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Posts Tagged ‘heaven’

Here’s a promising-sounding new book: 10 Dumb Things Smart Christians Believe:

Many Christians, new and seasoned alike, tend to bank on promises that God never made, says one pastor.

So when God doesn’t come through on those “promises,” some are likely to become angry at God.

And “that to me as a pastor over all my years is always one of the saddest things,” says Larry Osborne, teaching pastor at North Coast Church in Vista, Calif.

Osborne, whose church draws over 7,000 people, is hoping to spare a lot of Jesus followers from that anger. He’s also hoping Christians will peruse Scripture more and align themselves with what God really says rather than the “word on the street.”

Wait, that doesn’t sound promising at all! Does he at least have a good list of ten?

  1. Living God’s way will bring good fortune
  2. Faith can fix anything
  3. Forgiving means forgetting
  4. A godly home guarantees godly kids
  5. God has a blueprint for my life
  6. Christians shouldn’t judge
  7. Everything happens for a reason
  8. Let your conscience be your guide
  9. A valley means a wrong turn
  10. Dead people go to a better place.

Well, a number of those are stupid things. But if I were making a list of “Ten Stupid Things Smart Christians Believe,” none of those would be on it. What’s that? You want to know what would be on it? Good question!

Ten Stupid Things Smart Christians Believe

  1. A mistranslated book written by cave people is a reliable guide to the modern world.
  2. There’s an invisible man in the sky who likes to watch you while you’re showering.
  3. Two thousand years ago, an alter ego of this invisible man knocked up a Jewess whose husband wasn’t satisfying her.
  4. The progeny of this drunken coupling was both god and the son of god.
  5. This son of god was killed (but not really, since he’s also god, and god can’t die) and then came back to life to seek revenge, just like J.D. Walker.
  6. His killing was a necessary sacrifice in order that we might be forgiven for the sins of Eve, the first woman in the world, who lived 6000 years ago in a magical garden, where a talking snake convinced her to eat a forbidden apple.
  7. To show our thanks for this sacrifice, we should put special crackers and wine in our mouths, where they will be magically transformed into his flesh and blood, which we should then swallow despite taboos regarding cannibalism.
  8. If you don’t believe all the preceding items, then after you die you will be plunged into a lake of fire and tortured for all eternity.
  9. If you do believe all the preceding items, then after you die you’ll get to go to heaven, which is a cloud in outer space connected to the earth with a dotted line bent into a heart-shape
  10. Thomas Kinkade is an awesome painter.

Which book would you rather read?

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Over the past year, I have encountered a number of “non-religious” types who were not only avid supporters of Barack Obama, but who also insisted that he was a “closet atheist”.

Although all evidence points to the contrary, they offered a number of plausible reasons like

  • I like him, so he’s got to be
  • sitting through years of Jeremiah Wright nonsense would make anyone an atheist
  • he’s only pretending in order to get elected, same as Sarah Palin

I found none of these reasons compelling, but articles about Obama’s “faith-based office” (“hey, do we have any stamps?” “not sure, why don’t you pray on it?”) are working harder to assuage my fears:

While the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships has been around for eight years, the Obama White House is very keen to stress that their version of the office will have an entirely different mission. Whereas Bush established the office to “level the playing field” for faith-based service organizations that he argued were unable to compete for federal grants, Obama intends to use his faith office more for policy matters:

I mean, as long as they’re only working on “policy”, I don’t see anything that could go wrong with that. I bet that people chosen for their religious affiliations have all sorts of policy insights that people chosen for their competence or experience would never come up with:

  • “Now that we run GM, let’s put electronic Mecca-finders on every dashboard!”
  • “Let’s teach kids about Ganesh in biology class, so they’ll know that it’s possible to transplant an elephant’s head on a human’s body!”
  • “We should fund a NASA mission to visit heaven!”
  • “Can we make it so that churches don’t have to pay any income tax?” “We already do that.” “Oh, sweet!”

I look forward to the broadening of the policy discourse.

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