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This Guy Gets It (American Christianity)

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This Guy Gets It (American Christianity)

Postby StlSluggers » Fri Apr 06, 2007 3:21 pm

I'm a Chrisitian. I believe Christianity has become way, way, way overpoliticized.

I came to this conclusion years ago, and it seems someone with a voice did as well.

CNN.com wrote:NEW YORK (CNN) -- When did it come to the point that being a Christian meant only caring about two issues,­ abortion and homosexuality?

Ask the nonreligious what being a Christian today means, and based on what we see and read, it's a good bet they will say that followers of Jesus Christ are preoccupied with those two points.

Poverty? Whatever. Homelessness? An afterthought. A widening gap between the have and have-nots? Immaterial. Divorce? The divorce rate of Christians mirrors the national average, so that's no big deal.

The point is that being a Christian should be about more than abortion and homosexuality, and it's high time that those not considered a part of the religious right expose the hypocrisy of our brothers and sisters in Christianity and take back the faith. And those on the left who believe they have a "get out of sin free" card must not be allowed to justify their actions.

Many people believe we are engaged in a holy war. And we are. But it's not with Muslims. The real war -- ­ the silent war ­-- is being engaged among Christians, and that's what we must set our sights on.

As we celebrate Holy Week, our focus is on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. But aren't we also to recommit ourselves to live more like Jesus? Did Jesus spend his time focusing on all that he didn't like, or did Jesus raise the consciousness of the people to understand love, compassion and teach them about following the will of God?

As a layman studying to receive a master's in Christian communications, and the husband of an ordained minister, it's troubling to listen to "Christian radio" and hear the kind of hate spewing out of the mouths of my brothers and sisters in the faith.

In fact, I've grown tired of people who pimp God. That's right; we have a litany of individuals today who are holy, holy, holy, sing hallelujah, talk about how they love the Lord, but when it's time to walk the walk, somehow the spirit evaporates.

A couple of years ago I took exception to an e-mail blast from the Concerned Women for America. The group was angry that Democrats were blocking certain judges put up for the federal bench by President Bush. It called on Americans to fight Democrats who wanted to keep Christians off the bench.

So I called and sent an e-mail asking, "So, where were you when President Clinton appointed Christian judges to the bench? Were they truly behind Christian judges, or Republican Christian judges?

Surprise, surprise. There was never a response.

An African-American pastor I know in the Midwest was asked by a group of mostly white clergy to march in an anti-abortion rally. He was fine with that, but then asked the clergy if they would work with him to fight crack houses in predominantly black neighborhoods.

"That's really your problem," he was told.

They saw abortion as a moral imperative, but not a community ravaged by crack.

If abortion and gay marriage are part of the Christian agenda, I have no issue with that. Those are moral issues that should be of importance to people of the faith, but the agenda should be much, much broader.

I'm looking for the day when Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Joyce Meyer, James Dobson, Tony Perkins, James Kennedy, Rod Parsley, " Patriot Pastors" and Rick Warren will sit at the same table as Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Cynthia Hale, Eddie L. Long, James Meek, Fred Price, Emmanuel Cleaver and Floyd Flake to establish a call to arms on racism, AIDS, police brutality, a national health care policy, our sorry education system.

If they all say they love and worship one God, one Jesus, let's see them rally their members behind one agenda.

I stand here today not as a Republican or a liberal. And don't bother calling me a Democrat or a conservative. I am a man,­ an African-American man ­who has professed that Jesus Christ is Lord, and that's to whom I bow down.

If you concur, it's time to stop allowing a chosen few to speak for the masses. Quit letting them define the agenda.

So put on the full armor of God because we have work to do.

BTW, there's a poll on the site asking readers what they thought Jesus would be most concerned about now. 75% picked poverty. People still get Christianity. Politicians - and the "religious conservatives" that follow them - do not.

My purpose in posting this is that I want non-Christians to understand that the political Christians they see on the TV all the time are not the base of Christianity. Please don't lump us - and the religion - in with them.
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Postby decoy562 » Fri Apr 06, 2007 3:56 pm

I'm a Christian, and I totally agree with you and the article. Thanks for sharing.
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Postby CadensDad » Fri Apr 06, 2007 4:13 pm

Good post
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Postby Tukka » Fri Apr 06, 2007 4:15 pm

I wouldn't have as much a problem with organized religion as I do if it were more about compassion and less about persecution.

My preferred solution to the problem would be for reasonable people to just abandon religion altogether, but failing that I'd like to see moderate Christians (and people of other faiths) work hard to "clean house" and shift the power and focus away from extremists and fundamentalists preaching hatred, intolerance and violence and instead towards those with a vision towards actually helping people, leaving the role of judge to whoever/whatever it is they worship.
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Postby chris8 » Fri Apr 06, 2007 5:20 pm

Cool post, Sluggers ;-D

The sad truth is that the extremist views are more 'newsworthy', and so are far more likely to hit the media headlines.

In the meantime, the vast majority of Christians get on with living out their faith as best they can on a more local, and therefore quieter, level. Stories of Christians and churches serving their local communities aren't newsworthy...so no one hears about them.

