Posts Tagged by Christianity

Why don’t Christians care about people who need health care?

The Christian Church has a PR problem.

In the first place, any regular reader of this blog knows that I take the Church to task like the best of them. The Church could, and should, do much more. But let’s be honest: they actually are doing quite a lot.

Historically, it has been the Church at the forefront in doing good works. For example, Julian the Apostate in the fourth century realized that if he didn’t enact government programs to take care of the poor he’d never be able to make the claim that Christians were pernicious. Slavery was ended by Christians standing up against other Christians. Institutions of higher learning like Harvard and Yale (and hordes of others) were all founded by Christians. Hospitals and medical clinics were founded first by Christians with Christian charity in mind. What tends to happen, though, is all of the good things that Christians have done end up getting secularized. You cannot call Harvard and Yale ‘Christian,’ any more. Nor can you call the local Lutheran-in-the-name hospital in my area, ‘Lutheran.’

Share

The Culture War is Over and We Lost? So… guerrilla warfare…

Something I’ve been pondering for awhile is this: Is the culture war over? And did we lose it?

I part company with those who seek to Christianize the culture as though this in itself is a noble goal. It seems to me that this would in effect merely make our culture a ‘white washed tomb.’ More important than the culture are the people within it and their state of mind and eternal fates. Nonetheless, people are strongly influenced by the culture at large whether they know it or not or admit it or not. An unfriendly culture will make it harder for people to receive the Gospel.

I believe that. To an extent. I note, however, that the Christian Church itself exploded into existence within a culture that was not yet, by virtue of the fact that there wasn’t a pervasive Christianity to Christianize, Christian.

Share

8 Things I hate About Christianity, Condensed

I just read a very fine blog entry from a person detailing 8 things he hates about Christianity. I thought I would follow suit.

Here goes:

#1-#8. The Church is systemically unloving.

If all of the law is summed up in two commands- Love God and love your neighbor- I don’t see why all the things we may hate about Christianity cannot, and should not, be reduced to their inverse.

Share

On the slaying of dragons and manly love

Yesterday I had the good pleasure to post on my recent ruminations that ‘love’ had taken a distinctly ‘feminine’ turn since who knows when. This generated a fair bit of response, including some remarks from women themselves who really resonated with what I said. Some responses were of the sort that I feared, though. Taking them all together, I felt a follow up was in order. Unfortunately, the first draft of this ran over 1,500 words, crying out for revision, so it still isn’t going to cover everything that a reader may want.

One of the things I noted about the responses was that it was believed that women were the target of the post. If there was a target, it was the men.

In my post, I had said that the hero in Twilight had the advantage of having real dangers to fight off. I noted, “I mean, I’d hunt down and slay marauding vampires for my wife, too, if only they existed.”

Many of the comments that I heard from women addressed how their men take the time and effort to protect them. Don’t misunderstand me, I think it is great for these things to be recognized as loving. It isn’t only the women that I wanted to get that message, though. We men need to know that these things represent aspects of real love. You see, my hunch is that changing the oil and locking the doors, etc, are a weak replacement- from the point of view of the men- for the glorious battle that they’d prefer.

Share

Reflections on culture, evangelism, and apologetics

I’ve been thinking about the culture wars lately. I have a real problem with Christians who seem to be driving for a change in the culture just for the sake of having a ‘holy’ culture. I think we’d have to call that a legalistic culture. I believe that the Christian church should be about something more than creating white-washed tombs.

On the other hand, the nature of ‘culture’ is that it perpetuates itself, feeds itself, fuels itself. The culture is the air we breathe and the water in which we swim. It has the ability to mold us into its image, and once so molded, we mold others in that same image. Resistance isn’t exactly futile, but it is difficult. Conformity to the culture is the path of least resistance. It would behoove us, therefore, to ensure that the culture is not toxic. If the culture is healthy, the path of least resistance will more likely result in healthy beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors.

You all will have experienced this. I remember when I worked construction for awhile. After just a month or so, I found myself talking like those guys.

Share

Congregations and their Facilities and Love

hat I did dwell on there but would like to spend just a moment speaking to here is this premise: “Congregational facilities should reflect the mission of the church. Where you put your money says something about what you value. You can tell a lot about a church and the Church by looking at its buildings and where it puts its money.”

Now, I don’t think this is a controversial premise. Moreover, I don’t think it applies only to the Church. I think this is just a general truism about money and people. But I ask: if true, what message is being communicated about what the Church values in view of the property usage by many, if not most, churches in America?

I think clearly the emphasis is in three places: 1. Church services. 2. Fellowship. 3. Classroom instruction.

The standard configuration of most congregations in America is Sanctuary+Fellowship Hall+Classroom Instruction+Office space for pastor and program administers.

Share

Number One Thing Killing the Church: Lovelessness

Below is a 20 minute clip from a presentation I delivered in Michigan this last October titled “Five Things Killing Christianity.” This is the segment describing the number one reason I believe is harming the church and the main reason it is in decline in America.

Direct Link: http://www.apologeticsvideos.net/videos/62/killing-christianity-lovelessness

Share

It is not about health care insurance coverage, it is about health care COSTS

But, besides all this, there is something which is not seen. The fifty millions expended by the State cannot be spent, as they otherwise would have been, by the tax-payers. It is necessary to deduct, from all the good attributed to the public expenditure which has been effected, all the harm caused by the prevention of private expense, unless we say that James B. would have done nothing with the crown that he had gained, and of which the tax had deprived him; an absurd assertion, for if he took the trouble to earn it, it was because he expected the satisfaction of using it, He would have repaired the palings in his garden, which he cannot now do, and this is that which is not seen. [… etc] He would have become a member of the Mutual Assistance Society, but now he cannot; this is what is not seen. (Frederic Bastiat, 1850)

Mr. Bastiat does a terrific job in showing how taxes put to the socialist’s ends only serves to diminish freedom but what I want the reader to note the connection he draws here between taxation and ‘mutual assistance.’ It is agreed by all that we should like to help our fellow man. Liberals and socialists believe they can do that better by collective administration of coerced funds than individuals can do through churches, charities, and the like.

