Why Conservative Christian? Why Evangelical Christian? Why Titles?

 

One of the reasons I started this blog was the insistence by many of my fellow Christians that they belong to one group or another. Their “title” their “particular sect” of Christianity seems, to their way of thinking to be the “Way.” They, like the cults, seem to hold the key to Biblical understanding.

I find this very contrary to the Bible. I cannot find that way of thinking anywhere in the teachings of the New Testament. Maybe I am, as I have been told, “totally misguided,” but I have never had anyone be able to tell me exactly why. I am told “you shouldn’t try to invent  another gospel.” I really don’t think I am. I am simply cutting to the chase and deleting all the man made rules, do’s and don’ts.

I was recently visiting with my brother and I told him, “we were very lucky to be raised in the church we were raised in, by the parents we had.” He agreed completely. The church we attended taught that salvation was a gift from God and was available to everyone who called upon the name of Jesus. You didn’t have to keep a bunch of rules, just trust in God and thank Him for caring enough to make a way.

Our parents took the time to explain the stories we were taught in Sunday School and spent time in dialogue with us answering questions and sharing the wonderful  news , God’s grace was what the Good News of the Gospel was all about.

My brother said that he could go to any Christian church and worship. It didn’t matter because the church is a place for fellowship with other believers. He could go to a Southern Gospel song fest, attend a service in a liturgical church, attend a Catholic Mass or attend a Christian block party and know that the fellowship of other believers was what allowed him to focus on God.

I had a “Conservative” Christian friend tell me recently, “I am a little more forgiving than you are.” He was speaking about my questioning the Pastor’s obsession with Politics and other social issues that really had no place in the worship service. He said he felt that “working in the church” and “bringing in people to help support the ministry” were what it was all about. I am afraid that many of the “Conservative Christian” churches and a lot of the other brands of “Christian” churches all believe the same.

The Good News that is being taught starts with a kernel of truth and just enough Bible reference to make people think that they are on the right track, but then comes a healthy dose of “Fox News” and CBN, which totally throws the whole thing into a black hole.

Week after week many of the churches beat the people up about sin. “I know you must have had an impure thought!” “Come to the alter and rededicate your life to Jesus.” “You need to focus on overcoming the sin in your life.” “The end is near and if you don’t confess your sins, God will take away your salvation.” On and on they go, trying to get as many to the altar as they can so their “numbers” will be better than the guy in the next town.

My wife and I were attending a week long revival at a major denomination’s district campground. The last night the evangelist was in rare form. He preached, he pointed fingers, he strutted back and forth up and down. He pumped the crowd. He foamed at the mouth and threatened “Eternal Damnation!”

As the people waved hands in the air, cried and started running down to the altar in the front, my wife and I looked at each other and shook our heads. We hadn’t seen that much hysteria since the last Christian Rock Concert we had attended.

The icing on the cake took place during the prayer time that followed, when the evangelist reached into his pocket and pulled out a pen and pad. He quickly moved across the stage counting each person kneeling before him and wrote the number down, “for his report.” It was all about how many people he got to come forward that judged his “success.”

Each year we were asked to fill out a yearly report of our ministry’s activities. One of the questions was: “How many souls were saved under your ministry this year?”  My answer, each year, was: “Only a liar or a fool would put a number in this box.”  It always amazed me that some of the Pastors and Evangelists were questioned about the number, either “too low” or “too high,” but never once in the ten years I worked in the denomination did anyone ever make reference to my answer.

Half truths, sometimes outright lies, politics, anti this and anti that are taught in many of today’s churches. Watered down gospel messages, which are really no gospel at all are taught and anyone questioning is pressured to “shut up” and “submit” to whatever authority is in power.

The fact that so many well meaning Christians would point fingers at the President, who claims to be a Christian and is raising his family to be Christian while supporting someone who does not hold Christian beliefs, who thinks he is a “god in embryo” and “hopes to one day become a ‘god’ himself” totally blows my mind. Have we slipped so far from the basics of Christianity to totally ignore the leading of the Holy Spirit? Have we so totally twisted the Good News that we are back to keeping the law and thinking our salvation is in a church like the Republican Presidential candidate does?

Why don’t we get back to the basics of the Bible? Why don’t we focus on the main theme. Why don’t we get rid of the titles and forget about trying to please God by what we do and simply thank Him for What He Did for us? 

Business as usual for most Churches

Now that the election is over you would think that the “Conservative Christian” and so called “Christian” churches would get back to the basic teachings of “Christianity.” But, with the “wrong” guy back in the White House and the “Right or Correct” people not in control of both houses of congress, it appears that it is business as usual.

