Thursday, December 21, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone and may you have a wonderfully blessed New Year!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Looking Out for Me?

I'm not sure, but I think that God was looking out for me yesterday.

Yesterday an artic blast brought freezing rain, sleet, and snow to my part of the Lone Star state. I'm deathly afraid of driving on ice, but the day care center where I work was open so I had to go in. The drive to work turned out to be fine, with just some rain on the roads; it was the drive home that I began to dread. The weather forecast called for falling temps, then sleet and snow to start around noon and I just knew that the rain on the streets would freeze into a sheet of ice. I was terrified of having to drive on that when I got off work at 6:30 at night. But then something happened and I don't know whether to credit God or luck.

I went on my lunch break at noon and just as the forecast predicted it started sleeting. Fortunately the sleet wasn't sticking to the ground but that didn't quiet my fear. Then at 1:00 I got a call from my boss saying that one of my two babies had gone home early and the other one would be taken care of by the toddler teacher. I could go home!!!!!!!! I was overjoyed. I immediately let out a "Thank you, Jesus!", but almost as soon as I said it I began to have doubts. Did Jesus really do this for me, or was it just luck?

I certainly don't want to look a divine gift horse in the mouth, but I've had so much disappointment with God that I'm afraid of reading too much into what happened yesterday. I also don't want to read too little into it, either. I know that God knew how terrified I was of having to drive on ice, but did He really intervene to save me from that trauma? I mean, I hadn't prayed for His intervention. I was constantly worrying about the drive home and I know that God knows our minds, so did He choose of His own volition to change a situation that He knew I was scared of? I just don't know.

Some people may think that I should just credit this change of plans to God and be done with it. They may have a point. After all, the universe can't read our minds and I know I certainly didn't cause one of my babies to leave early. I couldn't have predicted, let alone arranged, that if my life depended on it. So maybe it was God and I should just accept His kind gesture and be grateful. I just wish I could know for sure, but if I could know for sure it wouldn't be faith, would it? I'm so confused. If anyone has any suggestions on how I should view what happened to me yesterday I'd love to hear them. I'd really like to know why I should attribute yesterday's change of plans to God rather then blind luck. Come on believers, help me out.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Psalm Reading

I've decided to start reading the Psalms. As I've said in one of my other posts, I don't have a relationship with God. I asked Jesus into my heart, like Christians say you should do, when I was fifteen and nothing happened. Since then, I've had a hard time feeling anything for God. I believe in God; I believe the Bible is His Word; I believe in most, if not all, of the doctrines of orthodox Christianity, but I've never felt close to God nor have I ever felt that God cared about me.

Over the years I've often wondered if part of my problem with feeling nothing for God is that I don't read the Bible. I read some of the Bible when I was a kid. I read the Torah, the Gospels, and the book of Acts. I still remember a lot of what I read, but I know that my knowledge and understanding of God and the Christian faith are sorely limited. So that's why I've decided to start reading the Psalms. I think I'll read one, maybe two, Psalms a day, depending on how long they are. If memory serves, most of the Psalms are quite short so maybe I'll be able to read even three a day. I think three is about all I can handle without getting burned out.

I hope I can get some real spirtitual understanding from my Psalm reading. One thing that kept me from reading the Bible again was the fear that it wouldn't speak to my heart. I was afraid that when I came across some verse or story extolling God's love, goodness, or power I'd get turned off because I've never experienced any of that in my life. God has always kept His distance from me, even when I was seeking Him. I'm jealous of people who have real faith in God and a real relationship with Him. Maybe reading the Bible, getting to know God through His Word, is the key to that faith and relationship. I guess I'll soon find out. Psalms, here I come!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Bleeding Bride

I' ve felt for a long time that Christians have done themselves and the culture a great disservice by abandoning the entertainment world. Yes, I know there are Christian rock bands out there but most of them seem content to confine, or allow others to confine, themselves to the Christian "ghetto" and just preach to the choir. I strongly believe that Christians need to form "secular" bands that reveal and support the Christian worldview in a more "natural" way; and I've got a killer name for such aband: Bleeding Bride.

Cool, huh? I got the name from the lyrics to an Alice Cooper song (Alice, btw, is a Christian). As you might know, the name is a reference to the proof of her virginity given by the bride on her wedding night. C'mon, you know what I'm talking about. I'm not goth, but I think Bleeding Bride would be the perfect name for an all girl, Christian goth band. I know there has to be some talented Christian goth girls out there who are longing to rock out for Jesus and bring the light of Biblical morality to the world. Feel free to use this name; it's yours. Now go get your guitars and ROCK!!!!!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Really, Rosie?

On her debut on The View on Tuesday, Sept. 12, actress, comedienne, and lesbian activist Rosie O'Donnell promptly put her foot in her mouth. During a discussion on terrorism Rosie made the startling claim that "radical Christianity is as threatening as radical Islam". And the audience applauded!

I found out about this on The O'Reilly Factor last night. I was shocked but also glad that Rosie said what she said. Her statement equating "radical" Christianity and Islam clearly reveals the anti-Christian bigotry of today's liberals, their slavish committment to political correctness, and their total lack of understanding of the conflict facing America and the West.

Modern liberals don't like Christians or Christianity. They'll vigorously deny that, but Rosie outed them on national tv. Of course, Rosie's problem with Christians stems from her lesbianism. She doesn't want anyone judging her lifestyle and Bible-believing Chrisitians are outspoken in their condemnation of homosexuality and other sins that are demanding public approval. Gays are even demanding that the Church approve of their sexuality, regardless of what the Bible actually says, and launch hateful accusations of intolerance and "homophobia" at any church that doesn't comply.

Yes, some Christians are harsh in their presentation of Biblical truth on homosexuality, and some Christians really do hate gays. Maybe Rosie had them in mind when she made her shocking statement on The View. But calling homosexuality sin, as the Bible says it is, is NOT hate. Conservative, Bible-believing Christians also believe that adultery is sin, yet no one ever accuses them of hating adulterers. It's only calling homosexuality sinful that's condemned as hate.

Rosie's devotion to normalizing her lesbianism has clouded her judgment on Christianity and America's war against militant Islam. Frighteningly, a lot of people share her warped thinking, as shown by the audience's applause, and a lot of them want to be elected. We can't afford to have such people in charge of America's survival, which is what's really at stake in this monumental conflict. It's up to Christians and Christianists to make sure they never will be.

