“C’mon man” (come on man) is a phrase used on Monday Night Football to describe shockingly stupid decisions, or decisions completely inappropriate, or bloopers in execution.
I have heard, through the years, brethren say things which completely shock me. These things make me want to say, “C’mon man!” or “C’mon brother!” Let me provide a few examples.
1. “I’ve never been to his house. Can you show me where he lives?”
The man who said this was an elder. The man’s house under consideration was a member’s house. He had just died. The wife needed a visit. However, this is not the worst of it. The man’s house was next to his son-in-law’s house. The son-in-law was also a member. In fact, the son-in-law had until recently served as an elder. The man who said this shocking statement had also never been to the house of the son-in-law, with whom he had served in the eldership several years. “C’mon brother!”
Consider the following passages: “Now all who believed were together… breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart” (Acts 2:44-46). “And in every house they did not cease teaching and preaching” (Acts 5:42). “I… taught you publicly and from house to house” (Acts 20:20). “Shepherd the flock of God which is among you” (1 Peter 5:2; Acts 20:28). “Visit orphans and widows in their trouble” (James 1:27 cf. Matthew 25:34-46). “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love… distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality” (Romans 12:10-13). “Be hospitable to one another without grumbling” (1 Peter 4:9). “Exhort one another daily” (Hebrews 3:13). “Warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all” (1 Thessalonians 5:14). We are to be involved in one another’s lives, and not just upon the first day of the week. The world should see our closeness. Jesus said, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). One man suggested to me that elders should be in members’ homes, at birthday parties and family events, at school activities of members’ children, etc. (when possible). I believe that his advice to be good advice. Some might think he has unrealistic expectations. However, clearly, shepherds need to spend time with the sheep.
2. “How many people does it take to baptize someone?”
I had concluded a Bible study. A husband and wife had expressed their desire to be baptized into Christ. I called various members to come witness their confessions and baptisms. There was one man who grumbled these words. I believe that he was envious. He was a very zealous soul-winner who doted over those he converted, but seemed to have no time for those converted by others. “C’mon brother!”
Consider the following passages: “Neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase” (1 Corinthians 3:7). “Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some from goodwill… what then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice” (Philippians 1:15-18). “Are you zealous for my sake? Oh, that all the LORD’s people were prophets and that the LORD would put His spirit upon them!” (Numbers 11:29). “God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Galatians 6:14). “For when one says, ‘I am of Paul,’ and another ‘I am of Apollos,’ are you not carnal?” (1 Corinthians 3:4). We need to be on the same team, working for the same cause, and rejoicing together, welcoming new brethren to the family.
3. “There is a black church nearby, they like attending with their own.”
Several black youth had been taught and converted. One lady did not like their presence, and thus said this. She was recommending that these young men attend a Pentecostal church, instead of with us! Her bigotry was evident. “C’mon sister!”
Consider the following passages, “There is neither Jew nor Greek… for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). “There is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian… Christ is all and in all” (Colossians 3:11). “Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh…” (2 Corinthians 5:16). “He Himself is our peace… so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace… that He might reconcile both the God in one body through the cross…” (Ephesians 2:14-16). The body is the church (Ephesians 1:22-23). Race should not divide us. The cross should unite us.
4. “Can’t her grandchildren chip the ice?”
It was an icy Sunday morning. A woman, a non-member, who had just lost her husband, showed up in a wheelchair. Her son, who was on crutches, and her grandchildren had brought her. The deacon in charge of such things had not removed the ice from the wheelchair ramp. The ice was so thick that the door at the end of the wheel chair ramp would not fully open. One of the members went to work chipping the ice. Later, I expressed my embarrassment over the situation to an elder, and stated that this should not have happened and should never happen again. His response was, “Can’t her grandchildren chip the ice?” “C’mon brother!”
