America Embarrasses Jesus

Okay, you’ve been living under a rock if you haven’t seen SOME of the hullabaloo about Mr. Obama suggesting that America open its doors to some 10,000 Syrian refugees. And, in great American fashion, American Christians have rallied to PREVENT refugees from coming within our sacred, God-ordained borders.

We have to protect ourselves, you see, and welcoming Syrian refugees would be allowing the terrorists free access to our country.
You wouldn’t invite a murderer in through the front door of your house, would you?

Yes, that’s actually an argument I’ve seen a LOT over the last few days. Never mind the fact that we’re not talking about hypothetical people in need – we’re talking about REAL people who are displaced by war and violence. Where are the Xians who care to take care of those who can’t help themselves?

Oh, those poor refugees! I wish there was something we could do. And by “we” I mean someone not me. And by “do” I mean nothing that will cost me anything. Oh, those poor refugees! ~ Murica

You see, we like the IDEA of helping people, but not when it’s actually going to cost us anything. We like the IDEA of helping, but we must have our priorities in order.

PRIORITY #1 – American Safety

If you let in thousands of refugees you’ll welcome who knows how many who want to do us harm! When I pointed out that America was founded by refugees who were seeking freedom from persecution, I was told:

“And the natives welcomed them with open arms and now we have this great Navajo nation! Oh wait! Great analogy. Exactly why we can’t take them.”

That’s the spirit, Xian people! Look how we screwed others. We gotta make sure nobody treats us the way we treat them! I read in the Bible somewhere:

And Jesus saith unto them, “Mess people over before they have a chance to mess with you.”

At least I’m pretty sure it went something like that. But forget about safety for a minute. Even if the refugees were vetted (which they WOULD be), we’ve got so many other problems here in America. That brings us to:

PRIORITY #2 – Our own people

I was told:

“We MUST take care of our own widows, orphans, elderly, ill, Veterans, etc, etc, first, and foremost, at this time…..NO more refugees from anywhere is my personal opinion”

Sure, I acknowledge that we’ve got a problem with poverty, homelessness, and myriad other issues in our nation. Focusing on those issues IS important. Those are things we should address and people we should be helping. But think about it in terms of trauma and an emergency room. It’s a basic case of triage. When you look at all the people you can help/save, those with a greater urgency get handled first. That doesn’t mean the others aren’t important. It means we understand that the others can hold off a little while longer while we take care of the crisis now.

And let’s not kid ourselves – we’d rather help our own people than help people of another ethnic background and another nation. Today I actually saw a Xian woman (wife of a church elder) share this:

Inbred Savages

That brings us to:

PRIORITY #3 – The Practical Considerations

This priority comes from Xians who want to seem like they care about the issue but want you to know that you haven’t really considered all of the ramifications of allowing refugees into the country. For example, I was told:

“Where are they going to live? Who is paying for this? Are they going to work? Who is going to give them a job? Do they speak English? How can you find out who they are if they don’t have papers or any info on them?”

Um…do they speak English?

Since when is that a requirement for being A REFUGEE?!? No, they probably DON’T speak English. Are we now holding back our Xian compassion for those who speak the same language?

HOLD EVERYTHING! WE GET TO CANCEL OUR FOREIGN MISSIONS BUDGET NOW, FOLKS. WE’RE NOT DOING ANYTHING THAT BENEFITS PEOPLE WHO DON’T SPEAK OUR LANGUAGE!

Ridiculous.

Let’s be real. I’m not saying that allowing all Syrian refugees access to America is the best policy. It’s not a black-and-white deal – it’s highly nuanced. What I AM saying is that Christians ought to be the first to seek out helping people rather than outright turning them away because of the FEAR of possibilities and potential outcomes.

It SEEMS (that means my perspective, folks) that conservative Christians are jumping on the “don’t trust Muslims” bandwagon and are quick to say, “Our nation won’t help displaced people” without even giving a THOUGHT about the issue and the real people involved.

Yes, America –

You embarrass Jesus.

