Matthew 7:15 (NIV) “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.

Matthew 24:11: (NIV) “…and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.”

2 Timothy 2:23 - 25 (NIV) - 23Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. 24 A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. 25 Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Josh Duggar and Fundamentalists: Ladies and Voters Beware

"I actually really hope that his wife leaves him and takes his children away from him and leaves him a lonely, bitter man," Dillon said. "I don't think he deserves happiness."  These words sound eerily like what a respected Christian lady told another Christian wife and mother of three children when it was learned her husband was a blogger.   

Danica Dillon, pictured below, is the porn star who alleges she had "violent and terrifying sex" with Josh Duggar for $1500, after he spent $600 on her at a strip club.  According to internet reports, her real name is Ashley Lewis. And she is someone's daughter. She lives in California and owns a pet chihuahua named Caliegh Marie. And God loves her and Jesus died for her. And her path crossed with a prominent Christian man that fundamentalists loved, respected and admired as a good Christian man.  



What is it about fundamentalists and their priorities?

It seems pastors are so busy preaching about Supreme Court decisions, no prayer in school, and no ten commandments allowed to be posted in government buildings, that they seemingly aren't concerned about a pastor, or deacon, or their own son, cheating on his wife! 

They lament about our country's waywardness, but never address these much more harmful and devastating sins. They don't even consider that God is judging America for prominent, and not so prominent, Christian men cheating on their wives as long as those men profess to believe the right things and are supportive of the pastor. What "hurts" the cause of Christ more, an adulterer or a blogger who questions charlatans and talking donkeys?  If you are a fundy, you already know the answer to that and I hope you will be more than happy to articulate that view in the comments area.

Tullian Tchividjian, the grandson of Billy Graham, is another recent "man of God" that couldn't keep his vows or commitment to his wife no matter how much Bible he read, preached and believed. Yet there is quick forgiveness for these men as long as they apologize and get counseling.

After all, we all sin, right guys?  Boys will be boys?  But when it comes to a man that has been a faithful husband for 30 years, but doesn't tithe and doesn't believe in talking donkeys, well, we need to be concerned about his salvation.  Good father?  So what!  Good provider for your family?  Who cares! Faithful husband? Big deal!

What fundies want to know is how you can pick and choose which parts to believe and still call yourself a Christian. I'm telling you, this is what the modern evangelical church is coming to. Embarrassment. Disgrace. Unattractive to those outside the cult mentality. And most damning, the church and the Bible are not getting any serious consideration from our children as something they need to have fuller, more meaningful lives. Our churches have bigger celebrities, bigger buildings and bigger staff; as well as TV, radio and internet to spread their message all over the world, but those that are not indoctrinated are not interested.

I bet none of the above guys, and the ones you know about too, were ever told by a preacher "you are not a man" and "you are not a Christian."  That kind of condemnation is reserved ONLY for those that give 9% or less (non-tithers), or those that question (in other words those that attack and persecute) God's man, or question some scriptures.

So Christian ladies beware!  That seemingly "good Christian man" may say all the right things, and even if his dad is the mega-church pastor, he may end up being a real jerk who will cheat on you when the opportunity arises. Don't be fooled! The stories are getting so common it's almost not even newsworthy.  Except when it involves off the chart hypocrisy, as in the case of prominent preachers and Christian celebrities like Josh Duggar. And think of how many more millions of such stories are swept under the rug and kept private by churches, pastors, and their congregations so as not to "harm the cause of Christ."

Josh Duggar, who just a few months ago was a respected Christian man, cashing in on his and his family's celebrity, was hobnobbing with Christian men who want to be the next leaders of the free world. These fundies might tell you not to associate with a blogger, but they love to associate with men like Josh Duggar. Why? Because they relate to him. They share his values.


Don't be fooled by their nonsense.  Google Bill Gotthard and his Advanced Training Institute scandals to know where these "godly men" get their views of women. These candidates identify with Josh Duggar and Bill Gotthard or they wouldn't be taking photographs with him.

So I will ask the question of you that many have asked of me: How can a man like this really know Christ and love Jesus and claim to be a Christian?  He pays money that could have gone to his family, or his church, or to help women and girls being sold in the sex industry.  But instead he pays to exploit women and cheat on his wife.  And not just his wife.  He has cheated on his children too. And his mom and dad. And his professed faith. And he has hurt his wife, his family, his in-laws, his parents, the church and the gospel message.

