Month: August 2019

August 24, 2019

How to Know if You Have a Religious/Partisan Mindset

I recently wrote an article about being “of the right spirit (mindset.)” You can read about this political spirit here.

This article describes ways to know if one has partnered with a mindset not exactly from heaven. Here are some indicators that one might be living trapped in a religious/partisan mindset: 

  • If commitment to a political party or ideology allows or causes one to willingly stretch their morals for the “good end” that comes with maintaining political power (yeah, I don’t like how the President treats people, but I know he’s going to appoint good Supreme Court justices or “but… but the economy’s good. That must mean God is happy with us, right?”)
  • If passing laws becomes a vital focus to force good behavior from people. (I have to support my party to maintain power because God will be angry with our country if the other, evil party wins)
  • Building a case to criticize people of opposition. (Yeah, my President is wise to use executive orders to go around an evil congress. The last president used executive orders because he wanted to subvert the constitution.)
  • Influence is not as important as ideological purity (yeah I’ve lost relationships but that’s just because people can handle it when I stand for “truth!”)
  • Civic pursuits are conflated with Biblical stances (My faith compels me to be anti-tax, pro-gun and militantly nationalistic and I look down on anyone who isn’t to my standard on any of those issues.)
  • The good news story of Jesus and the Bible often gets lost in the advancement of the political discussions/issues one finds important.
  • When one acts in an anti-social manner, then claims the natural reactions of others to that negativity to be “persecution.”
  • When it becomes easy to find enemies and evil in people and people groups.

In the Bible, Jesus was extremely negative about religious leaders who were driven by a believe that God’s purpose for their time was to restore their country to its former greatness. The Roman government had tyrannized Israel and the people of Israel were rightly dismayed but wrongly believed it was God’s goal to overthrow Rome. In the mistaken belief, the religious leaders gave themselves permission to impose heavy rules on the people and to withhold God’s grace from them.

This mindset can compare closely with today’s evangelical mindset that believes the appropriate laws to impose biblical beliefs in America will again restore America to some past, perceived former ideal of being a “Christian Nation.” To this end, Christian have justified an “ends justifies the means” mindset and has given permission for a lack of empathy to the poor and marginalized. Were Jesus on earth today, I think some more tables might be overturned in our churches.

I believe God’s heart is for a repentance to come on his followers. This repentance – or changing of our mindset – will enable God followers to fully participate in a powerful, positive transformation of our cities and the correction of systematic injustice that has plagued our government and civic systems for decades.

We need scales to fall from our eyes so that we can see and hear the true possibilities of what God has in store for us in this moment in history. His promises are too sweet, to trade them in for political victories. And, in the end, we will see what we’ve desired to see anyway – families and relationships restored, a better life for future generations and a peace to come for our state and country. I swear, it’s in the Bible and it’s worth a try. The other way simply isn’t working out.

August 24, 2019

The Danger of a Religious/Political Mindset

It seems today Christians might not know the “Spirit we are of.”

August 11, 2019

Of Course I’m Pro Life, The Question is Which Lives to Focus On

The term “Pro-life” has been taken over by the anti-abortion movement.  However, as I look out at our nation, there are many lives being destroyed.  There are the pre-born, yes.  However, there are also the 100 people killed by gun deaths…DAILY.  There are the young children being forcibly separated from their parents by ICE, and when I say young, we’re talking a few MONTHS old.  No, they may not be dead, but the psychological impact will be lasting.  How about the poor…the people with no access to a decent education, safe housing, etc.  What about the millions who are still without access to basic healthcare in our country.  Let’s talk about water…how about the lives in Flint, MI, that still don’t have safe drinking water…5 YEARS LATER.  How about the lives of our children who are going to have to fight with global warming, mountains of debt, etc. because we were UNWILLING to fix these things.  Doctors are already warning that global warming is causing a health problem to people with respiratory problems, not to mention the thousands of people killed, injured, and displaced by the ever worsening storms, floods, and rising sea level each year.

The Religious Right says “I’m pro-life”.  Great, we’re all pro life.  No one is pro-death.  The question is who’s life do you choose to focus on and advocate for.  The Bible tells us to care for the widow, orphan, stranger, foreigner, poor, and neighbor.  No where does it say to care for the pre-born.  I’m sure the pre-born are on God’s heart as well.  Yes, I believe abortion is a great evil.  However, since we can only focus on so many things at once, I believe it’s completely reasonable Biblically to focus on the situations explicitly called out in the Bible.  Furthermore, unfortunately, the GOP is ONLY interested in the lives killed by abortion.  The GOP is ACTIVELY campaigning on the premise of harming other lives, and actively legislating to harm other lives.  Therefore, I find it unBiblical to further the cause of the GOP for the sake of the unborn at the expense of the many other lives that the Bible EXPRESSLY says to defend, protect, and assist.

August 10, 2019

Of Course It’s a Cultural Problem, but How Do We Stop The Carnage?

I’ve heard numerous people of a certain generation say that clearly our gun death problem isn’t a result of gun proliferation because there were more guns in more places when they were kids and people didn’t go around killing each other. Let’s start with stating the obvious, this is true. Another obvious fact, our culture has changed such that people will pick up a gun and go storm a mall.

Why has our culture changed? That’s more complicated. Maybe it’s the disregard for human life in the form of abortion, assisted suicide, violent video games, etc. Maybe it’s the disregard for human life in the form of the evangelical right anointing, electing, and supporting a president who routinely degrades and demeans the life of “other” humans. Maybe it’s the religious right’s support of the death penalty. How about the religious right’s support of waterboarding (what any rational human being would consider torture) under Bush. Maybe it’s the fact that we don’t know our neighbors anymore, maybe that’s because we all have AC and are crazy busy so we don’t sit on our front porches. Maybe it’s rampant fatherlessness. Maybe it’s that most people don’t care about the rampant fatherlessness enough to do anything about it. The point is, culture change is incredibly complicated. Probably all these things have played a part, and left, right, or center…in a very real sense, we’re probably all to blame. Regardless of all the causes, at this point our country is not safe with tons and tons of guns in the hands of tons and tons of people, some of whom think it’s cool to go kill people.

Now, what do we do about it? We could try to turn back time, but they haven’t built that machine yet. Culture takes an extremely long time to change and generally requires concerted, relatively unified effort. If you look around our country right now, one thing we don’t have in abundance is unity.

So, what’s is our only available option if we actually WANT to DECREASE the carnage and not just talk about it. We MUST implement common sense gun control. Let’s do it all: voluntary gun buy backs, universal background checks at all points of purchase, no gun sales for people with severe psychological problems or on the No Fly list, stopping sales of guns that are designed for max carnage, mandatory buy back or disablement of guns that are designed for max carnage, mandatory buy back of guns owned by people no longer eligible to purchase, mandatory gun safety classes and refreshers for anyone who wants to buy or own a gun.

If we do this will it eliminate all deaths at the hands of crazy people or even all gun deaths…NO…OBVIOUSLY. However, what it should do is make it harder for people to carry out a mass shooting, and make these events easier to intercept. It should mean that fewer people die in these events because the shooter is working with lower capacity guns. If we begin to reduce the carnage and simultaneously work to change the culture, maybe someday we can get back to the “good old days” when kids carried a hunting rifle in the back of their truck when they went to school, and it was only there for…you guessed it…hunting!

August 10, 2019

Why The “Non-Partisan Evangelical?”

Is God really a conservative Republican? Questions like this have driven me to be the NPE.

August 1, 2019

Healed of a Rush Limbaugh Addiction

Conservative media can be hazardous to your health.

Scroll to top