Everyone is pissed.

December 2, 2008

Everyone is pissed. So what. I have had more people laugh at what I wrote or say something like, you make some interesting points but.. Well, screw that noise. I am not really trying to make points. I am asking questions to try to shine light in this dark moment in American Christianity. For the record, I am not the enlightened one. I do not think I have it right and everyone else has it wrong. There is a problem and I want to fix it. Christians get a bad rap and it really pisses me off. So my goal is to toss whatever convention I can to get at the reality of a Christian Identity. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that some feathers have gotten ruffled.


I have heard it said by some of my friends that I am on a slippery slope. I love my friends, but that is just plain dumb. We are all on a slippery slope. The Christian life is one big slippery slope. That’s what our life is in Christ as we wait to die. When we are rotting in the grave, our souls will have no problem with a slippery slope. Sin will be conquered and I will have my gold plated xbox 360. But for now, sin is always just a decision away. Why do we think we aren’t always on the precipice of moral and spiritual destruction?


Frankly, I think America makes it too easy for us.  Christianity is easy here. We aren’t being thrown in jail or beaten or killed for our faith. We have nice churches with nice seats and we have nice small groups and do nice community things together. We don’t have to worry about being brained or hanged or tortured or arrested or any of that horrible shit that makes your faith so…real. I mean, my faith is real, but no one has put a gun to my head telling me to denounce Christ. I would hope that I could say go f yourself but I don’t know. Do you?


But when life is this easy, how could we possibly see ourselves on any kind of slippery slope? If you follow A and B and stay away from C, you’ll be fine. Yeah, you may suffer some trails and you may get hurt but nothing like getting killed for your faith.


See, the one ties into the other. If the life of a Christian is easy, then it becomes easy to ignore just how fragile our faith really is. We are still human right? I sin every day. Mostly it’s little stuff, but I still do it. I say our faith is fragile because it has to be our faith that motivates what we do. If we are simply punching the clock, then we truly are checkmark Christians and have missed what God calls us to.


So when we sin, we have temporarily broken our faith in God. We have taken control instead of being guided by God’s will through the Holy Spirit. All that to say, how are my questions putting us in any more danger (slope-iness??) than the situation we find ourselves in everyday? To me, your just fooling yourself.


I am trying to find out one thing in my Christian Identity. What is holiness? What defines someone in process of becoming holy?


I will throw out any theological statement, any preconceived notion, any stupid catch phrase (God is my co-pilot my ass) to get at the heart of the process. I think we waste our time on so much other bullshit that just serves as a distraction. We are even distracted from distraction by distraction. The concept of holiness is so mind-boggling, I think it’s easier for most of us to get caught up in the peripherals or the trappings of Christianity rather than focusing on holiness.



For example, this damn election!!




Why oh why is everyone freaking out right now about a Obama? How does being a Christian automatically mean you are a Republican? What the shit is any pastor doing giving a sermon on the election and endorsing a candidate? That is for each American to decide for themselves.


But we get all involved in politics don’t we? You know that 13 million Christians make up the religious right? Less than 7% of the population and think about the influence they exerted over this election. It’s the reason Mitt Romney got out. Giuliani got out. Palin somehow got in? Romney wasn’t the right kind of religious, Giuliani wasn’t conservative enough and Palin somehow emerged as the best choice? Seriously?!!


Why do we think that inserting ourselves as a moral voice is a testimony to God? Unsaved people don’t understand morality for morality’s sake. That’s why most people think we are all a bunch of hypocrites. I am not saying don’t vote. Or don’t get involved. But fuck. Get involved in the stuff that Jesus would go after. THE POOR. THE SICK. Are you kidding me that abortion is the hot button topic still? Homosexuality? I am not saying it’s right, but come on.


What should we care about? The poor, justice, peace, love. Are you trying to tell me Jesus didn’t live under Roman rule? Not the easiest of governments to tolerate from a moral standpoint. How many times can you find him speaking out against the government as opposed to speaking out against the treatment of the poor or corruption within the Jewish religious leadership?


All we are doing is further distancing ourselves from the people that need to hear the message of love the most!! So please, go easy on me on my slide down the slope of slipperiness. We can both wave to each other on our way down because believe me, if you don’t think you are on one, you are kidding yourself..


