Random Thoughts – July 11

* If Obama is supposed to be the antichrist, and the typical Christian/Tim Lahaye Antichrist™ and such a person is supposed to bring in peace, prosperity, and is supposed to be cunning, wouldn’t this automatically disqualify President Obama from being the antichrist? (or any other president prior to him for that matter…many have experienced prosperity, none have experienced peace)

* I’ve noticed many churches cry out that they are authentic, but isn’t authenticity something that is seen in our actions and not something we declare verbally?

* What is the essence of Christianity? Christ crucified and raised from the dead on our behalf. If we reject any of that, then we do not embrace Christianity. If we change the meaning of any of those words, then we fall out of fellowship with 2,000 years of Christians who agree on what those words mean, with that agreement spreading from Orthodox to Roman Catholics to traditional Protestants.

* I believe Muhammad existed. I believe he said many wise things. I do not believe him to be a prophet. I do not believe him to speak the truth in all things. Thus, I am not a Muslim. If you believe Jesus existed, but was not the Son of God, was not correct in all things, and did not die and raise from the grave on our behalf, then at least be honest and do not call yourself a Christian.

* When people say they don’t find Christ compelling, that says more about their understanding of Christ than it does about Christ himself.

* It is better to yearn for the crucifixion of Christ than to present a tamed Jesus. It is better to side with Richard Dawkins than to side with a culturally acceptable Jesus.

* Jesus is not American. He is not African. He is not Latino. He is not black. He is not white. We cannot place Jesus in a culture, not because he is naturally rebellious against culture, but because culture is naturally rebellious against him.

* If you’ve ever said, “If Jesus were alive today, he’d treat [insert group here] like he did the Pharisees,” then you are the Pharisee. Who are you to be so arrogant as to think he wouldn’t come after you first?

* The passionate wear their t-shirts displaying their concern for the poor, the enslaved, and the broken down. The ethically minded buy free trade coffee and tea. The revolutionary creates websites and Facebook pages to enlighten us of the plight of the truly poor around the world. Yet the poor still suffer and are oppressed. The reason is not apathy or governments. The reason is Christ’s body is slow in bringing them hope; it is only through Christ that the poor can find riches. It is only in Christ that the hungry can find food. It is only in Christ that the sick can find healing. Do not take this saying to refer to physical things.

* What use is it to help the physical needs of the poor, but fail to tell them about Christ? What use is it to tell the poor about Christ, but neglect their physical needs? In the first instance, we help their body, but not their soul. In the second instance, we help their soul, but not their body. Either way, the whole of man, who is in the image of God and who has been sanctified in the Incarnation, is neglected.

* It is unpopular for conservatives to speak of overconsumption, mostly because the discussion of overconsumption comes with the idea of government regulations. But what about virtuous regulations? Though we should be against government intrusion, shouldn’t we look at the idea ethically? After all, do you really need to consume as much as you do?

* Overconsumption simply betrays the deeper problem of materialism. Materialism simply betrays the deeper problem of not relying on God. Not relying on God simply betrays the deeper problem of not trusting God. Not trusting God betrays the bigger problem of our desire for autonomy. Autonomy is the root of all sin. Overconsumption is the symptom of a sin.

* The god of the Emergent movement must experience an identity crisis. On one hand, they say he is immanent, but never show how. Rather, they speak of a god who cannot communicate to his people, who may or may not have created the world, who may or may not have come in human form, or who may or may not be. If we cannot know God as he has revealed himself, then what is the object of our faith if not ourselves?