Why Don’t Republicans Want to Allow Pastors to Endorse from Pulpit?

One of the first things North Carolina congressmen Walter Jones, Jr. did on the very first day of the 114th US Congress was file House Resolution 153. The bill would repeal a law that keeps churches out of politics. Pastors would be permitted to endorse political candidates even from the pulpit.

Probably this will come to nothing.

The non-partisan GovTrack, an open government data site, puts the likelihood of HR 153 becoming a law at zero percent. This bill will never come to a vote, probably, disappearing into the Ways and Means committee never to be heard from again.

The question is: why aren’t Republicans supporting it?

Religious conservatives are rallying around religious liberty issues, including the rights of churches to get involved in politics. In October, when a legal dispute over a petition to repeal a non-discrimination ordinance in Houston led a city lawyer to subpoena records from the churches that had organized the petition, religious conservatives went ballistic. That was a unique situation. The Johnson Amendment applies much more broadly, restricting the political activity of every church that takes a tax exemption. (Which is almost all of them).

For people fired up about government infringement on religious liberty, HR 153 would seem like a winner.

Many conservatives care about this issue. More than a third of self-identified Republicans tell Pew pollsters they not only want clergy to be able to endorse political candidates from the pulpit in principle, they want them to actually do it. The religious right continues to be the most reliable bloc of voters for the Republican party. To those voters, the 1954 bill passed by then-Senator Lyndon B. Johnson requiring tax-exempt religious organizations to refrain from politics is often seen as offensive, and understood as an attack directly on the practice of their faith. Republicans currently control both houses of Congress courtesy, in many cases, to these voters.

Nor is it just white evangelicals who want churches to get political. More than 40 percent of black Protestants want their pastors to be able to endorse political candidates. An increasing number of Americans say they want more religion in politics. Pew reports that nearly half of Americans say churches should express their views on political issues.

There are still many who support the idea of separating church and politics, of course, but it’s not like this law is actually working. One doesn’t have to look further than Houston to find pastors engaged in politics, even to the point of condemning candidates from the pulpit and organizing petitions to repeal city ordinances in their churches. They do so without losing their tax-exempt privileges, despite the Johnson Amendment.

More than a few religious right organizations distribute voter education guides to churches that blur the line between voter education and candidate endorsement. Plus, politically minded pastors all over the country break this law in annual protest with impunity. The law actually hasn’t been enforced since 2009. For technical reasons having to do with a re-organization of the Internal Revenue Service, the law can’t be enforced. Violations can’t even be investigated.

HR 153 would repeal the Johnson Amendment, which at this point is kind of a joke.

Even legal experts who are strongly opposed to churches getting involved in political campaigns say that the current system is broken. Donald B. Tobin, a tax law expert from the University of Maryland, thinks banning churches from electioneering is good for churches and good for democracy. But he says that, as it currently stands, the law is “destined for abuse.”

So why not get rid of the Johnson Amendment? Why not pass HR153?

With control both houses of Congress the GOP could do this if they wanted to. But it seems like they won’t. It seems like nothing will happen.

Nothing is what happened in the last Congress, when Walter Jones, Jr. got 25 co-sponsors for the bill before it was sent to the Ways and Means committee to die. Jones also proposed this bill—”To restore the Free Speech and First Amendment Rights of churches and exempt organizations by repealing the 1954 Johnson Amendment”—in 2011, 2007, and 2005. It never made it out of committee.

This may be Jones’ fault.

A Republican representing North Carolina’s 3rd district, Jones has a very conservative voting record but a contentious relationship with Republican Party leadership. Perhaps best known as the congressman who changed the name of french fries in the House cafeterias to “freedom fries” when the French failed to support the US invasion of Iraq, Jones later became a strong critic of the war. He wrote a personal letter to the family of each and every soldier, sailor and Marine killed in Iraq and, as Mother Jones reported, “one letter at a time, Jones’ doubts about the war began to take shape.”

