My rant for the day…

 

I am fed up with all the negative baloney and hoooahya that is going around at the moment about those bloody gays, war mongering Muslims and other issues that seem to be representative of Christianity.

Christianity is not about rules and regulations. It’s not about making political and social rules for the society in which we live. It’s not about making us look good by vilifying others. Instead – Christianity is about walking in relationship with God, through Jesus Christ who showed us how to live in community with God and each other.

So what if we have refugee’s coming over here from another country. So what if there is same sex marriage happening in other countries. I don’t really care if Australia passes laws which allow same sex marriage…nor do I care if it passes laws that allow same sex people to marry their dog…Sad smile

With all our rhetoric of how evil those gays are and how evil those Muslims are and the fear mongering that goes on about them…and don’t get me started about how bad the drug addicts, prostitutes and goal birds are… the question I want to know is with all this postulating – how many of these people trust the church enough to come into it and be told the good news that “HEY Guys, Jesus loves you!

Instead, we make enemies of the very people we are supposed to love and tell about God’s passionate love for them. All are made in the image of God. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. This means we are all in the same boat… no one has moral superiority.

I don’t care how many Muslim people come here to Australia… because you know what… we are a safe country for them. We can tell them about Jesus and they can become Christians in relative safety…though for many it still means being ostracised from their family. If it meant showing God’s love  would cause some to know Christs love – I will gladly walk down the street with gays in the mardi gra, sit with someone who was dying of aids, counsel and talk with someone (which I have done) as they poor out their grief and pain from the death of a loved one…even though they did happen to be same sex.

Just as Christ is the one who deals with our own sinfulness….why, why, oh! why do we think that we can regulate with rules, societal laws the sinfulness of others….

I am proud to fellowship at a church full of sinners…for like Paul said – “I am the chief of them”  It’s not rules and regulations that change our hearts! Its from the love, grace, mercy, dignity and respect that comes about from the love we have received from God through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit that we receive through Christ – that is what changes hearts.

Ok…off my soap box now… wiping the sweat of my brow

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About Craig Benno

I'm an average aussie guy who has lived perhaps a not so average life.
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14 Responses to My rant for the day…

  1. Eclipse Now says:

    The tricky one for me is reflecting Christ’s love for the Muslim while many in the Muslim world *appear* to want to:-
    1. migrate here
    2. assume a critical mass
    3. begin Jihad
    4. install Sharia law, bringing Australia from the arena of ‘war’ (not being Islamic) into ‘peace’ (being Islamic).

    This is based on the Koran and on various interviews with Muslim Jihadist’s I’ve seen on the ABC.
    Now, this is not necessarily racism (I hope) as I know a nice enough Muslim dad at school. However, that’s not the issue. It’s not how I relate to them as a Christian that is the issue (yet anyway) but how do I vote about an issue that really concerns the long term security of my children’s generation? It’s about how do I carry out Christ’s love while also considering State issues of security.

    Check this out.
    http://www.smh.com.au/national/muslims-obligated-to-resist-democracy-say-radicals-20110703-1gxfw.html

    • Craig Benno says:

      You have raised an interesting point here and yes..what your saying is and can be very true.

      It’s an important part of life as to how we vote…if the basis of our vote is to make Australia (Because I am Australian, I speak in an Australian context.) a Christian nation… then you can count me out, for there is no scriptural basis for it. If the vote however has to do with the quality of our lifestyle; as well as fulfilling our social justice obligations (on a national and world scale) then count me in.

      I believe the key to how we vote comes from the encouragement Paul gave to Timothy to lift up holy hands and pray that we might be able to live and practice our faith in peace. Remembering that Paul is writing in a time when Christianity is for the most part frowned upon at best by society and is illegal at worst. Therefore our vote must ensure equality for all, no matter who they are…equal justice for all, no matter who they are, and a social policy that cares not only for us, but those elsewhere in the world who are in need.

  2. Eclipse Now says:

    It’s an important part of life as to how we vote…if the basis of our vote is to make Australia (Because I am Australian, I speak in an Australian context.) a Christian nation… then you can count me out, for there is no scriptural basis for it. If the vote however has to do with the quality of our lifestyle; as well as fulfilling our social justice obligations (on a national and world scale) then count me in.

    Well said!

    believe the key to how we vote comes from the encouragement Paul gave to Timothy to lift up holy hands and pray that we might be able to live and practice our faith in peace. Remembering that Paul is writing in a time when Christianity is for the most part frowned upon at best by society and is illegal at worst. Therefore our vote must ensure equality for all, no matter who they are…equal justice for all, no matter who they are, and a social policy that cares not only for us, but those elsewhere in the world who are in need.

    Yes but…

    1. Equality for those who want us to be unequal, who want us to live under Sharia law, who want Christians and Jews and atheists and basically all non-Muslims to be subject to Muslim law and pay a special tax for not being Muslim? I don’t think so. Egalitarian democracy is not compatible with what I see to be ‘true’ Islam. Sure there are millions of Muslims living peacefully in America. I don’t know that they are reading their Koran’s faithfully — they’re ‘domesticating’ their Korans to be more modern, and wrangling with the texts to make them compatible with democratic values. I’m glad they manage to do this! But it might not be for long. In a way, many Muslims are like sleeper agents but they don’t even know they are sleeper agents until some new leader radicalizes them.

