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Wow, I had no idea that verse from Psalms was about online dating.

Wow, I had no idea that verse from Psalms was about online dating.

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(Source: wjzard, via fuckyeahprotest)

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(1) Those of us who advocate servant leadership instead of hierarchal leadership are less likely to produce “evangelical celebrities.” It may seem like Christians who advocate power, hierarchy, and narrowly defined gender roles are winning the day, but just because these voices are often the loudest doesn’t mean that they are the most effective, or even the most popular. When you build your church and your culture around hierarchy and power, you are naturally going to be 1) highly-organized, and 2) personality focused. But when you build your church and your culture around humility and service, you are naturally going to be 1) organic, growing at the grassroots level, and 2) less dependent on one or two flashy personalities and more dependent on the daily faithfulness of regular people.

Don’t forget that egalitarians have many, many pastors who support the equality and dignity of women. (Some—like John Ortberg and Greg Boyd, for example—are well-known, but they conduct themselves with a measure of maturity that keeps the focus off of them and on Jesus Christ.) The Mark Driscolls of this world pull in (and publicize) the big numbers because that is how they measure success.__ But while these few powerful leaders draw in the big crowds, there are countless servant leaders out there drawing in smaller, (perhaps less cool) crowds that are being transformed by Jesus Christ, who served, who sacrificed, and who—at least by the world’s standards—failed. The Kingdom was never meant to grow through power or might, but by the Spirit. And in my travels, I see it growing everywhere, in the lives of people whose names may never grace the cover of a book or the marquee of a church sign. And it is growing in the developing world, far from the celebrity-obsessed American culture, through the faithful work of both men and women who are committed to yielding to this Spirit of grace.

(2) We know the end of the story.

Most of the time, when I am discouraged about the state of Christianity, it’s because I have forgotten the end of the story.

We are part of a living, growing Kingdom in which the last will be first and the first will be last, in which the peacemakers and the merciful and the meek will be blessed, in which the tiny seeds we plant today will grow into great trees where the birds of the air will nest, in which a crucified savior is King, and in which all things will be reconciled to God in love. Control is not the end of the story. Power is not the end of the story. Violence is not the end of the story. Inequality is not the end of the story. Jesus is. Those who preach the gospel of power will come and go; they will flourish and then fade.

Living as those who know the end of the story means living with a degree of righteous anger, yes, but also living with unexplainable hope, optimism, and love. So when I get discouraged, I read the Beattitudes—and instead of fretting about the lack of these qualities in others, I focus on the lack of these qualities within me. I am responsible only for following Jesus in my life, whether that brings popularity or obscurity. And I can do this with joy and with peace because I know how the story ends.

PREACH.

(Source: azspot)

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ROAD TRIP

Just as I decide to wake this tumblr back up, I realize I’m heading out on a week long road trip so I won’t be around much. Drop me some questions in the meantime, but please be nice, alright?

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reelecteddie:

ANNUAL MLK DAY POST
Here is the reading I have selected: “Paul’s Letter to American Christians,” November 4, 1956. I hear a lot of progressives complain that it’s not their job to explain racism/economic justice/feminism/x/y/z to people who say awful things; respectfully, that’s a bummer because it fails to acknowledge how alike we all are in our finiteness, our failings. King was a hero for many reasons, among them his determination to map out the territory for people who hadn’t been there with him yet. He does it effectively in this sermon: gives a broad sweep of the problem in a patient, accessible manner then turns up the heat. That’s what it looks like to love one’s enemies even as you’re telling them that they’ve fucked up.
(Image by Br. Robert Lentz. You can buy notecards.)