He broke ranks with the Republicans. And broke them hard. “Lyndon Johnson’s probably rotting in hell right now because of the Vietnam War,” he once told a group of young conservatives. “He probably needs to move over for Dick Cheney.”

Jones took a stand against George W. Bush in 2005 proposing legislation that would require the administration to set a timeline to end the war, including troop withdrawal no later than December 2006. That same year, not incidentally, Jones proposed this bill to repeal the Johnson Amendment. Perhaps it was informed by the fact that, as an adult convert to Catholicism, he talked out his change of heart on the war with with his parish priest, who urged him to have the courage of his convictions.

Jones then stumped for the Johnson Amendment and the need to overturn it at numerous Christian conferences in 2005. He signed hundreds of copies Gag Order, a book about the Johnson Amendment written by Gary Cass, a Presbyterian pastor and advocate of dominion theology, and he amassed 60,000 signatures on a petition that he gave to Rep. Dennis Hastert, then the Republican house speaker. The bill did not come up for a vote.

The rift between Jones and his party’s leadership does not seem to have healed in the intervening years. During the last presidential election, he defied them by being one of only four Republicans in congress to vote against the party’s proposed budget, the Path to Prosperity. This was the budget that was supposed to be a cornerstone of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, and was authored by Rep. Paul Ryan, the vice presidential candidate.

Ryan, now the chairman of the Ways and Means committee, is the one who decides whether or not Jones’ signature bill, HR 153, comes up for a vote.

Divisions in the Republican Party may not be the only reason that a bill repealing the Johnson Amendment won’t get passed, though. It may be that not passing such a bill is more politically advantageous than passing it. Ever since religious right leaders allied themselves with Ronald Reagan, this has been a persistent issue. The faithful are more politically useful when they’re agitated than when they’re satisfied. Satisfied evangelicals don’t get out and vote in midterm elections. Agitated evangelicals mobilize. Reagan, for one, saw the power of “maintaining a state of perpetual mobilization,” as Sidney Blumenthal noted in The New Republic in 1984.

If anything, the efforts to keep religious conservatives agitated has grown. As Alan Noble wrote last summer, American evangelicals are now fed stories of persecution and attacks on religious liberty so consistently they sometimes struggle to distinguish fact from fiction. There are theological reasons that evangelicals and other Christians sometimes aspire to be oppressed, as Noble outlines. And there are political reasons that several “major conservative political pundits and organizations have made a name for themselves by selectively highlighting cases of alleged persecution of Christians.”

Passing HR 153 wouldn’t fit the narrative of the ever-present threat to religious liberty. It might help the voters that gave Republicans both house of congress, but it wouldn’t help those Republicans to help those voters quite that much. Taking the cynical view, the Republicans would seem to be better off keeping the toothless law that offends a little bit without actually keeping churches out of politics.

Especially since removing that offense would only give Walter Jones, Jr. a legislative victory.

Which is why, come January 2017, one of the very first things to happen on the very first day of the 115th US congress may well be another version of this bill, destined to disappear into committee, never to be heard from again.



  • tojby_2000@yahoo.com' apotropoxy says:

    ” Pastors would be permitted to endorse political candidates even from the pulpit.”

    Pastors, like everyone else, have the right to make political endorsements “even from the pulpit”. The First Amendment guarantees it.
    They DON’T have a constitutional right to a tax exemption

  • rebscott@aol.com' Reb_Scott says:

    Perhaps it is simply the case that I am an old liberal clegryperson who is too set in his ways to change, but I loathe the idea that I could, would or should be endorsing candidates from my pulpit. I heartily endorse the separation of church and state and would not be interested in violating what I see as clear, bright lines of separation by endorsing candidates and in doing so, I might add, deliberately upset and potentially damage my relationship to congregants who don’t share my politics.

