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Tag: Jesus

Songs of Sacrilege: Jesus is My Friend by Sonseed

This is the fortieth installment in the Songs of Sacrilege series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a song that is irreverent towards religion, makes fun of religion, pokes fun at sincerely held religious beliefs, or challenges the firmly held religious beliefs of others, please send me an email.

Today’s Song of Sacrilege is Jesus is a Friend of Mine by Sonseed, an American Roman Catholic pop band formed at the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Brooklyn, New York in the late 1970s.

Video Link

Lyrics

Jesus is a friend of mine.
Jesus is my friend.
Jesus is a friend of mine.
I have a friend in Jesus.
Jesus is a friend of mine.
Jesus is my friend.
Jesus is a friend of mine.

He taught me how to live, my life as it should be.
He taught me how to turn my cheek when people laugh at me.
I’ve had friends before, and I can tell you that, He’s one who will never leave you flat.

Jesus is a friend of mine.
Jesus is my friend.
Jesus is a friend of mine.
I have a friend in Jesus.
Jesus is a friend of mine.
Jesus is my friend.
Jesus is a friend of mine.

He taught me how to pray, and how to save my soul.
He taught me how to praise my God and still play rock and roll.
The music may sound different but the message is the same.
It’s just the instruments who praise His name.

Jesus is a friend of mine.
Jesus is my friend.
Jesus is a friend of mine.
I have a friend in Jesus.
Jesus is a friend of mine.
Jesus is a friend of mine.
Jesus is a friend of mine.

Jesus is a friend of mine.
Jesus is a friend of mine.

Once I tried to run, I tried to run and hide.
But Jesus came and found me and He touched me down inside.
He is like mountie, He always gets His man, and He’ll zap you any way he can.
Zap.

Jesus is a friend of mine.
Jesus is my friend.
Jesus is a friend of mine.
I have a friend in Jesus.
Jesus is a friend of mine.
Jesus is my friend.
Jesus is a friend of mine.

He loves me when I’m right, He loves me when I’m wrong.
He loves me when I waste my time by writing silly songs.
He loves me when I’m quiet and I have nothing to say.
He’ll love me when I’m perfect if I ever get that way.
Whooo!

Jesus is a friend of mine.
Jesus is my friend.
Jesus is a friend of mine.
I have a friend in Jesus.
Jesus is a friend of mine.
Jesus is my friend.
Jesus is a friend of mine.
I have a friend in Jesus.
Jesus is a friend of mine.
J-J-J-Jesus.
Jesus is a friend of mine.

My Son Thinks I’m Going to Hell by August Stine

guest-post

Guest post by August Stine

August Stine is the author of the book  The Modern Confessions of Saint August Stine

In spite of the fact I am a former fundamentalist Christian and ex-pastor, my minister son and his family think I am headed for Hell. This is my response to him. I use the pen name of August Stine to protect my son.

Different Family Beliefs

Your faith is important to you.

My beliefs are important to me.

We pray to the same God every day

For me, He is the Caring Creator;

Who cares about my well being

To you, He is the fearful God

Who demands obedience.

I believe Jesus was a spiritual man but not God.

I believe Jesus said some great words of wisdom

And I am sorry he had to die on the cross.

You believe Jesus died for the sins of man

And his salvation is a gift from God.

I do not believe this, but let’s suppose I did.

Didn’t you say salvation was a gift?

If it is a gift, why do I need to do anything?

You say I am going to hell unless . . .

You even give me the words I should say—

“Jesus, forgive my sins.”

Do people go to hell for not saying these words?

What if I wait until just before dying and then ask?

What if I meant to ask Him for years but didn’t?

You say “Too late—you missed your chance!”

This is God we are talking about isn’t it?

Is God limited by time or death?

On the other hand, if salvation is a “gift,”

Do I really need to ask Him for forgiveness?

The Bible says God freely gives this gift.

Where did all these attached strings come from?

Why conditions on God’s unconditional love?

New converts are told their Christian duties.

Tithing is one—not too bad—it is do-able

Unless you are unemployed or on minimum wage.

But the heaviest of all these burdens is . . .

People go to hell unless we show them Jesus.

So their salvation is in our hands . . .

I thought salvation was a gift.

Why is this huge ugly rope attached to this gift?

Am I responsible for my neighbor’s salvation?

Why am I involved with another man’s salvation?

Why does God need Me?

Suppose I want to play golf on a nice day,

But my neighbor dies and goes to hell . . .

And it is my fault . . .

Because I did not tell him about Jesus.

Please don’t tell me

God is so awful and demanding.

Why am I involved in someone’s eternal choice?

I thought God loved me and my neighbor.

Because of His heavy guilt trip,

I can’t even play golf without God on my back

I cannot believe God dearly loves me . . .

