Tag Archives: Obama

Have You Inhaled Demon Spirits?

This post is part of the September Synchroblog: “The Devil Made Me Do It” in which we were invited to write about any weird, whacky or just plain different things we’ve heard taught about Satan.

I’ve heard a lot of things that were supposed to be “of the devil” over the years.

Rock Music

Mental Disorders

Secular Colleges

Same Sex Relationships

Yoga

Halloween

Computers

Infertility

Video Games

Harry Potter

Depression

Natural Disasters

Cancelling MidWeekChurchService

To be honest with you I don’t believe that Satan is an actual entity.  I tend to think of Satan more as a metaphor of our ability (or freedom to choose) to do evil, to lie and believe lies, to reject goodness, to hate, to neglect doing good etc.  However, there are many Christians who do believe that Satan is an actual entity – a fallen angel who rebelled against God and spends his time trying to keep people from knowing they are loved and accepted by God.  Personally I feel that we are all very proficient at doing that to ourselves and each other… and therefore, if Satan does actually exist, I can’t imagine that there is much to keep him busy since people appear to be doing his work for him.

Most people I know who believe that Satan is an actual entity don’t go around saying that the devil made them do this or that, or warning people to avoid so and so because it is of the devil.  Most people I know who believe that Satan is an actual entity seem to have the attitude that if they follow in the way of Jesus, believe that God loves them and practice loving others they don’t have to worry much about Satan … but every once in a while you run across someone saying something that is way out there about Satan, the devil and/or demonic spirits.

For example, can you believe there are people who have taken the time to record President Obama talking in reverse???? There are those that say President Obama is Satan, or the son of Satan, or the warm-up act of Satan … or at the very least that he likes Satan.  They know this because when you listen to him say “Yes, we can!” in reverse it sounds like “Thank you, Satan.”  What more proof do you need?

And then there is Michelle Bachmann who says (although now that she is running for President she doesn’t want to talk about it) that calling people who are sexually attracted to the same sex “gay” is “a part of satan” and that people who are in same sex relationships are “enslaved” and/or “in bondage” (which is Christianese for serving Satan):

And we can’t forget about Pat Robertson (he seems to know a lot about the devil) talking about people who practice martial arts and how they get some kind of super strength from inhaling demon spirits:

Have you ever inhaled demon spirits? Did it give you super strength?  I’d really love to hear from someone who has some experience with this?

If you don’t have a story to share about inhaling demon spirits just tell me about something wacky you’ve heard about the devil.

 

Here is the list of others who participated in this month’s synchroblog.  Check them out!

Jeremy Myers at Till He Comes – The Devil Made Me Go To Church

K.W. Leslie at More Christ – Devilish Misinformation

Marta Layton at Fidesquarens – The Christian Jihad

Sonnie Swenston-Forbes at A Piece Of My Mind – The Devil Made Me Do It

Bill Sahlman at Creative Reflections – The [one who will go unnamed] Made Me Do It 

Kathy Escobar at kathy escobar – the stranger (who’s a little too familiar) & the shepherd

Liz Dyer at Grace Rules – Have You Inhaled Demon Spirits?

Leah Chang at desert spirit’s fire – devils, demons, et al

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Rush Limbaugh: Mindreader

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Conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh got all worked up Friday by this fake quote attributed to the Columbia University thesis of President Barack Obama.

 “… the Constitution allows for many things, but what it does not allow is the most revealing. The so-called Founders did not allow for economic freedom. While political freedom is supposedly a cornerstone of the document, the distribution of wealth is not even mentioned. While many believed that the new Constitution gave them liberty, it instead fitted them with the shackles of hypocrisy.”

Conservative author Michael Ledeen had posted the phony quote on his blog last Wednesday. Ledeen reports that he found it on another site and didn’t notice that it was tagged as satire.

The Rush Limbaugh Show did not properly fact check the quote and rushed to the airwaves with it so Limbaugh could use it as a launching pad to berate President Barack Obama.

Do you think Limbaugh apologized to his listeners and to Obama when he realized it was a fake quote? No. He said what he did was okay because that’s how Obama thinks anyway.

It seems that Limbaugh can now read minds. That power is going to make his job a lot easier.

Take A Flying Leap

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Sometimes I wonder how people take some of the leaps that I witness. 

