published Saturday, August 31st, 2013

What's a church to do?

What's any church to do, not just Ridgedale Church of Christ, when what has been wrong for 2,000 years is — backed by like-minded liberal judges — judged to be right.

It's painful for anyone to hear that a church asked, in the case of Ridgedale recently, that a choice must be made between faith and family. For a mother to choose between supporting her daughter, as she did at a public meeting where her daughter sought benefits for her same-sex partner, and being asked to repent before the church behavior that was said to be supportive of a homosexual lifestyle.

But Jesus said exactly that would happen -- that lines would be drawn. In Matthew 10:34-39 (New American Standard Bible), he said, "Do not think that I came to bring peace on the Earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man's enemies will be the members of his household. He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for my sake will find it."

It's likely churches like Ridgedale Church of Christ see the increasing acceptance of homosexuality as the kind of thing Jesus was talking about. Accept the teachings of the Bible or accept someone who is doing what the church teaches is wrong.

Indeed, following Christ is not for the feint of heart. Such a life asks people to discipline themselves, to take personal responsibility for their behavior, to govern their lives.

The church was ordained of Christ to help people follow in those footsteps.

You could argue, and you'd be right, that its followers often have done a woeful job of that. Some have built marvelous temples and neglected the poor at their doorstep. Others have stepped into the political realm and put more trust in government than in the man who stilled the waters. Still more have tried to become everything to everybody and in doing so lost sight of the Creator who brought it all into being.

But most, and by like sign most of its members, have done an untold amount of good.

They stock the food banks, they educate the poor, they're the first on the scene after disaster strikes.

And with 2,000 years of history at their back, they dare to have absolutes: God created the earth, God sent his son to assume human form and die for the sins of the many, marriage is one man and one woman, life begins at conception and deserves protection.

Over time, courts have ruled against those absolutes. Abortion has been legal for 40 years, and the United States Supreme Court ruled in June that the Defense of Marriage Act -- which, in essence, said marriage was between a man and a woman -- was unconstitutional.

But even the latest ruling isn't enough, according to the New Mexico Supreme Court, which ruled recently that a photographer was wrong in turning down business from a same-sex couple because of the photographer's religious beliefs.

Incredibly, Justice Richard C. Bossen wrote that compromising their religious beliefs was "the price of citizenship."

"At its heart," the justice wrote, "this case teaches that at some point in our lives all of us must compromise, if only a little, to accommodate the contrasting values of others. ... That compromise is part of the glue that holds us together as a nation, the tolerance that lubricates the varied moving parts of us as a people."

Of course, religious employers already are familiar with that type of ruling since the Obama administration is forcing them to pay for birth control and drugs that may cause abortions, even if doing so goes against their religious beliefs.

This creeping government hand is what people are afraid of -- a forced compromise of business principles, of religious beliefs.

If such a thing can happen, the Ridgedale churches of Christ of the world are afraid it won't be long before courts tell them what their absolutes can be, how they can run their church, what will and will not be tolerated.

You can debate how humane the church's decision to pit mother against daughter was, but how far are we from courts that tell churches they can no longer teach that God was a part in the creation of the world, that all churches must be uniform in their teachings, that crosses on private property violate the religious beliefs of non-Christians, that weddings must be civil ceremonies since whatever the faith involved could violate the sensibilities of someone not of that faith.

Ridiculous, right? Never happen, right?

Tell that to Elaine and Jonathan Huguenin, who had the temerity to turn down a client in their photography business because it violated their religious beliefs.

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AndrewLohr said...

So if the Westboro 'Baptist' folks invited an openly 'gay' photographer to work a wedding for them, would he be allowed to say no? Some wiseguy said, Yeah, photograph the wedding, and invite Westboro to bring the fireworks. Doug Wilson said more or less, I'd sell 'em a camera--that's just business, and I Cor tells Christians not to be picky about that kind of thing--but I wouldn't work the wedding--that'd call on me to endorse what God abhors.

August 31, 2013 at 12:13 a.m.
soakya said...

just announced a few days ago, the IRS will allow gay couples who are married to file their tax returns as married filing jointly regardless of the state they live in.

August 31, 2013 at 1:20 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

For most of those 2000 years oppression of women, slavery and sexual abuse of children was deemed "right" by the church. Yet (I hope) they have changed their minds on those.

