Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Now that Trump Was Elected. A need for the Maintstream Church

A conservative colleague of mine still thinks that evangelicals are better Christians even though they adopted Trump on an unprecedented basis. He posted an attack on Mainstream Christian Churches. I have had enough of it and I am calling it out.

Let me deconstruct the paradigm that Mainstream Churches are somehow a compromise of Christian faith because they try to "appease" sinners.

Having been raised fundamental/evangelical, I was warned of end times "ear tickler Churches" who would let the blacks, divorcées and queers into the Church. And once President Obama was elected it confirmed to them that the end times were upon us. The mass hysteria got so prolific that even my wife who voted for President Obama began to wonder if this "man of peace" with so much favor could indeed be the Antichrist.

The Evangelical/Fundamental group I was raised in did a good job of pointing out my sin and shame. We we warned to watch out because we were so easily tempted. The message was that I could be deceived by an ear tickler who would tell us that gay sex was not worse than the gossip, gluttony, racism and greed we already allowed. We were warned to watch out. I was warned. I was warned that the end times would be marked by people telling me that it was okay to love the lgbtq community.

I am frustrated, ashamed and feeling like they have actually denied Jesus who said: "I was a refugee and you took me in." 

You know the rest. They said: "When?" 

He said, "when I was a Syrian refugee and a Presidential candidate got himself elected by causing weak minded Christians to be more afraid of ISIS than my Word which said that if you reject any one of these refugees you have rejected Me Myself and will be cast into the lake of fire."

At that point, every single Christian in the world should have stood up and shouted: "NO! In the name of Jesus, NO!" According to Jesus, fulfilling the one campaign promise of Trump is enough for us to to incur the entire wrath of God upon our nation and yet, Christians cheered him on.


But guess what? A small mainstream church like mine took in a Muslim refugee family, donated thousands of dollars, over 8,000 hours, and drove well over 10,000 miles to take care of the stranger. Hmmm. Somehow we are the disobedient Christians.

So, let me address those who think Mainstream churches are not teaching Jesus with this obvious hyperbole that reflects what I can only surmise to be the sermons of Trumpianity. Maybe we are in the 2 Timothy 4:3 stage where Churches will hire "ear ticklers." I think the assumption is that the leftist Churches are the ear tickler churches but maybe this will tell a different story?

Paul predicts that people will hire for themselves these "soft on sin" preachers. The current dogma is that the world will flock to these preachers. So, where are people flocking to church right now? It isn't the mainstream churches. Could the mega-churches be the very fulfillment of this prophecy? Let us examine how they do indeed preach what people want to hear instead of what they need to hear:

In the mega-church we hear this: "You do not have to vote in favor the the poor. It does not matter that Jesus was killed for speaking out on behalf of the poor, all that matters is that He saved us by doing it and we get all this wealth here if we are faithful because money is indeed the sign of God's blessing -btw, the poor are not blessed, Jesus got that wrong, but keep it silent, we don't want heaven to figure out the mistake. But the poor are poor because they are lazy, Fox News confirms it. So go ahead, vote your own interests, even "America First!" The only kingdom that matters is US....

We also hear: "...And, btw, we don't have to worry about racism. One of them got elected, so, that's over. They wouldn't get killed by police if they would just learn their place in society. Oops, I mean, that stupid hood, they are just asking for it, aren't they? Why can't they look little white kids, anyway? And, it does not matter that the early church's baptismal vow was "no race, no gender, no class" which was literally the the only rule to that Christian community. It does not matter because God made the tower of Babel to separate the races. Why would we go against God?...

And then we hear: "...The environment? What a load of crap. We gotta get busy preaching Jesus. I don't have to worry about it, because I am escaping the planet in the rapture. Do you want me to tell you how to escape the environmental destruction? Those Mainstream churches, never mind them. Mainstream - lamestream, get the propaganda stunt? Cool, huh? God did not mean it when God commanded us to care for the earth, it is ours to exploit and it makes no difference to us because we are not going to be here when the planet dies. Jesus loves my kind to much for that. He's gonna rapture us. Those other people, they whine too much. And it is their fault for being left behind...

And then we hear: "...Those natives ought to know their place. Don't they know that Christopher Columbus' only plan was to come here and save them for Jesus? Hell, we did them a favor. They may have died off, but some of them will be in heaven with all of us. Yeah, they died off. Oops. No, it wasn't intentional. No don't you know it is leftist propaganda blankets with smallpox were distributed intentionally? Do you believe that leftist propaganda? We probably did them a favor...

Eventually, when some of them start to question if this is really what Jesus meant, they rally the troops with hysteria and start start saying things like this:

"We love Jesus enough to be persecuted for our beliefs. We do not think that it is loving to serve a gay person/couple and we have a right to not serve people we disagree with. Somehow, it is more Christian to defend our rights to not serve others as Jesus commanded us. (If we make a bold enough statement about it, we will get the approval of the rest of those who claim how evil the mainstream churches are for caring about the three years of Jesus' teachings as much as the three days of Jesus' atonement. If we are lucky, we might even get money.) We are convinced that we are more radical than the Christians who stood with Brother MLK, the Christians standing right now in North Dakota with native Americans, the Christian pastors who are standing with BLM. We are better Christians than them because we are willing to be persecuted for taking a stand against their sin and they are not. (Of course, we are taking a stand against a sin we probably will not commit, funny how God honors the faithful like us. How convenient!)

Hopefully, some of them will also see through this bs and begin questioning again about how unloving all these statements are.

And in order to assuage them, the big guns come out that: "We are the true defenders of civil rights because we believe that it is okay to force a woman to have a baby against her will, her fears and or her ability for both to survive an healthy outcome. We know better than they do. It is the moral high ground to force an unwilling participant to carry a pregnancy full term. No one can call that slavery because they are all just women and women don't know enough about these things. So, go ahead, chain yourselves to clinic doors and prove that only you love Jesus enough to force another birth. And remember the poor from earlier? If she can't make it, she should have choose better before... We are moral people, we are making the poor take responsibility for themselves. Hell, once a few of them starve to death, the rest will get off their lazy assess and get to work and they wont siphon of my hard earned money anymore. I am doing both of us a favor. I am teaching them how to fish and persevering my own greed. Can  you believe how they persecute us for being hard working, faithful, industrious? Jealousy, that is all it is...." 

While the world is laughing that you all call a man like Trump a moral good in the name of your god it appears to me that all of this is to prove to those in your sect of Christianity that you are better than others in that sect, or sadly maybe even your god that you are worthy.

And yet, My God loved me before God even knew me. And maybe some other will realize that and will join ME, Phil Reynolds, in this journey back to the true church, right there, all along, in the Historic COB, and in many, many other mainstream denominations that have the humility to recognize that they don't have all the answers instead of condemning the rest for not believing exactly like they do.

Appendix:
I truly wish I was not making this up, but I actually heard a mega church pastor say: "the poor idolize money more than the rich. Think about, it. They have so little, all they can do is think about how to get more so they can eat. They are the ones guilty of worshiping money." (Author's note, the only thing I can say in response to this real live statement is "God damn those words.") 

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