“Weaponized Christianity” (with MRFF response)

Yes Mikey we have a weaponized Christianity but not like the one you have be promulgating for so long. Our weaponized Christianity is even stronger than you have talked about, see 2 Corinthians 10:3-5: For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
This is how evangelical Christians will defeat your organization, we will pray and we will demolish the spiritual stronghold of MRFF and every argument and pretension you speak against the knowledge of God. In some of you YouTube videos you said that this is a war, well you have got it, but we are armed with greater weapons and more power than you can imagine.
I was just thinking maybe evangelical Christians should do what the Israelites did at Jericho, we can march around every Planned Parenthood office or abortion clinic 7 times and then blow the shofar and by God’s power watch those buildings implode to the ground under the power of God.
Maybe we can even march around the Pentagon for 7 days and then blow the shofar on the seventh day and watch that military stronghold spiritually crumble to the power of God and we re-claim it for God.
Obama can legislate against Christians not to share their faith or you as well, but the one thing you or our government can never stop us from doing is praying which is God’s way of getting things done His way.
Blessings,
(name withheld)

Response from MRFF stalwart and USAF Vet Mike Challman
Good Day –
Took me a bit longer than expected, but I want to respond to another of your many emails to the MRFF.  Because of the volume and frequency of your notes to us, it’s not possible to respond to every note you send…  and frankly, a good bit of what you send is undeserving of a response. But I will continue to address the items that I think are most pertinent to the mission and focus of the MRFF.
This particular note is an interesting one, as you seem to revel in the notion of “weaponized Christianity.” As a Christian myself and a military veteran, I am discomfited by the notion of weaponized religion of any variety, be it ISIS, fundamentalist Christianity, or any other overly zealous group. But I think (or at least hope) you would understand that the sort of warfare to which St Paul refers in his letter to the Corinthians is spiritual warfare, not physical warfare.  The problem, as I see it, is that there are some Christians who seem unable or unwilling to make that important distinction — that is how we end up with gross missteps like engraving sectarian religious messages on rifle scopes. People may be well-meaning in their zeal to proselytize, but they do a grave disservice to our brave soldiers, sailors and airmen when they allow our enemies the opportunity to claim that we are fighting a religious war.
As for the notion of “reclaiming” the Pentagon for God, I sincerely hope that you are not advocating for the physical destruction of that building — seems that you may be, though, and that is scary. Never mind the fact that the US military didn’t belong to God in the first place — the fact that you’d find any comfort in the notion that He might destroy the Pentagon is, in a word, nuts.
So you should certainly pray to your heart’s content that God’s will may be done in your own life and in the lives of others. I will do the same. But let’s also agree that actions and language that “weaponize” Christianity in a military sense are always inappropriate and dangerous… and let’s pray that the sort of physical destruction you seem to wish upon the Pentagon will never, ever happen.
Peace,
Mike

 

No, (name withheld), I won’t sign this pledge.

America is a pluralistic society comprised of honorable people of many beliefs and guided by civil laws and structures that are not explicitly derived from religious sectarianism. As I’m sure you know, the landscape of sincere religious beliefs among Americans is diverse on many topics, including same-sex marriage.  The nature of the objections to same-sex civil marriage represented by the Todd Starnes survey represent just one particular religious perspective.  Like it or not, we do not live in a theocracy where one sectarian religious group can shape all civil law.
Nothing that the Supreme Court may decide that will force any sectarian group to change its religious doctrine on marriage. I’ve heard a Catholic pastor claim that the advent of same-sex civil marriage will result in him being ‘forced’ to perform same-sex marriages in the church. This is a ridiculous argument that ignores the fact that TODAY, the church can turn away couples who do not meet requirements for marriage within the church, even if they are otherwise eligible to get married under civil law. I am certain that any opposite-sex, non-Christian couple who asked to be married in your church today would be turned away. That measure of religious freedom for churches will not change.
Life in a diverse, multicultural democratic republic such as ours can feel messy or uncomfortable when we are asked to ensure equal civil rights to individuals or groups with whom we differ in the religious arena. But ensure those rights and freedoms we must, or our own rights and freedoms may one day be at risk.
Peace, Mike