From the sermon: I understand that you have an economic system in America known as Capitalism. Through this economic system you have been able to do wonders. You have become the richest nation in the world, and you have built up the greatest system of production that history has ever known. All of this is marvelous. But Americans, there is the danger that you will misuse your Capitalism. I still contend that money can be the root of all evil. It can cause one to live a life of gross materialism. I am afraid that many among you are more concerned about making a living than making a life. You are prone to judge the success of your profession by the index of your salary and the size of the wheel base on your automobile, rather than the quality of your service to humanity.
The misuse of Capitalism can also lead to tragic exploitation. This has so often happened in your nation. They tell me that one tenth of one percent of the population controls more than forty percent of the wealth. Oh America, how often have you taken necessities from the masses to give luxuries to the classes. If you are to be a truly Christian nation you must solve this problem. You cannot solve the problem by turning to communism, for communism is based on an ethical relativism and a metaphysical materialism that no Christian can accept. You can work within the framework of democracy to bring about a better distribution of wealth. You can use your powerful economic resources to wipe poverty from the face of the earth. God never intended for one group of people to live in superfluous inordinate wealth, while others live in abject deadening poverty. God intends for all of his children to have the basic necessities of life, and he has left in this universe “enough and to spare” for that purpose. So I call upon you to bridge the gulf between abject poverty and superfluous wealth.

reelecteddie:

ANNUAL MLK DAY POST

Here is the reading I have selected: “Paul’s Letter to American Christians,” November 4, 1956. I hear a lot of progressives complain that it’s not their job to explain racism/economic justice/feminism/x/y/z to people who say awful things; respectfully, that’s a bummer because it fails to acknowledge how alike we all are in our finiteness, our failings. King was a hero for many reasons, among them his determination to map out the territory for people who hadn’t been there with him yet. He does it effectively in this sermon: gives a broad sweep of the problem in a patient, accessible manner then turns up the heat. That’s what it looks like to love one’s enemies even as you’re telling them that they’ve fucked up.

(Image by Br. Robert Lentz. You can buy notecards.)

From the sermon: I understand that you have an economic system in America known as Capitalism. Through this economic system you have been able to do wonders. You have become the richest nation in the world, and you have built up the greatest system of production that history has ever known. All of this is marvelous. But Americans, there is the danger that you will misuse your Capitalism. I still contend that money can be the root of all evil. It can cause one to live a life of gross materialism. I am afraid that many among you are more concerned about making a living than making a life. You are prone to judge the success of your profession by the index of your salary and the size of the wheel base on your automobile, rather than the quality of your service to humanity.

The misuse of Capitalism can also lead to tragic exploitation. This has so often happened in your nation. They tell me that one tenth of one percent of the population controls more than forty percent of the wealth. Oh America, how often have you taken necessities from the masses to give luxuries to the classes. If you are to be a truly Christian nation you must solve this problem. You cannot solve the problem by turning to communism, for communism is based on an ethical relativism and a metaphysical materialism that no Christian can accept. You can work within the framework of democracy to bring about a better distribution of wealth. You can use your powerful economic resources to wipe poverty from the face of the earth. God never intended for one group of people to live in superfluous inordinate wealth, while others live in abject deadening poverty. God intends for all of his children to have the basic necessities of life, and he has left in this universe “enough and to spare” for that purpose. So I call upon you to bridge the gulf between abject poverty and superfluous wealth.

Photoset

elli-mae:

microcosmicmorganism:

The MLK that’s never quoted.

Amen!

the linked video is incredible.

At the risk of beating a dead horse, this is the kind of thing I’m talking about when I say there is rottenness at the core of the Church. The language that Christianity is structured in creates serious problems and forces us to create and see a world where humans cannot live into their full, healthy humanity. Christianity leans very heavily on language that equates blackness and darkness with sin and evil, and light and whiteness with purity and goodness. Christianity’s language also constructs some very problematic beliefs about the earth, bodies (especially women’s) and sex and sexuality. Think about it - what sorts of things, in Christianity, are mapped to words like dirt, dust, and flesh? What kind of world does that set up in regards to our relationship with our planet, our bodies and our sexuality?

When I say we need to examine and interrogate and excise the corruption in the Church, I mean things like this. I mean the insidious, damaging ideas at the very root of the faith like the association between bodies and the earth with “impurity” and the further connection beween “impurity” and evil. I don’t mean saying “oh yeah the Crusades were a bad idea.” I don’t mean holding signs that say “God loves gays.” I mean diving deep into the reality of the faith, its language and its ideas and its theology, and recognizing problems like this and taking action to remedy them, reclaim them, or remove them. That is what I don’t see the “Jesus not religion” people doing. 

