Three stories caught my attention today:

1) In the newest Men’s Journal magazine, Plaxico Burress (NFL player) who was recently released from prison for weapons possession is interviewed. He was busted two years ago for weapons because he brought a gun into a NY nightclub and … shot himself in the foot.  Literally.

The eye opening part of the story is the two page spread of a tattoo across his back that reads – and I am not kidding about this – “Everything happens for a reason“.

2) I was listening to an popular podcast on Itunes. It is a theology show that tackles tough and often complex subjects. They’re most recent show was on the Religious right and the Religious left.  The team member that was charged with reporting on the Social Gospel said that he had never heard of Walter Rauschenbusch … and that he had never heard his name pronounced out loud before. He had to ask how the last name was pronounced.

3) A protester/heckler was removed from a speech by President Obama for shouting him down as “the Anti-Christ“. For real.

Here is why these three got to me:

  • I am frequently dismissed  for making too big of deal out of a bad reading of Romans 8:28 that “God causes everything to work together to for the good …”  I am told that “no one actually believes that everything happens for a reason.”  I’m telling you – they do.
  • I am continuously telling people who read theology or attend a Mainline church that “people in the Conservative-Evangelical-Charismatic camp do not know who that is – they have never heard of them”.  That’s impossible is the response. I would bet that a large majority of self-proclaimed Christians in America have no idea who Walter Raushenbusch is.  I didn’t.
  • The “Left-Behind” dispensational end-times teaching has permeated the American church. I try to point out the inherent danger here and am more often than not told that “no one actually thinks that“. They do.  People who I know by name believe it. That we are in the end times, the there is actually a mark of the beast and that there is actually one big bad guy called the Anti-Christ.

I’m telling you: people actually think that “everything happens for a reason”. People have no idea who Walter Raushenbusch was. People think that Obama might actually be the Anti-Christ.

This is not the kind of thing that I wanted to be right about.