Benjamin L. Corey

Benjamin L. Corey

BLC is an author, speaker, scholar, and global traveler, who holds graduate degrees in Theology & Intercultural Studies from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and received his doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller. He is the author of Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus, and Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith.

10 Reasons I Dumped The Religious Right & Moved To The Christian Left

I grew up a member of the Religious Right, but now find myself on the Christian Left. Here's why:

I grew up a love-child of the Religious Right and Rush Limbaugh, but as a man in my 40’s, I now find myself in a much different place. I have no doubt those of my youth must feel I have rejected everything I was ever taught, and have abandoned the Christian faith. However, the reality is that I am more sure of my Christian faith than ever.

The ultimate irony is that I didn’t walk away because I rejected the core principles I was taught– the relationship ended because they rejected the core principles they had long taught me.

In reflection, here are 10 reasons I dumped the Religious Right and moved to the Christian Left– not because I rejected what they taught me, but because I still believe it:

10

I reject the Religious Right’s Scripture twisting and bizarre use of the Bible.

The Religious Right taught me that as Christians, we ought support policies and political leaders that reflect a commitment to biblical principles and values. In due time however, I discovered they just meant being anti-abortion and anti-marriage equality– even though neither issue is directly and explicitly addressed in the Bible the way some would like them to be.

The minute I began asking about issues the Bible actually does explicitly address, the truth of what they really believe became more evident– and they quickly engage the type of Scripture gymnastics they always warned me about:

  • “But didn’t Jesus speak out against the use of violence, and tell us to love our enemies?” Well, I don’t think that’s really what he meant. Plus, the Old Testament clearly sanctions the use of violence, and we have to believe the whole Bible.
  • “But doesn’t the Old Testament command the government to tax citizens in order to support those in poverty and immigrants? And doesn’t it command us to welcome immigrants?” Well, yes, but that was the Old Testament you see, so not all of that applies today.
  • “But didn’t you just say it all still applies?”
  • “And doesn’t the New Testament command us to care for the poor and welcome immigrants?” Yes, it does– but we should do that individually as we’re able. God tells us how we should act but that doesn’t mean the government has the right to force us to act that way. Jesus never told the government how to do its job.
  • But didn’t you just start out by saying when it comes to gay marriage and abortion the government should make us behave in certain ways?” Listen, son, it’s clear you’re just trying to be a trouble maker and play games with the Bible- I’m not engaging with you until you repent.

9

Today’s Religious Right embraces moral relativism, but I still believe in right and wrong.

Maybe I’m just getting old, but I remember the days when we believed that core moral principles don’t just change with the times. But as TRUMPianity has taken over American Christianity, somehow morality is a far more flexible item than once realized.

As a kid I was repeatedly warned that those who engage in immoral talk, sexual immorality, lovers of money and liars, etc., were destined for the fires of hell. Interesting that when picks for the Supreme Court are on the line one can go from ‘Get that man a preacher, if anyone is hellbound it’s definitely him!” to “Praise God! For he has sent us a savior!”

I refuse to accept that– I believe that right is right and wrong is wrong and that those things don’t change just because your guy is in power.

8

I believe in the importance of compassion– and couldn’t find the “compassion” in today’s conservatism.

When we read the story of Jesus in the Gospels we find a single line frequently repeated: “And he saw them and was filled with compassion.” If anyone wants to be like Jesus, being filled with compassion when witnessing the suffering of others is one of the requirements.

When I was a conservative, we believed in being “compassionate conservatives,” and while I’m not convinced we ever were, what is undoubtedly true today is that there is no compassion in today’s conservatism.

Anyone who supports having kids locked in cages; anyone who could see such a sight and not be flooded with compassion and want to instantly free them from their oppressors, is not only lacking in compassion– but such a person has no right to associate themselves with Jesus in any way, shape, or form.

7

Now more than ever, I still believe that “Character Counts.”

The Religious Right may have forgotten the 90’s, but I haven’t. We shouted “character counts” from the rooftops, and insisted that the moral character of our political leaders was critically important– because individual morality impacts individual leadership.

Fast forward to present time, the Religious Right has inexplicably become the people leading the way in arguing that we must ignore personal character and morality when selecting our leaders– enter stage left, Donald Trump.

I categorically reject that– character does count. Character has always counted, and character still counts.

6

I believe Christians are called to be people who who look after the needs of others.

I don’t care what party you belong to, what flavor of Christian you are, or how you approach reading the Bible– if you’ve actually read the Bible and missed the constant theme from start to finish of God’s people being called to be those who care for the needs of others, you need to try again.

Today’s Religious Right? Well, it certainly isn’t the group who demonstrates they believe the Apostle Paul when he tells us we should not only look after the needs of others, but that we ought humble ourselves enough to see others as being more important than ourselves.

But who still believes it? I do.

5

I am pro-family and believe the government has a responsibility to protect families and children.

The Religious Right has literally built an entire movement on the supposed belief that the government must protect innocent children, and that as Christians we need to protect the family unit since it is the “foundation of society.”

But once those kids go from un-born to just-born? All of a sudden government involvement is overreach, taxation is theft, and ‘rugged individualism’ is the argument that wins the day.

And once those families turn out to be brown-skinned immigrants? All of a sudden the family unit doesn’t matter, breaking them up is of no concern, and permanently traumatizing children is justified, because after all– “we’re a nation of laws.”

