We’re So Smart We’re Stupid

In response to my last post and my short-term financial woes, there were some that offered encouragement and understanding, and others that suggested reasons for my predicament. Others offered brief sermons (one even with 3 points) and at least one gave me a serious, heart-to-heart pastoral talk.

Now I know this has always been a place of open dialogue and debate. I am one that often keeps the subject matter in theory rather than practice. And even when I wrote the post, my emphasis was on prayer as it related to my situation and not actually my financial needs. However, in the midst of all that, after many had passed by and offered their opinions … only one person offered to help in a real, logical and practical way.

Thanks Pete. I appreciate the offer, but I will be fine.

I was right after all.

God can’t help us… if we aren’t willing to help each other.

God shouldn’t help us… because we should help each other.

35 thoughts on “We’re So Smart We’re Stupid”

  1. I do agree with the last 2 premises you made though – I think the resources are there – and it’s up to us to share it if we have it – booyah!

  2. Steve – I was just wondering if you guys were going to put up the old SCP header again? It was much nicer than the plain text in a box.In case you haven’t figured out how to yet, just press edit on the header. Then, upload a picture and save settings. Then press edit header again and two options will appear: one to put the picture behind your blog title and description and the other to use instead of. Click the instead of option and…presto! You’ve got a graphic instead of plain text.The other thing you could do is go into your settings and change some html in your template. You’ll notice that you can’t seem to delete the header element. That’s because the header widget is set to locked=’true’. Change it to locked=’false’ and you’ll be able to delete it altogether and replace it with a picture element.Personally, I’d go for the first option. Much less messy and very simple to do. Then, again, if you know html, you can build your own template from scratch. Do you still have the old template? Why couldn’t you just use it again?Anyway, hope you’re doing well. Sorry for the unsolicited info if it bothers you. That seems to be a habit of mine lately 🙂P.S. – I tried emailing this to you, but it got sent back. I must have an old address.

  3. Geesh JimmyBob… enough of the advice already!! Man…cmon…leave me alone.Just kidding. Thanks for the input. We are (I am) lazy. I need to update this site and we are talking to a guy (a professional no less) that will help us out on the layout/design and a whole new look. We do need a face lift.My email address is steve@stupidchurchpeople.com

  4. Jeff…First… I am not surprised that people responded on a theological level…. or even on an advice level. Honestly I wasn’t surprised at all by anyone’s intitial responses.If you recall I made the first post and actually didn’t ask anyone for anything. Those that responded did so as they saw fit. I made the post to point out the way I used to respond. It was observational in nature and it wasn’t trying to prove any point… except for my opinion that I don’t think my financial short-fall was God’s problem.You say: <>God works through people, but not always in the way we want.<> But again I didn’t say I wanted anything.<>But maybe God answered your prayer with wisdom instead.<> If you recall I didn’t pray and ask God for anything.As I stated in a previous comment above, this post points out my own tendency (I am in the “we” in the title) to discuss the theological reasons and implications of situations rather than actually offering to meet the needs of a person. Finally you say <>I find your conclusions in this matter premeditated, superficial, and jaded<>… wow… and that’s quite the conclusion you have made as well.

  5. jeff, are you one of those people that thought sending a crate load of bibles to the poor and starving in africa was the best solution to their problem?

  6. I stand corrected. I did NOT call you and Josh “sissies.” I called you both “Cowardly Bastard MFers” for turning off the comments. (Edited a wee bit ’cause I not tryin’ to be a ween on your blog.)Anyhow, things prolly worked out for the best. Almost everytime I’ve sent a few bucks to podcasters it’s turned out poorly. (One dude freaked out and decided I was “stalking” his 3-year-old ’cause I sent them a gift, which is one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever heard.)It’s not a good idea to be a nice guy most of the time.

  7. OK – one more time. Nothing was set up, premeditated or pre-determined. In the ORIGINAL post I wrote what I was thinking at that exact moment.I didn’t ask for advice.I didn’t ask for help.So therefore I didn’t desire or want either. But thank you.

