First of all, other than the fact that I’m much more clear-headed and have more time on my hands since I’m not shoveling in five or eight thousand calories a day……this post has nothing to do with weight loss. It’s all about religion, and not only THAT but I am using my usual manner of witty genius to get my point across……so if that sort of thing bugs you, THEN READ ON! Seriously, I’m not going to go through my whole life story, but I will say that the following is based on a lifetime in the midst of evangelical culture. So I’m not speaking as some random guy with an axe to grind, I’m a guy from the inside with an axe to grind. This is like that scene in the Godfather where Michael is about to clip McClusky and Sollozzo, and Sollozzo says he’s “going to speak to Michael in Italian”……well, to my heathen friends I’m telling you I’m about to speak to my people in their own language. I know you don’t hear me use this lingo very often, but you can’t be too shocked to realize that you can take the boy out of the church but that doesn’t mean he totally dismisses his worldview. I’m going back to the days when I was writing The Yeti and The Intelligentsia at North Central Bible College, and it feels good…..like your favorite pair of worn out shoes that you can’t bring yourself to throw away….
First, I want to say that the unsaved aren’t the pharisees……the politically motivated Christians are. People who keep their twisted brand of Christianity and their politics in lockstep are the ones who would put him right back up on the cross if he were walking around today preaching the same message that he did 2000 years ago. The world is doing what the world is supposed to do…..you aren’t. Please hear me when I say, this isn’t an indictment against Christianity, it’s simply my thoughts on a very specific breed of poser who is more worried about image than the message. It’s about people who take advantage of the political system by pretending that a high-ranking politician can serve both the machine and God. The biggest problem with a religious candidate is that they serve as the “savior” for a dying belief system, and then when he loses he becomes the “martyr” that everyone rallies around and in some perverted way they actually believe that it’s all a sign of the end times. They project that martyrdom onto themselves, and bitch and moan for the next four years about that evil, liberal media and its father Satan. When I use the word “dying” in reference to that belief system I am referring to the specific part of evangelical culture that exists to serve itself and protect its growth rather than fulfill the great commission and allow people to come to it as they are. This culture, for the most part, is closed off to outsiders. Unless you already “get it”, you’re not going to get in. This culture uses a certain type of jargon that is based on poorly translated scripture, and after a generation or two of people grow up in that type of environment, then the jargon and the catchphrases actually become the scriptural basis by which they live. THAT is when the sacred is no longer any different than the secular……and the image that the church portrays isn’t anything more than another section of popular culture. The uniqueness is gone, the spirit (so to speak) is gone, and there are no more revelations to be had because the language and direction of the church can only thrive within the confines of the groupthink. It can’t break out. It can’t touch the world. It’s just another tv show or weekly magazine marketed to those who are already a part of it…..it is sound bite theology where people pick and choose the parts of the book they think are applicable and ignore concepts like context and the cultural traditions of the time. The shallow understanding and the misuse of scripture squash any hope of that church providing a viable alternative for people…..people who aren’t stupid and see it all for what it is, no matter how much you want to believe what they are saying to you is just the misguided rambling of the unsaved. Soon you aren’t selling salvation, you’re just selling a friendly, safe building where likeminded people can get together and view the shadow of what the New Testament was supposed to provide for you. Miracles don’t happen in these places, you just hear urban folktales about miracles that happened to someone else at another church at one point in time. You never actually meet the recipients of the miracles, but a friend of a friend did. And you use the energy created from overselling those myths to build up your numbers……and as we all know “numbers are important, God wrote a whole book about them!”. It’s THAT culture that props up a politician who they think can get into the White House, but what they don’t realize is faith has nothing to do with it. A guy like that is proof of the death of faith. I say that because if you truly based your belief on a personal revelation, you would realize how sad and how limited it is to view getting your guy into office as progress for Christians. It isn’t progress, you’ve just sold your dream and you are begging for scraps….and you are doing it on the secular world’s terms. So don’t be proud of that. You’re like an animal that has grown up in captivity and has no knowledge of what life could be like beyond that cage…..but you have a higher consciousness than an animal, so you worship the cage.
So what PRACTICAL application could I apply to this diatribe? Because as you armchair theologians/dittoheads have probably already spiritually discerned by NOW……..that whole first paragraph is nothing but a reprobate mind tellin’ you to VOTE CLOBAMA ’08! But seriously, if I could wave my magic wand and have the following points be the sermon you hear next Sunday morning, I’d do it. Not because I hate you, I really don’t. As crazy as I am, I can never escape the fact that I have a Christian worldview, and until someone can convince me that there is a better belief for which there is no logical explanation or proof, I’ll stick with it. And if I believe that a homosexual can be a Christian, then I most certainly believe you are covered as well. Doesn’t it make you feel good and warm all over to know that? I should probably qualify all of this a little better…if you’re one of those people who really believes the earth is only 6,000 years old, well then I guess I do hate YOU. You’re just some random idiot who has gone WAY too far in order go get prayer back into schools, and we don’t have any connection whatsoever. In fact, you can just stop reading now and go do whatever the hell it is you do during the other 23 hours of the day. For THE REST OF YOU, I have the following bullet points that will insure you are on the right track to breaking out of that bizarre and hypocritical cage….
