Am I a Christian Bigot?

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Am I a Christian Bigot? Empty Am I a Christian Bigot?

Post by Guest on Sat Jul 04, 2015 10:45 am

When Christians engage in culture wars, theology can quickly transform into bigotry, and the gospel of Christ is often abandoned for a spirit of hatred, bitterness and judgmental accusations. As the Supreme Court tackles the issue of same-sex marriage, many Christians are being labeled as bigots, but what exactly is Christian bigotry?  Here are some defining characteristics:

Bigots Fear Change:
Christian Bigots hate change and see it as an attack on their beliefs. Since their Bible is inerrant and their God is unchanging, new ideas are dangerous and subversive to their perfect theology. Perfection cannot be improved upon, so any variation or contradiction is perceived as absurd. Bigots hate discovery, creativity is often prohibited, and new ideas are threatening to their way of life.
Historically, this is why many Christians were shamefully ignorant and simply wrong when it came to addressing slavery, fighting for civil rights, addressing the Holocaust, recognizing genocide, and combating AIDS (just to name a few).

Bigots Are Often (But Not Always) Privileged:
Change is hard to accept when things are working in your favor. As the common expression goes: “Why change a good thing?” Any theology, idea or sermon that challenges people to sacrifice or reach beyond their comfort zones isn’t easily accepted.
Related: When God No Longer Hates Fags – by Joel McKerrow
Bigots defend their position so passionately because the greatest beneficiaries of their worldview are themselves. But when people are persecuted, abandoned, ignored or powerless, their perspective changes and becomes open to different paradigms. These new paradigms are invisible and seem illogical to those that live in comfort and authority.

Bigots Crave Power:
Bigots want control, and they view their faith as a war of attrition. They use battle terminology to describe the gospel and prefer to preach, yell and shout instead of listen, discuss and learn. They use proclamations filled with absolutes and flood Facebook pages with dubious links and articles that promote their agendas. They declare statements instead of asking questions and refuse to engage in meaningful dialogue. They prefer political might over spiritual strength, legal enforcement over personal choice, conscription over evangelism, punishment over grace, fear over hope, and control over love. In extreme cases, even violence and aggression is viewed as a necessary means of gaining power.

The Future is Scary:
Christian Bigots believe that the Apocalypse is going to happen sooner rather than later—possibly tomorrow. They assume people are becoming more depraved every passing minute. The Gays, Liberals and Abortionists are ruining the world, and every single negative news event is proof that God is judging the world and that The End is near. Repent! Turn from your sins! Bigots shout the Gospel as a somber warning call from God that foresees a future full of doom and gloom and destruction. The Bible isn’t a message of hope, joy and redemption, but a weapon used to strike fear into anyone who doesn’t wholeheartedly agree with their theologies and belief systems.

The Past was Beautiful:
As bad as the future is, the past was practically perfect. If only American Christians could travel back in time when they were the predominant majority, when they could issue moral decrees and control the social and political institutions of the day.
Bigots love to tarnish the current (and future) reputation of humanity by comparing it to the past. But again, their past isn’t reality, and it’s a revisionist history that has been glossed over by misconceptions, ignorance and prideful assumptions.

Bigots lack humility, and they refuse to admit they were ever wrong. They forget—or refuse to admit—that many aspects of the past were worse than the present. Not only did Christians ruthlessly kill and torture in the name of God, but where was the Church when children were being molested, millions were being persecuted and killed, unfair taxes were bankrupting entire communities, and Christians consistently turned a blind eye to injustice, the poor, and those who were in desperate need of help?
These past sins of Christianity don’t exist for Bigots. Their words, actions and lives are skewed by a misguided sense of self-righteousness and virtue. They hold the moral high ground while everyone else is simply wrong.

Bigots are Exclusive:
Bigots have an Us vs. Them mentality and believe that only those who strictly agree with their beliefs can be true believers, the rest of humanity is being manipulated by Satan. If you question this line of reasoning you’ll quickly be labeled a “heretic,” a word that Bigots love to attach to anyone challenging their thinking.
Related: A Possible Compromise on the Gay Marriage Controversy
For Christian Bigots, the Bible is a message of selectiveness, a narrow path that few will follow. They see themselves as being privy to a special revelation that has been given only to them and the select few who religiously adhere to the strict rules, practices and traditions that are required to uphold such holy doctrines. They view God as having a love that is exclusive rather than inclusive.

Bigots Have the Answers:
For Bigots, the concept of “the mystery of God” is a direct threat to their ideologies. Therefore, almost every situation and question has an answer and explanation. Everything is black and white—nothing is gray. And while society shifts and creates moral questions that are harder and harder to answer, instead of humble reflection, Bigots simply rework and evolve their answers to remain true to their original beliefs—no matter how complicated, confusing or ridiculous the answers are. To them, any answer is better than not having an answer at all, which they view as a sign of extreme weakness and stupidity.

