News that notorious late term abortionist George Tiller received the very sort of violent death that for 30 years he meted out to innocent unborn children reminded me of debates that I used to have with a liberal that I once knew. This fellow was extremely well versed in suspect and intellectually dishonest arguments, but there was one in particular that he absolutely nailed me on: though both conservatives and liberals have their extremists, in this country it is the conservative extremists that have always been more prone to committing acts of political and ideological violence. Now I took great offense to this statement, because even though the fellow who made the comment did not intend any religious overtones when he made the statement at the time I was a Bush Republican who equated “conservative” with “Christian.” However, some informal research on my own (not that I am a professional researcher i.e. a journalist, historian, statistician, etc.) not only confirmed the point that the fellow was trying to make – that the clear majority of political violence that had occurred in this country was committed by conservatives – but also one that he was not trying to make and was not interested in, which is that many of the conservatives who resort to political, ideological and religious violence in this country do in fact profess to be Christians.
Of course, the media has the habit of claiming as professed Christians those who are not, including Eric Rudolph (who set off bombs at the Olympics and at abortion clinics and homosexual nightclubs in the 1990s) and Timothy McVeigh. Quite the contrary, Rudolph and McVeigh both renounced Christianity. However, the sad truth is that doing so with McVeigh and Rudolph were never necessary, as there were plenty of right wing terrorists who were professed Christians to choose from! And I have to tell you, news that conservative Christians constitute the single biggest block of Americans that support torture and the war in Iraq, it is no surprise.
Now this is not intended as a broadside against conservatism. I myself am apolitical and attack both sides. I attack conservatives more because conservatives maintain the demonstrably false position that their movement most faithfully represents and advances the doctrines of the Bible where liberals make no such claim. In other words, where Christian followers of the Republican Party and the conservative movement are often likely people who are sincere but deceived, there is no way that any supporter of Barack HUSSEIN Obama, who placed Kathleen Sebelius – the friend and supporter of Tiller, the nation’s most notorious abortion doctor because of his willingness to perform procedures so gruesome that even the vast majority of his peers that kill babies for a living refuse to do – to lead the vital Health and Human Services Department can claim that they are supporting someone who respects, let alone obeys, the Bible.
But the question remains: why is it that in America more politically motivated violence comes from those who claim to be motivated by a literal interpretation of the Bible than by, say, adherents to the liberation theology of Barack HUSSEIN Obama’s so-called “pastor” Jeremiah Wright? A similar question: why did so many Bible believing Christians back the Iraq War and continue to do so even after it was exposed as a complete fraud and total nonsense, and why do so many support torture? Why did so many Bible believing Christians support the increase of state power when that very state power has been used against Bible believing Christians for centuries, from the birth of the faith in the fascist Roman Empire to modern times in communist and fascist states?
I wonder if the answer to this was found in a discussion board on the Jerusalem Post that dealt with the issue of violent crime in America. The fellow stated that it was a longtime teaching of the rabbis that where full keeping of a Torah made a person better than he was before (i.e. better than a pagan or a nonobservant person) partial keeping of the Torah made a person more evil than he was before (i.e. more evil than a pagan or an atheist). Because of the spiritual nature of the law of God, only keeping its whole counsel made a person more like God, where keeping only part of it actually makes them more evil. Now normally I am suspicious of the teachings of the rabbis, but this is one instance where the saying actually correlates with what the Bible says. The Old Testament prophets, for one, castigated Israel for only keeping part of the law i.e. the sacrifices and observances while committing murder, idolatry, and injustice. Jesus Christ picked up this theme against the Sadducees, scribes and Pharisees, including this devastating comment: Matthew 23:15 “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.”
So where legitimate Christianity makes a person better, more like Jesus Christ, false Christianity makes a person worse, more evil, and further people reared in or converted into false Christianity become twice as worse as the first generation of false Christians! And according to the same statements of Jesus Christ, this means that America and its church is in a whole lot of trouble.
