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This Month's Scripture Verse:

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
2 Timothy 3:1-5


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Comments Which Conservatives Block From Their Blogs For June 25, 2014

June 18

To Bethany Jenkins and her blogpost on equipping the Church for cultural leadership. This appeared in the Gospel Coalition website.

I think it is time that we Christians stop feeling compelled to be leaders. Such, of course, implies a hierarchical relationship with others and, because others have less sanctified reasons for being recognized as leaders, there is competition for the role of being a leader. But more than that, being the leader pushes others to the margins and it does so based on a perceived lack of merit.

At Occupy, though we certainly did this imperfectly, we tried at some levels to establish a leaderless/all-are-leaders community. Yes, we were definitely imperfect in doing this. But such called and included those from the margins into the decision making process--something a hierarchical based community cannot do.

In the end, we must decide whether we want Christianity to control the different spheres in our society as leaders or do we want Christians to work with, in give-take relationships, all others in society. So perhaps teaching Christians to be leaders in their spheres of influence is giving us a mindset and putting us into positions that causes us to overreach in our interactions with the world.


June 21

To Denny Burk and his blogpost on the PCUSA decision on same-sex marriage. This appeared in Denny Burk's blog

For a people who believe that all are sinners and that those who believe that being saved comes from confessing one's sin, we seem to be very accusatory especially when it comes to sexual issues.

Conservative Christians are as much to blame for the Presbyterian Church's recent decision as anyone else. Conservative Christians have, for the most part, worked to marginalize gays in society--that is because they were not content enough with relying on Church discipline. Thus, those who are sensitive to oppression and inequality were implicitly told that the only way to protect gays in society was to determine that homosexuality is biblical.

Certainly the Presbyterian Church USA is wrong in its decision here. But how much more wrong have many of us Conservative Christians been when, in order to control the behavior of others, we have caused so much pain?


To Dr. Michael Brown and his post urging people to leave the Presbyterian Church USA because of recent General Assembly decisions. This appeared in the blog OneNewsNow.com.

When one looks at all of the positions being objected to in this article, it becomes unclear as to whether the author is opposes the PCUSA because it is unbiblical or because it is liberal.

For example, there are Christians who oppose Israel's treatment of the Palestinians and Modern Zionism. Such opposition has be clearly stated in an article linked to here (http://www.ifamericansknew.org/cur_sit/wdoor.html). One may not agree with their position but their position is backed by Scriptures rather than by "liberal" reasoning. And this is the problem with this article. Certainly the PCUSA was wrong in its decision on same-sex relationships. But divestment from Israel cannot be blamed on liberalism when the Scriptures so clearly against how the Palestinians are treated. And though their violence is wrong, it is just as wrong to condemn it without noting its context. But such is not the conservative view of the Middle East.

Our first allegiance must be to God and His Word, not to some nation or ideology. For a greater allegiance to a nation or ideology is just an example tribalism, an ism that calls for relative morality.


June 22

To John Couretas and his blogpost on unity liberties. This appeared in the Acton blog.

The defeat of USSR Communism is often sanitized the West. For one thing, Communism and Socialism is stereotyped by using the USSR and Red China as their representatives. The Iron Curtain has been wrongly portrayed as evidence for the Communist desire for empire and rightfully condemned because of the totalitarianism. And we are portrayed as defenders of freedom whose global bases served as our commitment to that freedom.

First, many socialists and communists strongly disagreed with the totalitarian nature of both the USSR and Red China and that goes back to the beginning of Lenin's paid hijacking of the Russian Revolution. That main reason for the Iron Curtain was to provide a buffer between the Soviet Union and the West because of past devastating invasions is quite a reasonable, alternative explanation, but not an excuse, for the Iron Curtain. And that the US exercised its own control over nations around the world from Asia to Europe to Central and South America and that control took away the freedoms of many countries--see works by former CIA consultant and historian Chalmers Johnson and historian William Blum. That Iran, Guatemala, and Chile served as examples where the US replaced democracies with dictatorships for business interests. Okinawa and the Philippines serve as examples of the US exercising control and Asia. And there were a number of actions taken in Europe such as in Greece and Italy where the US stealthly flexed its muscles.

So when we get down to the liberties being celebrated by this post, there seems to be something missing. That missing ingredient is balance and that particularly applies to economic liberty. The more economic liberty given to the individual, the less say the community has in how that liberty is exercised. Here, I am not primarily referring to the government because a government can take on different forms and represent different people. Rather, I am talking about a liberty that defenders of Conservative Libertarianism and Anarcho-Capitalists want to deny: group or social liberty as implemented by democracies. Here, if we recognize economic liberty for the individual as the only liberty, then not only do we allow financial elites to accumulate power because power always follows wealth, we make democracy impotent which destroys any protection that communities would enjoy from financial elites.


To Elise Hilton and her blogpost claiming that a new Obama proposal designed to protect the rights of those in the LGBT community is a deliberate attack on the Church and religious liberty.

Articles like this have one purpose, that is to stoke the fires of fear and anger. How is it that an effort, regardless of how incorrect, to try to protect the rights of those from the LGBT community can be portrayed as a targeted attack on the liberties of any individual or church is beyond me. That is not to say that Obama's proposal does not need revision, but to view such as a deliberate attack on any church is to pit the liberties of those in the LGBT community vs the religious rights of churches. And thus two fall guys are being edged as enemies of the Church: the LGBT community and the Obama Administration. This is not right.

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