Do we really pray for our enemies?

Image from nbcnews.com

I want to ask all of my readers a very serious question: When was the last time you prayed for ISIS?

You know, ISIS. Also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). They’re the Sunni Muslim extremist group currently wreaking havoc in the Middle East and drawing the U.S. into yet another military intervention in Iraq. They kidnapped and beheaded journalist James Foley. For the past few months, they’ve been systematically oppressing and killing Christians and other religious minorities, including children. They want to rule the Middle East.

Recently, a debate has raged over what our response should be to this terrorist group. Many, like Bill O’Reilly and Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame, believe we should wipe them out – Robertson’s only caveat being that we attempt to evangelize them first. If they don’t convert to Christianity, then off with their heads.

Because, you know, that’s totally different from what the terrorists are doing. Yes, huh! Continue reading

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Persecution of Their Own Making

Persecution photo persecution.jpgNormally, I don’t get terribly riled when people express viewpoints different from my own. I believe that truth is sometimes expressed in multiple dimensions and that most people have something reasonable to say. But once in a while, even these panties get into a twist. And it happened just the other day – in the comments section of my post on Matt Walsh. This is what one commenter wrote:

“So as a Christian should you just be nice and quiet when the culture of abortion and homosexuality is basically force fed to you? I don’t think Jesus would agree. In today’s culture those who actually support Christian values are attacked much like the days of Jesus. Matt has the courage to engage the battle.”

Let me explain how this simple statement took me from zero to rage dump. Inherent in this comment is the belief that Christians in America are facing persecution from gays and abortionists. Being steeped in evangelical culture, I hear this sentiment expressed all the time. CEO of Mozilla resigns due to protests over his support of Prop 8? Persecution! Reality TV shows starring Christians get canceled when said Christians make anti-gay remarks? Persecution! Christian teens are told to stop bullying their LGBT classmates? Persecution!

I wish I were joking.

Let me just state for the record, I am seriously the wrong person to choose for a Christians-in-America-are-persecuted rant. As an employee of an international church-building organization, I get to hear every single day about the very real persecution of Christians that is happening in other parts of the world: Continue reading

Pointing Out Sin

“You know what I dislike about church these days?” a reader of mine recently asked. “Preachers just don’t talk about sin anymore. I mean, when was the last time you heard a sermon where a preacher said, ‘This is a sin. That’s a sin.’ I bet it’s been a while.”

Well, he’s right. It has been a while. On the one hand, I’m grateful. On the other, I’m concerned.  I’ll explain what I mean. Continue reading

My Beef with the Matt Walsh Blog

If you’ve been on WordPress for more than five minutes, you’ve probably heard about the Matt Walsh Blog. Kind of hard not to – it’s the most popular blog on the site, totaling somewhere around 40 million hits. The blog is doing so well that, just a few months ago, its creator, Matt Walsh, was able to quit his conservative radio talk show and devote himself to blogging full-time.

If only we could all be so lucky. Am I right? 🙂

Highly conservative, Matt is an adamant promoter of stay-at-home moms, homeschooling, marriage and family, gun rights, pro-life ethics and personal responsibility. He’s also a diehard critic of liberal ideology, Barack Obama, feminism, abortion, public education and affirmative action. His detractors have called him “a young Rush Limbaugh.”

With so many people following his blog, I imagine some of my readers are following him, too – as am I. However, I happen to be one of his critics. And today I want to explain what I see as the major problem with his writings for someone who calls himself a Christian and, supposedly, writes for other Christians. Continue reading

Jesus wouldn’t vote for anybody

It never fails. It seems I can’t go anywhere, Internet or otherwise, without hearing some sort of political remark–despite being almost two years removed from an election season. And 95% of the time, an argument ensues between two people about whom Jesus would vote for. The liberal person states that Jesus would certainly vote Democrat, the party that promotes social justice and seeks to aid the poor. The conservative, of course, says that Jesus would vote Republican, the party that touts family values, protects the unborn and encourages personal responsibility.

Countless blog posts (and their comment sections) have been dedicated to this topic. Writers going ’round and ’round about which political party, candidate and policy is most Christian. Pastors both fundamental and progressive taking to their pulpits to make their case for Jesus supporting their favorite legislation. It’s all so very…pointless.

Everyone engaged in these discussions has apparently forgotten one critical fact: Kings don’t vote. Continue reading