J Walking

J Walking


Evangelicals away from politics – Guest blog

posted by J-Walking

When I saw that John W. Whitehead of the controversial and Christian Rutherford Institute had written an article after the election about evangelicals and politics I figured it would be fairly predictable – Christians need to be more engaged, Republicans need to be afraid because Christians might stay home from the polls, and such. After all, this was a man who once represented Paula Jones (he wrote a book about the experience called Slaying Dragons). Imagine my surprise, therefore, when the article took the opposite tack and in one of the strongest and bluntest indictment of modern Christianity said, “Modern Christianity, having lost sight of Christ’s teachings, has been co-opted by legalism, materialism and politics. Simply put, it has lost its spirituality.”

I asked John to write about his article, the reaction to it and his continued thinking. He kindly agreed and here is what he wrote:

When I wrote my recent commentary “Christianity in Crisis” (www.rutherford.org), I did so with the expectation that I would be lambasted (as I frequently am) for daring to criticize the way Christianity is practiced in America today.

As I pointed out in the piece, recent high-profile scandals involving Christians like Ted Haggard who have had their integrity and morality called into question underscore the crisis in modern Christianity. Whereas Christianity was once synonymous with charity, compassion and love for one’s neighbor, today it is more often equated with partisan politics, anti-homosexual rhetoric and affluent mega-churches. But unlike many Christians today, Christ did not engage in politics, identify with the government or attempt to push an agenda through governmental channels. Indeed, Christ spoke truth to power and made it abundantly clear that his kingdom was not of this world. Spirituality quickly drowns in materialism and those who call themselves Christians must be mindful of the proper use of power. From the standpoint of Christ, the proper use of power is to speak truth and seek justice for all, regardless of the consequences.

To my surprise, I was not alone in my beliefs. Many of the responses from Christians across the country echoed my concern that somewhere between the time that Christ walked the earth and the church of the present day, a vital part of Christianity has been lost. Modern Christianity, having lost sight of Christ’s teachings, has been co-opted by materialism and politics. Simply put, it has lost its spirituality.

As one reader commented:

I have been increasingly frustrated by the political situation in our country. The level of “brainwashing” among those who sincerely claim to follow Christ is incredible, and I’ve felt like a man without a home so often. While I have a few friends who share my discontent, it has been difficult to find anyone who thinks well with whom I can interact. I feel as though reading your writings has afforded me this. Thank you. You have refreshed my heart this week.

This message, and others like it, confirmed that there are Christians who feel that modern Christianity is falling short of the mark.

As Christians, we are called upon to act with love and compassion. We are also called to speak truth to power.

Despite the fact that I am often upbraided by Christians for doing those very things, I continue to do so because it is the right thing to do. For example, several months ago, I wrote an article for Christianity Today about an American soldier, Patrick Stewart, who had been killed in action in Afghanistan. The soldier’s wife was engaged in her own battle with the Department of Veterans Affairs to have the Wiccan pentacle, a five-pointed star surrounded by a circle, placed on her husband’s memorial plaque. Approved religious symbols included those of Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Hinduism, as well as more obscure religions like Konko-Kyo Faith and Seicho-No-Ie—but not Wicca.

I reminded readers that if we are to keep faith with Sgt. Stewart and the other brave men and women who have died in service to the United States, then we must remember that all rights hang together. That is both the genius and the strength of the American system.

While I expected criticism from Christians, I did not foresee the hundreds of emails that came pouring in from Wiccans across the country and around the world. One was particularly moving:

I’ve lived with the fear of not being Christian all my life. I’ve been threatened, put down and even suffered violence on more than one occasion and, worse than that, I’ve seen it happen to those closest to me, as though it were a punishment for believing differently than the majority of those around us. Because of this, I’ve lived every second of my life until tonight with complete assurance in my own mind that Christians were evil. Not their beliefs, many Pagans respect and even follow Jesus (Yeshua), but Christians themselves. Not for what they believe, but for how they act. I was so ready to believe this whole-heartedly to my dying day. But then something unexpected happened. I read your article. As I read through it, I didn’t realize it had come from a Christian. It wasn’t until I’d gotten halfway through with it that it really hit me: This is a Christian calling for Pagan equality. By the end of the email, I was in tears, so touched by the kindness you’ve shown with your words. I can honestly say I’m a changed woman. I’m still afraid of Christians, from experience of course, but I’ve got hope now that there are some out there who are capable of looking past the separation of our different faiths, and that’s something I never thought I’d experience. So I just wanted to thank you for that.

As St. Francis of Assisi said, “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” In other words, it’s not what you say about Christianity that matters—it’s how you live your life.

Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. He can be contacted at johnw@rutherford.org. Information about The Rutherford Institute is available at www.rutherford.org.



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Donny

posted December 8, 2006 at 3:44 pm


Modern Christianity also includes its most monstrous creation: Progressive Christianity. What started out as heresy and hypocrisy, has now been fully developed into abomination.Complete with detestable practices embraced and encouraged. Give me a failing and sorrowful Christian anyday and keep away those that redefine and alter and eliminate guilt and forgiveness. That is not progress, that is embracing the original fall, and promoting it.



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radiofreewill

posted December 8, 2006 at 5:30 pm


For far too long now the NT has been read by evangelicals as some kind of history term paper that outlines the facts about Jesus life, and within which lie the sum total of his ministry. People like Dobson, Falwell and Robertson keep this factual-proxy of Jesus locked-up in their tabernacles and offer him to the faithful, but only if these seekers are first deemed worthy through compliance with their hate-driven and judgment-riddled social agendas. It s this determination of worthiness by the gate-keepers that is the real abomination of the Church today.If Matthew says that he isn t worthy of even touching Jesus sandal, then that should tell the rest of us that the Gospels are but poor attempts to convey the totality of Jesus and his message that words fall short of the reality of the fully-incarnated divine breath that strode the earth in our midst. Rather than working-up a dogma from the gleaning of facts in the Gospels and barking it out from the pulpit as the literal truth of the way things are for the rest of us and damned be those who don t comply we would all do well to get down on our knees and read the Good News with a devotional heart.With enough faith, it was the hope and prayer of the original evangelists that the essence of the divine breath in each of us would get caught-up with that of Jesus and energize our eyes to see and ears to hear so that we might, also, cast out the devil of separateness and merge with the ineffable essence that is the Love common to all people of all times.



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Robb Pearson

posted December 8, 2006 at 5:35 pm


The error of the Christian religion is that it is based in theology, not humanity. Its members (not all, though, to be certain) have a penchant for judgmentalism, self-aggrandizement, elitism, and acts of goodness which are motivated moreso by a compulsion to conform to theological regulations rather than a genuine and non-incentivized empathy for one’s fellow man. Pharisaic Christianity — that sect which prefers strict legalistic adherence to theological notions — is impotent in its effect, for just like the Pharisees of Jesus’ day the same can be said of the Pharisees of today: “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.” [Matthew 23:25-28] To follow in the footsteps of the man Jesus of Nazareth, rather than seeking self-serving theological indulgences, is a far greater and more “godly” remedy for the ills of mankind. From Thomas Jefferson:

“Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity.” – Notes on Virginia, 1782 “The whole history of these books [the Gospels] is so defective and doubtful that it seems vain to attempt minute enquiry into it: and such tricks have been played with their text, and with the texts of other books relating to them, that we have a right, from that cause, to entertain much doubt what parts of them are genuine. In the New Testament there is internal evidence that parts of it have proceeded from an extraordinary man; and that other parts are of the fabric of very inferior minds. It is as easy to separate those parts, as to pick out diamonds from dunghills.” – Letter to John Adams, January 24, 1814 “Among the sayings and discourses imputed to him [Jesus] by his biographers, I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence; and others again of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism, and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same being.” – Letter to William Short, April 13, 1820



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Pacific231

posted December 8, 2006 at 7:48 pm


It is encouraging to see some Christians acting more like Jesus instead of acting like…well…Christians. Bravo to John Whitehead for the kindness he extended to Wiccans. Imagine that…a Christian actually acting with kindness, respect, and tolerance to someone with no expected benefit in return. Would that someday this becomes the behavior of the overwhelming majority of Christians, instead of being seen as a maverick move and the subject of ridicule among what is currently, sadly, the vast Christian majority. The Christian religion globally, quite frankly, has a lot of housecleaning to do to regain credibility and shed the image it has earned as a dangerous vehicle for staunch jingoism and cruel intolerance. Here’s hoping that desperately needed process, initiated by a few bold individuals (Messrs. Whitehead and Kuo among them), catches on.



