Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Things I've Learned In The Last Week

With the Marriage Amendment on the ballot in North Carolina last week, and its passage at a 59-41% clip (in my county, over 80% voted for it), I decided to challenge some non-thinking. Normally I don't post blog-related stuff on my personal Facebook page. I deal with enough angst and controversy in the emails I get here at the blog. I've always figured why pour more fuel on the fire? The problem was, as last Tuesday approached, my FB newsfeed lit up with some outrageous, ignorant, emotional, numb-nuts comments from fundamentalists. You have to understand, my "friends list" on FB was largely built before I ever wrote a word at CoM - largely populated by people from my old world - the Christian music industry - and by their fans and supporters, most of whom are extremely fundamentalist, even if their brand of fundamentalism is different than the VF, Gothard, Christian homeschooling form of fundamentalism. Most of them have likely never heard of Vision Forum or Gothard, for instance, and if they have, they don't really know who or what they are.


There was only so much I could take before I started posting a few status updates of my own, including one where I made it clear why I voted against the amendment. Some were mere questions - no more, no less. Some were emotional parody. Some were observations couched within questions. All were meant to make people think and maybe, just maybe, recognize their own levels of hypocrisy, and even more, if they engaged me, meant to give them a platform to expose themselves as hypocrites (as a couple of people did beautifully). For all of the action some of you guys saw on my FB wall, my message inbox filled up with people asking me "Why are you saying these things?" and "You need to get back to the bible" and "You're saying the bible isn't true?" and "I don't know what's happened to you, but you need to be careful" among some other choice nuggets. They all assured me how concerned they were for me, they were praying for me, yadda yadda yadda.


In one instance, a guy who is a pretty recognizable figure in my old circles was ranting and raving (on his own wall - not mine) about "taking America back", spouting crap about a "Christian nation" and 2nd Chronicles 7:14, congratulating the "brave Christian warriors in NC" who had "taken a stand for the bible" and voted for the amendment, and bragging that his own brave stand for the bible (on FB) was serving to clean out the liberal junk on his friends list, what with a bunch of people who disagreed with his "stand for God and the bible" unfriending him. "Good riddance" was his attitude toward them. There were 30 or 40 comments, so being curious I began to read. The levels of ignorance were staggering. He was, as gospel music people do, preaching to the choir. Every single comment fed the ignorance. "PREACH!!!", and "This is the TRUTH!!!", et cetera. About half a dozen comments in, one guy went so far as to say that "If our country is to be saved, conservatives are its only hope", and he meant this in the spiritual sense. That's right. Conservatives. Not Jesus. I couldn't let that pass, so I left a comment that said "Good grief people. The gospel itself changed within the course of this comment string, and no one even noticed. In fact, a bunch of you "liked" it when it happened." With that, the guy unfriended me, which says a good deal about his other unfriendings. Not quite the martyr he was making himself out to be. He also doesn't help himself on a question of hypocrisy by weighing 500 lbs (literally) and preaching against gays.


Here's a list of things I've learned from Christians in the last week...



  • If you voted against this amendment, you aren't a real Christian.
  • If you don't "believe the bible is true" (whatever that means), you aren't a real Christian.
  • America was founded as a Christian nation, therefore it's the patriotic duty of Americans to stamp out sin. Otherwise, you're a traitor and you aren't a real Christian.
  • The only sins that matter are being gay, having abortions, or being a Muslim. If you don't "take a stand" against those, there's no way you can be a real Christian. The rest really aren't that big of a deal, or at least not big enough to ever prevent this from being a Christian nation.
  • You can't be a Democrat and be a real Christian.
  • If you voted for Obama, are you frickin' kidding me? There's no way, whatsoever, you're a real Christian.
  • Obama is, obviously, not a real Christian.
  • The bible is "God's Word". If you say that loud enough for long enough, it'll be so. It's ok if you can't substantiate it or don't really know why you believe it - that simply doesn't change the "truth of God's Word".
  • Being a martyr is when you preach to a large choir which supports you enthusiastically and probably isn't equipped to challenge you, and one guy asks you a question you either can't or don't want to answer or just disagrees with you. Being "brave" is largely the same thing.