Sorry, Rosie.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Happy Birthday, America!

Happy Birthday, America! I hope everyone had a happy, fun-filled 4th!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


I think I've finally found a name for my worldview.

I used to think of, and call myself, a Christian sympathizer. That's pretty accurate, but it's a phrase and I always wanted to have a single word to describe my beliefs. Then, when I was thinking about a new post for my blog, Planet RA!*, it hit me: Christianism. That's the word for what I and, I suspect, millions of other people, believe.

Christianism is a worldview based on, and sympathetic to, Biblical Christianity. You don't have to be an actual Christian to be a Christianist; in fact, many who call themselves Christians are totally opposed to Christianism, their Christianity being completely subject to the dominant opinions of secular culture.

Christianists, as I define us, are people who base our views on issues like abortion or gay marriage on the Judeo-Christian moral tradition. We've always been around, but now we have a name for ourselves. Many of us aren't identifiable until we actually express our views. And many of us may not even be fully aware of just where our views originate. That's because, as I stated above, many Christianists aren't Christians. Many of us are totally unchurched, but we are NOT anti-church.

We have no problem with prayer in school or "In God We Trust" on our money. We understand that America was founded by Christians, on Biblical principles, and we believe that that should be taught in public schools, regardless of how many non-Christian students may be attending, because it's historical fact. In short, we recognize, respect, and defend the Christian heritage of America (and the West), even if many of us aren't Christians.

Our moral thinking is guided by Judeo-Christian principles, which many of us "learned" through osmosis. We believe it's prefectly ok for citizens and politicians to bring those principles into the public square, to influence public policy, because those opposed to said principles are bringing their atheistic views into the public square. Christianists believe that the real debate isn't whether or not you can legislate morality but, rather, who's morality will be legislated. And we don't believe that just because a moral principle is rooted in a particular religion that it's automatically invalid for those who don't follow that religion.

In short, Christianists are tolerant of Christianity and the Judeo-Christian moral tradition. We believe they are good things and that the concerted effort to eradicate them from our culture will only bring doom. So, from the secular perspective, we stand with the much-maligned Religious Right. Some of us may be a little uncomfortable with that, since we don't all consider ourselves religious; but if given the choice between standing with the Religious Right and the Atheist Left, we will proudly choose the Religious Right, with all its flaws, because we know from history that there's nothing deadlier than atheism in power.

That's what we believe; that's what I believe. Finally there's a name for it!

*Planet RA! is now RA Folk Nation

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Teach Your People

The uproar over the movie "The Da Vinci Code", and the book on which it's based, has revealed what I think is a great weakness in modern American Christianity.

In case you don't know, "The Da Vinci Code" proposes that Jesus Christ was married to, and had a child by, Mary Magdalene, and that the bloodline of said child is the real Holy Grail. This truth was murderously suppressed, the book goes on to suggest, by the Catholic Church for 2000 years. Oh, and Christ didn't die on the cross, either, according to the book.

Apparently, many Christians who've read "The Da Vinci Code" have had their faith damaged, if not destroyed. And these aren't new Christians, but people who've been in the faith for years. That's why there've been calls to boycott the movie, and a rash of books by pastors and other firmly committed Christians trying to debunk the "Code". But how could the faith of people who've been in church many years, maybe even all their lives, be so vulnerable to a book? Because the clergy has abandoned it's responsibility to teach the people; that's the great weakness in modern Christianity.

Turn on just about any "Christian" tv program, or pick up just about any "Christian" book these days, and what you'll get is some spiritualized version of motivational speaking. It's all about how being a Christian will get you out of debt, save your marriage, put you on the fast track to success, and make you thin, to boot. There's practically nothing about the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith and the historical proof for those doctrines. Thus, the average churchgoer today can tell you the "Biblical" principles of prosperity but not a thing about the Council of Nicea. So, when a book comes along claiming that Jesus' divinity was decided by vote at said Council, under pressure from Roman emperor Constantine; that gospels telling the real story of Jesus were suppressed by the church; that Jesus didn't die on the cross; and that the Holy Grail is the sacred bloodline of Jesus' child, today's average Christian is a sitting duck for disillusionment.

It doesn't matter how long you've attended church. If you weren't taught the historical truth of Christianity you have no defence against "The Da Vinci Code" or any other attack on the
faith. And it's the responsibility of the clergy to teach their people. The loss of faith of so many Christians in the wake of Dan Brown's book can be laid directly at the feet of derelict clergymen. Preaching wealth, health, and happiness instead of teaching hard facts in support of the faith, they've shirked a duty as sacred, in God's eyes, as the role of parent. They are supposed to be God's generals, but they've sent His troops into battle with no armor and no weapons. Every soul lost because of "The Da Vinci Code" will be laid at their doorstep. I wonder how many of them take that seriously, or even realize it.

Hopefully, some clergy will see the folly of their ways and repent. Maybe they're repenting already, and showing it by writing those debunking books mentioned above. If the church is going to keep true Christianity intact, this has to happen. May God let it.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Real Religious Hypocrites

If there's one thing most people, even unbelievers, know about Jesus it's that He was fiercely opposed to hypocrisy and hypocrites. He condemned the religious leaders of His day for little else. Jesus famously stated that prostitutes and other sinners would get into heaven before the pious Pharisees and Saducees precisely because they admitted their spiritual brokenness and need for a Saviour, something the sanctimonous rabbis wouldn't do.

Many people today embrace Jesus' anti-hypocrisy attitude, often using it just as He did--as a weapon to beat down the self-righteous. But I wonder if we've gone a little astray in our understanding of hypocrisy and our reaction to it.

Most of us think we know a hypocrite when we see one. It's the almost stereotypical figure of the pious churchgoer or preacher who thunders against other people's sins while wallowing up to his ears in his own. Fallen televangelists Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Baker are classic examples of this type of hypocrite. But there's another type of hypocrite that I think is far worse than the "ordinary" kind; a type that's just as numerous but not nearly as exposed and condemned. I call this type of hypocrite a "wolf-in-sheep" hypocrite, or a WISH.

And what, precisely, is a WISH? The name comes from Jesus' reference to false teachers as wolves in sheep's clothing, and that tells us what a wolf-in-sheep hypocrite is: a false teacher. Someone who claims to be a Christian but rejects the fundamental doctrines of the faith, even the Bible itself, and teaches others to do so, too. The best example of a WISH I know of is Bishop John Shelby Spong.