Is the Bible a member of the trinity?

September 24, 2008

This entry (don’t call it a blog or I will knock your ass out) has begun to do something I didn’t plan for. It has begun to challenge me. I really wasn’t ready for that. I thought I would drop mad knowledge and people would freak out. Well, no is freaking out except me. It’s starting conversations between me and my wife. My friends. My coworkers. My sewing club.

I by no means equate myself to a pastor; I can understand why I have heard them say that they get the most out of their own sermons. I get that a little more now.

A question has been nagging at me as I started this process. I keep coming back to what is the purpose of the Bible. What is its level of importance? When the Bible says the word was God and all that, what does that mean? Is the Bible a part of the God head in some way?

After the last entry, I started wondering about the relativism we apply to the Bible and what that does to the idea of it being completely accurate? Here’s an example. In the New Testament, Paul says to the church in Corinth that women shouldn’t pray with their head uncovered. And yet, we do not adhere to that today. In fact, I would say the ladies are wearing less and less to church (and let his creation be glorified! Honey, don’t read that). So, the Bible said it and we don’t do it. Does that make it a sin?

We laugh and say of course not, that’s irrelevant today. Why? Why is that irrelevant? And more importantly, who got to decide it was irrelevant? There’s also a verse somewhere that instructs women to leave town when they have their monthly visitor. Are any of you ladies following that one?

So what’s going on here? We have interpretations by man about the validity of certain verses and yet the bible says all scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, correcting, rebuking, etc.

Doesn’t this beg the follow-up, what else is relative? What else is deemed as being “for a time and not this time”? Let’s look at an example. Sex, in the New Testament, sex outside marriage is spoken of as fornication. Do we define this rule to be for this time? Is sex before marriage wrong? Of course it is you say. Why? Because the Bible says it is. But what about what we discovered earlier, that women aren’t wearing their required headgear for prayer?

You may say, they’re not the same thing. One is a piece of clothing and one is a physical representation of our relationship to Christ. Are we really the ones who get to make these distinctions? Isn’t how our ladies pray to God very important? Don’t we care if their prayers aren’t heard because of their lovely exposed locks?

I am not asking this because I want permission to bone. I am happily married and doing just fine. The reason is Christian divorce. Let’s face it; the church has a higher divorce rate then the rest of the country. I think it’s because of sex. We have built sex into a hideous beast. A monster of mythical proportion. It will be all of your wildest dreams. It will be the wizard of oz of boinking. Every fantasy you have will be realized. As long as give your word to stop at third and you don’t masturbate, you will be a sexual god living a Sting tantric-like lifestyle.

So you have all these freakin kids right out of college getting married. Now, they say it’s for love and I am sure love is in there somewhere. But there is also this sex pressure. This desire to bone. And they want to do it legit so they get married. You can tell me that I am full of it and that’s fine. I have watched too many friends that married to young due to a large degree of sexual pressure go through horrible divorces.

My very best friend was dating a girl all of us thought was wrong for him. One of my bros actually said something to that affect to him. He ignored the advice. He was a virgin. It was like he was blind. We backed him up as bros should. They got married. 5 years later, they had a terrible sex life, she had an affair and I supported him through a very painful divorce.

I place the blame squarely on sex. You can’t get married to bone, because really, sex is no big deal. I am not trying to diminish its importance to marriage, but ask any married couple, they will tell you sex is great, but it’s not something to build a marriage on.

But based on some of today’s hottest Christian writers, you would think sex was the cure for cancer. Every man’s battle?  All that crap. Don’t even hold hands if it might get you aroused. If you get aroused, you might kiss, then hug, then maybe even some Christian sex (this consists of massages, dry humping and then feelings of guilt), and then manual acts, then oral acts, and then to the big nasty deed itself.  abomination

I grew up this way. I grew up hating intimacy in anyway with the ladies. Every time I made out with a girl I was in love with, I would feel this unpinning of guilt and remorse. All in the hopes that someday marriage would meet every fantasy and expectation that had been growing like a tumor in my mind.

A question started to grow in me because of that experience. Why didn’t they just screw before they got married and get the hype over with? They loved each other. So, have sex, get the mystery out of the way and get to the business of having a relationship.