  • d.delong@peoplepc.com' David DeLong says:

    It’s idiots like this guy that’s taking the country down the path of 1930’s Germany. It is past time for all Christians who care about the freedom of religion to join in common cause with atheists and believers of other faiths to ensure the separation of church and state. Christianity is increasingly dominated by an authoritarian political cult that uses religion as a hammer. The people at the forefront of this political cult use Orwellian fictions like the “War on Christmas” to enlist less strident Christians to their cause. They aren’t interested in personal faith, their objective is worldly power and money. We’re headed down a dark Orwellian hole to hell.

  • robert.m.jeffers@lonestar.edu' Rmj says:

    Not exactly the legal issue, but certainly the pastoral issue, isn’t it?

    If members of my congregation had pushed for me to speak my politics from the pulpit, they wouldn’t have liked what I had to say. Two things you don’t discuss in polite company are religion and politics. Pastors can get in enough trouble talking about religion in the pulpit.

    Adding politics is not good for churches, nor for the state.

  • jaunita1@fuse.net' jaunita says:

    This article is a perfect example of the insanity which runs rampant throughout our politics here in America. There are so many puppets within the system, in this instance the evangelicals, and an equal number of puppet-masters, its difficult to keep up with exactly “who” is in control.

    Yes, lets keep the right-wing evangelicals “stirred up”….by all means.

  • jaunita1@fuse.net' jaunita says:

    Bravo, good for you! At least one sane Christian voice that understands there is a difference between politics and biblical faith. Sadly in America the line between the two has become so burred it’s difficult to separate one from the other.

  • rebscott@aol.com' Reb_Scott says:

    Well said and I agree wholeheartedly. There is, in my mind, a huge difference between exploring the ethical, moral and religious dimensions of an issue and issuing endorsements of candidates.

  • joewluna@gmail.com' Gentlewarrior says:

    Why do you mean by being an “old liberal clergy person?” No believer in Christ is liberal because the world has no influence in what we believe. Please explain what you mean by “liberal.”

  • rebscott@aol.com' Reb_Scott says:

    Dear Gentlewarrior,
    I am sorry that I didn’t provide “full disclosure.” I am a rabbi (a Jew) and hence, as a non-Christian, I do not have a role as a “believer in Christ” and feel quite comfortable in describing myself as a liberal.

  • joewluna@gmail.com' Gentlewarrior says:

    A true Jew is someone who believes in his Messiah, the Lord of all creation. Unfortunately, most Jews have rejected Him because His love went beyond reason.

    Imagine a Messiah dying for His loved ones and taking their sin upon Himself. My heart cries when most Jews are blind to it…

  • jonipinkney@yahoo.com' joni50 says:

    why Jesus is not the Jewish messiah


  • rebscott@aol.com' Reb_Scott says:

    Thanks, an outstanding summary (one of the best I’ve ever seen) of the issue from the Jewish perspective.

  • rtoltschin@gmail.com' RexTIII says:

    Separation of Church and State is and will remain the single most important key to a successful future – for all of humanity. Thomas Paine – a mind well before his time, eventually shunned in spite of his having truly galvanized a wavering population during our Revolution, was absolutely correct.

    The obvious use of ‘religiosity’ as a tool for political gain has never been greater and for reasons which have no value for the quality of life now, or any point in the future. Generations growing up behind the ‘wise elders’ always finding ways to grow out of the wake of rubbish lying in their path. Our currently elected Congressional Wise Elders are mindless robots who use the simple tools emotion provides, contributing nothing and having no consideration for our Country as a whole. While there are a number of individuals who are holding office, Local, State and Federal positions, the power of money and the associated tools continue to shut down their ability to actually sit down and debate with a National Interest on the table.

    There has never been more ‘Freedom Of and From Religion’ on our Planet, except in countries which are now theocratic State sanctioned official religions, even they have diversity, though abuse not uncommon.

