Some websites only present one side of the story. That's where we help out...

Christians Tired of Being Misrepresented are misrepresenting

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.

PrideMarch

A post from their facebook wall, March 2014. It was posted simply with the comment “We found this on Slap Dash Mom’s Timeline.”

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.”

no_preachingCToBM 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).

NoEvangelisingIn 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?

Non-Christian and proud of it. A Facebook post from 1 July 2012.

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.

ctobm

CToBM celebrate Glenn Beck loosing his voice. From their facebook wall, July 2013.

Quotations from the This We Believe, and Our Posture pages are accurate as at mid 2012. 


23 Comments on “Christians Tired of Being Misrepresented are misrepresenting”

  1. 65snake says:

    You are an idiot whose entire post can be summed up as a long-winded way of saying, “they don’t agree with me, therefore they are not really christians”. How incredibly obtuse. Why do you think that there are so many different sects of christianity? because “christians” as a whole cannot agree on what christianity even means.

    • stasisonline says:

      Thanks for your feedback, 65snake. I appreciate hearing from those who disagree, in part because it helps me discover when Im mistaken (which I am sometimes). I dont agree with your summation though. Yes, there are many sects in Christianity with each one perceiving things differently. But often these differences are fairly minor, and it’s not truly problematic. CToBM on the other hand, have described themselves as ‘UnChristian’ and it’s more important to them that their members do not disagree with their principles than it is whether those followers consider themselves to be Christians. Their politics is more important to them than their faith. They reject some of Jesus’ fundamental teachings and encourage others to do the same, discouraging faith – the central tenant of Christianity (Eph. 2:8). The Bible illustrates Jesus stating that his teachings were of vital importance requiring full commitment (Mark 9:47, Matthew 16:25, Revelation 3:15-17 etc), that not everyone who calls themselves a follower is regarded by God as a follower (Matthew 7:23), and that the church should reject members who are committed to seriously deviating from Christ’s principles (1 Corinthians 5). So, yes Christians can peacefully work together when they are sincere in their commitment but they see things a little differently to each other, but partial or ‘hobby’ Christianity isnt true Christianity.

      If people want to play golf, but they prefer to pick up the ball to place it somewhere convenient before hitting it, then it’s not authentic ‘golf’ any more. And if they want to use a tennis ball and tennis racket rather than a golf ball and golf club… well it’s really just not sensible to call the game ‘golf’. How far can you stray from the teachings of Christ, before it’s just not Christianity any more? There are limits.

      Thanks again for your feedback, 65snake. I trust that you have a good day.

      • JO says:

        Hmmm. It seems that your objection to their statement regarding “unchristian” misunderstands their point. The conservative evangelical/fundamentalist community rejected Carrie Underwood for supporting marriage equality, and called her “unchristian”. Perhaps CToBM’s reference merely meant that IF supporting marriage equality equaled “unchristian”, then CToBM would gladly take the ranks of those labeled “unchristian”. Forcing someone to choose between being a Christian OR supporting marriage equality is a false dichotomy. As it happens, one can both be a Christian and support marriage equality, and I daresay the moderators from CToBM take such a position.

        I also disagree with your assessment of what you say is a “true Christian.” This example of the ‘No True Scotsman’ fallacy merely cuts off any meaningful discussion as to what Christianity means or is all about by predefining the term to exclude your opponent (in this case CToBM). This has happened through Christianity’s rich and diverse history, including those in the 1400-1500s like Martin Luther and John Calvin who believed that Jews were inherently evil, believed infants must be baptized to be saved, and condemned anyone who disagreed as “unchristian.” Or the 1700-1900s Christians’ theology that defined anyone of African descent as sub-species and labeled anyone who disagreed as “liberal” or “unchristian.” Or perhaps the Spanish Inquisition, whose Christian church persecuted and tortured any who disagreed with them or even hinted at questioning their authority and doctrine. You personally might argue that these weren’t “true Christians” or that they were “true Christians” with whom you disagree, but that still doesn’t change the fact that they and you mistakenly attempt to raise up your lengthy list of dogmas as the only true Christianity.

        Lastly, I find it interesting that your definition of Christianity in your reply to 65snake completely changed from the body of your post. You argued at length that CToBM wasn’t truly Christian because of various beliefs, like being more liberal, supporting marriage equality, and their belief (you assume) in a natural goodness in humans, but then you turn around and ask “How far can you stray from the teachings of Christ, before it’s just not Christianity any more? There are limits.” Jesus had nothing negative to say about homosexuality, and Jesus was one of the most progressive, liberal voices in his day, focusing almost entirely on helping/feeding the poor and loving the destitute and downtrodden. You have to pull almost exclusively from the Old Testament or from mistranslations of Paul’s teachings in order to find homophobia. It doesn’t follow to quote Jesus as saying we need to follow Jesus and then fault someone (or CToBM) for not following Paul’s teachings as you understand them. It is you who is straying from Jesus’ teaching, not CToBM.

