Thursday, December 10, 2009

Another fabulous church experience

This past Sunday my wife and I went to a different congregation we hadn't gone to before; not because we are looking for someplace new but because we had a really busy weekend and it was 10 minutes from home instead of the usual 35, and it came recommended to us by a few friends, including my own pastor.

Because Walt Disney said "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all" I'll start by saying I've met the pastors here a few times and I like them. They're even leaders in the whole-valley Church movement I'm involved in which I appreciate a lot. The people in the congregation were very friendly, and while the order of service was very familiar they did some things differently that was pleasant.

But then the service started and I had the immediate urge to get up and leave because the first thing the younger pastor (it is co-pastored with a father and son) did was display a video with the face on the big projection screen of a radical Mormon, who is very inflammatory in the American political world, with ties to white supremacy groups, and says pretty outrageous things (most recently calling a Democratic Senator a prostitute). Yes, Glenn Beck was the starting point for this lecture - it was a lecture, not a sermon.

This lecture was on evolution. I've made my peace with evolution years ago, and with all of the piles of scientific evidence - and the fact serious theologists don't see a conflict between science and theology - I don't believe God made the universe to disprove himself, but to actually show his glory. So when we argue against what God has made to fit a very small world view, it makes us mystic types seem ridiculous because we believe in spite of evidence to the contrary.

Like how all of these lectures go, the pastors were very smug, and called scientists (indirectly) stupid, fools, and plotting to disprove God. Yes, they said biologists are in their profession for one reason: to disprove God.

But they also made some claims which are just plaid lies. They might believe them to be true, but they're lies non the less. I don't believe Christians should lie, and certainly not pastors in the course of a Sunday morning lecture.

One of these lies was, "Darwin claimed that, 'if no transitional forms are found within 100 years, my theory should be discarded' and there have been no transitional fossils discovered, so by his own words we should discard his work." Of course there have been transitional forms found, and lots of them.

Another wild claim made was that some historical figures that accepted evolution as a theory include Stalin, Lenin and Hitler. Now that's just a sensationalist claim associating "evil people" with the theory in an attempt to also make it evil. Why leave out pious people who believe in evolution, like Pope Pius XII, and Pope John Paul II - oh yeah, they're Catholics, not Christians... and they didn't kill millions of people.

And then there is the claim that evolution had made every society that has embraced it worse. Yes. Worse. Because the world was a better place in the 1830s when men and women were bought and sold. It was legally and morally acceptable to rape said slave women, and own your own slave-child, and sell your own child on the market. It was a better world where the people who lived on this land here in what is now called America were run off, killed, and cheated by us pre-evolutionary theory Anglo-Saxons. And of course the world is a much more worse off place now that we value everyone in society, even if you're not a white male. Somehow this argument that the world was better off in the 1980s, 1950s, 1840s, 1780s, etc finds a willing taker in some circles, and it's the same circle of people who claim they're oppressed AND that they're the majority.

Anyway, this was just a vent. Take it for that.


Jesus Hold My Hand said...

I'm curious to know what church you went to where Glenn Beck was the focus of the service?!

I'm pretty sure I've never seen Glenn Beck walk on water before. Isn't church supposed to be a place where God and Jesus Christ are praised and adored?

Hopefully there wasn't a portrait of Glenn Beck on the wall right next to the picture of Jesus kneeling in prayer.

It's raining tonight in my town, and I'm enjoying browsing through Christian blogs from around the world. I love the internet. The world is at my finger tips. I can visit remote islands, or big cities, or villages on mountain tops and seaside towns.

If you have time I invite you to visit my blog, and a comment would be nice :) Jesus Hold My Hand

Steven Kippel said...

I'd rather not say which congregation is was. My point wasn't to call anyone out, just sort of vent a little.

The service wasn't centered around Glenn Beck, but they were using him as a way to validate their message.