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Showing posts from March, 2016

Don't Vote Your Values

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Vote everyone's values.
Many Americans and especially Christians are proud to vote their values. In fact, churches and parachurch organizations are known to encourage people to do so. It's our privilege and duty to vote, so we must make our voice heard and contribute to our society.
Of course, when places like Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, or the American Family Association talk about voting your values, they really mean voting their values. They may doll them up with excessive biblical prooftexts to make you feel like a heathen for disagreeing, but that doesn't make it any less true.
No one actually wants you to vote as you would like. You're an individual, and your views probably don't fit neatly into one particular party. Every political party knows this, so they make it their mission to coerce you into believing that your values should be theirs. It's no different than any other kind of propaganda, except if you're a Christian, your …

Wives, Don't Submit to Your Husbands

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Be one with them.
That's not what the Bible says. The Bible says, "Wives, submit to your husbands... husbands, love your wives." And it doesn't just say it once, it says it three times through two different authors. Doctrines built on single passages are rarely credible, but the Bible seems repeatedly clear: wives submit, husbands do not.
Many women accept that without question. It might sound like men and women are unequal--that God created woman inferior to man, but that's because they have different roles. And, apparently, we should take some sort of comfort in these delineations.
Perhaps you have been told that God made men to be responsible for their families both spiritually and physically. We're the leaders and providers. In ancient agrarian societies, that meant we tilled the fields, hunted game, and defended against threats. In modern industrial societies, it means we work our office jobs or trade jobs, sometimes multiple ones. We do whatever it take…

The Bible Doesn't Prohibit Women from Preaching

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But it does prohibit the arrogant and uneducated.
Only within the last one hundred and fifty years have women been ordained in churches. Today, a number of Protestant denominations have opened teaching and leadership positions to women (like TEC, ELCA, UMC, and PCUSA). However, most of Christianity--Catholicism, evangelicalism, Eastern Orthodox--still restricts these positions to men.
The rationale is based on a single passage in Paul's first letter to Timothy where he says, "I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man." But it gets better. Paul continues saying that man was created first and woman was deceived first. And from these three verses, the church for centuries oppressed women as inferior, both hierarchically and morally.
Tertullian called women "the devil's gateway." Thomas Aquinas said that they were "defective and misbegotten." Even the recovering sex addict, Augustine, said that women do not bear the full image…

5 Reasons Not to Become Christian

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Being a Christian is terrible. It is a life of service and sacrifice. A life where personal rights are suspended for the sake of everyone else and suffering is considered joyful. Sure, there's the promise of eternal life, but no one knows what that will be like. All we know is that in this life, we're expected to only seek the things beyond it--the things we know little about.
Yet there are numerous Christians in the world. And not just in name only, there are genuinely millions of people who fervently live out their faith. These people are crazy. They will live unremarkable lives and die forgettable deaths. And though their resolve is stupidly admirable, their reasons for indulging this madness are just stupid. Seriously, if you're thinking about becoming a Christian, don't do it for these reasons.

1. If you feel like you owe God, don't become a Christian. Yes, Jesus died for your sins and yes, he paid a debt you never could. In fact, the Bible says that we love h…

Why Facebook Reactions Equal Less Meaningful Interaction

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My latest for Think Christian...

It's finally happened. The world now has a "dislike" button. Or at least the Mark Zuckerberg version of one, as Facebook now offers five emojis called reactions: yay, haha, wow, sad and angry. (You can still "like" a post, and now even "love" it.)

Months earlier, Zuckerberg had announced his intention to heed users' requests for an alternative to the classic "like" button, just not in the way they expected. "What they really want is the ability to express empathy," Zuckerberg said. "Not every moment is a good moment."

Continue reading...

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Photo credit: Spencer E Holtaway via Foter.com / CC BY-ND