I am not trying to deduce a question of morality with an answer that is purely pragmatic. I am just asking honest questions. Which is worse, having sex out of marriage or divorcing? Only one of those is considered a sacrament and it ain’t sex. Marriage is vows taken before God. I have heard those are pretty serious.

Here’s the bigger question: who’s to say what a sin is and what isn’t. You may say that God is and I agree. But when we have taken His word and picked out things that don’t apply to us anymore, how is this justified. So maybe head coverings were cultural at the time. Well guess what else cultural, arranged marriages were. Not a whole lot of dating going on in the big AD/BC period (that would be a great name for a Christian AC/DC cover band). So maybe our focus is off. What if I offered this as an adjunct to the earlier moral idea expressed about sex. Suppose we say, sex is not something to be done lightly or loosely, but if two people are in a loving relationship, then sex can be a part of that relationship and not be wrong.

For the record, I am merely posing questions, in my own life, my wife and I only kissed before we got married, ok and a little of the dry mambo. We just didn’t want to deal with the pressure, so we took sex out of the equation because we knew would have our lives to boink but only one time to get to know each other for the first time.

All of these thoughts led me to start thinking about the real purpose of the Bible. What did God intend for this book to do for us? I started looking around at some of the conservative web sites for purposes I could tear apart. Surprisingly, I found this one on a Bible Resources page.

The Bible’s main purpose is to reveal the plan of redemption and salvation for mankind. All Scripture should be studied in this light. Even when the judgment of God is mentioned, it is with the purpose of bringing deliverance to mankind. One of the Bible’s purposes is that of warning man, individually or corporately, to avoid the consequences of judgment — God’s wrath. If he so chooses, he can escape Hell and go to Heaven.

When studied in the light of God’s purpose to redeem man through Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, nothing in the Bible can put us into the bondage of legalism (the keeping of laws in an effort to please God). Law is not the theme of the Bible, but redemption through the grace of God.

Is there a balance here that we have yet to reach? Is there a level of faith in the Holy Spirit working in our hearts that we are yet to reach? Is there too much evil still in us to allow for this? Are we forgetting that the main purpose of the Bible was not to give us tools for a healthy life, but to show us the path to God?


It’s like I said in the last installment, we are saved by Grace but somehow we think our actions are what keep us saved after the fact. The Bible is a plan for salvation before you’re saved, but it’s a text book afterwards. I just don’t see it. Maybe our minds are too small for us to make these distinctions.


I don’t know kiddies, I get more and more frustrated with the church. How can we preach about his love and scream out against sin at the same time? How does this accomplish anything? What did Jesus do? He talked about God’s love. He talked about what was to come. He hung out with the dregs of the earth. The unclean. Who is the unclean today? All of us frankly. But who are those we think are untouchable? Is it gay people? Is it murders? Child molesters? The mentally challenged? Convicts? Here is the question I leave you with: Has anyone in the history of mankind ever made a confession of faith because some was pointing a finger in their  face calling them a sinner?

I think swearing is therapeutic

August 4, 2008

People are reading. People have opinions. People are voicing them. I guess I wasn’t really ready for that. I wasn’t ready for anybody saying anything other than I am brilliant. That’s pride for ya. But people have had some really insightful responses. One friend reminded me that in my description and basic disdain for asshole Christians and their judgment, I have in fact, become a judger myself. Oops. I think I am more of an observer.


Another dear friend said the language smacked of shock tactics and was difficult to get past. In other words, my points were lost because the language was distracting.


I thought I would spend a brief moment waxing eloquent about swearing and my views on it. If you know me, you know I really don’t give two shits about language. I think swearing is funny. In fact, it’s hilarious. But it’s just words. Just a way to communicate.

So what is moral about language?


Language that became known as curses or swears or cussing (my favorite) started out as the language of the lower class in a feudal system. It was “bad” because poor people used it. If you didn’t want to be seen as a member of the lower class, you would stay away from this language.


That’s all, that’s how it started. So what’s really going on. What’s the real problem with swearing. I think it comes down to intent. If words are just words than what makes language good or bad depends on the intentions behind them.