        I wish you a good evening. Namaste.

      • stasisonline says:

        Thanks for your message JO.

        Yes, I suspect that when CToBM called themselves ‘unchristian’, they probably meant that IF supporting same-sex marriage is “unchristian”, then CToBM would gladly take the ranks of those labeled “unchristian”. But there is significance in that. I interpret them to mean that support of same-sex marriage is more important to them, than owning the label of being Christian. If that’s the case, it’s (another) insightful indication that Christianity is not their main priority.

        I agree that throughout history there have been people who have declared what is and what is not Christian and who is on the inside and who is not. Even St Paul did this. I dont understand how this would cut off meaningful discussion as to what Christianity means or is all about though. I have not simply employed the No true Scotsman fallacy, but rather I have referenced Scripture etc in my reasoning.

        My article was not intended to argue that “CToBM wasn’t truly Christian because of … being more liberal, supporting marriage equality, …” I do not believe that simply being more liberal means that you are not truly Christian, and the topic of marriage was only (largely superfluous) context to an intended point which was that CToBM have been comfortable calling themselves ‘UnChristian’. Not everything in my article was intended to be reasoning for why CToBM are only marginally Christian. Part of the purpose of the article was to just explain to the uninitiated, what CToBM stand for.

        I disagree that Jesus had nothing negative to say about homosexuality. Firstly because we dont know everything that Jesus said. Rather we only have a small selection of what he said. Secondly, the records that we do have suggest that although he was entirely welcoming of those who would not have heterosexual relationships (Matthew 19:12), heterosexual relationships were the only ones he considered acceptable ( http://stasisonline.wordpress.com/2012/05/03/jesus-on-same-sex/ ). I also disagree that most Bibles have mistranslated Paul to make him homophobic. And I disagree that to follow Paul is to stray from Jesus teaching. If I am straying from Jesus’ teaching, I invite feedback detailing this so that I can re-evaluate.

        I too wish you a good evening, JO.

  2. Deverick Wimbush says:

    Oh! You mean accepting people regardless of what they believe? Kinda like that Jesus guy?

    SHOCKER RIGHT?! Christians following Christs example!

    • stasisonline says:

      Thanks for your message, Deverick. But I dont think CToBM are entirely following Christ’s example. I suppose it depends on what you mean by ‘accepting’ people. Jesus seems to have been more friendly with people who at the time did not traditionally fit the religious mould (eg tax collectors, Mark 2:16). But we also have references of these people being more than just dinner company or friends who were ideologically distant; ie there is evidence of them at least beginning to follow him (Luke 3:12). Im not aware of any evidence of Jesus taking a “live and let live” approach, IE of Jesus indicating that sinning was not a problem for those he met. Im not saying he was condemning and denouncing everyone at every opportunity, but he seems to me to have likely made it generally clear that he disapproved on sin. EG when helping the woman caught in adultery, he did not imply that her adultery did not matter, but rather he told her to stop it (John 8:11). So in her case, he was accepting of her in the sense that he loved her, but he was not fully accepting in the sense of accepting her sin as being okay. CToBM though, does not seem to me to mirror Jesus in this regard. They go beyond tolerance to actually affirm non-christian beliefs as being okay. Some of the posts on the CToBM facebook wall have expressed that they disagree with Jesus, eg his words in John 14:6.

  3. I am an atheist follower of the page, and really don’t know what to make of it. It is neither one thing nor the other. I think I’ll ‘unlike’ it. There seems to be no rhyme nor reason to it.

  4. Lisa says:

    LOL, WTF????

  5. Being tolerant of bigots makes you a party to their hatred. So no, Liberals to not tolerate hateful teachings, and neither did Jesus Christ, who was also persecuted by the religious “authorities” of the time for his courage in questioning the status quo and attempting to introduce the mystical concept that “we are all Gods” and “what you do to the least of these you do to Me (God).”

    • stasisonline says:

      I largely agree with you Madeline, although it depends what you mean by ‘bigots’ and ‘hatred’. For some people these days, ‘hatred’ and ‘bigotry’ can mean just opposing something. Under such definitions, we are basically all bigoted haters, including Jesus.

      Thanks for your message.

      PS – I suggest that Jesus was persecuted for more than the two reasons you have listed.

  6. Mary Alice Do says:

    I’m an ordained minister but I am not currently serving a church. I try to attend church every week, and I am currently leading a book study at our church. Our church is socially active and has taught me much about love and acceptance. I grew up in a fundamentalist church and I have been in recovery from it for over 25 years.

