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”

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

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

Below you will find a link to, and excerpts from, an editorial by S. Harris I agree with.

One of the most annoying things about the backlash against the Coulter piece is how Christians arguing against it were tone-deaf or had tunnel vision. They totally mis-read her piece, or assumed things about it that she did not say.

Most of the criticisms I read were operating under the erroneous belief that Coulter said, “Americans should never, ever help foreigners.” -When she said no such thing.

Another variation on that were the idiots who thought Coulter was saying, “Americans should only help Americans, screw the world!” She also wasn’t saying that.

Look, if you are an American living in the USA and you have “Grandpa Joe” living under your roof, you’ve taken him in because he can no longer care for himself….

And good old Grandpa Joe has dementia and is in a wheelchair, and you’re not getting him proper medication, nursing visits, bathing him, -BUT- you are flying to Africa on a plane every four months to go build one room huts for Africans (and you pride yourself in taking these trips to help orphans in Africa), you are the selfish jerk with messed up priorities, not Ann Coulter for calling you out on that hypocrisy.

And sad to say, most Americans do indeed ignore Grandpa Joe, or guys and women like him, to go on humanitarian trips to places like Africa.

And they think this is so compassionate and loving. They cannot see the hypocrisy or insensitivity of it. If God wanted you to go help in Africa, he would have had you born there.

It makes no sense for the Africans to fly to the USA to help Americans, the French to fly to Brazil to help Brazilians, the Saudis to fly to France to help the French, the Russians to fly to Canada to help the Canadians, the Aussies to fly to Russia to help the Russians.

In an extreme situation, in a natural disaster type thing (which to me is different than an on-going disease outbreak that has a 90% fatality rate), I’m seeing a stronger rationale for action.

Where a nation gets blown off the map by a typhoon, or what not, by all means, let’s see the world come together and all nations mail food and fly in equipment and blankets, but the rest of the year, no, it’s a waste of time and resources for everyone everywhere to do these things.

According to several news reports I’ve read, the ebola disease is 60 – 90% fatal (depending on medical treatment), and the whole thing that kicked off the Coulter piece in the first place were these naive, American, evangelical do-gooder doctor and missionaries who flew down there to “lend a hand.”

Now these do-gooders have ebola and were flown back to the United States, and which potentionally exposes other Americans to this.

Someone on another site raised what I felt was a decent analogy – how people voluntarily go on mountain-hiking trips but then get stranded on the mountain, so that other emergency respondents have to risk their lives, and spend a buttload of money, to fly helicopters and what all to rescue them. It’s a similar scenario.

Here is the editorial I agree with:

(Link): Ann Coulter’s Article Hits Home — Literally by S. Harris

Excerpts:

    Ann Coulter’s recent article “Ebola Doc’s Condition Downgraded to Idiotic” really hit home — if you’ll excuse the pun.

    Coulter makes a good argument as she questions why American missionaries don’t stay home and help a country in the violent throes of spiritual decay. She accuses them of slinking off to Third World countries (and coming back with Ebola), while they abandon the most consequential nation on earth — their own.

    It’s a thought I’ve often had as I’ve watched church after church suck their congregations dry for overseas missionary work while the old lady in the house next-door struggles for food — physically and financially.

    These same missionaries are lauded as heroes for going to Africa when their hometowns are awash in drugs, pornography, murders, domestic abuse, pedophilia, and a thousand other byproducts of spiritual darkness.

    I would go even farther and liken the situation to child adoption in the U.S. Couples, often citing impossible U.S. adoption laws and red tape, have been going overseas to adopt children for years while nearly 400,000 American children remain in foster care.

    Roughly 102,000 of those are waiting to be adopted at any given time, and another 58,000 become available for adoption after their parents’ rights are terminated.

    I know a Christian couple who recently adopted five siblings from Bhutan. Another couple, misled about the health of a newborn, adopted a Russian baby who needed so many operations they nearly went bankrupt and ended up divorcing.

    All of this happens while a little boy or girl from Nebraska or Kentucky grows up in the uncertain love and insecurity of foster care. I’ve rarely met a couple who adopted an American-born child.

    The truth is, instead of staying and fighting, Americans developed a pattern of running to other countries — whether for missionary work, adoption, or cheaper labor and smaller overhead.

    …Ann Coulters article was harsh, but it needed to be said.

    … Still, Ann Coulter was right to raise such relevant questions: “…Why do we have to deal with this at all? Can’t anyone serve Christ in America anymore?”

I encourage you to visit the author’s editorial and read the whole thing, because in it, in a part I did not quote above here, she even has an example in there of a time she brought her India- born- and- raised friend to an American church with her as a guest.

Harris said she was a Christian wanting to find a home church. She said she invited her India-born friend to attend with her one day at a new church she was checking out, so he did.

Harris said that when the church people noticed her friend was from India and was a Hindu, that they swarmed around him to welcome him but they blew her off (she was, to them, an obvious American).

Harris said the next day, the church ladies visited the guy at his home – they had obtained his address the day before – and brought him baked cakes and other goodies, but they brought nothing to Harris.

And Harris was the Christian looking for a church – her Hindu friend did not give a rat’s ass about joining Christianity at all. He was delighted to get free cookies from the Christians but thought the church ladies naive (that was how I understood what she wrote).

I could be mistaken, but I would assume that Harris’ Hindu friend probably had brown skin, probably spoke with a heavy accent – so it was obvious to the church people he was foreign.

I have noticed that U.S. Christians are in fact inclined to do missionary work toward, or help, only certain groups of people – among them, dark skinned people, and especially ones who are pagan in religious beliefs (ie, Hindu, Muslim).

(Though evangelicals will at times make narrow exceptions in America to help suffering Americans, but usually only the most severe, “down and out” cases, such as homeless crack addicts and women who work as strippers in night clubs.)

There seems to be little to no concern by white Christians for white skinned, middle class, “average Joe” people in America.

It’s weird, revolting, and not at all biblical to play “pick and choose” in who you will show compassion to. Everyone is supposed to be your neighbor, not just orphan kids or ebola patients in Africa, or homeless crack addicts.

And no, I’m not a “white pride” person or “white nationalist” or whatever they call themselves. I don’t mind if whites help dark skinned people.

What I am saying is I am sort of turned off by how so many American white Christians view dark-skinned foreigners as exotic pets and/or as being more “worthy” to save or help than their white, native neighbors (and we also have dark skinned Americans in America who could use help). It’s kind of a form of reverse-racism, and Christians should have no part in it, but they do.

Years ago, during what seemed to be a trend of white Americans adopting black children from Africa (and greasing the wheels by throwing their money at charities in those nations), I saw editorials by dark skinned Africans* who wrote they found the white American do-gooder mentality towards Africans offensive and condescending – they say they don’t want or need a “white savior” to fly in and rescue them. You would think white Americans would get a clue.

