I’ve experienced it a number of times – many of my Christian acquaintances can get so worked up with contempt and even hatred for their government. They often seem to have no respect at all for the idea of government interfering in people’s lives in any way – or at least not in well-off or successful people’s lives. We’ve all heard it – something like: I. It is NOT the government’s place to tell people how they should spend their money or how they should treat their employees. That’s an abuse of freedom and a terrible threat to all of us. So it is anti-American and very unChristian. And it will lead to socialism and Communism and fascism and tyranny.
A friend recently asked what it means that I use “emergent evangelical” as my religious affiliation on FaceBook. So here’s a look at what the phrase means to me. I. “Evangelicals” Today “Evangelical” has come to be a bad word in much of American society, for several reasons.
WHY? Why should we focus any more on Jesus Christ than on Abraham or Moses or Isaiah? Or on the laws in the Bible, or prophecy, or the end of the world? Is focus on Jesus more needed than pointing out sins – especially other people’s sins? Is Christ actually more important today than Obama or McCain? Or economic crisis? Or threats of violence around the world and at home? Should we focus mostly on our friendship with Jesus – or on why our beliefs are better than other people’s beliefs ? BECAUSE
Did you see the recent comment from “Donna”? It stirred me up! Come on people! Christian integrity and humility should compel you to allow that those who voted for Obama are NOT thereby proven to be ignorant or reprobate! I know that my response refers to the behavior and attitudes of the “religious right” as if they could be sterotyped. But in fact, in my experience, these problems VERY consistently show up in people who get their input from those sources – they are stereotypical responses. On the other hand my experience with Christian Democrats shows them almost always to be much more welcoming and open to information and to real discussion. Here’s my response (The numbered headlines are quotes from Donna’s comment.):
[Quotes from Politico.com ] Senator McCain on Friday (Oct 10, 08) seemed to be pushing back against the fear and hate Sarah Palin is encouraging against Senator Obama. When a crowd member said at a town meeting in Lakeville, Minn., on Friday that he feared what would happen if Obama were elected, McCain said that Obama is “a decent person and a person that you do not have to be scared of as president of the United States.” The crowd booed. Why wouldn’t it? McCain says there is nothing to fear from Obama, while McCain’s running mate says Obama pals around with terrorists who target America. “The crowd booed.” What does that tell us about “the crowd”? This is behavior that needs to go away. Seriously. How can we protect America if we treat fellow Americans that way
The Barna Group exists to provide statistical information to Christian churches and ministries, to be a catalyst in moral and spiritual transformation in the United States. We accomplish these outcomes by providing vision, information, strategy, evaluation and resources. After extensive recent research the group’s president, David Kinnaman, wrote a book on the largely negative take on Christianity by “outsiders,” especially younger ones,
The moral issues Jesus actually paid a lot of attention to do not have a prominent place in many churches today, or in the work of many prominent religious agitators. I wonder why. To see my short, nine-”chapter” article discussing how the Gospels present the moral concerns Jesus emhpasized, click here.
I. Waves of Slander I don’t have statistics, but we all know there’s a lot of falsehood circulating freely online. An email arrives with frightening accusations or innuendos and the reader gets frightened (as was intended) and forwards the email to warn others of the great danger revealed. But what if the email is one of the mostly false ones? How should we react if we’re not entirely sure of it’s truthfulness? After all, when we accept at face value lies about a person, group, or situation, and repeat those lies, we have put ourselves in a very bad place – we have become gossips and slanderers. Slander, you may have heard, is not a Bible virtue,
My wife heard on the radio the other day that resistance to Bush is clearly “Satanic.” “Christian” radio is promoting some strange ideas, but this is one in particular to be very wary of. We do need to judge spirits, but according to Jesus backwards judging of the spirits is very dangerous. He says there is an unpardonable sin, and it has to do with mis-judging spirits – calling movements of the Good Spirit satanic. Remember this story? 1) Jesus cast out a demon. 2) The powers that be in the religious world said he was a servant of the devil. 3) Jesus said, “I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.” (Matthew 12:31,32) They may have had problems with the history of Jesus, or with some of his teaching. But if they could not acknowledge that he really was going around doing good, then something was deeply wrong. When you attribute … Continue reading
Alternative title: “Had Enough?” From an email – Bill Clinton speaks about our nation’s direction today. In the eight years I was privileged to serve as President, we set a positive course for this country by working together. Because of the work we did, our country made real progress. That is just the truth. Things were FAR from perfect at the end of Clinton’s 8 years. But our national situation, in many different areas, was much better then than now. Much better.