Michael Spencer (a.k.a the Internet Monk) has a terrific post up about “prosperity gospel.” However, it isn’t the one you hear about in the news. It’s the prosperity gospel that seems all too prevalent in Western Christianity.
We evangelicals apparently need to believe a version of the prosperity gospel where, at the least, none of us are below an understood “line of credibility” in Christian experience. And if we happen to go below that line, don’t expect instant encouragement. You may be surprised at what happens to you when you become walking evidence that not everyone is as happy, blessed, obedient and satisfied as they are supposed to be.
Ask yourself this question: Why is it that so many western Christians find the greatest challenges to their faith are experiences that do not even qualify as persecution or serious suffering? Why will the loss of a job or the moral failure of a pastor lead to the end of faith? Why do interpersonal conflicts in a church cause so many to abandon Christianity altogether?
Over at Political Cartel, one of their members writes about having rocks thrown at the window of her dorm on Harding University’s campus because she put up an Obama/Biden poster. While I don’t think that this behavior is indicative of Republicans, I do think that it is indicative of an on-going failure in the university’s self-proclaimed mission.
Although the behavior of throwing rocks is a new one on me, the attitude that it represents is not. The prevalent mindset on Christian college campuses of avoiding the standard don’ts (cuss, drink, smoke, chew, or date girls that do) seems to miss other don’ts, such as committing acts of violence (and throwing a rock through a window is an act of violence) against people you disagree with. Back when I was an undergrad, I used to marvel at how someone could get up in chapel and give a stirring devotional (always using the holy voice, of course) and then go out on the field or court during an intramural game and talk trash, gloat about winning or pout about losing, and curse everyone and everything around them. If you go and read the piece, make sure you read the comment thread, which is one of the most hysterical I have ever seen, especially the woman who tries to equate name-calling with violence. I’m not saying that name-calling is a good thing, but really people…
Did you know that Sarah Palin once shot and ate an Eskimo and that Barack Obama hates children? I kid! But seriously, if you are tired of the spun-like-a-load-of-laundry campaign coverage and chain e-mails, check out FactCheck.org which seems to actually present non-partisan information on all of the candidates and the campaign. And please don’t come back here and tell me that they are biased because they have something negative about your candidate.
You know, I start getting excited about elections every time one comes up but then the behavior of both major parties and their talking heads in the mainstream media (or, heaven help us, the blogosphere) becomes so vile, dishonest, and condescending that I find myself wishing that it was over long before the election arrives. I have mentioned my disgust in the past with the whole “Obama is a Muslim” meme, but now I am getting just as disgusted with the left. If Obama loses this election, it will be because so many who write in support of him seem determined to stereotype everyone who votes for McCain as a gap-toothed, slope-browed, troglodytic hillbilly who can’t keep his hands off his nearest sister. Newsflash, kids: voters will not select your candidate if you insist on calling voters stupid. I find myself leaning towards Bob Barr for the simple reason that neither he nor his party has done anything to disgust me yet. But the night is young…
The pictures below bother me for a lot of reasons, but I think the most disturbing is the one in the upper left corner, where it looks for all the world like Jesus is about to face-plant that dark-haired kid.
[H/T: Stuff Christians Like]
It’s gettin’ so a businessman can’t expect no return from a fixed fight. Now, if you can’t trust a fix, what can you trust? For a good return, you gotta go bettin’ on chance – and then you’re back with anarchy, right back in the jungle.