Comment of The Week from our Facebook Page
I had no Idea this existed! Praise be to GOD. I found myself a lonely christian, without church. Trying to live my life as Jesus did. with LOVE. Helping, giving without expecting anything in return and without judging. I have friends of all races, religions, creeds, genders and sexual preferences. This does not stop me from loving or helping them, as it should not. Until now, have found no one really on the same page. Every christian I encounter worries themselves about trivial matters, such as gay marriage and it seems many of them are quite abusive and judgmental of our fellow men. I find this wrong. Jesus taught us better than that. We are commanded to love. I believe that the only way to bring others to Christ is not by forcing our beliefs on others, (not unlike the crusades) but to show people God's love by how we treat the rest of mankind and how we live our lives. I found no relief in the churches around or mainstream Christian beliefs. Because how everyone acts and what they expect and focus on are far different from what Jesus commanded us to do. I love this site! Thank GOD for all of you. I feel so relieved and not alone. I preach love and acceptance and now I feel accepted too ♥ -- Alita Mautz, member of The Christian Left
Are Joel Osteen and other purveyors of the 'prosperity gospel' false prophets? Those are pretty harsh words. I like to give folks the benefit of the doubt. Are they a bit misled? Very likely so.
What the prosperity gospel implies is that wealthy people are blessed and there’s something wrong with poor people in God’s eyes. "The poor deserve what they have," some would say. This is a lie from the pit of hell.
It is written in Mark 10:17-25 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions. And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
Does this mean all rich people are going to hell? No. It is also written in Mark 10, verses 26 and 27: "That set the disciples back on their heels. ‘Then who has any chance at all?’ they asked. Jesus was blunt: ‘No chance at all if you think you can pull it off by yourself. Every chance in the world if you let God do it.'"
There were many "Saints" in the Bible who could be described as being wealthy. Joseph of Arimathea was one.
Does the Lord want to bless his people? Of course he does. Are blessings always material? Nope. Are we on dangerous spiritual ground when we start thinking the disadvantaged are out of favor with God? Very much so.
Let us not be too hard on Brother Joel. The Disciples themselves were often misled in their own thinking. Jesus had to correct them frequently.
In January 2002, Bill O’Reilly said, "Jesus would have demanded that the homeless people shape themselves up or else, because, we all know the passage 'The Lord helps those who help themselves.'"
Actually Bill, I don’t know that passage. It isn’t in the Bible, anywhere.
And please, spare me "the poor will always be among you." Many people use this statement as an excuse for their own greed and self importance. Jesus didn't mean for it to be taken that way, at all. All of his other statements confirm this.
Chickenhawk is a political epithet used in the United States criticize somebody who strongly supports a war or other military action (i.e., a War Hawk), yet who actively avoided military service when of age. The term is meant to indicate that the person in question is cowardly or hypocritical for personally avoiding combat in the past while advocating that others go to war in the present. Generally, the implication is that "chickenhawks" lack the experience, judgment, or moral standing to make decisions about going to war. The term is not applied to those who avoided military service without subsequently adopting a hawkish political outlook.
Richard Bruce "Dick" Cheney: King of the Chickenhawks
Ted Nugent: He claims that 30 days before his Draft Board Physical, he stopped all forms of personal hygiene. The last 10 days he ingested nothing but junk food and Pepsi, and a week before his physical, he stopped using the bathroom altogether, virtually living inside his pants caked with excrement and urine. That spectacle won Nugent a deferment.
Mitt Romney: He claimed that he was a minister of religion to get out of Vietnam. He went to be a missionary in France.
George W. Bush: He was flying planes in the middle of the country not in Vietnam, which he brags about, which is sad and pathetic.
Rush Limbaugh: Had a Pilonidal cyst on his ass which is true, and he used that to get out of Vietnam and said that he couldn't sit on it, and now he sits on his ass for a living.
Dick Cheney: This guy had five deferments. He said that "I had other priorities in the '60s than military service." Really? People were killed in war and this guy had other priorities?
Newt Gingrich: Choosing to obtain deferments granted to college students and fathers, Gingrich did not enlist in the military, and was not drafted during the Vietnam War. He expressed some regret about that decision in 1985, saying, "Given everything I believe in, a large part of me thinks I should have gone over." He stayed in college longer to get out of Vietnam.
Tom Delay: Said that he couldn't go to Vietnam because the minorities took his spot? Really?