Bigots are Aggressive, Vengeful and Cruel:
Since Bigots self-righteously believe to be correct in all matters, they’re obnoxiously rude, mean and hurtful when communicating with others. Their self-perception as being morally superior creates an attitude of disdain for those they view as sinners, challengers and outsiders.Bigots are the people who get on TV and explain that natural disasters are the direct result of a specific group of people’s sins. They blare over the radio that certain politicians could possibly be the Anti-Christ. They publicly humiliate individuals by arguing with them on street corners, attacking them over Twitter or condemning them from the pulpit. They picket funerals, organize boycotts and use derogatory slurs and defamation against their enemies.Ultimately, Christian Bigots do more harm than good, which raises the question: Am I doing more harm than good?
Stephen Mattson has written for Relevant, Sojourners, and The Burnside Writer’s Collective. He graduated from the Moody Bible Institute and is currently on staff at Northwestern College in St. Paul, MN. Follow him on Twitter @mikta.

I know this was written in 2013, but I think the views made are very relevant to the debates on homosexuality and Gay Marriage with those who hold religious beliefs who are against homosexuality.


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Post by Guest on Sat Jul 04, 2015 4:05 pm

The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships

or a quick overview, here are the six specific passages that he presents:
The Story of Sodom & Gomorrah (Genesis 19)

This story in Genesis 19 is probably the most popular passage used to condemn homosexuality. Here is how Vines explains it:

"God sends two angels disguised as men into the City of Sodom where the men of Sodom threatened to rape them. The angels blind the men, and God destroys the city. For centuries, this story was interpreted as God's judgment on same-sex relations, but the only form of same-sex behavior described is a threatened gang rape. "

So gang rape = not good (also not the same thing as homosexuality). But the recap of Sodom & Gomorrah found in Ezekial 16:49 highlights what Vines believes is the real point of the story:

"Now, this was the sin of your sister, Sodom. She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed, and unconcerned, they did not help the poor and needy."

In other words, everyone using this story as evidence of the sin of homosexuality, might be missing the point entirely.
When God calls homosexuality an abomination
(Leviticus 18:22) (Leviticus 20:13)

Yep. We've all heard that Leviticus is where the Bible straight-up says that homosexual behavior is an abomination. And yes, it does. It also says that homosexuals should receive the death penalty (!!!). It also says the same thing about eating pork or shellfish, charging interest on loans, and a whole bunch of other restrictions that were a part of the Old Testament Law Code. But for Christians, the Old Testament doesn't (dare I say "shouldn't?") settle any issue because Romans 10:4 says that Christ is the end of the law. Which is probably why most Christians today eat meat, use credit cards, wear makeup, and support equality for women. Because, as Hebrews 8:13 says, the old law is obsolete and aging.
When people turn away from God (Romans 1:26-27)

"Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones; in the same way, men committed shameful acts with other men and received in themselves the due penalty for their error."

This is where Vines really digs in on the the cultural context angle. In Biblical times, same-sex behavior was primarily seen as happening between adult men and adolescent boys (masters and servants — yikes), via prostitution, and by men who were married to women. In all of those cases, we can see why it would have been viewed as sinful, excessive, lustful, and against God's law. But he makes no mention of love, commitment, faithfulness, or the type of same-sex relationships that are at question in the debate around marriage. (By the way, Paul also says that men having long hair is "unnatural" and that women shouldn't speak in church, so it's clear Paul himself may have had some issues of his own.)
Uses of the Greek works "Malakoi" and "Arsenokoitai"
(1 Corinthians 6:9-10) (1 Timothy 1:10)

These words are included in the New Testament's lists of people who will not inherit God's kingdom. And there has been much debate over their original meaning. (Translating ancient words is hard, guys.) Some believe them to mean homosexuality and sodomy, whereas others have said that the closest modern translation would be "dirty old men." Ha! Here's how Vines explains it:

Many modern translators have rendered these terms as sweeping statements about gay people, but the concept of sexual orientation didn't even exist in the ancient world. Yes, Paul did not take a positive view of same-sex relations (nor did he support women speaking in church...), but the context he was writing in is worlds apart from gay people in committed, monogamous relationships. The Bible never addresses the issues of sexual orientation or same-sex marriage, so there's no reason why faithful Christians can't support their gay brothers and sisters.

Fascinating, right?


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Post by Ben Reilly on Sat Jul 04, 2015 6:32 pm

Even though I don't believe in it, it's always sad for me to see Christians ignoring the really beautiful aspects of their religion (love everyone, take care of everyone, remain humble and remember your insignificance) in favor of bigotry, tribalism and the holier-than-thou attitude.

"Got 16 days / got a bottle and a rosary

God I wish that you were close to me"

- Whiskeytown
Ben Reilly
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Post by Guest on Sat Jul 04, 2015 10:25 pm

Ben_Reilly wrote:Even though I don't believe in it, it's always sad for me to see Christians ignoring the really beautiful aspects of their religion (love everyone, take care of everyone, remain humble and remember your insignificance) in favor of bigotry, tribalism and the holier-than-thou attitude.
totally agree Ben
i have said it before and i will say it again 99% of Christians are caring loving tolerant people not bound my medieval philosophy and dogma but they are some who use it as an excuse to foster hate and division these are the only ones i have a problem with
those who usurp a faith to propagate there own inadequacy and fears and hate


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