Example, I am a big fan of calling people assholes. Now, if I came to you, and in a completely joking manner called you an asshole, would that be bad? On the flip side, what if I came up to you in all seriousness and called you a real jerk? It seems to me the curse is in calling you a jerk. My intent was to hurt so the words communicated a curse.


So what it really comes down to is just appropriateness. I don’t generally run through my church yelling obscenities at the top of my lungs. But I may whisper them to get a rise out of my friends. I don’t walk into meetings at my job and start dropping f-bombs. I wait until I have a relationship before I even think about using swear words.


It’s not about what you say, but why you say it. Just like we are not what we do, we are who we are. If we are Christians, it is because of a change in us. That change in us can be seen in what we do, but is not rooted there.


And that brings me to another thing I want to talk about this week.


Checkmark Christians.


I  grow more and more concerned by this outlook toward our faith. Here’s what started me thinking. I was at my church when they presented a gospel message. At the end of the prayer (every eye closed ever head bowed – my ass! I wanna see) the pastor says that if you prayed that prayer they have a meeting they would like you to go to so they can give you some materials to help you as you start your journey (don’t stop believing!). There’s actually a Christianity starter pack.


At first I didn’t think anything of it. There’s a good intention there. Don’t just get the person saved and then say, go get em tiger and good luck with that. That wouldn’t be very responsible. It seems valid to get a new believer involved in a bible study, a small group, get them reading their bible and praying everyday, right?


But there is a huge danger here that I think gets overlooked. If you push all this stuff at someone for them to do, we run the risk of making their life a to-do list. If I do this and don’t do this and if I check off a quiet time (dumbest name ever – sound like Jesus put you in a time out) if I check off praying, then I have officially met the requirements to call myself a Christian a feel good about where I am at today.


NONSENSE. When that new believer confessed and believed, it was something that changed inside them. They became a new creation. It wasn’t about what they did, it was about what they became. A new creation. It’s not about what they do, it’s about who they are in Christ.


But once that’s done, we put em right back on the to-do list. The to-do list isn’t necessarily bad, it’s just that I don’t think we put enough emphasis on what’s behind them. Pray, not because it meets a requirement, but because out of your heart comes a desire to know God more deeply. Read the Bible, not because it checks off on some list, but because there is a desire to understand how God relates to his creation.


Maybe this is way to subtle a distinction for me to care about but I really do. It comes down to everything for me. Swearing? Does swearing make me not a Christian or a bad Christian? There is no such thing as a bad Christian. Well, let’s think about that, what’s more appropriate is that there is no such thing as a good Christian. We are all still horrible sinning machines with evil and good living in our hearts.


Is there a way to live a Christian life without a to-do list? We know that faith without works is dead. To me, works refers to things we do. But could the distinction be that what we do is generated from the inside to the outside. And when we fail, and we will, we haven’t been separated from God. We can’t be. We just failed. So we try again, we fail again and so on. So the to-do list is no more attaching us to God then our sin is detaching us from God. We are attached because of Christ.


It’s like grace. There is nothing you can do to earn or unearn God’s grace. That’s why it’s called grace. Sometimes we forget that it’s always grace. Doing this and not doing that can make it feel like we are being Christian. We are doing our part. And yes, there are things we should and shouldn’t do, but that’s not what keeps us in God’s grasp. That’s for our spiritual health.


It’s important that we check ourselves to recognize what got us saved and what keeps us saved.


2nd Installment

July 10, 2008

If you have just joined our program, welcome. My goal here is to try to get us all thinking a little bit more about who we think we are as Christians and how is that different then the world sees us? And why is that? For today’s thoughts, I want to turn the microscope on our selves. Let’s take a moment to talk about judgment. Namely, our judgment of those around us. More specifically, let’s talk about asshole Christians. Let me define the term.


Asshole Christians are judgers. Haters. Although they would say otherwise. They judge those around them actively. Let me give you an example. There is a group of asshole Christians that picket and protest funerals of deceased US military personnel that lost their lives in the middle of nowhere east.


They don’t picket the war. They picket to say that the reason that soldier died was because of the lawlessness and the sexual depravity of these United States. This new Israel. God’s chosen new land.


Therefore, it wasn’t the damn IED that killed the soldier, it was God’s wrath being unleashed on our country.