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Gretchen

posted December 8, 2006 at 8:06 pm


I’m grateful for this post. Christianity has been so politicized in the last few decades that it is almost unrecognizable as the Way. It is almost as if some Christians have forgotten that their job is to believe and to preach the gospel, letting God do the redeeming work in individual hearts. They have substituted the political process for God. But saying that to them is like striking a match near a gas spill–they flame right up!



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Donny

posted December 8, 2006 at 8:31 pm


How interesting to quote Jefferson. Talk about the perfect hypocrite. What he didn’t like in the Gospel, he just cut out. Hypocrisy to the total fulfillment of the word. Dobson at least preaches the same Gospel as Jesus, Peter, Paul, John, James, Jude etc.. No editing for sales purposes. Read Dobson’s position for yourself. He has a website. Elijah the prophet found out that “the followers of God” are not that many in reality, in that so many follow the social paradigm and indulge in practices of the societies in which they live.But still, the Good News of Jesus is, one can bow the knee to secular hedonism and rise again washed clean in Christ Jesus with repentance as the guiding light home.What is truly hated about Christians is that they still preach about guilt. That, is rejected by the spirit of anti-Christ. From enlightenment people like Thomas Jefferson to the new version called Progressive, like Jim Wallis peddles. The New Testament is a done deal. You can reject it and alter it (like Jefferson and Wallis), but hardly, misunderstand it.



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Pacific231

posted December 8, 2006 at 9:56 pm


Hi Donny!Donny, please tell us: What do you think about John Whitehead’s message of tolerance and compassion to the family of killed Iraqi soldier, and Wiccan, Patrick Stewart? What were your thoughts as you read the message Mr. Whitehead received from a Wiccan touched by his compassion? (The quote that begins: “I ve lived with the fear of not being…” Thanks Donny!



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Donny

posted December 8, 2006 at 10:25 pm


Patrick Steward died a hero in my opinion.Now, about Wiccans sufering under Christian boots: I was not always a Christian. I remember quite well that it was the cool people who were Wiccans, or whatever, and the little Born-Againers were chided and hounded virtually every minute of every day in high school. And of course the Christian girls were on many a non-Christian guys wish list. I was a chider of those goofy Bible believers “back in the day.” I am now one of those fundies so ridiculed from country to country to country to country. And of course shot and beheaded in Islamic countries. Though for sure I am a comfy US Christian.And by the way if Christians worldwide have some house cleaning to do . . . what in the world does ISLAM have to do? As of ten-seconds ago that is, someone just died at the hands of a Muslim. Any Save Darfur movements in Saudi Arabia? Christians are not the bad guys on Earth these days.You need to smell the persecuation coffee brewing worldwide. Anyone picketing Wiccans at Universities anywhere? Anyone accusing Wiccans of homophobia and hate crimes? Get a grip man.



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Donny

posted December 8, 2006 at 10:39 pm


Pacific231, “Do what thou wilt, though harm none.” Ever heard of STD’s? In the world of reality, “do what thou wilt,” is harming hundreds of millions of people. Just for the record.



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Frank

posted December 8, 2006 at 11:54 pm


What harms is the lack of perspective and pathological immaturity that others project on so called loved ones who are themselves People of God, Donny. This is the institutional epidemic I think you were driving at. Just for the record.



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Donny

posted December 9, 2006 at 10:39 am


Patrick Stewart died a hero. He deserves to have his name spelled correctly by anyone writing it.



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Donny

posted December 9, 2006 at 10:48 am


By the way, Christianity in Crisis, is a book written by Hank Hanigraf years ago! It was a critique and warning about a movement within Christianity that is hardly Christian. Seems David and his guest are years late on this. And another thing, where is the “great debate” within other faith and religious systems????? Christians like Kuo and Jim Wallis versus the conservatives, et al, PROVE the nature of Christianity is SELF-judging first and evermore.Where is the graet debate between Muslims that murder thousands and thousands and thousands of each other, and non-Muslims . . . FROM the Muslim community????? What, C.A.I.R. posts a blurb on a website? A few Imams worldwide “say” a few words? Where are Muslim “peace” activist throngs marching? Does anyone know? And protesting the Pope and cartoons does not count. They threatened (and used) violence over those subjects. What great hypnosis has taken over the world to be viewing Christians in this bizaare category they have been placed into??????????



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Kate

posted December 9, 2006 at 4:30 pm


Donny, it’s interesting how you zeroed in on the “Do what thou wilt” and TOTALLY ignored the second half of the rule, which is “an it harm none.” This clearly calls upon people to think very carefully about the consequences of their actions and NOT do anything that could be harmful to others (including irresponsible sexual behavior). If you don’t want people selectively editing your sacred texts and beliefs (like the Gospels, which were recorded by fallible human beings who were products of their times like the rest of us), then do them a favor and stop selectively editing theirs.



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Rev. Oberon Osiris

posted December 9, 2006 at 5:47 pm


Hello all! I am a legal credentialed Minister of the Wiccan Faith, through Covenant of the Goddess (www.cog.org). I am also on the board of directors of the Tempest Smith Foundation. Tempest was a 12 year old girl who committed suicide, in part, because she was taunted and bullied by Christian children in her school (Lincoln Park, Michigan, which has also had other notable cases of Christians vs. Pagans). And there are more of these poor children… of all faiths. No child of any faith should be teased, tormented, bullied etc, merely because of their own spiritual beliefs. All of us, whether of the Abrahamic religions (Islam, Judaism and Christianity) or all other religions need to CO-EXIST!



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Deb

posted December 9, 2006 at 7:32 pm


Until the “Donny’s” pull the log out of their eyes we will never co-exist. The RR wants the US to only bow to the God they believe in. God forgive us all if they ever succeed.



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Mavis White

posted December 9, 2006 at 8:17 pm


Until his downfall, I had never heard of Ted Haggard. As far as defending Wicca…as a teacher, I know of girls who sacrificed cats as part of their “religious” ceremonies. Multiculturalism only goes so far. I guess I’m not cool enough to be tolerant.



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Sherry Johnson

posted December 9, 2006 at 8:59 pm


Ms.White, Any teenager you know who sacrifices cats is NOT follo9wing the Wiccan religion, nor any other Pagan religion.They are “wannabes, who have no idea what they’re doing. I’m a 43 year old Pagan, with 3 of my 5 children also choosing the pagan path.We believe in equality.We believe in love, and trust, and taking care of our environment.We believe that no one-not animals, not children, not the elderly,nor those with mental deficits-no one, should be abused, degraded, or trodden upon.We do not believe in abuse.We do not sacrifice animals, or babies,or anything else.We do not believe in Satan-it’s a Christain concept,along with hell. Yet, my daughter has been horribly abused by her “Christian” classmates,teachers, and school staff.Yet, I cannot admit publicly that I’m Pagan,out of fear.My landlord is Christian, as is most everyone else around here,and I would be evicted if he found out.The last person in this neighborhood to admit to being Pagan was beaten severely, and recieved threats to kill him,burn his house down, and kill his dogs.My last landlord supported these actions.I’ve overheard people saying they wished we could still be burned at the stake. So, you tell me, why is it that atheists are hated less than we Pagans? Why can’t we be left alone, to worship in our own ways? Why do some like to spout “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”,yet that only applies to others like them?And,last but not least, why don’t Christians act more like the Christ they say they follow?



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Deb

posted December 9, 2006 at 10:10 pm


Sherry, Good question!



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BC

posted December 10, 2006 at 12:59 am


After reading Whitehead’s comments and the comments posted, it is no wonder followers of Christ ( I hesitate to use Christian because I don’t know what it means anymore) are losing the culture war! Guess Jesus was tortured and crucified because he just went along with the corrupt govt. and the politically correct crowd.