  8. Great modern translation of the old story Steve. You got me fair & square … got to admit it didn’t even cross my mind to send you any money. Of course, it would have been a much more accurate rendering of the story if it was Benny Hinn who’d helped you out!!

  9. There once was a man who was drowning (in debt). He wondered aloud if he should ask for help, and as he did so, various passers-by offered their views. Some stated that, yea verily, he should ask for help, and stated their reasons. Still others berated the man, offering reasons for <>why<> he was drowning: for instance, he must not have taken swimming lessons, or he got too near the lake, or he did not help others enough. And lo, this discouraged the drowning man greatly. Plus, his legs were getting tired from treading water.Then, behold: a certain duffleheaded man walked by, and saw that the man was having trouble keeping his head above water, and marveled that no one had offered to pull him out. He grabbed the nearest branch and offered it to the drowning man, and the drowning man was grateful. The duffleheaded man’s wife was observing all this, and cheered for her husband, impressed that he sincerely offered to help when no one else seemed willing. The drowning man’s spirits were raised, and he also praised the duffleheaded man. And there was much rejoicing.But as he was praising the duffleheaded man, some of those who had berated the drowning man came back and also berated the duffleheaded man for helping. They accused the duffleheaded man of only offering to help in order to make the rest of them look bad, not realizing, apparently, that no one can <>make<> you look like an asshole if you haven’t already made yourself look like one. They were upset that, OMFG, the duffleheaded man had helped the man IN PUBLIC, how <>dare<> he, I mean, the <>nerve,<> ya know? Apparently, it’s okay to berate someone and lecture them and criticize them in public, but it is NOT okay to help someone in public. That’s just wrong. I mean, someone might feel bad for not helping, or someone else might actually be inspired to do good things too, and we can’t have that.The duffleheaded man was appalled at the others’ reactions, because he had simply given his natural response as he saw the situation unfold. He didn’t stop to contemplate if helping the man publicly would hurt his witness or make him look like a glory hound. He just offered to help. The fact that it revealed a few self-righteous religious people as being full of hot air was just an added bonus. The drowning man, however, was just glad that at least <>someone<> had seen his need and offered to help. Lecturing the man on why he was drowning had not saved him. Talk is cheap and is often forgotten. And the drowning man valued the duffleheaded man’s friendship and valued his words more, because he knew the duffleheaded man cared about him as a person, and did not treat him as a project. But some people are so religiously-minded that they’re no earthly good.

  10. i put it up publicly to give the finger to those that are willing to kick someone while they’re down to make their theological points.

  11. “So we keep praying selfish, outward prayers, and get no real answers. ““Personally, I find your conclusions in this matter premeditated, superficial, and jaded.”that’s advice, jeff? remind me to never ask you for advice.

  12. Hey Dan….Make that two. Yes, I guess that was you that emailed me and asked for my mailing address. Yes I did ignore that b/c I didn’t know who you were or why you would want my mailing address…. but now I get it. You didn’t clarify either, and I just don’t go around giving out my home address to seemingly random requests. I have had a few “crazies” try to track me or my family down over the years so I am a bit careful with that info… hope you can understand.But seriously thanks for the offer.And again… me pointing this out that noone offered is as much me pointing a finger at myself…. b/c I am certain I wouldn’t have offered to help either.

  13. actually i did nothing of the sort of saying it was a token gesture. you can read it that way if you like, though.

