Are Christians hurting Christianity?
As a new priest in an Anglican (evangelical denomination, not the Church of England), I couldn't agree more that Christ alone needs to be preached from the pulpit. Politics will never save us or comfort us like Christ will. Christ changes lives. I promise not to get sidetracked into endless political discussions. Holy Scripture is what the world needs now, more than ever.
I grew up in a Calvinist family, and since NO church was strict enough we sorta joined a Calvinist cult when I was 6. If you don't know what that means, I am frankly too tired, even at 51, to explain it. Google it.
The only thing in some ways that has stuck after all these years is this. If there is an omnipotent and omniscient God..HE DOES'NT NEED YOUR HELP! Not to hold a pseudo Christian hate fest in your sanctuary. Not to speak through Q on 8 chan ('Cause he did that in the thing called the Bible.) He doesn't need Trump or Flynn or Hagee or Robertson or Falwell or the Kraken. He said that a church is where anyone gathers together in his name. Trump wasn't mentioned.
He is watching over the sparrow and the lamb. He's also watching over the people that invented the mRNA technology.
Calvinism is not a religion of love. But you can get there if you try hard enough to get back to the basics. Love one another.
And he sure as hell didn't invite the money changers INTO the temple.
I don’t think “real Christians” had to vote for Trump, or Republicans in general, but could Paul have continued persecuting Christians and holding the coats of those who stoned Christians after his conversion? Then neither can a Christian continue to persecute the unborn and hold the coats of those that murder them.
Thanks for writing this and directing me towards it. I was shocked when I saw the video. This is not behavior that I believe in pleasing to God in what is supposed to be a house of God. In fact, I thought to myself when I saw the video, Mike Judge of Beavis and Butthead fame was right. We are devolving into Idiocracy, the Mike Judge movie that shows America in the future, where the F word is as common as the word "the." Let's face it, we know what these people are really saying.
We forget that Joe Biden is looked upon with the same love from God as I am or anyone with the magic R behind their name. While I don't identify with Biden on his political stance, I know my Bible instructs me not to have such a foul tounge. Clearly, the religion of the state and its politics are more important than God's commands to most of these people who think they are saving America by electing the right "king." A free people should not need to be led to the level that puts this much emphasis on who lives in the American castle at 1600 PA Ave.
Of course, these are a people who want the symbols of their king and his government worshiped. When a football player dared not honor a sky cloth in the way these people, who claim by the way they support freedom, these people were quick to attack. I rarely heard my fellow Christians ask if Colin Kaepernick knew and served Jesus Christ. They were more worried if he served the flag that flies over the IRS building, the CIA building, the NSA building, the ATF building, the USDA building (that makes it hard to enjoy the freedom of buying raw milk), and even Fauci's CDC. Statism is truly a dangerous religion and it is changing the hearts of people to speak foul of the same people God instructs us to love. It's really concerning.
Then I have noticed how little these people, who call the Democrat party the "demoncrats," something that as a conservative Christian I will never do, know about scripture. They love to buy t-shirts that read "I stand for the flag, and kneel to the cross." Of course the Bible doesn't tell us to kneel to the cross. It tells us to pick up our cross and follow Jesus. These t-shirts stink of idolotry in their need to place judgement on Colin Kapernick for no worshiping the symbols of the state.
As a soldier who served honorably in the army, I didn't take an oath to protect the flag. That flag isn't what we fight for. We fight for the Constitution and our oath it to the Constitution. These people who scold Kapernick for not honoring the flag forget we fight for his freedom of speech so he has the freedom not to serve a flag and its government. These very same people continue to vote for one of two political parties, the red or the blue teams, who continue to trample and walk all over the Constitution.
Trumpers get far more upset at Kapernick for not standing for the flag than they did when Trump got his Obama pen out and turned legal gun owners who legally purchased a silly bump stock into felons if those gun owners chose not to surrender their plastic gun stock to their government master. Interesting how that played out...
As for your experience in church, there does seem to be a need for entertainment in many churches today in order to get Americans into the pews whether it is "boards for the Lord" or any number of social adventures the offering is being used to subsidize. I honestly love my gospel chruch that preaches the word of God without the need for entertainment. Perhaps, the entertainment element is why we now have people sitting in pews knowingly saying "F Biden" in their cute little way. Clearly scripture tells us to abstain from this type of behavior.