    Education – Public Education, Science and Technology – English – Maths – is – as it always has been – the doorway to the future for humanity. Right now, the lack of focus on Education – is not without reason, it has always been easier to lead the less educated. (And religions have always been highly motived and active, steering education into their world and only their world). This article makes me ill – the thought of MORE religiosity at a time when we need far less of it.

  • joewluna@gmail.com' Gentlewarrior says:

    And you are an expert? Jesus is the Jewish Messiah and the Savior of the world, like or not. The fact is that the Holy Spirit has come to indwell believers in Jesus and to separate them to the Father. Jesus is the great Shepherd of the sheep, the healer of our diseases, the destroyer of sin and death. He rules from the heavens above all creation. The Father who loved us sent Him to be the atonement for our sins. The only requirement to enter into life is to believe that He has accomplished the impossible. He fulfilled over 300 Old Testament prophesies. Actually, the entire OT points to Jesus as the coming Savior and Redeemer of all mankind. As for your link, the page does not exist, but it would easy t o debunk it.

  • joewluna@gmail.com' Gentlewarrior says:

    Jewish people are blind to the fact that their Messiah came. What they did to Him is what they did to the prophets that God sent. Israel’s history demonstrate that they were rebellious, full of unbelief, and covenant breakers. The only exception is that Jesus let them to their worst so that He could become sin on their behalf and release them from the eternal penalty of sin (rebellion). Many Jews believed in the beginning. Actually the entire church in the beginning was 100% Jewish. Today, we still see Jews coming to the Lord to give their lives to Him as He gave His life for them.

    Of course Jesus is the Savior of the world. The plan was to start with Israel and then send them out to reach the entire world. You should read the gospels and the book of Acts. Fascinating stories that touches hearts even to the core. There is absolutely no hope outside of Jesus Christ. He dealt with the devil, with sin and with death. His death on Calvary was in fact a covenant act of incredible love so that the King of glory would assumes the sin of the world and set them free through the preaching of the gospel. Billions of people have come to the Lord since His resurrection; unfortunately you are on the outside looking in.
    Without faith it is impossible to please God and those who come to Him must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (The book of Hebrews 11:6). 🙂

  • jonipinkney@yahoo.com' joni50 says:

    No, I”m not an expert, just a student. I found that link in a few seconds by googling “why Jesus is not the Jewish messiah.” If that link didn’t work for you, you can find similar links by doing the same.

    So why would you want to do this?

    If you’re going to talk to the Jews about their messiah, you need to understand where they’re coming from. If you think you could easily debunk their arguments, go for it. But first you need to hear what they are saying. Here’s a few more links, maybe one of these will work for you.


  • joewluna@gmail.com' Gentlewarrior says:

    Why don’t you do a reverse search and google it, “Why is Jesus the Messiah? At least you can read what others are saying about who Jesus is and how He alone fulfilled more than 350 Old Covenant prophesies,



    But I understand why you won’t even look at it. It is because your heart is not searching because you prefer to believe a “LINK” than asking God Himself from your heart and on your knees if Jesus is the real Messiah or not.

    God will speak to you providing you want to know, otherwise, just be aware that you are throwing away your entire eternal destiny just because someone told you it isn’t so…

    The devil is still the liar of all liars.

    When I first believed I went to Adonai Himself and heard in my innermost being that He was my Savior. That was over 30 years ago. Ever since I have not at any given moment been disappointed of such grace, such passionate love for me and such incredible miracle working God.

    The Lord be with you my friend and remember that the entire New Covenant was written by Jews with the exception of the book of Luke. The book of Hebrews is fantastic because it was written to Hebrews who were forgetting the incredible salvation they have received in the person of Jesus, their Messiah.

  • jonipinkney@yahoo.com' joni50 says:

    You don’t know anything about me. If you think I am a Jew, I am not. I was raised in a very traditional Christian household, and I’m familiar with your arguements from my earliest childhood.