Hi Mike,

I think this article and presupposition is so strange because how can a Jewish rabbinate “brainwash” fellow Jewish soldiers on the Jewish faith???  Granted, there a small number of non Jewish soldiers in the IDF such as Druze Arab Muslim, Arab Christian and Messianic Jewish soldiers in the IDF. How can a Jewish rabbi brainwash mostly other Jews on the Jewish aspects of Jewish nationalism or faith in Israel a Jewish country???

(name withheld)


 

Dear (name withheld),

To answer your question about how it is that a Rabbi could possibly proselytize other Jews….. well now, I’d say that is just as crazy as thinking that some Christians might believe that other Christians are not “real, true Christians”… you know, sort of like the way a Christian of your ilk will falsely judge a Christian like me.

Know what I mean?

Peace,

Mike


Mike, interesting that you call me a Christian of my ilk, hmm, sounds sarcastic to me. However, scripturally speaking, a “true” Christian is one who has had a born again experience where they confess their sins, repent of them and ask Christ to come into their lives to be their Lord and Savior.

 

There are many people in churches today who think they are Christians but on judgement day, Christ will say to those depart from Me for I never knew you.

 

You will not like what I will say but I believe that the majority of Catholics are not born again believers and are practicing idolatry when they revere Mary over Christ or kiss a statue of Mary in reverence to her.

 

You will probably be glad to know that I will be spending less time dealing with MRFF as I see this as Satan drawing me away from what God has called me to do which is to be a watchmen for the house for Israel and to spend my time defending Israel’s right to exist and exposing the sin of replacement theology and to educate the church on why we should defend and support Israel. I will let Liberty Institute do battle with MRFF for they will do a much better job than I can with the unconstitutionality of the separation of church and state, but I do pray that God will tear down that all together and maybe even Christians will blow shofar as a prophetic statement that the wall will come down like the walls of Jericho.

 (name withheld)


 

The fundamental difference between you and me on this point, (name withheld), is that I do not presume to know how our Lord will judge anyone when they stand before Him.

Peace, Mike

Dear Mike,

You often bring up the thing about a pluralistic society, yet that does not make it right when you compare it to the Word of God, when the Word is the standard for all humans to live by and by which God will judge every society by. I know this is an unlikable stance but gays do not deserve any civil, moral or biblical rights to be married period!! They do not deserve any certain civil rights as compared to someone who is black. Black civil rights are not the new gay rights.
When scripture explicitly calls homosexuality an abomination and sin in Lev. 18, Romans 1 and 1 Cor. 6, and when you look at the Genesis account of creation, God from the very beginning ordained that marriage should be between one man and one woman, not two men or two women.
The redefining of marriage only opens a pandoras box of further sin and degradation in our society, because what is the next thing, the marriage between 3 men or 3 women, or someone will want to marry their dog, their is already a case where a father and daughter want to get married.
If you are a Christian as you say you are Mike, then you must be against all form of sin in our society today, and if a baker can be sued and have to pay $135,000 for refusing to bake a cake for a gay couple, the next step can very well be a pastor could be sued for refusing to marry a gay couple, thus this is why I signed the pledge to promote civil disobedience for in Acts Paul said that sometime we must obey God rather than man.
Blessings,
(name withheld)

