Daniel Murphy is a professional baseball player and a devout Christian.
He is also perhaps the most hated player in baseball today…or is he?
Murphy drew the ire of many with his comments on baseball executive Billy Bean, an openly gay man.
These are the comments that drew the wrath of some and led to an article in The Athletic called ‘A Lesbian’s Guide To Rooting For the Cubs With Daniel Murphy”
(Side note to The Athletic…I subscribe for sports coverage, not for social causes. The beauty of subscriptions are that they can be cancelled.)
“I disagree with his lifestyle,” Murphy said. “I do disagree with the fact that Billy is a homosexual. That doesn’t mean I can’t still invest in him and get to know him. I don’t think the fact that someone is a homosexual should completely shut the door on investing in them in a relational aspect. Getting to know him. That, I would say, you can still accept them but I do disagree with the lifestyle, 100 percent.”
He went on to say;
“Maybe, as a Christian, that we haven’t been as articulate enough in describing what our actual stance is on homosexuality,” he said. “We love the people. We disagree the lifestyle. That’s the way I would describe it for me. It’s the same way that there are aspects of my life that I’m trying to surrender to Christ in my own life. There’s a great deal of many things, like my pride. I just think that as a believer trying to articulate it in a way that says just because I disagree with the lifestyle doesn’t mean I’m just never going to speak to Billy Bean every time he walks through the door. That’s not love. That’s not love at all.”
What Murphy said was pretty much both a reflection of 2000 years of Christian moral theology and a good example of how one should speak to the culture from that theology.
His reward has been to be reviled as a “bigot” and “homophobe” and to be the subject of nearly hysterical articles like the one linked.
One of the interesting things I’ve noted is that there are many who believe that people become Christians to justify pre existing “bigotry” instead of believing that their faith informs their views of moral issues.
Faith, tradition, and even science, are not allowed to nuance these conversations.
To be blunt, I really didn’t want to write this article as the blowback won’t lead to any sort of mutual understanding, but more conflict and hardening.
I wrestle with this issue as my interest in what people do in their bedrooms is nil and I have no desire to police any antics that consenting adults want to participate in.
However, I have yet to be persuaded that we have any solid basis to overturn those ancient moral and theological standards that the church has always held.
I’m open, I’m listening, but I’m not close to persuaded.
I am not homophobic…I fear heights and bats, but other peoples sexual activity doesn’t faze me.
I do fear one other thing…the impact that all these changing norms are having on children.
What I believe I’m seeing is that this group of gay advocates are so hell bent on complete acceptance of their choices by every institution that they are willing to use children as pawns to do so.
I don’t believe a five year old can “know” they are transsexual, nor do I believe that most children get a handle on their sexuality before their teen years,
To be blunt, I think pushing these notions on children is demonic in every sense of the word.
While I’m not “homophobic” I do believe that some folks are “Christaphobic”.
They “hate” Christians, because while Christians may love them, live in peace with them, work with them, or simply ignore them, they demand full affirmation or war.
I will give neither, but will continue to practice my faith following Christ to the best of my ability.
Sometimes, I’ll have to speak the things my faith demands and I hope I do so in love and clarity.
This isn’t a time for mumbling…
I am disappointed that Murphy didn’t tell them the truth – HOMOSEXUALITY is a sin in God’s eyes. You’ll never find in scripture where God’s word says not to offend certain group or individual with the Word of God. I am aware as a born again Christian, we are not to judge a person’s heart, but scripture does say we are to judge that group or individual with God’s Holy Word.
By not mentioning God Almighty, I sense in Murphy’s statement that he is ashamed of not mentioning God Almighty. Don’t surpress the truth – HOMOSEXUALITY is a sin, period!.
Shouting about sin to a culture that doesn’t even know how to define it is a fools game.
The part I forgot to write was that Murphy would get fire from both sides…which is a damn shame.
“but scripture does say we are to judge that group or individual with God’s Holy Word.”
This is a big over-generalization. It’s not the Christian’s vocation to be God’s moral policeman in the world. We are called in our vocations to speak Law and Gospel with truth in love and “with gentleness and respect.”
But we are not called to give a Law sermon to every sinner we encounter in life. And I certainly would never preach the Law without also preaching Christ crucified for the sinner.
Christaphobia and homosexual proliferation are both symptoms of a dangerously sick society … IMO
FWIW i think that one can put PTSD and homosexual behaviors in the same category in MANY respects…. I do not condemn someone who is a victim of stresses beyond their control
On the other hand, “rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft” and both are focused and intentional insults to God … IMO again ?
So? Which is the greater sin? Homosexual behavior? Blanket condemnation of the gays? Blanket condemnation of practicing Christians? Is there a difference between sin and the sinner?
We sin, we repent …or … we sin and celebrate our old sin nature? Condemn the sin, but not its victim is not a cliche IMO again…
This is a well written article Michael … our responses may lead to some clearer thinking – blessing us all
I had read a couple other articles this week decrying Murphy to be a homophobe. He actually made these comments a few years ago, but they have become news again as the Cubs recently traded for Murphy and did some significant vetting process before trading for him because of those past comments. Apparently one of the Cubs owners is gay and they were concerned about him and they vetted him in the same way they would somebody with a history of domestic violence. The media caught wind of this and are making a big deal of Murphy again. A significant level of LGBT advocacy warriors are indeed hell bent on making our culture accept all their norms and destroying anyone who doesn’t do so.
I have to chime in on this for a number of reasons. First, I don’t really have a problem with how Murphy has communicated his decidedly American Evangelical beliefs. My comments have nothing to do with him.
“this group of gay advocates”
Who are they? Where are they? I want to qualify that statement with the following. I am an LGBTQ advocate in every sense of the word. I have gay friends and family. I listen to two gay broadcasters daily on XM political talk shows, both of which are far more vocal than I. I know media likes to sensationalize everything, right, left, or indifferent, but I have never met this people trying to turn children gay, or use them as pawns, and I have never met a gay person who advocates any such nonsense. The two broadcasters, Stephanie Miller and Michelangelo Signorile are superstars in the gay community, and politically minded nothing like what is being described here. They fight for equality. One is a comedian and provides daily reprieve from obnoxious news daily. Now I have been listening to these two broadcasters, among others for years. I don’t see these group of gay advocates doing any of what is described. “Pushing these notions on children” is decidedly evil, but not for the reasons Michael professes. I won’t raise my child to “believe” anything but what what he want’s to believe. If it’s gay unicorns, fine. I did not force it on him, nor do the gay parents all over this country. So again, who are they?
Defend the faith, you are expected to. How Murphy has chosen to do so is actually pretty rational considering what his god teaches him, which is more exemplified by the first comment in this thread, and unfortunately for all of you, the bottom line when it comes to your god. Let’s not forget the genocide for this very subject…
“FWIW i think that one can put PTSD and homosexual behaviors in the same category in MANY respects….”
