Forgiveness <> Forgetfulness

A religious leader stands up and confesses that he raped a teenager when he was in his 20s and the church gives him a standing ovation. He committed a crime and his congregation gives him a standing ovation! Where are the consequences for his criminal behavior? Are the consequences washed away in forgiveness?

“Religious leaders use forgiveness theology as a cover, and as an avoidance, of accountability,” Brown told The Washington Post. “And it’s a way of further shaming victims. ‘What a bad girl you are, you aren’t forgiving.’”

This is maddening! This “forgive & forget” crap is one of the reasons I can no longer identify with many Christians….I remember when so called religious leaders told me to forgive my abusive first husband AFTER I kicked him out of my home. One religious leader (referred to here as “mr minister” witnessed, first hand,  my ex’s explosive anger directed at me, where the ex grabbed me & threw me across a room in my home when the “well meaning” mr minister attempted to counsel him on his Christianity and our marriage. I had not asked him to do this, but I had informed mr minister of my ex husband’s volatility (he didn’t believe me). 
Mr minister was out of his depth, didn’t know the first thing about handling a family in crisis and had no business attempting to intervene. His only counsel to me was repeating Bible verses about how a wife is to submit to her husband, how the man is the head of the house, how women take a subservient role to men ALWAYS… and then finishing off with the statement, “as harsh as it may sound, you have no biblical grounds to leave this marriage.” Then months later showing up at my door to warn me about being sure to fulfill my wifely duties so my husband was not tempted to wander from the marriage.  

THIS THIS THIS is the kind of support these so called Evangelical religious leaders show for their female congregants. THIS is why these women support Donald Trump…they are not allowed to think for themselves… they get whacked with Bible verses to keep them in place and subservient to their abusive fathers,  husbands, male church members, and the abusive religious leadership. And they are told over and over and over again that they must forgive and forget to be good Christians. 

It was an epiphany that finally freed me from my abusive marriage. I realized that forgiveness did not mean I must allow my abuser to come back into my life to abuse me again. I can forgive, but I do not forget. Forgiveness with no accountability is foolishness.

Read the Washington Post article here:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/news/morning-mix/wp/2018/01/10/a-pastor-admitted-a-past-sexual-incident-with-a-teen-his-congregation-gave-him-a-standing-ovation/

And you shall know them by their fruits

Ok, so everyone has moments of grace every now and then. If the items on this list truly happened, they are isolated incidents. 

Isolated incidents of grace or failing do not define a person’s character. It is the daily practices and habits of a person that defines character. (If someone really dug hard enough and long enough, one might find some isolated incidents of failure in Mother Teresa’s life).

So what kind of frequent, prolonged grace is Donald Trump known for? None come to mind. His isolated incidents of grace only tell me that he is capable of generosity and grace, which makes it all the more intolerable when I observe his constant and continued failings at humanity as the leader of the free world. Clearly, he is capable of grace and generosity, but he chooses selfishness and self interest most of the time.

Immoral to resign?

“We believe it would be immoral to resign,” says Johnnie Moore, a lay evangelical leader who has served as an informal spokesman for the Evangelical Advisory Board. “As faith leaders, we have been given an opportunity to speak directly to various members of the administration, to provide not just policy counsel but personal counsel. We’re personally involved in the lives of all these people, praying for all these people, and answering their questions.”

Trump’s Evangelical Advisors Stand By Their Man.

What a load of crap!

If you read the profiles of the religious leaders who comprise this panel, some common words will jump out at you……”megachurch”…..”prosperity doctrine”

IMHO, these two heresies have been much of the driving force that has corrupted Evangelical Christian leaders and are at the core of the stinking rot we now see from these “leaders.”

They live in opulent mansions with huge garages to house their collections of luxury vehicles. They adorn themselves in designer clothing and fly around the country in their private jets preaching their heresy.

This is not what Jesus meant when he commanded his disciples to go into the world and share the gospel. Jesus’ version of the gospel was to be humble, love humankind, feed the poor, take care of the widows and the children.

Jesus’ megachurches were the wide open spaces like the mountains where he preached about love, humility, prayer (Matt 5 -7) or like the deserted places where he retreated and where he shared the loaves of bread and the few fish he had with the hungry crowds that followed him there (Matt 15:29 – 39). He didn’t stand in public places and recite flowery prayers but retreated to solitary places like the Garden of Gethsemane where he threw himself on the dirt, and called out to God, alone, aggrieved, in agony.

These religious leaders who serve on Trump’s Evangelical Advisory Board are the antithesis of the Jesus I love. Their religion of megachurches and prosperity doctrine profanes the fundamental messages of Jesus and his brand of Christianity.

 “White Privilege” & Confronting My Own Racism

When I read the essay I’ve linked below, I remembered a conversation about race I had several years ago with a black coworker, a man who I respected and who was a friend, and a safe person to discuss such things…I knew he would not be offended by my questions and would be honest in his answers. He commented that he knew that many white women were uneasy around him when they encountered him on the street. He told me he noticed the women in their cars as he walked by, the expressions on their faces as they looked to make sure their doors were locked. I thought to myself, “I do that too when I’m in my car.”

It opened my eyes to the insidious racism that infects my thinking. When I catch myself, I take conscious effort to root it out. It is a continuous effort.

At least I am aware that it exists. Awareness at least challenges me to be better, to do better, to confront these thoughts.

In the last several months , I have been confronted with the concept of “white privilege.” I’m not sure I fully comprehend yet what it means to me as a white woman, how I need to acknowledge it, and what actions I need to take in my own life to root it out, but I am trying.

“It isn’t Richard Spencer calling the cops on me for farming while Black. It’s nervous White women in yoga pants with ‘I’m with Her’ and ‘Coexist’ stickers on their German SUVs.”

A message to Charlotteville from a black farmer