Posts

Showing posts with the label #Christianism

Can’t divorce works from faith.

Image
James 2.20-26. To demonstrate how works are part of faith, James pulled two examples out of the bible: Abraham and Rahab. Both are good examples of faith. So much so they got listed in the “hall of faith” in Hebrews 11… for the very same two acts of faith James brought up. He 11.17-19, 31 Now, how do we know these two people had faith? Because they acted on that faith. Abraham trusted God so much, he was willing to sacrifice his son to him. Ge 22.1-14 Rahab believed so strongly God was giving Jericho to the Hebrews, she risked her life to hide two Hebrew spies from the king’s messengers, then sent the messengers on some wild-goose chase while she snuck the spies out of there. Js 2 Which I didn’t really need to recap; here’s what James wrote about it. James 2.20-26 KWL 20 Do you want to know, you silly people, how faith without works is useless? 21 Our ancestor Abraham. Wasn’t he justified by works when he brought his son Isaac up to the altar? 22 You see, sin

Unproven, uncomfortable, devilish faith.

Image
James 2.18-19. More than once in these James articles, I’ve mentioned Christians who don’t realize sola fide means justification by faith alone ; who think it means salvation by faith alone. And because they know we’re not saved by works, Ep 2.9 they therefore insist faith isn’t a work. Can’t be. ’Cause we’re not saved by works. I don’t know that James suffered from Christians who believed the same way for the same reason. More likely he was just dealing with people who don’t understand what faith is. Lotta Christians have that problem. Some of us still think it’s the magic ability to wish so hard, stuff comes true. Which is what’ll happen when you base your theology on Disney princess movies instead of your bible. It’s why James had to demonstrate, from the bible, why this sort of thinking was all wet. But first his comment about how even demons , the lesser gods of Greek mythology and the fake gods behind idolatry, also have faith—for all the good it does ’em.

An irreligious religion.

Image
RELIGION ri'lɪ.dʒən noun. Worship of a superhuman controlling power, usually a personal God or impersonal universe. 2. Particular system of belief and worship, as demonstrated through actions and declarations. 3. A supremely important pursuit or interest, followed as if worship. [Religious ri'lɪ.dʒəs adjective. ] A significant part of authentic Christianity is religion: We worship God, and we do it through actions. For any belief system which doesn’t take any action, which doesn’t result in any changed lives or good deeds (or even bad deeds), isn’t real. Or, as James puts it, it’s dead. Jm 2.26 But for a lot of Evangelicals in the United States, religion’s become a bad word. “Religious” has become mixed up with traditional . More specifically with the more empty, meaningless traditions which attempt to express worship through action, but don’t appear to bring us any closer to God. Fr’instance. When we were kids, and somebody taught us a rote prayer, they

Christianism’s usual idols.

Image
Christianism is a socially-acceptable outward form of Christianity. Whether there’s any actual Christianity underneath it, isn’t for me to say. Sometimes there’s a real live relationship with Jesus, an actual indwelling of the Holy Spirit, resulting in some of his fruit, mixed in there somewhere. But the reason I still call it Christianism is ’cause there are glaring errors in the religion. Way too much fake fruit. Way too many compromises with the gospel. Compromises, I should add, made for the sake of accommodating other gods. Christianism creates a façade of Christianity, but underneath it there are a lot of other religious practices which don’t follow Jesus much. They support other ideas. They seek other powers. They promote other movements. And if Jesus teaches otherwise, they mute him, reinterpret him, or ignore him, in favor of those less-than-Christian goals. In a word, it’s idolatry. And since it’s everywhere, and plenty of other “good Christians” believe and p

Christians in private, but reprobate in public.

