Monday, November 3, 2008


Random list time!

Stuff Christians should stop freaking out about:

1. Halloween. Dude. What a bunch of wasted energy is poured into the anti-Halloween lobbying that happens every year!! Is Samhain a pagan holiday? Yup. Is Halloween a pagan holiday? Uh, no. It's primarily the Eve of All Saints, and secondarily a cutesy Hallmark-perpetuated candy orgy/ excuse for little kids to dress up and show off their dressed-up-ness. Let your kids trick-or-treat, don't let them trick-or-treat. Whatever. But please don't try to convince me that the Bible says it's wrong for Christians to let their kids put on Superman capes and go door to door asking for candy. Please.

2. Disputable issues like consumption of alcohol, R-rated movies, tattoos and piercings, birth control, etc. Read Romans 14, and remember that we're not to look down on people who don't feel freedom in these areas, nor judge those who do.

3. Politics. Christians can vote, be involved in their community political processes, argue passionately for their political positions, and even (in some circumstances) run for office. Should they hang all their hopes of their country being transformed for the better on a political party, politician, or ideology? Definitely NOT. The Kingdom of God isn't Republican or Democrat or Green or Labour or any other such thing, and it won't be advanced by the (conscious) efforts of secular political machinery. God will advance his Kingdom.

4. Anecdotes that "prove" our points. We're so eager to latch onto this or that bit of scientific or archaeological or historical or sociological evidence that confirms our positions (like in this Boundless article), but we roll our eyes when pagans and atheists do the same (like with the ossuary found a few years ago containing the bones of a dude named Jesus son of Joseph). We ought to take an attitude of quiet confidence when it comes to these sorts of discoveries. Of course history, archaeology, and the like will confirm and support the Scriptures -- God did, after all, create everything and all truth belongs to him -- but that's not why we trust the Scriptures. We trust them because God has, by his incomprehensible grace, enlivened our hearts and enabled us to see in the Scriptures the testimony of Christ, his perfect Son and our atoning sacrifice. So we should be glad, knowing that the Scriptures are true, when some new affirmation of their historicity comes to light, without placing our hope or confidence in those discoveries.

Stuff Christians should get more fired up about:

1. Nominal Christianity and twisted "Gospels." Benny Hinn, Joel Osteen, TBN, Katharine Jefferts Schori, Ann Holmes Redding (the Muslim Episcopal priest), and Jeremiah Wright should not be given a free pass by Christians and pastors around the world. Just because someone claims to be a brother in Christ and uses churchy-sounding words does not make him a Christian. And don't even get me started on hip-hop artists who give a shout-out to Jesus when they win a VMA for their hit single about making sure one ho don't find out about another ho.

2. Manhood, womanhood, and families. The Scriptures we (supposedly) hold dear are full of instruction about and examples of what godly men, women, and families look like. Something is not right when people who call themselves Christians divorce with impunity, reject and despise God's blessing of children, and in all other ways look just like the world in the way they live as men and women, and the way their families work. Early apologists and historians appealed to the morality and purity of Christian families as evidence for the truth of the Christian faith. Pretty tough to do that now, huh?

OK, that's enough ranting and randomness for the day.

Maybe one more thing. I'm watching NCAA basketball RIGHT NOW. AWESOME.


Cabernet Leather said...

Brilliant post! I completely agree.

Laura said...

Thanks Der!

Angus said...

And don't even get me started on hip-hop artists who give a shout-out to Jesus when they win a VMA for their hit single about making sure one ho don't find out about another ho.

They should convert to extreme Mormonism, cos then they wouldn't need to keep the hoes apart! They could all just help look after each other's kids.

I'm waiting for Usher to become Brother Usher and start repping Joseph Smith.

Laura said...

Muah-hah-hah-hah... I included the hip-hop thing, thinking to myself, "Self, I bet Angus will come up with something witty in reply to this." And I was right. SCORE ONE FOR MY AWESOMENESS.

I don't know, though. Are Mormons really into babymamas? I didn't think they were, so much.

I have a question: why can I not resist Usher's massive hit singles? Why do I STILL get excited every time I hear the hook for "Yeah"? (AAND I just made you go "doo-DOO, doo-DOO! *CLAP!* doo-DOO, doo-DOO, ye-ah!" in your head. SCORE TWO FOR MY AWESOMENESS.)

Jacob said...

I'm sure the anti-Christmas lobbying will start up soon...I've already had a few conversations with a coworker about it.

Romans 14 does seem to get overlooked in these cases. I blogged about over the summer after a few conversations with a friend of mine in light of a Mark Driscoll sermon on alcohol.

mike said...

You Go Girl!!!

Laura said...

Jacob -- My brother read that execrable book by George Barna all about how the institutional church is supposedly so pagan in everything we do, and he got on that Christmas bit too. LAME. When churches do stuff like that now (redeeming pagan traditions, music, etc., in the name of Christ), we call it being missional and relevant, but for Christians to do the same thing hundreds of years ago is embracing paganism. Ridiculous.

Thanks Moik.

Phil said...

Thanks for the awesome post, Laura. And thanks Mike for sharing it through Google Reader so I got a chance to read it!

Pete said...

I'm on the other side of the world, and occasionally read this blog, but I like the two posts today.

Just thought I'd share that.

Oh, and like your take on Christmas and Missional activity.

Astrid said...

angus that was hliarous.

yea I remember when my parents went to a ultra conservative reformed church in nz and I was never allowed to do halloween but saw other kids doing it and secretly wanted to do the 'really bad'celebration which didn't seem that bad.

then there is the really pious we will get the kids to go to church dressed up as bible characters and so they can have fun with out doing 'halloween'. if this isn't done piously then I have no problem.

I remember in nz a school principle of a primary school getting the newspaper to do an artcle on how they have banned the harry potter books in the library. now I agree with not having them in the library because not all parents want to have their kids reading the books but I thought the media attention was wrong it was like hey we are ultra conservative.

I don't think the books are entirely innocent or bad if a similiar thing came when I had kids I would let them read the books and have open discussion on them - rather them sceretly wishing they could read what all the othe rkids are reading.

Polly said...

I just ran across your blog (from making home) and loooove it. This post is cracking me up and full of Real Truth!

During my Sunday afternoon 'by myself' time I hope to read more! {said time taken as a break from duties as mum}