Five Christian Theologies Scarier Than Halloween

Here are some christian theologies that will prove halloween should be the least of our nightmares.

Halloween today isn’t all that Christian or all that scary any more.

Our American celebration of Halloween has very little to do with observing a Christian “All Hallows’ Eve” before the “All Hallows Day” remembrance of the dead.

 On “All Hallows’ Eve,” skeletons, ghosts and graveyards were supposed to be scary reminders of human mortality, and the threat of damnation like the image above.  Carved pumpkins lit from within, or “Jack O’ Lanterns,” were originally to frighten “evil spirits” away.

Halloween is now more a creation of Gothic and horror literature like Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein, Hollywood horror movies, and the candy and costume industries.

But if you do want to be frightened this week, here are some Christian theological themes that actually are scary:

1. Christian Dominionism

Christian dominionism is the idea that our nation should be governed by Christians according to a conservative understanding of biblical law, and was, I believe, the theology behind the recent government shutdown. This is the “scariest” Christian theology to me because, as Chris Hedges so well argues, it is fueled by “sanctified” rage.  He warns of how volatile this rage is, and that the “Christian right needs only a spark to set it ablaze.”  What I particularly like about Hedges’ analysis is that he does not move away from the economic and social “despair” of those who have sought out this theology for answers.  The “collapse of liberal democracy” is our common issue.

What is especially scary to me, however, is the wall of rage that seems so impossible to scale to find common cause across a spectrum of differences.

2. Hell and Damnation

Scary images of Hell and damnation have been part of religions for millennia, as Alice K. Turner demonstrates in her beautifully illustrated text, The History of Hell.  These include biblical themes, as “ “Sheol” is where sinners go (Psalm 49:13–14), and hell is “everlasting fire” presided over by the Devil (Matthew 25:41).

These images abound in popular culture as well as in religion, and people who have “near death” experiences have not always written afterwards about heavenly lights, but being “hung over an abyss” with heat blasting below, while “pairs of demonic eyes” glared at them.

But while these scary images abound, a theology of hell is something different than images of demons and fire.  Images of hell as judgment have been used over Christian history to construct a punitive, punishing idea of God that is used like a club to manipulate people, producing true horrors instead of faith journeys.

As I have observed before for On Faith, so many students come to us at Chicago Theological Seminary from Christian conservative backgrounds. They tell horror stories of being told they would go to hell if they did not obey the church, their parents and other authority figures without question. Even when they experienced parental abuse, they dared not tell because they were told that disobedient children deserved punishment. Awakening sexuality, gay or straight, was met with threats of hellfire and damnation.

Theologies of hell and damnation that are used to make human lives a misery are truly scary to me because they help to create and sustain ‘hell on earth’ for many.  They contradict God’s love and mercy.

Christian Evangelical Rob Bell has argued this in his work Love Wins; Bell’s position continues to be controversial.

3.   Women Should “Submit” 

Theologies that emphasize a hierarchy in creation, i.e. that women were created second, and Eve is to blame for the sin that got Adam and Eve kicked out of the Garden of Eden, are scary to me because they are literally responsible for a lot of violence against women.

In my view, the primary connection between religion and domestic violence is religiously sanctioned subordination of women. Submission itself is institutionalized violence — a structure of unequal power that puts women in a vulnerable position in the home. The front door of such a “religious” home becomes a doorway to violence.

Mary Potter Engel, a Christian theologian and novelist, has called this the “Just Battering” tradition. She models her analysis of the Christian justification of violence against wives on the Just War tradition. Just War principles start with “Right Authority.” In the “Christian home,” ideologies of “submission” mean that only the husband has authority. This makes physical abuse of women “just” in the same way that political authorities can claim a war is “just” if it is authorized by them.

“Submission” is a scary theology that justifies abuse in the name of Christian obedience by women.  See, for example, Kay Marshall Strom, In the Name of Submission: A Painful Look at Wife Battering.

4.  God versus Evolution

One of the scariest places I have ever been was the Creation Science Museum in Kentucky. As I walked in, I was greeted by a pineapple eating velociraptor in an animatronic Garden of Eden. Yes, according to this museum that presents the “young earth” idea that creation is 6,000 years old, this famous meat-eating hunter-type dinosaur, so scary in the movie Jurassic Park, was a vegetarian before the fall into sin.