Henry Kissinger: Kissinger's take on our brave men and women in uniform? "Military men are just dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy." -- Henry Kissinger, as quoted in "The Final Days" by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein in chapter 14. Page 194 in the paperback version (1995). Kissinger has never denied saying it.
Chickenhawk Bios by Cesar Perez, member of The Christian Left
~ Jean-Paul Sartre
Jesus' commands to love and care for others were given as universals, without exempting any human organizations or institutions. All human institutions, governments and businesses included, are responsible to care for others --- especially since individual or private charity can never be or do enough.
I created and wrote this list after reading this article from "Soulforce" a while back. I've saved this list on my computer for use in response to right-wing bigots who often condemn homosexuality by misusing the Bible in order to support their own hatred. Here it is:
FUN FACTS ABOUT THE BIBLE AND HOMOSEXUALITY:
1.) Leviticus is an ancient Jewish cleanliness code, and does not apply to Christians. It only applies to observant, orthodox Jews. It also bans shellfish, football on Saturdays, sleeping with a woman who's on her period, and mixing fabrics.
2.) Sodom was destroyed for inhospitality and its maltreatment of the poor. Not because of homosexuality. The crime in Sodom was attempted rape -- not homosexuality.
3.) The Ten Commandments say NOTHING about homosexuality.
4.) Jesus says NOTHING about homosexuality.
5.) NO PART of the Bible mentions homosexuality AS WE KNOW IT TODAY!
6.) Paul, in writing to the Romans, was upset because people were using Temples for orgies -- NOT because of the TYPE of orgies or the TYPE of sex which was occurring.
7.) Even Christians believe that sex is for MORE than just procreation. It is a HUMAN way of expressing love, affection, and desire.
8.) The word, "homosexuality", did NOT even exist at the time the Bible was written.
9.) The current-day versions of the Bible CANNOT be taken literally because there are SO many versions and SO many interpretations of it. The Bible must be INTERPRETED and read, prayerfully and thoughtfully ... NOT literally.
10.) In short, the BIBLE and JESUS do NOT condemn the loving act of homosexuality, when it occurs in a non-exploitative way, between two consenting adults, who are not related by blood.
11.) GRAB A CLUE!
Graham Bengen -- Member of The Christian Left
For the most scholarly, the most authoritative, and the most entertaining theological essay out there on the Bible and homosexuality check out "Clobbering 'Biblical' Gay Bashing," by Rev. Mark Sandlin
11 Then the LORD said to Moses, 12 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘If a man’s wife goes astray and is unfaithful to him 13 so that another man has sexual relations with her, and this is hidden from her husband and her impurity is undetected (since there is no witness against her and she has not been caught in the act), 14 and if feelings of jealousy come over her husband and he suspects his wife and she is impure—or if he is jealous and suspects her even though she is not impure— 15 then he is to take his wife to the priest. He must also take an offering of a tenth of an ephah of barley flour on her behalf. He must not pour olive oil on it or put incense on it, because it is a grain offering for jealousy, a reminder-offering to draw attention to wrongdoing.
16 “‘The priest shall bring her and have her stand before the LORD. 17 Then he shall take some holy water in a clay jar and put some dust from the tabernacle floor into the water. 18 After the priest has had the woman stand before the LORD, he shall loosen her hair and place in her hands the reminder-offering, the grain offering for jealousy, while he himself holds the bitter water that brings a curse. 19 Then the priest shall put the woman under oath and say to her, “If no other man has had sexual relations with you and you have not gone astray and become impure while married to your husband, may this bitter water that brings a curse not harm you. 20 But if you have gone astray while married to your husband and you have made yourself impure by having sexual relations with a man other than your husband”— 21 here the priest is to put the woman under this curse—“may the LORD cause you to become a curse[d] among your people when he makes your womb miscarry and your abdomen swell. 22 May this water that brings a curse enter your body so that your abdomen swells or your womb miscarries.”
“‘Then the woman is to say, “Amen. So be it.”
'Abortion' is far from a 'cut and dry' issue in the Bible. Jesus said nothing about abortion. Nothing. If it was such a big important sin, you would think he would've at least mentioned it. The bottom line is that the political and religious right have used the abortion debate as a cash cow and a rallying point for the rest of their policies of death. We're not falling for it any longer. Neither should you.
For further reading, check out The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, "Perspectives."
Also, be sure and read our comprehensive piece on the topic: Life is a mystery ...
