By Victor Bentley
I suppose is a sign of advancing age when things tend to irritate you and get under your skin (more than they did when you were younger. For some reason, known only to God, I have decided this month to record some of the things that really irritate me. So for whatever it is worth here are a few of the things that really irritate me, in no particular order.
I get really irritate when….
A member of a large church acts like a smug “know it all” just because they attend or have attended a large church. There are many factors that affect the size of a church, not the least of which is time. Being born again into large church in itself does not make one any more spiritually knowledgeable than a person who is born again into a smaller congregation.
A member of a small church assumes that every large church is large because it has compromised with the world. They fail to realize that whether church is spiritual or carnal has nothing to do with the size of the church. You can find large spiritual churches, small spiritual churches, large carnal churches and small carnal churches.
Preachers or worship leaders stand in the pulpit and demand that everyone worship but when they are not up front and in the spotlight they sit passively and do not worship.
People give twenty minute speeches to share sixty seconds worth of information. People assume that “the bigger the church, the better the church.” People assume the smaller the church, the purer the church.”
Someone constantly tells you how it’s done “back home.”
People are too proud to admit that they are not knowledgeable in a subject.
Snobs think they are better than you because they have more money than you.
Slobs assume you are a snob just because you have more money than they do.
People deify human personalities. It is scary how almost cultic some people can get. Paul identified this as carnality.
People claim to love Jesus but rob Him blind of tithes and offerings. Somehow they think that they are going to heaven, even though they have no time, money, or energy to expend to further the gospel.
People overreact to a grammatical error or a slip of the tongue when you are preaching. It is one thing to chuckle when someone errs, but to spend 30 minutes rolling in the pew with laughter is a bit much. Some people could have heard Lincoln give the Gettysburg Address, and they would have walked away remembering only that Lincoln’s hat was on crooked, or some such silly thing.
Pathetically unfunny skits have no point and go on forever and ever. If the joke is not funny the first time, seeing and hearing it 100 times is not likely to make it funny.
People imitate tongues or the moving of the Spirit. I don’t find the “buya-Yamaha-sell-a-my-Honda” type of humor funny at all.
Conference speakers rip into pastors, criticize and belittle churches, all the while giving the impression that they are Super Pastor and their church is the Super Church. There are enough critics who are tearing down our churches and pastors without sticking one behind a pulpit in a service designed to encourage and inspire our churches and pastors.
People drop in unannounced, launch into a long drawn out litany without even asking if you have the time, and then become offended because they catch you glancing at your watch.
People talk about everything under the sun, and every one under the sun, and never mention Jesus, or His Word.
People mock and ridicule Pentecostal churches, and Pentecostal worship, when they themselves have never set foot in a Pentecostal church.
People make ignorant remarks about the dangers of the Internet when in fact they have never been on the Internet and wouldn’t have a clue how to get on the Internet.
Someone refuses even to consider the merit of a new idea simply on the basis of “we’ve always done it this way before’
A fellow minister chooses to address me informally but formally refers to himself. Example, “Hello, victor, this is Bro. Doe.” I would prefer that they say, “Hello, victor, this is John Doe, or say “Hello, Bro. Bentley, this is Bro. Doe.” The only exception to this rule is when the other minister is my senior by twenty years or more.
People jump up and stand at the first chord of every special song. It used to mean something when a song being sung by a choir brought the congregation to their feet in worship. When everything is emphasized, nothing is emphasized.
A camp or conference speaker is late to the floor because everyone who got up before them felt a need to ramble on for ten minutes or more.
A choir sings an entire song, causing everyone around me to go completely wild, and I have not been able to decipher a single word of the lyrics.
Sunday School and Camp evangelists feel they have to act stupid and childish in order to “relate” to the youthful crowd they are preaching to. As one who was a Youth Camper in the 1960’s, I do not recall Bro. Tenney or Bro. Urshan putting on a Beatle’s wig and acting like a “hippie” in order to relate to me and my generation. Yet their ministry had a great impact on me, and I had no problem relating to them.
Speakers take a scripture text and then go on to ignore that text for the balance of their message. Some can preach an hour and not include one biblical concept.
People go out of their way to tell the world how often they pray and fast.
People passively watch their children dismantle the personal property of others.
Fortunately, the Bible instructs us concerning how to handle these little irritations whenever they occur. I never want to allow little irritations to become a stumbling block in my relationship with Jesus Christ and any brothers and sisters in Christ
Eph 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
Col 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
Col 3:13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
This article “Irritations” written by Victor Bentley is excerpted from the Kentucky District News a March 1998 edition.