Ten Cliches Christians Should Stop Saying

Ten things Christians say a lot, but shouldn’t.

We Christians have a remarkable talent for sticking our feet in our mouths. When searching the words most commonly associated with “Christian,” the list ain’t pretty. I think part of this can be attributed to a handful of phrases that, if stricken from our vocabulary, might make us a little more tolerable. Yes, these things may mean something to you, but trust me, non-Christians don’t share your love for these tried-and-true cliches.

So in no particular order, here are ten phrases Christians should lose with a quickness:

  1. “Everything happens for a reason.” I’ve heard this said more times than I care to. I’m not sure where it came from either, but it’s definitely not in the Bible. The closest thing I can come up with is “To everything, there is a season,” but that’s not exactly the same. The fact is that faith, by definition, is not reasonable. If it could be empirically verified with facts or by using the scientific method, it wouldn’t be faith. It would be a theory. Also, consider how such a pithy phrase sounds to someone who was raped. Do you really mean to tell them there’s a reason that happened? Better to be quiet, listen and if appropriate, mourn alongside them. But don’t dismiss grief or tragedy with such a meaningless phrase.
  2. “If you died today, do you know where you’d spend the rest of eternity?” No, I don’t, and neither do you. So stop asking such a presumptuous question as this that implies you have some insider knowledge that the rest of us don’t. And seriously, if your faith is entirely founded upon the notion of eternal fire insurance, you’re not sharing testimony; you’re peddling propaganda.
  3. “He/she is in a better place.” This may or may not be true. Again, we have no real way of knowing. We may believe it, but to speak with such authority about something we don’t actually know is arrogant. Plus, focusing on the passing of a loved one minimizes the grief of the people they left behind.
  4. “Can I share a little bit about my faith with you?” Too often, Christians presume we have something everyone else needs, without even knowing them first. Ask someone about their story, but maybe not the second you meet them. Christian evangelism often is the equivalent of a randy young teenager trying to get in good with his new girlfriend. When your personal agenda is more important than the humanity of the person you’re talking to, most people can sense the opportunism from a mile a way.
  5. “You should come to church with me on Sunday.” It’s not that we should never invite people to church, but too much of the time, it’s the first thing we do when we encounter someone new. My wife, Amy, and I started a new church eight years ago, founded on the principle of “earning the right to invite.” Invest in people first. Listen to their stories. Learn their passions, their longings, and share the same about yourself. Then, after you’ve actually invested in each other, try suggesting something not related to church to help you connect on a spiritual level. If the person really gets to know you and wants to know more about why you live your life the way you do, they’ll make a point to find out. Then again, if you come off as just another opinionated, opportunistic Christian, why should they honor your predatory approach with a visit to the church that taught you how to act that way in the first place?
  6. “Have you asked Jesus into your heart?” As many times as I’ve heard this, I still don’t really know what it means. why my heart? Why not my liver or kidneys? This also makes Christianity sound like a purely emotional experience, rather than a lifelong practice that can never entirely be realized. But yeah, asking someone if they’re engaged in a lifelong discipline to orient their lives toward Christlike compassion, love and mercy doesn’t exactly have the same ring to it.
  7. “Do you accept Jesus as your personal lord and savior?” Again, this is not in the Bible. Anywhere. And for me, it goes against the whole Christlike notion of the suffering servant. People tried to elevate Jesus to the status of Lord, but he rejected it. So why do we keep trying? Plus, the whole idea of a lord is so antiquated, it has no real relevance to our lives today. Be more mindful of your words, and really mean what you say.
  8. “This could be the end of days.” This is one of my favorites. We Christians love to look for signs of the end of the world; we practically have an apocalyptic fetish. It’s like we can’t wait until everything comes to a smoldering halt so we can stand tall with that “I told you so” look on our faces, while the nonbelievers beg for mercy. Yeah, that sounds like an awesome religion you’ve got going there. Sign me up!
  9. “Jesus died for your sins.” I know, this is an all-time Christian favorite. But even if you buy into the concept of substitutionary atonement (the idea that God set Jesus up as a sacrifice to make good for all the bad stuff we’ve done), this is a abysmal way to introduce your faith to someone. I didn’t ask Jesus to die for me, and if I’m not a Christian, I really have no concept of how that could possibly be a good thing. he whole idea of being washed clean by an innocent man’s blood is enough to give any person nightmares, let alone lead them into a deeper conversation about what Christianity is about.
  10. “Will all our visitors please stand?” If someone finally is brave enough to walk through the doors of your church, the last thing they want is to be singled out. They probably don’t know the songs you’re singing or the prayers or responsive readings you’re reading. Depending on the translation of the Bible you use, the scripture may not make much sense, and they probably have no idea where the bathroom is. So why add to the discomfort by making them stand so everyone can stare at them? Also, calling someone a visitor already implies they are simply passing through, that they’re not a part of things. Instead of “visitor” or “guest,” try something less loaded like “newcomer.” Better yet, walk up to them, introduce yourself and learn their name.

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  1. CHRISTIANESE. That’s what Christians speak and shouldn’t. It makes us all look and sound like a bunch of sappy, illiterate, unintelligent cultists. Unfortunately, modern evangelical Christianity is mostly Biblically and theologically unfounded and followed. It doesn’t help that it has it’s own distinct subculture and language that causes those who do not believe to look at us like we are idiots. I don’t mind being considered a fool or idiot for Jesus Christ, but not because I say and do the foolish and laughable things modern Christians do. It doesn’t cause those who do not believe in Christ to think very highly of him if we look and sound like silly nincompoops. As one commenter stated, which is an excellent example, “love on (someone or something”. Or “PTL”… Last but not least, if you want to communicate with others, you need to speak a language they can understand, not one that pushes them away and causes them to think you’re not very bright, or that your Subject isn’t worth inquiring about because of the ridiculous way you sound.

  2. Excellent piece, and this is coming from a former religionist.

  3. #5 in particular. It happens all the time: I meet someone and think that maybe we could become friends. Then she invites me to church, and that’s the only thing she’s interested in — hauling me in as a trophy. It’s so phony and only serves to drive more people in greater droves AWAY from organized Christianity. Thank God it doesn’t drive me away from loving Jesus, who would avoid those churches like the plague.

  4. George Black says:

    I am often confused and the way Christians come at other Christians, specifically online. This article has some decent points here and there, but over all, it feels like an open invitation to bash the faith and make sweeping generalizations! I understand that there are things with critiquing in and about Christianity (in the MANY ways that it manifests in this country) but I feel like critics coming FROM the church need to use a much better approach than this. Even as a Christian who is beginning to lean on the more Progressive (I kind of hate that word for this context) side, the approach of this article bothers me!

  5. Don Draper says:

    C’mone, about all the talk of asking Jesus into your “heart” and not liver of pancreas, you hypocrites! How many non-theists or atheists have ever said they “love” something or someone with all of their HEART? Why not love with your liver or pancreas?? You’re being a bit cute and trifling. If you have a piece of a brain, then you’ll admit that the “heart” is metaphorically used, to the extreme, as your MIND! Whatever it is you use to think and reason. So, I love all of you “smarter than faith” brothers and sisters with all my heart and liver. Good grief.

  6. Christianity: We don’t know, therefore, God. This logic sounds goofy in Ancient Aliens but for some reason, this logic is socially accepted when it comes to religion. Go figure.

  7. Pati Bea says:

    I agree with all of this. Being a recovered cath-ey, and a proud non-theist, I completely agree…Why Heart? why not pancreas, femur, cochlea, penis, thumb? Also, the arrogance of many krissies is just too overwhelming. Like when they come to your door and ask if you’ve been saved. Well, Not recently. I actually am the one who Does the saving, and I am in no soul-danger without espousing your made-up bible scare tactics. It also humors me that they teach their children that A-Theists are evil devil worshipers. I don’t worship that in which I do not believe. I likewise do not discriminate against those who go to a Different church than the next person. What The F? Since when are non-christians “bad”? Are all Jews bad? Are all Buddhists (of which I am one) bad? Do we believe that we have somehow missed the boat, and that, you’re Right, christians, we ARE lesser human beings? NO. We do Not. So stop being so narcissistic and arrogant and try following what your Jesus supposedly preached… peace, love, acceptance. Oh, and that bible? That wasn’t written by “GOD”, it was “written” by illiterates who had scribes. And it was written LONG after the supposed events happened. It Is All A Story, people. It is NOT actual..

    • That whole “The Bible was written by men” argument is ridiculous. First of all, the Bible is the INSPIRED Word of God. He gave the words to the authors. I can believe it to be true in every way because it has predicted events time and time again.
      And last I checked, who wrote all your textbooks growing up? Men. They’ve presented the theory of evolution among other things, but it’s just that–a theory. So why do people believe a theory presented by man, but yet it’s ridiculous to believe Scripture that can be identified as the same?

      • Mel,

        Wouldn’t an all knowing all powerful being choose a method of communicating with humans that was a little less prone to error? Perhaps direct communication? The verifiable fact that the bible has been rewritten, edited, changed, and redacted by clergy and king through the centuries should be evidence alone that it is not god’s inspired word.

        Secondly, you select evolution as your example? The definition of a scientific theory is not the same as the colloquial term you are using. Evolution is supported by the whole body of scientific knowledge from biology, genetics, archaeology, anthropology, and a host of other fields. All of it can be tested and verified by anyone who chooses to educate themselves on the subject, which is not the case with the bible. It’s contents can rarely be verified and often are contrasted by actual historical fact and tested scientific theory.

        It isn’t about the medium as much as the message.


    There is a whole mixed bag of wrong and write in this statement, as with many of the clichés about which you have written.

    I don’t agree that it is not biblical. A variant of what is meant when people say this IS in the bible. It comes from Romans 8:28, which says: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” What is very irritating is however is when Christians use this verse in an insincere, thoughtless or cavalier fashion. I would agree that this phrase gets used insensitively.

    I don’t accept that faith is by definition ‘not reasonable’. It was reasonable for the Roman Centurion who saw the 3 hours of darkness and felt the earthquake at the crucifixion to wonder: ‘Surely this man was the Son of God’ (Matthew 27:54). Luke (as a doctor and a man concerned with diagnosis and background facts that explain symptoms) wrote at the beginning of Acts: “After his suffering, he [Jesus] presented himself to them and gave many convincing PROOFS that he was alive.” It was reasonable for Luke to report this. (Acts 1:3). Jesus’ half-brother James only became Jesus’ follower AFTER the resurrection. It was reasonable for James to change his mind in the face of overwhelming circumstances which disproved his previously held convictions about his half-brother. All of these are “factual” enough for me to support my faith that Jesus was the Son of God – and for millions of other Christians. too. They are provable facts because eyewitnesses saw them, and thought they were important enough to write down – and in some cases they were facts that they were willing to lose their lives over.

    No, I would never use Romans 8:28 in the context of someone who was raped: instead I would weep alongside this poor person, just as Jesus cried because of the death of his friend Lazarus. So yes, it IS correct to write ‘don’t dismiss grief or tragedy with such a meaningless phrase’.


    Again, another mixed bag – some correct observations, many incorrect.

    Being able to say a phrase like this all depends upon permission and opportunity. We do no longer live in an age where this kind of evangelism works very well – it usually produces guilt, not discipleship. Once in a blue moon, though, someone WILL become a follower of Jesus if confronted with this sentence. The cliché implies that there are far better methods of connecting people in a healthy way with Jesus – and I would agree with that – although those alternative approaches are not touched on here, but in another cliché further down I think.

    The parable of the death of the beggar Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31) is a clear reminder, however, that the rest of eternity is something which we must all think about. Heaven is the place where the people who have freely chosen to accept that Jesus is the centre of universe spend the rest of eternity. Hell is the place where the people who have freely chosen to accept that they themselves are the centre of universe spend the rest of eternity. Jesus is the person appointed to make an accurate judgment between the two.

    It is not a presumptuous question, and there is no insider knowledge – only a very clear picture of two places in the afterlife, given us in the bible, and the need for an ongoing relationship with the person appointed to make the decisions about where people end up.

    And in a separate vein, and again in disagreement with the sentiment of the cliché: I do know where I am spending the rest of eternity! Romans 10:9 tells us this. “if you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” I have declared Jesus is Lord, and I definitely believe God raised him from the dead (as a historical fact) – so I’m going to heaven! Not presumptuous – just an acceptance of what my bible says!