Agnosticism: While not really a "theism" in its suffix, it is still in this category because this is a doctrine that affirms to the uncertainty of all claims to ultimate knowledge or higher powers. Basically, an "I don't know" type of situation; an Agnostic is on the fence about higher deities. There may or may not be a Supreme Being but no one can prove it either way as of yet.
Allotheism: this is the belief or worship of strange Gods. However, what is strange to one person may be normal to another. To define oneself as believing in allotheism would indeed be strange, this is most likely a term applied to someone else when their Gods are not understood.
Animism: This is a belief that all natural things (objects, phenomena, and the universe itself) have souls or a spirit. It is also the belief in spiritual beings or agencies or a doctrine that the soul is the principle to health and life.
Atheism: the prefix means "non" in this case (think asexual) and means a disbelief in any supreme beings or any form of God.
Deism: this is best explained as either a belief in a God based on the evidence of reason or nature with rejection of supernatural evaluation. It may also mean a belief that God (s) exist but that they don't take part of our lives or that they created the world but are now indifferent to it.
Ditheism, Duo-theism or Bitheism: Di, Duo or Bi, meaning two, is the belief that there are two Gods of equal power such as in the religion known as Wicca that believes in male and female, known as the God and Goddess or Lord and Lady. Ditheism can also be said to be a belief in two antagonistic forces such as an inherently "good" God and an inherently "bad" God. By this definition Christianity could be considered Ditheistic with its beliefs in Satan and God rather than as a monotheistic religion.
Note: Duo-theism is used incorrectly, it is not a real word and the closest word to it is "dualism" which does not necessarily pertain to religion doctrines.
John R Robison: the definition of "bitheism" or what ever is incorrect in that in orthodox Christianity Satan isn't as powerful as God. If one takes a reading of Job properly, Satan isn't even God's adversary.
Cheryl Chambers Anway: Nice but the idea of duo-theism being "By this definition Christianity could be considered Ditheistic with its beliefs in Satan and God rather than as a monotheistic religion." is incorrect. It states that the gods would be equal-- good and evil. Since we think of Satan as pretunatural in nature rather than supernatural, like God, he is not equal. He is evil, but not equal.
Michael Phillips: John R might be describing dualism, an accurate term in describing some forms of Christianity where there is good / evil; light / darkness. However, there are texts which suggest bitheism, i.e., the 'god of this world' = satan. Sooo, like many things, it depends on whose ox is being gored, which axe is being sharpened, which "orthodoxy" is being defended or assaulted, in turn.
The definition conflating pantheism with panentheism is also incorrect -- pantheism is god is everything and everything is god, but panentheism says all that is in the cosmos is in God, but there is more to God than all that is in the cosmos. In other words, panentheism has a god that envelops / includes, but does not end at the margins of what is enveloped / included...
Paul Murdock: God created the angels, Lucifer is a fallen angel, and therefore cannot be equal to God in that a creation is less than the creator.....
Dystheism or Maltheism: That God or the Gods do exist but that they are all evil.
Egotheism or Autotheism: this is the doctrine of God's self-existence or the dedication and worship in oneself; self-worship.
Hedonism: the doctrine that pleasure or happiness is the highest good a person can achieve; it is a devotion to maintaining personal pleasure as a way of life.
Henothism: this may be defined as belief in more than one God, but that only one is supreme. Also to be used in the case of tribes or families who worship one God but don't deny the existence of others. Ancient polytheistic religions held beliefs similar to this, such as acknowledging that others had Gods but they did not worship them but instead worshipped the ones of their own culture. This was a common theme in the "Hercules" and "Xena" TV shows in which they often spoke of a race of people's other Gods but worshipped their own.
Hulo- or Hylotheism: this is the philosophical doctrine that identifies a God or Gods with that of matter. Worshipping a tree or a stone might be two examples, perhaps this is what the 10 commandments meant in stating that idolatry is a sin: worshipping an object is not really a religion, but according to this theism it is.
Kathenotheism: similar to Henotheism, this is the belief of more than one God but that only one at a time should be worshipped; each is supreme in its turn. Greek and Roman mythology could be said to follow this. The people of ancient Greece and Rome believed in all of the Gods of their people, but worshipped each one in turn depending on the requests or needs they had.
Misotheism: this is a doctrine that does not deny a God (s) existence, but rather is just an outright hatred of the God (s). It makes me wonder what has happened to a person that a plain and simple hatred has developed for all or any Gods.