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Pacific231

posted December 10, 2006 at 1:06 am


Sherry, I am so sorry to hear about your situation. Is there any chance you can move to a different part of the country? To be very open and frank about it, would you consider moving to a blue state? (Even I am uncomfortable with this suggestion…akin to pre-Civil War African slaves fleeing captivity from the South, or East Berliners 20 years ago trying to flee into West Berlin…yet I suspect that is how you feel when victimized by one of THOSE Christians… :( :(Regretfully, I believe the kind of Christian behavior you described is that of the vast majority of Christians, whereas the genuine Jesus-emulating compassion Messrs. Whitehead and Kuo are in the minority. I would be delighted to see Christians en masse prove me wrong. In the meantime, I suggest this adaptation of the well-known Dave Barry saying is called for: If a Christian is nice to you, but cruel to a Wiccan, he isn’t a good person.



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Pacific231

posted December 10, 2006 at 1:15 am


Patrick Stewart died a hero. YES – Donny, we agree on something. I now suggest we can also agree that the family of Patrick Stewart can be allowed to bury him with a Wiccan symbol on his military grave.



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Thinker

posted December 10, 2006 at 1:33 am


Comparing Christianity, Wicca, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism – is a pointless and idolatrous task. All of us are born to families with a point of view, a willingness or an unwillingness to believe in God, Faith and spirituality develop in human beings in a predictable and proven fashion. Stage one – the trust a child develops between itself and the other – a parent, a caretaker, a person who will be there – that is stage 1. Stage 2 is quite magic – primitive religion with myth taken as reality, a cause effect kind of thinking, magic stories and is the faith of childhood. Stage 3 is where many or even most stay. In stage three faith, nothing can be questioned, nothing explored to the point of doubt – because the whole house of cards might fall in and there would be nothing left. Stage 4 – doubt and question, a certain cynicism is present, the quest for God becomes a mountainous task – going deeper or moving away completely – it is the stage of many. Stage 5 – begns to see the connectedness of all things – the sense of connection often leads to a sort of universalism in ideas of redemption. God is quite present in stage 5 – but one must go through the earlier stages. Finally, Stage 6 – a willingness to do whatever one has to do for this God – this one who loves all. Jesus, Gandhi, perhaps MLK – the few who get to this stage – expect death, understand suffering and have a compassion beyond our imagination. But the reality is – most stay in stages 2 or 3 or even 4. And all are dependent on being loved well by someone – that early, early faith. The scholar, James Fowler, wrote of all this 20 or so years ago. We must understand that faith – like intellectual, moral and ethical development – is part of the human journey.



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Zero-Equals-Infinity

posted December 10, 2006 at 2:02 am


Donny : Patrick Stewart died a hero. He deserves to have his name spelled correctly by anyone writing it. Does he also deserve to burn in hell for eternity?



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Laurie Smith

posted December 10, 2006 at 2:19 am


Mavis White wrote: “As far as defending Wicca…as a teacher, I know of girls who sacrificed cats as part of their “religious” ceremonies. Multiculturalism only goes so far. I guess I’m not cool enough to be tolerant.” Wiccans sacrificing cats? Please. A Wiccan who would harm an animal in such a way is no more a Wiccan than a Christian who molests a child is following the tenets of Christianity. The Wiccan Rede states “If it HARM NONE, do what you will” (I could get into a long discourse on the meaning of “will” in that statement, a subject that Wiccan scholars have debated intensely, but that’s rather secondary to the issue at hand.) Please do a bit more in-depth research before you go bearing false witness against other faiths. If you’re a Christian, doesn’t your own Bible require you to do that much?



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Christopher Blackwell

posted December 10, 2006 at 2:49 am


I am always impressed by anyone of any religion that proves his religion through his actions and words. Action counts more than words, but they can also prove the words are true. I have met good and kindly people from all religions and even with no religion. I have also met those who are otherwise. They may fool people, but they do not fool whatever gods that be, or goddesses for that matter. John W. Whitehead is a man that I would honored to meet. We have different religions, but we share the belief about how to treat other people regardless of religion.Everything done to any human being affects all human beings. Anything that endangers one human endangers all of us. What a shame that those that use religious to justify their hatred don’t understand that. I pity them. I will not take part in hating any religion nor those that believe or don’t believe.



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Arion the Blue, High Druid of

posted December 10, 2006 at 6:31 am


A few points to consider: Who has an objection to the VA approving the Pentagram as a recognized symbol of Paganism? That was the issue at hand. As to the question of Wicca, I see that the usual blatant misunderstanding about our religion has risen again amongst the intellectually lazy. There are big differences in Paganism and Christianity. One is a matter of religious practice: Christians are orthodoxic, meaning “correctness of belief” is the primary focus of the religion. Paganism is orthopraxic, meaning that the “correctness of action” is the primary focus of the religion. Pagans don’t measure our spirituality by how fervently or loudly we believe, or what we believe, as such. We measure our spirituality by how we act, how we practice, how we trod upon the earth and converse with our neighbors. Our theology is fundamentally different from Christianity, to the point where Christian definitions and axioms simply do not work when considering our worldview. We don’t have a text-based religion. We don’t have an arbitrary and legalistic basis for determining our belief and behavior. What we have is conscience, and conscience that is, as a matter of our practice, exercised over everything that we do. Since we don’t have spiritual laws, as such, we can dispense with the history lessons, spiritual plea-bargaining, and pointless angst over obscure points of law written for a culture completely out of context with our own. Salvation and Damnation are meaningless to us, under our theology, as most of us believe in reincarnation. Saves a lot of time for more important things, like raising our kids right, pursuing happiness and helping our neighbors with their organic gardens. Indeed, most of us follow, unofficially, the advice of Jesus: Love Thy Neighbor. Most of us realize that the spiritual importance of this is diminished when followed as a command, but increased when adopted voluntarily and without reservation. It’s part of our orthopraxy. We understand those particular words of Jesus not as a promise or a prophesy, but as a blueprint for a nicer world. And we also understand that he meant ALL of our neighbors, not just the Pagan ones. Were that Christians, as a whole, were so accepting. We are not Chrisitians. Or Jews or Moslems. We don’t follow a Bible, don’t keep the Sabbath (though we cherish our weekends — props to my Hebrew homies for that!) we don’t think sex is something to be ashamed and guilty about, and we think God comes in two basic flavors, Male and Female — we’re big on symmetry like that — and we aren’t all that picky about what names we call Them by.We don’t fear Death or make it the enemy, because Death is necessary for Life. We accept it as a natural and inevitable part of life, respect and revere it, and move on to more important things. We don’t fear the afterlife beacause we know we’ve been through it before and made it just fine. We know that’s not how Christians do things. Most of us were raised Christian. We’ve heard all about it. And then we made a choice to not be Christians. So there’s no need to shout about it.You want to preach the Gospel? Do it to my face, and let me walk away if I choose to. Don’t do it to my kids. And don’t get your kids to beat up my kids simply because we have at least Two gods to your One (or three, depending upon who’s preaching that day). Heck, try not to even encourage your kids to freak out because little Moonbeam wears a pentacle at school. Because I have three little kids, and I don’t want to see them beat up. I don’t think Jesus would, either. Not sporting. Not neighborly. No, we are not Christians. Yet we are still Americans, and Americans entitled to all the rights and priveleges of citizenship as Christians. Our fallen warriors are heroes, and they deserve recognition under their symbol as they face the beyond, just as Christians do. What the VA is doing to the sacrifices and honor of our Pagan warriors is hypocritical and injust. And all we can see, as Pagans, is a bunch of evangelical neo-cons hiding behind every brick in the VA, vowing to do whatever it takes to keep our nation’s pristine military cemetaries from being blemished by our sign. We see Christianity as a massive dominant force in our lives, a constant threat. It would be real nice if we didn’t have to view every encounter with a cross bearer to be frought with peril. Scaring your neighbors isn’t very loving, after all. Being polite and respectful of their beliefs is. It’s the sort of thing I think Jesus might have suggested. And if you think otherwise, then the type of Christianity you believe in isn’t the kind I think most people want to see practiced. Arion the Blue High Druid of Durham



