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Posts Tagged ‘tea party’

What If It Were A Ground Zero Church Instead Of A Ground Zero Mosque?

Posted by Job on August 17, 2010

When you consider the Ground Zero mosque controversy, I cannot help but think of the Orthodox Idolatry post at Judah’s Lion (courtesy of PJ Miller) of concerning the lengths that Christians will go to in order to defend the American system because they perceive the American system to be some Christian ideal and the result of God’s providence and part of His special plan for the redemption of mankind with a unique role in salvation history, and as a result defending America is tantamount to defending the gospel of Jesus Christ itself. From Calvinistic covenant theologians like D. James Kennedy who proclaim America to be the crowning achievement of that system to free will Christians who want the power of man to choose or resist God’s grace to be constitutionally protected by the most powerful nation on earth, there is a lot at stake in claiming that there is Godly virtue in America’s secular freedoms, secular freedoms that are truthfully – according to Judah’s Lion – are actually morally neutral. Nothing of real spiritual value is morally neutral – meaning that it can be used for either evil or good – because God cannot be the origin of evil (James 1:12). Instead, it should be stated that things that are morally neutral can be used to perform God’s purposes. And that is no evidence of the virtues of morally neutral – or amoral – things because even things that are incontrovertibly evil have been used to fulfill God’s purposes too (as in the slaughter of the innocent Jewish children by Herod, which fulfilled a Messianic prophecy).

Now a lot of things have been written by Christians on this mosque topic. So, I will focus on two issues: the need of Christians to submit to the government (Romans 13) and the need of Christians not to be hypocrites. On the first, the Bible makes it clear that failing to obey or respect the law when the law does not force Christians to violate scripture is a sin. To put it another way, attempting to defy or subvert legitimate government is a sin, because legitimate government is a servant of God because of its serving to restrain evil. This means that not only are we to adhere to the law ourselves, but we are to desire that others do so also, and further we are to desire that the law is applied justly, which means fairly and evenly.

With that in mind, make no mistake: the First Amendment, the Fourteenth Amendment, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the applicable state and local laws give Muslims the right to build this mosque. For Christians to go about looking for ways to hinder or intimidate Muslims from exercising and enjoying their legal rights is to attempt to subvert and reject our system of laws. It would make the Muslims the lawmakers and Christians the subversives, the rebels, the seditionists. It would be Christians attempting to subvert the rule of law and undermining a just application of them. Other nations, such as Saudi Arabia and Israel, do not have any pretense of equal treatment under the law. They do not have an equivalent to the Bill of Rights or the equal protection clause. So those nations can have different sets of rules for religious minorities and be justified in their own eyes. But it is America who has those things, and there is no justification for a Christian to attempt to prevent a nation from living up to and enforcing its own laws. Indeed, the Christian who does such a thing is guilty of promoting injustice and lawlessness.

Now a lot of people have taken the stance “it is legal but it isn’t right” under the grounds that it is offensive. The problem is that the First Amendment and other applicable laws are designed specifically to protect things that are offensive. To pretend otherwise is ridiculous. Now of course, most people are willing to respect the wishes and feelings of the majority. That’s not the point. The point is that they have no legal obligation to. Instead, the law is designed to protect people who have no regard for the majority, and indeed are opposed to the majority.

I don’t believe that a lot of Christians, especially those of a conservative political persuasion, have come to grips with the true nature of the founding of our country. This country’s founding was an act of rebellion, sedition, treason or what have you against England, who (notwithstanding the Native Americans) were the rightful rulers of this nation. Rebelling against a colonial power was a radical act, and it was justified not with the Bible, but with the radical Enlightenment thought that produced – among other things – the murderous French Revolution and ultimately spawned socialism, fascism and communism. So why are we surprised that a bunch of radical seditionists would produce a Constitution that protects the right of radical people to express themselves and organize? So, back then, it was the deists, humanists, rationalists, atheists, unitarians, freemasons (Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin and similar) plus Jews and Roman Catholics who demanded these protections from our overwhelmingly Protestant nation, and thanks to a revolutionary (seditious) mindset that overthrew the previous experiences of nations from the Roman Empire to Calvin’s Geneva to Bunyan’s England which taught that the long-term survival of a nation (we have only been in existence 300 years!) requires limiting religious freedom, they got it.

