OI, IMMIGRANT, JESUS WHO?

False-Liberal Christianity:

(RLCC comment after the article)

'Hey, Mr Comedian, we didn't like that stuff you did,' some audience members once apparently said to American counterculture comedian Bill Hicks, after he cracked a tasteless anti-Christian joke, 'We're Christians.'

'Well then forgive me,' Hicks replied. A cute comeback, and, though this might annoy the sadly deceased Hicks' many passionate atheist followers, a good sermon too. Sadly, the joke depends on the general perception outside our faith that the least likely person in the world to forgive you is a Christian whose religious sensibilities have been offended.

At least that is among the many generalising misconceptions about Christianity. It's up there with 'Christianity is about being a good enough person to get into Heaven' and at least as popular as (in America) 'Christian = Republican' or (in Africa) 'Christian = gay-basher'. In Britain, and particularly England, the perception of Christians might be encapsulated by the phrase: 'Blessed are the quiche-makers'. And there are good things about our acceptance by mainstream society as a smiling, means-no-harm bunch of do-gooders whose rather antiquated beliefs gave us such British institutions as carol-singing, 'Christian names' and some bank holidays. We can speak in their public square and they will come to our church fetes.

It also means that many people assume they understand our religion when in fact they haven't a clue. Too harsh? Am I not cutting enough slack for our secularised neighbours? Well let's ask some asylum-seekers.

Last week the Evangelical Alliance criticised UK immigration officials for their 'ludicrous' treatment of foreigners seeking asylum here on the grounds that their Christian faith put them in danger. You may remember the recent case of a woman who was going to be sent back to Iran where there was a chance she would be stoned. She, and many others like her, have been judged to be unconvincing in their Christianity. Their asylum applications rejected because they were clearly not real Christians and thus not in danger and not eligible for our protection.

Why? Because (in one case) they did not know that the period before Christmas is called Advent. Other probing Scriptural/theological questions were: 'How do you cook a turkey at Christmas?'; 'Identify the forbidden fruit eaten by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden' and 'What does the Christmas tree symbolize?' I trust I am not being too elitist when I assume that most of us know that none of those questions can be answered from the Bible. To be fair, some questions were less dependent on Scripture-knowledge. 'What will happen around the world in the second coming?' was the simple question asked of one asylum-seeker. (Answers on a postcard, please. Pre-millennialists need not apply.)

Of course, what these immigration officials are talking about is pseudo-Christian British culture, not our faith. And ultimately it is we, not secular society, who are to blame for their lack of understanding. The EA is quite rightly trying to make amends for how we have ultimately failed our brothers and sisters abroad who foolishly see this as a Christian country. And last week public opinion seemed to be with them. Radio 2 phone-ins featured several people speaking out on behalf of one Iranian woman, making passionate pleas for her to be allowed to stay. Of course, one can't help but notice that public opinion does not generally seem to be on the side of run-of-the-mill asylum-seekers. You know, the ones just facing plain old vanilla torture or death, not related to their faith. They, according to some of our most popular newspapers, are nothing but a terror-assisting, crime-causing, benefit-thieving drain on our resources. Maybe if we pretend they're all as Christian as our asylum adjudicators, we could care about the lot of them?

RLCC Comment: There are truths in the above article. It contains half-truths. Being opposed to the harm done by homosexuality, however, is not "gay-bashing." That characterization is reverse psychology, a ploy, a twist on a euphemism.

The questions posed by the UK immigration officials are terrible. That point is well-founded. The article does point out hypocrisies that do need to be corrected; however, harmlessness (a Christian commandment) must be sought as consistently as possible, and homosexuality is far from harmless. See our main post on the subject: "Homosexuals: What they ignore."

Originally by jonathanlangley from Baptist Times Newsweek on July 24, 2007, 7:00am

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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 – present, website developer and writer. 2015 – present, insurance broker.

    Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration.

    Volunteerism: 2007 – present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.

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    • Out of that whole piece you focus on the homosexuality issue? Odd. Don't get me wrong, I believe it's a sin and so I think I am on the same page as you that far. But perhaps I have a different reading of the Scripture when it comes to how we are supposed to treat fellow sinners.

      so, for the record: I don't think seeing homosexuality as a sin is gay-bashing. that misconception is used time and time again to attack the Church and it is a lie. But there are other things the Church gets attacked for. Saying Jesus is the only way to salvation, to the exclusion of all other ways. And that is alot closer to the core of what we believe, central to issues of salvation and a truly Christian worldview than one sin. If we as Christians campaigned as hard against greed or selfishness (that affect the whole of our society, pollute the earth we were given to steward and cause untold injustices and suffering all over the world) as we do against one sexual sin (which yes affects society but does less harm if only by virtue of it being less popular than greed) we would be performing more of the acts of mercy Jesus requires (when he says that he was hungry and we fed him, thirsty and we gave him a drink, etc) AND i think showing his love and his light and attracting more people to the Truth: That Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that he died and rose again to forgive our sins and that we are saved by faith in him and not by our own works.

      I think it is easy to get side-tracked by things that do not preach Jesus. I think it is easy to become a Pharisee. I think it is easy to forget that every one of us is a sinner and we are only saved by Grace and that Jesus called us to cast the first stone only if we are without sin.

      Believing all that does not mean we have to say every way is equally right or that whatever lifestyle you choose is acceptable to the Lord. But you cannot clean the fish before you catch it. I am glad nobody require d me to change my life and get rid of my sin BEFORE i got saved.

      All that said, you seem keen to reach the world for Jesus. I hope that goes well and he equips, strengthens and guides you and that you are always willing to listen to him, even if he changes you r mind about some things. Bless you.