Some other things I've learned or observed in the last week...



  • Most Christians are actually worshiping a religious culture, a conservative culture, which they confuse with "the bible" (which they confuse with God).
  • 95%+ of Christians have no idea why Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed. They really don't know what their own bible says about it.
  • 95%+ of Christians don't realize that NO sexual act, straight or gay, is documented in the Genesis account of the incident. They read that into the passage, because it was read into the passage by the religious addict that taught them.
  • 95%+ of Christians have never heard of the Book of the Secrets of Enoch - which serves as the proof that they really don't know what's in their bible, don't care enough to research it for themselves, and just believe whatever their church tells them.
  • When Christians don't want to have to answer the questions you ask (because they can't), or when they don't like the observations you make (because they can't counter them without empty cliche), this makes them uncomfortable, so they try to make the issue about you, suggest you're getting too uptight, need to relax, et cetera.
  • A good sign that your faith isn't healthy: Diving headfirst into a conversation that's waaaay over your head, and doing so entirely from a place of emotion.
  • People with a healthy faith should never, ever feel threatened by any question or observation concerning it...which means that about 3/4 of Christians have become immersed in a religious system rather than practicing a healthy form of personal faith.
  • The lines between Christianity, conservative culture, and Republican politics have become so blurred that you can't tell where one ends and the other begins. In practical application, those things are the same for 3/4 of all fundamental and evangelical Christians.
  • Christianity doesn't need Jesus to accomplish its genuine end goals. It's pretty much running on Jesus fumes already.
  • Based on the theology they believe and follow, most Christians really don't want Jesus to return. If they did, they wouldn't be so emotionally determined to go to the polls and vote to prevent it (if you do the math).
  • Christians want people who disagree with them to have the same American freedoms and liberties they do. Gays, for instance - Christians want them to have these freedoms, so long as they "get saved" and stop being gay. Otherwise, religion and popular votes should determine those freedoms.
  • For most Christians, man was obviously made for the Sabbath, because they value their religious system over people.
  • Few Christians have any understanding of the spiritual chronology of the books of the bible, little understanding of the differences between the old covenant and new covenant, and NO understanding of what that means to them. However, this doesn't stop them from "standing on the Word", misusing and misapplying it, especially the parts they don't understand.
  • The majority of the "brave Christian warriors" who "took a stand for God and His Word" last week will go to the polls this fall and vote for a Mormon, which should tell them a TON if they'll think about it a bit...which they won't, and they'll continue to be hypocrites.


Quite a week.

54 comments:

  1. "Christianity doesn't need Jesus to accomplish its genuine end goals. It's pretty much running on Jesus fumes already."

    What a clear word picture. I wish that this would mean that their engine would stop working, but they are just retooling it to run on hate, so it'll probably keep on running without a pause.

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    1. machintelligenceJune 20, 2012 at 2:45 PM

      From a recently seen bumper sticker: "Jesus called...he wants his religion back".

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  2. All of that and you still jumped into battle on my Facebook page....with my family, no less, lol. I'm still getting private messages about that. But I appreciate you and everything you said so much. Thank you.

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  3. I was saying the same thing about Christians voting for a Mormon to David the other day. The fundigelicals all talk smack about Mormon's, but when it comes to the polls this fall, they'll all vote for one. What a bunch of raging hypocrites!

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  4. Well, I, for one, had a lovely time on your FB thread recently. So much easier to stay calm and logical on other people's threads than my own!

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  5. I agree with (almost) everything you said. I experienced a lot of the same nonsense over the issue, with people even claiming I wasn't a Christian because I was against the amendment (someone also made the comparison of me being a bad husband and father because of my views on the matter).

