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Jun 21 2012

Love Radically: Where Are The “Good” Christians?

Original post at http://loveradically.com/2012/06/21/where-are-the-good-christians/


This question, posed by Muslim American comedian and writer Dean Obeidallah, on CNN’s opinion page caught my attention this afternoon. Dean gives examples of extreme “Christians” speaking out against Islam, homosexuality, and other hot button topics. These include an incident where “Christians” went to an Arab festival in Dearborn, Michigan with a pig’s head on a spike, Muslims do not eat pork, and started screaming at the festival goers to come to Christ or burn in Hell. I doubt they had any takers. Dean also cites the usual “Christian” TV suspects Pat Robertson, Tony Perkins, and Bryan Fischer as an example of Christianity being hijacked by the extreme Right.

Dean wonders, where are the voices of the more moderate Christians? For one, moderate voices do not usually get on television. Networks like CNN like controversy because controversy brings ratings, ratings bring money, and extreme voices create controversy. People like the plane crash. People like the screaming and yelling. People like to get mad at the nuts on TV and so CNN and others keep bringing them on. When there is a story about Christianity, CNN calls Bill Donahue of the extreme Catholic League. I mean, how many times  I have seen moderate and liberal voices like Brian McClaren, Jim Wallis, and even UM juggernaut Adam Hamilton on CNN and other programs, but they are usually countered by a voice from the extreme right and the whole things turns into a debacle. I have always wondered why there isn’t a TBN or a 700 Club for moderate Christians? Why have we allowed the extreme Right to have the monopoly on TV? Probably because we couldn’t get enough ratings.

Another reason why the moderate voices are not heard in the public sphere is because they are out doing the real work of the Church. The “good” Christians are the ones out in the world feeding the hungry, digging wells for the thirsty, clothing the naked, protecting millions against malaria, building schools and hospitals, and thousands of other missions. The “good” Christians are too busy to be on CNN yelling and screaming about Muslims and gays.

Finally, I think that many of us moderate Christians have taken up the strategy of silence. We think that if we ignore the yelling and screaming of the crazies then eventually they will give up and go home. As Dean points out in his opinion piece this strategy is failing. As I stated earlier, as long as controversy = money then the crazies will have a medium and while other Christians might ignore them the rest of the world is not. In fact, the world is beginning to equate genuine Christian faith with the rhetoric being spewed by the nut-jobs. People connected Christianity with Homophobia, judgementalism, and hypocrisy. The moderate voices in Christianity can no longer afford to be silent. We must show the world the true meaning of our faith.

What can we do? I think we can start by making our own signs and countering the protests by those on the extreme Right. For every sign that reads “God hates fags” there needs to be two that read “God is Love.” For every comment on Facebook that spews some false idea about Islam there needs to be a Christian there countering it with facts and truth. The “good” Christians must get out the word that the extremists do not speak for us and for our faith. Silence is no long an option.


About the author

Brad S

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2012/06/where-are-the-good-christians/

2 comments

  1. d

    “People connected Christianity with Homophobia, judgementalism, and hypocrisy. The moderate voices in Christianity ….”

    That is because the far left have used the media to promote that belief.
    Not all moderates stay on the side lines. They are keeping their grievances inside the church where they are suppose to be negotiated
    . Where are the good Christians?
    They are in the church along with the not so good Christians.
    The Christians Paul refers to as “carnal”.
    Moderation today has taken on a whole new meaning. Today moderation means no judgments can be made. That is not the biblical understanding of moderation. Judgments have to be made and they were since the beginning of the church. Peter works as moderator in the book of Acts. He listened. He ruled. He judged.

    The Christian Church has allowed the media to define Christianity. Atheists, the homosexual community and any one that does not like rules or who are against orthodox Christian teaching have used the media to promote their cause and are the greatest offenders,
    This is nothing new. The early Christian Church faced the same problems. Their answers to false accusations against the Christians can be found to the apologies.

    Your article is prominent in Christian Crazy example. Maybe that’s part of the problem.
    The Word of God is loaded with do’s and don’ts, good and bad, what is sinful and what is not. It goes with the territory. Christ teaches forgiveness “IF” (Matthew 18:15. Luke 17: 3-4)
    Just read what Paul has to say to the Corinthian Church.
    They are carnal. Live in the flesh and not in the sprit, Paul also reminds them where carnality will lead them. Paul observes, points out faults, suggests corrective action and makes a judgment.

    Moderate does not mean everyone gets their way. Sometimes moderation will lead to a “parting of the ways.”

  2. d

    If you think Christians are maligned in the media today, take a look back at what early Christians where accused of.
    Cannibalism
    Disruption of business
    Immorality
    Lack of Patriotism
    Antisocial behavior
    Causing Disasters

    [1] Monsters of wickedness, we are accused of observing a holy rite in which we kill a little child and then eat it; in which, after the feast, we practise incest, the dogs-our pimps, forsooth, overturning the lights and getting us the shamelessness of darkness for our impious lusts. [2] This is what is constantly laid to our charge.

    WE are called the most infamous of men on the charge of an infanticidal religious rite and a banquet thereat, and incest after the feast;—incest which dogs that overturn the lights (our pimps forsooth) bring about through the shamelessness which is occasioned by the darkness and impious lusts. Yet we are ever but called so, nor are you at any pains to drag into light what we have been so long charged with. (Tertullian)

    The response:
    For us murder is once for all forbidden; so even the child in the womb, while yet the mother’s blood is still being drawn on to form the human being, it is not lawful for us to destroy. To forbid birth is only quicker murder. It makes no difference whether one take away the life once born or destroy it as it comes to birth. He is a man who is to be a man; the fruit is always present in the seed.” (Apology, 9:8.) A.D. 197

    But the Christians, O King, while they went about and made search, have found the truth; and as we learned from their writings, they have come nearer to truth and genuine knowledge than the rest of the nations…. Wherefore they do not commit adultery nor fornication, nor bear false witness, nor embezzle what is held in pledge, nor covet what is not theirs. They honor father and mother, and show kindness to those near to them; and whenever they are judges, they judge uprightly. They do not worship idols (made) in the image of man; and whatsoever they would not that others should do unto them, they do not to others; and of the food which is consecrated to idols they do not eat, for they are pure.Aristides (2nd century) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.9 pg.276

    Being called a bigot is not the worst Christians have been called.

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