Christians Tired of Being Misrepresented are misrepresentingPosted: April 13, 2012
Who Is Misrepresenting Who?
Christians Tired of Being Misrepresented (CToBM) are a group of ideologically focused liberals with Christian interests, whose basis lies in affirming homosexuality. They have a facebook page with over 50,000 followers, and they run a blog.
Active homosexuals engaging in Christian practises is not new. Often they will disregard the relevant scriptures about gay sex or will avoid a theological focus in general, while others find elaborate ways to reinterpret the Bible in an attempt to read it as neutral or affirming of gay sex. Even back in the year 1730 there was a report of a minister trying to argue that ‘sodomy’ was not a sin (London Journal, Aug 29, 1730). CToBM periodically post links such as this one (in January 2014) which masquerade as serious theology suggesting that there is nothing sinful about homosexual relations; crafty arguments that are flawed and very misleading.
At first, it’s easy to get misled into thinking that CToBM are an authentically Christian group, firstly of course due to their name, but secondly by the topics they discuss, which are often related to Christianity. However, on close examination, it’s clear that the Christian connection they have is very selective according to ideology, and more of a theme than a foundation.
On their Our Posture section of their blog, they state that they welcome both Christians and non-Christians. This open-door welcome to non-Christians isnt for the purposes of evangelism though. On their ThisWeBelieve blog page, they explain their unbiblical opinion that they; “… recognize the faithfulness of other people who have other names for the way to God’s realm, and acknowledge that their ways are true for them, as our ways are true for us.” Their Our Posture section also states that those who attempt to debate them using opposing theological positions, risk being banned from the group. IE it’s more important to them that you dont challenge their point of view, than it is whether you are a Christian or not. In March 2013, they wrote a facebook post that ‘concern trolls’ are banned from the page. They defined these as people who say “We agree with you but are concerned for you because you are leading people down the wrong path, or X, Y & Z.” Such people “will be banned without warning.” Likewise in November 2013, an admin posted to facebook that “If you use the phrase “Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin”, in any way you risk being banned.”
The values that they espouse tend to align with the political left wing, and they often repost messages from the Huffington Post, Patheos and sometimes from a group named The Christian Left. Although their facebook wall feed isnt simply a political feed, sometimes their focus is more politically flavoured than religious. This perspective is often framed in the negative, so rather than simply promoting left wing views, they frequently condemn right wing views and those that hold such views. As such, the group serves as one of the clearer examples of a contemporary left-wing based hate group.
But like most so-called hate groups, hating is not all they do. Paradoxically, they also advocate love, primarily for the oppressed. This aspect is actually one that many Evangelical Christians are lacking in, so some “cross-pollination” might be of benefit. However CToBR seeks to distance themselves from standard Christians, preferring to demonise them. On the ThisWeBelieve page of their blog, they write “We have allowed the Christian religion to become captive horde of Bible-worshiping, chorus-singing, homophobic, fundamentalist bullies who have naive answers for all of life’s deepest ills.” In July 2013, they wrote on their facebook wall; “Frank Schaeffer understands the motives behind the Christian Right because he helped to create it in the late 70’s and early 80’s. What is their motive? Money and power.” In October 2013, they posted a quote on their facebook wall, without critical analysis of it, that stated in part “It is no coincidence that the Tea Party is mostly made up of evangelical white southern Christians of the born-again variety. They are now the collective enemy of you and your children’s future.”
CToBM seem to promote a superficial slice of Christianity; of form without the standard Bibilcal substance (ref. 2 Tim 3:5). EG in January 2013, the facebook page included a post affirmingly quoting Nelson Mandella stating “No one is born hating another person … people must learn to hate …” which is a message affirming love, but contradicting the fundamental Biblical theme that human beings are born with an inherent natural inclination to engage in sins such as hate. Their post on their blog on December 4th 2011, included a youtube clip where John Spong is interviewed. The posting includes no critique of the clip, which features Spong saying that hell is an invention of the church, including the specific statement “I dont think hell exists”. This of course contradicts the Bible, EG where Jesus speaks of it. In the clip, Spong even states “people dont need to be born again”. The last statement could barely be more of a direct contradiction to the Bible, eg John 3:7, where Jesus is quoted as stating “…You must be born again.” In 2013 a CToBM admin posted the following quote on the facebook wall “Easter need not involve the claim that God supernaturally intervened to raise the corpse of Jesus from the tomb. Rather, the core meaning of Easter is that Jesus continued to be experienced after his death, but in a radically new way: as a spiritual and divine reality.” And without additional comment, the admin simply cited the quote as being “—from The God We Never Knew”. As was indicated in feedback below the posting, this contradicts various Bible scriptures, including John 20 where the risen Jesus says he is more than spirit, and 1 Corinthians 15, where it states “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.” As Easter approached in 2013, CToBM admin Jack posted a link on their facebook wall. The link was to blog post was titled “Washed in His Blood My Ass” and the admin included the citation “As we work our way closer to the Cross this season I invite you to explore Christian theology that does not begin with a God that needs a blood sacrifice to settle the score. I invite you to walk with a God that has shown us what true power looks like – love, compassion and forgiveness. [an excerpt from the article] ~jack”. Yet sacrifice was central to what Jesus life was about. The post almost advocates a hollow Christianity without Christ. It’s as though they are not familiar with Bible passages such as Matthew 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot.”