    The "(almost)" in "(almost) everything" goes towards the Sodom and Gomorrah thing. You are right that the Genesis account makes no mention of any sexual act (gay or straight) occurring, but it does say that it was the intention of the men who knocked on Lot's door:
    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%2019&version=ESV

    "the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house. 5 And they called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them.” 6 Lot went out to the men at the entrance, shut the door after him, 7 and said, “I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly. 8 Behold, I have two daughters who have not known any man. Let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please. Only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof.”"

    I still get your point though. Glad I'm not the only one who thought this whole issue is about the dumbest thing that's happened to NC.

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    1. His reason at the end of the cited paragraph is interesting though... He says, "do nothing to these men" not because to "know" men is inherently wrong (or at least no more wrong than gang raping his virgin daughters), but because "they have come under the shelter of my roof."

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  6. Genesis 19:5
    Casts some doubts on your other observations.

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    1. There are no sexual acts recorded in Genesis 19:5.

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  7. If you want to know why Sodom was destroyed, go to Ezekiel 16:49-50.

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  8. Well, there was an attempted rape in the Genesis account, but Xians focus on it being gay rape. If it was straight rape, then it would have been okay...apparently.

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    1. Exactly...The storyline is about a group of people so perverse that they considered themselves entitled to gang-rape visitors. RAPE, not sexual orientation, was the issue in the Genesis account of Sodom. One of the worst parts of the story is that the most "righteous" guy in the story offered his own daughters out to be gang-raped by the entire town.

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    2. Ezekiel still refers to their "abominations." In the Genesis account, it does not refer to Lot as a righteous man, nor condone his actions when he offers his daughters as a substitute. Furthermore, the Bible is quite transparent in Lot's deficiencies in subsequent sections when he lies with his daughters in a drunken stupor. If there is confusion about the orientation issue, Paul seems to clarify it 1 Corinthians 6. Lot was spared because of God's covenant with his servant, Abraham.

      I think that even in these darkest stories, recorded in the Bible, we can still see the hope that it points to. God is ready to use anyone, no matter how morally depraved, and doesn't give up on us. Samson was a womanizer, as was David, and his son, Solomon. Although these were heterosexual relationships, God does not condone them. Noah drank, Abraham repeatedly deceived and lied, and yet even Rahab the prostitute is still included in the genealogy of Christ.

      God's not in the business of giving up on people. He has guidelines and rules for us to follow. Since He created us, I am inclined to trust His judgment. Some may classify Christian thought and attitude as close-minded, or narrow, and shamefully, many of those accusations are true. But the Gospels tell us, that wide is the road that leads to destruction and narrow the way to life. I'm not trying to preach at you too much, but as with the same desire for respect and acceptance that many worldviews demand today, shouldn't Christianity get a similar seat at the table of discussion? Otherwise, that starts to seem a bit close minded. I'm not perfect, nor do I know everything, but I trust that the same God who kept His promise to Abraham and spared Lot, will guide and protect me.

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    3. I've heard different interpretations. I've also heard that the issue was being inhospitable; back in the day the social code was to take travelers in and care for them, because YOU would want someone to return the favor someday when YOU were out in the desert and came upon a town. So to harm travelers seeking refuge would put the whole social code in danger (sort of like if one person decided to just start driving the wrong way down the interstate).

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    4. Anon...Ezekiel mentions the sins of Sodom in that vein. Greed, gluttony, excess, lack of charity. Any sexual perversions in Sodom were just a by-product of the selfishness and excess.

      Ezekiel's description of Sodom sounds quite a bit like the Christian community.

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    5. @Stephen...I'd consider rape an abomination.

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    6. Lewis. Wouldn't you be careful about stereotyping Christianity in its entirety? What if I made a stereotypical presupposition about you based on your worldview? Again, Christians get steam-rolled for being "close-minded" but are the first people to be thrown out of a conversation because of their "misguided" trust and faith placed in God.