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Donny

posted December 10, 2006 at 12:59 pm


Arion,How bogus your treatise. Just another in a long line of justifying hatred towards Christians. And long-winded at that. Pagans (non-Christians) have an incredibly violent and bloody past that many people may have forgotten, but only because it is no longer taught. That is considered off-limits to the PC crowd. And of course that means the vast majority “crowd.” Unlike the 24/7 trumpeting of anything done wrong by Christian spouting people over the last 1700-years, the atrocities done effortlessly by “pagans” gets a cleaning white-wash now-a-days. Where are the Christian clubs in school these days? They are hiding from teachers that will report their hate-filed activities. They are hiding from the conscience coordinators that will report their every move.Let’s dispense with the bogus and enbrace reality. What rules our western society??? “Do what thou wilt!” And the hypocrisy that follows that “choice” is death and discomfort from the fallout of the selfish hedonism that always seems to follow humans embracing the chaos of their own judgements turned inward, to show their outward consequences to others, left by the wayside. Human nature is “do what thou wilt.” And rarely is “tho’ harm none” ever considered as impossible in the natural outcome. Christianity is a cause and effect rational belief system first and foremost, no matter (really) the false advertisements the enemies of “the Faith” want to print in so many media outlets. Arion, you went to graet lengths to paint a bogus picture of Christians and Christianity, yet, I am willing to still get along with you in your error. Why? Because Jesus saw in non-believers a great – and astonishing – capability to have great faith in actions. Overall, Wicca is not some kind of threat to any Christian. Like atheists, Wiccans are just people trying to get by “in this world.” There is enough hateful people in every facet of mankind to paint every expression of beliefs and belief-sytems as meaningless . . .or, worse.What you are left with is cause and effect. The Gospel. In the rational world of Christ Jesus, there is reality. And what about hell? You certainly paint a glimpse of it here on earth. Don’t you? Someone, or something, inflicting pain and suffering on a being that can feel pain and suffering.No doubt that in eternity, it is something to avoid at all costs. Take a look around you, it is not a Christian doing the outlawing and silencing of faith-based belief systems. I wonder who, or what, is? Maybe David Kuo can tell us both.



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Lindaen

posted December 10, 2006 at 4:33 pm


Donny, You seem to understand very well the frustration and angst…the anger that is associated with being attacked, misunderstood and threatened… It is unfortunate that you can’t see the evangelical movement in America doing EXACTLY the same thing to others… We control only ourselves… you don’t hear Muslims because they are a very small voice in America… barely a whisper… Fundamentalists have taken a strong hold of parts of Islam and it has created a monster… the same thing is beginning to happen in Christianity…God help us all that the two don’t destroy the world… Lindy



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Frank

posted December 10, 2006 at 6:25 pm


Donny, Arion makes a clear point about orthodoxic and orthopraxic mindsets. Orthodoxic minded people, as he puts it, trace history back to evaluate what period or people have been more evil and less Christ like. Then, once those distinctions and conclusions are made, the orthodoxic side is “willing” to grant the terrible losers a leash, a rather short one at that but some “saving grace.” But it s not just periods or particular groups of people from the past that get judged. THOSE LIVING TODAY also get judged according to their sympathies for this group or that. They often get herded into the negative side of things; those people living today who probe, investigate and pose interesting questions that sometimes points to a not so conclusive original hypothesis about past evil-doers. I think the main point here is that Christianity is too comfortable standing way a top its perch to wag a big finger down at their “evil” brothers, sisters and neighbors. There’s a Christian mindset today that tries and tries to balance condemnation with love, forgiveness and brotherhood of man. I say, be kind, the battle is tough for everyone. Condemnation, much like love, can be a slippery slope. We re in trouble when the use of these concepts becomes reactionary or tacitly expounded on. My brother Donny, stand up for what you believe in but remember, if it takes a war or even a constant surly and sour type of dialogue to make your point, then you’re just not open and AVAILABLE to the Good. Naturally, outside observers will come to think that YOU SEE NO GOOD IN THOSE YOU DISAGREE WITH. I know you know that’s truly not the case, as the devout and faithful servant of God I m sure you believe to be. In addition, cynically responding to someone for a good while and then mentioning the Gospel at the end does NOT come close to balancing the huge cloud already cast. This is not balance, but rather mere scorn, disdain and ridicule. I don t think anyone here is a terrorist and wants to kill you. So love and respect your enemies and also those you disagree with. Personally, as a Christian, I would have to see a miniscule resemblance of the basic principles Jesus preached before I threatened one with the near certainty of eternal hell! Yet, I see everyone who you disagree with articulating many key concepts and components about what Christ came here to pronounce. Can t you scale down your critical nature somewhat, in order to spur continued understanding and appreciation of the positive nature and mystery of humanity? God is the Creator. Clearly, Donny, this stringent approach you take in your arguments, severely lacks in communicative ability, much less creativity. You have to ask yourself, what gives? Sometimes I wonder if Pink Floyd did indeed see most of the big picture coming down the pike when they sang, TEACHER, leave those kids alone!



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Sherry Johnson

posted December 10, 2006 at 6:43 pm


Pacific231, I certainly wish my family had the money to move away from where we currently are.We would do it in a heartbeat.As to Donny, and his comments about the bloody history of Paganism, dear heart, have you never heard of the bloody history of Christianity?Yes, in the early history of the common peoples of Europe,things did get quite bloody,at times. They had thier wars, and thier fights, and at one time, there were sects who offered blood sacrifices to thier Gods/Goddesses.This is not far removed from the Old Testament,where people were asked by thier God to make sacrifices-including human sacrifice.Then there was the Spanish Inquisition,the Crusades,and how ’bout all that burning of witches stuff a few hundred years ago?I wonder who was behind that one?I don’t think it was the Pagans-they were the ones being burned.How about the American Indians who saw thier children taken from them,put into Christian schools,thier hair cut, and beaten for speaking thier own language? Who was responsible for that one?Please,if you want to drag ancient history into this, know your facts sweety. The point is, we’re talking about the here and now.The Pagans/Wiccans/Druids that walk this Earth now are no more similar in thier deeds than you are to Abraham in the Old Testament.We want to live in peace and all get along.We want our children to be free from bullying and teasing,we want the heroes who happen to be of our faith to be able to have the symbol of that faith shown on thier headstone, just like every other soldier who gave his/her life is honored with. As for silencing faith-based belief systems- we are also a faith-based belief system. Just because we don’t have a book,does not mean we do not have faith in our chosen deities to help us along our path. Many of the Christians I’ve met in my life would love nothing more than to silence us,and have loudly proclaimed as much.Christianity is NOT the only faith-based belief system out there. What a lot of this comes down to is, if you are a Christian, and you are judging people by what they believe-are you following Gods will? Does the Bible not say” Judge not, lest ye be judged”? By pidgeon-holing ANY other religion into a box labeled “EVIL”, are you not judging? We do not ask that you invite us into your home,we’re just asking for the right to be who we are,to live our lives in the open, as you do.We’re tired of all the misconceptions Christians have about us, that they do not seem willing to find out the truth about.Doesn’t Christianity teach that the truth will set you free? Then why do so many still prefer to stay ignorant in thier own little box, thinking us “evil Pagans” are out to get them? By the way, Arion, you’re my neighbor, brother.I see you’re from Durham.I live in Garner.



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Deb

posted December 10, 2006 at 11:15 pm


If I had to be stuck on the Earth with Donny or the “pagans” I choose anyone that he would consider a heathen.



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Tom

posted December 11, 2006 at 12:31 am


Deb, I have to agree with you. People of the attitude like Donny were a large part of the reason I walked away from Christianity. They believed that questioning their positions was tantamount to persecuting them, yet they expected folks to accept their “witnessing” to them. As for expecting non-Christians to move from their homes to avoid attacks, it may come to that in certain parts of the country. However, what does it say about our nation if people are driven from communities simply because they are non-Christian?