Spong is an Episcopal bishop who rejects so much of Christian teaching that you wonder why he bothers calling himself a Christian. But that's the m.o. of WISHes. They reject their faith yet demand that they still be viewed as believers. Their favorite weapon against those who dare to expose their spiritual treason is to accuse them of narrowmindedness and intolerance. Far more than God, the WISH worships modernity and insists that, to be relevant, the Church must change with the times, no matter how anti-Christian the times become. The spirit of the age, not the Holy Spirit, informs the WISH's religious beliefs.

Of course, the WISH rejects the authority of the Bible. He might vigorously deny that, and point to his use of Scripture in support of some "just" cause. But if you look closely at his use of the Bible, you'll find that the only verses he accepts as authoritative are those that agree with his personal views. All other verses he ignores or reinterprets to fit his own or the world's agenda.

WISHes aren't limited to Christianity. Other religions have them, too. Irshad Manji, author of the interesting book "The Trouble with Islam", is a Muslim WISH. In her book, Ms. Manji lobs criticism after criticism at her faith, finding Islam's teachings on women and homosexuality particularly objectionable. She rejects, of course, the divine inspiration and authority of the Koran yet, for reasons that never come clear, still calls herself a Muslim! Why?!

We can also ask John Shelby Spong and all the other Christian WISHes, why? If you don't believe the Bible, if you just can't accept certain Church doctrines, if you're not even sure there is a God, why do you persist in calling yourselves Christians ( or Muslims, Bhuddists, etc.)? Why don't you just do the only intellectually and spirtitually honest thing and leave the faith? Is it that you see yourselves as enlightened fifth columnists, working to bring progressive change to the faith? Or are you just cynical, playing at Christianity just to get along with your family, or co-workers, or friends?

Whatever the reason wolf-in-sheep hypocrites stay in the church (or mosque, or synagogue, or temple) believers need to be aware of them so they can beware of them. Their leaven is more destructive to Christianity--to any faith--than all the exploits of all the ordinary hypocrites combined. Believers must heed Jesus' advice: "Be wise as serpents and gentle as doves." Know what's going on in your congregations, and don't make this WISH.

Friday, May 12, 2006

The Polygamy Question

Below is a reprint of a post I originally wrote on my first blog, PoorGrrl Zone, on October 2, 2005. In light of the recent addition of fugitive Mormon polygamist Warren Jeffs to the FBI's 10 Most Wanted List I thought it would be timely to add this post to my "Christian" blog and see what my readers might think of it. Enjoy (and think!).

In the emotional debate over [legalizing] gay marriage traditionalists often base most of their objection to it on the fear that such a move will lead to the legalization of other non-traditional sexual unions, most notably polygamous unions. Of course, traditionalists have a very strong point; if society says yes to gay marriage, how can it say no to any other non-traditional marriage? However, tradtitionalists are on shaky ground placing polygamy under the same immorality umbrella as homosexuality, and the very Bible they use to oppose homosexuality proves it.

Traditionalists are right when they say that the Bible has given Western civilization its definition of marriage. And they are right to defend that definition. What they don't realize, [though], is that their definition of "traditional" marriage isn't as Biblical as they think. To put it bluntly, the Bible does NOT oppose polygamy, and the defenders of Biblical marriage need to know that.

Most people just assume that the Bible condemns polygamy. They base their view of polygamy almost exclusively on media reports of abusive polygamous Mormons and conclude, rightly, that the Bible is against such abuse. But being against abusive polygamous marriage isn't the same thing as being being against polygamy itself. There are abusive monogamous marriages, but opposing...such marriages doesn't mean opposing monogamy. So, traditionalists and others who think the Bible teaches that polygamy is immoral need to stop making media-based assumptions and read what the Bible actually says.

And what does the Bible say?

Even a cursory glance at the Good Book reveals that polygamy was alright with God. Some of the Patriarchs, for instance, had multiple wives. Abraham had a wife, Sarah, and a concubine, Hagar. His grandson, Jacob, had two wives and two concubines. God didn't object to these arrangements. Later, Moses had two wives, the Midianite woman Zipporah, and a Cushite woman. In the Mosaic Law God had ample opportunity to condemn polygamy, but He didn't. He regulated polygamy instead, forbiding men to marry sisters or a woman and her daughter.

Perhaps the best proof that the God of the Bible accepts polygamy is King David. We all know that David killed Goliath, but most people don't know that David was a lusty fellow. He had at least three wives before he became king of Israel and a lot more after he became king, all given to him by God! That's right. God gave David multiple wives. Nathan the prophet reminds David of that when he condemns him for murdering Uriah to take his wife, Bathsheba. So, if polygamy is a sin, as most traditionalists believe, then God committed sin by giving David many wives.

But what about Solomon? Didn't God condemn him for taking many wives? No. God condemned Solomon for taking many foreign wives, women who worshipped idols and led Solomon to worship them, too. It was idolatry, not polygamy, that drove God away from Solomon.

There are other examples of God accepting polygamy. Gideon, whom God used to defeat the Midianites in the time of the Judges, had 70 sons with his wives and concubines. The prophet Samuel, whose mother was Hannah, was born into a polygamous family. All of these men--Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Gideon, Samuel, David, Solomon--were considered righteous by God, even though they practiced polygamy or were born into it. And they weren't the only ones.

So, what are traditionalists to do? Almost their whole argument against [legalizing] gay marriage is that it violates the Biblical standard of marriage that America, and Western civilization, has always followed. But now we know that the Biblical standard of marriage includes polygamy. Traditionalists have some hard thinking to do. They have to admit that, when it comes to marriage, the "traditional values" they stand for are NOT the Bible's values. They then have to ask themselves if they're prepared to do the only honest thing: change their morality to conform to the Bible, or reject the Bible and cling to their tradition. If they really love God and His Word, the choice is obvious.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Book Review: Serenity

I just finished reading book one in a new Christian manga series titled Serenity. The manga is about a troubled girl named Serenity who becomes the "project" of the kids in the Prayer Club at her new high school. The first book in the manga series is titled "Bad Girl in Town".

I heard of the Serenity manga a while ago. It was featured in the Family Christian Stores (FCS) sales catalog that I subscribe to. In fact, I bought "Bad Girl in Town" on sale at FCS, and I'm glad I bought it on sale. The manga, at least book one, was just ok.

I love anime and watch a lot of it on tv, though I've never read a manga, so I had high expectations for Serenity. The drawing was excellent. It really looked like a top-notch secular manga. Anyone who loves anime and/or manga will love the look of Serenity. The story though, is flat.

