Far too often those lunch buddies are like-minded people that we have pre-approved as worthy of our fellowship. I do it too, but the flaw in this is that we are not leaning into the tension of the teachings of Christ...
This doesn't always happen.
I wouldn't even say this happens most of the time or even more than a negligible percentage of the time.
am thankful to those friends who challenged me, as I so often am. I am thankful to those who encouraged me to vote, even if it was only for the local elections, because those still matters and we still have a say. I am more thankful than words can express for a church and a pastor who did not tell me who to vote for or how to vote, but simply spoke truth where it mattered most.
It is a commitment you’ve already made in your mind and in your heart long before you take the vows or get dunked/sprinkled/dipped. Committing your life to someone, whether it’s Christ or another person, is a serious commitment made before God and it requires time, energy, and plenty of prayer to consider the costs and benefits.
"All God does is by Him. But what does that mean exactly? The initial chapters of Genesis expound on this doctrine. God created, designed, and intentioned the universe to respond to Him and His laws of creation."
In just a few short months, I believe we will witness history. Over the past year, we thought some candidates were joking about running for president. Then, a couple months went by and they were still there. Another couple of months, same story. Then, other candidates were dropping out of the race. All leading up to the publication of this post, when we have two people who have a shot at the White House who we previously thought couldn’t make it in through a security clearing for a simple tour.
Justin admits to how his brain malfunctions when it comes to culturally-fueled phenomena. Swearing included.
Forward by Justin Hartford
Sometimes, hearing about what someone else has experienced is not easy to stomach. This PigTale, submitted by a girl named Tierney, was that way for me for a few reasons. For starters, this is a story about someone who left the faith that I profess and believe in my heart to be truth. Reading this instantly puts me in a place where I have to pick a side and possibly even get defensive about my own beliefs. That is not very comfortable.
I am also aware that ChristianPig's current audience is primarily comprised of Christians that may get offended by the sentiments and the language used by the author. Part of me is worried about what might happen after sharing such a publication to such an audience. What might happen to our viewership or to our image? Regardless, we will stay true to our mission. This is not a website solely focused on conservative Christianity in the same way this is not a website centered around leaving Christianity. If we want to truly represent a multitude of perspectives, one like this would naturally come up, and we would be liars if we chose to hide it.
A quick note to Christians:
This is an opportunity for you and me to actually live out what we say we believe in. Whether or not you can relate with the part of Christianity that Tierney talks about, evaluate your own heart and remember Jesus before making decisions to lash out defensively. I may be puffing this up unnecessarily, but I know that our first reaction is to cling to our tribe and reject outsiders like a bunch of baboons. No dung slinging ya bunch of animals. Play nice. Smiley face.
Hi there. My name is Tierney. Chances are we have no clue about the existence of one another until now and that's the cool thing about being alive. It's not just you. This brings me to this writing which is about the time I first realized I wasn't going to be a Christian anymore.
It was a couple weeks into my first semester of college. I hadn't really seen my first erect penis yet. Obviously, the best was yet to come. At this time, I was fresh off the boat from Masters Commission and man did I have a fire for God. If you've never heard of Masters Commission, it's a nine month discipleship program. Like the Peace Corps for Christians. You spend most of your day serving, learning, praying, walking around Dallas at 5am in below freezing temps playing a sick, sick knock off of the Amazing Race. You know, normal Jesus stuff. I learned so much about grace during my time in Masters. From watching a lot of people who are important to me be betrayed by a famous televangelist (Jim Bakker cough cough) and silently walk away without destroying him to watching a girl return from Christmas break pregnant and our Pastor sitting her on a chair and honoring her instead of condemning her. She finished out the year with us too. Those images of grace easily bring me to tears and will never escape me.
Back to my first semester.
I was singing on a worship team when I decided to run for Freshman Senator. A highly coveted bullshit position in student government that only 4 lucky freshman got to hold. Everyone was passing out candy. I thought to myself, "If I were a college student surrounded by absurd amounts of free pussy and dick, candy is the least of my wants." So I went to Walmart and bought hundreds of condoms. The good kind. Threw some magnums in there and some ribbed, for her pleasure, and non-latex for the losers who weren't gonna get laid anyways.