I don’t even know where to being with the glaring errors in this ideology. Well, maybe I’m way off base here. I mean, God does punish doesn’t he? He hasn’t changed or lightened up has he? That doesn’t sound very immutable. So if he was cappin’ fools in the Bible for their misdeeds, then I guess we have to believe he still caps fools today.


So I guess I am not saying they are Asshole Christians because they are wrong. In some ways, they are way wrong., but in others, like God’s wrath and Justice, I can’t say they are.




Who the hell do you think you are?! Do ya think this represents the best pitch we could make for joining up with our little club? God hates fags, He hates druggies and Rockbands and YOU you freakin sinner. My personal favorite. Hate the sin, not the sinner. A very convenient distinction.


Don’t you think there are better ways of getting people to drink the Christian Cool Aid?


As far as we are concerned, there is only one response to any sin. Humility. If it’s your sin? Humility.  If it’s someone else’s?  Humility. The great JC sent his disciples out to tell the good news right? What did he tell them? He said that if the people didn’t receive the word, if they choose to continue on with their lives, then walk out of town, dust your shoes off, and beat it.


We are only to recognize their sin and move on.


Not, “Hate the sin, not the sinner.” It should just be, well, love your neighbor as yourself and mind your own damn business about somebody else’s sin.


And yet welcome to the wonderful USA. Home of the always judging and always accusing. How the hell did we get here? Do you realize the rest of the world thinks we are a joke? That we are the most uptight, legalistic, judgmental Christians on the planet?  I was in Europe once a few years back. After a worship service, the pastor invited us into the fellowship hall for beers. Multiple beers. Yes, I got my buzz on in a church with the head pastor, who had an even bigger buzz then me.


Think we can pull that off in our churches here? Doesn’t even thinking it make you feel like you’ve done something wrong? Why is that? Is it a commandment? Though shalt not drink beer in church? No! It’s nowhere. So why then is it wrong?


This brings me to my big bullet point. My moment of enlightenment. We are very much the modern day Pharisees. Yup. We have become the very badest of the bad guys in the New Testament. We have become the very people that killed Jesus. Now, I know our sin put him on that cross so we are all responsible. But did we ever imagine we would become the villains in Christianity?


The Pharisees weren’t bad guys, they were spiritual leaders trying to protect their congregation. So they made up some guidelines to protect their flock. Instead of don’t work on Sunday, it became don’t even lift a finger on Sunday, don’t do anything that might lead you to think about working on Sunday. They made up guidelines to keep people at a safe distance from breaking the Jewish law.


Well, they got out of hand, the guidelines became just as important as the laws. And then you get what you got. A bunch of legalistic judgmental Asshole Pharisees.


Some examples. We don’t want people to have sex  before marriage. Ok, that’s the law of God (I may not be sold on this, so we will definitely talk about this at another date). So, in order to protect people from getting boners we make a guideline. Don’t dance. Don’t kiss. Don’t dryhump. Don’t pet (I love the expression heavy petting – it sounds like a form of punishment for my dog). Don’t do anything that will get you within a stones throw of hoping in the sack for naked wrestling.


Pretty soon, dancing is a sin (nobody puts baby in a corner). Making out? Sin? Sliding into second base. You got it. Sin.


We didn’t mean to. We were just trying to protect people from sexual impurity. But now the guidelines are just as important as the law they were meant to protect. Therefore, we birthed modern day Pharisees. These are the Asshole Christians. Do they even remember trying to protect people? Or are they too busy at a funeral screaming GOD HATES FAGS!


Now this is why we have this piss poor image as Christians.


Is there an answer here? Is my observation going to make a damn bit of difference? I would like to think so, but really it won’t. Because why? Because I will be dismissed as a lax Christian. A person who has fallen away. A person who desperately needs to rededicate his life and go down to the alter and cry. In short, I will be judged.


If I can leave us with a challenge it is this. Focus on love. I know, it’s corny. But try.

Focus on loving God, loving others and love your own damn self.


I remember I was once in New York City in Time Square. One of those fringe cults was preaching, more like yelling at any white person (they were a black people) that walked by. They were saying all of us whites were going to hell and picking out single verses

From the bible and completely taking them out of context and using them to make their points. I tried to argue with him. Not yelling, just bringing up other verses. This was not the right move as they just yelled their verses louder.


