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Spiritual Snobbery

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Has anyone ever responded to a question you asked like this? 

Person A:  “Did you watch – what-ever-cheesy-tv-show-is-the-rage – last night?”

Person B:  “Oh, no – I rarely watch tv – last night I was at my weekly Bible study.”

A simple, no, would have answered the question – the question was – did you watch the show?  Not -what did you do last night?

Person B might as well have come right out and said, “While you were filling your mind with trash like Dance Moms, I was being spiritually filled in a Bible Study.


Person A:  “I can’t wait for the game tonight!”

Person B:  “Wouldn’t it be great if people were that excited about Jesus?”

A good example of interjecting spiritual piety into every day fun.


They show their spiritual piety with signs like this:


I assume this is a cut down to all the heathens and the spiritually immature walking by while trick or treating.

Maybe people think this is witnessing.


It’s really about shaming others and looking righteous.  These statements don’t start good conversations about faith or Jesus – they kill conversations.

We’re good at that on facebook, too.  During the presidential election I think I saw, “No matter who is president, Jesus is King,” phrases dozens and dozens of times.  That’s nice.  I do agree, but thanks for that oh-so-righteous reminder.

There’s a neat term for this called a Jesus Juke.  It’s when someone takes a conversation or idea and turns it into something holy.

As Christians, I think we’ve all done this at some point.

But when we start seeing it for what it is – spiritual snobbery – we realize it turns people off to us and God.

Yolanda DeLoach (@YolandaDeLoach) is a member of Wesley UMC and through her writing, tries to remind herself to keep life lightVisit Yolanda at her site – come on over!

2 Responses to Spiritual Snobbery

  1. I have really pondered this blog all day long. I understand what you are trying to say, but I have to respectfully disagree. If that is the case, then Jesus for sure was a spiritual snob. For example, Jesus’ parents were looking for him when he was 12 years old and found him in the temple. (Luke 2:41-29). He replied, “Why is that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business?” Another example is when Jesus confronted the crowds who brought before him the woman caught in adultery. He said, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” And then he drew something in the dirt with his finger. It begs the question, what did he write? I think he could have been writing names of the guilty. Was that snobbery? Or just reminding people of a higher calling?

    What is wrong with telling someone you were at a Bible study and that you missed a certain TV show because of it? If you say these things to try to “lord it over” someone or shame them just to make yourself look better, then I agree with you as you stated above…it’s just wrong and it’s a turn-off (and most people can tell whether or not you’re genuine). But, if you’re just making general conversation, why would that be snobbery?

    Would I be spouting snobbery if I talked to someone who was going through a really hard time–especially something that I have experienced myself–and I happened to mention that during the rough time I depended on God and a lot of prayer to help me get through? Does that make me a better person? Am I trying to make the person feel even worse? No. I’m just sharing a source of comfort and support.

    As for the Facebook posts about Jesus still being King, I don’t think it was a “righteous reminder,” just a reminder. I sometimes think that when people are turned off by what we say and believe we’re being spiritual snobs, they have issues in their own lives and don’t want to be faced with them or deal with them. It’s not that we’re being snobs for talking about something that is “par for the course” in our own lives. It’s just that we act as an inner mirror, and some people don’t like what is being reflected back at them.

    • Thanks for you thoughtful response Shelly! I certainly do think we should be talking about Jesus and our faith. But the examples you give about Jesus don’t fit in my mind with what I’m thinking about. I’m thinking about intentional comments that are really meant to come off as righteous – not thoughtful conversation about faith.

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