrilegious and profane.  In my Methodist-upbringing world, one doesn’t ask God to get us off the hook for being lazy or stupid.  In my Methodist-upbringing world, this little shithead is probably going to burn in hell just for thinking it was ok to pray for something so dumb, but mostly for insulting God by confusing him with Santa Claus.

Really, when did the church get so concerned with bringing in and keeping the youth of today that they decided to forget all about the spiritual rules they used to impose upon themselves and flush those rules down the toilet?  My aunt went to a Southern Baptist church and her kids were not allowed to listen to rock music because it was sent by the devil and their preacher preached that he had scientific evidence that rock music causes people to sin, but today that same church has built a mega-church the size of an airport out by the highway and they have a full musical stage with guitars and drums and synthesizers and video backdrops that puts a Madonna tour to shame, and once a year at Easter they have a live crucifixion of Christ and I’m still not sure quite how they get away with that legally much less based on a general consensus of good and bad taste.

And yet and yet and yet – we’ll feed you Santa as God and bend our rules as we open our arms, but we still won’t allow gay people to enter heaven much less marry, and here in the south we still keep our black Southern Baptists segregated from our white Southern Baptists.  Our youth ministers are sexting our 14-year old daughters, but we’re ok with that as long as they ask Jesus to forgive them.  We spend more money on building mega-churches out of barn siding than we’d ever consider using to help the poor in our own community, or to feed the hungry, or provide shelter to those in need.  Women are still expected to be mothers first and have a career second, but in today’s economy definitely have a career, preferably one that pays better than her husbands so he can coast a bit but not too much more than his because that wouldn’t be right. 

We don’t want our kids to think about spirituality, we just want them to buy in to whatever our church sells them and stick around long enough to marry another church kid and have kids of their own and bring those kids to church and by the time they grow up we’ll have the live birth of baby Jesus every Christmas live on stage as well.

One of the college boys was wearing a t-shirt that said “It’s In The Bible, God Said It, I Believe It” and I thought, Gee kid, maybe you should actually read the freaking Bible before you start making claims to the world on your t-shirt, because everyone knows a t-shirt is the truest most effective evangelism and if it’s on a t-shirt it must be true.  And nowhere in the Bible does it state that God is Santa.  It states God is Love.  Santa and Love are really two different concepts entirely, Jesus Guy, so maybe you better grow up a little and think about your belief system a bit and figure out what it actually is you believe in. 

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