Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Christianity Today in the Tank for Obama

Christianity Today magazine is in the tank for Barak Obama. They have been theologically drifting for years but now they have officially joined the "Evangelical left."

In an article in their Out of Ur blog, titled...

Decision '08-Our choice of president is less important than our integrity http://blog.christianitytoday.com/outofur/archives/2008/10/decision_08.html#comments

the magazine warns Christians "shoud be a bit more careful about the 'facts' we repeat."

The article quotes the website factcheck.org.

"Does John McCain really want to apply “Wall Street de-regulation” to health care? No. Did Obama really vote against funding our troops? No. According to FactCheck.org:

'McCain has made multiple false representations of Obama's tax proposals. Obama has made false claims about McCain's stance on Social Security. Both McCain and Obama have traded some whoppers about their energy policies, about Iraq, and about Iran, and about supporting troops.'"

Notice the emphasis on McCain's "multiple false statements."

A little fact checking about factcheck.org reveals the following:

Factcheck.org is funded by the Annenberg Foundation. The Annenberg Foundation was the source of funding for the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, a failed effort at reforming Chicago's public schools. The CAC was run by William Ayers formerly of the Weather Underground. Barak Obama was on the board of directors of the CAC.

Christianity Today feigns concern for the truth of the candidates statements about each other in order to front for Obama. The goal is to blur the truth by supposedly warning that both candidates will stretch the truth. The idea is to throw Christians off the trail of the truth about Barak Obama.

This is not at all the only example of CT's bias. Just the latest. The magazine has conducted a softball interview and published numerous puff pieces on Senator Obama.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Memo to Washington: Thanks But No Thanks for Faith-Based-Initiatives

It may surprise you to know that conservative Christians believe strongly in the separation of state and church. I reverse the common phrase, "separation of church and state," because it brings with it the image of the church as the aggressor. History shows that just the opposite is true.

Christian believers and even the God they worship have always been considered political threats. Our Lord, even as a baby, was considered by Herod to be a threat to the throne. The betrayal, the trial and the crucifixion of Christ, were thick with the politics of the day. Since that time, a long list of Christians have been tortured and killed because they were considered a political threat, including many in China, Russia and Africa. Some of the original European travelers to North America came because they were Christians on the run from a government.

While Christians in other countries have experienced the sometimes violent oppression of the state, Christians in the United States have experienced something more subtle. We are stifled not by stormtroopers, but by the lure of money and the threat of litigation. Government officials dare not express their faith and neither do employers or landlords.

It is with this in mind that I, and most Christians, want to say thanks, but no thanks to the government funding of “faith based initiatives.”

When President Bush originally announced the program, many of the leading Christians who had supported him, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, et al, announced their opposition. There are several reasons for this. First, there is no such thing as free money from the government. There are always strings attached. President Bush dictated that the money could only be used for secular purposes, effectively muzzling the evangelistic voice of Christian relief workers.

Secondly, the Bible never tells God’s people to be charitable with other people’s money. And that is what government funding is. Other people’s money. Biblically speaking, charity should be personal and sacrificial. It should hurt a little. God’s purpose is to build Christian character in the giver as much as it is to help the needy. To accept government funding defeats God’s purpose.

Also, Christianity is not the only faith whose relief agencies may receive money. That is only fair but it will certainly lead to spiritual confusion. Christians are all about making sure people understand the distinction between following Jesus and other religions. For Christians to accept federal funding along with the agencies of other faiths will only blur the picture.

There have certainly been some misguided souls in the Christian community who decided to accept the President’s offer. Now, we have Barak Obama offering to expand the program and even loosen some restrictions on Christian relief agencies that accept funding.

To any Christian organization that has not yet accepted funding but is considering it, I would say please think in the long term. You do not know when or how the state will call in the debt.

Monday, June 23, 2008

So Long, George

I thought George Carlin was the funniest person in the world. In the late 60s and early 70s, I was a kid and the only time I ever saw Carlin perform was on the Tonight Show (Johnny Carson). I knew nothing of his anti-establishment rants that were part of his act when he was not on television. I didn't know anything about the seven words you can't say on television. When George Carlin was on TV, his humor was simply ironic and really funny. When he was the guest host of the first Saturday Night Live (1974), I thought it was his show and I was disappointed he wasn't on the next week.

Later, I discovered the real George Carlin. The swearing, sexual humor and politics. I found his off-TV humor to be more bitter than anything else and I remember feeling sorry for him. I know from reading and seeing interviews that he really did put the blame for the world's problems on religion, particularly christianity.

He will be mourned by those of us on the right and canonized by Hollywood and the Left.

To me, he is simply a tragic figure. The Lord finds no joy in the death of the wicked.

Monday, June 16, 2008

There's Nothing There There

In the course of my scientific exploration, I have found a neat little web page:


This page illustrates the hydrogen atom. Hydrogen is pretty simple. There is a proton at the center and a single electron in orbit. The neat thing about the illustration is that it is to scale so that it may be seen by the human eye. The electron is represented by one bright pixel. The proton is approximately the size of a basketball. In order to see the electron, one must scroll over to the right what amounts to a distance of eleven miles. It may be the world's single biggest web page.