Monolatry: this doctrine is a little confusing, or rather it is a little like multiple personality disorder. This is the belief in more than one God but that they are all expressions of the supreme God. In my opinion, to believe in this sounds rather like one God but he has many faces or personalities. I tell people that while my husband and I might work together as one unit, being a married couple, but that we are still our own unique persons and individuals.
Monotheism: this is the most common belief, that of one God. Christianity, Muslim, Catholicism and Judaism are such examples of Monotheism.
Donald Calvin Joseph Rice: i'm not catholic, but under the Monotheism description, i find it a bit insulting to list "Christianity....Catholicism" as if Catholics are not Christians. let's not give credence to that old evangelical protestant canard. being orthodox, i've had the same "charge" against me, too.
Thomas Prus: I'm a bit put off by this: "Christianity, Muslim, Catholicism and Judaism are such examples of Monotheism." Islam is the religion, Muslims are its adherents. Catholicism is one form of Christianity. I know the post isn't original, but this is a mistake.
Panatheism: this is the belief that because there is no God then nothing can be termed as a sacred or holy object. The statues, the places deemed holy, the artifacts such as the Holy Grail; all of these are just objects or places with no inherent holy value.
Pantheism, Panentheism or Cosmotheism: the belief that the universe is part of God and God is part of the universe; they are equivalent. God is the transcendent of reality and the matter and humans in the universe are only manifestations. It denies God's personality but identifies God with nature.
seeing_the_light, from Reddit.com: Pantheism and Panentheism shouldn't be lumped together, as Panentheism just says that God is ubiquitous, immanent and interpenetrates every part of nature, whereas Pantheism says that God is nature. It is an important distinction. Orthodox, for example, are Panentheists, but not Pantheists.
Polytheism: this is the belief that many Gods or Goddess exist. This is sometimes known as paganism, or any religion that is not monotheistic or non-abrahamic. Greek, Norse, Egyptian, Celtic and Native American are a few examples of polytheism.
Tritheism: the prefix, tri, means three and this is the belief that the three persons of the trinity are three distinct Gods, each one is an independent center of consciousness and determination. An example of a trinity is best known in Christianity with the belief in the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Wicca also has a trinity of the 3 phases of the Goddess; Maiden, Mother and Crone. In Christianity the three people in the trinity are not viewed as separate beings but 3 in 1. However, in Wicca, the three are viewed as separate beings and represented by three different Goddesses.
outsider, from Reddit.com: Trinity isn't tritheism. It's one God who is three persons. Not three gods.
Source: Defining the Types of Theism
If you have any Theism jokes that aren’t mean, please share them. Here’s one:
Q: Did you hear about the dyslexic agnostic insomniac?
A: He stayed up all night wondering if there really was a dog.
A satirical illustration of other “isms”:
Note on Tyler Durden: Tyler Durden is a character in the novel, "Fight Club," by Chuck Palahniuk. Tyler is a charismatic, yet nihilistic anarcho-primitivist who despises consumer culture. He frequently describes and acts on his aversion to mass society, materialism, property, capitalism, and almost all technology and social order, going as far as vowing to annihilate civilization itself. Tyler's desired utopia is a neo-paleolithic paradise established in the post-apocalyptic ruins of industrial civilization. "Because of his nature," Tyler works night jobs where he sabotages companies and harms clients. He also steals left-over drained human fat from liposuction clinics to supplement his income through soap making and create the ingredients for bomb manufacturing, which will be put to work later with his fight club. He is the co-founder of Fight Club, as it was his idea to instigate the fight that led to it. He later launches Project Mayhem, from which he and the members commit various attacks on consumerism. Tyler is blonde, as by the narrator's comment "in his everything-blonde way". The unhinged but magnetic Tyler becomes the antagonist of the novel later in the story. -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fight_Club#Tyler_Durden
Endnote: With all the "Theisms," and "isms" out there, the one thing that made the difference for us was Jesus. He provided a walking, talking example of everything we wouldn't expect from an all-powerful God, but everything we would want. Things like humility, love, sacrifice, mercy, forgiveness, and a thousand other things. If it wasn't for Jesus, we can honestly say we wouldn't be Christians. Because of him, we are.
About TCL Blog
We’re not about Dogma here. We’re just Christians who think the political and Christian right-wing have their priorities wrong.
Charles Toy is a founding member of The Christian Left. We're sure you will enjoy his passion as well as his wit.
Roger Smith has to tilt his head to shake the words out, as you can see. He is an organizing member of The Christian Left who also blogs at "Roger's Shrubbery."