Dear Offended Anti-Christians, I had a chance to Fisk this lovely little article  by John Pavlovitz about what a burden it is that I and my fellow Bible-believing types won’t shut up and go away.

http://johnpavlovitz.com/2016/05/26/dear-offended-christian-from-a-very-tired-christian/

Dear Offended Christian,

I’m terribly sorry that your feelings are hurt again. I feel badly about that. None of us likes to be criticized, so I totally get it.

I know I’ve said some pretty hard words to you recently, and maybe I’ve been somewhat less than “cheery” in my delivery, but that happens when you’re tired.

BUT I totally agree with the idea that if my feelings are hurt then I get the right to tear into someone in public, exactly how I’m going to do to you in five seconds, but because I’m liberal and you aren’t, mine is virtuous and yours is just evil.  My “tired” is WAY more important than your “offended”.  I declare emotional status victory, so shut up and take this!

And I am really tired:

Gosh, I really am too… We’re both in the same boat, with people we disagree with protesting and being offended all over the place.  I mean, only one political stance ever protests.  Only one side every tries to pass laws that agree with their morals and ethics.  Only one side accuses the other of being mean, or ignorant, or bigoted… Aw crud, you’re about to go and disprove that thought once again.

And since you’ve shown that venting instead of a nap and some quiet meditation is the answer, I’ll follow your lead.

 … BUT, before we go there, can I just say how tired I am of the death of the exchange of ideas?  I remember in the 1980’s when the liberal position that I grew up and agreed with was that both sides got stronger and better by listening to one another.  Either our own beliefs were modified by a superior understanding, or strengthened as they proved more reliable than another viewpoint. 

I know that started to disappear in the 1990’s when “Political Correctness” produced its first list of acceptable thoughts and beliefs, proving like Animal Farm that this debate really isn’t about tolerance or offense, just who is in charge of the same old power structure, as the liberal concepts turned totalitarian as soon as they gained enough power to enforce their will against the old order of “family values”.  You’d probably be surprised how much I agree with you that there were things to fix about the 1950’s style of culture, but I don’t see swapping the totalitarian approach of one ideology with the totalitarian approach of a more leftist ideology as the cure.  I’d really like the freedom for both ideologies to exist without open warfare.

 I mean, this article was given to me by a man I profoundly respect, enjoy spending time with, and probably don’t agree with much on political or religious grounds, but I don’t slam him with my beliefs, and he doesn’t attack mine.  We work well together, and I’m always looking forward for another chance to collaborate.  That’s the sort of tolerance I’m talking about.  Instead, we’re about to dive into a list of you being offended, but claiming moral victory over other people because they are offended, an act which borders on the humorous in terms of a lack of self-awareness.  But why should people you disagree with enjoy the right to protest that you yourself are about to exercise?  That would be a free and open society, right?

 Pot.  Kettle.  Black.

 Back to our regularly scheduled rant:

 

I’m tired of hearing you telling gay people that they can’t simultaneously be both gay and Christian. 

Um… We’re just the messenger, here. 

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 ESV)

I’m tired of people thinking that I made this up, but I’m EXTRA tired of people who are so fixated on sex that they don’t realize that this passage condemns every person alive, ever.  The same thing is true of the list on Romans chapter 1, as Romans chapter 2 begins with the argument: You who judge are guiltier because you do the same thing.

But even though I’m tired of that, I’m extra tired of people who don’t read the whole passage, and realize that approximately 4% of the passage about sex talks about homosexuality, and 96% of it deals just as directly with all the other activities that hurt ourselves and others.  Clearly that’s bigoted because homosexuals are approximately 2-3% of the population so giving them 4% of the verbiage is overrepresentative discrimination.

Additionally, I wonder if you’re as adamantly pro sexual immorality, idolatry, cheating on your lovers who trust you for faithfulness, drunkenness, greed, stealing, slander, or embezzlement, since you care deeply about this list.

