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Archive for the ‘madness’ Category

By creating a narrative of an evil “deep state” and casting himself — a powerful white man of immense generational wealth — as a victim in his own right, Trump not only tapped into the religious right’s familiar feeling of persecution, but he also cast himself as its savior, a man of flesh who would fight the holy war on its behalf. “There’s been a real determined effort by the left to try to separate Trump from his evangelical base by shaming them into, ‘How can you support a guy like this?’ ” Jeffress tells me. “Nobody’s confused. People don’t care really about the personality of a warrior; they want him to win the fight.” And Trump’s coming to that fight with a firebrand’s feeling, turning the political stage into an ecstatic experience — a conversion moment of sorts — and the average white evangelical into an acolyte, someone who would attend rallies with the fever of revivals, listen to speeches as if they were sermons, display their faithfulness with MAGA hats, send in money as if tithing, and metaphorically bow down, again and again, at the altar of Donald Trump, who delivers the nation from its transgressions.

Alex Morris, False Idol — Why the Christian Right Worships Donald Trump

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This is the End?

As I contemplate my current ecclesial hot mess of a situation, these lines from The Doors come to mind:

This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end

It hurts to set you free
But you’ll never follow me
The end of laughter and soft lies

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A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

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You Shall Know Them by Their Fruits

Under Falwell Jr., Liberty University is “a totally dysfunctional organization,” one board member wrote in an email reviewed for this article. “Very similar to Trump’s White House.”

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/09/09/jerry-falwell-liberty-university-loans-227914

No real surprises here: Falwell, Jr. is one of the most corrupt and disgraceful “Christian” leaders ever.  ’nuff said.

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“A 29-year-old man named Tyler started an Instagram account two weeks ago that spawned from a joke he shared with friends. The account PreachersNSneakers has now become a place of both celebration and controversy over pastor influencers and their expensive shoes.”

A Man Created An Instagram About Church Leaders In Expensive Designer Shoes. It’s Sending People Down An Existential Morality Spiral

“The debate pokes at what has long been a tender subject: the money flowing through churches and the way that it’s spent, as well as the encroachment of materialism. Some ministries have been criticized for buying mansions for pastors or in one case, spending $65 million on a Gulfstream jet.”

Let He Who Is Without Yeezys Cast the First Stone

Sad sorry state.

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Crossing the Line

Something broke in America in the past week or two. We have been spiraling downward since Trump’s election, but in these early days of spring 2019, we have crossed a line. The president and his men began asserting that they were above the law—and effectively no one in our system did anything to stop them.

David Rothkopf, Trump & Co. Are Crossing Big, Bright Red Lines—and They’re Getting Away With It

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A Godly President

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“Everyone is looking for something for nothing. In life, people don’t want to work hard anymore. We want it handed to us.”
— Bobby Maximus (Fitness trainer, former police officer)

What Mr. Maximus said is sadly true even of  Christians. Always looking for spiritual shortcuts. Flitting to and fro between Christian conferences and retreats. Buying the latest popular “Christian” bestseller, hoping to find some simplistic spiritual secrets to living the “successful” Christian life. But they are not willing to invest the time and effort themselves to really study God’s Word or earnestly seek Him in prayer. Or pouring themselves into people‘s lives. Weekly, they go to church, sit passively, sing a few songs, take in the sermon [which they will largely forget the next day], and go home.

Church has become a country club.

Man, I see in fight club the strongest and smartest men who’ve ever lived.
I look around me on a Sunday morning, all these believers, each one endowed with gifts (as well as skills, talents, abilities) from the Spirit. “With regard to spiritual gifts [πνευματικῶν], brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed … To each person the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the benefit of all” (1 Cor. 12:1, 7; NET). What are we doing with our “super powers?

I see all this potential, and I see squandering.
I weep when I think of all that can be done together as a church body if we unleashed all the different gifts [Διαιρέσεις δὲ χαρισμάτων; 1 Cor. 12:4] that largely lie dormant.

God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars.
Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need.
It never fails to amuse and amaze me at how Christians justify their participation in the rampant consumerism of our age. No wonder we’re so spiritually impoverished when we come to church as mere religious consumers.

We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place.
In fact, as Christians living between the “already” and the “not yet” in salvation history, we of all people have a purpose! We have a mission! But most of us are not living intentionally or missionally.

We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war, our Great Depression is our lives.
Most of us are not even aware there’s a spiritual war around us because we live such a comfort-driven life.

We need to awaken out of our spiritual slumber!

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Upon hearing of yet another book on Trump (“Fear” by veteran journalist Bob Woodward), I am saddened that so much time and ink continues to flow around him when there are other pressing matters that remain largely unnoticed. But to be honest, most of my attention, angst and anger lies with the American evangelicals who idolize Trump and fawn over him like silly and senseless sycophants.

I confess that I am still unable to muster up enough charity and inner peace to calmly convey my profound disappointment, disgust and disillusionment concerning the state of American evangelicalism.  As such, I am grateful for those voices who are not afraid to tell it like it is and refuse to bow to the Orange Calf.

Let’s survey some of these faithful, eloquent and prophetic voices:

Jim Meisner, Jr. begins his piece with this powerful indictment: “For nearly 40 years, Evangelicals preached dire sermons against a godless, sin-soaked culture focused on wealth, immorality, celebrity, sexual promiscuity and worldly power. On Aug. 27, they celebrated it.” Amen! Stop there, no need to say anymore. The 100 idolatrous “evangelicals”who were there  (Jerry Falwell Jr., Franklin Graham, James Dobson, Ralph Reed and others of their ilk, but also prosperity preachers like Kenneth Copeland and Paula White) prostituting themselves and praising him as if he was the Messiah.

(more…)

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Finally, under all the scrutiny and pressure, the reluctant and recalcitrant “leadership” of Willow Creek finally does the right thing. Perhaps it became inevitable, especially in light of the latest allegation.

First Steve Carter resigned.

Then came the long awaited wholesale wiping the slate clean.

Beth Allison Barr is dead on when she wrote:

For Christians who loudly proclaim the “priesthood of all believers” and that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God,” evangelicals are surprisingly quick to venerate pastors. Charismatic personalities and dynamic preaching—especially preaching that attracts thousands of new members—seems to make us forget that pastors are still frail humans.

And Mel Lawrenz offers 7 untruths that all leaders need to pay heed to, because “This teachable moment will not last long before we all move on with the busyness of our work. If this crisis is only seen as one man’s transgressions with women, the bigger picture will be missed.”

The time for megalomania-driven “ministry” and rampant idolizing of Christian celebrities must come to an end. If the Church does not repent and learn from this incident, then shame on all of us.

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