August 31, 2013 at 8:25 a.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

Has the Times-Free Press dug up the corpse of Jerry Falwell to write this editorial? Wasn't Bob Jones available?

"This creeping government hand is what people are afraid of -- a forced compromise of business principles, of religious beliefs."

It's the creeps who combine government and religion who are the danger. It's the fundamentalist Bible-Thumpers who claim some invisible god and contradictory writings as divine law that applies to everyone else.

What's always funny is these same fundies fight each other over interpetations of those same ancient scribbles. And they want to tell me how to live, bring creationism into science classes, and teach as reality fairy-tales and myths.

What a joke!

August 31, 2013 at 9:20 a.m.
jdcofield said...

A "minister" told one of his congregants that she had to choose between her daughter and her church. That's the real tragedy here.I do have to congratulate you folks on your ability to turn anything at all into an Obama bashing.

August 31, 2013 at 10:35 a.m.
chet123 said...





August 31, 2013 at 10:42 a.m.
Rickaroo said...

"What's a church to do," you ask? I'll tell ya what it's to do: Pull its friggin' head out the Dark Ages! Accept the fact that what two people do between themselves behind closed doors is not a sin and it's none of their damn business. And it's time for you people who defend these knuckle dragging self righteous twits to wise up as well and devote your time to better things. My god, grow up! It's really getting tiresome listening to you pompous blowhards cherry pick your sins and exert so much time and energy on such petty things.

August 31, 2013 at 11:36 a.m.
amyinsparta said...

"Of course, religious employers already are familiar with that type of ruling since the Obama administration is forcing them to pay for birth control and drugs that may cause abortions, even if doing so goes against their religious beliefs."

Why is it your religious beliefs don't include opposition to war? Wars, and religious wars at that, have MURDERED more people than abortion ever will. But you support the troops that murder, you wave the flag that promotes murder, you condemn to death those that you perceive as evil. And why do most of you endorse capital punishment? It's all MURDER. But you have judged some murder to be good and some bad. Murder is murder. How can you qualify it? I don't care if you are against abortion. But why is it murder to abort but not murder to drop bombs on innocent children who are already born? It boggles the mind of any THINKING person. You can't have your cake and eat it too. Either you are for life or you are not. To be for some life and not other life is beyond hypocritical. WAKE UP

August 31, 2013 at 11:37 a.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

It's amusing that if an old man impregnates a young virgin, he goes to jail. If God does it, we have a miracle!

The Bible--Apply literally until you're brain dead.

August 31, 2013 at 11:50 a.m.
hotdiggity said...

Ridgedale Church of Christ strikes me as nothing less than the epitome of mindless, hypocritical, authoritarianism so typical in many religious institutions.

Blind obedience, dogmatic prostration, rejection of reason, and hypocrisy seems to be a prerequisite in attending this church.

"Judge not, lest ye be judged" is a doctrine that has been cast away by many pious believers since the inception of christianity.

August 31, 2013 at 10:07 p.m.
Leaf said...

It's faint of heart, not feint. Feint means "to create misdirection". Oh, wait, maybe it was used correctly, since somehow the author managed to blame a local church dispute on Obama. The hypocrisy of some so-called Christians runs deep.

September 3, 2013 at 9:24 a.m.
inquiringmind said...

I challenge the authors of this "editorial " to cite a single instance where Jesus advocated violence, aggression or condemnation against another person. This passage deals specifically with the reality that following Jesus may lead to you becoming separated from others who do not, it does not advocate severing relationships. In every case the one thing we are told NEVER to do is put ourself in God's seat and judge another human's faith.

Of course we do have the instance he knelt down and scribbled in the sand while the people sought to stone the adulteress, and when he looked up, what did he tell them, and her?

In the case at hand, I'd like the list of sins the pastor commits, and all those who support him, that are low enough on the totem pole to allow him to attend church without formal, specific, description before the congregation as part of his own repentance. I'd like to be sure I keep my sinning into those categorise, if he has a mainline to Jesus that validates his certainty, of course.

September 4, 2013 at 2:07 p.m.

"...But He (Jesus) said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.

Well, let the 'good' times roll...right now, for the anti-Christ...but, 'check out the rest of the story':

Saint Matthew 13 "...The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat..."

"... But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares (the demonic anti-Christ) also...."