I know what you're thinking. "But at least he doesn't blog or ask questions of his pastor, or question a few scriptures". Don't worry Josh. You will be back with no consequences as soon as your counseling is over.  But be prepared to live with the disdain and contempt from your wife and families for the harm you have caused for the rest of your days.

"I actually really hope that his wife leaves him and takes his children away from him and leaves him a lonely, bitter man, I don't think he deserves happiness."  Does this sentiment apply to bloggers, or to adulterers, or both?  Hmmmm. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Tear Pages Out of The Bible and Throw It Out?



Shocked by the picture that goes with this post?  Did some of you think: “I knew it, the Watchdog has finally come out as an atheist who doesn’t believe the Bible.” On the contrary my friend.  This is actually what I hear Christians tell me, and others, who question anything in the Bible. Sad isn’t it?

“If you don’t believe parts of the Bible, why not just go ahead and tear those pages out?”
 
“If I found any parts of the Bible I didn’t believe, I would throw the whole thing out.”
 
“You can’t pick and choose which parts you believe, you have to either believe it all or none!” 

When confronted with statements like those above from students, the late Dean L. Russ Bush at Southeastern Seminary would simply and humbly tell his students something like this, and I'm paraphrasing: 


"I sure hope you won’t do that. I sure hope you won’t throw it all out just because you have a problem with some passages.  Why would you throw out all the parts you love and know to be truth just because you struggle with some passages. Please don’t do that.”  

He was right.  Of course, to be clear, Dean Bush led the battle for inerrancy of the Bible and I have no doubt that he did believe it all, and he did believe in its inerrancy, and to be clear, there is no basis to doubt that.  But his point was, and is, still valid.  There is no reason to adopt such statements, or take such harsh action, just because you doubt, or question, or are not sure about some passages.  Where does this type of all or nothing thinking come from?  Why is it now the litmus test for whether a person is truly saved or not? Why would such a respected leader for the fight for inerrancy ask students NOT to tear pages out, or throw it all out, yet many of you will tell people to do just that. 
 
Thomas Jefferson didn’t believe it all. But he is oft cited as an example of the faith of our founding fathers.  (Please go to Wikipedia and read about the “Jefferson Bible” to understand how far back, and how much further Jefferson takes this matter, then anything mentioned, suggested or discussed in the sum of these blog posts.)

I’m not going to write much about this subject except to answer in response to those of you that pose the types of questions above to me and to others like this:  

The Bible you have in your homes has itself already had hundreds of pages “torn out” and entire books already determined by men to not be believed and not even included.  
Will you spend even five minutes on research?  Ever heard of the Apocrypha? The Gospel of Peter? The Gospel of Judas? The Book of Enoch? The Gospel of Thomas? There are too many to list.  Ever ask or consider or research how the books of the Bible were chosen? Who made the decision to include one book but not another? Why were some books not acceptable? What happened to those who disagreed with the decision makers?

Let me summarize years of research for you.  A group of religious MEN (sorry ladies) decided which books to include.  They were able to pick and choose which ones they agreed were reliable and which ones they didn’t want to include for whatever political, religious or societal reasons they thought best.  They literally tore out the parts they didn’t like, and ripped out or excluded the books they didn’t agree with.  And, according to scholars and historians, they backed up their decision by destroying any copies of these books (or so they thought) and by excommunicating or even killing those that tried to question their decisions. 

But we keep finding these books hidden in jars, or buried in the desert sands. Seriously, look it up. Even if you believe these men were inspired by God as to which books went into the canon, and which ones didn’t; and even if you trust their motives writing in the social and political times in which they met to make these decisions; the fact remains that someone had to pick and choose.  

