Funny, I just saw a picture of the captured U.S. flag with skulls in lieu of the stars on the drone captured by Iran. Seemed like a good icon to me.
Probably s more accurate reflection of American virtues.
"Our behavior, morals, and ethics – all rooted in Christianity – are the examples by which we can inspire the world."What is he talking about? American morals are in the Scripture? Are we reading the same thing?"The Cross Spangled Banner combines two of the world's most powerful symbols knowing that it will strike that divine spark in each of us,"No, I suppose not.
I'm sorry to hear you weren't inspired.My wife had to bake me an apple pie...so filled with warmth was I.On a more serious note....Anyone have trouble with the link? Someone reported they caught a bug from it. I didn't have any trouble.
This may or may not be related but if you have the time, google a video called "Rhodesia Unafraid". It was a propaganda piece put out by the Rhodesian government in 1978 during their Civil War and the language they used sounded like something right out of the McCarthy era, such as how they spoke about their conflict as "defending their Christian way of life" against "godless Communist hordes".Apparently there were quite a few die-hard, right-wing Vietnam vets who volunteered their services for Ian Smith's government and thought along the same lines but I'm not sure to what extent that's verifiable.
I will definitely check it out.Just yesterday in the car we were listening to Albert Mohler interview Paul Kengor, a professor at Grove City College and a fellow at the Hoover Institute...a propaganda thinktank.They were talking about the Cold War. Kengor's thesis is the American Left was completely duped by the Communists and essentially working to help them in this country. His book on the subject is called...Dupes.Of course McCarthy comes up...and oh yes, they still love that guy. As I listened to the show I was left thinking their the dupes. Not only did they fall for all the propaganda while the Cold War was going on...they're still falling for it even after we can look back with 20/20 hindsight. Rather than realize how hyped up and overplayed the whole thing was...they want to re-visit it.I hear people like Mohler, Cal Thomas, and so many more in the Christian Right still echoing the same old tired arguments about Vietnam and the rest.They're repeating the same old threats of appeasement and Munich when it comes to Iran and China. These people are a curse. During the whole Cuban Missile Crisis I am thankful that lost Roman Catholics like Kennedy stood up to people like Curtis LeMary and the Joint Chiefs and kept them from doing what they wanted.Of course the Christians today would side with people like LeMay or McArthur in Korea. Frightening.Have you ever seen The Interpreter? The names are changed but it's so obviously about Mugabe and Zimbabwe.There's a lot of revisionism happening in Christian circles. They've re-written their record during the Civil Rights era...made themselves to be for it, when at the time they were the spearpoing AGAINST it.And, I've written about it a couple of times...Bush stood up and flat lied about what happened in Indochina. He said that American withdrawal led to the Khmer Rouge...when the opposite is true.In fact it's all rather instructive. The Domino Theory stopped at Laos and Cambodia, but because Western thinkers erred and did not understand that East Asian communism was really just a vehicle for nationalism and anti-colonialism...they didn't get that Vietnam and China would not end up friends. And they didn't. They couldn't have imagined Vietnam would invade Khmer Rouge Cambodia.Listening to Mohler and basically anyone from the Hoover Institute I'm left concluding they don't really understand history at all...let alone current events.And unlike America, people in Africa and Asia tend to have memories. We can't remember stuff from a decade ago. The rest of the world doesn't work that way. That's why Mugabe despite his destructive lunacy can still garner respect and sympathy.
Here's something else you might want to check out when you have the time and is probably more relevant to this brief article you posted:http://www.kdvr.com/news/kdvr-pastor-wears-jersey-2011112011,0,5587756.storyLet me know if the link doesn't work. It's about a pastor wearing a Tim Tebow jersey to church.I'm sure you've heard of "Tebowmania". What are your thoughts on it?
Yes, I've heard about it...the mania that is, not this particular story.I guess a lot of Evangelicals are kind of excited about it. I haven't watched an NFL game for almost 20 years, but since I'm a news junky, you can't help but hear every now and then about what's happening. I guess he's pretty good and this gets the Evangelicals all whipped up.I seem to recall the coach of...is it Indianapolis?....they liked him too. I remember he was showing up in Christian radio circles.Personally I think they're a bunch of prima donnas, disgustingly overpaid and the whole thing is just kind of sick.That said...if someone likes American football...whatever. I'm not going to say you can't or even shouldn't watch it. I just don't have any interest in it...other than its cultural relevance, which is suprisingly significant. It's big money.I live in Pittsburgh Steelers country so we have a lot of fanatics around here. It literally is a religion. Yard ornaments, the clothing...tattoos of the logo...it's quite informative.As far as the Jesus jerseys and Bible verses written on the face...maybe I'm wierd but I find it all to be quite sacreligious. But a lot of Evangelicalism is sacreligious. God becomes something cheap and marketable, gadgets and gizmos and so forth. I don't know what to say to Christians I meet who have bobble-head Jesus and so forth. I'm left wondering if they're worshipping the majestic and Holy God of Scripture.What are your thoughts? Are you encouraged by the Tebow stuff? If so...fire away. I'd like to hear the pro- argument.
