views and thoughts on topics, especially ones pertaining to christianity – with an emphasis on how most christians either ignore or discriminate against unmarried christians – and how christians have turned marriage and parenting into IDOLS and how there is no true support for sexual purity, virginity, or celibacy among christians – this is a blog for me to vent; I seldom permit dissenting views. I don't debate dissenters ————-
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.
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.
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.”)
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.
Editorialist at WaPo Argues That Single Christian Adults Can Have Sex So Long As They are Chaste About It – Also Speculates that Jesus Was “Probably” Celibate
Edit: I originally assumed when first writing this post that McCleneghan is a dude, but it appears that McCleneghan is a woman(?).
I’ve said this before on my blog, but I will say it again: if you want to fornicate (have sex outside of marriage), go right ahead, but stop trying to justify it by saying God, Jesus, or the Bible is fine with it.
I’m over 40, still a virgin, I did not have sex with my ex fiance while we were a couple. I have a libido.
I’m still celibate. By this stage in my life, I’m now okay with the idea of having sex prior to marriage if I am in a stable, committed relationship, but should that happen, I will freely admit that it is a sin as far as God or the Bible is concerned.
I’m not going to sit here and argue that my fornication (should it occur) is peachy keen with God because I’m being faithful to the one guy and only boinking the one guy.
…I’m compelled by the idea that Jesus was probably celibate, but that it would have been for a purpose, and that it might have been hard to bear sometimes.
…Jesus was fully in relationship with many. He had intimate friendships, and he was dedicated to his work. If his celibacy was hard, he was not overly anxious about it; he leaned into the other parts of his life.
Jesus was different and his path was likely puzzling to those around him, even as it puzzles us still today.
.. One of the most unfair things the Christian tradition has foisted on singles is the expectation that they would remain celibate — that is, refraining from sexual relationships.
Valentine’s Day, the Church and Single Awareness Day? by J. Storment
I don’t think I am actually going to make a Valentine’s Day post this year ON the day itself, or shortly before.
Valentine’s Day is this Sunday, so you can consider this here post this blog’s annual Valentine’s Day (Singles Awareness Day) post.
Unless I come across a really groovy, outstanding V-Day post between now and then, this is it, then I will consider logging in and making a new post – but I will be kind of busy later this week, so I don’t know if I will have time.
The following is a blog post that covers much of the same ground my own blog has addressed:
So unfortunately this year Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday.
I say unfortunately because in most of the churches I’ve seen in life make a really big deal about marriage and families and romance and kids and happily ever after, and rightfully so. Those are good gifts from God in many people’s lives.
But what is so unfortunate about Feb 14th falling on a Sunday this year, is that many (most) churches have gone beyond celebrating marriage and family.
For the past several decades we’ve all but idolized it.
… Stanley Hauerwas points out that when Christianity first was introduced to the pagan world it changed the way they viewed marriage because it de-idolized it. After all, there was no more radical act in that day than to live a life without producing heirs.
I would never have thought the church would be a place where people were compelled to be married, but I found out the hard way that it is.
…Despite my yieldedness and commitment to the LORD and His people, I was somewhat marginalized and often treated badly (disrespected and short-changed whenever possible) by God’s people.
When I complained about and challenged this behavior in one of the pastors I highly regarded and who was my mentor at the time, he informed me the problem with giving me full leadership support and integrating me into the life of the church was due to unmarried state. He said to me “If you were married, it would be different.”
After about another year of this very painful treatment and believing that the only reason for it was because I was unmarried, one day I went before the LORD and said “If marriage is what it will take for me to be properly treated in the church, then send me somebody and I will marry him.”
Commenting on what it was like to be single in the time and culture of Jesus:
…. Girls were mostly married by the age of twelve, and if a man wasn’t married by the age of twenty the gossips started comparing notes and looking for a reason.
…. So why was Jesus still single at the age of thirty? It was clear to all who knew him. No-one would let his daughter marry someone of questionable parentage since, if there was any irregularity in their birth, it could cast doubt on the legitimacy of their children for ten generations. And Jesus’ birth, as everyone knew, was very irregular.
…. Jesus not only shared the stigma of being single – he also tried to do something to alleviate it for other single people. Jewish law excused eunuchs from the command to marry, because they couldn’t physically fulfil the duty to have children.
When you show God you don’t want it, that’s when God will give it to you – according to Joel Osteen – I disagree
I don’t intend on expending a lot of time composing this post. I’ve discussed this topic before on the blog.
On this past Sunday’s (Dec 7, 2014) sermon on TV, Houston mega church pastor Joel Osteen made a comment that went something like this:
When you show God you don’t want it (whatever it is you’ve been wanting and/or praying for), that’s when God will give it to you
I appreciate that Osteen is trying to tell Christians to hang in there, when they’ve been praying for YEARS and their prayers have not been answered, but I don’t buy into this theology of “if you stop wanting X, that is when God will send it.”
Nor do I accept or agree with variations of that teaching, such as, “be content in your singleness, and when you are, that is when God will send you a spouse,” or, “if you WANT to be married, you have made marriage into an idol, and so you have to stop wanting marriage before God will send you a spouse.”
Most of that thinking is not biblical.
Although there is a comment by Apostle Paul that people should be content where ever they find themselves in life, he does not say that this is true only for singles who want to be married, nor does Paul ever say, “and if you do not find yourself content in situation X, God will not help you or answer your prayer and send you X.”