A circular argument would be “Well, the books they chose are God’s word otherwise they wouldn’t have included them in God’s word.”  Whatever.  The truth is you are trusting a group of religious, influential MEN, with their own motives and interests during times of social upheaval and turmoil, to pick and choose which books were to be trusted and believed and relied on and which ones were not. That's a lot of faith in men you don't even know.  So please don’t tell me I can’t do the same thing with texts I do know; and with men I do know who are preaching it as if they are speaking for God almighty.  I can, and will, and do pick and choose.  And the indwelling Holy Spirit gives me discernment as to which parts are essential and truth, and which parts are not. And which parts I should apply to my life today, and which parts don't apply. And my pastor and seminarians don't like that. And for some reason, neither do many of you.

So my Christian brothers and sisters, I am not going to throw it all out.  No matter what you say.  And I’m not going to believe it all or none.  No matter what you say.  And I’m not going to be all tore up about those of you who disagree with me.  Good for you.  I don't want you to change your beliefs. I don't care what you believe. I hope it works for you. But as my previous posts point out, when it causes division and hurt to others, I have to question whether you actually believe it all, or live like you believe it all, anyway.  I could be wrong.  But praise Jesus he didn’t say I had to be right, or that I had to believe it all or none in order to be saved.  It's called a tertiary issue. Your theological dogma is not my dogma. So there.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Robert Jeffress: The Collapse of America is Inevitible

"America's collapse is inevitable. I have come to the conclusion there is nothing we are going to do to stop it....I learned something that morning [the day his church buildings were demolished] about implosions : they are sudden, they are dramatic, they begin with a series of seemingly unrelated explosions, followed by a pause, and then the sudden collapse. Ladies and gentlemen, I believe that over the last 50 years, there have been three explosive decisions by our United States Supreme Court that have so weakened the moral and spiritual infrastructure of our nation, that our collapse is inevitable. The explosions have already occurred, the infrastructure has been destroyed, the collapse is coming, we are simply living in that in between time, that pause, before the final collapse."  Robert Jeffress, preaching at Bellevue Baptist Church, August 16, 2015. Full sermon here.

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Robert Jeffress is at it again. Like many pastors of recent day, he is predicting - almost hoping for - the destruction of our country at the hands of an angry God. Above is an excerpt from the opening 5 minutes of his sermon "Being a Light Against the Dark Background" delivered at Bellevue Baptist Church last Sunday night.

Jeffress believes our country is headed for a swift and certain collapse  - as fast as the FBC Dallas buildings fell when Jeffress pushed the big red implosion button back in 2010 - because of three Supreme Court decisions he disagrees with. These three decisions are "implosions" that will cause our nation's collapse according to Jeffress: the 1962 Engel v. Vitale decision regarding prayer in schools, the 1973 Roe vs. Wade abortion decision, and the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision on same-sex marriage. Jeffress spent the bulk of his message convincing the foks at Bellevue of the evil intent of these three court rulings.  If you know your American history, particularly in the South, there were similar responses when the court decided black people were not property, decided women could vote, allowed interracial marriage, and desegregated our school system.  Many good old boy Southern Baptists privately will tell you they still have a problem with these decisions also.  So yes, Jeffress, we all could expect you would really be tore up over the above decisions.

But what is more disturbing, is that the crowd that night at Bellevue ate it up. 

They clapped and "amened" and hooted and hollered while the man of God preached about America's destruction. I find it amazing that Christian people will tolerate their man of God giving a narrow, dark, one-sided view of their country to paint it in the darkest of colors to create a bunker mentality among the faithful.

Apparently when it comes to God's judgment of our country, in Jeffress' view we get no credit for the enormous good our country has done in the world. God doesn't seem to care about all the good the USA does, but he sure will sic em when they don't pass laws that will help His cause. We could go through so many laws and Supreme Court rulings we as Christians AGREE WITH, that have done enormous good in our country, but we get no credit as a country for any of that. We could talk about the aid we give to countries to help them in time of disaster and war, but no, God doesn't give credit for that. Or our countries struggle to end slavery and to use our judicial system to end racial and ethnic bias. No credit for good, only God's judgment and condemnation for the three SCOTUS rulings Jeffress doesn't like.

If God is angry over Roe v. Wade, isn't his anger somewhat muted because of Christians' efforts to reduce numbers of abortions through adoption and funding of crisis pregnancy centers? Apparently not. Why isn't Jeffress predicting the destruction of Israel,where on-demand abortion is also legal? Wouldn't God be at least as ticked-off over all the sexual abuse cases by "men of God" who misuse God's name to satisfy their sexual perversions as he is over Engle vs. Vitale?  Perhaps, Robert, the main reason you and your buddies are so ticked, is because God is NOT concerned about the nonsense you are preaching.  Ever even bother to consider that?

