Regarding Tacky or Inappropriate Christian Themed Jokes, Signs, or Art by Christians or By Non-Christians

Regarding Tacky or Inappropriate Christian Themed Jokes, Signs, or Art by Christians or By Non-Christians

About a week ago, Facebook group owner of SCCL (Stuff Christian Culture Likes) did a post with a photo of a sign celebrating Easter season in front of a church with the words “Nailed It.”

You can view that particular Facebook post (Link): here.

Many in the comments section found the church “Nailed It” sign to be tacky, as did the guy who runs the “Friendly Atheist” blog (see here).

In turn, a Christian guy wrote a post about this whole thing here.

I don’t care for this kind of cheap marketing, either. I think it makes light of the crucifixion of Jesus.

However, there may be a tiny bit of hypocrisy going on here.

Continue reading “Regarding Tacky or Inappropriate Christian Themed Jokes, Signs, or Art by Christians or By Non-Christians”

I’m a Christian Married to an Atheist — Here’s How We Make It Work by S. Allen

I’m a Christian Married to an Atheist — Here’s How We Make It Work by S. Allen

I have a (Link): bazillion examples on this blog of Christian men who are arrested or found out for things like wife beating, child molesting, or other horrible things.

As I’ve said many times before, I’m done with the ‘Equally Yoked’ teaching, because I don’t see the sense in it.

Why should any single, Christian woman hold out for a single, Christian man, when, number one, females outnumber males in Christianity, so your chances of getting one are slim to none, and secondly, men professing to believe in Jesus does not make them marriage material.

I’m sorry to be so repetitive, but, I’d rather marry a decent, kind, loving NON-CHRISTIAN man, than marry a wife-beating, drug addicted, child- porn- watching man who professes Christ, reads a Bible, and-or who attends a church regularly.

I think in this particular case, the man started out atheist while they were dating, became a Christian after they married, but reverted back to atheism later – but their marriage is surviving.

Some of the people who left comments below her post on this other site (XO Jane) are criticizing her piece.

(Link): I’m a Christian Married to an Atheist — Here’s How We Make It Work

Excerpts:

by S. Allen

I grew up in a Christian household, but not a fundamentalist one. My parents were strict, but I didn’t have a problem with it.

[The author states that during her college years, she hit a faith crisis – was still a Christian but having doubts about the faith.
She signed up for the dating site “Plenty of Fish” which is how she met her atheist boyfriend Dave.
She then came completely back to her faith, felt guilty about having an “unequally yoked” relationship, but stuck with Dave. They married.
Dave became a Christian but then reverted back to atheism. The author, Sarah, and Dave later had two sons together.]

…We have been married 11 years and we have an inter-faith-ish marriage. How do we do it without having a holy war in our house on the regular? Well, sometimes there are arguments about our faith or lack thereof. But mostly we have a pretty peaceful life.

It comes down to communication, respect, and love — just like any relationship.

Continue reading “I’m a Christian Married to an Atheist — Here’s How We Make It Work by S. Allen”

American Christians, Liberals, Liberal Pet Groups, and Persecution

American Christians, Liberals, Liberal Pet Groups, and Persecution

(This post has been edited and updated, especially towards the bottom, to add more commentary or links)


For about the past year, I have thinking about blogging about this topic but put it off until now.

I have seen liberal Christians, ex-Christians, left wing Non-Christians, and moderately conservative Christians complain or mock American Christians who claim that American Christians are being persecuted in the United States due to being  Christian.

In the past, I’ve seen liberal Christian blogger RHE (Rachel Held Evans) comment on this subject on her blog, on her Twitter account, as well as the Liberal, quasi- Christian, Stephanie Drury bring this up on her (Link): “Stuff Christian Culture Likes” Facebook group from time to time.

bakecake
Above: Accurate Visual Representation of How Some Pro-LGBT Groups Treat Christians. (Artist Unknown.)

I’ve also seen moderately conservative Christians I am acquainted with discuss this in Tweets or on their blogs.

To reiterate a point I’ve made before, I do sometimes agree with SCCL’s Drury on some issues, and I even periodically Tweet her links to news stories I think she may want to share on her Twitter account or on her SCCL Facebook group.

However, I totally part ways with Drury on some topics – like this one.

The view of liberal Christians, ex-Christians, liberal Non-Christians, and even some moderately conservative Christians, is that American Christians are not under persecution in the U.S.A. for being Christian, or for practicing Christian beliefs.

I am not sure if the liberal or moderate conservative disagreement on this issue pertains to semantics (the terminology involved), or if they are actually blind and oblivious to the harassment that Christians, especially conservative, or traditional valued, Christians, face in American culture.

It is my position that American Christians do in fact face harassment – especially from the left wing – in the United States for being Christian, for wanting to practice their faith and carry it out in public, and for defending it in public.

If you are a liberal who objects to the term “persecution,” how about, instead, the words or phrases, “harassment,” “bullying,” “picking on,” “hounding,” or other terms?

I do not see American Christians getting a free pass in the United States to hold certain views or to practice their beliefs.

The left (and I’d include severe anti-theist atheists here, on this point, regardless of their political standing) insist that Christians keep their Christian faith walled off, private, and separate from all other areas of their lives.

Continue reading “American Christians, Liberals, Liberal Pet Groups, and Persecution”

One Foot in Christianity, One Foot in Agnosticism – In a Faith Crisis

One Foot in Christianity, One Foot in Agnosticism  – In a Faith Crisis

November 2016. (There is a moderate amount of swear words in the post below)

Some of the points in the post, in brief (the long explanation is below):

  • I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior before I was ten years old
  • I have read the entire Bible.
  • I spent many years reading books ABOUT the Bible (e.g., books about its formation and history)
  • I spent years reading Christian apologetic literature
    – so do NOT tell me that I “do not understand Christianity” or that I was “never a REAL Christian to start with”
  • I currently have doubts about the Christian faith and/or aspects of the Bible
  • I have not rejected Jesus Christ Himself
    (he’s pretty much Christianity’s only good feature or selling point, as far as I can see at this point)
  • I am not an atheist
  • I am not a Charismatic
  • I am not a “Word of Faither”
  • I was brought up under conservative, Southern Baptist and evangelical teachings and churches
  • Even though conservative Christians claim to believe in the Bible, they
    • cannot agree on what the Bible means or how to apply it – this is a huge problem as I see it in the faith
    • they diminish the role of the Holy Spirit or deny Him and that He can work for Christians today, because they are “hyper sola scriptura” and have reduced the Trinity to “Father, Son, and Holy Bible,” (this is also problematic),
      they usually do this because they are hyper-cessationist and paranoid or hateful of Charismatic teachings or practices
    • they teach that most to all of the biblical promises are not for Christians today but are only for the Jews of 5,000 years ago, there-by teaching that the Bible is NOT relevant for people today  (this is also problematic)
  • If you are a Christian, do not act like a smug dick about any of this and immediately disregard any points I have to make about God, the Bible, or other topics, because in your view, I am a “Non-Christian who was ‘never’ really saved” -not to mention, that is not even true.
    I was in fact “truly” saved, and I am / was, a “real” Christian.
  • No, I don’t want to enumerate a detailed list of reasons why I have doubts about God, the Bible, or the faith.If I were to provide such a list or explanation, your average Christian would only want to debate each and every point to argue me back into fully believing. (A witnessing tip to Christians: doing that sort of thing is NOT an effective way of “winning back a lost sheep to Jesus.”)