    And, no, my faith is not based on a kind of fire insurance, that would be wrong, and so I agree with that! (You article is like a game of table-tennis, yes, no, yes, no, yes, no…) It’s based on a relationship with someone who has shown me a lot of love, but who has also pointed me to better ways of living – Jesus!


    Although this is not spelled out, I can assume you mean this phrase is used to bring comfort when someone has died. I would say that if someone was in a lot of pain for a long period prior to death, then perhaps it is not unkind to say they are in a better place.

    I agree that we do not know for sure where a person ends up – because only Jesus can judge that one, ultimately.

    But to say it doesn’t come from arrogance, you are wrong about that – it usually comes from caring.

    “focusing on the passing of a loved one minimizes the grief of the people they left behind” is a weird thing to write – and I’m not sure you know what you’ve said there. I think it hurts people even more, and needlessly, if you are always focussing on their loss – yes – but again, there is a time and place for everything – and at a funeral, it is right and proper that people focus on the passing of a loved one.

    CLICHÉ 4

    No – we DO have something everyone else who doesn’t yet know Jesus needs!
    Yes – we need to get to know people, certainly. How can people get to know Jesus, unless they know us first?
    Yes – wholeheartedly agree with the rest of what you’ve written there. Humanity first, always. Personal agenda – second – although when it’s God’s agenda, you can see why Christians do come out with this cliché. It’s all about permission and opportunity.

    5 “You should come to church with me on Sunday.” It’s not that we should never invite people to church, but too much of the time, it’s the first thing we do when we encounter someone new. My wife, Amy, and I started a new church eight years ago, founded on the principle of “earning the right to invite.” Invest in people first. Listen to their stories. Learn their passions, their longings, and share the same about yourself. Then, after you’ve actually invested in each other, try suggesting something not related to church to help you connect on a spiritual level. If the person really gets to know you and wants to know more about why you live your life the way you do, they’ll make a point to find out. Then again, if you come off as just another opinionated, opportunistic Christian, why should they honor your predatory approach with a visit to the church that taught you how to act that way in the first place?

    CLICHÉ 5

    Earning the right to invite – yes, often. But not always.

    Suggesting that the body of Christ’s heart for others to know Jesus as they do is ‘opinionated, opportunistic and predatory’ is too strong for me, and ignores the heart of love behind why many Christians do invite their friends to church.

    For me it can and should work on a simple level. Like this.
    Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (that is, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus. (John 1:40)
    CLICHÉ 6

    I think to ask ‘why not my liver or kidneys’ is just immaturity with a turn of phrase and misses the point. We all know that what is meant by ‘heart’ is that it’s the seat or centre of our spirituality, character and emotions. We give our hearts to our spouses when we marry. “There is a little piece of my heart with you guys…” etc. etc. etc. It means the ‘most special place’, personally for us.

    No, is not just purely emotional. Christianity is part factual, part faith, part reason part intuition, part emotional part rational, part choice part response, part us part Jesus, part human part Holy Spirit. Jesus was part human part divine. The bible is part people writing it part God inspiring it. Nothing in the Christian faith is purely just one thing.

    Most people would understand that asking Jesus into their hearts means putting Jesus in the most important place they can think of. That’s why Christians do that. They are checking that people considering becoming followers of Jesus aren’t just playing at it, they mean it.

    Responsible pastoring should ensure that a decision to follow Jesus is understood as a lifelong relationship with him.

    CLICHÉ 7

    Totally disagree with this one! What about the most obvious example: Thomas? Thomas receives Jesus as his personal Lord and Saviour in a very personal and direct way – modelling to the whole of humanity just how it is done.
    A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.’ Thomas said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ (John 20:26-28)
    Jesus is Lord AND the suffering servant. Why can’t he be both at once? Read the Christ hymn in Philippians 2. In fact, his role ‘in the very nature of a servant’ is WHY God exalts him to the highest place!

    Jesus didn’t reject people elevating him to the status of Lord at all. What he did was manage their expectations around who he was so that it didn’t disrupt his ministry – but as his ministry developed he was happier and happier for people to declare who he was, up until the point of riding triumphantly into Jerusalem. On his ride into Jerusalem on a donkey, there is no mention of him suppressing what the crowds were shouting about him at all.

    This is the point where your critique of clichés slips into outright heresy. Anything that denies the Lordship of Jesus is heretical, and is not acceptable as orthodox Christian faith.

    CLICHÉ 8

    This is not a biblical position to take. It COULD be the end of days. Equally it might not be.

    Jesus himself declares that only God knows when the end of world is:

    ‘But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. (Matthew 24: 36)

    If not even Jesus is human form knew when this is (I assume he knows now he is in heaven at the Father’s right hand), then it is reasonable for Christians to act with the urgency that such uncertainty warrants.

    CLICHÉ 9

    This is completely heretical – and for me, brings into question the usefulness of anything else you brought up. I can’t take your theology at all seriously, now that you have written this.

    Do you think that what Jesus did on the cross needs tidying up a bit and making more palatable to the seeker-sensitive crowd? The gospel IS an offence, yes. Substitutionary atonement is exactly where it’s at.

    Hebrews 10:19-22 tackles the heresy you have proposed here directly.

    Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings.

    Again, though, it’s all about permission and opportunity. A conversation about this passage from Hebrews 10 is probably not the place to start the day you meet a non-Christian.
    But it’s where the true nature of the incredible thing that Jesus has done for us all is ultimately headed – and to suggest (which is what you say when you write ‘even if you buy into the concept’) that it is not something that you should buy into shows that you have not grasped something truly fundamental about the Christian faith.

    CLICHÉ 10

    Agreed. Why make it embarrassing or difficult for newcomers.

    Overall – your article makes some valuable points, but it is undermined horrendously by outright heresy on some key issues, and a lack of biblical knowledge. You have managed to suggest that we shouldn’t accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Saviour, that he isn’t Lord, and that he doesn’t save us through his blood shed for us on the cross. On that basis, it’s 0 out of 10 from me.

    • rob smith says:

      you should probably stop using cliche 9, not because of anything heretical but because how dumb it sounds.
      God impregnates a virgin so she can give birth to him so he can be sacrificed to himself so he can forgive us for sins we’ve not yet committed that he created anyway.
      Go ahead, keep saying it, we’ll just keep laughing

    • Anonymous says:

      And you sir are the reason I stay as far away from Churches as possible…

      • Pati Bea says:

        Agreed… but why be anonymous? I am not ashamed of my firm grasp on reality.. You shouldn’t be, either.. <3 Namaste'

    • Well said. I was thinking the same thing when I read this. He is a preacher? Although I agree to degree with some of his posts, ie; “Have you asked Jesus into your heart” Although I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with asking the question, I do believe we need to wait for the prompting of the Holy Spirit. This guy is way off the mark. Thank you for your well educated response.

  9. Gint Aras says:

    “Better yet, walk up to them, introduce yourself and learn their name.”

  10. Steve Meikle says:

    Some of his responses here are rank heresy. He does not know his subject so has no basis to speak on it. Even if some things said by us christians are cliched his reasons why this is so are simply wrong, most egregiously so if his definition of faith as unreasonable. His belief may be whistling in the dark. Mine is not

    • rob smith says:

      But faith is by definition unreasonable. If it was supported by evidence, it would be reasonable and called knowledge

    • Gabriella says:

      True. Faith is the assurance in what is unseen. Meaning we don’t actually see God, but we’re 100% sure He exists and the author of this article is being rude. He starts with the phrase “we Christians” and then says ” I didn’t ask Jesus to die for me, and if I’m not a Christian, I really have no concept of how that could possibly be a good thing.” Then why did he add the “we”?

    • Michael Rowe says:

      He’s actually spot on, on every point, and this is why Christians continue to alienate people from the church. Stop babbling about “heresy” as though this were the 16th century, and pay attention. Your arrogance is an exact example of what he’s talking about.

  11. The last time someone followed me down a sidewalk and kept asking what I would be doing for all eternity, I lost it and said, “Probably your mom.” Not the best response, I know. Learn when to take a hint if someone wants to listen or not.

  12. Aquilus Domini says:

    I enjoyed your list here. Being an atheist i have encountered the whole list and my Catholic mother has encountered the whole list as well from fellow christians. It’s nice to see this list coming from a christian. It’d be so very awesome if more christians were aware of what they were saying and how they are saying it. I know their intentions are good but some of these sound very insulting when said to people of other faiths or non-faiths. Some of them sound somewhat insensitive when speaking of the recently deceased no matter what the living individuals’ faiths may be. That said, it’s very good to see a christian acknowledging all this and putting it out there for others of the faith to see and consider. I may not agree with your beliefs but i do certainly think you’re a good person 🙂 May you have long days and pleasant nights 🙂

  13. I am sorry to hear so many have had a bad encounter with a Christian. You are all right Christians fumble their words, they get it wrong at times. I know a computer specialist all he mostly talks about is computer. Go talk to a dental professional you just might hear strong opinions about teeth! Go talk to a guy/girl who is getting ready to get married they will talk about who they love excessively. A policeman has pretty strong opinions. Car fanatics go to car shows and even get them started talking about their cars. We all have our loves. Is that wrong? No Christians love God and they want to talk about him. There is nothing wrong with that. Im quite sure you have bored someone to tears yourself with some jargon only your select genre really understands. Yall are way to hard on the Christians, when each and everyone of you has done it yourself!

    • You’re comparing apples to oranges. There is a HUGE difference between car enthusiasts talking about their love of cars and Christians using many of the above phrases as a part of their sales pitch.

  14. P.S. It’s entirely possible that everything happens for a reason. That is NOT necessarily a reassuring concept. I’m an agnostic. I would be much more likely to believe in the existence of an almighty if we assume that the almighty can be a nasty, vindictive S.O.B. sometimes. Saying everything happens for a reason doesn’t mean there’s a *positive* reason. That’s why the Old Testament seems to make more sense to me — that God was an abusive father.

  15. Right or wrong, rude or not, let’s look at it in practical terms. Do saying these things ever really WORK to convert people to your point of view?

    If the fellowship strategy is to say #1 through #10 over and over again until it sinks in, then that’s just not a very good strategy. I would think that if God wanted you to increase the faith that He would want you to do something more effective.

    If I say something that I intended to be comforting but that comes across as offensive and aggravating, then I should think about a different approach in the future.

    Ultimately, making people feel welcome and respected has very little to do with being right.

  16. wellokaythen says:

    Before I could ever accept the truth of “the Bible,” I need to know which bible you’re referring to. There are dozens of versions out there today, not counting all the versions that no longer exist. In fact, there’s no copyright on the bible. Anyone can print anything and call it a bible, so how can you really know that what you’re reading is not a misprint?

    Given the history of Christianity, it’s entirely possible that “true Christianity” went extinct many centuries ago. Some of my old-school Catholic colleagues think it was destroyed by the Protestant Reformation.

  17. He is spot on. I see a lot of Christians missing the point completely. If you want to share your faith, you have to share it with someone you know as an actual person and try to approach them where *they* are, which is not normally waiting around for someone to tell them they are going to hell if they don’t believe what you do. All of these statements of “Christian speak” are very good ways to turn people off from your message. And throwing scripture around isn’t usually helpful either, since the vast majority of Christians cherry pick the bible and most non-Christians are well aware of it.

  18. Can people stop saying “Love on” …. like “I work in the childcare room so I can love on those babies.”

    Or another context “love on our friends Bob and Sue”.

    It is WEIRD! And seems gross!!! And I am a woman and this one drives me batty.

    Stop going around loving on people!

  19. Here’s an idea. Stop telling people what they should do. If these people irritate you, then have a conversation with them personally. Get to the heart of why they say what they say, instead of complaining. Otherwise, smile and nod and don’t hang out with them. Telling others how to live their faith, whether it’s based on religious dogma or self-sovereignty, is just close-minded and judgmental. Focus on yourself, and what it’s important to you, and you’ll find you get along with others just fine.

  20. Christianity was invented by guilty people (primarily Paul) who were searching for a way to assuage their guilt over his brutal crucifixion, approximately 70 years after his death. So the author is correct that these traits are not consistent with Jesus, but with the Bible? (Which was written by these people long after Jesus’ death), or “Christians?” No, this is how they justify their made-up religion.

  21. I challenge ANY so-called “Christian” reading this article and making comments to prove their point WITHOUT quoting or referring to scripture…. please? C’mon, PLEASE!? My personal opinion is that I don’t think they can do it.