Of course we as Christians do NOT have to share the dark, dim view of America that Jeffress and other doom and gloom pastors spew. In fact, pew sitters should not tolerate their man of God preaching America's destruction out of the book of Lamentations every Sunday. Don't let an angry, ticked-off, bitter preacher who is angry at his country over a recent ruling by 5 Supreme Court justices - stomp and bellyache and preach doom and gloom about our country to you and your family.They are hypocrites.

Let me explain. They really don't want prayer in school, but are either too stupid to realize it, or think you are too stupid to understand why.  Our children, just like Muslim children, are the most trusting and gullible and non-judgmental of other races and religions and sexual orientation until they are indoctrinated. Consider the paragraph below. Do you agree or disagree with it?

These charlatans would be stomping and ranting and raving the loudest if little Johnny's elementary school allowed a Muslim leader to come in with his prayer rug, bow down toward Mecca, and pray to Allah.  Or if Johnny came home and said, "Daddy, what is a rabbi? He came and prayed at our school today."  Go ahead and explain to Johnny that there are other religions besides his and that they have the same rights to prayer as he does and their beliefs have the same rights, respect and protections as his beliefs.  Or let that Catholic priest come in and pray with his prayer beads and ask the saints to protect the children.  I'm sure you would love explaining to Johnny about how protestants didn't believe everything the church was telling them so they walked away from it.  And finally, let the Southern Baptist pompous ass come in and stomp around and talk down to the kids while praying for God to send judgment against their homosexual friends. No, Jeffress and congregants, you DON'T want prayer in school.  

So parents, if you subject your kids to this kind of dark, manipulative preaching, don't be surprised when your kids go to an institution of higher learning and actually STUDY these court rulings, their history, the pros and cons of each side of the argument - that they will realize their man of God was at best misleading them and at worst outright lying to them. No wonder so many young people are becoming part of the "nones" and "dones" as they move from their teens into adulthood. They realize their man of God was anything but "of God", and just an angry man who was quick to misuse facts to persuade them to be as angry as he is. They may even hold some resentment against mom and dad, who told them to love and respect and never question the angry man stomping around up on stage.

After Jeffress explained how terrible the 1962 Engle vs. Vitale ruling was that "removed prayer from the public schools"(Jeffress is deceptive, by the way - since Engle v. Vitale prevented the reciting of government-written prayers, not all prayer as Jeffress says), he then makes reference to the 1980 Stone vs. Graham ruling that prevented government schools from posting the Ten Commandments:

"That was the beginning decision [Engle v. Vitale] of a long series of decisions by the court that demonstrated our country's not neutrality toward Christianity, but its hostility toward Christianity. And the culminating decision occurred in 1980 in the case of Stone vs. Graham, in which the United States said, it is unconstitutional to post the copies of the Ten Commandments in a Kentucky classroom....I don't believe it is any coincidence that 17 years after the Supreme Court made that decision in 1980, in 1997, in another Kentucky school, Heath High School in Paducah, Kentucky, a group of students were meeting for prayer before their school began. Standing in front of the lockers with their heads bowed as they prayed, and while they were praying a 14-year old who obtained a handgun approached the praying students and opened fire on them, seriously wounding 5 and killing 3 of those students. And it all happened in a Kentucky school, where 17 years earlier the highest court in this land said 'You cannot post the words Thou Shalt Not Kill'. GOD HELP US!! GOD HELP US!!!"

So in true David Barton-like fashion, Jeffress links the 1980 ruling that prevented the government from posting the Ten Commandments in a Kentucky school, as a direct cause to the shooting of three students 17 years later at another Kentucky school. Could have been Ohio or Indiana where this occurred (as they also didn't have the Ten Commandments posted either since 1980), but according to Jeffress it is some sort of divine punishment that three students were killed in Kentucky. Actually, the three students were killed because there was a kid in the school who was a clinical paranoid schizophrenic who had been bullied and played violent video games. But it makes for better pulpit drama and helps Christians have more disdain for their country to say the shooting was actually the result of the 1980 Stone vs. Graham Supreme Court decision.

