I think my mechanic is ripping me off.
My wife and I just took her car in yesterday. We can’t seem to get out of there without spending a few hundred dollars. Last month, I took my car in for an inspection. An inspection is twelve dollars. How much did I spend? Two-hundred…on something that the car “needed” in order to pass inspection. Funny, I had been careening wildly down the highway in a speeding death trap for a year and didn’t even know it until I spent two-hundred bucks to fix it.
The worst part is, the auto shop advertises itself as being “Christian.”
It got me thinking about something. Most Christians kind of wish that everyone would become Christians. Something about a Great Commission or something. It’d be great to know our kids’ teachers were Christians. But there’s some groups of people that it’s just really inconvenient if they advertise themselves as Christians…
Four Inconvenient Christians
I know what you’re thinking. It’s really tough to find a reliable, honest mechanic. I should jump at the chance to do business with a Christian mechanic. I am highly suspicious of mechanics as it is. I laugh at people who go to the dealership for auto work. George Costanza and I are a lot alike at the dealership. But I just feel like I’m being gouged at this place.
First of all, he’s not a certified Christian mechanic. I know an owner of a Christian bookstore that I don’t think is a Christian. (His use of the word opportunist to describe himself as a businessman kind of sent up a red flag.) Point being, just because someone calls himself a Christian, or puts a Jesus fish on his truck, that doesn’t make him a Christian.
Plus, it creates an additional problem. With any other mechanic, I assume they are ripping me off, and I have no problem saying so to their faces and taking my business elsewhere. With the Christians, how can I be so sure they’re ripping me off? I should assume that Christians are being honest and fair, and it just makes it tougher to judge if I’m paying too much. It’d be so much easier to know if I was being bilked if they were a bunch of heathans.
The creators of Family Guy and South Park
Here’s two shows that Christians love to be offended by. Probably because the creators of both shows love to offend Christians. That’s a win-win situation there. Both depict Jesus in pretty irreverent ways on a semi-regular basis. Though at least South Park is an equal-opportunity offendor, and for that reason seems better in my book. Any show that will depict Muhammad wearing a giant goofy bear costume (thus the prophet is never seen) is pretty gutsy. Family Guy goes for the easy offenses, because Christians are a convenient and generally non-violent target.
I wondered if it would soothe us Christians at all to find out that the creators of these shows actually love Jesus and are just doing a bunch of self-depreciating humor, or a sly commentary on what society has done to Jesus. Or would we hate their shows even more because they should be shining their Jesus light, not making irreverent cartoons? Well, there’s almost no chance that Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane is a Christian. But Trey Parker and Matt Stone of South Park have strong connections to Utah, and there may be some slim chance that they consider themselves Mormons. I know, not quite Christian by many Christians’ standards, but it’s still Jesus.
Any kind of salesman
See, flashing the Christian card is a two-edged sword. On the one hand, I appreciate the fact that this nice gentleman trying to sell me a car loves Jesus, because we now have something in common. On the other hand, I now feel obligated to support a “brother in the Lord” even if I hate his cars. Somehow, it feels harder to say “No, I hate everything you’re saying to me and your aftershave is too strong,” to another Christian.
I go to art shows once in a while. Ever go to an art show and see the one Christian artist there? It’s really hard to walk away without some Jesus art. Once you start pretending to be interested, just try walking away. The artists just sit there, looking at you with those doleful eyes, wanting to share their faith with you through mediocre, over-priced “art.”
When I’m engaged in some cut-throat bargain hunting, it’s no time for touchy-feely Jesus to sway the transaction. My parents were looking for a handyman to do some little jobs around their home a few years ago. So a couple in church suggest their adult son who is a “handyman.” Christian? Check. Know the family? Check. Big mistake? Check. The guy had no skills, work ethic, or tools. Except that he was a tool. He messed up the job, wouldn’t fix it, and his parents demanded that my folks still pay him. Thanks a million, Jesus freaks.
Clowns or ventriloquists
I am still baffled at the existence of The Jeff Dunham Show on Comedy Central, even if it was for only seven episodes (though they still enjoy reruns.) How does a ventriloquist land a series on a major cable network in the twenty-first century?
See, Christians have this hang-up about God having a grand plan for our lives. Once we get saved and dunked and we get the Holy Spirit, God gives us his plan for what we’re supposed to do. It needs to be really awesome, and make a huge difference in the world, or it doesn’t count.
Now, I have nothing against clowns. Clowns can be helpful…I guess. It makes perfect sense for some people to be clowns. But say you’re being entertained by a clown making balloon animals, or a “statue man” or a guy with a wooden friend. First, I would question how entertained you really are. But then, lets say you happen to see a Jesus fish on the clown car. It just seems like that would be a bit of a disappointment. In all of God’s wisdom, his grand plan is for you (and the twenty-six other people in the car) to be clowns. Maybe if God was sending clowns to African slums, I could get that. But I hear the extreme heat just wreaks havok on their puffy rainbow hair.
Does dealing with Christians make it better for you in any of these situations, or does it make it worse? What other inconvenient Christians can you think of?