  22. Hostile much?

    You act as if

    a) those things are always unsubstantiated

    b) non-christians don’t fall into the same fallacies at least to the same equivalent

    Also want to challenge your pretty sever implication: reason, by the way, can have many incompatibilities with the scientific method in the way of assumption, limitation and … BIAS (you only need to compare scientific manuals over the last half a century). Sick of people putting it on the pedestal as the pin-up point for the whole plane of modern humanity.

    • wellokaythen says:

      “You act as if …. non-christians don’t fall into the same fallacies at least to the same equivalent.”

      Absolutely right on that. There are idiots of all kinds out there. Non-Christian idiots are no better or worse than Christian idiots. Somehow I don’t think the author was saying that Christianity has the monopoly on cliché.

      Perhaps you can think of 10 clichés that non-Christians need to stop saying?

  23. 9.“Jesus died for your sins.” Mark 10:18 “No one is good except God alone.” Isa 64:6 “ All our righteous acts are like filthy rags.” Isa 4:4 “The Lord will wash away the filth.” It’s a statement of truth and fact that Jesus died for the sinful man, not because he had to but because God loved us and it is the gift of salvation. John 3:16, For God so loved the world that he gave his on and only begotten Son so that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. Also John 3:36, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”

  24. Probably my favorite blog post ever. I wish more Christians could live up to these obvious rules!

  25. The comments section so far is mostly one two types of comments: people complaining that the article is just bashing good Christians for being good Christians (“THIS IS OUR MESSAGE!!!!”) and everyone else agreeing that this article nails it.

    Sounds like the author has, indeed, nailed it.

  26. Christina says:

    A big YES on #10 – Once I went to visit a local parish and the pastor asked visitors to stand to be welcomed while looking straight at me. I refused to stand and we had a staring contest for about 5 minutes before some other repeat visitors stood. I won…and never returned.

    The others I don’t encounter as much, but that’s because I’m Catholic and most of these are based of off bad theology, mostly “Once saved always saved” and “Faith Alone” – neither of which are biblical. Both of these encourage people to try to get someone to “be saved” so that their salvation is guaranteed. Catholics see salvation more as a relationship – which grows, struggles, falls apart, reconciles, and deepens over time. If a man says “I love you” to a woman at one point – is their relationship set for life? No, it requires daily dying to your needs for the good of the other. It’s a life-long process of learning to love – and that is what our relationship with the Lord should be.

  27. I love this, because I’ve had nearly every single one at one time or another, & all it does is make me want to run away from you & yours as fast as I possibly can. And the “will our visitors please stand” comment! Oh. My. God–or yours. As a sometimes shy introvert, I was horrified, & I never went back.

    • Yup. I get two or three of these a month for the last, oh, 35 years.

      For some reason, be it arrogance or simply stupidity, “Christians” consider themselves above common courtesy and respect, and none of them seem bright enough to realize that if you come across as the loudmouth in the plaid jacket at the local lemon lot, you’ll be treated the same way. Frankly if you have to push your product that way, it’s because you know and you know your audience knows that it’s worse than defective, it’s useless and dangerous.

      Congrats to the author for being one of the very VERY few that understands this. For the rest of you, you’d better hope VERY hard that your Jesus didn’t mean most of what he said, because if he did, you are so completely scrod.

  28. Anthony Rose says:

    There is much confusion here

  29. Roy Griffis says:

    I’m sure, as a Good Man, I could also have written up similar articles. “10 Cliches Homosexuals Need to Stop Saying.” “Ten Cliches Feminists Need to Stop Repeating.” “Ten Lies Liberals Need to Stop Telling Us and Themselves.” You get the idea.

    But I think the best response to these sorts of invitations was from Penn Jillette, who was actually deeply moved by a Christian’s efforts to minister to him. As Jillette acknowledged, he was not a believer, but on the other hand, if one accepted the basic premises of the Christian faith, then, as he put it, “How much to you have to hate someone to not give them the information they’d need to save their life?”

    • But who is anyone to judge who needs saving?

    • Sounds like Mr. Jillette is much more tolerant of salesmen than I am. Good for him, that he has more patience than I do. He’s also something of a curious choice for an example, considering he is deeply skeptical of all religions.

  30. KJ Cockrill says:

    They absolutely come off as insensitive. As the recipient of every one of these trite phrases more times than I can count, I assure you they are not well received at all. Just because you believe this stuff doesn’t mean others do, and those others are as entitled to their beliefs as you are. I respect that you have this faith and I ask the same. I stand behind the tenets of this author and his article, and I thank him for voicing what so many of us non-Christians feel.

  31. All great points and very funny, just like this vid: http://youtu.be/Dzuxyq3ltls

  32. The Lord prayed to His Father just before He was crucified that we (the church) would be one, so that the world that does not accept Him, would see this unity, and come to know Christ as their savior.

    If you are going to lead a church, believe in Christ, and not take for granted what He did… Than instead of bashing on saying things you you don’t like in “church culture”, and leaving it as that, perhaps for the on looking wolds sake – who see nothing but a pastor bashing on the church, you could provide leadership, alternatives, and guidance. Perhaps instead of adding more confusion, and not explaining how to make disciples or a better way to go about reaching the lost, you would reconsider just writing about how you find certain phrases annoying? I too am not a fan of making people stand up in church, and singling people out.. and some other various things you wrote on here I side with you on. I am a part of a very modern and relevant church.. one in which does not sing hymns, take names, or have pews.. a come as you are non denominational church.

    But, I think this post does nothing but bash on people within the church, and then leaves it totally at that, with no alternative. Not teaching them a better way to do things.

    I find it rather confusing that you mention you dislike the phrase “Jesus died for your sins”, and you explain how that wouldn’t make sense to a non believer, and then you just plan and simple leave it totally at that? Talk about miss leading, and not helping anyone come to have a personal relationship with Christ, or understanding of anything Biblical. If anything maybe this just causes those who don’t know Christ to cheer you on, and then go on about their day.

    We are called to make disciples, not bash on things you don’t like about the church in an open forum for the whole world believing or not to see. Very misleading.

    John 17: 20 – 23 – 20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

  33. I think the premise of the article is great. My only question I was left with is “Ok. I’ll stop saying the listed. But what should I substitute it with?”

    And yes Yes, YEs, and YES on #10. Why do churches do this???!

    Thank you for your time!

  34. I find this article heartbreaking. It offers no alternatives and paints a picture of most Christians as peddlers of some type. Not to mention that the tone of this article is far harsher than some of the accusations it makes. Truth is sent out the window when we soften the gospel in the way this article proposes. Yes they may be cliches, but when used properly to open doors to share our faith, they hardly come off as insensitive as is being described. There are some hard truths to face when it comes to biblical and spiritual truth. I don’t get the impression though that the author believes in the bible as the absolute word of God though. Not a criticism just my opinion. Ultimately the truth of the Gospel should make the non believer uncomfortable. They are risking their eternal soul when they love a life apart from Christ. Not a popular opinion, and one that may lose me friends. But when I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior I accepted the responsibility of living in truth and witnessing His full gospel. One cliche I would definitely say the author would want on this list is one I believe wholeheartedly. I’d rather scare them into heaven than love them into hell. Tough but true.

    • Traci Everett says:

      Totally agree. Heartbreaking. And good point about how it can be uncomfortable for some.

    • KJ Cockrill says:

      They absolutely come off as insensitive. As the recipient of every one of these trite phrases more times than I can count, I assure you they are not well received at all. Just because you believe this stuff doesn’t mean others do, and those others are as entitled to their beliefs as you are. I respect that you have this faith and I ask the same. I stand behind the tenets of this author and his article, and I thank him for voicing what so many of us non-Christians feel.

  35. I Have been a christian since i was very young. I agree with this article, and am well aware of the kinds of attitudes other christians have that reflect the points made here. For those that meet christians who give you a bad if not horrible impression, remember that one person does not represent all of us.

  36. “Faith, by definition, is not reasonable.” “This may or may not be true.” Several of these suggest that Mr. Piatt knows perfectly well his religion is silly stuff. Perhaps a few more years thinking critically like this, and he’ll be ready to toss it over the side at last.

  37. You forgot “love the sinner hate the sin” can’t stand when I hear this.

    • Sorry, but isn’t that statement basically an expression of the love of Christ? We should be motivated by our Christ-like love for the person to help him resist the sin he fell prey to? I don’t want to be a hypocrite, because I have my fair share of character flaws. But it seems to me it would be good if we as Christians struggled together, in Christ, against all sin.

  38. Beatriz de la Caridad Paz says:

    For reference and thought….

    1. “Everything happens for a reason.” Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

    2. “If you died today, do you know where you’d spend the rest of eternity?” John 5:24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

    3. “He/she is in a better place.” Revelation 21:4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

    4. “Can I share a little bit about my faith with you?” Luke 14:23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.

    5. “You should come to church with me on Sunday.” Hebrews 10:25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

    6. “Have you asked Jesus into your heart?” Isaiah 64:6 “But we are all as unclean, and all our righteousness’s as filthy rags.” Hebrew 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

    7. “Do you accept Jesus as your personal lord and savior?” John 10:9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture.

    8. “This could be the end of days.” 2 Timothy 3:1-5 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.

    9. “Jesus died for your sins.” Rom 5:8 While we were yet [unborn and unsaved] sinners, Christ died for us [for our sins]. John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

    10. “Will all our visitors please stand?” Revelation 1:3 Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near. Psalm 41:13 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting! Amen and Amen

    • Great response beatriz!! You go girl!!

    • Jo Settle says:

      These Scriptures really don’t address the points made in the article. And they really just reinforce the points being made. But I really want to respond to your number 9 – this Scripture applies to those calling themselves Christian and exactly the type that the article is referring to in many instances.
      2 Timothy 3:1-5 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.

      Christians prove themselves lovers of self, proud, arrogant, abusive, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, swollen with conceit, and having the appearance of godliness by consistently and stridently pushing their beliefs and their religion on those that do not choose to express their spirituality or their lives in the same way that they do – by claiming they only know what is right for everyone. They even act that way to others that claim to reverence the same God but may have a different type of ritual or theology to express that reverence. And they certainly don’t avoid money or pleasure for themselves – even pleasures they judge others for participating in.

      This one verse describes all that is wrong with the modern churches – all of them – that is why I avoid them as instructed by Scripture. And if those that say they follow Christ would actually walk in the power of true godliness, then articles like this wouldn’t even be necessary. True godliness in action brings more people to God than angry, judgmental, strident, hateful intolerant, unloving words ever will.

      • agree with four comments, and greatly appreciate all who contributed. We are making progrees towards Unity, not some passive, dis-engaged Unity, but one , ( Unity) that takes effort, where we listen, learn, as in allowing all the parts – peoples views, belief, vision, perspective , all these and more find a place of safety, respect, dignity, and especially “Acceptance” This seems a good starting point for further advancement of Gods Grace, Mercy, Love, and Unity, which produces a ripple of Kindness, Helpfulness, and serves the Greatest Good for the Greatest Number. Glad I joined In. Bless you all.

    • I can quote the Silmarillion too. Will that convince you of the omnipotence of the Almighty Valar and Our Creator, the great Eru?


    • Miguel Valois says:

      You should be stoned. A woman according to the bible should not argue with a man.

    • I would also add to your comments in 1 and 2:
      1.“Everything happens for a reason.” Not about faith, it’s about purpose or destiny. Here is one example found in 1Peter 2:8 “and, “’A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.’ They stumble because they disobey the message, which is also what they were destined for.”
      2.“If you died today, do you know where you’d spend the rest of eternity?” When you die you rest until the resurrection. Revelation 20:4 “…And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They did not worship the beast or his image and had not received his mark on the foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Verse 6, “Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years. Revelation 20:14 “Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” Then New Jerusalem, for it is written: Revelation 21:22, “I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its Temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.”…..v.27, “Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”

    • God being able to work good out of bad things that happen is WAY different to he makes the bad stuff happen for a reason.

    • Beatriz, that was awesome I wanted to respond but felt it’s too much work to deal with it …thank-you!!! I get that some christianese language is really un- necessary to speak to non christians about our faith because they won’t necessarily get it right away but the word cliche
      (cli·ché [klee-shey, kli-] Show IPA
      1.a trite, stereotyped expression; a sentence or phrase, usually expressing a popular or common thought or idea, that has lost originality, ingenuity, and impact by long overuse, as sadder but wiser, or strong as an ox.
      2.(in art, literature, drama, etc.) a trite or hackneyed plot, character development, use of color, musical expression, etc.
      3.anything that has become trite or commonplace through overuse.
      4.British Printing.
      a.a stereotype or electrotype plate.
      b.a reproduction made in a like manner.)
      should not apply to all that you have expressed here as you can see when you apply scripture to your opinion!! Good job Beatriz.. 🙂

  39. All “Christians” are not of this stereotypical group. In my experience they are a very small minority. But should Christians really just “stop saying” what they believe only because non-believers don’t share their views? Really? Just “stop saying”? Should not the shoes of tolerance be worn by everyone?

