September 29, 2012

Juicy Links, 9/29/12

  • Eric Lytle

    Franky Schaeffer vs Mark Driscoll is like a very shrill hyperactive (and old) Yorkie vs a calm but assured Rottweiler. If you read Schaeffer’s rant, you’ll see he is fixated on belief in hell being an indication of vengefulness. I don’t know any vengeful Christians, but I do know one extremely vengeful, bitter son of a famous Christian who needs to wear a bark collar.

  • http://contextintn.wordpress.com/ dover1952

    “If not, you are hellbound, and there is no clever scholar who will be of any help when you stand before Jesus Christ for judgment. You’re not required to like hell as much as you need to believe in it, turn from your sin, trust in Jesus, and be saved from an eternal death into an eternal life” —and vote for Mitt Romney.

    I am a Christian—but not a Christian fundamentalist or a conservative evangelical whose narrow tunnel vision is a world consisting solely of law, the prosepect of eternal punishment, and the possibility of escape from a God who is like Hannibal Lechter and Jerry Sandusky.

    I have a friend who is a clinical psychologist. He refers to himself as a recovering Christian fundamentalist because he was raised as most of you IRD people were. However, he has to deal in his work with awful things. He has made one cogent point that is a good one. If God really is, psychologically and personality-wise, the insane, conceited, self-absorbed, murderous monster that He is portrayed as being throughout much of the Bible, particularly in the Old Testament, then we are without hope and Jesus does not really matter much. At the very best, we are looking at an eternal homicidal, psychotic maniac that slipped up and actually took his medications for about 33 years and suddenly got normal and reasonable in the form of Jesus. If he had forgotten his medications for all of eternity up to that point in time, a relapse is extremely likely to occur. He would then become, once again, the abusive Father that is nice to us one day (with grace) and then he gets drunk and beats our mother and then us the next day in his psychotic rage. Heaven would be no better than hell is portrayed to be. When I have stated this to fundamentalists in the past, their common response has been: This is how the Bible says God is and we just have to accept that He is that way and make the best of it.”

    Instead, and I thank Jesus for this every day that passes, I am not locked into the belief that the Bible is literal, inerrant, and mercilessly rigid with absolutes—that all of creation exists in two polar opposite categories called good and evil. Neither do I believe that God wrote every word of the Bible through the process of “automatic writing.” The Bible has a lot of incorrect content, and a great deal of that incorrect content consists of human beings misunderstanding the true nature of God, mostly in the Old Testament. As the preacher at my old Southern Baptist Convention church said many times, “Jesus was God’s answer to the bad reputation that men gave to him in the Old Testament.”

    I wonder something though. If you sent your daughter to the kitchen to fetch an apple and she made the imperfect choice to bring back a pear instead, how many of you IRD people would dowse her with magic gasoline that you know has the power to simultaneously create eternal life in anyone it touches and burn those it touches forever and ever without any chance of quenching—and then light her up with a match for her disobediance. You would kill yourself before you would do that. You know that. I know that. Any sane being that loves their child would. Yet, the typical Christian fundamentalist believes that God would light her up happily and even with a hearty laugh. I think that says a lot about the Christian fundamentalist mindset and very little about God. The book of Hebrews says that God is like Jesus. Jesus is nothing like the God of the Old Testament—unless you really would like to press the notion that Jesus was God on antipsychotic medication for 33 years.

    However, I know that my words will fall on deaf ears. I should not have even bothered to write the above text because it was a waste of time—considering my audience.

    • Donnie

      As my mom always says, you’ll get more bees with honey than vinegar. Your tone isn’t exactly friendly.

  • Ben Welliver

    Eric, I agree about Schaeffer, he is the original “pit Yorkie.” I think, given some of his recent pronouncements, he has gone beyond “angry” to “demented.” Sad to see this unfold.
    Mark Driscoll is a guy to watch. Great to see some younger Christians who are “fighting the good fight.”