*(some of the journalists either self-identified as being black people, and/or they had a staff photo of themselves accompanying their editorials.)
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Related posts:

(Link): Ann Coulter’s Very Accurate Ebola Post Being Criticized As Being Insensitive – But It’s Not; It’s Accurate

(Link): White Evangelicals, White Fundamentalists, and White Baptists: White Americans Don’t Need the Gospel or Compassion, especially not the affluent or middle class

(Link): Why Christians Need To Stress Spiritual Family Over the Nuclear Family – People with no flesh and blood relations including Muslims who Convert to Christianity – Also: First World, White, Rich People Problems

(Link): Radical Christianity – New Trend That Guilt Trips American Christians For Living Average Lives

(Link): To Get Any Attention or Support from a Church These Days you Have To Be A Stripper, Prostitute, or Orphan

American Teen Missionary Raped Several Orphan Children in Africa, One As Young As Four – Being Equally Yoked is a Joke

American Teen Missionary Raped Several Children, One As Young As Four – Being Equally Yoked is a Joke

Given that Christian men are just as apt to be baby-rapers as Non Christian ones, I think it’s a safe choice for an unmarried woman to hedge bets by marrying an atheist or agnostic, as it would marrying a self professing Christian, even one who works for charity.

The cherry on top is that some preacher or dude affiliated with the charity referred to this pervert (the child rapist) as a “true man of God” or some such. See articles below.

(Link): Matthew Durham Christian child rapist: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

    Matthew Durham is the aid volunteer from Oklahoma who the feds say confessed to raping HIV-positive orphans while he was on one of his humanitarian missions to Kenya.

    …You can read the full criminal complaint here, on page seven, section 15, there are vivid descriptions of the sex acts in question. Warning Disturbing Content: (visit their page to view material)

    … 2. The Feds Say He Had Sexual Relations With HIV-Positive Orphans

    …On his last trip, between April 30 and June 17, 2014, the feds say, Durham insisted on staying in the children’s home rather than with a host family.

    Continue reading “American Teen Missionary Raped Several Orphan Children in Africa, One As Young As Four – Being Equally Yoked is a Joke”

Christian evangelical adoption movement perseveres amid criticism, drop in foreign adoptions – yes, they care about orphans but don’t give a squat about adult singles

Christian evangelical adoption movement perseveres amid criticism, drop in foreign adoptions – yes, they care about orphans but don’t give a squat about adult singles

Recall my previous posts:

(Link): Christian evangelical adoption movement perseveres amid criticism, drop in foreign adoptions

    Oct 2013

    To many Christian evangelicals, their commitment to finding homes for the world’s orphans is something to celebrate — and they will, gathering at hundreds of churches across America to direct their thoughts and prayers to these children.

    But the fifth annual Orphan Sunday, this coming weekend, arrives at a challenging time, and not just because the number of international adoptions is dwindling. The adoption movement faces criticisms so forceful that some of its own leaders are paying heed.

    The gist: Some evangelicals are so enamored of international adoption as a mission of spiritual salvation — for the child and the adoptive parents — that they have closed their eyes to adoption-related fraud and trafficking, and have not fully embraced alternatives that would help orphans find loving families in their home countries.

    Some adoption advocates in evangelical circles have angrily rejected the criticisms. But the president of the coalition that organizes Orphan Sunday, Jedd Medefind of the Christian Alliance for Orphans, has urged his allies and supporters to take the critiques to heart even though he disputes some aspects of them. Alliance partners, he says, should be eager to support a broad range of orphan-care programs and to avoid the temptation of viewing adoptive parents as saviors.

    “When the dominant feature of our thinking becomes ‘us as rescuers,’ we’re in grave danger,” Medefind wrote on the alliance website. “What often follows is the pride, self-focus and I-know-better outlook that has been at the root of countless misguided efforts to help others.”

    One leading critic of the movement comes from within evangelical ranks — Professor David Smolin, director of the Center for Biotechnology, Law and Ethics at the law school of Baptist-affiliated Samford University in Alabama. Smolin plunged into the debate after he and his wife adopted two daughters from India in 1998, then learned that the girls had been abducted from an orphanage where they’d been placed temporarily by their mother.

    The evangelical movement “uncritically participates in adoption systems riddled with child laundering, where children are illicitly obtained through fraud, kidnapping or purchase,” Smolin wrote in a law journal article. “The result is often tragically misdirected and cruel, as the movement participates in the needless separation of children from their families.”

    Many of Smolin’s concerns were reinforced with the recent publication of “The Child Catchers,” a book about the evangelical adoption movement by journalist Kathryn Joyce.
    It details cases where foreign children adopted by evangelicals were mistreated and looks at problematic Christian-led adoption initiatives in such countries as Ethiopia, Liberia and Haiti — where Idaho church group leader Laura Silsby briefly was jailed for arranging illegal travel of children after the 2010 earthquake.

    Continue reading “Christian evangelical adoption movement perseveres amid criticism, drop in foreign adoptions – yes, they care about orphans but don’t give a squat about adult singles”

How Christian Obsession with Orphans Is Creating Problems (article) – Also: confirms my previous warnings about Christians ignoring Christians to help only special classes

How Christian Obsession with Orphans Is Creating Problems (NYT editorial) – Also: confirms my previous warnings about Christians ignoring Christians to help only special classes

As I have been saying on this blog for months, one major mistake in American Christianity (specifically, fundamentalists, Baptists, and evangelicals) is that they neglect to carry out the Bible’s command for Christians to care for and about other Christians primiarly (Galatians 6:10), but tend to pick “special interest groups” to shower compassion upon (eg, homeless crack addicts, strippers in sex clubs, African orphans).

Here is a page reporting on how this Christian obsession with adopting Chinese and African orphans, and orphans from other nations, is creating problems:

(Link): The Evangelical Orphan Boom

You will have to click that link to read the whole page. Here are several quotes from it:

    By KATHRYN JOYCE
    Published: September 21, 2013

    IF you attend an evangelical church these days, there’s a good chance you’ll hear about the “orphan crisis” affecting millions of children around the world.

    These Christian advocates of transnational adoption will often say that some 150 million children need homes — though that figure, derived from a Unicef report, includes not only parentless children, but also those who have lost only one parent, and orphans who live with relatives.

    Evangelical adoptions picked up in earnest in the middle of the last decade, when a wave of prominent Christians, including the megachurch pastor Rick Warren and leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention, began to promote adoption as a special imperative for believers.

    Adoption mirrored the Christian salvation experience, they argued, likening the adoption of orphans to Christ’s adoption of the faithful. Adoption also embodied a more holistic “pro-life” message — caring for children outside the womb as well as within — and an emphasis on good deeds, not just belief, that some evangelicals felt had been ceded to mainline Protestant denominations.

    Believers rose to the challenge. The Christian Alliance for Orphans estimates that hundreds of thousands of people worldwide participate in its annual Orphan Sunday (this year’s is Nov. 3).

    Evangelicals from the Bible Belt to Southern California don wristbands or T-shirts reading “orphan addict” or “serial adopter.” Ministries have emerged to raise money and award grants to help Christians pay the fees (some $30,000 on average, plus travel) associated with transnational adoption.