Dear (name withheld),
You know why I keep bringing up “that thing about a pluralistic society”?  Because it is about the only thing that actually matters when the topic is civil liberties and Constitutional protections for ALL American citizens of ALL religious beliefs (including non-belief).
If we, as a nation, follow the line of reasoning that you are proposing, then the ONLY citizens who will be entitled to the full protection of the Constitution will be those who believe what you believe… in other words, a small subset of Christians.  Individuals who are not Christian will not be entitled to protection.  Professed Christians who are not the ‘right kind’ of Christian will not be entitled to protection.
The point that you so clearly miss is that, from a Constitutional perspective, NO ONE gets to say, “But what I believe is the Truth and so it trumps anything that anyone else may believe.”
That is the “thing about a pluralistic society” such as ours — you don’t have to agree that anyone else’s beliefs are right and true, but you do have to respect their right to hold them without interference and without being relegated to second-class citizenship.
As well, being “against all form of sin” is not at all the same thing as advocating, as you do, the use of civil legal means to proscribe what you consider to be sinful behavior.  Because again, what one American has on his list of “sinful behavior” will not always be the same as the next guy’s list, and neither individual gets to force his list into the canon of civil law and Constitutional protections.  That is not why we have such laws and protections — rather, they exist to ensure an orderly and just society, not to give anyone an extra boost toward heaven.
I do have to address one other ridiculous statement that you’ve made…..
You said —  “The redefining of marriage only opens a pandoras box of further sin and degradation in our society, because what is the next thing, the marriage between 3 men or 3 women, or someone will want to marry their dog, their is already a case where a father and daughter want to get married.”
I say — Utter nonsense. By your tortured logic, defining marriage as between a man and a woman “only opens a pandoras box” that leads to pluralistic marriage between a man and multiple women.  But of course, no one who supports opposite-sex marriage is advocating for that, just as no supporters or same-sex marriage are using it as cover to marry their dog.  To even suggest such a thing only shows you to be very ignorant of the real issues being discussed.
The most precise description of the two positions on marriage is this —
—– Opposite-sex marriage supporters say marriage is between two adults, of sound mind and capable of consent, of opposite genders.
—– Same-sex marriage supporters say marriage is between two adults, of sound mind and capable of consent, of either opposite or same genders.
See that? In BOTH cases, it’s about two adult people with the capacity to enter into a marriage agreement… no dogs, no groups, no other nonsense you may spout.  The only difference between the two couples is that, according to the religious beliefs of some, one couple s “sinners”.  But not all Americans share that sectarian religious belief, nor should it be enshrined in our civil laws.
So yes, there are many who would say that you take an “unlikable stance”… and you have every right to those belief.  You just don’t have any right to force that belief on every other American.
Peace,
Mike

Mike,

 

Good point and yes need to do due diligence in research. Can you answer me this, why is that Christians who hold to a biblical morality on gay marriage or abortion, why is it that according to liberals, and Mikey is good at this to that all of a sudden we are called bigots and intolerant but those in the LGBT community has a double standard and they are not tolerant towards Christians.

 

Also, Mike do you believe that the bible is inerrant and infallible Word of God?

 (name withheld)


(name withheld) – In my view, the difference is that the ‘typical’ liberal seems primarily interested in equal protection under the law. The ‘typical’ conservative seems more interested in either punishing those who they view as ‘sinners’;  or using the law to deny equal protection;  or using laws in order advance their particular sectarian religious beliefs.

Yes, I do believe that the Bible is the inerrant and infallible (although not literal) word of God. Note the lower-case ‘w’. I believe the Word (capital ‘W’), or Logos, is Jesus Christ.
Peace,
Mike

Mike,

 

When you redefine marriage other than that which scripture defines it as, as solely between  a man and a woman, then marriage no longer means anything to paraphrase Dr. Michael L Brown. When you say above that from a “constitutional perspective, NO ONE gets to say what I believe is the Truth and so it trumps anything that anyone else may believe.” I believe that marriage goes beyond just a constitutional perspective when the Word of God lays out very clearly what biblical marriage is and no where will you find in scripture that homosexual marriage is approved of by God. To excuse homosexual sin and marriage just because the laws of the land say it is okay, makes you guilty of agreeing with it! Just because the constitution has made abortion legal in Roe v Wade, which was based upon a lie in the first place, does not mean it is okay with God, for the Word of God calls abortion murder  and do we just stand by and allow innocent babies to be killed inside as well as outside the womb and allow gay marriage just because man says it is okay? Who will you obey Mike, God or man??