(Source: beybad, via kit-power)

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franticcurls:

justaturnofthedial:

zurik:

hahahahahahaha tysm whoever made this

Here’s what I hear when people say that: “I want the good parts of Christianity without having to deal with any of the bad. I want to hang out with my church buddies and listen to Francis Chan’s podcasts and take camping trips where we have Bible study around the campfire and talk in abstract terms about how we’re ‘on fire for the Lord,’ but I don’t want to have to think about the actual demands the Bible makes in terms of radical justice, environmental stewardship, and political resistance. I don’t feel the need to examine or answer for any of the oppressive and violent things the church has done and is doing because, when I say this, I declare that they have nothing to do with me. I want to put so much distance between myself and the reality of the world and the reality of the Christian faith, with all its history and mess and contradictions, that no one can take me seriously unless they subscribe to the same navelgazing, naive, Jesus-not-religion nonsense that I do.”

What I have a big problem with on tumblr: Sweeping generalizations.
Maybe you are speaking from personal experience, but I know a LOT of Christians who realize the pain the Christianity has caused over the years, who think about contradictions,  who question what has happened in history.
What I know from the “Jesus not Religion” move is not that Christians are distancing themselves.. They are trying to be loving, they are trying to remedy the situation the best way they can: by beginning a movement to change what the some churches have turned into. It’s not a bunch of dreamers who just want to separate themselves from the issues and histories; if there are people like that, okay. There are always going to be divisions in the church. But is ALSO a bunch of people willing to look at what their apparent devotion to God has done over the years, criticize the bad aspects and try to change it. Christianity begins with a personal relationship, but as a body it becomes a religion and then it can be used to cause a lot of harm: like everything else in this universe. There are negatives and positives, and there are many people who are not running from the negatives.
That may be what you hear, and that’s fine. But I can assure you that your generalization is not all there is. There is so much more it than you think.

Show me where this is happening, and I’ll believe you. The sad thing is, since starting this Christian tumblr, I’ve become more and more disheartened by Christians of my generation. When I posted about Mark Driscoll saying that “God hates people,” and I said that wasn’t appropriate, lots of people showed up to tell me, with varying degrees of hatefulness, that it was totally okay to say God hates people because of sin and hell and whatever. These people frequently use “Jesus not religion,” or “relationship not religion” language. I see it all the time from people who advocate for sexism and complementarianism and talk about feminism as some sort of evil. I see it from people who insist that homosexuality is a disease of the soul. I see it in those very arguments.
I hear it from people who insist that the Bible in its current English translations and 21st century interpretations is literally true. I hear it from people who take issue with the works of people like Rosemary Radford Ruether, who wrote about excising the rottenness from the Church and restoring the radical, dynamic, immediacy of the faith. The “Jesus not religion” thing has become a trope among young, hip Christians who behave exactly as I outline above - they want to seem open and accepting and more Christlike than Christian, but fail to see beyond that desire into the world that needs something much more radical from them.
You know who I don’t hear it from? Rosemary Radford Ruether, and other radical, feminist or liberation theologians. These people don’t advocate for running away from “religion” but diving into it, getting out hands dirty, cleaning out the mess and the filth, examining it, throwing away parts we might actually be pretty attached to if they’re part of the rottenness, admitting our own guilt and complicity in the Church’s atrocities, finding the elements of our own worldview, our own selves and our own realities that are problematic and pulling them out into the light so they can be healed - that’s what they advocate.
The “Jesus not religion” trope does not come from sources I respect in the large majority of cases. I agree with and appreciate the sentiment it supposedly reflects, but I don’t think the “Jesus not religion” attitude is an appropriate or successful way to solve any problems, in or out of the Church.

franticcurls:

justaturnofthedial:

zurik:

hahahahahahaha tysm whoever made this

Here’s what I hear when people say that: “I want the good parts of Christianity without having to deal with any of the bad. I want to hang out with my church buddies and listen to Francis Chan’s podcasts and take camping trips where we have Bible study around the campfire and talk in abstract terms about how we’re ‘on fire for the Lord,’ but I don’t want to have to think about the actual demands the Bible makes in terms of radical justice, environmental stewardship, and political resistance. I don’t feel the need to examine or answer for any of the oppressive and violent things the church has done and is doing because, when I say this, I declare that they have nothing to do with me. I want to put so much distance between myself and the reality of the world and the reality of the Christian faith, with all its history and mess and contradictions, that no one can take me seriously unless they subscribe to the same navelgazing, naive, Jesus-not-religion nonsense that I do.”