And I’m SUPER tired of people missing the point of this chapter, this book, and this Bible.  I’m tired that people get so offended to hear they’re in the wrong, that they stop processing information before the good news that even though we are ALL wrong, God himself became a human person to befriend us, sympathize with us, and then take our punishments on himself so our past wrongs could be forgiven, our future wrongs mitigated, and our deaths erased so that we can become better, immortal, forgiven people.

I’m tired of having to explain what “Transgender” means to adult Christian people, who I’m quite sure have Internet access and should know better by now that it ain’t “a guy in a dress”.

I’m tired of having disapproval automatically equated with ignorance, so I guess we’re even on this one.

I’m tired of arrogant pulpit bullies who believe they’re entitled to tell people where they can pee and who they can marry and whether they really love Jesus or not.

BUT if we use un-elected judges and not pulpits to force a minority view upon the majority of people, whatever the issue is, then that is totally how a free democratic society is to be run.  As long as you aren’t Christian or a Pastor then bullying is a great virtue.  The college professors who silence dissent but agree with you, parents being denied the right to approve or disapprove of their children’s sexual education, British families being told they’re unable to foster children because their Christians and there is a chance a future unnamed child might be offended…

We’d be much better off in Atheist countries like Communist Cuba where Che sent homosexuals to die in work camps in vastly disproportionate numbers, or Russia where open homosexuality is a prison sentence, or Muslim countries where homosexuality gets you imprisoned, beaten, or executed.  I know your supreme compassion for the homosexual community drives your outrage, so long as you can be outraged at a portion of humanity that believes in your right to protest and object, as opposed to the majority of the world where this post would get you arrested or killed.  Very courageous, consistent, and brave.

I’m tired of you being more outraged by red coffee cups and department store restrooms than by poverty and racism and gun violence.

I’m tired of condescending liberals who ignore the fact that the very concept of charities began in Christianity, that Christians led the fight for civil rights, established the Red Cross, that the abolition of slavery was brought about exclusively by Christian cultures, and all the other benefits Christianity has given Western Civilization.  All of those times that our outrage freed millions, brought liberty and freedom to entire countries, fed, clothed, and provided medical care for those in need across the world, our outrage was fine.  Now we disagree with you, so throw us under the bus

This is a bit of a lie, as well.  Christians and non-Christian libertarians are plenty outraged over taking away our rights to own guns, confiscatory taxes and the welfare state taking away our right to give to the charities we chose and given to inefficient government bureaucracies with a much smaller fraction of the funds going to the people we wanted to help in the first place.

I’m tired of gay people being accused of the kind of predatory behavior that straight men have been exhibiting, since the man cave was—an actual cave. 

I’m tired of having to ignore the fact that according to the federal government, domestic abuse rates inside homosexual relationships are double the rate of heterosexual couples.  But beyond that, I pretty much agree with you on this one.

I’m tired of reminding you that the number of times Jesus spoke about gender identity and sexual orientation in the Gospels—is zero.

So, if Jesus didn’t speak about something directly, then this is a sign that it’s either morally neutral or acceptable?  Shall we decriminalize the other things that Jesus didn’t speak about?  He didn’t talk about rape, incest, polygamy, bestiality, public nudity, taking away people’s rights to vote, or the institution of slavery.  Once again, this argument will get you cheers from people who already believe you, as long as they don’t think about it beyond your sound bite.

This is the disciple who is bearing witness about these things, and who has written these things, and we know that his testimony is true. Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. (John 21:24-25 ESV)

Beyond that, the statement is impossible to verify.  We don’t have a list of everything Jesus spoke about.

I’m tired of having to explain to people that although I am a Christian, that I’m not that type of Christian; the kind that is generous with damnation and stingy with Grace.

You just put up a public attack on people who don’t talk or think like you, with tens of thousands of Facebook hits, but that isn’t being generous with damnation or stingy with grace.  That’s loving one another and doing unto others as you want them to do unto you, right?

