Majority of White Evangelicals Believe You Have to Be Christian to Be Truly American (via Pew)

Majority of White Evangelicals Believe You Have to Be Christian to Be Truly American

(Link): Majority of White Evangelicals Believe You Have to Be Christian to Be Truly American

Excerpts:

Fifty-seven percent of white evangelicals make a strong connection between their nationality and Christianity, the survey shows, noting that the percentage drops down to 29 percent among white mainline Protestants, and to 27 percent among Catholics.

A majority of white evangelical Protestants say it is very important to be Christian to be a true American, and about a third of all Americans also believe the same, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center.

…Overall, 32 percent of Americans say it is very important for a person to be a Christian in order to be considered truly American. And 31 percent believe one’s religion is not at all important.

On Not Filtering Every Choice Through the Bible

On Not Filtering Every Choice Through the Bible

This is one of those topics I’m working my way through right now. Maybe a year from now, my opinion will flip on it. But here is where I am now.

I was first made aware of this post from John Piper’s “Desiring God” web site via someone posting to SCCL Facebook group.

Here it is:

(Link):  How to Drink Orange Juice to the Glory of God by John Piper

Excerpts:

  • I said that one of my reasons for believing this comes from 1 Corinthians 10:31. “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” I asked, “Is it sin to disobey this Biblical commandment?” Yes.
  • …Some of you then asked the practical question: Well, how do you “eat and drink” to the glory of God? Say, orange juice for breakfast?
  • ….Orange juice was “created to be received with thanksgiving by those whobelieve the truth.” Therefore, unbelievers cannot use orange juice for the purpose God intended—namely, as an occasion for heartfelt gratitude to God from a truth heart of faith.
  • But believers can, and this is how they glorify God. Their drinking orange juice is “sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.”

Yes, it’s an entire post explaining why and how Christians may drink Orange Juice to the glory of God.

This is a part of Christianity that I am glad to leave behind. In my faith crisis of the last few years, there have been some advantages to ceasing turning to the Bible as an authority in decision-making in life in every area.

Continue reading “On Not Filtering Every Choice Through the Bible”

Conservatives, Christians, Transgenders, and Bathrooms – Addressing Libby Anne’s “Love, Joy, Feminism” Post About Transgenders

Conservatives, Christians, Transgenders, and Bathrooms – Addressing Libby Anne’s “Love, Joy, Feminism” Post About Transgenders

I really don’t feel like devoting too much time on my blog to the topic of Transgenderism.

To date, I’ve done only 2 or 3 posts on the subject, one defending transgender people from criticisms by some Southern Baptist guy, and another that is critical of the transgender phenomenon.

Much farther down this post, I address a recent post by Libby Anne (of the “Love, Joy, Feminism” blog on Patheos) that pertains to Christians, child sexual abuse, and Transgender persons and the bathroom debate.

I would say I am mostly on the conservative side of the Transgender issue but appreciate that some conservatives can be too harsh towards Transgender people and may find myself agreeing with liberals on some of their comments on this sort of topic.

In other words, this is another subject where I neither totally agree with either conservatives or liberals, and I think both sides make good points in favor of their positions, and both sides sometimes make bad, unfair, rude, or stupid points.

messyToilet
“Coming Soon To Women’s Restrooms Everywhere” – (image first discovered on James D. Nichols Twitter)

I see a lot of misunderstanding by liberals of the conservative position on Transgender people using public restrooms.

I can’t speak to every single conservative or Christian who is opposed to Trans people using bathrooms, but there is definitely one component of conservatives and Christians who aren’t opposed to Trans people using opposite gender bathrooms per se.

In my case (as a conservative), I don’t know if I care if a biological male who wears a skirt uses a woman’s bathroom or not – it might make me uncomfortable, but that is not my big problem with this issue.

My problem resides in the fact that – damn, I don’t know all the liberal alphabet soup labels they slap on everything, is it Hetero CIS men? – my problem is that Hetero CIS men who are rapists will PRETEND to be Trans women so that they can have access to more female victims.

Continue reading “Conservatives, Christians, Transgenders, and Bathrooms – Addressing Libby Anne’s “Love, Joy, Feminism” Post About Transgenders”

If You Were Sexually Abused, You Cannot Work At These Churches

Some churches are refusing to hire people who admit on their job applications to having been sexually abused

If You Were Sexually Abused, You Cannot Work At These Churches

Not only is child sexual abuse addressed on some of these employment forms, but according to these articles (links farther below), some churches ask applicants about their views on fornication, or if they’ve ever been accused of homosexuality.