I noted from a comment by a person, whom I assume considers himself a “Conservative Christian,” published in the Emmett, Idaho, Messenger-Index, that the idiots are still alive and well. The Bible says not to call a “brother” a fool, so I won’t do that, I will just use the term my mother used and say he is a “horses ass!”

Since the article is copywritten, I will only paraphrase what was written. The writer alludes to “President Obama and the “so called “Christians” who voted for him.” He says that they can not (his typo not mine) call themselves Christians.

He rails on about true Christians and how they have the Holy Spirit in their lives  and shouldn’t believe in murdering unborn children.

This is the same crap that the ill informed “Conservative Christian Churches” have been spouting since it became fashionable back in the early days of Falwell and the other Right Wing nitwits, who used the “church” to line their pockets and switch the focus of the “gospel message” to political activism.

The writer continues and tries to use a Bible verse, taken completely out of context, to support his distorted viewpoint. He even incorporates the use of “Hitler” to try to make his lame position sound legitimate, but to any clear thinking person, it falls short of making any sense.

In the late 1940’s a major denomination held a series of meetings to “Plan for the next 50 years.” Among their agenda items were Blue Laws (forcing business to close on Sunday), making people recognize their church as a “World Religion,” along with Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism. Also included in the agenda, since their belief in “pre-existent spirits being “reborn” on this planet, where they would work out their salvation and become “gods” over their own planets, was anti-abortion.

The number one thing they tried was the “STOP! Don’t Shop On Sunday” campaign, complete with bumper stickers that were distributed to all the “Christian” churches. The thinking was, “if we can get them on board, we should be able to make it happen.”  I remember as a child, hearing the railing on about the evils of “doing business on the Lord’s Day” and how it was a sin to “go against the Bible.” Thankfully, the church I was taken to by my parents was not impressed with the legalism and sin consciousness that many of the other Protestant churches were under the burden of. I was taught, “The Holy Spirit lives within you and will guide you right if you will just follow His lead.”

Needless to say, the Blue Law/Don’t shop on Sunday, movement fell flat.

Later, in the 1970’s there was a move, by this particular organization/church to become recognized as a major world religion. This fell flat as well. Although they have a world wide organization, thousands of “missionaries” in the field and control of much of America’s business and Government, they couldn’t pull of the scam.

After that debacle, they switched and began using “Christian” terms and started to make themselves appear “more Christian.” “After all, we have the name of “Jesus Christ” in the name of our church.”

Around the same time as they were trying to become recognized as a “Major World Religion” they also introduced their “Anti-Pornography” and “Anti-Abortion” campaigns.

Do not misunderstand me, I do not agree with or promote either of these issues, but I do understand why the “Christian” community is so rabid on the subject and part of the reason is the fact that this organization worked behind the scenes to get the “Christian” churches to move in that direction.

One thing they understood was, “we cannot let people know our church is behind this. Since it is mainly a Catholic issue, we need to find a way to move things along and make the Protestant’s think it is their idea. Then, if it fails, our hands are clean and if it succeeds, we have accomplished our goal.

Using such notables as Billy Graham (an unwitting participant) and some of the newbie Christian television ministries, they were able to move the anti-issue agendas ahead.

I remember going to a meeting in my home town where the churches came together to “sweep pornography” out of town. All the churches sent representatives and I was chosen to be one of the spokesmen for our particular church. All the groups were there and our “we have the name of Jesus Christ” group was sitting in the back. During the debate, each group had their say, except the group at the rear, who just sat and listened.

It was decided that there would be pickets set up in front of the pornographic movie theater and novelty shop. Each day they would be there to jeer anyone entering. All the while the group at the rear sat smiling.

I raised my hand and asked, “Do we really want to do this? Is it really a cancer in our society to have a bookstore selling videos and books of this nature? A resounding “YES” rose from the crowd, even the back row people spoke up at this question.

My next question was, “Are we going to focus on this one enterprise or are we really intent on driving this “evil” from our midst completely?”

“COMPLETELY!!!”  was the resounding outcry.

“Well,” I said, “around the corner from this particular movie theater/novelty shop is a bookstore that has the 3 initials of the “We have Jesus Christ in the name of our Church,” Church that is run by a Bishop of that church and directly across the street from that store is another book store which has the Bishop’s name above the door. If you have ever been in that store, you will have noted that at the rear is a curtain, which covers a “special section” containing porn books and videos. I feel if we are truly serious about “sweeping pornography” out of our city, we need to picket both locations.”