DETAILED EXPLANATION

I find that people who are both Christian and Non-Christian (and several other categories of people I bump into on Twitter and other sites) get frustrated when they cannot easily box me in.

People seem to be more comfortable with labels, but I’m not sure what label I would give myself these days.

I have briefly tried to explain my current religious beliefs on my Twitter bio, and I explain them a little more on my blog’s “About” page and have mentioned them in a post or two over the course of the last few years I’ve been blogging here.

Here is my background:

I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior prior to turning the age of ten.

That means: I believed that Jesus took my sins upon himself, he was without sin, he paid the price for my sins, and was raised from the dead three days after having been crucified – and if I believe in all that, if I put “saving faith in” Jesus (as opposed to mere intellectual assent), my sins have been forgiven by God, and I go to heaven when I die.

I read the entire Bible through when I was 18 years old, and afterwards, I read a lot of the Bible in the years after. Prior to that age, I had read portions of the Bible when younger.

Continue reading “One Foot in Christianity, One Foot in Agnosticism – In a Faith Crisis”

Evangelism Using Death, Heaven, Hell Talk Don’t Work on ‘Unchurched’ Americans, Survey Finds

Evangelism Using Death, Heaven, Hell Talk Don’t Work on ‘Unchurched’ Americans, Survey Finds

(Link): Evangelism Using Death, Heaven, Hell Talk Don’t Work on ‘Unchurched’ Americans, Survey Finds by  B. Showalter

Excerpts:

July 2016

Non-church-attending Americans are generally open to talking about faith but few wonder about life after death – which is the tactic many Christians are taught to begin conversations, a new LifeWay Research study commissioned by the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism at Wheaton College finds.

Nashville-based LifeWay Research published a (Link): study Thursday that examines the types of church activities that “unchurched” Americans are interested in as well as how open they are to talking about faith.

By “unchurched” the researchers mean “those who have not attended a worship service in the last six months, outside of a holiday or special occasion like a wedding.” Surprisingly, the survey found that more than half of Americans who don’t go to church self-identify as Christians.

Continue reading “Evangelism Using Death, Heaven, Hell Talk Don’t Work on ‘Unchurched’ Americans, Survey Finds”

Atheist Author and Speaker Richard Dawkins Announces Divorce from Wife

Atheist Author and Speaker Richard Dawkins Announces Divorce from Wife

I believe one of the articles I saw said this is his second or third divorce.

(Link):  Britain’s highest profile atheist Richard Dawkins announces end of his 24-year marriage to Dr Who actress Lalla Ward

  • Prof Richard Dawkins and actress wife Lalla Ward married in 1992
  • They met at a party hosted by author and mutual friend Douglas Adams
  • Couple said they have ‘separated amicably’ and remain good friends
  • They are understood to still be living in their marital home in Oxford 
  • The UK’s highest profile atheist Richard Dawkins and his actress wife Lalla Ward have confirmed they have separated after 24 years of marriage.

Continue reading “Atheist Author and Speaker Richard Dawkins Announces Divorce from Wife”

16 Confessions From People Who Waited Until Marriage To Have Sex

16 Confessions From People Who Waited Until Marriage To Have Sex

You will have to visit the web page linked to below to view the confessions, as they are in screen cap format. I am not uploading screen caps from their page to mine.

(Link): 16 Confessions From People Who Waited Until Marriage To Have Sex 

  • “It wasn’t perfect but it was wonderful, intimate and adorably awkward.”
  • by Kelsey Borresen
  • Though we’re living in a time where (Link):  pre-marital sex is widely accepted, there are still many men and women who choose to stay virgins until the wedding night.Some consider waiting one of the best decisions they’ve made, while others look back on the choice as a major source of regret. On (Link): Whisper, an app that allows users to share their secrets anonymously, people reflect on the experience of (Link): saving yourself for marriage.
  • See what they had to say below:
  • [Text on one screen cap reads]
  • “I waited until my wedding night to have sex. My husband is terrible in bed and can’t please me at all.”
  • [Text on one screen cap reads – link to post]
  • “I was a virgin until my wedding night. My husband wasn’t. Turns out, I was better at sex than he was!”
  • [Text on one screen cap reads]
  • “I lost my virginity on my wedding night. Honestly I feel like it’s been healthy for my marriage. I can’t keep my hands off my wife.”
  • [Text on one screen cap reads]
  • “I lost my virginity to my husband the morning after our wedding. It wasn’t perfect, but it was wonderful, intimate and adorably awkward, and we finished together”
  • [Text on one screen cap reads]
  • “I waited to have sex until I was married. I deeply regret that decision because on the extremely rare occasions we actually have sex, it isn’t enjoyable.”
  • [Text on one screen cap reads]
  • “I waited until marriage, so did my husband. Wasn’t a religious choice. And yes, it was totally worth it

I don’t understand people who toss in the qualifier “but it wasn’t a religious choice” when discussing things like this. I take it to mean they are trying to appeal to an increasingly secular society that scoffs at anyone being motivated by theism, religion, or spirituality at all.

Continue reading “16 Confessions From People Who Waited Until Marriage To Have Sex”

Leaving Christianity gave me the fairy-tale ending I always wanted / Divorce and pre-marital sex destroyed my relationship with Christianity by T. Sheehan

Leaving Christianity gave me the fairy-tale ending I always wanted / Divorce and pre-marital sex destroyed my relationship with Christianity by T. Sheehan

Even though the details of my life and situation are different, I sure did relate to this lady’s story.

My eye brow did raise at one or two points of this essay, such as her claim that people at her church encouraged her to get an abortion when she became pregnant out of wedlock, and from the way she discusses her church, they sound pretty conservative and legalistic.

Perhaps she is telling the truth and that really did happen, it’s just that most conservative Christians are pro-life, not pro-choice, so I am having a hard time picturing any of them advising a pregnant woman to get an abortion.

With possibly a few wacko Protestant church exceptions, (Link): like this one, where the church’s preacher allegedly encouraged the women members to get abortions. But then, of course, there is information such as this: (Link): 2015 Poll: 70% of American Women Who Have Abortions Identify As Christian

By and large, though, most churches are pro-life, not pro-choice.

At one point in this essay, Sheehan says that although she and her male friend were not having sex, that due to being constantly suspected and accused of having sex by Christians at her church, is actually what in large measure drove her and her boyfriend to become sexually active with one another.

Major irony there. Or maybe not…

As I have said time and again at my blog, most Christians, just like secular culture, just blindly assumes that celibacy is impossible for anyone over the age of 25 or so, and that it is impossible for men and women to be platonic friends.

It is entirely possible for men and women to remain friends, and it is entirely possible for an adult to stay celibate for months or years at a time.

I have also explained before, in previous posts, that one reason there is so much fornication among Christian singles is precisely because most Christians have such low expectations: they expect that single adults will, or have, had sex outside of marriage. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy quite often.

The couple discussed in this post were expected, assumed to be, and suspected by their fellow congregants of sleeping together; this couple got tired of being falsely accused, so they figured, well, we might as well have sex, since everyone is already assuming we are and harassing us over it.