For instance, a friend on facebook was talking about someone who said “God wants to strike her dead because she castrated him by supporting gender inclusive bibles.”  And recently someone said they didn’t understand how I could call myself a Christian if I thought feeding the homeless was as important as sharing the gospel (I didn’t even get into the discussion with her about how I probably didn’t share her definition of “the gospel”).  But the most unbelievable leap I have witnessed lately is this one:

Many conservatives are complaining that President Obama’s upcoming September 8 speech (which will be televised and presented during school to all elementary students) about “persisting and succeeding in school,” along with classroom activities about the “importance of education,” will “indoctrinate” and “brainwash” their children. Conservatives have compared Obama’s address to Chinese communism and the Hitler Youth, while also calling for parents to “keep your kids home” from the “fascist in chief.”

It makes you want to say “go take a flying leap” – but it looks like they already have!

Am I all alone here?

I am about 2 or 3 years into the emergent/missional conversation/movement. I come from a very conservative, evangelical background and have had to come to terms with the realization that a lot of stuff that I believed, a lot of things I said and did, and a lot of people I supported in the past were wrong. The journey has been exciting but also disconcerting and painful at times. I am thankful that there are people out there that have challenged my thinking/motives/actions/beliefs. I no longer think of myself as conservative or liberal but a follower of Christ – but since that can sound vague and like I am trying to avoid giving a straight answer (to some) I guess I would say that I am a moderate – although my conservative friends would probably think me to be liberal these days and my liberal friends would say I was still a conservative just not an extreme one :>) Anyway, on to the point of this post…

What concerns me is that so many of the very people who have challenged me and my conservative views seem to have gone soft and are doing some of the same things that they rightfully criticized me about.

For instance – when I pointed out that $170 million dollars would be better spent on helping people rather than staging an extravagant inauguration (I did this on facebook and twitter) I barely got a bite. My friends there are mostly liberal (sorry for the label) and supporters of Obama (which is fine with me – I almost voted for him) but I don’t think they would have given a republican or a conservative that kind of break (and I don’t think they should).

And then – when I pointed out that I thought the end of Rev. Lowry’s prayer contained racist speech (again on facebook and twitter) I got even less response. I was careful to explain that I wasn’t calling Rev. Lowry a racist (I know very little about him) but that I thought calling Native Americans “red”, Asians “yellow”, saying that “yellow needed to mellow” and saying white people, in general, are racist, was racist speech even if it was contained within a rhyme that has been around for a long time in black churches. I talked about racism lurking in people’s lives (no matter what race they are) even without their knowledge and that when we see or hear racism we should point it out and speak against it.

Now maybe I am wrong, but I got the feeling that I was breaking some sort of unwritten law, or treading on “holy” ground, or something. No one reprimanded me but the passion that is typically there was absent – the critical eye was missing – the silence said a lot (IMHO).

I don’t say any of this because I didn’t vote for Obama. I think there is a possibility that he will make a great president and do many good things. I was honestly worried about his lack of experience – particularly with the war and economics – but maybe that will end up being a plus – I can see that side of the argument.

I say this because I don’t want my wonderful new friends, who have challenged me for my own good, to go soft because Obama is President. I want them to keep examining and questioning and pointing out discrepancies and injustices – even if it is with people they support and agree with on most everything.

Am I all alone here? Or does anyone else know what I am talking about?

Stuff That Caught My Eye…

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Something to think about: 

Your stuff matters but maybe not in the way you think!

In case you haven’t seen it yet – The Story Of Stuff  

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Politics:  Who can get to the issues when there are so many juicy rumors?

The Obama camp confronts rumors at Fight The Smears

Charles Martin has a full list  of Palin rumors, along with facts & rebuttals.                 

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I should have posted this at the end of August but it is still very useful as premiere week has turned into premiere “months”!

  Printable 2008 Fall TV Premiere Calendar at TVAddict  

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Current Emergent/-ing Conversation Topic:  Emerging and Emergent Church Distinction

Doug Pagitt’s Video Post

What’s In A Name? from the Central Ohio Emergent Cohort Blog 

Open Letter To Dan Kimball from Raffi at Parables Of a Prodigal World

The EMC As An NSM from Tony Jones

Claiming Emergent from Julie Clawson at One Hand Clapping

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Posts I wish I had written:  You know how you read something and you think “that is exactly what I wanted to say”….

Ugly Politics from Minnowspeaks

5 Things We Got Right In The Emerging Missional Church by Jonathan Brink posted at Emergent Village

I Won’t Sin another great post by Jonathan Brink at his blog Missio Dei

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Ever wonder what that song you heard on Grey’s Anatomy is called?  

Grey’s Anatomy Insider has a list from every episode.

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Looking For a Good Movie Blog:  For lots of movie reviews and some news.

