The Process of Justifying Yourself

“Especially among Christians in positions of wealth and power, the idea of reading the Gospels and keeping Jesus’ commandments as stated therein has been replaced by a curious process of logic. According to this process, people first declare themselves to be followers of Christ, and then they assume that whatever they say or do merits the adjective ‘Christian’”
― Wendell Berry, Blessed are the Peacemakers: Christ’s Teachings of Love, Compassion, and Forgiveness, via Relevant Magazine.

Defending yourself against God

The farther from God that you realize yourself to be, the closer you really become. Redemption is not a strain for him, as if you were helping him out by giving him fewer things to redeem. Being one of God’s people is not a matter of finding natural virtues in yourself and displaying them instead of your natural weaknesses. Read the rest of this entry »

Non-theistic space

Another in the series of common yet undocumented heresies: let’s call this one “non-theistic space.” Astrophysicists theorize about alternate universes that we can’t touch. Non-theistic space contains the areas which God can’t control. Read the rest of this entry »

On being a doormat

God has a will and work for us to do, and it doesn’t really matter how we get treated by others along the way. But he doesn’t intend for his purpose to be replaced by someone turning us into a doormat. If I’m going to be a martyr, I want it to be because God commanded it. I have been known to turn the other cheek very belligerently: “I’m laying down my life for you because of what Jesus did for me, buster. This doesn’t mean you’ve won over him or over me.” But that’s not exactly the right attitude! Also, we can replace God’s compassion with human sympathy: “You know, if you really cared about your neighbors, you wouldn’t sleep until they had all been converted”… or until you were hospitalized with exhaustion.

The Jewish Right

Why do they call it the Christian Right when so many of its best spokespeople are Jewish? Syndicated columnist Don Feder, talk show host Dennis Prager, Rabbi Daniel Lapin, film critic Michael Medved, pornography researcher Judith Reisman: all these find common cause with conservative evangelicals.

And how about intellectuals Norman Podhoretz and Irving Kristol, or talk show host Laura Schlessinger, or journalist Charles Krauthammer? Other influential heroes of the Christian Right are Jewish converts: former abortionist and now pro-life advocate Bernard Nathanson and World Magazine editor Marvin Olasky.

And there’s another category of Jewish leaders that the Christian Right has been willing to follow: Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Lewis Libby, and Elliott Abrams. Several of them have not been convicted of any crimes, something which cannot be said for certain Christian ministers.

The moral is that right doesn’t always mean Christian. And perhaps, that Right doesn’t always mean right.

World of Farmcraft

Announcing the first massively multiplayer online role-playing game for Amish, Mennonites, and other historic peace churches:
World of Farmcraft

How to be jolted

New perspectives help us to see our faith more clearly, and they are desperately needed. I find new perspectives from two sources. One is historical: people used to act like us and it didn’t work out, or people used to not act like us and it worked better. The other is cultural: Christians in China don’t do that/have that/need that and they do better than us.

Capitol worship

As Alexandr Solzhenitsyn said, our goal is not to move society to the left or the right, but to move upwards. The state should reward good and punish evil, allowing us to live quiet and peaceful lives. Many people expect more than that from the state, perhaps because they expect less from God. God wants to supply all our needs, not man, individual or corporate. What is the difference between praying to an idol for food and praying to the government for food, except that the idol ignores your worship and the state might be eager to receive it? Neither one is your God. God’s people may not care for you, but God does.