    However well intended, this enthusiasm has exacerbated what has become a boom-and-bust market for children that leaps from country to country. In many cases, the influx of money has created incentives to establish or expand orphanages — and identify children to fill them.

    In some cases, agencies may hire “child finders” to recruit children of the age and gender that prospective adoptive parents prefer, sometimes from impoverished but intact families. Even nonprofit agencies with good reputations may turn to such local recruiters in countries where they don’t already have established partners — or where the demand for children exceeds the supply.

    The potential for fraud and abuse is high. Orphanages tend to be filled by kids whose parents want better opportunities for them, while the root problem — extreme poverty — goes unaddressed, a Unicef worker in Ethiopia told me. Worse, some families in places with different cultural norms and legal systems relinquish their kids believing that it is a temporary guardianship arrangement, rather than an irrevocable severance of family ties.

    Continue reading “How Christian Obsession with Orphans Is Creating Problems (article) – Also: confirms my previous warnings about Christians ignoring Christians to help only special classes”

To Get Any Attention or Support from a Church These Days you Have To Be A Stripper, Prostitute, or Orphan

To Get Any Attention or Support from a Church These Days you Have To Be A Stripper, Prostitute, or Orphan

Well. Good luck getting any support if you are a Christian who has remained celibate and single into your 30s and older. Churches would rather serve and help strippers, orphans, homeless people and prostitutes than singles.

Note that I am not saying it is wrong for Christians to help strippers, orphans, and so on, only that I condemning them for being very selective in when, where, and to whom they offer help and compassion.

Christians will help a stripper or porn star but not a Christian woman who is a virgin who has remain unmarried into her 40s. There’s something very wrong with Christians showing preferential treatment to some categories of people, such as helping strippers and prostitutes, but not celibate Christian women who are single.

It looks to me as if you want or need community, friendship, support, or help from most churches that you must become a stripper, a whore, or an orphan in Africa, or a homeless bag lady downtown.

It’s so odd that so many Christians are so quick to help people stuck in sexual sin, or who willfully engage in sexual sin, but treat Christians who have remained sexually pure like garbage.

I guess I can go to work as a stripper in Nashville, and then this pastor’s wife will fellowship with me and bring me home-cooked meals:

(Link): Tennessee Pastor’s Wife Begins Ministry for Strippers in Nashville

Excerpt

    BY JESSICA MARTINEZ, CP CONTRIBUTOR
    August 21, 2013|5:40 pm
    “Strip Church” ministry based out of Nashville, Tenn. began after a pastor’s wife fasted for 21 days in late 2012 for a new purpose, only to learn God was calling her to reach out to strippers and women in the porn industry.

    “I had one clear direction from God, and it was “go feed the strippers.” I had no idea what that meant, but it was pressing so hard on my heart that I had to obey. I realized the homosexual, stripper, child molester, atheist, drug addict, Muslim and abortionist is not the enemy, they are the mission field,” said Stevens to The Christian Post.

    Stevens, who helps her husband, Todd Stevens, lead Friendship Community Church in Mt. Juliet, Tenn., was bewildered but willing to serve so she made her first call to a strip club in downtown Nashville, where according to Stevens, the porn industry market is “huge.” After telling the manager of Déjà Vu that she wanted to go to the club and take food for the dancers with no strings attached, she was surprised that he invited her the following week.

    “She doesn’t spread the gospel at Deja Vu, she just shows the girls love by listening, being attentive, and answering any questions they may have about life or faith,” said John Sanchez, general manager at Déjà Vu, to CP. “The reason she was invited was because she didn’t try to ‘spread the word.””

    During her first visit, Stevens took a home cooked meal to the club and stayed for 45 minutes to hold conversation with the women. There were no “high pressure sales pitch, no Bible and no tracts,” according to Stevens. Now, she goes twice a month for an hour before the night shift begins. In addition, she visits another club in the same area where she “shows God’s love in a practical way.”

    “My vision for the Strip Church ministry is to be able to provide free Christian counseling, free job placement, free GED training or college courses, free childcare, free medical care, and meet benevolence needs the girls may have,” said Stevens.

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Related posts this blog:

Follow Up to This Post:

(Link): On The Bright Side

(Link): Ann Coulter’s Very Accurate Ebola Post Being Criticized As Being Insensitive – But It’s Not; It’s Accurate

(Link): Want To But Can’t – The One Christian Demographic Being Continually Ignored by Christians Re: Marriage

(Link): Never Married Christians Over Age 35 who are childless Are More Ignored Than Divorced or Infertile People or Single Parents

(Link): No, Christians and Churches Do Not Idolize Virginity and Sexual Purity

(Link): Church Gives Shoes to Homeless – Misplaced Priorities – Also: Audacity of Preachers To Shame the Hurting or Victims

(Link): The Bible Says Christians are to Help Other Christians First (not sex trafficked people, not orphans in Africa, not homeless crack addicts, etc)

(Link): Suffering and Misery Trend Du Jour

(Link): Part 2 – Suffering and Misery Trend Du Jour

(Link): You Don’t Need to Look Far To Find Hurting People Who Could Use Your Help and Compassion

Church Gives Shoes to Homeless – Misplaced Priorities – Also: Audacity of Preachers To Shame the Hurting or Victims

Church Gives Shoes to Homeless – Misplaced Priorities

Xtian = Christian

(Link): On Vulgar Language at This Blog -You have been warned.

BTW, there is some weird Asian- language site that keeps re-blogging my posts, and I wish they would stop. It’s weird.
Anyway. Back to the purpose of my post.
—————————————
Church Gives Shoes to Homeless – Misplaced Priorities

Does the Bible say Christians are to help widows and orphans? Certainly.

But it says that first and foremost Xtians are to help those within their own group (Galatians 6:10), not those outside of it.

Most often, Xtians fail miserably at meeting the needs of Xtians they already know, who may even go to their very same church.

One reason of several I am leaving the Christian faith is that Xtians don’t actually do what the Bible and God tells them to do when it comes to helping one another.

Christians did not help me get my needs met when I went to them at a very low point in my life.

At my time of greatest need, Christians brushed me off, or gave me judgement, cliches, platitudes, and criticism – when I needed love, encouragement, and sympathy. -All of which is free, by the way. I was not even asking for money.

Some of the same Xtians who did this, however, will sit there and cry crocodile tears of sadness over people they do not even know (such as orphans in Africa, domestic abuse victims in homeless shelters, etc).

I cannot conceive how you can feel sorry for little orphans in Africa, whom you don’t even know, but treat the hurting Xtian next to you weekly in church like she is a piece of shit, when she’s going through heartbreak in her own life, which you damn well knew about.

But it happens often, not just with me, but I’ve met other Xtians online who have similar stories.

Here’s the article that got me to pondering on these things again:

(Link): Florida Church Sends Congregants Home Barefoot, Collects Shoes for Homeless

    First Baptist Church of Fort Lauderdale, which is attended by about 2,000 people each Sunday, collected an estimated 700 pairs of shoes for the homeless during Sunday’s “Soles for Souls” event, according to Mike Jeffries, associate to the senior pastor.

