About the Last Post….

I think it has been interesting to read the comments on my last post.

Some of you applaud me, others mock me and others chastise me. Well, this is the blog world and everyone is entitled to their own opinion. More than that, being the blogworld, we all enjoy a large amount of freedom to share our opinions without hesitation. I know I do.

Your responses to my comments and the varying degrees to which you agree or disagree with me says a lot about the current state of Christianity and the church. It says a great deal about you and the extent to which you are affected by your experiences with the church.

I want to make some follow-up comments to the previous post based only in part to your comments.

Lest some of you think I am ignorant, I do not believe that all people that attend church are evil or mean or bad. As a matter of fact, I think that many of them have very decent and kind hearts. Specifically, there are a couple of families I currently am around that go to church. They are good people and they treat me and my family well. They have been supportive and have been willing to go out of their way to help us if we needed them. I would be remiss if I didn’t make this observation about these people who call themselves Christians AND also attend church regularly.

I have also met some very kind and caring people that DO NOT call themselves Christians. One couple in particular consider themselves atheists (the upside-down burning cross tattoos on the woman’s calves might have been a clue) and at first glance can appear to be very intimidating. I have found them to be the most inviting people I have ever met. They have brought me into their circle of friends, made me feel welcome and weekly contact me to see if I want to get together to hang out.

So going to church does not equal being a bad, mean or cruel person. Neither does being an atheist.

22 thoughts on “About the Last Post….”

  1. <>“So going to church does not equal being a bad, mean or cruel person. Neither does being an atheist.”<>I don’t get it … what’s your point? What’s how ‘good/bad’ or ‘nice/nasty’ people are got to do with anything? So what if other groups of people are better at doing ‘community’ than the church? What’s that prove … that ‘good/nice’ atheists don’t need a saviour, that ‘bad/nasty’ Christians aren’t really saved?Do you believe that if you hang out with your athiest friends long enough, (or better still, tried to work with them towards some goal) you wouldn’t encounter all the hassles & problems you do with the church?None of these are rhetorical questions!

  2. I was just thinking the same thing about the Cody family. (I know that’s the family you are referring to.) They are a wonderful family and are actually such an excellent example of Christians in our life. They are loving, supportive, and giving. They have given me more hope than they will ever know. They’ve never even said anything to me about God, prayer, Jesus, anything. They simply display genuine grace and kindness through their words and actions. Hmmmmm, what a concept! I hope it’s ok to mention their name. If you’re not ok with it, go ahead and screen out my comment!

  3. Lowend… <>a broken and bleeding church”.<>Ahhhh…. the poor little church. It’s so defenseless. Now that’s funny. They’ll be just fine lowend…. don’t you worry.<>Look, I’m all about the jucks, but you occasionaly have some very real stuff to say. You and Josh (well maybe just you) are intelligent and experienced enough to realize the potential impact you could have on the church body.<>Your slam of Josh notwithstanding, if we have some real stuff to say, then take it for what it is worth. If something we write benefits you then good, if it doesn’t then oh well. If the church body wants to benefit from my intelligence and experience (your words not mine), then they better bookmark my website. This place is my gift to them. And I don’t ask for donations… at least not yet.<>Sure the churchy-disorganized-religious-thingies are completely fucked up, but is repeatedly pointed that fact out really going to help the situation? <>I don’t know… it got you here didn’t it. And you entered the dialogue here. And it got you talking about the church and emailing me about your church leaders that piss you off… and hopefully through that experience you were able to see and identify some likeminded people that share in your frustrations. Maybe through it you were encouraged because you discovered you were not alone in your frustrations… and that can be a very, very powerful thing. But I am not leading a movement here… I will leave that for the church, for the Rick Warrens’ and the Tony Jones’ of the world… and of course for people like you who feel that my actions fall short. So go for it…

  4. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, those of us with open minds that understand where you are coming from appreciate them!

  5. steve: don’t let up on the heat! that’s my advice. to severely criticize the church honestly and authentically is not a sin, but a prophetic activity that i think is necessary and important for its welfare. i do not subscribe to the popular camp that believes the church is to be safeguarded against criticism. prophesy without excuse or apology. we need it!

