Category Archives: Christian Culture

2016 trump clinton election banner

Trump Politics of Hate Vs the Table of Love

This election cycle has been filled with hatred. Donald Trump plays on people’s fears about the still-struggling economy in so many parts of the country. He blames people’s struggles to find work, any work, on immigrants and Muslims. He makes light of comments like rounding up all the Muslims to register them, and killing all the family members of terrorists. Us versus them. And he found an audience eating up all this hate speech.

I understand fear and joblessness. I have walked that terrible path. But I never blamed my Muslim and immigrant neighbors and friends. People’s struggles to find work and housing have so much more to do with bad decisions and wars under the Bush administration. Also, advancing technology independent of any administration is simply taking over jobs. We are united in our struggles, not divided. read more

grace, works, mercy, picture of hand on the Bible

Grace Works and the Journey of Mercy

God’s grace. A wonderful Christian teaching. If you are trying to serve, if you have mercy for the hurting but you make mistakes, God has abundant grace.

The journey to the kingdom of heaven is paved by works of the Spirit. We all fall down in the journey of loving others. We stumble as we learn to embrace humbleness over power and selflessness over greed. Grace covers our fall and gently helps us back on the path.

But the American evangelical church has twisted the definition of grace into a selfish, Me-first mentality. read more

fruits of the spirit

God Wants Religious Fruits, Not Religious Nuts

Galatians 5:22-23 NIV

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

On my Facebook feed recently, I saw a church sign that proclaimed, “God wants religious fruits, not religious nuts.” This is so true. The fruits of the Spirit are things such as love, peace, and gentleness. But there are many religious nuts who lead lives of selfishness at best, and lives of dark, deadly hatred at worst. read more

where your treasure is

Where Your Treasure Is There Your Heart Is

Matthew 6:19 (NIV)

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Privilege and Where Your Treasure Is

During a recent evening commute on a local bus, I was chatting with an acquaintance. He is an upper middle class white man, Baby Boomer age, solid in his job and finances. He will sometimes talk about very basic issues of power and privilege, but it is only an intellectual exercise for him. He has never known one day of need or injustice from oppression. read more

hobby lobby birth control debate, Hobby Lobby building

Hobby Lobby Birth Control

Hobby Lobby Birth Control: The Fear Bring to Life into America

There has been so much talk lately about Hobby Lobby birth control and the Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Care Act birth control mandate. There are many ramifications on religious and social freedom and women’s rights. One example is this NBC News article:

Supreme Court On Birth Control: What Hobby Lobby Ruling Means

While these are valid concerns, I think we need to have a frank discussion about how this issue highlights women’s fears as well as women’s rights. Life is one of the greatest fears in the United States. read more

victim of oppression, feet in bondage

Victim of Oppression

The Victim of Oppression Has Few Choices

Here’s a popular quote, attributed to an unknown source, that comes across my Facebook far too often:

Everything you do is based on the choices you make. It’s not your parents, your past relationships, your job, the economy, the weather, an argument or your age that is to blame. You and ONLY you are responsible for every decision and choice you make. Period.

There is a popular idea in the Christian and the New Age communities that there are no victims, only “bad choices” or challenges on one’s “life path.”In this magical thinking, there is no inequality or oppressive systems of hierarchy. read more

hands grasping for hierarchy against kingdom living

Kingdom Living Has No Human Hierarchy

American society is infatuated with hierarchy. We idolize those at the top of the corporate, entertainment, and sports arenas. We disdain, even harm, the lowly and oppressed, the “nobodies.”

Our cliches are filled with hierarchy. “Climb the corporate ladder.” “Pull yourself up by your bootstraps.”

But is God’s heart in this “rat race?”

Sigh.

I hear these kind of platitudes all the time in the church. Christians just tend to qualify it as “prosperity” or “God’s blessing.” American living at its finest. Kingdom living at its worst. read more

Tebow football

Tebow- Gains, Guts, and Glory- For Himself?

Nike lawsuit against Reebok stops Tim Tebow apparel sales

-Los Angeles Times

Nike and Reebok, two of the largest players in the sports gear industry, are embroiled in an unholy spat over who gets to make and sell products featuring the name of newly minted New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow…Through it all, we can’t help but ask: What would Jesus do?

This quote says it all. The Christians worship Tim Tebow, and he soaks it all up. Now Nike and Reebok have joined his mass of adoring fans. And they can’t play nice. read more

wedding feast candle

The Wedding Feast: Are You Ready?

The great wedding feast is being prepared. The church needs to wake up. They are asleep to the spirit realm while the storm whirls around them. They are too busy pursuing the fashions of the world, and they cannot be bothered to put on the right clothes for the wedding feast. They slumber in their spiritual pajamas, while attending earthly glamour shows. They are destined straight for outer darkness.

The Parable of the Wedding Feast

Read Matthew 12. Jesus told a parable of a great wedding feast, prepared by YHWH, ruler of all the universe. The original invitees, the Jewish people, turned their back on YHWH and disdained the feast. They refused to come, even going so far as killing the messengers- the prophets of YHWH. Now look carefully at these verses: read more

prosperity preachers, flying money

Prosperity Preachers and Whitewashed Tombs

Prosperity Preachers Give Messages of False Promise

“Come to the altar today. Bring your tithes and offerings and lay them at Jesus’ feet. He is here to heal you. He only asks for your 10%.”

“Are you hurting today? Are you lonely, don’t know where to go? Do you have troubles?

Well, that is what happens when you withhold the blessing from the Lord. Get into a regular tithing routine, and the Lord will bless you and take care of all your troubles. Get right with God today.

Remember, he will meet you 90% of the way. He is only asking for your 10%. Only a little seed money. Even Jesus said to have faith like a mustard seed. Come on, get right with God and plant those seeds today.” read more