Melissa Etheridge: Rick Warren doesn't "sound like a gay-hater, much less a preacher." (The Huffington Post)
That's because Rick Warren is not a gay-hater. Nor are most Christians, if you want to know the truth. Most people, however, don't want to know the truth about Christians. It's too easy to simply buy into every stereotype about us that you can find. And, trust me, you can find plenty.
See, mass media will tell you we hate gays, African-Americans, unwed mothers, illegal aliens, etc. And you thought Christians are hypocrites (we are, of course...just no more than anyone else.) The irony would be hilarious if it weren't so pathetically sad. Christians are accused of using stereotypes to push an agenda of hatred and fear. Yet, many times, the opposite is true. Our society has become so blatant in its perpetuation of stereotypes against Evangelicals that we don't even realize it's happening. We are the only socio-cultural group of whom it is socially acceptable to hate. Christians are seen as bigoted, intolerant and quick to judge. Sadly, many high-profile Evangelical leaders have said hurtful things (I'm looking at you, Pat Robertson), and those incidents have painted all of us with a very broad brush. The irony is that it's the same brush used to portray all homosexuals as pedophiles, predators and perverts. Are some homosexuals pedophiles, predators and perverts? You bet they are...just as you can bet there are Christians who are bigoted, intolerant and quick to judge.
Christianity vs. Universalism (YouTube)
I get so stinkin' tired of universalist philosophy. It's so disingenuous...at best. At worst, it's a coward's way out. It's essentially saying "I don't have the stones to stand behind my own convictions, so I'll just hold hands with everyone, tap my red shoes together three times while singing 'Kumbaya, My Lord' and hope for the best. That's not hope.
"For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience."
Dante's Inferno (YouTube)
Disclaimer: I don't believe in purgatory, nor do I think Mr. Alighieri had the whole "hell thing" figured out. His Divine Comedy was just that: a work of poetic fiction. It's just that this animated movie version of "Inferno" looks really, really cool.
(It's sad, isn't it, that I have to put a disclaimer before posting this. Trust me. If I don't, some uber-legalist Christian will get all pissy with me for promoting something that's not in the King James Version of the Bible. So, just chill...)
Calvinism vs. Arminianism (YouTube)
And, finally, here's one for all of you armchair theologians out there.