Would you make a deal with the devil if he promised to promote Christianity?

Would you make a deal with the devil if he promised to promote Christianity?

Would you make a deal with the devil if he promised to promote Christianity?  The answer’s obvious, right?  Wrong!  It seems to me there are two answers right now.  Most, hopefully, say “No way!”  Sadly though, I believe many are pretty much doing that right now.  It’s a sobering view of Christianity in the U.S. right now.  It’s very sad.  Scary even.

I dare say, anyone who even claims to be Christian says no to that question.  My concern though is that we don’t all examine what we’re doing through lens of the Bible.  What Jesus taught.  The examples He gave us both through His own life and through His words.  Not do we always pay attention to the letter written in the New Testament by Paul, James, Peter, Etc.  If we did, I think we’d be shocked.  Dismayed by what we’ve been doing.

Protecting laws from religion?

Religion and the law. Are we protecting laws from religion?

Protecting laws from religion?  Management of religious affairs is about protecting what is lawful.  That last sentence is the English translation of something from China’s Religious Affairs Regulations.  But does that even make sense?  China claims their citizens have freedom of religious belief.  So shouldn’t laws about religion be concerned with protecting those religions?

What’s this thing about protecting the law from religion?  It sounds so backwards.  And yet, is it even unusual?  We claim to have religious freedom in the U.S.  So do many countries.  But are we really doing anything different than China?  In other words, is the real issue that China isn’t hiding what they’re doing?  Let’s find out.

Should Christians be concerned about healthcare for the poor?

Should Christians be concerned about healthcare for the poor?

Should Christians be concerned about healthcare for the poor?  Of course, the answer is yes.  Isn’t it?  In theory, it’s hard to argue against the idea.  However, in practice, it’s apparently very easy to just ignore it.  Does that sound familiar?  If you’re Christian, it should resonate, loud and clear.  Even if you’re not Christian, chances are you know something about “the good Samaritan”.  Even if you don’t know where it came from, that concept is known by all sorts of people.

So let’s look at the question of healthcare for the poor in that light.  We’ll see what Jesus says on the topic.  After all, Jesus was the One who first put forth the idea of the good Samaritan.  And then we’ll see what happens today.  How we went from what Jesus taught, to a scenario where that’s pretty much impossible for all but the extremely wealthy people in the world, and how too many Christians have done the unneighborly thing by, well, by doing what we do.  We’ll look at that in a moment.

Chinese citizens have the freedom of religious belief

Citizens have freedom of religious belief?

Citizens have freedom of religious belief.  That’s the English translation of something from China’s Religious Affairs Regulations.  But is it really true? 

Remember, China is a Communist country.  And an officially atheist one as well.  We must be forgiven if we doubt those fine-sounding words.  Especially after reading part 1 of this series. 

Remember, Article 1 of these regulations included the text, “increase the level of legalification in work on religion” as one of the stated goals for putting them into law.  How does that even make sense? 

Christians - are you afraid of politicians?

Christians – are you afraid of politicians?

Christians – are you afraid of politicians?  Donald Trump seems to think you are.  Or at least hope you are.  But really, the question is deeper than that.

But first, let’s get into why the question even comes up.  It’s because of an article from Politico, titled‘Dangerous levels of contempt’: Trump deploys a convention to attack Dems on religion.  A short excerpt will shed light on what’s happening.

Christians - how do you treat women?

Christians – how do you treat women?

Christians – how do you treat women?  I don’t address this just to men, but to women as well.  We often say the “right things”.  But when it comes right down to it, do we do what we say?  Or do we live by the old adage, “Do as I say, not as I do”?  There are so many reasons to ask this question.  But the thing that has me asking today is two things I read in the news. 

Both have to do with our President.  It seems when Trump open a hand to offer an olive branch, he just can’t help using that hand to slap someone.  In this case, Susan B. Anthony was the olive branch.  The slap was to Michelle Obama and, oddly enough, Susan B. Anthony.

And so, the question has to do with whether or not we live up to what we claim to believe.  Do we find that kind of behavior acceptable?  Is it even normal?  And if we agree it’s not, why does it still seem to be acceptable for this president?  What kind of precedent does he set and what kind of message do we send when we silently support it?

Which god will win the election?

Which god will win the election in the U.S.?  The god of power?  Maybe the god of greed?  How about the god of white power?  Or the god of me first?  What about the chance for the god of caring about other people?  Have you noticed, there’s really only two choices there?  I’m not even going to say it’s between Republicans and Democrats.  It’s between Trump and Biden.  Or is that between Trump and not Trump?

Notice that I didn’t capitalize god either.  Because it’s not directly about God.  Both sides want us to believe they have God on their side.  But then, it’s really more about wanting us to believe that, rather than either party being particularly Godly.  However, one does appear to more more god-like, in the same way Roman emperors were gods.

Because of these things, and more, the question of which god will win the election is very real.

Is COVID making us more loving? Or more hating?

Is COVID making us more loving? Or more hating?

Is COVID making us more loving? Or more hating?  That question came to mind yesterday.  I had a half hour inside an MRI tube with nothing to do, and this is where my mind went.  At first, I was thinking about the folks working so I can get my MRI to see how my cancer is doing.  They risk getting sick, and even maybe dying, to take care of us.  And most people would say they appreciate that. 

So COVID makes us more loving, right?  But does it really?  If we truly loved and cared about our medical workers, first responders, and even the admin people in hospitals and care centers, then we’d act differently.  We’d wear a mask in public.  We’d avoid large gatherings.  Why?  Because those things lead to fewer people being sick.  And that, in turn, leads to fewer people requiring medical care.  Obviously, or at least it should be obvious, all of those things lead to fewer medical people being exposed to COVID, getting sick, and possibly dying.

pigeon or dove - example of religious freedom in China

Religious freedom in China

To some, the idea of religious freedom in China sounds like an oxymoron.  You know – a figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction.  Given that China is an officially atheist country, “religion” in China certainly isn’t what people in the so-called west expect.  Further, the concept of freedom of religion in an atheist country like China is, if it’s possible, even more of an oxymoron.

And yet …

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