And You Wonder Why People Aren’t Christians: Part IV

Here we are again… much too soon I am afraid.

Dennis Marcellino, author and political advocate as well as Christian has taken to the web to give the impression that there is only one way to understand the Bible.  On the website “Conservative Byte” Marcellino postulates that if a Christian votes for a Democrat and then  dies that person is destined for the fiery pits of hell.

Don’t believe me?  Read the article here (don’t worry its short… just like his argument.)

Obviously Marcellino did not read my article concerning religion and politics, Mr. Marcellino if you are reading this welcome to my blog and secondly click here and be sure to leave a comment.

But that is besides the point.

Even the newest of Christian converts would tell you that the words “Republican” and “Democrat” are not in the Bible anywhere so I do not know where Marcellino gets off telling the Christian faithful that voting for a Democrat would result in a one way pass to Hell.

IS THAT THE UNFORGIVABLE SIN?!?!?!

To figure it out… let’s breakdown this 282 word article…

First, Marcellino is polite enough to tell us that “This is not meant to be emotional or inflammatory…”  Thanks!  But then he continues and says “it is simply stating a fact and to warn.”  D’Oh!  So this is his job… telling people via the internet that they are on a one way course to hell for your political beliefs.

Next he comes roaring out of the gate tells his readership that the Bible does in fact support his ideas (surprise, surprise)… if you know where to look.  He then offers this as warning to “blacks” (not African-Americans… blacks) and Hispanics (which he doesn’t capitalize in his article) but as he claims these two groups primarily vote for the Democratic party.  So by say this is he affirming that most people who are Caucasian, Asian American, Native American and any other race are most definitely Republican voting.  But these two groups of people are not just voting for Democrats for the sake of agreeing with their platform, Marcellino makes the claim that they are voting “lock step” with the Democratic Party… meaning they just vote that way because they have always voted that way. Hmmm…

Next, Marcellino gets into the Bible meat of his claim.  He quotes 2 Thes. which reads, ““Then everyone who did not believe the truth, but was delighted with what God disapproves of, will be condemned.”  He claims that people express their own delight is who they punch their ballot for.  Then he quotes Romans 1:32 which basically states that the righteous of God (I guess he means Republicans?) should not stand for “such things” nor should they approve of them.

Now in a fine bit of exegesis, Marcellino claims that the rest of Romans 1 claims that when Paul was referring to “such things” he was referring to “homosexuality, lesbianism, strife, deceit, slander [political sound bites], gossips, idol worshippers, God-haters, atheists” which he claims are “all primarily attributes of liberals.”

Mr. Marcellino, proof text much?  I mean you are condemning nearly half of the US population to hell because of their political beliefs and you base it on 50 words or less than 1% of the entire Bible or only 18% of your entire article?

Are people who are not Christians flocking to churches around the country to repent especially if they voted for the President in 2008 and weren’t sorry for it?  Are the number of Christians who are also Democrats declining across the nation less then five months from the Presidental election?  Umm… no.

Marcellino is completely off the mark on this one.

Not only does he distort the Bible for his own political agenda, he himself does not have clean hands in this matter.  During his examination of Romans 1 he gave a quite lengthy list of “attrobutes” of liberals… dare I say that he was judging them?  Something that Christ warned against…right?

This is not an effective evangelism tool and as a Christian minister it makes me shake my head and reminds me to be careful what you read on the internet, not everything is true.

Christians will continue to have the perception that they are closed minded, literalist ‘hell bent’ on sending people to hell for their minor transgressions.  Let’s leave out the grace, let’s leave out the love, let’s leave out the acceptance.  But let’s do add a list of things you are doing wrong and a list of people to vote for.  In Marcellino’s mind, its the ones with the “R” by their name.

In Christ,

Rev. Evan

Misconceptions About Christians: Part Four

Here is my fourth installment of my “Misconceptions About Christians” series for the Orange County Record.

If you missed the first three misconceptions read them now!


This is the fourth installment in the series “Misconceptions About Christians.”  So far I have discussed three misconceptions: that being a Christian one must read the Bible literally, that being a Christian means you have to go to “church” and that TV minister/evangelist are representative of all Christianity.  Today we tackle another misconception.

I was walking through a parking lot the other day and I saw a bumper sticker that made me stop to examine it more closely.  It was a blue sticker with white words and a yellow Christian cross; it read “Christian Democrat.”

Misconception #4- Being a Christian means that you have to vote for Republican candidates and conservative ideals.

Generally I shy away from mixing politics and religion.  It is of course the two things we are warned do not mix.  We are taught this adage for good reasons, people are passionate about their faith just as they are passionate about their ideals about how the country should be run and organized.  But somewhere along the way the two were interlinked and interconnected.

When did it become the norm that stating that you were a Christian meant in the same breath you were saying that you supported conservative ideals?

Christians for years have been reading the same Bible and yet due to their life experiences and personal understanding of God glean a completely different interpretation.  Christians for the most part have never been unified on much of anything.  Debates, often heated ones, are still raging today over women in ministry, homosexuality and contemporary music.  Debates and differences are nothing new to the church and the Bible has been at the center of most of them.  For the most part, the Bible has been used for and against war, used for and against slavery, used for and against accepting homosexuality and the list goes on and on– the same book at the center of all it.

Christians are free to express their understanding of God and Jesus Christ in the world in a variety of ways.  Some take to the streets and feed the homeless and needy, some fix up homes for those who are unable to do so, some go door to door inviting neighbors and strangers to church.  It is the same when it comes to government as well.  Some Christians believe that government should be as giving and caring as Christ was, some believe that charity should be the work of the church; herein lies the problem.

Most Christians would not object to some people living out the gospel by feeding homeless people, but once you start making statements about politics, then all bets are off.

Why do Christians who agree with the philosophies of other political parties than the GOP have to resort to bumper stickers to show that they are different?  Does the fact that some punched their ballot for a person with an “R” or a “D” by their name really matter?  How is this any different than having a different interpretation of the Bible?  For some people being a Republican or Democrat and Christian is fine, but there are some who believe that the Bible commands all of Christianity to come under the banner of the conservative movement.  This is not what Christ came to this earth to do. Christ did not come to start a political party or even support one; yes, Jesus was political in his time, but he did not ever want to be President of the United States of America.

With all of this said, this does not mean that our faith does not inform our political assertions.

If Christians are supposed to be about sharing the love of Christ in the world today, why bring politics into the matter?  Should politics be in the church house?  Maybe… but then again maybe not.  Does it matter if someone votes for a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or Green Party member and still calls themselves a Christian? No, it does not.  The church has bigger problems to worry about than whether or not a particular party’s candidate is in office come November.