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MSgt213 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 08:29 PM
Original message
Why don't Christians live what they preach?
The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience

Home > Books & Culture > Current Issues

Books & Culture, January/February 2005

The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience
Why don't Christians live what they preach?
By Ronald J. Sider

Once upon a time there was a great religion that over the centuries had spread all over the world. But in those lands where it had existed for the longest time, its adherents slowly grew complacent, lukewarm, and skeptical. Indeed, many of the leaders of its oldest groups even publicly rejected some of the religion's most basic beliefs.

In response, a renewal movement emerged, passionately championing the historic claims of the old religion and eagerly inviting unbelievers everywhere to embrace the ancient faith. Rejecting the skepticism of leaders who no longer believed in a God who works miracles, members of the renewal movement vigorously argued that their God not only had performed miraculous deeds in the past but still miraculously transforms all who believe. Indeed, a radical, miraculous "new birth" that began a lifetime of sweeping moral renewal and transformation was at the center of their preaching. Over time, the renewal movement flourished to the point of becoming one of the most influential wings of the whole religion.

Not surprisingly, the movement's numbers translated into political influence. And the renewal movement was so confident of its beliefs and claims that it persuaded the nation's top political leader to have the government work more closely with religious social service organizations to solve the nation's horrendous social problems. Members of the renewal movement knew that miraculous moral transformation of character frequently happened when broken persons embraced the great religion. They also lobbied politicians to strengthen the traditional definition of marriage because their ancient texts taught that a lifelong covenant between a man and a woman was at the center of the Creator's design for the family.

Then the pollsters started conducting scientific polls of the general population. In spite of the renewal movement's proud claims to miraculous transformation, the polls showed that members of the movement divorced their spouses just as often as their secular neighbors. They beat their wives as often as their neighbors. They were almost as materialistic and even more racist than their pagan friends. The hard-core skeptics smiled in cynical amusement at this blatant hypocrisy. The general population was puzzled and disgusted. Many of the renewal movement's leaders simply stepped up the tempo of their now enormously successful, highly sophisticated promotional programs. Others wept.
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saltpoint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 08:32 PM
Response to Original message
1. In Shaw's memorable line --
-- "Christianity might be a good thing if anybody ever tried it."
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TexasProgresive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 08:36 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. C.K. Chesterton
Said that "Christianity has not failed, no one has tried it." or something like that.
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saltpoint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 08:39 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. Yes. The ministry of Jesus in the New Testament --
-- sure is a different trip than the life of modern-day Christians generally and the strident, hysterical fundamentalist Christians particularly.

I probably wouldn't join, but would likely support a Christian Left movement.

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lenidog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 08:33 PM
Response to Original message
2. My comment would be why doesn't
any religious group practice what it preaches.
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bobweaver Donating Member (953 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 08:38 PM
Response to Original message
4. The Christians think that going to church on Sunday absolves them of
whatever evils they did the other 6 days of the week.
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BOHICA06 Donating Member (886 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 08:54 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. No Christian believes ... but many church goers do. n/t
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 08:39 PM
Response to Original message
5. There's no money in it
This article should not necessarily be about Christians in particular, but about the Pharisees of every stripe, religious or otherwise. Christians, Jews, Muslims ,and even Humanists often fail to live up to the philosophies they espouse.

I haven't had a chance to read this whole article yet.
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Pegleg Thd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 08:52 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. To 'merican
Edited on Tue Jan-11-05 08:53 PM by Pegleg Thd
so-called christians it is not about practicing christianity. It is about showing up at church on Sunday in a Cadillac or Lincoln in fancy clothes and put on a 'big show' of being a christian. It is all about perception.
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 09:00 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. But are they really Christians, or are they....
Rev 9:1 I saw a star fall from heaven unto earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.

When Satan was cast down from the heavens, he came down to earth like a fallen and solitary star. Texas is know as the 'lone star state', and the 'bottomless pit', of course, refers to what passes for hell on earth - the hopeless pit of poverty. Texas has one of the nation's highest rates of child poverty - 26.2%; the highest rate of citizens without any health insurance - 24.5%; and a recent Department of Agriculture study says that 5% of Texas households sometimes go without any food at all. Yet Texas has the most regressive tax structure and spends the least per capita on social services than any state in the union. As governor for the last five years, Mr. Bush has had the key in his hand that could have helped open the door out of poverty for millions of Texans, but instead he prided himself in building a record of cutting taxes for Texas' wealthiest citizens and campaign contributors.

Rev 13:15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

This refers to Mr. Bush's roll as the bloodiest governor in the nation. Texas has the nations highest rate of incarceration, and executes far more prisoners than any other state, (Texas is also the first state to have more people die from gunshot wounds than automobile accidents, and the murder rate is above the national average - so much for deterrence). In Texas, an African-American convicted of killing a white is 6 times more likely to receive the death penalty than in the reverse case. When a sincere Christian named Karla Faye Tucker begged for mercy, so that she might continue her ministry in prison, Gov Bush is reported to have mocked and laughed at her anguished pleas. She became the first woman to be executed in Texas since the Civil War. While at the same time he spared the life of the infamous, self-confessed child molester and mass-murdering (200+) Satanist and serial killer Henry Lee Lukas - the only death-row inmate ever to earn clemency from Bush.