What absolute nonsense. This notion that all gay people are gay because of some childhood trauma is propaganda created by Christianity and Islam. Period. I am actually well versed on this, as I believed the same till I studied it. And I studied it right up till I discovered that all animals have a 10% chance of exhibiting outright homosexual behaviors and this is observed fact. Does god wipe out a few national forests because of a gay deer? It’s your god’s obsession with sex that should be a question people wrestle with, not propaganda. Same with Islam, by the way.
“rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft”
I wish some people could hear themselves say these things, it might make them reconsider their beliefs. My then 2 year old son wanted a cookie. Mom said no. I watched him build a stack of things so he could climb up high enough to get a cookie anyway. I let him do it. It was hilarious! In those days, I was very much a Christian, and the thought never once crossed my mind that he was needing to be burned to death like a Witch. If it had, shame on me and my absurd judgements, I would not be deserving of a valid roll in humanity.
Witchcraft is primarily the worship of nature, and using natural elements to manipulate energy, and a concept that was twisted by other religions to invalidate it, and Christianity has never been any different. But rebellion is nothing like that unless you have to insist that any other form of worship is evil, and again, Christians have to, so burn my son to death? Stone him maybe? Utter irrational nonsense. Maybe Martin Luther King needed to be killed for his rebellion? Rosa Parks? Anybody? Witches? The whole lot? Utter irrational nonsense.
“Apparently one of the Cubs owners is gay and they were concerned about him and they vetted him in the same way they would somebody with a history of domestic violence.”
Again, I wish people could hear themselves. I don’t even know how to express how horrible this statement is. Gays vetted as dudes who beat their wife… just wow.
Here is where I hear the nonsense proposed here. Breitbart. Rush. FOX. Info Wars. Patriot. Daily Stormer. All voices I listen to almost daily as well. I try to be attentive to it all, Thom Hartmann, Mark Thompson, good ole Shep on Fox even. The most left wing people I listen to, and I am admittedly far left of any of them, are not what is reality to folks in the Christian bubble. I am the one who wants to see the end of religion, who wants people to accept homosexuality whether they like it or not, not these silly sports commentators who feel the need to be politically correct.
Much love, Michael, I still read you daily, but for obvious reasons, stay out of the conversations unless I take a hand full of Vistaril and a few Celexa.
Haha, I spelled my own name wrong!
Rueben, perhaps you are right about the gay folk in your sight not pushing gayness on our children – the gays that i have had dealings with have all been men, honest, kind and courteous…
But your protest that our children today are not being pressed to deal with gender identity (i think that’s the sanitized term) from very early just isnt factual…
IMV Michael’s observation on the intolerance of what Christ’s Church is instructed, instruction that bucks popular trends – is sound, fair and thoughtfully presented up there
Your post is a long one, i stopped to comment… I’ll finish reading now….
You spelled my name wrong too, now I don’t feel so bad. 😉
Again, I hear this rhetoric from your side, not mine, and again, I am far left of the most left people I listen to and know, and the afore mentioned people are pretty left of left.
Example, today, most of these voices I listen to have been on about “violence” if Trump whatever blah blah blah to a group of your peeps…
I asked the question, and still ask, what violence? Breitbart and Patriot swung Antifa again to defend Trump’s comments, Rush followed soon after, as did the whole parade. The rhetoric came from your side, not mine. Antifa has no affiliation with Liberals in the biggest stretches imaginable, as they are anarchists and communists, and largely hate Liberals as much as they do Conservatives (much like me). I know this to be absolute fact. So I still have the question, and nobody has answered. What violence? How many Antifa have killed Americans on American soil ever? 0. How many people have White Nationalist Terrorists killed on American soil? Oops… that is a bad answer to have to face, and it’s your folks doing it. It plain ain’t coming from here. Same as forcing boys to wear dresses or girls to lift their Ford pickup 2 feet and wear Carhartt overalls. It is not coming from us.
You listen to sensationalized media that ramps up your “don’t tread on me” side, and you are persuaded to stand against evils that don’t exist. That’s factual, and I can say that knowing full well what Steve Bannon and David Duke and Rush and the Mormon Beck (and on and on) have had to say on such matters from way back when I was a Christian till now. I have not heard this nonsense from one LGBTQ or LGBTQ advocate I know or listen to. Not one.Let me say that again, not one. Most of them vehemently oppose making a child question their gender identity, and would openly protest such nonsense. I have had these conversations, I am not speaking out of school. Again, your folks, not mine.
Rueben, perhaos you exaggerate and extrapolate to suit your bias… ?
Guess you missed the word “many”… trauma or accident of genetics or who knows what else… creates an issue… that is life in this fallen world (it is fallen ang falling)
Rebellion against God probably was beyond your little guy’s scope… besides, it wasn’t God who said ‘stay out of the cookies’… ? BTW, does Christianity teach us to burn witches or any other living creature? I missed that…?
Be angry at dogmatic Christianity, if you so choose…. But ….
Can’t you state your viewpoints on their own merit? Won’t they stand that way – without building your argument on distortion of opposing thoughts?
IMX the most destructive traits that man displays are twisting another persons words to suit their purposes and its near relative, gossip
Soddom? Egypt? Bible: “19 God destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan and gave the land to his people.” Acts 13:19 Bible: “I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite.” Exodus 33: 2. Em, show me where I am being a liar.
Reuben, good post at 5:49 except you don’t have a clue who my folks are …?
IMV both the far right (not “my fokks”) and the far left (not mine, either) have some good points to make… But hard over in any direction is going to miss the inevitable curves – esoterically speaking ?
Egypt? Sodom? “I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite.” Exodus 33: 2. “God destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan and gave the land to his people.” Acts 13:19
I’d love to engage you on this matter, but I’m on my way to spend the night at the sleep clinic…where I probably won’t get much sleep.
Thanks for engaging well and I’ll follow up tomorrow.
Michael, really sorry to hear that. I also take Vistaril, maybe ask about that. I don’t sleep either, so that stuff knocks me right out, non narcotic, non habit forming.
I’m sorry, that’s Trazadone. I don’t know what I take anymore… hehe
Reuben, my faith separated the Church from God’s dealings with the race of man historically.
We are an ode to His grace, His desire to redeem mankind. Coupled with the familiar John 3:16 verse is, “…by grace are you saved through Faith [think on that term, it is key] it is the gift of God, not of works…”. …… So?
so don’t say that the Bible’s record of God [an absolute, holy Creator of the universe (and beyond ?) ] dealing with this fallen race down through history is what the Church is.
We, who have entered into this Faith, should mirror both the holiness and the grace of what the Bible is intended to teach us about God. He defines life, what is right and what is wrong, we don’t – we can’t
But i’m not a teacher here, just baring my heart – what God has put in it…..
May God protect you and yours on your journey and get you safely home
Reuben, in all do respect when you started talked about gay deer you lost me. My world view views humans much differently than animals. We are higher than the animals except when we act like animals which is the problem. For instance, when is the last time you saw deer exchanging vows in a wedding ceremony?
