Putin’s New York Times Editorial Piece

There has been a great deal of buzz about Vladimir Putin’s editorial in the New York Times today. I don’t consider the Times to be a reputable Newspaper but I thought I would make a few observations about the Putin editorial. The editorial can be found here,

Keep in mind that my distrust of Putin in no way implies trust for Obama, Democrats, or Republicans. I can manage to be against them all at the same time, hoping that they conspire to pull each other houses down so that a non Tyrannical house can be built.

1.) Putin offered, “But we were also allies once, and defeated the Nazis together.”

When Putin uses the word “we” here in the context of being allies during WW II, it strikes me that he is identifying himself with the former Communist Bolshevik Tyranny that held the reigns of power during WW II in Communist Russia. For this reason alone I find Putin to be a character that is not to be trusted. Anybody who self identifies with the Communists is someone whom Christians should be skeptical.

Secondly, on this score, it is true that the Nazis were defeated, which was good news, however, the price we paid in turning over much of the globe to international Communism (the “WE” that Putin self identifies with) made the defeat of the Nazis an empty victory.

2.) Putin extols the United Nations in his piece. This is another indicator that the man is not to be trusted. The United Nations has always been the residence of the progressive Marxist left, and was established in order to assist the bringing to fruition the long held dream of the New World Order. Putin further says on this score that nobody desires to see the UN fail. That is not true. I suspect that millions of people pray daily that the UN will fail.

3.) Keep in mind as you read anything coming from Putin that a defector from the KGB, (Anatoliy Golitsyn) told us long ago that the Soviets will fake the death of the USSR. His predictions were spot on. Do we really think that one day a huge super power like the USSR just falls apart without a whimper? No trials or anything for the former rulers? All the party faithful oligarchs are transformed from communists into “entrepreneurs” overnight? The former rulers become the new rulers, nothing really changes in the power structure? The purpose of this long con is to advance the agenda of the New World Order. Putin, being former KGB, is part of this deception and the end goal remains the Communization of the globe. Meet the new boss … same as the old boss.

We have to keep in mind that the cold war was useful to accomplish big things for the New World Order but the International elites needed a new era. Remember our state dept and Wall-street gave the world the USSR, Red China, Cuba, and so on. The best enemy money could buy. Putin, in my estimation is playing his role in the long con to enslave the world.

This long con was hinted at by Gorbachev in 1987 in an address to the Soviet Politburo,

“In October 1917, we parted with the old world, rejecting it once and for all. We are moving toward a new world, the world of Communism. We shall never turn off that road!? He further reassures his Communist colleagues: Comrades, do not be concerned about all that you hear about glasnost and perestroika and democracy in the coming years. These are primarily for outward consumption. There will be no significant internal change within the Soviet Union other than for cosmetic purposes. Our purpose is to disarm the Americans and let them fall asleep.”

There is no reason to believe that the long con does not continue.

4.) Putin in his speech appeals to the same old tired egalitarianism that has always been part and parcel of Communist ideology. In appealing to this egalitarianism Putin reveals, for those with eyes to see, the fact that Putin remains Red.

5.) So what game is Putin and Obama playing in this dramatic song and dance routine that is Syria? (Note — I believe most of what happens before the Cameras as well as what is reported in the press is Kabuki theater meant to fool the useful idiots) I believe that this was never about Syria. It was about weakening the prestige of America in the site of the World while discouraging Americans. This discouragement is part of the psychological warfare that KGB defector Yuri Bezmenov warned about almost 30 years ago. Obama has always been about destroying this country. Putin helped him in his goal as together they operated to bring down our prestige around the world while at the same time dispiriting Americans in regards to their country.

6.) Finally, Putin notes in this article that America should not think of itself as an exceptional country. This is consistent with what Obama has said in the past. In 2010, when Obama was asked if he believed in American exceptionalism, President Obama responded, “I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.” If everyone is exceptional per Obama, then no one is exceptional per Putin. They are reading off the same script.

