More of the Tea Party Gospel

  • political-cartoons-tea-party

‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain;
their teachings are but rules taught by men’.”

Matthew 15:8-9

The following are some verses changed for you so that the Tea Party and Right winged Christian Republicans can here what they are saying with their speech and actions.

  • For I was a homosexual and you would not serve me, I was homeless and you told me to go get a job, I was different and you made racist remarks,  I was disabled and you called me lazy, I was sick and you and you fought against healthcare, I was in prison and you sentenced me to death. I was depressed and you called me sinful. “Then the right will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you as a homosexual, homeless, different, disabled, sick in prison or depressed?’“The King will reply, ‘truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:35-40
  • For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor if they are a white, straight, republican whose family was born in God’s country (America) unless you are Ted Cruz then we’ll over look that.” Galatians 5:14
  • For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall close your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’ Deuteronomy 15:11
  • Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Devil, and God will repay him for his evil deeds.  Proverbs 19:17
  • For real christians will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. 2 Timothy 3 2-4
  • And he died for some, that those who live might live for themselves but not for Christ who for their sake died and was raised. 2 Corinthians 5:15
  • Do everything from rivalry or conceit, but in false humility count others much less significant than yourselves. Let each of you look only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4
  • Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: Homosexuality! That’s it. I didn’t like what the actual verses said, so I removed them, when I saw it. Ezekiel 16: 49-50
  • Above all, our rules and laws keep us loving one another earnestly, since laws covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8
  • Do not give to the one who begs from you, and refuse the one who would borrow from you. Matthew 5:42

https://hadespotos.wordpress.com/2014/10/29/the-tea-party-gospel/

A Quick History Lesson about a “Quick History Lesson”

historylesson

This meme was posted by a friend on Facebook. I really wanted to tell them it was nonsense, but we’ve had so many discussions on how they don’t know or understand history and yet they don’t wake up.  I wonder if it’s even worth discussing it with them anymore. I grew up like them, so I understand what they were trying to say but this meme is nonsense to me.

Some people might look at this and say the republicans are always on the right side. While others will look at it and say the republicans haven’t done a thing in 150 years. The truth of course is some place in between. Neither political party is all good or all bad no matter what you’ve been told. I grew up being taught that the Republican Party was God’s party. What a joke! God isn’t political. Man is. When politicians talk about God, most of the time they just want your vote.

Ok, off my soap box for a minute and back to the meme.

If you understood the political voting in America you might ask why do some areas of the country always vote one way or the other? Why do the one time confederate states now vote heavily republican now and the one time union vote heavily Democrat? When up to the 1950’s it was completely the opposite? What caused the shift? And does it matter. Yes,  At least I believe it does.

If we really understood what the meme said you’d know that some things never change but others do. But it may not be what you think.

In the 1960’s the Democrats held the oval office but the republicans owned congress. There was a battle over civil rights. Not unlike today. In the 1960’s it was the black civil rights movement. Have you ever wondered why since the Republicans freed the slaves and gave the African Americans the right to vote et el why today they vote heavily Democrat?

The Civil rights act of 1964 seemed to change a lot. President LBJ said after its passing that “”I think we’ve just delivered the South to the Republican Party for the rest of my life, and yours.” Why did he think so? The south was still very anti-equal rights and highly democratic. The southerners felt betrayed by their party and flipped sides. The next two elections were landslides for the Republican Party as the country elected Nixon to the Whitehouse. The Republicans controlled the Whitehouse for 20 out of the next 24 years becoming more conservative as they were led by Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and others who then chased the liberal wing to the democratic party. If it wasn’t for Watergate the Democrats might not have won any of those elections.

In the 1860’s the Republicans were the radical liberals fighting for equality, but not today. That has changed. What hasn’t changed is that the conservatives don’t want that equality. In both cases the conservatives used the Bible to say they were right. Slavery is ok according to the Bible and homosexuality is wrong according to the Bible.

As an ordained pastor in a very conservative denomination I know that people will use the Bible or their religion to support their bigotry. That’s what the Pharisees did and that’s what a lot of the church does today. Some things never change. But there are real followers of Christ that teach love for all. Glad that doesn’t change. Just wish there were more.