Once again, these guys are too stupid to realize they don't want religious texts posted in schools, or they think you are too stupid to understand the dangers. They don't want verses from ancient religious texts in the schools.  Consider:  Do they want the Jews posting Scriptures from the Old Testament that don't support Jesus being God?  Do they want Catholics posting verses about the literal eating of flesh and drinking of blood of Christ?  Do they want the Quran verses about killing the infidel hung in the hallways?  OF COURSE NOT!  They are just blowing smoke at their congregants when they know allowing this type of religious postings in our schools would be dangerous and illegal. But you clap and hoot and holler and amen them.   

Christians - fact check your pastor. Analzye the cause and effect link he is trying to make. If your pastor refers to some historical event or legal case to persuade you - research it yourself. Read about the three cases Jeffress referenced above. Don't take HIS word on how they should be interpreted. You might find it surprising to look at the ACTUAL case, and read about both sides of the argument. Make your mind up yourself. If you take your pastor at his word when it comes to history or legal decisions - you do so at your own intellectual peril. And your kids won't be so trusting someday.

Lastly, Christians: cheer up. You can love your country. You can hope for and believe in and work toward the best for your country. Don't be fooled into thinking that any natural disaster, economic collapse, or terrorist attack might be God exacting his revenge on America for same sex marriage. If your pastor is in a funk over same sex marriage and has become a doom and gloomer, and preaching out of Lamentations and advocating imprecatory prayers, visit a different church for a while. They preached the same nonsense when blacks were allowed to vote and when the Court decisions allowed interracial marriages.  Those made our country stronger, not weaker.  But those good old boy Southern Baptists sure didn't like it.

Perhaps, if God is judging America, it is because these mega pastors and their enablers have hijacked Christianity and the only thing that God is imploding, are these charlatans and their mega churches. Amen and A-man!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Do Christians Actually Trust God for Anything Other Than Salvation?


“How can you trust God with your salvation, if you can’t trust him with your finances?”

Another tool of manipulation used by charlatans and their enablers is the rhetorical question above, or variations or implications of it. I’ve heard this question, or some form of it, so many times by so many pastors, that I’m not going to attribute it to anyone in particular. You have probably heard it too, or will soon, if not already.  Usually, the pastor will trot out this seemingly logical rhetorical question during his tithing sermon. Or when you are not doing what he wants. The implication is that you are indeed trusting Jesus for salvation (which we all certainly should do), but you are not trusting God with your finances (because you are not giving enough).  You should do both, right? WRONG.

Here are a few obvious problems with this type of question and this dangerous line of thinking.  First, and I mean number one, is that the pastor is not God. The 501(c)(3) that hired him and pays him is not God.  Therefore, how does writing your church a check equate to trusting God with your finances?  In other words, another way to say this is for the pastor to say: 

“You can’t trust me for your salvation, and you can’t trust this 501(c)(3) for your salvation, so why in the world would you trust your finances to us?”  

But they don’t want you to hear it that way.  They want you to be coerced into agreeing with a statement about trusting God with your salvation (which we all must do), with giving money to the church to pay its overhead, salaries, debt and a small percentage going to actual ministry to the lost, poor, hurting, orphan and widow.

Second, in answer to your question pastor and enablers, is that we should only be trusting in God for things God does, and not for things God does not do.  Only God can bring salvation.  The doctor can’t save us. The policeman can’t save us.  The auto mechanic can’t save us.  We don’t go to those people for salvation.  We go to God. We trust God with our salvation because He is the only one that can possibly save us. Does that answer your question brother pastor?    