But loads me down with guilt trips

About darn near everything I do.

If I truly am a child of God,

Why do I have to be afraid of Him?

Why can’t I enjoy God

And let Him fix the world?

I thought that was His job.

Scripture says God is with us always;

If so, “Come on God, let’s go play some golf.”

As Seen on Social Media: Jesus is My Lifeguard

Graphics, Memes, Quotes, and Comments I’ve spotted on Facebook or Twitter.  Today’s graphic comes from Facebook.

It’s summertime. The lake is calling and you pack up your family and head to your favorite lake. Mommy, mommy, mommy, can I go swimming? Mom replies, Sure, but watch out for pedophile preachers strolling on the beach.

Little Betty heads to the lake and jumps into the water. Her older teenage brother is nearby, keeping a watchful eye on her and making sure there are no pedophile preachers strolling on the beach. Pedophile preachers have no part to play in this story, but I thought I’d add them as a public service reminder.

Little Betty swims what seems like a mile away from the beach and then, out of nowhere, a hornet stings Betty on the shoulder. In a matter of minutes, Betty’s eyes and throat start to swell. She’s deathly allergic to hornet stings, and with a muffled voice she tries to scream for help. But, she’s too far way from shore for her brother or the lifeguard to hear her. And then she remembers a wonderful graphic she saw on Facebook:

jesus is my lifeguard
JESUS is my lifeguard
No need to call for the lifeguard because JESUS, the bestest, most awesome lifeguard e-v-e-r, constantly patrols the lakes protecting swimmers from harm.

Finally, poor little Betty’s throat swells shut, she chokes on her tongue and then she dies.

In heaven Betty asks St Peter, Hey, I thought Jesus was supposed to be my lifeguard and save me if I was drowning?

St. Peter replies, Silly girl, that’s a metaphor, a way Christians speak when trying to convince themselves that Jesus, the one and only, true and living, and most a-w-e-s-o-m-e God ever, cares if they are drowning.

Too bad Betty is dead. Had she lived, it would be because a real, flesh and blood lifeguard saw her distress and rescued her.

Waiting for Jesus to save you from drowning is a sure way to die.

Bruce, the Pornographer: Why I Really Left the Christian Faith

this was your life

Evangelical Christian apologist William Lane Craig writes, in response to a question about doubt (link no longer active);

…..Be on guard for Satan’s deceptions. Never lose sight of the fact that you are involved in a spiritual warfare and that there is an enemy of your soul who hates you intensely, whose goal is your destruction, and who will stop at nothing to destroy you. Which leads me to ask: why are you reading those infidel websites anyway, when you know how destructive they are to your faith? These sites are literally pornographic (evil writing) and so ought in general to be shunned. Sure, somebody has to read them and refute them; but why does it have to be you? Let somebody else, who can handle it, do it. Remember: Doubt is not just a matter of academic debate or disinterested intellectual discussion; it involves a battle for your very soul, and if Satan can use doubt to immobilize you or destroy you, then he will.

I firmly believe, and I think the Bizarro-testimonies of those who have lost their faith and apostatized bears out, that moral and spiritual lapses are the principal cause for failure to persevere rather than intellectual doubts. But intellectual doubts become a convenient and self-flattering excuse for spiritual failure because we thereby portray ourselves as such intelligent persons rather than as moral and spiritual failures. I think that the key to victorious Christian living is not to have all your questions answered — which is probably impossible in a finite lifetime — but to learn to live successfully with unanswered questions. The key is to prevent unanswered questions from becoming destructive doubts. I believe that can be done by keeping in mind the proper ground of our knowledge of Christianity’s truth and by cultivating the ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives….

First, Craig describes infidel websites like mine as:

  • A tool of Satan used to destroy the souls of Christians
  • Pornographic (evil writing)
  • Something that, in general, should be shunned

Craig readily admits that websites like mine can cause a Christian to doubt their faith. While I have no interest in converting any Christian to atheism, I do think the tenets of Christianity and the teachings of the Bible should be carefully investigated. If my writing causes a Christian to question and have doubts…good!

If Christianity is worth believing it will withstand any questions or doubts a believer might have. If Christianity is what it claims to be, then websites like this one will do little to no harm. Of course, I am think that Christianity is NOT what it claims to be and that is one the reasons people are leaving the faith in droves.

Second, Craig attempts to dismiss people like me by calling our testimony of loss of faith a Bizarro-testimony. (not to be believed) Craig contends we lost our faith, not for intellectual reasons, but because of spiritual or moral failure.  Craig believes former Christians use intellectual doubts as a cover for moral or spiritual failure. In doing this, Craig moves the focus from Christianity and the Bible to the individual. According to Craig, I am no longer a Christian because of some moral lapse or spiritual deficiency in my life.