After my first day of passing out condoms and chanting "Vote for TBOMB, grab a CON-dom" between classes, I was immediately kicked off the worship team. The worship leader came to my dorm room with his bible, and had a short disagreement with me about not being of this world and kicked me off. A part of me knew this would happen. I remember praying about this before doing it, and feeling absolutely zero convictions about it.
I won one of the freshman senator spots, and gave the leftover condoms to some incredibly attractive frat guys who would later become some of my good friends. I would end up even wearing their letters one day. However, it was in this moment I realized a couple of things. I first realized my personal relationship with God doesn't align with standard American Christianity. This broke my heart a bit. A lot of who I was at the time was built around community with other believers. However, being that I hadn't seen my first real live erect penis yet, I still had so much life to experience, as well as experiences with other people and how they live their lives. All those experiences would shape me into the person I am now. At the time, it felt like the worst place to be spiritually, emotionally, and physically.
I also realized standard American Christianity doesn't care about people, they care about what people do. There's always the argument of "I disagree or I don't condone it, but I still love them". I find that incredibly annoying. Love is the only thing you're called to do. It should always start and end there. The more I began to disagree with a lot of fundamental standard American Christianity beliefs, the more I moved further and further away from Christianity as a whole.
The best thing that did come from this is that for the absolute first time, I realized the true beauty in being vulnerable. I never would have developed those friendships, or won freshman senator, or had a dope story to blog about if I wouldn't have bought those condoms. See, condoms do change lives.
Thanks for reading and remember to always practice safe sex. Except if you're by yourself. In that case - go nuts.
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I won't waste time with introductions or credentials.
My name is Jonathan and I am just a university graduate with internet access.
After graduating with a degree in Music Business I was equally excited and lost as to what came next. All of my instructors and guest lecturers encompassed their talks with ‘This is how it worked back in the day, but it doesn't work like that anymore, so good luck.’
Yeah, thanks guys.
I have known for many years that music, in one form or another, was in my future.
We are always told to chase our dreams, aren’t we? Isn't that a challenging admonition.
Even now, with a four year degree on my wall, I still do not know how my passion for music will ultimately manifest. What I do know is that music is a universal language. It transcends backgrounds and presuppositions, it binds and equalizes us. That gets me up in the morning.
Have you experienced this moment? At a concert or production, the crowd is seemingly vibrating with anticipation, when the crescendo explodes, the famous chorus breaks, and the melody soars. In that moment of metaphysical ecstasy, it no longer matters who is to your left and right, it no longer matters what you have accomplished, it no longer matters what baggage he carries, it no longer matters what pain she is fighting, nothing else matters except that the moment exists and you are part of its happening.
Music will always be the sweetest escape, the most honestly understanding ear, and the safest place to reflect and inspire.
When I met Justin and encountered this breaking community centered around perspectives, I could not help but entertain my curiosity. My university experience gave me the opportunity to develop my own perspectives and encounter those of my peers. It is so important that we refrain from becoming stagnant in our perspective; it shapes our worldview, the way we relate to one another, and by far the most important, it is the litmus test to the condition of our hearts. This is why I am excited about what Christian Pig (CP) is aiming to facilitate. By offering the platform to highlight differing perspectives through upbringings and experiences, we all stand to gain by submitting to what those around us have to offer. It takes courage to stand behind your perspective and greater courage still to reconsider and adopt variations. I would encourage you to approach this with a determined open mind.
I truly believe that music has a role to play in what CP will become. Music is a common ground where expression and passion fuse to allow for communal growth. Whether that is discovering peaking artists, discussing the latest pop-star’s artistic direction, or sharing in the emotional experience that is music consumption.
So whether you are making a living in the music industry or simply someone who appreciates the impact of music on the human heart, I genuinely look forward to crossing paths and gleaning from your perspective. As I said before, be determined to enter in with a courageously open mind, do not be afraid to question the established order of ‘how things are’, and for our sake, please endeavor to share your unique perspective.
Join the discussion! Come chat on our social media!
This PigTale submission by Grace talks about her experiences growing up in a dysfunctional Christian home and how she became a feminist.