  6. SHEILDSY…. Can’t you just take it for what it is worth. Why read between the lines? All I said was that not all of the Christians I have encountered in my life are mean or evil as I might have intimated in my previous post. If you read both of my posts together I would think that you might understand what I was getting at. It was really nothing more than that.You however now are trying to make it more than that. And quite frankly I am not sure I get your point except you trying to argue for arguments sake. We already know how you feel about SCP. So… I will humor you and answer your non-rhetorical questions since that will somehow make you feel better. I wouldn’t want to be a mean non-church goer now would I??<>What’s how ‘good/bad’ or ‘nice/nasty’ people are got to do with anything?<> I think it has a lot to do with everything. I generally like to be around pleasant, nice, caring and non-judgmental people… whether they be Christian, Jewish, Mormon, gay, straight, church-goers or not, agnostic, atheist or anything inbetween.<>So what if other groups of people are better at doing ‘community’ than the church?<> It means maybe the church, the supposed group that points to the “way, truth, and life” might have some things to learn I guess.<>What’s that prove … that ‘good/nice’ atheists don’t need a saviour, that ‘bad/nasty’ Christians aren’t really saved?<> No, I didn’t say that. But I guess that’s your point to make. I wasn’t inferring anything regarding eternity. I don’t make that call.<>Do you believe that if you hang out with your athiest friends long enough, (or better still, tried to work with them towards some goal) you wouldn’t encounter all the hassles & problems you do with the church?<> Again, you are trying to direct the conversational elsewhere and are trying to make more of this post than what it is. I think I made myself somewhat clear… and all I was speaking of was my personal relationships with people. I have people that are church-going Christians that I have near and dear friendships with. I also have close friendship with people that claim to be atheists. In general I do not have problems with either set of these friends. But to answer your question more directly, I used to work at a church and now I work at another job. We certainly have the same social/work elements in play there as you do at the church… but things run smoother, relationship dynamics work better.. I am not sure why that is quite frankly.

  7. Shieldsy,clap….clap….clap,clap,clap,clap,etc.I could not have said it better myself. Seems like someone missed the point alright.

  8. <>So no, bad/atheist people are not…bad, they’re just going to hell. So what are we doing about it? Kicking and spitting on an already bleeding and broken church?<>Bleeding and broken? More like high and mighty.

  9. I personally see absolutely nothing wrong with questioning the church, christians, hell…God Himelf. In fact I think it keeps us healthy and balanced. What I do have a problem with is incessant finger-pointing without offering any solutions, suggestions, or even an inspiring anecdote of ones own efforts towards change or improvement.Just as a pastor automatically takes on certain very real responsibilies by assuming their position (…no jokes about the missionary position you pervs!!!oh, I guess that makes me the perv. That darn flesh, it gets me every time), so have you with the birth of your blog. Surely you realize that the phenomenon that is SCP goes much deeper than your average “hey Ma, look at me: I’m on internet!” bloggy thing. Look, I’m all about the jucks, but you occasionaly have some very real stuff to say. You and Josh (well maybe just you) are intelligent and experienced enough to realize the potential impact you could have on the church body.None of this is intended as an attack on you. This is as much a kick in my own ass as it is yours. And that, in my understanding, is the very purpose and function of THE Church: to encourge and equip the body. If we’re not doing that, then what are we doing?Sure the churchy-disorganized-religious-thingies are completely fucked up, but is repeatedly pointed that fact out really going to help the situation?

  10. societyvs – I totally agree with you about the attacking thing… I can only speak for myself, but none of this has ever, nor will be personally about/against Steve (unless he starts rippin “Yo Mama” jokes, and then it’s on like Donkey-Kong!!).I think one of the main downfalls about blogging is misperception. So often what we post/comment(usually rushed and not proofed by three editors) is not an entirely accurate representation of our truely intended message. I will be the first to admit that I am guilty of simply reacting to a post/comment without first taking a minute to reflect the writers point of view, and THEN answer in love.I appologize for seemingly ‘judging’ others (though if you’re an atheist, I’m pretty sure it’s a no-brainer), I do make an effort to avoid that vice. It seems we’ve become a christian generation of ‘Fight or Flighters’. We have been given the greatest weapon/shield ever, namely Love, but we have forgotten the fine art of using it. As hokey as it sounds in this ‘hip’ day and age, if we were to truely tap into REALLY loving one another (that goes for saved and unsaved), the rest would literrally take care of itself. If ever we should have a mission/solution as a church body, then it is to teach and practice love amongst eachother, and then start spreading that love to those who don’t yet know the real meaing of the word.

  11. I’m not usually one to tag team… but, great comment shieldsy.Also, how does good/bad etc stack up to eternal salvation, as if they were even in the same league? Sure, Jesus hung out with the ‘creme de la creme’ of sinners, but he did so with the soul purpose of saving them (and as an example for us to do the same).We should never seek to replace or downplay the enormous gift-no command-of brotherly/sisterly fellowship. On the other hand, we should also never isolate ourselves from those who are lost.So no, bad/atheist people are not…bad, they’re just going to hell. So what are we doing about it? Kicking and spitting on an already bleeding and broken church?

