Monday, November 06, 2006

I like big "buts" and I cannot lie

Read an interesting post on Ted Haggard which is unfortunately all too typical of the attitude among Christians. You can read it here. In the last paragraph he makes the observation that I expected:
"Furthermore, does anyone else find it just a bit curious that this accusation comes just days before the state of Colorado votes on the issue of homosexual marriage? For people who might be undecided on the issue, hearing that a well known opponent of the measure has been living in the sin he condemns might just cause them to vote in favor. However, it may just be that the accusation will back fire, and those who didn't care one way or the other will react to the obvious political agenda behind these accusations and voters across Colorado (and other states voting on this issue) will rise up against the measure."

Right here is why I have issues with Christians and politics. I believe that evryone should vote, and everyone should be aware of the political situation, whether Christian, Jewish, Hindu or Buddhist. The problem with this conservative Christian/Republican movement in this country, however, is that their priorities are skewed. They act as if the only thing that matters is the vote, and not just any vote but the Republican vote. (Boy, are they in for a surprise come Tuesday.) The writer of this blog boils the whole thing down to how it will affect the election. Forget about the fact that a marriage is now hurting. Forget about the fact that a church has lost their pastor. By golly, how does this affect the election? Geez.

Ted Haggard laid it all on the table in what was probably the hardest thing he's ever had to do in his life. For that he deserves a tip of the hat. He got caught, he owned up to it, although here is something interesting. He said that he has had a problem with sexual sin for a long time. How come he couldn't get help for this? Two reasons. One, most churches in America are facades with little substance. If people have struggles like this and need help they can't get it. You don't go to church to confess your sins and be honest about them, you go to church so people can see that you are there.

The second reason is that even if he had confessed this a long time ago, evangelical Christians in this country wouldn't believe it anyway. "Touch not God's anointed and do his prophets no harm" is the mantra often heard. And in situations where someone comes forward and says "the pastor did such-and-so", the church members clamp their hands over their ears, close their eyes tight, and chant "I'm not listening!" in between choruses of The Battle Hymn of the Republic.

Or... they blame the accuser. "Yeah, Ted may have committed an indiscretion.... but look how bad this other guy is! He's a male prostitute? Who are you going to believe? This is all politically motivated..." blah, blah, blah. Well here's a thought- forget the "but..."s. There is only one Sir Mix-A-Lot, and you aren't him. When that co-worker you know who is always hostile towards Christians says "Hey, look what happened- another preacher couldn't keep his horse in the barn", don't say anything about the accuser. Just say that you're sorry. Just try and be humble.

And don't use that classic old chestnut "Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven." That so sounds like a massive rationalization. If my daughter grows up and starts dating a guy who comes to me and says, "You know, sir (all of her boyfriends will call me Sir), I can't guarantee that I won't sleep with your daughter, and if I sleep with her I can't guarantee that I will wear my raincoat- after all, I'm not perfect, just forgiven", I am going to say "Is that so? Well there's the door, Jack. Don't let it hit you where the good Lord split you."

And that's all I have to say about that.

Sorry if the post title bothers you, but it was just such an obvious play on words that I had to use it :)


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