What I have a big problem with on tumblr: Sweeping generalizations.

Maybe you are speaking from personal experience, but I know a LOT of Christians who realize the pain the Christianity has caused over the years, who think about contradictions,  who question what has happened in history.

What I know from the “Jesus not Religion” move is not that Christians are distancing themselves.. They are trying to be loving, they are trying to remedy the situation the best way they can: by beginning a movement to change what the some churches have turned into. It’s not a bunch of dreamers who just want to separate themselves from the issues and histories; if there are people like that, okay. There are always going to be divisions in the church. But is ALSO a bunch of people willing to look at what their apparent devotion to God has done over the years, criticize the bad aspects and try to change it. Christianity begins with a personal relationship, but as a body it becomes a religion and then it can be used to cause a lot of harm: like everything else in this universe. There are negatives and positives, and there are many people who are not running from the negatives.

That may be what you hear, and that’s fine. But I can assure you that your generalization is not all there is. There is so much more it than you think.

Show me where this is happening, and I’ll believe you. The sad thing is, since starting this Christian tumblr, I’ve become more and more disheartened by Christians of my generation. When I posted about Mark Driscoll saying that “God hates people,” and I said that wasn’t appropriate, lots of people showed up to tell me, with varying degrees of hatefulness, that it was totally okay to say God hates people because of sin and hell and whatever. These people frequently use “Jesus not religion,” or “relationship not religion” language. I see it all the time from people who advocate for sexism and complementarianism and talk about feminism as some sort of evil. I see it from people who insist that homosexuality is a disease of the soul. I see it in those very arguments.

I hear it from people who insist that the Bible in its current English translations and 21st century interpretations is literally true. I hear it from people who take issue with the works of people like Rosemary Radford Ruether, who wrote about excising the rottenness from the Church and restoring the radical, dynamic, immediacy of the faith. The “Jesus not religion” thing has become a trope among young, hip Christians who behave exactly as I outline above - they want to seem open and accepting and more Christlike than Christian, but fail to see beyond that desire into the world that needs something much more radical from them.

You know who I don’t hear it from? Rosemary Radford Ruether, and other radical, feminist or liberation theologians. These people don’t advocate for running away from “religion” but diving into it, getting out hands dirty, cleaning out the mess and the filth, examining it, throwing away parts we might actually be pretty attached to if they’re part of the rottenness, admitting our own guilt and complicity in the Church’s atrocities, finding the elements of our own worldview, our own selves and our own realities that are problematic and pulling them out into the light so they can be healed - that’s what they advocate.

The “Jesus not religion” trope does not come from sources I respect in the large majority of cases. I agree with and appreciate the sentiment it supposedly reflects, but I don’t think the “Jesus not religion” attitude is an appropriate or successful way to solve any problems, in or out of the Church.

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shannonsunrise:

note-a-bear:

zurik:

roseann:

justaturnofthedial:

zurik:

hahahahahahaha tysm whoever made this

Here’s what I hear when people say that: “I want the good parts of Christianity without having to deal with any of the bad. I want to hang out with my church buddies and listen to Francis Chan’s podcasts and take camping trips where we have Bible study around the campfire and talk in abstract terms about how we’re ‘on fire for the Lord,’ but I don’t want to have to think about the actual demands the Bible makes in terms of radical justice, environmental stewardship, and political resistance. I don’t feel the need to examine or answer for any of the oppressive and violent things the church has done and is doing because, when I say this, I declare that they have nothing to do with me. I want to put so much distance between myself and the reality of the world and the reality of the Christian faith, with all its history and mess and contradictions, that no one can take me seriously unless they subscribe to the same navelgazing, naive, Jesus-not-religion nonsense that I do.”

damn you hit that on the head.