Those who dine with Putin, would be well advised to dine with a long spoon. I do not think he is the anti-Obama hope that some people think he is.

I’d like to be wrong. I don’t think I am.

Combating Left Wing Christian Fundamentalism — Part II

LW Fundie writes,

5. We water down the Gospel when we eliminate the centrality of social justice.

The act of “doing justice”, as the prophet Micah references, is hard and sacrificial work. Yet, the cause of justice was extremely important to Jesus, and became a hallmark of the early church.

In Mathew 23:23 Jesus goes off on the conservative religious leaders, and tells them that while they seem to value keeping small rules, they are missing the “more important” part of the law, which is justice, mercy, and faithfulness.

However, the idea of “social justice” is offensive in much of Western Christianity, which tends to value wealth and individualism. Glen Beck famously told his listeners to run from any church that had the term “social justice” on their website.

Similarly, the concept of “mercy” offends ones senses, and doesn’t fit within a Western, guilt vs. innocents oriented culture. Giving a murderer mercy instead of death? It offends the senses. But, Jesus is crazy like that.

I love it.

I’m pretty sure that if Jesus came to America, he’d go off on us for the same thing– because when we focus on small rules, and resist or ignore the larger need for forms of justice in society (restorative justice, economic justice, etc.)… we have watered down the gospel and missed the most important part (Jesus’ phrase, not mine), just like the leaders in Matthew 23.

Bret responds,

Nowhere does the Scripture peep a word about “social justice.” Social justice is a completely Marxist idea. Scripture advocates Biblical Justice. The whole idea of “social justice” comes from Marxist liberation theology. God is concerned about Justice but there is nothing in Christianity that suggests that wealth is inherently sinful or that a Biblical individualism is frowned upon by God. The whole idea of “social justice” is based upon the foundation of envy. Social Justice sanctions the greed and lust of the envious by telling them that they deserve to have what they have not worked for or earned.

Now this is not to say that such things as unbiblical wealth and oppression don’t exist. We are neck deep in such today with our Governmental Fascism and social order Corporatism. However, speaking out against unbiblical wealth in favor of unbiblical poverty is idiotic. Both the wicked wealthy and the wicked poor must repent for their respective oppression and envy.

But our LW Fundie does not make these kind of distinctions. Instead he gloms on to the idea of “social justice,” as it exists in its Marxist paradigm.

And the idea that we can now set aside, by a humanist “mercy,” what God demanded when He said, “whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man,” in the name of a humanist Jesus, is just ridiculous. There is no warrant from Scripture that the magistrate can set aside God’s law in order to give mercy to a killer while at the same time showing insult to the family of the victim. If LW Fundie’s Mother was murdered would he think it mercy to coddle the murderer? Given his version of Christianity he probably would.

I would contend that the Jesus that LW Fundie serves is a different Jesus then walks through the Scriptures. It is a Jesus of his own left wing fundamentalist imagination.

LW Fundie wrote,

4. We water down the gospel when we explain away the whole nonviolent love of enemies part.

What if Jesus actually meant it when he said: “you have heard it said ‘an eye for an eye’ but I tell you to love your enemies”?

What if he meant it when he said: “put away your sword”, “don’t respond in-kind to an evildoer”, and “he who is without sin is free to cast the first stone”?

If there’s anything we know for sure about Jesus, it’s that he taught/practiced a radical, non-violent love of enemies, and that he invites us to do the same. Instead of picking up a weapon, Jesus actually says that in order to follow him, we will have to pick up a “cross”– a symbol of radical, nonviolent love of enemies if there ever was one.

Yet, we have a way of watering those teachings down so that they don’t apply to us, or our country. We start with small loopholes, which in time grow bigger and bigger. We’re able to water it down to the point that ever expanding military budgets are embraced and supported by Christians, the pro-gun movement becomes a championed movement of Christians, and that preemptive war is taught and encouraged by evangelical leaders (as it was after 911).

