Thursday, November 8, 2012
Hellfire and Damnation Rhetoric
Today, I would like to point out some things that I question. I always try to write what is on my heart, and today is no different.
I encourage you to write your thoughts and opinions..but please note that the one thing that I will not tolerate is hate speech of any kind. ..I guess in some ways this post could be considered “controversial” and my aim is to offend no one..but I hope that you will hear me out and respond according to your convictions.
Some of this involves talk about the election. I know that the election is over, but I think that this post is really about something much, much deeper than voting. This involves matters of the heart. I want out to point out some things, and if you agree or disagree, please feel free to comment. While sometimes silence is necessary, other times, I think it is important to speak out, especially when you see an injustice.
One thing that has truly bothered me during this entire campaign is the “hellfire and damnation” rhetoric. I will explain why this has truly gotten under my skin..
Many of my friends, family, and people that I truly care about..have equated a vote for President Obama as a vote that will unequivocally damn them to hell. First of all, I think the Bible states that God is our only lawgiver and judge..(James chp 4.) And if I am not mistaken, the Bible says that Christ came to save us from the powers of Hell..not to damn us. “ For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
I for one, knows that hell exists.. I have had demonic experiences, but through them, I have learned the power of Jesus as my Deliverer.. .. However, despite my experiences, I refuse to “damn anyone to hell” whether it be on paper or with my words. I don’t have that kind of power and even if I did, I wouldn’t use it to damn anyone. I am simply not fit to make that kind of judgment call… I am no judge and I hope I see the beam in my own eye before pointing out someone elses..
The two main issues that are being discussed are abortion and gay marriage. Ok, I’m going to be blunt and all I can do is pray that if I am wrong….I would just like someone to simply explain why …
First of all, one thing that I have always had a problem with is the fact that Mitt Romney was also for abortion. I read a yahoo article last night that stated that he was for full fledged abortion prior to running for President. Even during his campaign, I recall him changing his stance on the abortion issue… Basically, stating that he would allow abortion under his Presidency. I couldn’t help but wonder why he kept flip flopping and wondered if it was simply to win votes or if actually believed in something.
So the thing that I don’t get is why is it damnation for an Obama vote on the abortion issue ,,but if you vote for Romney, who is also for abortion, you are somehow more righteous? I have heard people use the whole “lesser of two evil” argument but that never even made sense.. God says He is a light and In Him there is no darkness at all… so if we are equating Romney with Christlikeness….then we should simply not do it based on his abortion stance..because he was for something that we consider wrong. First of all, I don’t care who you voted for..I love you all the same..but I think it is wrong to equate a vote with a form of godliness.
One thing that I will be the first to tell people is that I am against abortion. I have been known to tear up at the sight of a dead bird and I have even been sad over the sight of a cracked egg because, in it, I see the potential for new life.. I don’t like abortion, and I am against it. I think it is sad that a mother would come to a place where she feels like she is unable to raise a child alone. I also think that it is a great travesty that, as Christians, a lot of us don’t take care of one another and help one another as the Bible commands. We evangelize and socialize only with the people whose look like us….many of us sit on pews during the week, and never really live out what that which we claim to believe.
Another great irony that I see…
Do you know how many times I have heard the term “raghead”? I see a lot of hatred toward people of the middle east. One thing that I have always found ironic is that I often feel as if many of see Jesus as a white American. I have heard that Jesus, having been born in a certain region, actually had dark skin… Why does skin color frighten people so much? Are we afraid that if Jesus were dark skinned, then He wouldn’t be as holy or as righteous? I have heard people argue…..Yes, argue over Jesus’ skin color.
I think we have missed the point of the gospel entirely if it matters to us how Jesus looked in physical appearance. I don’t care if Christ was black, white, brown, tan…I don’t care if he was spotted.and covered in splotches.. .. I know His character and I love Him. I know that His character was perfect, but the Bible never mentioned anything about His physical attributes.
Have you ever heard the song, “Jesus in Disguise? It is a great song. The song on the based on the verse that says..”What you have done for the least of these, you have also done for me.” There is another verse in the Bible that speaks of entertaining angels… The verse, and I paraphrase, says to be kind to everyone you meet because you could be secretly be entertaining angels…
Well, what if those angels and the Jesus’ in disguise are black people? What makes us think that angels look like we do? What if God sent an angel in disguise to work behind the counter of a corner store? What if He looked like a Muslim? When did we get it through our heads that people of other nations are our enemies?
Didn’t Christ say to love your enemies and do good to those who curse you? Yes, He did.. And yet, I often have seen hateful rhetoric aimed at people of middle eastern descent.
I used to have a friend of middle eastern descent.. He saw a lot of hypocracy and hatred from the Christian community. I thought it travesty because I learned that he was a real person and the color of his blood was the exact same color as mine. I gave him a Bible and told him a little something about Jesus…not because I wanted to shove in his face that I was right and he was wrong..but because I have tasted and seen that the Lord is good.
