Lent begins this Wednesday which means you have less than 48 hours to figure out what you’re going to “give up” for the next 40 days.
It can be difficult trying to figure out just the right thing to give up for Lent. So, in the spirit of good ‘ole fashion American Chrisitanity we have decided to do all the work for you.
Presenting the Top 10 Things You Should Give Up For Lent:
10. Charlie Sheen
Honestly, this might be the most difficult one of all. After all have you read his tweets?? Also, tiger blood is very addicting and we all need something to fight off the warlocks with. But, for the sake of humanity, your soul, and Charlie Sheen you should probably give up Charlie Sheen for Lent.
9. Book reviews for books that haven’t been released
It may be your spiritual gift to decide for others what they themselves think, but can we agree to put that gift on hold at least for Lent.
Of course, this one shouldn’t be too hard as HarperCollins pushed up the release date for Love Wins since it has skyrocketed up Amazon’s best seller list.
Wait a second….doesn’t that mean that love wins is “winning”?? Could it be that Charlie Sheen actually wrote Love Wins?? Or maybe Rob Bell and Charlie Sheen are actually the same person!! Ahh!! My head is going to explode!!
8. The King James Version of the Bible
Speaking of books, can we (and by “we” I mean the fundamentalists) please agree to give up using the KJV as the primary version of the Bible. As shocking as this might be the Bible wasn’t written in King James English. Equally as shocking NO ONE ON PLANET EARTH speaks King James English. Furthermore, thanks to the Dead Sea Scrolls we have MUCH older texts to translate from then King James’ people did.
Long story short it is a profoundly outdated version of the Bible. You can keep using to quote Psalm 23, but can we keep it at that at least for Lent. Or better yet, as Matthew Paul Turner points out this year is the 400th anniversary of the KJV, so in celebration let’s give it up for Lent…….and then never pick it up again!
7. Bieber Fever
Justin Bieber is everywhere. So much so that it has apparently led to the creation of a new disease called “Bieber Fever.” For the sake of public health can we please agree to give up Justin Bieber at least for Lent? After all what’s so great about that amazing hair cut, his boyish charm, catchy tunes, and……..dang it! Now we’ve got Bieber Fever!! Forget it, the Biebs can stay for Lent!!
6. Pretending to see Jesus EVERYWHERE
Apparently Jesus is turning up everywhere lately. He’s been in a rocking chair, a tree, a Cheeto, and even on the back of David Beckham. Considering no one actually knows what Jesus looks like can we please give up seeing Him everywhere, at least for Lent?
5. KFC Double Down
We’re always looking for a food item to give up for Lent. So, look no further than the KFC Double Down. Then again, if eating too many of these sandwiches is a struggle for you then you probably have bigger problems than what you should give up for Lent.
4. The Internet
Tired of getting shown up by all of your friends when it comes to who gave up what for Lent? Then here’s your chance to be the best Christian during Lent this year. Give up the internet! We mean the whole thing. That way when your friends start telling you about how they gave up watching TV, using facebook, or tweeting their every thought you can look down all of them with pride and declare “I have up the whole freaking internet!” After all, do you really need it for anything?
Oh wait, how are you going to read American Jesus?? NEVERMIND!! KEEP THE INTERNET!! KEEP THE INTERNET!!
3. Predicting the Second Coming of Jesus
Don’t get us wrong, there isn’t much we enjoy more than a good Third Eagle of the Apocalypse video. But it seems that everybody else is jumping on the prophecy bandwagon too. Apparently, most of them are in agreement that Jesus is coming back in just a couple of months, May 21st to be exact. Which is really amazing since even Jesus said He didn’t know the date He would return.
So if you’re looking for something easy to give up for Lent try this one, after all it looks like the date has already been figured out for you.
2. Giving up cliche things for Lent that in no way help you grow in your faith
I’ll confess. I’ve been guilty plenty of times for giving up random and inconsequential things for Lent. We all do it. Maybe it’s chocolate, caffeine, or Justin Bieber. (dang that Bieber fever!)
At the end of the 40 days of Lent we pat ourselves on the back for not doing x, y, or z, but in reality what have we really accomplished? Honestly, nothing. The whole idea of Lent is to prepare ourselves for Easter. Self denial during Lent should be about trying to understand in part the self denial which Jesus undertook that led Him to the cross. Sure it might be difficult for a few days to go without a Coke, but if we really want to prepare ourselves for Good Friday and be ready to truly celebrate on Easter Sunday then maybe we should try giving up some of things that Jesus gave up: pride, ambition, greed, hate, jealously, time…..
Most of us are pretty good at being polite in public. Or at least we can fate it well. If we disagree with someone it usually takes a long time for the conversation to devolve into shouting. Apparently that isn’t true online. Read something online you don’t like? Then obviously you need to respond in the comment section immediately with slander, WORDS IN ALL CAPS, and as many exclamation marks as possible. Can we all please agree to give this us for Lent, or even better, for ever?
Which leads us to…
1. Hating everyone that doesn’t agree with you
When it comes to Christians hating other people most of us immediately think of groups like Westboro Baptist church or people like Steven Anderson. But the truth is that hating others has become one of the defining marks of the American Church. No funny one liners here. This has to stop. Just because someone in another tradition/denomination/church doesn’t agree with you particular theological outlook doesn’t make them a heretic. The Christian on Christian violence has to come to an end.
Likewise, and perhaps more so, we have to learn to love people outside the church especially when the say and do things we profoundly disagree with. This is life Jesus lived and then called us to “go and do likewise.” This doesn’t mean we can’t or shouldn’t disagree. We can and sometimes we should, but we have to learn to do it with love and respect and that doesn’t mean adding a tag line to your blog comment “i say this in love” followed by “your’re going to hell”. Love has to be practiced not just talked about.
So if we are going to give up for Lent this year let us give up our hate for one another and never pick up it again.
Grace and peace,
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