Sarah Palin’s Former Pastor Ed Kalnins Reverts To The Jeremiah Wright Excuse!
Posted by Job on September 4, 2008
Ed Kalnins and Jeremiah Wright are so different, yet so alike. Why so alike? When they were challenged regarding controversial comments that they made, they claimed to be taken out of context. Two things about this.
1. Do not claim to be taken out of context if your comments generally reflect what you believe. Kalnins clearly supported George W. Bush and the Iraq War and opposed John Kerry. So even if he did not specifically believe that opposing Bush and supporting John Kerry would sin you to the lake of fire and the Iraq War was the will of God as direct and demonstrable points of Biblical doctrine, the fact remains that his beliefs and sympathies are very much in that direction, and he made those statements in support of those beliefs. The same with Jeremiah Wright’s ranting. No one that has any level of exposure to liberation theology and black nationalism can claim that Jeremiah Wright’s “out of context” comments do not generally describe his beliefs.
2. For the record, THIS is a textbook literal example of being taken out of context means. A pastor is in the pulpit describing where in the Old Testament God tells Israel that it is His Will that when Israel goes to war against Edom (or Moab or Ammon … you get the picture) that they kill every man, woman, and child. The next day, that pastor and his congregation are confronted with the headline in the local newspaper “Pastor Claims That God Advocates Genocide!” and then for good measure goes on to talk about Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. So taking the pastor’s attempt to describe events in historical Israel and claiming that the pastor was telling his congregation to go out and kill Jewish babies … THAT is taking things out of context. THAT is what the term actually means … using a person’s words in a manner that completely distorts or opposes their intended meaning. (Incidentally, Christians do the same to God when we take Bible verses out of their context all the time i.e. “ye are gods children of the most high … life and death are in the power of the tongue … speaking things that are not as though they were” … you get the picture.)
What that gets us to is that the vast majority of the time that people claim to be quoted out of context … they weren’t REALLY quoted out of context. Instead, they said something that is bringing negative consequences on their heads, and they are using manipulative or deceptive tactics to avoid those consequences rather than being honest and A) standing behind the substance of what they said (and believe) or B) apologizing and retracting it. And Kalnins and Wright prove this by their own words. Wright, for instance, claimed that his rantings were justifiable in the context of black liberation theology. Kalnins, for his part, simply claimed to be quoted out of context without bothering to provide the actual context, meaning, or intent of his words. For Wright this means that his being a black liberation theologist makes his ranting and hate acceptable. On Kalnins’ part, he simply expected that his supporters would presume that a liberal media is out to destroy him and Palin, and strangely enough is using precisely the same thing – a set of built in theological, philosophical, and political assumptions – that Wright was! Just as Wright was saying “you’d have to read James Cone to really understand where I am coming from”, Kalnins was saying (with his silence) “that is just the godless liberals doing what they do.” Again, see how similar they are? The truth is that neither was willing to expound upon or explain his statements without revealing that they actually do reflect in a general sense his personal beliefs, because they know that their personal beliefs would be rejected by most people and bring negative consequences – persecution if you will – as a result. As neither man was willing to face persecution on account of his doctrines – his Christianity – he claimed to be taken out of context. Did Peter, Paul, James, John, Matthew, etc. ever claim to have been taken out of context?
This is in great contrast to a prominent British leader of the Reformation John Knox. In the time of Knox’s ministry, several of Europe’s leading nations were ruled by women. The women did not always act in a Biblical manner – as rulers tend to often not do – and Knox wrote a polemic against women in leadership. Of course, this created very negative consequences for Knox. What did Knox do? He did not claim to be “quoted out of context”, which in truth is LYING by calling the people who accurately report the text and general meaning and intent of your words LIARS, which is indeed what Wright and Kalnins are doing. Instead, Knox APOLOGIZED and RETRACTED HIS COMMENTS. SEVERAL TIMES. His efforts to make amends did not satisfy the female rulers that he offended, but that is besides the point. The point is that Knox took full responsibility for his words rather than LIE and claim that the bearer of responsibility was not HE who spoke the words but the HEARER for his failure to understand. 1) It is the responsibility of the SPEAKER to communicate CLEARLY and EFFECTIVELY so that they will not be grotesquely misunderstood. Especially if you are a PREACHER. Not only are preachers TRAINED PROFESSIONAL SPEAKERS BY DEFINITION, but preachers should WANT those that are UNSAVED to understand them. A person should not have to be well versed in black liberation theology or familiar with the eccentricities of your Alaskan Assemblies of God church in order to know that your angry rants should not be interpreted literally. I know that Jesus Christ spoke in parables, but with all due respect Kalnins and Wright, I know Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ is a friend of mine, and pastor you are no Jesus Christ. Speak plainly or get out of the pulplit to make room for someone who can. 2) Again, your hearers did not misunderstand you. You said what you meant and you meant what you said. Even if it was rhetorical or metaphorical rather than literal, your words conveyed the basic general thrust of your doctrines and beliefs. You are just trying to avoid the consequences of your actions.
Now this is the root cause of their problems which caused them to claim to be “quoted out of context” is that their words and intents were not Biblical to begin with. If they were preaching sound doctrine based on a literal and contextual interpretation of scripture, then Jeremiah Wright would have been able to turn to the Bible and show where Peter launched into hateful tirades. Kalnins similarly would have been able to show where the book of Ephesians states that God will judge people based on which political leaders they support. Now had Wright and Kalnins been doing Bible – based preaching, then their claims of having been “taken out of context” would have simply been their revealing that they are ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. (By the way, John Knox was not guilty of this for nothing in scripture forbids women from being leaders in the secular realm … Knox simply was in error and appropriately withdrew his words and made apology for them.) As it was, instead of being guilty of being ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ, Kalnins and Wright were guilty of preaching another gospel, which is just as bad, for scripture states that anyone who preaches another gospel is accursed!
And that is the root of why Kalnins and Wright, despite so different, in this matter were actually one and the same. Ministers of the Word of the living God have a great responsibility that should not be misused or abused. When you are in the pulpit (or out of it for that matter) stick to the Bible. The church exists for the Bible (the revelation of God to mankind), not the Bible for the church. If a preacher cannot stick to the Bible, then he needs to find another occupation, or another area in which he can serve. The same is true of a preacher that is ashamed of having to represent the Bible’s contents. And rest assured, if your pastor, your shepherd, is someone who in his office either wanders from scripture or fails to zealously promote or defend it, then it is your responsibility to find one that does.