This is the kind of inflammatory piece I like to write from time to time. Check that. I hate writing them, actually. I hate the fact that they need to be written. I hate the bullshit that makes them necessary. And I hate feeling angry. But, given the shitty situation we find ourselves in, I’m happy to do something about it.
I’m amused by people’s reactions when I speak out about hypocrisy. Yes, I have a right to lambaste hypocrites. You do too. Don’t fault me because I exercise mine while you shrink back, intimidated by yours. And, no, I don’t need to be kind or nice or polite to hypocrites. How did I or anyone end up owing them that–as if an overabundance of kindness, niceness, and politeness on their part created a deficit? Seriously? Hypocrisy is assholeishness. Only assholes look you straight in the face and tell you one thing while they know they’re going to do another. Are you kind, nice, and polite to the assholes in your life? If you are to their faces, I bet you go home and vent about them behind their backs; so how deep does your kindness, niceness, and politeness really go?
Christians are pansies for a variety of reasons. Here are just a few.
If God is for us, then who can be against us?
Paul’s rhetorical question was intended to stress the obvious answer: nobody. But to listen to Christians talk about the many, many things that threaten them, lots of people can be against them and, in fact, are. Apparently, pretty much the whole world is against them, along with the devil and all his minions, too. And, unless they placate the wrathful guy from above, the Almighty himself is against them, or will be if they don’t toe the line and stay on his good side. In fact, everyone outside their circle of doctrinal correctness or orthodoxy or morality–in other words, anyone who does not agree with them or can’t be made to agree with them–is “against” them in one way or another. Even quite open-minded and open-hearted Christians who refuse the myth of hell and look forward to the redemption of all humanity still have trouble with pesky evil people, everyone from the neighborhood pedophile to that icon for inexplicably sinister maliciousness, Hitler. Christians don’t know what to do with evil people, other than stay as far away from them as possible or, if that’s not going to happen, eliminate them from society through incarceration or from the gene pool by use of guns and drones. Somehow, none of those solutions speak to me of power or of love.
So, exactly how is God “for” Christians when so many are against them? I’ve asked that question in a variety of ways over several decades, now, and the answers I’ve gotten form a consistent pattern: God is for them if… If they are faithful, if they obey, if they believe, if they follow the Spirit’s leading, if they remain in God’s good graces, if they sacrifice this, that, and the other thing. In other words, God is for them conditionally, and all the conditions depend on them to make sure it stays that way. Does that remind you of anything? How about that abusive parent or partner or authority who refused to lift a finger to help you meet their requirements, but were happy to lift fists and whatever they could clench in them to punish you for failing? If I had a God like that, I’d be a pansy, too.
His divine power has granted to us everything we need for life and godliness through the true knowledge of him; and by these he has granted to us his precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of divine nature.
Notice that’s present perfect tense: an action that happened at an unspecified time in the past. “Has granted” does not mean “does grant” or “will grant” or “might grant.”
How has he granted us everything we need and promises that it’s all ours for the taking and using? By his divine power and true knowledge of him. So where does Christian whining about whether or not God will meet their needs come from? Where does their anxiety come from? Where does any question at all about abundance and reliability of heavenly resources come from? (Sorry, “prosperity gospel” fanatics–you’re not getting worldly goods and filthy lucre from the guy upstairs!) Obviously, they haven’t tapped into divine power or true knowledge of him. The wicked flee when no one pursues them, not the righteous. We who know divine power and true knowledge of “Him who called us by His own glory and excellence” are as bold as lions, just like it says in Proverbs. We don’t hope to be, we don’t plan to be, and we don’t resolve to be on New Year’s Eve. We simply are. Once we were blind, but now we see both God and God’s unbelievable power, and they are for us unconditionally and irrevocably. So, what’s the question and who’s asking?
“No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; and every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their vindication is from me,” declares the Lord.
Really? No weapon at all? Nothing that any tongue says against us will stand? On the contrary–we’ll get the last laugh every time? So what the hell are “apologetics” all about? Christians need to convince “unbelievers” why, exactly? Because they need the permission of unbelievers to demonstrate the power of God? Because divine power can’t operate unless its opposers allow it? Or is it more likely that Christians simply don’t have any power that can stand up to serious disagreement and opposition, other than the power of violence and domination that they are supposed to offer an alternative to, but all too many are so willing to use when things get scary?
This reminds me of the audacity of David who, baffled at the timidity of the soldiers of the Lord as they let Goliath taunt them day after day, dared to question their bravery and their sanity. “Are you serious? What will the guy who slays this asshole get? The King’s own daughter in marriage you say? And here you stand like dweebs? Are you fucking kidding me?” He couldn’t get through to any of them, neither by reason nor by shame nor by base appeal to selfish interest, so it fell to him to do what any one of them could have done. God was ready and waiting. Nothing was lacking or ill-prepared on the part of heaven, yet no one but a young shepherd boy without the strength to bear armor saw God clearly and knew the nature of divine power and did what needed to be done, no problem. Rattle your sabers and pound your fists on the pulpit, but you’ve got nothing if you can’t or won’t go out and face giants. Maybe you barely manage to face the neighbors.
We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.
Christians, have you come to know God? Do you abide in God and in his love? Do you have confidence now, let alone on the day of judgment? As he is, are you also in this world–not as he was or will be, but as he is now, and not will you be or do you hope to be someday in some other world, but now in this world? If you are a member of the body of Christ, then fucking act like it!
