God does not belong to republicans

12 08 2008

rarely ever do i post anything of a political nature.  i’m not as well versed in the area of politics as i would like to be or as some of my friends are, so i typically don’t offer my thoughts when it comes to things of a political nature.  however, i couldn’t let this one get by.

yesterday, focus on the family action (a politically-focused group who claims to be “completely separate from the dr. james dobson-led focus on the family, legally”) removed a video from its website in which people were encouraged to “pray for rain of biblical proportions” during barak obama’s aug 28 speech at mile high stadium, when he will accept the democratic nomination for president.

stuart shepard, director of digital media at focus action, has said the video he wrote and starred in was meant to be “mildly humorous.”  in the video, shepard says he is “praying for unexpected, unanticipated, unforecasted rain that starts two minutes before the speech is set to begin”.  and why is shepard taking to the internet encouraging the masses “who feel like I do” to beseech the heavens for such a precipitous out pour?  because he’s “still pro life” and is “still in favor of marriage being only between one man and one woman.”  after several complaints from their own support base, the video was removed.

regardless of your party affiliation and who you plan on voting for, this was pure ignorance on display.  believe what you want to believe, but many of us would prefer that you keep these particular public displays of idiocy (not to mention erroneous biblical context) quarantined away behind closed doors.  perhaps shepard should have sought counsel, consulted the word of God and “trusted in His wisdom” before he made this video encouraging people to pray for misfortune to befall someone whom he deems to be the enemy.

this is just another unfortunate example of the foolish belief espoused by many that God loves republicans… exclusively.  no, that’s not what they said, but it’s what they meant.

guess what… God is not a man, God is not a white man, not even american, and God does not belong to republicans.

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God is not a white man

23 07 2008

i love controversial songs, messages, titles, ideas, themes, etc that challenge people’s often stalemated theology and challenge them to examine what they really believe and why.  i love to see people’s perceptions rocked to the point where they have to dig deeper past the surface.

a lot of people know michael gungor as the co-writer (along with israel houghton) of huge songs like “friend of god” and “say so”, but gungor also has a killer band of his own (the michael gungor band of course) and they have a new album that is very good, to say the very least.  the new album was released independently last year as “all i need is here”, but will be re-released through brash music this september 9 as “ancient skies” and will have a few new songs, including the one this blog is about, “white man”.

i love the simplicity of what this song says, and can’t wait for people to hear it.  some will love it while others will freak out publicly but be forced to privately wonder why the concept of “God is love” with no boundaries really freaks them out. the lyrics challenge a lot ideals and boxes that people, including lots of “christians”, have ascribed to and put God in for many, many years… and i love it!  guess what?  He gets out of all your boxes!

God is not a man / God is not a white man / God is not a man sitting on a cloud
God can not be bought / God will not be boxed in / God will not be owned by religion

but God is love, God is love / and He loves everyone
God is love, God is love/ and He loves everyone

God is not a man / God is not an old man / God does not belong to republicans
God is not a flag / not even american / and God does not depend on a government

but God is good, God is good / and He loves everyone
God is good, God is good / and He loves everyone

atheists and charlatans / and communists and lesbians
even old pat robertson / God He loves us all
catholic or protestant / terrorist or president
everybody, everybody
Love, love, love, love, love

romans 8:38-29 (the message) says:

i’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our master has embraced us.

the love of God is so limitless and far reaching beyond our human comprehension, yet we often think that we are entitled to God’s love because we live a certain way, in a certain place or don’t do things that “they” do. it’s very interesting, actually.

what parts of these lyrics challenge what you have come to believe about the love of God?  a lot of people find it easy to think about God “being” love as long as it fits in the confines of their experience or surroundings.  for example, when i was growing up i believed that God loved people who went to my church or other churches that believed like we did.  if you were outside of that group, you were questionable at best and a straight up heathen at worst.  when you say “God is love”, what does that mean to you?  how have your perceptions of God’s love been shaped and have those perceptions changed over the years?

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