A general murmur of agreement rolled across the room, but from the rear seats rose one of the to date “silent” members of the audience. “I think we should take baby steps and not try to eat the whole elephant. I feel we should start with one location and take care of that problem before we take on any other problems.” The debate raged on with the group from the rear becoming very vocal and assertive.

Needless to say, only one business was targeted by the “Sweepers” and it stayed in business for some time after. The Bishop’s bookstore was never picketed and continued to sell their wares as usual.

As a side note, when I went to work the next morning, two of my co-workers, who were members of the “Jesus Christ in our church name” group, came up to me and said, “Why are you attacking our church? A Bishop owns those book stores and you have no right interfering with his business trade.” I just looked at them and said, “can I borrow some of the videos you purchased from the Bishop’s store?”  They looked at each other and said, “We don’t loan books or videos” and walked away.

All that to say, the Conservative Christian churches, or at least many of them, are being led down the garden path by the group that follows the same entity that led Eve astray.

Wake up people, Quit using the Bible to try to “prove” your point, when your point is pointless.

There is evil and there is wrong, but wasting precious time, that could be used sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ, spinning your wheels in the mud and slinging mud in counterproductive.

It is sad that even many of the “Bible teaching” churches veer off track and get caught up in the “This was a Christian Nation mentality.” They forget that the main character in the Bible is “God?”  And, I don’t see where the God of the Bible is worried about Real Estate or countries, He is concerned with souls.

Time and time again I have asked, “Who is the main character in the Bible?” The majority of “Christians” never seem to say that God is the main character. So much time is being spent on “sin consciousness, Christian Nation, politics and other social topics and “feel good” that the real Gospel Message is being washed out by religion.

Another question I often ask is, “What is religion?” There are so many answers to this, I could not even begin to list them. I usually follow up with “What was the first “religious” act in the Bible? I have yet to get anyone to answer this correctly.

Religion is man’s attempt to reach God, to please God, to make himself presentable to God. Man’s first religious act is found in Genesis 3:7. “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.’ Man’s first act was to try to fool God and cover his sin.

What did God do? It wasn’t His problem, He went walking in the garden in the cool of the day.

Every since Adam man has been trying to make it right with God and every since Adam man has failed. The only ones who have been able to do it are those who “live by faith.” Abraham was found faithful without any keeping of laws, he believed.

Habakkuk 2:4 “See, he is puffed up; his desires are not upright-” (pretty well sums up the Conservative Christian attitude) “but the righteous will live by his faith.”

I don’t find much “righteousness” in churches today.

I do find “Business as Usual,”

“Never miss an opportunity to make others happy even if you have to leave them alone to do it.”

I saw the quote that I used for the title and knew that whoever said it was a genius and most likely was not a Conservative Christian or a Republican.

Too many times, well meaning “Christians” try to force their religion on others.

That got me to thinking about religion and the Bible. That in turn got me to thinking, “Exactly what is religion? How is religion defined?”

I went to the dictionary and found the following:
“Religion: n, any system of faith or worship; the outward manifestation of belief in a Supreme or Superior Being; love and obedience toward God; Piety; monastic vow or state; conformity to Biblical precepts; devotion; fidelity.

That seemed to pretty well cover all the bases, but the next two definitions seemed to cover the people in churches today.

Religiosity: intense fervor in religion; deep religious feeling;
and
Religious: adj, pertaining to, characteristic of, or set apart for religion; godly’ pious’ devotional’ conscientiously exact or strict, bound by monastic vows; one who is bound by monastic vows.

I think that is a scatter gun way of saying that man is trying to please God and any means he uses, he hopes will get the job done. Add to that, the fact that each person thinks “he or she” has it right and you have the problem with the “Church” today, no matter what the sign on the outside of the building says.

I also got to looking to see what the Bible had down as the first religious act. Who started the whole thing and where can it be found in the Bible?

I didn’t have to look very far, Genesis 3:7. “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.”

Religious acts started because mankind screwed up. They knew they had gone against God’s will and tried to gain his approval by doing something. What did God do? He went for His walk in the garden in the cool of the day.

Religion and religious acts were not God’s invention, they were man’s attempts to win God’s approval and it has never worked.

It does work to build large groups of people into an organization, mega churches, masses that can be controlled and put to work bringing in large sums of money to support the high living life style of many “Religious leaders,” but it doesn’t win God’s approval.

I was once asked by a couple of Mormon friends, “You want to keep God’s laws, don’t you?” My answer was a resounding, “NO!” at which they jumped back as if God were going to send a lightning bolt to zap me.