I think the main problem with the manga is that it's too self-conscious. The authors are really trying hard to show that Christians can be cool. The Christian kids use the latest slang and dress quite fashionably, but it's just not believable. The book is a Christian version of manga and it reads like it. The authors definitely weren't following C. S. Lewis' advice for Christian authors to keep their Christian worldview latent.

Of course, Christian kids may very well need fiction that's openly geared towards them, and maybe the authors of the Serenity series are just trying to preach to the choir. If they are, they succeeded; but if they're trying to reach a larger audience I think they'll have an uphill battle. As I said in a previous post, most non-Christians aren't going to buy entertainment that's openly Christian. I can't see too many non-Christian parents buying the Serenity series for their kids.

But even if the manga wasn't openly Christian it still has problems. I know I shouldn't judge a whole series based on one book, but the first book is what makes you want to read more and I don't care if I read more of Serenity or not.

The series is written, I assume, for a teen and older pre-teen audience, but reading it as an adult was tiresome. The character development was light. The action was light. The dialogue was light. Everything was light! If I was a teen-ager reading this book I'd be a little insulted by the insinuation that I couldn't handled substantive fiction. After all, it is possible to write intelligent, substantive fiction for kids, if you're talented enough. Or maybe the authors suffer from the "Christian fiction" syndrome in which it's just assumed that Christians want, and can handle, only fluff. Whatever the authors' issues, they'd better come up with some more edgy stuff if they want Serenity to last through her senior year.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Christians and PETA

Below is a reprint of a post I originally wrote on Sept. 27, 2005 for my first blog, PoorGrrl Zone. Think and enjoy.

Should Christians be involved with PETA? I hadn't thought much about that until I picked up the current issue of HM: The Hard Music Magazine (it's a magazine for the Christian hard music scene, for those not in the know).

HM has a new feature called Causes. In each issue, a cause is reviewed and readers are asked to find something good in it for 60 days, until the next issue comes out. This month's cause is PETA, and a couple of the bands--or band members--featured in the issue are PETA supporters. Stretch Arm Strong and Emery are two of the bands that come to mind. I'm not sure how I feel about this.

I like animals. I'd never intentionally hurt one, and I don't think there's anything wrong with Christians caring about them. However, PETA carries the idea of caring about animals to a level I feel no Bible-believing Christian can accept. PETA believes that animals are equal to humans, that they have the same intrinsic value; you know, the whole "a rat is a pig is a boy" idea. Consequently, PETA people believe that harming or killing animals, for any reason, is as morally wrong as harming or killing people; and on the other side, NOT harming or killing animals is as compassionate as not harming or killing people. The cornerstone of PETA's philosophy is that kindness to animals is the epitome of morality and compassion. Bible-believing Christians simply can't believe this.

First, the Bible, in the very first chapters of its very book, clearly establishes Man's superiority over the animals. Man, and Man alone, is created in God's image. Immediately afterwards, he's given dominion over the animals. The God of the Bible is no animal rights activist. In fact, He's the first animal killer, killing a beast to make--gasp!--fur clothes for Adam and Eve after they were expelled from the Garden of Eden. It only gets worse for the Christian PETA fan.

While vegetarianism seems to have been the original plan for Man's diet, meat is allowed after the Flood. In fact, meat eating was probably going on before the Flood because animal sacrifice was going on before the Flood. Remember the rivalry between Cain and Abel? Cain was jealous because God rejected his vegetable offering but accepted Abel's animal sacrifice. Surely, if pre-Flood people killed animals to sacrifice to God it's logical to assume that they ate them, too. And God didn't have a single problem with it.

Thousands of years later, in the time of Moses, God still hadn't seen the PETA light. In the Mosaic Law, He forbade the Jews to eat certain animals but not all animals, and He required animal sacrifice to cover their sins. Yes, the Bible praises kindness to animals here and there, but it's never the centerpiece of its morality. The Bible is concerned with Man's relationship to God and with Man's humanity, or lack thereof, toward his fellow Man.

But that's the Old Testament, some Christians will argue. Surely the New Testament is more enlightened and loving. Not so. Whatever PETA activists claim Jesus said about eating meat and the like, the Bible shows He didn't mind it at all. In fact, to get the Jesus they want, PETA folks go to extrabiblical sources which have no authority for the orthodox Christian. The Bible is the Christian's only authority for what Jesus did, said, liked, and disliked; and the Bible never records Him saying or doing anything against eating meat, wearing fur, etc. Indeed, in one of His sermons Jesus reminds His audience that if God will take care of the birds, He will also take care of them because they are worth more than the birds. Shocking! Jesus actually said people are worth more than animals?! Yep. Get over it.

Some people might have a hard time with this because they've bought into PETA's claim that you must believe in animal rights to be moral. Finding out that Jesus didn't believe in animal rights might seriously shake their faith in Him. These people need to understand that Jesus's morality--the whole Bible's morality--is above PETA's. Think about it.

PETA asserts that it's morally wrong to kill animals, even if it's done painlessly, because all life is sacred; yet how many PETA activists fought for the life of Terry Schiavo? If all life is sacred, doesn't that "all" include disabled human beings? If it's wrong to painlessly kill animals, shouldn't it also be wrong to painlessly kill disabled people? And what about abortion? Unborn babies are living creatures. Shouldn't they be protected? PETA activists can't use the "they're not human life" argument to justify abortion because they don't think life has to be human to have value. Their lives revolve around protecting nonhuman life. So, if unborn babies really are subhuman that's all the more reason why every PETA activist should be pro-life.

Of course, most PETA activists aren't pro-life. In fact, humans are the only life form whose demise doesn't offend them. So Bible-believing Christians should think hard before subscribing to PETA's moral worldview. It's contradictory, it devalues human life in the name of uplifting animal life, and it doesn't make you a good person. Remember, Adolph Hitler was a vegetarian; Jesus wasn't.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

A Married Christ?

Ask conservative Christians how they feel about marriage and they'll tell you it's a good thing. More than that, it's a sacred thing, invented by God Himself in the Garden of Eden. That's why such Christians are fighting tooth and nail against the legalization of gay marriage. Such a move, they fear, would destroy the very meaning of the God-ordained institution and must be opposed at all costs. Yet, if you ask these same marriage-devoted, conservative Christians if Jesus was or could've possibly been married, they'll react as if marriage was one of the seven deadly sins.