Lilyyyyy you are so perfect.

Bolded for troof

Hm. K, so this is interesting, but don’t really agree with this sentiment. 
I guess I can see that people who may say this sort of thing can be obnoxious about it? But I have never really experienced that myself.
I was raised a Catholic and herded throughout the church until I was around thirteen - I left for a lot of reasons, most of them to do with my political awakening at the time. A priest whom I loved was kicked out of the church and shamed when a scandal revealed that he’d had sex with a woman, and I was obviously like, what the fuck, Catholic church, and left disappointed and very, very angry. As a feminist, and as a believer in the most basic of human rights, I have been very, very angry at the Catholic church ever since.
I still don’t know where religion fits into my life, if it does. But I do know that growing up I was afraid and confused by the God presented in the Bible - a God who is paradoxically ever-loving and ever-vengeful. But Jesus was a boss, you guys. Jesus loved everyone unconditionally, even the lepers and the prostitutes. Jesus lived as a poor man, among the poor, and believed in condemning the rich who withheld goods from those who lived without. 

“I want the good parts of Christianity without having to deal with any of the bad.”

Why is this something we get angry at people for? Why do we have to get angry at Christians who believe in a loving and liberal Christ while they actively denounce the atrocities of Christianity as an institution? When people say they love Jesus, but hate religion (presumably Christianity, here), I think it is pretty much ASSUMED that they are being more open-minded than other Christians, because they embrace their faith while actively questioning/fighting against the system. I don’t really understand why the above poster thinks that people who declare love for Jesus, but not institutional religion, are therefore refusing to face/question violence and oppression. I believe these are the very Christians who are facing and questioning oppression in the church, because they believe Jesus wouldn’t have any of that shit.
Attitudes like this are basically saying you cannot be a religious person and a decent person - because aren’t the two options presented here “I love Jesus / particular parts of Christianity and not the religion as a whole”, or the completely intolerable and rampantly hypocritical “I refuse to even see that particular parts of Christianity deserve to be left out”? Yeah, Christianity is hypocritical and strange and complex, it has a nasty history, and it has done a shitload of harm in the world. But if people want to follow the teachings of Jesus and love him for it, while simultaneously hating the corruption/confusion/violence involved in hierarchical and systemic Christianity, then for God’s sake, let them. There is nothing wrong with being a person of faith if you recognize the faults in your grander religious universe, while personally believing in the good and the righteous, like so many of the teachings of Jesus. 

I’m sorry, but you totally misunderstood my point. I’m saying that people who spout that “Jesus but not religion” stuff tend to be the ones who are least actively engaged with the radical, justice-oriented worldview presented in Christianity and are the least interested in changing anything about the Church. When I say they “want the good but not the bad,” I mean they completely ignore the atrocities committed by Christianity and never want to deal with them. They talk about being “a man of God” or “a woman in God” or “a couple united in faith” without any sort of examination of the ways Christianity has created and perpetuated damaging patriarchal structures. They want to “show peace to the world” without any attention to repairing the hurt the Church itself has caused. There is no wrestling with the messy, complicated parts of Christianity, no facing off with the demons living inside the Church, no theological or ideological questioning that would peel back some of the layers of contemporary faith to expose what’s rotten underneath.
I agree with your point one hundred percent, actually. In my experience, the “Jesus not religion” nonsense has been people’s way to avoid having to admit that, like you say, “Christianity is hypocritical and strange and complex, it has a nasty history, and it has done a shitload of harm in the world.” In my experience, saying things like that signals a person who wants to “follow the teachings of Jesus and love him for it,” but not “simultaneously [hate] the corruption/confusion/violence involved in hierarchical and systemic Christianity.” You won’t hear words like hypocritical, strange, complex, hierarchical and corrupt coming from most “Jesus not religion” people - they’re content to insist that Jesus is great and wonderful, and act like Church corruption is an aberration that can be swept under the rug by distancing oneself from “religion.”
I said people want to not have to deal with the bad parts of Christianity - that doesn’t mean they need to participate, they just need to engage with them. It’s disingenuous to say you practice a faith that has so many problems, then insist that those problems have nothing to do with you as long as you say you’re about “Jesus, not religion.” It is the responsibility of Christians to deal with those bad parts, to grapple with what “religion” means and to excise the rot and exorcise the demons in the church - and, typically when I hear people say things like “I follow Jesus not religion,” they’re trying to absolve themselves of any of that responsibility and avoid all the wrestling and grappling and examination. Usually, those people are trying to establish a “blank slate” on which they can build a “new faith,” which is always astonishingly identical to the faith they’re trying to distance themselves from, with all its sexism and sex-negativity (catch that in the video?), hypocrisy, hierarchy, and corruption. They want to make themselves immune to any criticism that can be leveraged toward the Christian faith while not doing much to actually change those things about the Church that deserve to be criticized.
I agree with you that Christians have the right to follow Jesus while washing their hands of the horrors done in his name - but I think that hand washing must be an active, intellectual, ongoing, and purposeful process. It cannot be achieved simply by switching out one phrase for another.

