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Straight Christians for Gay Rights?

This weeks post is brought to you via our newest GodDam blogger.  Check back soon to hear more from Arayl and feel free to comment with your questions.

             Recently I had an interesting discussion about a new popular Sunday School curriculum known as “The Truth Project.” One of the sections in the curriculum deals with politics and poses the question, “Would you rather have a Mormon or an Atheist as the President?” Because the topic this week is Atheism I thought that my issue with this question might add to the conversation.

It seems that the question assumes someone’s political views and leadership abilities are strictly based on the religion that they claim. But is this really the case?  Plenty of people that would claim Christianity as their religion might also vote pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, and pro-plenty of other more liberal views. Likewise, though we could find many stereotypical atheists who uphold liberal views, we could also find plenty who hold one or two conservative views.

Aside from the differences in political views within religious sects, there are plenty of people who hold my same religious and political views, who I would never put in office based on their inability to be strong leaders. One example of this is George W. Bush. As much as I can identify with him as a southern-raised-christian-conservative I would never have voted for him because of his inability to speak with confidence and be a strong leader. This standard for voting goes both ways. Though Bill Clinton claimed Christianity and had strong leadership and public speaking skills, his actions disagreed with traditional Christian morals.

I’m not trying to tell people how to vote here but what I am getting at is something much more universal. This basic principle is summarized simply by saying, “Because of the differences within religions, we can not judge people’s moral or political views strictly based on the religion that they claim.”

What I mean by this is that it is absurd to jump to the conclusion that some one is some sort of free-sex, pro-choice, hippy simply because they don’t believe in God. Rather than jumping to these conclusions we should sit down and talk to people about their views. When they say Atheist, what do they actually mean? When we say Christian, what do we mean?

So do you have any non-stereotypical views? Are you a conservative Christian who advocates gay rights or a liberal atheist who dislikes gun control?  Maybe you’re an Evangelical that doesn’t believe in innerancy, or the trinity.  That’s fine, the GodDam Blog was designed to ask those questions and struggle with those answers.  Comment below with your non-stereotyped views. We’d love to talk to you about them.

Don’t forget to subscribe to our email list over on the right hand side of the page.

-Arayl

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Posted by on December 20, 2011 in Atheism, Politics, Religion

 

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Fight Me

I continually find myself completely amazed at the ignorance and intolerable pretentiousness of modern Christians. Though judgment and criticism of other worldviews is extremely common there is also a brawl going on within the church. I wouldn’t quite call it a war because there aren’t sides. The fighting is not just occurring on a day-to-day basis but also on a conversation to conversation basis. These theological fist fights are breaking out all over the place. The issue is that, instead of arguing, people are fighting. If that doesn’t quite make sense I’ll explain myself.

Argumentation is a style of conversation and it has a purpose in life. This purpose is growth. This is a specific type of argumentation however and is not what you usually see in the world. What I’m talking about is a conversation where I sit down and try my best to understand your side of the conflict and why I disagree with it, as well as explain my side of the conflict in a way that might help you understand it more and figure out why you disagree with me? It’s interesting how, nine times out of ten, if you simply listen to what the other person is saying you will find that they usually agree with you about 90 to 95% of the time. With this type of conversation we may reach a point where we disagree on something and we must part ways. IT’S NOT THE END OF THE WORLD!!!! We will both continue to live our lives and may be better enlightened about other views or even our own.

The issue is that this type of argumentation doesn’t happen any more. Even with some of my closer friends and mentors I find it increasingly difficult to reach any sort of conclusion with them because all they do is antagonize and… well… fight. This isn’t helpful for any one and it doesn’t get us anywhere. If we could sit down and I could hear you out without being attacked and you could hear me out without attacking, we could reach enlightenment together.

This will to introduce extreme conflict, which doesn’t belong, into the daily conversations about our Lord and our Bible is destroying people’s ability to communicate. The other day I found some one who had never heard of Old Earth Creationism. Since I thought it was an interesting concept I explained to him that some people believe that the earth was created by God over a long period of time based on the fact that the Hebrew word yom means time period and not necessarily “day” as it has been translated into English. This argument doesn’t stop there. People also believe that we judge time by the rising and setting of the sun and moon however the Bible says that there was evening and morning three times before the sun and moon were even created. In fact I told him it was interesting to find that there is much more support for an older earth or some weird combination of days and years which were about the time that God created the world in.

