Monday, April 27, 2009

satan's Twitter page

WELCOME TWEEPLE!!!

Thought it was about time to join the twitter bandwagon...

Just got out of the shower. Listened to the White House podcast.

People love Obama--I definitely need to tap more of that resource.

Eating a bowl of cheerios--breakfast of dark lords of the underland!

Watching South Park on TiVo

Disappointed by South Parks recent portrayal of me. Why do they always make me look like a fag?

Just used my G-Phone to give an interview with Larry King to talk about how the economy effects hell.

I can't believe how many people "Claim" to have sold their soul to me.

Catching up on all my Tweet's--keep your updates coming! Loving each one!

OMG, did you see Darth Vador's tweet today? SO FUNNY!!!

why do people assume just cuz i'm the prince of darkness that i favor bush's torture practice?

I'm just glad bush believes in Jesus cuz i don't want to be messing with him...he's so crazy!

Just finished the Screwtape Letters...Lewis is one witty guy! He got us down good!

How the heck does aston kutcher have more followers then me?

I hate the phrase "Hot As Hell"...have you felt what hell feels like?

It's so hot down here we don't need microwaves to heat our food...hell is one giant microwave.

I've been polluting hell for 60 years trying to get global warming to take it's toll in hell...doesn't work

Just got an email from charles darwin commenting on how it's scientifically impossible that he hasn't evolved in hell

Really looking forward to meeting the people on God's naughty list.

Just got an email from a friend inviting me to try jdate.com. what do you think?

I am so over MySpace!

Watching Gossip Girl. Blair is such a bitch...I love it!

Calling it an early night...

Friday, April 24, 2009

What Twitter Taught Me About Christianity

I admit it. I drank the Kool-Aide and got myself a Twitter account. It has actually been a great way to keep up with my friends (my fellow Disturbed Christians Scott, Diana, and Rachel are on Twitter), and also secretly stalk my celebrity crush Meghan McCain. However, whenever I get an email update saying I have a new follower, 9 out of 10 times it's some one I don't know.

I like meeting new people, especially my adoring fans. But usually when a stranger starts following me on Twitter, they're advertising something. Their updates (or Tweets, or Twats, or whatever they're called) are mostly links to either spyware-ridden websites or blogs about how social network media can help your business*. Maybe I'm just weird, but I want to really get to know people. I want to build relationships. Isn't that what social media is about--making friends without leaving your house?

I wonder if we Christians do the same. Do we really want to connect with the world, or do we just want them to join our club?

One of the things I love about Jesus is how personable He is. He didn't just preach at people; He befriended them, too. He shared His meals with tax collectors and prostitutes. I mentioned that on an online Christian message board, and one guy replied and said, "It was just so they would repent." True, Jesus said He came for the sick, but here's the thing about sharing your meals. In that culture whenever you ate with some one, you weren't just sharing a meal--you were sharing your lives. That's why the Pharisees were so shocked. Why on earth would the Son of God want to share His life with sinners?

If we want people to know Christ, we can't just give them a URL or a track. We need to get to know them as people. We need to build relationships with the unsaved.


*Using social network media to advertise your blog about social network media--I don't know if that's irony or just plain sad.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Missionary Date

Do you ever Wiki when your bored? It usually starts when you go on Wikipedia to look up something real fast, and ends with you looking at things on the most absurd topics just so you don't to do whatever real work you need to get to.

Yesterday I was having one of my wiki moments and came across an entry for Missionary Dating, which, apparently, is also known as "dating for Jesus" or "flirt to convert." It's the concept of going on a date with someone of differing beliefs so you can convert them.

Don't you just love it when Christians come up with things like this? Is it really evangelism when you have to manipulate to get your message across? Or perhaps that is Evangelism.

To see the wiki entry for yourself, go here, or read it below:

Missionary dating is a phrase used in a Christian context to describe when a person of one religion dates a person with differing beliefs for the purpose of changing that person's beliefs or religion.

Synonymous phrases include "dating for Jesus" or "flirt to convert". The concept of missionary dating is sometimes used to cover for or justify to one's self, family, or religious community, romantic interest in a non-Christian if the relationship might be frowned upon on otherwise.

The morality and appropriateness of Missionary Dating is a controversial subject among some Christians, though it is rarely discussed.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Lies That Christians Told Me

Today's post is brought to you by Jeff Goins. He works for Adventures in Missions, and has contributed to RelevantMagazine.com. We're happy to have him tell his story here.

