U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality > Christianity
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 02-28-2016, 10:24 AM
Status: "More than chromosomes." (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: Anderson, IN
4,070 posts, read 1,145,884 times
Reputation: 2483

Advertisements

I read this this morning, and really enjoyed it. I thought I'd share.
Here is the link to the original: Confronting Religious Hypocrisy in the Way of Jesus - Red Letter Christians

“Whenever I’m approached by an evangelist – by a Christian missionary – I know I’m up against someone so obsessed and narrowly focused that it will do me absolutely no good to try and explain or share my own value system. I never want to be rude to them, of course, but never have any idea how to respond to their attempts to convert me; in short order, I inevitably find myself simply feeling embarrassed—first for them, and then for us both. I’m always grateful when such encounters conclude.” – K.C., Fresno


A few years ago, John Shore collected comments from Craigslist sites all over America asking What Non-Christians Want Christians To Hear. The results are cringe-worthy. As a progressive Christian, I consider myself part of a movement to try to re-vamp the brand of Christianity, defining ourselves as love over hate, inclusion over wall-building, listening instead of preaching. But it often feels like much of the internal conversations teasing out the nuances of faith is all that it is, internal. People outside of the Christian faith don’t care to engage in it. All our efforts to “breath new life” into religious structures corrupted by nationalism, consumerism, racism, sexism, and whatever other -isms, seem to be vaporizing into thin air. Turning the big ship of conservative evangelism, which seems to be setting a steady course towards dogmatic fundamentalism, is proving to be a futile endeavor—so much so that Christian ethicist, David Gushee, in his article for Religion News Services titled, “Conservative and progressive US evangelicals head for divorce,” suggests we abandon the ship and set off on separate ways altogether.


As a Christian, realizing that my scathing criticisms against Christian institutions who systematically harm those within it, is not much more than throwing tiny white eggs against a large brick wall, is incredibly demoralizing. Telling atheist friends that no, my Christian faith is about love, feels weak against evidence of Christians spewing hate in the public arena. For every sensible, compassionate, subversive Christian article I post onto my facebook wall, Matt Walsh’s rhetorical blog posts reaffirming the status quo are being shared and retweeted multiple times more. It makes me want to immediately run and soak in, what my friend Kay Bruner calls, a sweary bubble bath.


Systems are not built overnight. For an empire to gain the kind of power that warrants its formidable status, it has spent years, generations even, building up a loyal following with impenetrable defensive teaching, institutions, and resources steadily feeding the masses. To change the minds of people who have been taught one thing for several generations is going to take more than one Facebook comment. I am reminded of what Anne Lamott says about making important changes—barely, poorly, slowly.


This is how not to despair in the laborious work of subverting systems. Thrust all of our angry energies against the system. Speak up loudly and harshly against institutional injustices that malign, marginalize, and oppress the vulnerable. Brutally tear down rhetoric which take up harmful residence in the tender souls of children and youth. Keep pointing an accusing finger, a middle finger if we must, at the ideologies which threaten our common good. Continue flinging those eggs with as much strength as we can muster against the brick wall even if just to watch them shatter into fragile white bits without making even so much as a dent, because revolutions can’t happen without brokenness.


But…reserve gentleness and patience for the individuals inside the system. Remember that Jesus railed against the evils of greed but extended friendship to Zacchaeus, the wealthy tax collector. Jesus’ message was so revolutionary as to upset his contemporary Roman empire, and yet he had tender love for a Roman soldier, compassionately healing the centurion’s servant.


This is not to say we must give abundant grace to oppressors. No, I believe we must always side with the vulnerable. This is to say that we can’t make any progress in changing a system if we forget that systems are made up of individual human beings. The “masses” can form a terrifying machine, but the persons which make up the masses each contain dynamic personalities, history, and stories. And while yes, some perpetuate the poison of a corrupt system, there remains the potential for every divine image bearer to reflect the goodness of a good God. People change, even when systems don’t.


When we learn to zero in on individuals, our focus shifts from macro-level progress to spotting small pockets of hope. I do despair, sometimes, that the reputation of Christians is irreparably damaged, but my hope is rekindled when I encounter Christians from all along the theological spectrum who are doing beautiful things. Isn’t it true that even in the darkest periods of human history, there arises individual heroes—that there are Oskar Schindlers in Nazi Germany, and Malala Yousafzais in Taliban controlled Pakistan? Isn’t it hopeful that in every horrific tragedy there are, as Mister Rogers famously reminds us, always helpers to be found?


I think our best hope for sustaining a work of barely, poorly, and slowly changing the world for the better is to counteract the poison of cynicism against the system with the enduring hope of individual light.


This, after all, is the Christian story. That the dramatic reversal of human history come not through an upheaval of the powerful systems but through unlikely individual characters we encounter in the biblical narrative. Miracles will come through the ordinary. Heroes come in small sizes. Hope will be inconspicuous.


Pay attention, lest we lose heart.