    THe reason I’ve engaged you in this discussion is because you are attempting to engage the Jews in a dialog about matters of their faith, without bothering to hear their side. You don’t get anywhere that way.

  • joewluna@gmail.com' Gentlewarrior says:

    Sorry, I thought I was talking to Reb_Scott who is Jewish. Somehow these conversations get mixed up as we write our responses.

  • jonipinkney@yahoo.com' joni50 says:

    Reb Scott has not posted in this thread in 3 days. You need not apologize to me, but an apology to Reb Scott would be nice, if he’s still around.

  • joewluna@gmail.com' Gentlewarrior says:

    Excuse me? Apologize? Please!!! I don’t apologize for speaking the truth.

  • jonipinkney@yahoo.com' joni50 says:

    Apologize not for speaking your truth but for the way you spoke, without listening, and repeatedly insulting his people. Please read over what you wrote to me, thinking you were talking to him, and, while reading, put yourself in his shoes. Would you like to be spoken to in such a disrespectful manner? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

    I repeat what I said before. If you want to talk to Jews about matters of their faith, you need to listen to them also, and understand where they’re coming from. The links I cited above would be a good start.

  • joewluna@gmail.com' Gentlewarrior says:

    You have no idea where I’m coming from, so I suggest you butt out of my own conversations where you are not involved.

  • jonipinkney@yahoo.com' joni50 says:

    Sorry, I didn’t realize this was a private conversation. It’s on a public board, so I thought I could join in.

    If you want to have private conversations you might want to check your settings and make sure your messages are not being seen by everyone.

  • joewluna@gmail.com' Gentlewarrior says:

    Sorry, I didn’t realize you could butt in but in someone else’s conversations, take sides and then insult someone who speaks in a level you are incapable to understand. If you are nor a Jew, I suggest you learn what it means to be a true Jew.

    By the way, just because you don’t believe Jesus is the Messiah and the Lord of all creation does not give you the right to insinuate I’m “insulting” someone because I state that a true Jew is someone who has faith in his God.

    All you have to do is read the OT and realize that anyone who rebelled against the Lord and was filled with unbelief was cut off. Most of those who did that were Jews.

    If you want to discuss true faith, let me know, otherwise this conversation is over. .

  • joewluna@gmail.com' Gentlewarrior says:

    Just so you know. I don’t believe in having a “truth”. Truth is true no matter what angle you use to look at it.

    Truth is eternal and it cannot be altered as time goes by. Truth is like the law of gravity, so no matter how much you choose to deny it, anyone who jumps off a cliff will break into a thousand pieces once it hits the bottom. In that sense and regardless of someone’s opinion or rebellion about what “truth” is all about, truth will eventually expose his fallacy.

    Your “truth” is just as false as any “truth” that has no foundation on the only one who IS THE TRUTH. John 14:6 states that Jesus IS THE TRUTH. Jesus is the foundation of all truth like it or not.

    If you want to, go ahead and find something false about Jesus. I will explain why your assumption is totally wrong.

    I don’t have a “truth.” Maybe you do, but understand that I am not like most who create their own truth and try to castigate everyone else who does not conform to that “passing truth.”

  • jonipinkney@yahoo.com' joni50 says:

    Just so you know — I follow Jesus also, however I don’t call myself Christian because I don’t want to be identified with the dogmatism and hostility that so often typifies those who claim this label. In fact, I was raised in a very strict fundamentalist background. I’m quite familiar with the things you’re saying, and the ways you’re saying them, from my earliest childhood.

    Perhaps you are new to online forums, so please consider this: Discussions in public are just that, public. It’s not “butting in” to join in a discussion in a public forum, and it’s perfectly ok to “take sides” as you put it. Indeed, why would anyone join in a public conversation unless they had something to say to one side or another? For every person who posts, there are hundreds or thousands of “lurkers” who read these messages and may sometimes have something to say. If you want to have a private conversation, with no one else “butting in” as you put it, email or PM is the best way to go. And if you don’t want other people reading your messages or your profile, make them private. Otherwise, it’s all fair game.