  40. Rheama Smith says:

    I agree with you on number ten. Aside from that, I’m sorry you misunderstand the Christian Bible and its concepts. People who do not seek to understand Christianity by studying scripture and its application to daily life nor attempt to experience it in on an emotional level … never will. Seek and you shall find; ask and it shall be given. You may not comprehend it, but please try not to judge those of us who searched and found. We don’t judge you.

    • You just judged. Just now. ” I’m sorry you misunderstand the Christian Bible and its concepts.” Do you hear how judgmental and arrogant and off putting that sounds? You just proved 1 through 9 in a single sentence. Congrats.

    • Rheama thank you for showing one of my biggest issues with Christians: They ignore their own scripture, as Sheila stated your first sentence was judgmental.
      The sad truth is that more non-Christians than Christians have taken the time to study the bible, I engaged in a study with a friend a few years ago where he and I took turns outside a store asking everyone that passed two questions: “Have you read the bible?” and “Are you a christian?” over the course of 6 hours we spoke to close to 300 people, only a handful of them answered the first question with yes. out of nearly 300 people though more than 200 claimed to be a christian, and the only one that said he had read the bible proved to be a pastor.

      Personally I’ve read the bible cover to cover several times, I’ve also studied Buddhism, Scientology, Astaru, Wicca, several forms of European paganism, and more than a dozen strains of Native American Shamanism. I’ve spoken to followers of faiths I couldn’t pronounce if I tried, My Grandfather was a church Deacon that helped to literally build his church, my Grandmother was a Lay nun of the Carmelite order, and my Father was a devote baptist. Save for one exception every follower of Christianity I have met has selectively ignored the laws of their sacred texts while spouting out quotes from it to justify their actions.

      I’ve watched a Buddhist monk admit his errors and meditate on his mistakes, I watched a Wiccan loose her temper and pray to her patron for guidance before asking the people she hurt forgiveness, I’ve even watched as an admitted Satanist helped a random stranger taker her groceries out to her car and load them without asking anything in return. Perhaps it’s because they are less known but in my life I’ve seen the so called “Christian values” practiced more often by those that shun Christianity than by actual Christians.

      In fact in my entire life the only Christian I’ve ever met that did not judge me for my actions, who believes in live and let live, and who has lived his beliefs instead of acting them, who will debate theology with me despite me being agnostic and never get’s angry that I question the bible is a good friend that is also an ordained Catholic priest, personally I wish more people would take a page from his book.

      • I like this comment Isa

      • Very similiar experiences kind sir, appreciations for the disclosure of valued experiences in context to “Practice of Virtues, also known as Love”. Roger that.

      • This author would be that guy complaining to Jesus about him using parables… “It just confuses everybody, Jesus… nobody understands what you’re talking about, Jesus”.

        Why do we want him to be Lord of our heart? Seriously? The heart, as opposed to the liver is where we store the Lord’s commandments. Do you ever hear the bible talking about being pure of liver or kidneys?

        Oh, and of course I know beyond a shadow of a doubt where I would spend eternity if I died today. Romans says that if you call on the name of the Lord, you shall be saved. I john 5:13 confirms this too.

        It’s also absurd to water down or downplay the message of Christ’s redeeming blood and him dying for our sins. THIS IS OUR MESSAGE!!!! ;

    • Rheama Smith, I have done my studying and have my Faith of choice. To have these things said to me by people who believe I have made the wrong choice do so without trying to understand my life or the reasons behind my decisions. To insist that I need to convert back on the say-so of a book I have no Faith or belief in is not only insulting to my intelligence, but implies that I am not capable of understanding my own soul. It also indicates to me that I need to re-evaluate whether I actually want to continue to associate with you, if all you can do is try to tell me what, if anything, I “need” to believe in. That’s not going to happen.

  41. Great list. The one that I would love to add is, “It’s not a religion, it’s a relationship.” How ridiculous. It’s a religion! When did “religion” become a verboten word?

  42. My dad used to say “rub-a-dub-dub thanks for the grub – YAY GOD!”

    Of course, he was an evangelical, hypocritical and possibly bi-polar alcoholic so what the hell does he know? No more than you or me. The reality is that no one has cornered the market on the truth so I say, “say whatever you want to make you feel like everything’s going to be okay”.

    It’s not like we are all going be holding hands and toasting marshmallows anytime soon. Just don’t hurt other people physically or verbally and it will all work it self out.

    Whether things happen for a reason, because of a reason or just because … they happen … and no one has any idea why.

    tw: uziperetz

  43. You nailed it on number 10. Not only do those of us who are unchurched not appreciate being singled out when we finally muster up the courage and energy to go, we REALLY don’t like it when asked to turn to the people on our right and left and shake their hand or (gasp!) HUG them! My husband actually refuses to go to any church anymore because of that one common practice. It might seem a silly thing to be offended by to those who go to church regularly, but it really is smart to be mindful and respectful of your visitor’s sensibilities if you really want to attract them to your ministry.

  44. I’d say half of these are to make us less annoying the non-Christians – and I get that. But at the same time, it’s like my momma always said, “Never run away from what you are.” Having these poor social skills in a secular world can and do cause problems but it’s certainly not a deal breaker. They are not all of our own making. I suppose it’s a matter of talking the talk and not walking the walk.

  45. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

    I find it interesting that God-based religions, particularly Christianity, teach that God = Love. That his intentions are good, and that he is proactive in our existence. There is something missing from this formula.

    The bible provides examples of God’s behavior- both enacted with good and bad intent. Reading the bible as a child, I thought more of the gods on mount olympus, causing events to take place depending on their emotional state.

    It’s OK to believe in God as a Christian, and while I understand a key component of being a Christian is to teach and spread the word of God, it’s also important to have tactful social skills and understand how to behave as a gracious human being. Teaching can often be read as condescension, and then the message is lost.

  46. Terry Johnson says:

    May I Add 1? “It’s GODS will.” When your “child” is diagnosed with cancer, or a terminal illness, NO PARENT WANTS TO HEAR, it’s Gods will!!!!!! (Brothers wife said that to me)

  47. “But even if you buy into the concept of substitutionary atonement (the idea that God set Jesus up as a sacrifice to make good for all the bad stuff we’ve done),”

    I mean really!!! 🙁
    Mark 10:45

  48. Please add “I’m praying for you” to your list. To the ever-growing population of non-believers, it’s the equivalent of saying, “I’ll pretend like I’m doing something, when I’m not.” It’s designed only to make you and other Christians feel better, but not anyone else. How about instead you replace that worn-out phrase with, “I’m thinking of you,” “I’m so concerned for you,” or “Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.”

    • Hi Kitty
      Some persons actually do pray for others. I do,my mother does, groups in my church does.
      It is a way to say I care for you, you are in my thoughts and I wish you all the best.
      I once asked a priest to pray for me because I had an ulcer. A week later it was gone.
      Maybe God healed me,maybe a my body healed it self. Still I am thankful he prayed and had a whole group pray for me. It touched me feelings.

      • Hi Iben,
        Kitty’s point was about saying “I’m praying for you” to a NON-believer. I hate it so much because, while yes, I understand the meaning and heartfelt kindness behind it, you’re saying it for yourself. If you know that I am a non-believer then there is absolutely no reason to say it to me (especially if I’m in a situation that expects it) b/c it makes me uncomfortable. How would you feel if, while injured/sick, I came to you and said “since God doesn’t exist I hope you have a good doctor”.

  49. Tom Brechlin says:

    I have to give a lot of credit to those of you who are standing up for your faith. With the exception of an occasional article that’s moved me, I gave up sharing my faith here at GMP … “”And if anyone will not welcome you or refuses to listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet…” (Matthew 10:14 NIV).

    I’ve never been one to pound my faith into anyone. I live my faith and serve the Lord the best I can. Some people are receptive and some aren’t. Two recent articles moved me and I responded. But in so far as my Proselytizing, I won’t do it. People have come to me and asked about my faith and I’m glad to share.

    The Cliché’s?

    “Everything happens for a reason” Have said this to myself countless times but don’t remember saying it to others.

    “If you died today, do you know where you’d spend the rest of eternity?” Again, said it to myself but not others

    “He/she is in a better place.” Said it to myself but have said, “he/she is no longer in pain”
    “Can I share a little bit about my faith with you?” Have said this to people who have asked me about my faith

    “You should come to church with me on Sunday.” Have said this to people who have showed interest

    “Have you asked Jesus into your heart?” Have never said this to anyone including myself

    “Do you accept Jesus as your personal lord and savior?” Never said this to anyone including myself

    “This could be the end of days.” Not in so many words but have discussed with fellow Christians

    “Jesus died for your sins.” Never said it to anyone else but remind myself daily

    “Will all our visitors please stand?” Nope, never said this in any setting

    Note that I attend church on a regular basis and often go during the week. Especially during Advent and Lent. I pray the Rosary daily and as I mentioned in a response to another article, I journal “Prayer, supplication and thanksgiving”

  50. For those that are turned off by Christianity because of something they didn’t “like”, Christ said He came with a two edged sword. Not everyone is going to “like” Christianity. Its a hard choice, it’ll change your life. As for sin vs sinner, we ALL fall short. Homosexuality is no greater or less a sin than heterosexual promiscuousness. As someone mentioned above, it is stated very clearly in the Bible that we need to come to Christ, repent, be baptized, and take up HIS cross. Too many people try to suger coat the message, as is the author, trying to appease the masses.
    The author is about a hair off truth, red flags were starting to pop up as I read, I was starting to wonder what exactly does he believe.

    • Tom Brechlin says:

      Ron, you hit the nail on the head.

    • I don’t think the issue is always about liking Christianity itself. My interpretation of the article is that the method of introduction to Christianity (and the people doing it) are the ones disliked.

  51. randy coy says:

    so if all those are so bad why did you not give some better question to give these these people it is easy to complain

  52. Here’s another one to add to the list: “The Lord will provide!” (cough cough ahem ahem BULLSHIT) It’s just a phrase which these so-called “super-christians” use as an excuse for them to shirk their own responsibilities.

    Some extreme examples that are more common than people might think – “Little junior is starving? Oh, don’t worry, the lord will provide! (Yet I eat out for lunch everyday at work and get starbucks coffee 4 or 5 times a week)” How about going out and getting some food for Jr. you dumbfuck? OR “I’m so poor I can’t buy enough groceries or pay my phone bill or my gas bill or or or…. (but I have a $200k house, a $50k car, a speedboat, 2 ATVs, go golfing at the country club on the weekend, etc., etc., etc.” But I’m not worried, “THE LORD WILL PROVIDE!” How about downsizing your house and your toys so you aren’t so car/house/toys/etc. poor and can pay your bills? I could go on and on, but you get my point….

  53. David Winestein says:

    Concerning your first point: “Everything happens for a reason” is actually a leftover from Rationalist philosophy and is otherwise known as The Principle of Sufficient Reason. Granted, it was present in thought prior to the Rationalists and was in fact a major tenement of many theological creeds and thought.

    • But it has a very different sense. With regards to PSR, it’s just: Nothing happens without a cause (as in the billiard ball falling into the corner pocket didn’t ‘just happen’; it was caused to happen). This is different, however, from what is meant by the phrase, “Everything happens for a reason,” as it is used in ordinary language. What is generally meant by this is, ‘There is some ultimate plan and this is part of the blueprint,’ which does undermine peoples’ suffering. Don’t really think you can blame the Rationalists for that.

      There is a ‘reason’ people are raped: There are rapists in the world. (PSR) But there is no ‘plan’ according to which x person had to be raped. And if you believe that there is, do not ever tell that to x person.

  54. Glenn Murray says:

    I think the most important reason for not using clichés has to do with the fact they are clichés. In other words, there is little thinking going on, on the part of the one using it. True, the cliché means something to them, but to assume it’s taken the same way is foolish, IMO.