 

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If you want to share a thought, it’s okay to disagree. Just keep it civil. And share the post with all your friends 😉

I Didn’t Know Statutory Rape Was Illegal

moron

Have you ever read something that got under your skin so much you simply couldn’t keep quiet about it?

That’s how I felt today.

Let me introduce you to Jack Shaap.

jack schaap

Jack used to be a pastor. Until he seduced (read statutorily raped) a teen, was fired, and is now in prison. He’s appealing to have his sentence reduced – seems he thinks 12 years is a little to long for his crime. Jack “also claims his sentence violates his constitutional rights because it is cruel and unusual punishment, and the sentence should be reduced because the girl was sexually experienced.”

But what really got under my skin was where Jack, who did plead guilty, told the judge he did not realize his actions were illegal.

if-my-calculations-are-correct-youre-an-idiot

He certainly isn’t showing any remorse or repentance.

This guy gives all pastors a black eye. Throw the book at him.

Put him away for life.

You Can’t Kill Trolls

Trolls

Wow, hasn’t Twitter been an interesting place the last couple of days?!?

There a guy (he says his name is James, but this is Twitter, so who really knows) who has published a list of Anon accounts and Anon “friendlies” – claiming that we are enemies of Independent Fundamental Baptists (IFB). He boldly asserts we:

are either fake, parody, or just simply exist to harass other fundamental Baptist accounts and/or remain in cahoots and follow those who do…. Most of these accounts are members of the ex-fundamentalist/atheist/progressive “Christian” (etc..) website, Stuff Fundies Like, and then others are devout followers of…popular Calvinist authors, pastors and bloggers…

What really gets my knickers in a twist is that his “naughty list” includes people who have never spoken ill against him or his group – they are included only because they associate with Anons. This guilt by association is religious McCarthyism.

With everything within me I want to tell him that he is being ridiculous, illogical, and acting completely contrary to Christ. But I can’t. And you can’t.

You see – you can’t kill trolls.

You can’t argue with them, reason with them, or ever say ANYTHING that will bring a change in perspective. Trolls are stone – immovable. Even facts are useless against them. This troll has leveled accusations against one of my Twitter faves, BackRowBaptist. He claimed to discover that BRB was actually from Arizona and threatened him:

Keep it up and see how long you stay anonymous…

Except BRB has publicly revealed himself and he is not in Arizona. 😐

Facts mean nothing to trolls. Anything you say will get twisted and distorted.

It sucks. It’s aggravating. But they feed off of it. They get pumped up while we get drained.

So I’m gonna say something that makes me shudder…

Let it Go

Pretty soon you’ll forget about him. You can’t reach him (most of us are blocked anyway).

So let it go. Ignore him and he’ll return to his troll hovel. We can get on to Twitter as usual.

Are you an #Americhristian? Here’s how you can tell…

Those of you who know me know that I’m quite fond of hashtag parties. I like to participate in them. I like to start them.

I was really tickled yesterday with the hashtag party for Americhristian. You see, I wasn’t even trying to start a party.

I was simply ranting.

Last year after seeing many Xian folk treat religion and patriotism as two sides of the same coin I became a bit irate. I coined (at least I thought I did) the term “Americhristian.”

Yesterday I saw a bunch of tweets regarding Memorial Day, America, blah blah blah and it brought up the same feelings. So I brought up the word again. It seemed to resonate with people.

There were a bunch more, but you get the idea. Turns out that other people use that term as well.

I even found a group called “The Americhristian Group

Americhristian

As far as I can tell this group is a not a hoax, but does seem shady. They want to save America for Christ through “Praise, Partnership and Prosperity.”

THIS IS THE EXACT KIND OF NONSENSE I’M TALKING ABOUT!

When we place emphasis on our national citizenship instead of our heavenly citizenship we’ve got our priorities backwards. Ed Stetzer once wrote, “When you mix faith and politics you get politics.”

Regardless of our political views we need to have Kingdom emphasis first.

We align with Jesus, not with political ideals.