The Religious Right isn’t pro-child or pro-family by any stretch of the imagination– but I still am, and always will be.

4

I believe in the sanctity of human life and that all people have sacred value and worth to God.

The term “sanctity of life” was drilled into my head over and over as a member of the Religious Right, and sorry folks– I know you don’t believe it anymore, but with me, the whole concept stuck.

Whether it is children getting shot at school while the government continues to be bought and paid for by the NRA, the life of a person on Death Row, or a starving refugee on our border, I believe that all life is sacred and worth protecting.

The Religious Right, on the other hand, has never supported consistent policies that uphold the belief all life is sacred– it’s one of the beliefs I now realize they never believed in the first place.

3

Because I believe that clothing the poor, feeding the hungry, healing the sick, remembering those in prison, and welcoming immigrants, are “heaven or hell” issues.

You were the ones who taught me that some issues are lines in the sand when it comes to God– that some things that were nonnegotiable, and that which side you choose can land you in God’s grace, or God’s wrath.

Funny thing is: I read my Bible, and while it’s true there are some issues that are heaven or hell issues, strangely they weren’t the issues of dancing and listening to secular music.

What were those few issues Jesus laid out as heaven or hell issues? Somehow they ended up being the very things the Religious Right and today’s conservatives fight against.

2

Because Jesus was a brown-skinned child refugee who grew up to be a homeless transient, and who ultimately died an unarmed person of color killed by police forces.

And if the policies and people we support don’t protect those who are just like Jesus, your views might be “religious”, but they’re definitely not “Christian.”

1

The Religious Right were the people who told me I needed to keep Jesus out of my politics– and I won’t do that.

Religious Right of my youth?

“As Christians we can’t separate religion and politics.”

Religious Right today?

“I don’t look to Jesus to inform my politics.”

Sorry, folks– but Jesus always has, and always will inform my political views– and that’s precisely why I dumped the Religious Right, and moved to the Christian Left.

Because the Christian Left? Instead of telling me to keep Jesus out of politics, they were the ones who insisted we put him at the center of all of it.

 

Benjamin L. Corey

Benjamin L. Corey

BLC is an author, speaker, scholar, and global traveler, who holds graduate degrees in Theology & Intercultural Studies from Gordon-Conwell, and earned his doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller.

He is the author of Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith, and Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus.

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97 Responses

  1. as a women i should not speak, wear jewelry, uncover my head etc.etc. i believe, as a christian we need a new reformation as in the 1500’s. the church is selling “new” indulgences. Jesus fullfilled The Law. He is the sabbath.

  2. During my deconstruction of fundamentalist ideas I have crossed paths with quite a few people who are in the same process. I have been invited by a few to join their groups they currently align with. I have been unable to find one group that isnt a flip side of the coin I was already on. These groups are a different form of
    religious fundamentalism paraded around as “nicer” with the ultimate
    goal of controlling people using a different interpretation of the bible
    as their means to do that. The agenda is still there and its still
    predicated on the idea that “we know better” and we speak for God. I am still being bullied and told that I need to believe this or I’m doing it wrong. Just as before I have not been welcomed to bring my perspective. Rather, I am told this is what we believe and there is no compromise on that. I am a man without a group at this point. I’ve learned to be okay with that as its really forced me to learn how to think for myself and rather than make unhealthy compromises just to be part of a group.

  3. Reason number ten references immigration and same sex marriage. These are topics which were not discussed in general or in particular by churches or the public until recently. As you were in the military when Bush was President you were old enough to challenge your bible teachers when you thought something was wrong. I notice the comment you made was not in quotes: Listen, son, it’s clear you’re just trying to be a trouble maker and play games with the Bible- I’m not engaging with you until you repent. Most of us sat in church hearing about subjects like grace, the commandments, the government of God and the like certainly not same sex marriage. Is reason ten a generalized complaint?

    1. You know what I notice Bob? I notice that many times when someone uses that type of hyperbole “Listen, son, it’s clear you’re just trying to be a trouble maker and play games with the Bible- I’m not engaging with you until you repent” or anything resembling that, it’s pure grandstanding. The reason for this is because they have no real argument with which to present their case. The same with the phrases “use intelligence, not hysteria or emotion” or “your points (story) has been debunked” and the ever popular “no one cares about your opinion” These are all things people say when they are feeling threatened by the truth. Furthermore, I notice that often when there are several people who believe a certain way, they gang up on those who are dissenting voices. We’ve seen that very thing right here.

      1. Completely agree. You will not find many fact based rebuttals on sites like this. But I am glad that Ben is back because several of his followers actually do know the bible unlike the pathetic respondents on Patheos.
        What I notice is that all of these sites somehow incorporate Trump bashing in thier blogs to entice readers which is the easy way out for them.

    1. Yep. U.S. White Evangelicals would quickly detain the baby Jesus at the border, separate him from Mary & Joseph, and lock him in a cage. This is the theology of U.S. White Evangelicals.

      1. Pathetic partisan response without foundation or fact. You remind me of Adam Schiff and his recent without fact parody on the floor of Congress. Making stuff up to suit your feelings is not the same as reality.

        1. Didn’t they flee cause Herod was killing all the babies? Baby Jesus would never be born now, cause they would abort him.