One point of clarification on the statement of mine that you quoted:
“Apparently one of the Cubs owners is gay and they were concerned about him and they vetted him in the same way they would somebody with a history of domestic violence.”
You went on to say:
“Again, I wish people could hear themselves. I don’t even know how to express how horrible this statement is. Gays vetted as dudes who beat their wife… just wow.”
I was not saying the Cubs owner was vetted because he was gay. I was saying the Cubs owner had the vetting done on Murphy because of Murphy’s past “homophobic” statements. This is the complete opposite scenario than what you took it to be.
The idea of the comparison of Murphy being vetted like an athlete with a history of domestic violence came directly from the author of one of the articles I read who was trashing Murphy. The author was basically making the case that Murphy’s sins of his past statements were so bad that the Cubs chose to vet him just like a team would vet a player with a history of domestic violence.
Kevin, gotcha, and understood. Thanks.
Haven’t had a chance to read the whole thread, but two things for now before I head to work:
Michael, I give a firm Amen to this article…stated with truth and grace.
Like Reuben, I also take Trazodone. Most meds have very little effect on me, but this one puts me to sleep within 30-60 minutes. For some people, it has mild anti-depressant effects. The only downfall is I have to be careful not to take it too late or I have a really tough time waking up and getting a move on in the morning.
“Who are they? Where are they? ”
Reuben, that’s a fair question and one that leaves me more than a little embarrassed.
It’s difficult to identify those who have constructed the current narratives not only around gay issues,but issues like political correctness, etc.
I only can reference those things that I’ve experienced and the things I see and it would have been better to cite both rather than an amorphous, nebulous, group of “them”.
I do know that when I went work in 2002 for a major bank the first thing we saw the first day of training was a video featuring a gay couple and the admonition that if we thought that odd our jobs were in jeopardy.
I read the long comment sections on this article on Twitter and The Athletic and saw Christians described continually as bigots and “horrible people”.
I know what T has been taught in the school system and I know how this battle is being waged in my own faith tradition.
You of all people should know that I only listen to far right media if I’m having bowel issues.
I have no problem with gays having secular civil rights.
My problem is that they can have those without demonizing people who hold to tradition sexual values born of faith traditions.
Tolerance has to be a two way street or we simply exchange one group of demagogues for another…
“I have no problem with gays having secular civil rights.”
That is the biggest challenge to a liberal democracy: It’s easier to create rights than to create obligations. But some rights can’t exist without obligations also existing.
Not arguing, just identifying the potential conflict.
Divorce became more common in the 60s, by the 70s everyone’s family was impacted by it. By the 80s there was a cry that churches seemed to consider divorce as the unforgivable sin. By the 90s churches were leading the way in divorce recovery. During all that time pastors were struggling with Biblical issues of divorce and remarriage. Everyone was talking about “biblical grounds” for divorce and ultimately remarriage. By the 2000s pastors had basically abandoned any kind of stance other than simply managing what is in front of us. Now very few questions are asked about divorce and remarriage we all just manage the carnage.
While we were sleeping the culture re-educated our kids, normalized and even lionized new forms of relationship and family. We woke up to find 5000 years of culture turned on its head. Suddenly, “we all know right from wrong” became “do what is right in your own eyes” and those of us who missed the bus are left thumbing for a ride with “hate-monger” tattooed on our foreheads. Yes, I exaggerate but only partially and illustratively to note that this thing is done.
Bottom line, our own children had their mind changed and with their change of mind came options. So now every family has members who reflect current norms. When our family is involved the process outlined on divorce is repeated, with much more vigor and passion.
Michael, you had to overcome all kinds of inner intimidation just to write this. Intimidation leads to silence which leads to accommodation which leads to … well, where we are. Thanks for writing this.
Better learn how to write about his problem without naming it. Internet word searches are becoming the means of demonization.
Dread, you are a FANTASTIC writer. I don’t know anyone who can put words together the way you do. Even on the rare occasion when I don’t agree with you I am delighted by your word craft. (I agree with you, of course, this time.)
I have learned the truth in the lyric “freedoms just another word for nothing left to lose”.
Having already been demonized, I’m free to speak…
I don’t follow baseball, and I never knew of this controversy. I wondered, though, if we replaced the player’s subject of Bean’s homosexuality with something like Bean as a “gossip” or one who “drinks too often in my eyes,” or “has too many girlfriends,” would the player have made a public statement on it? I don’t think so. What is the compelling impulse to make public commentary about another person on this topic?
Because the subject of the comments makes it a topic for public discussion…
I don’t know the circumstances of this interview with Murphy. However, I do know this. If you are a public believer in Jesus they set you up with questions to catch you in the same way the Pharisees used public interviews to catch Jesus. I doubt Murphy plunged into the world of assessing the private lives of his past teammates. Frankly, most Christians have learned that we’ve gone from the old, “are Jews going to heaven” to “what do you believe about” this or that sexual orientation issue. The idea is the same; create a public reason to shame the speaker into silence and posture those of his kind as hateful.
I have suggested elsewhere that the spirit of fundamentalism is a shape-shifter that does not care what the particular ideology carries only that it is strictly obeyed.
When they asked me about the Jews I would always reply that, according to our faith heaven is where Jesus is seated on the throne and anyone who wants can go there. When asked about this I reply that people can be whatever they want, however, I cannot define morality however I want as I am a bond-servant.
That last one was gold…
agreeing with Xenia and BD is a grounded and clear thinking member of his calling… glad he posts comments here
thanking God for keeping Michael going also… seems to me there’s some ground gained in examining real truths here these days… even if some of us don’t seem to make sense to some 🙂
If I say to someone, “do whatever you want,” that will not quiet the conscience that accuses one of breaking natural law (or God’s Law if they know it). So, they want another law, a civil law to supersede natural law in the hope to give them a good conscience.
Being a Christian – just existing – brings them a constant reminder, it is a constant accusation of natural law, that any civil law cannot override.
Steve, marriage aside, because it is a religious construct, you can start here.
I have listened to a number of scientists speak and debate on this. I’m convinced. So it would seem that Homosexual behavior is natural law, even among animals.
Where you start is probably going to determine where you end up. It’s called presuppositions. If you start with secular scientists, you will end up with a secular world view. Start with God and you will have a different perspective guaranteed. Easier said then done sometimes but I encourage you to challenge those fundamental underlying beliefs because I believe there is more hope, love and joy that way.
Steve, that is an evasive answer. When faith and facts collide, you fall back on your training, which is to lean on faith in the face of anything. I did it, so I am not sure lecturing me on where I start is helpful. But what you need to hear yourself say is this, “If you start with secular scientists, you will end up with a secular world view.” I did not start with secular science. I started with the pseudoscience of engineers like Walt Brown claiming he knew how the earth and everything in it was formed. His faith clouded science, and he used myth to answer things he knew nothing about. I even handed out his books to hundreds of teens at my own cost to combat the science they were taught in school, a regret that overwhelms me at times.