  7. Jill Anderson says:

    I’d suggest that your Christian connection is also very selective, specifically to support your own ideology, and more of a theme than a foundation, inasmuch as it is chosen to appeal to the conservative Christian base, possibly to gain a wide audience for eventual syndication and profit.

    • stasisonline says:

      Well, we all write based on what we know. I come from a historically conservative perspective and it’s what makes sense to me. CToBM come from a liberal perspective and it’s what makes sense to them. I know the reality of the Luke 6:41-42 and of seeing faults in others and being oblivious to our own faults. If Ive been selective, Id be interested to know what Ive ignored.

      I dont expect any profit from what Ive written here. This blog does get a continual stream of visitors, but nothing comparable to the number of members at CToBM. Thanks for your message, Jill.

  8. JJ says:

    Wow! What an ugly cartoon. How sad that someone could look at Christians and find them to be racist, homophobic, and ignorant. I’d add ‘mysogynist’ to the mix, btw. How’d that happen, anyway, that Christians got such a bad rap? Oh, yeah….someone listened to what their conservative leadership was saying….

    • stasisonline says:

      Well yes, the leadership do share responsibility when things go wrong, whether the leaders are conservative or liberal, but I suggest that it’s not entirely the fault of leaders. I guess you noticed that your comment doesnt respond to the main point of the cartoon though?

  9. Peg says:

    Actually, seems like you have taken CToBM’s comments out of context. Carrie Underwood was labeled “UnChristian” because of her support for the LGBT Community. CToBM was just showing support to Ms. Underwood, thus, labeling themselves UnChristian because they also support LGBT. You are the one misrepresenting…

    • stasisonline says:

      I quoted CToBM in full, using a picture of exactly what they wrote. How can that be considered to be out of context?

      • Peg says:

        You missed the whole point of the reason why they called themselves “UnChristian”. If 21st Century Christianity means moving away from the teachings of Jesus Christ and acting/speaking like Conservative Fundamentalist Christianists, then the label of “Christian” means nothing any more. It is time for us Christians to shed our old wine skins because we are cracking under the pressure of the new wine being poured. That new wine is quite the opposite of what “mainstream” Christianity has been. Jesus defied the “Laws of Moses”. CToBM is defying the laws of mainstream Christianity. Christian means “Christlike”. Maybe those who called Carrie Underwood “UnChristian” should take a look in the mirror. If they were honest, they would see cracks. I hope you now “get the point” of what CToBM was trying to communicate. If you don’t, the I pray that someday you will have ears to hear what the Spirit is saying. Peace.

      • stasisonline says:

        So CToBM are moving away from the teachings of Jesus Christ, and no longer want to be labelled as ‘Christian’? I dont read everything that CToBM post online, but I do monitor the facebook page and I havent noticed this being articulated, but yes it does make sense. CToBM do reject some fundamental Christian beliefs so it makes sense that they would no longer want to be called ‘Christian’. I support the idea of them being honest about that. They would be best to change their full name too. I suppose that just the CToBM acronym might be workable in the short term, or something similar to the present name, such as “Spiritual People Tired of Being Misrepresented”.

  10. Sandbur says:

    TOLERANCE def: a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, practices, race, religion, nationality, etc., differ from one’s own; freedom from bigotry.

    CToBM is constantly accused of being intolerant for not accepting someone’s hateful or repressive convictions. It’s as if “tolerance” has come to mean respecting and accepting someone else’s views, regardless of what they are or who they effect.

    WRONG!

    Being open-minded does not mean arbitrarily respecting everyone and accepting everything. There are things that no one should tolerate, such as bigotry, suppression of liberty, denial of equal rights and abusive restrictions.

    CToBM tries to preach and practice tolerance, but they do not have to tolerate your intolerance. There is never an excuse or justification for hatred or abuse.

  11. Bennett says:

    Ecclesia semper reformanda est – “The Church is always to be reformed” was a key tenet of the Protestant Reformation.
    It means that God desires the governance and policy of His church to be continually open to appraisal and change.
    “God said it, that settles it” is not faithful. It is heretical!

    • stasisonline says:

      Thanks for your comment Bennett.

      I suggest we need to consider that “Ecclesia semper reformanda est” does not call for change for the sake of change, and nor was it understood to call for a move away from biblical doctrine. Another key focus of the reformation was sola scriptura, which means “by Scripture alone”. My understanding is that in some ways sola scriptura opens a can of worms, but the intention of it was to bring Christians back to the Bible as the foundation of doctrine. So in light of this, Ecclesia semper reformanda est was primarily a call to re-evaluate whether Christian doctrines matched up with what the Bible states. I suggest that if CToBM truly seek to comply with the principles of “Ecclesia semper reformanda est” and “sola scriptura”, their beliefs would be quite different. It seems to me that at present, CToBM instead start with various leftist values and then try to fit some selected aspects of Christianity around them as a decorative top layer.


Share your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.