“Creation science” is a theology, not a science since it does not use scientific method. It is a scary theology because it is used to deny the real science of evolution and undercut the genuine urgency to stop polluting human activities that are causing violent and abrupt climate change.

I actually prefer the term “global weirding” to “climate change” or “global warming” because those terms do not evoke the erratic and dangerous effects of rapidly accelerating environmental shifts.

If you want to be really, really afraid on Halloween, read the U. N. Report from Rio on the Environment that has been called “longest suicide note in history.”

The report is terrifying not because of its urgent calls for action, but because of its failure to do so.

5.  God Doesn’t Love You If You’re Gay

Homophobic Christian theologies that condemn people who are lesbian, gay, bi-sexual or transgender are scary dangerous, and they need to be continuously countered.  Even while many states are making progress on passing marriage equality, the litany of gay teens who have been bullied and then committed suicide goes on.

In my “It Gets Better” video I made for that creative campaign to give hope to gay teens, I start with “God loves you.”

There’s so much that’s really terrifying in our world, Halloween shouldn’t be scary any more.

I try to make Halloween fun for my children and now my grandchildren.  Some candy (along with healthy snacks!), fun costumes and community events are a great way to have family fun.  I think Halloween should be fun because there are too many really scary things in our world for kids and the adults who care about them.

What really scares me, not only this week but all year through, are the Christian theologies that prey on our legitimate fears of human finitude, physical suffering, economic uncertainty, environmental destruction, and the threat of war in order to accelerate anger and alienation.

There’s no treat in that, only being tricked.

 

Image by Flickr

 

 

  • John Smart

    After spending many years in and around “liberal” churches I can assure all readers of this angry, smug article that the “liberal” church is every bit as dangerous as the right wing nutter churches. Turning the world into Stepford Marxists concerned with faux “Social justice” (they rarely dirty their own finger nails) is as ‘anti-christ’ as any overt gay bashing or violence against women. It may be more dangerous. Most of the left wing censoring fascists have no idea they are fascists. In fact, they are utterly convinced they are not. But contradict a tenant of their social gospel and the metaphorical icepick in the skull comes down. I once mentioned that Jesus probably wasn’t a registered New deal Democrat and probably would not be voting for Obama. … and the shunning was…well…. stunning, And also fascist in spirit. No one eats their young like progressives. They will destroy anyone, anywhere for any reason if their world view is questioned.

  • John Smart

    After spending many years in and around “liberal” churches I can assure all readers of this angry, smug article that the “liberal” church is every bit as dangerous as the right wing nutter churches. Turning the world into Stepford Marxists concerned with faux “Social justice” (they rarely dirty their own finger nails) is as ‘anti-christ’ as any overt gay bashing or violence against women. It may be more dangerous. Most of the left wing censoring fascists have no idea they are fascists. In fact, they are utterly convinced they are not. But contradict a tenant of their social gospel and the metaphorical icepick in the skull comes down. I once mentioned that Jesus probably wasn’t a registered New deal Democrat and probably would not be voting for Obama. … and the shunning was…well…. stunning, And also fascist in spirit. No one eats their young like progressives. They will destroy anyone, anywhere for any reason if their world view is questioned.

  • Perzi

    Man, where do you people come up with this information? Certainly not from the words of Jesus. If your going to profess to be a Christian theologiest, then you may want to read the bible first. If you want to read the works of a true theologian then try someone like Dr. Greg Boyd.

  • Perzi

    Man, where do you people come up with this information? Certainly not from the words of Jesus. If your going to profess to be a Christian theologiest, then you may want to read the bible first. If you want to read the works of a true theologian then try someone like Dr. Greg Boyd.

  • JCL

    Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite is a former president of Chicago Theological Seminary (1998-2008) and a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress.

    This tells me pretty much all I need to know about Susan Brooks. The Center for American Progress is a Christian hating hard-Progressive supporting organization. Her “five scary” points aren’t even accurate and only act to exhibit her own closed-mindedness and judgement of others.

  • JCL

    Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite is a former president of Chicago Theological Seminary (1998-2008) and a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress.

    This tells me pretty much all I need to know about Susan Brooks. The Center for American Progress is a Christian hating hard-Progressive supporting organization. Her “five scary” points aren’t even accurate and only act to exhibit her own closed-mindedness and judgement of others.

