On Easter Sunday, I awoke with the thought that I would go to church, something I seldom do. Not just any church but the one where I grew up. Where the pastor of my youth was an intellectual and spiritual giant, and a very nice guy. Where my parents were members and volunteers for half a century. Where they still reside – their ashes dwell in the adjacent glen.
So I looked up the church to find the time of Easter service. Their website was plastered graffiti-like with the phrase, “We are love” in translucent cursive so you could still see the words and pictures of the page. I wasn’t sure of the biblical source of that phrase, or exactly what it means, but it’s not a bad marketing slogan for a church.
On the other hand, it seemed a little cheesy and self-important. It reminded me of the virtue-signalling yard signs that sprouted like weeds a year or two ago, shouting that the inhabitants of the houses where they were planted were very, very good and smart people – much more smart and good than the reader of the sign.
I clicked into a page on the church’s website entitled “What We Believe.” I saw nothing there about Jesus or God. But I did see their boast that “We are extravagantly inclusive.” Of everybody except Jesus and God, apparently. At that point, I abandoned my Easter mission.
In the guise of “love” and “inclusiveness,” the leftists running many churches these days have sacrificed Christ on a cross of political correctness. Anything goes as long as it’s not traditional. Which is to say, Western. Which is to say, God-centered.
According to a recent guest essay in The New York Times, the God of Abraham is so judgmental, cruel, and phobic that He deserves to be hauled before The Hague and put on trial for crimes against humanity.
Good luck with serving the subpoena. And with finding the judge who, in the words of poet Alexander Pope, would “Rejudge his justice, be the god of God.”
On second thought, alas, there is actually no shortage of such judges, nor of legislators content with the manifest wisdom of those judges’ judgments.
But in view of the left’s hatred and rejection of God, why do they keep digging up Christian morality to justify their open borders policies and creation of lawless “sanctuary cities”? More specifically, how much longer are we going to have to hear that because Jesus was a “refugee,” “migrant,” and “vagrant,” we should therefore welcome every specimen of humanity who walks, crawls, swims, or suffocates in trucks to Del Rio?
What gives with this line of reasoning? In the comment section, if you can, please explain how the Nazarene who stayed at home for 30 years and then travelled purposefully around Judea for three more years — where he was never a stranger to the language, understandings, and values of the people who flocked around him — in any way conformed to the standard definitions of “migrant” and “vagrant.”
As for being a “refugee,” except for Matthew’s mention of The Holy Family’s flight to Egypt when he was an infant (a tale perhaps more literary than literal), when did Jesus ever flee from hostile actors? His style was to go straight at them. Damn the torpedoes.
Even if Jesus were any of these things, the left still must torture logic something like this: He was good and great simply because he was a transient – the Son of Man had no place to lay his head. Therefore, goes the reasoning, all transients are good and great. We need more of them! About 18,000 more every day, if possible.
Or maybe it’s rooted in Jesus’ warning that seeking treasure rather than seeking God is no path to paradise. Vagrants do neither and so they’re halfway to heaven, which is a lot further along than I am. How can professed Christians refuse these people the free treasure they ask for along their way?
It doesn’t matter apparently that Hollywood and corporate lefties accumulate treasure like nobody’s business. Nor that they mostly dislike Christians. Nor that all these migrants and vagrants aren’t filling up their back yards.
Well, which is it? Is God so evil that he should be put on trial at The Hague for war crimes, as the left says from one side of their mouth, or is he so good that we should base our criminal vagrancy and illegal immigration policies on Him, as they say from the other side of their mouth?
Their argument amounts to “God is immoral, and is the justification for our moral policies. So if you believe in God, and you shouldn’t, then you should support those policies.”
Even Karl Marx made more sense than this.
By Glenn K. Beaton and Chad (“Bitter”) Klinger
Thank you sharing this. I think Jesus meant for us to listen to his words and change our behavior accordingly, with less said the better. smiles and kind words when needed.
Yes, and no.
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother,” and so on. (Matthew 10: 34-36)
“ Nice” doesn’t always cut it, The Bride of Christ, His Church, is being despoiled, and methinks the lady doth not protest enough.
As a lifelong Christian, -albeit raised in a “Corporate Christian denomination”- despite listening to thousands
of Sunday sermons, I’ve never ONCE heard St. Matthew 10:34-36 spoken from a pulpit.
Bad for Business.
I have to admit that at my church, they never mention Jesus. Ever. Of course, I’m Jewish and I go to synagogue. Do you think that’s why?