How can someone criticize the mote that is Qanon when they open with the log that is "we are all sinners"? Evaluate the concept of sin, the source and transmission as related in the Bible, and then compare it to the best understandings biology, genetics, history, etc. There is not a difference in kind from Qanon conspiracy and Biblical faith, just different material.
Collectively we have all walked away from the most basic of religious beliefs. We were even able to tolerate those that did not share in a particular belief or even non belief. Not even close to Sodom and Gomorrah today we maybe and equal distance away from our beliefs. We have allowed ourselves to be swayed into listening and in some cases voices from far beyond normal or middle or somewhere in between. We have allowed the State to mix with Church to pander for votes or whatever carrot is being dangled in the name of the Lord for the State. I will try to be a better person by looking back at my grandparents parents and uncles (John and Bob Sims) as they balanced old school politics and unions and life with an unbelievable love and respect for the basic religious beliefs that guided them.
Matt you continue to matriculate the ball down the field with clarity and insight that I have rarely heard or read. Love this stuff!
Excellent content, excellent writing.
It sure looks to me like there really is something wrong with lots of evangelicals.
Yesterday the program On Point on WBUR radio played a clip (which I thought very revealing, though not at all surprising) in which a caller recalled an incident from his youth in Mississippi in the 'sixties: a few black couples tried to attend church services in Mississippi, and were barred by a group selected by the pastor.
He didn't say that this was an evangelical church, but given the time period and place, it had to have been evangelical or something very close.
I wonder how often similar things are occurring today.
I love your writing. Keep up the good work. You are saying in very creative ways all the things I see.
When I read this, I was reminded of similar articles written by David French that decry the politicization of the Evangelical church. All is not gloom in the rightward-facing denominations, however. It was good this week to see the American council of Catholic bishops walk away from excommunicating politicians who did not support all the tenets of the faith, recognizing that their role is to teach and convince the flock to follow. Maybe there is hope for the larger community of Christ.
The evangelical base, by their unwavering support of Trump despite his vast indisputable immorality, has made it almost impossible to convert any reasonable thinking person to Christianity now. ...thus in essence they are shooting themselves in the foot, as far as evangelizing goes. Could there be greater proof than this that the demigod they worship is the antichrist?
This essay is really bringing back church memories. I once smashed a Nine Inch Nails CD with a hammer at my roommates youth group meeting. He was the youth pastor at our church while we were in college. All my friends still make fun of me for that.
“Let’s go, Brandon,” was already evidence that we’re on the weirdest timeline. A crowd chanting it in a church just made it weirder.
Oh my goodness, you’re my new favorite writer. The idolatry of politics is super gross. But you’re hilarious. For me tonight, that is a big win. It’s hard to laugh about all this stuff lately. You pulled it off and then some, thank you. Subscribed with 1,000 claps!
Great writing.....he used humor, logic and common sense.....
I know you hear it all the time. But I love your writing. Common Sense ain’t so common. LOVE
I have said for YEARS, over a decade now, to my father and grandfather (when he was alive), who are both southern baptist preachers, that Jesus has become Americanized. I think I shocked the hell out of them when I said Jesus was NEVER a christian. When I have talked with them, aside from being told I am a heretic and to 'get thee behind me satan', I tell them I don't believe in American Jesus. Jesus wasn't white, a republican (or democrat for that matter), an American, or a christian. He only got demonstrably mad at Pharisees who exploited those that were suffering.
I NEVER voted for trump. I am very vocal about his unfitness as President, let alone anything close to something ANY christian should support in ANY way. By their response, you would think that I blasphemed Jesus or something. That was a very big clue.
From the Romans to the Greeks to English, nations or empires have taken Jesus and branded him to their culture. So no, I don't believe in American Jesus BUT I do believe that I should love my neighbor, to do right by him/her as I would myself, to call out lies and false narratives (for myself as well) and to help if I am able. Before I stand for something, I should look at myself for any biases or ways of thinking that could blind me to another perspective. I should LISTEN to those who don't think like I do as they have a perspective that I don't have. But the most important thing is that I do NOT think that anyone who doesn't believe what I do, is less than me or doesn't know anything. I have learned A LOT from atheist's. It's a different perspective that helps me see my own blind spots.
At least it can be said, we are living in interesting times.