  • dclachman

    Essentially, what scares SBT is Biblical Christianity.

  • dclachman

    Essentially, what scares SBT is Biblical Christianity.

  • drzombe

    Wow, you were actually the President of a Christian Theological Seminary. Your hatred of the Bible believing Christian is intense. You stereotype ‘Christians’. Jim and Tammy Baker are so 30 years ago. We don’t all belong to the Westboro Baptist Church. I’m just a born-again, New Testament Christian. I’ll go through your article from that perspective.
    1. Christian Dominion
    We believe strongly in the separation of Church and state. A 2-way road. Christians should be good citizens and coexist with the secular world. We have every right to vote based upon anything we want.
    2. Hell and Damnation.
    Accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and savior is a free choice (not one children can make). God can forgive all sins. Atheist parents also abuse their children in many ways. Why are you so scared if we believe, rejection means you won’t spend eternity in the presence of God. “Hell is just eternal separation from God”!! You can say that’s our concept of God. Fine. We are free to have our faith. You believe what you want.
    3. Women should submit
    It’s “wives must submit to their husbands”. But husband and wife are of one flesh. So husbands must equally submit to their wives. Life was brutal and very unfair 2000 years ago. The Center for American progress didn’t exist then. In no way does New Testament suggest domestic violence is OK. Go to Saudi Arabia where it is.
    4. God v. Evolution
    Nobody knows. Not even bright Atheists. The 6000 year myth is difficult to justify
    5. God doesn’t love you if you are gay
    Sex outside of traditional marriage is a sin. Being gay is not. God loves everyone unconditionally as Christians should. There is a revolt of Black Pastors (probably many from Chicago) against politicians that support same-sex marriage. Spew your hatred at them or fundamentalist Muslims that still stone or hang gay men. Or maybe Jews, commanded by Moses to stone gay men.

    I love you even if you don’t love me. We all sin. Don’t judge me because I sin differently than you do.

  • drzombe

    Wow, you were actually the President of a Christian Theological Seminary. Your hatred of the Bible believing Christian is intense. You stereotype ‘Christians’. Jim and Tammy Baker are so 30 years ago. We don’t all belong to the Westboro Baptist Church. I’m just a born-again, New Testament Christian. I’ll go through your article from that perspective.
    1. Christian Dominion
    We believe strongly in the separation of Church and state. A 2-way road. Christians should be good citizens and coexist with the secular world. We have every right to vote based upon anything we want.
    2. Hell and Damnation.
    Accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and savior is a free choice (not one children can make). God can forgive all sins. Atheist parents also abuse their children in many ways. Why are you so scared if we believe, rejection means you won’t spend eternity in the presence of God. “Hell is just eternal separation from God”!! You can say that’s our concept of God. Fine. We are free to have our faith. You believe what you want.
    3. Women should submit
    It’s “wives must submit to their husbands”. But husband and wife are of one flesh. So husbands must equally submit to their wives. Life was brutal and very unfair 2000 years ago. The Center for American progress didn’t exist then. In no way does New Testament suggest domestic violence is OK. Go to Saudi Arabia where it is.
    4. God v. Evolution
    Nobody knows. Not even bright Atheists. The 6000 year myth is difficult to justify
    5. God doesn’t love you if you are gay
    Sex outside of traditional marriage is a sin. Being gay is not. God loves everyone unconditionally as Christians should. There is a revolt of Black Pastors (probably many from Chicago) against politicians that support same-sex marriage. Spew your hatred at them or fundamentalist Muslims that still stone or hang gay men. Or maybe Jews, commanded by Moses to stone gay men.

    I love you even if you don’t love me. We all sin. Don’t judge me because I sin differently than you do.

  • HearlandGal

    Great Response ! You have confessed Christ before men. The only item I was waiting to read by Dr. Brooks that was not included, was Calvinism of which I do believe. All the truly born again invisible church, whether Calvinist or Arminian, rejoice in our Saviour now, and will rejoice together when we are taken to be with HIM forever. The LORD Bless you and keep you,,…..

  • HearlandGal

    Great Response ! You have confessed Christ before men. The only item I was waiting to read by Dr. Brooks that was not included, was Calvinism of which I do believe. All the truly born again invisible church, whether Calvinist or Arminian, rejoice in our Saviour now, and will rejoice together when we are taken to be with HIM forever. The LORD Bless you and keep you,,…..

