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Posts Tagged ‘Christianity Today’

If Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians was *first* Published in “Christianity Today”

Posted by Job on February 23, 2009

I am sorry. This is going to have to be a 100% cut and paste job.  Courtesy of sister PJ Miller.

If Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians was *first* Published in “Christianity Today”

 

by pjmiller

This satirical piece at The Sacred Sandwich had me both laughing outloud and pondering the more serious implications. (HT to ChristianResearchNetwork)

Can you imagine if Paul’s letter to the Galatians were to be originally published in Christianity Today, now, what some of the reactions from readers would be?

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Dear Christianity Today:

In response to Paul D. Apostle’s article about the Galatian church in your January issue, I have to say how appalled I am by the unchristian tone of this hit piece. Why the negativity? Has he been to the Galatian church recently? I happen to know some of the people at that church, and they are the most loving, caring people I’ve ever met.

Phyllis Snodgrass; Ann Arbor, MI

____________________

Dear Editor:

How arrogant of Mr. Apostle to think he has the right to judge these people and label them accursed. Isn’t that God’s job? Regardless of this circumcision issue, these Galatians believe in Jesus just as much as he does, and it is very Pharisaical to condemn them just because they differ on such a secondary issue. Personally, I don’t want a sharp instrument anywhere near my zipper, but that doesn’t give me the right to judge how someone else follows Christ. Can’t we just focus on our common commitment to Christ and furthering His kingdom, instead of tearing down fellow believers over petty doctrinal matters?

Ed Bilgeway; Tonganoxie, KS

Dear CT:

I’ve seen other dubious articles by Paul Apostle in the past, and frankly I’m surprised you felt that his recurrent criticisms of the Church deserved to be printed in your magazine. Mr. Apostle for many years now has had a penchant for thinking he has a right to “mark” certain Christian teachers who don’t agree with his biblical position. Certainly I commend him for desiring to stay faithful to God’s word, but I think he errs in being so dogmatic about his views to the point where he feels free to openly attack his brethren. His attitude makes it difficult to fully unify the Church, and gives credence to the opposition’s view that Christians are judgmental, arrogant people who never show God’s love.

Ken Groener; San Diego, CA

______________________

To the Editors:

Paul Apostle says that he hopes the Galatian teachers will cut off their own privates? What kind of Christian attitude is that? Shame on him!

Martha Bobbitt; Boulder, CO

______________________

Dear Christianity Today:

The fact that Paul Apostle brags about his public run-in with Peter Cephas, a well-respected leader and brother in Christ, exposes Mr. Apostle for the divisive figure that he has become in the Church today. His diatribe against the Galatian church is just more of the same misguided focus on an antiquated reliance on doctrine instead of love and tolerance. Just look how his hypercritical attitude has cast aspersions on homosexual believers and women elders! The real problem within the Church today is not the lack of doctrinal devotion, as Apostle seems to believe, but in our inability to be transformed by our individual journeys in the Spirit. Evidently, Apostle has failed to detach himself from his legalistic background as a Pharisee, and is unable to let go and experience the genuine love for Christ that is coming from the Galatians who strive to worship God in their own special way.

William Zenby; Richmond, VA

_______________________

Kind Editors:

I happen to be a member of First Christian Church of Galatia, and I take issue with Mr. Apostle’s article. How can he criticize a ministry that has been so blessed by God? Our church has baptized many new members and has made huge in-roads in the Jewish community with our pragmatic view on circumcision. Such a “seeker-sensitive” approach has given the Jews the respect they deserve for being God’s chosen people for thousands of years. In addition, every Gentile in our midst has felt honored to engage in the many edifying rituals of the Hebrew heritage, including circumcision, without losing their passion for Jesus. My advice to Mr. Apostle is to stick to spreading the gospel message of Christ’s unconditional love, and quit criticizing what God is clearly blessing in other churches.

Miriam “Betty” Ben-Hur; Galatia, Turkey

________________________

EDITOR’S NOTE: Christianity Today apologizes for our rash decision in publishing Paul Apostle’s exposé of the Galatian church. Had we known the extent in which our readership and advertisers would withdraw their financial support, we never would have printed such unpopular biblical truth. We regret any damage we may have caused in propagating the doctrines of Christ.

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What A Surprise Billy Graham Roman Catholic Embracing Christianity Today Endorses Dominionism

Posted by Job on October 21, 2008

Key quote: “Thus, Carson concludes that “the only human organization that continues into eternity is the church.”” Excuse me, but not even the Roman Catholic Church claims that the church is a human organization. Evangelicalism at its finest indeed … oh and by the way, this quote came in the review of the D.A. Carson book “Christ and Culture Revisited.” Please note my “Christ Is Not Your Culture” and be forewarned that Origenism lives on in evangelicalism and consider its endtimes implications. It is so much easier to tickle the ears and bewitch people with messages and doctrines of values, culture, politics, works, etc. than to stick the gospel message of Jesus Christ born of a virgin, crucified for our sins, raised for the dead, and is coming to bring wrath and judgment upon all who fail to believe or heed His Lordship of all.