According to this illustration, if we could enlarge the hydrogen atom enough to see the electron with the human eye, it would be orbiting the proton from a distance of eleven miles away. Other atoms are more complicated but the principle remains the same. If you look at what we know about the galaxy, it is clear that it is also made of empty space. While the Sun is huge relative to the Earth and while there are bodies in the galaxy, which dwarf the Sun, the empty space in between it all is so large as to render the heavenly bodies relatively microscopic.

Furthermore, those heavenly bodies are made of the same empty space, which makes up our physical entity. We, and every material thing we encounter, are essentially made of empty space. We are a mirage, not even a vapor. Physically, we are nothing more than the sum of zillions of little balls of unidentifiable energy held together by an unfathomable force. What we call matter, is really an illusion.

I have never seen a more convincing scientific proof of the existence of God.The Bible tells us God created the Earth, its creatures and all the heavens from nothing. Not that God took what existed and shaped it but that He had to create what exists and form it.

From nothing.

We can give a name to the force, which holds our existence together. We can call it gravity between planets or bonding between particles. And we can experience the illusion of a substantial world. But giving a name to something we experience is not the same as knowing its essence. We cannot and will not ever be able to scientifically get to the bottom of it. That's because there is no 'bottom of it.'

The Bible also tells us that someday, God will peel back everything we think is real. Our world and the entire galaxy will be destroyed and replaced by a new Heaven and a new Earth. That won't be so hard for God because we are made of nothing to begin with. Everything we know to be real will be replaced by what is really real. As we go about our daily lives we should always keep in mind that our material world is something created by God for our benefit and His glory. But it is all as temporary as one of those facades on a Hollywood movie lot. As the old saying goes, there's nothing there, there.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Was the Early Church Marxist?

Another one of my comments on the Out of Ur blog


I hope you will read this as old as this thread is. There was nothing remotely Marxist about the early Christian Church. Marxists don't ask for your money. They take it. They claim it is for your own good but they don't ask you if you agree. (Who does that sound like? Oh yeah, modern day Liberals.) The early Christians are said to have been "together and had all things in common;
"45and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need."

Acts 2 NASB

There is no similarity between the early Christians sharing with each other voluntarily out of love and the forcible confiscation and redistribution of wealth by the state. That is actually what the tax collectors did in those days and our modern day tax collectors (The U.S. Congress) are about as corrupt as the tax collctors back then.

Do you have any idea how small a percentage of our tax dollars actually come back to our communities for social welfare? It is so small that sending our money to Washington must surely be a violation of God's command for us to be good stewards of the resources He has given us.

Friday, April 18, 2008

You Might be Emergent if...

Outy of Ur has a post called You Might be Emergent if...

Here are some suggestions:

With apologies to Jeff Foxworthy and thanks to Pastor Rob Thurman, who supplied me with almost all of these...

If, when you refer to "the text," your congregation instinctively stares at their cell phones...

If you think Windows NT is a Bible translation...

If your church has designated drivers listed in the bulletin for each service...

If you just take yourself way too seriously...

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Myth of Church and State

This notion that the church has tried to force itself on the state throughout history is purely a myth. In fact, the opposite is true. One reason so many Americans, including American churchgoers; see it backwards is because we live in a Democratic Republic. Our vision of history is skewed by our very unique experience.

Before Believers were referred to as the church, we see in the Bible that God’s people were oppressed by the state. Moses was on a spiritual mission but Pharaoh certainly considered him a political threat. Our Lord, even as a Baby, was considered by Herod to be a threat to the throne. The betrayal, the trial and the crucifixion of Christ were thick with the politics of the day. Did Christ present himself as a political figure? No. But he was considered a political threat.
Fast forward to just the last 200 years. The list of Christians who have been tortured and killed because they were considered a political threat is too long for me to do it justice here. But it includes millions of Believers in China, Russia, Africa, et. al. The list includes people like the Ten Boom family and other Christians who helped many Jews escape the Nazis before they were caught and sent to Ravensbruck.

Some of the original European travelers to North America came because they were Christians on the run from a government. The surge of Christian involvement in politics in the late 20th century was in response to the perception that the country was taking a moral and spiritual turn for the worse. It was but the case can be made that one look at history and scripture should have told Christians that trying to save the country at the ballot box would be futile. No one is changed from the outside in. Be that as it may, it still remains a fact that it wasn’t Christians who were trying to hijack the state. It was the state (and in our country, the people are the state, right?) that was trying to marginalize and disenfranchise Christians.

While this has been going on, Christians in other countries have been experiencing what Christians have been experiencing for 2000 years. They do not seek the state. The state seeks them, with a vengeance. Those who think the Christian Right are a threat to co-opt power in this country simply haven’t yet experienced the storm troopers at their door.