shannonsunrise:

note-a-bear:

zurik:

roseann:

justaturnofthedial:

zurik:

hahahahahahaha tysm whoever made this

Here’s what I hear when people say that: “I want the good parts of Christianity without having to deal with any of the bad. I want to hang out with my church buddies and listen to Francis Chan’s podcasts and take camping trips where we have Bible study around the campfire and talk in abstract terms about how we’re ‘on fire for the Lord,’ but I don’t want to have to think about the actual demands the Bible makes in terms of radical justice, environmental stewardship, and political resistance. I don’t feel the need to examine or answer for any of the oppressive and violent things the church has done and is doing because, when I say this, I declare that they have nothing to do with me. I want to put so much distance between myself and the reality of the world and the reality of the Christian faith, with all its history and mess and contradictions, that no one can take me seriously unless they subscribe to the same navelgazing, naive, Jesus-not-religion nonsense that I do.”

damn you hit that on the head.

Lilyyyyy you are so perfect.

Bolded for troof

Hm. K, so this is interesting, but don’t really agree with this sentiment. 

I guess I can see that people who may say this sort of thing can be obnoxious about it? But I have never really experienced that myself.

I was raised a Catholic and herded throughout the church until I was around thirteen - I left for a lot of reasons, most of them to do with my political awakening at the time. A priest whom I loved was kicked out of the church and shamed when a scandal revealed that he’d had sex with a woman, and I was obviously like, what the fuck, Catholic church, and left disappointed and very, very angry. As a feminist, and as a believer in the most basic of human rights, I have been very, very angry at the Catholic church ever since.

I still don’t know where religion fits into my life, if it does. But I do know that growing up I was afraid and confused by the God presented in the Bible - a God who is paradoxically ever-loving and ever-vengeful. But Jesus was a boss, you guys. Jesus loved everyone unconditionally, even the lepers and the prostitutes. Jesus lived as a poor man, among the poor, and believed in condemning the rich who withheld goods from those who lived without. 

“I want the good parts of Christianity without having to deal with any of the bad.”

Why is this something we get angry at people for? Why do we have to get angry at Christians who believe in a loving and liberal Christ while they actively denounce the atrocities of Christianity as an institution? When people say they love Jesus, but hate religion (presumably Christianity, here), I think it is pretty much ASSUMED that they are being more open-minded than other Christians, because they embrace their faith while actively questioning/fighting against the system. I don’t really understand why the above poster thinks that people who declare love for Jesus, but not institutional religion, are therefore refusing to face/question violence and oppression. I believe these are the very Christians who are facing and questioning oppression in the church, because they believe Jesus wouldn’t have any of that shit.