That is precisely what modern evangelicalism is about. Evangelicalism is a form of Christianity that tries to coexist with the culture rather than separating from it. It is based on the fiction that it is easier to spread the gospel and transform the culture working from the outside rather than the inside. That is classic Christian liberalism – which has pagan roots and not Jewish ones by the way – which teaches that man is basically good and can be transformed through culture, education and government. As a matter of fact, evangelicalism openly admits that their ideas came from theological liberals like H. Richard Niebuhr. And yes, this does include the religious right. The “What Would Jesus Do” culture warriors? Well the religious left invented that slogan. Reading their social gospel manifesto from the 1800s, it reads like a religious right one from the late 1900s and today.

We are duped into believing, for instance, that America is basically good because “it is a Christian nation.” Then those who speak of the truth that at no point in American history has America been good for most of its citizens are called “anti – American.” These people denounce relativism, but they practice it all the time themselves by defending the alleged inherent goodness of America and the west by saying that everywhere else is worse!

Well, man is not inherently good. Creation is not inherently good. Those things are fallen and wicked. So, the church cannot redeem those things by their contact with them. Instead, the world corrupts the church that will not separate from it! These people twist the “a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump” teachings of the Bible out of context by saying that the church can be a leaven whose influence grows throughout society. Well if that does not just take the Passover typology and turn it on its head. Why is there UNLEAVENED bread for Passover, as a matter of fact Jews were told not to have any leaven in their homes! Why? Well take a science or cooking class. You know what leaven is? GERMS! AN INFECTION! Leaven is IMPURITY. The reason why only unleavened bread was to be used and leaven was not even supposed to be present in the house for Passover was because the bread represents the broken SINLESS body of Jesus Christ, and no leaven was supposed to be in the house because it represents the purity of the church that Jesus Christ heads, the house which the book of Hebrews says Jesus Christ built.

When Israel, which typologically represents the church no matter how dual covenant dispensational pluralists or the pluralist theological liberals deny it for fear of offending the Jewish groups that they maintain their precious ecumenical interfaith ties with to show how so non – fundamentalist they are, went into the promised land, God did not tell them to intermingle with the pagan tribes living there, to transform their culture, to be the leaven of positive thinking, unity, influence, and family values. No, God said to drive them out lest you be like them! When God gave Israel instructions for sacrifices, He did not say place the sanctified objects consecrated for tabernacle service next to the common objects so some of their holiness would rub off and all who brought their dishes, censers, bowls, flesh hooks, IDOLS etc. to the temple could have objects made holy by their contact with the tabernacle items that they could take home. No, God said keep the sanctified objects SEPARATE from the common objects, and even the priests had to be ritually purified before they could come into contact with them.

Now we are often taught “that is just the old Testament where God was so angry and full of wrath and anger at sin but now in the new covenant God is much nicer and loving.” So is that it? Are you evangelicals are or you Marcionites? Or has your ecumenical exchanges with Roman Catholics convinced you of the efficacy of evangelical holy water where you can make something righteous (or at least better than it was before and acceptable kinda sorta) by sprinkling your Veggie Tales family values (or your James Dobson Fuller Theological Seminary Dr. Phil psychobabble – and yes Dr. Phil professes to be Christian for he is aligned with T.D. Jakes and Robert Schuller) around the culture? Well the same God that told the children of Israel to put the Canaanites to the world told the church that friendship with the world is emnity with Him! The God of the New Testament has not changed, He is the same as the Old. The sinful creation of the Old Testament has not changed, it is the same as the Old. Yes, we do have the work of the cross and the indwelling Holy Spirit, but we are not to turn the grace of God into lasciviousness with the lie that it can be used to redeem fallen creation and its sinful nations and cultures. The purpose of common grace was so that all creation could know some of the love of God and to keep creation from descending into chaos. That is why governments which restrain evil are called servants of God. But the church does not deal with common grace. That is solely God’s province, the providence which He uses to rule creation and work out His place in history.

No, the church is the mystery of God that will be accomplished when the seventh trumpet sounds as it was announced to the prophets. We deal with special grace, saving grace, and our duty is to be used by God in His special mission. Are good works part of that mission? Of course! The gospels and the book of James state explicitly so. But where in the Bible, in the Old Testament or the New Testament, does it say that the purpose of good works is to give heathen cultures a form of godliness while denying the power thereof? Not only is such a notion easier than preaching the cross itself – making it easier for those who do not truly believe it while desiring for some reason to claim to be Christians – but it is clearly teaching the commandments of men as if they are the doctrines of God, the product of philosophic speculation rather than true exegetical theology, and based on the structure of Constantinism where the church state overtly desired to rule over a large number of people that they knew were unconverted just as they ruled over a tiny number of men that were, of a church state that took the throne and sword of Constantine and claimed that they were of “Saint Peter.”

