Would Pope Francis let the Mormons preach in the Vatican, too?

The theological and social liberals love Pope Francis. For some of the things, like owning up to some of Catholicism’s mistakes and taking a generally humble approach, they’re spot on. This is not one of those cases.

Francis is having Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to the Vatican to “rekindle” peace talks between the two, which is fair. What’s insane to me is that Francis is allowing readings from the Koran and Islamic prayers in what amounts to the church building in which he pastors.

No word yet on if the Muslim gets to sit on the shiny throne.
The liberals will cry out about how great this is, but they clearly have no grasp about what Christianity is and what Islam is. The two are mutually exclusive, particularly in regards to the divinity of Jesus.
Imagine with me for a minute. How big would the outcry be if President Obama invited, say, Ted Cruz to speak at the Democratic National Convention? It would be enormous, because their ideas are mutually exclusive; you can’t have simultaneous have government expansion and contraction.
The same is for Islam and Christianity. Christianity says that Jesus is God and came to earth in order to fulfill the Law by living a perfect life and absorbing the wrath of God for those who would trust in him. Islam relegates Jesus to prophet status and says that Mohammed was the last and greatest prophet.
No matter what Mohammed or any Muslim says, these constructs don’t worship the same God. The characters and means of salvation are entirely different. They are very much polar opposites.
Which is why no one should have freaked out when Irish pastor James McConnell railed against Islam as “satanic,” “heathen” and “a doctrine spawned in hell,” because that’s exactly what Christianity says it is.
Jesus himself claimed to be God in the flesh, he accepted worship as God and accepted the title of Lord over everything. He didn’t give you or anybody the option of saying he was just a good guy who was a prophet. If he was just a prophet and not God, then everything he said about himself was either gold plated narcissism or he was off his rocker.
The Bible goes on to say that any other claims about Jesus, whether it be a different gospel or saying he was just a dude or that he didn’t really come in human form, are the work of demonic forces and the advocate of said claims is going to be cast into hell (On a side note, there’s no reason that making a basic claim of what you believe should lead to a police investigation, as is the case with McConnell.).
But Francis, overly concerned with being “loving” and “social justice,” is allowing a false teacher to come in and spread what Jesus himself calls evil, that being that Islam relies on one’s own righteousness to become right with God.
Go ahead and mark this (and the Reformation) as the official beginning of the end of the Catholics. Bad theology has blinded their leader to the point where he thinks his job is to just help people get along, instead of pointing them directly to Jesus.
Catholics, feel free to start leaving in droves for greener, more theologically sound pastures.
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Fred Phelps kicked the bucket, but you missed the point

Infamous Westboro Baptist Church pastor Fred Phelps assumed room temperature today. Most people’s responses have generally been along the lines of, “Good,” “Rot in hell,” “He was a douche,” etc.

I’m not arguing that he wasn’t a douche.

Lost among the “God hates fags” signs, general assishness and media attention, however, is the fact that their very, very, very core theology is actually pretty solid Reformed theology. The problems arise when they start working out from the core and applying and communicating it.

You don’t say.

In fact, they actually made some good points. Allow me to explain before you take metaphorical and literal dumps on my doorstep.

1) Repentance is vital to the Christian life. – This often gets lost, especially in the mainstream/liberal Christian crowd. They’re not just ripping on gay people; they’re calling people to turn from sin and trust in Jesus. That’s a good thing. It’s all in the delivery, kind of like Aroldis Chapman (shameless plug).

2) America is a corrupt nation. – If you don’t believe that, you haven’t been paying attention for the last couple hundred years or so. We’ve endorsed treating people as property, cheating people out of their property, murdering babies, unjust wars, etc.

3) America will be destroyed sooner or later. – Before you go all GOD BLESS MERICA on me, just understand that we’re a nation full of corrupt people doing corrupt things in corrupt ways. It’s bound to happen one day.

4) People are inherently evil. – Yes, this partially goes back to the first point, but they actually do understand that God must do the regenerating. Salvation isn’t based on what we do, but we do choose to give God the finger and send ourselves to hell.

5) God is sovereign over every single event in human history. – God didn’t send someone to shoot up a school, but he had to allow it in order for it to happen.

6) God finds sin and the sinner hateful. – A lot of people trip over this. God is love, but he’s not all-loving. He can’t love sin, since it spits in his face. There really are verses in the Bible about God hating people, but we have to remember that his hate is different than our hate. Our hate creates bitterness, but God’s hatred of sin spawned his eternal plan to send Jesus as an atonement for our rebellion. Really, God’s hate is rooted in love.

7) God’s sovereign grace through Jesus is the only hope for anyone. – Believe it or not, this is actually what drives WBC. They claim their tactics have worked in bringing about repentance and trust in Jesus. If they believe it works, then of course they’re going to do what they do. They may act like a bunch of dicks, but they at least have the core message down: The only hope for anyone is in Jesus, but most of us are content to fart in his general direction while playing in our own filth.

Thank God for a dead Fred Phelps, if only so we can reorient the discussion.