          1. No they left because they were told to leave, before Herod had killed any children. Herod didn’t have any babies aborted, Jesus was around two years old when they left

  4. If I were to list my beliefs, Mr. Corey would put me on the far Right. I have no problem with that. My beliefs differ from Corey’s and from most other people. Whatever others want to believe is their business, not mine. As long as they don’t try to force me to comply with their beliefs, we won’t have any issues. But there will be issues because Corey wants people making laws that I don’t want making laws. I want lawmakers who are more in agreement with me than with Corey.

    1. And that’s the rub. As soon as any Christian gets involved in politics, he or she will inevitably end up forcing his or her beliefs on others. As long you’re going about the business of getting lawmakers elected or even trying to influence the lawmakers that already are elected, you’re in the business of forcing your beliefs on others.

      1. I’m not quite tracking here. Obviously many lawmakers who identify as Christian try to impose their beliefs on others, and yes, many try to influence lawmakers to do the same. But what makes that *inevitable*? Why can’t it be possible for someone to be a Christian and a pluralist?

        1. My apologies…I might not have been clear. Christians, regardless of party, are going to want to base their preferred public policies on Christian principles. That could manifest itself in social welfare programs, liberal immigration laws, opposition to war, abortion, capital punishment, sex trafficking, etc. Once someone starts trying to pass his or her preferred public policy into law (which is inherently coercive) he or she is requiring others to live by that law, whether others want to or not.

          1. Still confused: I don’t see how it’s uniquely Christian to approach a country’s laws according to a particular worldview and to use the power one has within that system (the vote, various forms of advocacy) to influence lawmakers in directions that are consistent with their beliefs. The whole point of republican democracy is that you have lots of different worldviews in play, competing, which prevents (theoretically) any particular worldview from gaining enough power to impose itself on everyone (that’s Federalist 10 and Federalist 51 in a nutshell). So your description doesn’t just seem like a description of Christians to me, but rather of absolutely everyone who participates in politics.

            It also seems entirely possible to me that anyone in such a system, regardless of worldview, could reasonably recognize that his/her worldview isn’t the only one around, and that it’s beneficial to society–not to mention to his or her own individual freedom–to live harmoniously with those who believe differently and *not* try to impose his/her worldview on everyone else. In fact, while there are some Christians who seem to want to impose a Christian theocracy on everyone, Handmaid’s Tale style, there are many others (myself included) who find this idea reprehensible. And we find it reprehensible because we find it incompatible with out faith’s primary command: to love the neighbor as one’s self (not to mention the commands to welcome the stranger, and to show mercy toward everyone).

            1. I agree. I don’t think this is restricted to Christians. Everyone who participates in politics wants to impose his or her worldview on others to some degree or another. And yes, knowing where to draw the line in terms of how much I get my way and your ideas be darned and how much I’m willing to compromise is the key!

            2. I have actually read several times that the US is Republic…..according to Benjamin Franklin we have “a Republic if you can keep it” That was the answer given by Mr Franklin to a woman’s question about this great country of ours. I wish to also address the popular if misguided theme that I’ve seen repeated in several different places about “people wanting to impose a Christian Theocracy on everyone” I don’t believe this to be the case…..many of us just want to have everyone following the common Golden Rule, which is often misquoted and mishandled to force moral people to accept as normal things which ought not to be accepted as normal. It’s funny how many people scream about tolerance and yet are completely intolerant of the Christian worldview. I see this so often. I don’t know much of anything about Handmaid’s Tale, but I see people using the characters in it to protest the very worldview that I and many others hold to. This is very disturbing. The Bible is indeed correct that “as in the days of Noah, so will it be before the coming of the Son of Man” We are seeing good being called evil and evil being called good as people parade around, celebrating sinful choices and harmful lifestyles. And then there are others who want to claim “these people you don’t even know are not affecting you, mind your own business”
              Do you not see the hypocrisy here???

            3. Government is so huge today that many programs, policies and laws can conflict with each other. So the first order of business ought to be to reduce its size, grasp and reach. The budget could be reduced 1% per year until our revenue matches our spending. This aspect of politics doesn’t require a worldview or a religious preference. But it is so political that it seems impossible that it will ever be accomplished.
              Separation of Church and State is a popular concept that defies understanding today even though it is a simple idea. This is certainly an area where Churches can and should be involved.
              Today everyone is consumed with President Trump and wants to involve him in every issue, debate and situation. This serves no purpose in Church that I can see.

      2. Please explain how sharing TRUTH is equal to “forcing beliefs on others”
        Because to me it sounds as though you advocate for silencing opinions of other people. That what it appears.

        1. Lisa,
          Where did I say that “sharing TRUTH” was equivalent to forcing beliefs on others? I don’t think sharing one’s beliefs or faith with another is coercive. And I don’t believe in silencing anyone.

          1. In much the same way as many others in this comment section, it certainly looks like you believe (by your assertions) that people who don’t agree with Mr. Corey are not sharing TRUTH. When someone like myself speaks the TRUTH (abortion is murder because God says so, homosexuality is sin because God says so, etc etc) and other people immediately jump all over them (as seen in this comment section repeatedly) I believe that is coercive and bullying. And next, someone is going to claim (again) that I’m claiming victim status…..which is false….I’m simply stating the truth of what has transpired here, repeatedly.

            1. Lisa,
              There is nothing coercive or bullying about people disagreeing with each other. You come across sounding like those college kids who claim they’re being oppressed or that violence is being done to them because a speaker they disagree with appears on campus.

