Posts tagged: Christianity
“It is amazing that loving our neighbor is such a radical statement, as it is foundational to the teachings of Jesus,” said Rev. Steve Jerbi, pastor of All Peoples Church, which has been actively involved in responding to the shooting at the gurdwara. “Yet, the walls of division, fear, and even just knowing our neighbors is too often our reality. This statement reminds us, in light of both tragedy and in everyday life, that we are called to love our neighbors. This is a chance for Christians to continue to express not just our sympathy, but our love for sisters and brothers in the Sikh community.”
On one side: boycott everything whose owner you have a philosophical or religious disagreement with on a personal level. But really do it. Sure it’s easy enough to shun fast food, but enough research will likely prove that our American dream to be comfortable far outweighs our attention span. (Please excuse my cynicism, and please let me know if any of you are successful in this endeavor. I’ll tip my hat to you.)
Of course, it cuts both ways. Extremism comes in a variety of political preferences, so I’ll throw this out there as well: No, there is not a “war on religion” in the United States.
Language like that is offensive on a lot of levels. First of all, it is insulting to those engaging — and dying in —actual war, genocide, and ethnic conflict. Secondly, there are real, egregious violations of religious freedom throughout the world that we Americans — as we pass by more flavors of churches than fried chicken chains on Main Street — find difficult to fathom.
Today, the State Department released its 2011 International Religious Freedom Report. It lists the continued imprisonment of Christian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani in Iran, the crackdown on house churches and Tibetan self-immolations in China, and the targeting of churches in Syria’s attacks against its own people.
“… too many people live under governments that abuse or restrict freedom of religion. People awaken, work, suffer, celebrate, raise children, and mourn unable to follow the dictates of their faith or conscience,” the report reads.
These violations of religious freedom are about life and death — not fried chicken.
He's out all next week. I asked where he's going on vacation, and he said he was going to church camp. He's going to be a camp counselor.
Did you know he's never been to church camp?
Is that possible?
Is he a real Christian?
I don't think you're a real Christian unless you've questioned your salvation during an overly emotional moment at church camp.
“… real suffering has the effect of folding us in front of our suffering Lord, where all explanations fail. At the cross, there are no pegs on which to hang blame, only the pegs that served a different purpose, nails that pierced for the purpose of reconciling us to God and to this world. Because of this, death doesn’t get the last word. Destruction doesn’t prevail. The need to blame somehow dissipates in the air as hope overcomes, and we begin to see glimpses of answers to the prayer that escapes our lips, “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done.”
The office of pastor, bishop, church leader, while to be respected, shouldn’t be worshipped. Inerrancy isn’t a thing.
When you put all of your faith in religion—in a person, a building, a hierarchy of titles—you’re bound to lose it.
I do believe there is a way to balance a real, meaningful relationship with God and corporate, institutional membership. It’s in knowing what is important … in knowing the why. Why do we take the body and blood? Why do we recite the creed? It’s in knowing that the Scripture the pastor reads is more important than who he or she is. It’s in creating a safe space where experiencing God is the priority, where relationships are sacred, and where its people are being the Church.
And it’s in knowing that if the pastors, elders, church council walk out the door tomorrow—if the whole denomination folds in on itself—that Christ is still real, and God is still there in the people.
So I guess I’m not part of the 44 percent. I don’t have confidence in religion; I have confidence in the cross.
Christian Piatt strikes again with the Ten More Cliches Christians Should Avoid
My personal favorite is #5: “The Lord never gives someone more than they can handle.”
Besides being completely insensitive to someone’s particular situation, it’s taken wholly out of context. The verse says:
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13
God will not let you be TEMPTED beyond your ability. This verse isn’t meant to explain away human suffering—real, true pain that doesn’t come from God. The point is that Christ himself—God—was tempted on every human level that we could possibly encounter. Thus God knows that we can handle and overcome any temptation.
Saying it the face of loss, abuse, etc., is simply incorrect.
When we bicker among ourselves, I wish we as Christians (not Catholics or Baptists or Lutherans) would remember this passage.