Once we start finding small loopholes in the command to nonviolently love our enemies, those loopholes get bigger and bigger… until we are able to safely drive tanks and fly drones through them, with little affect on our conscience.

At that point, we need to continue watering it down, because there’s a lot of blood we need to wash away.

Bret responds,

1.) Let us say on this score that never was Jesus loving his enemies better than when he picked up a whip and scourged his enemies with a violent love via that barbed whip and sent them flying out of the Temple. Does LW Fundie aspire to that kind of love? What of this violent love of Jesus that LW Fundie skips over?

2.) Love is defined as treating people consistent with God’s law. So, when a man commits murder against another man, as an example, love requires that the social order see to it that he forfeits his life. When we do so, we are showing love to God, love to the murdered and love to murderer.

3.) It seems to be assumed here that love is defined by man quite apart from consideration of God’s law. This sounds like advocacy of situational ethics.

4.) “Put away your sword” — Situation specific. Jesus is speaking to Peter as he attempts to save Christ from what Jesus was predestined to do. Earlier Jesus had told Peter that the two swords they had were sufficient and that the disciples should sell their cloak to buy a sword (Luke 22), thus indicating that swords have their place. However, the place wasn’t in Gethsemane. Put away your sword is not a passage that supports pacifism. All those degrees and LW Fundie hasn’t learned about context?

5.) “He who is without sin cast the first stone” — Stoning was the means by which the death penalty was applied. He who cast the first stone was the one who had brought the charge (Dt. 17:7). The death penalty could not be invoked legally if the eyewitnesses were unavailable or unqualified. Jesus was striking directly at the fact that these witnesses were ineligible to fulfill this role since they were guilty of the same sin, and thus deserved to be brought up on similar charges. They were intimidated into silence by their realization that Jesus was privy to their own sexual indiscretions. Jesus was not teaching, contrary to LW Fundie’s hermeneutic that we should be non judgmental against those who have committed serious crimes. He was not teaching tolerance and humanist non-violent love. He was teaching the proper way in which to carry out justice.

How does someone get two Masters degrees from a Seminary with a (false?) Evangelical reputation and miss basic hermeneutics?

6.) Championing the 2nd amendment is done because I love my wife and family enough to want to protect them from those who would harm them. It is true we must love our enemies but how much more must we love our friends and family. So, Scripture teaches we must love our enemies but never at the price of hating our loved ones and to allow myself to be disarmed per LW Fundie’s desire to take my weapons, would be a lack of love for my family and a violate of the 6th commandment.

7.) Everyone will be glad to know that I agree w/ LW Fundie regarding the sin of preemptive war and the sin of Christians supporting the military-industrial complex.

LW Fundie writes,

3. We water down the gospel when we over emphasis sins rarely mentioned in scripture, while conveniently neglecting the ones that are talked about constantly.

The top two sins spoken against in scripture are idolatry and greed- sins that don’t often make the playlist in many churches today. Honestly, I rarely hear sermons on either of those topics. Maybe idolatry, but definitely NOT greed.

When’s the last time you heard a sermon condemning the wealthy who neglect the poor? That’s talked about all the time in the Bible, yet I don’t hear that message in many American churches. When’s the last time you heard a preacher condemn anti-immigrant attitudes? The Bible I read sure does talk a lot about the way we should love immigrants.

I think we’re watering down the gospel so that other people’s sins appear to be worse than our own sins.

Your sins? Well, you get a concentrated version. My sins? Watered down, please.

Bret responds,

1.) Recently I did a sermon series on the greed of the wealthy and the envy of the poor. I wonder when the last time LW Fundie did a sermon on envy. I recommend Helmut Schoeks, ENVY: A Theory of Social Behaviour and, Gonzalo Fernandez de la Mora’s,Egalitarian Envy: The Political Foundations of Social Justice. If LW Fundie would read those two books maybe he could move past his soft Marxism.