I also notice that one reason this woman’s husband, who was a Christian at one time, but is now an atheist or agnostic, began losing his faith over how miserably his grief (over the death of his father) was mishandled by Christians.

Oh yes, I relate: after my family member’s passing a few years ago, rather than receiving love, empathy, and encouragement from Christians in my family or churches I went to, I instead received judgment, criticism, platitudes, or indifference. This in turn is one of several things that caused me to partially leave the Christian faith.

One of a few things that caused Sheehan to leave the faith is over how one church she attended mishandled her abusive marriage – her priest told her to stay with the abusive husband.

This advice is also usually given in Baptist or Protestant situations. Christians often put keeping an (abusive) marriage before the welfare of the two persons who comprise the marriage.

Abused wives are usually instructed to stay with the abusive spouse and submit to the abuser more, or just pray about things. None of this resolves the situation but actually prolongs it.

I am not surprised in light of all the insensitive treatment that she and her husband endured at the hands of other believers, that they both developed major doubts about Christianity and walked away from it.

There were a few supportive comments to the woman who wrote this, in the comments area under the essay, but there were also a lot of hateful, judgmental, or naive posts left to her by Christians.

There were also a few annoying posts by atheists who were just there to say “all religion is idiotic, there is no God” to any of the well-meaning, yet naive Christians who were telling her to hold on to the faith, in spite of the Christians who had been mean to her at her prior churches.

Honestly, I wish those types of atheists would refrain from posting under articles like this one by Sheehan. I find their opportunistic, anti-theism drivel and rants to be about as bad as the nasty posts by the Christians who scolded Sheehan for leaving Christianity.

(Link): Leaving Christianity gave me the fairy-tale ending I always wanted 

  • Divorce and pre-marital sex destroyed my relationship with Christianity by T. Sheehan
  • My family has always been part of the Catholic Church, including being actively involved in fighting for those beliefs in Ireland and France through the centuries. It is all I knew and I never imagined a life without it. Even in today’s permissive society, divorce is still a huge don’t in the Catholic Church.

    When my priest advised me to stay in an abusive marriage rather than lose access to the Catholic religion, I stayed — until my husband left me for one of the many women he had been seeing.

    I went back to my priest for help but instead found myself without a church.

    Confused and directionless, I ended up seeking help at a Word of Faith Christian Church in Texas.

    Although the church and I both believed in Jesus, the similarities ended there. Everything was so different from what I had grown up with, it made the transition very difficult.

    They kept trying to break down my identity by using scripture to suggest that everything about me, from Catholicism to my Irish culture, was evil and against God. It was like going through spiritual boot camp as they attempted to rebuild me into a person that could gain access to heaven.

    During my time there, I met my current husband. He was also having a tough time as his father had died suddenly the year before, causing him to question the church he had been raised in and even the existence of God due to how they handled his grief.

    We became really good friends who spent hours talking as we each struggled with our sheltered worlds collapsing around us, no matter how hard we tried to fight to keep the walls intact.

    The damage in our lives, caused by blind devotion to a religion, forced us to question all the truths we had been raised to believe.

    Continue reading “Leaving Christianity gave me the fairy-tale ending I always wanted / Divorce and pre-marital sex destroyed my relationship with Christianity by T. Sheehan”

Some of My Thoughts Regarding ‘Why do evangelicals lose their faith?’ – Podcast by Unbelievable

Some of My Thoughts Regarding ‘Why do evangelicals lose their faith?’ – Podcast by Unbelievable 

The other day, I posted this (part 1 to this post):

I have re-listened to the podcast this evening and wanted to comment on some of what I heard.

In the program, there is a guy named Rodney who was once a conservative Christian, who drifted into liberal theology, and who now says he has a “deistic philosophy” and he says he is “agnostic about most religious questions.”

He says he has same sex attraction, and was put off to Christianity for (among other reasons):

How American conservative Christianity tends to over-identify with, or promote, the Republican Party (right wing American party), and that some preachers are too condemning of homosexual persons.

Rodney also says he does not accept the notion of an eternal Hell.

A few times, Rodney mentions that he has a deist- like view of God. He thinks all of us humans are rats, the earth is a big laboratory, and God is a scientist in a white lab coat observing us all but not intervening.

Rodney thinks if God is involved with human life, that God should do things like cause all members of ISIS (terrorist group) to drop dead of heart attacks. He does not believe that God helps people to pass school tests, find parking spaces, or cures diseases.

The show had a Christian author and guest on named Os, who replied to some of Rodney’s points.

_Some of my thoughts on the show and the topics Rodney raised._

1.) Politics and Liberal Vs Conservative Christianity

I am right wing politically and have been a Republican (GOP) my entire life.

I have very large misgivings about the GOP the last few years, though, so I’m not totally sure where I stand politically, though I do not ever see myself becoming a liberal or a Democrat.

I do agree with Rodney that too many conservative Christians conflate Christianity with the Republican party.

But then, a lot of liberal Christians or liberal Christian denominations entwine a lot of liberal beliefs and causes with the faith too, (such as support of abortion, the Democratic Party, liberalism, and homosexual marriage).

Continue reading “Some of My Thoughts Regarding ‘Why do evangelicals lose their faith?’ – Podcast by Unbelievable”

Why do evangelicals lose their faith? – Podcast by Unbelievable

Why do evangelicals lose their faith? – Podcast by Unbelievable

Off to the right hand side of this blog I have a blog roll. Linked there is “Unbelievable,” a podcast by a Christian guy who normally covers topics pertinent to Christian apologetics. He usually has some pretty interesting shows.

I was (am?) a life long Christian but one who’s been doubting the faith the last few years.

I have not totally left the faith itself, but there are parts of it that I’m having trouble accepting or grasping now.

At times, I am disappointed in or by, or angered by Christians, or the behavior of other Christians. That plays into some of the struggles I’ve been having with the faith.

I don’t think I can ever hop on board the Atheist train. I don’t think atheism is intellectually feasible. It seems so devoid of hope, too. And some of its adherents seem just as fundamentalist as some religious theist types. Some of the militant atheists are also smug and condescending as all get out, traits which I have always reviled.

So, this particular episode of Unbelievable looks to be pretty interesting, though I’ve not actually listened to it yet – I’ll probably listen to it later (if so, I may edit this post at a later time with my thoughts on it):

(Link):  Why do evangelicals lose their faith? Os Guinness & Rodney Wilson (pod cast / audio / radio show)

  • Christian author and cultural critic Os Guinness’ new book called “Fools Talk: Recovering the art of Christian persuasion” is aimed at helping Christians develop a confident and winsome approach to engaging those who are closed to faith.
  • He engages with ex-evangelical Rodney Wilson who has researched the reasons why evangelical Christians lose their faith in his book “Killing God” as they discuss the cultural and doctrinal barriers to embracing Christian faith.

