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Friday, January 27, 2017

Are We Christians Trying Too Hard To Fit A Stereotype? Part III

For the near future, the articles posted on Fridays will consist of reviews of Christian writings from 2 perspectives. The first perspective will be that of the view of the role of the Church in America as described by the report, The Crisis Of Democracy. This report is a view of the role of the Church from a liberal viewpoint. This perspective is an observation of the past which was interrupted during the protest years of the 1960s. That time was described by the report as having an 'excess of democracy.' And that view says the following (click here for the source):
In the past, those institutions which have played the major role in the indoctrination of the young in their rights and obligations as members of society have been the family, the church, the school, and the army. The effectiveness of all these institutions as a means of socialization has declined severely. The stress has been increasingly on individuals and their rights, interests, and needs, and not on the community and its rights, interests, and needs.

 The second perspective is an observation, not an ideological declaration, about the Church made from the Left in Russia prior to its October, 1917 Revolution--we should note that Russia also underwent a February, 1917 Revolution. This perspective was written by Vlad (a.k.a., Vladimir Lenin) and it went like this (click here for the source):

Religion is one of the forms of spiritual oppression which everywhere weighs down heavily upon the masses of the people, over burdened by their perpetual work for others, by want and isolation. Impotence of the exploited classes in their struggle against the exploiters just as inevitably gives rise to the belief in a better life after death as impotence of the savage in his battle with nature gives rise to belief in gods, devils, miracles, and the like. Those who toil and live in want all their lives are taught by religion to be submissive and patient while here on earth, and to take comfort in the hope of a heavenly reward. But those who live by the labour of others are taught by religion to practise charity while on earth, thus offering them a very cheap way of justifying their entire existence as exploiters and selling them at a moderate price tickets to well-being in heaven. Religion is opium for the people. Religion is a sort of spiritual booze,   in which the slaves of capital drown their human image, their demand for a life more or less worthy of man.

The reason for reviewing Christian writings from these two perspectives is to determine whether today's writings show that the Church has changed since the times in which those observations were made. And for the record, I just want to say that I am not a fan of Lenin regardless of how I refer to him.

Today's review will be of an audio blog show run by Aimee Byrd, Carl Trueman, and Todd Pruitt (click here for bios). The subject for this particular show dealt with the question of whether the election of Donald Trump was part of God's plan (click here for the show). 

If we go outside the purpose of this particular series, there is a lot good discussion with some sound points made by the 3. In fact, I would recommend that people, especially Christians, listen to this particular show. One of the reasons for recommending this show is the post election division that certainly exists both in our nation and the Church.

But the purpose of this series is to review the content of what Christians are saying in the light of the two quotes listed above. And here, there isn't much content to review. What this series could comment on are the statements made that the best that Christians could hope for from a Trump Presidency are a governmental restraint on the progress of the new sexual revolution and that the religious liberties of religiously conservative Christians will not be infringed on. Note that these are hopes, not necessarily expectations.

Thus, what is not mentioned, which happens to be Vlad's concern, is the exploitation of workers. That concern is not even on the radar in this show. And thus, what we see is another instance where Vlad's concerns that workers are not being challenged to free themselves and owners are not being challenged to end their oppression. With many of American workers living on government assistance programs in order to make ends meet with their wages while many workers from nations, particularly 3rd world nations, are trafficked and/or work in sweatshop conditions, one would think that these concerns would be mentioned especially when one of the hosts, Carl Trueman, describes himself as a hybrid of both liberalism and conservatism. But they are not.

Rather, American Christians are told to care about their purity by hoping that society changes course while not addressing these issues. It is as if individual sins are the only sins that some Christians see. Thus, societal and system sins are to be endured because they are a part of the territory. Note that that was not said during the show. But one has to wonder whether it is being suggested when the exploitation of workers was not relevant enough of an issue to be discussed. Also note that Trump was the President-elect at the time of the airing of this show.







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