In some respects some aspects of Christianity looks fine on paper – do good, be loving, etc… While Christianity has no monopoly on such ideas, it never did, and none of the various supernatural claims have any evidence to back them up, the far more disturbing observation is the actual behaviour of those that claim to be vessels of God’s Holy Spirit, and to have transformed lives.
Below is my personal selection that throws a spotlight upon three items of religiously inspired weirdness that popped up in the news cycle during the past 7 days.
Item 1 – Steve Strang: Christians Who Refuse To Support Trump Are Like The Pharisees Who Attacked Jesus
You might wonder who Steve Strang is. He is in fact the founder of CEO of Charisma magazine. So this happened this week (via Right Wing Watch) …
Steve Strang appeared on the “Focal Point” radio program yesterday, where he likened Christians who refuse to support President Trump to the Pharisees who attacked Jesus.
While promoting his recent book, “God and Donald Trump,” Strang told guest host Alex McFarland that Christians who attack Trump are narrow-minded, mean-spirited and blind to the fact that he has accepted Christ.
“It’s like the Pharisees in Jesus’ day,” Strang said. “Here he was, the promised Messiah, and these are the people who practice Jewish law better than anyone else and they just had a mindset against him and couldn’t see the truth. A lot of people get a mindset, they think a certain way politically … and they just think that way and they don’t think for themselves.”
“I just think that people are blind, they don’t want to change, they have a certain narrative,” he added. “Don’t we all know Christians throughout history who have twisted facts to go along with their preconceived ideas? It’s one reason why Christians sometimes have a bad reputation in some circles because a lot of times we are kind of narrow-minded and mean-spirited; I’ll tell you, some of the ‘Never Trumpers’ we’re really, in my opinion, mean-spirited in the way they went after him.”
Strang insisted that Trump has been deeply transformed by his Christian faith, asserting that while he may not identify himself as an evangelical, “if he prayed to accept Christ, isn’t that kind of the definition of being an evangelical even if he has not been one of us over the years?”
In essence he equates the arrival of Trump within the political arena as akin to the arrival of the Messiah and that anybody who dares to criticise his actual dishonesty, continuous lies, gross incompetence, or pussy grabbing, is akin to a hypocritical Pharisee and can’t think for themselves.
There are indeed hypocritical Pharisees in the mix here, it just happens to not be those that retain their ethics and so criticise the dishonest narcissist. Instead it is those like Mr Strang who have tossed their ethics under the bus in order to support a power-grab by proxy via the idiot-in-chief.
Commenting upon the claim that those that criticise Trump are “mean-spirited”, one observer notes …
You know what’s “mean-spirited”? Deporting immigrants who came to America legally, tearing apart their families in the process. Assaulting women. Bragging about assaulting women. Claiming to be “pro-life” while letting CHIP expire. Taunting Kim Jong-un via Twitter, putting this country at further risk of nuclear war. Shutting the government down because a compromise might mean protecting some people of color.
I’m also struggling to get my head around the idea that he is suggesting that Trump is more or less akin to a messiah.
Item 2 -Church Elder Allegedly Killed His Wife Because His Religion Won’t Allow Divorce
Stephen Allwine, a church elder at the United Church of God, has been charged with killing his wife.
Via David Mcafee …
What do you do when you’re a high-ranking official in a church that doesn’t approve of divorce, but you’ve been cheating on your wife? For one man, murder was apparently his only option.
Prosecutors say Allwine, an “Internet technology specialist,” was using the infidelity website Ashley Madison to cheat on his wife, Amy. When his position in the church prevented him from separation, he began researching ways to kill her, including hiring a contract killer on the dark web using Bitcoin.
Allwine is accused of using an anonymous alias, “dogdaygod,” to hire an Albanian mafia group to off his wife. When that plan failed, he apparently took matters into his own hands, shooting her with a gun he bought three months earlier.
What is sad here is that this is very much rooted in his specific religious beliefs.
Item 3 – Reactions to Evangelical Support for the Idiot-inChief
There is much that can and should be said about it all. I do however find that the following posting this week by John Pavlovitz very nicely sums it all up beautifully. He is a Pastor, and so while I might not hold the religious beliefs that he has, I do whole heartedly applaud his stance …
White Evangelicals, This is Why People Are Through With You