EDIT: new post reflecting on this podcast:

—————————

Related Posts:

(Link): No Man’s Land – Between Agnosticism and Christianity / Also: It’s Emotional Not Intellectual (PART 1)

(Link):  Suffering and Misery Trend Du Jour (part 1) 

(Link): Permissiveness, Cheap Grace, and Easy Forgivism Run Amok in Christianity – Dallas Preacher Todd Wagner Says Christians Can Use Heroin / Why some Christians turn agnostic

(Link): Guilt Tripping or Shaming the Hurt Sheep to Return to Church

(Link): Why People Don’t Go To Church (various links and testimonies March 2014)

(Link): Christians Who Take the Bible Literally Cannot Agree On Much of Anything 

(Link): Power Point, Boring Churches, It’s all about Jesus, Church Quitters, No Community, Selfish Preachers, Churches As Stalkers / (Re: Why Some Drop Out of Church)

The Marginalization of the Average Joe and Practice of Selective Compassion by Christian and Secular Americans

The Marginalization of the Average Joe and Practice of Selective Compassion by Christian and Secular Americans

I think conservative writer Ann Coulter’s editorial about Christians who shuffle off to assist ebola patients in Africa – which got her all sorts of vitriol by both left and right wingers, Christians and Non Christians – has been proven right.

I first wrote about that in another post or two:

(Link): Ann Coulter’s Article Hits Home — Literally, by S. Harris – And: further thoughts on U.S. Christian Priorities and Reverse Racism

(Link): Strawman Argument: “You’re Creating a False Dichotomy” – No, I’m Not (Re: Coulter editorial and U.S. Christians aiding foreigners)

After American, caucasian movie actor Robin Williams died from suicide a few days ago, on the one hand, there was, yes, a lot of sympathy and sadness expressed for him and his family online in the days that followed, as it should be.

But there were also some very insulting, unsympathetic views published, and at that, based on William’s skin color or his mental health problems, not only by guys like Bill McNorris and Christian Matt Walsh, but by atheist writer P Z Myers.

As far as I can tell, the Bible does not adhere to the concept of “privilege” as believed by liberals. The American progressives harping on “privilege” causes them to refuse to show care and concern for the groups they believe to be in power.

Jesus Christ taught that people’s sins comes from their hearts (from within), not from their environment, and he did not endorse the view that because you or your group has been systematically mistreated or oppressed at the hands of another group, that this excuses your sin, or makes it acceptable for you to hate your oppressor, or for you to refuse to show compassion to that group.

In Jesus’ day, ancient Israel was ruled first and foremost by the ancient Romans, and on a lesser level, by the religious ruling class (the priests and Pharisees).

A lot of American liberals will say it’s impossible for an American woman to be considered sexist, or for female dislike of men to be considered sexist, because men in American society hold all the power. They will say that because whites held all the power in the USA, that one cannot consider a black person’s prejudices against whites a form of racism.

Then we also get into the identity politics and hate crime laws, where liberals believe that someone should receive a harsher, or specific charge of hate, for, say, mugging someone in a certain group that they consider unprivileged.

For example, a crime that is motivated by hatred of skin color, where a white guy punches a black guy in the face, is supposed to be worse than, say, a white guy punching another white guy. A guy murdering someone who happens to be homosexual is supposed to be a hate crime, but the same act is not considered a hate crime if a homosexual or heterosexual murders a heterosexual guy.

I have never understood these positions, because, for one reason of a few, it doesn’t square with the Bible.

Jesus never once taught the Jews of his day that it’s okay for them to hate the Romans, nor did he excuse their dislike of the Romans, on the premise that the Romans held all the “privilege” or “power.”

Continue reading “The Marginalization of the Average Joe and Practice of Selective Compassion by Christian and Secular Americans”

General Observations Or Concerns About Stuff Christian Culture Likes Group and Blog

This is kind of a follow up to my previous post about SCCL (link at bottom – the group was recently mocking the T. Burpo book).

I found at least one blog post chronicling some of the abusive tendencies within the SCCL group (see link below) – this is so odd.

The SCCL like group members depict themselves as champions of the hurt and abused, but they sometimes bully and abuse other people themselves.

In addition, Drury (who is the owner and maintainer of the SCCL like groups, Twitter account, and blog), who tries to present herself as a feminist, and who also tries to come off as sensitive to homosexuals and more recently, transgendered people and their concerns, has made comments some of them have found offensive on several occasions on Twitter and/or Facebook, but she was reluctant to apologize.

You can read examples here:

(Link): For Surivivors of Christian Fundamentalism seeking refuge in Stuff Christian Culture Likes (group / blog)

A person (Shelly) on that blog left this comment (excerpt from her comment):

Another couple of people [at SCCL] were triggery for me, as they did shit that reminded me of the abuse I received when I was younger, and I no longer felt safe staying there, knowing that

she was perfectly fine to call out the abuse within the church system but wouldn’t call it out within the page that was supposed to be a safe place for the abused.

So I unliked the page, unfollowed her SCCL Twitter (I had unfollowed her personal one after t-gate), and stopped following the blog.

(end excerpts)

I’ve noticed the same thing.

It’s a group that scolds churches or Christian culture for perpetuating certain damaging views, or for allowing or committing abuse, but pretty much allows the regular members to bash the new-comers to the group who may speak up and disagree with whatever topic is under discussion.

I never joined the SCCL Facebook group. I may have left one post at one SCCL blog page once a long time ago (I don’t recall), but something never sat quite right with me about the types of people who post at either the group or blog, so I didn’t join.

The majority of SCCL members can seem kind-hearted and supportive most of the time, but then turn like sharks the next instant on an individual who isn’t keeping with the group think.

I once read a blog post about how even blogs / groups intended for survivors (survivors of church abuse or whatever) can turn out to be just as abusive as the church or cult the person has left. (That post may have also been on Blog on the Way, I can’t remember where I saw it).

If you have been hurt by a Christian, a denomination, or a church, be very, very careful which other groups you choose to align yourself with in the aftermath, or for support or healing.

The group you choose to make your “new home” or support system just may turn on you in the future.

I have seen some people post perfectly polite, fine questions or comments on SCCL Facebook page and get rudely ripped to shreds, ganged up on, by several SCCL members at once over it.

It’s not pretty, and some of the SCCL members, at times, act just as horribly as the fundamentalists, evangelicals, sexists and “homophobes” (what a stupid, inaccurate word, by the way) they complain about.

There are also some hard-core atheists who sporadically show up to SCCL to bitterly complain about theism, the Bible and Christians, and they are some of the most condescending, obnoxious jerks I’ve come across. They usually get shouted down by other SCCL members, but they do post there on occasion.

There is a Christian guy, an older gentlemen (his personal profile photo shows a white-haired guy) named “Warren” who participates at SCCL.

I’d say the guy makes good sense about 95% of the time, but he still gets shouted down and treated rudely by the SCCL regulars – because, in knee jerk reaction, they recoil at anything that smacks of Christian or traditional values.

Continue reading “General Observations Or Concerns About Stuff Christian Culture Likes Group and Blog”

Gary Habermas joins Janet Mefferd to discuss dealing with doubt in the Christian life (Re: Unanswered Prayer – other issues)

Gary Habermas joins Janet to discuss dealing with doubt in the Christian life (Re: Unanswered Prayer)

Audio / podcast.

I have found that Janet Mefferd’s show does not work in Google Chrome (browser), sometimes does not work in FireFox, but DOES work in IE (Microsoft Internet Explorer browser). I loathe IE, but it’s the only browser that will play her show.

Habermas has recently written a book about faith and doubt or something, and he is interviewed by Janet Mefferd about it, as well as related questions, such as unanswered prayer, Christians who walk away from church because they have been hurt by other Christias, or they lost a loved one (to death), or they don’t feel Christianity is meeting their needs, etc.