I’m grieved to tears to say that Christians in no way behave like the body of Christ, although they love to advertise themselves as such. And then they apologize profusely for lack of truth in advertising. Tomes have been written excusing Christians for not behaving like the body of Christ in this world. Any action performed in just a wee bit of real power of God would have made apology and explanation irrelevant. Everyone recognizes real power. In Christianity, on the other hand, there is much bleating but little wool, and much holding to a form of godliness but denying its power.
There is no fear in love. Do you have any conception of what that’s like? Do you have any experience with what it’s like? It does not mean that fear is inevitable, but that we can learn to manage it or even overcome it. No, it means that there is no fear to be found. Nada. Zip. You can look for it and you won’t find any. None at all. Why? Because that’s the nature of love: it bursts with divine power and clarity about God, in contrast to the paltry counterfeit that Christians like to call “love.” Sorry guys, we know love when we feel it, and there is literally no room in love left over for fear or anything that might induce fear, because love is full of truth that precludes fear of any sort or in any degree. You’d know if you’d experienced it. If you don’t have that kind of love, you have yet to know the God that you so love to talk about, and your “faith” is puny or dead.
As long as fear remains in our thoughts, feelings, and actions, we understand neither the Scriptures nor the power of God. The answer, then, is not to steel ourselves or strengthen our faith or find someone to encourage us, but to wise up. Fear proves that we are blind at best, if not deluded. We need our eyes opened to see the potency of the forces at our disposal, just like Elisha’s servant did. We fear, not because we truly see things to be afraid of, but because we don’t see the truth that there is nothing to be afraid of at all. But instead, we cling to lies. We see enemies. We see the power of evil and evil people. We see plenty of reasons to be afraid and plenty of things to be afraid of. Under that kind of delusion, it really doesn’t matter what we “do about it” or how hard we “try.” The problem isn’t what we do or fail to do. The problem is that we’ve been fooled. Claiming to be strong enough to handle our fears and overcome the dangers that threaten us is beside the point when our fears are groundless and the dangers are laughable.
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.
Are you doing that? Do you know how to do that? Do you even know what Paul was talking about, whether you know the how of it or not? The body of Christ–those people who are in this world as he is–resurrected—know what it’s about. They aren’t intimidated by fortresses and they aren’t afraid to destroy them. They recognize speculations and lofty things raised up against the knowledge of God, and they destroy those, too. They don’t argue, intimidate, ask permission, or demand compliance, because the battle isn’t with people. The war isn’t a matter of will or wills. The weapons aren’t wimpy and sappy, but divinely powerful. That means god-awfully, frightfully powerful–the kind of power that drops your jaw, makes you weak in the knees, and sets your head spinning.
The love possessed and displayed by the body of Christ is as beautiful as Tirzah, my darlings, as lovely as Jerusalem, and as terrible and dreadful as an army with banners. Is that the kind of love you have? If not, stop using the Lord’s name in vain until you figure out how to get it, because that’s the shit, baby–not your politically correct version of highly principled, condescending charity for those “less fortunate” than oh-so-privileged you. You might be surprised to realize that those “unfortunates” don’t think that you are all that fortunate or privileged, after all. I think that God would agree with them. I know that I do.
When Christians start overcoming actual evil with actual good, when they leave their platitudes and myths and Sunday storytelling behind and get out into the real world exercising real power–love power, God’s power that stops evil in its tracks–I’ll stop considering them pansies. That means that they would need to emerge from their oversized homes and gated communities, get engaged with people that they currently avoid or even shun, and risk something more than verbiage or money in order to make this world a better place. The Son didn’t say that a trust fund or a 401K or an estate had been prepared for him but,
If you aren’t offering your body, in what way are you a member of his?
Sadly, in large part Christians have little to no hope to make this world a better place. Too many evil people. “Human nature” is just too incorrigible. “Better” will happen “when Jesus comes back” and kicks all the bad guys’ asses, just like in the movies. Christians have given this world over to wickedness–effectively irredeemable, as far as they’re concerned. Funny that God seemed to think otherwise. John the Baptist must have gotten it wrong, too. Jesus wasn’t the Lamb of God who took away the sin of the world, only the sin of a chosen few. In other words, the world is damned until God one day does something about it. Hmm… And here I thought that, as Jesus’ body on earth, that was our job! Silly me.
Of course, Christians would deny all this, but the proof is in the pudding. If they were offering themselves instead of a few possessions here and there, given the immense power that God has allocated for their use, the world would be a better place. The tragic fact is that Christians want to be regarded as people who believe and offer themselves and sacrifice all to make the world a better place, as if they were already doing everything humanly possible, but the problems are too formidable and the unbelievers too stubborn. Bullshit. Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed. So, either Christians don’t believe in Him or they must not be disappointed with these results, because these are the results that their “faith” produced. But I’m disappointed, and I can’t see how any God worthy of the honor of that name could be anything but disappointed, either. I’m fed up with Christian lies, posing, and hypocrisy. We know the tree by its fruit, and the fruit of Christianity stinks to high heaven, as it has since it was abducted by the “evil workers” and “hidden reefs” and “anti-Christs” and “false prophets” that Paul, John, Peter, and Jude warned against.
Many–not just a few–who prophesy, cast out demons, and perform many miracles–not just a few–will hear Jesus tell them, “Depart from me, I never knew you.” What about those who call him “Lord, Lord,” and can’t even do that much? If you don’t know him now in the power of his resurrection (conquering death, no less!) and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death in order that you might attain to the resurrection from the dead, what makes you think that he will know you then?
Christians: get a real life and grow a pair.