 

When the laws of the land are in violation of the Word of God, I have every right to stand against it and do civil disobedience if they enact laws that say I have to violate my conscience and what God says is sin!!  Jesus said in His Word that He is the Truth, so I know what the Truth is and can trust it.

 

Not sure if you heard about the mayor of Houston who wanted recently to subpeona the pastors of the city forcing them to give her copies of their sermons when they are preaching against the so called “bathroom laws” that this lesbian mayor wanted to enact in the city, and the pastors said we will not and law showed what she was doing was illegal, but I see that in the coming years, and I believe scripture teaches this that Christians will be thrown in jail for disobeying the laws of the land.

(name withheld)


 

Mike,

 

You laughed at me about this but take a look at this.

 

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/oct/20/idaho-citys-ordinance-tells-pastors-to-marry-gays-/

(name withheld)


 

(name wtihheld) – you really need to catch up on your current events. This story had conservative media outlets hyperventilating months ago…. but when all of the facts revealed, it turned out that the story was not at all as originally reported by these conservative sources.

First – the ‘chapel’ in question was a commercial, for-profit business at the time the chapel owners raised this issue.

Second – There was never a complaint filed by anyone about denial of service. The issue originated with the business owners themselves. Further, there was never any fine or threat of fine levied.

Third – When the city was a contacted about the issue, they confirmed that there had been neither a complaint received not any action taken.
Fourth – The closest that anyone came to ‘threatening’ anything was the city attorney saying, from a theoretical perspective, that any commercial enterprise would likely be expected to comply with the laws governing commercial enterprises.
Fifth – Once the chapel owner submitted paperwork to change their classification from a regular commercial enterprise to a religious corporation, the city attorney indicated that as such, it would be exempt from that particular discrimination ordinance.
With respect, when you shoot from the hip like this, you waste both of our time. Maybe do a bit more research before you spout off? Just a thought.
Peace, Mike

Very good article since we are dealing with this subject – http://www.worldmag.com/2015/04/professor_author_discusses_the_question_can_you_be_gay_and_christian

 (name withheld)


 

Dear (name withheld),

 Interesting article.  I think that Brown does a decent job of articulating his biblical argument without coming off as particularly judgmental or hateful.  And I don’t deny him (or anyone else) the right to his own sincerely held personal beliefs on this or any other topic. 

But that is not the key issue.
The heart of the matter remains the same – whether or not it is appropriate to base US civil law and Constitutional protections on one interpretation of Christian scripture.
I say no.
Even as a Christian myself, I believe it is patently wrong to establish one interpretation of Christianity as the basis of US civil law… simply put, that is not what America is about.
As long as we are sharing links to other people’s thoughts, I encourage you to read this book (or at a minimum, google David Gushee and find some articles or interviews that describe his own biblical arguments about this issue.  You may be surprised to learn that biblical interpretation on the LGBT issue is far from the cut-and-dried issue that you presume it to be.
Peace,
Mike

 

Now I have some questions for you, (name withheld) .

 

You believe that a Christian florist or a Christian baker should be allowed to deny service to same-sex couples, based on a sincerely held religious belief.

 

Question 1 — What do you say about a Christian florist or a Christian baker doing the same, based on a sincerely held religious belief that the bible prohibits inter-racial marriage?  Acceptable or not?

 

Question 2 — What do you say about a Christian restaurant owner denying service to blacks, based on a sincerely held religious belief that the bible not only prohibits inter-racial marriage, but proscribes ‘race mixing’ of any type? Acceptable or not?