  14. Dear Steve,Thank you for your wonderful ministry in blogging here at SCP! I am an avid reader! Perhaps you could monetize your posts (and site). I would gladly make some paypal donations to have the the honour of continuing to read your creative, engaging, and often very different, takes on being Christian (and stupid like me!)…Oh yeah, and I second my frient Pete Grassow (rockinthegrass), come to South Africa – we’ll bike! I have Vespa’s to spare!Thanks for the great work. Know that you have my prayers, and if I can, my practical support! Please don’t face it alone! Let us help!Regards,Dionhttp://www.spirituality.org.za/blogger.html

  15. Hey Steve (and the rest of the SCP Church)come and have a holiday in South Africa, and I’ll take you biking. God loves those on the open road who use a credit card to pay fuel.PG

  16. Steve wrote about how he might have previously prayed during a minor financial problem but would no longer do so. In the end his conclusion was, “But that would be stupid. Even if God could do something about it (which he can’t)… he shouldn’t. This is my problem not God’s”. Most of the conversation as usual surrounds other people’s views to this kind of situation (of which we have all shared in at one time or another). Becky said that she had come to the same conclusion as Steve, lowendaction basically said that it can’t hurt to ask, some joked (as Dorsey often does) and I myself sought to remind Steve that even when Jesus prayed that it didn’t always work out for him (meaning that I disagree with the first part of his conclusion but still wouldn’t count on getting the answer he wanted even if he did revert back to prayer… and so semi-agreed with the second part). Some of us (probably most of us) thought of sending a little helping hand and a couple put it in motion to actually do so. The ridiculous banter that followed whereby some attempted to belittle others is where the error lies. The fact remains that Steve never actually asked for help nor did he seem to want it (be it from God or us). Therefore, we cannot look down on any of the views offered… that is after all why it was posted. We can however learn about the extra generosity of one (or two) of our fellow readers.

  17. whether or not i followed up on my offer is none of your business. if i had kept it private, it wouldn’t have lead to this wonderful exchange.

  18. Help with what? Did I miss a whole post here? I will help out also – cause life isn’t about money or who you know – it’s about caring.

  19. > Yes I did ignore that b/c I didn’t know who> you were or why you would want my mailing address.Uh, ok. I’ve corresponded with you previously from the same mailing address… and how many “Rev. Dan”s do you know? 🙂I’ve been assuming that you were ignoring my e-mails ’cause I called you a sissy for turning off comments last year.

  20. <>“whether or not i followed up on my offer is none of your business. if i had kept it private, it wouldn’t have lead to this wonderful exchange.”<> – (dufflehead)Actually if you’d kept private and anonymous it might have led to an even more interesting exchange. You pretty much admit it was a token gesture anyway so I don’t feel you can be too self-congratulatory.

  21. things i missed the first time i read through“But you didn’t see that, because your defenses against anything even remotely Christian (or republican) are so high.”did you in one breath both equate YOUR response as being the Christian response, inferring that I am not a Christian, and equate Republicanism with Christianity? if so, either you’re confused or i’m in the wrong religion.if the Christ-like (a.k.a. Christian) response is to “not throw money at it” someone should have rebuked Christ for his parable on “the good samaritan” or maybe we should just all go take it out of our Bibles.(p.s. jimmybob is awesome.)

  22. Jeff…. I didn’t answer your direct questions…<>How is publicly offering to send you money a better response than offering you wisdom?<>I just think that depending on the situation it is a more logical conclusion to give practical aid than it is advice. What’s the saying, “A person doesn’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”.Again, I was completely not expecting to receive an offer for money… my head was in the theological realm of the situation and anticipating that discussion. So when it came it was like, “Wow, that’s cool! How simple. I wouldn’t have thought of that.”<>Do you think it’s more effective to give a hungry man a fish versus teaching him to fish?<> I guess it depends on how hungry he is.

  23. Steve – Personally, I hope you didn’t take my remarks as kicking you when you’re down. That wasn’t my intention or heart. I don’t really have money to send you, but I wouldn’t have offered to do that publicly even if I did. You did make me think. I felt dirty until just now for offering up advice when I couldn’t back it up with practical help. But, I remembered in the Scriptures where Peter and John had the same problem at the gate. So, now I just feel dirty for giving advice when you didn’t want any. I’m sorry.

  24. I want to know, after two posts and all this discussion…Have you accepted either the advice (theory) or the help (practical)?

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