              Please go back and reread my comments. Nowhere did I assert that people who disagree with Mr. Corey are not speaking the truth. In my original comment to which you responded, I was agreeing with Gary that once someone starts getting involved in politics he or she will inevitably start to force his or her beliefs on others.

              1. So you are claiming that I am saying (whether with my written words or with my intentions) that I am being oppressed? Am I understand you Sam?

              2. You say “There is nothing coercive or bullying about people disagreeing with each other” So let me ask this: does that mean that you are completely fine with some of the condescending ways I have been spoken to in this comment section??? I’m talking about when people write things like “you sound like those college kids who claim they’re being oppressed” AND “people like you use that as a fig leaf to pretend to righteousness while supporting politicians and policies which spit on everything else the Bible teaches.” AND “Trumpty Dumpty’s base of zealots are nothing if not apt pupils of how to throw fits about anything that remotely threatens their ignorant worldview….Okay, you can go back to watching Faux News now. Bye.” AND “The dishonest rhetorical tactics of U.S. White Evangelicals sure are predictable.” AND “Darlin, you make yourself look really funny, and somewhat dumb, in your victimhood.” AND “No one cares much about what you have to say..except it is rather amusing to see your blood pressure go up.” AND “You sound like the biggest busy-body in whatever benighted community you ‘live” in.” >>> I’m pretty sure the people saying these condescending things would never have the guts to say this stuff to a person’s face…because it’s just so easy to be a keyboard warrior. THAT’S what I’m talking about.

                1. I agree that some of these comments are childish, needlessly insulting, and nasty. You’re probably right that some of these “keyboard cowards” (good phrase) would ever say these things to your face.

                  But back to the crux of our discussion…did you go back and reread my original comment to Gary? Do you still think I’m saying that anyone who doesn’t agree with Mr. Corey is not speaking truth?

                  1. Okay so in reading the original comment to Gary, from what I can see I may have lumped you into the overly liberal category….I apologize for that. I do need to ask this though: how is seeking a political leader to represent what you believe “forcing your beliefs upon other people” From my point of view, if I say to my Representative or Senator “please vote against this bill as I am offended by it and desire to live right before God so I am appealing to you because you represent me in the eyes of the law” I don’t believe I would be “forcing” my beliefs on anybody, I’m simply asking for that person do as I wish BECAUSE I helped to elect them to their seat. Now if I threatened their life if they didn’t do what I wanted….that’s a different story.

                    1. Lisa – I don’t see your specific request to the legislator as forcing your beliefs on anyone, but your general advocacy to have laws that reflect your beliefs is forcing your beliefs on others. The vast majority of laws are inherently coercive – they prevent people from doing as they wish. I’m not saying that this is a bad thing; in general, this is a good thing, because we’re fallen creatures. We need coercive law otherwise there’d be chaos, and the strong would take advantage of the weak. But we shouldn’t allow people to get away with saying “stop trying to force your beliefs on me” when what they really oppose is the specific beliefs, not coercion in general.

            2. The majority of people on this site believe killing babies in the womb is ok. They clothe their assertion in “a woman’s right to choose” and “a fetus is not a baby rather protoplasm.” So when we say we support the rights of the baby not to be gutted and extracted they respond in anger. That is because they don’t want to be told what to do – lawlessness in action.

              The same with homosexuality. This group wants God’s approval of their conduct. So when confronted they often tell us the bible does not say that same sex sex is forbidden. But it is. Lawlessness. When it is pointed out they become hostile.

              I have criticized Ben’s views so often that it is a wonder he still occasionally responds to me.

    2. Your religion belongs to you, but it ends at the end of your nose, Gary. You have no more right than Mr. Corey to impose your beliefs, whatever they are, on anyone else. Last time I looked the US was still a secular nation, in which wild-eyed religion (from any spectrum) doesn’t have much to do with governance. We would like to keep it that way.

      1. Time to take a harder look. The US is hardly a secular nation. Judeo -Christian principles form the basis of our government and guide most decisions. It is the Progressive Movement that believes we are a secular nation because they hate the God of the bible while boasting that they do.

      2. Funny, but I didn’t notice Bob imposing his religion on anyone. I observed him engaging in a conversation about life (which can include conversations about faith and religion.) Sounds to me like you want to silence him because something he wrote may have pricked your conscience. Your response to him may be considered bullying behavior.

      3. Yes and no. The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution forbids the “establishment” of religion and prohibits the government from interfering with people’s free-exercise of religion. We have a secular government, in that our laws are not supposed to preference one faith over another. But we are not a secular nation; people’s religious beliefs have a lot to do with governance. Most people in the country are religious and they bring their faith perspectives to bear on who they support for office and how they think our laws should be structured. There’s nothing wrong with this, and this practice has deep historical roots.

  5. I like this article and find it helpful and now I want to share it with my Evangelical friends. They need a little broader scope!

  6. Thank you Dr. Corey. Hopefully, U.S. White Evangelicals still following Trump will begin to recognize their blatant idolatry that is currently exposed for the world to see.

  7. Ben, perhaps you need to differentiate between ‘religious right’ and ‘conservative’ Christians.

    Many people who hold to ‘traditional’ Biblical views and would be viewed as ‘conservative’ can be some of the most compassionate individuals around. Many in the so-called charismatic churches, for example, would be conservative/evangelical in their views but are deeply involved in society, such as operating food banks etc, here in the UK.

