Archive for August, 2012

A Religious Rant from an Inside Guy

If I told some Christians what I believe about life and faith, I’d get railroaded out of town in a plethora of ad hominem attacks by people who eat catch phrases for breakfast. There are some serious questions that people of the Christian faith need to answer internally before they spout off yet another round of platitudes and attacks. For example, why do the followers of a pacifist Savior act like it’s a Christian duty to support the NRA? What kind of assault rifle would Jesus use? You want a gun? Fine, but don’t act like God told you to get it.

Why do we fight socialized medicine when James says that faith that pleases God takes care of widows and orphans (James 1:27). “Ah,” you point out, “it also says to keep from being polluted by the world.” Yes, it says that. That means not to let the world corrupt you. It does not say “go around forcing God’s will on unbelievers.” We fight political battles in the name of “freedom” while we equate the U.S. with ancient Israel as if we’re the new theocracy and therefore have the right to tell non-Christians to live according to our rules, but without the Holy Spirit as their guide. Where is the mandate for God’s people to run Rome, Athens, Spain or Asia Minor (Turkey)? This nationalistic religion was the cause of The Inquisition and The Crusades. It’s also why the church burned reformers like Jon Huss at the stake. When religion and politics mix, both get corrupted.

When Wall Street savagely attacked the poor, decimating the economy and causing thousands to lose their jobs, why didn’t the church support those hurting when they “occupied” Wall Street? Instead, we condemned them and continue to do so. We scorn the poor politically from our pulpits to protect our self interests, however misguided those self interests are. Conservative politicians run on campaigns promising to get prayer back in schools, overturn legalized abortion and keep the Ten Commandments in courthouses. First, why are we trying to force others to follow our convictions? An unbeliever has no more obligation to obey Christian morals than a Christian is obliged to follow the practices of Scientology. Second, these politicians CANNOT DELIVER what they promise and THEY KNOW IT. The Supreme Court made these decisions and it’s not going to change its opinion because you voted Fred Conservative into the House of Representatives. In other words, they are duping people to maintain power.  (On a side note, C.S. Lewis once spoke of addiction by saying the devil’s greatest joy was to remove pleasure from addiction and leave a person with only the addiction.  How ironic is it that conservative Christians now want to put in a pro-choice Mormon because he’s Republican?  Surely you see the irony?)

I understand why the prophets were reluctant, religious people often destroy the ones bearing the message that the religious leaders kowtow to the rich because they support the agenda of the temple. Read what the prophet Amos says about such arrogant faith (Amos 8:3-6). The Book of James condemns the rich for their oppression (see chapter 5), yet we cry out to protect the rich under the pretense that God loves democracy and loathes anything with the term “social” in it. I remind us of that passage I cited earlier–James 1:27. It says, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” The church has become so polluted by self serving politics that we condemn those who seek to provide for the widows, orphans, sick and poor.

We shame ourselves every day in social media, from our pulpits, and with our hateful bumper stickers. The church disassociates itself from Fred Phelps (the God hates f-gs guy), but we’re closer to his thinking than we think. How many Christians believe the 9/11 attacks, the economic collapse, the wild fires and the recent drought were caused by America no longer being a Christian nation? We’re not a Christian nation nor have we ever been. Slavery, bigotry, violence and corruption have plagued us since our inception. If ever we deserved a smack down from God, it was during slavery. How deserving were we before civil rights? This is a nation that contains Christians and it’s time we stopped playing politics and started caring about taking care of people’s needs.

I’ve heard it said to “love the sinner but hate the sin.” That’s an understandable quote since I see the devastation that sin causes in the lives of people every day. Greed, corruption, bigotry, gossip, hatred, coveting and gluttony can be seen sitting in pews all across the land. We’ve earned that reputation. It will take time to change people’s minds, but first we have to change our hearts.

(For those wondering:  No,I’m not a Democrat.  No, I’m not a Liberal.  Yes, I’m a born again believer.)

A Writer’s Wish

How often we forget the price to achieve our dreams.

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The Family Trials

It’s been bizarre the last few days.  My brother had to have heart surgery. it went well and he’s home, sweet. Yesterday the computer went out on the van, so we took it to be fixed, meanwhile my son’s car blew out a tire, stranding my wife en route to the hospital. I changed places with her and got it fixed. We picked up the other car, came home and the power went out.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, my mom should get out of the hospital tomorrow, yay! So, en route, my sister and nephew were broadsided by another car. They are OK, but the car is totaled. Then, after a visit, on the way out of the hospital, my grandfather nearly passed out and wound up in the E.R. from low blood sugar. Everyone is fine, but it’s been an interesting time recently.

As a man of faith, I’m not going to worry, but I am going to sit here away from sharp objects.