Showing posts from October, 2016

Christians Don't Tithe

We give to promote equality. Net or gross, that was the question. Do we tithe 10% off of our net income or our gross income? Tithing itself was never questioned in my church growing up, just what we tithed or how much. The less spiritual, of course, would say net because God couldn't possibly require more than our Christian nation with all its religious tax subsidies. The super spiritual would say gross because all we had was his already so deductions did not apply. The spiritual outcasts cleverly eluded monetary giving by defining tithes as either time, treasure, or talent and conveniently focusing on the first and last. They angered a lot of people mainly because no one knew how to refute their position. Few Christians understand the origins of tithing let alone the specific stipulations involved. From childhood, we're simply taught that God expects us to give 10%. Some parents handed out dollar bills each Sunday to simulate the practice while others deducted t

If Salvation is Not in Christ Alone

How much do we need to know about the Son to do the will of the Father? One of the hardest things about being a Christian is that no matter how much we care for those who don't believe, they know that our beliefs damn them to hell. They call us unloving. They say we value an antiquated religion more than a committed relationship. They challenge us to be more open and generous about "god" and interpret our conviction as callousness.  After all, we choose to believe what we believe (as much as we can choose a God who sovereignly chooses us); thus, we choose to believe that their destiny is hellfire, annihilation, loneliness or whatever the answer should be. Many of us have tried to repackage our religious exclusivism in rescue terms. We tell them that it is because of our love that we plead with them to believe as we do--that we don't want them to take the wrong path. Genuine or not, our concern still rings hollow to those who don't understand why thei

Christianity Has Only One Essential Belief

Evangelicalism, on the other hand, has a lot. Earlier this month, Time Magazine reported that an evangelical college campus organization was firing employees for their views on marriage equality. The truth is a little less sensational but no less encouraging. In March of 2015, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship USA released a position paper on human sexuality outlining its opposition to gay marriage. Just this past July, InterVarsity staff received a letter explaining the paper and requesting any employees who disagreed with the positions to come forward and receive their reward for services rendered: an "involuntary termination". For those of us who were employed by evangelical organizations around the time of the Obergefell v. Hodges decision, InterVarsity's reaction isn't surprising. While I was producing Moody Radio's morning show in Chicago, I was hearing from colleagues that we needed to protect ourselves before the Supreme Court ruled in favor of

Misogyny is a Myth

Because men need it to be. It wasn't all that long ago that evangelicals were fearing for the safety of their wives and daughters. On April 19, 2016, Target made a statement declaring that transgender team members and guests were welcome to use the bathroom that corresponded with their gender identity. The American Family Association responded by creating a boycott Target petition claiming that the "dangerous new policy poses a danger to wives and daughters." Less than six months later, it's discovered that Donald Trump , known for making despicable and disparaging remarks about women, once bragged about his penchant for sexual assault: "Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything." Rather than recant their endorsement of the presidential candidate, the evangelical community doubled-down on their support. According to the Washington Post , a number of leaders have dismissed the remarks as "[ranking] pretty low on their hierarchy of co

You Don't Have to Support Israel

God's done a pretty good job for thousands of years. As a Millennial, a liberal, and a Christian, I'm one of the least likely candidates to support Israel. According to Pew Research , support for Israel among Millennials has dropped 8 percentage points in the last ten years while support for Palestine has tripled. Likewise support for Israel among liberal Democrats has dropped 15 points during that same time and support for Palestine has more than doubled. Christians, too, have not historically supported Israel. Less than twenty years after Israel's sovereignty was recognized, the Roman Catholic Church declared that the church is the new people of God. Though evangelicals will emphatically disagree, as some of Israel's most vocal supporters, they're technically in the minority. Since the second century, Christians like Justin Martyr have referred to the church as "the true spiritual Israel". The belief is primarily based on the Christian t