      As far as Sodom, as I mentioned, the Apostle clears up the issue of homosexuality. It is a sin and a detestable act. I too am guilty of sinning and falling short time and time again. I do not struggle with homosexuality, nor do I condemn openly gay individuals. However, I cannot get around what God says about homosexuality, just as he does many other sins...some that I have committed and struggle with. But I'm not trying to legalize or justify those behaviors in the eyes of man's moral code. Sin is what it is: evil and prideful.

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    7. Wouldn't you be careful about stereotyping Christianity in its entirety?

      Christianity has become too focused on proper doctrine, behaviors, and sociopolitical causes and has too little focus on Christ. Based on the raw data that I have from my own observations, for me to suggest otherwise would be dishonest. Christianity has no desire to be reconciled to God, and to be lead by His Spirit. It's too focused on a bible to let God get in its way.

      What if I made a stereotypical presupposition about you based on your worldview?

      I'm used to it.

      Again, Christians get steam-rolled for being "close-minded" but are the first people to be thrown out of a conversation because of their "misguided" trust and faith placed in God.

      Because they refuse to separate God from the biblical canon to the point that if God appeared before them and gave them an instruction, they'd say, "Hold on, lemme check my bible to make sure you're right."

      As far as Sodom, as I mentioned, the Apostle clears up the issue of homosexuality.

      Paul suggested many things, but Paul wasn't a scientist, a doctor, a psychologist, and he certainly wasn't God. Paul's understanding of the physics of a lot of the issues he opined on were miniscule compared to ours. Paul didn't take a moral stand against slavery. Paul instructed women to remain silent in the church (which we know absolutely doesn't happen - so are we to count that as sin?). Paul said that even nature suggests the shame in a man having long hair - when nature suggests no such thing - look at lions, for instance, and look at the fact that if a man never cuts his hair (an act of human resource, not of nature) it'll continue to grow.

      However, I cannot get around what God says about homosexuality, just as he does many other sins...some that I have committed and struggle with.

      God? Or Paul? I ask because they aren't the same.

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    8. Saw this on a friend's FB page. It beautifully summarizes the achilles heel of modern Christianity...

      http://jamaljivanjee.com/2012/05/the-15-billion-secret-of-the-honey-bee-the-disappearance-of-evangelicals/

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    9. Petticoat PhilosopherMay 18, 2012 at 1:36 PM

      @ Stephen Christianity should have "a seat at the table?" Ultra-conservative Christianity OWNS the whole table! Nobody get to sit at it unless it says so, including Christian dissenters to the group-think, like your host

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    10. there is no science to back it up lewis it was false look it up cnn lies too

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    11. It would help if we knew what you were talking about...and since when did you give a rip about science?

      BTW, I don't watch CNN.

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  9. But they wouldn't accept the women.

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    1. Which is a secondary issue to the fact that they felt entitled to RAPE people.

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    2. Besides, it doesn't mean they were gay. Often in the ancient world homosexual rape was used as a tool of intimidation and dominance--they didn't have a concept of sexual orientation, but they did have a concept of, hm, how do I say this, "real men" being always on top? I've read a commentary that suggested that this was their way of showing newcomers "who's boss" in a violent and degrading way. If that's what they were after, their neighbor's daughters would be no substitute, and they'd be way too mad at his refusal to go along with the horrible local custom to accept any consolation prizes from him.

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    3. As a friend once remarked, in Sodom you (supposedly) have a huge mob of gay men running around. And yet they can't find someone to have sex with--to the point that they have to attack guests?

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    4. @Paula...It brings to mind the prison dynamic. Prisoners don't rape other prisoners to satisfy gay desires. They rape them to demonstrate power over them. The sexual act is ancillary to the intent of the act.

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    5. Why shoudn't they be entitled?

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    6. If they had "accepted the women," would that have made it okay?

      They wanted to brutalize two strangers. The tool they wanted to use was rape. They likely did not think of themselves as gay because surviving literature and art from the Mediterranean and the Near East show us a world in which there were two fixed roles in any act of sexual congress, the user and the used, and somebody on top of the social heap could use lower, lesser people pretty much as he saw fit. The anatomy of the person being used was not a moral issue. Romantic love did exist, but it was also different--consider that a common epithet for a girl one loved was "sister," implying "you are in my group, so you are under the protection of my group, and I will treat you like a person I have known and loved for a long time--not like those other women."

