Here's a worthwhile read from Paul Roberts.
Speaking of hypocrisy, add the hypocrisy of the Christian Right...cheerleaders for war when their man is at the helm, critics when their political opponents initiate it.
Yesterday I caught about five minutes of the AFR (American Family Radio) Report. This show is usually one of the worst examples of Christian-Right propaganda. Not only is their commentary irresponsible, deceitful, manipulative and inaccurate, it's often just plain buffoonish and juvenile. Shame on Calvin Beisner a well known name in Reformed circles. He was their special guest yesterday. Even if I agreed with him, which I don't, I question his integrity in appearing on a show that is little more than blatant political propaganda.
Anyway, their take on the Libya business? They often play a little dialogue game...kind of good cop/bad cop type discussion. One guy will play straw-man advocate for the position they don't agree with it. Then when the other host demolishes it, it makes their position look better and they can also pretend they were being fair in representing both sides.
Bottom line on Libya....Obama is helping the Libyan opposition because, yes...they're Muslim. And we should be attacking other Muslim countries where Christians are being persecuted, but we don't because Obama doesn't want to. They don't come out and say that he's a crypto-Muslim, but they imply every chance they get. I don't pretend Obama is a Muslim or a Christian. He's lost, just like the hosts on AFR.
Good thing their audience glories in ignorance and like these hosts know nothing about how the world really works. And I suppose it's also a good thing that they don't realize that American foreign policy has directly led to the persecution of Christians. Of course as we've talked about in other articles, these people are often confused as to what a Christian is. But granting for a moment that the Syriac community in Iraq meets the Biblical definition of Christian (as opposed to the Dominionist/Constantinian definition) then their present persecution has come about as an act of retaliation versus the Bush/Cheney/Obama policies.
Something is wrong when people purport to be reporting and commenting on news events and before you hear or read anything they say you already know what their take will be. The facts never enter into their thinking. They have an agenda driven by a supposedly Christian worldview...end of story.
One is left wondering if the American Church is just simply under Judgment and being handed over to delusion, blindness, and the endorsement of lies and murder. I was also listening to CrossTalk the other day. That's another Christian Radio programme. My new job situation won't allow me to listen to this stuff anymore. That's probably a good thing. The show is meant to be pretty conservative and takes hardline positions on the issues. Many look to it as some kind of beacon in the midst of apostasy.
It's even more subtle. They critique Glenn Beck of FOX news....because he's Mormon. Though they will freely admit that they like what he says in terms of political issues. So they like him, they just don't give a blanket endorsement and you see this shows how discerning and wise they are.
Yes, he's Mormon, but his political agenda is just as erroneous as his Mormonism.
They'll critique John Piper because he seems to have sold out and has become a friend of Rick Warren.
I've never liked Piper very much and on that point I can agree.
But because they take these stands on Piper, or the seemingly ultra-conservative stand on Beck, they have credibility. They're critiquing in house as it were. And because they'll critique modern worship music and immodest dress....they're really standing for the truth. They make Dobson look like a wishy-washy liberal.
And yet when I listen while they do indeed stand for some good things, they mix it with the same Americanist heresy that I find with Dobson, Colson and the rest. In the end, they're just as bad. Just the other day they had a programme on the state of American knowledge regarding Civics. A recent Newsweek (a leftist magazine they called it) poll demonstrated that American's are woefully ignorant concerning the Constitution, other founding documents and American History in general.
No one would disagree that despite the technology boom the general public is more uneducated and ignorant than ever. No would disagree that our public education system has degenerated into something of a joke. I don't think any Christian in their right mind would send their kids to public school.
But the tone of the show made it pretty clear that these were not just social issues. These were moral, spiritual, and theological issues. It was apostasy that the American public doesn't know the Constitution. Ingrid the host was passionate that these things (the Declaration of Independence, the Gettysburg Address) should be treasured in your heart and memorized. Those who died to 'protect and defend' the country were martyrs, and so forth. Even our folklore and nursery rhymes were important to know. And English...well, it's practically the language of heaven itself. It's interesting how these issues become so important to them. Did they find this in the Bible? Are these concerns generated from the Bible? Is the Western Tradition somehow inspired from the Bible?
I don't mind discussing these issues in their proper context, but this was taking all these issues to a new level. The host, Ingrid Schlueter has or did have a website called Slice of Laodicea. She slams all the Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyer types as well as no doubt Rob Bell and other heretics. No problem there. The American Church is filled with false teachers and apostates.
But....while I can't accuse her of Laodicean lukewarmness, after listening to her dozens of times on CrossTalk I can without hesitation accuse her of the same error found throughout American Evangelicalism. I would add her, AFR, and CrossTalk to the same list.
Idolatry. There's no other word for it. They have made America into a divine state, an object of worship and their affections. Not understanding the Bible, the nature of the Church and Kingdom, they have made a perilous and soul-destroying error and elevated a wicked empire (they all are) and given it Divine Sanction. This error, straight from the pages of the Apocalypse is the story of Church History.
A friend told me I've been on fire lately. I apologize...sort of. He didn't mean it as a critique, but I myself become concerned. I don't want to degenerate into some kind of ranting maniac. But from my perspective, things are quite bad. Understand what sense I mean. It's all going according to God's plan. We're to expect this. And as things get worse, God continues to work and the Remnant also progresses and becomes more manifest. So in that regard as things degenerate there is also much to be excited and optimistic about.
But you can't help but be moved, whether to tears or anger when you see what is happening in the Church at large.
Yesterday I drove by a 'church' that purports to be Conservative and Evangelical. They have one of those accursed signs out front and not to disappoint their's proclaimed:
Stop on in, we have great Sunday's
Big deal right? For those who might not get it. In the United States when you mix ice cream with chocolate syrup or some other kind of topping it's usually called a Sundae. So there's a little joke here as this church and many others like to borrow from logos and little sayings from our consumer culture. Another one you commonly see:
Wal-mart isn't the only saving place.
This is supposed to make you want to attend their church presumably to get saved. They're being kind of cute, attempting to be clever and get your attention by mixing Americana with....some kind of marketing strategy? What are they hoping to accomplish?
Before this degenerates into a rant, I'll make my point. I read my Bible and I'm not reading it as some book of rules. I'm not reading it looking for codes, hidden meanings. I'm not reading it with my newspaper in hand trying to find the secret meaning behind current events. I'm not reading it to have my best life now, or to find seven secrets to a better marriage. I'm not reading it so I can work to take over the world or to affirm some kind of romanticized notions I have about the country I live in. I don't want to read it to defend a political or theological tradition, to construct coherent philosophical systems that I can turn into political and cultural action.
I read it to know God and to be reconciled to Him. To know His ways and His character. I want to know the truth because it is true, because its the way the universe works.
I guess I just get upset because when I see those signs on Churches or when I listen to 'christian' radio....
I don't know what god they're worshipping. It's not the one I know from the Bible. I'm not the standard. My experience isn't the lens by which to look at these things, but when I listen to these christian leaders and how they view the church and the world, I'm left with a dilemma. Maybe I'm lost? I suppose they would say so. I am so antithetical to almost everything they stand for and care about it would seem we're standing for two different religions.
But I go back to my Bible and I am comforted and I press on. I read history and I am comforted because this has all happened before. For centuries groups of people clung to the Bible. They were imperfect, they did not have all the answers but they were facing the same thing. They faced a Christendom narrative and theology, an acculturated version of the faith, a perversion of doctrine stemming not from Scripture, but from alien ideas, speculation, and arguments driven by necessity from bad cultural-theological foundations.
We are there once again.