Dark Christianity
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dogemperor [userpic]
Do politics and Christianity go together?


This interesting article asks a critical question: "Are Conservative Politics a barrier to the Gospel?"

Two years ago our church was growing at the rate of about a hundred people per year and we were all very excited about what God was doing. As the pastor responsible for evangelism and assimilation, I had a unique perspective. One night after visiting a family that was new to our church, it occurred to me that no matter what walk of life a person came from to our church, there was one thing that I could be sure of; they had all watched the O’Reilly Factor on Fox News within the last week. They all voted for the same candidates and had conservative social views.

This bothered me because while I was very excited about what God was doing at our church, it was puzzling to me as to why God would do this. “Why would God build the church of people who all thought the same?” The fact is that there are a lot of people in our community that will never come to our church, and it isn’t because of Jesus—it’s because of us. Somehow we’ve mixed politics, ideology, and our vision for our country, with who we are as Christians. This is a barrier that causes many people who are not Christians to not even want to be around us.

How can we be a church that allows people to have their politics and ideology, but also welcomes people from other viewpoints to be a part of the same church? (All of this assumes we want to reach those who are unlike us, which for some may not be the goal.)

The comments following this post are also quite interesting.But wait- there's more! )

dogemperor [userpic]
Exteme Confusion Registers

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]drgndancer)

OK, I'm really confused now. I'm listening to my wife discuss a friend's very sadly prematurely ended pregnancy. No, this is not a post (directly) about abortion, but rather a still birth. Brief synopsis: Woman got pregnant (intentionally I think), Woman carried baby to term, One week before predicted date of birth a final check-up showed no heartbeat. The final determination is that the baby was tragically strangled by its umbilical cord less than a week before it should have been born.

The parents are understandably crushed, and here's where the relationship to this community starts. The parents were informed by their priest (they are Catholic) that since the baby never drew its first breath, it has no soul. It will receive neither the sacrament of Baptism nor last rites. I'm confused here... Is the Catholic Church more or less the birth of the "pro-life" movement within Christianity? Don't Catholic groups protest the murder of "innocent babies" quite regularly? How does this work? It seems extremely hypocritical to me that a church would simultaneously work to "defend life" at the expense of female self-determination and medical advancement (through stem cell research), while refusing to grant the parents of what really was for all intents and purposes a baby the comfort of a simple baptism. Am I missing something here?

How many other Christian religions have this dichotomy? The whole thing both confuses me and saddens me. From the standpoint of the parents, I feel really bad that they don't get the closure that normally accompanies a death... From the point of view of the Church I simply can't understand their anti-woman, anti-progress stance when they don't consider a 9 month still born a "baby".

Edit: I'm reporting this based on the account of a very distraught and somewhat angry woman. I feel reasonably comfortable that in fact the priest said what I reported, but his level of kindness in doing so and/or offers to perform some other sort of blessing are unknown factors. I wasn't intending to indicate the that the priest was a horrible person (he may or may not be), but rather to try to understand the theological underpinning of what he said. He may have been extremely kind and may have offered to do any number of prayers and blessings... I don't know, all I know is that he would not baptize the baby, and that the mother's interpretation of why was "Because it was never alive".

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