I’m supposed to think that church is being generous or loving by donating a bunch of old smelly shoes to some homeless shelter?

BTW, if you’re going to donate shoes, you should send the shelter gift certificates, so they can fill any size request with BRAND NEW SHOES.

The article said these people who donated wore the shoes into the church service before sticking them up on the stage for donation. 🙄

Are they too cheap skated to buy BRAND NEW SHOES or to give the shelter GIFT CERTIFICATES? If you were a shelter person would you want to wear a pair of shoes previously worn by someone else, or would you prefer a brand new, never worn pair?

I’m more interested in knowing if that church follows Galatians 6:10 and serves the members of the body of that local church first.

Does that church provide a month’s worth of free groceries every so often to the seniors living on meager incomes? Do they drop by to scrub the toilet and dust the furniture and mow the lawn of the 35 year old never married member who’s on his back, recovering, after surgery?

Or does this church only run around raising funds and some used shoes for homeless shelters?

If the people at that church are ignoring, or shaming, the Average Joe in the pew of their church, but thumping their chests over how proud they are to be helping the homeless, screw them – and that would be God’s attitude as well, I’m pretty sure.

See Christ’s story of ‘The Good Samaritan’ to see what Jesus thinks about people who IGNORE the hurting RIGHT BENEATH THEIR NOSE to go perform some other religious duty, or to serve someone else, or do charitable deed to someone else.

If a fellow Xtian approaches you with a problem, don’t brush them off to go help an orphan or lecture him or her that “orphans have life worse than you,” because God (assuming He exists) put that person in YOUR PATH because God EXPECTS YOU TO HELP THAT PERSON, you nim rod.

If God wanted you to help African orphans, he would have arranged for you to be BORN AMONG THEM IN AFRICA.

But you’re a white person born into middle class American life (this problem seems more prevalent among white American Christians than other types of Christians I’ve seen).

Your “mission field” consists of the other people already around you – people in your neighborhood, your job, people you bump into at the store, and NOT AFRICA and NOT HOMELESS PEOPLE IN YOUR INNER CITY.

Unless God explicitly and clearly tells you he wants all your energies going to the homeless downtown or to poor people in Africa, assume it’s to help people you personally bump into on a day by day basis in your own city, GALATIANS 6:10.

PREACHERS WHO GUILT OR SHAME PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN HURT BY CHRISTIANS OR CHURCHES

I caught several minutes of the “Answers” show this weekend. It’s the weekly church show by preacher Bayless Conley.

The funny thing is, I usually agree with this Conley guy most of the time, but every so often, he says something that rubs me the wrong way or that I don’t agree with.

In this past week’s show, he was shaming and blaming people who say they are angry at church/Christians or who drop out of church because their church didn’t meet their needs.

He told the story of a woman who began going to his church. He said she was still quite angry over an incident from years before.

This woman said that at their old church, when her husband was sick for months, that nobody from her church helped her or her hubby. This really upset her, and she was still hurt or angry about it many years later. Conley was saying she should drop this and move on.

The problem is, it’s not just her.

I’ve seen numerous testimonies online by Xtians who said in their time of greatest need, their church did not come to their aid, with practical help, such as bringing over free food, mowing their lawn for them, etc.

Anyway, this Conley preacher guy stood there and criticized this woman or her attitude.

Conley told people who feel they’ve been done wrong by a church to keep going to church, and so on.

The audacity! The appropriate response to people who have been hurt by a church is NOT to BLAME THEM for HAVING BEEN MISTREATED (which is victim-blaming and is totally repulsive and anti-Christ), but to ACKNOWLEDGE THEIR WOUNDS.

You don’t blame an abused or hurting person for being hurt, shell shocked, understandably reluctant, or skittish from having been abused by a former church or by a Christian(s).

You don’t shame a hurt Xtian back into church attendance by appealing to some Bible verse or another, or by appealing to a sense of “Christian duty,” or by claiming they are having a pity party or feeling sorry for themselves, or whatever other insensitive malarky.

What Conley should have said is, “If you have been hurt by a church, I am so sorry. But please reconsider giving the church another try.” But he chose the “blame the victim” strategy instead, shaming and blaming people who have dropped out of church because they were hurt. Shame on Conley and preachers and Xtian laypersons like him.

WHAT PREACHERS CAN LEARN FROM DEALING WITH DOGS

If you come across a dog in an alley way that has been mistreated by previous humans, and the dog is either angry (growling) or whimpering (in fear, hurt), you get the dog to trust you by showing that dog consistent love and compassion.

You stop by every day, toss a few bits of food its way, and baby talk to it, such as,
“Oh what a good boy! Aren’t you a sweet puppy dog!”

You win the dog slowly over by displaying compassion and showing you are trustworthy; you earn the dog’s respect or trust.

You do NOT approach the wounded, scared, abused dog by yelling in a loud, angry, (or demanding and condescending) voice,

“The BIBLE says you are to forgive previous abusive humans and let me pet you! Repent you dog! REPENT FIDO! You are not to be in fear or nurse a grudge, that is a sin! Stop holding a grudge! Let me approach you and pet you!”

Taking that harsh, unloving, non- understanding approach to the dog’s abuse and its history will only cause the dog to mistrust you more.

And it’s stupid to think quoting a Bible verse at a dog – or human – is enough, or should be enough, to get them to instantly comply with what you want.

I’ve been hurt by other Christians, so I don’t really care if the Bible talks about ‘let us gather together to encourage one another blah blah blah.’ Those are just empty words on a page and mean nothing to me, as much of the Bible does these days.

Christians can’t even live up to the “love one another” and “love your neighbor” type verses but then they expect me to obey the “do not forsake the assembling together” verse? I don’t think so.

A note to preachers and regular church goers:
First live up to the “love one another” type verses, and then I will maybe consider returning to a church. Clean up your own life and your own church and fix what is wrong with you and your congregation before chewing me out over what you consider my flaws or for trying to shame me and guilt me over my non-attendance.
———————-
–Related posts this blog—

(Link): To Get Any Attention or Support from a Church These Days you Have To Be A Stripper, Prostitute, or Orphan

(Link): The Bible Says Christians are to Help Other Christians First (not sex trafficked people, not orphans in Africa, not homeless crack addicts, etc)

(Link): Suffering and Misery Trend Du Jour

(Link): Part 2 – Suffering and Misery Trend Du Jour

(Link): You Don’t Need to Look Far To Find Hurting People Who Could Use Your Help and Compassion

(Link): Do You Rate Your Family Too High? (Christians Who Idolize the Family) (article)

Single Adults – Why They Stay and Why They Stray From Church – Book Excerpts

Single Adults Why They Stay and Why They Stray (from church) Book Excerpts

Note: several questionable people have roles in this book, in the form of editing, or as contributors, such as…

    – a gender complementarian, Wayne Grudem; gender complementarianism (Link):

is not biblical

    ;
    -neither is “biblical counseling,” yet Edward T. Welch, who is a “biblical counselor” also had some kind of role in this book,
    – C. J. Mahaney – accused of being involved in a ten year cover up of child sexual abuse at his churches,

so I offer this link with a caveat.

