5 Useful Venn Diagrams for Your Christian Church

If you’re wondering why there’s a slight gnawing in the back of your mind on Sunday mornings, here’s some of my theories, in no particular order…

Having grown up in the church, and then endeavoring to bring love and joy to those outside it, I’ve come to be aware of some paradoxes, issues, and contradictions that churches may be, in part, blind to, even while they seek truth and love with a deep passion.

These things vary from church to church, but there will always be churches that have trouble overcome particular vices.

So, I’ve compiled a handy list of some things that don’t quite make sense, on the hole, for Christian churches these days.

  • DISCLAIMER: I have never, nor will I ever, attend a church with either ALL or NONE of these flaws, and I expect I will never find one as such.
  • ADDITIONAL DISCLAIMER: The following are representations of my own educated guesswork. I have done no research to support these theories, except for my own experience in dealing with “churchies” and “non-churchies,” good people and bad people, rich people and poor people.

1. How Christian churches discern right and wrong.

What does the Bible actually teach? And how should we apply it? Your journey is unique.

For some reason, pastors at large think it’s a good idea to tell you what worked for them. Well, that’s great for you, Dr. Osteen, but no one prays themselves wealthy. Some people pray and are wealthy. More people pray and are poor.

Try focusing on how to love people instead. That’s the real treasure.

2. “Swearing” and “Cursing”

What the fuck is OK to say in church, and what the fuck isn’t?

For some reason, expressions like “fuck that bitch” and “to hell with that” and “Gosh darn that Joe Biden” all fall somewhere on an invisible scale.
The stuff that MIGHT be ok to say in church, depending on what church you go to. Or it might not. But don’t count on any sort of guidelines to be present, except the reaction of the people you might offend.

Language in the church is widely dependent on, you guessed it, the culture we live in (which happens to be America) and we have this weird dichotomy of being ok with “cursing” outside of church, but not within it.

Isn’t it all just language? Don’t be an asshole.

3. Divorce should be avoided at all costs.

There is OBVIOUSLY a simple explanation that can fix everything.

If you are divorced, you have clearly committed an unreasonable and unbearable act that defines you as a sinner and highlights your inability to succeed at what is most important at life.

What’s that? You say divorce is so deep and complicated that no one who isn’t divorced could understand? Complete hogwash. It’s obvious that you didn’t pray enough. Get back in your pew.

4. You cannot and should not doubt.

You’re not 100% certain beyond any deliberation? Clearly you haven’t prayed hard enough!

Behold the “Olive of Doubt.”

Not only is doubt unwelcome, it is discouraged, anathematized, and scorned by the zealous. If you doubt, you are not free to search, learn, or wonder. You MUST be certain or you cannot truly be accepted.

If you’re one of those people who talk about your doubts and fears in church, despite your fellow church-goers looks of judgment, you’re a stronger person than I am.

Questioning the Universe is normal. Questioning your purpose is normal. Questioning the supernatural is normal. Questioning spiritual concepts is normal.

If you are made to feel abnormal for questioning things or doubting your church’s teachings, question its leadership. Those who have overcome doubt should never judge those with whom doubt still wrestles.

We are and were all doubters at some point.

5. Homosexual immorality is a sin, heterosexual immorality is a sin, but homosexual sin is worse than heterosexual sin.

  • This one needs two diagrams, because there’s two main issues.
Wait, there’s no gay or straight on here… Hmmmmm…
Good people and bad people are separated by sexual orientation, nor does one specific orientation preclude the possibility that you are unbelievably arrogant and hypocritical.

Gay, lesbian, straight, bi, queer, trans, confused, non-conforming, etc… We all have something in us that makes us a little selfish, brutal, uncaring, careless, callous, or broken. Pick any combination of those you want. Nobody is all good or all bad; they’re just different, with their own unique ways of looking out for themselves.

Likewise, we all have a form of caring, selfless, altruistic, gentle, kind, and forgiving traits within us that come out even in the midst of our own self-centered moments.

Good people sometimes do bad things, and bad people sometimes do good things.

All people are somewhere on this chart, and change with the passage of time, depending their own life choices, genetics, family, and socioeconomic demographics.

We need to stop pretending that in God’s eyes some sins are worse than others. There’s a difference between the theory that there are “worse sins” and the undeniable fact that some sins have worse worldly consequences than others.

Most people are right there in the middle half the time, depending on where they are in their story arch.

I hope these diagrams have been informative and helpful in understanding some of my theories about today’s modern Christian church.

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