Beliefnet
Jesus Needs New PR

“JESUS” etched into one’s forearm.

Ouch.

Out of my momma’s womb and then circumcised!

Just. Like. Jesus.

Way too easy.

Died on the cross for my sin’s what? MY SIN’S WHAT?

I need to know.

Righteous.

Possessive much?

Seriously, sport’s nut’s what?

Even a homo put something belonging to him on the list.

(This sign is both horrible and hilarious.)

WE FOUND HIM! WE FOUND HIM!

Quick, ask him if he minds living right above your left nipple.

Hahaha! This is HIGHlarious. Why? Cuz there’s only one Satan. Even Muslims know that.

A piece of toast has been found in a picture of Jesus.

“Joyful joyful we adore me…” -the Jesus statue making the girls laugh

To an atheist, God is like porn. And as you might imagine, God is everywhere online. At times, God’s e-presence becomes quite overwhelming to the individual who is attempting to live a God-free life.

Now atheists can live a pure godless life online. No longer will you be led astray by the Holy Spirit or the Dalia Lama while doing Internet searches. You can overcome. And we can help. Why not take the temptation away from your computer and block all-things God from showing up in your online searches?

Heathenism is easy with GodBlock.com!

GodBlock.com is perfect for longtime atheists who have children they’re trying to keep from stumbling onto the story of Noah’s Ark or the news that Jesus loves them.

Are you a baby atheist? Still feeding on the “breast milk” of Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris? Not quite ready or smart enough to graduate to the meat & potatoes of the godless life? GodBlock.com is perfect for you!

Don’t let Google lead you astray and onto the straight & narrow. Religious people are tricky these days. They may not be too smart, and some of them are downright disgusting, but even the most devout atheists can let their souls get stirred by the occasional speech by President Obama. So resist the urge to sit in front of the computer and allow your heart and soul to become aroused night after night by things like scripture, Christian blogs, and Jehovah’s Witnesses. Why not masturbate instead? GodBlock.com will help you do just that.

Let GodBlock.com help keep you, not only believing in the monkey, but spanking it too.

Order today and we’ll throw in our BlockBono device absolutely free. So join today and we’ll block your eyes and ears from whiny God-loving Bono and his chitter-chatter about Jesus, poor people, and himself starting today (A free gift just for signing up!).

🙂

Sent to me by Nick!

(**This could be old news.)

I wish I had a dollar every time I’ve heard a Christian say something like…

Ah, this is so honest…

…she’s so authentic.

…he’s so real.

Blah blah blah…

Can I be honest?

Do we really want people to be honest? Authentic? Real?

Is that really what you/I/we want?

I’m struggling with the answer to that. I’m in the middle of writing my next book. Currently, it’s called Good God. And I can’t tell you how excited I am about this book.

But let me also tell you…the content for Good God has literally trickled out of me. Seriously, I’ve missed three or four deadlines. I think the original deadline was last August. (<-Honest.)

It’s not that I don’t have stories to share; I have many–too many in fact–ones that I’m really excited about sharing…

But more so than Churched and Hear No Evil, this book isn’t simply stories. It also presents a lot of my thoughts, opinions, and questions.

And honestly, I think it’s been difficult to write because I’m trying to be honest.

Yes, I’m trying. I’m TRYING to be honest. And frankly, that’s not easy much of the time. Being “honest” hasn’t done me too many favors. It hasn’t done a lot of people favors.

It’s not that I don’t want to be honest. I do. And I think, for the most part, most of my readers want me to be honest. They expect it to some degree…

But you know, in the Christian publishing/blogging culture, there are consequences about being honest. Okay, not all honest has consequences. There’s certainly such a thing as “safe honesty.”

For instance, “past tense” honesty is usually safe honesty. Honesty in “past tense” is almost always accepted. You can write about being an atheist drug-dealing-sperm-donor-ing drag queen with an online TV show as long as your verbs are variations of “was,” “did,” and “had.”

Now, sometimes too much detail can get you in trouble, of course. We don’t want your narrative to be so detailed that it puts us in that place alongside of you. We’re fine with simply knowing the who, what, where, and when and how you HATE, LEFT, and OVERCAME the who, what, where, and when…

The only other way to lose points with “past tense” honesty is if you fail to fully explain your healing process or recovery. We totally want to hear all about HOW you got to your “present tense,” especially if your “present tense” agrees mostly with our present tense.

