bad religion

Recently, an Arizona preacher called for an “AIDS-free Xmas.” Well, that sounds like an excellent mission. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to work together to cure AIDS? What would it take to tackle this global health problem in a collaborative and effective way? What can we do as christians to support this cause? Unfortunately, that wasn’t the direction he was going. He explained that the surest way to this end is to kill LGBT people.

It disgusts me that people are preaching genocide.

It frightens me that people are listening.

It saddens me that people think this is christian faith.

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I heard about this story in a sermon by Rev. Nancy S. Taylor. (You can hear it here). She argued that there’s a lot of bad religion out there, using media as a megaphone to spread hateful propaganda. Some people might say that the cure for bad religion is no religion, but (1) that’s never going to happen, and (2) it’s not the answer. Remember: Isaiah 40:3-9.

A voice cries out: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” A voice says, “Cry out!” And I said, “What shall I cry?” All people are grass, their constancy is like the flower of the field.The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the Lord blows upon it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand forever. Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, lift it up, do not fear; say to the cities of Judah, “Here is your God!”

We need to spread the good news of the gospel. We need to preach love, and preach it loud. We need to cry out. As Rev. Taylor puts it, “People think christians are judgmental and boring. Shame on us for not telling them otherwise.” She challenged us each to tell 10 people about our faith. Hopefully, by writing this, I’ve begun at least one conversation.

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