  • Bob Valerius

    Thanks for the article, Susan. It alerts me to never support the Chicago “Theological” Seminary.

    God bless you and keep you and may you come to the knowledge of his Truth.

    agape

    bob

  • Bob Valerius

    Thanks for the article, Susan. It alerts me to never support the Chicago “Theological” Seminary.

    God bless you and keep you and may you come to the knowledge of his Truth.

    agape

    bob

  • Chris403

    This chick is from the Center for American Progress. You can do better, WaPo.

  • Chris403

    This chick is from the Center for American Progress. You can do better, WaPo.

  • Catken1

    “We have every right to vote based upon anything we want.

    Except that under law, you may not vote for the government to require your neighbors to follow your religious beliefs, or to punish those who do not, by, for example, refusing them entry into a civil contract. There are certain guaranteed rights in this country, and you may not vote away your neighbors’ rights.

    “Sex outside of traditional marriage is a sin”

    Then everyone who has sex in America sins every day. “Traditional” marriage – involving the sale of a young girl to a man by her family – is illegal here.
    Of course, if you just mean “sex outside of modern, egalitarian, love-based heterosexual marriage is a sin,” it’s a nice way to feel all smug about those gay people who don’t _understand_ that you’re not singling THEM out, you’re just saying that any sex outside of your preferred form of marriage is sinful, and your preferred form of marriage just happens to exclude them, so sorry, they can’t have sex at all. But it’s not as if you’re singling them out- oh, no.
    You’re just worshipping a god who burns them alive forever and ever if they fall in love and commit the crime of wanting a marriage and a family.
    And you’re seeking to require everyone to follow your religious dogma concerning “appropriate” choice of spouse in order to have a CIVIL marriage. This is overstepping your bounds, in a nation based on religious freedom for ALL.

    And it’s a little dramatic to complain about “spewing hatred” when it’s YOU who seeks to attack other people’s marriages and families, not other people. We’re not trying to deny you civil marriage because of your beliefs, or take your kids away, or make your body the property of someone we deem more “innocent” and valuable than you, as Christian politicians, acting qua Christians, have sought to do to LGBT people and women, respectively.

  • Catken1

    “We have every right to vote based upon anything we want.

    Except that under law, you may not vote for the government to require your neighbors to follow your religious beliefs, or to punish those who do not, by, for example, refusing them entry into a civil contract. There are certain guaranteed rights in this country, and you may not vote away your neighbors’ rights.

    “Sex outside of traditional marriage is a sin”

    Then everyone who has sex in America sins every day. “Traditional” marriage – involving the sale of a young girl to a man by her family – is illegal here.
    Of course, if you just mean “sex outside of modern, egalitarian, love-based heterosexual marriage is a sin,” it’s a nice way to feel all smug about those gay people who don’t _understand_ that you’re not singling THEM out, you’re just saying that any sex outside of your preferred form of marriage is sinful, and your preferred form of marriage just happens to exclude them, so sorry, they can’t have sex at all. But it’s not as if you’re singling them out- oh, no.
    You’re just worshipping a god who burns them alive forever and ever if they fall in love and commit the crime of wanting a marriage and a family.
    And you’re seeking to require everyone to follow your religious dogma concerning “appropriate” choice of spouse in order to have a CIVIL marriage. This is overstepping your bounds, in a nation based on religious freedom for ALL.

    And it’s a little dramatic to complain about “spewing hatred” when it’s YOU who seeks to attack other people’s marriages and families, not other people. We’re not trying to deny you civil marriage because of your beliefs, or take your kids away, or make your body the property of someone we deem more “innocent” and valuable than you, as Christian politicians, acting qua Christians, have sought to do to LGBT people and women, respectively.

  • Catken1

    You got _shunned_? Pooooor dear!
    Did anyone try to take away your marriage, fire you from your job, evict you from your house or apartment, have your kids taken from you?
    They just shunned you?
    Oh.
    If that’s the worst that liberal progressive churches do, I hardly think they can be described as “dangerous.”

