It takes him a bit to get going, but not long. First, he talks about someone who grew up what he calls a "fundamentalist", though he then cuts that off at the knees by saying that the religion the man was in was "cult". Then, he brings in the real issue--homosexuality. Apparently, Henri Nouwen struggled with it, though he never acted on it. But that's just him warming up.
I have friends that are involved in ministry to people that struggle with many issues including homosexuality and the way that they are treated by the majority of Christian leaders is horrendous, absolutely horrendous. One friend of mine spoke up for gay rights and was immediately black balled from speaking at several engagements due to his love for people that struggle with these issues. He has a message of GRACE just like the message of JESUS, yet, he was banned from speaking unless he towed the company line and tickled the ears of the listeners and fat cat political Christianistas.
So, if examples of this "horrendous, absolutely horrendous" treatment is one man not being allowed to speak about the liberal issue of gay rights, then I suppose we can understand where this writer is coming from. We may safely think that his idea of Jesus' "message of GRACE" (in all caps, of course) is an approval of homosexual behavior and a blanket approval of gay rights.
Oh, and the "Christianistas" comment shows his love for the brethren. But not to worry, all this speaker has to do is switch to the liberal camp, along with the emergents, and he and his message will be most welcomed there. He'll have plenty of ears to tickle, both of listeners and of fat cat political christianistas.
I kind of wander if Steve Camp would approve of this use of his song lyrics?
And someone should tell him that the quote he says is from a DC Talk song, isn't. It is from one of their albums, but it was a speaker on it, not a song.
When you see how soo many people are ostracized by factions within Christianity, do you feel the pain that they feel in their hearts?
Yes, I understand such ostracism. I am ostracized from the emergents and liberals, because I can't stomach their compromises, their whining, their faith in their own opinions. And their nastiness and judgmentalism.
There are soo many people running around that are rude and abrasive and as soon as someone tells them that they are offensive they claim that it isn't them that is offensive, it is the gospel. Well here is a little insight that, it isn't the gospel, it is YOU.
Oh, please. Yeah, people are just lining up to really follow Christ, just so long as He toes their party line.
People do not hate Jesus, Jesus is a rock star, people think He is awesome, it is many of his followers that they don't like. You can ask Ghandi, he has a very famous quote on the subject.
Of all the silly things I've read, "Jesus is a rock star" ranks up there close to the top.
And I think I'll go with what Jesus said, not Ghandi. Such as how He said that if the world hated him, it will hate us who love Him, too.
We are called to serve THE LEAST OF THESE and in so doing, we serve CHRIST.
Have you ever noticed how liberal christians (notice the small c) and emergents love to truncate that phrase of Jesus'? They almost always rather conveniently leave of the last couple of words, "the least of these my brothers".
In a somewhat bizarre twist to Hinduism, for such as this writer it may be said that the poor and outcasts have become the Untouchables. One dare not say that anything they do is wrong, one dare not question how they became poor, one dare not do anything except speak sweet nothings to them and give them a dime or two. Dare to raise a question about their behaviors, say that they are living in sin and need to repent, say that welfare only encourages poor people to stay in poverty, claim that charity was not meant to be handed out indiscriminately, and your a bad, nasty, judgmental person.
We are dealing with peoples lives here, we are not playing a game where everything is fine afterwards and everyone goes home friends. When we make statements about homosexuals where is the love? When we put targets on peoples forheads and try to evangelize them without even knowing them, where is the love? When we judge those with AIDS and say, well they have what's coming to them, where is the love in that.
I actually wish he would believe his first statement here. But if he did, his view and tone in this rant would have been different.
Where is the love? Tell us, sir, where is the love in approving of behavior that God clearly says he does not approve of? Where is the love in supporting people in their sinful behaviors? The truth is, there is no love in that, none at all. It may seem loving, people may say you're being loving when you do it, but they are wrong.
The world has little idea of what real love is. Perhaps that's why they have to try so hard to make Jesus more acceptable--saying he didn't say what he said, saying we've no real idea of what the real Jesus said or did, and so on. As one liberal scholar put it, in his mind Christianity must change or die. But the truth is, the truth of the Gospel does not change with the times, because man 2000 years ago is in the same condition as man now.
One wonders if he's ever read the Bible to ask the question about evangelism. Did Philip know the Ethiopian before he evangelized him? Did the Apostles know the people they preached to at Pentacost? Did Paul when he witnessed to the rulers of his day?
The only real issue the writer has that's worth mentioning is that about AIDS patients, though one has to ask where he is going. I think I know. Again, they are Untouchable.
Why are we so quick to judge?
Well, I, for one, wonder why this writer is.
But, there is one thing that you should never do. Don't ever disagree with them. They will make a public spectacle out of you.
Oh, yes, happens all the time. Disagreeing with liberals, of political and religious sorts (if the two can be divided) is a hazardous thing, because all ethics and fair play go out the window.
Now, for one of the kickers.
In the Old Testament you can take a look at all of the things that God's prophets went through. They stayed committed to God even to death. They were misunderstood, without a home, they roamed in the desert, the religious leaders largely despised them because of their message of judgment that came out of their mouths.
All this time, the writer has been going on against judging. But here, near the end, he notes that the prophets often had a "message of judgment". He's right, of course. Whether individually, as to David concerning his affair with Bath-Sheba, or to Israel and other nations as a whole, their message was of judgment both in the sense of saying "You've done wrong" and "If you don't repent, bad things are coming".
But if he's going to say that prophets spoke of judgments, he's obviously lost any right to say things like this.
Why are we so quick to judge? Why is it that we make decisions based on very little if any knowledge and then jump to the conclusion that either someone is a bad christian or not a christian because they did something that we disagree with? Notice the lowercase “c”. Aren't Chrstians supposed to be called to a higher standard than to kick God out of the judgment seat? Yet, we, small little people get so arrogant as to think that we can be His vessel of wrath.
And let's close with this.
What if those that are hurt most deeply by the church are actually the prophets that God wants to use today? What if He has profound things for them to speak forth to the church, but, the church refuses to listen.
Someone should tell him to stop reading McLaren. The "What if...?" schtick is getting old, as it really doesn't say anything.
Again, the Untouchable--those hurt by the church. Their word is as the prophets of old, not to be questioned, not to be judged. We can't ask why they were hurt by the church, or whether maybe perchance they may have been wrong and the church right.
Imagine this kind of mindset in Corinth, when Paul wrote his first letter to them. He singles out one man, who for whatever reason had married his mother-in-law, and Paul writes quite harshly to the church about their acceptance of this couple's behavior. He chastizes them quite harshly for their pride in accepting this couple. Why, I can easily how, with the mindset above, some in the church may have thought something like "Who is Paul to judge? An Apostle? He's just trying to make a public spectacle of us for doing something he disagrees with! We know this couple, and it's been years since he was here. In fact, we'd rather have this couple's words be as the prophets to us than the words of this gadabout Paul!"