They do, at my synagogue. As in, “Jesus Christ, how long is this sermon gonna go on??”
Joseph and -Colorado Springs?- Mark, respectively, first, we’ll get His Name right and work from there:
The Most Holy and Eternal Son of Almighty YHWH, Root of David, King of Kings, Savior of The World, Christ YESHUA.
Shabbat shalom, no need to get all Schmuckey.
I refer to my higher power as the “Cosmic Prankster”. I need a higher power with a sense of humor.
“Forgive, O Lord, my little jokes on Thee, and I’ll forgive Thy great big one on me.” — Robert Frost
Egyptians consider the story of the flight to Egypt to be true. I’ve visited a spot in Old Cairo where the family reputedly stayed, in what was the Jewish neighborhood at the time.
As to churches, there are alternative organizations now for most of the old Christian varieties, where the traditional Christian story is still preached. And there are synagogues still teaching Torah and Talmud. The liberal groups have a different religion now.
I am afraid your experience is not unique. Over the last decade, this disease has literally spread everywhere within Protestantism which is now just another mindless SJW front. My church was deeply in debt due to a spendthrift council with access to borrowed money. Instead of paying that down, they invested in solar panels. The final straw for me was on Christmas Eve 2019, when the sermon was about how Trump had to be impeached.
I started noticing this outlook in people coming out of the seminaries starting about a dozen years ago. Today they are all unabashed SJWs who only use the Bible as an excuse for their political agenda. They’ve replaced Dietrich Bonhoeffer with Howard Zinn. No, seriously. Zinn, a communist is now regularly quoted in sermons.
As offensive as this seems to you and I, there’s still enough of an audience for it. I’ve noticed that many of my former fellow parishioners are the people on social media most likely to post daily virtue signalling memes. They are the 21st century’s incarnation Dana Carvey’s SNL “Church Lady”, but instead of responding to anything they don’t like with “Satan”, they respond with “Racism” or “Homophobia” or “Non-Inclusive”.
Matthew 6 is totally lost on these people.
I didn’t leave mainline Christianity. It left me, right after it left Christ.
I think almost ALL of Matthew is lost on these people. I doubt that the Jesus speaking in Ch. 23 is even recognizable to them. What they want is “nice,” and I doubt that even his disciples regarded him as nice.
I’ll just add to your very fine commentary that, post-1965, Catholicism in America accompanied Protestantism down the drain with the same enthusiasm, as in a race to the bottom. So fallen away are they that progressives don’t even bother to condemn them; all their ire is reserved for Evangelicals, who is least sound sincere (and vote for Trump).
I am not sure, but it appears to me that the tone and content of most of these ripostes is antithetical to Our Gracious Hosts’ (and yes, it appears there are two of them today!) post. If I may be so bold, may I suggest that if anything, one who calls himself a Jew would have the deepest and most reverential fear of and love for The One Whose Name May Not Be Written or Spoken, out of concern that it not be taken in vain and transgress the Third Commandment. Hence, the substitution of Ha Shem (phonetic) for יהוה (The Tetragrammaton). As one who dares to claim the title of Christian, I am awestruck at the very concept of our God, the Creator of all things, and the fact that He took on human form in order that the relationship between Him and His children, once riven by the original sin, might be repaired and restored by means of the sacrificial work of what we call, ever so imperfectly and inadequately, His “Son,” and who we have named Jesus Christ. It is as true now as it was then that He is present wherever two or more are gathered in His name (no minyam required) and it does not require a building, nor a pastor, preacher or rabbi and no sectarian denomination. In today’s degenerate society, too many “churches/synagogues” no longer hew to the Bible; too many have become “do good/feel good” social welfare organizations, like the one described in Glenn’s post. Empty shells, “whitened sepulchres” looking ever so nice on the outside, but full of dead men’s bones and corruption on the inside, to be avoided at ALL costs. They are the tares that Jesus described as growing along with the wheat until harvest time, when the tares are revealed as having no worth, useful only as fuel for the fire. That they may use “pull quotes” taken out of context from the Bible to support their varieties of specious “social gospel” does not give them any credibility. Their use of eisegesis, taking random verses to support their error, rather than proper, contextual exegesis reveals them to be liars and frauds, regardless of their claims of holiness and piety. It is only necessary to hold on to a single truth: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. John 3:16-17. From this singular precept everything else flows. But please, dear reader, never take God’s gracious gift for granted, or make light of the magnitude of what He did for you, me and everyone who humbly accepts His gift. The Lord of The Universe does, indeed, love you, but He is, after all, Lord of the Universe! Treat Him accordingly.