Now while American Christians certainly have a long sad history of not acting like Christians (and refusing to admit it, see “The American Patriot Study Bible” and its whitewashing of history) this is more about the contemporary scene. You see, we are over four decades into the strong delusion and great deception of the American evangelical church known as the religious right. Its earliest modern form was when (Roman Catholic) Pat Buchanan was able to garner religious support to help get Richard Nixon into office. Sometime later the movement became a full fledged one, motivated primarily by Roe v. Wade, to aid the election of JIMMY CARTER. (Few religious right leaders will acknowledge that Jimmy Carter was their first candidate.) After Carter turned on them, groups like the Moral Majority, the Christian Coalition, etc. were formed to back Ronald Reagan and the rest is history.
However, the religious right, while certainly right, was never religious. Not only was it an ecumenical movement, bringing Protestants together with Mary and angel and pope worshiping Roman Catholics (something that would have been impossible without Vatican II and Billy Graham), but actually an interfaith movement, involving Christians, Catholics (whom I take the position constitutes an entirely different religion), Jews and atheists. Further, before September 11th, George W. Bush was actually trying to bring Muslims into the coalition as well! We all know from the Bible that coming together with unbelievers to advance Christianity is something that is forbidden, but instead for the past 30 years we have had Christians working hard to advance the religious agendas of Catholics and Jews!
Further still, the religious right never advanced actual Christianity, concerned around the death and resurrection of the Word of God Jesus Christ and living by the commandments of that same Christ. Instead, the religious right advanced a civil religion of morals, values and culture, what the Salvation Army founder William Booth would call Christianity without Christ and religion without the Holy Spirit. There are two reasons for this. The first is that if you promote actual Christianity, then the Catholics, Jews, and non-observant Christians will all leave in a heartbeat. The second is that actual Christianity is not something that will be advanced by governments and their laws and armies, but instead is a religion of the heart. So instead of using the true message of Jesus Christ in evangelism, we try to tell people how to behave, not so that they will avoid an eternity in the lake of fire and be reconciled to Jesus Christ, but so that they will be “good people” or “good Americans” according to our own estimations. And of course, this causes more than a few people with atrocious personal and spiritual lives (adulterers, drug addicts, liars, racists, tax cheats etc.) being called “good Americans” just because they have the “right” political views. I am tempted to call it a form of godliness that denies the power thereof, but now that I think of it, it is not even that. Instead, I am calling it an entirely different belief system that competes with Christianity that is precious little different from the deist philosophy of most of our founding fathers and the very similar naturalist – deist philosophy/religion of the ancient Greeks. Regarding the Greeks, consider Aristotle and Plato, who were monotheists, but their god was most certainly not the God of the Bible, and it is not surprising that Aristotle and Plato in their philosophy rejected the immorality, decadence and confusion of the polytheists and instead promoted a personal lifestyle and society governed by morality, civility and ethics.
So now, we are entering our second generation of Christians whose religious worldviews have been shaped more by the political pronouncements and activism of James Dobson, Pat Robertson, Tony Perkins (and let’s face it, the Vatican and Zionist Jews) than by the Bible or any sound teacher thereof. Three pieces of evidence of this sad state. Billy Graham is able to state publicly that he no longer believes that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven, and he and his ministry suffer absolutely no negative consequences whatsoever. George W. Bush states that Christians and Muslims worship the same God and no one bats an eye, and later states that the Bible is not literally true or the final authority, and none of the evangelical leaders who backed this fellow for eight years – even to the point of supporting George W. Bush’s war in Iraq based on the idea that Bush was a devout man given to much study and prayer whose actions and policies were being guided by the Holy Spirit and thus reflected God’s Will – didn’t say a peep. And then there is the Carrie Prejean debacle (and before her the Sarah Palin disaster, which continues to this day).
Now regarding Prejean, I really never criticized her that much, only the people that were using her. Why? Because I honestly have a difficult time arriving at how she knew any better. Based on my own experience growing up firmly believing in A) premillennial dispensationalism, B) you can lose your salvation and C) one had to speak in tongues in order to be saved, I am fairly convinced that many Christians – especially young ones – read and interpret the Bible for themselves, but instead interpret it according to the framework given to them by their pastors, parents, teachers and other role models in the faith (which now includes televangelists, political Christians, recording artists and other Chri$tian celebritie$). So how else are we going to avoid raising a generation of Christian kids who firmly believe that evidence of the faith is not keeping the commandments of Jesus Christ, but having the right position on homosexuality and abortion? What else are we going to produce but a generation of Christian kids who believe that the Word of God became flesh and died on a cross and raised from the dead so that we could get a pro-life majority on the Supreme Court, post the Ten Commandments in every public school classroom, and defeat homosexual marriage initiatives?