II Thes 2:4 who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God

By naming his war in the Middle East, "Operation Infinite Justice", he is putting himself and our entire country in the place of God. Only the infinite God is capable of showing infinite mercy and justice towards mankind. Whatever justice we can mete out in this life is only a very sad immitation, always prone to great errors in judgement.

To pretend that we can bring "infinite justice" to the world with all our smart bombs and cruise missiles, tanks and bombers is the worst sort of blasphemy imaginable. To pretend that the murder of countless innocent civilians, as will inevitably be the case, is some sort of divine and "infinite justice", is something only the antichrist, completely corrupted by its own power, could ever dream up.

Mark 13:14 But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation ...standing where it ought not...flee.

The "abomination of desolation" refers to the obscene wave of gun violence now sweeping across our country. Bush has now even signed a law allowing gun owners to bring their guns into a church. In doing so, he's allowing a symbol of violence and death to be brought into a sacred house of worship - where it ought not to be. He's also signed legislation to prohibit Texas cities and counties from suing firearm or ammunition makers or sellers. And he refused to require background checks at gun shows -- despite repeated requests from the police chiefs of the seven largest cities in his state. He defends all his pro-gun actions by saying that, ""I support the Second Amendment.", even though the overwhelming majority of federal courts have ruled against the NRA's interpretation of the Second Amendment.

Rev 9:2 And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke from the pit.

Because of Gov Bush's campaign to make air pollution regulations voluntary rather than mandatory, Texas now ranks first in the nation in toxic air emissions from industrial facilities, discharging over 100 million pounds of cancer causing pollutants and other contaminants into the air annually. Bush also helped overturn a viable auto-emissions testing program in favor of one that costs more, tests less accurately and is easier to evade. Houston has just become home to the dirtiest air in the nation, outranking Los Angeles. And the non-partisan League of Conservation Voters recently called him the "biggest threat to the environment of any leading major party presidential candidate."

2 Tim 4:3 "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts will they heap unto themselves teachers, having itching ears."

IIThes 2:3 "..for that day shall not come, except there comes a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition."

The writing of the Apostles indicates that many people who call themselves Christians will eventually follow another gospel, and it is these people who will usher in the last days. The Religious Right is a corrupt religious heresy where people calling themselves Christians have turned their back on the poor and gone on to savagely persecute the most persecuted (gays). Rather than honoring God, they've made money and status their god, they profess 'family values' rather than Christian values, and they practice a crude name it/claim it ideology as a way of increasing their sins and mocking God. They use their opposition to abortion as the proof of their righteousness - really because it doesn't cost them anything. That is not to say there is not still a remnant of true Christians in the world - mostly abroad and among the poor. But America's arrogant and affluent rightwing cultists are a hateful abomination, and just as it was prophesied, these heretical hypocrites, first being deceived by their own greed and lusts, have now helped to bring the AntiChrist to power. In so doing, they have finally ushered in the Apocalypse, to their own eternal damnation.

Rev 13:5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies;

"There Ought to be Limits to Freedom!"

That's what the governor said after looking at another website parody, created by Zack Exley at /. Then he sicked his lawyers on the guy and tried to censor free speech on the internet. (The governor has also had Texas citizens forcibly removed and jailed for peacefully protesting on the public sidewalk in front of the Governor's Mansion. The protesters have since taken the governor to court to defend their First Amendment rights.)

For extensive links and a whole lot more, visit:
Nice Guy, Or The Devil's Spawn?
I submit that George Walker Bush is the ANTI-CHRIST ! /

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bowens43 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 09:16 PM
Response to Original message
10. As a great man once said......
"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians, your Christians are
so unlike your Christ."

- Mahatma Gandhi
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Tess49 Donating Member (606 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 11:29 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. What a great quote!
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Gusto md Donating Member (54 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 11:38 PM
Response to Original message
12. They do in fact.....
Their views are as contradictory and ancient as the book which the spend too much time (not?) reading......

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Telly Savalas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 08:33 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. Yawn.
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Guns Aximbo Donating Member (324 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 09:34 AM
Response to Original message
14. hypocrites
because religion is hypocracy...
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 12:55 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Not ALL religion is hypocrasy
Just all the ones I know about.

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

Somewhere there MUST be a non-hypocritical religion.

And don't anyone dare say Wicca. I know plenty of Wiccans that drive an SUV.
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mitchum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 08:32 PM
Response to Original message
16. Because so many find it easier to take their cues from Paul...
rather than Jesus of Nazareth
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