What you said. Thank you.
Glenn, Listen to the conjecture of 10 guys about the Bible or God and you will likely get 12 opinions. A group of legal, intellectuals in an effort to trip Jesus up as He taught among the people asked a question that in their minds couldn’t be adequately answered and He simply responded to them; “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God.” Matthew 22:29 Paul said in his Roman Epistle, “For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” The phrase “Well I think…..” is prone to error.
Respectfully Bob Cross
Christianity is not a religion, it’s a relationship. When you lose the relationship you lose any claim to being a Christian.
Try Life Church in Denver, not a typical church, but the relationship with Jesus is strong and Pastor Craig still preaches Christ.
The final confrontation has begum pitting those who adhere to the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” against those who do not; the false religion of human intellectual arrogance Marxianity posing as a political ideology in alliance with a political ideology posing as a religion…Islam.
Do you really believe the ineffable intellect and power that chose the title God would allow the derailment of a plan 6000 years in the making without intervening?
Care to partake of empirical evidence of existence? Go to YouTube and type in ‘matrix – pamphlets’ and take the time to read.
I am inviting everyone to any Roman Catholic Church in Las Vegas, Nevada. Our Catholic churches are all orthodox Roman Catholicism. Our parish was filled to capacity on Easter, (as they are most Sundays) and they had to open the parish hall for the overflow. Had TV screens in the hall, but Holy Communion was brought personally in to them. (We also have a wonderful choir!)
Glenn, you did not really give this church much of a chance. You looked at their website, thought it was cheesy, and went no further.
And let’s face it, the old testament is full of invective, contradictions and cruelty and that version of God would be hauled to court in today’s world. As a modern Jew, I do not look to the old testament for literal guidance. If I did I’d be spending my life in prison for stoning prostitutes and adulteresses (but not adulterers). Yet, when the Torah (first 5 books in scroll form) is carried among us at Services I, along with everyone else, kiss it I do not do this because it is perfect, but because it is our starting point; we study it’s beautiful, ugly, non-factual, self-contradictory content and then make up our own mind about what God would expect of us if he existed; which he doesn’t.
My people, like yours, have evolved and will keep evolving. I can join in the evolution or not. If I do, I can influence it and evolve along with it. If I do not, it will evolve anyway and I can write grumpy columns about it while it passes me by.
OK, you’re a cultural Jew, as distinct from a religious Jew. At least defend the culture, a la Andrew Breitbart, Dennis Prager, and others. At some point evolution can become devolution. For example, instead of stoning “fallen” women, we are teaching sexual perversion to eight-year-olds in schools, libraries, and Disney World. Instead of chopping off criminals’ hands in the manner of Islam, we are releasing them to re-offend without bail. Our culture appears to be on the brink of something truly awful, and lukewarm Jews and Christians are “killing us softly.” Jesus “spit them from [his] mouth.”
Sir, Today you win the Internet.
Most-often, Truth is quite disturbing (Read: Spiritual Warfare).
>> Jews and Christians are “killing us softly.”<< Sadly, I agree with this. The saddest and most frightening part is that I'm doing the best I know how and so are most people. But . . . . it's clearly not working well.
“rkd,” since you left off my all-important modifier,”LUKEWARM Jews and Christians,” I can’t be sure of your meaning. I hope you’re not saying that Western religion, which created Western Civilization (culture being downstream from religion, which in turn is downstream from philosophy), is the source of our social ills. That seems to be the left’s view of the matter, but my point was that “bad religion,” ie., distorted or watered down Judaism and Christianity, is indeed “bad,” but I’m not throwing out the baby with bath water. Quite the contrary.
No, western religion are not “the source” of our social ills. Neither Hitler or Stalin were religious. Catholic Crusaders and Muslim Jihadists on the other hand, were. People do good things in the name of religion, and also bad things. You can find what you want in religion.
rkd: You state “Glenn, you did not really give this church much of a chance. You looked at their website, thought it was cheesy, and went no further.”
In your determination to judge me badly, perhaps because your comments on my other columns suggest that you disagree with my politics, you’ve made an assumption that is entirely incorrect and at least partially rebutted by the words of the column itself.
In point of fact, I have been familiar with this church for half a century (the column notes that this is the church I grew up in), attended hundreds of services there (the column notes that my parents’ ashes are in the adjacent glen — which suggests that I attended at least two relatively recent services there, and in fact I’ve attended many more than that), and seen its lamentable decline over the decades. The story I told in the piece was the last straw, preceeded my bales and bales of other straw.