    Online discussions can get very lively, especially in places like RD where a variety of views are represented, as opposed to, say, Charisma magazine, where most readers share the same viewpoint. Online discussions can go on until people lose interest, or until someone “loses” by violating Godwin’s Lae, Poe’s Rule, or a few other guidelines, some obscure and going back to the golden days of WWIV and Usenet, back in the days when we had to read our computer screens by candlelight 😉

    In the message before this one, you said this conversation is over, yet you continued it in this message. Please, I don’t like to talk with unreasonable people, and you probably don’t like to talk with people who use their God-given minds, “leaning on their own understanding” as some put it.. So let’s call this conversation over.

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    Well, if churches want to get involved in politics, then they must surely want to pay taxes. Right. RIGHT?

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    No believer in Christ is liberal

    Then you must not have been paying attention to Jesus’ message. You know: the one about how his followers are to feed the hungry, comfort the ailing, and love one’s neighbor as one’s self? Those are all things that liberals do, dear … and that conservatives avoid like the plague (at least, in my experience).

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    Did you seriously just try to play the “No true Scotsman” logical fallacy on a *rabbi* about his own faith?

    Jesus really did weep. Dude, your hubris is *amazing.*

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    And you, of course, would know better than a *rabbi.* /snark

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    Jews for Jesus is an evangelical/fundamentalist organization. Jews tend not to appreciate it much when you try to convert them.

    Just so you know.

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    You haven’t spoken truth; you’ve shared an opinion. Do learn the difference.

    Signed, a believer in Jesus’ teachings who is constantly reminded (by people like you) why she refuses to self-identify as “Christian”

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    Truth is true no matter what angle you use to look at it.

    “In archaeology, we deal in facts. If you want to talk about truth, please go down the hall to Professor Smith’s philosophy class.” — Indiana Jones

    There is a difference between facts, which are verifiable, and truth.

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    If you are nor a Jew, I suggest you learn what it means to be a true Jew.

    The fact that you tried to tell a *rabbi* that he wasn’t a true Jew just makes me laugh at this statement.

  • phatkhat@centurylink.net' phatkhat says:

    Wow. That is sooooo arrogant. Jews do not proselytize Christians, but you do not respect them enough to do likewise. Believe as you please, but let others believe as they please as well.

  • phatkhat@centurylink.net' phatkhat says:

    This is all your BELIEF. You cannot prove any of it, any more than I can prove there are purple unicorns on the moon. To denigrate others because they do not share your BELIEF is the height of arrogance.

    I was once as you are, but I had an opportunity to stand back and actually examine what I believed, what the evidence was, and found that it was all… nothing. A myth, like other religious myths. The Bible, like the prophesies of Nostradamus, is filled with oblique suggestions, vague language, and a lot of room for interpretation.

  • phatkhat@centurylink.net' phatkhat says:

    I don’t think Gentlewarrior WANTS to listen to them, or understand where they are coming from. It’s his/her way or the highway – to hell.

  • phatkhat@centurylink.net' phatkhat says:

    Religious “truths” are NOT like the law of gravity, or any other scientific law/theory. Science tests, replicates, and then does it again. Science is constantly updating itself as new discoveries are made, new mathematical relationships are found, etc. Nothing is accepted in science without being objectively proven.

    Religion, OTOH, consists mostly of circular reasoning. “The Bible is true because the Bible says so.” I do not discount your experiential faith, because I have been there. I was once a fundy, too. But I have always been a skeptic, and found that my BELIEFS were not founded on any provable evidence at all.

    The problem with fundies is that they (as I once was) are insufferably arrogant. You will never win anyone’s heart by denigrating them. You cannot prove that your beliefs are correct, any more than a Jew can prove theirs. (Or a Hindu, Muslim, Heathen, etc.) And that IS the truth.