  • Catken1

    You got _shunned_? Pooooor dear!
    Did anyone try to take away your marriage, fire you from your job, evict you from your house or apartment, have your kids taken from you?
    They just shunned you?
    Oh.
    If that’s the worst that liberal progressive churches do, I hardly think they can be described as “dangerous.”

  • CCNL

    From the Land of Loading More Comments:

    Then there is the Book of Revelation:

    “Nineteenth-century agnostic Robert G. Ingersoll branded Revelation “the insanest of all books”.[30] Thomas Jefferson omitted it along with most of the Biblical canon, from the Jefferson Bible, and wrote that at one time, he “considered it as merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy nor capable of explanation than the incoherences of our own nightly dreams.” [31]

    Martin Luther once “found it an offensive piece of work” and John Calvin “had grave doubts about its value.”[32]

  • CCNL

    From the Land of Loading More Comments:

    Then there is the Book of Revelation:

    “Nineteenth-century agnostic Robert G. Ingersoll branded Revelation “the insanest of all books”.[30] Thomas Jefferson omitted it along with most of the Biblical canon, from the Jefferson Bible, and wrote that at one time, he “considered it as merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy nor capable of explanation than the incoherences of our own nightly dreams.” [31]

    Martin Luther once “found it an offensive piece of work” and John Calvin “had grave doubts about its value.”[32]

  • CCNL

    Now moving into the 21st century:

    The Apostles’ Creed 2013 (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Jerusalem.

    Said Jesus’ story was embellished and “mythicized” by
    many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
    ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    Amen
    (References used are available upon request.)

  • CCNL

    Now moving into the 21st century:

    The Apostles’ Creed 2013 (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Jerusalem.

    Said Jesus’ story was embellished and “mythicized” by
    many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
    ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    Amen
    (References used are available upon request.)

  • Paulrae

    Thank you! Very well explained and so the truth in how and what most Christians feel and believe…..now you have the truth!

  • Paulrae

    Thank you! Very well explained and so the truth in how and what most Christians feel and believe…..now you have the truth!

  • VoxVeritas1

    Catken1 — your distortions or misunderstanding of what Christians believe and its understanding of the relationship between God and man is nothing short of breathtaking. It’s almost like you’re playing some sort of caricature of an ignorant anti-religion leftist. You can’t be for real, are you?

    If so, keep on trashing those strawmen.

  • VoxVeritas1

    Catken1 — your distortions or misunderstanding of what Christians believe and its understanding of the relationship between God and man is nothing short of breathtaking. It’s almost like you’re playing some sort of caricature of an ignorant anti-religion leftist. You can’t be for real, are you?

    If so, keep on trashing those strawmen.

  • aghastleftleaningmoderate

    I’d like to address a common misconception regarding the Devil and hell. The piece states, “hell is ‘everlasting fire’ presided over by the Devil.” In actuality, Satan and his demons will be suffering in hell for all eternity like everyone else. As in:

    “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels”(Matthew 25:41).

    And more tellingly:

    “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever”(Revelation 20:10).

    Doesn’t sound to good for the devil, does it? This idea seems to stem from the line in Milton’s “Paradise Lost”, which has the Devil stating, “Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heaven.” I’d also like to toss something else out there. I’ve heard the Devil called, “The prince of darkness”, “the prince of hell”, “the ruler of hell, etc. Nowhere in the Bible is he described as such. He is, however, called “The god of this world”(2 Corinthians 4:4), and “the prince of this world(John 12:31, John 14:30). Food for thought.

  • aghastleftleaningmoderate

    I’d like to address a common misconception regarding the Devil and hell. The piece states, “hell is ‘everlasting fire’ presided over by the Devil.” In actuality, Satan and his demons will be suffering in hell for all eternity like everyone else. As in:

    “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels”(Matthew 25:41).

    And more tellingly:

    “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever”(Revelation 20:10).

    Doesn’t sound to good for the devil, does it? This idea seems to stem from the line in Milton’s “Paradise Lost”, which has the Devil stating, “Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heaven.” I’d also like to toss something else out there. I’ve heard the Devil called, “The prince of darkness”, “the prince of hell”, “the ruler of hell, etc. Nowhere in the Bible is he described as such. He is, however, called “The god of this world”(2 Corinthians 4:4), and “the prince of this world(John 12:31, John 14:30). Food for thought.

  • VoxVeritas1

    CCNL — That creed was about as ANTI-CHRISTian as they come. Thanks for sharing!