"The servants said unto Him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? 29 But He said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers (Holy Angels), Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn."

~~~The Dogs Bark, but, the caravan moves on~~~


September 6, 2013 at 9:20 p.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

Seems the Church of Christ has been getting into a little mischief in Scotland as well. This time the school parents threw them out.

September 9, 2013 at 8:05 p.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

Nutty Baptist preacher goes off on congregation. Just another day in the life of Christian wacko fundamentalism. Watch and laugh and remember this is the face of Christian craziness.

September 10, 2013 at 11:04 a.m.
Rickaroo said...

Incredible. The preacher in that video is clearly a psycho and an egomaniacal idiot. I couldn't believe how those people in the congregation just sat there meekly and took his insults. They were as pathetic in their passive acceptance as he was in his sadistic tirade. I imagine he thought his tantrum was the equivalent of the time that make-believe Jesus supposedly threw a hissy fit over the money changers in the temple. But he's only a self-righteous fool who is so full of himself that he feels justified in pointing out the shortcomings of others, and not only that but doing so in a way that is as humiliating as possible.

I can only imagine that people like Orr, Lohr, and the con-man have nothing but praise and respect for this kind of preacher. They no doubt think he's dishing out "tough love." But that preacher is sick, and anybody who thinks he's justified in the things he said is just as sick and twisted as he is. Unfortunately there are a lot of fundies who actually believe that way - that God is a stern, no-nonsense taskmaster, kind of like a drill sergeant in the Marine Corps, and that he wants his Christian soldiers to be just as stern in dishing out their "tough love." It's sad. Creepy. Disgusting. Fundies are despicable.

September 10, 2013 at 2 p.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

In America, you can't beat Christian fundamentalism for entertainment value. Whether it's snake handling, poison drinking, gibberish speaking, or just yelling Jesus over and over until the cat dies from boredom, leave it to insane fundies to provoke great laughter.

Here's another one of those Comedians for Cheesus doing a rant.

I'm guessing Reverend Dingbat couldn't find Elvis records to break, Mark Twain's books to burn, or witches to hang.

Have you noticed how many of these lunatics are Baptists? Are Baptist's slipping something in the grape juice or putting acid on the crackers?

September 10, 2013 at 3:24 p.m.
hotdiggity said...

Fundies love cheap theater, but mostly they love to be dominated and told what to think and believe.

September 10, 2013 at 10:23 p.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

Most people think that the elimination of bodily waste is a personal thing. Not this Bible-Thumping preacher! This fundamentalist (Baptist, of course) talks about urine in detail.

Forget brotherly love and goodwill. Hell is just around the corner for those who "pisseth against the wall." 1 Kings 14:10
Imagine, there's more concern on wall pissing in the Bible than loving your neighbor. What's next? Giant urninals on I-75?

Laugh and learn. You want this guy teaching your kids science, history, and ethics? Welcome to the wacky world of Christian Fundamentalism!

Not to be outdone by this fool, Pastor Sam Harris wants you to crack your 4 year-old son's wrist. Are you feeling the love yet? Guess what? He's a Baptist!

September 11, 2013 at 10 a.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

As a public service, here's "How to Understand Christianese" so you might know what they really mean. Bumber 4 is particularly apt.

September 12, 2013 at 9:34 a.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

I've been in prayer all day and Gawd laid this Word of Revelation on me. HILARIOUS! That what Gawd said. He also said watch this or He'll kill your firstborn child.

So, unless you send me $1000.00 in seed money, Gawd's gonna get you. While you're looking for a stamp and envelope (no checks, please) watch another chapter in Crazy Christians. Lay your hands on the computer monitor (after you send the seed money) and receive Gawd's message for you.

September 12, 2013 at 6:39 p.m.
Plato said...

I'm not a libertarian by any stretch but I have mostly a libertarian view of this church and religion in general. It's a free country and we have freedom of religion. So if any religion wants to ban people for sexual preference or any other reason, that's up to them. It's no different than the Mason's that require you to be a white protestant or Knights of Columbus that require you to be Catholic. It's their club and they have the right to set the rules of who they take as members. If you don't want to play by their rules then walk out the door and join a different club, or start your own club.

What I or anyone else thinks is silly, or fair or right is moot. If you're not in the club, you don't get to vote. It's their club so long as they don't break any laws or infringe on others rights let them do what every the hell they want.

September 13, 2013 at 3:56 p.m.
hotdiggity said...