      In any case, the problem was not Joe and Jim getting an apartment with one bed in it. The problem was, as is pointed out in the Bible, that the culture of Sodom and Gomorrah ran on doing terrible things to people who did not have powerful groups to run with. Such as raping travelers for a night's entertainment.

      Jenny Islander

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    7. @Lewis: exactly.

      @Jenny Islander: that's what I was trying to say. You said it better.

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    8. What's wrong with every man wanting to "know" the new guys in town? Maybe Sodom was known for this...go to LasVegas to gamble, go to Sodom for "sex with a man....and lots of it!"

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    9. Petticoat PhilosopherMay 18, 2012 at 1:42 PM

      @ Paula and Anon 5:47. Yes, this. A man raping another man was a way of brutalizing and humiliating him in order to demonstrate one's power over him.

      The rape of a woman is, of course, also driven by a desire to brutalize and humiliate, not an authentic sexual desire but it wouldn't have had the same cultural meaning then because, well, it was already accepted that women were beneath men. So raping them wasn't exactly subverting anything.

      Yuck all around!

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    10. "AnonymousMay 17, 2012 5:43 PM
      Why shoudn't they be entitled?"

      Is this a troll?

      Or is this some conservative Christian coming right out and saying the he/she sees no reason men shouldn't be entitled to rape anyone they want to rape?

      Wth?

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    11. I don't see the word "rape" anywhere in the biblical account. It says they wanted to 'know' them. What if the town expected the men to want to because why else would you come to Sodom?

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    12. "I don't see the word "rape" anywhere in the biblical account."

      SMH...Does it have to be?

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    13. Why is the story of Sodom and Gomorrah not about people being destroyed for consensual sausage parties? Well, there's Ezekiel 16, which begins (KJV): "Again the word of the LORD came unto me," goes on to compare the people of Jerusalem breaking their covenant with God (verse 59) to a wife being unfaithful to a husband who had plucked her from the gutter, and then calls Sodom Jerusalem's "younger sister" whose iniquities Jerusalem had surpassed. Despite the overarching metaphor of sexual sin, Sodom's sins are specified thus in verse 49: "Pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy."

      Then there's Isaiah 1, headed "The vision of Isaiah son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem" (verse 1). It opens with a comparison of God's backsliding people to a pack of delinquents and the invasion of the Promised Land by foreigners to a beating (probably a judicially mandated punishment for teenage criminals; this is implied for example in Proverbs). The people say (verse 9): "Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah." Isaiah fires back, "Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah. To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me?" and ticks down the list of mandated sacrifices and festivals, with God summing up: "They are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them . . . Your hands are full of blood. Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow."

      Isaiah mentions Sodom again in chapter 3: "They declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not." What is their proudly brandished sin, for which they are now suffering the consequences of invasion and cultural upheaval? Verses 14-15: "For ye have eaten up the vineyard; the spoil of the poor is in your houses. What mean ye that ye beat my people to pieces, and grind the faces of the poor?"

      These were the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah. The men wanting to "know" the travelers--this is a metaphor for sex found elsewhere in the Bible, as a man "knowing" his wife, who then conceives--anyway, the men saying coyly that they want to "know" the travelers, you know, in a mob, by means of their host making them leave the safety of his house--this is a symptom of sickness in people who already trample on anyone who doesn't have a powerful protector. If they don't give a damn about the dignity and humanity--even the survival--of their own neigbhors, why not gang-rape a couple of strangers? Who's ever going to know what happened to them? If the mob lets them live, who could they tell?

      Except that this time they try their game with a couple of angels.

      Jenny Islander

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    14. You say don't blindly accept...so I'm not accepting the premise of rape here. Can you stop "SYH" for a moment and reply to my entire comment?

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    15. Where I say "don't blindly accept", I should probably follow it with "don't be blind". Similar things, but not the same thing.

