The New York Times is where Christians should go to for advice? As insanitybytes22 points out, the answer is NO!
Nevertheless, it sometimes pays to listen to your opponents. They will tell you things your friends won’t mention. Is there a problem? Consider this observation from insanitybytes22’s post.
I do believe that some change needs to come to the Western church, to the Body of Christ. I do believe that entwining the religious right and the Republican party has created a lot of collateral damage. I do believe there is a huge unchurched church sitting on the out skirts of evangelism. I do think this election really shook things up, ripped the roof off “the church,” so to speak, tossed some dirty laundry out onto the street. I also think that’s a good thing. I am all about addressing dirty laundry and putting the fun back in dysfunction.
The Christian Right, Evangelicalism, the Religious Right or whatever it is is not a monolithic block or a distinct organization. So nobody speaks for it, and that is something of a problem. Therefore, the Christians who voted Republican each have to do their own explaining. When the New York Times and the Democratic Party start equating Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism with racism, sexism and xenophobia, we need to call them what they are, liars.
Here is my take. To the extent there is an identifiable Conservative Christian movement, the reason that movement votes Republican has to do with the Republican Party’s stand on certain specific issues. For example, lots of Christians voted for Trump because he promised to appoint judges who would respect the Constitution and because Trump is Pro-Life. Would overturning Roe v. Wade be racist? Really? How so?
Another example? Lots of Democrats rejoice that America is becoming darker in complexion. For some reason, that joy is not considered racist. On the other hand, Democrats effectively call trying to preserve America’s cultural heritage and constitutional republic racist. Why? Do Democrats ever explain?
Logic often does not have anything to do with the name calling. The object of New York Times‘ name calling is to destroy the people who oppose its agenda. Ironically, these people are behaving like religious bigots. You don’t agree with them? You must be a bad person.
First let me say with all good humor here, I am a latte colored female and forever young, so this article totally does not apply to me. I do have some affection and fondness for several “old white men” however, so there is that.
To give you a feel for the article, here is the first sentence, “As the election retreats like a hurricane heading back out to sea, first responders are assessing the damage left in its wake. One casualty is the reputation of evangelicalism.”
Right off the bat I want to say that is the wrong focus. Evangelists are not supposed to be focused on our worldly reputation, the favor and approval of men. We’re supposed to be following Jesus…
From time to time I enter into a debate. Since I don’t have much time for blogging, that sort of activity chews up my blogging time. Still debate is what makes blogging interesting. Celebrating the Word with lions can be especially interesting.
Since I enjoyed ‘s post and agreed, I took his side. Therefore, I expect had a great time as the center of our attention. Nevertheless, I don’t think we wasted our time.
What was my favorite comment?
What we believe is a choice, and we each have the right make our own choices. What we do not have the right to do is force others to suffer the consequences. So it is that Noah could have been wrong, and he would have wasted decades of work, but it was his time to use as he chose.
What comment of my own pleased me the most? Well, some of them got rather lengthy. So I will just quote of a portion of one comment, but first let’s hear from .
The biblical character , Jesus of Nazareth never, ever once said he was Yahweh (your god) and there are several places he not only flatly denied it, but based on what whoever wrote the gospels stated, it would be utterly absurd to suggest he was, as, for example, who the hell was he talking to upon the cross when supposedly cried out:
.” lama sabachthani”.
or who was he praying to in the the garden of Gethsemane?
These are some of the blatantly obvious examples that show the character Jesus of Nazareth was not Yahweh.
The Trinity along with the god hood was devised by the Roman Catholic Church.
Go study some history and don’t come with your whining apologetics to me. (from here)
Here I reply to .
Why did Jesus say “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). Have you ever read Psalm 22?
What happened on the cross when Jesus died? Frankly, I doubt we will ever understand, even if we have eternity to consider the matter.
That mystery is so great and imponderable that it is not surprising that Martin Luther is said to have gone into seclusion for a long time trying to understand it and came away as confused as when he began.
When I want to understand how and why Jesus suffered for our sins, both as man (Hebrews 2:14) and as God (John 14:7), I first refer to Isaiah 53. Then I read the Book of Hebrews. I believe, but I still do not understand. Mostly, I just weep when I think of it.
Consider the typical child. When our mothers gave birth to us, they suffered a price. Both our parents labored to feed, cloth, shelter, and love us. God, as our Father, paid an even greater price for us. He sacrificed His Son on our behalf.
The Trinity bothers you? Who did Jesus pray to in the garden of Gethsemane? Of course, the man Jesus prayed to His Father. The Son communed with His Father.
You want me to explain God? How would anyone? How could man explain this?
Philippians 2:5-11 New King James Version (NKJV)
The Humbled and Exalted Christ
5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
When people consider the sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf, I think many just balk. The evidence is not the problem; it is the very idea of God humbling Himself that they refuse to accept. Since they would do no such thing, they are horrified their Creator would and might expect them to do the same. The horror of humbling ourselves before our Maker, the Creator of the Universe, particularly when He loves us so much, is too much. They cannot bring themselves to stoop (as they see it) so low. So why would God? They think God models their behavior, of course.
Jesus observed both haughtiness and humility, and He explained the crucial difference.
