“Oh, please, give me a break!” I am just saying…

I am just saying…

I have been a member of three churches as a young person in high school, college, and seminary. I have been on staff as a member of two others, and pastor of six (two in seminary, four since then). These have been United Church of Christ, Presbyterian, and Baptist congregations.

I am just saying…

I have served in two ecumenical ministries, and been associated with several interfaith organizations and discussions. I have attended two seminaries (one Baptist and one Methodist).

I am just saying…

I have read thousands of books on all sorts of doctrines, dogmas, and denominations.

I am just saying…

I have dear friends who are atheist and agnostic, liberal and conservative, liturgical and Pentecostal, catholic and protestant, anti-institutional church, and denominational officials, Unitarian and Trinitarian, Reformed and Evangelical, fundamentalist and progressives, etc.

I am just saying…

…in all of that diversity, I have never seen as much theological crap as a few minutes reading a Facebook feed can produce. Not just crap…but thoughtless, arrogant, syrupy, emotion driven crap.  Theological  crap that is indefensible, but when you question it you are called names, said to not believe the Bible, to not know Jesus, etc.

Example: a guy died who called himself an “apostle.” He preached that when you die, God will resurrection you from the dead. So for a half-week (at the time of the original post) his followers have form DRTs (death resurrection teams) who are standing at the guys grace, commanding his resurrection.

People argue, “Well, Jesus raised people from the dead.”

“Yes,” I say. “But you ain’t Jesus.

If they succeed and a independent person *coroner, funeral home director, etc.* says: “Wow, I wouldn’t have believed it, but this guy is back and all the embalming fluids have turn into blood and sure enough he was dead and now is alive,” then I imagine that the news will spread, I will revamp my theology, etc.

Till then, Jesus is Lord over life and death, but WE are NOT. When a person dies, we honor their lives, worship God, and counsel the bereaved. We do not hang out in the cemetery waiting for the guy to dig himself out.

Social media lends itself to incredibly weird weirdos. How bad is it? Some of these folks make me look sane, reasonable, and rational.

God Bless America: Strange and Unusual Religious Beliefs and Practices in the United States
by: Karen Stollznow
publisher: Pitchstone Publishing, published: 2013-10-01
ASIN: 1939578000
EAN: 9781939578006
sales rank: 407558
price: $8.84 (new), $7.36 (used)

God Bless America lifts the veil on strange and unusual religious beliefs and practices in the modern-day United States. Do Satanists really sacrifice babies? Do exorcisms involve swearing and spinning heads? Are the Amish allowed to drive cars and use computers? Offering a close look at snake handling, new age spirituality, Santeria spells, and satanic rituals, this book offers more than mere armchair research. It takes you to an exorcism, a Charismatic church and a Fundamentalist Mormon polygamist compound. You will sit among the beards and bonnets in a Mennonite church, hear the sounds of silence at a Quaker meeting, and listen to L. Ron Hubbard’s sci-fi stories told as sermons during a Scientology service. From the Amish to Voodoo, the beliefs and practices explored in this book may be unorthodox, and often dangerous, but they are always fascinating. Some of them are dying out, while others are gaining popularity with a modern audience, but all offer insight into the past, present and future of religion in the United States.

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