The truth is that whether you admit that it is of Constantine or lie and claim that it is of Peter (secular power which MAY represent common grace IF it is wielded appropriately as in King Darius and not in an evil and illegitimate manner as in the wicked rulers Assyria and Egypt or even of Israel’s northern kingdom), either way you are denying the throne of special grace, and that is so whether you are Catholic, state church Protestant, or dominionist “family values Constitution God capitalism military and country” evangelicals.

This is not a call to fundamentalism per se. I could care less whether you are evangelical, fundamentalist or liberal. After all, the liberal Karl Barth rejected the World Council of Churches because he stated that according to scriptures its spiritual goals could not be accomplished by human organization! Instead, it is a call to return to the pure religion of the Bible and the cross. We turn the world upside down with the gospel of Jesus Christ and the good works that proceed from it, not by the lie that by engaging the world we can (partly) purify it rather than becoming (COMPLETELY) corrupted and altogether filthy from it. Because if you ever wanted any more proof that it is evangelicals following the world rather than the other way around, you merely need to compare evangelicalism of the 1920s to today and see what a change a mere generation or three makes.

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Leading Charismatic J. Lee Grady Claiming That Sarah Palin Is A Prophet Chosen By God To Lead Christians Into Holy War!

Posted by Job on September 10, 2008

I know, I know, yet another political article. I promise to do better, but how can I ignore things like this? Brother PJ Miller tipped me off to this fromJ. Lee Gray, editor of the influential Charisma Magazine. Now similar to Christianity Today and Roman Catholics with evangelical Christians, Charisma Magazine should have been rejected by Pentecostals and charismatics once they started accepting oneness pentecostal anti – Trinitarian heretics among their midst. Here it is in black and white from J. Lee Grady’s pen:

2. Trinitarians must embrace our Oneness brothers. I know people in the Assemblies of God who were taught all their lives that the Jesus worshiped by Oneness Pentecostals is “another Jesus.” The Lord told us to love one another, but we have avoided this by declaring that our brothers aren’t really in the family.

So what excuse is there for calling Charisma Magazine anything but what it is, which is apostate? Even better:

It all sounds like pointless doctrinal hair-splitting to us younger types. After all, who can explain the mystery of God’s triune nature? Instead of fussing about terms or reducing the gospel to a baptismal formula, why can’t we rally around our common belief that the Father sent His Son to save the world?

Excuse me, but what vital Christian doctrine CANNOT that be said about? Creationism? It is too hard to understand. Baptism? It is too hard to obey. The incarnation? Can’t believe it. The resurrection? Can’t accept it. Salvation only through the cross? Can’t put up with it. Eternal damnation in the lake of fire for sinners? Can’t conceive it. Adulterers, liars, thieves, necromancers, occultists, homosexuals, and apostates in the pulpit? Judge not, touch not mine anointed and do my prophet no harm! Look, A FALSE GOSPEL CANNOT SAVE!

But enough of that digression. J. Lee Grady claims that Sarah Palin has the Deborah anointing. Now my position is that all of these various spirits that Pentecostals and charismatics speak of do not exist, as there is one Lord who has one spirit, the Holy Spirit. Also, the word “anointing” means “choosing”, when one is “anointed by God”, it means that a person was given a calling by God to a specific calling or ministry in service to the Lord and His people. So I would discourage Christians from going around saying that someone has “a David anointing” or “a Hezekiah anointing” or “Paul’s spirit”, but I will go ahead and say that it is a crude and possibly incorrect but still understandable way of saying that someone has the same office, calling, or task as another Christian.

On J. Lee Grady’s part, this is very problematic for two reasons. First, the Bible commands us to “lay hands quickly on no man.” That is 1 Timothy 5:22. Now the best context for this verse was the practice of the church laying hands on people when they choose officers for the church. Please recall that when Stephen the martyr and Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas were appointed as deacons in Acts 6:1-6. Verse 6 states that after the church selected them, the apostles laid hands on them after praying for them. Though laying hands on people was part of the ritual or process of actually choosing and placing people in the position of service, it became a shorthanded reference for the act of choosing and installing a person into Christian service itself. But please note Acts 6:1-6 and interpret it with 1 Timothy 5:16-25. In both cases, it is obvious that a person should not be laid hands upon, or chosen, or anointed, unless the person had demonstrated their worthiness for the position by their fruits: excellent reputations, spiritual maturity, strong knowledge of and adherence to the Word of God in the eyes of the local congregation.

Now unless Grady has some extensive past history with Sarah Palin that he for some reason chooses not to reveal in his column, he has NO BASIS for claiming under New Testament church standards that God has called this woman to leadership or anything else. If he has been in longtime Christian fellowship with Palin, he should have let us know this. Otherwise, we can presume that like 99.9% of America, he was so ignorant of this woman’s existence that he could not have picked her out of a lineup until now.