    We had a sister church in Indonesia where Muslims and Christians had live side by side peacefully for generations. Then the radicals came in and stirred up the Muslims and held their children hostage, warning of dire consequences if they didn’t go and kill their Christian neighbours or burn their houses down. Some Muslims resisted this, and paid the price. Others covertly arranged for their Christian friends to get out of there. Yet many, many gave into the pressure. Hundreds died. That’s what I mean about ‘sleeper agents’. It comes with their faith. It’s there, in the Koran.

    2. We don’t have the money to care for the whole world, so I’d say prioritize Christians in other countries who are suffering under persecution from Muslims or poverty or whatever. Care for all, but first for ‘the household of believers’.

    • Craig Benno says:

      In regards to your two but’s

      1.) When I say equality for all, I do mean within an Australian context. We don’t have room for a two tiered justice system…our system is meant to deal justly with and for all. Therefore while some Muslims have an ulterior motive…I have engaged with much meaningful conversation with Muslims in the Bankstown area and they have told me they don’t want Australia to become like Iraq or Lebanon…they like our justice system just the way it is…

      In regards to the Sharia system however,..perhaps that is quietly worked out within their community,..in a similar way the Christian church operates its own form of Sharia law… Take some pastors / denominations who refuse to marry divorced people.

      2. Australia is not and never has been a Christian nation and therefore we can’t just vote to help “Christians” and indeed the story of the robber helped by the Samaritan man comes to mind…and Jesus who crossed the sea to help the demoniac.

      As for the church, I don’t believe I have ever read “Go out and only help your brothers and sisters and only provide help for them, make sure you ignore those who have different religious beliefs – for by making them your enemy you will cause them to come into the kingdom through laws and regulations” 🙂 If our Australian society does care for all within our society… our social care concerns for over seas should also reflect that.

      I do note your concern about sleeper agents. Our church has been involved in ministry in Indonesia and I have friends who are missionaries elsewhere, and yes there are radicals who are dangerous. …One book I wish all would read is by Brother Andrew from God’s Smuggler fame,,,, his book is called “Light Force” …his testimony in working in the middle east is very telling.

  3. Eclipse Now says:

    ///“Go out and only help your brothers and sisters and only provide help for them, make sure you ignore those who have different religious beliefs – for by making them your enemy you will cause them to come into the kingdom through laws and regulations” :)////
    I never said that, and it also sounds like you’re speaking about the domestic situation. I’m talking about global poverty, and trying to help our Christian brothers and sisters out first, then taking on the rest. That’s all. Everything else was a bit rude.

    And Brother Andrew’s bizzarro-world theology had me chasing gut impression and rainbows in the name of “Christianity” and I managed to read his books BEFORE I was actually saved! I did not learn the gospel from “God’s smuggler” and instead only learned how to get vague feelings and gut impressions and basically had a crash-course in superstitiously reading circumstances. Talk about a crash-course in magical thinking! Brother Andrew was the master of writing himself into the center of a mythical quest involving God pulling all sorts of strings for himself, and threw my path off biblical wisdom for the first few years of my Christian life. All I can say on his behalf is that he was brave for the gospel, but this theology? Whacko.

  4. Titfortat says:

    Craig

    Here is the question of all questions. Do you believe a talking snake convinced a woman to convince her husband/man to eat an apple AND because of that we are all shitheads(sinners) for all eternity? Pretty simple question actually.

    • Craig Benno says:

      I see two distinct questions here Titfortat. The first is not really linked to the second.

      I have not met anyone who has never sinned sinned in thought, word or deed….perhaps your the first. Can you tell me if you have ever met anyone who has never sinned in thought, words or deed? I know I haven’t. Btw I don’t equate sinners as being shitheads – even good people sin.

  5. Titfortat says:

    Well Craig

    Being that I dont believe in Sin, then the answer would be not. Now as far as people do nasty stuff, well that’s another story. Sin is for the religious and talking snakes.

    • Craig Benno says:

      You have stated a falsehood that you don’t believe in SIN…but acknowledge people do nasty stuff… No matter what label you put on it… we are still talking about the same issue… Some call it sin…some call it differently…both are talking about the same thing.

  6. Eclipse Now says:

    Narrowing in on the ‘talking snakes’ like that ignores the symbolism in the passage and cheapens your argument. It’s a throw away line without even trying to appreciate the ancient cultures into which that passage was written. Genesis 1 is a polemic against the Babylonian creation myth where serpent beings are part of an army in heaven. Tiamet, goddess of chaos, creates these serpent beings. This causes a war in which Tiamet is ultimately defeated and cut in half, and half her body seems to become the sea and the other half the land.

    Genesis picks up some of these images and turns them on their head. Instead of a war, our God just speaks and the waters are divided. Instead of stars being gods to sacrifice babies to, they are are servants and act as our calendar and tell us the seasons. Instead of fearing water gods and star gods, we have ONE God who put them all in their proper place and controls them all. Instead of serpent beings involved in the war that creates the world, the Genesis serpent being is a corrupter of the world that was fashioned in order and beauty.

    That is, with a proper understanding of the ancient world cultures into which Genesis was written, we can see that Genesis is a revolutionary theological work. It is not a scientific description of how God made the world but a theological description of why God made the world, and for whom, and the nature of things (that they are settled into place, God decrees them, and the gods aren’t battling over them).

    See this paper by Historian and Anglican minister Dr John Dickson for more. The serpent is imagery for everything loathsome and disgusting. If we were actually back there at the fall of human-kind, it could have looked very different to a ‘talking snake’.
    http://www.iscast.org/journal/articlespage/Dickson_J_2008-03_Genesis_Of_Everything

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