Thinking Out Loud

April 15, 2020

Jack Christian? (Not the Movie Producer)

Jack Rabbit (Wikipedia) — sourcing this image meant adding a note to the third definition below.

Until yesterday, I had never heard the term ‘Jack Mormon.’ It was a two-word reply to something in a long string of texting I was doing with a friend in Toronto, and I had to pause and check it out.

Wikipedia is always a good place to start:

The term Jack Mormon is a slang term originating in nineteenth-century America. It was originally used to describe a person who was not a baptized member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints but who was friendly to church members and Mormonism, sympathized with them, and/or took an active interest in their belief system. Sometime in the early- to mid-twentieth century, however, the term began to refer to an individual deemed by adherents of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) to be an inactive or lapsed member of the LDS Church who, despite his personal religious viewpoint, maintained good relations with and positive feelings toward the church.

There then follows various theories as to the origin of the term.

But then there was this definition at Urban Dictionary:

A person who is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, but seldom or never practices their religion. Unlike ex-Mormons or anti-Mormons, Jack Mormons usually support the goals and beliefs of the church and maintain friendships with practicing Mormons, but for reasons of their own choose not to attend church services and activities. Jack Mormons may also indulge in activities discouraged by the church, such as drinking alcohol, smoking, and premarital sex.

Jack Mormon equivalents in other religions are “Christmas and Easter Christians” and “Yom Kippur Jews”.

The last paragraph sounded familiar. Chreasters. CEOs (Christmas and Easter Only.) Or perhaps in the case of a Jewish friend, non-observant.

This item at HJ News is South Logan, Utah, linked to an article that we couldn’t trace, but it was definitely worth including; if you only click one, this is the best article on the subject:

…Depending on whose mouth the words come from, it’s a term that can be bitterly derogatory or delightfully descriptive, colorful or off-color. Use it in a Cache Valley conversation and it is almost certain to illicit some sort of facial expression from your listener be that a smirk, a frown or a grimace.

Even putting it in print on a newspaper page is a bit scary. No matter what is written about this group of people with the curious nickname, someone out there is likely to become offended…

…According to the Web site Mormonhaven.com., an unofficial LDS information exchange, the term refers to people who are Mormon in name but not in deed. “Just as a Jackrabbit looks like a rabbit but isn’t truly a hare [Ed. note: Wikipedia disagrees], ‘Jack Mormon’ refers to someone claiming to be Mormon but who does not follow the teachings of the church,” the Web site states…

In the Cache Valley vernacular, a “Jack Mormon” isn’t necessarily an outright hypocrite or a closet smoker and drinker, as the above definition implies. Rather, the term is commonly used in reference to all people who were born into the LDS faith but have drifted away from its practices while remaining on the church’s membership rolls. Some try to keep up appearances. Some don’t…

Coffee for people who can’t drink coffee. Except they do. And it’s coffee.

At this point in your reading of this, knowing that Mormons aren’t allowed to consume caffeine, it should come as no surprise to you that there’s even a Jack Mormon Coffee Company.

So what about the term which is the title of today’s piece, ‘Jack Christian?’

I don’t expect it to take off; Chreasters is probably the most entrenched right now, or in more formal company, nominal Christian.

Revelation 3:15-16 came to mind,

I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! (NLT)

As did Luke 6:46

“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? (NASB)

As did many other verses. (James 1:22, Matthew 7:21, Romans 12:11 )

The point is that from celebrities to politicians to church acquaintances to sometimes even a deep search of our own hearts; we can often identify that state of being on a membership roll somewhere, or keeping up the appearance of being a Christian (sometimes for the advantage it gives in the civic arena or in business) without really living it. Having a talk which doesn’t match our walk.

I guess that’s why I found this term so interesting. To know that in every religious tribe there are people who, despite their connection to a faith which should be all-engaging, choose to dwell on the sidelines. Or even in complete rebellion.

And just because it happens in other faiths, doesn’t make it right or normative. Christ’s desire is that we be all-in.


After this article was posted, I continued the theme later that same day at Christianity 201. Click here to read ‘Nominal Christian’ is an Oxymoron.


Related articles at Thinking Out Loud:

  • Our own visit to a local Latter Day Saints’ church included an encounter in the lobby with a woman who whispered to us that she was completely non-observant.
  • Yes, there really is a thing called Mormon underwear. Three years ago, in an April Fool’s piece, we suggested that an Evangelical equivalent was launching.
  • Late last year, buried at the bottom of a link list item, was the revelation that Mormon scripture translators were receiving assistance from Wycliffe Bible Translators.