We serve Jesus, not any political platform.

And we know that Jesus is Lord of all nations, not just ‘Merica.

Don’t be an Americhristian.

I’m Not Pro-Life and You Shouldn’t Be Either

Language is a very odd thing.

For example, you read the title of this post and probably jumped to conclusions that I am talking about the issue of abortion. The term “pro-life” has taken on a nuance all its own. One cannot use it apart for the abortion discussion anymore.

The other day I cam across a piece (for the life of me I can’t remember where) that said people like me who disagree with abortion but still believe in the death penalty should rather say, “I’m pro-birth.”

Well, that’s just ridiculous.

As I mentioned, the phrase has taken on a nuance all its own.

But for the sake of argument and to placate that person, fine – I’m not pro-life. I’m pro birth.

But I’m also for the death penalty, so I guess I’m pro-death…in certain circumstances…well, it’s complicated. No, “pro-death” is just stupid.

But I digress.

Most of the world knows about the execution of Oklahoma inmate Clayton Lockett. The media jumped all over the story and called it a “botched execution.”

But here’s the thing. Let’s look at the situation from a results-oriented perspective.

The desired result was the execution of a real gem:

Here’s an AP summary of his crimes, in addition to first-degree murder: “conspiracy, first-degree burglary, three counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, three counts of forcible oral sodomy, four counts of first-degree rape, four counts of kidnapping and two counts of robbery by force and fear.

I’m sorry – did I say gem? I meant scumbag.

So the desired result was putting this man to death. But if that’s the desired outcome, they seemed to succeed.

It wasn’t a botched execution. Perhaps they botched up trying to put the man to sleep before they put him to death, the but the execution achieved the desired results.

From a biblical point of view, I don’t have a problem with this.

There are certain things people do that God said (and society today STILL says), “Sorry, scumbag, but your behavior nullifies your right to take another breath.”

But…but…but…what about turning the other cheek? What about the love of Jesus?

Even Jesus showed righteous anger at scumbags. He never overturned the old Law. The stuff that pissed God off then still does now. If humanity is God’s image on earth (and the Bible says it is) then heinous crimes against humanity are really crimes against the creator.

And sometimes scumbags don’t deserve to be here any more.

And this is me getting off my soapbox…………

Racist Old White Dudes and Their Black Girlfriends

Donald-Sterling

By now most people have heard of the drama regarding Clippers owner Donald Sterling and his racist comments.

We should be outraged, but we’re being outraged by the wrong thing.

We shouldn’t be outraged by his racist remarks. His racist attitude wasn’t a secret. People have known about it. Racism isn’t new to this country, and it certainly isn’t going to disappear any time soon.

In fact, the whole idea of freedom in this country is that people are allowed to believe and speak what they believe without fear of punishment. That means you can believe any idiocy you want to believe. You can share that idiocy with others, and you won’t have action taken against you.

Is Sterling an idiot? Clearly. He has a fight with his 1/2 Latina 1/2 African American girlfriend about his negative feelings towards minorities. As the owner of an NBA team he doesn’t want his girlfriend to be advertising that she hangs out with brown-skinned people. Yes, this man is an imbecile.

But that’s his right!

Stop calling for his team to be taken away from him. He owns it. You can respond by not buying Clippers merchandise. You can refuse to attend games. But don’t threaten punitive action for someone’s personal (even though idiotic) beliefs. It opens the door for action against faith groups – it’s a dangerous road to walk.

That’s not what we should be outraged about.

What we SHOULD be outraged about is a married man who has a girlfriend on the side. But nobody is saying a word about this. Why are we not upset about this man flagrantly living an adulterous life?

We seem to have selective morality here. We’ll ignore the girlfriend part but, WHAT’S THIS! HE MADE RACIST COMMENTS?!? CRUCIFY HIM!

As a white man married to a brown-skinned woman, I found his racist comments to be disgusting. I couldn’t even listen to the whole audio clip. But I’m not gonna change the opinion of a racist old white dude. His opinions are his to own. That’s his right.