Your problem (and it was my problem as well) is that you have discredited science based on faith. There is more wonder and excitement in the secular sciences than in “god did it” and shutting down any other explanation. Its intellectually lazy. It serves no purpose but to willingly segregate yourself from facts. You could adopt the slightly more rational view that science observes what god’s process was, but you deny that outright as well.
If you are still the same Steve remember here, you have a responsibility to the “flock” you serve, and it is irresponsible and destructive to force them to rely on anything other that truth. You are trained to overlay truth with a claimed truth that has no valid proofs, because again, it’s faith based. Don’t even bother with the brake pedal analogies, I preached them.
Shmuley Boteach, Dinesh D’Souza, Robert Wright (OMG what a hack), Nassim Taleb, Dennis Prager, et al, who are simply not qualified to speak on such matters, work hard to reenforce your pseudoscientific beliefs, because you simply can not allow truth to form your faith. Hovind, Ham, Lennox, and even Ben Carson, they bang their heads on these topics, making science whatever they want it to be. Science does not work that way. It can’t develop presuppositions, it can however create theory, and if you know what theory is in scientific processes, you know it was not come to easily. The theory comes from observation, and ends in observation, and subjects itself to the rest of the scientific community to be tested. There is no bias in observation of natural occurrences, there is only testing and retesting, which shoves bias out the door. So when a Christian says, “Evolution is only a theory”, they do not understand what a theory is, and they prove it by the very statement. You have done similarly, placing faith over fact, and implying science creates a false worldview. That religious boogyman left my thinking long ago.
So there are gay deer. It’s observable fact, thus a law of nature. I am not wallowing in depression over it, because it’s just a way of life. My worldview allows me to accept and move on, because I have not convinced myself it is destructive to me, or my son, or my day to day in any way. You have, and that is a problem for you and your “flock”.
Different Steve…the Steve you’re referring to rarely comes on anymore.
For what it’s worth, I want to follow the work of scientists who are trained in the empirical sciences and do not allow faith, whether Christian or naturalism, to interfere with the scientific method.
I want to follow theologians who are trained in theology and do not allow humanism and rationalism to interfere with theology.
Some things may be paradoxical, but I can live with that.
I spent my adult life married to a scientist… a man of faith…. those of us who haven’t earned our stripes look a little inadequate defending the discipline… ?
One can hold faith in just about anything, whether they understand it or not…
The Faith of a Christian well taught has more grounding than we’re given credit for… sadly, we do have a recent history of personality based leadership… I believe in the triune God and i believe in Satan also and there is more logic behind that “theory” than the Church is given credit for….
Living among the deer – neighbor counted a herd of 70, driven in by the fire – i have yet to see a gay one, right now none of them are very happy … ?
are there homosexual animals? Could be… Adam and Eve did mess things up back there… that said, don’t confuse an animal’s act of dominance with mating
So Homosexuality is a mess up. 😐 A genetic mistake. Just understand Em, it is belief that makes you think that.
Read those names, and let it break your heart for humanities sake.
Don’t conflate God’s estate of marriage with violence against anyone. That’s a straw man.
Reuben, you want to think that it is a “belief” that makes me think that? I suppose that makes sense.
I said that Adam and Eve messed up, yes. Our back and forth could rabbit trail this examination of the vilification of the traditional Christian teaching on the homosexual condition …. But…
There is a genius in the recorded plan of God that is stunning – He isnt a theory that man has devised that dovetails with the universe, what we understand of the universe. God, the God identified with the Bible, created the universe.
You don’t find the evidence you’d need to affirm that, Reuben and you don’t want to be seen as gullible – ii think you’re missing something and you think i’m deluded, perhaps. ?
I got interrupted, so i have no idea where this thread has progressed to, but Reuben’s and em’s back and forth is done
Better minds and comments continue, ihole
Too much going on here – ihole? I’ve resorted to Hawaiian?
Hope! Make that, i hope! … sigh
This has gone off the rails. Anthropomorsing animals? Animals “murder” too; it’s their natural state. If we’re nothing more than animals, then anything goes, and morality is silly.
I’ll stick to judging those in the church and the world can do what it does.
Jean, there are reasons those names were put there, and the reasons are god’s institution of marriage, and god’s attitude against Homosexuality. Violence was committed in almost animal like actions because they learned that Homosexuality is an abomination before god. Where exactly is the straw in that?
For a Christian to claim that it’s just a genetic mistake is a false argument. They are recipients of violence because they are an abomination. You are left with no biblical choice but to conclude precisely that. So conflating god’s institution of marriage with violence is not only correct, it should be apparent to any studied Christian that there can be no other outcome. Christianity in our culture has evolved out of that mindset in the mainstream, and some portions have given up on it entirely, but world wide, what the Wiki link does not show, religion is far more prone to violence on this very topic than the US has ever seen. Homosexuals are beheaded or thrown off buildings for the same crime of being an abomination.
Let’s be clear, you call this a straw man because religion has trained you to think wrong. You can’t make the connection because you feel you have evolved beyond recognition of evils of your own construct.
Anti-theists like me call that brainwashing.
True Christians believe that (1) all have fallen short of the glory of God and are by nature
enemies of God, and (2) that while we were still enemies, Christ died for all, the righteous for the unrighteous.
True Christians believe that Christ died for all sinners and all sins, that God does desires all people to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.
On the basis of Christ’s universal atonement, no true Christian would countenance illegal violence against any person, or even hatred against homosexuals.
Jesus specifically says to “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
Paul says “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.”
I don’t know where you get your opinion of Christianity, but I pray that your opinion is misinformed. In any case, what I have given you above is biblical truth.
Reuben was a long time pastor in the CC system.
He knows the theology.
Then, I don’t get it. Is he purposely distorting Christian theology or does the CC system have an unbiblical theology on this topic?
Reuben rejects the Christian faith at this point.
However, it is indisputable that just as Christianity at times and places gave an apologetic for slavery, it has also provided one for violence against homosexuals.
This is a current issue in Uganda, where the Christian government was trying to establish the death penalty for it…
Let me also be quick to say that there is no uniform Christian theology…there is much out there I can’t defend.
I listened to the late Adrian Rogers observe that anything a man can talk you into believing there is another man who can talk you out of it…
We’ve had too many salesmen in our pulpits lately …. IMHO
MLD, likes to bring up the work of God the Holy Spirit, i believe
Religion is a poor, if not inaccurate, term to apply to Christianity…. Faith? belief in something not seen? Must be many flavors of faith… Grace? Some who’ll never in this life give assent to a God of grace show great grace in their own character – doesnt begin to equal the grace of a God who is a consuming fire of holy perfection as He works out His plan to redeem and cleanse this universe of evil – the genius of the simple that unbelievers call foolish!
Just sayin… ’till Michael tells me i can’t. ?
As Michael stated, I am not Pastor Steve. I have never been a pastor. I’m an engineer by trade. I enjoy Michael’s blog because it reaches a wide audience including non believers such as yourself.
