by Charles S. Garabedian
What if American Fundies Cared This Much?
Feel free to click on the My Profile button in the black strip at the top of the Flee from Christian Fundamentalism blog and read what I have to say about Christian fundamentalists and their near disregard for the needy Americans Jesus calls “the least of these.” Below is a brief excerpt from that larger discussion, where I argue that the fundies are so tunnel-visioned on evangelism that they have almost abandoned “the least of these.” Check it out:
Sad to say, many Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals seem to believe that they have few, if any, obligations of Christian love and assistance beyond just [evangelism] and that alone. The “least of these” (and the legitimate needs of many other wounded and outcast men, women, and children in this life) often fall by the wayside. The fundies so easily forget that Jesus was a poor person and a social outcast in his own time on the Earth.
When I say things like that, I strongly suspect the average Christian fundamentalist or conservative evangelical gets hopping mad. It probably sounds something like this in the middle of the hopping:
That’s a damned lie!!! We care a whole lot about poor people and hungry people. A lie like that is just what I would expect to hear from the mouth of an apostate, so-called Christian driving 120 mph towards the gates of a fiery Hell!!!
Really? Take a look at this boastful quotation about famous Christian fundamentalist preacher Dr. Bob Gray, Sr. and his equally famous Texas Church on the Solve Church Problems website:
Dr. Bob Gray Sr. pastored for thirty-three years and has been an ordained Baptist preacher for forty-six years. He has taught and preached in every state of the Union but one, North Dakota and in seventeen foreign countries. He has written thirty-five books to help local churches deal with the ever growing demands on them. He pastored the Longview Baptist Temple for twenty-nine years. He became their pastor in 1980. Since then the church’s attendance grew from a low of 159 to averaging 2,041 in 2008. Dr. Gray retired March 1, 2009 and LBT called his son Dr. Bob Gray II to be their pastor. The last year Dr. Gray pastored LBT they baptized 4,466 converts. In his twenty-nine years of pastorate at LBT they had 1,116,887 people who trusted Christ for payment of their sins. 253,042 walked the aisles professing faith in Christ and 164,457 of those followed the Lord in baptism. LBT was the number two church in America in professions of faith and baptisms. $9,328,835.69 was given to missions and $335,584.81 to help the less fortunate in those twenty-nine years.
Let us do the math. First of all, we will round the pocket change up to the nearest dollar. That makes it $9,328, 836 for evangelism and $335,585 for “the least of these.” Then we add $335,585 to $9,328,836 to get the total amount given of $9,664,421. Then we divide $335,585 by $9,664,421 and move our decimal point two places to the right to get the percentage of the total gift money that went to “the least of these.” It was 3.5 percent. Now we divide $9,328,836 by $9,664,421 and move our decimal point two places to the right to get the percentage of gift money that went to evangelism. The amount is 96.5 percent.
Across 29 years—a full 29 years—these fundies—down wealthy old Texas way—gave only 3.5 percent of their church money to help those Jesus called “the least of these,” and they spent a whopping 96.5 percent of it so fundie evangelists could jump around, whoop, and holler about John Barley Corn; the temptations of Eve; an angry, vengeful God; Lone Ranger Jesus; and the eternal “Fars O’Hayul.” Comparatively speaking, that 3.5 percent is mighty doggone close to a watered-down bowl of potato soup on a “good day” in Auschwitz?
I think this is just one reason—among many other valid reasons—that the American people and the teenage children of fundie adults are losing respect for Christian fundamentalism, conservative evangelicalism, and the so-called Religious Right. They know many things are not right in Fundieland, and they are fleeing from it.
Yes. Evangelism and Part I of the Great Commission, when lovingly and respectfully implemented, are important in the Christian faith. However, the fundies so easily forget that the Great Commission exists in two parts [Part I (Matthew 28:19) and Part II (Matthew 28:20)]. The problem with Christian fundamentalism and conservative evangelicalism is that they want to focus almost entirely on Part I of the Great Commission—and pretend that many of the commands, words, and deeds of Jesus that fall within Part II of the Great Commission are very low on their totem pole of concern. Oh sure, they may give them lip service in Sunday school class, but they do not see Part II of the great Commission as being deserving of their effort, time, hard work, and money. This is precisely what Jesus meant when he said:
These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me (Matthew 15:8)
From the pathetic fundie giving to “the least of these”—like that laid out above—one would think Jesus and the Holy Bible have almost no concern at all for poor people, hungry people, sick people, and other members of “the least of these.”
No wonder Republicans love Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals so much!!! No wonder the fundies love the Republicans so much!!! They are just like each other—and screwing half the words and deeds of Jesus and Part II of the Great Commission are among their favorite pass times.
Let us review just one of the major emphases of Jesus and the Bible that exist within Part II of the Great Commission:
What good does it do for a Christian fundamentalist or conservative evangelical—or his church—to yell out the following to a poverty-stricken sick person who just lost their health insurance because of fundie heroes like President Donald J. Trump or the Republican U.S. Congress:
Love ya man. Sorry to hear about that. Bye-bye now!!!
Loving your neighbor as yourself, as Jesus commanded, is not some novel abstraction. It is not something you just feel for a passing second in your heart—and then carelessly walk away without doing something. Loving someone is a matter of both heart and action. The Book of James in the Bible directly addresses this subject (James 2:14-26). Most Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals run from those verses as if they were being chased by a carnivorous dinosaur:
Fundie Science at Work for the Benefit of Mankind (LOL)
What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone. In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead (James 2:14-26).
This is another juncture where the fundies will get hopping mad and falsely claim that I am trying to say that a person’s salvation comes by works rather than faith in Jesus. That is not what I am saying at all. What I am saying is that fundie churches and individuals give a lot of hollow lip service to Jesus about loving the “least of these”—and then give only 3.5 percent or less of their faith purse to actually helping “the least of these.” That is being about as faithful to Jesus as the above gag dinosaur hypothesis is to modern science—meaning—not so much.