“Whenever I’m approached by an evangelist – by a Christian missionary – I know I’m up against someone so obsessed and narrowly focused that it will do me absolutely no good to try and explain or share my own value system. I never want to be rude to them, of course, but never have any idea how to respond to their attempts to convert me; in short order, I inevitably find myself simply feeling embarrassed—first for them, and then for us both. I’m always grateful when such encounters conclude.” – K.C., Fresno

A few years ago, John Shore collected comments from Craigslist sites all over America asking What Non-Christians Want Christians To Hear. The results are cringe-worthy. As a progressive Christian, I consider myself part of a movement to try to re-vamp the brand of Christianity, defining ourselves as love over hate, inclusion over wall-building, listening instead of preaching. But it often feels like much of the internal conversations teasing out the nuances of faith is all that it is, internal. People outside of the Christian faith don’t care to engage in it. All our efforts to “breath new life” into religious structures corrupted by nationalism, consumerism, racism, sexism, and whatever other -isms, seem to be vaporizing into thin air. Turning the big ship of conservative evangelism, which seems to be setting a steady course towards dogmatic fundamentalism, is proving to be a futile endeavor—so much so that Christian ethicist, David Gushee, in his article for Religion News Services titled, “Conservative and progressive US evangelicals head for divorce,” suggests we abandon the ship and set off on separate ways altogether.

As a Christian, realizing that my who systematically harm those within it, is not much more than throwing tiny white eggs against a large brick wall, is incredibly demoralizing. Telling atheist friends that no, my Christian faith is about love, feels weak against evidence of Christians spewing hate in the public arena. For every sensible, compassionate, subversive Christian article I post onto my facebook wall, Matt Walsh’s rhetorical blog posts reaffirming the status quo are being shared and retweeted multiple times more. It makes me want to immediately run and soak in, what my friend Kay Bruner calls, a sweary bubble bath.

Systems are not built overnight. For an empire to gain the kind of power that warrants its formidable status, it has spent years, generations even, building up a loyal following with impenetrable defensive teaching, institutions, and resources steadily feeding the masses. To change the minds of people who have been taught one thing for several generations is going to take more than one Facebook comment. I am reminded of what Anne Lamott says about making important changes—barely, poorly, slowly.

This is how not to despair in the laborious work of subverting systems. Thrust all of our angry energies against the system. Speak up loudly and harshly against institutional injustices that malign, marginalize, and oppress the vulnerable. Brutally tear down rhetoric which take up harmful residence in the tender souls of children and youth. Keep pointing an accusing finger, a middle finger if we must, at the ideologies which threaten our common good. Continue flinging those eggs with as much strength as we can muster against the brick wall even if just to watch them shatter into fragile white bits without making even so much as a dent, because revolutions can’t happen without brokenness.

But…reserve gentleness and patience for the individuals inside the system. Remember that Jesus railed against the evils of greed but extended friendship to Zacchaeus, the wealthy tax collector. Jesus’ message was so revolutionary as to upset his contemporary Roman empire, and yet he had tender love for a Roman soldier, compassionately healing the centurion’s servant.

This is not to say we must give abundant grace to oppressors. No, I believe we must always side with the vulnerable. This is to say that we can’t make any progress in changing a system if we forget that systems are made up of individual human beings. The “masses” can form a terrifying machine, but the persons which make up the masses each contain dynamic personalities, history, and stories. And while yes, some perpetuate the poison of a corrupt system, there remains the potential for every divine image bearer to reflect the goodness of a good God. People change, even when systems don’t.

When we learn to zero in on individuals, our focus shifts from macro-level progress to spotting small pockets of hope. I do despair, sometimes, that the reputation of Christians is irreparably damaged, but my hope is rekindled when I encounter Christians from all along the theological spectrum who are doing beautiful things. Isn’t it true that even in the darkest periods of human history, there arises individual heroes—that there are Oskar Schindlers in Nazi Germany, and Malala Yousafzais in Taliban controlled Pakistan? Isn’t it hopeful that in every horrific tragedy there are, as Mister Rogers famously reminds us, always helpers to be found?

I think our best hope for sustaining a work of barely, poorly, and slowly changing the world for the better is to counteract the poison of cynicism against the system with the enduring hope of individual light.

This, after all, is the Christian story. That the dramatic reversal of human history come not through an upheaval of the powerful systems but through unlikely individual characters we encounter in the biblical narrative. Miracles will come through the ordinary. Heroes come in small sizes. Hope will be inconspicuous.

Pay attention, lest we lose heart.
- See more at: Confronting Religious Hypocrisy in the Way of Jesus - Red Letter Christians
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 02-28-2016, 01:23 PM
 
Location: Southern Oregon
15,549 posts, read 7,004,990 times
Reputation: 1603
Both copies excellent!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-28-2016, 02:07 PM
 
Location: GOVERNMENT of TRAITORS & NAZIS
20,570 posts, read 22,733,728 times
Reputation: 7627
Quote:
Originally Posted by nateswift View Post
Both copies excellent!
We as a people are indeed LEARNING and GROWING spiritually everyday.