Note: This article uses the term Mormon throughout. However in late Summer of 2018, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints announced they were distancing themselves from and fully jettisoning internal use of that term. See this CNN article.

 

 

May 29, 2013

Wednesday Link List

great-commission-revisted

Wednesday List Lynx

Wednesday List Lynx

Atoning every Wednesday for stealing content the other six days a week; since 2008.

  • Is the Pope Catholic? Pope Francis sure shook things up with a statement this week that was perhaps as traditional as it was radical.
  • Philip Yancey, in The Jesus I Never Knew quotes Walter Wink: “If Jesus had never lived, we never would have been able to invent him.” Here’s a tribute to Wink, an author many of us don’t know, who passed away last year.
  • Huffington Post says Joel Osteen’s extensive use of social media makes him a Digivangelist. Except for those nights when email prayer requests are returned to senders
  • The Roman Catholic Church in Venezuela is running out of wine for mass, and the wafers for communion are facing a price increase. Shortages in the country are affecting everything including toilet paper.
  • There’s been a resolution in the conflict between New York City schools, and religious groups wanting to rent space in schools on weekends.
  • If your statement of faith is crafted with such precision that it really only applies to your church, you might be bound by theological legalism.
  • Brian Zahnd writes, “I have more in common with the Egyptian Muslim who prays five times a day than with the European secularist who never prays.” You are what you pray.
  • Found a great article this week on Genesis 1, which wasn’t written to counter Darwinism, but was written that people might believe
  • The cartoon at the top was sourced at Greg Boyd’s blog, where it is credited to Jay Sidebotham.
  • Here’s a great church snapshot: “…25% of St. Jude’s adults have a PhD. Another 25% have done or have a family member who is doing prison time. PhD’s and prisoners. That is St. Jude’s in a nutshell.”  Read more
  • Sorry to learn of the passing of Chris Daniel, the force behind the Old Christian Music blog, a great source of information about the Christian rock of the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. Someone new may be taking over the site.
  • When your Mormon friend says “Jesus,” and you say “Jesus,” you’re talking about two entirely different people.
  • Nick Vujicic does the impossible and talks about his faith in a stadium rally in Vietnam, a country highly restrictive in terms of religious freedom.
  • A Texas couple are giving away their $4 billion fortune rather than leaving it for their three children.
  • Video clip of the week: Larissa Heatley pays tribute to her grandfather, Dallas Willard.
  • The Christian school at the center of the 4th grade dinosaur test — now ubiquitous online — is dealing with the subsequent publicity
  • Artists to watch: From season 11 of American Idol, Colton Dixon. Here’s a sample from YouTube.
  • As much as 30% of all internet activity may be porn-related; and it seems that it doesn’t matter where your city rates on the religiosity scale.
  • On June 3rd, one of the all-time original Christian bloggers, Tall Skinny Kiwi is preparing to move on to a new social media platform.
  • And lastly, there’s this book

Try to have your link suggestions in by 6:00 PM on Monday, since we start preparing The Feast of Linkage ahead of time.

