Friday, February 27, 2009

God Wants You To Read This Post

Today's post is brought to you by Rachel Held Evans, who is currently working on her first book for Zondervan.  Enjoy!

I've been a Christian long enough to know that the best way to avoid unwanted advice is to play the God card. Want to blow your savings on a trip to Vegas? Just explain to your parents that God is leading you to minister among the sinners. Want to break up with your current boyfriend because you've got your eye on another? Try, "It's not you. It's God." Want to justify a career move, a relocation, a big family decision, or a new purchase? Tell anyone who questions you to take it up with God because it was His call, not yours. Want to avoid taking responsibility when things don't go as planned? Place the burden on a higher power and no one will blame you for your mistakes.

Trust me. It works. In fact, I've gotten pretty good at playing the God card over the years. I've even found ways to gently slip it into my conversations in order to appear spiritual without being overt. For example, by calling the creative financing involved in the purchase of my new gas-guzzling SUV a "blessing," I avoid uncomfortable questions about whether I really needed a third vehicle in my driveway to begin with. Clearly, it was a gift from God. No one is going to challenge His act of mercy and benevolence.

Other useful words and phrases include: "calling" (It is my calling to quit school and start a band), "peace" (I feel an inner peace about my decision to date my best friend's ex), and "laid it on my heart" (God has laid it on my heart to tell you you're an idiot.)

Of course, playing the God card is pretty simple until someone plays it on you. It's always a bit awkward when God tells you to do a Bible study on the book of Romans and your co-leader to do a Bible study on the book of Revelation. (In that situation I would recommend recruiting a friend whose affinity for the Romans Road can serve as a confirmation of God's will in the matter. "Seeking confirmation" is code for finding someone who agrees with you.)

But be warned that playing the God card can sometimes lead to heated discussions, like when He seems to want both John McCain and Barack Obama to be president. It's inevitable that some know-it-all will ask how God could be both for the war and against it, both for amnesty and against it, both a Democrat and a Republican-(making Him out to be some sort of divine flip-flopper, if you ask me.) Just ignore it, and go on "seeking confirmation" among friends who agree with you politically.  It's important to surround yourself with people like you so that God
tells everyone basically the same thing.

You see, playing the God card is a centuries-honored tradition, one we certainly don't want to neglect. During the Civil War, both the Union and the Confederacy claimed the favor of God, with Christians from the South using the Bible to support their ownership of slaves. The Crusades of the Middle Ages were often justified by the notion that God wanted to usher in His kingdom through the conquering of non-Christian people.  When Galileo suggested that the earth might move, the Church gently reminded him that God wanted it to stay still. Our history proves that playing the God card can help you get what you want.

I would only caution that you refrain from playing the God card when talking with non-Christians. For some reason, these folks seem to think it is somehow disingenuous to use God to support your decisions, a sin comparable to taking His name in vain. But what do they know?

Otherwise, feel free to play the God card when you don't want to answer uncomfortable questions or take responsibility for your actions. I'll be happy to serve as confirmation of God's will anytime you need - unless of course He's told me something different.

1 comment:

  1. God told me to tell you this is a great post!

    I've played this card throughout much of my life. Like in college, when I told my now-wife [then-girlfriend] that God would probably punish her for breaking up with me. Thank GOD she didn't listen to ME! I had to fall flat on my face, and obviously didn't hear God saying so.