Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Some Serious Theology: Are you a Tramplian or an Offalist?


If you are an Evangelical Christian, you may be sick of the Calvinist/ Arminian debate, so let me introduce you to some new theological terms; Tramplian and Offalist.

Tramplians like to trample the carpets or flooring of their homes with their shoes on. They find it rather objectionable to be asked to remove their shoes when visiting somebody else's home.

The central principle in Tramplian theology is the freedom of the will. They believe that they should be the ones to decide whether they take their shoes off at a dinner party. Their attitude is "I decided what outfit to wear. I decided what shoes to wear. I should be able to keep them on if I like". They do not believe that a hostess should impose shoelessness on them.

Tramplians have a strong belief in the goodness of hosts. They consider that a hostess should be above all concerned for her guests wishes and convenience above keeping her home clean. They believe that if a hostess likes them enougth to invite them into her home, she will accept them with their shoes on.

Tramplians believe in the power of their own ability to keep their shoes clean. They consider themselves to be grown-up and to be careful about what they tread on. They do acknowledge that their shoes can be tainted by the corruption of dirty streets, however they hold that this can easily be dealt with by wiping their feet on their hostess' doormat. Their shoes can be restored to cleanliness by the exercise of their will.

Offalists in contrast, always remove their shoes at the door. Offalists believe in the Total Depravity of the soles of their shoes. The corruption of city streets has completely ruined the condition of their shoes, they argue, and the only hope is a change of nature for their feet, namely into slippers or clean socks. The Offalist pays heed to warnings about the health risks of pesticide, lead paint and animal excrement.

The Offalist upholds the sovereignty of the host. The hostess has been very generous in inviting her guests, however, she is sovereign over her own home and has the authority to set the rules. She will not allow anything corrupt to defile her home. Those who would enter her home must not come in their own shoes, but must meet her condition of a change into slippers or stocking feet.

The Offalist holds that the root problem of the Tramplian's theology is human pride. The Tramplian is proud of her ability to make decisions about her outfit. She is proud of her Manolos, her Prada heels or her Jimmy Choo boots. She is too proud to combine her outfit with stocking feet. She resents the idea that her hostess would not accept her in her own shoes.

The Offalist argues that if the Tramplian would only forsake her pride, she would actually find that she was far more comfortable in slippers, socks or bare feet. Her determination to remain in her stilettos will in the end hurt her feet and drag her to destruction. She may well remain outside the dinner party in the outer darkness.


Rita Martinez said...

Interesting perspective...hmmm..I'm an offalist! :D

Celestial Fundie said...

I am glad you are.

Christian said...

Although I am an Offalist at heart, I know a few Tramplians and I find that although one component of their basic perspective is outlined on the above post, there are a few important principles missing. The foremost is privacy, followed closely by courtesy toward others. Although originally I found Tramplians to be proud folk, I discovered that deep down many of them are actually quite sensitive individuals, and fear offending the sensibilities of their hosts and their fellow guests due to private conditions such as foot odor, ratty socks, or even just ugly feet. These people are very protective of their privacy, and beyond that, do not want to seriously inconvenience their gracious host by adding a negative element to the home gathering. Another important principle is cleanliness. While at first glance this may seem contradictory, it is an unfortunate fact that some Offalists use their worldview as an excuse for not maintaining a clean house. As an Offalist, I always find it disconcerting when I visit a fellow Offalist and find that the street was undoubtably cleaner than the floor of the home on which I ambulate bereft of any protection. In these cases I become extremely sympathetic to the Tramplian perspective. In closing I believe that ultimately both Tramplians and Offalists can coexist in harmony if each sect is concerned with their own purity--the Offalist, in keeping one's floors clean so that a Tramplian may feel free to remove one's footwear and graciously cleaning after the few Tramplians that feel the need to retain their footwear, and the Tramplian, in maintaining proper foot hygiene and ensuring that one's footwear on occasion will leave the Offalist's floor cleaner than before arriving.

Celestial Fundie said...

Thanks for your thoughts, though I hope you appreciated the tongue in cheek nature of this post.

I must confess, this Offalist does not always keep his apartment spotless.

Anonymous said...

There is also the simple Pauline perspective of being all things to all people so that by all means one might win some (1 Cor 9:22). For the Offalist, it means subordinating your own preferences in service and selfless hospitality to the Tramplian. For the Tramplian, it means removing your prized shoes and baring your hole-ly socks in deference to your Offalist brother.

JJ Fiddler said...

Offalist? As in Offal? Ewww. How bout Official or Offician Offian

I'm in the Off camp though I can't seem to CONVINCE MY HUSBAND. 11 years grumble grumble.

Celestial Fundie said...

Anon, thanks for the Pauline perspective.

I do not think the Offalist is necessarilly required to surrender the shoes-off rule in order to accomedate a visiting Tramplian. The house is going to be used by other people as well as the Tramplian guest, so it is quite reasonable for the Offalist to insist on shoes-off.

God Bless


Celestial Fundie said...

JJ Fiddler, keep working on him.

Have you bought him some handsome slippers to wear?

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