Convenient Christianity: Apply as Needed

Tony Perkins (President of the Family Research Council) and his family recently found their home severely damaged by flood waters in Louisiana. He described the disaster as a "flood of biblical proportions".

Perkins is one of many Religious Right leaders who are quick to attribute the tragedy of the week to God's judgement on America ... because of the gays, of course. Apparently gays are at the top of the list of things that really piss God off. It's funny though, because when you read the Bible - what Perkins and his lot call “God's Word” - you quickly find that the Almighty’s real pet peeves are sins like pride, lying, injustice, religious corruption, hatred, and the like. In fact, there isn't one recorded instance of God releasing his angry, destructive judgment on anyone because of their sexual behaviors. If anything, God repeatedly overlooked these things while all of his favorite men in the Old Testament had multiple wives, concubines, some pretty strange sexual behaviors and many questionable relationships that most likely included sex with underage children. God himself chose a young teenage virgin to impregnate with his own son. Most historical and biblical scholars believe she was probably around 13 years old ... But I digress. Back to the gays. Now I know some of you are thinking: "Wait! What about Sodom and Gomorrah?!" We've all heard preachers who stand in the pulpit and say, "If God doesn't judge America for the gays soon, then he's going to have to apologize to Sodom and

Gomorrah." And to them I say: "Really?! Have you read your Bible? Are you standing in the pulpit challenging God to do his job or apologize? That's pretty audacious don't you think?" I won't bore you with MY opinions on the sin that made God destroy an entire city, God is perfectly capable of speaking for himself. "Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy." Ezekiel 16:49 That's straight from the horse's mouth. Any questions? So why do religious leaders like Tony Perkins try to play God? Because it's convenient. As long as they can keep everyone focused on the gays and their evil agenda, they can blame the same for any bad things that happen. If you believe the gays endanger your health, happiness, freedom and safety, then who has time to worry about the sins of pride, arrogance, injustice, hatred, and the like? Do you suppose this is precisely what Jesus meant when he described someone being so consumed with the splinter in his friend's eye that he wasn't even aware of the log in his own eye? Since this particular disaster directly affected Mr. Perkins, he has been very slow to cast blame or to speak on God’s behalf. Instead, he's sitting back and looking for what "God is going to do in this." … which in Evangelese (the language often used by the Religious Right) means "When it happens to me, God meant it for good and is just using this disaster to test me and to show how wonderful he is when he makes everything good again."

Pardon me while I vomit. You won’t see me gloating in the hardship of Mr. Perkins, or wishing hardship on anyone. I don't rejoice in the sufferings of others even if they seem deserving of it. I will acknowledge the irony of this event and find a bit of amusement in watching him figure out how to spin it in his favor. Speaking of spin ... this is what I call Convenient Christianity: an all purpose fix-it solution which contains the instructions "apply as needed" on the label.

Convenient Christianity is widely available. You can pick it up at your local mega church, Christian bookstore, or you can find it on Religious Right websites, blogs, and YouTube. It must be good because it is endorsed by the biggest names of the Religious Right: Franklin Graham, Pat Robertson, John Haggae, Jerry Falwell, Tony Perkins and many more respected leaders. Convenient Christianity is topically applied to any situation. It instantly transforms anything into something God ordained. Once applied, there is an answer for everything. In it's simplest form it looks like this:

  • When bad things happen to bad people it is God's judgement on them.

  • When good things happen to bad people it is God showing mercy on them for a season, but bad things are on their way if they don't turn to him.

  • When bad things happen to good people it is God testing their faith and looking for an opportunity to show the world how great he is by the way they handle the test.

  • When good things happen to good people it is God blessing them because of their obedience to him

Somehow it never occurs to Tony Perkins that when his home is lost in a flood, maybe God is judging him and Christians for the same sins he used to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. That never, ever seems to be the case. Apparently God only releases judgement for a small handful of really big, political issues today and ignores the rest of what he focused on in the Bible and his own son's teaching.

Convenient Christianity is also easily applied to political situations to help everyone feel better about their chosen candidate. Let's be honest,: if Donald Trump were the Democratic Presidential nominee, the same Religious Right would be tearing him to shreds and declaring that we are doomed to God's judgement should he be elected. But since he is the Republican candidate, let's apply a good coat of Convenient Christianity to the situation and suddenly he is God's chosen leader for our country. Convenient Christianity makes it clear that Christians everywhere should feel comfortable voting for him fear God's wrath if they don't vote for him. Every time Donald Trump says another godless, hateful thing, there’s no need to worry: just apply the recommended dose of Convenient Christianity and you can spin it to the Glory of God. See how simple it is? No matter what is happening in the world, just apply Convenient Christianity to it and you can feel good about yourself and bad about everyone who isn't like you. It works every time. Ask your pastor about Convenient Christianity today and start spinning reality to the Glory of God (or to his dismay).

*Warning: side effects may include an irrational fear of people not like yourself, blindness to your own sins, a sense of entitlement, homophobia, transphobia, feelings of superiority, a lack of compassion for those "living in sin". Most users commonly experience the inability to think for themselves, or question those they respect, and episodes of extreme ignorance, hatred and bigotry when posting on social media. Many users also experience a delusional fear of losing their religious freedom. Some believe there really is a gay agenda. Stop using Convenient Christianity immediately if you feel compelled to vote for Donald Trump, watch Fox News or blame today's catastrophe on God's judgement for anything or anyone.

Joel Barrett


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Joel Speaks Out

Kansas City, MO