His devoutly Evangelical grandparents continue to pray, encouraging their sinful grandson to get back in church so he can get the help he needs. This rolling train wreck has been going on for over a decade, with no end in sight.
Those closest to him continue to encourage him to cast all his cares on Jesus, telling him that if he will do so, Christ will give him victory over his addictions. The churches we attended would call for special meetings where revivalist preachers would come in and stomp on our feet with old-fashioned hellfire and brimstone preaching. Countless time was spent on our knees crying out to God, pleading for forgiveness and deliverance from sins of commission and omission.
Sufficiently revived, off we would go, ready to slay our adversary Satan, tearing down strongholds by and through the mighty power of God. Spend enough time in Evangelicalism and you will learn expected behaviors, complete with a language code to be used to give the appearance of living life as a Jesus-loving, Satan-hating, sin-forsaking Christian.
It is evident, at least to me, that Evangelicalism stands in the way of people truly dealing with and overcoming negative behaviors. Over its long history, the Christian church has used fear of judgment and punishment to keep people dependent on God for the forgiveness of behaviors deemed sinful by the church. Over time, the sin lists changed, but one fact remains: Evangelicals cannot find victory over sin in their own strength, and only God can forgive and deliver them. Failure to seek forgiveness results in God chastising punishing them for their sin.
Evangelicals are told to prostate themselves before God and beg for forgiveness. Perhaps it is time for Evangelicals to tell God to take a hike. What has he done for them anyway? Instead of granting them victory over sin, he keeps them dependent on him, often allowing temptations that cause them to fail.
What we would think of a person who left meth on the nightstand of his guest room while his recovering drug addict friend was staying with him. Yet, this is exactly what God does. He tempts and tries, and even causes people to fail.
Because he wants Christians to love him more and seek his forgiveness. In other words, he is the abusive husband who beats his wife so she will love him more. As is often the case in matters of domestic abuse, removal from the immediate circumstance and divorce is often warranted. Perhaps Evangelicals need to tell God See ya later , and turn their attention to finding lasting solutions to issues such as drug addiction.
Not only is Jesus not the solution, he is the problem. Black Collar Crime , Evangelicalism , Religion. Bruce Gerencser February 23, 11 Comments. See Upton interview here. I have on and off over the years subscribed to Sports Illustrated SI. Published weekly, SI features stories about athletes and sports leagues.
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SI chooses exotic locations for the photo shoots. That takes us to the other half of your question, one of swimsuit models on magazines. Again, the real question here is one of intent. Swimsuit catalogs exist to sell swimwear for women.
Beauty is much broader than the images displayed in magazines. Does this mean that if you happen to catch a glimpse of the cover of the SI Swimsuit Issue in the check-out line at the grocery store, you have sinned? Probably not.
Again, make no provisions for the flesh…. One particular year, the magazine never arrived. Hmm , I thought at the time. I wonder what happened to it? Months later, while working on a vanity light in our master bathroom, I found the missing issue hidden above the cabinet. How did this magazine get here? I wondered. Come to find out, one of my sons had intercepted the magazine and hidden it. I made sure my mag-stealing son knew that he had sinned against God, and then I tore the magazine up and threw it away. Fast forward to today.
Now that God, the Bible, and Evangelical moralizers no longer have my attention, I am free to be a normal, healthy heterosexual man. What is most interesting is that, once something is no longer taboo, it often loses its power and draw.
I no longer need to deny myself pleasures, wants, and desires. Each to his own, right? Did you, or your father, back in your Evangelical days, subscribe to Sports Illustrated? Do you know of anyone who committed adultery or fornication after perusing its pages?
You know, the Swimsuit Issue acting as a gateway drug of sorts. Please leave your thoughts in the comment section.
Evangelicalism , Religion , Sports. Bruce Gerencser January 29, 19 Comments. These days, I enjoy drinking an occasional glass of wine, shot of whisky, or a variety of other concoctions containing alcohol.
I quickly learned that I have to drink a lot of alcohol before I feel its effects. It has only been since I left Christianity that I have felt the freedom to drink alcohol at home and socially.
As a youth, the frequent sermons I heard about the dangers of drinking alcohol made a deep psychological impression on me. How could it not? Week after week, month after month, and year after year, the pastors and youth directors of the churches I attended made sure that congregants knew that drinking alcohol would lead a person straight to hell.
I never heard sermons quoting these verses:. As I delved into the meaning of the Hebrew and Greek words used for wine and strong drink, I concluded that it was impossible to support abstinence from alcohol from the Bible. While the Bible clearly condemns drunkenness, it does not forbid drinking alcohol in moderation; moderation being a word rarely used in IFB circles. The text that finally convinced me that it was okay for people to drink alcohol in moderation was John — the story where Jesus turned water into wine:. And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.
And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.