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How to Be a Perfect Christian

The Babylon Bee

How to Be a Perfect Christian

The Babylon Bee

$26.99

Hardback

With a biting, satirical style reminiscent of The Onion, How to Be a Perfect Christian takes a humorous look at the quirks of cultural Christianity while subtly challenging the reader to search for more than a cultural faith.

Written in the trademark style of The Babylon Bee, this book humorously satirizes cultural Christianity while peppering in subtle challenges to the reader. Through humor and sarcasm (and a handy meter to rank your "holiness" as you progress through the book), readers will be called to find a more biblical understanding of the Christian faith, all while poking fun at the quirks of the modern American Christian community.

The Babylon Bee is the most popular Christian satire website, with more than 300,000 Facebook fans, and over 70,000 visitors to the website daily. They are a trusted voice in humour across a wide range of modern Christians.

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About "How to Be a Perfect Christian"

With a biting, satirical style reminiscent of The Onion, How to Be a Perfect Christian takes a humorous look at the quirks of cultural Christianity while subtly challenging the reader to search for more than a cultural faith.

Written in the trademark style of The Babylon Bee, this book humorously satirizes cultural Christianity while peppering in subtle challenges to the reader. Through humor and sarcasm (and a handy meter to rank your "holiness" as you progress through the book), readers will be called to find a more biblical understanding of the Christian faith, all while poking fun at the quirks of the modern American Christian community.

The Babylon Bee is the most popular Christian satire website, with more than 300,000 Facebook fans, and over 70,000 visitors to the website daily. They are a trusted voice in humour across a wide range of modern Christians.
- Koorong

:
- Publisher

Meet the Author

The Babylon Bee

The Babylon Bee is the most popular Christian satire website, with more than 300,000 Facebook fans, and over 70,000 visitors to the website daily. They are a trusted voice in humour across a wide range of modern Christians.

Excerpt

Excerpt from: How to Be a Perfect Christian

:

One

Joining the Right Church

If you’ve ever felt a modicum of displeasure at your church, even if just for a fleeting second, get out of there immediately and find a new one.

—C. S. Lewis


You want to be a perfect Christian, and that is a noble goal indeed. But first things first. It’s impossible to get to the maximum level of holiness if you’re currently attending a church that is focused on the wrong things, namely, on anything other than you.

Paul David Tripp once wrote that church is a place “where flawed people place their faith in Christ, gather to know and love him better, and learn to love others as he designed.” It’s a nice sentiment, but it’s also completely wrong. Flawed people? Excuse us, Paul, but we’re trying to become absolutely perfect here, not hang out with a bunch of messed-up folks. We don’t need that kind of negativity in our lives.

And neither do you—which is why you’re reading this book. [1]

We know you may have feelings of loyalty or attachment to the humble, local expression of the body of Christ that you’ve been a part of for years. You need to rid yourself of these unholy emotions. It’s time to step back and objectively evaluate whether or not your church is properly equipped to encourage you on your sacred quest to become the ultimate manifestation of impeccable spirituality.

So open your eyes and start looking for the red flags that indicate your church isn’t a spiritually fulfilling congregation.

Some of the most common warning signs that your church isn’t conducive to your personal growth into a perfect Christian include a pastor who preaches sermons that make you feel uncomfortable, a worship experience that centers your attention more on God than on your own feelings, and a church staff who refuse to incorporate the advice from the thousands of helpful comment cards you’ve left over the years. These kinds of churches are dangerous. If you find yourself treading water in a similar spiritual wasteland, it’s time for your very first step toward spiritual awesomeness: church shopping.

Your journey to living a flawless Christian life begins today! Ditch that group of hopeless losers who have been holding you back and instead find a church that’s built around you—and all of your needs and desires.

According to recent research, every single town in America has a minimum of 6,521,587 churches to choose from, so you’ve got your work cut out for you. You actually have a better chance of winning the lottery while getting struck by lightning than of picking a good church near you on the first shot. So it’s a great thing you have this book to help you out.

In the olden days of the apostles (circa 1950), there were just a few churches in town. If you wanted to visit one, you had to put on your Sunday best and build up the courage to march right in the front door without having a clue as to what to expect. What a nightmare. But—thanks be to God—these are the days of the World Wide Web, a magical portal to all kinds of great resources (and almost nothing bad or degrading—lots of wholesome stuff, mostly). So you get what the church fathers could only dream of: the benefit of shopping around online for a church from the comfort of your own home.

Approximately twenty years after the magical Internet sprung up out of nowhere and revolutionized modern communication and commerce, churches discovered they, too, could create a website and spread the good news through the magic of technology. So the first step in selecting a new, improved local body of Christ is to Google churches nearby and start separating the wheat from the chaff.