Jean, I applaud your fervor in this matter, and as a former American Evangelical, and even a former catechized Anglican, I “get” your overall point about what Christians believe, but wish to push back on two points. One, there is no “true Christian”. The denominations have become almost as vast as religions themselves, and non-denominational Christians are put squarely in that scattering as well. Two, you contradicted yourself, and this is a common contradiction, so I almost feel silly for correcting this. You said “all have fallen short of the glory of god”, and this is Biblically correct, but then you said, “Christ died for all, the righteous and the unrighteous”, at least I think that is what you meant to say.
The first verse you quoted says, “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” This verse, among others, states that it is impossible to be right before god. The one bottom line theology Calvin nailed without question is total depravity, one that I do not believe anyone can deny, unless they reject god entirely. “No one is righteous, no, not one.” “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked… I the lord search the heart.” “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of god.”
The reason I feel I need to correct this is because it underscores an impossible to get around understanding of your god. You are impossibly failed, regardless of your standing with god, righteous or not. Your righteousness is as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6), and understanding what that means exactly helps you understand just how powerful that statement is. I will leave that statement to your study. What this led me to believe was that I could never do anything acceptable before god. My sacrifices were a stench in the nostrils of the almighty. I tend to believe I went “above and beyond” as it were, compared to most proclaimed Christians. I served the church with diligence, second guessing every teaching that came from my mouth, seeking god on every word, deepening myself in study to never regret anything I taught, bleeding for those who bled, and even then was considered self motivated, and I was blamed for my fall. Bottom line, anything I did was inherently flawed, and quite unrighteous. There was no hope for me to be what I truly desired to be before god until I was dead. As my favorite author Hitchens says, “That’s when the real fun begins, for you are relegated to an “eternal bliss” of prostrate worshiping to a god who quite obviously was not pleased with the lifetime of slavery before.” There was no way for me to win. From the very moment I was born, I was evil.
Coming back around to the original topic, what this should do is make the Christian understand that whether you are Gay or Black or Brown or feeling your physical gender is not your mental gender, you are all equally worthless. This should place you on all fours with anyone else, but because you have god on your side, you have laid claim to a transcendent truth that condemns even worse anyone else who lays claim to any other god, any other “untrue” denomination, or no god at all. It creates a hierarchy of righteousness that the Christian can not even lay claim to. I believe you understand that to an extent in your overall sentiment. That is wise. Your argument is better than most.
While I don’t really have a problem with how Murphy presented his case, because he really has no choice, what he is wrong about is even speaking against a particular sin that is no lesser or greater than his own sin, which he confessed. It is a paradox that Christianity brings on itself. His better choice would have been to keep his mouth shut, and allow his heart for humanity to grow, regardless of his misinformed standing with any god, but that is the Anti-theist in me speaking.
Thomas Jefferson was on to something, was he not? Theocracy could never be right, at least on this earth. The Danbury Connecticut Baptists needed that wall, and I think modern evangelicals need to learn from this…
What we see in theocracy today is man exacting god’s punishment, and we ask, “Can they do that?” Another paradox of religion.
Steve, my apologies again for mistaking you for another Steve, whom I have wrestled with on these pages even when I was a Christian.
Michael gets my readership for two reasons. One, he is wrestling rightly with his faith, and his conclusions are typically ones that I wish the religious of this world would learn from. Two, his wisdom made me run when I would have destroyed everything by staying. A long story that maybe he and I will tell one day.
I tend to avoid the comments, even reading them, as my blood boils, and I have very little in the way of diplomacy. My diplomacy is typically that of a brick through a window. It was that way when I was a Christian, it is likely more so now. Like Dawkins, my tendency is to beat people with their own stupidity. That post was a polite way of telling Steve the pastor that he is an idiot. The rest still stands.
Just a point of clarification: You quoted me as writing: “Christ died for all, the righteous and the unrighteous”
That was an incorrect quotation. What I actually wrote is this:
“Christ died for all, the righteous for the unrighteous.”
The “for” rather than “and” makes a huge difference in what I said and meant.
Issues of sexuality, whether pre-marital sex, living together, divorce, and homosexuality have not been handled well historically by the church. The church has not always or even often withstood the influences her surrounding culture.
That being said, the Church is called into a life of repentance, and Christ is gracious and cleanses her from all iniquity. And so we get up each morning with God’s Word which will never pass away. It was true yesterday, it is true today and it is true tomorrow.
We can’t atone for the sins of our fathers. Christ provides the atonement; he has finished that! What we can do is believe in him, go forth in peace, and let our lights shine. One thing we’re forbidden from doing is keeping our mouths shut. Salt that has lost its flavor is good for nothing, but to be trampled under foot.
But I will end with the fact that Lutherans emphasize the fact that God speaks to us in two sermons throughout the Bible: The Law and the Gospel. And Christ came to save sinners; to heal the sin-sick. We uphold the Law because we want to be found among the sinners when Christ calls us home.
I don’t think it is loving, kind or helpful to call good what God calls evil, or call evil what God calls good. “Let God be true though every one were a liar”.
You are an excellent conversation partner. Thank you for participating.
My apologies, I considered it a typo, but I do not understand your clarification.
You too are an excellent conversation partner, and I still “get” your premise, but it underscores the paradox. Salt is for preservation, you are to be salt, and what you preserve is the faith. Acts 20:22-24
Just as Paul could make such a profound statement, and to me, it was the most profound statement I had ever heard, he dealt with “the thorn in the flesh” 2 Corinthians 12:7-9
Romans 12, the verse that nobody parsed out well enough for me was the following, “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment.” That, considered heavily with James, who says, “If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.”
Thus the paradox.
“You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone. In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?”
“None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”
Not to argue or even disagree, I would like to expand on something you wrote:
“Salt is for preservation, you are to be salt, and what you preserve is the faith. Acts 20:22-24”
If you look at where in the Sermon on the Mount Jesus speaks about salt (right after Beatitudes 8 and 9 dealing with persecution), I think the idea of “preservation” while perhaps helpful, is not the primary meaning of salt in this context.
The incense burned in the Tabernacle was “seasoned with salt.” Also, the grain offerings and other sacrifices were offered with salt. I believe that what Jesus may be getting at is that a disciple is a living sacrifice, in that he or she shares in Christ’s sufferings for righteousness’ (and Christ’s) sake.
Paul may have drawn inspiration from Matthew when he wrote Romans 12. (Just a thought.)
“Salt is for preservation, you are to be salt, and what you preserve is the faith. Acts 20:22-24”
That is a popular and often helpful application of Jesus’ saying, but I think there is a different interpretation that is more faithful to the context of Jesus’ saying.
The saying about salt and light comes directly after the 8th and 9th Beatitudes which deal with persecution for righteousness’ / Jesus’ sake.
In the Old Testament, salt was added to the incense burned in the Tabernacle and to the sacrifices. I believe the imagery Jesus to evoking is that of sacrifice. Disciples are to be living sacrifices for the sake of the kingdom of God and his righteousness.
