30 September 2010

Discerning Babel

Just astonishing.

After years of defending the Bush administration, its wars, its renditions and tortures, suddenly we have Evangelical leaders critiquing the War in Afghanistan?

Chuck Colson once again speaks with a forked tongue and now has the audacity to critique the War in Afghanistan as unjust. Funny how that happened, now that Obama is the President. Suddenly it's a pointless war and he validates his position by drawing on his expertise from his Vietnam era White House days. This is from the man who signed the Land Letter in 2002?

With regard to his time in the White House, he talks about how power corrupted him and how bad the whole system is...but then he seems to be quite proud of his accomplishments and is often presented as some kind of hero in Christian circles, because he was one of the top men on the Nixon team, something laudable in those circles.

He repents of his role in the Watergate scandal, but then criticized Mark Felt when he revealed himself as the 'Deepthroat' source. Did Colson thank Felt for exposing the crimes of the Nixon administration? No, he criticized him for not being loyal. That's an odd manifestation of repentance. Not to mention his statements in the MSNBC interview were disingenuous. Nixon was a little paranoid about leaks? Is he kidding?

I often wonder with many of the leading Evangelical leaders and commentators...are they just deceived and deluded, or are they flat dishonest? With Colson, I've never had any doubts. He's a brilliant man...but sinister.

When you go online and try to find Colson's "Breakpoint" commentaries from the Bush era, when he lauded Bush and slammed Democrats for not 'supporting the troops' or not understanding 'the times we live in,' or the 'nature of our enemy'...can you find them? No, they've all disappeared. He knows how to hide his hypocritical tracks.

Many Evangelical leaders praised Bush's torture methods, rendition, and surveillance policies. But now that Obama has unfortunately continued these egregious policies, suddenly they're worried about The Constitution, Civil Rights, and expressing fears of dictatorship?

And he tries to pretend he's not a political partisan? It's all politics. It's all a game...and the goal is nothing less than power. Paul and the other Apostles tried to warn us of these types of people. They have been the plague of the Church since the 1st century.

Along those lines, here's a worthwhile article from 2004, calling out the Evangelical leaders who somehow equate Christianity with militarism. Are they just duped by government propaganda, or is it something more sinister? I just don't know. It is strange though, when you look into how some of these ministries and groups are funded. They've got some big money behind them, in many cases Big Energy and certainly very powerful members of the Military-Industrial Complex. I don't want to elaborate and sound conspiratorial, but I encourage you to look into it and draw your own conclusions. Much of the evidence is circumstantial, I will admit. That's where many conspiracy minded people go wrong. They build premises on circumstantial data and then often jump to some pretty unfounded conclusions. Nevertheless, I find it interesting that in the case of many 'liberals', rather than finding a specific agenda, I find lost people trying to fix a cursed world and thus coming up with solutions that are often short-sighted, and often driven by pragmatics instead of ethics. Pragmatism also speaks to the realm of ethics, but in many cases the Left is not operating philosophically, they're trying to come up with workable solutions in a pluralistic society. And as expected, they too fail.

Are there some on the left that a specific agenda? Sure. There are always activists on specific issues.

But with conservatives, and definitely with Christian conservatives, there is most definitely a comprehensive agenda and a conspiratorial spirit, the very thing they accuse their opponents of.

We have a growing number of 'Christian Conservatives' who condemn confusing America with the Church, but then wave the flag and support America's wars. They're critical of the widespread apostasy within the Church, but they don't recognize their own.

Just today I was listening to an older Crosstalk radio broadcast. The guest was Chuck Baldwin who I rank among the worst and most dangerous of these leaders. Why? Because he says much that sounds good and orthodox, is even critical of Bush and his wars, but then if you listen to him, it's all about Divine America, illegal immigrants, and the need to carry firearms.

This stuff is just as bad as the Prosperity gospel. We are surrounded by and inundated with heresy. The host of the programme kept playing the pronoun game..using 'we' and 'us' to refer to the Church and in the same breath, the United States. And at one point he was particularly outraged at something Rick Warren did while overseas. "It was treason," he cried.

For these folks, there's nothing worse than that. Betraying America is as bad as betraying God Himself.

Please don't think for a moment I wish to come to the defense of Rick Warren, but for these people to critique him on this point was just ridiculous.

There are a multitude of these 'Discernment Ministries,' who comment on the state of the culture and the church, but in many cases they too lack discernment. All of these people, Chuck Colson, Cal Thomas, Kirby Anderson, Ingrid Schlueter, want to be the watchdogs, guarding the gate.

We need watchmen on the walls to guard us from them. Joel Osteen is an obvious fraud. No one reading their Bible will be taken in by him for a second....

What about someone else who seems to elevate Scripture, in some cases hold to a Biblical Gospel, but all the while keeps trying to distract the Church from its mission, re-define the Kingdom, and seduce the people of God into worshipping a false kingdom, an idol, all the while engaging in dishonesty and deception in how the events of past and present are to be understood?

The Prosperity Gospel is self worship, an idolatry. Americanism is just another form of idolatry....Sacralism.

