Tag: social issues
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The Folly of Xians Voting with Their Wallets #WorldVision #Fail

Most of us are aware of the furor caused when the religious non-profit World Vision decided to allow the hiring of married, same-sex couples in their organization. As most of you also know, they reversed their decision two days later.

What you may not know are effects their decision had on their ministry.

Elizabeth Esther spent time speaking with Rich Stearns – World Vision president – about the contraversy. She writes beautifully about it here.

The bottom line? 10,000 children's sponsorships were cancelled. Not only that, but his employees were subjected to the anger of thousands of callers. Some people went as far as to call World Vision “agents of Satan.”

Really? Agents of Satan?

After reading Esther's article, I got to thinking about the relationship and coorelation between American political ideology and intra-religious, Christian ideology. I think many of us would agree that either side of the political, ideological spectrum is mirrored pretty heavily in the spectrum within Christianity.

In the political realm, it is common to hear talk of “voting with your wallet.” This is a phrase used when a company does something or supports someone with which you disagree. You, then, decide that the way to send them a message they'll understand, is to hit them where it really hurts – their bottom line. That's when you agree to – and have others follow suit – not buy their products or support them in other financial ways.

This financial strategy is successful in some cases. There's a good chance you've heard about Rush Limbaugh's sponsors dropping him after his dust-up with Sandra Fluke.

However, the situation with World Vision is a wholly other thing. 10,000 children lost their sponsorships because many Christians decided that the best way to send a message was to “vote with their wallets” and punish the organizations bottom line – which really did nothing but punish impoverished children across the globe.

It raises an interesting question: should Christians “vote with their wallets” in order to protect their sincerely held beliefs, no matter who is hurt in the process?

I think it is folly. I think it is borderline sinful, but I'm more willing to say it is folly.

In this situation, who are the real “agents of Satan?”

This is Esther's take – with whic I happen to agree on why “voting with your wallets” is not always a good thing:

I am a Catholic Christian and regardless of whether I agree or disagree with World Vision’s initial policy change, I have made commitments to three very precious and very REAL children. It is my DUTY to fulfill those commitments and not JUST because I’ve seen firsthand the incredible work World Vision has done in impoverished communities. It is my duty because I am a CHRISTIAN.

It speaks to something particularly Wesleyan. John Wesley spoke of something we Methodists like to call “social holiness.” Among other things, it includes the idea we have commonly come to refer to as “social justice.” It's outreach to the poor. It's accountability to the community, rather than just self. It's understanding that the faithful, Christian life is about more than just how I get to heaven.

My prayer is that there were very few Methodists who were calling to tell World Vision that they are “agents of Satan.” Not just because name-calling is not life-affirming, but because your sponsorship effects more than just someone in an office in Washington state.

I welcome your thoughts and criticisms.

 

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Pope Francis, ‘Throw-Away Culture’, and The Real Problem

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Once again, I agree with Pope Francis – but not on what you think.

Francis says abortion is a symptom of our “throw-away culture.”

Yes!  I agree that the rampant abuse of the practice of abortion is a symptom of our “throw-away culture.”

Instead of using our smartphones until they have ceased to work for our needs, we give in and get a new phone every two years – or sooner (with wireless carriers advertising heavily this sort of program, and profiting in a major way).  Instead of driving a car to the point where it no longer runs without thousands of repairs, we get a loan or lease for a new one.  Whenever a small appliance has a hiccup, our first reaction is often to go pick up a brand new one.

Now, there are certain situations where the above scenarios are the common sense thing to do.  However, we are trained from our youth to believe that the newer thing is the better thing – and then we need that thing.  This has trained us to believe that our desires are the only thing that should dictate our actions.

This is no different for many Christians, though it should be.

With that said, I believe the Pope didn’t go far enough.  Follow me, here.

Our throw-away culture is a symptom of our consumer culture.

Our consumer culture is a symptom of our capitalistic system.

Our capitalistic system is what makes this country the economic force in the world that it is, it is yet a symptom of our sin condition.

Each of our sins is our responsibility.  However, we cannot deny there is something else at work here.

Pope Francis has spoken out against greed and the financial powers of the world.  He made his latest comments on abortion to satisfy the faithful who spend way too much time on the big 3 social issues.

I just thought this connection needed to be made.

Though, not many people will read it.

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Hey, Facebook Christians! You’re Doing It So Very, Very Wrong

The tablet version of a Facebook profile

 

The Christian Post is not a serious news source, but they are a decent hub for faith-related infotainment. Once in a while, however, they “report” something that tickles my antennae.

This story is about a group of Christians who hate particular Facebook page. Granted, the subject matter is wildly offensive. The name of this page is Virgin Mary Should've Aborted (and I think you all can figure out the argument they are making). That's offensive to me, it would be to many people I know, and I do not begrudge them their offense at this material.

To be sure, the content produced by this page comes from a dark place of hate, deep within the hearts of some disturbed individuals.

Some Christians have gotten together to create a counter-Facebook page and an effort to convince Facebook to shut the offending page down. Outright.

This is where my Christian compatriots part ways.

This is mere speculation, but I assume the same people who have signed petitions and started FB groups about this (around 15,000 people, by reports of this article), are the same people who view American Christianity as a persecuted majority. These are the same people who get up in arms when they can't display crosses or nativities on public grounds – like here in Indiana.

They don't care what offends others, as long as it doesn't offend them.

Even if they don't line up with my speculation about them, it is petty bullying. They claim it violates FB guidelines on hate speech.

Really? I'm pretty sure I have seen some obscenely offensive content on Facebook, relating to the current president, and many of my Christian friends were “liking” and sharing it with wild abandon. I saw no complaints from them during the 2012 campaign.

Take you pick: laughable double standard or the persecuted majority. Which is it?

Either way, this type of behavior is despicable nonsense. Christians should not put themselves in the position to be called “petty bullies.”

Just in case you were going to go there, I also think it's lame when Muslims make huge, violent scenes whenever a Dutch cartoonist includes Mohammad in their work.

In conclusion, Facebook Christians, you are doing it so very, very wrong.

Tooley Claims Bible Vague On Modern Issues – @MarkDTooley, @TheIRD

Mark Tooley makes a living ensuring that “leftist religionists” are held to account for the entirety of scripture. With that in mind, you can imagine my surprise to read Tooley talking about immigration reform. He – as usual – uses his platform to ridicule the “leftists,” then proceeds to point out: …the Bible does not

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