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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 17, 2015

Comments Which Conservatives Block From Their Blogs For June 17, 2015

Please note that for around a month the posting schedule will change on this blog. There will be a post every Tuesday and a post on Wednesdays when feasible.

May 29

To R. Scott Clark and his blogpost calling climate science a fad. This appeared in the Heidelblog.

The biggest challenge that comes with climate change doesn't revolve around science, it revolves around materialism. Those who cannot accept the possible changes in life that acceptance of climate change demands find reasons for denying both the facts and possibilities. Facts such as the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere and oceans, the increasing number of dead zones in the oceans, or the thawing of the tundra along with the release of greenhouse gasses such as methane that comes with it. Possibilities include the approach of a tipping point from which there is no return and the climate changes that comes with it.

A scientific approach would look to test the possibilities. But those addicted to materialism or for other reasons who support the status quo deny the facts around them and refuse to consider the possibilities that exist. 

The history cited in the above article above does not address the facts and possibilities associated with climate change. Rather, the above citing of history is a power play; it is an attempt to claim authority over science and thus the issue of climate change. The history cited above demands that the audience trusts the Church and Christianity over those in science. It is a variation on a theme seen when Galileo and Copernicus were condemned by the Church because what they were saying was stealing the Church's thunder.

We shouldn't be surprised about power plays such as the one exercised by this article because the history of the Church is replete with such examples of the Church. And such examples show the Church using its authority to serve wealth and power whether that wealth and power is the Church itself or some other source. And for the West, wealth and power are best served by preserving the materialism that comes with our economic system. And part of that materialism includes eliminating the chains of social responsibilities that come with the former standard definitions of the word stakeholder. 

A stakeholder is anyone impacted by a business. And with that definition comes business' responsibility to listen to and consider the interests and concerns of all the stakeholders involved. Isn't the cutting of social responsibilities what we see when jobs are switched overseas to sweatshop factories or when the environment suffers from how we extract fossil fuel resources such as in the mountain top removal of coal? Are we keeping regimes in Africa in power because of the freedoms they are bringing to their people or because of the economic gains our businesses obtain from their tyrannical rule? And isn't that what we see when our materialistic and consumeristic way of life leaves many deprived while it is possibly killing the future of our descendants?

And while we fight against homosexuality and same-sex marriage as if our lives depend on it, we say nothing about our unjust wars based on lies conducted by our own nation, the economic exploitation of Capitalism, and the destruction of the environment caused by our economic system and our way of life. In other words, this article tells us to keep the status quo by being apathetic to the welfare of others and thus obedient to those with wealth and power because there is nothing to fear about the future. Ironic that such a message should be pronounced by a theologian when those in the Old Testament who preached similar messages were called false prophets.

And what is the key apologetic here that preserves the hope that we don't have to change? That 100% of the scientists don't agree. Of course, that apologetic ignores the actual percentage of scientists who are sounding the alarm.


June 14

To Steve Hays' May 26 response comment to my comment saying that my analogy of Nazi suppression of rights was incoherent in defending equal rights for those in the LGBT community. This appeared in Denny Burk's post on gay marriage being against Christian teaching in denny Burk's blog'

Incoherent? All I wrote was that the Nazis opposed recognizing some groups because they oppose their vices is hardly incoherent. And drawing an analogy to the denial of equality to those in the LGBT community for the same reason is hardly incoherent. Remember that it was the Nazis who were into suppression. 

What we need to distinguish is the moral demands we are to put on fellow believers from the moral demands to be put on society. The moment we cannot make that distinction is the moment we confuse the roles of both society and the Church. The argument that many conservative Christians have made against recognizing the equality of those in the LGBT community is that their immoral sexual orientation causes them to forfeit any claim of equality in society. Thus, you say that I am comparing unlike things.

But in a land based on religious liberty, who am I to say that those in the LGBT community are not my equals in society? And considering that Paul follows his Romans 1's comments about homosexuality with Romans 2:1, who am I to look down on those in the LGBT community. And I mention this because this is what it is all about: It is about the insistence made by some conservative Christians that they are above, and thus have the right to suppress, those in the LGBT community. Some Conservative Christians are claiming to be the morally superior people. And with that, we return to the Nazis and not only their suppressions of others, but the reasons why they felt entitled to the right of suppressing others. That is certainly not incoherent.

Finally, totalitarianism works against 2 kinds of liberty: individual liberty and group liberty (a.k.a., democracy). We find that our fellow conservative Christians oppose both kinds of liberties for those who are different than themselves. In the end, we find many fellow Conservative Christians to be suffering from xenophobia. In itself, that isn't a bad thing; but it does hurt our witness to the Gospel.


June 16

To Joe Carter and his blogpost on the Pope, global warming and Catholics. This appeared in the Acton blog.

Perhaps we should note that the real resistance to responding to the accumulation of greenhouse gases in both the atmosphere and the oceans comes from those who want to see as few to zero restrictions on businesses and their activities. In other words, the real resistance to global warming comes from hawkish supporters of Capitalism who believe that eternal growth is possible in a finite world.


To Elise Hilton and her blogpost about a coming cultural implosion that will be the result of a lack of faith. This was posted in the Acton blog.

This article would be easier to take if it were not for history. HIstory has taught us that followers of Jesus Christ, if how they have treated others is a reflection, have not always been all that happy. We can think of our country's early days when 9 of the 13 colonies had state churches. The presence of state churches often included religious intolerance to varying degrees of other denominations and religions. And we could include with that intolerance the choice of many Christians to favor mammon over morals in their support and practice of slavery as well as their part in the ethnic cleansing of the land of America's indigenous population.

Fast-forward to today and we see that the Conservative Christian definition of religious freedom still includes protecting intolerance as practiced by these same Christians. Only here, the target is the LGBT community whose moral standards qualify them as having a lesser rather than equal status in society--that is according to many Conservative Christians.

Again, if happiness is measured by how we treat others, then the claims made above about the highest level of happiness coming from faith in Christ are contradicted by the actions of many Conservative Christians.

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