When I first became a Christian in college, nobody told me the "rules" of right living according to the American Gospel. I had to learn them.

For instance, I used to think that God was happy to bless anyone he pleased for his own purposes. I thought that the grace of Christ was abundant and without condition. I guess I was a little foolish. I had to learn that God really only helps those who help themselves. That confused me - because, if you could help yourself, you didn't really need help, did you? Nonetheless,I kept hearing people at church, even in Sunday school classes (where you were supposed to learn more about the deep things of the faith life) that God only helped those who helped themselves.

I figured that since I was a newbie, they knew much more about God than I did, so I dismissed the fact that to me, it sounded like God didn't really help anybody.

Another phrase I heard thrown around was the following: "God only speaks to you through his WORD." The word "Word" was often emphasized with an inflection in the person's tone as they were speaking. Again, this was weird to me, because, while I was no Bible scholar, I read things in Scripture like Jesus saying, "My sheep know my voice and follow me." But then when I heard of someone sharing how God has personally spoken to them, some Christians were quick to say, "No, you misunderstood - God doesn't speak to people like that. He's said everything he wants to say in his WORD." Strangely, I found some people doing radical things like giving away their possessions because "God told them" being labeled wacky charismatics. They were gently rebuked by their brothers and sisters and told that while the Lord spoke to the disciples of the New Testament this way, that was before the printing press and that God just likes to use the Bible these days.

I used to think that Jesus was a bit of a radical. At times, it sounded like he was a political activist, and at other times a social reformer. And at even other times, he acted like a prophet or a renegade priest. He was hard to figure out. Because he was so mysterious, I was content to bow down to him in awe. But that was before I had Jesus figured out. Now, I've learned that if Jesus were walking the earth today, he'd be a white guy, probably from America, and definitely a capitalist. It took me a while to learn this, because it didn't seem to line up with the Sermon on the Mount and other passages, but I think I've gotten it down. Jesus is a white dude who tries to make people feel bad about themselves so that they'll go to church or get a decent, white-collar job.

Lastly, I was under the impression that when I first became a Christian that God really liked me. I knew that this must be true, because I wasn't that good of a person when I came to know him. So, the fact that he would save me meant that he was a pretty loving person - well beyond my comprehension or moral rectitude. It wasn't until I really started hanging out with some Christians did I find out that there were limitations and conditions to God's grace. It turns out that he only really likes you when you've read your Bible, had at least 30 minutes or prayer time, and are going to a minimum of three church activities each week. It turns out that it's pretty hard to please God, and that's why so many Christians should be miserable most of the time.

Like I said, these were all things about being an American Christian that I had to learn - that God helps those who help themselves, that he doesn't speak to people in personal, relevant ways, that Jesus is American, and that God doesn't like you unless you're really, really good.

Now that I think about it, I think I'm going to try to un-learn everything I've learned about Christianity and come to know Christ like I did when I first met him.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Case for the Easter Bunny (+ Santa)

I’ve heard some pretty ridiculous reasons why parents tell their kids there is no such thing as Santa or the Easter Bunny; they use religion as a ploy to their rationale, but ultimately, I think it has more to do with them being cheap, and less to do with Jesus. The one that really tops them all comes by way of Christian radio. When asked why you shouldn’t tell your kids that such things exist, the person being interviewed said because then they might one day question if Jesus is made up too. Lame!

What happens when that same kid grows up and realizes that Christianity isn’t as perfect as their parents made it sound? When they discover that with faith comes times of great trials and crisis’, and that just because you believe in God doesn’t mean your life will be easy and perfect? What happens when they discover that their parents claims about what faith is was just a little bit exaggerated and even make believe?

It seems funny to me that Christians take their kids to Disneyland, and their perfectly fine letting their kids believe that Mickey Mouse and Goofy are real, but as some guy in red appears and promises a gift to any child who behaves they say, “honey, that’s not real.”

Honestly, I don’t believe a kid believes in the Easter Bunny or Santa because they think they are real; I believe they believe because that’s simply how their mind works at that stage in life—that they make up games and make believe things because it makes them happy; to say they can’t believe in that is to soil a huge part of their imagination. Kids watch super hero movies and believe that one day they too can become that—and its fine, because it’s letting them grow creatively.

To this day, I have not once met an nonspiritual person who says their faith was first disturbed at a young age because their parents let them believe in make believe. I have heard plenty who say their doubts started because of the strict religious household that they grew up in—that they had parents that told them they could not believe in make believe things.