I just wish we would get outraged about the right things.

Why Disney’s Frozen Will Destroy Your Soul!

Okay, maybe that’s a bit extreme.

Still…the message being sent out by the main song isn’t a great message.

You know the song – “Let It Go.”

If you’re a female under the age of 12 you’ve got the whole thing memorized the way school children use to memorize the Pledge of Allegiance.

As an adult you may not have it memorized but if you have an internet connection you’ve at least HEARD of the song.

Here, have a listen:

I guess my real problem is just with one single stanza:

It’s time to see what I can do,
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me – I’m free

This is a horrible message to be sending to people!

I’m a big believer in Xian Liberty. That is to say, there are many aspects of human behavior the Bible doesn’t address that fall under personal conscious and freedom. At the same time we cannot escape the fact that there IS right and wrong. God doesn’t say, “Anything goes, guys – just be good people and you’re in!”

Even the New Testament, with all of Paul’s “freedom from the law” talk, still contains sin lists and standards of acceptable and unacceptable behavior for people of faith.

Now we have a generation of young people belting out, “No right, no wrong, no rules for me – I’m free!”

We forget that no right, no wrong, and no rules merely leads to anarchy and chaos. Then the strong dominate and the weak die off. It’s a horrible system when you apply it to all of humanity.

In the end, no, I don’t think Frozen will actually destroy your soul. But I do get concerned about the ideals that pop culture is putting into the heads of young people.

So I choose to use the lyrics as an entry point for conversation with my kids. Let’s talk about right and wrong and rules. I’ll use Frozen like Paul uses the Statue to the Unknown God in Acts 17. Perhaps I’ll be able to get through to my kids the kind of life God desires them to live.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go watch Frozen with my daughter for the 10th time 😐

In the meantime, have a laugh with these other bits poking fun at Frozen…

How To Complain and Still Seem Holy

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Xians are good at complaining. We’ll complain about anything that goes against what we want or think is the “right way” to do something. The problem is that complainers get a bad reputation in the eyes of others. There must be a way, then, to complain without actually looking like you’re complaining.

Good news – there is!

If you do it right, you can complain your little heart out and still maintain the appearance of righteousness.

Here’s how:

1. Disguise the complaint in language about “care and concern.” Like this:

“Pastor, you know how much I care about our church, but I’m really concerned when I see ________.”

2. Cleverly lead others to come to the point where they agree and believe that your complaint is also their complaint, then urge them to talk to the pastor about it. Like this:

“Fred, did you ever notice ________.”
“I never thought about it before, but you’re right, Jim!”
“That just doesn’t seem right. What do you think ought to be done about it, Fred?”
“Shoot! I’ll go tell the pastor to jump on it right away, Jim!”

3. Send anonymous cards and letters to slowly emotionally cripple your pastor. Like this:

“I’m so sorry to hear that you’re leaving town. You are leaving, right?”

Follow these steps and you’ll be fast on your way to being among the most righteously ungodly complainer in the congregation.

Xians Say the Dumbest Things

We really do.

Sometimes we joke about it an call it Xian-ese, but there’s really a dialect within Western English that is unique to Protestant faith. Not being Roman Catholic I can’t speak for them. I can only hope that they don’t share some of the same expressions we do.

One of the goofy ones: praying for a hedge of protection.

As if God is a great cosmic gardener.

Hedge of Protection

I know that people who don’t speak the language hear us talking and just shake their heads. “Yup – them there Xians are talking again. Can’t understand a dadblamed thing they’re saying.”

It’s not that I really care about it individual words. My biggest problem is that we have created language that clearly identifies one as in-group or out-group. If you speak the language you’re one of the insiders. Everyone else is excluded – kept at a distance. It’s difficult to win people over when you keep them at arm’s length. How can we possibly meet people where they are when our language is pushing them away? If the Apostle Paul’s behavior in 17 is any example, we should be building bridges to where people are utilizing THEIR lives – THEIR language.

So, whatcha think? What dumb things have YOU heard Xians say?