Now if it is time to state that the founders were wrong on unfettered religious freedom, fine. But should this reckoning be led by the very Christian leaders who supported the war in Iraq to “defend our religious freedoms and to give the Iraqis religious freedom too!”? If there is a fight to keep Muslims from imposing sharia law on Christians at home, the Christians who supported imposing western style democracies on sharia law on Muslims abroad should not be the ones to lead it. The reason is because such Christians do not support true justice or the rule of law, but instead only want to use these institutions to benefit Christians (and increasingly Jews, Mormons and Roman Catholics, who now all get to be called “Judeo-Christians”). We cannot continue to ignore that our system of laws was created in order to give a bunch of rebellious people that included in their ranks not a few deists and unitarians the “freedom” to reject legitimate Godly authority, which means that we also cannot persist in acting surprised that everyone from the Muslims to the feminists to the Marxists to the homosexual activists to the atheists have used this same system to pursue their agendas also.

Please note that I did not say “co-opt” or “hi-jack” because that would be dishonest. Instead, it can and must be said that these groups are properly utilizing our system according to the manner that it was intended. Our system was created by rebels for rebels. People who are appalled at the rebels of today (i.e. Muslims, homosexuals and other liberals) have forgotten how appalling the American Revolution was to the British! That’s right, the current tea party folks who oppose this mosque on the basis that it will become a breeding ground for terrorists (which it will be, trust me I have no illusion about Islam) conveniently forget how the British very properly viewed the original Tea Party and those who followed after them. Do you believe that the British had any higher regard for George Washington than many Americans have for Feisal Abdul Rauf? Why do you believe that they should have for the man that led a rebellion against their nation that killed many British soldiers? You don’t believe that the British cared any less for their soldiers fighting in America back then than we care about our soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan today? (And when you consider that unlike our troops occupying sovereign nations, the British troops were fighting to defend territory that was lawfully and properly theirs from traitors and seditionists?)

So, Christians who believe that by opposing the mosque they are defending America have simply deluded themselves as to what they are defending. It should be clear based on the Bible and our history (by this I mean actual scripture and history and not what we wish the Bible and our history to be for our own political or patriotic purposes) that seeking to either break the law or to intimidate Muslims to abandon their legal rights in order to oppose this mosque is not a legitimate expression of Christianity, which renders under Caesar that which is Caesar’s and submits to higher powers. As building this mosque will not stop a single Christian sermon from being preached or evangelist from being sent, contriving excuses to refuse to respect the law and the decisions of legitimately elected leaders (i.e. Bloomberg and Obama) makes the Christian guilty in this matter. And please, no speaking of how that site is “sacred ground.” Sacred in what sense? Not in a Christian sense, because the New Testament speaks only of the church’s identification with Jesus Christ – and through Jesus Christ God the Father – and it’s being indwelt by the Holy Spirit. The New Testament no longer even affords much special significance to Jerusalem or the temple. Biblical Christianity respects no concept of “sacred ground”, only an elect people, and stating otherwise is political idolatry.

Now the second issue is even easier: hypocrisy. Suppose this former Burlington Coat Factory site had been purchased by a Christian pastor for the purposes of building a church, seminary or similar. And suppose that the state and city governments were to deny the building of it. Suppose that the logic was that it would be inappropriate, insensitive, and a provocation. Suppose Mike Bloomberg and Barack Obama were to say “building a large church so close to Ground Zero would be an act of declaring that site a Christian site and this nation a Christian nation, and that would dishonor the memories of the Jews, atheists, Hindus, Wiccans and Muslims who died on September 11th, and it would also dishonor the non-Christian soldiers who are fighting for our freedoms.” What if devices or tricks such as declaring this Burlington Coat Factory to be some sort of historical landmark site or changes to zoning laws were done to prevent this “Ground Zero Church” from being built, and demands were made to respect it as “sacred ground.” Suppose that someone were to even propose that building a church on a site that Muslims regard as triumphialist – one where they believe themselves to have obtained a great victory over the west – would be considered a religious and ideological “counterstrike” that would incite and inflame “moderate Muslims” and provoke attacks from Islamists. What would be the response?