A serious study of the Bible will show what a lot of the churches teach, but do not live. Abraham was justified in God’s eyes because he believed. He didn’t keep a bunch of rules, do a bunch of rituals, he believed God. When he was told to do something, by God, he did it. He may have messed up, like taking Lot when he was told to leave family behind, but he finally got it and believed that God was enough. The righteous man lives by faith. It is actually what the “Good News” is: it is all about God being faithful and shedding His Grace on mankind. Mankind messed up, but God wanted to rebuild the relationship. Adam and Eve’s fig leaf aprons couldn’t do that. Today’s keeping a bunch of rules and working hard can’t do it either.

When the time was right, God provided a way for man to be free of sin and a way for the relationship to be repaired. Just believe God. Period.

All of the work, filthy sinner mentality and most of the other things people do to please God is a slap in the face of Jesus and His sacrifice. God’s grace was given to all when Christ was crucified and raised from the dead. All that is necessary to know God’s grace is to believe. Jesus died once for all, that isn’t Universalism, as many “works Christians” say, it is Good News.

The “filthy sinner” mentality and the “shove the Bible down throats” mentality does nothing to move the kingdom of God forward. If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your savior, you are saved. It isn’t about anything that you did, it is all about what He did.

Maybe you can advance the kingdom by just being.

Never miss an opportunity to make others happy even if you have to leave them alone to do it

Voter Fraud?

I just heard of a Conservative Christian pastor who took a recovering alcoholic, who said he wasn’t going to vote, to the voter registration place and made him register as a Republican. I think the Pastor even told him to put the Pastor’s address down. If that is the case and the guy really isn’t going to vote, will the Pastor file an absentee ballot for the guy and forge the signature?

I think it is time to pull the reigns on the churches that, from the pulpit, campaign for politicians. I realize that churches make money catering to the rich fat cats, but the 47% shouldn’t be made to pay for it. By that I don’t mean pay money, they pay by having to sit and be intimidated from the pulpit and hear reruns of the garbage the PACS run on TV.

I wish I had enough money, like the high rollers in the churches, that I didn’t have to care about Social Security or Medicare. 

I also feel sorry for the ignorant who will vote Republican, because their church told them to, and then find out that the “voucher system” they will wind up with allows the insurance companies to raise rates, like they already do, and call “pre-existing condition or makes them wait for treatment, hoping they will either die or give up.

I realize that the Mormons, of which Romney is one, worship the “god of this earth,” but I can’t understand the so called “Conservative Christians” supporting a candidate who says he worships the god of this earth, when the Bible says the god of this earth is Satan.

P.T. Barnum said it best!

Binders Full of Women

I was talking to my “Conservative Christian” friend and he, much to my surprise, said, “I wonder if Romney kept the binders and how many of the women he married in the Temple?

You could have knocked me over with a prayer cloth…. I didn’t even realize this guy, who said he would bow his head when they prayed to the “god of this earth when Romney was elected,” even knew that Mormons still practiced polygamy, albeit under the guise of “sealing for time and eternity.”

He even admitted that Romney was a “Mexican American.”

I don’t know what they are teaching at his church, but even the Mormons don’t publicize their ‘ordinances.’

At first I thought that Romney must have asked the Relief Society at his local ward for lists of available women, but now it appears there must be some other group of women that want to be included when the Mormon men divide up the left over women and haul them off to spend eternity popping out babies to become “spirits” to populate their “husband’s” planet, when he becomes a “god.”

Suffice it to say, most “Conservative Christians,” in fact most “Christians” don’t have a clue. There has become too much emphasis on “feel good religion” and not enough focus on God’s Grace and the Holy Spirit in many of today’s churches. People had become weary of “sin consciousness” and the “filthy sinner shtick” and when the “Conservative Christian” proponents popped up with the focus on Mega Churches and small groups, they lost out on the Bible based teaching that builds a personal relationship with God. Even many of the “Bible teaching” groups that were formed in the 60’s have included “politics” and political statements in the teaching.

Oh well, my conservative friends, who will make a boat load of money from overseas investments and their oil company holdings, will vote for Romney and “praise the lord (small letter “l” because their “lord”  has Ben Franklin’s picture on it) when their taxes are cut and will use the profits to buy up the houses that the poorer “conservatives” lost when they couldn’t afford to feed their families, pay their house payments and pay the “reduced” taxes that never seemed to appear.

Warning: Conservative Christian Women, do not use birth control because in doing so you are causing some poor spirit on the planet Kolob to lose out on a chance to be born and work out his salvation here as a Mormon.

2016 The Movie

I cannot, for the life of me, understand the thinking of some “Conservative Right Wing Christians.” The Gospel goes out the window when politics comes in the door.