    It does a disservice to those you are talking to. If you wish to discuss something relating to your religion, don’t rely on scripture (unless you paraphrase it into something directly relevant) or sayings, if for no other reason than who you are talking to realizes, at some level, your brain is not seriously engaged. If it were engaged, you wouldn’t need the crutch of a scripture, cliché, or saying, you would express it in your own words.

    The most important advice, speak to someone from your experience and your heart, anything else is a disservice to them and a waste of your own time.

  55. The thing I hate is when Christians say that people are blessed with things. As if God reached down and said, you’re pretty good, I’ll give you this, and these people are pretty bad so they get to starve.

    People are not “blessed” with children. Think about what this says to people who are unable to have children. That they have not been blessed. I know that most Christians do not think about what the phrase truly means, but I think that is what irks me most about its use.

    • Yes, that and the other, related, turn of phrase “Jesus came into the world…”. No: he was born. No special intervention, just like everyone else. Deal.

    • This goes along with the Santa Claus ethos. First we are given a fake man that bestows material goods based on merit. Then we are told it was a lie and that the truth is another mythical man that acts the same. All class privilege is explained and it never has to be said. We know it at an instinctual level (or one from a fake story told to us a children) that all a humans worth can be based of the amount of material goods they acquire. When a christian says he is blessed (not all some do not have the Santa dogma instilled) he is saying his life has more merit and God has bestowed him with gifts due to this fact. There is another Christian way. I think the difference between the new pope and his successor are great examples.

  56. John Linder says:

    I respectfully disagree with the majority (but not all!) of this article for the following reasons:
    1.“Everything happens for a reason.” Well, of course. There is no specific scripture that backs this up that I know of, either, but empirical evidence would suggest it is true. There is a cause and an effect for every cause that is not uncaused (God being the only uncaused cause), therefore everything does happen for some reason. However, let’s look at the spirit of his objection. He’s right, the phrase shouldn’t be dumped on mourners of a recently loved one, they should be mourned with. A valid and excellent suggestion. Well meaning but pithy expressions are not what’s needed at this point, he is right on the money. Having said that, the bible clearly teaches the sovereignty of God in even the smallest of matters (Jesus asked if a single sparrow could fall to the ground without his father knowing about it. The implications are clear, he knows everything that happens and directs the smallest affairs of men and women. He’s using sparrows as hyperbole, and as an example of his attention to the smallest details of our lives. He says that faith is unreasonable because it cannot be empirically verified using the scientific method. If faith could be empirically verified using the scientific method, it would not be faith. But that’s not how we make other decisions in our daily lives, is it? We look at the available evidence we have accumulated up to that point of our lives, and with less than 100% certainty we cross the street “knowing” that we should be fine if we stay in the crosswalk and go when the little white guy in the sign says we can walk. I sat in the chair I’m in because I’ve never had a problem with it and I have faith that the chair will not collapse on me. There is an enormous amount of evidence to back up the claims of the bible, much of it eyewitness testimony by many people with no logical reason to lie. Matter of fact, the apostles who walked with Jesus were all (with the exception of John) executed in some very horrible ways for their belief in the resurrected Jesus. They could have avoided those executions just by saying it was all a lie, yet they chose not to. Faith is quite a reasonable response to the facts, as millions of people would attest to.
    2.“If you died today, do you know where you would spend the rest of eternity?”
    Yes, I do, and you can too. Rather than reiterate what I wrote about faith, see #1 above. To believe that God would make you wonder and worry about where you would go after you die is simply ludicrous, and would not reflect the obvious love of God revealed in scripture. Sacrificing his life for me took care of that question. Once you’re saved, you become a child of God, and a good father would never treat his children that way. In 1 John 5:13, John writes: I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. Not so that you could worry or fret, but that you may know that you have eternal life. Also, Jesus spoke more about a very real hell than he did about heaven. In Luke 16:19-31, he tells the story of a man that was there in torment.
    3.“He/she is in a better place.” They are, if they’re saved from hell. See my response to #2. As for the rest, have some compassion, as I mentioned in my response to #1.
    4.“Can I share a little bit about my faith with you?” I don’t get it. It’s a request politely phrased. If you don’t want to listen, perhaps a smile and a polite “no thank you” would be appropriate? I don’t get the “opportunism” part. We receive nothing from you either way (other than the knowledge that we may have had a hand in your salvation), so there’s nothing opportunistic about it. If they hound you after your polite response, call them on it; they deserve to be verbally reprimanded for not respecting you. There are no claw marks in the sand leading to Heaven, God drags no one in. He explains his position clearly, died in your place, woos you like a suitor, but respects your wishes. He’s not some cosmic rapist.
    5.“You should come to church with me on Sunday.” An offer politely phrased. Perhaps a better way to word it would be to change it to “Would you like to come to church with me on Sunday.” See my response to #4.
    6.“Have you asked Jesus into your heart?” They actually used to believe it was the stomach. A better phrasing could very well be in order.
    7.“Do you accept Jesus as your personal lord and savior?” Nowhere? I suppose those exact, precise words are not to be found. However, the bible says in Ephesians 2: 9-10: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. “People tried to elevate Jesus to the status of Lord, but he rejected it.” Wrong, wrong wrong. A common charge that’s completely at odds with the facts and testimony of the bible. Jesus had the perfect opportunity to put this question to rest when he appeared to the disciples in the upper room two weeks after his crucifixion. The apostle Thomas had missed the meeting on the prior Sunday when Jesus had appeared to the other disciples, but he made sure to come the following Sunday. We read in John 20:26-28: A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” If Jesus was neither, he would have been misleading Thomas and all present if he hadn’t corrected Thomas. But he is Lord and God, so no correction was necessary. Also there are over 100 instances where many of the names, titles and attributes ascribed to God are also ascribed to Jesus. I’ll be happy to detail these if you wish.
    8.“This could be the end of days.” Read Matthew 24. Also, in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, the apostle Paul tells the church there that those alive at the coming of the Lord would not precede those who had “fallen asleep” (an euphemism for death). The passage ends with the statement “Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” The point is that this present world is a place that’s been screwed up by the inevitable result of sin. There’s hope for believers of a world to come that will be perfect in every way and will never end. Revelation 21:1-8 states Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. “He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true. “He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
    9.“Jesus died for your sins… I didn’t ask Jesus to die for me, and if I’m not a Christian, I really have no concept of how that could possibly be a good thing.”
    Yes, Jesus died for your sins. Romans 3:22-24 says “This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” And in Romans 6:23 it says “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Your sins separate you from God, so the only way for you to be saved is for a sinless person to take your punishment for you. Jesus is the only one qualified to do this. This was foreshadowed in the Old Testament in the Passover, when countless innocent, unblemished lambs were slaughtered for the Jewish people. If this bothers you, it should. Jesus was the innocent, unblemished Lamb of God. The wages for sin is still death. His death would be a substitute for our not so innocent, sin blemished, selfish lives that are deserving of infinite punishment. He offers his life as a gift to be applied to all who put their faith in him alone for their salvation. You indeed did not ask him to die for you. The bible says in Romans 5:6-8 “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
    10.“Will all our visitors please stand?” I agree!
    I’d like to end with a brief request. As you can see from above, I tried to give common sense from life and evidence from the bible to back up my claims. Very few people have bothered to read the bible. I would like to challenge you to do so. Furthermore, and this will take a little courage as well, ask God to reveal himself to you through the bible. Just like you’d ask a waiter for a cup of coffee. I believe he’ll answer your request. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. Honestly, what do you have to lose?

    • I believe this is more of a list of cliches that Christians say to non-believers in the false belief that it will be a good argument to draw a non-believer into believing any of it. The writer of this article is just saying that any one of these cliches are “an abysmal way to introduce your faith to someone.” Whether or not it’s true based in the Word of God is irrelevant, because a non-believer does not take the Bible as a given truth, and therefore any of your disagreements in your reply above are inconsequential when introducing your faith to someone who doesn’t yet believe.

    • cesar restrep says:

      Thanks John,

      After I read the article I also disagreed completely. I thought an atheist had written it. Thanks for taking the time to refute all this article.

    • Alyssa Saurini says:

      Could you please step off the stage? And this is why so many people are turned off by “Christians”~

    • Hilarious.

      You’re being ironic, right.

      If you’re not, it’s even funnier.

    • “Honestly, what do you have to lose?” Obviously, your sanity, which you have lost. If ‘Everything happens for a reason’ and you can tell me the reason innocent children literally starve to death maybe I’ll understand how you can worship the power that lets it happen.

    • Right on, sir! I was going to add my comments, but you have done a splendid job.

    • So glad you wrote John. I couldn’t agree with you more, and agree less with the author of the article.

  57. Ok, wow. Where to begin? 1.) Romans 8-28. There’s your reason. 2.) and 6.) Romans 10:9. Assurance of salvation and that heart thing. 3.) Mathew 7:16. Few people are truly mysterious. 4.) Math 28:16-20, but yeah unless you’re Ephesians 4:11, probably shouldn’t lead with that. 5.) If your church only does Sunday morning service, find a new church. There’s gotta be something else going on you can lead out with. Nobody expects…the Christian ballroom dance lesson. 7.) and 8.) Go read the entire Book of Revelations, and Mathew, and Daniel, and…. He’s done with the one-time-only humble thing. He’s taking names. And no, I don’t want to reign for 1000 years with Him. I like my neck too much. 9.) John 3:16. But yeah, its not John 1:1. There’s an intro. 10.) If you need visitors to stand for recognition–find another Church. If you’re not family enough to know your own from new you need more potlucks. Altogether there NEEDS to be a DOUBLE STANDARD. Most the damage is done when we treat unbelievers presumptively as if they’re already Christians. God is big enough to “abandon” people to their own desires. We need to follow His example. They’ll come around…sometimes. If there wasn’t a real choice we’d be slaves and love would loose all meaning.

    • You, Bob, are the reason people are antagonistic towards Christians. Nobody needs to “come around”. there is no such thing , ever, and an “unbeliever”. Everyone believes in something, and for a lot of us, what we believe in works a lot better than your “sitting in a movie theater with your eyes closed, hoping you’ll get your money back at the end.”
      If you still insist on being a Christian who adopts the Muslim doctrine of conversion at all costs, maybe you should learn things about history and how it relates to your sect.
      Wait, no…then you’d find out that you’re a Paulian, not a Christian. Because the rabbi Jeshua bar Josef (Christ) was trying to reform Judaism, and never said anything about opening the religion up to Gentiles.
      And before you call me a heretic, I was raised a Southern Baptist, and the scars have almost completely healed.

  58. Jimcracky says:

    Dear Mr. Piatt,
    Thanks for a valiant attempt to help some shallow people look more closely at what they’re saying. As a gay man, may I please add one more: “We hate the sin, not the sinner.” Now this phrase is just fine if we’re talking about thieves robbing banks. We hate what they’re doing because their behavior is damaging to others and – if you happen to believe in an immortal soul – is evidence that something just ain’t right there. However, when Christians say that crap to me because I’m gay, here’s what I hear: “I’m a totally clueless person who is parroting a bromide that allows me to be rude to another person and feel okay about that.” It’s exasperating and it’s condescending.
    And here’s the difference between me and a bank robber. Sexual orientation is a fundamental part of who I am and who you are. Robbing banks is not. You can’t hate the “sin” of my sexual orientation without hating a integral and fundamental part of my identity. Bank robbers engage in a behavior that expresses a problem in their thinking – that they are somehow owed the fruits of other people’s labors. Sexual orientation, on the other hand, merely leads people to engage in behaviors that fulfill the very human need to form lasting bonds with another individual. We call this romance, bonding and love. It is pro-social behavior as opposed to antisocial behavior.
    And when Christians say this to me, it tells me they have never examined their own sexual orientation. They take it for granted. Heterosexuals do not realize how they are influenced by their own sexual orientation anymore than fish notice they are wet. But it influences many things great and small including your circle of friends, what movies you choose to see and, of course, who you select as a life partner. Heterosexuals flaunt their sexual orientation everywhere – holding hands on the street, kissing goodbye (or hello) at the airport, caressing one another in a restaurant, sitting with an arm around the shoulder in the church pew and, of course, tangled in the sheets.
    In your article you seem to place a great deal of value on getting to know another person before you try to share your faith with them. I deeply appreciate that. Of all the things I wish the Christian Church would do today in regard to gay people it is to quit talking about us, quit talking at us and start talking with us… and listen, dammit, listen. We’re trying to tell you something important. Being gay isn’t something we do, it is who we are. You can’t separate me from my sexual orientation with your cliches.
    Thanks for listening.