The good works of a Christian, being pure of heart, merciful, peacemakers, etc., bring on suffering from the world in the form of persecution, slander and hatred, but bring glory to our Father in heaven. In this way, Christians share in Christ’s sufferings.
I can’t stress enough that Christians are to be exponents of God’s mercy, grace and peace to the brokenhearted.
Sorry for the double post. If Michael wants to delete one of them, please delete the one at 7:51 am. I don’t know what happened to the system on my end.
I don’t necessarily disagree. In the historical context of what salt was used for on the day to day basis, it was to preserve. My hermeneutic was heavily influenced by historical context. I believe Jesus knew this if indeed he spoke such things, as it was a way of life, literally. It was so valued that it became currency.
Many years ago i wrote a novel and one of the characters was a Navy pilot who, receiving a promotion, wrestled with whether or not he wanted to make military service a career… he concluded that he did not because it would mean dealing with too many in positions of authority whose knowledge of the intricacies of running a war machine went as deep as putting on an officer’s uniform and saluting each other correctly….
Among those who post some great and knowledgeable wisdom here, evidence of understanding the weapons of spiritual war, every now and then i read posts that don’t ….?
But who knows? It is, after all a spiritual war
Passive aggressive em … Just sayin’
Em, I don’t do passive aggressive, because it is disingenuous, and I accuse you of that boldly. I am not here to post wisdom. The weapons of your warfare are carnal, just as any war religion wages. I handed you the evidence of what that war looks like in reality based on Homosexuality alone, you can read what weapons are used. The grave error of even trying to claim that we who have cast off gods are equally guilty is fabricated. The tired excuses of Stalin who was a Seminarian, backed by the Russian Orthodox Church, the Czars, the perpetual leverage of god to commit atrocities and crimes against humanity, the weapons were carnal. North Korea, the single most religious State in existence, and it fights for world acknowledgement as we speak, and we hand it to them like puppies returning a tennis ball, in sheer stupidity. Today, religion backs the most amoral administration possibly in the history of this nation, with a theocrat as his right hand, and the weapons of your carnal war are stunningly apparent. The overwhelming resurgence of what the Catholic Church has done to children, unspeakable horrors, the likes of which deserve what you call hell, and that does not begin to scratch the surface of the irreparable damage that church has done, and that is but one church… my heart truly rages against mountains more, and I do so unapologetically. I take the name Anti-Theist because the war that Theism wages against humanity is the bloodiest war that ever was, and ever could be. The lives lost in anguish and torture is incalculable, billions to be sure.
There is no spiritual war. It’s people who hold themselves higher than others because a god stands on their side, they fight reality to replace it with “spirituality”, and do so with pride unparalleled, and have swung with stridence every carnal weapon they can.
You may recall, before I renounced my faith, I was an Anglican, and wrote about it right here. One day, a man brandishing a King James Bible, and pamphlets advertising the local Calvary Chapel came to my door. He asked me if I knew Jesus, and I replied (knowing full well he would not understand what this means), “I am an Anglican.” His reply, “The church of England? Well, I am not talking about that, I am talking about Jesus.” My door slammed with rage for the sheer stupidity, and we purchased a “No Solicitors” sign for the door.
The point of my little story? You even wage wars amongst yourselves, stupid midivil quarrels over the greek root meaning of this word spiraling into ten denominations who condemn the others, and why Saturday is the only day to worship (they congregate one block away from my home), and why we tithe more than 10% (Calvary Chapel, 2 minutes away), and why this church is better (the Catholics 3 minutes away), and why god is here and not there but he is here (Crossroads, the Rock and Roll church 3 minutes away), and why the old ways are true, and the new ways are heresy (the Lutherans, 5 minutes away)… the further I walk away, the more silly it seems. I have to laugh to keep from crying about the disgusting war religion wages right here in my redneck oilfield town far far east of any town that has a Unitarian Church. People here care more about their pickup trucks than their family, and Jesus died so we can wage war against terrorists, and that is reality in the minds that populate this town. This town? One of tens of thousands that fight the same way. Mothers lined up with kids at the elementary school divided by what church they attend, snickering at each other while they take selfies posing as a duck. The divisiveness alone is palpable everywhere I go. I could go on for hours…
I get more from Dialectic Behavioral Therapy and a singing bowl in my hand swirling the wooden stick around the rim than I do from pre, mid, or post tribulation, and the filthy teaching that I was created sick, and commanded with the threat of eternal punishment to be well.
You may also recall, I was a sub-pastor in Charlottesville Virginia where riots broke out on the very streets I prayed with people on my knees. First Baptist right across the street from First Baptist. The difference? One was all white people, and one was all black. Spiritual war my tushie. Race is even still a carnal weapon. I have seen it all, I took part in it much to my shame.
A spiritual war? No, Em, it is most certainly not a spiritual war. It is carnal to the depths of carnality.
Your description of the ills of many expressions of the visible church will get no argument from me. However, those are not defects of Christ or his Word. Those are defects in mankind.
I don’t think you would find mankind any more peaceable or enlightened if you could somehow erase Christianity from the world. I think life would be more chaotic and evil.
Reuben, has a pretty good handle on carnality – he describes it well, with brutal honesty…
i do not hold it against him at all that he is clueless regarding regarding what defines spiritual warfare…
Altho, i bet he sees merit in the scientific theory that there is a multi dimensional reality…. out there….or in here….somewhere… ? … ?
That is where I part ways with Christian apologists. I absolutely do not believe that if you removed Christ from the world, it would spiral into chaos. I want to be clear in this, and this comes from a wasted lifetime of study of what you call god’s word. Religion caused the chaos. Religion caused the evils. It is the single most destructive force humanity has ever faced. God simply wipes out entire nations and cultures, and do you honestly believe the common Christian has not learned from this? It is heralded as the acts of a righteous god, and praised as infallible love. He then makes amends through killing himself, and offers eternal life in exchange for your very being, wholly exchanged for that of another. You are to die, that he may live. The alternative is you do not accept, and you will be tortured for eternity.
The very proposition is evil. And this is only Christianity.