I should say that this is the case in the UK, can't speak for the US, obviously, but from what you say, it sounds like it is similar.
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Re: This Guy Gets It (American Christianity)

Postby Madison » Fri Apr 06, 2007 5:42 pm

StlSluggers wrote:My purpose in posting this is that I want non-Christians to understand that the political Christians they see on the TV all the time are not the base of Christianity. Please don't lump us - and the religion - in with them.


chris8 wrote:In the meantime, the vast majority of Christians get on with living out their faith as best they can on a more local, and therefore quieter, level. Stories of Christians and churches serving their local communities aren't newsworthy...so no one hears about them.


Great points guys. ;-D
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Yes doctor, there will be blood.....
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Postby bigh0rt » Fri Apr 06, 2007 7:43 pm

chris8 wrote:Cool post, Sluggers ;-D

The sad truth is that the extremist views are more 'newsworthy', and so are far more likely to hit the media headlines.

In the meantime, the vast majority of Christians get on with living out their faith as best they can on a more local, and therefore quieter, level. Stories of Christians and churches serving their local communities aren't newsworthy...so no one hears about them.

I should say that this is the case in the UK, can't speak for the US, obviously, but from what you say, it sounds like it is similar.


And there's a big part of the problem. Because things like that are newsworthy, and would, in my opinion, make a lot of people feel a whole lot better, whether they realized it or not. I know on the extremely rare occasion that I see something positive reported on the news, I smile; not necessarily outwardly, but it just feels good to know there are good people out there, doing good things, on any given day. Unfortunately, it doesn't grab ratings the way a diapered astronaut driving cross-country to try and kill somebody, which really sucks.

Great original post, too, JT. ;-D
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Postby Omaha Red Sox » Fri Apr 06, 2007 11:59 pm

Great article JT. And spot on.

This is media in general I think, but it's not necessarily the media that is to blame it's the people who feed the monster. Look at military news. A soldier saving a small girl from a bullet-ridden alley will get either little or no public attention when an deranged baffoon of a man playing a soldier kills an innocent man this gets front page type notice. It's pathetic and an extremely ignorant interpretation of reality.

I am adamantly against abortion, this is true. I think homosexuality is a perversion as well. These are both true. But I spend much more of my time at the homeless shelter than I do discussing these two topics. I spend much more of my time mowing the lawn of the disagreeable old lady next door than I do protesting against these two topics. This is real Christianity. It's easy to point at extremists and label everyone else by them, but it's an ignorant point of view and one that is clearly obvious to anyone who cares to look a little further than their prefered channel on their TV.

Again, great post JT. It isn't ironic at all that Christians agree on this matter and are not surprised at all by this article's content.

Tukka wrote:I wouldn't have as much a problem with organized religion as I do if it were more about compassion and less about persecution.


It appears as if you've come across some rather bad examples of Christians Tukka. Many Christians I know, including myself, would much rather go out of their way to buy a meal for a man holding a sign next beside the highway, than stand in front of you and declare that you're living in sin because you smoke crack. I am certainly someone who will stand up for what they believe in, as should others of various faiths, but there are many more accounts of Christ's compassion than there are of Him raising His voice. If you were familiar with the Bible you'd quickly notice that Christ showed much more compassion towards those that did not follow His teachings than He did 'persecution'. He was much more concerned with the conduct of the hypocritical Pharisees than He was that of the adulterer. This is the example we Christians follow. It's not always easy, but it definitely does get easier with practice.
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Postby joelamosobadiah » Sat Apr 07, 2007 12:12 am

Great post and article man. I completely agree. ;-D
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Postby Dr. Duran Duran » Sat Apr 07, 2007 4:27 am

Extremely well written article. I have to say, it sickens me that as a Christian man, my faith seems represented in the news by over-the-top religious types who focus only on homosexuality and abortion. There's so much more in this world that needs to be worked on and much of it, most of it, is being left on the back burner. I also loved what the writer said about Christians getting all gung-ho and "God is good" but when it comes to crunch time, the spirit ceases to act. It's quite a "check yourself" thing to say. At times, I'm guilty of making foolish decisions without thinking, so I'm not going to get on my horse. So many of us have to do a better job taking care of our brothers and sisters, especially when it's not the most comfortable or convenient thing to do. In fact, it's when it's most difficult that we all need to step up to the plate. This article was really a blessing to me, so I appreciate it being mentioned here. Very cool.

Just a quick story. About three weeks back, my wife and I were eating out at a fast food restaurant here in town. We sat and talked for over an hour at this place, way longer than anyone usually sits and talks at a fast food joint. Just as we're about to leave, a homeless man is sitting outside on the curb. I barely noticed him, but my wife immediately said "we're supposed to take care of him, Greg". Without thinking, we pulled him aside and asked him what he wanted to eat. He looked like someone had just handed him a winning lottery ticket. We bought him several items from the menu, not costing much at all. When we gave him his meal, he said "thanks, man" and we both walked to our cars. As we drove off, we both balled our eyes out. It was a blessing to him that we fed him, but it was just as much a blessing to us that we got a chance to take care of him and actually did something when the chips were down. It wasn't the most comfortable situation, because it was something that occurred outside of our normal comfort zone. But it was one of the most memorable experiences of my life and I'm sure his as well.

I'm not telling this story to place myself on a pedastal, because God knows I've made my share of bad decisions in life. But if we just took some time out of our busy lives to bless someone, even in the smallest ways, it's something that could change lives, yours included.
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