Plato, everything you say is true. But people who disagree with this behavior also have the right to make their opinions known.

Although you may think it is "silly" or "moot" for people to have an opinion whether it is a private or a public "club" is irrelevant.

We have a "club" also. It is called freedom of speech and the right to protest what people view as bad behavior.

Since most churches famously condemn other people's behavior according to their beliefs I can hardly shed tears when they are held to the same standard.

Ya think?

September 14, 2013 at 11:12 a.m.
inquiringmind said...

Why has the right side of the online paper not been updated since Aug 30?

September 20, 2013 at 4:58 p.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

inquiringmind said...

"Why has the right side of the online paper not been updated since Aug 30?"

They've beeen trying to get Father Coughlin, Jerry Falwell, Jesse Helms, or Strom Thurmond, but haven't had any luck so far. No word if Bob Jones is available.

September 20, 2013 at 10:58 p.m.
inquiringmind said...

I presumed it is a dearth of worthy ideas.

September 21, 2013 at 8:01 a.m.
FreedomJournal said...

The Parable Of The Church Folk Who Listened To Man and Not God (7 September 2013- 15 September 2013)

The only way to the Father and eternal life is through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. However, some rely on man and read nothing of the Bible. The Bible clearly teaches that the Mosaic Law of Old made a transition to the heart (Jews and Gentiles) in the New.

God wants your heart not your pocketbook. But man plays the lottery.

All along the way of garbage covered streets and dirty pews were church folk. They were alleged believers but they embraced man in the flesh.

Most attended church each Sunday and also fell for and died in the tithing lie. No one could convince them that they denied Christ not even God the Father.

Brainwashed, tricked and bamboozled they found great pleasure in embracing and proclaiming a particular preacher as their father. They fell down never to get up in praise of their idol and winked at the real Father.

There is no second or third place for God and Christ. The righteous saints had no doubt that He is always first and so is Christ.

The Devil as Satan rode on a finite and materialistic horse. His manure his dung equaled money as the world became saturated with the lust and love of money. The preacher, the church folk, the church goer, or those that play Church brought this evil notion into God’s house.

Was this church still God’s house? Was this place blemished more than a tainted sheep right before the sacrifice? Who could sacrifice daily at the altar and atone for sins?

Those that will never let go of the tithing lie will also forever forsake Christ. God and Christ teach a way out of the world. But to the lost the world and filthy money is paradise.

Meanwhile the false teachers came with Bibles as no one among the church folk were on one accord. Truth was no priority among these pagan souls? The temporary father was for a little while but the Father and Son are forever.

Peace and Paradise,

Brother Carl A. Patton writing for the FreedomJournal Press 15 September 2013 in the year of our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus.

September 29, 2013 at 12:22 p.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

Another example of someone who arrived a little late for their daily thorzine, and reverted to more gibberish about Jumping Jehovah, Jebus, and the Flying Holy Spook.

But I'm betting that Orr and Brother Patton are linked in a delerious mind-meld through the awesome glory of tin-foil hats.

Piece of Pie,

Brother DaytonsDarwin, writing for the Freedom from Religious Nutjobs, 29 September 2013 in the year of our Lard and Savory Crispy Cheesus.

September 29, 2013 at 1:52 p.m.
jesse said...

This side of the OP page is gittin coverd up w/ cobwebs!

Must be havin some trouble finding a replacement for Drew!!

September 30, 2013 at 9:20 a.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

This side of the paper is looking for a right-wing reactionary, aristocratic, evangelical moralizer, happily carries water for the mountains, who wants Creationism taught in schools, prayer at every public meeting, Calvinist, and can send someone else to buy his whiskey so the other Southern Baptists in the liquor store can't see him, has pictures of The Gipper on his Christmas cards, gets his views from Fox News or 700 Club, has a wife whose prescription pill addiction is not known after three stints in rehab (unsuccessful), daughter's abortion was listed as a D & C, son's rape charges were kept quiet (after an unknown amount of settlement), and only goes to strip clubs and casinos when in Las Vegas "on business" trips.

Shouldn't be a problem to get local talent after all.

September 30, 2013 at 1:32 p.m.
ChrisSteves said...

The absolute intolerance and bigotry spewed by you anti Christian/Religious people is mind boggling. Are your lives so unfulfilled that you must spend your days showing your bigotry and intolerance?

Do you want to be treated this way for your beliefs? Why do you attack Christians so vehemently? Please look at your life and ask yourself, what am I accomplishing by treating others this way?

November 17, 2013 at 12:10 p.m.
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