Anyway, the point is, my really good friend was with me and he made the most profound point. At the time, I thought it only worked toward the crazy cult dudes. Now I realize it is more important for us to follow then ever before. He said, “Tell them about God’s love!” Judging people won’t get them repentant. Trust me. It won’t make them introspective to look at the heart of their own soul. It will only piss em off. But love is disarming. Love is like a barrier remover. It’s the alcohol buzz that gave me the courage to sing Every Rose has its Thorn at Karaoke. Do whatever you can not to become an asshole Christian. Tell them about His love.


More later. Now, back to work.


June 27, 2008


So, let’s get some introductions out of the way. I am 31, ok 32. I am a white male mutt whose parents and grandparentssaw no value in remaining true to their respective nationalities. Therefore I am German, French, Dutch, Welsh, and whatever else you can think of. A mutt. An American. I am straight. Been married for 6 years. Kids, no. Dog, yes.

And for the record, a Christian. Yes that wonderful word that carries so many stigmata, I am sure I have instantly been totally dismissed by half of you. And why is that? What is it that has transpired over the years in this country to make me and what I believe somehow completely incompetent and irrelevant?  What did I have to do with whatever took place before I got here but yet somehow packaged an identity into a word and slapped it on my unsuspecting ass?

The opinion has gotten worse with every scandal that goes on. Seriously, a pastor getting caught with freakin meth. Are you serious? Anyone care to bomb an abortion clinic with me? Get serious. 9/11 was the fault of gays and sin in America? Thanks Jerry and Pat. Yet these are the words and actions of us, Christians.It doesn’t matter that they are extreme. Extreme sells ad time. Extreme gets viewer ship and ratings. Not a lot of headlines reading; Temperate Moderate Religious Group Practices Community with Fellow Believers at a Local Church. And with each hit after hit, we sink deeper and deeper into a pit of hypocrisy and irrelevancy.

Because of the “C” word, I must have zero intellect. I must be an automaton robot from an alien planet who drinks Welsh’s blood grape juice,Eats Wonder flesh white bread. I blindly obey a book written 2000 years ago and believe it’s everything you want in a self help book. I believe God has a multi-personality issue thinking he is three beings in one at all times. There is a Ghost living in me. There are no aliens. Sex before marriage is bad but you can have a second virginity, whatever the hell that means.

Oh yeah, now for the biases. I do not drink, sweat, fart, lust, lie, envy, dance, go to movies, speak to gay people, kill unborn babies, miss church ever, ever get sad, lonely, nervous, mean, evil. I do not have any hate in my heart. I haven’t sinned since 1986. All those around me are going to hell if they don’t accept Jesus as their savior and it serves them right. And I have a Christian bumper sticker and a backward fish on my car which are my membership passes.

I am not saying all of these things are true or not true, just that they represent an identity that has nothing to do with me.

For the record, most of that is crap. That is not who I am. That is not what Christians look like. To tell you the truth. I don’t know what they look like. I only know what I look like. My wife. My friends. My church.

So why is there some automatic judgement of the identity that society in these United States have assigned to me? I thought I was an individual. But apparently, once the prayer for forgiveness is uttered, you have now become a brainwashed asshole capable of no original thought. You are a legalistic machine. Moving to the beat of ever deafening desire to judge those around you.

So go ahead and dismiss me.  That’s fine. I dismiss most of me too.

So while I am on such a role here, let me say this. I am a Christian. I am a smoking, swearing, drinking, sinning Christian. I hurt, I laugh, I struggle, I fail. I don’t have all the answers, in fact, the older I get, the more I have and the more I forgot the old ones I used to have (limited brain space). I screw up every day. I suck at keeping secrets. I smoke Parliament Lights like they are going out of style. I love red wine, white wine, beer (crappy beer only), whiskey (Maker’s Mark), and gin and tonics in the summer and white Russians in the winter. I have had some incredibly painful terrible things happen in my past that I don’t regret one bit.

Let’s just say this serves as an introduction to a one-sided dialogue between you and me. You can read if you want. Maybe my thoughts will stir a thought in you. Maybe we can have a laugh, get mad, think, change, forgive, say we’re sorry, grab a gin and tonic and read the Bible at the same time, and change the world maybe?