“First, I would suggest that all of you Christians live more like Jesus Christ. Second, I would suggest that you practice your Christianity without adulterating it. The anomalous situation is that most of us would be equally shocked to see Christianity doubted or put into practice. Third, I would suggest that you put more emphasis on love, for love is the soul and center of Christianity. Fourth, I would suggest that you study the non-Christian religions more sympathetically in order to find the good that is in them, so that you might have a more sympathetic approach to the people.”–Mohatma Gandhi, when he was asked how it would be possible “bring India to Christ”
I saw a televangelist the other night who basically laid out a 10 point proof of how Democrats (Barack Obama, in particular) were dragging the United States straight to hell. It was filled with vague innuendo and ambiguous criticism (i.e. “we were promised ‘hope and change recently, but what we got….'”) , but it was definitely a complete anti-Obama tirade (without using his name) and disguised as a church sermon–all in the name of Jesus.
I went to his website and saw a banner advertising an event where you would get a chance to meet Glenn Beck if you sponsored the event–and then I threw up in my mouth a little bit. In case anyone wants to go, here’s the info. I realized the reason that he didn’t ever use President Obama’s name or refer to democrats or republicans as he railed against big government, even though it was who he was obviously talking about: He wanted to keep his tax-exempt status.
This is so completely disgusting to me.
Now, I am no stranger to hypocrisy. I’m reminded of it just about daily–my own places of hypocrisy that is. We all fall short. But I realize that, in general, people who peddle Jesus on TV are about as gross as it gets…. And I have been thinking more and more about how many local churches and their leadership (down south, especially) truly believe that they are called (part of their calling, at least) by God to lead the people in their congregations to certain political beliefs, parties, and votes. If you believe that God is calling you to preach against Barack Obama, or if you, as the leader of a church, truly think that God wants us to vote Republican, but you refrain from saying so from the pulpit because you don’t want to lose your 501c3 tax-exempt status, you are being a complete hypocrite. Just so you know…. You actually believe that you are hearing from God to preach out against the democratic left, but you refuse to say it–because you might lose some tax breaks. Ironically, the people who are most guilty of this are the same ones preaching that God shows his favor to the righteous by blessing them with riches–An idea which smells thickly of pumpkin spice.
Let me tell you a little story: Once, there was a prophet named Jonah…. God told him to tell Nineveh to stop being so bad, but Jonah lived in Nineveh and believed that Nineveh was a “Christian Nation,” and he had a pretty nice gig going on where people sent him money for books, CDs, and prayer towels–enough money for some really nice suits, a few nice cars, and the biggest flag money can buy. Jonah wanted to say and do what God was telling him to say and do, but Nineveh was giving him a pretty sweet deal where he wouldn’t have to pay as many taxes if he just kept that part of his message under wraps. So Jonah decided he would bow to the will of the Nation-State for the financial benefits instead of preaching (what he genuinely believed was) the word of God. The cool part was that God was totally cool with it!!!
I know, the story doesn’t make much sense, but if I can get Jonah Hill attached to it, I think we can turn a prophet….