Thursday, July 17

Real Faith, or Realpolitik?

What do we believe? How to tell? Well what do we do? Modern life teaches us to put things into compartments and categories, so that we hear things like "I don't let my religion influence my public life," and see people praying "as we forgive those who trespass against us" on a Sunday and then plot their revenges during the week, all with no clue of the contradiction. Maybe we aren't all that "compartmentalised" at all.

Maybe we just don't have the courage to really believe in the first place.If a person believes their house is on fire they will respond. If they believe someone loves them that will influence how they behave toward that someone. Not only will it affect our outer behavior, but right down to our most pulse rate and blood chemistry. The point of faith is, by God's grace, of having a say in what we believe. In this generation, though, we have learned to "believe any number of things," without proof, and what we do believe is going to influence what we do.

In this way we can answer two important questions. The first is, what do we really believe, based on how we live? If I believe "God is love," then what I do will reflect just that. On the other hand, we can judge a certain teaching on how it is lived. Some church members in 1930's Germany believed that evolution and Protestant doctrine were converging to bring in the Kingdom of God on Earth through His perfected people. The Kingdom didn't come, of course, but they found that their doctrine
had been a crucial part in the coming of the Third Reich.

An even more important decision point is before the Church today. The Gospel of Christ has always been a message of transformation- of the "new man." The point of Jesus' Cross was of saving us from our sins. People in power groups in the American "Episcopal Church" have taken it on themselves to redefine that message so that the sins against which the Bible warns us are not nearly so condemning as presuming that the Bible warns us against those sins. Millions of dollars have been spent, and thousands of lives affected, in their high pressure campaign to establish "inclusivity" as the one cardinal virtue with anyone pausing so much as to ask if there are any standards for "inclusion into full participation" in the Church. Interestingly this is the "Protestant Episcopal Church" which, being anything but Roman Catholic, would say that it is God Who does the including and excluding for membership in the Body of Christ, and we would expect that the Roman Church would not dream of placing someone into a place of responsibility or, for that matter, offer Holy Communion to a person who is living openly in mortal sin. If the Episcopal church presumes to do so, are they not then saying that God is really out of touch, so they are taking over for Him in that department?

So how is this more important than the German Protestant blunder? In this way: In the 1930's they did recognise that God is in control, but presumed that "purifying" their country was an act of obedience. Today
these Americans are saying that a new deity, whom they call "Spirit," or a god which conforms to their own political agenda, is guiding their actions, and conformity to their politics is all that matters. The one sent millions to an early grave, the other threatens to detour millions away from a real faith in Christ for a false sense of security that merely being a nice green liberal is what really counts for the highest good.

Jesus said, "Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest."


  1. People in power groups in the American "Episcopal Church" have taken it on themselves to redefine that message so that the sins against which the Bible warns us are not nearly so condemning as presuming that the Bible warns us against those sins. Millions of dollars have been spent, and thousands of lives affected, in their high pressure campaign to establish "inclusivity" as the one cardinal virtue with anyone pausing so much as to ask if there are any standards for "inclusion into full participation" in the Church.

    What 'crap' are they talking about? They can imply that Christian groups that do not agree with them believe in 'crap', but it is rather meaningless to state this without further explanation. It risks simply appealing to persons that hate aspects of traditional Christianity (and others) and want to go to a church with doctrines more acceptable to modern thought.

    Thanks for the link to the fideism article, relevant to your recent articles.

  2. I am going to email this article out for you.

  3. First, I have to say, Russ has sent me here twice and discussed your blog with me on one occassion that was related to encouraging me to promote 'linking' with other bloggers.
    So, if you don't reciprocate to this, my second comment, I am not visiting again. As I will conclude that you want to be heard but don't want to hear.
    I have twice put my blog on the line to help three person's have the correct perspective on issues of morality and what their obligation is.
    If we say we are a Christian, we are saying our obligation is to God and one another. Jesus says the most important command is to Love the Lord... and second is like it....
    Our learning should be about love. Being reflected by how we devote ourselves to God in Love for One another. Seen especially in our concern for moral issues and how they affect a person's relationship with The Lord.
    I'm not going for the 'Episcopal' love that seems to reflect Obama's interpretation of the Sermon on The Mount.
    I would like to take this opportunity to call to attention and remind people that McDonald's is under boycot for their support to the Gay and Lesbian Commerce Union. Find details under American Family Association.

  4. For all the past sins and current false doctrines that many Protestants (especially Baptists) love to point out about the Catholic church, at least the Catholic church has stood for moral issues more than some Protestant churches, in recent years.

    The Episcopal church accepting and promoting homosexuals among its clergy stands out in my mind. In addition, I know of a Lutheran church in California that openly advertises its welcome message to all gays and lesbians, calling them fellow Christians.

    Of course, someone could point out the Catholic priests who molested young boys. But that is not something which is promoted or supported by the Catholic church. At least part of the Episcopal church promotes having gay clergy.

    Many years ago, when I was considering becoming a Pastor, I visited a Lutheran seminary. In one class, the professor was attacking the miracles in the Bible. Its no wonder that so many of our churches have become so ungodly. Many of them have forsaken the God of the Bible.

  5. Robert,

    Just to encourage you, my Mom emailed me and let me know she likes your writing and blog. She has an inactive blog but may get it going again.