Attitudes like this are basically saying you cannot be a religious person and a decent person - because aren’t the two options presented here “I love Jesus / particular parts of Christianity and not the religion as a whole”, or the completely intolerable and rampantly hypocritical “I refuse to even see that particular parts of Christianity deserve to be left out”? Yeah, Christianity is hypocritical and strange and complex, it has a nasty history, and it has done a shitload of harm in the world. But if people want to follow the teachings of Jesus and love him for it, while simultaneously hating the corruption/confusion/violence involved in hierarchical and systemic Christianity, then for God’s sake, let them. There is nothing wrong with being a person of faith if you recognize the faults in your grander religious universe, while personally believing in the good and the righteous, like so many of the teachings of Jesus. 

I’m sorry, but you totally misunderstood my point. I’m saying that people who spout that “Jesus but not religion” stuff tend to be the ones who are least actively engaged with the radical, justice-oriented worldview presented in Christianity and are the least interested in changing anything about the Church. When I say they “want the good but not the bad,” I mean they completely ignore the atrocities committed by Christianity and never want to deal with them. They talk about being “a man of God” or “a woman in God” or “a couple united in faith” without any sort of examination of the ways Christianity has created and perpetuated damaging patriarchal structures. They want to “show peace to the world” without any attention to repairing the hurt the Church itself has caused. There is no wrestling with the messy, complicated parts of Christianity, no facing off with the demons living inside the Church, no theological or ideological questioning that would peel back some of the layers of contemporary faith to expose what’s rotten underneath.

I agree with your point one hundred percent, actually. In my experience, the “Jesus not religion” nonsense has been people’s way to avoid having to admit that, like you say, “Christianity is hypocritical and strange and complex, it has a nasty history, and it has done a shitload of harm in the world.” In my experience, saying things like that signals a person who wants to “follow the teachings of Jesus and love him for it,” but not “simultaneously [hate] the corruption/confusion/violence involved in hierarchical and systemic Christianity.” You won’t hear words like hypocritical, strange, complex, hierarchical and corrupt coming from most “Jesus not religion” people - they’re content to insist that Jesus is great and wonderful, and act like Church corruption is an aberration that can be swept under the rug by distancing oneself from “religion.”

I said people want to not have to deal with the bad parts of Christianity - that doesn’t mean they need to participate, they just need to engage with them. It’s disingenuous to say you practice a faith that has so many problems, then insist that those problems have nothing to do with you as long as you say you’re about “Jesus, not religion.” It is the responsibility of Christians to deal with those bad parts, to grapple with what “religion” means and to excise the rot and exorcise the demons in the church - and, typically when I hear people say things like “I follow Jesus not religion,” they’re trying to absolve themselves of any of that responsibility and avoid all the wrestling and grappling and examination. Usually, those people are trying to establish a “blank slate” on which they can build a “new faith,” which is always astonishingly identical to the faith they’re trying to distance themselves from, with all its sexism and sex-negativity (catch that in the video?), hypocrisy, hierarchy, and corruption. They want to make themselves immune to any criticism that can be leveraged toward the Christian faith while not doing much to actually change those things about the Church that deserve to be criticized.

I agree with you that Christians have the right to follow Jesus while washing their hands of the horrors done in his name - but I think that hand washing must be an active, intellectual, ongoing, and purposeful process. It cannot be achieved simply by switching out one phrase for another.

(via theodore-lawrence)

Text

Choice quote from Mark Driscoll’s new book on marriage:

cincodenada:

victorytasteslikeice:

invisibleforeigner:

In this season we shifted into ministry-and-family mode, neglecting our intimacy and failing to work through our issues. This became apparent to me when my pregnant wife came home from a hair appointment with her previously long hair that I loved chopped off and replaced with a short, mommish haircut. She asked what I thought, and could tell by the look on my face. She had put a mom’s need for convenience before being a wife. She wept.

I can’t believe this is real.

Mark Driscoll is one of the worst kinds of people.

I…I give up on life.  Wait!  Maybe it’s not real!  Maybe someone was angry and made it up, that hap…wait, what’s that, Amazon?  You have a preview?  And if you search for “mommish” it has not only that quote, but this one in the next paragraph?

