That said, I offer two caveats every time I post an Observations of a Church brat note:
Second, I realize growing up in church doesn't immediately make you a Christian. That just means we have family friends who understand the jokes. Or something. Don't overthink it. If you are a church brat who, for whatever reason, isn't part of the family, well, you're still welcome at the table. House rules apply. And even if you're just visiting, you're still welcome and house rules still apply. But here's the thing: trying to get in on the church brat jokes or understand why eight denominations don't get along is not that different from trying to understand inside family jokes or complicated family history and social dynamics. It's very difficult for those who do understand to explain, assuming they can even articulate it. You're more than welcome, but please understand that when it comes to idiosyncrasies in church you're more often than not walking in on a family discussion at best and fight at worst. The best possible thing for a guest to do when confronted with two members of the same family fighting with each other is to let it be. Observations of a Church Brat is written primarily with Christians in mind. That's not to be rude; it's just a family discussion, is all.
The Road Thrice Traveled
But the important part that I cannot stress emphatically enough is that I am not operating in a spirit of cynicism, all jaded, dechurched, and disillusioned. I am not taking potshots, nor am I demeaning Christians as a whole. That would be inaccurate, arrogant, and out of place. To cut down my own family is to go against every teaching of Jesus and the Apostles (I am so glad that never became a band name). To see flaws in the American Arm of Christendom and impose them globally and across time is to insult the saints who walked a bloody road ahead of me - those who now join a throng of onlookers watching us - and those still alive who even now may well be taking their lives in their hands. Even my church brat jokes have a limited use because they are primarily from the perspective of an American Protestant Church Brat living in the buckle of the Bible Belt. So *any* church brat observation I make is intended in a spirit of love, camaraderie, and brotherhood.
And if you suddenly broke out into song or a verse popped in your head just now...you are so unequivocally a church brat. 0=)