    You also seem to confuse being compassionate and openly accepting or even encouraging inappropriate behaviour. Im sure you would agree that Jesus was the most compassionate person around, yet He also spoke strongly about repentance and how we should live (in His dealing with the woman caught in adultery, He showed her compassion but also told her to leave her life of sin). The rejection of gay marriage, for example, does not mean ‘uncompassionate’ as you seem to imply.

    1. Good point. When someone uses the term “conservative Christian” he or she should be clear about whether he or she is talking about political conservatism or theological conservatism. Theologically conservative Christians are not the same thing as the “Religious Right” though there is obviously overlap between the two groups.

    2. I think Dr Corey’s point is less that he has shifted position on abortion (he doesn’t say what his position is and I don’t know) or arguing over the right and wrongs of gay marriage, but that these two issues (which are scarcely core to the Bible message) are used by the religious right as cover for supporting an entire programme of other policies and agenda that are very definitely utterly opposed to everything Jesus, Christianity and the Bible stood and stand for.

    3. Almost. But does the attempted scriptural application really hold up? While Jesus told that woman to leave her sin, it was clear that the consequence for her, would be fuller life, free of that sin. It’s especially important to note how radical Jesus’ compassion was (she was about to get stoned–and that was the NORM for dealing with “adulterous” women). Applying that to same sex marriage runs into two problems: (1) While it’s incontrovertibly clear that the bible consistently labels adultery as sin, it is not nearly as clear that that bible even addresses, much less condemns, covenanted, monogamous same-sex marriages. That was a concept, along with the concept of “orientation” that simply didn’t exist in that culture at that time–Biblical writers simply could not have talked about something that did not exist in their world, any more than they could talk about cell phones or space travel. (2) Even if you reject my first point and insist that all forms of same-sex sexuality are sinful, it’s not clear that what our culture tends to put forward as evidence of “repentance” bears the fruit repentance should bear. We’ve tended to define “repentance” as either a change in “orientation,” or as enforced celibacy. The problem there is the mountain of clinical evidence that shows that both forms of “repentance” do not lead to greater wholeness for the individual, but rather to often serious psychological trauma–*especially* for those who fully buy into the idea that that’s what their repentance should look like. Repentance should bring wholeness, release from the bondage of sin, not become another form of harm in itself. Repentance can’t possibly be the same thing as accepting being sinned *against* by others. Consequently, the “repentance from sin” idea just doesn’t hold water. If you want that to stick, you’ve got to come up with a form of repentance that doesn’t bear evil fruit.

      1. Repentance actually means turning away from sin (and not engaging in the habit of it) and turning to God, embracing His standard for life. Man is unable to attain God’s standard, which is perfection aka living sinless.

        1. Precisely. I agree. Which is exactly why something that in itself creates more sin, more death, and more distance from God cannot possibly be an act of repentance. I’m not saying that repentance is unnecessary; I’m suggesting that the ways we have *defined*, culturally, what repentance should look like in this case can’t possibly be right. If same-sex oriented sexuality is sin requiring repentance (arguable in itself), whatever repentance is supposed to look like, it can’t possibly be either of the forms Christians have most often insisted upon. I’d much rather come alongside someone as a fellow sinner, seek truth prayerfully together, and allow the Holy Spirit, whose job it is to convict, dictate what needs to be repented of, and what that repentance should look like and not try to force the Holy spirit to conform to my preconceptions. Seems a little pretentious, no?

          1. Not sure I’m understanding your point entirely.
            To my understanding, whatever our culture deems as acceptable people seem to gravitate towards. For example, slavery was once legal and therefore accepted by our society…..it was NEVER acceptable by God. Abortion (murdering an unborn baby) is currently the legally acceptable, however it will NEVER be acceptable in the eyes of God our creator. And I really don’t care who chooses to believe He doesn’t exist, the truth doesn’t change. As far as anyone being forced to conform to anyone else’s “preconceptions” that would be an issue in the heart of each person…..meaning that just because one person may feel “judged” that doesn’t mean that is the reality. Speaking truth, which I am attempting to do here, is not the same thing as judging a person and the condition of their heart. No one is being “forced” to do anything….we’re all just talking online, there is no threat of violence happening here. We do agree ProchDolor about the role of the Holy Spirit; it is His job to convict of sin. God sometimes uses even us weak sinful people to speak truth into others lives.

            1. Doesn’t it seem fair to say that it can potentially, at least, be dangerous to make ourselves the self-appointed bearers of the Holy Spirit’s conviction? Honestly, I wouldn’t trust myself with that job at all! My perspective, as a fallen human being whose reason is tainted by human limitation and sin, can’t be very reliable. I wouldn’t know that I’m not mistaking something else (like my own selfish desires, mistaken beliefs, political inclinations, or even just Scrooge’s bit of underdone potato) for the message the Holy Spirit intends to bring, through me, to someone else. The entity I DO trust with the Holy Spirit’s job is, well, the Holy Spirit. And the instruction that the whole trinity gives to me as a human is to love God and to love my neighbor as myself. So, even if I think someone else is behaving sinfully according to my interpretation of scripture, I’m sure not going to try to do the Holy Spirit’s job. I’m gonna do what Christ tells me to do, which is love that neighbor. Welcome that neighbor. Come alongside that neighbor and say something like, “we’re both sinners in one way or another, and the details don’t matter: let’s pray together, study scripture together, worship together.” If we’re doing that, the Holy Spirit will surely do any convicting that needs to be done through that process. There’s no need for me to dictate to the Holy Spirit what things another person should be convicted of, or what shape their repentance should take–unless I don’t trust the Holy Spirit with his job. There’s no reason for one human being to force the issue with any other human being when the real agent is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, and loving God. My responsibility as a human being is to love–doesn’t matter whether the other person has had an abortion, is gay, or anything else. It’s way above my cosmic pay grade to appoint myself the one who calls out their sin and insists on their repentance. The Holy Spirit is perfectly well up to that task without my help. That’s one of the ways in which Christ’s grace is so liberating.

