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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, December 9, 2015

Comments Which Conservatives Block From Their Blogs For December 9, 2015

Dec 3

To R. Scott Clark and his blogpost that accuses gov’t of trying to show off or replace God when it responds to tragedies like the mass shooting in San Bernardino. This appeared in Heidelblog

Why quote someone who describes the view that opposes theirs in absolute terms creating a straw man? And why the exclusive or choice between seeing the need for government intervention or recognizing human flaws and relying on participating in voluntary associations?

IF anything, when you use the above quote, you are using religion to promote a political ideology, the conservative one, while being inconsistent. For while the above quote says that humans are inclined to bad behavior,  it promotes the ideology of conservative humans as if neither one has any fault. The above quote presents conservative ideology as if it has no need for progressive input because conservatives, who also lean toward sin, have nothing to learn from progressives. And what is most inconsistent is that while the above quote promotes government apathy to the misuse of guns in mass shootings, you favored government  action to prohibit same-sex marriage. And while you teach Romans 13 and how it says government must protect the innocent and punish the wrongdoer, you post a quote that frames any effort to reduce gun violence in this country as a government effort to show off or replace God. 

The quote above is wrong and tries nothing more than to state that conservative Christianity implies conservative politics. And once you do that, don't be surprised when nonChristians look down on the Gospel after  they find fault with conservative politics. And worse than that, don't be surprised when young conservative Christians become disillusioned with the faith after they question conservative politics. 


Dec 4

To Joe Carter and his blogpost on a cooperative effort between progressives and conservatives to address issues of poverty. This appeared in the Acton blog.

That there are some agreements between progressives and conservatives does not surprise me, it fits my experience. When I have talked to those protesting the leftist demonstrations I participate in, I find that there can be a signficiant amount of agreement in identifying the problems our nation faces. And the reason for the shared concerns is that we live in the same world. There are real differences in our solutions to those problems for sure. That is where ideology divides. But to find out the similarities and difference in opinions, there have to be conversations that are free of ideological tribalism.

Will be looking forward to reading the next post. In the meantime, for those who do not welcome this working together because one has to recognize some validity to what the other side is saying, I will leave the following Martin Luther King quote said during his speech against the Vietnam War:

The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just. 

Now if we replace the word "Western" with a fill-in-the-blank, imagine all the people and groups whose names would fit into that sentence.


To Denny Burk and his blogpost reaction to the statement made by some that God isn’t fixing our problem with gun violence. This appeared in Denny Burk’s blog.

The Christian deafness to significant social problems is one of our traits that brings dishonor to the Gospel. For Denny's above response could be used as a response to any social problem is the rpoblem we have. Yes, we have a future. But for those who are dying because of our apathy to evil, calling problems dealing with life and death 'narrow' is beyond the pale.

Finally, let's realize that some of the attributes unbelievers give to God are the ones they see in those of us who claim to follow God. Thus, the statement, 'God isn't fixing this' should cause us to first examine ourselves, that is those of us who claim to be Christians.  For if people making such statements are really talking about us, then any orthodox theological response we give to such a statement confirms to unbelievers that God is not listening either.


Dec 5

To John Piper and his to-do and never-do lists of how to respond to evil. This appeared in the Gospel Colition

There is one "never-do" that was missing from Piper's list regarding evil: Never externalize evil. That is to say that we should never deny that either we as individuals or the groups we belong to are incapable of committing evil. Though never externalize evil on an individual basis seems to be implied by praying for God to deliver us from evil, Externalizing evil on a group basis has allowed us to rightly condemn Islamic terrorism while looking away from the evils of American foreign policies that have contributed to terrorism.

Externalizing evil allows us to respond to evil with evil. It allows us to seek revenge for ourselves or others while believing we are righteous. Responding to evil must always never include the prayer of the pharisee from the parable of the two men praying; it should include the prayer of the publican instead.


Dec 7

To Abigail Murrish and her blogpost interview of two Christian workers in Liberia stating that Liberia needs engagement, not relief. This appeared in the Gospel Coalition website

What bothers me about this post is that without giving an overall discussion of Liberia's general state, we are given an excluvis-or choice between  engagement and relief. From the brief background reading I've done, it seems like Liberia needs both engagement and relief. That Liberia's problems include gov't corruption, scandalous businesses and operatons, troubled economy, a severely hampered infrastructure,  and internal conflicts all point to the need of both relief and engagement. And yet, neither those problems a fair choice is provided by this article. It could be that the writers were writing from the persepctive of their local situation. But still,  a fuller picture of what has been going on before and article should give us this exclusvie-or choice. 


Dec 8

To Joseph Sunde and his blogpost on justice and how it must be personal. This appeared in the Acton blog.

Christians aren't the only ones who should make justice personal. In fact, if we look around, we  can notice that we are occasionally in last place when it comes to working for justice. And at this point, we need to distinguish justice from charity and kindness. The latter attributes focus on the helper and how much they are willing to give. The former focuses on the victim and what is owed. And one more point should be made, justice is everybody's business even though we all have failed to always be just.

We should note one more point about justice. That point was made by Martin Luther King Jr. when speaking against the Vietnam War. He said the following:

I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a "thing-oriented" society to a "person-oriented" society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.

Noting that war and racism deal with social justice issues, we could say that if we are going to work for some justice, we need to have a person-oriented rather than thing-oriented. And to strive for that, we need to adopt systems for society, such as our eonomic system, that put a higher priority on people than things.


To Joe Carter and his November blogpost on how unemployment is an economic-spiritual indicator. This appeared in the Acton blog.

The problem with this post and what seems to be with every post in this series is that there is such an emphaisis on  associating a positive spiritul status of unemployment with the person who is unemployed. Our unemployment rate can also show the spiritual status of our employers as they either understaff or offshore jobs to places where workers' rights are not respected. In addtion, the  unemployment rate can measure the spiritual status of a whole society and the priorities it embraces.  For a society, especially a wealthy one. that does not look to change its structures because of unacceptable unemployment rates are societies that have deemphasized the significance of  their people.

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