Friday, June 11, 2010

Lies Christians Love

I think about a lot of troubling things. I was speaking to a class last night and defined my motivating theological impulse as a conviction that evangelical Christians can do much better than we are doing. I mean this in a lot of ways: how we treat people, how we think about social injustice, how we read scripture, how we worship, how we love, even how we work towards social transformation. Fortunately, I do find a lot of sites of hope in the world of evangelicals, even in the North American context which is my object of study. But one of the more disheartening things I run into is the love of lies that evangelicals have. I'm not saying this lightly. I first ran into it when I came to Christ from quite a bit of involvement in New Age spirituality. Some of the first books handed to me were by the cult sensationalists throwing out all kinds of matter-of-fact (and unsubstantiated) claims about the New Age being a highly organized out-to-get all Christians organization. While I'm not in any way endorsing New Age philosophy or spirituality - but the idea that this was a hyper-organized, actively anti-Christian organization was laughable. What I was part of was quite disorganized, multi-faceted and more concerned with its own spiritual insights than attacking Christianity.

Some of the lies that I keep hearing Christians tell are as follows:
- there is a gay agenda that is anti-Christian (I think my gay Christian friends would have a lot of trouble with this one)
- there is a gay agenda that wants to convert our kids to homosexuality (I think this fear is based on the realization that evangelicals want to convert kids so why wouldn't everyone else?)
- Dungeons and Dragons was created by Satanists to recruit kids to the occult (Actually it was created by a JW and a Baptist and a central idea for them was the epic battle between good and evil)
- Catholics (by which they mean Roman Catholics) can't be saved (that lie makes me want to cry actually)
- Pentecostals and Charismatics are so much closer to God than other Christians because they have the Holy Ghost (another one that makes me want to cry, seriously there are Christians who love lies about each other and not just about those outside of their religion)
- The slogan love the sinner and hate the sin isn't just an excuse to exclude people who aren't like us (I've come to detest most Christian platitudes)
- That their 'literal' reading of scripture is not actually another picking and choosing (this one goes out to all you shellfish loving homophobic literalists)
- That the King James bible is the only legitimate English translation (I'm being kind, I've run into KJ only folk who literally think it was the version Jesus used???)
- That it is ok to condemn sinners and sit around on their arses waiting for a rapture. (What makes you sure you'd qualify for a rapture?)

I could go one, but not without getting depressed. The thing is I'm convinced Christians should be lovers of truth. So the need of our day is to get off our complacent backsides and seek the Truth. I recently had a Christian minister send me a raft of homophobic hate articles telling me that if I was really interested in the TRUTH (her emphasis) then I should read these. I read three of the four - and all I found were lies. Maddening lies that were meant to dehumanize and justify hatred. Enough, this love of lies should really tell us something. The biblical father of lies is not God. Lies are not good. If you claim to have the Holy Spirit and are loving lies - well you would be the one I question if you really have the Spirit. I've spoken in the past of how certainty is the idol that has seduced modern North American evangelicals. That idol is entrenched in a fortress of lies. If we listen perhaps we'll hear another voice, "come out of her my beloved." And turn from the lies we love to tell.

6 comments:

Michael Samson said...

Frank.........amen. We catholics have plenty of lies that many of us love as well.... :-(

Michael Samson said...

This is one of the best posts I have read on your blog...

Anonymous said...

[spotted this on the web - Rod]

"Three R's" a Collector's Item

Journalist/historian Dave MacPherson's controversial book "The Three R's" names and discusses evangelical leaders who have not only heavily plagiarized others but have even been caught quietly using the forbidden world of the occult in order to defend the pretrib rapture view!
MacPherson, the world's authority on the 180-year-old history of the same view which has made millionaires of leading Religious Rightists including Lindsey and LaHaye, has authored the nonfiction bestseller "The Rapture Plot" and many web articles including "Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty."
The plagiarists include J. A. Seiss, E. W. Bullinger, Hal Lindsey, C. C. Carlson, David Jeremiah, Chuck Missler, and even Dallas Seminary professor Merrill Unger!
"The Three R's" (packed with many more discoveries than just the plagiarism and occultism) has been out of print for several years and is now a very rare and pricey item. Check out online bookstores and you will find these typical prices for a USED copy of it: Alibris ($33.94), Amazon ($33.94), Amazon UK ($73.08), and Archives Books ($36.93). They also charge several dollars for shipping.
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One of Freedom said...

Rod? Is combating ignorant polemics with more ignorant polemics actually a good thing? I'm not convinced. Rather than waste your money on a suspicious ministry and questionable (in motive and content) book why not just pick up about anything by Ladd and read how an academic dismantles pretrib rapture?

WIP Bible Community said...

Brrr all these and many more lies. I have a big problem with them.

Few weeks ago my pastor looked right into my eyes and lied. Flat out lie. why some think that lie isn't as bad of a sin like homosexuality or cheating? in the Bible they appear in the same listing.

I can't trust church pastors leaders who will just flat lie to prove themselves right.

One of the lie Christians like is that their own "little" sin is not as bad as those who sin the "big" sin. Where do some people get the idea that sin is categorized??

great article.

One of Freedom said...

Just reading this after a long time - mainly because Mikie linked it on facebook. But I realize I was not careful in my language about Roman Catholics. I do not want anyone to think that I am advocating Roman Catholics have the capacity to get saved but that many of them are as saved as many evangelicals claim to be. But then again that begs the question as to what is saved? I'll leave that for another time. I love the wonderful diverse family of God I am privileged to be part of. I wish that the rest of the family shared that sentiment.