Luke 18:9-14 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The Pharisee and the Publican
9 And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
What do I find most sad about ‘s denial? Because he does not believe (apparently does not want to believe), cannot understand the Bible well. He is so busy trying to disprove the Bible that when he discovers an apparent contradiction he never seriously considers any explanation. At least, I know I once did that sort of thing. Nevertheless, knows the Bible better than most people who call themselves Christian, and that is sad.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Jesus had yet to die on the cross. He only just begun to teach. He had performed miracles, but just who was He? Nevertheless, His followers soon saw the truth in His words. Christians did suffer for their faith in Jesus and still suffer from insults, persecution, and false accusations.
Here in the United States we are supposed to consider the persecution of Christianity a minor thing. Yet it is not. It is just more subtle. So we get articles like this:
All this sort of talk is silly. What is at issue is whether our we can fulfill our Christian obligations, whether the society we live in tries interfere with our duty to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ.
Consider two examples.
Do we want to educate our children in the Christian faith? Is it not obvious our government now hinders us in that effort. Over the decades, government has secularized our schools. They have practically banished the Bible, and they teach religion causes wars, including the Christian religion. Why would the leaders of our government do that? Christianity, which promotes individual rights, is an obstacle to the growth of government power, and some of our leaders crave more power.
Do we want the right to speak freely about our faith in public? Once that was commonplace in America, but over the years the mass media, desirous of selling sex and violence, has constantly pushed the envelope of decency. So it is that many corporate executives in the mass media, now dominated by sales people who want to use indecent behavior to mass market goods and services, feel obliged to repress Christians, who teach modesty, abhor gratuitous violence, and promote frugality.
Because sin is popular in all societies, even the United States, anyone who strives to follow the example of Jesus Christ will experience some degree of persecution. There is no point in pretending otherwise. The only issue is whether what we choose to do about it honors Jesus Christ.
Of course America was never a Christian nation. Here is the real story.
America owes its prosperity and plenty to all the diverse atheistic cultural groups that came together as a providential example of human reasoning and skill. These atheistic collectives combined to produce our uniquely secular Constitution and governing institutions.
Consider where it all began. The first arrivals crossed the Bering Strait, then a cold, dry land bridge because of the Ice Age. They brought with them their belief in the Great Spirit of Logic which they celebrated at their campfires by devising efficient ways to hunt and farm. Thus, these Indians became the first environmentalists. To protect the environment, they consciously chose to remain in the Stone Age for thousands of years, forgoing the use of electricity, plastics, and labor saving machines to protect their beautiful land and wildlife.
When barbaric Vikings from Northern Europe arrived in America, the Indians met them and showed them their ways. Some of the amazed Vikings stayed and joined the Indians. Others returned to Europe and introduced their Scandinavian brothers and sisters to the Great Spirit of Logic. Hence, early in its history Scandinavian became renowned for its peaceful ways and near absence of warriors.
Now we go to the Middle East. Here, a thousand years earlier, long before Lief Erickson trod the shores of North America, a great philosopher named Jesus began popularizing the works of little known Jewish philosophers. These philosophers had done ground breaking work on the rules for rational human behavior, but few knew of or understood their great accomplishments. Unfortunately, generations of ignorant Jewish scribes had obscured their insights with strange notions about an angry God and multitudes of needless rules and laws. Fortunately, a gentile named Jesus, a star student educated by the best Greek and Roman teachers, discovered well preserved copies of the works of those little known Jewish philosophers. Curious, he delved into them and was amazed by what he had found. Subsequently, he assembled a team of fellow philosophers, and he taught them what he had learned.
Jesus died shortly thereafter, but the work he had started continued. His disciples taught others and made disciples of those they taught. Thus, through his first disciples Jesus slowly became famous for teaching what ancient Indians had learned long ago on the other side of the word. Humans can solve any problem by reasoning together and working together. In time, man can make his collective will the supreme force in the universe. In time, man can be his own god.
Seeing that Jesus had discovered a path for the works of man to make salvation possible, his disciples soon began to call him the Christ (meaning the savior) and themselves Christians. Therefore, Jesus ironically attained to the status of deity from his more gullible disciples.
Fortunately, Jesus’ first disciples preserved his teachings in their class notes, but most of the world was illiterate. So Christianity spread slowly, and its adherents mixed up Jesus’ teachings with strange beliefs. Then in 15th century, someone invented the printing press. So most of the educated people of Europe were able to read both the works of the those little known Jewish philosophers and the class notes of Jesus’ disciples.
Unfortunately, the arrival of the printing press resulted in competing interpretations of Christianity and chaos. As various groups strove to practice their own versions of rational and well-reasoned living, the old pagan institutions strained and finally began to slowly crumble. Still, many Christians sought escape from their persecutors in the New World. Here are some of the better known groups.
Disciples of the Church of England, devoted to prosperous living, sought escape in Virginia.
Pilgrims for Stoicism and later the Followers of Puritanical Reason settled in New England.
The Rational Friends settled in Pennsylvania.
The Proponents of the Catholic Mind settled in Maryland.
The Atlantic Ocean was not wide enough. The adherents to the old pagan gods were still strong enough in England to torment the Christians in the New World. So the thirteen colonies, all practicing various versions Jesus’ teachings (now intermixed and strengthen by the Indian’s belief in the Great Spirit of Logic) decided to declare their independence. So they wrote up a declaration. They declared that the rights of men depend upon the rational collective will of mankind, not the rantings of those who believe in nonexistent gods. Then, they listed their grievances and crudely told King George III where to stick it.