BUT… for the most part… As long as your “present tense” is of “good report,” you can write almost anything in “past tense” and still get invited to Catalyst.

(I only use Catalyst as an example of the multitude of conferences… it’s in no way a slam.)

Now, certain kinds “present tense” honesty is okay, too. You can write in present tense about being angry or depressed or anxious or fearful or bipolar or frustrated or disillusioned. Chances of your honesty being accepted improve if you’re seeking help–you know, from a professional who runs a church or has a PHD in something.

Can you write in present tense about marriage trouble?

Eh, that depends on where in “present tense” your marriage happens to be and what your specific marital troubles are. Whether or not somebody will continue reading your books or blog all depends on whether you’re a male or female and how your “present tense” relates to them being either male or female.

Can you write about sexually-related “present tense”?

That depends, too. Is it a good, true, and holy “present tense”? Is it advice? Then maybe. Any kind of writing/blogging about sexuality can get you in trouble with some people. But there’s also a host of other readers who crave talking about these topics.

But what if the topic isn’t pure and holy?! Again, it’s complicated. You might be able to write in a book about your “current porn problem.” But that’s only because there’s enough time and space between when you write the book and when a reader will actually read the book. Time and space can help a sex-addicted “present tense.”

BUT… can you blog about last night’s sexual e-scapade? Uh, probably not. Now, some people might praise you for “going first,” but that’s probably because they had their own e-scapade in the last week, and have no intention of “going second.”

But what about belief or faith? Can you blog/write honestly about belief and faith? Belief in God and Jesus and hope? Or unbelief? How about your theology? Your doubt? Your truth? Are there rules to follow? Are there certain things that you must say (or believe) before blogging/writing honestly about faith?

Can you blog/write honestly about those things in present tense?

Yes. You can. I’ve done it. And I love doing it. But doing it has consequences.

And more so than other topics of honesty, it’s very complicated.

For instance, after a speaking engagement at a college in Mississippi once, the director who booked me approached me after the chapel service and said, “Good job, man, I loved it. We’ll have to wait and see what the administration thinks about it…”

I looked at him. “My talk might have offended your administration?”

I was surprised because when I do live events, I keep the topics sort of “everyman” or “vanilla” I never go into an engagement with the goal to offend or make people feel uncomfortable. Normally, I only have twenty-five minutes. So my hope is to make people laugh and perhaps inspire a few of them. So yes, I was surprised.

The director grinned. “Oh, I won’t get into trouble for what you said during that twenty-five minutes. But I could very well get in trouble for what you didn’t say.” He laughed.

Sometimes “honesty” isn’t about what you write. Sometimes it’s about what you don’t write.

And you know… can I be honest?

While I desire to be honest about how I see and understand God or what I believe to be true about Jesus, grace, hope, spirituality, sometimes it’s just not worth it. Sometimes, from my perspective, “honesty” makes life/writing more difficult.

And you want honesty? It doesn’t help pay your bills. I don’t write to become rich. Trust me, I don’t. But paying the bills would be nice.

What writing honestly about faith, belief, etc… you can write yourself onto an island very quickly. Not an empty island. Just an island.

Being honest doesn’t help you get speaking engagements.

It doesn’t help you make friends.

It doesn’t help you keep blog readers.

Oh, there’s a lot of good that happens from being honest. And I’ve experienced it… the thank you notes, the tears of people who relate, the DMs, the “you took my thoughts and put them down on paper” facial expression…

But you get labeled. You lose endorsements. You get refused by Christian bookstore chains. You get tagged. You get called a heretic or “emergent” or “liberal.” (And many times, one person’s label affects the opinions and thoughts of many…)

So do we really want honesty when it comes to belief?

And if I’m honest about my “present tense” and it doesn’t match your “present tense,” is that okay? Really okay?

The answer to that question is probably the biggest reason why it’s been so darn difficult to get Good God out of my head and typed into a Word document: I’m afraid.

And I hate “safe,” but sometimes I understand why it’s popular. “Safe” is a message that the Christian masses will cling to…

I do think deep down we (most of us) want honesty. But I also think we want it on our terms. We have a safe list of topics. We have limitations. We have prejudices. We have fears. We have beliefs. We have reputations. We have assumptions.

And I don’t know how all of this affects you in your personal world… but it has certainly made writing Good God difficult for me.

Thoughts? And yes, you can be honest. 🙂