(Someone asked me if I can’t just be foolish on Facebook… Well, hell, NO! I will be foolish here as well:)
1 – The State of Indiana passing laws that are to allow business to reject service to gays: WRONG. Even with the argument that it is to protect businesses from the heavy lawsuits gay people file against business. We should not respond with legislation against others whereas saying that we don’t like “legislation” which is against us
UPDATE: Please read a clarification in the comments. UPDATE #2 – Please read how CNN “headlines” the matter here
2 – Gay people closing otherwise good business by suing them because they cannot bake a cake for themselves, or arrange flowers by themselves (what kind of gay people are they?): WRONG
3 – Gay people in business, hypothetically, refusing to provide services for the KKK and the Westboro (more like West Burro) Baptist Church in a anti-gay regalia: WRONG.
So, in whatever case, it is all wrong! The fact is that no one wants to live together with those with whom they disagree. The fact remains that TOLERANCE is something you give, not something you DEMAND! The one demanding TOLERANCE and rights should be the first one READY TO GIVE IT!
I have repeated this often, including in “diversity” courses: Tolerance demanded is in and of itself INTOLERANCE! Especially when it is in detriment of others.
If it matters, before you call me names, read this: I do business with gays although I respect those who do not!
Now you can call me names …
A Civil War “of sorts”?
WE ARE IN A CIVIL WAR,
We can’t live without legislating against those whose live styles or opinions we despise;
We can’t live without involving the courts against those whose life styles and opinions we despise;
We can’t live without involving the GOVERNMENT against those whose life styles and opinions we despise:
THEN, we are already amid a CIVIL WAR; a bloodless one indeed, but perhaps just as dividing of a society as a full blown CIVIL WAR!!!!
Some people think they know where history is taking us and are quite happy to declare boom-booms on those who take exception, the boom-booms declared with a long finger pointing at them with the accusation they will be on the “wrong side of history” or, perhaps more damaging, they will be “left behind” or “irrelevant.”
He wrestles first with statements against religion and how as a species we are losing our connection to the need for a divine. Taking this a step further, he attacks inclusion advocates who often use the “wrong side of history” mantra as a reason to progress. McKnight and I differ on inclusion, which seems to be needed to said because if you question progressive idols, then suddenly you are a bigoted fundamentalist.
Frankly, “wrong side of history” is a tired and worn-out phrase that has been co-opted from other narratives, providing a slippery slope and dismissing the moral imperative of inclusion.
Let me explain. The “wrong side of history” mantra is nothing short of a modern-day manifest destiny, the 19th century version of American Exceptionalism that led to the extermination of indigenous peoples as well as the preservation of slavery, both African and capitalistic. This mantra is about Americans, for Americans, and sets a particular interpretation of American values above the rest of the world not to mention Christian Tradition. It has no regard for soundness of logic, reason, or doctrine, only for a political movement that can change as quickly as the weather. Indeed, in one FB conversation recently, Roger Worsley (a prolific UMC progressive blogger), stated simply he writes only for American progressives, feeding them only what they want. In doing so, Worsley (albeit, passively) admitted that the only Christianity that mattered was his white progressive version.
If you are fighting for inclusion only because you don’t want to be on “the wrong side of history” you have to ask yourself, in what way are you respecting the people you are supposedly fighting for? Aren’t you just using them as mere bodies, footstones/cannon fodder/pawns in all actuality, to advance your cause? Why not fight for inclusion simply because it is right rather than as a means to re-establish white American dominance, colonizing the world and Christian Tradition?
History is fickle and has no sides. It can be undone, destroyed, and forgotten. What cannot be so easily destroyed is the mind and heart changed for the good, for the right.
After reading in a few news outlets that the students of a certain university (mush brains being mushed brained) are removing the glorious AMERICAN FLAG from their campuses to make it MORE INCLUSIVE, I decided, as an AMERICAN BY THE WILL AND GRACE OF GOD to write this as A FAVOR for all those tho go to extremes in this INCLUSIVE PURSUIT so they know that what foreigners may not want is exactly the purge of anything that indicates that they are indeed in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!
When they went to the Consular Offices, or Embassies to get their visas to come to America, they stood in line, paid fees, sacrificed their time to proudly earn the right to come, not to a foreign country of any sort, but AMERICA!
When their write to their moms and dads, they proudly do not say, “I am in a foreign country” – rather, they say I AM IN AMERICA, proudly!
When their moms and dads, grandma, grandpa, tell their buddies that they have a son, a daughter, a grandson or granddaughter studying in a foreign country, they don’t simply say, a foreign country; they say “my….. is a student IN AMERICA, IN THE USA!