Jesus married?! It's blasphemy to even suggest such a thing! You're not a true Christian! Liberals have taken over the church! There's no way Christ was married!

Why do people who claim to believe that marriage is a good, even sacred, thing react so negatively to any suggestion that Jesus might've been wed? In a word, sex.

Despite the Bible's positive view of sex, most conservative Christians have mixed feelings about it, to say the least. For centuries, the orthodox Christian teaching has been that Jesus was fully God and fully man. To believe otherwise put you in the heresy camp, yet most orthodox Christians today are uncomfortable with a Jesus so human that He could've had--gasp!--sexual feelings. But let's think about this rationally.

In the Bible God never calls sex bad. He restricts sex to men and women in marriage and harshly condemns sex outside of that relationship, but He never calls sex itself evil. All you have to do is read the Song of Solomon to see how approving of sex, in it's right place, God is. So, if God didn't think sex was intrinsically evil, and if Jesus was God incarnate, then it stands to reason that Jesus also didn't object to sex itself. Thus, if Jesus was married there would've been nothing sinful about it.

But the Bible doesn't say Jesus was married, some might argue, so that proves He wasn't. No, it doesn't. All that proves is that the Bible doesn't say Jesus was married. The Good Book also doesn't say that Jesus wasn't married. So if you're going to argue from silence, you have to admit that said silence gives as much "proof" to the other side as it does to your own.

Some Christians might reject a married Christ as a way to fight against neo-Gnostic attacks on the Christian faith like the ones in the bestselling novel The Da Vinci Code. I understand that view, but the best why to fight attacks on the faith is with reason and truth. And the truth is that we just don't know the marital status of Christ. The Bible doesn't tell us, and maybe it doesn't because that information is irrelevant to Christ's mission and our response to it. Think about it: if Jesus was married, and even had children, what difference would that make to His death and resurrection? None at all. Sure, some people may be uncomfortable at the thought that there could be physical descendants of Jesus living today but you know what, there already are descendants of Jesus living today! They are the descendants of His brothers and sisters. So Jesus' bloodline is alive on earth right now, if only indirectly.

All and all, I think any Christian who really believes that marriage is a good and sacred thing shouldn't feel upset at any suggestion or hint that Jesus might've been married. Afer all, if Jesus was married, and if He really was God, then He was simply partaking of the holy sacrament He Himself ordained.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother?

I was watching the 700 Club last night and Pat Robertson answered a question from a woman who's mother had abandoned her and her siblings when they were children. The mother was now popping in and out of her children's lives every few years, usually to ask for money. The woman's question was did she have to honor such a mother; Mr. Robertson said yes. I'm not comfortable with that answer.

I know that the Bible commands us to honor our parents. I understand the need for that commandment, but sometimes I think people think that gives parents the right to treat their children any way they chose without consequence. Pat Robertson seems to fall into that category. No, Mr. Robertson has never advocated child abuse, and he has strongly counselled abuse victims not to have any contact with unrepentant parents. Still, he seems to believe that children generally don't have the right to hold their parents accountable for any negative or even destructive thing the parents have done to them. Mr. Robertson's answers always seem to include the mantra, "She/he is the only mother/father you've got", the implication being that any wrong they've done or are still doing needs to be overlooked by the child(ren). I think that's going too far.

The commandment to honor one's parents isn't given in a vacuum. There are many other commandments people are to obey, and no where in His Word does God say that these commandments don't apply between parent and child. Yes, parents are due a certain amout of respect simply by being parents. None of us would be here if our parents hadn't decided to have us and care for us in our youngest years. Yet, parents also owe respect to their children because the children are not just their children but also their fellow human beings. Thus, all the commandments governing how we must treat our fellow man apply to parents as they bring up their children.

For example, the second commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself. In the New Testament Jesus showed that "neighbor" meant any human being, especially one in need. Doesn't "neighbor", then, include one's children? And if parents abuse their children, abandon them, manipulate them, use them for selfish gain, haven't they violated the second commandent? And shouldn't such parents expect a dip in the honor they receive from their children?

Or what about the commandment not to have any gods before God? If we tell children to give their parents blind, unquestioning honor, and the obedience that goes along with it, are we not telling them to treat their parents like little gods? Are we not making them guilty of idolatry?

We are told in the Bible to honor and obey governmental authority, but that commandment isn't absolute, even in the New Testament. Cruel, unjust governments or laws are disobeyed with God's approval several times in the Bible. Why do we think it's any different with cruel, unjust parents? It's not. Children are not obligated to honor or obey abusive, cruel parents. And for the parents who aren't abusive, children do have the right to hold them accountable for the wrong things they may have done in the process of bringing them up. After all, the consequences that destructive or negligent acts can have on a person don't vanish just because the perpetrators of the acts were his parents.

Parents must realize that they are accoutable before God to treat their children as the fellow human beings they are. If they do that, they will reap a bounty of honor in this life and the next. That's how Mr. Robertson should answer the next question he gets about what's due deadbeat parents.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Clean Up the Airwaves?

This past Sunday I watched Dr. D. James Kennedy's tv show. Dr. Kennedy is one of my favorite tv preachers, but he ended Sunday's show with something I think is a waste of time: he called on Christians to sigh a petition to clean up the airwaves.

At first glance cleaning up the airwaves sounds like a good idea. There's plenty of filth and anti-Christian bigotry on tv; no one with a brain can deny that. But lauching yet another campaign to "clean up the airwaves" will fail, like all such campaigns have failed.

I can remember Christians complaining about the content of movies and tv shows way back in the '70's. Their complaints were exactly like they are today. Too much sex and violence. Christians attacked Hollywood constantly and, sometimes, bitterly. And what was the result? More sex and violence! That's right. All the criticizing and condemning didn't change a thing, except to make it worse. There's more sex, violence, profanity, and way more occultism in today's movies and tv shows than there were 30 years ago. Yet Christians keep complaining and using the same old failed methods to change things. Can you say "insanity"?*

I know Christians mean well. I'm also tired of all the filth, anti-Christian bigotry, and occultism in today's entertainment. I'm tired of the way traditional values and the people who hold them are mocked, ridiculed, and/or demonized by Hollywood, but Christians have got to find another, better way of fighting back. Indeed, Christians need to understand that they need to fight back and not just whine about this huge problem. For centuries Christians owned the arts in Western civilization. The West's greatest music, literature, architecture, and paintings were inspired by the Bible and filled with Christian themes. Today's Christians need to reclaim that heritage and use it against Hollywood's forces of darkness. But they must be smart about it.