So claiming that Palin was appointed by God to anything is irresponsible, reckless, and dangerous because it causes Christians to presume that she is generally acting and leading according to God’s desires and even non – Christians that respect our faith to presume that she is basically honest and moral. Such claims also damage how Christians view church doctrines and practice. Talk like this hinders people from knowing that being called by God or even elected to service by the church MEANS SOMETHING. That there are STANDARDS that these people must adhere to in order to be eligible for their appointment (in the case of a deacon) and AFTER their appointment (in the case of church appointed deacons and God – called everything else). That people keep throwing around  “I have an anointing, he has an anointing, I feel a great anointing and move of the Holy Spirit in this place” with the same level of care and discernment as they would use to say “boy that was a mighty fine and tasty bowl of oatmeal” is a great reason why we allow anyone – especially if he is a Christian – do whatever they want with no accountability whatsoever. 

So what is Grady’s basis for alleging that Palin has a call on her life? Her politics. Her values. Her culture. Her family. Her actions as mayor and governor. And keep in mind: he knows NONE of these first hand! He only knows them by their reports from people who have a motive to portray Palin in the best possible light for worldly reasons, and of course Grady is ignoring all of  the people with opposing views of this woman’s performance and character. They’re just liberals who reject the Bible, right? Now if they were “Jesus Christ was born again in hell” Word of Faith teachers, “Jesus Christ was rich” prosperity doctrine teachers, or “God the Father suffered and died on the cross” United (oneness) Pentecostals, they’d be good credible people, right? 

This is replacing true Christianity, which is of the spirit, with a works – based religion of the flesh. Of the circumcision. And you know what? It is a very shallow one at that. Islam, Judaism, Hinduism … do you know what those religions require before a person is declared worthy, a lifetime process of rigorous spiritual, religious, and personal demands? Muslims according in particular to their belief system have no assurance of their salvation when they die (unless they perish in a holy war) no matter their dedication to Islam during their lives. But Grady – and those like him – are willing to say that just because we like what we KNOW of her church (its denomination is similar to mine), her culture (small town self – reliant Alaska outdoorsmen are more holy and sanctified than those inner city welfare mothers?), her lifestyle (a married mother of five is more holy than, you know, a married mother of two or a single mother of any amount?) and her political beliefs?

The last one is key. Because she shares my values, her daughter being pregnant out of wedlock is fine. It is covered by, you know, grace. But since Jamie Lynn Spears and her family does not share my values, it is horrible. No grace for you! And as for Obama, we can dismiss him by saying that if it was his daughter he would have forced her to have an abortion, convicting him in advance for something that he hasn’t even done yet and we have no idea whether he would! The opposite of grace for you! Never mind the fact that pro – abortion people who have unwanted pregnancies choose to have the baby all the time. Never mind the fact that pro – life people who have unwanted pregnancies have abortions all the time. (Studies assert that evangelicals have the same abortion rate as the national average, some claim that it is even higher.)

Now, THIS is where the 30 years of James Dobson Focus on the Family religious right mindset of conferring righteousness on people based on their lifestyles, cultures, affiliations, and political beliefs has gotten us. And we really are entering a sort of danger zone here. Where J. Lee Grady has generally not been one given to trying to influence politics, he goes and calls this woman God’s prophet. And Albert Mohler, usually a no – nonsense figure who also avoids religious right politics and is no supporter of Pentecostalism, has basically endorsed Palin, something that I can find no evidence whatsoever that he did for Mike Huckabee, a leader of his own denomination. If this is not Phariseeism as expressed in the political and cultural context, what is?

As I said of Grady, if Mohler has some pre – existing relationship with this woman that causes him to regard her as being worthy of his endorsement based largely on her being a Christian (or should I again say a Christian with the “right” cultural markers … where in the Bible does it say that shooting bears, eating mooseburgers, living in the frontier, and having 5 kids places you closer to the kingdom of heaven or is evidence of the inner workings of the fruits of the Holy Spirit?), then he should let us know. Otherwise, it is AT BEST reckless and irresponsible. At worst, it is showing much more respect than he ever would to even another professed Christian that came in different packaging. Would Grady and Mohler be as effusive over a Methodist from Chicago or Episcopal from Baltimore, especially if they were Democrats, even if they were right on the doctrinal issues and the political ones directly related to them (i.e. abortion and homosexuality)?You know the answer to that question and so do they. 

And that is just the first part. The second concern is not nearly as lengthy but even more important. Go back to the book of Judges, chapter 4 in particular for this “Deborah anointing” issue. What was the situation? The children of Israel were at war with an enemy that, oh well, could be compared to the Muslims of today without being too far off. What did God choose Deborah to be? His prophetess through whom He spoke His Word. Again, why did God raise up prophets and judges in those days? TO USE THEM TO LEAD ISRAEL IN BATTLE AGAINST THE ENEMY. And what happened? Though Barak was the judge and the leader of the army, THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF, he would not go into battle against the ancestors of today’s MUSLIMS, in particular THE PALESTINIANS, without God’s prophetess Deborah on the battlefield leading him. Why? Because though Barak had been called by God to lead the army, because of his weak character and faith he was unwilling to do so without a woman of stronger character and faith at his side.