Now, all I hear from my conservative Christian ?friends? is, “Are you going to see 2016?

“What is 2016?” I ask.

“I don’t know for sure, but I think it is about what will happen if Obama is re-elected.”

“Where did you hear about it?”

“Oh, the Pastor said that we are not going to have Bible study because it is showing at the Holy Roller Church of Jesus Christ Down On The Corner and it is a ‘must see’ for any good Christian.”

Well, heathen that I am, I am not going because I don’t think I could stomach being with that many ‘good Christians’ for that long.

When did it become necessary to attend a political function to become a ‘good Christian’ anyway?

Any time religion becomes the political force in any society, the society has gone down hill. In case you doubt that, what caused the Dark Ages and what happened to end them?

I was interested in the views of the Conservative Christian community when the attack on our diplomatic mission happened and candidate Romney made his statement about the response from the diplomatic corps in Egypt not being strong and forcefull. I only shudder to think what would have happened if he had been in office. It would make the war and invasions started by George III, after 9-11 seem like a child’s birthday party.

The world does not understand Islam and most  Conservative Christians don’t even know what Islam believes. They buy the Islamic apologists line that it is a religion of peace and some are even as ignorant as my Nazarene Headquarters person who told me that Islam is “just another branch of Christendom.”

I would recommend getting the book, Islam, Religion of Peace, Islam’s War Against The World, by Gregory M. Davis and the companion DVD, Islam, What The West Needs To Know. Or you can visit the website, http://www.whatthewestneedstoknow.com

Many of the Conservative Christians, Mormons and other supporters of Romney,I have spoken to, feel that a hard line response should have been taken. “Why didn’t ‘we’ (I guess that means the United States) blow the hell out of them?”  (Now there is a real “Christian” attitude)

Islam, unlike any other World Religion, is a political system with religious overtones. It is first a system whose goal is World Domination. The Islamic view of world peace is that everyone is a Muslim. If everyone is under the Sharia (Islamic) law, the world will be at peace, but as long as there are infidels, anyone who is not Muslim, there is no peace.

Jesus taught to “turn the other cheek.” Islam teaches “wage war against the infidel whenever possible.” This is the reason we see thousands of uneducated, unemployed, violent youth taking to the streets and burning national flags and destroying property. Like rabid dogs, spurred on by clerics who gain status and satisfaction in controlling the masses, they protest with no real knowledge, other than what they have been  led to believe was a slight against their Prophet. A self proclaimed prophet who abrogated the scripture he wrote whenever something he thought of later contradicted what he had already said, or that he claimed Allah had said.

Oh yes, that statement is a slight as well. In fact, any infidel who asks a question about Islam has a death sentence on his head. Anyone, Islamic believer or not, who has a copy of the Koran in any language other than Arabic may find themselves the target of some Islamic cleric’s wrath and face death.

It is interesting to note, The Koran is written in 7th century Arabic. There are very few Muslims who can read 7th century Arabic and the majority of Muslims are not Arabic. But it is believed that it must be read in Arabic to be properly understood and must be recited in Arabic. It is my thinking that the problems of today stem from the fact that, as I have read, Mohammed asked for a copy of the Jewish and Christian Scriptures in his own, Arabic, language and it was refused. If only the “church” had allowed translations of the scriptures to be made, we might have a totally different world today.

Islam divides the world into two camps, The House of Peace (Islam) and The House of War (everything outside of Islam). We live in the House of War and Islam’s goal is to “Destroy the House of War!”

While this problem has risen and receded over the past 1,400 years, it is now on the rise again and while it grows, Conservative Christians worry about the taxes the rich may have to pay and, like Mitt Romney, can’t be concerned about the 47% of Americans who make up the middle class.

2016 will come and go just like Y2K, the Millerite fiasco, the Mormon Prophet’s prediction of the end, every other “sure prediction” and people will not be any smarter. They will still put politics before the Gospel of Jesus Christ and instead of feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, caring for the sick, they will go about creating a lot of heat and very little light.

We are supposed to be the light of the world.

Proverbs 4:18 The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.

Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible

Ye are the light of the world – That is, the instruments which God chooses to make use of to illuminate the minds of men; as he uses the sun (to which probably he pointed) to enlighten the world. Light of the world, נר עולם ner olam, was a title applied to the most eminent rabbins. Christ transfers the title from these, and gives it to his own disciples, who, by the doctrines that he taught them, were to be the means of diffusing the light of life throughout the universe.

Politics has no place in the church.

Check out Jodeane Albright’s blog in the Idaho State Journal:  http://pocatelloshops.com/new_blogs/albright/?p=2067107567#comment-17