Chuck Colson once wrote that Christians should criticize by creating, yet too often today's Christian artists seek only to create the Christian version of some aspect of secular entertainment. So we have Christian rock music, Christian video games, Christian comic books, Christian romance novels, etc. That's ok if you only want to preach to the choir, but the goal of Christian artists should be to reach the whole of society; that's the only way to turn back the tide of liberal paganism and re-establish the Judeo-Christian worldview as the dominant worldview in our culture.

C. S. Lewis, the author of "The Chronicles of Narnia", told Christians how to reach society, and not just the church, throught art. Lewis wrote that the world didn't need more books from Christians about Christianity, but more books from Christians about a variety of subjects in which the Christian worldview was latent. The Narnia books are a prime example of what Lewis was talking about. Christians need to be writing books, making movies, and designing video games in which their Christian ideas reveal themselves naturally through the words and actions of the characters. No character in such books, movies, or video games has to be openly Christian for the Christian worldview to be effectively and positively communicated. And blending the Christian worldview into the background won't turn off non-Christian people. After all, most non-Christians aren't going to buy a book or see a movie that's openly Christian, especially if it's even remotely evangelical in tone.

So if Dr. D. James Kennedy wants to clean up the airwaves he should have his church offer classes in creative writing or film making and stop the petition signing. Criticize, and convert, by creating. Hollywood understands that principle; it's time God's people understood it, too.

*One definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expect differents results.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Once Saved, Always Saved?

One of the things that has always bothered me about Christianity is the doctrine of once saved, always saved. Simply put, this doctrine claims that once you sincerely say the sinners' prayer and accept Jesus into your heart you're permanently saved; nothing you do from then on can unsave you.

On the surface, this idea sounds good; it sure makes God appear loving. He places no demands on our behaviour, all He's looking for is an emotional acknowledgement of His Son's sacrifice. Great! The problem for me is it's just too easy.

But the Gospel is that easy, Christians will say. It's man-made traditions that have complicated it. Ok, fine. But where does behaviour or, dare I say it, works fit in? The problem is this: if we're saved forever once we say the sinners' prayer, why not live any way we want to afterwards?

Modern Christians are constantly condemning the rampant sin in today's society. Yet they seem totally blind to how the "once save, always saved" doctrine undermines their anti-sin struggle. If our salvation can't be lost by anything we do, then there's no reason not to do anything we want once we're saved. Christians will counter that we're saved from sin, not to sin. But if that's true, then doesn't salvation obligate us not to sin? And if that's true, then doesn't willful, unrepentant sin cancel our salvation? And if such sin doesn't cancel our salvation then, I ask again, why not sin boldly after we're saved?

Some Christians might say that after salvation we should behave in certain ways, i.e. not sin, because our behaviour is the outward sign of our salvation to a non-believing world. Unbelievers love to accuse Christians of hypocrisy and challenge them by pointing to all the bad things done in Christ's name. Consequently, Christians must strive to bring honor to Christ's name by living as He did when He was on earth. So, not sinning is about protecting Christ's name, not about protecting our salvation. I can buy that to a certain extent, but it still seems to me that behaviour--works--should play a part in keeping, if not receiving, salvation.

Suppose someone sincerely says the sinners' prayer and accepts Jesus into his heart. For several years after that he lives a Christian life. Then, bad things start happening to him. His business goes bust; his wife leaves him; his child gets cancer. All of this causes him to question God and to start living less and less like a Christian. Finally, he gives up on God completely and commits to living however he wants to, regardless of how sinful it may be. He's still living that way when he dies. Am I to believe that this person will go to heaven just because, years earlier, he gave his life to Christ? The "once saved, always saved" doctrine says he will. My heart says he won't.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Back Home

Hello everyone! Well, I moved over the week-end. My brother and a friend from church helped me. I've moved in with my Mom so I can get caught up on my bills without having to worry abut another rent payment. My brother and my friend, Henry, helped move my furniture then I moved the "little" stuff myself. That "little" stuff really added up! It took me two and a half days to get it all in storage. Fortunately, it all fit in the storage unit I rented so I didn't have to rent two units. I missed Sunday school this past Sunday because I was moving all that "little" stuff. I told Henry that I probably wouldn't be there and he said he understood (I'm attending Henry's class). I'm planning on going to Sunday school this coming Sunday. I really missed it last Sunday,which is sort of strange considering I haven't been to Sunday school in about six years and didn't feel like I was missing anything, but I now know I was. God apparently wants me to be with real believers because I sure didn't expect to feel like this. I hope I won't be disappointed. I will let you know how it turns out.

Thursday, February 02, 2006


Hello everyone! Just wanted to let you know that you might not hear from me for a few days or longer. I'm moving and I'm using all of my spare time to pack. I'm not sure where I'm going. I thought I was going to move into an apartment complex near my job, but it only has a year's lease. I don't want to be stuck in a lease for that long plus, I can only get a one bedroom apartment which would mean most of my furniture would have to go into storage. I don't have the money for that kind of storage! Please pray that I find the right new place to live, and that I find it soon! Thanks!

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Sunday School

Today I went to Sunday school and I'm glad I did. I was invited by my friends Tasha and Henry; Henry normally teaches the class I attended but had this Sunday off. Tasha and Henry are friends I first met at Willow Creek Baptist Church but lost contact with when I stopped going to church about five years ago. I bumped into them at the library about six months ago and found out that they still have the same e-mail address so I e-mailed them occasionally and about two weeks ago they invited me to the Sunday school class.

I'm really glad I went to Sunday school today. Everyone there was really nice and I felt a real spirituality in the room. I'm beginning to think that my divine discontent may be due to the fact that I'm not putting myself in a spiritual environment. It was uplifting to be around people who have a relationship with Christ and real faith. I haven't felt such a spiritual charge since I attended a bar mitzvah about seven years. The atmosphere in the synagouge was so reverential and spiritual--despite it being a Reform synagogue--that I seriously considered converting to Judaism. The only thing that stopped me was the doctrine, hammered into me in church, that Jesus was the only way to heaven. I think if I didn't believe that doctrine I'd be Jewish now!