So here we are in America in a war against terror against a Muslim ideology. And – if their electoral hopes and dreams are fulfilled as I think they will be – the commander in chief will be another Barak, a man who professes Christian faith (raised Episcopal but now Southern Baptist evangelical) but does not wear it on his sleeve in the appropriate manner or keep company with the right and proper powerbrokers in the evangelical world (as a matter of fact Palin is his third try at short circuit people like Dobson and also the more Baptist – oriented evangelicals for lesser known Pentecostal figures like John Hagee and Rod Parsley) and is not sufficiently socially conservative in his beliefs.

So where Barak fell short in his true faith, McCain similarly falls short in this new universalist pluralist ecumenical dual covenant (or truthfully many covenant!) works based religion that serves the aims of the religious right. Again, never forget that the preferred candidate of most of this crowd was Mormon Mitt Romney, who fit their “culture and views” requirements precisely and the fellow’s actual religious doctrines (as well as his basic honesty and integrity or more accurately his complete lack thereof) was of no consequence. (Extending this a bit, this also explains J. Lee Grady’s embrace of oneness pentecostal heretics, whose beliefs are totally wrong, but who nonetheless have been a part of the Pentecostal religious scene since 1916, are growing in prominence and influence especially in music and with famous preachers/televangelists and their many theologians in Pentecostal seminaries and Bible colleges, so they must be accepted.)

So the morally flawed less than faithful Barak – McCain needs the pure and faithful prophetess Deborah – Palin at his side to fight the Lord’s battle and win against the Philistines – Muslims. (Please note: correlating Philistines and Muslims is not so coincidental when you consider that the term Palestine, or PALESTINIAN, is what the Roman Empire came up with to denote the Philistines, and they named Israel Palestine after their ancient enemies to spite and mock the Jews.)

I suppose that in this imagination, their first Muslim conquest will be on election day against Barack HUSSEIN “McCain has not made in issue of my Muslim faith/I still remember the Muslim call to prayer at my madrassa, one of the most beautiful sounds in the world” Obama. That is fine. What then? Will the prophetess Deborah – Palin tell Barak – McCain to put every Muslim in Iraq, Iran, Indonesia, Somalia, Chechnya, Turkey, Kosovo, Kenya, PALESTINE, etc. to death with the sword? Or more accurately WITH NUCLEAR WEAPONS? I don’t know Mr. Grady, that sounds more like McCain anti – Christ Palin false prophet to me! (So you folks thinking that Obama is the anti – Christ may have the right time but the wrong candidate!) Maybe your interpretation of scripture is different. Then again, it would have to be for you to claim that we are brothers with people who blatantly deny scripture by rejecting Trinity, not to mention those who preach the false prosperity and Word of Faith doctrines.

You might say that Grady did not have a militaristic – eschatological intent in calling Palin “Deborah”, that he was only looking for a woman in a leadership position. First of all, even if that were the case, the guy is still wrong. Do you know why? Because words mean things. Especially words from the Bible. We can’t just go around throwing Bible terms and references around because they sound nice, make us feel good, and help us advance or win arguments (or elections). God raised up Deborah to a specific office to perform a specific task. Claiming that a woman that is being appointed to run a college or a bank or even a church ministry is bad enough because of the context. But saying the same of a woman who actually would be the advisor to a commander in chief to a nation that is at war is making a direct parallel between McCain and Palin and the actual Barak and Deborah of the Bible that cannot be ignored!

Also, this paragraph by J. Lee Grady proves that he is not merely applying a Biblical female leadership analogy, even in poor context:

When McCain announced that he had chosen Palin as his running mate, I was reminded of the biblical story of Deborah, the Old Testament prophet who rallied God’s people to victory at a time when ancient Israel was being terrorized by foreign invaders. Deborah’s gender didn’t stop her from amassing an army; she inspired the people in a way no man could. She and her defense minister, Barak, headed to the front lines and watched God do a miracle on the battlefield. In her song in Judges 5:7, Deborah declares: “The peasantry ceased, they ceased in Israel, until I, Deborah, arose, until I arose, a mother in Israel” (NASB). Sometimes it takes a true mother to rally the troops.

Seriously, what else am I supposed to think when I read something like that? So in less than 30 years Christians have gone from cheering when Ronald Reagan largely endorsed the claims of Mormon founder Joseph Smith in declaring America to be New Jerusalem in his “we are the shining city on a hill” speech (which basically gave salvation to all who earned it by agreeing with Reagan culturally and politically, and condemned all dissenters to the lake of fire … hey didn’t Palin’s pastor do largely the same in alluding that Bush critics and Kerry voters are going to the lake of fire?) to claiming that God will use Palin to raise up his army? 