    • Jimcracky – I used to say that phrase and believe it but I have come a long way in my view on homosexuality. I am sorry that it has taken me so long. A really helpful book for me was “Living in sin” by John Selby Spong. I think it is a terrible injustice that so many gay people end up committing suicide because of un-acceptance and bullying (and christians saying things like the above phrase – i.e. judging) My hope is that kids growing up in church will be sitting alongside married gay couples as one congregation worshipping God together as a normal everyday thing. Perhaps becoming a mother has been the final piece in the puzzle for me, as i cannot imagine my feelings for my daughter ever changing one iota based on her sexuality…

  59. Mr. Piatt Thank you for attempting to honestly look at the christian dialogue, it was well written, and well thought out. it was also a bit arrogant (hold on a sec i’m going somewhere with this, and not trying to be a dick. in fact i’m trying to be as UN-dickish as possible) First of i’m Pagan, Raised Catholic, and a recovering addict, Paganism Literally saved my life when Christianity didn’t want me (note i said Christianity not Christ). things that as a non-Abrahamic/ non-christian i find hard to chew on and y’all should think about. Saying “God” and assuming everyone will assume you mean Yaweh/Jehova/Elhoim
    Christian “well ask God”
    Pagan “Which God”
    Christian”You know GOD” ( as if somehow being louder makes it more real)
    “What church do you go to” really it’s kind of self explanatory to me, but i guess that’s the point. Some of us, don’t have a “church” our religion is not institutionalized enough to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to build a building… besides Spirit put a church there already it’s called nature.
    In “insert later book of the new testament” It says/ the bible says. listen no foul i actually like a lot of your book, and i will fight for your right to have it, but i don’t believe it’s the word of god. it’s great that you do, but you also don’t get to tell me i can’t have a donut cause your on a diet.

    if this is coming across a bit snarky i’m sorry i don’t mean to, but my kids have lost friends and my son was attacked because we aren’t Christian, i have had family members decide they could decide how valid my relationships are. Many of my friends can’t be honest about who they are at work…. so it’s going to come out a bit snarly i guess.

    ok rant done, thanks for at least trying, you honestly get point for that … a lot of them,

  60. Anonnymous says:

    “Everything happens for a reason” I feel has nothing to do with Christianity. It is more so derived from the concept of karma (treat others as you would have them treat you).. I firmly believe in that one, I may not know the reason for something happening in the moment it occurs but there is always a reason for it. I have had many tragic things happen that made way for other beautiful things and without that “reason” they never would have. Live and let live, what this all comes down to is why are we so concerned with what others do and believe? I say as long as you are happy with yourself (and its not harming you or others) then believe what you want, heck worship a purple penguin for all I care! Its ok to be proud of your religion but the line is crossed when you try to force it on others. Explaining what you believe and why you believe it is ok but telling me I am wrong because I do not feel the same is where that line gets crossed.

    • “Everything happens for a reason” is actually the exact opposite of karma, which is the belief in dependent origination, or “Everything happens because of a reason.” The phrase in question originally started because of determinism, or the idea that everything is pre-planned, and there is nothing we can do about it.

    • It’s not Christian, but either way, it’s the most infuriating thing a person can say to me. It sounds as if you’re telling a person that their problems are no big deal. Well of course they’re not…to YOU. It implies that they’re not seeing things the “right” way (i.e. YOUR way, the “positive” way) and that they are wallowing in self-pity or negativity. I’m disabled from a freak medical event and am in therapy because of deep psychological scars from childhood sexual and emotional abuse. I want to use everything that’s happened to me to work toward being a better person, but that’s just not always possible. Anyone who tells me that I was molested or made handicapped “for a reason” is itching for a fat lip.

    • Ginger Sarmento says:

      Beautifully said!!!!

  61. “Religion is for people who don’t want to go to hell. Spirituality is for people who’ve already been there!” – (author unknown)

  62. I don’t care to spread the faith, or to be on the receiving end of anyone’s attempt to convert me to their faith. So, 2, and 4-10 I would not appreciate being directed to me. Thankfully, I live in a relatively secular area, so I don’t have to hear this stuff unless I bring myself to church.

    That being said, I don’t have a problem with 1 or 3. Those statements are meant to be comforting to people who are going through hard times. If someone said those to you, would you really be offended or annoyed?

    I’ve had some horrible things happen to me and to people that I love. That things happen for a reason, and that those in pain may anticipate release from suffering with their passing, are concepts that lend meaning and finality to the tribulations experienced on this earth. I’m okay with that message.

    Someone who is suffering may not believe the message, but I doubt that they would resent it. I don’t see that these sentiments amount to putting one’s foot in one’s mouth.

    I also don’t think that 1 and 3 can really be described as being solely Christian.

  63. Love this, thankfully in Britain the end days nonsense hasn’t made it over, and we are too formal to ask visitors to stand, however the rest are spot on.

    • Yeah…”nonsense.” LOL

      • Hey if the US want to fall for the ideas of a 19th century Welsh snake oil salesman, feel free, but just don’t say it is scriptural.

        • That’s right. Fk! I forgot that Christians are fully unenlightened, knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing, mOrons. Now where did I put those bloody crystals?

          LOL!!! Love ya babe!

          • Amusingly you seem to think I am not a Christian. Perhaps if you let your prejudices down you might learn something.

            • LOL…cuz yer not.

              The power of discernment is not prejudicial babe…its a gift of survival.

              • Ahh I see your intellectual repartee has slain me, “cuz yer not” (sic) is so stunning an argument that that if my faith were not based on being saved by the grace of God and Christs love I would immediately become a devil worshiping satanist.

                As it is I shall remember Mathew 25, and pray for you. Trolling is a sign of great inner pain and turmoil

                • dunno what a troll is, never have really cared. I simply classified you as “hostile to Christian” by virtue of your initial yap: “Love this, thankfully in Britain the end days nonsense hasn’t made it over, and we are too formal to ask visitors to stand, however the rest are spot on.”

                  So I’m not to discern anything thar? You write stuff that means and says nothing my dear? You wrote “Love this, thankfully in Britain the end days nonsense hasn’t made it over, and we are too formal to ask visitors to stand, however the rest are spot on” and I’m to derive what?

                  esplain pleez….cuz i was raised (by wolves) to understand that words mean things and that words strung together can, in a symbiotic modus, actually make a statement directly or via entendrae. No?

                  So what the bloody fk do you mean by: “Love this, thankfully in Britain the end days nonsense hasn’t made it over, and we are too formal to ask visitors to stand, however the rest are spot on” and I’m to derive what?” Und “Hey if the US want to fall for the ideas of a 19th century Welsh snake oil salesman, feel free, but just don’t say it is scriptural.”

                  You don’t read this as a figurative pissing upon Christianity? Is your finish-line rhetoric Obama-like to “sound like” a Christian after you kick us in the nards?

                  Does that last snake-oil thing mean I’m a Mormon or a Moron?

                  Count me confuzzled babe.

                  Don’t espect to drop bombs and walk away dear. Let’s at least dance.

            • And BTW jeMIma…

              I don’t appreciate that people like you feel free to take pot-shots at the USA in your superior tone.

              “Love this, thankfully in Britain the end days nonsense hasn’t made it over…”

              In other words, the US is too stupid to no better and the UK (or vastly stuck-up “Britain” as you refer) is imune to such simple idiocy.

              …and we are too formal to ask visitors to stand, however the rest are spot on.”

              The USA has no manner nor “class” to handle ourselves.

              In your later text, you claim us to again, be stupid. “Hey if the US want to fall for the ideas of a 19th century Welsh snake oil salesman, feel free, but just don’t say it is scriptural.”

              In your nation and within your flamingly anti-American sub-culture you rather enjoy shredding us. Of course, you cannot say a negative word about anyone except for Christians and Jews, for a verbal attack on Islam simply will be far too stark a contrast of reality, that will shed ample light on your bitterness.

              You American-hating blabber, though so chique in targeting Christians, is quite clear. Let me see ONE bit of nasty truth about Islam come from your keyboard. Your fingers would crack before you could type such things. Truth is a bitch and she drives realities that you can duck, ignore and blame on the US Christians, but reality always collects what she’s due.

    • GMP Moderator says:

      @jemima101 and Rob:

      Okay you two that’s enough. Keep it civil or I show you the door.

    • Sorry that I have been away from my e-mail for several days. The political ads are getting ridiculous, especiually since I voted a week and a half ago!

      But I digresss, actually I’m looking forward to December 22, 2012 because once again the doomsday people can go away for a while. I was raised on this BS. Growing up in the Southern Appalachian Mountains there was always some person down the street that was “seeing” signs of the End of Days. The ones you feel really sorry for are people like in Ohio around the turn of the last centuary. They sold everything wrapped themselves in sheets and waited on the end on a hill top. Sunrise came and went and nothing happened.

      When I was going to college back in the seventies the self-rightous self-proclaimed evangelists hated me. I carried a copy of the King James Bible in the hip pocket (with a English copyright no less) they hated me because I would look up the scripture that they had missquoted to me and read them the full text and explain it to them. I was also a Sunday School teacher in High School. So when people get annoying around me I don’t get angry and defensive. Rather I have enjoyed long conversations about religion. When Hare Krishnas showed up on campus I welcomed long talks with them so I could learn more about Eastern thought. You don’t have to be hostile because someone has a different world view. Often at my Unitarian Universalist “church” we have very interesting conversations with people of widely differing views. Neo-pagans, humanists, atheists, mystics, and liberal Christians its delightful! I feel sad that others are so caught up in being so closed minded that they denigh themselves of this joyious feast.

      • @ James W Love

        I am an atheist, but regularly tune into the Melbourne, Australian Unitarian broadcast on local community radio for their Saturday presentation. There is no sermon just rational, thoughtful and compassionate talk about all things great and small; from climate change to gambling, from the right of all to education to the rights of indigenous people. I always feel hopeful after these programs.

        No proselytizing just positive, helpful discussion. I know if I attended a Unitarian meeting I would feel welcome and not judged. Other more dogmatic religions could well be enlightened by Unitarians.

  64. To all Christians quoting the religion at non Christians is part of this topic. Did none of you read it?

    I don’t care if you are christians – I do care if you cannot hold a single conversation without referring to your lord or prince or whatever it is you worship.

    Please. That you do the above indicates a complete lack of respect for other people.

    And I promise not to quote Christopher Hitchens back at you. I don’t worship him. I don’t worship anyone. I am just trying to make a point.


    • I rather lack respect for you than for God. Not that I don’t care about you or your feelings, but because I care about your eternal soul. I must do what the “LORD” tells me to do. I am to preach to all nations about Him. He said that I would be rejected just as He was and I understand your opposition, but true Christians will always speak out and proclaim what the Lord has done, is doing, and is going to do.

      Jesus loves you and wants you, He does not need you, but He wants you. To want is something more desirable than a need, it should shake you to know that the Creator of the universe wants you.

      • I Can Also Abuse Capital Letters, Like People Used To Do In The Middle-Ages, Capitalizing Nearly Every Word.

        Do you know that “God” is not “God’s” name? YHWH translated as Yahveh, Jehovah. Most people seem to think that “God” is actually the name, I’m agnostic and I know better (and I don’t do bible study every other week, I stopped when I left high school religion class, by graduating (the other option was no better).

        • I think it is unfortunate that you stopped studying religion. Even though I was extremely put off by Southern Baptists in high school I continued to study religion and philosophy in college. I am now a flaming liberal Unitarian Universalist. Much of my core beliefs are from Asian religion. Although my deepest core is just coming to terms with being a shaman. What can I say its what I am. I’m just thankful that my grandfather was still alive to give me some advise, it helped.

      • Chuck Owens says:

        I love it when someone calls themselves “true Christians” as opposed to every other one who does not believe as they do.

        • What is even worse is when they stand there and misquote scripture at you. We had a group on campus in the seventies that “got religion” and were doing all kinds of things! Worst was the girls using a first century tactic, they were “f**king for Christ”!

  65. Regarding number 7: One of the commandments was to have no other gods before him. That’s what accepting him as Lord of your life is all about – it’s putting him on the throne of your heart.

  66. VERY interesting article. I’m fascinated with the idea that Christians should abandon the Great Commission found at the end of Matthew’s Gospel, where Jesus literally commands his followers to make people into disciples of God, and then he places himself at God’s level. I’m not sure how this is “rejecting” being made Lord, but it truly is a fascinating concept.