There is a glimmer of hope for HUMANITY, and that makes me GLAD.

~~THANKS~~
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-28-2016, 02:13 PM
Status: "More than chromosomes." (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: Anderson, IN
4,070 posts, read 1,145,884 times
Reputation: 2483
Quote:
Originally Posted by nateswift View Post
Both copies excellent!
Thank you Nate!

I wish I would have written that, but sadly...I'm not that good haha.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-28-2016, 02:17 PM
Status: "More than chromosomes." (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: Anderson, IN
4,070 posts, read 1,145,884 times
Reputation: 2483
Quote:
Originally Posted by zthatzmanz28 View Post
We as a people are indeed LEARNING and GROWING spiritually everyday.

There is a glimmer of hope for HUMANITY, and that makes me GLAD.

~~THANKS~~

Definitely agree, z.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-28-2016, 02:19 PM
 
Location: Texas
1,279 posts, read 1,148,325 times
Reputation: 1333
"Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple." Romans 16:17-18
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-28-2016, 02:25 PM
 
Location: GOVERNMENT of TRAITORS & NAZIS
20,570 posts, read 22,733,728 times
Reputation: 7627
Quote:
Originally Posted by cowdog View Post
"Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple." Romans 16:17-18
^^^^^^^^BEWARE of those who would SLING SCRIPTURE like the know what it means.^^^^^^^


Looking in the mirror, they ought to also QUESTION ALL SPIRITS for truthfulness...

And best of all, they ought not JUDGE as they too will be judged on the sale scale..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-28-2016, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Texas
1,279 posts, read 1,148,325 times
Reputation: 1333
Quote:
Originally Posted by zthatzmanz28 View Post
^^^^^^^^BEWARE of those who would SLING SCRIPTURE like the know what it means.^^^^^^^


Looking in the mirror, they ought to also QUESTION ALL SPIRITS for truthfulness...

And best of all, they ought not JUDGE as they too will be judged on the sale scale..

Wow, seems like a rude response to me. Seems that just by posting two verses of the Holy Bible I've been judged by someone claiming I shouldn't judge (and I didn't judge). Next I guess you are going to tell me you are inclusive while building a wall against me ... Just what the OP said about Christians which you claimed to support, until now.


BTW- I know exactly what the verses mean.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-28-2016, 02:43 PM
 
Location: GOVERNMENT of TRAITORS & NAZIS
20,570 posts, read 22,733,728 times
Reputation: 7627
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekigurl View Post
Thank you Nate!

I wish I would have written that, but sadly...I'm not that good haha.
Bet you already had similar ideas and thoughts! We either see the truth in our lives, or we FEAR the truth and cling to myths.

I am still appalled that a minister here once said THE MEEK GET RUN OVER AND TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF..


So very fundie sad. When I first came to Christ, life was all about SERVICE to the least of us--even if you were among the least--life was to be loved like Jesus, who had no [place to lay his head--who had NO CHURCH. Or the widow and her mite--who gave ALL as opposed to the wealthy who gave MILLIONS and yet had BILLIONS left...

We have forgotten the meaning of sacrifice. Today's modern christian (lower case is INTENTIONAL) is all about prosperity and blessings--A real Christian (or any spiritual person, because the christian cult in no way has a strangle hold on God) steps out their door in the morning or what ever time they start their day--they recognize the wondrous works the Deity has done and continues to do.

They see the suffering of humanity.
They see the foolishness of WEALTH.
They see the hunger of the poor
They see the sickness of the uninsured
They see the oppression of the marginalized
They see the rejection of their neighbor

AND THEY DIE UNTO THEMSELVES A LITTLE BIT EACH DAY.
They can empathize with the PAIN of each NAIL being pounded
They can feel the pressure He experienced to just CRUSH THE WORLD
They can embrace the LOVE that kept Him on that cross
They can gather the strength to RESIST the same
They WILL rise up and proclaim IT IT FINISHED!

Time we LIVED out Isaiah 61....

And it will not be just Christians who change the world--It will include ALL people who thirst for MERCY, JUSTICE and LOVE.

A label is just window dressing, the contents of one's character is what matters..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-28-2016, 02:47 PM
 
Location: GOVERNMENT of TRAITORS & NAZIS
20,570 posts, read 22,733,728 times
Reputation: 7627
Quote:
Originally Posted by cowdog View Post
Wow, seems like a rude response to me. Seems that just by posting two verses of the Holy Bible I've been judged by someone claiming I shouldn't judge (and I didn't judge). Next I guess you are going to tell me you are inclusive while building a wall against me ... Just what the OP said about Christians which you claimed to support, until now.


BTW- I know exactly what the verses mean.
Judgmental? Just a wee bit ...or is it really just a case of insecurity and FEAR?


But does the one who slings scripture know it applies to them?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality > Christianity
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top