This is where the religious right and the false doctrines surrounding it is taking Christanity, people. (The religious left is no better, so don’t even try it.) If you wish to make your calling and election in Jesus Christ sure, you had best repent yourself of it and love the next world and not this one.

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From Billy Graham’s Christianity Today: Eschatological ECOLOGY

Posted by Job on July 21, 2008

Maybe these folks REALLY liked Wall – E and Hellboy 2. Here is David Neff’s

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Christian Zionist Elwood McQuaid Lies On Christian Left By Claiming That They Are Replacement Theologists!

Posted by Job on January 15, 2008

Original link: Where the Christian Left is wrong

Now of course, I have no regard for the Christian left. But claiming that their advocacy of the Palestinians is motivated by replacement theology is a lie, and this fellow knows it. If you believe in replacement theology, then you believe that the Bible is inerrant (or infallible) and authoritative, and therefore the commandments of the Bible, including God’s covenant with Jews and Christians, should be a determinative influence in contemporary secular politics. What member of the Christian left believes this? Do you honestly expect us to believe that the same people that are baptizing murdered fetuses at abortion clinics and marrying and ordaining homosexuals have anything resembling the sort of mindset that would support replacement theology? McQuaid knows that this is not so, and he is willing to lie to frightened Jews as a way to get their political support. McQuaid knows that Jews have been raised to believe that replacement theology is the source of all evil that has befallen the Jews, from Muslims turning against them (or so they say) to the Holocaust. McQuaid is exploiting this in order to gain the political support of Jews, which is key to evangelicals gaining more political power in America.This proves that so – called Christian Zionists are not the true friends of the Jews, but are exploiting them for their own purposes. So now, we see that these people are so depraved that they are trying to convince Jews that the same people that cast aside what the Bible says about adultery, fornication, murder, homosexuality, women pastors, etc. when running their own churches are willing to impose a Biblical view on determining who gets political control of Israel. Also, the increasingly confrontational mindset of evangelicals is disturbing. We see in this Christianity Today link, for instance, where they are convinced that fundamentalist Christianity is the greatest evil in the world (actually preferring evil sinners to born – again Bible believing Christians it seems), in this link in Frances Beckwith their increasing opposition to Christians that believe that the Reformation happened for a reason and are unwilling to accept Roman Catholicism today (and Mormonism tomorrow) as just another Christian denomination, and in this very story they are telling Jews that the religious left is seeking their genocide. Whatever side you have taken in the Middle East peace process, do not join yourself to the Christian Zionists! See article below.

An interesting contest seems to be heating up as the world paves a road to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The American religious Left has felt compelled to issue a series of documents slanted toward the Arab and Palestinian points of view, urging the powers that be to muscle Israel to accede to demands that will place Israelis in a virtually untenable position regarding their future security.

Signatories to these documents propose that they speak for the majority of evangelical Christians (as do you you!) and, therefore, are in a position to pontificate on the direction the United States and other Western powers should take in (1) determining the future shape of the new Middle East and (2) correcting what they claim are the egregious malefactions of the Israeli government and its friends in the Zionist evangelical camp (apparently friends lie on each other).

Their criticisms are based on the concept that Israel’s day is over, both biblically and historically. Consequently, Israelis have no more right to the land than their Muslim/Arab antagonists. Theologically, this position is popularly known as Replacement Theology, which claims that God’s promises to the heirs of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were conditional and therefore abrogated by Israel’s disobedience. So the church stepped in as the true “Israel of God” and possesses the spiritualized, redefined covenants of promise. (In addition to being a liar, this fellow is an apostate heretic, denying Jesus Christ before men that the old covenant is passed away – see the Book of Hebrews – and the new covenant is not of dead works but of spirit and is based on better promises – see Hebrews, Galatians, and Romans.)

From this lofty, self-ascribed position, modern Israel is seen as a squatter on property it seized from militarily inferior Palestinians who should receive it back, so much so that Israel has been called an apartheid state equal to South Africa, which practiced legal racial segregation and suppressed human rights from 1948 to 1994. (First off, few members of the Christian left do as “pastor” McQuaid is doing, which is to lie on history. The overwhelming majority of the Christian left wants the same two – state solution that has been advocated by the international community ever since 1948. Also, great job of lying on the South Africa analogy, pastor. Totally ignore the fact that Israel was apartheid South Africa’s biggest supporter, continuing to support them even after international sanctions were imposed. When apartheid fell, the #1 fear by the Israeli government was that new South African government would turn anti – Israel and take the rest of black Africa with them.)

ZIONIST Christians (those of us who believe the land promises to the Jewish people are irrevocable-biblically, historically, morally, and legally) are written off as an illegitimate theological mutation, unworthy of serious consideration. Furthermore, we are accused of being anti-Palestinian political meddlers who say, “Israel right or wrong.” This point of view elicits a number of responses that are perfectly in order considering the seriousness of the accusations.