Share

A Christian Reaction to ABC’s “V” Visitors

I am hoping that ABC’s “V” takes the place that Heroes formerly occupied before it jumped dozens of sharks. It is too soon to be sure, but there is certainly promise.

While “V” does not appear to break this kind of innovative ground, it was a breath of fresh air to have one of the main characters be a Christian priest who is… wait for it… skeptical. Christians are often portrayed as gullible or extremist whackos (see again, “Contact”) and your hard core evolutionary atheistic types are veritable bastions of cool headed logic and reason (see the TV show, “Bones.”) (Yes, it’s true that one Christian in “Contact” was more reasonable, but he wasn’t exactly definitive about his beliefs, either).

The Christian priest in “V” issues forth a sermon that makes quite a bit of sense: “Before you jump on the bandwagon, make sure it is sturdy enough to hold you.” There is no atheistic foil in “V.” Nonetheless, I am pretty sure that your hard core secular humanist would accept without question a message presented to them by aliens like those we see in “V.” I know this because they already have.

Share

Five Things Killing Christianity: Is the End of Christianity At Hand?

The number one thing killing Christianity in America today:

Lovelessness.

All the rest of the things on the list tie back to this. The Christian Church exhibits constant lovelessness in much of what it does. Many readers will jump to the idea that Christians are very loving, and to an extent, I agree. Many readers will find the assertion nauseous because they think of ‘love’ as some wishy washy sentiment. Both sets of readers misunderstand me. One of my contentions is that Love itself is misunderstood, because unlike other doctrines, this one has not been systematically explored from the Scriptures. We all act as though we intuitively know what ‘love’ is. In fact, we have culturally driven notions that are derived from hundreds of years of romanticism. The Bible- the New Testament in particular- portrays a love that is much different. It is earth shattering, and embodied in the activities of the early Christian Church.

None of this should be construed (though it will be, to my chagrin) as a repudiation of all the things we currently do to ‘show’ we love God. It isn’t. If we were doing those things AND loving our fellow Christians… to the death… there would be no problem.

But, I contend, we aren’t doing that. God tells us that if we love him, we’ll love the brothers. We have it stuck in our head that if we love him, we’ll love him.

But that’s not what he said, and that is why outsiders, ultimately, do not find Christianity credible. Indeed, it is why Christians themselves are dubious, and in fact, sometimes falling away altogether.

Share

A theological basis for rank individualism in society and elsewhere

In short, dear Christian, I contend that we already have in front of us all the ‘higher level organisms’ we need: the community of the family and the community of the faithful. Here and only here are individuals respected, welcomed, and free. Here only are individuals understood to be forever, and here only do we see the context in which they will be forever- in community through Christ.

It is therefore with great caution that we must approach the efforts of the Statists. True, very often they propose programs that we can in good conscience get behind. However, even then they do not share our views about the individual, and so, they can, quite unexpectedly, change things. They would only be acting on their own values, and so we should not be shocked. Thus it should be evident that the more power we give them to help us the more power we give to them to hurt us.

As such, it is worth positing that we should give them no power at all, and the power that we do give them come with very robust checks and balances. Our trust in their sincere intentions seems, increasingly, to be poised to do us all great harm- or at least, the weakest among us, and those who are the heaviest burden on society. In the name of the “Most good for the most people” great evil is being inflicted, and history tells us a great deal more is possible.

Share

Health Care Solutions from a Conservative

As you shall see shortly, that does not mean that I am advocating that we leave the Health Care Insurance Corporations in charge of our health, guided as they are by the profit motive. (Still, the profit motive is better than the Government’s ‘sincere motives’ in my book).

The chief problem in the health care situation in this country is not health care insurance coverage. It is health care costs, period.

Naturally, how many of us can afford to pay for a surgery that runs into the tens of thousands of dollars? Not many; hence, insurance. But if that same surgery cost only $1,000? Or less? Now we’re getting somewhere.

Share

The Current Enslavement of America by Taxation

The truth is that it is a very small thing to say that if our hypothetical family wanted a parent to stay home with the kids they could easily do so if so much wasn’t being automatically withdrawn from their paycheck. In reality, if we looked at how much governmental interference was costing the family at every level of its existence… fuel taxes, cell phone taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, etc, etc, etc, we may find that the actual tax burden is beyond stifling.

I said at the beginning that there is a proper place for government and there certainly is a proper time and mechanism for taxation. However, it is important that we understand the actual impact and consequences of government and taxation and alert ourselves to the very real possibility that tyranny, actual outright tyranny, can be foisted upon a society- indeed, is already upon us- with that society’s ‘consent’ and without even their knowledge.

But now you know. Now what are you going to do?

Share

Christians Should Take Freedom Into Account

For example, consider a family with children that would prefer to have the mother stay home to care for those children. Unfortunately, the income isn’t there to support it, and so the mother has to get a full or part time job. Thus, this family becomes enslaved to a societal structure that makes it difficult to act on the principles and priorities they believe. Ah- but upon further examination, the income is there to support it. When we look at the pay stub, thousands of dollars, every month, are being automatically withdrawn by the state and federal government for taxes and social security.

Put this money back into the hands of this family and suddenly it is possible, even easy, to have one of the spouses stay home.

This example is meant to illustrate the principle that taxation has a direct impact on freedom. As Christians, we should not be indifferent to the effect that governmental policies have on individual groups.

Share
Pages: Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next