I do have the ability to separate the person from the religion, and I mention that, because it is ALWAYS where the conversations tend to go. “I do not relate to terrorism…” or “I don’t believe god hates fags…”
A very dear and precious friend of mine is a Muslim Woman. I don’t have many friends in the true sense of the word. She aided me and my wife through alcoholism, and literally saved my life by sending me to a hospital when I quit drinking abruptly, causing life threatening illness. That same day, pumped full of Librium to counteract the loss of drinking upwards of a liter of Jack Danials a day for years, sometimes two, another very dear Atheist friend drove my wrecked body to detox to save me the ambulance ride cost, and checked me in because I was so incoherent, I could not spell my name, let alone write from uncontrollable shakes. I spent a month and a half recovering from that day I chose to quit, in rehabilitation, learning why I started to drink, and what my core problem was. That core problem was the christian god that I had given my life to. I had been through Vineyard and destroyed by James Ryle, and then recovered in Calvary Chapel only to be destroyed by Chad Myhre. I had seen things as a pastor that nobody should ever see, things that far surpassed anything I had seen “heathens” do to each other. I had been ruined by fellow pastors, and I lost an identity that was my only identity since I was a child, to become a pastor just like my father. I loved people so much that it overwhelmed me, and I taught them to hate themselves as the stench before god that they were. I was overwhelmed with grief for them, for my wasted 12 years preaching god’s word, and I drank to forget for 7 years. Even still as a Christian after I gave up the title of pastor sitting in the back seats of imploding churches, I drank to hold back the horrors I had seen, and was seeing through the collapse of another two churches over stupid “in house” arguments, a failed Anglican Church, and a Failed Acts 29 plant, and I eventually had to give up on god because of what he had done to people, and what he made them do to others. I eventually had to hate him. I began to hate myself worse than ever. I drank and drank and drank more. I eventually became known for my penchant for straight whiskey, and it was perpetually within arms reach.
When Michael says I know the theology, he means it. He graciously expanded my theology from the stupidity that Calvary Chapel manufactured to people like Calvin, and Grudem, and Packer (I still love that man to this day, regardless of his theology, he truly loves people) and the dry as a bone Barth, and I gobbled it up, trying to know god as best as I possibly could to make god known to people I would die for. Michael spent his own money to send me books and I read them till I fell asleep every day. I listened to every teaching available from Packer as if it was sustenance for life. I dove deeply into church history as my theology began to crumble, and people here who have read for a long time saw that journey. My spiral was because of what my god had done to mankind, and what he had done to me.
It has been 5 months since I have touched alcohol. The reality of my life and my beliefs have gained more clarity every day, and if it were not for modern medicine and helpful Psychologists, I would be suicidal right now with the overwhelming knowledge I have. The bottle of Jack Daniels is literally a 4 minute drive away, and it could erase all the horrors for a while… but I am trying to face those horrors head on, so that I can repair and live without wishing death to myself, for the sake of my wife of 21 years, and my precious 10 year old son, and the other people who I love, most will never speak to me again, because they are on your side, and I am to be shaken off like dust from sandals. I lost literally thousands of friends, a devastation I still can’t deal with. God did that, not me.
Recently, people who I taught years ago, they have contacted me here and there. They have left the faith, and spent years trying to reprogram. I found new purpose in those contacts, to help people rehabilitate, as weak as I am, because I still love those people more than I can express. Whatever I can do to bleed with them, I will. I don’t know why they chose to contact me, but they all thanked me for the only thing I did right as a pastor, which was to love them to pieces no matter what struggles they had in life. Very recently, another contacted me, we invited her to our home, and hid the cleaning supplies in the cellar to prevent her from working while she was there. We wanted her to just enjoy some time off. She begged to let us let her clean the house, and we did not let her. She seemed very upset at the time, but almost a decade later, she thanked me for not letting her clean. Imagine that. She is married now, and living far away from the most caustic church I have ever had the misfortune of serving in. The church almost took her life, and she was a pastor’s daughter.
My sister recently told me, “I must agree that my friends who don’t associate with any religion are often the most grounded, kind and giving people I know! Funny how that works out.” She has seen it all to, if even vicariously through me, and she is my blood, and she is bisexual, and she singlehandedly changed my hatred god gave me for Gays. It forced me to reevaluate the concept of loving the sinner and hating the sin. No, I had to love her period. I could not bring myself to do anything else. And I did. It was my first major rebellion against god.
Without religion, humanity is a beautiful evolved variety of talents and loves and cultures and individual/collective knowledges that build us into what god called Babel, and he destroyed that too by forcing humanity to go their own ways, and then destroyed the cultures he himself created by forcing them to go their own ways. This is unparalleled Narcissism. If your god is real, he can send me to hell, because I will never betray the beauty that humanity holds. Never.
Islam stopped the most profound advancements in science and mathematics that ever took place, dead in it’s tracks. It wasted billions of lives by forcing people to pursue spirituality over reality. It ground entire nations to nothingness, and resulted in their own crusades that slaughtered untold numbers more. How does this not create chaos and evil? God did this, not humanity.
“Gid is Not Great, How Religion Poisons Everything” – Christopher Hitchens
I have come to understand that when he says “Everything”, he is more right now than he was then. It is grinding humanity to hopeless nothingness. Religion is pure evil.
Em, you are just talking trash now.
Reuben, i can trash talk? ? thank you….
Read your 2:25 – very similar to an R.C. Priest i recall, but he just stayed medicated and in the priesthood….
It is good you found a way out… Beat up on religion all you want, not much to admire there… although i have known some wonderful LDS who were very religious, come to think of it… I’ve known some who’d best be described as hooligans, tho
It sure sounds to me as if you’re good at insights into human nature….
Jesus did also, but i think he had a better handle on God than you do…. From what people back there wrote, that is… but, then maybe, those disciples just made the whole thing up?
I’m not making light of your journey, you love people and you hate religious pretense and delusion? That’s a good thing… and you’ve come to terms with that. Another good thing. IMO
But there is more…. ?
Em, back to an earlier snide assumption you made of me, I follow closely the scientists directly involved in CERN’s ongoing work with the Large Hadron Collider, both theorists and actual testers at all four test sites, and also follow Lawrence Krauss of ASU fame on the subject as well. It’s all just theory since the discovery of the Higgs Boson, as it was before since Hawking’s dabble on the subject, and I will side with what observations point to. I don’t believe there is a reason for a layman like me on the subject of particle physics to go any crazier than that. Why do you assume I believe in multiple dimensions?
Reuben, i didn’t say that you believe in multiple dimensions… Science has so theorized, and thus i did assume that you would see merit in the theory…
I should know better than to assume, but then… I am not a scientist. ?. Nor do i want to be, but they have their place in God’s design…
One thing should be clarified, tho, Reuben. I am never snide…
Sometimes our brains victimize us with their unrecognized filter systems, tho… Both in the give and in the take, i suppose
Let me repeat to you what you did not say to me, and then I am going to ask you the question again.
“Altho, i bet he sees merit in the scientific theory that there is a multi dimensional reality…. out there….or in here….somewhere… ? … ?”
Annoying to be addressed in the third person.. I apologize for that, Reuben…
Why ? Why what? … You’ve come to trust the scientists’ approach to figuring out the universe, no? So i assume the exploration of the theory of many dimensions would have merit in your view also…
BTW – you do know that i have no quarrel with science … we seem to disagree as to its invalidation of the God of the Bible… both views require a kind of faith on our part, neither of of us will prove our views… So?
So why are we having a prolonged back and forth here. ?
I agree with Reuben though I think he does not take it back far enough
6 That men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun
That there is no one besides Me.
I am the LORD, and there is no other,
7 The One forming light and creating darkness,
Causing well-being and creating calamity;
I am the LORD who does all these.