First and foremost, on the matter of believing God’s biblical promises regarding Jewish rights to a homeland in Eretz Yisrael, we are guilty as charged. The birth of the church as God’s grace gift to the Gentiles did not contain a deed to property in the Middle East. Nor does it give Christian leaders, as some have wrongly concluded, a mandate to dictate what land is actually His land.

Second, the accusation that we are anti-Palestinian is totally without foundation. The Palestinians are caught in the middle of a conflict created and maintained by the manipulative mismanagement of their leaders who act in their own behalf, disregarding the needs of their people. The most unfortunate are Palestinian Christians. Witness the exodus of Christian Arabs to the West and Europe in recent years. Some have gone so far as to blame this evacuation on Israel and economic oppression and despair caused by the continual “occupation.”

Hardly mentioned is the fact that the Christian exodus from the Middle East is a response to the Islamic drive to exterminate Christians and Jews from the region.

Criticism of Israel’s 8,000 settlers in Gaza was a popular theme for many years. If the Jewish infiltrators were eliminated from the Gaza, the mantra went, Palestinians could elevate their social and economic status, which would change their lives and lifestyles. So the Jews left, at great cost. The result? Gaza became a staging area for terrorists; Hamas rules the street; and Christian Arabs are hunted, assassinated, and forced to find safe haven somewhere other than Gaza.

With regard to the charge of meddling in politics, let it be said that Christian Zionism is not primarily a political action movement. It is not the legitimate province of outsiders, however benevolently motivated, to dictate the political policy of a foreign government. The Israeli people are perfectly capable of determining the course their nation should pursue. That said, there is a point where politics and biblical, prophetic realities converge. This is not a matter of dictation but observation; and there is no doubt that current events, when compared with scriptural predictions, help us discern where we are and where history is heading.

For Israelis and the Jewish state, the issue is survival within secure, recognized borders. And for Palestinians, Christians, and others, it is the right to pursue productive and tranquil lives without fear of radical Islamist discrimination.

The writer, a pastor, is a veteran leader of the Christian Zionist movement in the US.

Posted in apostasy, Bible, blasphemy, Christian hypocrisy, christian left, christian liberalism, Christian Persecution, Christian persecution Palestinian Israel, Christian Zionism, Christianity, church hypocrisy, church scandal, dual covenant theology, evangelical christian, GOP, heresy, Israel, John Hagee, Judaism, liberal christian, Middle East peace process, replacement theology, Republican, Zionism | Tagged: , , , , | 13 Comments »

Christianity Today Discussion On The Golden Compass: More Evidence That Some Evangelicals Believe Christian Fundamentalism To Be Worse Than Sinners

Posted by Job on January 11, 2008

http://www.christianitytoday.com/movies/commentaries/fearnotthecompass.html

Posted in Christianity, evangelical christian | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Should Evangelical Christians Become Roman Catholics? J.P. Moreland Thinks So!

Posted by Job on November 17, 2007

*Please do not mistake me for claiming that all Roman Catholics will burn in the lake of fire. Rather, I seek to use heavy satire to convey the utter unacceptability of leaving biblical Christianity for Roman Catholicism.

In this entry Moreland makes appeals to science, charismatic Christianity, philosophy, etc. before his real agenda becomes clear: he is demanding that evangelicals become neo – Roman Catholics. His reason for taking this stand was Francis Beckwith (rather justifiably) being forced to leave his leadership of the Evangelical Theological Society after his conversion to Roman Catholicism.

christianitytoday.com/ctliveblog/archives/2007/11/postcard_from_s.html

He says: “In the actual practices of the Evangelical community in North America, there is an over-commitment to Scripture in a way that is false, irrational, and harmful to the cause of Christ,” he said. “And it has produced a mean-spiritedness among the over-committed that is a grotesque and often ignorant distortion of discipleship unto the Lord Jesus.”

Sooo … why blame Protestants and not Roman Catholics in this matter? Why should we become more like them instead of them joining us?

“The problem, he said, is “the idea that the Bible is the sole source of knowledge of God, morality, and a host of related important items. Accordingly, the Bible is taken to be the sole authority for faith and practice.”

Hey buddy, if being a Christian instead of a Mormon, Scientologist, or worshiper of a head of cabbage like Rerun in that episode of What’s Happening is being a problem, then color me guilty. What about you? If you were placed on trial for being a Christian, would you be found guilty?

And now Moreland goes apostate.

“Suppose an archaeologist discovered a portion of the ancient city of Jerusalem that was specifically described in the Old Testament, Moreland said:

Could the archaeologist have discovered the site without the use of the Old Testament? Once discovered, could the archaeologist learn things about the site that went beyond what was in the Old Testament? Clearly the answer is yes to both questions. Why? Because the site actually exists in the real world. It does not exist in the Bible. It is only described in the Bible and the biblical description in partial.