The Movie Blog

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Cute Animal Pictures  Check them out – they are adorable.

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I’m Disappointed!

Brian McLaren announces his endorsement of Barack Obama in a new Matthew25Network political ad.
 
 
 
 

 

I’m disappointed!

My disappointment does not come from McLaren’s support of Obama. I didn’t need to see this ad to know he supported Obama. My disappointment comes from me being sick of Christian leaders backing specific candidates and/or parties. My disappointment comes from me being tired of Christian leaders using their influence and position to coerce their “followers” into electing a particular individual. My disappointment comes from me believing that Brian and his circle of friends wouldn’t do this because they didn’t like it when the religious right did it — I assumed that meant that they wouldn’t do it. Apparently, even his friend, Tony Jones, didn’t think Brian would endorse a particular candidate.

I may be wrong but it feels like Brian has abandoned a principle that he believed in so that the person he is going to vote for will win. Even his letter of explanation sounded like he was trying to excuse something he didn’t feel completely comfortable about. And he says he isn’t speaking as a pastor (he is not presently a pastor) but he refers to himself as a pastor in the ad. 

Do I think he has done something “wrong”, “immoral”, “illegal”? No, I don’t. But I believe that his public endorsement in a political ad that takes a shot at the fact that McCain is divorced will do more harm than good and will be more divisive than unifying.

I believe McLaren would have better served his faith and beliefs by talking about the issues that are dear to his heart and encouraging others to have conversations and to think about the issues that are dear to their hearts.

Whether it is Dobson or McLaren, the Christian Coalition or the Matthew25Network, the right or the left, the conservatives or the liberals I don’t like it.

I like what Shane Claiborne said about endorsements:

In post-Religious Right America, we want to learn from the mistakes of the generation before us (so we don’t repeat them) – one of which was telling Christians who to vote for. Rather than spoon-feeding people answers, we hope to stir up the right questions – and trust that the Spirit will lead us as we “work out our salvation with fear and trembling.” One of the places the religious right went wrong was telling people what to do rather than inviting them to think for themselves, with the help of the Spirit of God (in fact, it even seems a real lack of faith to to coerce or convince people to do exactly what we want them to… as if the Spirit is not at work in them). That’s where Jesus shines – he stirs up questions and tells stories that unveil truth, rather than drafting a careful declaration or endorsement that’s going to solve everything wrong in the world.

Claiborne’s view is reminiscent of Martin Luther King’s perspective. King’s idea was, don’t endorse anyone. He believed that endorsing a candidate just makes it easy for them to count you as a part of their base and then move on and ignore you. Instead, King believed it was better to invite politicians on both sides to endorse your movement and your platform and that they should do that throughout their campaign and their time in office.

I am not angry at Brian McLaren and I am not here to bash him.

I just wanted to say that I am disappointed.

Obama/Dobson Debate

The Dobson/Obama debate spurred a lot of “discussion” last week.  (Scot McKnight had a hearty discussion going on over at Jesus Creed.)  I was personally disappointed in Dobson’s remarks.  Not that I thought Obama’s speech was above reproach.  I thought some of the language he chose to use was inciting, even though I thought he made a good point about the way Christians should consider engaging a pluralistic society.  But, Dobson disappointed me greatly.  I thought he went out of his way to misrepresent what Obama said (obviously Obama was not “equating” Dobson with Sharpton – he was contrasting the two) and I can only think of two reasons Dobson might do this:  1) He is just playing politics and/or 2) He is so wrapped up in his opposition of Obama that he cannot hear what Obama is saying. Neither one of those reasons are attractive.  I think Dobson would have done better not to comment on the speech at all.  However, if he must, then he would do better to present his point of view in a way that allowed him to state what the obvious intent of Obama’s speech was and to talk about his own perspective on the issue.  I don’t say any of this in defense of Obama.  I probably will not vote for him.  I bring this up because I am grieved over the way someone who has built their public identity around the fact that they are a Christian speaks about others, the way he twists what others say to promote his own agenda, the way he trys to influence others by misrepresenting his opposition.  I expect this kind of thing from a person who builds their public identity around being a politician, but I don’t want someone like Dobson “playing politics” with me.  I want Dobson to demonstrate more respect for others even if he disagrees with them.  I want him to give others the benefit of the doubt rather than thinking the worse about them.  I want him to engage not attack, connect not polarize, incite discussion not hate.  I don’t mean to indicate that Dobson is the only public Christian personality who does this, but he is the one who did it last week. 

 

Live simply.  Love generously.  Care deeply.  SPEAK KINDLY.