  12. Steve, thanks for clarifying that, AGAIN, for all of the studpids out there. You are a man of never ending patients when it comes to stating and restating what apprears, to most, to be completely obvious. Thanks for putting up with the shit, distractors, detractors, and dumbasses who feel it is their duty to defend the church and every christian from any kind of critique.Keep it coming my friend…some of us need and depend on it.

  13. You want to make follow-up comments to the comments you made about the original comment? Why? Who are you trying to prove yourself to, us or you?

  14. “So no, bad/atheist people are not…bad, they’re just going to hell. So what are we doing about it? Kicking and spitting on an already bleeding and broken church?” (lowend)I think this comment is a little ‘harsh’. First off, I don;t think we can make the call about ‘salvation or hell’ when we neither secured our own salvation nor make the final call on another’s salvation…that’s not in scripture anywhere nor is it a church’s dogma. So a tad harsh, yeah. But the point about finding solutions I do like. But in the finding of solutions why can’t we be honest about our personal experience with the church? Some of us got ‘burnt’ by the churches we attended – and now we speak out – I see nothing wrong with that – unless honesty is a bad thing? (I am not sure – check scripture). But I also believe if an answer is there, as Zecryphon throws out there, heck if we want to accept that we can – I personally like it – but don’t have to pressure someone else to have that view – do we?I see Steve getting badgered here and that’s not cool – that’s not the gospel of peace and love (sounds 60-ish?). He relates a story and maybe that’s that – and I personally like what he said. Someone mentioned the ‘prophetic’ in this – I think those people may be onto something – just maybe the voice of the faithful dissenter is stronger than the ‘herded’ believer? I am seeing some great answers (namely Zevryphon) coming out of these convo’s – and yeah their is some bitterness with church – but hell, just maybe writing it out is better than holding it in.

  15. touché Steve… I can’t say I agree with all of your assesments, but your points were well made, and ultimately this shouldn’t be about who’s purer and more righteous than the other. (and the only reason I would ever say anything like that about ol’ Josh, is because I know him…) In the words of the great philosopher Ron Burgandy: “When in Rome.”Now to the rock… I believe that your line of belief, regarding the creamy point I was trying to make, is an excellent example of how we (the “modern” church) have bastardized God’s definition and purpose of Love. I love the fact that you refer to salvation, or the desire to save someone, as some kind of social fo-pa or disease. If, as you mentioned, simply loving someone/everyone (and by the way, I wasn’t inferring that Jesus’ love was selective. I was attempting to illustrate a point) for who they are should be sufficient, then (having the knowledge and belief in our eternal destinies) wouldn’t you WANT to ensure their heavenly destination?!?In my book, if you don’t care what happens to someone after they die, that person falls under the ‘acquaintance’ category. Again, this does in NO WAY shape or form mean that someone must be saved prior to entering my circle of loveship. In fact, I would say the opposit is more often the case. However, if I truely LOVE them, then I am accutely concirned about their salvation.So, in other words, if loving people to save them (as if there were some kind of checklist to be completed by some mystical deadline) is ones soul purpose then you’re a mormon-no… but I do think you’ve missed the point.…and i’m done. (i should start posting more of this stuff on my own blog i guess. sorry steve for blog-whoring. it really isn’t nice to do.)

  16. I think the old but more succint saying goes,”Are you my friend coz you want to save me, or do you want to save me coz I’m your friend”.Scott, I’d have to disagree with your statement that Jesus doesn’t need us. As I heard someone once say it, without the Church (big ‘C’) Jesus is a paraplegic … paralysed from the neck down.

  17. “Jesus hung out with the ‘creme de la creme’ of sinners, but he did so with the soul purpose of saving them”: I would hate to have someone befriend me because she thought I was a target for salvation. I do not think Jesus hung out with people only to save them. I see Jesus as one who loved so completely that he was genuinely interested in every human being – Roman soldier and poor widow alike. And that is the point missed by Steve’s pastor connection.

  18. I smell what the “rock” is cookin’. This perverted form of christianity had changed the perspective believers have on the unsaved. Now, we see others as opportunities to witness, objects to be gained, and a feather in our own cap. I agree with the rock, Jesus was genuinely interested in every human being. One of the primary reasons that I chose to leave the Baptist Church was the emphasis on “witnessing”. I felt like I was some sort of pimp for Jesus, the pastor or the church. I wasn’t interested in helping or understanding people, only telling them that Jesus could help them. The bottom line is this: Jesus doesn’t need a pimp, publicist, image consultant, or a marketing specialists. Jesus doesn’t need us, we need him and honesty and true concern for other is the only way to portray his love. Steve’s pastor encounter probably didn’t reflect this love.

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