Monday, June 1, 2009

The Chrome IXOYE and Christian Heros

This will hopefully be a brief post but I welcome others to take this further than I will through their comments.

It is still early in the day, I've had my coffee, but I still can't get my head around the thoughts that make sense of what I want to say.

Issue one. Everyone has heard by now about the cold-blooded murder of Dr. George Tiller in church yesterday. He was one of only three doctors (per the report) that still did late-term abortions. His clinic had been the site of protest for years and he had even been shot once before.

Of course, everyone knew that the murderer would likely be a male and Evangelical. They did catch the guy, a 51 year old man. The scene this morning was them hauling away the suspects car from the Kansas City freeway. On the trunk of the car, shining in the bright sun, was the chrome IXOYE fish emblem. A great feeling of irony came over me. I suspect that the 51 year old man was also a fan of the WWJD bracelet and other religious charms. I consider myself pro-life but I'm a comprehensive pro-life person. I grieve for the life of Dr. Tiller and his family, while I don't support his acts. But there is something very wrong with this picture . . .the murderer's car with the IXOYE fish on the trunk.

In the WWJD frame of mind, I ask, what did Jesus do? Was there not haenous acts of killing and injustice as Jesus walked the earth? Didn't Jesus have the power to strike people dead if He wanted? There's something to be said here, and I am a loss for words. But I just can't get that image out of my mind, the chrome IXOYE on the trunk of the murderer's car.

BTW, as I was searching for an image of the murderer's car (and I never found it) I did find this blog . The first poster refers to himself as "Christ's Rottweiler." Something is terrible wrong with that image as well. It reminds me of the summer I spent (when I was 19) of being "God's soldier against sin." I wanted to "stamp out sin wherever I found it." I hope God forgives me, and my victims, for my stupidity.

Item 2. I am not a fan of TV evangelists to say the least. I wanted to do the Sunday rest thing yesterday afternoon, by taking a nap in front the TV. Nothing good was on. Even Discovery was all reruns. I came across Franklin Jensen preaching. This really caught my attention because my niece is on his personal staff. I've heard a lot about him through her, but have never listened to him in person.

He was preaching from his LA church and the hot topic was the Ms California, Carrie Prejean, and her war with the gay community. It didn't surprise me that he framed it in the context of her speaking out for the Lord and the Gay community persecuting her. He even suggested that he may eventually go to prison for speaking against gay marriage. Of course his scenario fits in with his end-times predictions (Christians all thrown into jail in the next generation).

But again, I am puzzled and sense that someone has something great to say about this story . . . and it does, in some way, relate to the previous one.

I am not naive. Of course the gay community will jump at the chance to persecute Ms Prejean because she spoke against gay marriage. This is part of the culture wars that Evangelicals have chosen to enter. But there is also something very hypocritical and deceptive in the way that she is now a Christian hero. I mean, she did have photos take of her nude, or near nude. Everyone knows that the real purpose of those photos, and for the entire beauty pageant business is sexual. Of course the reason she posed for the nude photos (and the same reason she entered the pageants) is because it makes her feel special. People (mostly men . . . but heterosexual men) make her feel special because she fulfills their sexual gratification (I wonder how many Christian men took her photos with them to the John).

Didn't anyone see Little Miss Sunshine? I mean the only thing that Olive (and her grand pa) did wrong, which was so upsetting to everyone was to reveal to the pageant people (and they looked with horror on their faces) that the pageant is indeed sexual (even though little girls were their medium) and, like the TV evangelists, it was about money.

So there is a connection between the two thoughts above and I've rambled long enough. I'm sure someone else can connect the dots better than I have.


pennyyak said...

I thought he would be a pro-life Catholic. Well, obviously he is anti-life nothing. Some hellish spawn of Timothy McVeigh. A pro-life killer. Is that not an oxymoron? And taking on the garment of a follower of the Holy One. I wince. Big Wince.

I am as broad in my pro-life sentiments as I can make myself be. Abortion, death penalty, war. No, I can't always define these as well as I would like. I don't have an answer to everything.

You have your Carrie Prejean, we have our Father Cutie. I'm not sure I'd pick one over the other. Is it all about some sort of authenticity and consistency in the way we live our lives? Not Puritanism, I don't mean that. Nor am I talking about dogma.