In the This We Believe section of their facebook page, it states “We consider everyone to be our brothers and sisters, not just those within the Christian faith” and “We don’t accept the idea that there is only one way to God”. This contradicts Jesus’ statement that he is the only way to access God (John 14:6).
In February 2013, a CToBM admin posted this image on their facebook wall, quoting a Rev. Hagler. Someone commented in response that the Evangelical paradigm is not usually understood this way, and a group admin replied in turn, writing “… we have never considered ourselves to be Evangelical – we don’t feel the need to convert everyone to our belief just to love and care for them as they are.” Of course, this attitude deviates from Jesus’ final directive to his followers recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, where he told Christians to go to all the world and make disciples (Matthew 28:16-20). CToBM reiterated this position of disobedience in November 2013, when they posted a link to this article about evangelism to Jews, and described such evangelism as “wrong on so many levels”! And again, in February 2013 CToBM expressed priorities that do not match those of Christ, when a CToBM admin posted on the wall about Christian football player Tim Tebow, writing “Given the sorry trajectory of his underachieving NFL career, Tebow should be more concerned about his weak arm than leading the armies of Christ.” Then in March 2013, they posted a picture of a Bible and of Jesus, with a ‘does not equal’ sign between the two. This contrasts and perhaps contradicts what the Bible portrays in John 1, and is illustrative of the fundamental reasoning of the group. IE CToBM rejects the Bible as the ultimate authority for doctrine. They reject the best guide available for determining what a Christ follower would be. This attitude was reinforced in a post they made to their wall in October 2013, when an admin wrote in part “Those of us who run CToBM see the divinity in Jesus, but are not compelled to worship him in the way Christian theology directs us to.”
In March 2013, CToBM admin Janet posted on the facebook wall an explanation that I had not seen before; “… I created this Page after hearing a gay man share his story, which involved being raised in a Christian home, coming out to his best friend and being rejected, finding hate from the very people he considered family, and how he struggled in his Christian faith. He is a successful youth minister now. After listening to him, my fundamentalist Christian, Religious Right Wing extreme views were blown out of the water. And here we are. …”
Ironically, in mid 2013, CToBM quoted an article on their wall about the pro-life movement, stating “… it is time to be honest in the way that you self-title your movement: the anti-abortion movement. It’s accurate and truthfully describes your agenda. Own it.” Have they not considered whether this approach would apply to their own group?
CToBM exemplifies the sin of people “doing what is right in their own eyes” (Judges 21:25), rather than truly following Jesus. Those who run the group are aware that they are confusing, as per this screenshot mentioning Carrie Underwood, which was on their facebook page on July 1st, 2012. In March 2013, CToBM admin Janet wrote on the facebook wall “We are considered “Not Christian!” all the time by our fundamentalist inquisitor visitors. Most of the time, we choose not to respond. …” In March 2014, one admin post to their facebook wall, finished with the lines “For those who have moved beyond Christian tradition, do you wrestle with labeling yourself as a Christian? It’s quite a dilemma, especially if you’ve created a successful Fan Page with the word “Christian” in it. ;-)” Interestingly I found that one of my facebook friends, who regularly posts atheist memes on his facebook wall, and whose references to religion are usually disparaging, is also a member of the CToBM facebook group. So obviously some members are actually anti-Christian rather than even being neutral. On a blog post dated November 27th 2011, CToBM responded to the following comment; “I have a (possibly daft) question: How many people who follow this page/group are actually church-going, living, practicing Christians? Just, I’ve been following this group for over a month, and I’m a tad confused …” Indeed, looking into this group makes you question just who is misrepresenting who.
Quotations from the This We Believe, and Our Posture pages are accurate as at mid 2012.