When I was finishedtalking about it I asked him what he tho

ught and he replied rather contemptuously with, “that’s wrong.” I flinched for a second.

“Um… No it’s actually right.” I said as I showed him a few verses and researched some Greek. He refused to read the literature I had pulled up on my computer and spat out again.

“That’s wrong.” Frantically attempting to figure out why he was so opposed to hearing this interesting bit of news I asked him.

“Why do you think that?”

“Because it just is,” after a quick pause I blinked, “and you are a moron if you think that.” He finished and walked away.

First of all I’d like to point out that old earth/new earth doesn’t matter. It has nothing to do with how we live our lives or how we understand God’s creation of the world. The passages about the creation were about CREATION, not really important how long it took. The reaction to an argument is what I’m getting at here. His particular reaction might have bothered me if I didn’t know this.

We are Americans and as Americans we have certain inalienable rights. Among these rights are the right to our opinion, our right to despise intellect and enlightenment, and our right to viciously commit ad hominem if any one says something we dislike. Maybe the constitution doesn’t read that way but it’s what people in America have come to believe is correct.

~Ray

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2011 in Bible, Logic, Philosophy, Religion

 

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Don’t Judge Me!

The other day I received a phone call from a friend of mine who I used to go to community college with when I lived in Colorado. I had recently moved to Arizona and this was the first of my friends that I had heard from. Since I hadn’t spoken to her in quite a while she didn’t know that I had moved and was wondering if I wanted to do something with her that evening.

“Hang out, have some beers, and talk about old times.” She said rather excited to see an old friend again.

“I can’t.” I said sadly. “I’m in Arizona.” I explained quickly.

“Why are you in Arizona.” The question I knew was coming and the serious wish that I wouldn’t have to answer it hit me all at once.

“I’m enrolled in Bible College.” I said reluctantly.

“Why?” She asked as if I’d gone insane.

“Well… because I’m a Christian.” Again reluctantly.

“How long has that been going on.” She continued as if it was a phase.

“Pretty much all my life.” I said still feeling rather ashamed.

“Wow I would never have guessed.” She said again. Feeling like I had, for one reason or another misrepresented my God when I was around her, asked why she wouldn’t have guessed and I got an answer that has stuck with me and changed the way I think about calling myself a Christian.

“You didn’t judge me.” She said outright. “When I talked to you about how I was living with my boyfriend you didn’t tell me that I was going to hell because I’m a sinner. You talked to me about how my decision was not good and that I would have issues in the future with it and you explained your view but you didn’t judge me. All the time I knew you, you didn’t ever condemn me for my unbelief of God. You didn’t treat me like an outcast when you saw that my arms, back, and neck are covered in tattoos and you never once thought that you were better than me. I would never have guessed that you were a Christian.”

I realized after this answer that I didn’t hate calling myself a Christian because of the fact that I was ashamed of the gospel of Christ which is the power of God for the salvation of all those that believe (Romans 1:16), I’m not ashamed to identify myself with Christ because even in my relationship with this friend I told her that I believed in a creator and why logically I thought that was the only answer. Even after this conversation she wouldn’t have thought I was a Christian. Because I know that I’m not ashamed of God I have come to the conclusion that I am ashamed to identify myself with a race of Christians who judge people.

To this race of Christians I say “you have no excuse, oh man; every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things.” (Romans 2:1) If you take this verse to any Christian or any person they will inevitably say… “I don’t judge people.” Every time some one says that I feel like they are saying, “I’m not like those that judge people. That would be bad.” I’m not sure if you all noticed this but that statement is judging people who judge! Do you understand my frustration?

A "What Would Jesus Do?" (WWJD) bracelet

Image via Wikipedia

I am reminded of a popular saying that I heard for the first time in high school which was something to the effect of “Don’t drink, smoke, or chew, or roll with those who do.” Its interesting to me to realize that the same people who brought this little rhyme to my attention also had another common expression referred to as W.W.J.D. standing for what would Jesus do. Well, assuming that Jesus continues the patterns that he began in the bible, he would walk right up to Zacchaeus and ask him to hang out some time. This makes me wonder, where it is in the Bible that says I shouldn’t do things with sinner and if it isn’t in the Bible (I dare you to look for it) then where in the world did our youth group leaders come up with this idea?

~Ray

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2011 in Bible, Religion

 

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