As for places of worship “evolving,” I’m fine with that to a point. This particular church has a very non-traditional mid-century architecture, for example, which is brilliant, and a lesbian pastor, which to me is neither here nor there. But if a church “evolves” away from even mentioning Christ on their website page entitled “What We Believe” then I have no interest in attending. Surveys suggest I’m not alone in that regard.
As for your take on Judaism, good for you. I have the highest regard for your religion, and have no quarrel with the manner in which you choose to practice it. My lament is about today’s tendency of my church – the Protestant Church – to walk away from Christ in favor of woke politics. Yes, that does make me grumpy.
Purty soon Glenn all you’ll have left to go after is the newly transexual.
You think you’d like to take time to respond to Glenn and. Chad’s article, Fritz? But first you need to read it. Deflecting is a typically lefty trick.
It may be trivial, but Jesus and family never went to a different country. Egypt, or large parts of it, was under Rome, Egypt was a province. It was a bit like the states in the United States if Ceasar Octavian Augustus was President.
They travelled about the distance from St. Paul, MN to Chicago, crossing state borders. That doesn’t make them migrants or immigrants.
The wicked King Herod ordered The Christ/Messiah-child Yeshua be found – to execute him.
Thus, The Blessed Joseph, Mary and Yeshua were essentially fugitives.
Be clear: The whole “Refugee-Migrant” false narrative is 20th-Century propaganda – more Holy Bible pimping.
When like me, you’re constantly hearing that the left is marching through the institutions, it shouldn’t be surprising to find the woke folk have infiltrated the clergy. But it has been.
Entered the Roman Catholic Church in 1985 and never looked back. There are broken, weak people in every denomination; but I’ve found spiritual contentment and a close relationship to Jesus and his Blessed Mother in my church and church community. None of the backbiting or one-upmanship that I experienced before. I encourage those still searching for where God wants them to be to investigate the Catholic Church. You might be surprised at what you find.
CORRECTION: “…BLESSED YESHUA and his Blessed Mother Mary……”
Ms. Baldinger, if I might share two more important reminders?
1. “….and call NO MAN your Father on the Earth: for one is your Father, which is in Heaven.” St. Matthew 23:9
2. “…I am the way, the truth, and the life: No man cometh unto the Father, BUT BY ME” St. John 14:6
If you ever need to make your “Archbishop” real nervous, share the two Gospel Truths.
Trying to discern leftist thought is nigh unto impossible.
Our family attended the Crossroads Church in Aspen a few years ago when a forest fire was burning nearby. I was impressed with the people and the service. God and Jesus were praised. A leader prayed for those impacted by the fire and also the couple who inadvertently, but foolishly had started the fire. You should try it some time.
Atheists hate God, who they say does not exist..
Those living in the dark will try to extinguish the Light because they do not want others to see
It is impossible to hate that which doesn’t exist. The hatred exists only in evangelical believers unwilling to grant atheists their own, different beliefs.
That’s baloney. Most evangelical believers I know (which includes myself) don’t give a fig about atheists. But atheists are obsessed with believers. Studies support my observation. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/atheists-agnostic-religion-close-minded-tolerant-catholics-uk-france-spain-study-belgium-catholic-university-of-louvain-in-belgium-a7819221.html
If atheists had their way, religion would be banned in the public square — it would be something people could practice only in private, a little like masturbation used to be.
I wouldn’t call atheism a belief so much as a philosophical position: you simply claim to perceive no empirical evidence for the existence of the metaphysical (which makes you atypical of the human species, which sees spirits in trees, in the wind, in ravens, and, in the case of Moses, in a bush). But I’ll grant you this: Even though you don’t believe in the existence of the God of Moses, yet you kiss the words he authored, which makes little sense to me if you think he was in the grip of an illusion or was a con-man exploiting people’s gullibility for power and status. The very fact that you kiss the Torah serves as empirical evidence for me that “the spirit moves you” in some significant way, and that, therefore, you have a spiritual dimension.
As for hatred, there’s plenty of that in every human heart and human society, which is fairly hard to explain as a random evolutionary development, whereas the three great monotheistic religions, on the other hand, have worked out a fairly sophisticated metaphysical explanation for it, as well as a proposed remedy by which to limit the potential harm. You say that we find what we want to find in religion: you got that right, and the very fact that we want to find the Good and the Beautiful is evidence that we were made for that by some vast and powerful Metaphysical Entity. I call it the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.