The author of the particular chapter I am quoting seems okay, and I don’t see too much that I disagree with in his chapter.

What is really funny is that this book (I’m not sure when it was published, I am just now finding it today), echoes many of the things I’ve said on this blog before.

Edit: this book was published in 2003, but this is the first I am seeing it, or reading excerpts from it. It is incredible how the author noticed most of the same disturbing anti-singles views and trends that I have in this blog the last three years.

As I am a NEVER MARRIED woman, I am not going to present the full section under “divorce” in the chapter. You can visit the link to read it if you want.

The following is available for free on Google Books (this particular book is entitled “Pastoral Leadership for Manhood and Womanhood”) :
(Link): Single Adults in Your Ministry: Why They Stay and Why They Stray
by Dick Purnell

    … Do you know how many single adults sit in your congregation each Sunday? Recently I was speaking in a church to three thousand people. I asked for all the people who were unmarried and twenty-two years old or older to stand up. Over a thousand people stood up! The audience was surprised and gasped at the large number…

Do you realize that the number of single adults in America exceeds the total national population of all but eleven of the world’s 192 nations? How shocked would you be to discover that the number of single parents is greater than the entire population of Colorado and Tennesse combined?

According to the 2000 U.S. census 40 percent of all adults eighteen and older (forty-eight million) are single. We are seeing a tremendous shift in American social values.

The median age of a first-time marriage is now twenty-five among women and twenty-seven among men. The fastest growing family type is single parents.

If your church is in an urban area, the percentage of single adults near you is much higher than a rural area. Singles gravitate to the cities for jobs, things to do, and others to meet. They are searching for connection and community.

They are often afraid of loneliness, commitment, and isolation. Most of those under thirty have never been married. The average age of a married person’s first divorce is thirty-four. That means after years of marriage, they are thrown back into the dating scene. They feel awkward and unprepared. They face the same relationship challenges that teens face, but they feel out of place.

One woman said to me, “I am now single, but I feel married. I don’t want to be single, but that was forced on me.” They have been out of the dating world for so long that they have very little idea what to do. And no one is helping them or even having a discussion about some of these issues.

Most singles are invisible to churches.

… They represent every economic stratum you can imagine – everything from presidents of major corporations to the unemployed and all in between. Fifty-three percent of all unchurched adults are single.

But our churches are built on a mind-set of marriage, and singles are often neglected. They are the “Great Invisible Mission Field.” However, businesses are very aware of singles. If you look at the advertising on television or in magazines, you will find that a huge number of ads are geared to attract single people.

Sports clothing, beer, cell phones, and a myriad of other products are marketed to singles. They have the largest amount of discretionary income. But the church in general has a difficult time attracting them and capturing their attention and commitment.

Many single adults believe that the church excludes and ignores them. They feel like the church is either neglecting them or is just not interested in them. So single adults vote with their feet. They come to church for a few months or years; but when their needs are not addressed or they never hear a sermon addressed to their unique issues, they fade away and go somewhere else – or stop going to church altogether. They hear sermons preached on topics such as “How to be a Godly Husband” or “Becoming a Godly Wife.” But they have never heard a sermon on “How to be a Godly Single Adult.”

… [Singles] don’t stay because there is no emotional glue to keep them there. They are not the “squeaky wheel” that is going to ask the pastor to give a sermon directed toward them or to pound on the door of the budget meeting pressuring for more funding. They just fade away.

Are you desperate to attract single adults to your ministry and get them involved? Here is my top ten list on “Why Single Adults Are Turned Off by the Church.”

Number 10: Frivolous jokes degrade the single lifestyle.
Grandparents, pastors, and married friends all have jokes about singles. All the married people laugh, but the single buries the snub under a weak smile.

I was single for forty-two years. When I served as an assistant pastor in my middle thirties, I heard lots of good-natured jokes, but often the ribbing was not funny to me. “Hey, are you afraid to take the responsibility for a mate?” Here I was in charge of several significant ministries in the church, and they tell me I’m afraid to take responsibility?

“Maybe you are just too picky. Are you looking for a perfect wife?” In other words, if you lower your standards you may get somebody.

“You’re not getting any younger, you know.” That was supposed to pressure me to get moving? Sometimes I would get the big one: “What are you waiting for?” Like I better hurry up before I miss the “right one.” But isn’t there a sovereign God? His timing may not be my timing – or the timing of the people who ask me to hurry up.

In trying to encourage me, people would give what I call romantic testimonies: “I finally gave everything to God, and six months later I found the right one.” But I was forty years old and had been a full-time minister for over fifteen years.

Was there something I had not given up to God that some married twenty-year-old ha already given up to God? All the marriage formulas that people give singles may be individual experience they had, but those formulas are not normative for all believers. Why should I seek the holy grail of marriage if God wants me to be content in every situation?

After four years as a pastor, I resigned from my church. Even though I was no longer was the pastor, I continued to attend the church. A single female friend of mine from Kansas came to our city one weekend to visit some of her college buddies. I brought her to the 11 A.M. church service. As we were walking down the aisle, an elderly usher led us to a front row for seating. The organ was softly playing and everybody was kind of quiet. When we stopped to turn into the row, he handed my friend a bulletin and said to me loudly so most of the people could hear, “Hey Dick, when are you going to marry her?” I wanted to die right there, but first I wanted to punch his lights out.

These kinds of jokes will not attract singles to your church! No way! They degrade single life as if the only bright future is for married people. That idea is not found in the Bible. Even the apostle Paul stated that an unmarried person can have undivided devotion to the Lord (1 Cor. 7:32-35). He did not consider singleness a joking matter.

Number 9: Church leadership is mainly interested in the interests and needs of married people.
The pastor and leaders are usually all married with very little significant empathy or understanding of the unique needs and concerns of single adults.

Single Christians are rarely eligible to be members of the governing board. There are very few single senior pastors. The silent criterion of marriage eliminates singles from serving in many aspects of the typical church. If you carry that to a logical conclusion, the Apostle Paul would not be qualified to be a pastor or elder. Even Timothy would be shut out of the opportunity for leadership.

After four years as an assistant pastor, I wanted to become a senior pastor. I had a total of fifteen years experience in the ministry and two Master’s degrees. However, when I sent in my resumes, not one church ever asked me to candidate, because I had to write on the front page of the resume my marital status: “Single.” Who wants a senior pastor who is single?

It was a bitter experience. I was unqualified to be a senior pastor of a church because I did not have the “Mrs.” degree. Many men graduating from seminary have tremendous pressure put on them. If they want to rise above the level of youth pastor, they must be married. Why is marriage the unspoken golden key that unlocks the door to pastor advancement?

Number 8: Budgeted funds for single ministry are usually inadequate or nonexistent.
Many churches don’t budge anything for singles. When the churches that have budgeted some funds for singles ministry must cut the budget somewhere, the singles ministry often is the one that gets the ax. “Singles are adults – they can handle it,” the budget committee says. But the message that gets across is, “You are not as important as other people in our church.”