There are exactly two ways to completely ruin your hope for any sort of sophisticated humanity, and I have had the pleasure of experiencing both of them. The first is to work for a customer service call center. You can watch Fox News until your eyes dried out, and then take part in a Westboro Baptist picket rally, and you still wouldn’t know as well as a call center employee how much the people in our country are straight on a path to hell. Do I seem a bit jaded? If you’re looking for something else you could do to absolutely dismantle any positive perception you have of the human race, the second worst thing is to read the comments on controversial Facebook threads. And that, my friends, is the brilliant segway I chose to direct us to the point of this article.
I recently found myself (once again) perusing Facebook and I stumbled upon a shared meme that a popular Christian musician posted that read, “Pray for Nepal, Pray for Baltimore” and featured a nice-looking background.
“That was a while ago, wasn’t it? Oh well. Right on”, I thought, as I tapped the ever so famous Like button, showing my undying support for the cause of the picture. Next came a critical mistake: I clicked the comments button. Most comments were nice and positive and said something deep like “amen” and featured a little image of some hands mimicking prayer. Others, more annoyingly, featured people arguing their professional opinions about racism, but there was a particular comment that caught my attention.
Or instead of talking to yourself hoping the tooth fairy will do something you actually do something yourself??
Shots fired. Even though the comment was offensive, just as the person intended it to be, I also found it to be pretty intriguing. Perhaps scrolling down could lead to more interesting discussion. Reading further down, though, there was the same old boring ‘Religion vs. Science’ banter that included name-calling and what some call “trolling." Wait, wasn’t the picture referring to disasters and social injustice? How’d we get onto The Big Bang and the book of Genesis? Damn you, people of Facebook.
What I found to be interesting about the person’s comment was the potential truth that was hidden within the snark. What if, at some level, Christians do use the idea of prayer as a defense mechanism to stay out of being in potentially uncomfortable situations or to avoid being involved in another person’s hurt? Is it right to automatically resort to pray for occurrences like Nepal and Baltimore and always just stop there? And is it possible that we, as Christians, should be pressed to do more than just pray? The Bible is very clear about the importance and benefit of being constantly in prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17, Philippians 4:6, just to name a couple), so there’s no question that we should be doing it (also, there is great, observable evidence of how prayer is a great thing for people, both cognitively and emotionally), but the thought of prayer being a way to settle is very scary.
The purpose of this article is not to point fingers at people who are doing it wrongly, and it’s definitely not to call out the musician that posted the meme, it’s more of an awkward way to rant and regretfully reflect on instances that I’ve observed myself (and other people, too) using prayer as a cop-out. When I read that person’s comment, even as trite as it seemed, it immediately made me think of two different categories of times that I have abused the idea of prayer:
1. When I have told people that I would pray for them followed by not praying for them at all (usually forgetfully).
2. When I have been around people in need, whether it was physical, spiritual, monetary, or otherwise, and opted to pray for them followed by no further discussion about their life needs and no follow up.
For both points - Could I not have stayed a few minutes longer to hear them out and at least gave them a communal experience, if not provided forms of solutions or advice (Hebrews 10:24-25)? It’s kind of disgusting to think about, but it’s true, and I know that I’m not alone in this.
The Lord knows how I desire to be a prayerful person. I talk to Jesus as often as I can think of it (the emo on my shoulder says he’s the only one that truly gets me (it’s not true, my wife also gets me(if you’re reading this, LOOVE YOU!))). I’ve never been labeled a “prayer warrior” and I’m not sure if I want to, but dammit, I want us to be a people known for how we help the world however we can (1 John 3:18). This is obviously where I play the consolation card and say that I’m the worst at this, call myself a hypocrite , and then go on some parade to change, right? That may be what I feel like right now as I mull over that Facebook comment, but honestly, not much will probably change. Not looking for sympathy or shock, it’s just an honest prediction. Hopefully ranting on the blog portion of this website will implant some motivation in my posterior cingulate cortex (look it up (thanks Science Mike)) and also maybe stir up someone else that may have had these dormant feelings as well. I’m just throwing something about this subject out there to see if it sticks. Sure, it’s unconventional, maybe some discussion can stem from it. Let’s talk about it. Argue with me, that’s fine. But don’t you leave a comment, because I won’t read it...Yes, yes I will, but I’ll hate every second of it.