I will leave it to Detectives for Jesus to ferret out my moral or spiritual failures. I doubt they will find much to hang me by, but I will readily admit that I, like every other Christian and pastor, had moral and spiritual failures. After all, since I STILL had a sin nature, moral and spiritual failure was sure to happen, right? That said, I have no affairs lurking in my closet, just in case someone thinks moral failure=screwing a church member.

Craig lives in a world of willing delusion. He refuses to accept the fact that many of us, especially those of us who were pastors, left the ministry and the Christian faith for intellectual reasons. I have written many times about this subject. The primary reason I left the Christianity was because I no longer believed the Bible was the Word of God. I no longer believed the Bible was “truth.” I no longer believed that the central character of the Bible, Jesus, was who the Bible says he was. (and I use the word “was” because I don’t believe Jesus “is”)

I didn’t have a moral or spiritual collapse that led to me leaving the Christianity. Instead, I decided to investigate again the claims of Christianity and its divine Holy Book. Conclusion? I weighed Christianity and the Bible in the balances and found it wanting. (Daniel 5:27)

At the end of the day, it really is all about the Bible.

Dear Evangelical, If The Christian Gospel is True

sharing the gospel

Dear Evangelical,

I have some questions for you.

  • Do you believe the Bible is the Word of God?
  • Do you believe the Bible is true?
  • Do you believe that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life?
  • Do you believe salvation is found in Jesus alone?
  • Do you believe a person must put their faith and trust in Jesus to be saved?
  • Do you believe a person must put their faith and trust in Jesus to go to heaven after they die?
  • Do you believe the unsaved/non-Christian/unbeliever will go to hell when they die?
  • Do you believe death could happen at any moment?
  • Do you believe this life is preparation for the life to come?
  • Do you believe the church has the obligation to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every person?
  • Do you believe you can tell what a person believes is important by how they spend their time and how they spend their money?

Pretty straightforward questions. Not much room to wiggle, debate or excuse.

Most Evangelicals would say yes to most, if not all, of these questions.

Now, if I  really believed that hell was real, death was certain, and Jesus was the only hope for humanity, I would spend every waking hour telling this to others. I would live simply and spend my money  on making sure this message got out to the world. I would not waste one moment of my time with the frivolous things of this world, using that time to witness to others.

Surely, if what Evangelicals say they believe is true, the message JESUS SAVES is the most important message ever given to humanity.

Easter is the Christian proclamation that Jesus, the son of God, died on the cross for our sin and on the third day rose again from the dead conquering death and hell. Truly there is VICTORY IN JESUS.

And all the people said, Amen.

So, explain something to me. Be honest.

Why is it most that  Evangelicals LIVE like what I wrote above is a complete falsehood?

Most Evangelicals never share their faith with anyone.

Many churches go years without adding one new convert to their membership.

Most Evangelicals live, behave, and die just like their non-Christian neighbors, family, and friends.

It seems that Evangelicals don’t really believe what they are preaching.

I am not pointing a finger at you.

I am just asking for you to be honest.

If Jesus is the answer to all life’s questions.

If Jesus satisfies every longing a soul has.

If Jesus will clean up and change  sinners.

If hell is real.

If heaven is real.

If death is certain.

Why do you live like none of this is true?

How many people did you share the gospel with last week? Last month? Last year? Since you have been a Christian?

How about your pastor? For all his talk about the gospel, how many people has he personally witnessed to this week? Last month? Last year? Since he entered the ministry?

How many new members have joined  your church because they were witnessed to by a member of your church? (transfers from other churches don’t count)

How many new convert baptisms took place at your church last year?

My point in this little exercise is this: talk is cheap.

You want others to become a Christian.

You want others to follow Jesus.

Why should they?

If you don’t really believe the gospel, why should you expect anyone else to?

Here is my take on that matter.

Religion is a personal matter.

Even though the Bible says it is not, you live like it is, so you must believe it is.

Since it is a personal matter, each of us should be free to worship or not worship.

One thing we all agree on..

We all are going to die.

Let’s agree to leave the afterlife to the afterlife.

I am willing to settle up with God after I die.

Life would be so much better for everyone if each of us had the liberty to live life freely without being evangelized or coerced into making a religious profession. (and let’s be honest, a lot of the evangelistic techniques used by Evangelicals is coercion.)

This does not mean we can’t talk about religion. This doesn’t mean we can’t talk about the Bible.

But, let’s talk as fellow citizens of earth. Let’s talk as people who have in common humanity.

If we do this, you are relieved of the burden of witnessing and I am relieved of being an evangelistic target.

Let’s just be you and me.

Bruce Gerencser