I find this pretty hypocritical. If you’ve followed this blog before, you know I was waiting until marriage to have sex – as a result, I am now over 40 years of age and still a virgin, because I never married.

What I have observed as I’ve gotten older is that while many Christians pay “lip service” to respecting adult virginity or celibacy, that in practice, they do not.

Sometimes, some Christians (conservatives, no less, but also most progressives) ridicule and mock virginity, and they ridicule or put down adult virgins for being virgins. (Please see the links under the “Related Posts” at the bottom of this post for examples.)

Not only is there little to no philosophical, theological, or intellectual support for adult virginity (and by extension, adult singleness past one’s mid 20s or so), but there is no concrete support – churches and Christians seldom have ministries to meet the needs of adult single celibates.

There are rarely sermons preached on a regular basis on adult single celibacy – compare that to the topic of marriage. Most churches offer a “ten steps to a stronger marriage” type sermon series once every few weeks but never sermonize about singleness.

Continue reading “If You Were Sexually Abused, You Cannot Work At These Churches”

Hypocrisy Alert: (Anti Virginity Proponent) Russell Moore to Pastors: Don’t Do Wedding Ceremonies for Couples Living in Sin

Hypocrisy Alert: (Anti Virginity Proponent) Russell Moore to Pastors: Don’t Do Wedding Ceremonies for Couples Living in Sin

This is the same Moore who (Link): attacks and ridicules adult Christian virgins for being virgins until marriage.

 So this doofus  has a hella lot of nerve lecturing Christian preachers about not performing Christians who are living in sexual sin.

Moore: you do not honor Christian adults who are Virgins who are waiting ’til marriage to have sex, (which is a very basic Christian sexual ethic), so how do you square away bad-mouthing and shaming Christian couples who may be “shacking up?”

You actually have, in the past, criticized and shamed singles who are living sexually pure life styles. You are being absolutely hypocritical here:

(Link): Russell Moore to Pastors: Don’t Do Wedding Ceremonies for Couples Living in Sin by S. Smith

Excerpts:

  • Leading Southern Baptist ethicist Russell Moore is encouraging pastors not to perform wedding ceremonies for couples who are not Christians and those who are living in sin simply because members of their families belong to their church or their congregation is pressuring them to do so.
  • Moore, who is the president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, spoke at a conference on “The Church and Sexuality” that was held at the First Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, by the state’s Baptist and Southern Baptist leaders on Monday.
  • (Link): Alabama.com reports that Moore told the crowd of about 500 people that pastors cannot hold non believers and those already living in sin accountable to their wedding vows if they are already not living their lives by God’s design.
  • “You cannot marry anyone except believers and people under the authority of Jesus Christ,” Moore explained. “Unbelievers, you cannot hold accountable to their vows.”

Continue reading “Hypocrisy Alert: (Anti Virginity Proponent) Russell Moore to Pastors: Don’t Do Wedding Ceremonies for Couples Living in Sin”

A Valentine for the Single Christian by K L Bishop

A Valentine for the Single Christian by K L Bishop

She says a lot of things in her post I’ve been saying on my blog for years. So if you appreciate some of the points I’ve been making on my blog, you should probably dig this.

(Link): A Valentine for the Single Christian by K L Bishop

Excerpts:

  • …. It seems that being single in the church is a difficult situation these days. Many churches have made marriage and family somewhat of an idol. There have probably been millions of sermons delivered on dating, courting, marriage, waiting for marriage, etc.
  • But it is not often that our pastors preach to the adult singles in the pews, or encourage people to embrace their singleness.

Continue reading “A Valentine for the Single Christian by K L Bishop”

Facebook’s motherhood challenge makes me want to punch my computer screen by F. Everett

Facebook’s motherhood challenge makes me want to punch my computer screen by F. Everett

I am friends with people on Facebook who have told me in private that their mother friends – one lady is Facebook friends with a sister of hers who has three kids – are actually terrible parents in real life.

Yet, these same terrible mothers who blather on about how wonderful their children are when they are on Facebook, who post scads of posts of their smiling kids, yell and scream at the kids in real life – or neglect them.

Remember that every time you see posts by parents on Facebook, with their sweet family snaps, who are bragging about their children. They are often times selectively editing their social media to present a glossy, happy version of their life that may not be real most of the time.