              1. I would like to point out that simply commenting (even repeatedly) on some article shared with a bunch of people on social media doesn’t, at least in my book, qualify as “dictating to the Holy Spirit how to do His job” or “calling out sin” or anything else diabolical……it’s simply engaging in conversation. That’s it! I’m not forcing anyone to do anything against their will….I’m just holding up the standard set by God and His Word.

  8. First of all, unborn Life is precious to God and abortion is murder. No ifs ands or buts. As for so-called marriage equality…..God made man for woman and woman for man. No other choices. God didn’t create two men to marry each other….that was never His plan. That was man deciding that he would do whatever felt good to him. That’s called perversion. This is NOT hate speech, it’s truth!!! This is a “Hit piece” on Donald Trump by someone who doesn’t like him. ALL men are sinners….white, black, brown, Republican, Democrat, Independent, liberal, conservative, etc. etc. etc. Nobody is saying that when one guy does something wrong it’s okay but when the other guy does the same exact thing it’s wrong. “It’s not the end of the world but it’s pretty #@#% close. Trump’s America & Franklin Graham’s Christianity must be resisted.” THAT tells me all I need to know!!!

    1. Exactly.
      The Left has confused Politics and Christianity; but they are separate.
      Church for example is a place to draw closer to God and step away from the world a bit not to discuss politics which is divisive. Most people understand this.
      But abortion is an abomination and detestable. For now you won’t find Churches accepting it. But I fear it may not be long until that changes.
      The reason I say that is Churches have started accepting same sex marriage and you will find many Progressives explaining why the bible does not disapprove this conduct. But it does.

      1. Hi Bob,
        I don’t agree that politics and the church are separate. Our faith has a ton to say about politics (I’m defining politics both as the method by which we craft our laws that enable people with different viewpoints to live peacefully together and the crafting of laws that are right and just). If our faith does not influence our views about politics than we’re missing something. Politics is not the sole or even most important message of the gospel, but it should come into play at some point. Politics can be divisive, but that’s not a reason to not discuss it. I wouldn’t want to go to be part of a congregation that focused entirely on politics, but I don’t think we should shun politics altogether.

        Unfortunately, there are Christian communities that accept abortion, or at least unfettered access to it, as a good thing. But I don’t see a parallel with gay marriage. The two are very separate issues. As our society and some churches have liberalized on gay marriage, they have not on abortion.

        1. Hi Sam,
          I would call government what you are calling politics; so we are in agreement.

          I certainly agree that our faith influences our views. Today many of those views are in stark relief such as:
          open borders vs the wall
          abortion vs infanticide
          definition of marriage
          guns

          We could be debating these issues but we are not. They have become so polarizing you cannot even start the discussion without creating dissension. But on top of that every blog on Patheos ties their issue to our President and decries whatever side he is on using the bible backup. Very limited in perspective to be sure.

        2. We seem to agree on the fact that Christians cannot remain neutral on these divisive issues any longer….I believe this is exactly why we are in the mess we are in, because for far too long, our churches were absent in these moral issues. I keep trying to point out to my fellow believers that we are in this world but not of it, so this means we must engage in the conversations happening in this world…some people refuse to hear it.

      2. The saddest thing about this whole situation, is that people like the author of this article and the 9 “links” in it are designed to make the gap between the Left and the Right even wider….as evidenced by the comment section here. I now have at least 2 maybe 3 people who are using the 25 Rules of Disinformation against me and they believe they know what I think, how I voted and what I’m all about. They have NO clue and even worse, they probably didn’t even bother to read what I wrote and use their God-given brain to think before they responded. I’m amazed at the level of incivility that exists today!

        1. Yes they are rude, crude and self-righteous.The Left has decided it is ok to use any means to destroy our president, his family and anyone who supports him. They believe they can overthrow the election and nullify the process if required. This is prima facia evidence of insanity. The better approach is to find a candidate who can win in 2020 and devote their energies to supporting that candidate. But like children the Left believe they have a right to destroy what they don’t agrtee with.

          Most of the bloggers on Patheos when they write link Trump to thier subject whether it be same sex marriage, LQTBQ or guns because it gets responses. The problem is that bible discussion suffers and many people believe their infantile arguments because they want to. Ben is one of the better writers and has had many great discussions. But Trump bashing is difficult to resist.

          1. You like having a president who lies like a dirty rug, insults anyone who might disagree with him, surrounds himself with corrupt toadys who bow to his every wish, who casually and openly breaks the law? Really? That doesn’t say much for your “religious beliefs”, darlin.