I’m tired of LGBTQ teens cutting their forearms and jumping off buildings because they’re told by their church friends that God hates them, because their Christian parents told them, because their Christian pastors told them.

Sigh, really?

This has been rampaging around since I was an LGBTQ teen.  I’ve never seen it to be the case, or demonstrated.  The best presentation of this argument is the 2009 film Prayers for Bobby.  Sure, Bobby commits suicide after leaving home and basing his entire identity on another individual, and commits suicide shortly after his lover cheats on him, but that’s totally because of Christian bigotry, the argument will go, not rampant promiscuity, the pain of betrayal or abandonment at the hands of the man who claimed to love him, or the possibility that the homosexual lifestyle isn’t as fulfilling as it claims.

The fact is that the suicide and depression rates do not go down for LGBTQ individuals no matter how accepting and unchristian the society becomes.  The Netherlands has had an atheist, evolutionist, pro-gay society for almost fifty years now.  They’ve had legal gay marriage since 1993.  The depression and suicide rates in Europe’s most famously pro-gay nation remains 6-9x that of heterosexual people.

Of course, they too blame homophobia with no proof provided.

Homophobia can’t cause diseases, like the fact that men who have sex with men are more than forty times more likely to contract AIDS or syphilis, more likely to be abused, more likely to suffer from drug abuse or alcoholism.  I mean, I’ve never heard of a case of a homophobe sticking a heroin needle in a homosexual man’s arm, or sharing syphilis with him as an act of revenge.  But it’s hatred to advise against the activities that cause so much harm and suffering in purely biological terms, and it’s loye and tolerance to endorse such risky beheviors.

Tell me how you feel about teenage smoking, which has far lower rates of morbidity than I have just described?

I’m tired of followers of Jesus who don’t seem interested in cracking open a book to see what we’ve learned about the brain and the body in 2,000 years, or to realize that gender identity and sexual orientation don’t equal the word “homosexuality” in the Bible.

I’m tired of backhanded accusations about my education because I disagree with you, particularly since you’re not that sort of Christian who is all condemning, right?

But you have a good point here.  Homosexual activity, and only the actions, are decried in the Bible.  Homosexual desires are nowhere condemned, and in fact the book of Hebrews says that Jesus can have sympathy for us in any temptation because he was tempted himself, without sin. 

Jesus the Great High Priest Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16 ESV)

So, the crowd that claims homosexual temptations are shame and sin in and of themselves are in a bit of a Bible bind, since being tempted in every way means Satan surely threw something like that, and much worse, at my master while he lived on earth.  Either their wrong, or Jesus sinned just by being tempted, and couldn’t die for us since he had to pay for his own fault in this area.

I’m tired of all the time I have to spend undoing the damage the Church has done to queer kids and their families.

I’m tired of all the time I have spent in the ex-gay movement dealing with all the damage the LGBTQ community has done to kids and their families, when they try to put their lives back together, how the LGBTQ community pushes kids to reject and leave their families if they don’t mouth the appropriate approvals, cutting off vital support systems in totalitarian demands for acceptance of one single issue.

I’m also tired of trying to comfort parents, siblings, and children who were abandoned by LGBTQ people because they were given the message by activists that true freedom meant rejecting everyone who believed differently than them.

I’m tired of religious folk who seem to want small government everywhere except the bedroom and bathroom.

So, somehow the President himself demanding what we do with our bathrooms is us wanting government in the bedroom and bathroom?  Pick a side first so I can agree with it or not.

I’m tired of Scientific ignorance being treated as if it’s a Christian virtue.

I’m tired of ignorant anti-Christians assuming that anyone who disagrees with you is ignorant.  I just spent 3 hours this week editing a video on the Noble Prize winning scientists who are creationists as well.  You amend your ignorance first, and then tell us how to amend ours.

