Warning: In this post, I intend to call a spade, a spade. Which means there will be strong words that don’t normally appear on this blog. My use of these words won’t be excessive, but if you find such language offensive, it might be best to skip this piece.
There have been several reports in the news lately about states that are seeking to place further restrictions on their food stamp programs (called SNAP). The argument is that welfare recipients shouldn’t be able to buy certain items or shop in certain stores if they’re receiving government funds. Aside from the fact that these new limitations will only serve to further deprive and humiliate the poor, SNAP fraud is already the lowest of any government program, at less than 4 percent. The little bit of fraud that is committed usually occurs on the retailers’ side. Continue reading
Image from garmaonhealth.com
A few weeks ago, I wrote about my beef (no pun intended) with the book Love & Respect by Emerson Eggerichs. I wasn’t terribly surprised when a few commenters responded in favor of the book, saying it had helped them tremendously. If the reviews on Amazon are any indication, the book has apparently helped a good many people. I certainly won’t discount those experiences.
However, that does not make the doctrine the book is based upon sound or biblical. The book may have some mutual submission-sounding guidelines sprinkled in its text, but readers encounter Eggerichs’ true premise on the cover – before they even pluck the book from the shelf – and that premise becomes the (unbiblical) framework for everything that follows. THAT is the problem. Continue reading
It was a normal day at my little Baptist school kindergarten. We had colored and napped, ate our snacks, reviewed numbers and letters, and even spent a lesson on telling time. We had just put away our sleeping mats when my teacher, Mrs. Edna, called us to attention.
“Children, I want to take a few moments to tell you about Jesus.”
I perked up. Jesus? I had heard about him at home and at church, but I hadn’t concerned myself much with him. He was that guy the adults prayed to and talked about so much. What did he have to do with me?
In my last post, I pointed out that the conservative evangelical church has a listening problem. Instead of paying heed to the chorus of voices stating concerns and asking to be heard, evangelical leaders invent their own reasons for why Millennials are leaving the church (among other things) and trumpet them as fact. Loudly and ad nauseum.
As I thought it over, I realized that this antipathy to listening is built into the far right evangelical worldview. The trigger word in evangelicalism is “compromise,” and the faithfulness of every believer is judged by how much he or she is “compromising” with the world. Listening to secular music? Compromise. Kissing while dating? Compromise. Attending a secular college? Compromise.
The eager young evangelical is conditioned to avoid compromise at any cost. After all, you wouldn’t want anyone thinking that you approved of smoking by seeing you in the company of your smoking friends, right? But worse than that, compromising will lead you straight down the slippery slope to sin. One moment you’re reading Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Self-Reliance for a homework assignment, and the next you’re running off to join an atheist commune in socialist Europe.
Deliberate ignorance = dogmatic bliss.
Some of you may have seen this article in Charisma Magazine entitled “How the New Christian Left is Twisting the Gospel.” The writer, Chelsen Vicari, is a 26-year-old evangelical and self-proclaimed reformed leftist who recently penned her own book about how the gospel is being distorted by secular values and young Christians who don’t want to upset anyone by being vocal against sin. David Schell, a pretty fantastic post-evangelical blogger, wrote a great response to Vicari’s article, which you can read here. However, I felt that David’s critique left out a few things, so…here we are.
In reality, Vicari doesn’t say anything in her article that I haven’t already heard 200 times. I could probably turn on The 700 Club or flip open any James Dobson book and get the same spiel, almost verbatim. Vicari’s article is a classic example of the Christian Right’s general pontificating. And I say “general,” because, as is common with these kinds of spiels, the language is really vague and the content contains all the wondrous depth of a damp napkin. For an article that purportedly addresses how the gospel is being twisted, it only contains two – count ’em, two – scripture references. In fact, as I read, I often wondered if Vicari even had a sense of what the gospel is, because not once in 1,900 words does she ever actually articulate it. Case in point: Continue reading