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    16. Huh...so my premise of Sodom being a place to have unlimited sex is being blind? Ok...interesting how alike you all are with the fundamdntalists you dislike. Im leaving now since I thought this was more than a one sided conversation.

      P.S. I noticed you assuming others would come back to your blog after saying they wouldn't. It is tempting to see what you and others say about this, but not tempting enough...

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    17. If you want to be a part of the conversation, don't offer a baseless premise and then be offended when it's treated as baseless.

      For the record - I haven't "assumed" others would come back after saying they wouldn't. Their IP addresses are tagged. I can see that they come back regularly.

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    18. Anonymous: I backed up my assertions with the words of the prophets Ezekiel and Isaiah, who proclaimed "Thus says the Lord" and referred to Sodom and Gomorrah by name.

      With what are you backing up your assertions?

      Jenny Islander

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  10. What you are seeing is people who have fallen for the culture warrior Dominionist lies.

    You are right about this:

    "Most Christians are actually worshiping a religious culture, a conservative culture, which they confuse with "the bible" (which they confuse with God)."

    http://galatiansfour.blogspot.com/2010/09/mustard-tree-desires-world-power.html

    http://galatiansfour.blogspot.com/search/label/Dominionism

    To be frank it is a culture that sickens me...there is nothing Christian about it. I believe it is a set up for the evangelicals for the antichrist.

    With homosexuality, I do believe it is a sin, but that even there the culture warriors just want to beat the political homosexual drum and they turn the gays more and more against the gospel.

    http://galatiansfour.blogspot.com/2012/05/preacher-preaches-punch-children-for.html

    One thing that I wrote is that it is interesting as the economy collapses, the politicians can scream homosexual from both sides, and brains turn to pudding, and everyone reacts like Palovian dog.

    You got a point about them all lining up to vote for a Mormon too...ironically one who ran the early version of Obamacare in his own state. The Right and left deception continues.

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  11. I agree so much, ESPECIALLY the part about lines blurring between Christian/conservative/Republican. I have observed a lot of people who seem to believe that Republicanism and 21st-century-American conservative values are PART OF THEIR RELIGION, and an inseparable part.

    And by the way, I love how people assume that if you disagree with the cultural Christian majority that automatically means you "don't believe the Bible is true." It saddens me that most Christians don't know there are legitimate differences of opinion on how to interpret certain Bible passages. They just really don't know those different interpretations exist, let alone that they might be valid.

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  12. http://shadowspring-lovelearningliberty.blogspot.com/2012/05/commands-of-christ.html

    I had so much to say that I put it in a blog post.

    I had company last weekend, a whole family. Lovely people, very dear to me because they are very dear to a close friend. I shared, among many other things, that I was against Amendment One.

    The father of this family was very subdued the second day, barely spoke at all and when he did his voice was hushed. I asked my dear friend if he was offended, and the answer was yes. I was pretty sure why, but I asked anyway.

    Yup. His heart had withdrawn from welcoming me as a sister in Christ because I was against Amendment One, and had very plausible reasons, AND was influencing his children with my opinions.

    Basically, his kids (all young adults of voting age) and I talked about the parable of the Good Samaritan, and I asked who do you think Jesus would put in the various roles if he were telling the story in NC today?

    I posited that the robbery victim would be a gay, homeless, illegal immigrant, and that first Franklin Graham would be too busy to stop because he was on his way to another board meeting to receive another $700k contribution to his retirement account. Then I posited that perhaps the next one to pass by might be Pat Robertson, on his way to attend graduation ceremonies at Liberty University.

    Finally I offered that the role of Good Samaritan could be written as the good Unitarian Universalist.

    I still think I proposed some thought-provoling updates to get us all thinking about "who is my neighbor" in a fresh way. I didn't mean to offend, but oh well. I hope he finds it in his heart to reconsider his dislike of my thoughts on the matter, or at least to reconsider rejecting me over it.

    When you've done it to the least of these...