  6. Russ, thanks for the good words! Your fellowship is a great treasure!

    Jeff, you too, and thanks for checking in.If your experience in that seminary affected you like it sounds, maybe that was a confirmation that you need to be in Gospel ministry. There are a few good schools. Look into Some of the best Bible, language, and Theology profs in the Western world.

    Jleasure, good to hear from you. I thought that I had always replied to your remarks. Maybe you had posted something during exams crunch? Whatever the reason, I never knew it was expected to reply to every remark, but if you want something from me, ultimata are the least effective way of communicating. If I can do anything for you, just ask and I'll be glad to help out where I can. If somebody needs a high horse to talk from, I guess they can keep riding. Climb on down, and let's be friends.

  7. Hi Robert,
    I extend my apologies. I went back to 'Bumper sticker religion' post and found that for what ever the reason, my comment did not stick. I am noticing that to be the case with a few other comments to other bloggers.
    I remember posting a comment that stated how often we see 'bumper stickers' that the person displaying probably is very proud of or feels they are making an inpact for the cause they support, such as the 'coexist' bumper sticker. Which is very clever. However, it almost betrays the barer.
    The barer may be a bonafide Christian who simply wants to state they believe people have a right to express their religious beliefs. However, they may be approached by someone of a universalist orientation and find themselves having to state they are Christian. Or, they may, as I have seen, be heckled by a group of Christian teens all yelling out the window of a bus that the barer of the sticker is going to hell.
    I don't have a need to talk from a high horse. I just wanted to follow up on Russ' suggestion to contact you and to look for like minded bloggers to link with. My frustration comes from having read so many blogs, leaving comments and getting very little feed back.
    So, yes, let's be friends. I have already left feed back on this blog item.

  8. My frustration comes from having read so many blogs, leaving comments and getting very little feed back.

    Yes, this is difficult. It is like we must throw mud against a wall and hope some of it sticks.

    This also takes away time from our own potential posts. I spend half of the time on other blogs. But, we need to network in order to have readers outside of family and friends, unless we are very well-known in our field and receive traffic fairly easily.

    Thanks for the nice comments, Robert.


  9. Robert,

    Thanks for your kind reply comment.

    And thank you for giving me an excuse to talk about myself now! (LOL)

    I took a glance at the website you recommended. Thank you.

    After visiting the seminary, I was told by someone that we can serve God through whatever talents He has given us. I've always thought my main talent was my art skill. Therefore, at 3 colleges, my major was Fine Arts: Drawing and Painting. At a 4th college, I also took a Graphic Design class, plus I took a night class in Cartooning. The last college I attended was Bob Jones University, where I majored in Fine Arts and minored in Creative Writing.

    However, I had not grown up in a Christian family. Neither had I ever attended a Christian school before. Plus, ever since 9th or 10th grade, I had lived in a one-room house behind my parent's house, so I was very used to freedom and some sense of independence. At Bob Jones Univ., I lived in the dorms for 2 years, and most of the students were a lot younger than I was. They had more rules than the Pharisees had.

    Anyway, to make a very long story short (well, shorter, anyway), after Bob Jones Univ., I went into the darkest, blackest, deepest rebellion against God that I had ever...well, actually, the ONLY time that I had ever gone into such rebellion against God.

    Before attending BJU, I had gone with a couple others to a jail in Miami to do some prison ministry. I had interviewed for the possibility of being a chaplain there. They told me I needed a Christian education.

    Well, after coming back from BJU, they called me. In my rebellious state, I told them I no longer wanted anything to do with it. The guy started reprimanding me, and I basically told him to shut up and leave me alone (though I was a little nicer about it than what I'm making it sound like).

    Anyway, I have taught Sunday School to both adults and children. I have preached twice in front of a congregation. I have sung in choirs. I was the head of a Clown ministry. I have taught VBS. I taught for one year at a Christian school (plus one year at a public school). And I was a Discussion Leader for a group of about 25 or 30 men in BSF (Bible Study Fellowship).

    But, for many years, I have thought that being a missionary would be the greatest (and toughest) job ever. I love reading about missionaries and martyrs. A friend and I used to go to the mall, outside the movie theater, door-to-door, outside football games where there were thousands of people, and even to the outside of a Jehovah's Witness convention (where, to my great surprise, there were also thousands of people), to witness and to hand out tracts. Those times have been the highlight of my entire life, other than my own salvation and other personal mountaintop experiences with God.

    My friend is now a missionary in another country.

    I called a certain missions origination, but they told me I had to be a member of a church of their denomination for at least a certain number of years. Since I have attended or been a member of Lutheran, Baptist, Charismatic, C&MA, and other denominations over the years, I did not meet their qualifications.

    Right now, I am a Graphic Artist at the city newspaper. But I think that someone does not have to cross the ocean to be a missionary. You can go door-to-door in your own neighborhood. And my blog site is, at least in some respect, a ministry of sorts.

  10. Oh, and for a while, I had a job hosting an Internet radio broadcast, where, every day, I would give Bible verses and positive messages, including stories of great Christians. Once a week, I also hosted a radio drama, where several of us would contribute in voice parts. I wrote the script. It was fun. That would be cool to do something like that again. I have thought about being a radio host, but I'm not good at extemporaneous speaking (I found that out in a couple Speech classes I took) or spontaneous conversation. I have to write down what I want to say.

  11. Right on, y'all!

    It's good to have friends, co-labourers, and brothers like you all. More later- racing the BTOpenzone timer at Heathrow right now!



So what's your take?