Worthwhile Reads: The Unforgivable Sin

The Unforgivable Sin, by Sierra of The Pheonix and Olive BranchSierra's post reminded me of my own post on the subject:Salvation Anxiety and the Unforgivable SinIf you grew up in a religious family, what were you taught about the unforgivable sin? I ask because what Sierra was taught about it is very different from what I was taught about it, and that makes me wonder just how many different interpretations pastors are out there teaching! … [Read more...]

More on excuses made for child molesters

A few days ago I put up a post looking at the excuses some conservative Christian commenters on this post used to defend accused child molester Tom White. I summarized the excuses listed as follows:Let him who is without sin cast the first stone. Judge not lest you be judged. We are all capable of anything. We must pray for our “fallen brother.”Since writing that post I've thought of a few more - both thanks to my commenters and thanks to further introspection on my part. … [Read more...]

Can you lose your salvation?

Several commenters on recent posts have brought this topic up, so I though I'd address it. What you're going to get here is the short and dirty version, and it's also not completely comprehensive. You have to remember that theologians have spend almost two thousand years arguing about this and that Christianity is currently so splintered that there is almost nothing all Christians agree on.Catholics say yesTo be saved, one must be in "a state of grace." God gives his followers grace through … [Read more...]

Salvation Anxiety and the Unforgivable Sin

There's one thing that always used to bother me as an evangelical. Well, there are several things, but this one in particular. Jesus came to earth to die on the cross so that sins might be forgiven, but he also stated that there was an unforgivable sin. You could be forgiven all manners of transgression except this one. To the one who committed the unforgivable sin, the doors of heaven were forever shut.The reason this bothered me was that I wanted to be completely sure of what this sin was … [Read more...]

Abortion and Premarital Sex: On Keeping Your Legs Shut

You may be wondering what in the world is going on with this whole contraception debate. While Republican leaders are trying desparately to make the issue be about religious freedom, their words and actions are betraying them. Their sudden concern about birth control also makes social conservatives' anti-abortion rhetoric seem extremely hollow, given that widespread birth control use has been conclusively shown to decrease abortion rates.While many argue that anti-abortion advocates are simply … [Read more...]

On Weakness and Temptation: The Checkout Aisle and Me

I learned growing up that everyone has their own particular weaknesses, their own particular points of temptation. For men it might be porn, for women it might be gossip. In order to avoid your temptation you might have to avoid a particular store - like Victoria's Secret - or a particular activity - like watching chic flicks. Mine was the checkout aisle.Every time I approached the checkout aisle at the grocery, I knew I was in for a battle. It was the magazines, you see. The trouble w … [Read more...]

You’re a sinner, you’re a sinner, you’re a SINNER!

  I just read this article about how fundamentalist Christian boarding schools are luring in Chinese exchange students with promises of sound economics and repaying them with religious indoctrination. This quote from one such student struck me:  “Before, what I believed, what Chinese people believe, is that people are innately good,” she said. “I realized that I was sinful. I was lying, not loving. Those are as bad as killing someone. There’s no difference between me and a murdere … [Read more...]