Try search terms like “church near me that has cool coffee bar” or “church near me that isn’t weird or stuffy” or “good trendy church near me that uses T-shirt cannons.” Just have fun with it. You ought to use any search terms you think will help you sift through the millions of nonpersonalized churches in your area and find a true diamond in the rough: a church that emphasizes and cultivates the historical Christian virtues of convenience and comfort.

Your search will likely return approximately four billion hits, but don’t worry—we’ll sort through them together.

The first thing to look at is the church’s name, which provides all kinds of clues to help rule out churches that stubbornly refuse to cater to your felt needs 24/7. A lame name is a big no-no.

What you’re really looking for is a church with a name that either sounds like a retirement community or a natural disaster.

Whispering Pines Community Church or Cedar Grove Church, for instance, are probably churches that are worthy of your presence. These names could easily be confused with an apartment complex, a mini-mall, or a delightful retirement community—consider this a sign that you’re on the right track.

Alternatively, the church should have a name reminiscent of a destructive act of God. For example, consider checking out churches with names like Granite Deluge of Life, Floodwaters Collective, Whirlwind Love Fellowship, or Blazing Inferno Church. If the church sounds like its name alone could crush you under the destructive weight of its awesomeness, you’re probably going to be in for an exciting, you-centric experience.

What you should be very cautious of is any church with a name that brazenly indicates an affiliation with any of the major evangelical denominations, just hanging out there for the whole world to see. First Baptist Church, Grace Methodist Church, or New Life Presbyterian Church are examples of churches to avoid. After all, you’re looking for an organic, custom-fit experience, not a stuffy old denomination. If the church meets you halfway with a name like Hurricane of Life Baptist, proceed, but with caution.

Speaking of Baptists, this would be a good time to get into some specifics about denominations. There are several denominations to choose from. So let’s break down what each of them has in store for you.

If you do decide to go with a Baptist church, it’s certainly a noble heritage. Baptist churches have been around since, well, John the Baptist. It’s right in his name. This means that Baptist churches have literally been around since before the New Testament, so you know you’re going to please God by attending one of His elect church denominations.

Be warned, however, that Baptist churches come with a lot of rules, even though you do get really great potlucks chock full of superhealthy food. First of all, you can’t consume any drink stronger than a Diet Mountain Dew within fifty feet of a Baptist church. Trust us, it’s in the church’s bylaws. Also, the closest you’re allowed to get to dancing is an awkward swaying motion during a really powerful praise chorus or hymn, and even that’s a real gray area, so be really, really careful.

If the Baptists sound too stuffy, you could try the Pentecostals, who allow you to get drunk, but only on the Holy Spirit (it’s not as awesome as it sounds). Pentecostalism was conceived by a group of Christians who were totally high after attending a particularly groovy ABBA concert in Southern California in the fall of ’79. As a result, this denomination is totally cool with dancing, especially during worship songs, sermons, announcements, the offertory—it’s pretty much Soul Train at all times when you’re among a charismatic congregation. Just be sure to pack your own tambourine or dancing ribbon so you’ll fit right in when wild, noisy gyrations begin erupting all around you.

For those of you who consider yourselves truly righteous, you might want to choose a Presbyterian or Reformed church. [2] These guys don’t have time to mess around, so you’d better fall in line once you join their ranks. So much as a single hand raised in the air during an awesome, obscure hymn you’ve probably never heard of can land you a disciplinary hearing with the deacons—and you do not want to mess with them. There are stories of Reformed deacon boards “disappearing” problem parishioners and erasing any evidence of their existence from all public records. They’re cool with beer though, as long as it’s a craft microbrew with a high enough alcohol content to put down a mature African elephant. [3]

Mainline denominations can be a nice choice because they won’t really hold you to any theological standards. Mainline doctrinal statements consist solely of questions. But by the time you’ve finished reading this sentence, odds are that every mainline church near you will have closed its doors due to bleeding beliefs and declining attendance. So that’s probably not a solid option for you anyway.

If in your searching you happen to unearth a disquieting website featuring the Times New Roman font, late twentieth-century design principles, several spinning GIFs of Satan’s likeness, and links to hundreds of articles about how the NIV was created by an alliance between Beelzebub and the Illuminati in an Area 51 research lab, you’ve stumbled upon a King James–only church. Feel free to check them out, but make sure you bring your ESV, NLT, or The Message translation with you when you go. They are really reasonable and level-headed when it comes to discussing translations other than the Authorized Version from 1611, and dialoguing with these folks can be a joyful and edifying experience. [4]

So you could try any of the above denominations, but then you’d end up being a total weirdo and not a cool, spiritual, holy, perfect Christian.

Wait…what?

Yes, we tricked you. Did you think it would be that easy to become a perfect Christian?