You can listen to the interview here:
(I think this is hour 3 – there appears to be an hour 1 and hour 2):
(Fixed the link)

(Link): Podcast: Gary Habermas joins Janet to discuss dealing with doubt in the Christian life. (mentions unanswered prayer, other topics)

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Related posts, this blog:

(Link): Blaming the Christian for His or Her Own Problem or Unanswered Prayer / Christian Codependency

(Link):  Unanswered Prayer and Diversity of Doctrine and Interpretation (podcasts)

(Link):  How to Deal with Unanswered Prayers via Pastor Bil Cornelius 

(Link):   When All We Hear from God is Silence by Diane Markins

(Link): On Prayer and Christ’s Comment to Grant You Anything You Ask in His Name

(Link): Church Is Not Important, 51 Percent of US Adults Say

(Link): Guilt Tripping or Shaming the Hurt Sheep to Return to Church

(Link): Quitting Church – why single Christians aren’t going to church – church has failed Christian singles

(Link): Christians Who Can’t Agree on Who The Old Testament Is For and When or If It Applies

(Link): Why People Don’t Go To Church (various links and testimonies March 2014)

Taking the Opposite Position from Neo Calvinists Just Because It’s the Opposite of Neo Calvinists

Taking the Opposite Position from Neo Calvinists Just Because It’s the Opposite of Neo Calvinists

I touched on this in an earlier post or two, such as this one: (Link): No Man’s Land – Part 2 – On Post Evangelicals or Ex Christians or Liberal Christians Ignorantly Hopping Aboard Belief Sets They Once Rejected.

But this time, I wanted to discuss Neo Calvinism and spiritual abuse blogs and advocates in particular.

I do not support Neo Calvinism, or even old school Calvinism. I think Calvinism is a crock of crap.

Many of the NC’s (Neo Calvinists, aka YRRs), are arrogant, narrow minded jerks.

My problem with seeing NC guys, their churches, or their positions discussed and picked apart by some bloggers is that the anti NCs go into reactionary mode.

Their positions often time seem not so much well thought out in and of themselves, but that they will take a position opposite of that held by most NCs just because it’s the opposite of that held by NCs.

I do know a little bit about NCs and their theological beliefs, but not as much as their frequent critics.

According to their frequent critics, NCs believe in a literal six day creation, not an old age of the earth.

(As for me, I am NOT an NC, and I believe in a literal six day creation.)

My issue when I visit blogs or Twitter accounts by people who are vehemently anti NC is that they will, it appears to me, automatically take the opposite position on anything John Piper, The Gospel Coaltion, and other NC guys say just to be contrary.

Continue reading “Taking the Opposite Position from Neo Calvinists Just Because It’s the Opposite of Neo Calvinists”

Hypocrisy of Left Wingers and Atheists and the #NotAll Hash Tag or Rhetoric

Hypocrisy of Left Wingers and Atheists and the #NotAll Hash Tag or “Not All” Rhetoric
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REMINDER

If you are new to this blog, I possibly need to remind you that I am socially conservative, right wing, and a Republican.

(Edit, Sept 2016. My views have shifted somewhat in the last couple of years, since I last wrote this post. I am still right wing but more moderate now.)

Although I do criticize my fellow right wingers, as well as Christians, time and again on this site over some subjects, I am not liberal, progressive, Democratic, left wing, nor am I pro-choice or pro-homosexuality.

I do not despise the notions of, belief in, or practice of, moral absolutes, Christianity, the nuclear family, traditional marriage, sexual purity, Christians, the Bible, or a literal biblical hermeneutic.

(However, I do not always agree with other conservatives about topics, or how to handle those topics.)

If you’re feeling very confused or duped at this point, as in, “Hey, I’ve been visiting this blog for months now, or I followed you on Twitter, and I thought you are liberal, and that you hate conservatives and Christianity like I do?!”

No, you have misunderstood me or my positions.

Just because I am sometimes critical of Christians, or how Christians and conservatives sometimes pontificate about certain matters, does not mean I am against either one or that I am automatically a liberal who supports abortion, Democrats, Obama, or homosexuality.

You might want to see this blog’s “About” page for more about my views. I tend to criticize other right wingers more so than left wingers on this blog, but this is one of those posts where I have to criticize the left.
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Hypocrisy of Left Wingers and Atheists and the #NotAll Hash Tag or “Not All” Rhetoric

Secular feminists hate men who interject into feminist conversations online – or in real life – about sexism and rape apologia to say, “But not all men are like that; I am not.”

Feminists are annoyed over this common behavior to the point they started using the “#NotAllMen” hash tag on Twitter and blogs.

If you’re not familiar with the history of, or the bruhaha over, the “Not All Men” phenomenon, you can read more about it on Time magazine’s site here:
(Link): Not All Men: A Brief History of Every Dude’s Favorite Argument, by Jess Zimmerman.

(Edit. Since I wrote this post, I read one source that says that it was men who started use of the “#NotAllMen” hash to counter balance the feminist “#YesAllWomen” hash, but by the time I started seeing “#NotAllMen” it was being used by feminists against sexist men.)

Not too long ago, in a conversation in the comments on a left wing site under an article criticizing a famous conservative journalist’s position about something related to sexism, I pointed out that not all conservatives and Republicans see eye- to- eye on every issue, so please don’t assume that one journalist’s views on that one issue are indicative of all conservatives – as the author of the article I was commenting on seemed to imply.

I also pointed out in that same post that I myself, who am a conservative Republican, did not totally support conservatives on the particular topic under discussion, and some rude, liberal, Democratic jackass at that site gave me a sarcastic comment and dismissed my view by sarcastically using the “#Not All Conservatives” hash.

(Among other snarky commentary from that person. This person was truly being an assh-le for no good reason.

I said nothing to that point to provoke snarky, condescending remarks from anyone.

After that person was rude to me, and only afterwards, did I tell her she was rude and could kiss my ass, but prior to that, before her rudeness, I was being polite.)

On the one hand, I can certainly understand why, for example, women may find it rude or annoying when their feminist conversation about male privilege or sexism gets interrupted by some man interjecting to say, “But I am a man, and I respect women” because that can seem to diminish the experiences of sexism by women who are discussing the topic.

On the other hand, nobody likes seeing a group they are a member of, or sympathetic to, being generalized unfairly, or painted with a broad-brush.

Liberals are often hypocritical on this point. And they are also terribly blinded to their hypocrisy.

#NOT ALL MUSLIMS

For example, any time a conservative points out that quite a number of Muslims are terribly sexist against women (e.g., honor killings of female rape victims, extreme modesty teaching which blames women for male sexual crimes or male misbehavior, the practice of female genital mutilation, forced marriages of young girls to old men – are all common beliefs or practices in Islamic communities)-

Or, when conservatives make the true observation that most terrorism in the world today is carried out by Muslims (enjoy this site, or this one (*and see a few more links at the bottom of this post)), your left wingers will quickly exclaim,
“But not all Muslims are like that! I’ve even known some Muslims personally, and they are very nice people.”

Hence, we see #Not All Muslims at play by left wingers in conversations about terrorism. Often.