2.) On immigration I would recommend that LW Fundie read Peter Brimelow’s, Alien Nation, and then do a sermon series. It is true that we are to be kind to the stranger and alien, but it is not true that we are to sacrifice our children and their future so we can turn our nation over to the alien and the stranger. It is not true that we are to allow the State to destroy what little is left of the Christian ethos among us by supporting the destruction of it via the importation of aliens who have no familiarity with Biblical Christianity.

3.) Still, LW Fundie’s counsel to not concentrate on sins that are easy to concentrate on while ignoring our own sins is wise counsel. However, I wish LW Fundie would take his own counsel and concentrate on the sins of pacifism and Marxism.

LW Fundie writes,

2. We water down the gospel when we exclusively use the concept of “penal substitution” to explain the Gospel.

Many of us grow up believing that the penal substitution metaphor for explaining the gospel is the gospel. It goes something like this:

You broke the law, which made God angry. Jesus paid your fine by taking God’s wrath in your place. Since Jesus paid your fine, you can be set free.

However, the penal substitution view of the atonement, is just a small glimpse of the cross– and in isolation, is a watered down version that reduces the cross to an individual transaction.

The “classic” view of the atonement is called “Christus Victor” and is a bigger way of understanding the cross. With the classic view, it is understood that Jesus was reconciling all of creation and freeing it from the works of the Devil. Within the classic view, yes– Jesus was reconciling me, but he was also reconciling everything else he made too.

This has big implications: in the watered down version of the gospel, it’s all about reconciling individual people. However, when we look at the classic view, we find out that God not only wants to reconcile people, but that he also wants to reconcile creation (environment), broken social systems, whole communities… and that means, my job as a “minister of reconciliation” is to get busy– not just reconciling people, but reconciling everything else too.

If you’ve only understood the gospel in light of the concept of “penal substitution”, let me just tell you that the Gospel is way, way bigger than you’ve ever realized.

And, so is your part in that.

When we reduce the magnitude and beauty of what Christ did on the cross to an individualistic, legal transaction– and little more– we’ve watered it down to the point where we can’t taste the depths of its magnificent flavor.

Bret responds,

I have no problem with Christus Victor motif. Indeed I see little reason why it can’t work hand in glove with the Scriptures teaching on Christ as our Penal Substitute. What I do have a problem with is how LW Fundie defines reconciliation in a Marxist direction. Throughout this piece there has been very little concrete reference to God’s law but countless appeals to trendy Cultural Marxist memes. From the wicked dastardly wealthy, to the wonders of socialism, to the fanged greedy, to social justice, to pacifism, to the environment, all we get from LW Fundie is Cultural Marxist causes. There is more of Lenin than there is of Christ in LW Fundie’s Messiah.

Secondly, LW Fundie does not understand the Scriptures that teach the penal substitution of our Lord Christ. It is not as LW Funide articulates that Christ accomplished transaction for a bunch of individuals. Scripture teaches that Christ gave Himself for the Church. Christ gave Himself for the covenant community. So, LW Fundie’s caricature of Penal Substitution is just inaccurate. (He’s gotten so much else inaccurate what is one thing more among friends? Also, on this score the atonement was never primarily about reconciling individuals or reconciling all of creation. The atonement was primarily about reconciling a justly wroth God to sinners.

Thirdly, on this score, the only way creation is reconciled is by reconciled people. Hence the emphasis on the atonement, after it falls on the reality that in the atonement Christ rescued the Father’s name from being impugned because of forestalled Justice, while at the same time demonstrating the Father’s love, falls on reconciled Saints. The Saints are the ones who, in their sanctification, bring the impact of their reconciliation on all of creation. Creation will not be reconciled unless the Gospel goes on to those who need to hear that they might be the reconciling agents. As such, to pit the penal substitutionary death of Christ against the Christus Victor motif is just wrong-headed. They imply one another and the latter is not somehow more significant than the former. If anything it is Christ’s satisfaction for His Church that makes the reconciling work of Christus Victor possible.