Third, the reverse implications of this question are just as true as the one your pastor is trying to make.  Have you ever stopped to consider that you don’t trust God with your high blood pressure? Of course not.  If you have HBP, you take a pill every single day, day in and day out, for the rest of your life.  But your arrogant preacher isn’t asking you “If you don’t trust God with your HBP, how can you trust him with your salvation?” It makes no sense to do so does it?  What about your safety. Do you pray for God’s protection and then live in a gated community, hire a team of security officers, carry a concealed weapon, lock your doors at night, and stay out of dangerous places?   Do you call the police, or rely on your local police and Sheriff’s department to keep your city safe?  Then you are not trusting God for your protection are you?  But is your preacher asking you "How can you trust God with your finances if you don’t trust him with your security?"  The biggest slice of our city budget here in Jacksonville is for our brave and highly trained police force.  We are not trusting God with this vital area, we are trusting our police.  And what about your finances?  Are you getting up and going to work, working hard long hours day after day, month after month, year after year to earn money so you can have food, clothing, shelter and transportation?  Then you my friend, are trusting in your efforts, reaping what you are sowing, and not trusting in God (or your pastor, or your church) to put food on your table, support your family, and pay your taxes that pay those indispensable police men and women.

What about technology and transportation?  You love the advances that science and “the world” have made in technology, cell phones, computers, automobiles, river boats, cruise ships, airplanes, and medicine.  Yet, you criticize science and scientists who don’t believe the same facts you do about your religion.  You certainly trust them when you get in your car, get on that plane, and use that cell phone to call for help, or perform your job duties.  So has your pastor asked “How can you trust God with your salvation if you don’t trust him with your transportation needs, or technology needs, or physical needs?"  If your car breaks down, do you trust God to fix it?  Of course not. 

The question makes no sense except as one to try and manipulate people that love Jesus and want to serve God.

Do Christians go to the doctor when we are sick.  Do surgeons save our lives if we need surgery? Or do we “trust God” to heal us?  Does the Mayo clinic call pastors or faith healers to heal those in need of a heart bypass? Seen any faith healers over at Wolfson’s childrens hospital's cancer treatment center?  What about Autism and Alzheimer’s disease that afflicts our young and old?  Are you trusting in the church, or God, to heal those conditions? Or are you hoping science will find a cure through research and education and training? And are you elderly or disabled.  Guess what, your government is paying your disability and your social security and providing police and fire protection and paving your roads, and paying our military, and providing parks, and feeding the poor and on and on. But your pastor criticizes them while doing none of the above. But he does advertise the Holy Land trip he is leading and the cruise he will be taking.  Makes you sick doesn't it?  No?  Why not?

So, the better question then the one your pastor asks above, is why trust your pastor/church with your finances at all?  Why trust them to do anything that you actually rely on and need each day.  They don’t protect you, they don’t pay your bills, they don’t heal you, they don’t transport you, they don’t build roads, they don’t provide parks, they don’t support the poor or disabled, and they don't do anything for you at all.  So next time your pastor asks you “How can you trust God with your salvation if you can’t trust him with your finances?”, you can tell him to his face, or quietly reply in your heart: “That’s easy. I only trust God for what only He can do, which is my salvation. And you preacher, and this church, are not God.  So I agree, I don’t trust you with my finances, but I easily trust God with my salvation.”  Next question please.


Monday, August 17, 2015

Bait and Switch Religion - The Tower of Babel




Genesis 11:1 – 8: 11 Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved eastward,[a] they found a plain in Shinar[b] and settled there. They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”5 But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”8 So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel[c]—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.

Bait and Switch Religion – The Tower of Babel
As you can see from recent blog posts, the focus has shifted from the paid, professional mega-church clergy and their abuses, to the pew sitter who enables these charlatans and has adopted much of their nonsense, which causes harm to the family, church and Jesus’ work and mission.  As the 501(C)(3) organizations that call themselves churches continue to decline and lose influence, instead of focusing on the gospel of Jesus Christ, these charlatans and CEO’s have double downed and continued to narrow what it means to be a Christian, so much so that very few people want to identify as one and certainly don’t want to pay 10% of their gross income, undesignated, to said 501(c)(3) in order to be considered a “good” Christian. These pew sitters, following the lead of their holy man of God, rail against Supreme Court decisions, criticism of the pastor, and non-tithers instead of taking a look in the mirror at the real cause of decline of the spreading of the gospel.  They have more access to every language and country via internet, there are churches on every corner in every town, yet they are losing their ability to reach the lost and have become irrelevant and even offensive and embarrassing to the next generations.

