What Is Going On At St. James Alexandria; Lord, Save Us From Your Followers; Oh Those Poor Liberals

Is my parish starting the Rick Warren series on the Purpose Driven Church? Going to perhaps do a series on what it means to be Anglican? Having a revival? Nope.

Rather, the rector will lead a class to discuss the new book and upcoming movie, “Lord, Save Us From Your Followers”, which essentially is a quasi-documentary by a liberal Christian ragging conservative Christianity. The main thrust of the indictment is the usual one – Christianity makes gay people, atheists, evolutionists, and other liberals feel bad. Aw, for shame. It does poke some fun at the ACLU for attempting to sanitize the country from all religion, but the main focus of the book/movie is to vilify Christianity as it is under assault around the globe and particularly from secular forces in this country. Perhaps if the author of this movie focused more on what the Gospel teaches and conveying that to the rest of the country rather than vilifying other Christians in the process, perhaps the “Gospel of Love” might touch more people and bring them to know Jesus as Lord and Savior.

I, for one, do not take responsibility for liberals feeling bad simply because Christianity exists, proclaims that Jesus Christ is the only way to God, and commands us to feed the hungry, care for the sick and the poor and visit those in prison. I don’t even feel bad that it tells some folks that perhaps they aren’t living right. Guess what, Christianity says that to everyone.

Basically, the movie is calling for Christianity to surrender in the culture wars, as if that is something Jesus would do. Well, it isn’t. In the end, culture had to kill him to silence him. Moreover, it is not mere intolerance where the church is failing, and making the church more tolerant will not fix it. The Church is lacking obedience to God and his Word.

I will say that the parts where Christians were washing the feet of homeless people was good and a prime example of the message that does need to get out there. I also found that the confession booth at the gay pride event was powerful and very touching as to how God’s love was being shared with the gays and lesbians at the event in Merchant’s confessing to them that he has not loved them. But, the bulk of the movie, while claiming to “hold up a mirror” to Christianity is more of the same stuff liberal ‘Piskies spin – non-liberal Christians are bad. It therefore exercises the same judgmentalism that the film and book claim to deplore.

Well, I don’t think the movie (what I’ve seen of it on the website) is ultimately going to help the cause of Christianity. It is also terribly moronic in its supposition that the Easter bunny has anything to do with Christianity. That is a pagan tradition that was incorporated in it. While “traditionalists” might rail against the removal of the Easter Bunny from the public square, Christians that have actually read the Bible and studied the origins of “Easter”, the bunnies, and the eggs, would realize this is all a farce. What is even funnier is that the Easter Bunny made some atheist feel bad. All I can say is that the stupid bunny isn’t Christianity’s fault.

In any event, you can check out all the short films that are a part of the movie. The book is available everywhere, and the movie will be in theaters in June. If you are in the Cenla area, you can read it with the Sunday School class at St. James. I, for one, won’t be reading yet another rendition of the same old same old arguments I’ve read over that last four years on the HOBD listserv and elsewhere.

10 Responses to “What Is Going On At St. James Alexandria; Lord, Save Us From Your Followers; Oh Those Poor Liberals”


  1. 1 Sarah Hey April 6, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    Brad,

    Why on earth do you think that your rector is doing this?

    Do you think that he thinks that most of the parish will think this is cool? If so, is he right?

    Or is he trying to slowly reshape the parish into believing this way?

    I’m genuinely curious as to his motivations.

  2. 2 Connie April 7, 2008 at 12:37 am

    Sarah asked the questions on my mind, too.

  3. 3 Joe Trimble April 7, 2008 at 12:40 am

    This would be the St. James’ Rector’s version of Jeremiah Wright’s famous “God Damn America.” “God DAMN Christianity!” Much more subtle and sophisticated, sans doute.

    Yes, Sarah, that is what he is doing.

  4. 4 Alice C. Linsley April 7, 2008 at 12:47 am

    This is part of the few short steps approach to destroying a parish. Even if the parish survives as an entity, this man along with compliant Vestry members, are responsible for damaging souls.

  5. 5 descant April 7, 2008 at 2:37 am

    Actually, Sarah, I think he harbors the same distaste for conservative Christians that most Episcopalians have been encouraged to have over the years…Jesus Christ died to take away your sins, and not your mind campaign for evangelism, etc. You can bet this film and book will be the next big thing for liberal Christianity. Book just came out last month; movie is due out in June. A post on StandFirm may be appropriate as an alert of sorts.

  6. 6 Stephanie April 7, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    I am shocked that you would feel comfortable judging a project before you have even see the entire movie or read the entire book. As some one who has done both, I feel like your presemptions are off target. I would recommend that you take the time to fully research the project, like your rector has, before you dismiss or vilify the content.

    As a conservative Christian that grew up in the Catholic church, it has changed my life. I hope that you and the people that read your blog will open minded enough to educate yourselves on this project before rejecting its message. I would be more than willing to send you my copy of the book.

  7. 7 Curious April 9, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    What does your bishop say about this project?

  8. 8 Bob G+ April 12, 2008 at 9:34 am

    Brad = Have you read the book, “unChristian,” from the president of the Barna Research Group? If not, it is a very interesting book reporting their findings after a three year study (with other research data included) that paints a picture of how Evangelical/Born-Again Christians are viewed and understood within American society generally, and particularly by the Gen-X & Y’ers.

    In a nutshell – it ain’t good. In fact, the perception is terrible and the perception hinders the Church’s ability to speak and to win a hearing concerning issues moral and salvific. This is just the reality. The perception that conservative Christians have of how society views them is skewed.

    It seems to me that this film may well be a response to the situation many of us are finding among younger non-Christians – that the witness of Christians, particularly as a result of the Culture Wars, is counter to the cause of Christ. There has to be a better way!

  9. 9 Bob G+ April 12, 2008 at 10:14 am

    I’m back. I watched a video-clip from a screening they did in a mega-church in West Linn, Oregon – Southlake Church. Come to find out the church is a Foursquare Church – the denomination I grew up in (a Pentecostal Church). I also watched the MSNBC interview of Merchant.

    This really isn’t a “liberal Christian” bashing of conservative Christians. It is a conservative Christian, Merchant, trying to deal with the failed results of 20+ years of the Culture Wars and trying to figure out a better way.

    I certainly think it is worthy of a viewing and consideration, just like the book “unChristian.” For those who have ears to hear…

  10. 10 Olga June 10, 2008 at 11:03 pm

    I watched the movie in my church. There were about 500 people who stood up and applauded after the free promotional screening (Everett, WA) The movie is a horrible propaganda. My hero conservative James Dobson looked like an idiot (Merchant did not interview him, and chose a very short clip of Dobson) but gave almost 30 mins to ultra liberal Tony Compollo. It is a propaganda and it is very sad that now many Christians will feel guilt for falling culture….


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