… The message the singles hear is loud and cleaer: “You are the lowest on the totem pole. Your needs come last. You are not worth our paying a minister who can meet your needs.” Therefore, singles respond with their feet. They say, “I’m out of here.”

Number 7: Singles feel the church neglects them.
They feel like barnacles on the side of the church ship – there but forgotten. Marriage is espoused as the norm, and singles just don’t fit the model.

I have conducted over three hundred single adult conferences throughout America, Canada, and twelve other countries. Yet only nine senior pastors stopped by to observe and/or greet the crowd.

The even was in their church, in their building, and these are adults. I remember each of the nine because they are so rare….

Number 6: There is a perception that single adults are morally loose.

If a person is not married by mid-twenties, there is something wrong, it is generally thought. A particular church was in the process of trying to hire a youth pastor. Since they could not find one for over a year, they held a congregational meeting to explain the progress they were making. The elder in charge presented all kinds of reasons for the delay in locating the right person for the position. At the end of his explanation, I stopped up and asked, “Does the person you are looking for have to be married?”

You could have heard a pin drop on the carpet. People gasped. It was the unthinkable question. The elder hemmed, and he hawed, and he slithered all over the platform. All I wanted was a yes or no. He was very obviously unnerved by my question. Finally some lady in the very back said, “What we need is a role model for the young girls. So I think he should be married.”

“You mean to tell me, in this entire congregation there is not one woman who’s a role model for the girls?” Silence.

“I tell you what I think the real reason is. You are afraid that a single pastor would be sexually frustrated and have sex with one of the teenage girls. Out of all the pastors I have known personally, four have had affairs and left the ministry in disgrace. Each of them was married. Almost all the other pastors I have read about in magazines and books who have committed adultery were married. True, married people do not have a corner on the market in becoming immoral. But you should not be prejudiced against a single adult simply because he is single.”

I tried to tell them that some of the best youth pastors in America are single. I wasn’t a very popular guy after that. The elders eventually hired a youth pastor. Yes, he was married.

Some churches won’t allow singles to teach Sunday school for fear these men and women will succumb to sexual temptation. That is unfounded fear. We all need the power of God to overcome temptation. Don’t single out single people as the most likely to succumb. That is unfair and inaccurate. Single adults want to be respected and trusted. Let them show by their faithfulness that they have a genuine relationship with God.

Number 5: Marriage is portrayed as normal for everybody.
If someone is not married by thirty something, there must be something wrong with him or her.
(please click on the “continue reading/ read more” link to see rest of the post. Thank you)

Continue reading “Single Adults – Why They Stay and Why They Stray From Church – Book Excerpts”

Christian Doctor Chooses Marriage Over Missionairy Work

Christian Doctor Chooses Marriage Over Missionairy Work

I wonder if the contemporary Eunuch-Makers in Christian America today, those who insist that merely wanting to get married is ‘to make marriage into an idol,’ will condemn this guy for choosing to save his marriage, as opposed to “putting his personal happiness and fulfillment aside and thinking of eternity, and putting others first”?

(Link): Choosing Marriage Over the Mission Field

    by Anna Broadway

    How Tim Kietzman, a successful missionary eye doctor, chose quiet faithfulness despite enormous needs in Pakistan.

    As a young man, Tim Kietzman wanted to do “something extraordinary, something very risky” for God. In his mind, that probably meant following in the footsteps of his father, who’d been a missionary eye doctor in Nigeria. As an adult, Kietzman did do great things—his innovative ophthalmologist work in Pakistan earned him one of his field’s most prestigious awards in 2012.

    But Kietzman’s boldest act for God may have been coming home from Pakistan to repair his marriage of almost 30 years.

    Continue reading “Christian Doctor Chooses Marriage Over Missionairy Work”

White Evangelicals, White Fundamentalists, and White Baptists: White Americans Don’t Need the Gospel or Compassion, especially not the affluent or middle class

White Evangelicals, White Fundamentalists, and White Baptists: White Americans Don’t Need the Gospel or Compassion, especially not the affluent or middle class

I just wondered (Link): in a post on here the other day if writers from Crosswalk have been to my blog before, because within days of me publishing a post on something, the same material is blogged on their site.

I made a post pointing out that many white (middle to upper class) American Christians have a most strange preoccupation with helping dark-skinned foreign people (and Africa seems to be the preferred area, with some churches opting for Haiti).

I wrote more about that odd situation under the “Side Note” section of (Link): this blog post, and (Link): this post.

Also related to this: I have also written in a prior post or two about this annoying new trend among Christian preachers to make ordinary Christians feel guilty or horrible about living ordinary, everyday lives. These preachers are called “Radical” or “Missional.” You can (Link): read about them here.

Anyway, within a day or two of me mentioning the weird attitude by white middle- to- upper- middle class Christians that only dark-skinned people in Africa need the Gospel and need humanitarian aid, and that they seem to believe that the Gospel is not for white middle class Americans, this page appeared on a Christianity Today blog:

(Link): Suburbia Needs Jesus, Too

Not only are most well-off, white American Christians consumed with caring for dark-skinned Africans (that there are also white people born and raised in Africa seems to escape their attention), but when they do bother to look inwards (ie, to help fellow Americans), they only want to extend a helping hand to extreme sob stories, such as the homeless in the inner city, or crack addicts who are passed out in crack homes all day.

If you’re an “average Joe” or “average Jane” Christian, especially if you are white and in the ‘burbs, and/or if you’re middle class, and you are going through a tragedy in your life large or small (divorce, cancer, your dog just died, your mom just died, you just got laid off from your job, whatever your calamity is) most white American Christians will tell you to get over it or get lost.

Most white American Christians will not offer to give you – if you are a fellow white Christian – a couple hundred bucks for groceries, or offer to mow your lawn while you recover from your surgery, nor will they offer to sit and listen as you sob your eyes out.

Oh no. No no no. God forbid a white middle- to- upper- middle class Christian show compassion to any other white/middle class Christian who is going through a tribulation.

Most often, not always, but very very frequently, white, middle class, American Christians will say things to another hurting white Christians when said Christian approaches them for sympathy or help, such as…

    – “You live in the richest nation in the world. You have in-door plumbing. Two thirds of the world have to pee in a hole in the ground in 20 degree weather. You have it better than starving orphans in Africa, so shut up.”

    – “You’re not homeless. You’re not an abused wife living in a domestic abuse shelter.
    So what if your husband of 25 years just said he doesn’t love you and wants to run off with his 23 year old secretary, who he’s been having sex with the last six months?
    You could have life much worse, you know.You still have life more comfy-cozy than those homeless shelter people, so quiet down.”

    -“Get over it!”
    [I wrote a post about (Link): “Get Over It” here]

    – “Stop your crying and whining about your grandma dying last week, you big baby! You should be over that by now!
    Don’t you realize how blessed you are? You have central heating in winter and an in-door toilet! Street urchins in India who get sold as prostitutes would give their right arm to have your life.”