Maybe if more people did believe in make believe they might have the imagination to one day create a better world.

Whatever your beliefs are about the Easter Bunny (or Santa for that matter), I hope you and your family have a happy day today and remember the true meaning (sorry for you Greek Orthodox’s…you’ll have to wait until next week to have a happy day and remember the true meaning).

Friday, April 10, 2009

Can I Get a Witness?

For me, one of the hardest things about being a Christian is sharing my faith. Faith is such a personal subject for everyone that it feels as though I'm intruding onto some one's personal business. Also, most people get ticked off when you say they're going to Hell for worshipping the wrong god. Christians have come up with many ways to make witnessing easier. Some are really good, while other are a bit more . . . creepy.

Probably the most infamous witnessing too is the Chick Track. For those who don't know, Chick Tracks are little tiny comic books that explain how Catholicism, Halloween, Dungeons and Dragons,and heavy metal will lead you to the path of sin and damnation. You're more likely to get some strange looks than win souls with this one.

Then there's the "Turn or Burn" method, which is where you get your Jonathan Edwards on, and basically guilt trip some one into accepting Christ. Yes, the Bible says we are all sinners, and we shouldn't water that down. But in my experience, it's hard to convice people that God loves them if you're constantly saying how terrible they are.

So those are examples of what NOT to do when witnessing. So what's the right way to witness? Or is there a right way? That's something I'm still trying to figure out. But I will say that, while skimming through the Gospels, I've noticed a few things:

-Jesus says we need to repent (Matthew 4:7), but doesn't condemn (John 3:17). In fact, Jesus saves his harshest words for the self-righteous religious leaders (Matthew 23).

-Jesus doesn't just talk the talk. His actions demonstrate what it means to be a Christian (John 13:3-10)

-Jesus didn't just preach, but also shared His meals with sinners (Matthew 9:10-12).

Like I said, I have no sure-fire formula for how to witness. For me, formulas only reduce the Gospel to a simple math problem. I just try to live the best way I can, and hope that others see what God has done in my life.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

It's About Time...

I love mockumentaries. They are funny and they have a tinge of truth behind it and it takes a few handful of comedic people to captivate a film on a stereotype or lifestyle and see the humor. It also takes a certain type of person with a sense of lightheartedness to see the humor behind it. As much as I have loved these films, I have been waiting for a Christian mockumentary.
Bring in Rajeev Sigamoney and Dan Ewald with director Jason Naumann, who have just released Jesus People. After watching reading the interview on Relevant magazine (found here), the controversy is Christians are debating the film saying it mocks God. This is exactly why I wanted this film made. It is a real eye-opener to the church and hopefully shakes them a little in the humor of it all.





Friday, April 3, 2009

Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash

A few years ago I found a video on YouTube featuring a collection of some of the craziest examples of the so-called "prosperity theology" movement. For those that don't know, it's a controversial teaching that God will shower the righteous with all the money in the world. As I watched the video, I didn't know whether to laugh or to cry.

The most chilling statement is from the one pastor who says, "You'll never be happy until you have money." Which is odd because, according to my Bible, Jesus says to lay your treasures in Heaven and not on Earth.

For some reason the ways of the world tend to sneak into the Church. We're constantly surrounded by all these voices in the media saying money is the key to happiness, and that we'll never have enough money. Before you know it you have books like The Prayer of Jabez, which is basically a little "Bless me" prayer that you're supposed to repeat over and over again and all your wildest dreams will come true. Or something like that. That prayer might have worked for Jabez, but I can't help but remember King Solomon. He didn't pray for money or riches or anything like that. He only asked for one thing: wisdom. And according to the Bible, no one was wiser or richer than Solomon.

God is a giving god. He gives the earth its beauty, and gives us humans all we need. Notice how I said "need" and not "want." What we need and what we want are two completely different things altogether. For example, I'd love to have lots of money and the latest Mac gadgets. I'd love to sit on a big comfy leather couch and watch the Orioles on a big screen HD TV. But do I really need any of that? No. All I need is a roof over my head, food on the table, and enough money to support my family.

Also, while we American Christians pray for money so we can buy brand new iPhones, there are people on the other side of the world who make less than a dollar a day. They clutch their stomachs at night because they don't have anything to eat. They'll walk barefoot for miles just to get a bucket of water. Meanwhile, "cutting back" for us means going to Starbucks less.

"Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and these things will be given to you as well." (Matthew 6:33) Christianity isn't a self-help plan to make you rich. It's about serving God, period.