So, whether you agree with it or not with the meme it basically says most liberals vote for equality while most conservatives continue to vote for themselves.  It has nothing to do with the political parties.

Vote totals for “Civil Rights act of 1964”

Totals are in “YeaNay

  • The original House version: 290–130   (69–31%).
  • Cloture in the Senate: 71–29   (71–29%).
  • The Senate version: 73–27   (73–27%).
  • The Senate version, as voted on by the House: 289–126   (70–30%).

By party

The original House version:

  • Democratic Party: 152–96   (61–39%)
  • Republican Party: 138–34   (80–20%)

Cloture in the Senate:

  • Democratic Party: 44–23   (66–34%)
  • Republican Party: 27–6   (82–18%)

The Senate version:

  • Democratic Party: 46–21   (69–31%)
  • Republican Party: 27–6   (82–18%)

The Senate version, voted on by the House:

  • Democratic Party: 153–91   (63–37%)
  • Republican Party: 136–35   (80–20%)

http://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/2004/summer/civil-rights-act-2.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Rights_Act_of_1964

http://www.270towin.com/states/

Evolution of Creationism.

evolution1
“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.”
― Galileo Galilei, Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina

About a year ago I found out that some churches celebrate evolution day sometime in August. I was surprised and posted it on my facebook page. One of my good friends from college replied that to believe in evolution was logically leading to Atheism. I didn’t really understand that because I know so many Christians who are just fine with the idea that God took 14 billion years to evolve its creation.
Recently some of my family members and friends have posted that their church teaches is not any way you can believe in evolution and still believe in a creator. They have also posted things toward evolution in a positive manner, which was quickly put down by people.
I found that to be sad. The more I read about evolution the more I think, “How wonderful this creation is.” Recently I read “God and the Big Bang” by Daniel Matt, a Jewish Kabbalist and professor at U.C. Berkeley. I found it a very fascinating book. I learned a lot about Kabbalah and their beliefs on creationism. It also gave me a lot of insight into how Jewish people look differently at the Torah and the prophets than what Christians look at it.
I have found that most of the time, when opponents argue against evolution they use the Biblical story found in the book of Genesis. I should really say the two stories found in Genesis chapters one and two. Written by two different people with two different agenda’s to different audiences and none of them were us. I remember sitting across the table from one person who argued that it had to be seven days because the Hebrew word for day means a 24 hour period and I was thinking “Really? That is your argument? That’s your logic?”
Using that logic Jesus should have had to be in the tomb for 72 exact hours, but he wasn’t. If you take the bible literal he was in the tomb around 40 hours give or take a few hours. (He was placed on the cross sometime Friday morning and died and was buried before sunset, but arose when the ladies when to the tomb early Sunday morning.) After all Jesus said “for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Matthew 12:40
How much does it matter how God created the earth or mankind? Does it really matter if it took a few thousand years or several billion? Not really. It’s the same God. And when you get so picky about little things like that you forget what is important. Love. Kindness. Peace. Caring. Taking care of one another and other virtues.
When we forget those virtues and concentrate on details that don’t matter in eternity we lose track of what is important. Theologies don’t matter, how we translate certain words don’t matter, rules and traditions don’t matter. But love does. Jesus said that all the law is based on loving God and Loving your neighbor. So saying someone is going to hell because they believe in evolution is not loving. I think that’s Gods job anyway. Telling someone they are an idiot for believing in 7 exact days of creation is not loving either. Instead ask them to look at the earth using scientific methods.
For me, evolution is science and the Bible is not science. The Bible is a group of books written to help people understand God and why things had happened to those people it was written to. If there is any science in the Bible it is 2-3000 years old and should be understood that way. I don’t even think the Genesis stories are about how God created the earth and mankind. It’s more about why. Story 1 (Genesis 1:1-2:3) is about how the Jewish nation is to be “fruitful and multiply” because they have a God that loves them. A promise you see repeated throughout the Torah. Story 2 (Genesis 2:4-4:2) is about how the Jewish nation had screwed up but that God will always be there for them. I could go deeper, but that’s too long for here and now.
Well anyway, those are some of my thoughts. What do you think?