We know the answer. Many of these very same Christians would invoke the First Amendment and every other law in the books to support the church being built. The same laws that we are demanding that Muslims either abandon or be denied in this case, most of these same Christians would want to be enforced to the fullest extent possible were the roles reversed. The Alliance Defense Fund, the American Center For Law and Justice, and other similar organizations would be working overtime, as would so many Christian leaders and opinion-makers. They would reject the “this isn’t about the First Amendment … you can build a church anywhere, just not here!” excuse. And you know what, they’d be 100% correct in that hypothetical situation just as they are 100% wrong now.  Do not mistake me, I am a Bible-believing Christian who fully knows the difference between Islam and Christianity. The issue is that our laws respect no such difference because they were written by people who wanted a legal code that recognizes no distinctions between Martin Luther and Thomas Jefferson. Our laws can show no favor on Christians or disfavor on Muslims because in going with Enlightenment humanism, our founding fathers chose darkness over light. So then, what is the justification for Christians to completely cast aside the golden rule – let alone the rule of law – with regards to this matter? Simple: there is none. Instead, you have so many professing Christians that are standing up defending the right to treat Muslims in a manner that is not only illegal, but is not the treatment that they would want to receive themselves. (Again, no claims that “I would respect sharia law if I were living in Saudi Arabia” because this isn’t Saudi Arabia. This is America, and the Bible demands that American Christians be subject to American laws and rulers, not that we try to seek ways to justify violating our laws and defying our leaders.)

Now does this means that Christians should support and defend this mosque? Of course not. Christians should never willingly play a role in the promotion of another religion. (Ecumenical Christians who do so with Roman Catholics and Mormons as well as dispensationalists who do so with Jews, please take note.) The idea that we have to defend the freedom of other religions in order to defend our own freedoms is not supported by the Bible. It is akin to claiming that we have to defend homosexual marriage in order to protect state recognition of heterosexual marriage, or defend abortion in order to make sure that those who wish to have children will be allowed to. Also, it takes the position that the protection and advancement of the church comes from the state and not God. Some Christians, especially those of the liberal bent, would claim that the Bible commands us to speak up for the marginalized and dispossessed and make sure that they receive justice. It is my position that such people would be employing questionable hermeneutics and a faulty application based on them in a case like this. Allow me to say that it would be the duty of a Christian who holds a post in civil government to do his job and follow the law with respect to Muslims in this case. Beyond that, it is the duty of our civil government to protect the First Amendment rights of Muslims. Christians should simply allow our civil government to do its job with respect to Muslims seeking to practice their religion and not interfere.

Ultimately, this Ground Zero mosque is a great example of the dangerous deceptions of political Christianity, both right and left. Political Christianity causes us to error in our thought, speech and actions, and divert those things from what God in His New Testament actually told us to do, which is to go and make converts and disciples and to live under submission to Jesus Christ ourselves.

Update: Following Judah’s Lion has the best commentary on this topic to date.

Thousands of Jesus followers around the world are being persecuted and even martyred for their faith. And just like the Amish who forgave the man who murdered their little girls, these believers endure hardships and persecution with the grace that should remind us of the Savior upon that cruel tree.

But in America a mosque is proposed to be built and millions of people who profess Christ get all up in arms and sound the alarm. The “alarm” they sound is not a call to sacrificial prayer for the souls of the Muslims who will frequent this mosque, but it is a caterwauling about America and the indignity of such a building. And these are people who doctrinally say they believe the Bible.

Evidently they do not.

What more can be said?