I think it's safe to conclude that my thoughts on this issue are akin to yours. NFL and college(?) football are American cultural staples. Sure, there are plenty who are indifferent to it but there are plenty more who aren't. You'd certainly be hard-pressed to find someone who hates it enough to speak about it openly at a men's retreat, unless his reason is a preference for the UFC.You ask how those who endorse all of this crap would justify it in their minds. You mention the "sacral impulse" throughout this website and I think that has a lot to do with it.Think about it: if there's a culture war as evangelicals understand it and if professional football has major influence on American culture then it follows that it's a flashpoint in the culture war and Tim Tebow is a frontline soldier. If he can maintain his current level of performance, continue to tattoo Bible verses all over himself such that they're visible to the TV cameras AND maintain at least a veneer of evangelical religiosity then he'll eventually have a "positive" influence on the players around him. Soon they'll convert and eventually the entire league will convert, upon which the entire NFL will be firmly within the evangelical domain. Today the NFL, tomorrow the world!It sounds a bit crazy and I could be wrong but that's probably a close approximation of the truth. Even though I don't know Tim Tebow personally, I do know that he's not the first NFL player to do what he's doing and based on how professional athletes behave generally - including those who profess to be Christian - I think it's safe to say that he's a little bit more full of himself than evangelicals care to admit.Wearing his jersey at a church service and holding him up as some kind of model for purity - clearing downplaying his imperfections or rationalizing them - is borderline idolatry as far as I'm concerned.Concering whether it's permissible for a Christian to watch the NFL or not is, like you implied, up to the individual conscience of the believer. However, I think you would have been hard-pressed to find a Christian in 1st-2nd century Rome who regularly attended the Circus Maximus to watch violent horse races or the Coliseum to watch mock naval battles and gladiators mutilating each other. They probably would have considered those things to be on Jesus' hit list at the Second Coming (pardon the expression).If so much of evangelicalism is sacrilegous it's probably because so many evanglical churches are false churches. If someone were to walk into one would he or she hear the pure preaching of the gospel? Would they see the sacraments faithfully administered? Would they see church discipline applied to wayward and erring members? The answer to all three of these questions is, in many cases, no.
I suppose some of them actually think that if Tebow is a Christian, he's cool and he wins games, then....no doubt millions will convert.Yes...I guess they actually do think that.They were gushing yesterday on the Christian news station. While the game winning field goal was being kicked, Tebow had taken a knee in prayer...very devout.They supplied some audioclips afterward...Tebow talking about how it's all...'the man upstairs'.I remember that baseball player back in the 90's who broke the home run record saying the same thing.Whenever I hear anyone talking about the 'man upstairs' let's just say...I start getting a little suspicious.There was that tennis player back in the 80's who acknowledge Christ after winning...I think it was the French Open??? At least that was done with some humility and dare I say it...class?I've often thought of the Circus Maximus analogy and yet in Christian circles they're really pushed the sports thing for a long time...good clean fun...keep the kids out of trouble...teach values like devotion and determination.I went to a Christian High School for a couple of years and the coaches we're all pumped up about tackling and sacking the quarterback...for Christ's glory. "You hit 'em hard and knock the QB onto his back...but we're different...yes, we help them up!"I still laugh about it sometimes.No the early Church wasn't in to sports and there was plenty available for them. I guess they weren't too interested in capturing that sphere for Christ. They hadn't learned their Dominion theology.I fully agree with your last paragraph though it's quite sad to say. I know there are still Christians in some of these 'churches'...we've had some come to Bible studies and things...but they're really bound by the whole institutional model. Meeting in a home or rented room...too wierd. At least, at the present.For many years I struggled with the question...if there are Christians there, then shouldn't I be as well? Am I not forsaking the assembly by not joining with them?I guess I've come to the point that there may be believers in some of these Tim Tebow type churches but they're in sin...they need to get out of there.We still attend a church. We're at a PCA church plant. I have no love for the PCA (I spent several years in those circles) but on a practical level, the week to week worship and teaching is decent. We've not had the 'membership' battle yet, so right now all is peaceful. What are believers to do when they can't find Word, Sacrament and Discipline? It's becoming quite rare.