Anyway, today really opened my eyes. I'm going back to Sunday school next week. I need to feed my soul if it's going to be healthy and grow. I'm also hoping to get answers to at least some of my questions. The fact that you can ask questions in Sunday school and have deep discussions about specific issues is why I've always liked it better than church. I've never felt a spiritual charge in church. Oh, I've heard some good sermons, but I always felt like I was being preached at rather than preached to. Needless to say, I didn't stay for the church service today and I won't next Sunday, either. To me, Sunday school is my church service. A lot of folks will disagree with me, but if the purpose of a church service is to teach, uplift, and strengthen people's faith then Sunday school is church because it did all that for me today. I can't wait to get more next week.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

When God Doesn't Show Up

As I've always understood it, the whole point of Christianity is to be saved; that's everything. And the way to be saved, according to all the Christian books I've read and tv shows I've watched, is to ask Jesus into your heart and accept Him as your lord and saviour. But what if you do that and Jesus doesn't show up?

That happened to me when I was a teenager. Back then I had total faith in God and the Bible. If the Bible said it, I believed it. I wanted to be right with God. I had heard at church that all you had to do to be saved was say the sinner's prayer, believe it with all your heart and--presto!--you were "in" with God. So I did that when I was about 15, and nothing happened. I experienced none of the peace, love, joy, or presence of God that was in all the conversion stories I'd heard. I was convinced I'd done something wrong so, a short time later, I asked Jesus into my heart again, and again nothing happened. I felt nothing from God, and no one has ever been able to tell me why. Looking back, I feel that was the beginning of my divine discontent.

Trying to figure out why God ignored me, why He didn't show up, has been very depressing. It's affected my whole spiritual life. My faith has been all but destroyed. How can I have faith when I prayed the most vital prayer you can pray, trusting God totally, and He was a no-show? I don't trust God now; I can't. I'd like to; I've struggled to. I've prayed to God many, many times since that Big Let Down so many years ago and I can count on one hand, with fingers left over, the number of times I believe He answered me. The Bible says that without faith you can't please God, but I know from bitter personal experience that you can't please Him with faith, either.

Please understand. I'm not complaining about God not giving me a car or something trivial like that. I'm talking about my eternal destiny. Over and over again the Bible promises that if you ask God for anything with faith, He'll answer you. I was acting on that promise when I asked Jesus to save me and all I got was cold silence. Some might say that I'm putting too much weight on the conversion experiences of others and that just because a lot of people have an actual spiritual experience when they give their lives to Christ that doesn't mean everyone will. True. But if you feel no differently after saying the sinner's prayer, if you have no experience of any kind, how do you know you're saved? Surely, Christ coming into your heart should make you feel something!

But that's where real faith comes into play, some will say. Faith is not feeling. Faith is believing God's promises whether or not you feel anything or see any evidence for them. I once heard it described as being similar to getting on an elevator. When you get on an elevator, you know that you'll get to the floor you want simply by pushing a button, regardless of how you feel. Your feelings don't make the elevator go up or down, pushing the button does. Likewise, feelings don't get your prayers answered, faith does.

Ok, so faith isn't a feeling. Why then does Christian tv only show the emotional stories of salvation? I mean, did you ever hear someone on the 700 Club or TBN say, "Yes, I prayed the sinner's prayer and I feel just as empty as did I before, but I know I'm saved." NO! The testimonies you hear are always full of emotion, with people crying and going on and on about how Jesus delivered them from this or that sin, or healed them, or brought them prosperity, etc. So excuse me for thinking that asking Jesus into my heart meant He'd actually show up.

Sorry, I didn't mean to get testy, it's just that this really bothers me. If my prayer to be saved was rejected then that means I'm going to hell, according to Christian doctrine. And I don't have the faith to ask God again; His silence has seen to that. So I need some real help to figure this out. I'm willing to listen to what anyone has to say.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

A "Good" God

By now everyone's heard of Pat Robertson's comments about Ariel Sharon and the uproar they caused. For those who don't know, Mr. Robertson quoted the book of Joel where it says God has enmity against those who divide His land, and implied that Mr. Sharon's stroke might've been divine judgment. I actually saw the episode of The 700 Club, Mr. Robertson's tv show, where he made his remarks and I know they were misconstrued, perhaps deliberately so, by the media. What really fascinated me though, was why people reacted so viscerally to what Mr. Robertson said, or what they thought he said. I think I have an answer. People don't want a just God; they want a "good" one.

Most people don't want a God who has standards and holds people accountable for breaking them. This is true even of most self-identified conservative/evangelical Christians. I heard a few of them on Bill O'Reilly's radio show the day after Mr. Robertson made his statement. They expressed outrage and/or embarrassment over the remarks and were keen to distance themselves from them. "My God is a good God" was the general attitude of these Christians, "good" apparently meaning that God doesn't punish people or even have rules the breaking of which could lead to punishment. But if that's the kind of God they worship, they don't worship the God of the Bible.

The God of the Bible is good, but He also has commandments and moral absolutes. Our postmodern culture rejects moral absolutes in favor of moral relativism in which nothing is really wrong. It seems many Christians have absorbed that postmodern spirit but rather than admit it try to "Christianize" it by saying that God is "good", i.e. permissive and non-judgmental. Consequently, He would not have punished Ariel Sharon with a stroke because He doesn't have a standard of right and wrong. It's utterly astounding to me that people can call themselves Christians and read the Bible yet totally miss that the God thereof judges people and nations. What do they think the Flood, or the plagues on Egypt, were all about if not judgment for wickedness?

But, comes the usual protest, I don't want to know, let alone worship, a God who could flood an entire civilization or kill a nation's first born. That's cruel! So, they want a "good" God who lets evil reign unchallenged. Another favorite complaint, usually lodged by atheists, is that God can't exist or be good when there's so much evil in the world. God has to do something about evil before I'll believe in Him, these people say. But when God does do something about evil they call Him cruel! Sadly, confusingly, many Christians are in this camp. These people, believers and unbelievers alike, want to have their divine cake and eat it, too. They want a "good" God who, by their definition, can't judge people or intervene in human affairs to punish evil, yet they demand "doing something about evil" as proof that God exists! Talk about a catch 22.

I think a lot of people who claim to be Christians need to be honest with themselves about what they really believe and then realize they have to make a choice. They can have their "good" God who smiles indulgently at everything they do, or they can have the Biblical God, who doesn't. They can't have both. Lets hope they choose the true one.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Christian Heritage Clubs

Hi everyone! Again, I apologize for not posting for a while. My dsl was down even though my acount was paid in full and it took a while to get it back up. It's up now, and I mean to keep it that way!

