Recently some of my Evangelical friends are trying to convince me to stick with the Evangelical churches, so that I can have “fellowship” and be with the “Body of Christ”.
One friend quoted Martin Luther King in two instances:
Any religion that professes to be concerned about the souls of men and is not concerned about the slums that damn them, the economic conditions that strangle them, and the social conditions that cripple them is a spiritually moribund religion awaiting burial.
Great quote! I got excited and wrote a comment:
Which describes the majority of Christian churches, especially in the West . . . it’s no wonder when you consider that global imperialism and Christian outreach have gone hand in hand over the centuries . . . the identity of the sheep and then of the goats will be of those we do not expect
Then some people answered:
Thankfully somehow in spite of the dreadful job WE often do at representing Him, Jesus loves His Church and shows exceeding grace…but let’s keep praying and wrestling till our profession and actions line up and the poor and marginalised are reaping the fruit of our integrity
Another of my answers:
After seeing the majority of North American Evangelicals support George Bush Jr. and the Iraq War in 2003, I really began to doubt that this is the “Church” that “Jesus loves”. Just watch the documentary “No End In Sight” to see a rundown on how we were all duped into supporting genocide. Then ask yourself if Jesus really wasted His time to establish a group such as this. Finally, ask yourself if we could set up newer better groups who more faithfully represent the truth. Why build on centuries of oppression when you can start afresh? Isn’t it impossible to support old wine in new wineskins? Can a leopard change its spots?
Although I must admit that the Christian churches have had a minority, a “Remnant”, so to speak, who continue the prophetic, protest, loving-the-poor tradition of Scripture. Perhaps newer groups can connect and partner with them, without necessarily being part of them.
My friend finally chirped up with a supposed Martin Luther King quote to add balance to the discussion:
The church is a whore, but she’s my mother!
Now, I am doubting whether this second one is really a Martin Luther King quote. Some Net-ites say it is from Augustine. Double doubt.
I finally added:
Well, I’d rather be an apologist for Yeshua than for a “Church” that has been involved in exploiting people for centuries. I may be in the extreme minority, but believe me, there will be many of the same opinion in the coming years. We don’t just need a reboot, we need an entirely new computer . . . or a new garden, if you prefer a less technological metaphor . . .
Also, my mother is not a whore . . . and I think we can’t fool the world with this kind of presentation. Either the entire Body is Christ-like or we are one schizophrenic group of people: Social-Justice-ites on the one hand, and George Bush-types on the other. I simply cannot believe that this was the result of Yeshua coming to earth, dying & rising from the dead. We’re either one or the other. Light & darkness, sweet & polluted don’t mix . . .
People, how can so-called Christians who have been involved with their non-religious or other-religious cohorts in colonising and oppressing the planet for several centuries ever be considered the true “Bride of Christ”?
Evangelicals and Protestants, why not rejoin the Roman Catholic Church if you believe that your mother is a whore? What was the purpose of a Reformation?
A simple answer: the RC Church’s corruption.
Do you not think that the Western Evangelical Churches are equally corrupt, or even worse than the Catholic Church when Luther (that anti-Semite!) nailed the 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church of Witenburg, Germany?
Perhaps we should all write up some theses, track down every Evangelical church and meeting centre, and nail our theses to their doors.
Christians don’t seem to want to take responsibility for:
– Voting in and supporting a tyrant like Stephen Harper in Canada. See Marci McDonald’s Armageddon Factor.
– Voting in proto-dictators like Obama, Bush Jr., Clinton, Bush Sr., etc. in the U.S.
– Supporting genocide against Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, and other nations
– Justifying and continuing the policies of genocide and oppression of North American First Nations people
– Worshiping money and a system that is producing an ever-growing number of poor people
Christians have a whole list of excuses. For example,
– “All have sinned”
– “Don’t look at the splinter in your brother’s eye, but the log in your own”
– It’s all grace
– We’re all at different stages of growing
– Don’t accuse us of what the politicians have done. Separate religion and politics.
– It’s a sick Body of Christ, but it’s still His Body
– We’re not responsible for what our forefathers did to the First Nations, Africans, Chinese, Japanese, Muslims, socialists, etc.
– The ___ are taking over: Muslims, gays, Communists, secularists, abortionists, evolutionists, etc.
– Don’t be divisive
– We’re not saved by our works anyways
– It’s not as bad as you think
– Do you have mental problems? Maybe you should get checked out . . .
Apparently, questioning Evangelicals for their deeds means you are not of a sane mind. Sounds like something people accused Yeshua (Jesus) of:
Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. 21 When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”
(Mark 3:20-21 NIV)
Then the apostle Paul had a similar accusation:
At this point Festus interrupted Paul’s defense. “You are out of your mind, Paul!” he shouted. “Your great learning is driving you insane.”
“I am not insane, most excellent Festus,” Paul replied. “What I am saying is true and reasonable. The king is familiar with these things, and I can speak freely to him. I am convinced that none of this has escaped his notice, because it was not done in a corner. King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you do.”
Then Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?”
Paul replied, “Short time or long—I pray to God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.”
I guess when the other party has something reasonable to say, it is easy to accuse them of being mentally unstable.
Or dissent can be silenced another way: violence. This is the heritage of both Protestant and Catholics.
Genevan theologician and mini-dictator John Calvin on dissent and other theological views:
We muzzle dogs; shall we leave men free to open their mouths and say what they please?…God makes it plain that the false prophet is to be stoned without mercy. We are to crush beneath our heels all natural affections when his honour is at stake. The father should not spare his child, nor the husband his wife, nor the friend that friend who is dearer to him than life.
Quoted in A.C. Graling, Toward the Light of Liberty: The Struggles for Freedom and Rights That Made the Modern Western World, Bloomsbury, UK, 2008, p. 41
Theologian Sebastian Castellio counters this with the following words:
To kill a man is not to protect a doctrine, but it is to kill a man. When the Genevans killed Servetus, they did not defend a doctrine, they killed a man. To protect a doctrine is not the magistrate’s affair (what has the sword to do with doctrine?) but the teacher’s. But it is the magistrate’s affair to protect the teacher, as it is to protect the farmer and the smith, and the physician and others against injury. Thus if Servetus had wished to kill Calvin, the magistrate would properly have defended Calvin. But when Servetus fought with reasons and writings, he should have been repulsed by reasons and writings.
(Sebastian Castellio, Contra libellum, # 77, Vaticanus. Quotation in Wilbur’s translation, Earl Morse Wilbur, A History of Unitarianism. Socinianism and its Antecedents, Boston: Beacon Press, 1946, 1972, 203.)
Calvin, Luther, the Catholic Church, the Protestants, the Orthodox Church, now the Pentecostals . . . all lovers of violence. All prove they aren’t and never will represent Yeshua’s true Bride.
There is a minuscule Remnant though, and it includes people like Sebastian Castellio, Martin Luther King Jr, etc. Let’s reject the Christ-Claimers and re-establish groups that are truly faithful to Scripture.
If the Church is a whore, divorce her!
Then get re-married . . .
Out of love for the truth and the desire to bring it to light . . .