At My God Is

August 8, 2012

Wednesday Link List

…witty introduction…okay we don’t have one…

  • Okay, I don’t get paid to do this and I don’t have endless hours to do the research, but according to one source, The Jesus Deck is a harmless Christian educational product from the ’70s, while according to another it’s tantamount to ‘Christian Tarot cards.’  Since you guys always correct/update me, I’ll leave it to you to comment on this.
  • Are we actually allowed to disagree with John Piper online? I thought there was a law about that. Anyway, Peter Enns did a few weeks back, the full title of his article is: John Piper on Why “It’s Right for God to Slaughter Women and Children Anytime He Pleases” and Why I Have Some Major Problems with That. That’s a long post title. Are we actually allowed to do that, too?
  • CNN reported Thursday that a bill restricting protests and pickets at military funerals is a just steps away from being signed into law by President Obama. This means a certain fringe group and its wacko leader would be in direct contravention of a law should they decide to continue their media-attention-getting ways. Since most of the group is family members, and many of those family members are trained as lawyers, they should understand the consequences of transgression. Or will they?
  • For those of you willing to step outside the comfort zone of the Christian blogosphere, here is a guide to reading the blogs of atheists, agnostics and just plain skeptics.
  • Sikh and ye shall find: If the weekend shooting at a Sikh temple left you wondering where this religion fits in, here’s a link to the Wikipedia page on Sikhism.
  • “So if you’re a wife reading this, ask your husband, point blank, this simple question: ‘When was the last time you viewed pornography?’ If communication is good in your marriage, as it should be, he’ll answer your question directly and honestly. If your marriage needs help, he may hem, haw, stall, look away, get defensive, or act offended.” More by Eric Guel at Thinklings
  • I’ve gotten behind with the Phil Vischer Show podcast; they’re up to episode #11. Phil, Skye and Christian talk about Chick-Fil-A and how our society has come to associate brands with personal identity. They talk about the Olympics and then Skye and Phil answer the twitter question, “If you could add any pavilion to the future world at Epcot, what would it’s theme be?” Guest Scott Olsen, CEO of International Teams, talks about the changing face of world missions and social justice. 
  • Website of the Week: Life After Ministry: Leading Mormons to the Real Jesus Christ. Michelle, Kirk, Kent and Melissa have chronicled over 300 ‘dilemmas’ with LDS theology and teaching.
  • On July 23, 2011, nine-year-old Rachel Beckwith was killed in a tragic car accident on highway I-90 near Seattle, Washington. After her death, thousands of people all around the world started donating to her mycharity: water fundraising page, and over the course of a month, raised over $1.2 million in Rachel’s honor. That money is now helping 60,000 people get access to clean water. It’s been a year since the accident. In honor of the anniversary, Rachel’s mom and her grandparents visit Ethiopia with charity: water and meet some of the people Rachel helped. 
  • Really into Christian book authors? CrossTweet at Christian Book Videos is an index of the Twitter feeds of authors both established and fairly new; fiction and non-fiction.
  • Dan Gouge wrote a short interesting post about similarities between sports institutions and religious institutions, and then, a few days later, came across this 8-minute video about the sports element in custom funerals.
  • The cartoon turned up in a cleanup I’ve been doing; it’s the comic Simple Beasts circa 1989… Have a great week and remember to get link suggestions in by Monday evening.

July 18, 2012

Wednesday Link List

It’s Wednesday, but Friday’s a-coming!

October 12, 2011

Wednesday Link List

Here in the frozen north, Thanksgiving has already come and gone, but that didn’t stop temperatures from reaching 30 degrees Celsius on the weekend (mid 80s Fahrenheit) for three straight days which made link-catching less appealing than suntanning.

  • For you worship-leader types, here’s one of the most comprehensive articles you’ll see on the “worship wars” discussed entirely in terms of church architecture.
  • Just nine more days to another Harold Camping end-of-life-as-we-know-it date.
  • If you don’t know what I mean when I say, “Stethoscope Video” then you haven’t seen it.  Take 2 1/2 minutes and enjoy.
  • It’s official: Mitt Romney tells Dallas Pastor Robert Jeffress that he thinks that Baptists are a cult.  …Okay, not really, but maybe he should have.  Here’s the original story,  a response from Robert Mouw, and a sample of comments; all from CNN.
  • You’ll want to read the comments to find more links to get the full 411 on this story, but the blogger Tulip Girl has a blog post implying that another child death may be linked to the controversial book, To Train Up A Child by Michael and Debi Pearl.
  • No, what follows is not a typo: Is it possible to hate Jesus but love Christianity?  David Paul Dorr looks at that here and here [part two link to follow!]
  • Are you “crazy busy” all the time?  Pete Wilson hints you may need to invest in the concept of sabbath.
  • This isn’t new, but… here’s one of those church video clips from Igniter media that uses a Facebook theme; naturally, this one’s titled Follow.
  • Canadian Anglican Pastor Leonard Griffith is now 90 and just keeps on going.
  • More from James MacDonald on the decision to invite T. D. Jakes to a forthcoming seminar, aka The Elephant Room controversy.
  • Hey kids!  Wanna learn Biblical Hebrew in just three easy lessons?  Well, you can’t.  But maybe 40 moderately challenging lessons from Charles Grebe at Briercrest College and Seminary. Learn more about Charles at AnimatedHebrew.com starting with the Hebrew alphabet. Shalom!
  • The Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) celebrated a 50-year anniversary earlier this month.
  • In a culture focused on the excitement of church planting, we never think about the sadness of church closings that are constantly taking place at the same time.
  • Natalie Grant adds “actor” to her list of accomplishments with a feature role in the movie Decision.
  • From Internet Monk writer Jeff Dunn

There is a story told of an old woman who claimed she and God talked on a regular basis. Her bishop was doubtful of her claims to hear from God. After all, he prayed on a regular basis, but the Lord never spoke back to him. So he decided to put this woman to the test in order to reveal her for either a misguided soul or a fraud. He went to her and said, “The next time you are talking with God, ask him to tell you what my most grievous sin was.” The woman agreed to do so.

A week later the bishop returned and asked, “Did you ask God to reveal to you my worst sin?”

“Yes,” said the woman. “I did ask him.”

“Well,” said the bishop, “what did he say?”

The woman said simply, “He says he forgets.”

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