    For more on God and why it just might be okay to tell people about him, please feel free to see my site: http://dontforgettothink.blogspot.com

    Blessings, or not, if you’re not into that.

  67. Reading something like this and demanding the author do a similar article on every other religious group – or those with no religious identity – is so predictable and stupid.

    This article is by someone who is obviously a member of the Christian faith. Insiders tend to have the most insightful criticisms, and any organization that can’t stand criticism doesn’t deserve anyone’s time (this includes political parties).

  68. I disagree with number 10 because we do the introductions in our church so that we can welcome people into the church. By seeing the vistors standing up after the service I can welcome them to the area and our church. Because we have so many members we wear name tags so if I attend the 9:00 service(I usually attend the later 11:00) I would be confused with a vistor and I’ve been a member for ah thirty-six years.

    One of my favorite tings is coffee hour because the discussions can be so intersting; where else can a humanist, a Christian, atheist, mystic, and agnostic have a friendly debate. Oh, where can a Gay man openly grieve for his lover that just died. Guess thats why we keep growing as the other churches become irrelivent.

  69. Christian Piatt, I don’t think you’ve read and prayed on the bible very carefully… It is our job as Christians to be sharing our faith. It doesn’t matter what a persons life is like, EVERYONE needs Jesus.

    He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:15,16)

    • So does that mean because I’m Jewish that I’m condemned? I mean, I’m sure Jesus is great for you and all, but I feel like I’m living a fine upstanding life without believing in him as the son of God. I don’t need to be told to be a good person. I just do it. Not everyone needs Jesus, but everyone does need to practice a little acceptance for different faiths.

      • Carl Menger says:

        Yes Zek, according to her belief, you ARE condemned. But wait there’s more! If you agree now to betray your faith, both you and she get extra special brownie points! She the Jews are Gods chosen people, but they’re all going to hell.

        I’ve never understood why Christians find it so hard to understand why everyone doesn’t flock to them.

      • What does it mean to be good? Your merit is not enough, and as a Jew you know that the Messiah was coming, all the prophets you read about including Moses prophecied about Jesus. I urge you to analyze, to study, and ask Jehova God; the God of Abarham, Isaac, and Jacob; to open your ears and your eyes to the truth.

        • So if your lord tells you how to treat other people (your interpretation), who do not and never will share your beliefs, for whatever reason – you get to treat them with contempt.

          Great religion. Think it up in kindergarten? Because that is the level of maturity many religious people display.

          And that is what this topic is about. Have your religion but respect the right of others to their beliefs and this means not proselytizing.


          • LOL!

            Proselytizing about not proselytizing! Love it!

            • LOL

              Doesn’t know the meaning of ‘Proselytize’. Kind of confirms my ‘kindergarten’ reference.

              verb (used with object), verb (used without object), pros·e·lyt·ized, pros·e·lyt·iz·ing.
              to convert or attempt to convert as a proselyte; recruit.


              Read the article before commenting.

              • The proselytizing is equally being done by you. That is why your criticism of Carl Menger is so hilarious.

                There’s no sense in criticizing someone for proselytizing if you are proselytizing too.

  70. Carl Menger says:

    One more I’d like to see added to the list:”Have you heard the good news?”. I’m 52 year old man living in a an 80% Christian nation in the 21st century, how likely do you think it is that the Christian message has completely escaped my notice?

    • I doubt that 80% of the american population is christian, maybe it was back in your youngan days. Today is a whole different generation, a generation that is the product of a falling away of the faith. But in retrospect, that is a cheesy line.

  71. NWOslave says:

    In the spirit of equality, perhaps a nice dressing down of other faiths as well as athiests?

    • i think this isn’t so much a dressing down of the faith as it is a certain type of christian. if you want to read a fantastic piece in a similar vein on atheists check out terry eagleton’s review of richard dawkin’s “the god delusion” in the london review of books. it should still be on their website and is indexed by google.

  72. Life and Lessons says:

    Nice article. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and sharing your faith. 🙂 I think more compassionate Christians like yourself need to speak up. IMHO, I think Jesus would be pleased. 🙂

  73. Great article.

  74. Is there a list of cliches that Mr. Piatt has written on what, he believes, Christians should say?

    • Cardy

      Here’s a start. Assume that not everyone shares your belief and just be polite, respectful and realise that your religion is your religion – that’s all. And let all the non-religious live in peace without your condescension, such as “I try to live my life like how My Lord Jesus lived while he was here on earth, hoping to be an example for others as My Lord is for me.”

      As the author stated – lords don’t have any meaning in the 21st century and for many nor does Jesus.


      I try to live to help others and look after my environment. If Christians have an issue with this – I really don”t give a damn.

      • Dianna – I made no reference to everyone sharing my belief or religion – only to myself and My Lord.

        You wrote ” I try to live to help others and look after my environment” – which is your shared belief. Likewise, I before respectfully shared my belief.

        All respectably shared beliefs should be appreciated, not only those in agreement with the author.

      • Lords are a significant part of today’s society, the thing is that most everyone assumes they are it.

  75. As a devote Christian I often share with other 4, 7 & 9 – but none of the other sayings written.

    I try to live my life like how My Lord Jesus lived while he was here on earth, hoping to be an example for others as My Lord is for me.

  76. All I’m seeing is assigning blame to categories. Go broad! Go with “humans” as a good broad category of evil-doers, hypocrites, liars, losers and loads.

    Christians are in fact a nice and easy category at which to shoot, but surely there are more…there are others. If you can’t assign others categories to such nastiness, you might want to examine the true source and nature of your objections.

    • Rob, I think you’re being overly defensive. Even before I got to the “about the author” blurb I could tell this piece was mainly directed at Christians themselves and those who might otherwise have investigated Christianity if not for initial bad impressions. Nothing wrong at all with cleaning one’s own house.

      This article is the kind of thing Christianity needs, not circling the wagons every time we see a perceived “attack.”

      • Oh man Chuck! LOL….I am SO glad they never published my earlier replies to this article! It would have curled yer hair. Sorry bout the over-reaction. Been kind of circling the wagons all my life.

  77. These are definitely not the worst things said by Christians. Fundamentalist Christians say much to offend non-believers and LGBTs, using a cafeteria approach to the Bible, where they quote parts that suit them and ignore parts that don’t suit them. Fundamentalist Christians have very little to do with the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.

  78. Try telling people WHO have been to hell and back literally and know the truth before you spout this drivel.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dear people who claim to have been to hell and back literally and know the truth:

      You are wrong. You are wrong about the existence of hell. You are wrong about what the word literally means. You are wrong about what know means. You are wrong about what truth means. Don’t believe things just because you heard yourself say them.


    • How the hell do you know what people who you’ve never even seen have gone through?

      I was a heroin addict for 7 years, and addicted to other substances during the 8 years prior to that. I’ve – literally – died twice, as in I had no pulse and no respiration for a span of several minutes. I have bipolar I disorder with psychosis, meaning I hallucinate and have delusions along with extreme mood swings. Because of these I’m on a rather wide array of sometimes debilitating medications. I’ve been beaten multiple times for my sexual orientation and gender identity. I’ve been homeless.

      Despite all of these experiences, I wouldn’t dare to questions anyone else’ trials and tribulations – not a friend, not an acquaintance, especially not someone I’ve never met and whom I only know from reading a few short words of theirs online!

      How dare you pretend to possess superior knowledge while at the same time assuming the author – or anybody else here – couldn’t possibly have suffered as much as you.

      The only hell is the one we make here on Earth.

      I’m really rather sick of sanctimonious comments by people who declare nobody else could possibly understand true suffering, because only they have truly plumbed suffering’s depths.

      Even after everything I’ve been through, I don’t judge other people’s misery. What’s easy for some is painful for others, and unless you know a person – and know them intimately well – you have not one solitary, shivering clue what they’ve gone through.

  79. The problem is that all this is based on faith, to which i will quote W. K. Clifford in my views on faith, “It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.”

    • even better one
      ‘Every time we let ourselves believe for unworthy reasons, we weaken our powers of self-control, of doubting, of judicially and fairly weighing evidence. We all suffer severely enough from the maintenance and support of false beliefs and the fatally wrong actions which they lead to…. But a greater and wider evil arises when the credulous character is maintained and supported, when a habit of believing for unworthy reasons is fostered and made permanent.’ W. K. Clifford

    • Um yeah thats the choice YOU make.You cant possibly go through life without having a little faith in something.Its jsut th fact that through time some people cant handle not being tld over and over that this is why things are.Im sure if enough time went by people would look at Charles Manson and think he was some anti fake hollywood revolutionary or some crap.The fact is you hav faith that yoru car wil take you to work everyday until the day that it doesnt.To say that everyone has to absolutely be based on evidence is idiocy and why alot of murderers go free and to quote someone who is so closed minded shows….. well.Think about it,intelligence and faith can exist in the same person with an open mind.The world isnt and will enver be black and white we dont know whats at the bottom of our own oceans or how space time exists and to think that we should know God’s mailing adsress??? Wake up thats just arrogance or stupidity I dont know which.And for this guy to say “well i didnt ask Jesus to die for me” sounds like a teenager caomplaing about his new car because its not the kind he wanted and saying “well i didnt ask for you to buy me a car” of course you didnt but you sure didnt mind accepting it or appreciating the fact did you?

      • Cars work not based on faith, but using internal combustion engines and gasoline. You may want to look up the word faith in the dictionary.

        • I don’t have an ounce of faith in me, Sheesh, but from a socialogical context, faith is USEFUL.

          Blind faith can prompt people to take monstrous risks, and as the old saying goes, “Who risks, conquers.”

          Without faith (and here, we mean faith in anything: faith in god, faith in yourself, faith in the fact that the sun will rise tomorrow), it’s much easier to wait for evidence. But sometimes, waiting for evidence prompts you to wait too long or go into analysis paralysis. Or, to quote Patton: “A good solution applied with vigor now is better than a perfect solution applied ten minutes later.” (actually, Patton was an expert on this sort of thing — just take a look at his wikiquote page).

          I guess what I’m trying to say is that there are two ways of going about things:
          * Acting on faith, and thereby taking risks without data, daring the impossible and, therefore, sometimes achieving it (or failing, and often
          * Acting on evidence, and therefore only acting when victory is certain, but otherwise missing opportunities to act for lack of evidence

          Faith, then is a shotgun effect: random acts of faith sometimes take advantage of opportunities we didn’t even know were there. But it’s a dicey way of going about things.

          • I don’t like the conflation of “faith”, as in “I have faith in a god and an afterlife”; and “faith”, as in “from what I currently understand, I have a reasonable chance of success”. This is because the latter isn’t “faith” – although many think it is – but it is instead “estimation”. There is a world of difference; mainly, estimates are based on at least some evidence.

            As Christian Piatt said above, “The fact is that faith, by definition, is not reasonable.”

      • You seem to have a skewed view as to what faith is.

        I don’t have FAITH in the functionality of my car, I have EVIDENCE that my car will function based upon past experience. There is a notable and DEFINABLE difference.

    • In that case, W. K. Clifford sounds as wacky as the Christian fundamentalists!

  80. wellokaythen says:

    If being dead means going to a better place, then evangelicals should be perfectly fine with suicide, assisted or otherwise.

    • Eric M. says:

      True, true.

      But, so should abortion rights advocates, since the idea of personal bodily autonomy applies at least as much to persons who wish to die as it does to persons who wish to abort a pregnancy.

      • wellokaythen says:

        True. I’m also thinking that if a baby has a soul that originally comes from Heaven, then it’s cruel to bring a baby into the world. Why not just leave the souls in Heaven by never having children? Why force souls to go through this crappy existence? Makes no sense.

        Unless maybe our souls come from Hell, and this world is actually the best part of existence, before the soul goes right back to Hell. Theoretically that’s just as possible as the opposite….

    • It’s not that simple, WellOkayThen. =)

      Ignoring beliefs about souls, about heaven or hell, and about who actually wrote the Bible in the first place, the Bible and other religious texts serve as guides for “good behavior” in the context of the Bible’s intended audience.

      In this context, the “no suicide” rule is a kinda “take-responsibility-for-yourself” rule,
      leveraging eternal suffering against the challenges in life to encourage perseverance in the face of terrible challenges (thereby facilitating reproductive and material success).

      Do a close reading of the Bible some time, searching for cultural imperatives. They’re EVERYWHERE.