I’m tired of hearing you preach verbatim the gospel of Fox News.

Don’t watch it.  I don’t.  Most of my friends don’t.  None of us agree with the homosexual activist agenda that seems to be your sole focus.

I’m tired of high-profile pastors blaming gay people for 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina and ISIS and child obesity.

I’m tired of high-profile liberals blaming Christians for 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, ISIS, and child obesity.  I’m not kidding.  College professors and environmentalist textbooks have literally said all those things to my face.  But it’s ok from your side, right?

I’m tired of waiting for you to show up in this world and actually show the freakin’ love of Jesus to people the way he did and told you to, without excuses or caveats or theological tap dancing to avoid it.

Like when we freed the slaves in three continents, started the Red Cross, led the fight for Civil Rights in the West, and on, and on, and on…

Here’s the truth: The love of Jesus follows the following path:
1] You are sinful and wrong.  (Seriously, the first half of the Sermon on the Mount sets the standard of ethics so high none of us can possibly pass.)
2] God loves and forgives you, and wants you to live forever with him if you just believe.
3] So in that knowledge of God’s love and sins forgiven, live in peace and love.

Maybe the problem you have not hearing enough of parts 2 and 3 is because you want to log-jam and publicly rant before we can get past part 1.

I’m tired of this wasteful, fruitless, mean-spirited, unprovoked, unbiblical attack on the LGBTQ community, that is squandering so much time and life and beauty in the name of a God who is supposedly Love.

For starters, if you think hearing “you’re wrong” is an attack, then you haven’t talked much to the LGBTQ community in Russia, the Muslim world, atheist socialist countries in Central and South America… of course it’s hard to compare and contrast hearing ‘no’ with their experiences because so many of them are dead or in prison.  The more that social discomfort is labeled an attack, the less energy there is to fight genuine physical assaults, murders, unjust firings, and the other genuinely homophobic criminal actions that are actual attacks, and about which we pretty much agree wholeheartedly.

Then there are definitions of terms.
Unprovoked?  Look up the word transgressive sometime.  When someone not you tells you that they’re going to teach your children their sexual ethics instead of yours, you are no longer unprovoked.  When pastors and leaders of your sociocultural movement are fined, arrested, and jailed in countries that have conceded to the LGBTQ agenda, its’s not unprovoked, it’s self-defense.  When gay activists infiltrate meetings to shout, scream, throw noisemakers, it’s not unprovoked.

Since you value time and beauty of life so much:

How do you feel about Canadian and British families and pastors being threatened with jail for disagreeing with you, since attacks are such a waste of time?

Here’s a bottom-line clue: Most people I know in the Christian community, and I’ve been there all my life, may not approve, but are willing to live and let live.  The problem is when the LGBTQ community gains power in the West, it isn’t content to live and let live.  It wants to engage in the acts of censorship, oppression, legal prosecution, sociopolitical witch hunts, and even physical assaults that made so many people sympathetic to this minority community in the first place.  Until the LGBTQ community is willing to extend the tolerance for other lifestyles and worldviews that they themselves demand for their own (and I’m willing to grant), then they are going to be seen by the Christian traditional cultures as a threat.

Because they are openly pursuing the forced rewriting of those cultures, the perception of the LGBTQ activist community is a threat.  Imposition by court and law instead of by persuasion is always going to be resisted no matter what groups are involved.

I’m tired of so many people believing that “Christian” and “bigot” are synonymous—and not disagreeing with them.

But your association of the words Christian and bigot aren’t prejudiced in the least, right?  I mean, a prejudice being lumping people of a demographic to a certain moral or ideological value judgment instead of dealing with each individual person according to the content of their character and acknowledging that there are good and evil people in any group?

I’m tired of a Church which seems to be so ambivalent toward the teachings and example of Jesus.

So stop being part of the problem.  I’m sorry, but you just crossed the line.  You’re tired of a Church which is ambivalent about the teachings of Jesus while rejecting the teachings of Jesus?

