Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"Burn A Qur'an Day"

Burn a Qur'an Day

Somehow Dove World Outreach Center thinks that burning Qur'ans is an excellent way to show the love of Jesus.

Wow, this seems very Western-centric. Let's see, allowing the billion Muslims in the world to characterize Christianity as God-hating, scripture hating bigots-- is that the way to show Jesus' love?

The article reads, "Most people who criticize are also the people who don’t do anything,” said Jones. “If they do not like our method – they don’t have to like our method, they don’t have to adopt our method – then they should do something themselves,” he said, proposing they go door-to-door to distribute Christian literature about the love of Jesus.

Okay. I've gone to Bangladesh and talked to people in mosques. I taught the word of Jesus in a way that it could be heard. I made friends with Muslims and handed out New Testaments. I didn't change the world, but I was there. Jesus is about loving our enemies, not communicating that we hate them.

This isn't evangelism, it is war. Jesus did not come to judge or to destroy, but to save.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Mysticism and Fundamentalism

A brilliant letter to an atheist by Mark Van Steenwyk:

Anabaptist letter to Atheist

A brief section of it:

"A mystic is one who connects directly with ultimate reality… spiritual truth… God. Such a posture is necessary to believe and sacrifice what is for what can be. It takes faith to seek a better world. Fundamentalists (either theist or atheists) don’t have faith. They rigidly grip certainty until all life has been squeezed out.

"Ultimately, the reason I stubbornly embrace Jesus has little to do with a logical worldview. I don’t cling to propositions the way a fundamentalist does. My convictions evolve and change. My way of seeing the world shifts. But through it all, the beauty of this man who sacrificed his life for the Kingdom of God compels me. His vision of a new humanity caused him to not only die for a cause, but to die for a cause when he could have killed to force his vision upon the world. His vision has seeped into my imagination. I have experienced him – deeply and truly – in the presence of failure and brokenness."

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Freeing Slaves Isn't Enough

From Religion Today Summaries:

Mission News Network reports that women trafficked in several Asian countries continue to struggle even if they are able to leave the sex trade. "The huge driving factor of the sex industry in East Asia is poverty," said Ella Grere, a missionary in an East Asian country with Pioneers. Many women are lured into the trade by acquaintances and family who offer them a job. Countries such as Burma have such a poor population that women can't afford to turn down a job opportunity. Grere says women endure so much abuse and forced addictions that they have trouble leaving the brothels. "We've had our business going for two years now, and really only three women have come out of the brothel to work for us full-time," she said. Tamarisk Tree, the ministry Grere works with, deliberately offers slightly lower wages than the brothels in order to ensure the women who come genuinely want to begin a new life.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

So Getting Rid of Oppression is Secular Humanism?

In Religion Today Summaries:

Christian Music Fest Draws Fire over Jim Wallis Invitation

The Christian Post reports that the inclusion of controversial Christian activist Jim Wallis has dampened enthusiasm for a popular Christian music festival. Lifest included Wallis among its 58 speakers this year in Wisconsin, drawing criticism and leading one sponsor to pull support for the event. "After researching extensively the words and published positions of Jim Wallis and his organization, Sojourners Magazine, and seeking fervently the guidance of the Holy Spirit in prayer, we believe the social justice message and agenda they promote is a seed of secular humanism, seeking an unholy alliance between the Church and Government," Q90 FM, a Christian radio station based in De Pere, Wis., state

If, as Christians, we aren't supposed to stop injustice and oppression, if we aren't supposed to help the needy, if we aren't supposed to love our neighbors, then I quit.

I'm not saying that Jim Wallis is always right-- their support of the Democrats was a huge mistake-- but they are about ceasing injustice, and that's what Jim talks about. Christians often bug me anyway, but when they call justice evil, that's when I publicly reject their message.

Jesus is always for justice. As long as that justice is for everyone. Jesus was one of the original humanists. He just wasn't secular.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Freedom of Speech

It is the responsibility of every free citizen of the United States to point out the oppressions of our nation and culture. If we do not use our freedom of speech to better our society and help the outcast, then we have taken our freedom and thrown it in the garbage can.