Image
Whenever people claim to be Christian, but it’s kinda obvious they’re following the Christian crowd instead of Jesus—or at least sucking up to the Christian crowd heavily in order to get votes— I call ’em “Christianist.” It’s a word I learned from Andrew Sullivan, and it’s a godsend. ’Cause too many people don’t know what to call such people. Fake Christians? Cultural Christians? Christians-in-name-only? I don’t wanna call them false Christians, ’cause they may very well have an actual saving relationship with Jesus. Maybe they just suck at religion. Maybe they’re hiding their light. A lot of partisans claim our current president is a “baby Christian,” and the reason his behavior is as filled with bad fruit as a moldy mock apple pie, is because he hasn’t learned any better… but he does know Jesus. Well, “Christianist” gives him the benefit of the doubt. But people of course assume by “Christianist” I mean you’re not Christian. So I get rebuked from time to time for using

It’s 4 January. It’s still Christmas. And this fact annoys you.

Image
All the way back in 2016, my church decided it was time to begin our 21-day Daniel fast on the first Sunday of the month. Specifically this was Sunday, 3 January 2016. Welcome back from the holidays, folks; no doughnut for you. “Really not appropriate to schedule a fast for a feast day,” I pointed out to one of my fellow church attendees. SHE. “Feast day? This is a feast day?” ME. “It’s still Christmas.” SHE. “Christmas was two Fridays ago.” ME. “Christmas began two Fridays ago. And ends tomorrow. It lasts 12 days, remember? ” SHE. “ What lasts 12 days?” ME. “Christmas. Remember the song? ‘On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…’ and each day the singer just kept getting more and more birds? ’Cause Christmas has 12 days.” SHE. “Who celebrates it for 12 days?” ME. “ I celebrate it for 12 days. I’m still eating cookies.” SHE. “Well, you can do that if you like. I took the tree down the day after Christmas.” ME. “You mean the second day of C

“If my people pray, I’ll heal their land.”

Image
2 Chronicles 7.14. Today’s out-of-context verse is really popular with civic idolaters , those folks who assume when Jesus returns, he won’t overthrow the United States: It’s the one exception to the kingdoms of this world which must become part of Christ’s one-world government. To them, it already is his kingdom, and Americans already are God’s chosen people. It’s just we’re heavily mismanaging things. But once we call upon God… well, lemme quote their beloved bible verse. 2 Chronicles 7.14 KJV …if my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Right. If our Christian nation returns to God, and returns to proper Christian values (as defined by popular Christian culture ), and makes big shows of repentance like public prayer and voting for the prolife political party (and never mind what the party’s candidat

When we remake Jesus in our image.

Image
PROJECTION prə'dʒɛk.ʃən, proʊ'dʒɛk.ʃən noun. Unconscious transfer of one’s ideas to another person. [Project prə'dʒɛkt, proʊ'dʒɛkt verb. ] When we’re talking popular Christian culture’s version of Christianity, i.e. Christianism, we’re not really talking about what Jesus teaches. We’re talking about what we’d like to think Jesus teaches. We’re talking about our own ideas, projected onto Jesus like he’s a screen and we’re a camera obscura. We’re progressive… and how about that, so is Jesus! Or we’re conservative… and how handy is it that Jesus feels precisely the same as we do? Y’know, the evangelists told us when we come to Jesus, our whole life would have to change. But when we’re Christianist, we discover to our great pleasure and relief our lives really didn’t have to change much at all. We had to learn a few new handy Christianese terms: PAGAN WAY OF SAYING IT CHRISTIAN WAY OF SAYING IT “I think…” “I just think God’s telling me…” “I strongly th

Dark Christianity.

Image
God is light. For this reason Christians ought not walk in the dark. 1Jn 1.5-10 People don’t bother to read this passage in context, and assume “light” and “dark” has to do with truth versus lies, or revelation versus mysteries. Nope; it has to do with obedience versus sin. Christians shouldn’t sin, and when we live in light, we oughta stay out of sin. But more than that. We shouldn’t fixate on sin either. We shouldn’t obsess about what sinners are up to. We shouldn’t analyze the devil’s works in order to understand it better, Rv 2.24 on the pretense that knowledge is power. Our strength isn’t mean to come through our studies of devilish strategies: We’re to be strong through God’s power. Ep 6.10 Resist temptation. Lead others to the light. However, there are loads of Christians who firmly believe a significant part of our duties—if not our only duty—is to study sin, fight it, and condemn it. In preparation these folks spend an awful lot of time on the dark side of Chri