If you’ve been paying even the slightest bit of attention, you ought to understand that you should avoid all of the crazy name-brand quacks and just jump right into a nondenominational paradise.

So go back to your Google search. Click on the most promising nondenom link you see with a sweet name, and let’s check out their online presence.

In addition to a killer church name and a lack of denominational identity, a church that will help you achieve perfection will have a superslick website. Any local body that hasn’t updated its upcoming-events page since the fall picnic of 2002 should be rejected out of hand. Their lack of Web 3.0 skills obviously indicates they don’t care about Jesus at all. You want up-to-the-minute information telling everyone what the pastor is up to, live streaming video for those Sundays when you just don’t feel like going to church, and tons of upcoming events and programs for your entertainment.

Once you manage to find a website belonging to a run-of-the-mill nondenominational church displaying acceptable web design prowess, there are a few other key indicators to look for to make sure it’s the kind of place you want to be on a Sunday morning.

One of the marks of a healthy church website is the frequent use of heavily filtered stock images that perfectly encapsulate that aesthetic you need to truly worship the Lord. If the church site you’re checking out has pictures of people with a realistic level of attractiveness, close your Internet tab right away and try again. Ideally, the church you target will feature several images of young, unrealistically attractive models smiling and raising their hands as if worshipping with reckless abandon or desperately trying to flag down a passing car.

Another important mark of a healthy church is that it does not have a statement of faith. If there is a list of dogmatic beliefs anywhere on the website, no matter how well it’s hidden, run. Flee. Stay very far away. At most, allow for the church to have a vague page titled “Our Journey” or “The God Story” that lays out a very fluid set of general teachings in poetic cadence. A beliefs page that simply lists some U2 lyrics is all right by us too, as long as they’re not from that awful Pop album.

 

Unacceptable

Statement of Faith

Excerpt

We believe the Bible to

be the Word of God,

perfect in all its parts,

truth without any

mixture of error, and

useful for all areas of

the believer’s life.

 

Acceptable

Statement of Faith

Excerpt

In the locust wind comes a rattle and hum

Jacob wrestled the angel

And the angel was overcome

 

Remember, you’re going to be stuck at this place for months or, in rare instances, years. You want a place that’s not going to pin you down too rigidly on any of your key doctrinal beliefs. Their positions should be vague enough that you can slip by with your shifting, undefined understanding of the Christian faith completely intact. We know it’s difficult to pass on a church that checks all the right boxes but fails in this regard, but we’re looking out for you, and you have to trust us. The last thing you want is to be forced to take a stance on a core doctrine of the Christian faith. This is for your own good, brother or sister in Christ!

Navigating through the website’s various pages and menus, you ought to find their logo prominently displayed (ideally, it should take up the entire top half of your screen, but we won’t be too rigid on this). Make sure the church has a logo that is just straight fire. Literally. It should have fire in it. Or water. Glorious, blazing fire or cool, refreshing water. But barring these two metaphorical images, something really modern and ornate is ideal. A simple cross or clip-art image of a Bible is so ten years ago and not befitting a cutting-edge body of Christ or a Christian as awesome as you.

Finally, surf your way to the part of the website where you can check out the vast array of ministries and services your potential new church has to offer. If you find only Sunday morning services, Wednesday night Bible studies, and a small group or two listed, that’s just not gonna cut it. This is a huge red flag, and you’ve got to cut this one loose. A respectable church should offer more upcoming shindigs than any local club, venue, or arena. We’re talking no less than three dozen wild events in the next month. That’s a bare minimum.

 


[1] We again commend you on your impeccable discernment in choosing this piece of literature. Some suckers are reading a Tim Keller book right now with all his C. S. Lewis quotes and Lord of the Rings excerpts. Chumps, all of them. Keller books are a dime a dozen, while this book is going to go down in the annals of history as a turning point for Christianity. Think Pilgrim’s Progress or The Purpose Driven Life, then kick it up a few levels, and that’s the book you’re holding right now. Not quite canonical, but the next best thing.

[2] Of course, never, ever say you chose a Reformed church. Always say that God, in His sovereignty, predestined you from eternity past to attend said church, for His glory alone.

[3] We’ll have more to say about beer later in the book.

[4] Please note: The Babylon Bee bears no responsibility for your well-being should you attempt this maneuver.

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Product Details

Product Details
  • Catalogue Code 486987
  • Product Code 9780735291522
  • ISBN 0735291527
  • EAN 9780735291522
  • Pages 208
  • Department General Books
  • Category Humour/quizzes/puzzles
  • Sub-Category General
  • Publisher Multnomah Publishers
  • Publication Date May 2018
  • Sales Rank #10895
  • Dimensions 203 x 131 x 13 mm
  • Weight 0.314kg

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