 

Peace,

Mike


 

Question 1:

 

Mike, I am not sure what you are referring to, but to my knowledge the bible does not prohibit inter-racial marriage and if a verse may allude to that, you have to consider the context to which it is in and the people to whom it is written to. I know of no Christian organizations, save for Bob Jones University many years ago that forbade inter-racial dating, today that prevent inter-racial dating and have not heard of any Christian business owners denying inter-racial couples of service.

 

Question 2:

 

Again Mike, I have not heard of any Christian restaurant owners in the last so many years who have denied service to an inter-racial couple based upon a miss interpreted scripture passage that alleges that the bible forbids race mixing or inter-racial.

 

In regards to the situation regarding the Christian florist and Christian baker and ever a Christian bed and breakfast owners, they have every right to deny service based upon what scripture teaches regarding homosexual sin, for even providing service they believe that they then are giving approval of homosexual sin and gay marriage.

 

Regarding the Christian florist, the florist has had served gay people for years even the one who wanted her to do their wedding, but based upon her religious belief based upon scripture, that is one service she felt she could not provide.

 

Regarding the Christian bakers, I am sure that they had serviced gay people in making birthday cakes for them etc, but when it came to their gay wedding, again based upon their religious convictions regarding homosexual sin and gay marriage that is one thing they could not be done for them.

 

Regarding the Christian bed and breakfast owners, not only did they deny service to a homosexual couple from staying there, they also denied heterosexual couples from staying there who were not married, so you might say they discriminated against both.

 

Let me ask Mike, dealing with this subject, in denying service, do you think a Jewish baker or deli owner should be required to  cater a wedding or party that is on Saturday, the day of their religious Sabbath? Should a Muslim restaurant owner be forced to offer pork on their menu or if a customer requests it? Should a Christian videographer be required to shoot a porn video if someone requests them to do it and they deny doing it. No one whether it be Christian, Jew or Muslim should be required or forced to do anything that would violate the tenets of their religious faith upon threat of being sued to do so. That would be a violation of their religious freedoms found in the constitution .

 

Now, I do believe that every lawsuit should be looked upon carefully on a case by case basis to ascertain whether it truly would violate the individuals tenets of their faith!

 

Changing subjects, I stumbled across a You Tube video of a panel of 4 men at the National Press Club in 2013 talking about Christian Zionism and Islamophobia. I think it is interesting that to Mikey and MRFF, evangelicals and fundamentalists have been called “monsters” and the “Christian Taliban” etc, while these 4 panelists regard Christian Zionists and evangelicals as “extremists”, “haters” , that it is Christian Zionists are the cause of Islamophobia, why, all because we support Israel and believe that all of the land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people as promised to them by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They say that Christian Zionists are trying to get all the Jews to Israel so that God can judge them with one nuclear holocaust, that we are lobbying our government to strongly support the nation of Israel politically and militarily through AIPAC a pro-Israel organization. With comments like that and from Mikey that we are the greatest threat to national security, who knows it won’t be long before they round up all Christians and put them in concentration camps here in the U.S. Hmm, I have heard rumors that FEMA has done just that, they have built camps in the US to detain evangelical Christians in the future because we pose a “threat” to the nation. If they come for me Mike, they will come for you also!!

 (name withheld)


 

Good Morning,  -(name withheld)

