Dr. Richard Beck is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Abilene Christian University.
He has a great piece where he goes after other Christians for something he dislikes about their (his) subculture:
Personal acts of piety and devotion are vital to a vibrant spiritual life and continued spiritual formation. But all too often “working on my relationship with God” has almost nothing to do with trying to become a more decent human being.
The trouble with contemporary Christianity is that a massive bait and switch is going on. “Christianity” has essentially become a mechanism for allowing millions of people to replace being a decent human being with something else, an endorsed “spiritual” substitute…
To illustrate his point, he uses the example of Christian tipping on Sundays — a point I’ve talked about here before. It’s no surprise that servers *hate* working on Sundays precisely because they know Christians will be coming in and tipping them nothing. Or next to nothing, if they’re lucky…
Millions of Christians go to lunch after church on Sundays and their behavior is abysmal. The single most damaging phenomenon to the witness of Christianity in America today is the collective behavior of the Sunday morning lunch crowd. Never has a more well-dressed, entitled, dismissive, haughty or cheap collection of Christians been seen on the face of the earth.
… Rather than pouring our efforts into two hours of worship, bible study and Christian fellowship on Sunday why don’t we just take a moment and a few extra bucks to act like a decent human being when we go to lunch afterwards?
It’s a tremendous critique of Christianity coming from a person of faith. This is a piece all Christians ought to read, but I fear few will.
If they followed Beck’s advice, it wouldn’t make their beliefs any more reasonable, but it might make dealing with Christians that much more tolerable.
The Atheist raises a question he’d like to ask Christians after reading the piece:
… Is it more important to have a good relationship with your deity, or with the people around you? I’m not implying that the two are mutually exclusive, but clearly some people give preference to one over the other, and in my experience (and one would assume from the article, Dr Beck’s) it tends to be their deity.