How many of the kids in this generation know that abortion and homosexuality were commonly practiced in the Roman Empire during the time of Jesus Christ and His apostles, yet Christ and His apostles rarely even mentioned that fact, let alone tried to change it? Read the New Testament: it only deals with the sins of the world when speaking of the world’s judgment in Revelation, the Olivet discourse, and other eschatological passages. Otherwise, the only sins that are dealt with are the sins of the people of God, the Jews in the time of Christ and the church after the coming of the Holy Spirit. The New Testament gives only two methods of dealing with the sins of the world: A) the church remaining separate from the world (which again, the religious right rejects by definition) and B) evangelizing the lost, which of course removes the sinner from the world and makes it incumbent upon him that he practice A).
Instead, the Christian conservative movement rejects the teachings and example of Jesus Christ and His apostles by trying to force the world into being partially righteous part of the time, or even being completely unrighteous all the time so long as you A) have the right beliefs and B) can cover it up. And in the process of trying to get the world to behave, Christian conservatives allow Christians – people in the church – to behave however they want and in many cases believe much of whatever they want (so long as their beliefs are “right” on abortion, homosexuality, taxes, military, etc.) And you can see the result. Abortion rates in evangelical churches are the same as they are in the overall culture, and divorce rates are even higher. (Again, so long as you “believe” something is wrong in a political sense, how you actually live your life is of little consequence or concern.)
Those are just a few indicators: there are others. So the question is: what is American Christianity going to be like 20-30 years from now, when – unless the hand of God intervenes – the current generation of evangelicals reared in what is at best a theologically shallow and doctrinally suspect Christianity and what is at worst an entirely new religion altogether are leading our churches, seminaries and Bible colleges? I believe that what Jesus Christ spoke of in Matthew 23:15 will be the result, and just as the religious leaders of that day made it very difficult for the early church (to the point of killing and driving off not a few of them) Christians who desire to learn and keep the true commandments of Jesus Christ will face extreme difficulties. A lot of Christians are talking about how Barack HUSSEIN Obama is going to open the door to mistreatment of Christians, but I honestly wonder if these Christians had better look at other professed Christians! Because please recall that the Bible says that by delivering Christians over to the authorities to be killed, people will consider themselves to be doing a service to God! So, it won’t be ACLU Human Rights Campaign NAMBLA abortion rights atheist secular humanist liberals (or Muslims for that matter) doing this to us to fulfill that prophecy. It will be adherents to a Christless, cross – less, Holy Spirit – less moral and civil religion (that very much lends itself to either universalism or at the very least pluralism) that will be closely tied to the exaltation of the state and culture, and perhaps ultimately be led the beast of Revelation, the anti-Christ himself!
So Christians, take a long hard look at Scott Roeder and consider if he is precisely the sort of zealot for an external form of religion based on partial belief and adherence that persecuted Jesus Christ (falsely accusing Him and sending Him to the cross) in the past and will do the same to true members of His church in the future. Wouldn’t it be ironic if the great persecutors of the American church in the future are not Muslims, Barack HUSSEIN Obama liberals, but “Judeo-Christians”? (By the way, “Judeo-Christianity” or “Judeo-Christian values” or “Judeo-Christian culture does not exist. Judaism and Christianity are two different religions, and furthermore modern Judaism and Christianity have no more to do with each other than does Christianity and Islam. So they are a contradiction. Further, Christianity has nothing to do with “values” or “culture” as those are temporal things of this world while Jesus Christ and His kingdom are spiritual and eternal. Now I must say that if you didn’t know this already and moreover are now rejecting it upon reading this, well then you are precisely one of those who is likely to either persecute the church in the future, consent to it, or do nothing to stop it that I am speaking of.)