Thank you for the obvious effort that you invested in this response. It’s very much appreciated, and it’s clear that you have proffered a thoughtful response.
I do want to provide some feedback, and suggest a few things for you to reflect upon — these things are unrelated to your personal beliefs, to which you have an absolute, Constitutionally protected right. Rather, I want to share a perspective regarding how your position actually plays out in the civil arena of our multicultural, pluralistic society (yes, there is that “p” word again, but we need to keep coming back to it because of the vast diversity of religious belief among Americans, each of whom should expect to enjoy all of the same rights, freedoms, and protections of the Constitution).
In each scenario that you considered, the question is based on an individual (not you or me) who possesses a sincerely held religious belief and then acts in accordance with that belief.  In other words, their actions are based upon a personal understanding and interpretation of Scripture and what they sincerely believe God intends to teach. In the first question, someone sincerely believes that the bible proscribes interracial marriage. The second question presents an individual who sincerely believes that the bible forbids ‘race mixing’.
Your response about the appropriateness of the individuals’ actions is predicated solely on whether or not you believe that their ‘sincerely held religious belief’ are true.  In the first case, you say “to my knowledge the bible does not prohibit…” and in the second instance you refer to “a miss interpreted [sic] scripture passage.”  So in essence, you seem to be agreeing with me that the actions described in the two scenarios are inappropriate, although only for the reason that you believe the individuals’ sincerely held religious beliefs are incorrect and untrue.
Then you return to the original issue — the denial of service based on a sincerely held religious belief about same-sex marriage — and you say, “They have every right to deny service based upon what scripture teaches regarding homosexual sin.”
So let’s look at all three scenarios together –
Interracial marriage scenario — You disagree with the individual’s interpretation of Scripture… and as a result, you believe the action is inappropriate.
‘Race mixing’ scenario — Again, you disagree with the individual’s Scriptural interpretation… and as a result, you believe the action is inappropriate.
Same-sex marriage scenario — You agree with the individual’s interpretation of Scripture… and as a result, you believe the action is appropriate.
Clearly there is an irremediable division between your sincere belief and those of the other individuals.  How can the civil law that governs the resulting actions (which take place in the public square and therefore must be subject to civil law) favor one belief over the other?  There is no reasonable process by which civil authorities can rightly conclude that your personal interpretation is ‘true’ and the others are ‘false’.
So then, if the only rational approach by civil authorities is not to attempt to base civil law on one or another conflicting beliefs, then the actions described in the three scenarios all must be considered appropriate, or all must be considered inappropriate.
Now, if civil law is based upon the premise that all of the actions must be considered appropriate, then any possible action by any individual of any conceivable belief must be allowed because it is based on a sincere belief.  That opens the door to a virtually unlimited array of actions, any number of which could very well impact other citizens adversely, but which must be allowed because all actions based on a sincere belief must be allowed.  Without question, this would be a disastrous path for us to take.
On the other hand, if all of the actions are to be deemed inappropriate, it cannot be for the reason that any individual personal belief says so (just as individual belief cannot be the rationale to allow all actions, as we’ve just seen).  So then, our civil law must be based upon some standard that does not derive from the broad range of sincerely held religious beliefs in America – there needs to be some other basis.
That standard already exists today.  It is found in the principle that says that whenever someone elects to provide a for-profit service in the public square, be it a flower shop, bakery, restaurant, or any other commercial enterprise, those services must be available to all members of the public on an equal basis.  It does NOT require the proprietor to agree with, or condone, the particular beliefs, morals, or lifestyle of any customer.
At the same time, standards also exist today for religious institutions which, in the performance of their sectarian activities, are protected from interference by the government.
What is happening today is that some people want to conjoin those two principles, and it simply can’t be done.  It is neither reasonable nor tenable for an individual to say, “I want to have a commercial enterprise and use it to make money, but I only want to do it for customers of whom I approve.”  Quite frankly, I find the objections of those who are claiming violation of their religious rights to be disingenuous. The principles of anti-discrimination that are codified in our laws should surprise no one.  Personally, I can admire the intestinal fortitude of anyone who says, “I am not comfortable with the rules by which I’m required to operate in the public square, and so I cannot operate there.”  But to anyone who claims that some of the rules don’t apply to them, and who expect to operate in a discriminatory manner as a result, I say, “Sorry friend, but what you are asking is un-American.”
Hope you find this perspective helpful.
I see you’ve posed some additional scenarios in your response — I’ll address those in a separate email so that this note is not overly long and cumbersome.
Peace,
Mike