      • Miss Kae Oz says:

        Suicide is not in the bible. It is not declared a sin. Augustine and Thomas Aquinas both said it was a sin and sometimes the church listened. There is some historical evidence to support the idea that the times the church really focused on the idea were times when the peasants lives were the worst. They wanted all their serfs and servants to stop offing themselves for the eternal rewards of the ever after and keep toiling the fields for the powers that be, aka – The Catholic Church.

  81. wellokaythen says:

    This list seems to assume several things that may not actually apply to many evangelizing people. (And this applies to all sorts of evangelizing, not just religious kinds. The young man who came to my door recently to talk to me about the environment was not all that much different.)

    1. The evangelizer is really open to advice about how to behave differently.
    2. The effect on the listener really is a primary concern of the evangelizer.
    3. The evangelizer really is making conscious, thoughtful decisions about how to interact with other people.
    4. The evangelizer really is interested in having a mutual conversation with someone who may have different beliefs.

    I suspect many of these clichés are really more about the speaker’s own desires than about the “mission target.” These clichés have become clichés because in some cases they merely follow the script of the party line. They are simply assumed to be true, or the believer is supposed to believe they are true, so therefore they are merely statements of profound truth, and nothing could ever be wrong with stating the truth. If the evangelizer really were to question the missionary strategy, then he or she might begin to question the entire basis of the religion itself. If saying the right words is key for me to get into Heaven, then why should I listen to a mere outsider’s advice? I did my due diligence by saying the correct words, so give me the salvation, goddammit.

    Basically, I’m not sure this list isn’t falling on deaf ears.

  82. Edgar Ramsey says:

    When I am grieving for a lost loved one, friend or relative the last fucking thing I want to hear is “They are in a better place now.” No, they are not, they are dead as road kill and I am doing my best to try to cope with losing them. And the next insult is, ” It’s God’s will.” Really? God told the cells in my loved ones body to start mutating and growing uncontrolably. How anyone can believe this kind of superstitious drivel is going to comfort someone in a time of sorrow is beyond me.

  83. Kristin Jones says:

    so so so true. Except that I disagree that #7 is not in the bible – I refer to Romans 10:9,10.

  84. 1.“Everything happens for a reason.” … I’ve heard this from many people and it’s not always associated to any faith. Something happens in life, should we all look inward and work on how that event can shape our lives or even the lives of others?
    2.“If you died today, do you know where you’d spend the rest of eternity?” Wow, I didn’t know this was exclusive to Christians but what heck. I don’t know anyone that doesn’t wonder about this.
    3.“He/she is in a better place” … I sure hope so. My brother had AIDS and he really suffered and in my faith and belief system, I know he’s in a better place.
    4.“Can I share a little bit about my faith with you?” Only heard this when someone said something to open the door for discussion. Heck, even with my Christian friends, it’s something we don’t bring up unless the setting is right for it.
    5.“You should come to church with me on Sunday.” Providing they aren’t 7th Day Adventists. I don’t like dragging people to mass, it’s too confusing for them. More important then mass to me is knowing where the person is at spiritually. Lots of well educated Catholics that kinda suck in the spirituality arena
    6.“Have you asked Jesus into your heart?” Pretty heavy question unless there was a dialogue about Jesus and religion in the first place. But it’s worth a try, after writing this response, I think I’ll mosey over to the Target store and out of the blue, ask the store clerk
    7.“Do you accept Jesus as your personal lord and savior?” Wow, another one that’s kinda deep for an out of the blue question … don’t ya think?
    8.“This could be the end of days.” Scary thought, aint it? Didn’t someone say that the Mayan calendar predict something … I know I saw it on TV somewhere.
    9.“Jesus died for your sins.” Yup, he sure did … If you’re a Christian and someone was saying this to you, wouldn’t “duhh, ya think?” be a great response??
    10.“Will all our visitors please stand?” Well, if you’re in a church and they would ask that and you didn’t want to be there, how come you’re there much less complaining about it. If it’s your church, then get off your behind and talk to the preacher. If it’s not your church and don’t like it, why did you take them up on #5 in the first place?

  85. bob8404 says:

    My personal favorite? “God won’t give someone something they can’t handle”.

    My favorite response?
    “I had gotten back from a foot patrol and was working in the clinic when they brought a friend of mine in, he’d been burned to death in a gasoline ied attack. Tell me something, what exactly did God think this kid could handle?”

    • On the contrary — and this is not intended to diminish the horrifying scene and event you’re
      Describing here — perhaps that brave young man was prepared to handle the one thing most of us are never prepared for: losing his own life for the sake of others.

      If only all of us were prepared for such things, we’d be a whole lot more…Christ-like, I reckon.

  86. What I hear in these words is the fact that these are cliches and tired ones at that. Sadly, we try to water down the message of Christ which is both simple and complex at the same time. My hope is that wherever you are in your journey in life, get to know who Christ is and what he came here for and not the weak messages that we tend to shoot off.

  87. Things one Christian would like to ask other Christians:

    – Where in the bible does it say “Thou must be my police force for the sins thou hates the most?”
    – Where in the bible does it say “Thou shalt be licensed to persecute and make miserable my children who you just hate for some reason?”

    – Why is it in every church I try to join to find peace, brotherly-love and support for my soul’s injuries, the only man who ever (as in ever) stands by me is Jesus?

  88. Thanks. I’d like to add “we need to hold each other accountable.” Dude, if you’re cheating on your wife I’m pretty sure you’re not going to have qualms about confessing your sin to me over coffee at Starbucks.

  89. Noah Brand says:

    I heard a saying once that true evangelism should be like one beggar telling another where he found bread. This was modified with the caveat that one must be prepared to accept the response “I’m not actually a beggar and I don’t need any bread, thanks.”

  90. I’ll add one to the list…”hate the sin, not the sinner.” It’s just a bad phrase all around. This is the phrase, well the concept really, that makes people think they can cure or get over their sexual orientation or their non-normative gender identity. Not to mention, for us non-Christians hearing that sounds so very pretentious and condescending. It’s got the same sort of undertones that the person saying it has some insider knowledge that the rest of us don’t have.

    Anyway, otherwise yeah I totally liked this list. As for the evangelical bits…I have a friend who was part of an evangelical church in high school and she was given this whole instructional manual thing about how to evangelize. Basically it said she should ask people on the street to stop and like, sign a petition or fill out a survey or whatever (like you do) and then after you’ve got them started on the neutral questions you start the pitch about Jesus and so on. That, to me, was like so bad. That’s like the worst kind of sales pitch.

  91. Eric M. says:

    1. “Everything happens for a reason” IS a ridiculous thing to say but you need to get out with non-Christians sometime. They say that same thing all the time.

    2. “If you died today, do you know where you’d spend the rest of eternity?” Never heard that one.

    3. “He/she is in a better place.” If there was suffering involved prior to death, they are not in a better “place” but certainly in a better situation. Death is better than pain and/or suffering.

    4. “Can I share a little bit about my faith with you?” If they feel compelled to keep their beliefs a secret, they are wasting their time in that church or religion. They should move on or just quit going. Also, pretty sure the NT says something about Jesus and his apostles doing that.

    5. “You should come to church with me on Sunday.” This one is correct. Even college scouts aren’t that abrupt.

    6. “Have you asked Jesus into your heart?” Heart has a much larger metaphorical connotation than liver or kidney but it’s a ridiculous question.

    7. “Do you accept Jesus as your personal lord and savior?” Another silly question, I agree. But, you are wrong here. Jesus is frequently referred to as Lord in the NT.

    8. “This could be the end of days.” Well, that is a core tenet/teaching in the NT, especially from Jesus himself, so. . .

    9. “Jesus died for your sins.” If that’s the first thing they say, it really is starting in the middle, but being silent on that is like teaching someone US history without ever mentioning that tiny detail of revolutionary war.

    10. “Will all our visitors please stand?” Terrible idea. Never heard of that.

    • Well said. As for the post…I think it was lacking either a bit of intellectual honesty…or it was just plain naive to what the Bible actually says…..especially about Jesus being Lord.

      Granted I have heard number 2. Although I don’t think it is as bad as the author puts it. The question is supposed to remind the person of their mortality…something people in countries like the US tend to forget about except during funerals, and 9-11. The idea of being mortal and being accountable for one’s sins is central to the Bible. Furthermore, having confidence of one’s salvation is also taught within the NT, although hardly the focus; granted it should go without saying that no person has infallible knowledge….but that doesn’t mean that one can’t speak with sufficient confidence based on the promises laid out in scripture.

  92. Mark Ellis says:

    I’m pretty down with this piece because I don’t like heavy-handed proselytizing from the members of any religious affiliation. If someone asks specific questions, I’ll try to answer, but even though many faiths count the spreading of the word as part of what a believer is supposed to do, it is presumptive to impinge on the unknown spirituality of people with aggressive attempts to bring others into the fold. Most of what’s on the list seems to do that.

    For #1, I would paraphrase if asked and say, “What I believe is that we can’t always comprehend why things happen, and we put our faith in a higher power.

  93. Numbers 4-7 and number 9 are the ones I, in particular, have heard so often I pretty much just gag on reflex. Maybe it’s because Jews in general do not proselytize, but I am never more bothered by Christianity/Christians than when they’re trying to convert people or setting up their faith as the only true path.

    It’s not wrong to feel that way about your religion, but few religions go about actively telling people that. You don’t see Hindus or Buddhists or Jews going door-to-door asking people if they’ve accepted [blank] into their hearts.

    #9 definitely gets me annoyed. I tend to snap back, “well, nobody asked him to!” Shoot, I’ve told off more than one door-to-door Bible thumper, “if Jesus died for my sins then why the hell do I need to do anything else? Seems like a package deal to me! Guess I’ll go back to debauchery now that you’ve informed about my free-pass to eternal salvation. P.S. It’s 6 AM — F*** off!”

    That said, I’ve met true and good Christians who really practice what they preach and what Jesus taught. They’re good folk. Too bad they’re a rarity.

  94. I think Christian makes some great points here, but I think some of it is pretty culturally specific. We need to make sure that we don’t limit our own ability to see Jesus work in lives.

    More on my blog > “Christian Piatt’s 10 Cliches (A Response)”

  95. Michelle says:

    Thank you Christian for articulating what I’ve been struggling to express for a very long time. Australian Christianity is all but dead in the water because so many well-meaning, lovely people assume far too much presumption and arrogance about the faith they hold dear. I’ve not given up on my faith. I still love the idea of “something” bigger than me and loving me THAT much but I’ll be damned if I go down the path (nave?) of stupidly judgemental and vinegar-soaked arrogance that lauds (sic) form over function churchiness again.

  96. Robert Eddy says:

    And I have been particularly irked by the “everything happens for a reason” twaddle. Yes, of course it does, but as has been indicated above the reasons sometimes are rather hideous and dreadful — in what manner of consolation is the reason cliche in those cases??

  97. Robert Eddy says:

    For #12: How about the line “this (the United States) was founded as a Christian country.” No, it wasn’t. The European settlment (Anglo) was made up of people of divergent views, largely Protestant, some Catholic. And all were quite careful to be sure to keep their differing views suppressed for the common good when it came to country stitching-together and Consitution-drafting business. Somehow the idea has gotten abroad that the US was once a Christian country and should be ‘reclaimed’. It never was a Christian country and the only ones with a legitimate position to seek reclamation are the native Americans!

  98. I’m not sure why, but the deep south of the United States, where I live, is lathered with these phrases. My fellow Christian family members, friends, and aquaintances have no idea the harm they do when they practice their religion poorly.

    NUmber 11 should be:

    “You need a witness for Christ every day.”

    Really? A witness for what? A car accident? An assault? Can I be a witness for the hypocrisy I see among my fellow believers. Jesus sais to let YOUR LIFE be a witness not YOUR MOUTH. The greatest compliment about my Christianity I’ve ever received came from a self-proclaimed “God-hate” who recently told me, “you know, the way you carry yourself makes me want to hang out in church with you”.

    This is an excellent piece Christian Pratt, I hope the right people, fellow believers of Jesus’ actual teachings, get the message.

    Bless you

  99. Christian this was a pretty great list and I totally agree with number one because I’m an atheist/secular humanist and my brother was murdered six years ago and was highly upsetting when people would say “everything happens for a reason”. I understood the intention but it was still perplexing.

  100. You may very well be my new favorite contributor. Looking forward to any and everything else you have to say on the subject.


  1. […] Good Faith: Ten clichés Christians Should Stop Saying.   While I don’t agree with everything in this post, there is a lot of truth here. […]

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