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Posted in Bible, Christianity, evangelism, false doctrine, false religion, false teaching, Jesus Christ, religious right | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

On The FBI Arresting The Hutaree “Christian” Militia Because They Made Threats Against Muslims

Posted by Job on March 29, 2010

First, allow me to say that nothing in the Bible justifies having a “Christian” militia. Quite the contrary, when Peter assaulted the Jewish temple guardsman who came to arrest Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ rebuked Peter, healed the man whose ear Peter cut off, and told Peter “he who lives by the sword dies by the sword.” The early church faced severe persecution, with the Roman Empire killing millions of Christians over 300 years, yet never at any time was there an armed resistance against the persecution. Those people took the words of Jesus Christ literally when He said that those who would be persecuted for His sake would be considered blessed, and followed the example of Peter and John who considered it a blessing and honor to be counted worthy to suffer mistreatment for Jesus Christ’s Name.

And it goes without saying that threatening violence against a Muslim or anyone else is – as this Hutaree “Christian” militia allegedly did –  clearly incontrovertibly a sin. People like this have to realize that Jesus Christ began His ministry during the time of armed uprisings by Jews against a very evil, tyrannical Roman government. (However, it should be noted that had the Jews not taken up arms against the Romans, the Romans would have generally left them alone.) The Jews were looking for a political messiah to defeat the Romans and re-establish a sovereign, Davidic kingdom. Many false messiahs promising just that came, and many followed Jesus Christ hoping that He was a messiah of that sort. They even mistook the miracles that Jesus Christ performed as evidence that He would use power from God to defeat the Romans.

However, when Jesus Christ made it known that His mission was not to establish an earthly kingdom, many lost interest and followed others, the ones who Jesus Christ referred to as “thieves and robbers”, which in the vernacular of the day referred to the seditious false messiahs leading rebellions. Jesus Christ repeatedly and consistently told His followers that it was wrong to rebel against Rome (especially violently) and that was what the significance of issues like paying taxes to Rome were all about. Later, Paul wrote Romans 13 about submitting to Rome as opposed to rebelling against them, and Peter wrote that Christians should pray for their leaders rather than rebel against them. And in the Olivet discourse, Jesus Christ told His followers not to defend Jerusalem from the attacking Romans, but instead to flee.

Needless to say, Jesus Christ’s words were rejected. He who came in the Name of God they did not follow, but those who came in their own name, including the false messiahs, they followed. This pattern of rejection of the true Messiah and His spiritual message and their embrace of false messiahs who offered a message of this world (i.e. political liberation, which included many economic benefits as well) was best symbolized when the Jews demanded that Pontius Pilate release the seditious murderer Barabbas – one of those involved in the violent liberation movements – in the place of Jesus Christ. By continuing to reject Jesus Christ and follow such people in their violent uprisings against Rome (they failed to listen to not only Jesus Christ but to even secular and Jewish leaders like Josephus and Yochanan ben Zakkai), the Jews brought the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD upon their nation, which resulted in the death of over 1 million Jews and the destruction of the temple (which fulfilled the near term “this generation” prophecies of the Olivet discourse). And in 132 AD, still following false messiahs like Simeon bar Kochba who promised that God would use them to defeat the Roman Empire, the Jewish liberation movement suffered their final defeat by the Romans, who burned what was left of Jerusalem to the ground, renamed it, and made it a capital crime for any Jew to re-enter the city. So, no Jewish liberation projects would exist for over 1700 years until 1897 when Theodor Herzl formally created the Zionist movement (although pre-Zionist movements had existed since at least the French Revolution).

So, by forming “militias” and certainly by threatening Muslims, these people do nothing but reject anything resembling the true literally interpreted teachings of the New Testament. By doing so, they reject Jesus Christ for Barabbas, and for that matter Jesus Christ for the Jews who delivered Christ to the Romans to be killed, and had Barabbas released in His stead. So let it be clear … the teachings of the New Testament and the unfolding of history (not only Jewish history, but the violent, failed “revolutions” of certain Anabaptist and Donatist Christian groups, as well as the violent death of the very vicious Ulrich Zwingli) supports nothing of the kind.