Yep, I have been on the receiving end of those types of comments first hand (and in my time of deepest pain), I’ve heard other Christians use those remarks against other hurting Christians, and blowhard preachers (such as John Hagee) like to shout those kinds of things at their audiences.
Continue reading “White Evangelicals, White Fundamentalists, and White Baptists: White Americans Don’t Need the Gospel or Compassion, especially not the affluent or middle class”

The Types of Christian Singles Who Annoy Me

The Types of Christian Singles Who Annoy Me: The Perpetually Sunny Happy Christian Single Who Is Totally Thrilled With Singleness; The Condescending Single Who Brays “Jesus is all you need, your earthly happiness doesn’t matter”; or the Single Who Is Too Spiritual About Singleness

I. The Perpetually Sunny Happy Christian Single Who Is Totally Thrilled With Singleness And Doesn’t Understand Why You Can’t Be Too

To clarify something: there are times when I feel relieved about being single, and there are other times it bothers me. I’m not wholly on one side of the fence or the other.

I was just saying (Link): in a post yesterday I get very pissed off and annoyed over these sunny attitude, Rose-colored- glasses- wearing unmarried women (sometimes men, but it’s normally a woman) who go on and on in their editorials for Christian singles about how they are golly gee whiz happy-happy to be single, they love living for just Jesus by golly!, and they say they cannot wrap their heads around singles who think that singlehood sometimes sucks. They think everyone should be as happy-happy with singleness as they are.

The fact is, some of us are not always happy with singleness 100% of the time, and your constant sunniness about it is unrealistic, irritating, doesn’t acknowledge the pain some of us go through at times, and by being so dang chipper about singleness, you’re sort of denying how most churches and denominations ignore or belittle singles.

II. The Super Spiritual Christian Single Who Likes to Say Over and Over: “Jesus and My Bible is All I Need and To Want Anything Else is Inappropriate, Especially In Church” (Single Who Is Too Spiritual About Singleness)

These are usually the ones who pipe up in blog comments in articles for singles who say church is for worship of the Lord and Bible devotions only, that’s all THEY want when they go to a church, they say they are deeply offended when “Brother Hank” or “Sister Sally” tries to play match- maker for them.

And, they say, singles should not be using church to find a mate, because that’s turning church into a “meat market.” And remember, according to them, church is for worship and Bible reading and study only, nothing else.

If you are the kind of single who wants to view church as a Bible study only, fine for you, but don’t sit there and lecture myself and Christian singles that it’s wrong for another Christian person to use church to meet a mate.

There are other reasons for the creation of the church besides worship, Bible reading, the Great Commission, and helping African orphans.

Continue reading “The Types of Christian Singles Who Annoy Me”

Radical Christianity – New Trend That Guilt Trips American Christians For Living Average Lives

Radical Christianity – New Trend That Guilt Trips American Christians For Living Average Lives

Radical Christianity: what an annoying trend. I hope it dies a quick death. We have pastors who are telling Christians unless they intentionally seek out to live in dire poverty or move to Africa to hand out Gospel tracts, they are not being “radical” enough for Jesus, they are taking Jesus for granted, or are being selfish.

I touched on this issue briefly in regards to preacher Kyle Idleman of “Not A Fan” book and television show fame in (Link): this post (under the heading “Guilt Trips or Condemnation For Not Being Super Christian”).

I have since come across a few web pages and radio shows about it. Here they are:

(Link): Here Come the Radicals!

by Matthew Lee Anderson

David Platt, Francis Chan, Shane Claiborne, and now Kyle Idleman are dominating the Christian best-seller lists by attacking our comfortable Christianity. But is ‘radical faith’ enough?

Online radio show, about one third into the program (you’ll have to sit through 15 to 25 minutes of the host talking about some guy named William Tapley before getting to the specific segment, called “The New Legalism“):

(Link): Radio Show: The New Legalism (from Fighting For the Faith, A Pirate Christian Radio Production)

(Link): The New Legalism, by Anthony Bradley

How the push to be ‘radical’ and ‘missional’ discourages ordinary people in ordinary places from doing ordinary things to the glory of God

Excerpts:

MISSIONAL NARCISSISM

There are many churches that are committed to being what is called missional. This term is used to describe a church community where people see themselves as missionaries in local communities.

A missional church has been defined, as “a theologically formed, Gospel-centered, Spirit-empowered, united community of believers who seek to faithfully incarnate the purposes of Christ for the glory of God,” says Scott Thomas of the Acts 29 Network.

The problem is that this push for local missionaries coincided with the narcissism epidemic we are facing in America, especially with the millennial generation. As a result, living out one’s faith became narrowly celebratory only when done in a unique and special way, a “missional” way.

Getting married and having children early, getting a job, saving and investing, being a good citizen, loving one’s neighbor, and the like, no longer qualify as virtuous. One has to be involved in arts and social justice activities—even if justice is pursued without sound economics or social teaching. I actually know of a couple who were being so “missional” they decided to not procreate for the sake of taking care of orphans.

Excerpts from “Here Come The Radicals” by Matthew Lee Anderson:

The five components of “the Radical Experiment” may not seem that radical; they’re more like basic Christian discipleship. But they struck a nerve at the church and beyond. Forty families and singles committed to moving into a disadvantaged area of Birmingham. As one attendee told me, the news created something of a reputation for the church. “People still ask me,” she said, “whether I go to that church where people are moving into the most dangerous parts of Birmingham.” And the message spread well beyond the city of 1 million. After Platt released Radical in May 2010, it spent more than two years on The New York Times advice best-seller list. Three years later, it’s still on CBA’S (formerly Christian Booksellers Association) best-seller list.

…. At the heart of Platt’s message is his claim that we mistakenly turn the “radical Jesus of the Bible … into the comfortable Jesus of 21st-century American culture.”

He warns that the culture of “self-advancement, self-esteem, and self-sufficiency” and our “individualism, materialism, and universalism” have neutered American Christians’ witness and blinded us to widespread global poverty, an orphan crisis, and the massive number of those who still have never heard of Jesus.

Continue reading “Radical Christianity – New Trend That Guilt Trips American Christians For Living Average Lives”

Large Atlanta Church Starts New Outreach To Get Missing or Forgotten Members to Attend

Charles Stanley’s Ministry Launches ‘Missing Persons Project’ to Regain ‘Forgotten Members’

This is all fine and dandy, but why is this church in Atlanta not including older singles, childless (or child free), and former members who are disgruntled and disillusioned by church life in its concerns?

How about making more of an effort of allowing women (both married and single) to contribute in more meaningful ways in church life, instead of permitting that hideous, sexist “submission” doctrine and similar ones, to keep women from leading, teaching, and putting their skills and gifts to use within church?

If churches keep telling women, “Sorry, we will not allow you to lead, teach, or serve in a meaningful fashion and/or in an area that interests YOU, and we will continue to severely limit what roles you can fill in church,” they will continue to lose female members.