Read the comments in the previous post to get a glimpse of what the focus on theology and doctrine look like.  It is laughable if not so sad.  I have faith in Jesus Christ alone for salvation, but it seems many charlatans, and many pew sitters that read this blog, don’t want to accept that I can do that without believing all of their theological nonsense and their narrow doctrines.  So call me what you will.  You are just illustrating my point.  This kind of back and forth with people like me who identify as “born again Christians”, not to mention the “nones” and “dones”, is divisive, destructive and decimating. (Isn’t that cute how all three started with a “D”, and I didn’t even need to plagiarize a sermon or attend seminary to do that.)

Which brings me to the Tower of Babel.  The story is found in Genesis 11.  I know that’s Old Testament.  That’s a discussion for another post.  Notice in Chapter 10 of Genesis, that verses  5 AND 20 AND 31 clearly and unequivocally state that after the flood Noah’s sons and clans were spread out over the earth accordingly by their languages.  They spoke different languages.  Obviously, if you believe the text and if you “take it up with da book.”  Nevertheless, in Chapter 11, Verse 1, we read that “Now the whole world had one language and a common speech.”  No big deal right.  So what? Seminarians and theologians can explain that away.  But it’s not whether they did speak one language or not that is the issue, the key here is what God almighty did about it.  Look at Verses 1 – 9.  Particularly verses 6 – 7 that give us exactly what God was thinking. We don’t have to guess.  He speaks and tells us why he says what he says and why he does what he does.  Was he afraid they would build a tower that reaches heaven?  Really?  Take it up with da book. Would nothing be impossible for them unless he confused their language?  Take it up with da book? Did he not know that we would, within a few centuries, have the ability to travel into the heavens and that confusing the languages would not result in anything in the long run.  Did he really believe they could build a tower to heaven?  Or did bronze age men make up the story based on the little knowledge they had at the time?

I don’t know.  And more importantly, I don’t care.  

It has no impact on the gospel message of Jesus Christ.  And yes, I CAN pick and choose which parts I find believable and which parts I will put my trust and faith in for salvation. Whether you like it or not. Thank you Jesus, that I don’t have to believe that we have different languages on earth because God was worried men might build a tower that reached heaven. Instead, I can put my faith in your death, burial and resurrection.

And I can’t help but wonder why God wouldn’t just send a wind gust to topple the tower over each day or two.  Or simply kill or inflict illness on the workers. Why scatter the languages and then require centuries to translate his perfect, inerrant, and infallible word into the languages and tongue of every tribe and nation in the world?  Ooops. It makes no sense.  Could it be true?  Yes.  Does it have to be true? Of course not. And whether you or I believe it or not doesn’t matter. Hallelujah!

So please don’t present the gospel as a bait and switch technique.  If lost people have to believe all or none, then don’t tell men and women and children that all they need to do is call upon the name of the Lord to be saved. Don’t tell them that Jesus died for them and took their sin upon himself and that if they repent, and put their faith and trust in him as savior and Lord they will be saved. Don’t read them John 3:15 and 16 and have them humbly accept Jesus by praying the sinner's prayer.  Because that is bait and switch.  They might do those things and then find out they have been duped, lied to and manipulated.  Be sure to be honest up front and tell a lost husband, father or son that he has to believe in talking donkeys, and the sun standing still, and that different languages resulted from God’s intervention so that a tower wouldn’t be built to heaven.  Tell that hurting wife, or mother, or daughter that she can’t really trust in Jesus, or be a Christian lady, unless she believes it all, understands the Greek meanings of words, and has her pastor explain what it all means and what she really must do, which by the way, includes giving at least 10% of her gross income, undesignated, to whatever 501(c)(3) she chooses to attend. 

Christian friends, let the seminarians and theologians and paid professional clergymen debate all day about the sacred text.  Let them preach doom and gloom for our great country. Let them keep building large campuses, hiring new staff, visiting the Holy Land, cruising the Danube River, and hiring family members. The rest of us should be telling people about Jesus.  And if these other subjects enter the debate, simply be honest and respectfully say: I don’t know, and honestly, I don’t care about talking donkeys, the sun rotating around the earth and then stopping overhead, or why Chinese people speak a different language then native American Indians did.  And don’t let them ever, ever tell you that you are not a Christian.  Or that you are not a real man, if you don’t tithe, or believe all of their nonsense.  Trust in Jesus. He loves you. Amen?