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  13. the christianity that you described is a club that i'm not interested in. i will not be labeled. i do hate obama i hate abortion i believe in guns cuz i will blow someone's head off if they try and rape me. i hate most conservative shit so i really don't fit into anyone's addendum nor do i care. the next relationship that i have with a man i will live with him and have sex. lots of it. i hate politics mainly i think most if not all are out for themselves and i don't really think my 'vote' counts anymore. i love God Christ and the Holy Spirit (we are tight). but i hate christianity and i only read the bible when i feel like it which isn't very often. religion and politics aren't the center of my life. those are very personal to me and if you don't like my views then oh well. most liberals make me angry and i can't stand the conservative views & i'll never be a libertarian. i'm going to hell in a hand basket aren't i? LOL...i don't fit into anyone's list or labels or club. xoxo lewis!!

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    1. 1 John 4:20 King James Version (KJV)
      20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
      (1 John 4:20The Message (MSG)
      20-21If anyone boasts, "I love God," and goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won't love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can't see? The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You've got to love both.)

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  14. cranston
    @ Stephen
    And yet despite your admitted sinfulness you may, if you wish, marry the person of your choice. You can be an idolator, a perjurer, an adulterer or even a murderer and it doesn't preclude you from marrying in any courthouse in the land. Only this sin (which isn't even mentioned in the 10 Commandments) prohibits you from marrying a person that you choose. But are not all sins equally offensive to God?
    Same sex marriage doesn't mean religious affirmation but only legal recognition. All those who are opposed to same sex marriage need merely ensure they don't marry someone of the same sex. It's not going to be mandatory.

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  15. This is the TRUTH! Oh, I also share the frustration of all but a few of my Facebook "friends" being of the type you describe - one of the curses of an ultra conservative Christian background! And I as well SO appreciated your posts and the results elicited. SO many martyrs out there - they SO need to get their priorities straight if they're out to prove Democrats and gays will be the ruination of this country. There are so many more legitimate problems in this world they could be channeling all that energy into!

    Speaking of hypocrisy... Romney giving the commencement address at Liberty? Falwell justified his inviting Romney, even though one of his theological courses condemns Mormonism as a cult, by sagely pointing out that we do not elect a leader according to his religion but for the candidate whose ideals most align with ours. "We are, after all, electing a commander-in-chief, not a pastor or religious leader." Um, yeah, but for Falwell & Co. only a commander-in-chief who vouches he will force his own religions views on marriage on the rest of us.

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  16. A wit at another site recently posted:

    "Jesus had TWO daddies and he turned out just fine."

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  17. There's not been a single bible that I have laid hands upon and opened, and I've encountered several translations, that has contained any book of Enoch in it.

    What bible are you reading that does?

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    1. Any bible that contains Jude has the Book of the Secrets of Enoch in it. Jude quotes directly from Enoch - which is the primary reason Jude has been a contested book within the church over the centuries, particularly from men like Martin Luther. Since fundamentalism came around about 100 years ago, fundamentalists no longer value knowledge of the bible nearly as much as allegiance to it, so few people know about its make-up.

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  18. The way I see it, the passages that condemn homosexual sex are for people who are straight. Giving up natural relations, whether you are straight or gay, is what is condemned. We just need to open our categories a little wider and realize that there are more than just two sexes. They are not opposite poles, but on a spectrum. The existence of intersex individuals makes this obvious. Sexuality is not as simple as dominant outward features. There is a lot more that goes on inside regarding hormones and receptors. But what is most important with this issue, is that Christ NEVER commissioned his followers to take over the politics of any land. We are more like Muslim extremists in the way "Christians" took over this portion of North America, destroying the indigenous nations and their right to the land. Instead of coming as missionaries, whom Christ instructed to "shake the dust from your feet" and leave, if they were not received, for some reason so-called Christians think they have some right to take over the place and kick the original inhabitants out. And then keep everyone else out who doesn't follow their rules and accept their place in their stratified society. Effing messed up.

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