Fourthly, it scares me to death that LW Fundie wants to be involved in “reconciling work.” Given some of his expressed soft Marxist views I think he needs to go back to Christianity 101.

On this point I honestly see very little evidence that LW Fundie understands the atonement and that it is primarily about God before it is about man.

LW and STILL a Fundie writes,

1. We water down the Gospel when we invite people to trust Jesus for the afterlife… but not this life.

Flowing from number 2, when we exclusively use the Penal Substitution metaphor for explaining the cross, we end up focusing on getting people to trust in Jesus for their “eternal life” later, but fail to invite them into the eternal life that they can experience right now.

Maybe I’m just thinking big here, but I’d like to see people trust Jesus for the here-and-now.

Maybe I’m just weak, but I need a Jesus who can help me in the here-and-now.

I want to see people trusting Jesus with their finances, their jobs, their families, their personal safety, and everything else.

And, Jesus is good for all those things too. A Jesus that can save me later, but not now?

That’s just a watered down version.

Bret responds,

I’ve been a minister for 25 years and I’ve never seen anyone make a connection before between the penal substitution of the atonement and a lack of living the Christian life. Always, when I’ve heard it preached properly it is preached with the idea that Jesus came to give live and give it abundantly. When I’ve heard it preached I’ve always heard it preached in the context of “eternal life begins now.” When I’ve heard it preached I’ve always heard it preached as “What God freely accomplishes in the atonement (forgiveness and right standing with God) He works in you by the Spirit so that you increasingly conform to the image of His Dear Son. I’d like to see concrete examples of where all this irresponsible preaching on the penal substitution of Christ is happening. For that matter, I’d be overjoyed to know that most ministers have a handle on the doctrine of Christ’s penal substitution.

In closing I invite LW Fundie to try to quit reading his Christianity through his soft Marxist lenses.

And in a final word … Folks, if a guy can get two Masters degrees from Gordon Conwell and come out spewing this kind of stuff it is time to give up on Gordon Conwell as a option for Seminary.

Combating Left Wing “Christian” Fundamentalism — Part 1

At a blog site entitled “Formerly Fundie,” a left wing fundamentalist articulate 10 of his non-negotiable fundamentals.

http://www.formerlyfundie.com/watering-down-the-gospel/

Now normally I wouldn’t take notice of this but I have a family member who has posted repeatedly this type of left wing fundamentalism. So, out of love for this family member and in defense of the Gospel I thought I would spend just a bit of time dissecting this kind of Cultural Marxist “Christian” fundamentalism.

If you want to see the whole article you should access the link. I will only be dealing with the highlights.

Left Wing Fundie (LW Fundie) writes,

In fact, while I was writing this post, in some of my first quality hate-mail yet, I was accused of having a “liberal, watered down, democratic, toothless and people-pleasing gospel.” (emphasis mine)

Bret replies,

Well, it is good to know that not everyone has fallen asleep. Dear Reader you will see how objectively true this critique is that LW Fundie notes.

LW Fundie writes,

I’ve recently been thinking about American Christianity as a whole, and the ways that our entire cultural expression of the message of Jesus gets watered down into a slow, manageable drip, instead of the knock-you-off-balance, raging fire hose that the gospel really is.

In light of the time I’ve spent considering this question, here are 10 ways that I believe American Christianity waters down the Gospel of Jesus:

10. We water down the Gospel when we attempt to live it out in isolation, instead of in the context of community.

In the life of the early Church, we see community as being key to their expression of the message of Jesus. The early Christians actually took the concept of community to a whole new level, essentially creating a type of Christian community that looked enough like socialism to make an American Evangelical cringe. Not only did they pray and share the Eucharist together, they actually shared all of their money, possessions, food… and rejected the concept of individual ownership (Acts 4:32).