            1. Your diatribe is totally without merit. Example General Barr. You will see how toady he is when he indicts the top members of the corrupt Obama administration for the soft coup to remove Trump that failed.

        2. NO ONE is more lacking in civility on this thread than you, Lisa. You are displaying the exact reaction that a person does when he/she is unsure of what he/she is saying … and turning their own bullying into … yeah, victimization. Intelligent people arent buying it, Lisa.

          1. Okay, so you are claiming that I am being a bully and that I am lacking in civility and that I am claiming victimization status??? And you have proof of these claims? Using my words that I typed, not your assumptions of my meaning being my words, correct? Please, show where this has all occurred.

          2. You have not persuaded anyone that your comment about civility is anything but your own opinion. Intelligence is important to be sure but not necessary to understand the bible as God works with those He chooses.

      3. IF a person doesn’t believe in your god and finds your bible somewhat awful, and isnt a christian, why should that person care about what y’all think about abortion? Go ahead and think what you want about it. It’s none of your business, and is a private decision that a WOMAN gets to make.

        As you are a man, we do not have to give your opinion concerning something that is solely a woman’s decision any credence. So sit down and min your own business.

        1. If you decide to kill one of your children tomorrow you will be arrested and tried for that murder. The basis for that comes from the sixth commandment in the bible, not a man or any man. Murder is also part of the laws in any country which stems from the bible.

          But because a few judges said abortion is legal abortion commenced. Notice no woman had anything to do with that decision.But everyone still knows it is self-serving murder.

          However, that judgment can be overturned. Now that conservative justices control the supreme court it might happen. Once Ginzberg is gone Trump will nominate another conservative and then it is more likely than not abortion will be restricted again as it was. Third tri-mester abortions will be prohibited.

          Your wrong about my opinion also. My opinion counts for a lot as I will be one of the seventy million voters re-electing Trump who is changing the face of the Federal courts evn the 9th circuit as we speak.

        2. So only a woman contributes to the new life when she gets pregnant? Wow, if you believe that, you know nothing of science. A man contributes through his sperm, so I’d say that at the very least, he should have the right to discuss the plans for that life going forward. You’ve heard of paternity testing? It’s when a person finds out who their biological father is through DNA testing…..never will you find that only a woman’s biology is part of a human life.

    2. I knew as soon as I started reading the comments someone would pipe up with “but abortion!”. Fair’s fair, I am opposed to abortion and, yes, it is an important issue. I don’t know DT Corey’s position on it, and the article doesn’t say. What he does say, though, is that people like you use that as a fig leaf to pretend to righteousness while supporting politicians and policies which spit on everything else the Bible teaches.

      1. And with that you ASSUME that I voted for Donald Trump and that I support everything the man does and says…..how nice!!! People like you make assumptions when you know NOTHING about me personally. What does the bible say about that???

        1. We’re drawing the logical conclusion that you voted for Tr^mp because A) you’ve mentioned him more in your two responses than Corey has in this entire article. B) You’re presenting your opinions and interpretations of the Bible as truth, which is what tRump does every day, about anything that compels him to open his mouth. C) We all knew it anyway, from the second you opened with one of the ‘I’m offended!’ classics ~ “First of all…” Trumpty Dumpty’s base of zealots are nothing if not apt pupils of how to throw fits about anything that remotely threatens their ignorant worldview. That’s how we know you voted for him. Okay, you can go back to watching Faux News now. Bye.

          1. Wow!!!! You are really a Never Trumper. I didn’t vote for Trump…..I actually voted 3rd Party because I didn’t feel either Trump or Clinton would represent MY worldview, which of course you know nothing about…..and the dismissive way in which you commented speak volumes to me about your bias. People like you THINK they own the sandbox (the world) ~~~NEWSFLASH~~~ you don’t. Did you read all 9 links as well as the article mentioned or was that too much like work?
            Btw, just because a person doesn’t dog (slam them repeatedly for every word and action they have ever done) someone, that doesn’t mean they agree with everything person in question says, does or thinks.

          2. Spot on response!! People like Lisa angrily shove their opinions around … and the minute they are confronted, they deny that they are bullies and present themselves as victims.

            1. And people like you label people like me who are passionate about what we believe…..which I suppose you can make a case (however weak) for us being bullies and claiming victim status. Could you show WHERE I presented myself as a victim? Btw, when someone clarifies their position (like I did) that’s not playing a victim or claiming their victim status….that’s part of effective communication. I suggest you look into that sometime.

                1. Yes I am suggesting the labels applied to me are false…..in fact I’ll come right out and tell you that I voted 3rd Party (Darrell Castle Constitution Party) and that I wanted to vote for Rand Paul but he was busy defending his seat as Representative for Kentucky.

      1. I actually did read what he wrote, and the 9 links in the article, which he also wrote as they are all his blog….but thanks anyway

          1. Wow, really??? You KNOW everything in my mind, heart and soul? That would mean you are God….you are not.
            I understand plenty, including this: when people (you) ASSUME that another person (me) is a “water carrier” or a “towel-boy” for someone else (Trump) simply because they refuse to verbally castrate the person in question that shows that it is expected by all the other sheeple (the world in general) to jump on the hate bandwagon. That is evidenced by your “believe your tribe, not in God” comment. Again, people like you, ASSUME I voted for Trump….have you not heard that when you assume something, you make an Ass out of U and Me???