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Donny

posted December 11, 2006 at 6:26 am


Again I say (write), what delusion has taken over the minds of the populace? Where is this Christian oppression of non-Christians? On which University campus, High School, elementary school or neighborhood? Where?Christianity is a hate crime now from coast to coast. You cannot even pray in “public” schools paid for by everyone’s taxes? And Darwin help you if you menation the “J” word. Christians are not only to submit to being questioned, they are to be forced “by law” to be silenced. They cannot mount a defense, as that has already been labeled as idiocy. While pagan and secular is applauded from pre-school to graduate degree, the Christian is relegated to off-campus dwellings, and that only if they survive the PC filtering. How about just a bit of reality huh? I do not post to proselytize. I post to defend against the madness directed at Christians and the lies presented so effortlessly to ignore the truth by this new redefining of it. Do what thou wilt, though harm none? How about applying that “to” Christians?



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Deb

posted December 11, 2006 at 2:39 pm


Donny – perhaps it is in the way you say things. I read your posts all over Beliefnet. Not to be mean but Christians like you are also why I have lost my desire to be associated with Christians. It is sad but I see no “Jesus” in you. Everytime I read one of your posts it confirms my view. However, it gives me comfort that you believe. The judgement you heep on the rest of us is the measure that you will be judged. Your Bible tells us that. Tom – You are indeed right. I live in OH and the governor we had running wanted to make OH the first Christian state in the US. He was in the pocket of Rod Parsley (you can catch him on your favorite Christian stations – cable/dish). SCARY! Rod calls himself a Christocrat. Do you know that that is one of the first times in my life I thought that we might actually have to choose what state we would live in. This is America – Land of the Free. Where ALL man are created free. Not just the few “chosen” by God.



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Deb

posted December 11, 2006 at 2:48 pm


Donny, One other thing. Yes, you can’t pray in a public school; however, you would probably not want your children to hear anything other than what you agree with. The US is created for ALL people and ALL faiths.



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Donny

posted December 11, 2006 at 4:21 pm


Deb,Unfortunately for Christians in my home state of California, our parental rights have been taken away from us in public schools. We have no say so in what our children are told and taught, and/or what can be done with and to our children in those public schools. Unfortunately we Christians have to move from california if we are to be left unmolested to live our lives and raise our families as freely as any other kinds of people.If you notice – if you are reading my posts – I do not judge anyone. I just present a defense of Christian perspective based on the New Testament writings. A defense against an attack on the rational beliefs of Christians to base their views on the writings in the New Testament. Imagine that huh? My children ahve been taught since they were in first grade about the freedom and actions of others to believe differently than “I” do. I have yet to ask my children to become Christians. That is between them and God. But, defending the faith against the complete lies and deception by those that oppose and disagree with Christians is my right as a free citizen of America. Too. Jesus never once let liars off the hook. I learn my lessons from His example. If you can show where I do either judge or lie about anything I present, then please by all means help me out. Otherwise, please dispense from the labeling. I am actually responding to David Kuo on his blog. He has called Christians to take a fast from “politics” and yet, he himself has stayed involved on a daily basis. He offers perspectives that he has asked for comments on. That is all “I” am doing.



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Donny

posted December 11, 2006 at 4:23 pm


Oh and by the way, all of the “bad Christians” I have ever known, (myself included) has never driven me away from Christ Jesus. How is that even possible? Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.



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SkipChurch

posted December 11, 2006 at 4:26 pm


Donny, Donny… You wrote: “While pagan and secular is applauded from pre-school to graduate degree, the Christian is relegated to off-campus dwellings, and that only if they survive the PC filtering.” Your fantasy of Christian oppression seems mostly focused on schools. Okay. Let’s look at schools. Where is it that Christians are relegated to off-campus dwellings? My son is in a big public university in the midwest, and the dorm is just chock-a-block with Christians. 85% of Americans identify themselves as Christians, Donny, so your fantasy of Christians as an oppressed group, hounded and silenced, just doesn’t seem very plausible. So where is it that this ghettoization is taking place?? Then, too, you wrote: “Christians are not only to submit to being questioned, they are to be forced ‘by law’ to be silenced.” What are you refering to here? What law forces Christians to be silenced? See– you’d seem like less of a complete nutjob if you ranted less and presented your factual case more. Lastly, the question initially on the table– whether Sgt Stewart earned the right to having the symbol of his faith on his headstone– you never answered. I say the pentacle should go on the headstone. What do you say?



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Donny

posted December 11, 2006 at 5:08 pm


If that is what the soldier would have wanted, I agree with you and/or anyone else, that his religious view should be represented. I actually never knew there was a problem with that.I certainly wouldn’t choose a plot beside him, but then again, that would be “my” wish. The inverted pentagram encircled may look satanic, but who cares really? To a Christian, Satan was defeated at the Cross.The wishes of that soldier should be met. Of course, what about seperation of church and state? That ONLY applies to Christians? Would it not be a headstone on public government land? Or, is he being buried in a private cemetary? I was a soldier. I never asked anyone what they believed. I did though, seek out other excellent soldiers that did their job well. Now, you have heard of the ACLU and the Americans United for Seperation of Church and State haven’t you? The people suing Christians all over the country? That big Cross on public land in San Diego, was hurting absolutley no one. The tiny little Cross on Los Angles’ county flag, no one even cared about. Christian groups in colleges want to have their groups stay with Christian leadership and membership. Those things have been sued successfully by anti-Christian gropus. Er, I’m sorry “secular” organizations. It is just now, this year, that people are bravely saying Merry Christmas again in our social shopping setting. WalMart has even stepped out into the light of tolerance. It IS the Christmas season after all. When I wasn’t a Christian, Merry Christmas meant no harm to me. It meant presents. The war on Christians is as real as the current lawsuit inflicted on a private Lutheran (Christian) High School over their rights to expell two girls with inappropriate sexual ideation. Notice that it was secular law (the Unruh Act) being waged on these Christians. So civil rights of gays are used to force Christians to submit to only their interpretation of “law.” How fascinating. Take Kuo for example. He calls for a fast from politics by “evangelical” Christians, but is in bed with Jim Wallis and his progressives in a never ending battle to alter the faith. A faith mind you, that the New Testament affirms was delivered only once. You can pretend there is no battle against Christians being waged by cunning people, but delusion rarely puts off reality. Yes, I am saying you are wrong. But, I still forgive you.



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Sherry Johnson

posted December 11, 2006 at 5:37 pm


“defending the faith against the complete lies and deception by those that oppose and disagree with Christians is my right as a free citizen of America” RIGHT THERE! You are assuming that just because others believe differently from you, thier beliefs are lies.You are insinuating that anything said by those others are lies.How DARE you! My beliefs are just as sacred, and as strong as yours are.And at risk of sounding just like you, how do you think it would be if the tides truly were turned, and you couldn’t even wear a cross out in public? You believe strongly in God and Jesus Christ. Well, I believe just as strongly in God and Goddess.I also believe Jesus was a great, enlightened teacher.He spoke of peace, and loving one another. I do NOT see much love coming from you, my dear.You refuse to look at the true history of your own religion and see the evil that has been done in the name of your God.No, that evil was not your Gods fault, it was the fault of narrow-minded, petty people, who thought they had the right to tell everyone else how to believe-kind of like the people I live around every day of my life-the ones I have to fight in my childrens schools to make sure they aren’t beaten, or worse, for not holding the same beliefs as those in charge.I don’t know where you think Paganism is welcomed in the schools, or anywhere else, but I wish you would tell me so I can move there,and finally get a little peace in my own life, and the lives of my kids. You think what we Pagans believe in is lies and deception.Well, Many of my Pagan friends believe the same about Christianity.You call it a “rational belief”.Well, I find mine just as rational,if not more so,which is why I believe the way I do.You think we’re crazy for believing in a Goddess,as well as a God.We think you’re nuts for actually believing the book you call sacred was devinely written.If you read the King James Version, you’re reading what a former king of England told his scribes to write for the commoners.You’re reading a book that has been translated to death from one language to another,where at times there were no equivalent words, so someone had to guess the meaning. We follow what is in our hearts-what we KNOW to be the right things to do.We know killing is evil,we know abuse is evil.So we don’t do it. We don’t need a commandment to tell us that. Maybe if you opened your cold little heart, you might find more people to agree with you, on occassion.Maybe if you thought others who were different from you deserved JUST AS MUCH freedom as you do, your life would be more fulfilled. Maybe if you stopped seeing evil where it just does NOT exist, you could spend more time being the more Christ-like Christian you want to think you are. I’m not real sure I’ll even be back to this thread,because your brand of rationality is driving me a little crazy,here. So I would like to thank all of you who are open-minded,and good hearted for showing me that there are a few good Christians still out there.I would like to thank my Pagan brothers and sisters on here for supporting Patrick Stewarts right to have the symbol of his faith on his headstone,just as soldiers of any other faith are allowed.But several of you are right, the type of crap displayed by one person on here is the biggest reason so many ARE choosing to dump Christianity.Isn’t it just amazing how man has created God in his own image?So, Donny, go follow your God, who hates others for being different,and wants to feel persecuted when people who don’t believe as you do stand up for thier own rights.As for who is right and who is wrong, I’ll tell you the same thing I tell others who feel the way you do-we’ll all find out when we die, won’t we?



