And Another Thing…

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Quick Hits VIII: Back to School

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.

Money quote:

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.

 

Jesus saves...the big game!

Jesus saves...the big game!

[H/T: Stuff Christians Like]

                         

Mystery quote:

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.

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8 Responses

  1. Stephanie O'Brian says:

    The rocks have yet to actually break my window–they are just being thrown at it.

    Just wanted to clarify.

  2. shannon says:

    Not to defend any incident of rocks through a window, but a “spectacular failure of the university’s self-proclaimed mission” seems to be painting with a pretty broad brush.

    “I then heard a man shout out “Obama sucks””. I…looked out, but I saw nothing…

    “I am not saying all McCainiacs throw rocks at windows, by any means. I am just saying at least five do.”

    One man – nothing. Yep that proves it was five Harding students.

  3. Jr says:

    On your first point: Anybody who walks away from Christianity for such superficial reasons as those you mention, was never a Christian in the true sense of the word (i.e. follower of Christ). “Christ? Who’s that? I’m here to fell good about myself darnit! – Suffering? That wasn’t in the brochure!”

    I think the failure of the pulpit is to blame for some of this – with such wishy-washy sermons and secular, feel-good garbage that escapes the mouths of many. Or the kind that comes up with a topic then flips pages in the Bible to find at least one verse he can use to back up his argument. Ugh. Such laziness. The Word of God is mocked every Sunday…

    I gave a sermon a couple weeks ago where I mentioned the persecutions that our brothers and sisters are facing around the world (you’ve posted on this before – mentioning the websites to check out the latest news on that). I also used Hebrews 11 and laid out what the “Heroes of Faith” faced for the faith of Christ. And on the way home I was talking to my wife and said – “you know, a sad thought entered my mind… if such persecution ever came to this land, how many “Christians” do you think would turn away from the faith without even batting an eye?”

    Sadly, I think that number is far too high…
    —–
    And dude – just vote for the Palin ticket. Give us something to look at for 4 or more years. Additionally, I’d like to postpone our descent into full blown Socialism/Communism at least a few more election cycles…
    —–
    The top right photo looks like Jesus is about to give the Heisman pose. Equally disturbing.
    —–
    Miller’s Crossing.
    —–
    I’m done.

  4. odgie says:

    Stephanie – Thanks for the correction; I have edited accordingly.

    Shannon – You’re right and I changed my wording. I do think that our Christian colleges are dropping the ball on something that is fundamental, though; how we treat one another.

    Jr – A lot of people get into Christianity-lite for fire insurance or that warm, cozy feeling.
    ——————
    Palin is a looker, no question
    ——————
    I thought it looked like the kid was fumbling a hand-off to Jesus
    ——————
    Okay, you know your movies. I consider the gauntlet thrown and will have to pick my mystery quotes more carefully.

  5. David B says:

    I already mentioned something like this on the Stuff Christians Like blog…but my take on the Jock Jesus pictures is simply, if somebody fouls him, does he go to the ref and say, ‘He who has not clipped his oppoenent, let him be the first to boo’? Those pictures are creepy.

    Don’t give up on Obama yet, Odgie, though I understand where you are coming on this. Stupidity on either side is wrong. I’m telling anybody who simply cannot stomach voting for a democrat to at least vote against McCain…I’m honestly surprised at this point that Bob Barr hasn’t registered more in the polls and is not seen as a spoiler in the Perot/Nader tradition. He may be the most qualified 3rd party candidate in years but is virtually ignored in the press.

    What’s going on at Harding sickens me too…but you know, was it really that much different when we were there?

  6. Frank B. says:

    Makes me wonder if the miracles had something to do with steroids.

  7. S.C. Denney says:

    You also gotta love the fact that Jesus looks Dutch.

  8. Kelly says:

    You mean Jesus wasn’t Dutch? Now I have to start my painting “Savior at the Roller Derby” all over again!

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