Likewise, Moreland argued, “because the human soul/spirit and demons/angels are real, it is possible, and, in fact, actual that extra-biblical knowledge can be gained about these spiritual entities. … Demons do not exist in the Bible. They exist in reality.”

This reminds me of the Johnnie Cochran Wookie defense on South Park. (Not that I watch South Park anymore. Nor What’s Happening reruns for that matter. Don’t waste much of your precious time pondering why.) Rather than going into exactly HOW it reminds me of it, let me play a simple substitution game with that last sentence and say “Jesus Christ does not exist in the Bible. He exists in reality” and see where that leaves the person that believes it. Want to try it? Well you go right ahead. And let me know how that works out for you. Right after judgment day. Don’t worry about a thing. Judgment does not exist in the Bible. It exists in reality. Or something.

By not researching how demons work, how to fight them, and other such issues by, for example, working with exorcists, Christian scholars are harming the church, Moreland argued. In a similar vein, he thinks evangelical scholars and the movement as a whole are rejecting “guidance, revelation, and so forth from God through impressions, dreams, visions, prophetic words, words of knowledge and wisdom.”

Rejecting the guidance, revelation, and wisdom that Rerun got from that head of cabbage? Or Stan Cartman got from Mr. Hanky? I guess I am guilty about that as well. What about you?

“We shut that down because of charismatic excesses,” he said. “Because of abuses, we fear teaching people how to use it. We think it’s all going to be Benny Hinn or something like that.”

It can also be about the fact that Benny Hinn is actually an amateur compared to the long history of Roman Catholic mysticism.

“The sparse landscape of evangelical political thought stands in stark contrast to the overflowing garden both of evangelical biblical scholarship and Catholic reflection on reason, general revelation, and cultural and political engagement,” he said. “We evangelicals could learn a lesson or two from our Catholic friends.”

Yep, we could learn a lot about everything except how to get to heaven from Roman Catholics. Silly me for only being concerned about going to heaven and having absolutely no motivation for being a Christian or living my life for that matter apart from that. Although I do say that if I ever do decide that knowledge outside of Jesus Christ is for me, then heads of cabbage, wookies, and Mr. Hanky seem to offer a lot more promise than does Roman Catholicism.

“‘No, more provocative was Moreland’s argument about why evangelicals became over-committed to the Bible. Rather than developing a robust epistemology in response to secularism, he said, evangelicals reacted and retreated. Now evangelical theologians aren’t allowed to come to any new conclusions about the truths in Scripture, and they’re not allowed to find truths outside of Scripture. As a result, he said, they’re engaged in “private language games and increasingly detailed minutia” and “we’re not seeing work on broad cultural themes.””

So … evangelical theologians are smart enough to realize that A) they aren’t going to find anything new in the Bible that almost 2000 years of Christian scholarship hasn’t found already and B) that even if they are going to find something new, trying to keep up with and please a world that hates and has rejected Christ is not a motive. You do know that world hates and has rejected Jesus Christ, don’t you J. P. Moreland? I can understand you not knowing that. But do you know how I found out? It was by reading the Bible. And by the way, I can deal with “broad cultural themes.” Mankind in his unregenerated state is totally depraved with nothing but vile affections and no knowledge or desire for the things of God. There, is that broad enough for you?

This is a group torn between its desire to do respectable scholarship and its desire to serve the church. Moreland’s jeremiad hit them on both fronts.” Well hey, that explains it all. The door was wide open for such an attack because it hit a nerve. Why? Because these great learned men and women are having such conflict over whether to do respectable (by whom?) scholarship and serving the church. I can solve that conundrum for you: PICK DOOR NUMBER THREE AND SERVE GOD ONLY! But wait … can you do that and still be considered “evangelical” in today’s world? The fact that this fellow was even suffered to address this conference in the first place would make sincerely doubt it.

By the way, Christianity Today, founded by Billy Graham, has always promoted unity between evangelicals and Roman Catholics. Recently Christianity Today has added promoting unity between Christians and fans of Harry Potter, Spongebob Squarepants, and Pulp Fiction to their agenda as well.

The problem here is the fact that a lot of biblical Christians count Roman Catholics among their close friends and family members. While sensitivity to those bonds are to be respected, claiming that biblical Christians should allow Roman Catholics to have positions of authority in our institutions or that we should accept or emulate them based on it is akin to suggesting that the Reformation should have never happened in the first place, and the Reformers were the party in error.

Update: I based the assertion that Francis Beckwith was forced out of ETS on this quote from the Christianity Today article: “The first part has not been controversial of late, but the second was the focus of the society’s recent fight over open theism and was named as a reason why Francis Beckwith could not remain as ETS president after his conversion to Roman Catholicism.” Francis Beckwith stopped by and provided a clarification: rightreason.ektopos.com/archives/2007/05/my_return_to_th.html

Posted in apostasy, Bible, christian worldliness, Christianity, church worldliness, ecumenism, evangelical christian, heresy | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments »

 
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