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SkipChurch

posted December 11, 2006 at 5:51 pm


Well Donny, I can’t think of why there ought to be a big cross in San Diego on public land even if it’s not hurting anybody.I also would object to a big sign on public land saying “There is no god” even if it’s not hurting anybody.So people sue. Big deal. What do you want, to make suits involving Christian symbols impossible? Special status for Christianity? Look, if every vestige of Christian or theist heritage in America were stripped from public buildings, public currency, flags, etc etc, I think something would be lost– not much, but something– a sense of our history,perhaps. I think something would be gained as well: an unequivocal affirmation of the secular nature of our government. That to me would be a gain, but I don’t expect everyone to agree. Because I’m a traditionalist in most things, my general attitude is to leave well enough alone. Secularization will come, if at all, in its own time. But not everyone agrees. Some take action, sue etc. Nothing you can do about that. That’s America! Now that people are bravely saying Merry Christmas again, with that paragon of Christ-like values WalMart leaning the way, I guess we can all breathe a sigh of relief. Whew! That was a close call. Luckily fearless Christians like Bill “Loufah Boy” O’Reilly sounded the alarm. So Merry Christmas. I don’t observe that day as a holiday myself, but still — Merry Christmas, Donny. We agree about Sgt Stewart’s headstone. That’s a start. That’s a victory for tolerance. The guy was a Wicca soldier, he died in the service of his country, he should have the symbol he would have wanted on the headstone. Cross, Star of David, Pentacle…fine, whatever the guy’s religion was, put that on there. Here’s a link to the emblems available: http://www.arlingtoncemetery.org/funeral_information/authorized_emblems.html Anyway. Thanks for your reply.



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Deb

posted December 11, 2006 at 6:12 pm


Sherry, Dr. Dobson who Donny just loves is a huge problem. When I was an “Evangelic” Christian I thought that Dr. Dobson was right. Do you know what sucks you in? You have a family. Of course, you want to protect your family. Honest to God, I did believe that there were people out there trying to change the way I wanted to worship. There are homosexuals everywhere trying to take my children. The homosexual agenda, liberals are everywhere…… This is something Dr. Dobson & people like him continually say. Needless to say though, I raised my children to never judge other people. I taught them to respect ALL people. It wasn’t until after I left that life behind that I realized it was all nonsense. Now I’m on the other side of the coin, and I can see that it is people like Donny & Dr. Dobson who want to take everyone else’s rights away.Donny, did you ever hear of a Christian school or homeshooling? I hardly think you needed to leave California because you have no choices. My children went to a Christian school and I have home schooled. We are very lucky in this country to have the right to choose what school our children will attend. What holidays do the public schools follow? Christians! This too will probably pass. However, then we will ALL get to celibrate what we want to. Does that mean for you Christmas will be less important? It shouldn’t. Maybe I missed something in the Bible. Did Jesus say that the Christians should rule? I remember him telling his disciples that if the people didn’t want to listen to them then they were to leave (forgive me for paraphrasing). WWJD? I wonder………



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Donny

posted December 11, 2006 at 6:23 pm


Ms. Johnson, Where have “I” called “you” a liar? Was I mistaken about the Wiccan rede? I may have written it a bit backwards but still “Do what thou wilt,” is the truth and basic foundation of Wicca. Am I wrong?.I have asserted that many lies are presnted about Christians and Christianity. That is my right. I have backed it up with rationality.I cannot say what you have written is incorrect. “Christians” and/or Christian governments have committed atrocities. But, not in the numbers of our non-Christian and “pagan” counterparts. Truth backs up my assertion. It is time for Chriostians to stand up for facts. “Do what thou wilt,” HAS harmed millions and millions and milions of people and victims. And still is as we write.Your rede cannot be washed away by the same kind of excuse as Christians use for bad behavior being OK’d. People choose to do wrong when they embrace doing what they see fit. STD’s as a pandemic has proven that. Human societal laws is an afront to the Wiccan rede. Christians and others recognize that people will do what they want to, and harm others in the process. It is literally the story of American culture. Yes, yes, Christ is at odds with people doing what they wilt. I didn’t write the Gospels. I just agree with the logic and rationality in themHuman nature has been shown to not be able to handle “doing what thou wilteth.” Allow me to challenge that Wiccan doctrine like you do any and every Christian doctrine.I defend Christians from non-Christians. You take for example Atheism versus Religion. Atheism has slaughtered humans like cattle in the hundreds of millions. Religions have killed people in far less numbers. That can be proven very easily.Pagans have much blood on their historic hands. But, in regards to Wicca, the “real” Wicca, many Christians see nothing to worry about at all. I lived in Santa Cruz California for a decade. many Wiccans are some of the finest people I knew there. And some were horrid people. Human nature cannot be altered by a faith-based belief system. (Psst, The Bible says so.) Take it for what its worth, but as valuable as this is, my children are welcomed to be friends with Wiccan children. I have more than faith to guide my reasoning here.I was at a Mosque two-weeks after 9-11, and brought my children with me. We talked for hours. My children playing with the children of the Imam. I told him I would never become a Muslim for any reason and where did we go from there? We left each other in peace. I still defend the Gospel of Christ Jesus with every breath I can. I believe that too many people are believing lies about Christians. I am what is called a Bible-believing, Born-Again fundamentalist “Christians.” No different than Peter or Paul. Or, James, Jude and John, et al. I am not the enemy of society.Caring about and for non-Christians has nothing to do with my affriming their beliefs. It has everything to do with caring about everyone. I was not always a Christian. I was more like a Wiccan than an atheist for most of that time. I still have deep reverence to nature and its sacredness.I never knew that a Wiccan could not have a pentagram on their gravestone. It’s a bit disconcerting to me, the pentagram, but in reality what harm does it do? My God is bigger than a star and a circle. This debate is far from over, and maybe God is trying people in the fire of tolerance and community for a reason. I am not afraid of David Kuo and Jim Wallis and their progressive agenda. I know the truth too. There is nothing new under the sun. The world has seen all of this before. No matter if you believe me or not, if you choose not to be a Christian, then live in peace, and I’ll do the same.



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Donny

posted December 11, 2006 at 6:37 pm


Deb, Show where Dobson is wrong on Biblical morality? You will have a very hard time of it. How is it, that our children are suffering so? STD’s and fatherless children are the norm. Drug addiction and and sexual debauchery are so common it is common fodder on even network TV. Someone, or something IS teaching our children and getting them to choose this horror.I’m sorry, in the real world, cause and effect are facts, that not even progresive rants can disprove. Dobson has tried to teach and to warn people without faltering. It is not his message that is wrong, it is the ears that are deaf that are not hearing right from wrong. It is blind eyes that are not seeing the death and evil outside our living room wndows.”Do what thou wilt,” is the mantra and actions of American and Western society.THAT is a fact. It is also killing us. The age-old story of the populace ignoring the calamity until it is too late. I have not escaped that fact either. But, turning away from it is always an offer.Christians are no different than anti-smoking ads. How many people are still smoking?