When these students write to buddies they BRAG about being, NOT in any foreign country, but IN AMERICA!
They may say whatever they say about America among themselves, but no one brought them here, it wasn’t easy to be here, it wasn’t cheap to be here, but they are here and THEY ARE PROUD OF BEING IN AMERICA!
So, this “inclusiveness” is because these students: (1) don’t know the mentality of a foreign; (2) they themselves are ashamed of being from a country where every other foreign is proud of being, or else they wouldn’t be here! So, “inclusiveness” is childish, disrespectful, disrespectful of everyone accomplishments, and disregarding of all the sacrifices involved to be here, in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. As a “former” foreigner whom God Blessed with the American Citizenship, I say, FLY THAT FLAG HIGH! REMIND ME EVERY MOMENT THAT I AM IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA! You’re welcome!
THE LOST GOSPEL is not the worst book ever written. I once attended a party where I was subjected to an excerpt of dinosaur erotica. It was a lovely gathering otherwise, but my ears were assaulted by pages from Taken by the T-Rex. I will say no more for fear that I will corrupt you, gentle reader. The silver lining of my turpid tale is that I now have a new barometer for beastly books. While The Lost Gospel is no match for dinosaur erotica, it is equally daring.
…at least to a degree, Rob is not going to shy away completely from robust Christian themes…
Christian themes should include the entire Canon (both Old and New). Indeed, without the Jewish Scriptures, we do not have a foundation for the New Testament, nor for Christian ethics, doctrine, and witness. I think Drew would agree with me on this.
But Rob Bell has recently turn from Christian themes to something else:
“I think culture is already there and the church will continue to be even more irrelevant when it quotes letters from 2,000 years ago as their best defense, when you have in front of you flesh-and-blood people who are your brothers and sisters, and aunts and uncles, and co-workers and neighbors, and they love each other and just want to go through life,” he said.
There are a few issues here. As you know, I believe in inclusion, not because of some notion of “Jesus was inclusive” or “the wrong side of history” but because of Scripture and Theology. Another issue is proof-texting. I hate proof-texting because it demeans the value of Scripture and spits at the intelligence of the dialogue partners. If the latter is what Bell is getting it, I can completely agree. We cannot simply afford to throw bible verses out as lines in the sand. It doesn’t make sense, creates logical fallacies (or, in this case, a phallacy), and establishes anti-intellectualism as a doctrine.
But, is that really what Rob Bell is getting at?
I think he doesn’t understand nor care to understand either the Old Testament nor Paul’s letters (which include and expound upon the Jewish Scriptures). I think he sees Scripture not as part of the message of Christ, but as a hinderance to the “divine life” Jesus promised (which is more Bellian than Christian).1
Further, Rob Bell seems to suggest the Church is pulling culture down, forgetting that this is not a race (either to the top or the bottom) but that the Church must stand a part from culture. We are the voice of the loyal opposition. We do not let dictates of culture become the voice of the Body of Christ.
There was once a time when the Church challenged society — slavery, gender equality, science. Now, people expect the Church to be complicit with society. If this is your view – regardless of how you feel about particular issues, the you must ask yourself: Are you a Christian?
Are we supposed to let the moral impulses of society shape the Church or, do we allow the progressive revelation of the Church lead us in shaping society (in a non-theocratic way)?
If Jesus is Lord, and Caesar is not, then the Church is the Kingdom, and society is not. We cannot judge, nor bend, the Church by society’s expectations. This has never worked well.
If the Church expects to formulate doctrine, ethics, and vision, we must do so based on something besides the ever changing moral dictates of society. If Rob Bell wants to throw away Scripture and rely on his own revelation or feelings (or, dare I say experience (in a non-Outler definition)), then let him, but he is not Christian in any orthodox sense of the word. He is simply someone who uses a Je$us and a Christianity to do what he will.
We, speaking as a United Methodist, will never move forward if we do not learn to rely not upon our own experience (which is what Rob Bell is trying to use) but upon concrete foundational documents. If we build our ethical houses of feelings and subjective views, then it will come tumbling down, destroyed by sheer stupidity.
So, while I have read much of Rob Bell and found that his books have influenced me (particularly, Love Wins), I cannot travel the road with him any longer. With that, I say, farewell, Rob Bell.
This is ironic because the communities producing the New Testament are related. The Jesus of Paul directly influenced the Jesus of Mark, leading the Jesus of the other Gospels and Revelation. Even the Jesus of Thomas is somewhat twinned with the Jesus of the Synoptics. However, the Jesus we have a part from the canon is often a Jesus of ethereal reality, arriving hundreds of years later and in direct opposition to the canonical Jesus. ↩