I was thinking about my last post while I was offline. I think I have an idea for Christian kids to really be salt and light in the public schools if their parents insist on keeping them there; it's called Christian heritage clubs (CHC). Actually, I've been thinking about this idea for a while, years in fact. The basic idea is like a Bible club only better, much better.

I don't know about you, but the Bible club in my high school was nothing to write home about. The kids in it were nice and sincere, but unless you were invited to their before-school prayer meeting, you wouldn't have known the Bible club existed. That's not what I envision a Christian heritage club to be. No, CHC's are to be active, vibrant, even controversial participants in public school life.

These clubs are to teach other students, and even the teachers, the truth about the Christian heritage of America and Western civilization. As such, they will necessarily be adversaries to the secular humanist orthodoxy controlling public education. The kids in CHC's will have to be committed Christians, strong in their faith and KNOWING the history thereof. They'll also have to be committed Americans and Westerners and well versed in the pivotal role Christianity played in the development of both. Of course, they won't get that knowledge in public schools nor, sadly, will most of them get it from their parents or churches. They'll have to be knowledge go-getters combing the library and the 'net for the truth themselves. Once they've found the truth they can start their CHC. And then what? Lots of things.

A CHC could publish a newsletter detailing America's Godly heritage. The newsletter could tie in with a holiday or a topic in class. For instance, a November newsletter could disspell the myth that the Pilgrims gave thanks to the Indians, and not God, on the first Thanksgiving. Or if a history class was studying the Crusades, a CHC newsletter could give a pro-Christian perspective on those conflicts. Getting such an unpc, unmulticultural newsletter approved for distribution on public school grounds might be hard, but the resulting publicity could be good for the club.

Other things CHC's could do are: print t-shirts promoting the club; hold debates with members of opposing clubs, like a gay rights club; invite Christian/conservative speakers to the school; hold special events on days that are important in the history of America and/or the West, but which go unnoticed by the schools ( for instance, have a Charles Martel Day on Oct. 10, the day the Frankish king defeated invading Muslims in the Battle of Tours in 732 AD); hold a pro-Christian/pro-family short story contest, then publish the winning story in the newsletter; always wear red, white, and blue on 9/11. These ideas are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.
CHC'ers should get wildly creative in what they do. The possibilites are endless!

I hope this post will inspire the creation of CHC's all over America and even the world. If Christian parents really want and expect their kids to be salt and light in the public schools, then they should get them started on CHC's right away. I think that'll be a great way to take the bushel off of the lamp and get the salt out of the shaker.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Sunshine Christians

First, Happy New Year to everyone! I hope 2006 will be better for, and bring much needed blessings to, all of us.

Second, I apologize for not posting in such a long time. My dsl was down due to lack of money and I just got it back up Friday. I'm happy to be posting regularly again and ask for your prayers that I'll have the money to pay the dsl bill next month!

I was thinking about a lot of things while I couldn't post. Since it was Christmas time the "War on Christmas" controversy took center stage in my thoughts. I listened to talk radio and heard all the horror stories about retailers not saying merry Christmas, the usual suspects criticizing Nativity scenes, and public schools banning the colors red and green because they were too Christmasy. Of all these stories, the ones about public schools interested me the most because they aggravated a problem I've had for a long time with Christians about their attitude toward public education.

I don't disagree with Christians' criticism of the public schools. They really do seem to have become seminaries of secular humanism, and not just at Christmas time. The problem I have is with Christians' unwillingness to really do anything about the situation. They love to complain about the spiritual, moral, and academic decay of public education yet the vast majority of Christian parents send their kids to--you guessed it!--public schools. I don't get it. If public schools are as toxic as many Christians say they are, why do so many of those same believers not take their kids out?

A few years ago, a couple of men whose names I can't remember introduced a resolution at the Southern Baptists' Convention calling on Christians to remove their children from public schools. If memory serves, they actually said that it was Christian parents' duty to do so. The resolution was defeated. One of the reasons given for the defeat was that abandoning the public schools would be too "radical", and make Christians look like the intolerant fanatics humanists already believe them to be. It was felt that Christians shouldn't play into the stereotype. Another reason for the defeat was the idea that Christians had to be salt and light in school. I found both of these reasons to be cop outs.

Christians are supposed to follow Christ, not the world. Pandering to the prejudices of Christ haters is not "living the Christian life". While Christians shouldn't be different from the world just for difference's sake, they should willingly depart from worldy ways as much as following Christ dictates. Certainly this should be so when it comes to the spiritual and moral well-being of their children. But that doesn't appear to be the case. Apparently, many of the faithful are sunshine Christians, loving their salvation but totally unwilling to sacrifice for it. That explains the pandering and the "salt and light" theory of public school attendance. Rather than admit that they aren't willing to make the lifestyle changes they'd have to make to take their kids out of public schools, many Christian parents say their kids are being salt and light in those schools. What little morality still exists in state schools, they argue, would vanish if their kids left. Oh how holy that sounds! Never mind that such rhetoric allows these people to claim the label Christian while living lives indistinguishable from the unbelieving world.

Now do you see my problem with a lot of Christians? Much of the controversies over things like Christmas could be avoided simply by Christian parents taking their Biblical authority seriously and giving their children a Godly education. That means not sending them to public schools if they are as bad as Christians have made them out to be for the better part of a generation. To those who don't want to make the necessary sacrifices, I say you can't put you child in the lions' den then complain when he gets eaten. To the salt and light crowd, I say a mass, or merely sizeable, exodus from public schools would probably get them scrambling to genuinely reform themselves, making them better, and more religion friendly, for the kids who stay. Thus, leaving public schools could be the best way to make them taste the salt and see the light.

But it's the churches, not an unchurched blogger, who should be telling Christians this. Instead, most churches seem committed to keeping their congregations comfortable in their shallowness. No "hard" sermons about sacrifice or being different from their neighbors when Christ demands it. Just a lot of fluff about how God wants them happy, healthy, and wealthy. Never mind that their children's commitment to a Christian worldview is being systematically destroyed by an institution that most Christians trust more than God. And they wonder why they're losing the culture war!

Christians need to put up or shut up. They should take their kids out of public schools or stop accusing those schools of spiritual rape. Their integrity is on the line. Sunshine Christianity won't do. It's either the real deal or no deal. The choice is theirs; I hope they make the right one.