I love the ESPN segments called C'Mon Man! that features NFL players making boneheaded or classless decisions. C'Mon Man is a way of saying with exasperation, "You should have known better; keep your head in the game." Whether you are hitting the quarterback in the head after the whistle, or tweeting your displeasure with the coaching staff, you will earn the derision of ESPN analysts bemoaning your actions saying, "C’Mon, man!"
Sometimes I think there should be a C'Mon Man! segment for the church. Of course, we’d inclusivize it to C'Mon People because women are equal offenders. Sometimes people of faith get caught running the wrong way down the field and we’d like to say “come on, really?”
For example, we’d call out the pastor who tried to get out of giving a meaningful tip by writing on the check that God only gets 10% so she wasn’t going to give her service any more than that. Some poor employee of the restaurant wound up getting fired for posting the pastor’s comments online. The pastor earned a collective “C'Mon People!” from the church community and she later apologized. Unfortunately the more she talked about it, the worse it got because she implied that God ordained all the hubbub to increase the number of people that would hear her proclaim the name of Jesus.
She earned what I’d call a “heat of battle” C'mon People designation. She just wasn’t thinking it through. She experienced a lapse. It happens to all of us and it’s humiliating to get called out on it. Future recipients of the award will want to refer to my page on how to make a proper apology.
Last week the Come on People! award went to Pastor Rob Morris a Missouri Synod Lutheran minister who wrote an apology letter last week for his role in the prayer vigil in Newtown, Ct. shortly after the shootings. It was a lovely service of unity, prayer and support. However, Rev. Morris was admonished by denominational leaders and told to apologize publicly for making it look like he was weak on heresy through sharing in a common worship experience. This award goes as much to the “coaching” staff of the church as it does for Pastor Morris who caved in to their insensitive demands. One wonders about the love chapter in 1 Corinthians 13. It seems the Mo. Synod Lutherans would have it changed to read: “And now faith, hope and love abide, these three and the greatest of these is doctrinal purity.” Similarly they’d alter the verses where love is defined as not insisting on your own way.
The good part about the C'Mon People! awards is that they remind us to hold people to a higher standard as we express our grief that the rest of the world looks on the church with dismay instead of respect or admiration. The bad part of the award is the recognition that we’ve all earned our share of nominations to receive it ourselves. “It’s an honor just to be nominated,” say all of the Oscar nominees. You have the honor of being human and fallible.
I’ve even won the C'Mon People! award on occasion--I’m not bragging, just saying. . . . So, I will go to Ash Wednesday services with all the other common people realizing the need for grace that all people have in common. C'mon, let's go.
Ankeny Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) services will be at 7:00.