22 December 2011

Radio Free Babel Part 3

The final installment of this so far less than popular series dealing with CrossTalk in particular and Christian radio in general.

If I might promote some fear for a moment......

The United States, largely bolstered by robust Evangelical voters, put George Bush into office. Over the past ten years we've seen almost endless war, torture, prison camps, and the elimination of many civil liberties. Every day the United States is feeling more like a police state, and now we have the government deciding who is worthy of legal protections, and if you're deemed not worthy, even though you're a citizen, the state can assassinate you.

When it is politically advantageous they will blame the Democrat in charge, but largely the Christian Church has been behind these measures and the current spate of Republican candidates (with the exception of one) all advocate the continuation and expansion of these measures.

Even though its policies have not deviated from the Imperial agenda, the Obama administration has radicalized the Right-wing and this has been exacerbated as the country is in a state of economic desperation. There is the very real possibility Republican rule will return by the end of 2012.

If George W. Bush represented something of a pendulum swing in response to Clinton, what will the new pendulum swing look like in a more polarized and desperate time? What will it look like if some other catastrophe befalls the United States?

Let me be clear. My concern is not for the United States. I live here (in Babylon) but whether Babylon comes or goes means little to me. One way or another we (Christians ) will weather the storm.

My concern is for the Church. The Dominionist-Transformationalist web is widening. As of right now it is very difficult to find a Church even remotely preaching Scripture. And the handful that do...mix it with Dominionist and Americanist ideologies, making them most unpalatable. This is not only during the regular meeting, but even in the context of fellowship. Rather than feel a fellow, you'll certainly feel like an outsider, if not some kind of intruder. There are times I have felt deceptive in even being present.

I fear the day is soon coming if not here already that to be a faithful Christian we will have to disassociate ourselves from such people...entirely.

My hope is that a remnant Church will arise. For various reasons people will see that the mainstream Conservative Church is far out of Biblical bounds. I don't even need to mention the theologically compromised mainline bodies... I do not call them Churches.

Maybe it will take extremes to wake people up? Maybe when Christian leaders are referring to anyone who doesn't go along with them as a Marxist...the people will begin to question their integrity and judgment? Let's hope so. Daily I hear radio preachers and commentators as well as authors in print declaring Transformation to be the line of demarcation, the shibboleth of Orthodoxy. If you don't hold to this notion at least in some form, they're saying it quite plainly...you are not a Christian.

In the Middle Ages, it was unthinkable to question the notion of Crusade, the holiness of relics, and the feudal system. Those that did were anti-Christian, social misfits and dangerous. And yet in many cases these were clearly the Christians that were opposing the Medieval order, the Babel, the Beast, the Babylon of that day.

How funny it is now to look at something like the feudal social and economic system and think that somehow people thought it was a Christian system. We can see clearly what historical events brought it about and how the Church accommodated itself and bought into the power structure. It was wretched but it worked and provided a framework for society. Just because it worked did not make it Christian and I don't think anyone disputes that or would argue for a return to the hierarchy of lord, priest and peasant. Or would they? That's for another time.

Today, we have a myriad of Christians running about arguing the American political system is just shy of being under Divine Inspiration. Our wars are couched in religious terms, nebulous in public but quite clear with the Church, and our cultural icons, our pop culture is integrated within the Church. Just as people didn't question relics, the Churches do not question all the extra-Scriptural innovations today. People like the CrossTalk hosts think they are exempt but they pollute the Church with culture when they confuse American cultural distinctives and politics with Biblical worldview.

The feudal system seemed the most Christian structure imaginable. Everyone had their place and function and contributed to the societal welfare. Today, we have Christians which have taken American individualism, pioneer generated entrepreneurialism and its laissez faire context, empire and several other ideas and believe they have accurately reflected Scripture. Just as feudalism seems absurd to us, the American Christian socio-economic system seems equally bankrupt if not sick to Christians outside these borders and I fear history will not be kind to American political Christianity.

But considering the Church almost every time ends up joining with the Beast and helping to build Babel...they will probably look back and smile...just like Christo-Americans do today at the pro-British Empire Christians in the 19th century. They don't condemn the idea, just their foolishness in thinking it was to be Britain. Because of course, we know America is the chosen nation. At some point in the future it will happen again, and Sacralists will look back and shake their heads at someone like Jerry Falwell who thought it was to be America. The problem isn't the principle, just the fact that someone exclusively identified their nation as the standard bearer.

I haven't been very kind in this series of articles. If you've understood me, then you know why...and also know that I'm constraining myself.

