______________________ LIFE, FAITH, ETCETERA

God Is Not Rude February 26, 2011

— by Darin Hufford —

The teaching today in American churches to “respect the man of God” demonstrates a rude or unfinished mentality. It’s used to get people to do what the religious leader wants. Unfortunately, the work of Christ is denied by implying that there are some Christians who are men of God and others who aren’t. All men and women deserve our respect equally.

We have built our theology on a rude God who says, Do it because I said so.” Once the verse has been read, if you dare to ask why, your entire faith is on trial.

Truthfully, I believe that quoting Scripture is the escape route for thousands of pastors, evangelists, and authors today. It’s something we have all learned to hide behind.

God will never talk down to you or treat you as anything less than an adult. God respects your opinions and decisions.

God never intended our relationship with Him to be like a soldier mindlessly following the orders of his commander. If you ask “why,” He will help you understand. If you need time to get it, He will patiently teach you until you do.
A relationship is a dialogue not a monologue. Our present-day view of obedience terminates the possibility of a two-way conversation.


Taken from “The Misunderstood God.”

You owe it to yourself to Read This Book.

For more info: Click HERE.

I love the sacred scriptures. 
But honestly, the way many, if not most, wrongly approach the scriptures,
misunderstand and misinterpret the scriptures,
and use the scriptures as a weapon against others, well…
I think a lot of Christians who have a Bible would be better off without it.
Or at least the rest of us would be better off.
— df


What Matters More February 14, 2011

Derek Webb, of Caedmon’s Call,
takes a decidedly Christ-like stand.

From the album:
Stockholm Syndrome

What Matters More, by Derek Webb

You say you always treat people like you like to be
I guess you love being hated for your sexuality
You love when people put words in your mouth
‘Bout what you believe, make you sound like a freak

‘Cause if you really believe what you say you believe
You wouldn’t be so damn reckless with the words you speak
Wouldn’t silently consent when the liars speak
Denyin’ all the dyin’ of the remedy

Tell me, brother, what matters more to you?
Tell me, sister, what matters more to you?

If I can tell what’s in your heart by what comes out of your mouth
Then it sure looks to me like being straight is all it’s about
It looks like being hated for all the wrong things
Like chasin’ the wind while the pendulum swings

‘Cause we can talk and debate until we’re blue in the face
About the language and tradition that he’s comin’ to save
Meanwhile we sit just like we don’t give a shit
About 50,000 people who are dyin’ today

Tell me, brother, what matters more to you?
Tell me, sister, what matters more to you?


The Dangerous Meshing February 4, 2011

The struggle between the church and the state is perhaps nowhere more painfully apparent than in soldiers who are trying to integrate their national and spiritual identities.  One soldier said he is trying to serve two masters, the cross and the sword, and his arms aren’t big enough to carry them both.  Many military chaplains have felt this collision most poignantly and express the crippling sense that they are simply preparing soldiers to kill and helping them to recover from killing, without ever having space to question the killing itself.
To refuse to kill for patriotic reasons is to show that we actually take our identity in Christ more seriously than our identity in the empire.
– Shane Claiborne

Read “Jesus for President.”  Click Here.

I would no more tach my kids military training than teach them arson, robbery, or assassination.
– Eugene Debs

Every war…with all its ordinary consequences…the murder with the justifications of its necessity and justice, the exaltation and glorifications of military exploits, the worship of the flag, the patriotic sentiments…, does more in one year to pervert men’s minds than thousands of robberies, murders, and arsons perpetrated during hundreds of years by individual men under the influence of passion.
– Leo Tolstoy

Do the people believe that the killing of foreigners is somehow different that the killing of Americans? – Timothy McVeigh.
No doubt he had been deranged by the myth of redemptive violence.  He bombed Oklahoma City [a deplorable act] in the hope that complacent Americans could see what “collateral damage” looks like and cry out against bloodshed everywhere, even in Iraq.  Instead, the government that had trained him to kill, killed him, to teach the rest of us that is is wrong to kill.  Dear God, liberate us from the logic of redemptive violence.
– Shane Claiborne

Christ, in disarming Peter, disarmed every soldier.
– Tertullian

Murder, considered a crime when people commit it singly, is transformed into a virtue when they do it en masse.
– St. Cyprian

For the last 1700 years the Church has not only been making war respectable; it has been inducing people to believe it is an honorable profession, an honorable Christian profession.  This is a lie.  The early church saw a complete and an obvious incompatibility between loving as Christ loved and killing.  There is NO WAY to follow Christ, to love as Christ loved, and simultaneously to kill other people.  Militarized Christianity is a lie.  It is radically out of conformity with the teaching, life, and spirit of Jesus.  As an Air Force chaplain I painted a machine gun in the loving hands of the nonviolent Jesus, and then handed this perverse picture to the world as truth.
– Catholic Air Force chaplain, Father George Zabelka.

I often hear the story of Jesus, with the whip, cleansing the temple as a justification for violence.  For one thing, although this was a very physical display, there is NO indication he used the whip on anyone.  That was not the character of Christ.  Second, and of GREAT importance, this anger was against the religious leaders; the “church” of his day.  None of this counteracts the nonviolent resistance of Jesus.
He taught things like “turn the other cheek,” “go the extra mile,” and “give more than is asked of you by your enemy.”  These are not violent acts, NOR are they acts of passivity.  No, this is a third and much more difficult way.  It’s taking a strong stand, face to face with your enemy and saying, “I will not fight you, but I WILL NOT BACK DOWN!  You will know where I stand and what I stand for, even if it kills me!”
– df

Read “Jesus for President.”  Click Here.


The Will of the Almighty Creator? February 1, 2011

“My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter.
In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison.
Today, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice… And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people.

Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.

-Adolf Hitler

This kind of rhetoric is frightfully similar to that of today’s right-wing evangelical preachers.  Just replace “Jew” with Muslim, gay, or any number of other targets of their hatred.

All “American Christians” should read “The Myth Of A Christian Nation.”

Check it out HERE.

“I saw a banner hanging next to city hall in downtown Philadelphia that read, “Kill them all, and let God sort them out.” A bumper sticker read, “God will judge evildoers; we just have to get them to him.” I saw a T-shirt on a soldier that said, “US Air Force… we don’t die; we just go to hell to regroup.” Others were less dramatic- red, white, and blue billboards saying, “God bless our troops.” “God Bless America” became a marketing strategy. One store hung an ad in their window that said, “God bless America–$1 burgers.” Patriotism was everywhere, including in our altars and church buildings.
But what happened after September 11th broke my heart. Conservative Christians rallied around the drums of war. Liberal Christians took to the streets. The cross was smothered by the flag and trampled under the feet of angry protesters. The church community was lost, so the many hungry seekers found community in the civic religion of American patriotism. People were hurting and crying out for healing, for salvation in the best sense of the word, as in the salve with which you dress a wound. A people longing for a savior placed their faith in the fragile hands of human logic and military strength, which have always let us down. They have always fallen short of the glory of God.
“One thing that’s clear in the Scriptures is that the nations do not lead people to peace; rather, people lead the nations to peace.”
— Shane Claiborne

Read Shane Claiborne’s “Jesus For President.”
Get the scoop.  Click HERE.


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