One night, as we approached the birth of our first child, Ashley, and the launch of our church, I had a dream in which I saw some things that shook me to my core.  I saw in painful detail Grace sinning sexually during a senior trip she took after high school when we had just started dating…I asked her if it was true, fearing the answer.  Yes, she confessed, it was.  Grace started weeping and trying to apologize for lying to me, but I honestly don’t remember the details of the conversation, as I was shell-shocked.  Had I known about this sin, I would not have married her.  But God told me to marry Grace, I loved her, I had married her as a Christian, we were pregnant, and I was a pastor with a church plant filled with young people who were depending on me.

Emphasis mine.  And it almost of sounds like if he hadn’t had so many eyes on him, he may have kicked her to the curb for not being a virgin.

Well if this isn’t some of the most sexist, least Christlike nonsense I’ve ever heard. Mark Driscoll is a modern-day Pharisee.

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"Pro-life" is a lie if it doesn’t include people after they’re born.

Dan Savage’s commentary on the recent GOP debate:

When the candidates were asked to share a story about an event that shaped their worldview, their faith, their relationship to Jeebus, etc., Santorum and Gingrich both told stories about children—Santorum about one of his own, Gingrich about a friend’s—who were born with life-threatening medical problems. The lives of both children were thanks to extraordinary medical interventions: weeks in neonatal ICUs, round-the-clock care, heart transplants, multiple brain surgeries. These events, both men said, both illustrated and cemented their commitment to life: these children could’ve died at birth—doctors in Santorum’s case had all but declared the child dead and, according to Santorum, coldly advised him and his wife to “accept the inevitable” death of their newborn—but these children deserved a chance at life, by God, even if meant defying doctors and the odds and conventional medical wisdom…

Santorum and Gingrich pledged that, should either be elected president, no child would ever be denied a shot at life. They would both put an end to the Obama administration’s practice of taking sick infants out of incubators and tossing them out windows. Because life is sacred and precious… and no medical intervention or treatment should ever be denied a child, no matter how long the odds, because LIFE! And that’s what it means to be pro-life. Cue rapturous applause from the audience.

Okay, great. I actually agree with the proposition that all children should have access to the kind of medical care that Santorum’s child did. (Medical care that was paid for by the federal government, BTW.) But both of these douchebags are pledging to repeal Obamacare. Both oppose “socialized medicine.” (For your family, not for theirs.) Both men would regard the creation of a single-payer health care system—like the one they have up in Canada—as an unacceptable socialist assault on freeeeeeeeeeeedom. And both men stood silent when audience members at a previous GOP debate cheered for letting a man without health insurance die. Because this is America, where letting children die of toothaches is one of prices we pay for freedom.

From the article he links at the end:

The nation was shocked this week when it was announced that a 12 year-old boy had passed away in Prince George’s County, Maryland, as a result of not having adequate dental care. The tragedy has prompted House Democrats to address the lack of affordable health insurance, and to push forward plans that will provide dental care to the poor at an unprecedented rate.

Deamonte Driver was like many urban youths in the DC Metropolitan area. Struggling against many economic factors, the young boy did not have sufficient insurance coverage to provide quality health care, and the Medicaid coverage provided by the State of Maryland fell far short of providing even a basic level of coverage.

Deamonte’s mother, Alyce Driver, had no idea that her son suffered from an abscessed tooth. She took the youth to a hospital in January after he had complained of repeated chronic headaches. By that time, the infection associated with sceptisemia had traveled from the boy’s tooth to his brain. The result of the infection was a brain tumor that required two surgeries at the local Children’s Hospital, followed by extensive rehabilitation at another facility. Sadly, this was not enough to save young Deamonte’s life.

Driver’s other son, 10 year-old DaShawn Driver, had noticeable tooth problems, as he had a swollen cheek on one side of his face, and openly complained about tooth pain. Unfortunately, the only insurance coverage the family had was Medicaid supplimental insurance from the State of Maryland. Driver said it took her weeks to locate a dentist who would even accept the Medicaid card.

Ah, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves! Should not shepherds feed the sheep? You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fat ones, but you do not feed the sheep. The weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the injured you have not bound up, the strayed you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought, and with force and harshness you have ruled them. Ezekiel 34:2-4