#NOT ALL ATHEISTS

When I have visited theologically liberal or ex- Christian sites, which are sometimes populated by self-professing atheists (who usually claim to be former Christians), they get angry when Christians point to news stories of atheists who get arrested for murder, or rape, or what have you.

Immediately, the atheists, or theologically liberal Christians, start saying (this one seems to comes up on Stuff Christian Culture Likes Facebook group about once a week it seems, eg. in (Link): this discussion),
“How long until conservative Christians point to this news story of this atheist murdering this child as proof that all atheists are unethical, murdering slugs? Don’t they know that not all atheists are killers or child molesters?”

Yes, I sometimes see anti-Christian atheists bring out the “#NotAllAtheist” commentary.

However, many times, these same atheists like to bring up the Christian “#Not All Christian” habit of saying, “Maybe the preacher arrested for child rape was not a ‘real’ Christian,” by mentioning the “No True Scotsman” fallacy (you can read more about that here or here).

You can see examples of Non-Christians complaining about the alleged Christian use of “No True Scotsman” (Link): here (link is to SCCL Facebook group page, a group which runs from theologically liberal to atheistic).

Let us review.

Some atheists get angry at Christians who assume all, or most atheists, are immoral scum balls, but atheists do not mind assuming these things are true of all Christians.

Atheists detest the #NotAllChristians tactic by Christians, vis a vis the “No True Scotsman” stance, but atheists don’t hesitate to scream #NotAllAtheists in similar contexts.

Oh, I see. We want to make exceptions for our side but not the other side; how convenient.

We want to be angry atheists snarking on Christians all day long and pointing out Christian flaws, but Flying Spaghetti Monster forbid if Christians mention crimes or misbehavior by atheists! Talk about a double standard.

NO TRUE SCOTSMAN

I hate to disappoint the die-hard, irrational, frothing- at- the mouth variety of atheists out there (and many of you are indeed irrational – your hatred for God and Christians is based on emotion or personal dislike of Christians, not due to intellect or dispassionate reason as is often claimed), the “No Scotsman Fallacy” does not totally apply to Christianity to start with.

Jesus Christ himself taught that not all who consider themselves Christians are in fact actual, real, genuine followers of his, even if they do claim to be so.

See for example, (Link): this biblical passage or (Link): this one or (Link): this one.

#NOT ALL HOMOSEXUALS

I’ve noticed that any time crimes or bigotry by homosexuals against heterosexuals, other homosexuals, or other groups, are brought up on blogs or news sites, especially on forums or blogs that tend to have a large segment of left wingers, most of the left wingers are quick to jump in with the “not all homosexuals” argumentation.

One case in point was a recent letter to the “Ask Amy” advice columnist.

Here is a link to the letter:
(Link): Mom worries about gym teacher in locker room

Here is the letter:

DEAR AMY:

    My seventh-grade daughter’s female gym teacher is openly gay. None of the parents or kids has a problem with this.

The issue is that she observes the girls changing into and out of their gym clothes, and my daughter and many of her peers feel very uncomfortable having a lesbian watch them walk around in their underwear.

I’m afraid to say anything because I worry that my daughter will be given a “special area” to change, and it will make her feel awkward.

I understand that seventh-graders need supervision in the locker room, but it seems to me the school should know that it may not be appropriate to have a lesbian in the locker room with young girls!

By the way, the teacher has never behaved unprofessionally — nor is anyone worried that she might — it is simply an issue of discomfort.

What’s the right answer that respects everyone involved? — Concerned Mom

Here is part of Amy’s reply:

DEAR CONCERNED:

    …You might start this conversation by letting your daughter know that there is a likelihood some of her fellow students at school or on sports teams are also lesbians, and that in this environment, along with trusting her instincts, she also has to trust other people (gay and straight) to have integrity.

You seem to think that because this teacher is a lesbian, she may also be attracted to — or be an unhealthy presence — for girls.

Judging by the preponderance of recent alarming news reports of improper sexual relationships between teachers and students, a student is much more likely to be hit on by a heterosexual teacher than a gay one.

— (end Amy letter)—

First of all, notice that Amy’s tact here is pretty much a “Not All Homosexuals” argument. She even goes further to use a “Most All Heteros” argument.

Amy is telling the mother who wrote the letter not to assume that just because a female gym teacher is lesbian that this necessarily means that the teacher is viewing the students in a sexual manner or will “hit” on them.

That may very well be true, but note the “Not All Lesbians” rhetoric is being employed in the first place.

When I visited sites that published copies of this letter and had a comment section, I noted that many of the commentators left statements to the effect of “the gym teacher’s sexual preference should not be an issue, as not all homosexuals prey on children.”

It was remarkable how often the “Not All Homosexuals” cliche’ kept popping up under this particular “Ask Amy” letter and previous ones like it, that mentioned homosexual people.

Secondly, per Amy’s comment that

    “Judging by the preponderance of recent alarming news reports of improper sexual relationships between teachers and students, a student is much more likely to be hit on by a heterosexual teacher than a gay one”

there are more heterosexuals than homosexuals in American culture, so it would mathematically figure that there are more hetero predators than homosexual ones, based on “counting noses” of sexual offenders alone.

However, based on various studies I have seen over the past ten or more years, there is a HIGHER PERCENTAGE of pedophiles among homosexuals than heteros.

Continue reading “Hypocrisy of Left Wingers and Atheists and the #NotAll Hash Tag or Rhetoric”

Apparent Inconsistency at SCCL Group – They’re Repulsed by Sexualization of Some Relationships But Not All

Apparent Inconsistency at SCCL Group – They’re Repulsed by Sexualization of Some Relationships But Not All

Sometimes, I enjoy and agree with some of the views as expressed by S. Drury’s SCCL (“Stuff Christian Culture Likes”) Facebook group, but not always.

Folks who frequent the SCCL group generally despise Christian sexual purity teachings.

Me? Nope.

My position is that the church needs to start upholding sexual purity teachings more, rather than the SCCL group’s preferred option of backing off or halting.

Very few churches and Christians today condemn sexual sin, nor do many Christians support virginity or sexual purity, something I have blogged about on a recurring basis (see links at the bottom of this post for more).

One of the things that caught my attention were a couple of posts at the SCCL group this week.

Continue reading “Apparent Inconsistency at SCCL Group – They’re Repulsed by Sexualization of Some Relationships But Not All”

Singer Tim Lambesis Said He Became Atheist But Kept Claiming to Be Christian to Keep Selling Music to Faithful (update)

Singer Tim Lambesis Said He Became Atheist But Kept Claiming to Be Christian to Keep Selling Music to Faithful (update)

Yet another reason single ladies need to stop thinking in terms of ‘I can only marry another Christian because of “be not yoked.”‘

You can start out marrying a guy who claims to be a Christian and by, who all appearances is an actual Christian, but then he converts to atheism and hires a hit man to murder you.

This is an update to my previous post:
(Link): Married Christian Rock Singer in Legal Trouble for Hiring Hit Man To Kill His Wife – he also had drug addiction

Here is the update:

(Link): As I Lay Dying Singer Tim Lambesis Said He Became Atheist But Kept Claiming to Be Christian to Keep Selling Music to Faithful

    BY LEONARDO BLAIR , CP REPORTER
    June 17, 2014|4:01 pm

    Tim Lambesis, lead singer and founder of Christian metalcore band As I Lay Dying, recently confessed that he and other members of his band had become atheists but kept claiming to be Christians so they could keep making money selling records to Christians.

