Saturday, April 18, 2015

But... but... but... Batman is COOLER

It usually takes a Facebook post from someone else to get me to wander over to the Sojourners website.   Usually when I do follow a link to the Christian Left website, I tend to get a little irked.  But when a friend lifted up an article about Superman vs Batman being every Christian's battle how could I NOT click on that?

The article's author Rick Barry uses the upcoming (still a year away) release of a surefire blockbuster Batman vs Superman: The Dawn of Justice to take a look at the motivations behind each of the classic crime fighters.

The article is great, I'd encourage you to follow the link to read it for yourself, but this passage provides a good summary.

"...Superman can't help but position himself alongside society’s powerless. Crime will always find him because he loves its victims... Batman, on the other hand, does not act in response to people he loves. He acts in response to people he hates."

Is this true?   Is this what Christians struggle with?   Let's take a look at a current example and take a test--the terrorists ISIS and their Christian (as well as other) victims. Think about that and answer this question.  

After thinking about the situation over in the Middle East and the desperate need for justice, what is the feeling of your heart?
A.  More hatred for ISIS than love for its victims
B.  More love for its victims than hate for ISIS

Maybe you answered B.   But I have to be honest, I feel a lot more A.

Barry brings up the 2 Timothy passage about fighting the good fight and asks Sojourners readers if they are only fighting the fight to give themselves some sort of value.  (probably a valid critique as most Social Justice Warrior Christians are Myers Briggs NFs--identity seeking).   Yet, I wonder if the motivations for any of us are not love based in faith, can it be "the good fight" at all?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Some bad news about the Good News

Another cyber stoning occurred this week.

I am talking about THIS story where a successful business woman, Cheryl Rios, posted something on her Facebook that people found offensive, and the Twitterverse exploded, and local news team was sent out to talk the woman and before you know it, it is literally a national news story.  What could have prompted this?  What could a person possibly post on her Facebook page that has the news teams rolling up into her yard less than 24 hours later?

She wrote that "a female shouldn't be president".

Now I am not about to defend Ms Rios's wrong-headed position even though (specifically because?) she later explained her opinion was, in part, because she was a Christian and this was "biblical reasoning".  

PHOTO: Cheryl Rios, the president of Go Ape Marketing, appears in an undated profile photo from the companys Twitter account, @JustGoApe.
Marketing Firm owner YES,
Bible Scholar NO

I know a bit about the Bible and how one comes to the conclusion that the Bible says that a female cannot be president of the United States of America leaves me a bit baffled.  Now there are particular women I would NOT vote for, but the particular woman I have in mind wouldn't get my vote for LOTS of reasons--none of them are because she is a woman.  I don't think I have to name names, do I?

"Not without a subpoena, you don't"
But here's the thing.   Our current culture is one in which "saying something offensive" is becoming most heinous sin one could ever commit.   Read the comments section on a story like this and imagine that if each comment was a stone--well, Ms Rios would be a pile of bloody mush right now.  Because that's the way it goes today.   Someone says something offensive, the social media explodes, followed by the traditional media, followed by more social media sharing the traditional media stories, and before you know it, everyone is outraged!

"You called me 'baby'!?  That's offensive!"
This outrage toward all things offensive is a problem for Christians--always has been.   Why?  Because the bad news about the Good News is that the Good News IS offensive.  Really?  The Gospel of Jesus Christ is offensive?  Yep.   Think about it, if it weren't, we wouldn't have all these art images like this.

This didn't happen because St. Sebastian
in favor of Voter ID laws.

No, the Good News offends because it says everyone is guilty under the Law.  The Good News offends because it tells us there is nothing we can do get ourselves out of the jam we are in. The Good News offends because--while it is inclusive in that salvation is made for all--it is exclusive in the sense that it is the only means of salvation.  Those truths are hard to accept for a world that pats itself on the back, strives for self-sufficiency, and likes to choose from a bunch of options.

Now the offense of the Gospel does not give the Christian license to be offensive--Saint Paul addresses this specifically to the Galatians, the Corinthians, and the Romans, so it was obviously an issue early on. And one we need to consider seriously as we move about this world.  

"I don't always proclaim the Good News.
But when I do, I do it in a way that humiliates people."
But it also means there can be a price for being a disciple of Jesus.  If the culture of this world pummels a woman for a dumb opinion posted on Facebook, imagine what happens when it hears the Gospel proclaimed.