Consider these passages: “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me” (Matthew 25:45). “I was eyes to the blind, and I was feet to the lame. I was a father to the poor, and I searched out the case I did not know” (Job 29:16). “Love… is kind” (1 Corinthians 13:4). Shouldn’t we be servants one to another? (John 13:14).
5. “Can the church reimburse me?”
The greeters in a local church were asked to make sure that each visitor got invited to lunch by one of the members. It did not have to be by the greeters themselves. One greeter asked, “If I invite them to lunch, will the church reimburse me?” “C’mon sister!” Moreover, I have heard of others who want to be reimbursed for picking up visitors. I have heard of those who want reimbursed for the refreshments which they served at their house when they had the youth over. “C’mon brethren!”
Consider the following passages: “Be hospitable to one another without grumbling” (1 Peter 4:9). “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love… distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality” (Romans 12:10-13). They “sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need” (Acts 2:45). The Good Samaritan to the inn keeper – “Take care of him; and whatever you spend, when I come I will repay you” (Luke 10:35). Do we not have a personal responsibility to be hospitable? Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). Notice, it does not say, “Where your heart is, there your treasure will be.” It says, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” How much are we personally investing in the cause of Christ? Too many want to invest nothing. They want someone else to bear the cost; many times this is the church. The result may be a lack of commitment in the heart to the work.
6. One member told me about a “c’mon brother” moment. A church member on a bicycle was hit by a car. The preacher passed by in his car, without stopping. He did not want to be inconvenienced. He was on his way to dinner. “C’mon brother!”
Consider these passages: ” ‘So which of these three do you think was a neighbor to him who fell among thieves?’ And he said ‘ He who showed mercy on him.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise'” (Luke 10:36-37). “Which of you, having a donkey or an ox that has fallen into a pit, will not immediately pull him out…?” (Luke 14:5).
7. “I would take it and throw it away and get a real Bible.”
A young man who has recently started to attend with us shows up with a new Bible under his arm. He shows me and an elder what he has purchased. The elder coldly made the above statement with no explanation, upon seeing that it was an NIV. This may have been the first words that the elder had ever uttered to this young man. The young man was crushed. “C’mon brother!” While I do not recommend the NIV, this was not the way to approach the issue. The young man did not know this was not the best version of the Bible. He had not studied the versions. Moreover, the elder seemed to want him to do what he said without an explanation. A much better approach would have been “I am pleased that you value God’s word enough to purchase a version of the Bible. Why did you select this version? Most of the members here do not use the NIV. Bryan does not preach from the NIV. I am sure that you want an accurate version. Not all versions are equal. Can we study some of the reasons we do not recommend the NIV?”
Consider these passages: Let us “speaking the truth in love”(Ephesians 4:15). “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1). “Test all things; hold fast what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). We should not expect anyone to accept what we say without information which allows them to test the matter.
8. “It means different things to different people.”
I was sitting in a teen Bible class. The teacher was asked this question by a student, “I know B.C. means ‘before Christ’ and A.D. means ‘after death,’ so what do we call the period of time when Jesus was on earth?” The teacher said, “I am not sure. But, you are correct about the meaning of B.C. and A.D.” I spoke up and explained that A.D. was actually from the Latin “Anno Domini” meaning “year of our Lord.” The teacher decided to try to save face before the students by saying “It means different things to different people.” I could not believe my ears. “C’mon brother!” A Bible class teacher should admit his mistake when a mistake has been made. If he does not know the answer to something, he should say “I am not sure about this. However, I will research this and I will try to find the answer by our next class.” Never bluff it. We should be seeking the truth, and not seeking to save face.
Consider this passage: Teachers should use “sound speech that cannot be condemned” (Titus 2:8). Let us always remember the seriousness of teaching “we shall receive a stricter judgment” (James 3:1).
We all have made mistakes and have said and done things we shouldn’t. May God forgive us. May we seek to be better. “C’mon brethren,” let us take our Christian duties seriously, and give our best.
Do you have any “C’mon brother” moments that you wish to share? No real names or places please.