I don’t know where you sit Reuben, but I respect your disdain for religion (and I assume God?). You know the bible says that God invites your ire, and yada yada yada, things you’ve heard before.
I don’t know where that leaves you, though. It’s like Rorschach vs Dr. Manhattan, except there is no trick that circumvents his plans as the graphic novel illustrated with Ozy.
Are you agnostic or atheist or just tired of it all?
Hello, and thanks for asking. It is an answer that I have had to give to people to help them understand my position, thus setting me apart from what is commonly known as Atheist or Agnostic.
The reason that I took the title “Anti-Theist” was two fold. First, an Atheist simply is someone who does not believe there is a god. They can believe this for numerous reasons, the most common being: “There is no evidence that there is a god.” I do not fall into that camp at all. An Anti-Theist is someone who is actively against gods and religions. I have heard enough debate about if god exists or not to pop my head. I don’t believe god can be proved or disproved. It’s just not possible. I believe that god exists in the minds of billions, and there are hundreds, maybe thousands of gods, and they all have authority in humanities existence to some extent or another. To the simplest and most uneducated of humanity, there is no explanation for rain that makes the crops grow, thus the god of rain, and they believe that if they call to that god, maybe it will rain, and the crops will yield enough to survive. I do not believe there is a rain cloud god, but they sure as hell do, and that essentially makes that god very real. It shapes how they live, what they do, where they go. This is what I am fundamentally against, the notion that any god has any control of any human.
Second, I can not call myself an Agnostic. Like I said, I have no doubt that gods exist in the minds of billions of people, so there is no sense in wasting time wondering if there is a god. It is simply reality for billions of people.
An Ant-Theist is defined as one opposed to Theism, which I am, specifically the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim god/religion. I absolutely believe this god is evil. I absolutely believe humanity would be better off without this psychotic tyrannical genocidal infanticidal narcissistic sociopath. I reject the gospel ENTIRELY. I reject the “saving grace” of the man called Jesus, and I offer him my life in hell instead in exchange for my protest to his filthy accusation that we are created sick and commanded to be well. I 100% believe that religion is destructive and abusive to humanity in ways that can not even be measured. I say this after 12 years serving as a pastor, and a lifetime of being a Christian, born and raised by a pastor as well.
I do not believe religion or gods will go away. I believe people will only become more embedded in the gods that explain the unknown regardless of science and discovery. The religious will dig in the heels, as Em has displayed right here, claiming my “faith” in science is in fact faith. What religion defines as faith and what I define as faith, along with countless heathens, are two vastly different things. I have faith that science will continue to explore, and test, and find answers. I do not have faith that is blind. My faith is built on track record. The religious faith is defined by not seeing, and yet believing. “Blessed are those who have not seen, and believe…” is one of the aspirations that religion creates in humanity that is horrifically destructive.
On another thread right now, Michael is exposing a reality in the Calvary Chapel system that shaped how lies and “sins” were forcibly covered up so that nobody would see the “fallibility” of the anointed and ordained. The damage from this is incomprehensible to a guy like me, who is perpetually looking to what religion has done to ruin people, to reshape rationality into some denial in spirituality justified by an ever loving god who would hide one’s sins, and finish another for the same sins. David is the example I always used, a man after god’s own heart, was he not? This speaks volumes. It shapes how the religious think, and it justifies things in the name of a god that should not be justified. This is evil. Calvary Chapel became a magnet for narcissistic men to plant churches because of the disgusting Moses Model the dear leader Chuck implemented, along with the notion that any lay person could possibly touch god’s anointed. I lived through this mentality, and saw it literally kill people. I followed one case locally where a pastor repeatedly raped a 16 year old girl, and she tried to go public in her 20s, and eventually committed suicide from the public humiliation, and her case is not unique. This wasn’t even Calvary Chapel, but a lousy well embedded in the community and rich Vineyard spinoff. The pastor could not possibly be in any wrong, and it ended her life. There are words I have for god creating the ability for people to do these unspeakable things, and I can not write them here out of respect for the blog owner.
To put it plainly, the time finally came in my life when I told god, real or not, he can send me to hell, I will not abandon humanity, and my last gesture to god was my middle finger. There were no lightning strikes, no fire from the sky, just silence, as I watch god continue to destroy humanity.
Reuben, i hope those of us who affirm this God of the Bible will read your summation at 4:29 and grieve because you expose a truth we avoid, those corrupted players in the church communities.
Your judgement of God, Himself tells me that, like so many who do believe in Him, you never really grasped His attribute of holiness….
And science? Lift the rug and you will find more corruption, abuse of innocents and crackpot schemes in their house than has snuck into the Judeo -Christian history – but then science makes no claim to any nebulous virtue – only tangible results count as virtue ?
One could do much worse, many do, than follow the conclusions you’ve come to, but……
I think my grandmother would say that you’ve planted your feet on a very shaky earth in hopes that man will endure and his incredible ( it is! ) mind will get us thru…
dunno, tho, do i? ?
How is it shaky?
Em, people come to Jesus because they feel they are wrong to such degrees that they need a religion to save them from themselves. Religion has so permeated the cultures we live in that we have no other choice. Liberation from such silly beliefs does the same thing it did to me. I understood that I am responsible for myself, and ultimately responsible for those around me, and to humanity in general. This opens my mind to what I must do to preserve humanity for humanities sake. That is not shaky, that is healthy.
Reuben, you left out a couple modifiers in your declaration. ?
SOME people MAY come….. wasn’t what got to me, tho…. I didn’t like God – the world was a mess and populated by some very mean people…. “No good god would allow …. yada, yada, yada…”
Then John 3 :16 got thru to me and it’s proven true – line upon line over time – the plan and the players make amazing sense to me…..
If one chooses to declare that there is no God, this examination is a time waste…..however if one says that they don’t know if there is a mind of some sort in control at some level – somewhere – might be, but “i don’t ‘know”…. shaky ground IMO
Is it easier to believe there is a god of some sort? For most of us, the answer is ‘yes’ and i’d add that it is logical, too
Do some believe blindly and mindlessly? Could be…. seems to me that there is an epidemic of mindless belief in a lot of things – some very delusional
Preserving humanity for humanity’s sake…. ah, you can try and then, as a Believer, i’d have to add that you can, at the end of your span, explain to your creator that you worked to save humanity for humanity’s sake… I think He’ll tell you that was His job….
That said, there’s nothing wrong with working for the welfare of us mortals while we’re here…. wasn’t. that what that Samaritan did? What Jesus did for folk during his time as a mortal – before that climactic atoning crucifixion?
Ruben, I came across this article years later so I’m late to the party. However if I may in one of your comments you put it in a ‘matter of fact’ way that homosexuality is a law of nature , allow me to challenge this idea a bit, the same science that you rely on will prove that semen released will naturally and always seek out a female egg regardless if the semen was released in a male or female. what do we learn here? that it is actually unnatural for this to happen thus it is an ‘unnatural law’ not a natural law.