  • VoxVeritas1

    CCNL — That creed was about as ANTI-CHRISTian as they come. Thanks for sharing!

  • JOESHMOE

    18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

    24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

    26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

    28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them

  • JOESHMOE

    18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

    24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

    26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

    28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them

  • Kellicalv

    I just read this in my morning devotional time and thought it goes well with this post: 2 Corinthians 5:10 ~ “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”

    Christianity is a journey. We haven’t “arrived” when we get saved, we are just beginning. We make mistakes, we are immature in our faith, we misinterpret and misrepresent the Bible. The theologies that you have presented are man’s, not God’s. I pray that all who read this post will read the Bible for themselves and realize the truth:

    God wants a loving relationship with us, and He wants us to live eternally with Him. However, we are all sinners, and that separates us from Him. The Good News is that Christ died on the cross to take the punishment for our sins. Now we can be reconciled to God, we need only to accept Jesus as our Savior! As for our life here on earth, Jesus tells us to share this with others and to love and show love to others.

    We will all answer for the good and the bad that we have done, but that does not change the fact that we are saved and bound for Heaven!

  • Kellicalv

    I just read this in my morning devotional time and thought it goes well with this post: 2 Corinthians 5:10 ~ “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”

    Christianity is a journey. We haven’t “arrived” when we get saved, we are just beginning. We make mistakes, we are immature in our faith, we misinterpret and misrepresent the Bible. The theologies that you have presented are man’s, not God’s. I pray that all who read this post will read the Bible for themselves and realize the truth:

    God wants a loving relationship with us, and He wants us to live eternally with Him. However, we are all sinners, and that separates us from Him. The Good News is that Christ died on the cross to take the punishment for our sins. Now we can be reconciled to God, we need only to accept Jesus as our Savior! As for our life here on earth, Jesus tells us to share this with others and to love and show love to others.

    We will all answer for the good and the bad that we have done, but that does not change the fact that we are saved and bound for Heaven!

  • DavidScantling

    Dr. Thistlethwaite — Don’t hold back, tell us what you really think. You know, like Friedrich Nietzsche did:

    “I call Christianity the one great curse, the one great intrinsic depravity, the one great instinct of revenge, for which no means are venomous enough or secret, subterranean and small enough. I call it the one immortal blemish upon the human race.”

  • DavidScantling

    Dr. Thistlethwaite — Don’t hold back, tell us what you really think. You know, like Friedrich Nietzsche did:

    “I call Christianity the one great curse, the one great intrinsic depravity, the one great instinct of revenge, for which no means are venomous enough or secret, subterranean and small enough. I call it the one immortal blemish upon the human race.”

  • ScipioAmericanus

    Reading the bible wont realize any truths, other than an example of ancient literary styles.

  • ScipioAmericanus

    Reading the bible wont realize any truths, other than an example of ancient literary styles.

  • savedsues

    Dr. Susan Brooks:
    You have no idea of what you are talking about. Everything you presented is a twisted caricature of what the truth is, biblically & for the most part, historically. This is not what true Christianity is about. You have tragically misunderstood the Bible & God. BTW, a good, just judge does not let wrongdoing go unpunished. Wrongdoing. sin, against an infinitely holy, just God must have an infinitely just punishment. Otherwise, He would not be loving, good, or just. BTW, you have just sinned by misrepresenting God & His people. Please, repent & ask His forgiveness.

  • savedsues

    Dr. Susan Brooks:
    You have no idea of what you are talking about. Everything you presented is a twisted caricature of what the truth is, biblically & for the most part, historically. This is not what true Christianity is about. You have tragically misunderstood the Bible & God. BTW, a good, just judge does not let wrongdoing go unpunished. Wrongdoing. sin, against an infinitely holy, just God must have an infinitely just punishment. Otherwise, He would not be loving, good, or just. BTW, you have just sinned by misrepresenting God & His people. Please, repent & ask His forgiveness.

  • SongSouth

    The scariest thing about this article is that the author teaches at a so-called seminary and that she thinks she’s a Christian. She has zero grasp of what the Bible actually teaches.

  • SongSouth

    The scariest thing about this article is that the author teaches at a so-called seminary and that she thinks she’s a Christian. She has zero grasp of what the Bible actually teaches.