It is a rejection of God's plan for His people. It is refusing to accept the Kingdom God gives to us, declaring that it is not enough. It revels in a spirit of fleshly pride and bigotry. It is the same spirit that sought to construct a tower in Shinar long ago...a place called Babel.

The Curse of Babel (disunity) remains for the world. It is the restraint God has established. Fallen man will always seek to create a pseudo-Holy Mountain/Kingdom, a pseudo-Mt. Zion and so because of the curse it will always fail, for the Unity so necessary for such an endeavour will never be attained.

For the Church, the Curse was broken at Pentecost. Rather than a Babel-cursed people, we are One. But our Unity is in Christ, the true Mt. Zion. No earthly shadow would ever satisfy us, and we know that all of man's attempts will end in failure. God's people are not be deceived by a false Kingdom...which in the end is a false gospel.

If you do happen to listen to the Crosstalk episode, take note of the host on at least a couple of occasions employing Messianic language, but not in reference to Christ...he uses it in reference to American soldiers, shedding their blood, a sacrifice, that we might be free. It's really quite blasphemous.

The beauty of the Church is not found in a nation or a Christendom, but that it transcends all nations, kingdoms, and cultures. We are the last people that should ever succumb to nationalism. Can we have affection for our country? Sure, if you want. But even there I think there is some confusion.

The nation state is a modern phenomenon. Nations in the past were peoples, ethno-linguistic groups sharing a common culture. It was not defined by a political entity the way we do today. Sure, England was the home of the English, but it was a kingdom, a hierarchy, not a comprehensive state like we have today. People knew they were English, but primarily someone was a Cambridgeshire man, or a Dalesman, or simply from London. There's not the same unity (Monism) we find later as the state consolidated its power around a universal agenda, legal system, school system, religion, military etc..... This development led to national consciousness that did not exist in earlier times. It can be seen quite poignantly in the development of Germany and Italy. There were many Germanies, and there was something called the Holy Roman Empire, but there was no Germany. There was the Italian peninsula, often called Italy, but there was no Italy.

Nevertheless my point is, whether you want to look at it from the standpoint of the modern Nation-state, or from the standpoint of a People (Hitler often appealed to the Volk)...either way, we as Christians are allied to Christ. Our loyalty is to Him, to His Church, and then to our families. And maybe in fourth place, or perhaps even in a different category....the people or the state. If we are told that we sometimes must 'hate' father and mother in order to follow Christ...how much more a concept like the state? We are to honour the king and obey the laws, but where do we find this strange concept of pride and citizenry the Christian Nationalists are so keen to promote?

We should never wish to commit treason against our respective nations. Not because the nation is Holy, but because we're supposed to comply as much as possible with the laws of the land. If our treason would bring harm to people...that's another reason to avoid it. But if speaking the truth is reckoned treason, then so be it. We are of the Kingdom of Truth and those who call themselves Christians but love nation more than truth... they are the traitors to the Kingdom of Christ.


Anonymous said...

These reconstuctionists, dominionists continue their march... (what short memories we have, eh?) Noticed the article from 2004 quotes Blackaby, the sinister twin of Colson. If people only knew the reconstuctionists/dominionists true 'wish' agenda, but they don't, and could care less, and there we have it. Been there in plain site for more than what, 40 years or so in very simple terms. (I'm thinking Rushdooney, Schaeffer and so forth)Wonder what Colson has up his sleeve, with this obvious move, furthering his evil intentions. Folks really need to take a serious look at what you're saying here and get out of this anti-christ system. Excellent post. Thanks much.

Cal said...

I never knew much of Colson until reading up on this blog and then starting to investigate him but watching a documentary over right-wing religion in a split second everything you've said has been validated.

Colson is talking over Bush's decisions after 9/11 and he says somethings about recognizing good & evil, over and against post-modernism. Some decent, though over simplified points.

But then, he says in relation "one culture is different from another" as cultures are good or evil.


Anonymous said...

I suppose if Iraq decided to storm the U.S. borders one could begin to justify war....hardly the case though.


Anonymous said...

I believe you allude to this earlier in your post, but I was struck at the end how not only does the USA make one heck of a "Babylon the Great", it also represents the most logical "Tower of Babel" in our generation. "One language" and able to accomplish (almost...) ANYTHING "they" set their heart to do. Thinking of technology, medical advancements, etc. Certainly we have become "as gods" in our own eyes?

I'm more impressed with your Proto-Protestanism more and more each time I visit...


Protoprotestant said...

Yeah when was the last time this country was actually invaded?

War of 1812

Which if you spend anytime looking into that one....it's another bunch of malarkey.

I guess if you were a Southerner you could say your country was invaded in 1861....but that's a mess and I don't agree with either side.

Chelcicky and in modern times Yoder rightly denounced the whole concept of Just War Theory as being Constantinian.

But there you go....Constantinianism confuses nation and civilization with the Church and baptizes not only its song and architecture but its politics and wars.

Mystery Babylon it is.

Protoprotestant said...

No, no America is the only Christian nation. It's 'exceptional' on the world stage.

No Anthony you're exactly right....if there is a Babyon par excellence of our day...it can only be United States.

But of course I would still say it's bigger than that but certainly the US is sure a glaring example that's hard to miss....

except 99% of the Church does miss it.