Coffee, Theology and Jesus

working out our messy faith over coffee

Tag: Conservative

Way to Drop the Ball, Phil

*Sigh*

That’s what I thought when I first heard about the “controversy” surrounding Phil Robertson. Also, for the sake of length I’m not going to explain what happened. Besides, every news outlet has covered it, you can read part of the interview he gave with GQ magazine almost anywhere.

Anyway, I can’t say I was exactly surprised when Christians all over the place went crazy hearing that Phil got suspended over the comments. I was however pretty disappointed with the way Christians decided to express their view (and outrage) over the suspension. There are a fewdifferent themes interwoven into this situation so I’m going to list them out and address them head on. Hopefully I can shed some light on this issue and why I’m pretty fed up with my own people who claim to follow a God who extends grace to all, but yet only show grace to their own.

1. The Free Speech Issue

Let’s nip this one in the bud fast. A&E suspending Phil is not a free speech infringement.

Viewing this from a strict viewpoint of rights and free speech, any employer should have the right to fire people for the language they use if they deem it inappropriate. We’ve had to let people go at my dad’s company because of the words they used, does this mean we were infringing on free speech? Of course not! People can say almost anything they want without the government infringing. This does not mean that there are no consequences for the words you use. If someone lumps bestiality, homosexuality, and fornication into one sentence then there might be some kickback.

2. The Political Issue

I’m not surprised that of course party lines were drawn when this happened. It’s really a shame that someone’s view is so heavily linked to the assumption of their political leaning. I’m not surprised that conservatives all of the sudden came out in support of Phil’s free speech to say whatever he wants (they are not surprisingly silent on this issue when something is being said that they don’t agree with however), and I’m not surprised that liberals are all of the sudden insisting that someone being fired for their beliefs is not infringing on their free speech. Yet I bet if Phil was a homosexual, expressed his view for equality and got fired for that, there’d be an uproar from the liberal side. It’s frustrating to see that beliefs are not consistent, they are so often just driven by political leanings.

3. The Jesus Issue

This is what matters to me. I don’t care about free speech, political leanings, company profits nearly as much as I care about how Jesus handles himself and how as people who claim to follow Him we are called to be LIKE Him. We are called to be followers of Jesus ONLY.

I’m not approaching this issue from a political viewpoint. I don’t care about the conservative view point or liberal viewpoint nearly as much as I care about the view that Jesus has of people. I don’t care if it’s a double standard, just because someone else isn’t playing fair doesn’t mean that we who claim to follow the God of the universe start cheating too. The rules don’t change simply because other people (who don’t claim what we claim) don’t follow the “rules”. I don’t care how hypocritical, judgmental, or hateful other people are. It does not change who we as followers of Christ are called to be. Just read about the guy called Jesus who died on a cross after being tried unjustly and unfairly (what a double standard right?)

Here’s the bottom line; I don’t care if it’s a double standard, I don’t care if it’s not fair. As followers of Jesus we are called to speak kindly and with love to people. There are ways to express your convictions, to express the heart of God without compromising your beliefs and without marginalizing someone. A great example of that would be Jesus with the woman at the well. He didn’t come out and lump her sin in with bestiality, he didn’t tell her that sin “just ain’t logical” or anything like that. He met her where she was at, offered her FIRST living water and then told her to go and sin no more. Jesus doesn’t avoid sin, he overwhelms it with love and grace and she turns from it and lives forever changed because of Jesus.

I’m tired and exhausted from apparent “christians” who have no problem watching movies that involve premarital sex, who are silent on divorce in the church, who are silent on pornography, who are silent on the ridiculous amount of consumeristic tendencies our culture thrives on, who have no problem listening to music with sexual suggestive themes or watching music videos full of hypersexualization, who have no problem having a little too much to drink every now and then but then have the audacity to make sure we know the “truth”on homosexuality! In their minds they say “we MUST make sure people KNOW that WE believe homosexuality is SIN! is SIN!”

It gets old quick.

People all over the place need redeeming grace that Jesus offers them, we are the vessels with which Jesus shows it.

Why did Phil drop the ball? Because he had a chance to clearly articulate God’s heart for people. Instead He told the interviewer how a woman’s vagina has “more to offer” than a man’s anus (gee, thanks for the heads up bro), and that sin “just ain’t logical”. Way to drop the ball Phil, truly you showed Jesus to a a world desperate for answers.

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-TW

The Political Lie Christians Eat Up, and Love to Eat Up.

Few disclaimers.