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Deb

posted December 11, 2006 at 6:52 pm


So non-Christians (I’m including all faiths here) do not have morals and values? “Dobson has tried to teach and to warn people without faltering. It is not his message that is wrong, it is the ears that are deaf that are not hearing right from wrong. It is blind eyes that are not seeing the death and evil outside our living room wndows.” I am sorry, but I can hear and I can see. I do not want or need the RR to speak for all of us.



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Anonymous

posted December 11, 2006 at 7:09 pm


Donny, With almost every word you type- you illustrate Davids’ contention that the RR is tarnishing Jesus’s name. Interesting how God gave us free will – but you want to take it away.



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Tom

posted December 11, 2006 at 8:54 pm


Donny, Thank you for reminding me so clearly why it is that the Christian faith is so definitely the wrong path for me. There have been times of late that the words of Christ and some of the teachings offered by Jim Wallis made me doubt my choice to leave that path. Your statement, along with the recent comments of James Dobson that you have alluded to, remind me of the validity of my choice several years ago to walk away from anything having to do with Christianity. Your words echo those of many, many people I used to “worship” with, and even echo words I used to use in dealing with those who did not accept what I saw as “the truth”. May you continue to find comfort in your path, and may you one day find peace in it.



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Blue Moon

posted December 11, 2006 at 9:22 pm


Donny, Contrary to popular myth, prayer has not been banned in public school. Students can pray all they want and do. The ban applies to teachers or administrators leading prayers. You can go to many high school football teams’ locker rooms before a game to see it in action.



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Donny

posted December 12, 2006 at 1:57 pm


It’s all about choices in the world and teachings of Jesus. And, to re-try them if you fail. In the Gospel are examples of non-members (so to speak) impressing Jesus “with their faith” in what they “did.” So it is a misconception based entirely on hearsay to believe that “born-againers” are the bad guys.Those people praising God with hands raised and empty, all over the Evangelical world, are the harmless people of earth. Meanwhile, all of the Christian bashers – including Jim Wallis – are doing absolutely nothing to curb the horror done in the name of Allah and Islam. The progressive groups do absolutely nothing to oppose communists and Jihadists forming alliances to kill and enslave real people. And, we have millions of murdered and imprisoned people to prove who and what is really discriminating against “non-believers.”Non-believers in socialism and non-believers in Islam. We are so lucky to get to argue and ridicule Christians in one varieity or another. It is a fact that no other group is attacked, belittled and criticized like Christians. While peoples of other faiths and social beliefs really are killing and discriminating agaisnt people. Enough alraedy. It is time for the non-Christians to turn their gaze and politics to the truly violent and aggressive people on this planet. Iran is denying the Holocuast. Russia and China are united with radical Islamic countries. Venezuela and Central and South America are REALLY able to do harm to America, AND have threatened to do. So, it is hypocritical to outlaw Christianity, for “preaching” its doctrines . . . and not doing a thing about the peoples really killing and oppressing others in reality. Until David kuo and Jim Wallis and the other Demo-Christians stop harrassing Bible-believing Christians and turn their liberal-progressive political power towards real killers and real oppression, THEN, the world will be a better place for everyone. Hypocrisy is yelling at Christians and relegating them to church-ghettos and not lifting a finger to stop real killing. Time for the peace marchers, Starbucks in hand, to head to Tehran, Mecca and Hong Kong. In those places, violence is for real and people are really targeted for discrimination. The kind you don’t survive.



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Terry

posted December 12, 2006 at 2:23 pm


Ok. This thread is starting to get repetitive. My real question now: David, are you ok? We haven’t heard from you in several days. I hope all is well.



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SkipChurch

posted December 12, 2006 at 2:38 pm


Repetitive is right. We’re back to the “church-ghettos” and the “outlawed Christianity” theme. I guess we can be grateful that this particular train didn’t go to the next stop: Discrimination Against White (Christian) Men. That one’s a real tear jerker.



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Chris in Vermont

posted December 12, 2006 at 2:43 pm


I’m afraid that it was not a radical Islamist who said of the group that I belong to that they were “a cancer to be wiped out and removed from the land.” It was a “Christian” minister and a lacky and personal friend of Dr. Dobson. I consider myself a Christian, and couldn’t believe what was being said. The things this head of a church of 7500 people said sounded to me like the things Hitler said about the Jews. Therefore, I fled to the state of Vermont, where I feel the situation is much better. I would advise that anyone with the resources to do so should move as far north as they can get in this country, to the bluest state they can find. The ability to live a peaceful life in safety is something that is hard to put a price on. I have come to the conclusion a long time ago that what the Religious Right represents is not the teachings of Jesus, but just old-fashioned Southern hatred. I am glad, at the end of the day, that people like David Kua, Philip Yancey, and Jim Wallis have helped me to hang on to what I have left of my faith.



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Terry

posted December 12, 2006 at 3:33 pm


Yes – some things being said in the name of God and Jesus these days are scary. It’s unbelievable that anyone in the US should feel real fear for just being who they are. And Donny – your claim of Christianity being outlawed just doesn’t ring true. Sorry – I don’t buy it. Just because Christianity isn’t law doesn’t mean you are being descriminated against.Skipchurch is right. Noone is buying your ‘ghetto-izing’ of the church. Please! My husband’s boss is an RR zealot – who is a millionaire – who belongs to a church full of millionaires. All of them screaming every voting year about abortion and ‘saving the family’. Yet they buy gas guzzling SUV’s for thier kids and themselves and don’t lift a finger to help the poor.



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Deb

posted December 12, 2006 at 3:46 pm


Chris in Vermont – This is exactly why I stopped going to church. It isn’t funny, but the RR sounds EXACTLY like extreme radicals. If you didn’t put God, Jesus, or Christianity in the post you wouldn’t know which side was posting. Maybe you don’t realize it Donny, but you sound like you want to put all non-believers (& the Christians who don’t believe exactly like you do) on a continent by ourselves. That is the interesting thing about Christianity, none of you can agree. This group preaches that the other group preaches this. Then you all stand around screaming at one another. You guys want to rule the Earth? Will never happen. Terry, you also make a very good point. Everyone has always claimed that the Catholic church was so wealthy. Let me tell you the Evangelicals are scary because they do have a lot of cash which makes politics even more scary for me.



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Donny

posted December 12, 2006 at 5:01 pm


Let’s see . . . Jihadists (Muslims) are really killing people. Killing them as in dead. Liberals (Democrats) are really killing children by supporting reasonless abortion and ignoring and redefining hedonism and debauchery. As in dead. There are lifestyles and life choices that indeed kill like a person like a suicide bomber and his (or her) innocent victims. Progressive “Christians” are really altering marriage in complete and total defiance of marriage as described as immutable (this side of heaven) by Christ Jesus. Without any repentance or accountability for choosing and encouraging sin in themselves and others, they pick out of the Bible what does not fit their politics and social agenda. And yet, they still hold that they are followers of Christ Jesus holding to the “whole” council of God. And society is filled with troubled youth and adults. Our prisons overflowing. Society is filled with people doing what they want to do and damn (or deny) the consequences. Even though the consequences are incredibly bad. As in death both spiritually and physically. Evangelicals are not ignoring these truths. First in themselves and then to others. They are holding out “love” in the hope that those that embrace changing their lives to embrace the truth in Christ Jesus (including themselves), will not suffer unresolved guilt, on top of, accountability and consequences of wrong choices. truth cannot be hidden in reality. That message of hope and promise and “love” has not changed from Jesus in Jerusalem in the first century to every city on earth today. It is a message of life and fulfillment and of not having to worry about guilt ignored and festering. What has changed is the kind of people that presume to preach that message edited and altered. With guilt comes consequences, accountability and actions.That is what, above all else, is the difference between the message of Christ Jesus and those that ignore it and refuse it.