Hi  (name withheld) –
>
> You’ve posed three scenarios and asked me to respond.  Keep in mind that I am not a civil rights attorney, and I don’t pretend to know every aspect of applicable laws against discrimination.  But I’m happy to offer my personal perspective and opinion.
>
> The scenarios you outlined are the following —
>
> 1 – Do you think a Jewish baker or deli owner should be required to cater a wedding or party that is on Saturday, the day of their religious Sabbath?
> 2 – Should a Muslim restaurant owner be forced to offer pork on their menu or if a customer requests it?
> 3 – Should a Christian videographer be required to shoot a porn video if someone requests them to do it and they deny doing it?
>
> My response to all three scenarios is the same… and it starts with the observation that you seem to misunderstand the concept of discrimination. Every commercial business owner has the legal right to establish the parameters of his business — hours, menu, services, and so on.  So in each of these cases, so long as the business owner is applying those parameters on equal terms to all members of the public, then there will be no discrimination.  In the first scenario, for example, the business owner has every right to be closed on Saturdays — but may not have the right to be open on Saturday for one customer and closed on Saturday for another customer.
>
> In other words, where discrimination can become an issue is when a business owner is willing to offer their product or service to one customer — for example, baking a wedding cake, arranging wedding flowers, providing wedding videography — but then denies it to another customer in the same situation.
>
> The key requirement, as I understand it, is equitable treatment. It’s not a matter of business owners having to honor every conceivable request a customer might make.  So bakers don’t need to worry about being asked to paint a house, and florists can be confident that no one can legally force them to provide oil changing services, and wedding videographers cannot be conscripted into making a movie.
>
> Peace,
> Mike

Mike,

 

This is what happens when you redefine the biblical definition of marriage. Granted this is in the UK, but how will it be before it becomes legal here???

 

America sits on the precipice of great divine judgment for its many sins, homosexuality, pornography, abortion, etc. All the prophets today have said that there is a great shaking coming to the US including an economic collapse since we are in the last year of a Shemitah year.

 

http://mrconservative.com/2015/05/58341-threeway-marriages-may-now-be-legalized/

(name withheld)


 

Good Afternoon, (name withheld) –

 

I have to say that I am beginning to feel sorry for you, just as I feel sorry for all of the hyper-conservative Christians who see the wrath of God lurking in every corner of our society. What a sad, joyless way to live, and what an unfortunate witness it represents. Whenever I ponder the nature of God and His incredible relationship with us, I am invariably drawn to His love for us, as it is expressed in Romans 5:8, John 3:16, Ephesians 2:4-5 and so many other verses.  I am certainly cognizant of the innumerable ways that we, as flawed creatures, have fallen short of the glory of God… yet I do not imagine that He is giving up on His people, nor that He is scowling down at us, barely able to contain His desire to smite us.

 

As a Catholic, you can bet that I’ve heard all of the jokes about “Catholic Guilt”.  But I have to say, it’s got nothing on Evangelical Guilt.  In a sense, I’d even suggest that the nature of Catholic Guilt is more honest than Evangelical Guilt.  Catholic Guilt derives from an acknowledgement that an individual has personally failed in his relationship with God. Evangelical Guilt, on the other hand, seems to derive from the angst someone feels about what someone else is doing.

 

But that is not the primary reason I’m writing, although I do think you needed to hear that message.

 

——————————————-

 

Instead, I’m writing to suggest that you should really take much greater care, and act with a much more critical and discerning eye, when you read articles such as the one you forwarded.  If you would do that, then much of the angst and worry that you seem to carry would be mitigated.

 

To illustrate what I’m talking about, here is my take on the article you forwarded —-

 

First, the headline —  “Three Way Marriages May Now Be Legalized”.  When I read such a headline, my expectation is that the article will provide facts about some specific effort, perhaps a piece of legislation or some other explicit intention, that purports to do what the headline claims.  But that is not the case here — not even close.

 

Instead, the British Green Party politician who is supposedly advancing that agenda said the following in response to a question about plural marriage from a reporter — “We have led the way on many issues related to the liberalization of legal status in adult consenting relationships, and we are open to further conversation and consultation.”