Jim and Proto - I have watched a few videos of teebow over at defending contending and read the articles on him and I think he at least appears to be a sincere and meek brother (influenced by american churchianity for sure though).Check out the videos over there including Todd Friels wretched. I would like to hear your thoughts about it. I am the first to decry all things american christianity, and maybe I am letting myself be fooled, but this kid appears to be a brother and if so desperately needs out prayer. His humility and comments he made publicly that football is nothing but a game while Jesus Christ is everything to him is encouraging.other Jim said:"Think about it: if there's a culture war as evangelicals understand it and if professional football has major influence on American culture then it follows that it's a flashpoint in the culture war and Tim Tebow is a frontline soldier.""If he can maintain his current level of performance, continue to tattoo Bible verses all over himself such that they're visible to the TV cameras AND maintain at least a veneer of evangelical religiosity then he'll eventually have a "positive" influence on the players around him. Soon they'll convert and eventually the entire league will convert, upon which the entire NFL will be firmly within the evangelical domain. Today the NFL, tomorrow the world!"I pray the evangelical right will not kidnap him and use him for their purposes if he is a true brother. I actually got convicted that I am not as much of a bold witness for Christ at work that I could be by this. On a field or in a factory being bold for Christ and living a consistant Christian life (walking the walk) is not a bad thing. I dont watch sports either btw.In Christ -Jim
Whew...getting confused with my Jim's! (smile)I'm sure he's sincere. I think many in American Churchianity are sincere. If he was a High School player doing this... and I had the opportunity I'd talk with him.But he's on the national stage. I guess my hope would be...that he'd reflect on all these things and...say...I'm a Christian and therefore I'm quitting the NFL entirely. I'm leaving its corrupting culture and abandoning its values. I'm going to do something honourable with my life. Now THAT would be a testimony.Pat Tillman did something like that. He made the wrong decision but wow...can't help but respect the integrity to act like he did. Pretty fascinating story.Please don't misunderstand me. I'm not trying to be smart. It doesn't always come through right in cyberspace.I didn't know he said that football is just a game. If he did, that's great.It's interesting. Bode Miller said as much back in 2006 when he blew it at the Torino olympics. He said...it was just a game. Guess who didn't like that?Old Colson blasted him for his attitude. Because Bode Miller was representing America, he should have been ultra-competitive! At the time I thought Bode had it right.It also reminds me of Eric Liddell. I always thought he blew it. If he really thought he shouldn't have been running in that race because of the Sabbath, letting another guy do it instead was a sell out. He should have left the games altogether. I find it funny that so many Sabbatarians like the movie, because usually they insist the unbelieving public should keep the Sabbath as well (as in Blue Laws)...so how did finding a substitute solve the problem?Obviously Liddell is above reproach. His death in 1945 can probably be considered a martyrdom and he conducted himself in a very praiseworthy manner while in the Japanese prison camp.I completely agree 100% with your last paragraph. Even as I'm being critical, I'm convicted. I say things here because I think it's profitable to throw it out there...exposing others to issues and different ways to think about them. I'm not one to run around blasting people like Tebow. I'm more likely to keep quiet. Maybe that's worse?I guess I just want to be wise. I always think of a guy I knew that kept putting tracts in the office mailboxes of his co-workers. I mean like every day. Eventually the supervisor asked him to stop. He kept doing it and eventually got rebuked. He cried persecution. That wasn't persecution. He was all zeal, but not according to knowledge. I could probably use a little more zeal myself, but boy oh boy have I put my foot in it a few times. It makes one hesitant. Hesitation can turn to apathy or fear. God forbid it ever does that with me.Hey, I could find the Friels/Wretched thing you mentioned. Could you forward the link?Thanks!Blessings.---Proto
http://issuesetc.org/2011/12/14/tim-tebow-christianity-and-football-12142011/Pretty fair discussion...a cross section of callers to the show.
here is the link http://defendingcontending.com/2011/12/11/tebow-makes-us-uncomfortable/I am no sports fan or tebow supporter - but we should pray that if this kid belongs to the Lord that He would protect him from becoming a pawn for the christian right. I am sure you have hears the SNL + Pat Robertson news? -Jim
I don't know the details. I know SNL did something to make fun of him and Pat Robertson got mad about it.Thanks for the link. I'll have a look
I watched the videos......sorry I was pretty horrified to be honest. It's kind of like we're going to trick people with gimmicky stuff....getting them to google John 3.16 and all that. What is that show he's on? The one with the big flag in the back? That alone was...interesting.I guess I would have a better attitude if I watched stuff like this and tried to find the good...but that's not what I see.Maybe that says more about me, I don't know.
Jim,I watched the Rhodesia videos. Very interesting. These wars were terrible, and many of these fights were supported by and sometimes fomented by the powers involved in the Cold War. All of southern Africa was a mess at that time and well into the 1980's.Just last night I watched Innocent Voices with my oldest son. It's about the civil war in El Salvador during the 1980's. There were horrible massacres in that war as well...sometimes by the government being backed by the United States. American soldiers are seen training the government forces and interacting with kids on the streets.It's all a horrid business. To sit and try and label one side as Christian (Good) and the other as Communist (evil) seems a bit blind and naive.Defending their Christian way of life on their land? That's rich isn't it? I guess they just ignore the whole history of how they got there in the first place.Sometimes you can sympathize more with one side or another, but when it's all cast in 'Christian' terms like that....oh, it puts a bad taste in my mouth. The whites in Zimbabwe, South Africa and elsewhere have suffered a terrible backlash for their conduct during the 19th and most of the 20th century. It doesn't mean the China supported or Soviet supported forces were right either.It means from my perspective...every side is wrong.
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