(Link):  Facebook’s motherhood challenge makes me want to punch my computer screen by F. Everett

(Link): Mommy Blogger Confesses in Blog Post that Mommy Blogging is a Bunch of Fake, Happy-Clappy B.S. – Kind of Like Most Christian Adult Singleness Blogs

  • Of course it’s meant to be a bit of fun, but this smug club fetishises motherhood, and creates a new way to measure women and find them wanting
  • There are certain phrases that make my heart sink. After “Can I be really honest?” and “Mind if I join you, ladies?” the latest to engender a sense of creeping misery must surely be (Link):Facebook motherhood challenge.Of uncertain origin, this viral “challenge” demands that mothers post a series of pictures that make them “proud to be a mum” and then tag other women who they think are “great mothers”.
  • Many of my friends have done this, bouncily posting shots of themselves with interchangeable babies, all of whom look like glow-worms in padded snowsuits, and tagging whole lists of other “awesome mums” inviting them to do the same.
  • And while I fully understand that they have no intention of hurting anyone, that they are simply happy to have their wonderful children, #blessed, #lovinglife and so on, I still want to punch the screen of my computer in whenever a new one pops up.
  •  The most offensive aspect of this is the idea that it’s a “challenge” at all.
  • A challenge is coping with grief when you wish you were dead, or pushing your mind and body to the limit in a feat of superhuman endurance. It’s not posting a few snaps of your toddler and waiting for your friends to type “aw gorgeous hun xxx” underneath. And it’s unclear whether the challenge in question is to prove what a great mother you are, or merely to challenge your friends to prove that they are too.
  •  This insidious idea of (Link): motherhood as a beatific vocational calling began with the Virgin Mary, and reached its peak with the Victorian notion of “the angel of the hearth”, when mothers who didn’t have to work, and had nannies and housekeepers and nursery maids rushing about looking after their children, were depicted as celestial beings radiating goodness, their sole purpose on Earth to gather little children to their rustling taffeta bosoms and gently instruct them.

Continue reading “Facebook’s motherhood challenge makes me want to punch my computer screen by F. Everett”

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”

2015 Poll: 70% of American Women Who Have Abortions Identify As Christian

2015 Poll: 70% of American Women Who Have Abortions Identify As Christian

And 40% are regular church goers.

I’m not sure what percentage of these women are married vs. single.

Anyway, it would appear that self professing Christians are no more successful at following the Bible’s or Jesus’ teachings than Non-Christians.

If any of these women are un-married, wow, the church needs to once more re-emphasize that single adults are directed by the Bible to sexually abstain – be celibate.

If these women were celibate, they wouldn’t be having sex, and hence, obviously, would not be becoming pregnant and not feel the need to get abortions.

But too much Christians today are too afraid to speak out against sexual sin, including (Link): preachers, because doing so (Link): may upset the sensitive feelings of Delicate Debbie,  Weepy Wendy, Sensitive Steven, Fornicating Fred, or Mopey Mike.

If, as many conservative Christians believe, being a mother makes a woman more loving, godly, and mature, why do so many Christian women who become pregnant get that child aborted?

Christians really need to re-think how they measure passage into maturity, adulthood, and how they measure sanctification, because getting married or getting pregnant (ie, having a baby) does not necessarily make a person more mature, loving, or godly, as these sorts of examples on my blog continue to show.

(Link):  4 in 10 women who have had abortions are regular churchgoers

  • by Harry Farley
  • Four in ten women who have had abortions are regular churchgoers, new figures by (Link): LifeWay Research reveal.
  • The church is more likely to be a place of gossip, judgement and condemnation than care or help for women who are considering abortion, the study shows.
  • This is despite the fact that 70 per cent of women who have had abortions claim a Christian religious preference and 43 per cent were attending church at least once a month at the time of their abortion.
  • ….Perhaps because it is such a taboo, the church is becoming increasingly irrelevant for women deciding whether to have an abortion.

Continue reading “2015 Poll: 70% of American Women Who Have Abortions Identify As Christian”

Christians Can Never Agree On Anything – even minute, trivial stuff

Christians Can Never Agree On Anything – even minute, trivial stuff

Christians can almost never agree on anything.

And no, the Roman Catholics aren’t right, either, they have some screwed up theology, too.