Still, we must wonder why it took mere threats against Muslims to bring the FBI down against these people. Unless, of course, they had evidence that these groups were going to act on their threats. So far, the FBI has everything sealed. Right now, a lot of LEGITIMATE Christians and a lot of conservatives are wondering about the double standards … why were these “Christians” arrested when other groups – including Muslims – who make similar threats all the time go free? I do not deny that there is not some element of this going on, or that the Obama administration does not have a propaganda motive to do this shortly after the passage of health care legislation and during the rise of the Tea Party movement and things of that nature. So, this is as good a time to go after conservative anti-government groups as any, and this provides fodder for anti-Christians who have long wanted the government to start ramping up their activities against Christians, starting with illegitimate Christian movements but only until going after their real targets – legitimate Christians – can be justified.

However, we must have the ability to acknowledge that in general, if armed groups make threats, the government shouldn’t just sit around and wait for them to act on their threats. (For instance, “making terroristic threats” is indeed a crime.) So, the issue should be whether the threats against Muslims made by these groups were legitimate. If the government doesn’t reveal the nature of these threats the way that they did with the many Muslim terror suspects that they have arrested, then that is indeed a cause for concern. Especially since “making terroristic threats” is a common offense, so common that a lot of people don’t even know that it is illegal.

Now as a Christian, my position is always going to be not to make terroristic threats. It is not only a sin in and of itself, and it is also against a legal code that does not cause Christians to violate scripture, which makes it also a sin by violating Romans 13. However, Paul according to the Acts narrative asserted not only his Christianity, but also asserted his Roman citizenship when it was in the interests of the gospel of Jesus Christ to do so. Now again, though this Hutaree group is not a legitimate Christian outfit, as a law abiding citizen of this country I am curious as to precisely what it was that made the FBI go after this group of people making terroristic threats while ignoring the many others. We do have a right to know precisely such a thing, and it is in our interests to pursue these rights to their fullest extent. The reason is that Jesus Christ commanded us to discern the times, and if these charges against the non-Christian Hutaree militia are spurious or are evidence of clear double standards, legitimate Christians can use it to take note of the times that we are entering.

Christian militia group arrested, allegedly threatened Muslims, Hamas-linked CAIR plays victim card

P.S. I purposefully resisted making an issue of the Hutaree militia’s premillennial dispensational beliefs. The reason is that I am 100% certain that there are very many legitimate Christians who are dispensationalists. The Hutaree group is not a legitimate Christian group. So, associating legitimate Christian dispensationalists with people like the Hutaree militia that have rejected the true teachings of Jesus Christ while adopting some themes or ideas … how is that different from associating Christians with Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, or, say, Muslims who affirm the virgin birth? Now though I am no longer a dispensationalist, I am not going to use this as an excuse to go after Christians who are.

Now so-called Christians who use their dispensationalist beliefs in a manner like John Hagee (who demanded that George W. Bush attack Iran to “defend Israel”, and gave one of his many failed prophecies that the attack would happen before the end of Bush’s presidency with the rapture to occur soon after) and to whip up a fearful frenzy and hatred against Muslims that may lead to threats and violence … THOSE associations (between one false Christian who rejects the Bible but finds dispensationalism useful like Hagee and another) I can countenance, though I will not pursue them myself at this time. The issue is not differing views on eschatology, but those who accept the teachings of the New Testament versus those who reject it. Using premillennial dispensationalism to have your feet in both camps (meaning the church and the world) is what leads to stuff like this. However, this is by no means limited to premillennial dispensationalism. After all, Ulrich Zwingli, who massacred members of his own Bible study because they refused to join his church-state, was an amillennialist.

Update: Confederate Yankee says that the FBI claims that the militia was plotting to kill police officers. That angle is repeated here. Confederate Yankee is skeptical, but his reasoning for being skeptical – that police officers represent the local and not federal government – is wanting.

Posted in Bible, Christianity, false doctrine, false religion, false teaching, Jesus Christ | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 42 Comments »

 
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