I stand behind Israel.. Jesus tells us pray for Israel. But He never commanded us to hate anyone based on His command to pray for Israel. He says that He is the God of all nations. Google it ..you will find many verses on Christ’s love for people of other nations.
We consider ourselves a Christian nation, but do you know what I read the other day that I found interesting. A nation can be no more Christian than a car or a cellphone. Christ came to save people.. Individuals.. The truth that I am seeing is that America is not a Christian nation. There are some true Christians out there..but there seem to no shortage of finger pointing, backstabbing, foul mouthed, people whose lives are wrought with hypocracy and greed. So you want to talk about Christ? Talk is cheap! Show me… People need to see Him… People need to see His love in action. Are you truly living it and showing His love or are you giving the world lip service? Food for thought.
Yesterday I was reading the blog of a friend. She happens to be liberal and gay. As I was reading her blog, I got a real glimpse into her heart. Truthfully, I don’t think most Christians today would have even taken the time to listen to anything that she has to say… Many simply look at the word liberal or gay and automatically go into “shun” mode. Many of us would put her into a corner and point our fingers and call her a sinner.. But wait..aren’t we all sinners? Didn’t Christ say that ALL have fallen short of the glory of God..and didn’t He say that we are all sinners .. "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us"… or in His verse from John 1:8 that says "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us."
There have been days when I have been driving along and think a wrong thought against another person, and see the sin and the fault in that alone. We are all sinners. Salvation is something that has to be worked out in fear and trembling.. It is not a simple sinners prayer and poof you are all done.. It is something to work for, to seek..to strive to obtain.. “Work out your salvation in fear and trembling” That's in the Bible too.
I’m not going to tell you I agree with everything my friend writes.. But today, I am not going to point fingers and call her a sinner until I take a good hard look at my own life and make sure that there aren’t any “beams” pointing out of my eye. Its sad that I live in a society where I have to remind people that we all bleed the same blood and that we all have feelings.
Instead, we say in our speech and our actions that she doesn’t matter..but what does Christ have to say about her? Christ says that He knew her before she was born. He says that even the hairs of her head are numbered and that He loves her and rejoices over her with singing…
When is the last time we have actually dusted off our little black books and read what they say about how to treat others? Are we picking apart verses to fit our own ideas about things or are we learning something from the story of Christ as a whole? Why are we crucifying people and nailing them to a cross when they may be Jesus in disguise?
Are we listening to talking heads who tell us what or how to think or are we seeking Christ and what He has to say on things? Just some food for thought.
On my friend’s blog she pointed out how she thought it was ironic that so many of “us” go to great lengths to stop gay marriage… But she also pointed out how many of us can’t even make our own marriages work. She pointed out the irony of having “Jimmy Swaggarts” in the pulpit who point their fingers at her and tell her that she is wrong. Does anyone know the jimmy swaggart story..about his hotel escpades and how, only after he got caught in the act…was he really sorry..and then he got caught yet again with his pants around his ankles..Doesn’t true repentance and being sorry mean that you won’t want to commit the same act over and over and over? But yet sometimes it seem like we idolize people and send them their money because they promise us something in return.. They try to sell miracles and salvation. Bull! I'm not buying it from them. It taints the message of the true Cross of Christ. He is worth more than that to me!
I’ve always found it ironic that half of the lawmakers who write laws are either cheating on their wives and lying through their teeth are touting a Christian agenda simply in order to win votes. Why do we consider homosexuality such a horrid sin, when we can’t even get past our own lies? Didn’t the fall of the man begin with a lie? And yet..I ‘ve seen many Christians who have no problem letting little deceptions slip off the tongue and “call themselves good.”
Let’s look at the beam in our own eyes before we try to get the beams out of everyone elses..
I guess I conclude that, in our quest to be right, many of us have missed the point entirely. Many of us pull out a scripture to wave in someone’s face telling them how “wrong” they are before taking a long, hard look at their own life.
The entire story of Jesus was a love story. It was a story that that taught us how to love our enemies, the people that we don’t see eye to eye with… ..The Bible is a story of unconditional love… In all of our self righteousnes, have we forgetten all of that?
Do we even care?
Are we going to change anything, seek the face of Christ Himself, or are we going to continue listening to hateful rhetoric from pulpits and people selling the gospel of Christ for a profit?
One thing that I can say about Christ is that He is the embodiment of perfect love. His love is so pure that no words could even describe. He is a light that is so bright. He is so holy and so good. He is perfect in all of His ways.
We are called to be Christlike.. When we speak His name, but can’t carry His love.and finger point are we guilty of “having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof?
One thing I will say,and I may get reamed for this…I don’t agree with a lot of Obama’s policy, but I can say that think it is great that we overcome years of racial hatred. To me, that is something wonderful.
I don’t even claim to support Obama. I don’t want to jump on a political bandwagon..but I will pray for him. The Bible says to pray for our leaders. T ruthfully, I haven’t done that but since I do take God at His Word..Today is just as good as any to start.
On that note…your thoughts?
Also, read this article before you respond . It makes sense to me f rom a political standpoint.. even though I can't claim to agree with every thing he may write..