    … He [Lambesis] explained that he was afraid of revealing his true thoughts about God because he was afraid it would affect the record sales of his band; so he simply chose to just say, “I’m not a Satanist” as a cover.

    “As far as the [YouTube] video I did explaining Pyrithion’s lyrics … I was trying to put out a fire. I was afraid it would affect As I Lay Dying sales, which would affect my overall income. …

    …”Truthfully, I was an atheist. …” he said.

    Lambesis noted that the majority of “Christian bands” he encountered while he was on tour had taken similar positions – where they were simply working to collect a check.

    “We toured with more ‘Christian bands’ who actually aren’t Christians than bands that are. In 12 years of touring with As I Lay Dying, I would say maybe one in 10 Christian bands we toured with were actually Christian bands,” he said.

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Related posts:

(Link): Marriage Does Not Make People More Loving Mature Godly Ethical Caring or Responsible (One Stop Thread)

(Link): Being Unequally Yoked

(Link): Wife of Preacher Shoots, Kills Him, Recounts Years of Physical and Sexual Abuse – So Much for the Equally Yoked Teaching and the Notion that Christian married sex is Mind Blowing

(Link): Christian Host Pat Robertson Tells Christian Woman Who Married Christian Man Who Turned Out to Be Totally Unethical That She has Discernment of a Slug – Single Women: toss Be Equally Yoked teaching in the trash can

Sexual Immorality and Five Other Reasons People Reject Christianity by D. Johnson

Sexual Immorality and Five Other Reasons People Reject Christianity

This mentions that some people become atheists because they were hurt in life and blame God – like several well-known atheists experienced the death of their fathers when they were young. However, I am focusing on the portion of the article that talks about how sexual immorality influences people to become atheistic.

(Link): Sexual Immorality and Five Other Reasons People Reject Christianity by D. Johnson

The pages discusses different reasons. Here is one.

    Immorality

    Now for the big one. Of all the motivations and reasons for skepticism that I encounter, immorality is easily the most common.

    In particular, sexual sin seems to be the largest single factor driving disbelief in our culture. Brant Hanson calls sex “The Big But” because he so often hears this from unbelievers: “’I like Jesus, BUT…’ and the ‘but’ is usually followed, one way or the other, with an objection about the Bible and… sex.

    People think something’s deeply messed-up with a belief system that says two consenting, unmarried adults should refrain from sex.” In other words, people simply do not want to follow the Christian teaching that sexual intercourse should take place only between and man and woman who are married, so they throw the whole religion out. The easiest way to justify sin is to deny that there is a creator to provide reality with a nature, thereby denying that there is any inherent order and purpose in the universe.

    Aldous Huxley admitted that this is a common reason for skepticism:

      I had motives for not wanting the world to have a meaning; consequently I assumed that it had none and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption….

      Those who detect no meaning in the world generally do so because, for one reason or another, it suits their books that the world should be meaningless.

      … For myself as, no doubt, for most of my contemporaries, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation. The liberation we desired was …liberation from … a certain system of morality.

      We objected to the morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom….

      There was one admirably simple method in our political and erotic revolt: We could deny that the world had any meaning whatsoever. Similar tactics had been adopted during the eighteenth century and for the same reasons. (Ends and Means, 270-273)

    Indeed, similar tactics have been used extensively up to the present day.

    If you are looking for two great resources that document the extent to which the work of the world’s “great” atheistic thinkers has been “calculated to justify or minimize the shame of their own debauchery,” (Spiegel, 72)

    I recommend Intellectuals by Paul Johnson and Degenerate Moderns: Modernity as Rationalized Sexual Misbehavior by E. Michael Jones.

    The bottom line is that these skeptical scholars didn’t reach their conclusions by following the evidence where it led.

    They didn’t “discover” that the world was meaningless and then proceed to live accordingly.

    They lived sinful lives (usually involving some type of sexual deviancy) and then produced theories that justified their actions. This connection between immorality and unsound thought is clearly scriptural.

    Paul tells the Ephesians that they

      “must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more” (Eph. 4:17-19)

    Paul blames futile thinking and a lack of understanding on hard hearts.

    When we compare this passage with Romans 1, it seems that immorality and bad ideas work together in a vicious cycle that spirals downward. Sin leads to false philosophies which then lead to more sin.

    … So Paul argues that the nature of reality is clear to everyone but people suppress the truth by their wickedness. Rebellious people become fools as they deny the obvious meaning of creation because of their sin. Their foolishness leads them to indulge in more immorality.

    Thus immorality is very closely linked to skepticism and we need to be aware that sin will almost always be at least an underlying issue in our conversations.

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Related posts this blog:

(Link): No Christians and Churches Do Not Idolize Virginity and Sexual Purity – Christians Attack and Criticize Virginity Sexual Purity Celibacy / Virginity Sexual Purity Not An Idol

(Link): Part 1 – No Man’s Land – Between Agnosticism and Christianity / Also: It’s Emotional Not Intellectual (Part 1)

No Man’s Land – Part 2 – On Post Evangelicals or Ex Christians or Liberal Christians Ignorantly Hopping Aboard Belief Sets They Once Rejected

No Man’s Land – Part 2 – On Post Evangelicals or Ex Christians or Liberal Christians Ignorantly Hopping Aboard Belief Sets They Once Rejected

✹ What follows is actually the heart of my “No Man’s Land” view. This is what prompted me to write it: ✹

✹ TAKING THE OPPOSITE POSITION OF WHAT YOU USED TO BELIEVE BUT NOW HATE – DUE TO EMOTIONAL REASONS OR A KNEE JERK RESPONSE OR FROM SPITE – IS JUST AS WRONG AND MISTAKEN ✹

As to the forums and blogs by ex Christians, liberal Christians, self identifying post-evangelicals, or those still Christian who expose spiritual abuse…

I notice a number of the regular visitors to these sites – the ones who left an abusive or legalistic church or denomination – simply now operate in the reverse in their thinking, which is, IMO, just as bad or wrong as the thinking they are leaving.

There are different types of ex-Christians one must take into consideration when discussing this topic, so I shall present some sketches of them first.

IFBs (Independent Fundamentalist Baptists)

For example, there are ex IFBs (Independent Fundamentalist Baptists).

IFB preachers and churches are ridiculously legalistic. They make up rules that are not in the Bible, or twist or exaggerate the rules already there to the point those rules then become unbiblical.

IFBs are the contemporary, American versions of the Bible’s Pharisees: nit picky, anal retentive, legalists who make up man-made rules but insist they are “biblical” and thus binding on all believers.

IFBs concoct man-made traditions they expect all IFB members to adhere to, just like the Roman Catholic hierarchy does towards Roman Catholic members.

For example, IFB churches are legalistic about secular entertainment and clothing and physical appearance.

IFB churches teach their congregations that women should not wear pants but only skirts. And the skirts should be only so many inches above or below the knee.

According to IFBs, men should not have hair that touches the back shirt collar – not a mullet to be found in IFB, which may be a good thing. Secular music and television is sinful and should always be avoided.

IFBs have other legalistic rules for just about every aspect of life.

IFBs are vehemently anti-Roman Catholicism as well as anti-Calvinism.