    Believe as you will, and give others that same courtesy.

  • jonipinkney@yahoo.com' joni50 says:

    Yes indeed! You and me both!

    Jesus’ earilest followers did not call themselves “christians.” This term wasn’t used till some time later, in Antioch (Greece) IIRC. His earliest post-crucifixion followers called themselves “people of the Way” or something like that.

    Most of the self-identified Christians I’ve known (and I was raised among them) put a lot more stock in Paul’s teachings than in Jesus’. And Paul was a Romanized Jew who adapted the local pagan mystery cults to the Jesus narrative, and so made these mysteries accessible to the hoi-polloi. Reading between the lines of the Book of Acts, one can discern that the disciples who actually walked with Jesus, man to man, didn’t think too highly of Paul, or he of them for that matter.

    Reading the link I originally cited, http://www.aish.com/jw/s/48892…, I can understand why Jews don’t recognize Jesus as their messiah, and frankly that’s of no concern to me as I’m not a Jew. What the Jews believe, and their relation to God, is between them and God, none of my business. I’ve got enough to attend to in my own walk with God without worrying about someone elses’.

    As I see it, all religions in their purest form are about two goals: raising human consciousness and kindness to one another especially in adverse circumstances. (After all, it;s easy enough to be kind under favorable circumstances.) All else is commentary at best, legalism for the middling part, and incitement to hate crime at worst.

  • rebscott@aol.com' Reb_Scott says:

    I have not gotten involved in this conversation for several days simply because it is a waste of time to try and address someone whose views are not open to respectful dialogue. Thanks to fiona64 and others for their efforts.

  • joewluna@gmail.com' Gentlewarrior says:

    Who is them? The opinion of people that have no idea that God does not lie? He promised a Messiah. He gave us a Messiah, but the majority rejected Him because it did not appeal to their intellect.

    You should read Isaiah 53, Ps 22, MIcah 5:1-2, etc., and look through the word of God for yourself in order to find for yourself.

    Americans are lazy. They want someone else to tell them what to believe. Why don’t you ask Lord for illumination and then wait for His answer? He is not tongue tied you know?

    He is the living God and those who come to Him must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder to those who diligently seek Him.

  • phatkhat@centurylink.net' phatkhat says:

    I HAVE read the Bible. In fact, I used to be a fundamentalist, evangelical Christian much like yourself, using the same arguments as yourself. I do have a strong streak of skepticism, though, and once I was out of their clutches – i.e. not subject to three times a week church and prayer meetings/Bible “study” the rest of the days – I began to THINK.

    I read the Bible again, and began to see all the inconsistency, the outright wrong, and the historical/scientific mistakes. I read books by scholars on the subject. I was thoroughly grounded in apologetics by Christian writers, but now I learned that there was another side.

    In other words, I studied it all in an objective, unemotional manner. I found that I no longer could believe all the faithy stuff, and I realized that it no longer mattered, because the world was still a pretty cool place – aside from all the religious wars and empire building that are still going on.

    Maybe someday you, too, will question. ;o)

  • joewluna@gmail.com' Gentlewarrior says:

    As always, people confuse Jesus with religion. Jesus didn’t come to give us a new religion, but to give His life in exchange for our corrupted ones. Love gave Himself so that those who believe in Him may receive His life and His eternal promises. You use your reason to try to understand what only the heart is able to comprehend.

    Seeing is not believing. It’s the total opposite; believing is seeing and it has nothing to do with circular reasoning. Perhaps the religion you were taught was that way. To have life and more abundantly is an entire different manner.

    If you only believe in science, let science tell you how to get out of death, out of sickness, heal you of your diseases, of despair and hopelessness. Let me know when you get the answer.

    By the way, I wasn’t arguing about the bible, I was speaking about a living Person who is none other than our creator and Lord. Jesus Messiah, the Son of the living God.

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