Here are some of the ideas that made me think this past week. Though I link to the full article under each excerpt that does not mean that I fully agree with everything in the post or its site. (Additional warning some posts contain language some might consider offensive).
“… truth isn’t relative, but our perception of the truth is. It’s extremely relative. It changes based on what we know or don’t know. It varies depending on where and when we were born, what we experienced, what we didn’t experience, what our parents believed, what they rejected, what our culture accepts, denies, or ridicules.
All of those things shape a person’s perception, and our perception is all we have to go on when we study and seek.
…the evidence, the truth, the facts are out there, but we all view them differently. This levels the playing field. This should humble us. This should make us quick to listen and understand. This should be at the forefront of our minds when we talk to anyone different than us: Where are they coming from? Why? What do I have to learn from them?
It becomes not just an academic or scientific or intellectual discussion, but an exercise in empathy. We can’t truly understand what somebody is saying unless we understand from where they’re saying it. And we certainly won’t treat anybody with compassion or respect if we don’t recognize that if we were in their same shoes, we’d probably do the same.
And no matter how right you actually are, you’re still operating on the same level as anybody else — a person with five senses, a brain, a life partially lived, and all of that very, very finite.”
The Truth Isn’t Relative, But You Are by Baily
“Evangelicals worship at the altar of purity and put resources, time, and theologizing into protecting it without teaching is people how to be Christians of sexual integrity and Christlikeness.
I am not saying that first sexual encounters are not sacred. I am not saying that the way we engage with sexual purity doesn’t matter. I am not saying that Jesus doesn’t have standards for our sexual lives. I am simply concerned that when all is said and done that we have overlooked Jesus, the one who crossed barriers of stigma, isolation, and sexual history in order to bring people into the kingdom. Our worship of virginity has left that Jesus behind in favor of a God who instead of protecting a woman from having stones thrown at her, takes the first one and throws it himself.”
The Evangelical Social Construction of Virginity by Brandi Miller
“…I’m concerned that the bar for being a good dad is set so low that a dude can take a photo with his kids, post it online, and automatically become the “world’s greatest dad” in the eyes of some because of it.
…let’s talk about how there are literally millions of great dads across the globe that embrace fatherhood as much as I do.
Let’s talk about how they’re tired of shitty dads getting more press and publicity than the amazing dads like themselves. And most importantly, let’s talk about how these men are doing their part to illustrate how fatherhood is the coolest and most rewarding gig a man will ever have in his lifetime.”
When the Story Isn’t the Story by Doyin Richards
“…a successful business owner will learn from criticism and be grateful that someone took the time to be honest with them about their experiences. They’ll learn and grow from the feedback given, even if it was painful to hear, and move on in a way that incorporates their knowledge and tries to prevent those shortfalls from occurring again.
Not so, Christians. They can’t really engage with the criticism honestly and squarely because it involves huge changes to their entire business model of fear, hatred, exclusion, discrimination, bigotry, authoritarianism, and narcissism…
Told that it’s either fall into line with the rest of the troops or leave, a lot of people are going to say “well, okay,” and walk out the door. Others might fight against the culture war, trying to reform their religion from the inside, but eventually these kind and hardy souls get driven out by the outraged tribe. Insecure people need not only constant flattery and self-congratulation, but also ideological purity. We’re seeing a major drive for exactly that purity in toxic Christianity right now, with them circling up the wagons as the whole world reacts in shock and horror to their antics…
The one thing I don’t expect to see is culture warriors suddenly realizing just how much irreparable harm they are doing to themselves with their hatred. Change comes very hard for people like that, and introspection is even rarer.”
A Fragile Bubble: Criticism Avoidance by Captain Cassidy
“The truth is, many evangelicals long ago replaced the suffering servant of Christ with an image that more closely resembles Donald Trump than many would care to admit. They’ve traded a faith that privileges humility and elevates the least of these for one that derides gentleness as the province of wusses. Having replaced the Jesus of the gospels with an idol of machismo, it’s no wonder many have come to think of Trump himself as the nation’s savior.
Indeed, white evangelical support for Trump can be seen as the culmination of a decades-long embrace of militant masculinity, a masculinity that has enshrined patriarchal authority, condoned a callous display of power at home and abroad, and functioned as a linchpin in the political and social worldviews of conservative white evangelicals. In the end, many evangelicals did not vote for Trump despite their beliefs, but because of them.”
Donald Trump and Militant Evangelical Masculinity by Kristin Du Mez
“I sat by for the past 8 years listening to the easily-disprovable lies you bought into. President Obama was going to implement death panels, Sharia Law, FEMA concentration camps. He was going to take your guns and tax your bullets. He was planning to enact marshal law and raise our taxes through the roof. He’s not YOUR President, he’s not even a US citizen…
These are not obscure, never-heard-of conspiracy theories, you’ve repeated them to me over and over again. And you know what? Today is the day that you are proven to be gullible, and wrong. Wrong on every count.
Since you are so easily tricked into believing so many easily-disprovable things, why would anyone believe what you have to say about your invisible God? Because you know He’s in your heart? Spare me, please.
When you read the reports of people leaving Christianity, you’ll know that you had a part in that. You’ve ceded any moral high-ground you ever thought you had.
Now you support a lying, cheating, womanizing man, Donald Trump. And these things have already been proven to be true. As far as I’m concerned, Donald Trump is now your Lord and Savior. You have sold your soul to support him. He is the face of your Christianity.”
To my Christian friends who voted for Donald Trump (Facebook post by Bruce Horst)