 

Now please, (name withheld), before you dive into your bomb shelter, consider what the woman actually said… “we are open to further conversation and consultation.”  Quite the vague political response from my perspective. Only the most obstinate politicians (and Fox News personalities) speak in terms of stark absolutes.  The rest of the political universe contains people who give answers which seem to address the question, and yet don’t really make any sort of commitment at all.  Such is the case with this response.

 

So, is any politician quoted in the article speaking in more concrete terms about plural marriage?  Yes indeed — but it’s the CONSERVATIVE politicians who are doing so… you have to admit that is quite ironic, eh? My point is that conservative outlets like Breitbart and Mr Conservative will take a nebulous and inconsequential comment and assign to it a scary meaning for the sole purpose of keeping their constituency fired up about a supposedly impending disaster.

 

Be smarter than they want you to be, Bob, and don’t fall for that trick.

 

In a similar vein, earlier today you expressed concern about a report you’d heard of a law supposedly just passed in Iowa that will jail pastors if they don’t perform same-sex marriages. I still cannot find a single news article, commentary, or blog that provides any evidence that this has actually happened…. and I think I know why….

 

I’m sure you did receive a note from someone, perhaps someone you trust, that did say that such a law has been enacted in Iowa.  And I would bet that either the person who sent it, or someone further up the email chain, has confused the story from last fall out of Idaho (not Iowa) regarding the ‘pastors’ who run the Hitching Post Chapel — you and I have already talked about that story and how it is that the conservative commentary turned out to be entirely inaccurate. But I can readily see how a person who is expecting to find evidence that confirms the impending destruction of America by same-sex marriage might accidentally (or intentionally) propagate a confused and incorrect report like that.

 

But you and I need to be more discerning than that, (name withheld)… don’t let yourself get duped by uninformed or skewed ‘reports’.  You’re a smart guy – use that God-given intellect as God intended.

 

Peace,

 

Mike


 

 

Good morning Mike,

 

I am not sure why you feel sorry for me or for other hyper-Conservative Christians as you may call them. We live very joy filled lives and we are not always looking for God’s wrath to smite us or lurking around every corner. I find it interesting that with more liberal believers they are always stressing just one part of God’s nature which is love. They will often repeat we just need to love each other or God is love and He will not hurt us, yet there is a whole other side to God’s nature which they do not want to consider which is His wrath or judgment.

 

Yes as you pointed out that there are many verses that talk about God’s love for us and we need to stress those as we witness to people but God is also a just God and His patience is wearing thin with humanity. I cannot remember the last time I heard a sermon about hell or the wrath of God. When was the last time when anyone has even listened to the famous sermon by Jonathan Edwards –“Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.”

 

God has shown his wrath many times in the past such as wiping out all of humanity by the flood save for Noah and his family, or the complete annihilation of Sodom and Gomorrah for the sin of homosexuality, or God swallowing up the first generation of the Israelites in the desert, or God using the Israelites to destroy Jericho, we have the example of Jesus in the temple whipping those who made his temple a house of thieves and robbers. I think God has been very patient with his creation now for well over some 3,000 years Mike, but I believe that scripture teaches that His patient runs out. God would not be God if He will not address the growing and pervasive sins of abortion, homosexuality, pornography and yes even rampant divorce in the church! I am so sick and tired of the seeker friendly churches and preachers like Joel Osteen who will not address the sins of our culture and speak out against them. Where are the preachers like Charles Finney, Jonathan Edwards, DL Moody and the like who preached out about sin and the wrath of God today? If people feel guilty could it be because the Holy Spirit is convicting them of sin?

 

I encourage you Mike to not only look up the verses about God’s love but also about His wrath as well.

 

Blessings

(name withheld)


 Thank you, (name withheld). And I encourage you to consider removing the beam from your own eye.

Peace, Mike

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