Farcical Worship – A Guest Post By Dacia Bryan

Like most bloggers, although I’ve “met” some of my blog readers via Facebook, email, or Twitter, I know very few of them in person. But Dacia is different. I met Dacia and her husband, David, while he was pastoring one of the churches in the Conference that I work for. A couple of summers ago, I got to know them a little better when they came and worked at our summer youth camps. And since most of the people I know “in real life” don’t read my blog, I was a little shocked (and flattered) when Dacia began to read it. A few months ago, she invited me to read her blog and I found out that she’s quite a talented writer and we have a lot more in common than I had realized. Last Wednesday, I invited her to write a guest post for me and she almost immediately sent me the following post. Please read & enjoy!

I’m about to type a phrase I use often, though you might find it offensive:

Jesus really doesn’t give a flying flip.

Okay, before you light the torches and grab the pitch forks, hear me out.  When I say this, I’m not referring to Christ’s sacrificial love for mankind, His unending love and grace for the sinner, or His eternal patience with His often disobedient chosen ones.  Nope.  I’m talking about the traditions of men…the modern pharisee-isms and ridiculous expectations the church has placed on Christians and non-Christians alike.

When I read Matthew 15, I come to understand that there are a lot of things we freak out about in the church world that don’t phase Jesus one bit.  If anything, Jesus is frustrated with us for the way we handle things.

Matthew 15:1-9 (New Living Translation)

1 Some Pharisees and teachers of religious law now arrived from Jerusalem to see Jesus. They asked him, 2 “Why do your disciples disobey our age-old tradition? For they ignore our tradition of ceremonial hand washing before they eat.”  3 Jesus replied, “And why do you, by your traditions, violate the direct commandments of God? 4 For instance, God says, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and ‘Anyone who speaks disrespectfully of father or mother must be put to death.’ 5 But you say it is all right for people to say to their parents, ‘Sorry, I can’t help you. For I have vowed to give to God what I would have given to you.’ 6 In this way, you say they don’t need to honor their parents. And so you cancel the word of God for the sake of your own tradition. 7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote,8 ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.9 Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’”

Farcical worship – how much of that is going on in the modern day church?  How many times have people become bitter backsliders, not because of inner struggles with temptation, but because of deep hurts caused by judgmental church people who were supposed to be their ‘brothers’ and ‘sisters’ in Christ?  There are too many instances and examples of this to name, so I’ll just touch on a few that really tick me off and make me want to ‘turn over the tables in the temple.’

Jesus doesn’t care if you wear jeans to church.  Honestly.  He doesn’t care if your hair is purple or pink.  He doesn’t care if you get your nose pierced.  That Tweety-Bird tattoo on her ankle is not a one-way-ticket to the fire and brimstone.  Jesus doesn’t care if you wear flip flops.  Seriously.  What do you think He was wearing walking the roads of Galilee?  And just to really go out on a limb, lightning is not going to descend from on high if you step foot on the sanctuary stage wearing a modest-length short.  Don’t annoy me with that “give Jesus your best” line either – for some people that nice pair of jeans is their best. You might find some teenager’s mohawk distracting, but I find that hideous flower print dress Sister Sanctified is wearing pretty distracting too.  Get over it!  Jesus cares that you are modest in your attire. Giving Jesus my best is about giving Him my devotion, my heart, my service, not about how much money I spent on the clothing I’m wearing to cover this tabernacle of flesh.

Jesus doesn’t care if you are black or white or brown or yellow or polka-dotted.  He doesn’t.  He doesn’t think our churches should be segregated by color.  What Jesus cares about is the state of the heart.  Are you redeemed?  Are you ready to face a holy God on judgment day?  Along those same lines, Jesus doesn’t frown upon interracial marriages OR the children who are born into them.  As a matter of fact, I don’t think there is such a thing as an ‘interracial marriage’ in God’s view at all.  And don’t give me that “society is just so difficult for the children from that kind of relationship” line either.  What you mean is “I just don’t know if I am comfortable with that.” Racism is sin.  If two people are desiring to build a life together, the only question we should ask is are the two people in this relationship saved to the uttermost? Are they living a ministry of marriage?  Are they raising their children in the faith?  If my daughter finds a man who loves her with passion, tenderness and respect second only to that of his love and devotion to Christ, then I don’t care if he’s an alien from planet Xenon.  Period.  Instead of freaking out about whether your kid is dating someone who looks different, why aren’t we freaking out because they are dating spiritual corpses?

Jesus doesn’t care if the music you worship to is southern gospel, contemporary, hymns or punk rock.  No really.  He doesn’t.  There are no voodoo demons in the drums.  Satan is not summoned by the sound of an electric guitar.  Playing Christian rap backwards will not reveal subliminal messages telling your grandkids to start wearing their “pants on the ground”.  My husband is fond of saying, “If God can sanctify me, He can sanctify a style of music.”  And this one goes both ways.  Just because it’s a hymn doesn’t mean the Holy Spirit can’t move in the midst of it either.  You don’t have to have four thousand repetitions of the chorus of Revelation Song for God to touch you!  Jesus just doesn’t care what it sounds like, or even if there is even any music at all – He cares where your heart is when you worship Him.  He cares about your focus, your passion, your sacrifice of praise.

Jesus doesn’t have a sliding scale for sin.  Joe smoking cigarettes is not higher up on the Sin-O-Meter than Sue gossiping.  Sally’s drug abuse does not create a more nauseating stench in the nostrils of God than John’s lying.  Tom’s adultery does not separate him further from God than Jill holding back her tithe to punish the preacher.  Sin is sin.  All sin separates us from Him.  All sin is offensive to His very nature of holiness.

                …..All sin will send us to a tortured eternity in hell…

                ….but all sin was covered by the blood of the Son of God upon the cross of Calvary….

We need to stop acting like the blood of Christ was enough to cover some sins, but not others.  We need to stop acting like people need to clean up their act before we allow them close enough to our altars for Christ to clean their heart.  Jesus doesn’t care where they’ve been…He only cares about where they are going.

So how many things are you focusing your thoughts, time and energy on things that Jesus really doesn’t give a flying flip about?

Dacia Bryan is the wife of Pastor David Bryan and mother to her four-year-old daughter Petra Sky Bryan.  She is a high school social studies teacher, a muscian, and an avid scrapbooker. You can check out her blog at http://girlcloud.wordpress.com/or follow her on Twitter at @daciabryan.

About Sarah Salter


  1. Well I hope you feel better now that you got that off your chest. 🙂 I understand what you’re saying. The words to a campfire song we used to sing were “You’ll know they are Christians by their love.” Whatever happened to that “love” anyhow?

  2. Yoo Hoo. I like that..And you are so right…I totally agree with you. BTW wish I could e-mail this to someone.. LOL.. but Major H. probably still wouldn’t get the drift.. Anyway.. That was definitely a good one Sister Sarah…

  3. Preach it, sister! It’s so true. We get tripped up by the silliest things sometimes. Enjoyed this post a lot. Thanks.

  4. Elizabeth says:

    This is so true. We, Barbara, were talking just about this very thing. Have a wonderful week.

  5. I DO know ms. dacia & i could just hear her voice saying these words as i read it & oh how true these words are!!! enjoyed reading..

  6. I really enjoy a good rant, and I really enjoyed this one. So, so true.

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