And these are in no particular order…..
#1- All forms of Christian entertainment pale in comparison to the secular counterparts that they ripped off, and really serve as nothing more than entertainment for Christians….not tools for ministry. So stop using them to try and get your point across…..nobody outside of the insulated, closed culture of evangelical America thinks any of that stuff is cool, so you end up spending more time looking stupid than you do promoting any real message. I know it makes you FEEL like you’re doing something, and all of that shit is totally safe for your kids, but you’re just spinning your wheels there. It all sucks. Seriously, all of it. What God do you serve? The creator of the universe, or one big celestial brand of “Always Save” knockoffs? If you were REALLY in touch with your savior, you could come up with much better stuff. You’re here to reach the lost, remember? Not just to make sure your homeschooled rugrats have Jesus-themed coffeehouses where the kids don’t have tattoos and smoke cigarettes. When they finally leave the nest and have to go out and LIVE in that evil world, you are really going to wish you had equipped them a little better. Trust me on that, I went to Bible College with those kids and I’m telling you….it’s like a Girls Gone Wild video once they taste a little freedom.
#2- The incessant fascination with homosexuals and abortion. Using the same scriptures you do to justify your stance, all of the fat Christians who have died of heart attacks or strokes and are tearfully lauded at their funerals by the remaining faithful are burning in the same hell that you believe is reserved for the queers and the babykillers. You always preach that a sin is a sin, and they died in their sin, whether it was a totally avoidable death from a life of gluttony or a life of promiscuous sex. You don’t admit things like that to your congregations because it would be bad for business……you may not have any “out” homosexuals in your church (but you HAVE homos, trust me. And just as many of your kids are bangin’ away as the unsaved kids…you’re not talking to an outsider here, I’ve run those youth groups), but you definitely have a plethora of the overweight, gossipers, backbiters, those who have looked at someone with lust in their hearts, liars, masturbators, the envious, covetous, etc. How about focusing some of your politics on THEM for a change…..I know, you can’t, because you actually know those people and think of them as human beings. Plus, you’re more about numbers than ministry, and you may lose them to the church down the road if you piss them off too badly. The phrase “love the sinner but hate the sin” is the most ignorant cop out of all time….you just use it as an excuse to hate the sinner and feel okay about it. You KNOW I’M RIGHT, you just surround yourself with people who think like you do in order to shield yourself from the truth….it’s just like when you get a bunch of white people together and they feel each other out to know who they can use the “N” word around….it’s an ugly secret and I’m letting it out.
#3- An addendum to #2…..you aren’t Jewish, so stop using the Torah as ammunition to back up whatever cause you happen to be championing at the time….whether it’s Levitical fertility laws or Sodom and Gomorrah you are rambling about, you’re still a gentile. We’re under grace now, that was kind of the whole point of the New Testament. I’m not saying ANYTHING GOES, like I’m some libertine, so don’t shit yourself, just think about how similar you are to the people you cast stones at rather than how different or superior you might be. Believe me, I’ve been where you’re at, and once you let it go it takes so much of the pressure off of you to be self-righteous…then you can actually start having a DIALOGUE with people.
#4- The “unsaved” are not enemies to be avoided, why don’t you really think about W.W.J.D. the next time you put on some stupid piece of jewelry or a bumper sticker that has absolutely no internalized meaning for you. And when you are talking to them, stop quoting scripture…..that is not common ground that you share with them, so focus on the things you DO have in common. Being an effective witness goes beyond the “wham-bam” tracts and catchphrases that don’t really do anything besides come off as smug. Just be YOU…..and if you’re really living the life that you should be, then the discrete charms of the gospel will just naturally begin to rub off on them. People who AREN’T walking the walk….THEY are the ones who have to bang on people with scripture.
#5- Prosperity doctrine….there really isn’t a better example of the incestuous relationship between politics and religion than this garbage. Who does this really work for? Do you really think that if you took a cross-section of unsaved people and compared it to a similar cross-section of this doctrine’s devotees, that the median income of the believers would be ANY higher than that of the unsaved? Again, I go back to the “Always Save” version of God….if this doctrine were true, wouldn’t there be a LOT more people who benefitted from it? If God were REALLY behind this thing, wouldn’t he be raining down the blessings to the point where the legitimacy could not be denied? Oh, I know, it’s probably happening all over but the LIBERAL MEDIA is keeping it under wraps. Give me a break. The only people benefitting from this “Jesus Was A Republican” phenomenon are the ones selling it to you. Believe that. I guess penniless Christians just don’t have enough faith, or God just wants THEM to suffer…….at least that’s how you come across…like assholes.
I’m sure I’ll think of things to add to this later, I just happened to get on a roll and I’d like to have a weekend where I didn’t obsess over what to put in my blog. To the saved and unsaved alike, I hope you’ve gotten a little something from today’s sermon. I’m not telling you that you HAVE to cough up a love offering, but I’ll trust you to do as the spirit leads. Spirit, please lead them to feel guilty enough to send me their money so that I can reinvest it in fancy cookware and credit card debt.
And now back to your completely unfounded pre-tribulation rapture belief systems…….this is your Unsaved Loved One signing off until next time. Shik-a-moe-shy, and pass the apple pie!