On a side note there are many theories about who wrote the book of Genesis from Moses to P1, P2, and D sources to J, E and D sources and sometimes R, but whoever wrote it they were simply writing to the people of their day and so we have to look at it in the eyes of someone who lived 2,500 years ago.

Ducking the issues?

duck D

(Some) “believe that it is only great power that holds evil in check, but that is not what I have found.  I have found that it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay.  Small acts of love and kindness.”  Gandolf the Gray from “The Hobbit”

Recently there has been a lot of hubbub surrounding what Phil Robertson said in a GQ article regarding homosexuality and racial issues.  I’m not really going to talk about that since I think it is just to get some more viewers to the show.  The new season starts mid-January and I believe he’ll be reinstated by then.  At that point many Christians will be praising God for the victory over the liberal left and Satan.  (Sigh)

For the last several years, I’ve noticed that Christians seem to get up in arms over what I see as insignificant things.  This past week was one of those moments.  Please understand that when I say Christians in this case, I really mean those on the right side branch of Christianity.  The farther right the madder they seem to get.  For them, Christmas time is normally set aside to fight the “war on Christmas”, whatever that is.  They seem to think that Fox News gives them the true news of God.  They have considered the likes of Jerry Falwell, Franklin Graham, Pat Robertson and others to be their prophets.  These Christians believe in boycotting events or groups solely on whether or not those groups live up to their ideas of biblical values.  In other words they have certain rules and if a company doesn’t live within those rules they are a sinner on their way to Hell. I understand this because I was once a part of that idealism, but during my college years I began to find it unfulfilling and really unchristlike.

Remember a couple years ago when Chick-fil-A had their big whoop di doo with the homosexual community?  All the Christians yelled for a support Chick-fill-A for being pro biblical marriage.  I so wanted to go “eat with the sinners” as Jesus would do, but was a little afraid of what people would have thought of me.  Today I would go.  I’ve gotten over that petty pride.

I don’t see Jesus as one who boycotted or protested things in life that were wrong or anti God.  He was often called a “friend of sinners”.  In other words, he went out of his way to love those who the Pharisees and Sadducees (the church) said were unclean and out of the will of God.  Today that is homosexuals, liberals, atheists, and others who don’t fit in with the accepted rules.

The Christian right likes to spout off all their scriptures about how this or that is wrong, just like the Sadducees and Pharisees often told Jesus what the laws and prophets said, and yet Jesus always seemed to teach them how to love and forgive.  If we truly want to follow the biblical laws then we need to find a bunch of stones, because those who curse their parents, to adulterers, are to be put to death. Lev. 20:9 & 10). How many adulterers are on church boards?  Remember any divorce and remarriage is adultery. (Matt. 5:32)

I really wonder though if there isn’t more to the problem than whether some things are sins or not.  The outrage over some things just seems so unbalanced.  I have begun thinking that it is more about the loss of power and influence that the right once had that is more the issue.  I feel like the right acts more like a wounded or cornered animal that is lashing out to protect itself or what it has left.  30 years ago it had a lot of influence and was able to get Ronald Reagan elected president over what I see as a very devout Christian in Jimmy Carter.  Pat Robertson had a good following when he tried to get the nomination several years later.  But since the 80’s it’s influence has steadily gone downhill and the right has tried hard to hold on to it with little success.  It rose again when it barely got G. W. Bush elected president.  But is this working in the right direction?  I think the movement of Jesus was from the bottom (least) to the top, not from the top (Washington) to the bottom.    If Christianity wants to influence America again we must start with the bottom.  That would be those that the church or society mistreats and love them.  Get rid of our rules and keep God’s grace.  “Love God with all your heart soul and mind and love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”  (Matt. 22:37-40)  For those who want to follow rules, every law hangs on love.  That is exactly what Jesus said.    I know a lot of people come out and say that we love them but hate the sin, but that is not how they actually come across.  I believe that we need to put our words aside and let the world see some action.  We need to show true love, not bound with rules, but love given without expecting anything in return.  We need lives of sacrifice for anyone who is not us.  Only then will Christianity ever regain any influence.  Why?  It is because it will not be about our rules or even us.  It will be about loving God and loving others and isn’t that really more important?