Even with titles such as “Missing” and “Forgotten,” older single Christians still can’t win; they get left off the list of consideration. How can Christians be so lovey-compassionate about some groups and continue to totally overlook and neglect (Link): one of the most neglected groups in Christianity?

One of the few positive things I can say about this Atlanta church’s new outreach effort is I am glad they are not focusing on how to draw teen-agers and 20-somethings into their church, but appear to be interested in ADULTS (e.g., widows, and prisoners – most of whom I’m going to assume are over 30 years old).

(Link): Charles Stanley’s Ministry Launches ‘Missing Persons Project’ to Regain ‘Forgotten Members’

    By Nicola Menzie , Christian Post

    The teaching ministry of Dr. Charles Stanley, pastor of First Baptist Church of Atlanta, has launched a “Missing Persons Project” campaign to encourage local faith communities to “recognize and receive [their] forgotten members,” those who might be considered social outcasts or even marginalized by their churches.

    “Today, the Body of Christ is missing many of its members. Too often we’re guilty of assigning greater value to one part than the others,” says Stanley in an introductory video on In Touch Ministries’ website.

    … The “Missing Persons Project” website has as five target groups: the Disabled, Widows & Orphans, Prisoners, the Needy and the Searchers.

    Currently live on In Touch Ministries’ website are stories from families with a member living with a disability. “People with disabilities are made in God’s image, yet churches are often slow to welcome them. What we don’t realize is that their absence from our congregations weakens the body of Christ,” reads the featured, titled “The Disabled Body of Christ.” The feature also includes a call to action for readers who want to interact with others who are disabled as well as their families. The suggestions include things as simple as smiling and maintaining eye contact when interacting with disabled persons, while it also warns against offering words of pity to parents with disabled children.

You Don’t Need to Look Far To Find Hurting People Who Could Use Your Help and Compassion

I was pleasantly surprised to see one or two of Kerry Shook’s sons mention tonight on a Christian program that instead of looking to starving people in Haiti as examples of who to serve, American Christians don’t need to look any farther than the person sitting next to them, or living next door.

What a nice change from the usual “send us funds to build water wells in African villages” spiels one usually hears on Christian shows.

Shook’s sons were saying there might be people you (remember, their primary audience is Americans living in the United States of America) run in to every day, or who live down the street from you, or who work with you, who are going through a difficult time and could use your help.

Ironically, I’ve heard Native Americans and some black people say they regard Christianity as being a “white man’s religion.”

It seems to me that a lot of white, middle- to- upper- class American Christians have turned that upside down, to turn Christianity into a religion only for inner-city, dark-skinned, impoverished, or third- world- nation people.

I don’t recall Jesus Christ saying that His religion, or that care and compassion, are for everyone except for white, sober, middle class Americans – but that is how a lot of white, middle class Americans behave.

The Bible says that Christians are to help other Christians first, not Non-Christians (see Galatians chapter 6, verse 10, also 1 Timothy 5: 8). Most Christians ignore Galatians 6:10, in favor of Matthew 28:19 and James 1:27

In short, if you are a white, sober, middle class American going through some sort of problem, say, you are in grief from the passing of a loved one, you’ve been laid off from your job, your kid is robbing banks, or you’ve been divorced- whatever- and you go looking to another white, middle class Christian for emotional or practical support, you will usually get none.

They will even tell you that because you don’t have life as difficult as Africans who lack in-door plumbing or a homeless junkie down town, you have no right to support, compassion, or encouragement.

Galatians 6:10 and Matthew 7:12 are not in their Bibles.
———————-
Related post, this blog:

The Bible Says Christians are to Help Other Christians First

Part 2 – Suffering and Misery Trend Du Jour

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The Bible Says Christians are to Help Other Christians First

The Bible Says Christians are to Help Other Christians First

I’ve discussed (Link:) this topic before at the blog. The Bible instructs Christians that they are to first and foremost help other Christians, and specifically Christians in their church or local vicinity, before helping Non Christians in their communities, or helping Non-Christians in foreign nations, and seems to suggest even before spreading the Gospel to the unsaved in other nations (or not at the expense of).

One would not know these facts from watching most American Christian television or from visiting local American Christian churches, which almost always emphasize raising funds to send missionairies to unsaved pygmies in some other country, or the time spent saying how they feel so sorry for starving kids in Africa and India, or helping Thai or Eastern European girls get out of sex slavery, and so on.

As a matter of fact, as I type this message, preacher Jentezen Franklin is on TV right now with two people on his program talking about how they want to raise more money to send more food to hungry people in Haiti.

I’ve nothing against American Christians helping foreign Non-Christians or American ones, but American Christians are so annoyingly lop-sized on this issue to the point they are neglecting their fellow suffering American Christians, and this is in direct conflict to what the Bible teaches.

I’ve also noticed that many middle class American Christians are so hypocritical and harsh when it comes to other American Christians. They will weep and sorrow for obvious “sob stories,” such as abused women in shelters, the homeless, or starving kids in Africa, but they tend to act very unsympathetic and even cold and judgmental towards their hurting fellow Christians who sit next to them weekly, such as lonely, stressed out, Christian divorced women, the Christian elderly people in their church who are sick or dying, etc.

You can imagine how delighted and surprised I was to hear tele-evangelist Perry Stone say on a recent broadcast of his show much of what I said above: he told Christians watching his show that it’s fine to help pagans in foreign nations, but that the Bible instructs Christians they are to help and aid other Christians in their family and church first and foremost. I wanted to cheer when I heard that.
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Part 2 – Suffering and Misery Trend Du Jour

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Suffering and Misery Trend Du Jour Part 1

As I was saying in Part 1, there is an annoying habit of Christians to jump on one brand of human misery as their favorite “cause- come- lately,” in much the same way some teenagers jump on whatever is the latest fashion trend.

Secularists have also been guilty of this bizarre and tasteless phenomenon (recall Bob Geldof’s Live Aid and Farm Aid, and U2’s Bono and his AIDS and Africa charity relief or whatever).

What I find even more maddening and disgusting is how so many Christians ignore the hurting Christian people in the United States to go and help the (Non Christian) suffering in other nations.

Many American Christians are so preoccupied with helping Non-Christian / Non-Americans that I find this behavior sort of infuriating and a tad hypocritical.

I typically see American tele-evangelists, such as Joyce Meyers and the hosts of the Christian “Life Today” program, begging their viewers to send in money to get foreign children out of poverty or prostitution, usually ones in Africa.

What about American children of all skin colors who are living in poverty, or who are sexually abused? Are American kids, of whatever skin color, any less worthy than typically darker-skinned children in Africa or central or South American nations?

The Scriptures actually tell Christians that while they should try to help all people, that their PRIMARY duty is to help other hurting, suffering Christians in their own group first and foremost (see Galatians chapter 6, verse 10, also 1 Timothy 5: 8), not to place a priority on helping pagan, atheistic, starving, impoverished, suffering heathens outside of their own nation.

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Continue reading “Part 2 – Suffering and Misery Trend Du Jour”