Thursday, January 29, 2009

Defending Christianity

I've spent a good part of 2008 being very critical of Evangelicals and the Church. I thought I'd take a moment to defend Christianity, Evangelicals and the Church.

My criticism of my fellow believers has been in their defense of marriage using lies and deceptions and the seduction of power that has taken over many pastors and church leaders.

I came across this article by Skip Press about "Hollywood vs. Jesus" and it reminded me of the contempt that so many have against that which I truly believe in. I'm still grow tired of these attack.

I have been a Born-Again Evangelical Christian for almost 25 years. My relationship with Jesus, as rocky and glorious as it has truly been both personal and life-changing to the point that I hope everyone comes to understand Christ and Christianity as I do.

In the late 80's, a movie came out called "The Last Temptation of Christ" and it claimed to show the humanity of Christ, but by humanity it showed that he struggled with temptation and sin, like lust. I lead a campaign at my church to publically denounce this movie. Almost 20 years later, my opinion about the church and world has changed. I don't want to say I've become more liberal but I'm more forgiving of Hollywood. I still believe I did the right thing with Last Temptation of Christ, even though it makes me look like a sign-carrying censor.

Recently "The DaVinci Code" and now the TV Mini-series "The Last Templar" has really gotten my Pro-Christian activism blood flowing. Both movies set out to reveal that Christ was only a human being, thus effectively taking down Christianity, who core belief is that Jesus Christ was God in human flesh (more than a human).

Honestly, it's never easy to watch anyone mock what you believe in. It's one thing to disagree but it like telling Mother jokes. Sure it's funny to say your mother is great in bed, but she's still your mother.

I work every weekend at a comedy theater in San Diego. I'm probably only one of a few Christians in the group. I put up with Jesus jokes. I've seen Jesus jokes protrayed on stage, and I sit quietly. But at the same time, Jesus is very real to me. He died for me and he is someone that I try to pattern my life after.

It's disheartening to see Jesus protrayed the way he is in the movies or shown as someone he's not, like the husband of Mary (DaVinci Code) or a man rendered useless by overwhelming temptation (Last Temptation) or someone who in vain could not convince the world he was not God (Last Templar).

If anything, I'll let you make fun of the church for the stupid and silly things we do, but please show a little more respect for Jesus Christ.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Christians End This War - The Myth of Protecting Our Children from Homosexuals

During the Prop 8 campaign, most of the ads that I saw had to deal with the fact that our children will be taught that Homosexuality is normal and that gay marriage will be presented as normal in society.  I want to address our children in this blog.

My continuing thoughts on the war Christians have waged on the Homosexual community. Please review my past blogs for more insight.

This blog will be less about what our children will be taught and more about a trend that has been going on for years that continues to push Christianity into the world of irrelevance.

One thing that we can agree upon is that when gay marriage is finally legal, our children will be taught that same-sex marriage is just as normal as marriage between a man and a woman.  Along with evolution, communism and liberalism, our Christian morals will come under attack once again.  My response is SO WHAT!!!

The Christian Bubble

When I was a student at Biola’s seminary, Talbot School of Theology, many of my undergraduate friends would talk about what we called “the Biola Bubble.”  The concept is simple, many times Christian isolate themselves from the world that we find ourselves living in this nice Christian bubble that protects us from the influences of the world. We grow up attending Christian Schools or are home schooled, we then go to Christian colleges and then apply for Christian jobs, enter ministry or become missionaries.

The truth is by living in this “Christian Bubble” we live very safe lives and become less likely to be taken in by the evils of the world.  Let’s assume for the sake of argument that living in a Bubble will in fact shield us from the temptations of the world (the fact is we’re tempted no matter where we are).  Let’s also assume the living in this Bubble makes us strong Christians and in fact brings us to the closest relationship we can have with God.  The fact is this is the wrong way to live and is nowhere encouraged in the Bible.  In fact, the Bible tells us quite the opposite.

Salt and Light

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says in Matthew 5:13, “You are the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world”. I’ll go on “A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.”

Salt is a seasoning, its spread through a dish to enhance its flavor. Light, on the other hand, shines everywhere for all to see. 

As salt of the earth, we are to go to all areas of the world and share the gospel and God’s love to all. We are not to remain in the kitchen cupboard with the rest of the salt.

As light, we are to shine the message of God’s love to everyone. We are not to hide our light underneath this “Bubble”.

Protecting Our Children

So what does this have to do with Gay Marriage and protecting our children? As a parent, my job is to protect my child from danger. It’s clear that one sign of a bad parent is one who let’s their children run with scissors. But isolating my child from the world is not exactly protecting my child. Let me throw this out to you, does protecting your children mean isolating them from the world or giving them the skills to live in the world as Christians.  When its all said and done, is our success as parents going to be how much stuff did we shield from our children or how prepared are our children to survive in the world as adults.

Exposure to the “Gay Agenda”

By banning Gay Marriage, how exactly are we protecting our children? Assuming in pre-school our kids learn that “Heather has two mommies,” what is the harm? Your kids will not automatically become gay because of a pre-school teacher.

The only thing is that you don’t want school teaching your kids worldly values. Honestly, you’re really not supposed to let schools do your job as a parent. Whether you like it or not, your kids are going to hear opinions different than yours.  That doesn’t mean you pull them out of school (see the Christian Bubble discussion, you just read).

Let’s spin this positive, this is the perfect opportunity to discuss with your kids your values, and when they grow older, you’ll continue to teach your values and even better, you’ll expose your children to opposing viewpoints and teach them to think critically. Let’s remember, your job is not to isolate your kids from evil, but to teach them to survive in the world.