1. My beliefs in the risen Christ far surpass my allegiance to some political party.

3.  If you’re a hard headed conservative or liberal then you’ll most likely be offended.  I make no apologies for that.

4. If it’s long winded….oh well

This topic has been on my mind for probably the past year or so.  It’s an election year, politics are a hot button issue, and I know these are turbulent, difficult times in our country (as well as the rest of the world).  But there’s an epidemic that has eaten it’s way in to the Christian movement.  It’s an epidemic of making political enemies, coming against other people in the name of values, morality, and “christianity” and it needs to stop.

I am blown away, absolutely blown away that people who claim to be Christians, followers of Jesus, are so easily sucked in to the political rhetoric vacuum.  I see “christians” posting pictures putting down our president.  I hear “christians” saying that we need to go to war over seas.  I hear many “christians” say things regarding political ideologies that make me say “How would Christ EVER support that?”

It’s frustrating because I read some of the most basic commandements Christ taught us.  Loving our enemies, praying for those who persecute you, turning the other cheek, being keepers of the peace, etc etc.  Then I see people bashing our president, supporting wars that kill hundreds of people, and I hear people who make an effort to avoid R rated movies, talk about politicians like they aren’t even human.   It frustrates me so much that we allow ourselves who claim to be followers of Jesus, the person who died for the sins of humanity, to be so rude, so demeaning, and so spiteful to other people.

Christ tells us to pray for those who persecute us. The “persecution” (if you can call it that) we suffer here in the states is absolutely nothing.  It’s petty little pieces of trash compared to history and other parts of the world today.  Yet I wonder how many evangelicals are praying for our president right now? I wonder how many christians have hearts of love for our president and other politicians.  Because I’ll tell you what, I don’t see any of it and I get so discouraged because we love to fight, and we hate to love.  We hate to be humble, we hate to admit that sometimes we aren’t always right.

Christianity has been hijacked by political garbage.  it’s taken us away from our first love, from Christ.  Politics have taken us away from our purpose, which is to be agents of love to a broken, dying world.  Agents that are ushering the kingdom of God, not the kingdom of conservatism, and not the kingdom of liberalism.

It’s not going to stop until people start laying down verbal weapons and start coming to the table open and honest.  I have many, many friends that have many different ideologies, yet we are able to find common ground. Why? because I’m not trying to put them down, and they aren’t trying to put me down.  We do our best to understand the viewpoints we have of different issues then come together to find the best solution.  Sometimes, my view is wrong and needs to change.  Other times their view is wrong and they change.  It’s a give and take conversation.  This is the calling of Christians.  We are called to be unifiers not dividers.  And if the other “side” is dividing people, then rise above it and make every effort to unify people.

We have a very warped sense of morality in our Christian circles.  We put a huge emphasis on not saying bad words, we put a huge emphasis on not drinking, smoking, or watching really bad movies.  But the emphasis on loving all people? On praying for people we disagree with? On making every effort to be unifiers, peace keepers, and people who introduce people to Jesus?  Well thats’ all on the back burner.  When it comes to politics those things are not even on the back burner, they are not even in the kitchen! They are nowhere in sight.  Because when it comes to politics, so many Christians put their faith on the back burner and put rhetoric and talking points in the forefront.  I truly believe the heart of God breaks watching His children participate in the verbal food fight that runs our country instead of rising above it and unifying people together.
Here’s the bottom line.  We need to realize what our calling is as followers of Christ.  It is NOT to be conservative, liberal, or whatever other political affiliation we have.  It’s not wrong to hold views that tend to fall in those categories, it’s wrong when those views take the drivers seat in our ideologies and beliefs.  Our allegiance as Christ followers is to the Kingdom of God period! Our allegiance does not lie with a particular nation, it lies with the Kingdom that Christ says “is not of this world”.  We need to set our minds to the ideologies of Christ.

When we get to heaven God isn’t going to ask us if we were conservative or liberal.  He’s going to ask us did we love God, and did we love people.  Did we do the will of the Father or were we too wrapped up in some political jargon to notice what the will of the Father even was?

-TW

P.S everything I said regarding being keepers of the peace, loving our enemies, praying for those who persecute us etc.  Can all be found in the sermon on the Mount from the guy that you most likely claim to follow.  Don’t tell me you’re a follower of Christ and then ignore some of his most direct teachings.  I’m not saying any of us execute these teachings perfectly, but to completely ignore them isn’t following Christ. It’s making up your own religion and choosing the nice convient teachings and ignoring the ones that make you uncomfortable