But I always must remind myself the wheat and tares grow together until the end. People are waking up. Sadly most people don't know where to go and they get pulled off into other popular movements and new ideas. Some also claim to be Christian but are engaged in other forms of syncretism. Some also criticize the ever popular Christian Right, but are still engaged in the whole concept of building a Christian culture...and like it or not are headed down the same road.

I am confident God will take care of his Church...even now He is at work.

The Remnant needs to learn that sometimes the enemy looks good, sounds good, they may even have nice little fife music accompanying their shows. But when they promote politics instead of Gospel, lies instead of truth, fear for the purposes of power...we should be able to clearly recognize them for what they are.

Wolves in sheep's clothing.

Is that too harsh? I wrestle with this every day. I'm left with this...there are many folks who may be Christians, sitting in these Churches, eagerly listening to programmes like CrossTalk, and caught up in all this false kingdom activity. I don't presume for a second to know the state of their souls or the limits of God's grace. What I do know is this....If they are believers, they're in sin and need to be rebuked. And I will not encourage them by joining with them or even gritting my teeth and looking the other way while they engage in this behaviour. I realize I don't have it all figured out either and I'm hardly free from sin. So I believe we need to speak the truth in love, which sometimes our love for Christ demands bluntness, at least Paul thought so. He wasn't always very kind in his use of words. Be angry and sin not.

I do think we've reached a point that these people will persecute those within the Church who do not go along with them and even worse, dare to critique them. I think this will grow worse or at least has the strong possibility of worsening in the near future. If you're standing against Dominionism, you will not be tolerated.

Transformationalism is the New Orthodoxy. Those who reject it are heretics. In this case I will happily accept the label.

While I weep for those who will go through much grief as a result...being put out of the Church and more...I am hopeful because many Christians will be forced to reassess many issues regarding the nature of the Church and the whole idea of the Kingdom. This is a good thing.


Anonymous said...

You know...this is a good thing.
It takes times like this to define what a true Christian believes.

John MacArthur (agree with him or not on a lot of things) said once that he was talking with a man who had been imprisoned for his faith in Russia. He said that the man wondered how, in America, we can tell the difference between the true and false Christians? Good question.

The time is coming and may be here - when it will be much more obvious.
That means different things to different people. But it's always meant the same thing to Jesus, hasn't it. We stand out by our love. The love that comes from Him.

Bless you, Proto.

Anonymous said...

"I fear the day is soon coming if not here already that to be a faithful Christian we will have to disassociate ourselves from such people...entirely."

I have already had to do this. How in the world can you represent Jesus to those who don't know a thing about him and still belong to something this compromised? Can I really point to these communities that stand behind me and say "this is what a redeemed people look like"? Could I (or would I!) bring someone into that community without feeling I was poisoning them?

That is my struggle. But I am challenged as I see the tension in the Letter to Laodicea in The Revelation. Jesus Himself is challenging His people to wake up or He will "spit them out of His mouth." He is already "outside the door" but He is still knocking on it. He hasn't given up even the likes of this condition.....yet. And He says he "disciplines those whom He loves."

Maybe it is best to be "outside the door" with Him than inside.

The "prophet" must have a zealous love for God but also a strange compassion for God's people, always knowing our own acceptance by God in Jesus comes even with our own blindnesses.

At least being in this position you can "feel" what they felt in their day.


Anonymous said...

I, too, felt a familiarity with the words:
"we will have to disassociate ourselves from such people...entirely."
I have had to explain the difference between "organized church christians" and the Ekklesia who follow Jesus.

I was once caught up in the church organization and I think maybe God wanted me there for a few years so I could really see the nature of it from the inside. When my eyes were finally opened - I left.

But...I believe there are still dear brothers and sisters inside it. I don't tell them to leave but do explain once in awhile (when they ask) why I left.
Some get it and some look at me like I'm crazy.
It does give one opportunity to spread the true word of God - the true gospel.

So many really understand that something's not right. Or they've been hurt by the church system. Or have felt excluded or not good enough. To hear that they've been right - that Jesus isn't about that - and then to hear what He really IS about and Who He really IS...well, it's a very convenient way to compare what Jesus taught and what He didn't.
A lot of people (that I've talked with) outside of the church get that. Praise God!

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed this series of posts. Thanks for taking the time to write them.

Dawn L

Protoprotestant said...

Hey...thanks for taking the time to comment! (smile)

I hope they were somewhat beneficial.

Anonymous said...

This blog in general is beneficial...not just this series of posts. For me, it's also very encouraging. I'm generally a lurker, but I wanted to let you know that you are appreciated.

Dawn L