Evangelical Extremist Parades Ignorance Shock!

Blog365

Fundamentalist street preacher, tract distributor and general nuisance, Bob Hutton, shared his thoughts this week on the assassination of Irish journalist, Lyra McKee. According to Bob, Lyra’s death was tragic on two counts. First, because she was made in the image of God and God regards all life as precious. (You’ll be hard pushed to find this in the Bible, never mind in reality.)

Second, Lyra was gay and this, for Bob, is a tragedy on the same level as her murder:

her death was tragic because of the life she led. It is an undoubted fact that her lifestyle was in accord with what the Bible refers to as unnatural perversions (see Romans 1 v 24-28). Moreover, we read in 1st Cor. 6 v 9-10 that people who engage in this kind of activity “will not inherit the kingdom of God”. If we don’t inherit the kingdom of God when we die then there is only one other place we can go, and that fate is too horrible to bear thinking about. I don’t know if Lyra McKee repented of her lifestyle before she died; I truly hope she did – God is merciful to all who truly repent of their sins and accept Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour.

In 1st Cor. 6 v 11 we are told of people who formerly engaged in all manner of perversions being transformed by God’s power. It is my sincere wish that McKee came to experience the joy and forgiveness from God that comes from knowing Christ.

Finally, let us remember, that although God is merciful to those who repent and accept Christ, the day of Grace does not last forever. Anyone who is involved in a sinful lifestyle is gambling with their souls, and could be called to the judgement seat of Christ at a moment’s notice.

You’ll note, I’m sure –

  • the condescension and judgement implicit in buzzwords like ‘lifestyle’, ‘sinful’, ‘unnatural’, ‘perversion’; 
  • empty evangelical cliches such as ‘repentance’, ‘knowing Christ’, ‘merciful’, ‘joy and forgiveness’;
  • how ‘the Kingdom of God’, which Jesus and Paul predicted was coming to the Earth in the first century, is conflated with the much later but equally muddle-headed concept of Heaven;
  • how all of this sneakily condemns not only Lyra McKee but all gay people, as well as those who have had the good sense to avoid or ditch the Jesus scam.

This callous, superficial and ever so ‘umble twaddle is what passes for the ‘gospel’ in the Christian bubble these days. Yes, Lyra’s death was terrible and wasteful, but not because a non-existent deity regarded her life as precious,  and certainly not because she was gay.

What I find really tragic is that there are still millions of people like Bob, who think magic salvation spells and empty promises about ‘eternal life’ are what make life meaningful.

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Try praying

TryPraying

I was in Edinburgh recently and spotted posters, like the one above, on the backs of buses, advising people to ‘try praying’. There is, naturally, an entire web-site devoted to the campaign, created by Christians with more money than sense.

Here’s a thought: try praying that the bus on which one of these ads appears waits for you as you run for it and it pulls away from the stop. You think that would work? (No more than chance would allow.) Or try praying that if you do catch it, the driver will let you on, even though you’ve left your purse at home and can’t buy a ticket. Try praying that the pain you’ve experienced all day be taken from you as you set off walking home. Try praying for or about anything and see what God’s response is. Prayer, ‘tried’ or not, is no more effectual than wishful thinking or chatting with the fairies at the bottom of your garden.

Blog362a

(fixed it)

While in Edinburgh, I visited St Giles’ cathedral in the centre of the city. A friend I was with wanted to see a commemorative plaque there and I saw a chance to rest my aching legs. At the entrance was a sign that said the cathedral welcomed a donation of £5 ($6.55) per visitor to help with daily running costs. Evidently the ecclesiastical administrators haven’t realised they could ‘try praying’ and ask God to fund a building, the sole purpose of which is to honour him. Or perhaps they had ‘tried’ prayer and had discovered God wasn’t willing to provide the hundreds of pounds needed every day to keep it going.

Whichever, the only way churches like St Giles can survive is to have those humans who think they serve some meaningful purpose, fund them themselves. God couldn’t care less whether they flourish or not. If he did he’d keep them going from his abundant supply. That he doesn’t demonstrates not only his non-existence but also tells us that the church is an entirely human enterprise. Without human effort, and liberal amounts of filthy mammon, they invariably fail.

Lost and Found

Blog362

Be who you are…

because in the end those who matter don’t mind and those who mind don’t matter.

(attributed to Doctor Seuss)

But what if who you are is pretty horrible? What if, when you’ve discover your true self, you find you’re actually mean-spirited, selfish or greedy? Worse: what if you find you have paedophile tendencies or a compulsion to harm others or to murder?

Perhaps I’m naive (I am naive; perhaps I’m now being excessively so) in thinking that an individual’s true nature can never be like this. Someone who is hateful, spiteful or cruel has not discovered their true self nor are they acting from it. Being oneself does not lead to the exploitation of others. Think of the self-actualised people you know, those who are most themselves; they have no need, and no desire, to manipulate or hurt others. Those who do behave like this, act from a damaged part of themselves not from their essential selves.

Am I saying all people are inherently good? No, evidently they are not (though I’d argue nor are they inherently bad). But those who are in touch with themselves have a sense of completion and wholeness that transcends the petty, the unpleasant and religion. It is these people we like being around, because they inspire us to be like them. Others – the majority, perhaps – continue to be dictated to by whatever it is in life that has soured and distorted them, and the world continues to reflect both kinds of people; those who are lost to themselves and those who know who they are.