Wednesday, March 07, 2012

when right is wrong (or when wrong is right) [a rant, no less]

let me cut to the chase. i grew up in a Republican household and I've been forever connected to an evangelical church. But I've got to be honest, by and large, I couldn't, at this very moment, feel more disconnected from either group.

Here's why:

Pat Robertson Blames Tornado Victims for Carnage

"God didn't send the tornadoes... God set up a world in which certain currents interfere and interact with other currents. If enough people were praying, He would intervene." ~ Pat Robertson

Those poor people should have just prayed harder.

But at least Robertson doesn't think that God caused these tornadoes as some form of punishment upon the American people. Unlike John Piper. Piper wrote that the recent tornadoes from March 2 & 3, 2012 were God's Fingerprints.

"Why would God reach down his hand and drag his fierce fingers across rural America killing at least 38 people with 90 tornadoes in 12 states, and leaving some small towns with scarcely a building standing, including churches?

If God has a quarrel with America, wouldn’t Washington, D.C., or Las Vegas, or Minneapolis, or Hollywood be a more likely place to show his displeasure?" ~ John Piper

Why not, John? Why not? How pompous to think God would be more concerned about those cities... even more pompous to assume God should strike down and punish them.

Piper, whom many look to as a leader among all leaders, pulls scriptures from anywhere and everywhere to prove his point. Matthew Paul Turner has eloquently written about this on his blog: John Piper's Twister Theology.

To assume that any natural disaster, in this day and age, is God punishing us for our sins, is an awful big assumption. But you know what they say about people who assume, eh?

But Piper is not the first one to correlate disasters to God's punishment. Heck, a few years ago Piper blamed a tornado that ripped through Minneapolis on the Lutherans where convening and discussing (gasp) homosexuality. Robertson equated the Haiti earthquake to God's punishment upon them because Haiti made deal with the devil.

No wonder Christians are so easily mocked.

Many others (including Robertson) said Hurricane Katrina was also God punishing America. Jerry Fallwell said 9/11 was God's punishment upon us. Is that all God is? the puppet master? pulling all the strings up in heaven? And why is He so overly concerned with America? What about the rest of the world? I suppose he punished Japan last year with an earthquake and tsunami because of their self-absorption with Hello Kitty and Karaoke.

But maybe these tornadoes happened because a warm front and a cold front collided. Isn't that how tornadoes happen? Maybe Hurricane Katrina happened because of whatever it is that causes hurricanes.

On a side note: Rick Warren actually had to defend himself for sharing a meal and building relationships with (gasp) non-Christians! [RICK WARREN ON MUSLIMS, EVANGELISM and MISSIONS] Really? Sounds a lot like how the Pharisees shamed Jesus for making nice with tax collectors and sinners and the like.

Next up: Kirk Cameron. Last Friday (March 2, 2012) on Piers Morgan Tonight he said:
"homosexuality is "unnatural," "detrimental," and "ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization..."
support him, his views or not, he had a right to say what he did. i'm not attacking that. his honesty has definitely brought support. But I'd say this: many things have been destructive to the foundations of civilization. Why do evangelicals bump homosexuality to the top of that list? What about society's general neglect for the poor, or greed, or pride or parents not being parents or divorce or our fascination with war and weapons and guns or selfishness? Many things have been destructive. Maybe if the anti-homosexuality crusaders put as much effort into seeing to it that the Greatest Commandments are lived out we'd really see change. It seems like evangelicals generally are quick to speak out against things... i guess i'd prefer us to be known more for what we stand for, not stand against. and perhaps these other concerns should be bumped to the top of evangelical talking points.

I'm not meaning to suggest that Cameron is a crusader against homosexuality. At least he handles himself with tact. But many are, including some of the current Presidential candidates.

It's one thing to have your morals, your faith-based standards, to live those out for the glory of God and to share why you live that way with anyone who'd listen. It's another thing to impose your set beliefs (no matter how right they might be) on others unwillingly. This is what many evangelical Republicans want to do. I don't see that as being the way of Jesus.

Lastly, Franklin Graham questioned President Obama's profession of Christian faith, calling him a (gasp) Muslim. Graham later backtracked and apologized. My struggle with how Obama is treated by Evangelicals is this: fairness. Shouldn't we, as Christians, above all else, be fair? It doesn't matter what you think of Obama or his policies. You don't have to like him - but you should be fair to him. And I don't see enough of that by evangelicals.

Frankly, that's the issue I have with all of these issues above. Evangelicals speaking for God - as if they are God and as if anyone has an opposing view point he will be labeled and defamed (apparently unworthy to be loved.)

I see this played out in the media and i see so many Christians taking the bait, hook, line and sinker. I'm sick of it. I don't know how so many Christians can support the likes of Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity... gentlemen who spew hate-speech... nothing short of hate speech. This should appall any and all evangelical Christians who give them the time of day.

What about the love?

The un-Christ-like behavior has got to stop. People need to put God before politics. Plain and simple. People need to read the Word. Plain and simple. Not just pick and choose the passages that work for them.

Lastly, if people want to see change in the world, they should do it by loving God and neighbor and by discipleship so that God might work through them and compel them to bring about change - not through the government - but through the heart.

some of the aforementioned talking points and similar stories like them have been the stick in my craw for some time now. writing this out was in many ways a complete waste of time and yet therapeutic. I think maybe i can move beyond this now. i realize that i am not exclusively correct with my perceptions... i may be way off base. you can be the judge. i am open to be wrong or to being proved wrong... but i think at this point i've always realized that it's not always about being right or wrong... it's about listening... i strive to listen more and to act more and to believe more and to imagine more and to live out the life God has given me, striving to honor Him and glorify Him.

I aim to post more God-moments, God-reflections, God-interactions... that needs to be my focus.

1 comment:

troy. said...

Good stuff, bro. I'm reading a devotional by Bob Mumford -- just last night he was making the distinction between using Scripture as a bullet or as a seed. His argument is that Jesus spread it as seeds, while many of us (including himself at times)spread it bullets. I couldn't agree more.

I'm guilty too.
I'm changing by the grace and agape of Christ.
Grace in the meantime.