Continue reading “No Man’s Land – Part 2 – On Post Evangelicals or Ex Christians or Liberal Christians Ignorantly Hopping Aboard Belief Sets They Once Rejected”

No Man’s Land – Between Agnosticism and Christianity / Also: It’s Emotional Not Intellectual (Part 1)

No Man’s Land – Between Agnosticism and Christianity / Also: It’s Emotional Not Intellectual (PART 1)

This will be a series of posts where my thoughts wander in and out and all over, and it rambles, but there is a point or two behind it.

Since I’ve been in a faith crisis the last couple of years, somewhere between being an agnostic and a Christian, I have noticed I don’t fit in anywhere. I reside in No Man’s Land.

(Even before then, when I was a total, committed Christian, and politically, I was, and am, right wing, I still didn’t fit in at most blogs and forums, including political ones, and including ones for right wingers!

I tend to be one of those personalities who annoys or angers everyone, even those on “my side” of an issue, except a small number of people, who are either on my side of a topic or not, who “get me” or who appreciate where I’m coming from – again, this is true for even the ones who disagree with me on whatever topic we are discussing.)

I am in this really weird place now, where I am critical of some aspects of conservative Christianity, and see where conservative Christians get some doctrines and other things wrong, but, too, I am not fully on board with militant atheism (I find the New Atheists to be arrogant, vile, hateful and rude), and I don’t even care for lukewarm atheism.

Nor am I in the camp of anything and all things liberal Christianity, except where I think they get the occasional point correct (such as their rejection of gender complementarianism).

Since drifting away from the Christian faith more the last few years, I more often began frequenting forums or blogs for and by atheists, ones by liberal Christians, ones by ex Christians, or by Christians who were abused by a former church who remain Christian but who dropped out of Church, or who now are on a crusade to expose abuse by preachers or the absurdity and harm of current evangelical gimmicks.

THE MILITANT ATHEISTS

A clarification: when I say I have been visiting atheist forums and blogs more often, I am very picky about which ones I regularly visit.

I do not like the frothing- at- the- mouth, extremely bitter, biased- against- Christians- type atheistic communities.

The bitter atheist groups sound like a bunch of irrational, hate-filled loons who reject Christianity for emotional reasons, but who lie to others and themselves and say, “Oh no, it’s purely intellectual.”

But their unrelenting, insane amount of hatred at any and all things God and Christian, is just a total turn-off to me, so I try to avoid such sites.

These angry, always-ranting atheists are really nothing more than Fundamentalist Atheists or Taliban Atheists. They are just as dogmatic about their atheism as Muslims are in their Wasabi Islam or Baptists are in their Neo Fundamentalism.

Really, those types of atheists are just as bad as the religious groups they claim they hate, but they don’t seem to spot that they are. It’s ironic – and it’s hard to stomach the day in, day out anger and hatred, so I try to avoid their sites.

HYPOCRITICAL CHRISTIANS VS NON HYPOCRITICAL CHRISTIANS

Also, you have to be honest with yourself, which I do not find militant atheists to be, by and large: not every single Christian is a hypocrite, jerk, idiot, dullard, or complete jackhole.

I say this as someone who is very fed up with Christianity and Christian persons myself these days.

But your average militant atheist will never admit that some Christians are in fact okay and not being hypocrites.

I have known and met a few Christians who were sincerely trying to live the Christian faith out, such as my mother, who is now deceased, and her mother before her (my grandmother).

I’ve met a few honest, sincere Christians online who do help people and show compassion to the wounded.

So it’s not fair to completely dismiss the entirety of Christians and their faith or treat them all like jerks because some are liars, mean, or abusive.

Which is not easy for me personally, because at the same time, I do keep noticing that a lot of self-professing believers do NOT live out what the Bible says.

Many self professing Christians today, for example, do not protect victims, such as young church members who have been sexually molested by preachers.

Nor do many church goers today hold accountable preachers who bilk their church goers out of millions to buy big mansions and jets.

These idiots, these lemmings, actually defend their greedy pastors online, which I’ve written about here: (Link): Your Preacher Sucks – and People Have a Right To Say So And Explain Why.

Then you have a conservative or evangelical culture, which claims to care deeply that people preserve sex until marriage, but if you actually find yourself 40 years of age and still single – and therefore still a virgin, such as myself – these same churches and Christians do not offer you any support.

You either go ignored, or preachers and talking heads of such groups “run down” and insult celibacy as well as older, celibate adults. Churches treat single (and especially celibate) adults as though they are flawed, lepers, weirdos, or losers.

Churches wrongly counsel abused wives to return to their spouses – this is particularly true, again, of churches or Christian groups who buy into “biblical womanhood” (aka “gender complementariansm”) or “patriarchy.”

Churches and average Christians also remain ignorant or callous about matters pertaining to mental health issues, from P.T.S.D. to depression and anxiety attacks.

Some Christians wrongly and insensitively teach that “real Christians” can never get depression or other mental health maladies.

Or, some Christians believe and teach that prayer, faith, service to the poor, or Bible reading alone can cure one of mental illness.

Still other Christians (or the same type) will shame and guilt suffering Christians for using anti-depressant medications, or for seeing secular or Christian psychiatrists and therapists (see this link for more, “Over 50 Percent of Christians Believe Prayer, Bible Reading Alone Can Cure Mental Illness (article) – In Other Words Half of Christians are Ignorant Idiots Regarding Mental Illness”).

Yet other Christians are incompetent at, or unwilling, to provide more ordinary, “every day,” run- of- the- mill comfort to other Christians who are hurting, such as a Christian who is stressed out over a job loss, someone who is in mourning for a deceased loved one, etc.

Christians are dropping the ball in numerous ways.

And this failure, this huge failure, causes life long Christians like me to look long and hard at the faith and wonder if it’s true at all.

It causes even someone such as myself to ask if the faith is true, because

  • it doesn’t appear to be working,
  • it doesn’t make a difference in people’s life who profess it,
  • most who claim to follow Christ don’t actually do what he taught,
  • and some Christians refuse to hold Christians caught in bald faced sin accountable but excuse them for the sin,

~ and it makes you wonder “what is the point, then.”

I find this discrepancy between confessed belief and actual practice shocking, because I myself sincerely tried living out the faith since childhood.

Also, my Christian mother was a role model for me, and she genuinely, consistently lived out and by biblical teachings, including getting up off her ass and actually HELPING people (giving them money if they were in a bind, cleaning their homes for them when they were sick, listening to them cry and rant about their problems for hours without judging them or interrupting them, etc).

I am not seeing most other Christians do any of this. They say they believe in those things but then they do not do them.

BLOGS AND FORUMS FOR SPIRITUALLY ABUSED OR THOSE HURT BY CHURCHES

Before I actually get into this topic (which I discuss more in Posts 2 and 3), here is some background leading up to it.

As far as the sites I have visited by liberal Christians, ex Christians, atheists, as well as sites by Christians for the spiritually abused:

By and large, these have been wonderful, supportive sites and groups to visit (the ones run by Christians for hurting Christians).

I have noticed, though, that there are problems even within these types of communities, and I don’t entirely fit in at them, either.

Continue reading “No Man’s Land – Between Agnosticism and Christianity / Also: It’s Emotional Not Intellectual (Part 1)”