    • Hello Jonathan,

      This is what dialogue is about though isn't it--getting the opportunity to clarify so that conclusions may be altered. The psychologists call it reflective listening. I've practiced it from my earliest childhood long before I ever heard of the expression. Engaging in it is a peacemaking activity provided the parties are in earnest about reflecting on what has been said and are looking for righteousness.

      Out of that whole piece you focus on the homosexuality issue? Odd.

      It is the point of departure and symbolic of the entire error we call false-liberalism.

      Don’t get me wrong, I believe it’s a sin and so I think I am on the same page as you that far.

      It is right that you call it a sin.

      But perhaps I have a different reading of the Scripture when it comes to how we are supposed to treat fellow sinners.

      so, for the record: I don’t think seeing homosexuality as a sin is gay-bashing. that misconception is used time and time again to attack the Church and it is a lie.

      The term "gay" has been misappropriated by homosexuals to mask the disease, attempting to hide its nature as a disease from the general population. Gay is a euphemism. That usage is false-hearted. They want sympathy for how they claim to feel at being told they are sinning. If they feel bashed, they are to take it as a righteous rebuke and turn from their sin to God.

      But there are other things the Church gets attacked for. Saying Jesus is the only way to salvation, to the exclusion of all other ways. And that is alot closer to the core of what we believe, central to issues of salvation and a truly Christian worldview than one sin.

      We agree that it is core that Jesus's words and exemplary life is the one and only path.

      If we as Christians campaigned as hard against greed or selfishness (that affect the whole of our society, pollute the earth we were given to steward and cause untold injustices and suffering all over the world) as we do against one sexual sin (which yes affects society but does less harm if only by virtue of it being less popular than greed) we would be performing more of the acts of mercy Jesus requires (when he says that he was hungry and we fed him, thirsty and we gave him a drink, etc) AND i think showing his love and his light and attracting more people to the Truth: That Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that he died and rose again to forgive our sins and that we are saved by faith in him and not by our own works.

      There are those calling themselves Christian who are false-Christians who do not campaign against all greed and violence but rather selectively hone in on homosexuality and abortion. Their list is well known. Where your reading and ours differs is that we see homosexuality as greedy and selfish and polluting and negatively impacting upon the whole of society and spreading the spirit of lies and deception around the world. We see homosexuals' attempt at ascendancy as increasing, not decreasing, the popularity of selfishness in general. We see the evil spirit as working at one purpose by these means, namely anti-Christianity. The violation of the lesser commandments translates into the violation of the greatest in this way, and that is consistent with Jesus's own words.

      I think it is easy to get side-tracked by things that do not preach Jesus. I think it is easy to become a Pharisee. I think it is easy to forget that every one of us is a sinner and we are only saved by Grace and that Jesus called us to cast the first stone only if we are without sin.

      We must stand against and campaign against things as we must stand for and campaign for things. We stand against greed, violence, and sexual depravity all at once, for they are all selfish. We stand for their opposites, which are giving and sharing all, total pacifism, and sexual harmlessness. It is by the grace of God and faith in God that we are given to make this stand and do the works, of course. We can do nothing without Jesus and God. If we do nothing though, we had not Jesus and God. Do you disagree with that?

      In making this stand, we must bring forth the fruits thereof. We are known by our fruits, not just by our words. We can be close to God in words and far away in deeds. That is Pharisaism. That is hypocrisy. Not bringing forth is hypocritical. Do you agree?

      This is why we call for souls of this spirit to conflate that is be blown together by the Holy Spirit to bring forth as called for by Jesus. This will show clearly and plainly real Christianity to the whole world. It will shine that light in a hugely magnified way incapable of being hidden or ignored. It is part of the separation and sealing (cleaning) process.

      As for stoning, we are committed to pacifism as the narrow way. We are also charged with sounding the alarm. It is done only in the spirit of warning those who will heed it. We want all to heed, but that's not the fate of this age.

      Believing all that does not mean we have to say every way is equally right or that whatever lifestyle you choose is acceptable to the Lord. But you cannot clean the fish before you catch it. I am glad nobody require d me to change my life and get rid of my sin BEFORE i got saved.

      At least you didn't say there wasn't any cleaning to be done. So many false preachers are telling their flocks that just mouthing words is enough. Of course, then they go on to tell them how to behave but always short of the three pillars of giving and sharing all, total pacifism, and sexual harmlessness all at once. They focus on sexual harm, but without really knowing what they are talking about. They go on to laud capitalism, greed, militancy, and all their other human, ungodly traditions they pass off as the precepts of God and righteousness. Consequently, we end up with the Holy Spirit exposing Abu Ghraib and the rest wherein the direct connection of 1) sexual depravity featuring homosexuality and sadomasochism taught by the chain of command from the top down with 2) greed and 3) violence is shown to the whole world in terms only liars can deny. They all come together. Only different horns of the same Beast are larger with different individuals and groups.

      We know from Jesus that he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. We shall see it.

      In addition, all real Christians are fishers of men (human kind). The disciples were not perfected (in a sense) the moment Jesus caught them and chose them, but they were on that inevitable path because with the help of their friends (Jesus and all of the one spirit) they got back up and dusted themselves off when they fell and they endured to the end.

      All that said, you seem keen to reach the world for Jesus. I hope that goes well and he equips, strengthens and guides you and that you are always willing to listen to him, even if he changes you r mind about some things. Bless you.

      In our context, the Holy Spirit teaches us everyday. Our minds are constantly changing.

      Jonathan, do you believe in bringing forth the Christian Commons?

      Bless you also, Jonathan.

      Tom