In a recent sermon at Wine Before Breakfast, Joe AC, pastoral director of Parkdale Neighbourhood Church in Toronto concluded with these modern day Beatitudes from the perspective of our contemporary, self-satisfied church culture.
by Joe Abbey-Colborne
Blessed are the well off and those
…with ready answers for every spiritual question;
…they have it all.
Blessed are the comfortable;
…they shall avoid grief.
Blessed are the self-sufficient;
…they wait for nothing, they have everything they want,
…and they have it now.
Blessed are those who are not troubled by
…the injustice experienced by others;
…they are content with realistic expectations.
Blessed are the ones who gain the upper hand;
…they take full advantage of their advantages.
Blessed are those with a solid public image
…and a well hidden agenda;
…they are never exposed and see people
…in a way that suits their purposes.
Blessed are those who can bully others into agreement;
…they shall be called empire builders.
Blessed are those who can point to someone else
…who is a worse person than they are,
…they will always look good by comparison.
Blessed are you when people praise you, give you preferential treatment, and flatter you because they think you’re so great. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, because it doesn’t get any better than this.
This is the way our church has always made celebrities of the best and brightest.
18 Responses to “The Beatitudes of Our Current Church Culture”
This struck a chord within me, and reminds me of the warning my Pastor issued about Professional Christianity!
However, my responsibility is to examine myself, not others and have Father search my heart for any iniquity. It’s tempting to read something like this and immediately think of everyone else and deny looking at myself.
Change starts with me! Time to relinquish my self-sufficiency, His life in me and not mine….
Wow! I’d say that’s a pretty good re-write of ‘the Beatitudes’ for the present day…However, I think I’ll stick with the original, and the author thereof.
Debra – Glad you’re sticking with the original, tho it seems many of our churches have become captive to the kinds of beatitudes Joe is referencing. There are times and places I catch myself falling into this trap too.
Pure, unadulterated baloney. The author cannot claim Christianity by any stretch of the imagination. I don’t even know why I read this.
Anthony – Perhaps you missed that while what’s described here is neither ideal nor reflective of the gospel, it has still made its way into our churches to the disservice of our witness. Remain outraged – perhaps not at those who call it like it is, but those (ourselves included) who perpetuate these sins.
Anthony, baloney is absolutely right.
I wasn’t offering these as a recommended way of living and being. I was reflecting on how easy it is for us in the church to SAY we have one set of values (the things and people we count as blessed) but when we look closely at HOW we actually DO things, and who we actually give the highest status to, it is too often painfully clear that the church really values all the same things the rest of the culture does; status, power, self-sufficiency, attractiveness, comfort and getting our own way. I’m tempted by this as much as any of my brothers and sisters.
After reading this article, and reflecting on it; it seems to me that much of what is spoken of in these modern day beatitudes are things that have crept in, simply due to people not doing what Jesus/Yeshua said. He said that you are to love the Lord your God with all your heart mind, soul, and strength; AND LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF. Simply put: most of what was spoken of was the ways a lot of self professing Christians act these days, and shows that such persons are NOT loving others as them self., nor are they putting others BEFORE them self. That said, I, too, feel that we should each take part in lengthy introspection and repent, where needed.
Actually, Jesus went even further than to say “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Those were his responses when posed with the question, “What is the greatest commandment” in Mark 12 – and instead of picking just one, he picked two. But, in one of my favorite nuances of the New Testament, Jesus (in typical fashion) actually took it one step further when giving his OWN command about love, and not just using one from the Torah. For that, he said, “love your neighbor as I have loved you,” in John 13.
One slight but powerful difference that calls us to a love that is not constrained by our own limits, but rather one that images and imitates Christ. Tough stuff!
Digging a lot » Blog Archive » The New Beatitudes: another quote
[…] found this at http://empireremixed.com/2010/10/08/the-beatitudes-of-our-current-church-culture/. Perhaps it is more relevant to American culture, but it also made me think of contemporary British […]
very well written… yet absolutely tragic that we can recognise ourselves in this
The Beatitudes of Our Current Church Culture « The Narrow Path
[…] from: http://empireremixed.com/2010/10/08/the-beatitudes-of-our-current-church-culture/) GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "0"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", "other"); […]
Welcome to 'Soul Thoughts' » Blog Archive » Blessed are the cheese makers? Misquoting the Beatitudes
[…] While there has been a shift in the church over the last 20 years or so (and the above bumper sticker was actually from a church in the US) sadly not a lot has changed since the time of Constantine. The church today generally lives by a different set of ‘Beatitudes’, as brilliantly expressed by Joe Abbey-Colborne: […]
Dueling Beatitutdes « Empire Remixed
[…] you’ll remember a number of months ago when we posted Joe Abbey-Colborne’s rendition of The Beatitudes of Our Current Church Culture. Those modern day beatitudes sparked some conversation here on the blog, responses out in the […]
The Beatitudes of Our Current Church Culture (via Empire Remixed) «
[…] In a recent sermon at Wine Before Breakfast, Joe AC, pastoral director of Parkdale Neighbourhood Church in Toronto concluded with these modern day Beatitudes from the perspective of our contemporary, self-satisfied church culture. by Joe Abbey-Colborne Blessed are the well off and those …with ready answers for every spiritual question; …they have it all. Blessed are the comfortable; …they shall avoid grief. Blessed are the self-sufficient; … Read More […]
Blessed Are The Well Off | The Big Conversation
[…] Jesus’ teaching and allow it to challenge us. On Sunday I used a version of the Beatitudes written by Joe Abbey-Colborne to expose modern church culture and the way in which we mishear Jesus. For those who missed it, […]
Just once, I’d like to hear a guest on Focus on the Family who isn’t “Founder” or “President” of some organization.
Thank you for this! May I borrow it for a worship service? I want to pose it as #alternativefacts vs. #gospelfacts (like in the dueling Beatitudes video) in our current culture.
Hi David – Feel free to borrow, tho if you do, please cite this page as part of your inspiration.