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Deb

posted December 12, 2006 at 5:31 pm


Donny, Your message is “obey”. There is not “love” in your message, it is condemnation. Why would anyone even want to follow the Jesus that you portray? I also think that your definition of Evangelical is NOT the same definition many other Evangelicals have. There are many many Evangelicals who are exactly the same as Jim Wallis. I believe that I would call you a fundamentalist. You didn’t answer my question above, but what is your idea to solve the problems mentioned above? Ship the rest of us to another continent?People are not perfect nor will they ever be. I have heard some mega church pastors speak at various Christian conferences and let me tell you they do sound like Hitler. It is not something I would ever say lightly, but it is still true. When I read your posts I wonder why Jesus came other than to open up heaven for all people and not just Jews. Did he come for other reasons also?



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Donny

posted December 12, 2006 at 7:48 pm


Deb, This Hitler comparison is just a smokescreen used by you and so many others.It is also patently dishonest.Iran and Hezbollah are showing Hitlersim. Islam as offered by many Muslims is exactly like Nazism. Complete with genocide and everything else marching along. Reality Deb. It’s time to confront prople with your perspective with a dose of actual reality and truth. Evangelical Christians are doing nothing even remotely similar to real totalitarians. Look to Russia, China, Cuba, Venezuela and Islam for that. How about just a bit of honesty huh? You may be too scared to confront them, and so, take out your anger out on peaceful Evangelicals, but the reality is, that there is death and destruction in this world for real.Evangelicals offer a way out of that. You compare Evangleicals to Nazi’s. What a crock. Or worse. Truth usually sets people free.



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SkipChurch

posted December 12, 2006 at 8:23 pm


Let’s review what we’ve learned in the Donny School of Biblical Truth. Jihadists (Muslims) are really killing people. Killing them as in dead. American troops and their allies (non-Muslims) have only built schools and handed out candy to children. So that’s cool.Liberals (Democrats) are really killing children by supporting reasonless abortion and ignoring and redefining hedonism and debauchery. As in dead. Conservatives (Republicans) do not get abortions, and in spite of being in power for the last six years have been fooled by the liberals (Democrats) into not doing anything about abortion, instead prefering mouth off about the War on Christmas and other important issues. Or something. Society is filled with troubled youth and adults. By definition none of these are Christians. Our prisons overflowing. But they must be overflowing with hell-bound secular humanist liberals (Democrats). So the prisons in the Bible Belt must be practically empty. Godless Europe’s prisons are not overflowing because though they are godless and (eeeew) don’t even speak English(!!) the liberals (Democrats) don’t go there to commit crimes yet.And of course with Christians in ghettos and Christianity outlawed the world is going to hell in a (Made in China) handbasket.



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Deb

posted December 12, 2006 at 8:59 pm


Well-said SkipChurch. Donny, Your definition does not cover all Evangelical people my friend. I think you ought to accept that as a truth. In fact, there are plenty of Evangelical people who would be ashamed that you call yourself an Evangelical. Also, we live in a country which prides itself on personal freedom which you would like to take away. The hatred that Dr. Dobson, Franklin Graham, and their friends spread about the gay community is also disgusting & heretic. I guess since “they” caused the ruin of N. Orleans though they deserve the hatred. In a country that protects freedom we won’t allow gay people to marry or have the same freedoms we enjoy. Of course, I am sure that they would be the first to put on an island if you took power of the U.S. Sound like something Hitler would do?



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Frank

posted December 12, 2006 at 9:57 pm


People like Donny consistently present their faith or religion in a way that pushes choice away. For example, they will explain or attempt to enlighten others on the importance of God by making blanket statements, as if God is a scientific fact. Who honestly thinks God wants us to experience him like a scientific fact? The point is to be a witness, share your faith in fellowship. We re supposed to help and teach each other, remember? We don t get our girlfriend to accept our hand in marriage by simply repeating that we are in love with her. We engage her whole being in every possible creative way we can think of. That s why the proposal ends up being so special. Presenting the Bible and power of Jesus Christ, as a science is only effective if you want an unbalanced relationship with the company you re involved with. Hence, the RR evangelicals and their waning flock. Donny is just one of many, many religiously passionate people that are severely deficient in the way they express their faith. Faith or religion is driven by past experience and story. The essence of faith or religion consists of basic sayings such as the Golden Rule and several various different proverbial lessons. Good and bad, love and hate, etc, So many people take the great joy and mystery OUT of God when they unwittingly make it sound like there s a reason to prove his greatness. The story becomes a big turnoff. Free will and choice govern faith or religion. As you make choices about your faith you are determining what kind of person you are. If you think you may be in this camp I hope you will exercise your free will and strive in choosing a deeper, stronger way.



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SkipChurch

posted December 13, 2006 at 3:46 pm


Frank, good post — you’re in the ballpark for sure. I have occasion to deal with people of various faiths: Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and various sorts of Christians. When you meet someone who is serene and balanced, whose life seems guided by an inner compass, who very presence is somehow an affirmation of the possibility of human goodness, it makes an impression. So too, when you meet someone whose entire affect is anger, victimhood, wild exaggeration, disgust with the world and it’s people, that too makes an impression. Think of that awful shooting at the Amish school. You didn’t hear the parents ranting about the debauchery and wickedness of the world. They forgave. They turned the other cheek. A lesson to us all, that was. It put me in mind of the following, from George Fox: “Christ s kingdom is not of this world; it is peaceable: and all that are in strife are not of his kingdom. All that pretend to fight for the gospel are deceived; for the gospel is the power of God, which was before the devil or fall of man was: and the gospel of peace was before fighting was. Therefore they that pretend fighting, and talk of fighting so, are ignorant of the gospel. All that talk of fighting for Sion are in darkness: Sion needs no such helpers.”



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Frank

posted December 13, 2006 at 4:56 pm


Great quote Skip. It’s just another insight that adds much needed basic perspective.



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Frank

posted December 15, 2006 at 12:39 am


I want to send out my first Christmas card to Donny, Happy New Year, buddy! Go Bucks! If you’re a Buckeye Donny I’ll have to buy you a bottle-ah-beer. I wouldn’t count your blessings as our Country remains divided. The best we can hope for is a liberal version of Ronald Reagan in 9-10. We would be in better shape as a Country. Our kids may not be mature but they’re smart with solid help from their elders. We’ll always have 15% of the population in houghing madness. These people are driven by money. Driven and droven way over the top. Do not be this “guy.” Very sloppy.



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Anonymous

posted April 14, 2008 at 5:29 pm

Anonymous

posted April 14, 2008 at 5:29 pm

Tileinhesse

posted May 20, 2008 at 10:27 pm


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Putin

posted August 15, 2008 at 8:38 am


I like This site!
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Gerry

posted August 17, 2008 at 2:25 pm


Just to say a few words regarding conduct and integrity (which includes
untruths, lies, misrepresentations, imaginations, suspicions,pretense, etc ).
From so called Christian people or groups, to promote their beliefs and or causes, have taken these tactics to promote guilt by association when it come to presidential candidates. I don’t particularly like our choices but, they are the only choices we have been given as of this date !
Nevertheless, nothing justifies lies and judgements for either of the men. Opinions yes, mistruths, manipulations, NO. I am disappointed
at the emails that have gone around, taking things out of context and making them say things they actually and in reality do not say..
It’s one thing for the “press” to do this and totally another for “christians” to do this. Everyone has an opinion and a specific
reason and or ‘agenda’. We can for the most part justify why we are right.
Hopefully America will join together and support whoever gets to be our new President. Only in some form of unity can we see success and progress in our nation..God help us to stop judging (and lying) and start believing in the God we say we believe in. I am so glad He has the “whole world in HIS hands” and not man alone……Just ‘what if’ the one we voted for doesn’t win the election? Do you think God has failed us?
I have a great Personalized book by Michael Murphy that can change your perspective about yourself and at the same time of others. Change yourself and leave others alone. Let’s trust God to do what only HE can do ! You still need to vote in November !



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inancywranT

posted April 19, 2012 at 9:12 am


What is the easiest poker community for beginners? I have looked over several guides such as the one right here
http://74.50.9.49/wiki/index.php?title=Finding+the+top+poker+rooms
yet cannot find any kind of decent information just for novices.



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Sneakers isabel marant

posted August 22, 2012 at 11:49 am


“scrupulously”



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Accorinic

posted February 1, 2013 at 12:34 pm


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