Since I'm left speechless, I'll quote from some clearer thinking folks: 'Now, however, "we walk by faith, not by sight"; we perceive God as "in a mirror, dimly" and only "in part". Even though enlightened by him in whom it believes, faith is often lived in darkness and can be put to the test. The world we live in often seems very far from the one promised us by faith... Ten thousand difficulties do not make one doubt.'

MJ said...

Do Catholics shoot people too? I thought that shooting people was from the Evangelical Bible.

I have to look up Father Cutie, I'm not sure what his story is.

pennyyak said...

You are too funny, MJ.

Tom S. said...

Prejean stated in an interview with James Dobson, "I felt as though Satan was trying to tempt me in asking me this question. And then God was in my head and in my heart saying, 'Do not compromise this. You need to stand up for me and you need to share with all these people . . .'"

As you've mentioned in previous posts, it's impossible to refute such a claim in evangelical circles, since the person has supposedly received a direct message from God. I'm wondering how one can actually hear the voice of God while sitting on a stage in front of a national audience, having only 30 seconds or so to come up with a response to a direct and difficult question?

Isn't it great that most evangelicals (except me, apparently) no longer have to practice discplines of silence or solitude to hear from God, since God speaks so readily in most every circumstance.

MJ said...

Good point Tom. I know for me, if I were on stage in front of millions of people (and friends and family) and I was asked a loaded question, my mind would be racing like mad to think what my answer would mean to this group, that group, this friend, that relative . . .and then I would babble who knows what.

I think we have to be very, very careful to identify the voice of God. I mean, I'm not sure I could hear it for sure (a perfect sign to many Evangelicals that I'm not very spiritual). But how could I determine between the voice of God and my own thoughts?

Tom S. said...

Evangelicals have seemingly become more flippant (is that too strong of a word?) in recent years in how they refer to hearing God's voice. It appears God now directly tells people to do a lot of minor things including where to shop, what to buy, what to eat, etc.

The assumption twenty or so years ago was that God would speak to us through our Quiet Times. That seems more reasonable, but, then, oftentimes the biblical references through which God seemingly spoke were taken wholly out of context. So, then, was it God who was really speaking in the manner which the believer thought?

MJ said...

Tom, I certainly agree. We have been trained, or trained others well in "hearing God's voice." There only a mouse's eyebrow separating the quiet time message from God and the superstitious animist who gets a message from the spot on a deer or a falling star.

Anonymous said...

There only a mouse's eyebrow separating the quiet time message from God and the superstitious animist who gets a message from the spot on a deer or a falling star. -- MJ

I believe this was called "Taking the Omens" and often involved the liver of a sheep or goat. Or whether a black cat did or didn't cross your path.

Either way, it's a Cosmic-level Authority being used as a thoughtstopper and weapon on all who dissent. Look what Ayatollah Khomeini and the Taliban did with "GOD SAITH! GOD SAITH! GOD SAITH!"

Anonymous said...

Either way, it's a Cosmic-level Authority being used as a thoughtstopper and weapon on all who dissent.


I even did it to myself.

Convinced I heard from God, I shut off my brain and proceeded to follow a very destructive person for years. I still look back and am kind of freaked out by the whole thing. What the heck was going on in my head?

On the bright side, there is nothing more innoculating to have totally misheard all by your own self. I am now allergic to the God-told-me stuff, in others and in my own self. Talk about learning to be double-dog careful...

pennyyak said...

This is something I have thought about many times, both as an evangelical and a catholic. It's one heck of a good question. How do we come to know the will of God, personally, day-by-day, or hour-by-hour? Or in extremely important decisions? I'm going to think about this for a while (long after this comment).

I recall the little girl in Jesus Camp, giving a tract to a bewildered woman. She had "prayed about it" - pondered it, as well as she could. She interpreted her desire within the framework of what she knew (or was told) about Christian behavior.

How is this different from my current desire to minister to people I've never gotten to know - my actual, physical next-door neighbors. To spend time with them, and try to keep my mouth shut and learn about their actual (as opposed what I perceive as) their needs and struggles. And then to offer whatever I have in their service. I do this also within a framework of what I understand about Christianity, although I know I had to ponder and pray about it for a long time, because it seemed like a lot of trouble, and I love my comfort. I have read of the church "ghetto", but the walls of my home are like that also. Still, how is this different?

I know I depend very much on learning about following Jesus from people who seem (to my eyes) to have done it well. Or to be doing it well. Not to become their followers, but to do as they did (if only a little).

But then, we seem to be easily deceived, don't we?