Strangers in the Church

Yeah - but you know what really stings? When one fails the Google University course because their beliefs are so wacko that they can’t even find any links to fulfill that all-comforting confirmation bias! Too wacko for the internet.

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Aye! And the first petition in the Lord’s Prayer is “Hallowed be thy name!” It reveals the heart of the petitioner, “I want you to be famous!” (renowned, set above everything else, and not a curse word).

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Makes me wonder how the internet hasn’t been broken over the last four years.

I think you’re right: maybe it’s time to look for another church. The evangelical leaders who pretended to know God’s secret will turned out to be wrong. They lied to their trusting followers and owe them a repentant apology. The churches that sided with uncharitable statements and policies also need to repent and reinstate the law of Love.

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I think the whole issue needs to be approached from the First Commandment:

"I am the Lord your God … You shall have no other gods before me."

Many people might think this was only relevant in a time when people worshiped other gods. However, in its original context, those other gods were frequently only personifications of a nation. For example, the Assyrian god, Ashur, was the god of the city of Ashur. I have often wondered whether the intelligentsia of the city really believed in an entity named Ashur, or simply encouraged the cult as a way of cementing allegiance to the city.

In any case, the issue was brought into modern consideration in 20th century Germany when Adolf Hitler rose to power and put forth the vision of the Third Reich.This was to be the top-most allegiance of the German people and German Christians had to make that their top priority, supposedly. A number of German theologians stood up to oppose this. Paul Tillich was one of those and he produced a theological analysis: Whatever is your ultimate concern, that is your god. So, if you put the nation as your ultimate concern you have turned it into your god. Needless to say, on the basis of the First Commandment, God is not going to make himself subservient to any nation.

There is an approach to the Christian Faith which renders people vulnerable to worshiping a false god. It is that approach where people go shopping around for a church that suits them; indeed, a church which is a reflection of themselves.Needless to say, they end up worshiping themselves, with all their political biases.In authentic Christian Faith, God sits in judgement upon nations and the political parties within them.

However, there is a subtle slide where people get seduced into worshiping a false god. It begins when they think one political party represents their values better than another, so they vote for them. As time goes by, supporting that party is seen to be the way of affirming your values, so the party becomes the priority. Next, they are supporting that party, come hell or high water. And of course, the party knows all the right tricks - the photo opportunities, etc, etc - to delude people into thinking they represent a person’s values. All of which brings us back to the start:

"I am the Lord your God … You shall have no other gods before me."

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The human heart is a perpetual idol factory.

I think someone fairly well known wrote something to that effect. :slightly_smiling_face:

Paul Tillich said, “God is the answer to the question implied in man’s finitude; he is the name for that which concerns man ultimately. This does not mean that first there is a being called God and then the demand that man should be ultimately concerned about him. It means that whatever concerns a man ultimately becomes god for him and, conversely, it means that a man can be concerned ultimately only about that which is god for him.”

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When I read the comments, this appears to be the psyche of America.

Can you clarify? I am sure we want to be aware of our own failings. As Corrie Ten Boom wrote, one of Satan’s great lies is if we see an injustice in another, we think we can forget our own. I know I have committed many. Thanks.

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Although I have been attending a deeply Evangelical church for more than 10 years, in no way, shape or form do I consider myself an Evangelical. I don’t want to be one. Creationism ideas are made in passing all of the time from the pulpit of my home church. I just write them off. Plus, I am a little more liberal regarding social issues. For example, I am 100% pro-choice.

I attend this church because that’s where I strongly believe God wants me to go to church. That doesn’t mean that I have to believe everything the pastors say.

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The original comment by Kevin Smith and some of the other comments reflects a particular cultural nuance found today in North America., often only recognizable when outside that culture.

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