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Continuing my discussion on the putridity of arrogance…

I recall when my outreach, Demonkill Ministries, was invited to set up a table at the Chains Unchained Christian Music Festival in Springfield, Missouri a couple years ago.

It was the first time I’d set up my huge, 8’x8′ banner, and couldn’t figure it out. I looked at the table next to me, and it was a band I hadn’t heard of, The Protest. If anyone looked like rock stars there, it was these guys.

Honestly, I was a little intimidated, until one of them looked over at me, saw I was having trouble, and asked, “How bro, need some help?” I smiled back, “Yeah, man, I could use it. I can’t figure this out.”

These “rock star” looking guys all pitched in and helped me put my banner together, as if they were getting paid for it. I was so thankful for their help, and they were just the nicest guys ever. This is typical of MOST of my Christian metal friends.

I’ve had similar experiences with other Christian metal bands, such as 3 Days Under and Bred 4 War. The lead singer for “Bred,” Dan Streety, has been awesome to our family, even praying for my son and his wife on stage after Trey and Maria lost their baby daughter, Rosalee Mae, in the 23rd week of pregnancy last July. Likewise, Patrick Rivers, lead singer of 3 Days Under, took Trey outside after this prayer and talked to him for a long time, encouraging and praying for him. It was actually very awesome the way God used these two “metal brothers” to help our family in a very dark time.

Unfortunately, however, you never hear stories like these. As it is in all religions, the only Christians who seem to make the news are the screwed up ones. I recall Muslims saying the same thing after 9/11. It’s true across the board, I’m afraid.

A friend of mine used to work at the District Office of a major Pentecostal denomination, and said basically the same thing: the majority of pastors she dealt with were wonderfully giving and loving people. But then she would get a phone call or an email from one who honestly felt themselves better than everyone else.

“This is Reverend Pompous,” they would begin, “Pastor of the megachurch of which everyone else is jealous. I’d like to lodge a complaint about something which should not have happened to me because…well…I’m better than everyone else.”

“I’m better than you.”

No, they might not say it, but their whole countenance screams it. Sickening.

“So those who are last now will be first then, and those who are first will be last” (Matthew 20:16).

I wrote a blog a couple years ago about an interesting and sad incident I noticed at Steak’n’Shake, a restaurant chain in the Midwest with a 1950s theme. One of the servers was a slightly overweight lady, maybe in her early 20s, her hair a wreck, her black and white work uniform covered in grease and condiments, but with the biggest smile you’ve ever seen. As she was moving about between tables, she came face-to-face with a thin, beautiful, model-looking lady, with the snobbiest, most arrogant look I’d seen in ages. The server had been laughing and joking with her coworkers and customers, but after coming in contact with the “picture perfect” woman (at least in her mind), she lost a bit of her zeal.

I could read it on her face: “I’m ugly. I’m fat. I’m nothing.” Oh man I wanted to tell her the joy she carried was 10,000 times more attractive than the other lady’s looks (and we all know looks are fleeting anyway). Being a man, however, and not personally acquainted with her, I knew it wouldn’t be right for me to do so. “Lord,” I quickly prayed, “send someone along today to make this young lady feel like the beautiful and amazing daughter of the King she truly is.”

“I’m better than you.”

Only in YOUR mind, lady.

“The only thing more dangerous than ignorance is arrogance.”

Albert Einstein

On the other hand, my wife, Laura, has dealt with many pastors through her work at Convoy of Hope, and said many times, the ones you expect to be the most stuck up are the most humble. So this is definitely not ordinary behavior for Christian leaders, whether preachers or musicians, but as I said, THEY’RE the ones you hear about.

Think about it: if a friend attends a conference with leaders from all over the country, they won’t tell you about the 57 who had a servant’s attitude, but rather, that ONE whom they assume to be arrogant. I guess that’s understandable, but no less tragic.

“Do not let arrogance go to your head and despair to your heart; do not let compliments go to your head and criticisms to your heart; do not let success go to your head and failure to your heart.”

Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

So when people look at you, and their eyes seem to be saying…

“I’m better than you.”

Don’t let it getcha down. The One who really matters—God—is keeping score, and He can see right through the façade, and straight to their pretentious soul.


Featured Image by William Blake, “Satan Arousing the Rebel Angels”

This entry was posted in Pain.
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