Tag Archives: religion

How to Be a Perfect Christian

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First thing: THIS IS SATIRE. Frankly, if you read it and can’t figure that out, there’s no hope for you. Second thing: Even if you know it’s satire, this may still strike a nerve or two. If so, then maybe you need to do some self-examination. ‘Nuf said.

I literally laughed out loud at How to Be a Perfect Christian. Some parts of it were downright hilarious. As a former mega-church-attending evangelical, there were some things here that were dead on.

“Many Christians just trudge through life without ever attaining to the higher levels of Christian faith. The root of your problem is that you’re not trying hard enough to become perfect by your own efforts. You’re trying to do the Christian life by the grace of God, allowing Him to gradually change you by the power of His Word. This works for some people, but it’s not befitting a true believer.

No, the true believer desires one thing above all else: conformity to the status quo of the modern church” (p. 6)

This book leaves no stone unturned as it examines every facet of modern-day Christian culture. Here’s a sampling from the chapters:

  • Joining the Right Church (“A church that will help you achieve perfection will have a superslick website…” p. 18)
  • Worshipping Like a Pro (“Show everyone else how spiritual you are with wild displays of emotion and hand raising…” p. 43)
  • Doing Life Together (“Try really hard to sound spiritual in your interactions with other Christians…” p. 67)
  • Serving in Church Without Ever Lifting a Finger (“The church is here to meet your needs, not the other way around…” p. 79)
  • Looking Really Spiritual Online (“Get involved in bitter arguments with people from all faith traditions and backgrounds each day…” p. 96)
  • Striving For Personal Perfection (“Secular movies are always sinful…” p. 112)
  • Conforming to Mainstream Christian Beliefs (“The measuring stick the Lord left the church by which we might discern truth from error is the current beliefs of Christian culture…” p. 124)
  • Quarantining Your Home From the Worldly Wastelands (“We recommend not allowing your kids to have any contact with any remotely non-Christian influences for at least the first twenty-five years of their lives…” p. 148)
  • Crusading Against the Heathens (“You can even change the eternal fate of waiters and waitresses by leaving a Bible verse on your credit card receipt instead of a tip…” p. 161)
  • Fighting On the Front Lines of the Culture War (“God gave us the gospel so we could effect social change and win the culture war…” p. 183)
  • You’ve Arrived (“You must continue to earn the Lord’s favor each and every day by conforming to cultural Christianity even in the smallest details of your life…” p. 190)

This book isn’t for someone who can’t take a joke, or who can’t laugh at themselves. It will possibly make you point some fingers — maybe even some at yourself! I know that some people take exception to Christian satire. They may say that this is making fun of sacred things. I don’t think so. This is making fun of the MAN MADE conventions we place on faith. As such, they’re fair game. This in no ways makes fun of God or Jesus Christ. If anything, this book may make you look at some of your stances or practices in such a way that you might feel led to abandon some of the superficial trappings of religion and draw closer to God himself.

I was given a complimentary copy of this book by the publisher. The opinions expressed are solely my own.

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Filed under Christian, Fiction, Satire, Uncategorized

The Hidden Enemy

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The Hidden Enemy: Aggressive Secularism, Radical Islam, and the Fight for Our Future by Michael Youssef addresses such questions as “Why are suicide bombers attacking our cities?” and “Why are shooters invading our workplaces?” Michael Youssef is uniquely qualified, as an Egyptian Christian, to address the former question. He has known both moderate and extremist Muslims throughout his life. He takes issue with extremist, radical proponents of Islam who are attacking all who do not agree with them (even more moderate Muslims).

There are many, many solid points made in The Hidden Enemy, and Dr. Youssef wanders through discussions of many of the things that are contributing to the downfall of western civilization. He points to some mindset differences between Muslim fundamentalists and the western politicians who are trying to negotiate with them — the result of widely divergent world-views.

Dr. Youssef has a great guide, smack in the middle of the book, to make sure we’re not taken in by biased reporting, Internet rumors, and “fake news”. Here are his suggestions:

  1. Don’t automatically believe early reports.
  2. Don’t believe information from anonymous sources.
  3. Don’t believe stories that simply cite other news outlets.
  4. Watch and read multiple news outlets, and compare their coverage.
  5. Pay attention to the language and tone of your news sources.
  6. Be sure your news sources correct their mistakes promptly and fully.
  7. Don’t let the news media manipulate your emotions, your behavior, or your outlook on life.

I think these are awesome suggestions!

The book does have a distinctly evangelical Christian tone, but don’t let this dissuade you from reading it. Just bear that in mind and try to overlook some of the more typical evangelical verbiages and look for the other content of substance. I am a former evangelical, and I am probably more sensitive to the language that is often subtly used to pit people against others, not like themselves. That is my one problem with this book. I don’t think it goes far enough in reminding us that there are MANY good, honorable Muslims among us who DON’T want to see a global caliphate and sharia law.

We definitely need to be aware of what changes are happening in our world and the ramifications of decisions that are made by our politicians. This book can be an important tool in that regard, but we must be very careful not to lump all Muslims together with the fundamentalist radicals who do seek our destruction.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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Filed under Christian, Non-Fiction, politics