Christians need to stop gushing over Matthew McConaughey’s Oscars speech

Matthew McConaughey floored everyone last night at the Oscars, and it wasn’t because he was wearing a shirt (which is amazing enough in itself). Nay, it was because the oft shirtless man actually acknowledged God in his speech after winning Best Actor for his role in Dallas Buyers Club.

Pardon the crappy volume, but that’s apparently the only way for the Oscars to not file a copyright violation claim on YouTube. Here’s the video.

“First off, I want to thank God, because that’s who I look up to,” McConaughey said “He has graced my life with opportunities that I know are not of my hand or of any other human hand. He has shown me that it’s a scientific fact that gratitude reciprocates… When you’ve got God, you’ve got a friend, and that friend is you… So, to any of us, whatever those things are, whatever it is we look up to, whatever it is we look forward to and whoever it is we’re chasing – to that I say, ‘amen.’”

The mere fact that McConaughey mentioned God set Twitter on fire. The atheists/agnostics/liberals generally chastised and told him to keep that “God shit” to himself. The conservatives/generally Christian crowd started gushing about how nice it was for an attractive young man to acknowledge God for his success in a way that hasn’t been seen since Tim Tebow was still on an NFL roster.

Tebow also has a tendency to show up shirtless.

I actually have no problem with the former group’s response. That’s very expected. I do, however, have a giant problem with the latter’s response.

Christians are so caught up in finding their next celebrity to acknowledge some vague entity that they’ll completely ignore the actual substance of a statement when it happens. If one actually listened to what McConaughey said, it’s nowhere near Christian and just as damnable as someone thanking the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

This one’s funnier too.

Since no one else has actually examined the theology behind what McConaughey said, I will.

“First off, I want to thank God, because that’s who I look up to.” – There’s absolutely nothing wrong here. There’s really no substance, but that’s what most Christians are after these days here. It’s just acknowledging some bearded guy in the sky.

“He has graced my life with opportunities that I know are not of my hand or of any other human hand.” – This is the most theologically accurate statement he made. Whether it’s common grace or special grace, Christian and pagan alike are given grace instead of being immediately cast into hell. That’s a pretty cool thing.

“He has shown me that it’s a scientific fact that gratitude reciprocates.” – Here is where Mr. Abtastic goes astray. The entire notion of karma is, put plainly, stupid. Jesus blows it up in Luke 13. Let’s also take into account that Jesus never wronged anyone, but he was still murdered for claiming he was God. That would mean that for the only perfect person to ever walk the earth, karma would have failed him. If karma can’t work in that instance, it can never work.

Just, no.

“When you’ve got God, you’ve got a friend, and that friend is you.” – Apparently God is in all of us, and we’re all God’s children. That’s entirely unbiblical and sounds a lot like this guy.

No amount of facepalms will suffice.

So, to any of us, whatever those things are, whatever it is we look up to, whatever it is we look forward to and whoever it is we’re chasing – to that I say, “amen.” – This universalism on an Oprah Winfrey scale. Chase whatever your heart desires, including yourself. You’re awesome. You’re worthy of whatever good things come your way because I feel like having a perpetual warm, fuzzy feeling.

Don’t forget that this is the same guy who played a stripper in Magic Mike and he’s going to do it again for a sequel. There’s no fruit there.

Let’s be clear. If these statements are truly indicative of what McConaughey believes, then he’s not talking about the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. His God is not Jesus, who is called the Christ. And he’s definitely not referring to the Helper sent by Jesus.

Dear Christians, stop freaking out at the mere mention of God by a celebrity. If he isn’t for Jesus, he’s against Jesus, and any basically discerning mind would immediately see this statement for the hollow social religiosity that it is.

Steven Furtick confuses the crap out of me

This isn’t your typical blog that rags on a megachurch pastor.

Still, Steven Furtick of Elevation Church in Charlotte has been making waves in the press for all the wrong reasons. Again.

Oops.
This time, reports have surfaced that he plants people to move for their “spontaneous” baptism services in order to grow their numbers. I don’t think it’s too bold to say that this is entirely jacked up.

Of course, anyone among the ranks of Craig Groeschel, Mark Driscoll, John Piper, Rick Warren, Perry Noble, et cetera, is going to face severe criticism for pretty much anything they say or do (Note: I’m not comparing them theologically. They just all pastor huge churches.).

But then I was introduced to this.

Wat.

I have nothing against pastors having a vision (as long as it doesn’t get in the way of this Jesus guy), but to say a church is united under the pastor’s vision is theological nonsense. The church is to be united under Jesus’ vision for the church. You know, since the church is his bride and such. It might be a good idea to do what he says.

And seriously? Coloring pages promoting you and not promoting Jesus? That’s 1) creepy, 2) really creepy and 3) very well could be bordering on cult-like behavior.

I really, really want to defend Furtick here. If people legitimately love Jesus at his church, then that’s awesome, but ol’ dude needs to get his ish together and quit doing stupid stuff. We can only hope and pray that he doesn’t go full theological retard and turn into a feel good Joel Osteen type and that it wasn’t about him all along.

But even if turns out that Furtick was only out for Furtick all along, that doesn’t negate that God may have used his potentially evil intentions to bring about something infinitely better than what some jacked up human could dream of.

Remember that.