The typical Roman Catholic response to “Protestants disagree a lot” is to say, “Hey, yeah, tell me something I don’t already know, but gosh golly, the RC is in total unity on everything, so convert to Catholicism” (and no, Roman Catholics are not in unity on everything, either, despite their claim to the contrary).

But anyway. This is one of many, many reasons I don’t really want to stay a Christian anymore.

Christians cannot agree on anything, whether big, important topics, or smaller ones, or anything inbetween.

Such as:

(Link): Why Making a New Year’s Resolution Is a Good Idea

  • BY RICK MCDANIEL, CP GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
  • January 2, 2015|10:49 am
  • The start of a new year is always an opportunity. It is a fresh beginning, a new chapter, another chance to get it right. Why would anyone not take advantage of such a moment? Some will say it is not good to make resolutions because no one ever keeps resolutions. But that is not true.
  • …John Norcross, professor at the University of Scranton, has written on change and is an expert on new year’s resolutions. He says that at the six-month period of a resolution, 40 percent of people are still keeping their resolutions. Furthermore, other research shows if you make the same resolution three years in a row, there is a high probability it will actually happen.

So McDaniel believes it’s a good idea for people to make NYR (New Years Resolutions), or, at the very least, it’s not wrong to make NYRs.

Edit, Jan 3, 2014, here is a new link I just found (John Piper is a preacher and Christian book author):

(Link): John Piper: Christians Should Make New Year’s Resolutions; God Wants to Fulfill Them

  • Preacher and teacher John Piper asked, “Should we make resolutions? Should we do this?” in a recent video on the DesiringGod.org website.
  • “The answer is a resounding yes indeed we should,” he answered. Piper went on to explain that Christians should make 2015 resolutions because God has the power to fulfill them and wants to do so for His and our glorification.

Compare that to some other story I saw on Christian sites the day before warning Christians NOT to make New Year’s resolutions, such as….

(Link): Billy Graham’s grandson warns against New Year’s resolutions 

(Link):  Tullian Tchividjian on How New Year’s Resolutions Can Be Spiritually Damaging

(Link):  Tullian Tchividjian on How New Year’s Resolutions Can Be Spiritually Damaging

  • TT: When it’s up to you to go out and get the love you crave, create your own worth, or work at becoming acceptable to those you want to impress, life gets heavy.
  • New Year’s Resolutions are a burdening attempt to fix ourselves and make ourselves more lovable. But here’s the good news: God loves us as we are, not as we should be.

This Christian disagreement over New Years resolutions reminds me of all the food news over the years.

When I was in my 20s, I heard the news report that scientists and nutritionists tell the public NOT to eat apples, because apples have Alar on them.

Then they said Eggs are bad for  you, so don’t eat eggs.

They also said butter and fats are bad for your weight, so avoid those, but bread was OK.

Since that time, they have totally reversed course, and I now see news reports saying Eggs are good for you, low fat is BAD, bread is BAD, and apples are safe to eat.

It’s so bad – the contradictions about diet and food that come out every few years – that I now totally ignore what the scientists, nutritionists, and doctors say and eat whatever I want.

One minute, the scientists are saying, “Don’t eat X, X is bad for you” but then two years later, they say to the public, “We were wrong about X, we now believe X is safe to eat and even good for you.”

It’s the same thing in Christianity, or very similar.

If you ask ten different Christians for their opinion on topic “X,” especially if it’s a topic about morality or biblical interpretation or doctrine, you will get ten different answers.

If nobody who claims Christ can agree on much of the faith or the Bible, what is the point?

They all have their different interpretations. They each insist THEIR interpretation is the only RIGHT, CORRECT one.

Then you have the problem of evil and suffering caused by self professing Christians who use and twist the Bible, or pluck Bible verses out of context, to mistreat other people – and some of these people sincerely think they are doing the right thing, or are following God; they do not honestly believe they are hurting anyone else with their (mis)understanding of the Scriptures.

Even if the Bible is truly the Word of God, much abuse has been done from that same book by people who sincerely think they are doing as it says.

——————————

Related posts:

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

(Link): More Musings about Applicability of the Old Testament, Via One Man’s Testimony About Jeremiah 29:11

(Link): Christians Once Again Trying to Explain Who The Bible’s Promises Are For – TGC Article

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

(Link):   Does God’s Plan to Do You No Harm, Prosper You, And Give You Hope and A Future Involve You Dying In a Fiery Plane Crash? Regarding Jeremiah 29:11 and Its Application

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