Friday, August 5, 2011

The Passive Aggressive Christian

On Sunday mornings I see my church family and friends... There are hugs - air kisses - and lots of "How are you"s.. Most everyone is in a good mood - friendly outgoing... and because we are "good" Christians we keep our Sunday "happy" faces on until we get in the car home. This is not uncommon... and that's okay... I enjoy going to church to worship with other "happy" followers of Christ.... I am not saying that we are "fake" on Sunday mornings - because we truly are not... I am saying there is a time and a place to share our grief... our sadness.. our whatever is going on in our lives... Sunday mornings should be about honoring God.. worshiping Him - it should be a time of happiness.. of peace... and because we are human and have many things going on in our lives - we might not want to smile... but we do... Because it's the right thing to do..

In most any group - there are those that want to stir up things while wearing that smiley happy face... You know the guy/girl that is so skilled at lashing out - stoking a fire - while still appearing innocent.. well-meaning... The person that will smile and tell Joe Smoe what a great job he is doing and then turn around and tell Suzie Homemaker that Joe Smoe needs to find another ministry to work in..... The person who always has something nasty to say - while holding on for dear life that righteous smile covering their face... This person I call the Passive Aggressive Christian...

Definition: Passive Aggressive - A way of behaving that seeks to manipulate others indirectly and resist their demands rather than confronting or opposing them directly.

Now the passive aggressive Christian is scary... This is the person who is smiling - throwing out those air kisses but they can't wait to tell you some juicy gossip about someone... Of course this little tidbit would not be under the heading of "gossip" because that would be bad.. it would be under the heading "I'm just concerned" or "I thought you should know"... The passive aggressive Christian has also become a pro at forwarding emails... You know the emails that usually talk about our countrymen... our president... our welfare system... The emails will point out some injustice that was occurring... and if the receiver of this email bothered to check it out on Snopes - they would soon realize that the email was another "fraud" to stir up hate... anger.. whatever.... The passive aggressive Christian will not check out the facts of a story... They just pass it on - trying to find another reason to complain - sound concerned... Appear holier than others...

What is scary about the PAC "passive aggressive Christian" is that they are showing an awful example of God's love to non-believers and baby Christians.. The PAC is very good at justifying or rationalizing their behavior.. The Bible tells us (Matthew 5 and Matthew 18) that we as Christians need to gently confront this PAC and that is a hard thing to do... I know I can't.. won't... I'm not good enough with my words.. my emotions... I would cry out in frustration... I think because many of us are cowards like myself - the PAC is getting the wrong message - the message that we agree with them.. so they continue to send emails... they continue to "show concern".. they continue to spread their slippery slope of opinions..... So today - I will do my non-approach thing... I will delete the 3 emails I received today..... DELETE.

Do you know a PAC and if you do - Do you say or do anything???


  1. I tend to be a PAC in return, turning the concern to another topic or simply saying, "oh well, you know best" or "of course, I haven't heard the whole story from all sides, so I can't comment" or "I really have no comment" and going on.

    Of course, one of the things we all need to be aware of is that church people are not perfect--if they were, they wouldn't need church!

    1. You're so right about church people not being perfect. Heck, it's too hard for a church goer to be totally perfect. If he or she tries to be that way, she or her would fail miserably. After all, church people will always be imperfect as long as humankind exists.

      If church goers are too perfect, I don't think that anyone else would want to deal with them. Besides, even the best kind of church person has some kind of imperfection.

  2. It's an uncomfortable feeling when a PAC decides to share "something" with you about another. I try to hide from those conversations. Sadly, the PAC can be very good at finding me. I agree with you that deleting those emails should be done.

    Good post. Hope all is well, Kelly :)

  3. Definition: Passive Aggressive - A way of behaving that seeks to manipulate others indirectly and resist their demands rather than confronting or opposing them directly.

    Interesting definition. I think we're all a little PAC at times though. If we're being brutally honest that is.

  4. I think most PAC's do not even realized that they are PAC's - If they did would they change?

    I have a friend who is the PACiest PAC you would ever know -Ha Ha. She has no clue. NO ever lovin' clue and sometimes it drives me and her other friends nuts. We have done everything to try and get her to change a bit but she does not see it. If we point it out - she has an excuse. If we do the same thing to her, she gets her feelings hurt and we feel guilty because we know we did it on purpose.
    So I have decided that you can't change a PAC only a PAC can change a PAC and you just have to be the best person you can be and model a better example!


  5. The older I get the more I've learned to shut down gossips, I am simply not that interested.

  6. I don't do or say anything, but I know that the PACs cause a lot of members of the church to become inactive. If one person in church made 1 mistake that they've already repented over, these PACs will keep the fire spreading and tell everyone to make that person seem awful. Consequently, that person will stop going to church.

  7. I'm afraid you've missed some of the point. Your definition and your reference to emails seems very elementary. There are some real problems out there, dealing with passive aggressive behaviors.

  8. This is not an accurate article about passive aggression. The one I live with is not as assertive as what has been described here. His mother isn't either. Neither is my cousin. Neither is my mother's friend. Neither is the guy that goes to my church. These people are like stealth bombers. They have covert operations and you don't realize you've been hit until your self-esteem has been decimated. Their silence hurts. Their facial expressions are full of displeasure (or boredom) and well-planned in public to help others know they don't like something about you but subtle enough to leave you thinking "Well, maybe he was just deep in thought or something." So when you are alone you ask "Are you alright?" He says he's just tired and it's been a long day. Then he stays up all nite watching a ball game avoiding coming to bed. And when he does come to bed, he makes sure he no part of him touches any part of you so that you won't think he wants to engage in marital bliss.

    If you are sickly and the group of people you go to church with do not take kindly to sick people, your PA will treat you with quiet contempt. He will pretend he didn't see when you fainted during church service. He will snap at you when he returns to the hotel room because everyone at the conference is asking where his wife is but he won't tell you that he is sad that you could not attend the meetings with him because he cannot admit he is lonely when you are not there. Instead he lashes out with sarcastic remarks or brooding silence because needing you is a weakness to him.

    He hates taking suggestions from you. He resents you offering them especially in front of others. If you do something different from the group he resents you and treats you coldly when you get home. He does not say he is sorry when he wrongs you unless you tell him to. He does not have real friends and does not want any.

    He makes excuses for not keeping an agreement instead of admitting he was wrong and conveniently forgets important details, causing many inconveniences for others. Acts as though he is not married, as if he is the world by himself most of the time. Avoids serious topics of conversation as much as possible, even the Bible although he is a Christian.

    I feel lonely and sad a lot. We have been married 24yrs.

  9. The behaviors you guys are describing sound more like borderline personality disorder than passive aggressive. I have a relative that acts like that and that's her diagnosis. The passive aggressives I know don't act like that.



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