            1. And again you do exactly what you submit to ME – and do not notice it AGAIN. Amazing. This is called transmission error. You are very good at that. YOU call other “sheeple” and “jumping on the hate bandwagon”. YOU assume … Say it clear: “I didn’t vote for Trump” – if you could, you would. So sorry. Keep deceiving when you need that. I am sorry for you.

              1. Apparently you DIDN’T READ this the first time, so here it is again:
                “I didn’t vote for Trump…..I actually voted 3rd Party because I didn’t feel either Trump or Clinton would represent MY worldview, which of course you know nothing about….”
                I’m not deceiving anybody.

              2. Lisa French has had numerous opportunities to offer a legitimate counter-argument in response to what Dr. Corey actually wrote. Instead, she hides behind failed attempts to obfuscate and derail. The dishonest rhetorical tactics of U.S. White Evangelicals sure are predictable.

                1. Wow, insults and character assassination…..you sure love using the 25 Rules of Disinformation. I’ve offered more than enough responses, all of which you refuse to accept. So, I’m done. You’ve got your cheerleader seat for your god Benjamin L Corey and you’re happy being blind. Good luck with that

                  1. 25 rules of Disinformation? Wow, sounds fascinating. Where DO we find them? This I have to see.

                    Darlin, you make yourself look really funny, and somewhat dumb, in your victimhood. May I remind you that you started this with your uneducated screed about abortion and same-sex marriage? You haven’t done yourself any favors by continuing in that same “I’m being persecuted by unbelievers!” whine…

                    No one cares much about what you have to say..except it is rather amusing to see your blood pressure go up.

                    1. My uneducated screed? Wow…..okay, So where did I claim “I’m being persecuted by unbelievers” ??? If you really were so much more above me, you would seek to educate me and bring me up to your level, not simply tear me down with whatever “clever” insults you could find. But oh well.
                      Btw, I know you really don’t even care but here’s where the 25 Rules of Disinformation are located, because someone else may be interested: https://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sociopolitica/sociopol_mediacontrol36.htm

    3. Lisa, darlin, I dislike having to tell you this, but a large number of people in the good ol’ USA are not christians, don’t believe in your sky fairy or your book of horror stories, fables, and a couple of decent rules for living…that have nothing to do with your “god”.

      Abortion is a Constitutionally protected, legal medical procedure that a woman may choose along with her medical advisor. It really, really isn’t any of your business. You don’t know that woman, you never will know her, and you have absolutely no respect for her right to make decisions best for her life.

      As for same-sex marriage? Please, explain just how two people getting married, that again, you don’t know, never will know, and will never any respect for their rights harms you personally.

      You sound like the biggest busy-body in whatever benighted community you ‘live” in. Really, sit down, relax, and just mind your own business. Besides, sweet pea, there is no god.

      1. By your responses to me (darlin’, sweet pea, busy-body etc) I can see that you are really a very condescending individual.
        That’s very sad. I feel bad for you.
        Let me ask you this question: why does it bother you SO MUCH for others to talk about God when you believe Him to be a fairy tale?
        I mean IF you are correct and there is no God, there’s nothing to be offended by…..IF you are wrong about there being no God, then I guess you will have to deal with that and I personally would not want to be in that position.

        So Abortion may be LEGAL right now but so was slavery at one time…did that make it right to “own” another human being and mistreat them? Even those that were treated good by their “masters” were still considered property by the law……was that okay?
        If you say they are two very different things, you are splitting hairs; if you side-step the issue you are dancing around the subject.

        You seem to subscribe to the “do what thou wilt” belief system…..I’m referring to your whole argument about “people you don’t know can do what they want, because it doesn’t affect you”
        Maybe it doesn’t affect me, but it doesn’t bring them into a right relationship with their Creator (God)
        Again if you are really bothered by the mere mention of someone who you believe to not exist, that’s very telling.

        As for your claim about my being a busybody……wow!!! I don’t even know what to say, we’re all having a conversation about life and you don’t want me to speak about any of it if I disagree with you……if THAT’S not bullying, I’m not sure was is. You seem so sure there’s no God, YET you are clearly threatened by my speech here online.
        Maybe it would be a good idea to just agree to disagree and leave it at that. Just a suggestion

    4. Your views would be far more acceptable if you were to preface them with “In my opinion” … but you don’t. In my opinion that is why the pieces written by Dr, Corey are so important. Again, in my opinion the reason your fundamentalist movement is displaying the death throes of a dying movement is because it always was irrelevant to the gospel, and increasingly is glaringly more obviously so. I speak to a lot of people who are committed to the gospel and to seeing Christ honored and revealed to a society in chaos .. and we all agree that at the same time as fundamentalist/evangelical religiousity is dying (or is even dead!) .. God is doing something bigger as a new reformation takes place. Sorry Lisa, but there is a better way …. and what you have chosen is religiousity over the way of Christ.

  9. Am I the only who thinks the terms “religious right” and “religious left” are a little stale? They seem like gross generalizations and leftover terms from my parents’ generation. It all seems very 1995.

    Not to mention that Christians shouldn’t be signing up for political teams. What Christian’s politics neatly align with one side of the political spectrum and don’t overlap at all with views on the “other side?” Christians need to stand apart from American political tribalism, not let it define us.

    1. I suggest you read up on the theology and philosophy of The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. And yes I know, he wasn’t a Saint.

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