Jesus stated that the Law would not pass away, but you’re upset that the church won’t embrace a lifestyle directly against that law.

Jesus stated that before we try and take the speck out of our neighbor’s eye, we first take the log out of our own.  So, for example, the solution to public protest and intolerance isn’t first and foremost a public protest full of intolerance for people who believe differently.

Jesus had some harsh things to say about hypocrites, eh?

Jesus said that people would claim to be his disciples but we could tell whether or not they were, by their fruit.

Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey my commands.” But you want me to abandon Jesus’ (and if you are a Christian, you believe that Jesus was and is God, which means the Bible in its entirety represents his commands) commands,

If I believe homosexual activity is immoral, and Jesus stated that if someone caused one of his little ones (the Greek term meaning powerless and lowly, not children) to stumble or to come by temptation, it would be bad, then your desire that I take Jesus’ commands seriously requires me to continue to oppose you on this topic.

I’m tired of a Christianity that is making me more and more embarrassed to be associated with it.

I’m tired of people living as if Christ didn’t exist getting all worked up because of those of us who live as if he were coming back today.

So I get that your feelings are hurt. I understand that you’re offended, and that’s not my intention. 

Well, here’s proof that being a self-righteous condescending anti-Bible person won’t make you honest.  Liar.  There is so much back-handed condescending bigoted name-calling in this piece that you are either to socially unskilled to know what does or does not offend, or you are a flat out liar.

But listen, if you’re going to tell a group of people that they’re going to Hell simply for existing,… 

(We don’t.)

and you’re going to continually target those people through the Church and the Law and your social media accounts,…

 (I don’t.  Disagreement isn’t an attack) 

…don’t get angry with me when I tell you you’re being hateful and judgmental and ignorant.

That is possibly the most hypocritical statement I have read all year.  In a social media attack targeting a group of people under attack by liberal Church and activist Law, you spew about how bigoted, ignorant, hateful, and judgmental people are.

I mean, you were really hot and bothered just a little bit ago about Christians not following the teachings of Christ, wasting our finite time on attacks instead of love and joy.

But you have also forgotten or never read that little passage “Let he among you who is without sin cast the first stone.”  I just want to remind you that at the end of your public social media attack, because you care deeply about following the teachings of Jesus, and you forgot one or seven.

It could be worse.

At least I’m not damning you for all eternity.

Pretty sure you’re not telling the truth there, or that you don’t really believe in hell, because it sure as hell sounds like you are.

Sincerely,

Or not.

A Very Tired Christian

Doubt it.  That passage I listed starts out with “Do not be deceived… People who define themselves as this are not part of Christ” and the LGBTQ community agenda makes up like 4% of that list, but it’s on the list.  So, on one hand I have God saying through St. Paul that there is a danger that I could be deceived about being part of this and being in Christ.  On the other hand I have you saying I’m a terrible person for not being part of this.

You say you’re a Christian, but you aren’t practicing love for your neighbor.  You aren’t following his commandment to love your enemies and do good to those who persecute you.  You aren’t taking the log out of your own judgmental, sarcastic, social media attacking eye before you try and remove the speck from ours.  You aren’t waiting for the person without sin to cast the first stone at us, you grab rocks and start chucking.  

You aren’t honoring Jesus words at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount that Moses and the Prophets (the parts of the Bible that include condemning homosexual activity) will never pass away.  You aren’t honoring Jesus’ promise that he Holy Spirit would teach his disciples all things, when those disciples, guided by the Holy Spirit, say that we can’t be actively or deliberately sexually immoral and Christian, or the part where they label homosexual activity as sinful right along with a dozen other sins we can’t embrace and have Christ.

So, apart from rejecting Jesus’ words, Jesus’ commands, Jesus’ principles, you’re totally a Christian.

Maybe so, but the tree isn’t bearing really great fruit.

 

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