When we live out the gospel in light of America’s concept of “rugged individualism” we miss the point that the gospel is designed to bring us into authentic community where we all depend on each other in healthy ways.

Bret responds,

1.) I agree that a huge part of Christianity is covenant community and that too often Christians have failed in the requirement to be a part of body life. However, I don’t agree that proper covenant community is in direct contradiction to rugged individualism. It seems to me that it might be the case that LW Fundie is equating covenant community life to the life of the anthill or the beehive. That is not what I find in Scripture. In the Scripture both covenant community and rugged individualism find their proper place. As we shall see LW Fundie prioritizes the One over the many and as such when he speaks of “Community life,” what we really hear is his support for socialism.

2.) Acts 4 does not teach the “rejection of the concept of individual ownership.” That this is so is seen in what Peter says to Ananias,

Acts 5:4 While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.” 5 When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last. And great fear came upon all who heard of it. 6 The young men rose and wrapped him up and carried him out and buried him.

We see clearly here that, unlike LW Fundie’s Socialistic dreams, that the Early Church community ethic was voluntary. Once one makes the dispersal of property voluntary it is no longer socialism since socialism is enforced at the end of the barrel of a gun. That ownership was still acceptable to the early Church covenant community is seen in what Peter said to Ananias as put in bold relief above. Ananias was not killed for ownership. Ananias was killed for lying to God.

Also, LW Fundie fails to take into consideration that the reason that resources were pooled and shared is that these Early Christians knew, from Christ’s words, that judgment was coming upon Jerusalem. It is not a wise investment portfolio that finds people trying to hold on to property in a area where they have been told that God is going to visit with judgment.

So, I agree with LW Fundie, that community life is important and neglected today but I disagree with LW Fundie when he suggests that the way to get to covenant community is via socialism. There is no evidence at all in Scripture for such thinking.

LW Fundie writes,

9. We water down the gospel when we make it about changing someone else, instead of first changing ourselves.

Bret responds,

Here there is need to say that despite his two Master’s degrees from Gordon Conwell LW Fundie doesn’t understand what the Gospel is. The Gospel, strictly speaking, is not about me or my behavior. The Gospel, strictly speaking, is about God’s work in the Redemption of sinners. The Gospel, strictly speaking, is only about what God does and not at all about what I do.

There is a broad sense of the word “Gospel” that LW Fundie seems to be using throughout. I think when he uses Gospel he means “Christianity.” So LW Fundie is saying, “we water down Christianity when we … “ So, we will take him as if he is speaking of “Gospel” in a broad sense. Still, since he says very little about the Gospel in the strict sense I wonder if he understands really that the Gospel is all about God’s saving action in Christ and not all about our being good doobies.

As speaking particularly to point #9 I would agree that self-righteousness is a problem. However, if Christians, can’t speak to the necessity for others to repent without first being perfect themselves then I’m pretty sure that the prophetic voice has been completely stifled, because all of us will die with the necessity to change matters about ourselves.

Still, LW Fundie’s call to examine ourselves is great counsel.

LW Fundie writes,

8. We water down the gospel when we make it sound like following Jesus is easy (Spoiler Alert.. it’s not!).

Bret responds,

Jesus instructed us that we must “deny ourselves, take up our Cross, and follow Him.” Clearly LW Fundie is correct in this observation.

However, since LW Fundie’s worldview is not Biblical, his idea of “Following Jesus,” is likely often going to be the opposite direction from which the Scripture teaches.

LW Fundie writes,

7. We water down the gospel when we exclude people.

When I look at the life of Jesus, one of the things that I find most attractive is that everyone wanted to hang out with him. It didn’t matter what social background they came from, what gender they were, what sins they struggled with… everyone just craved time with him.

Bret responds,

Clearly Scripture doesn’t support this assertion. The Pharisees and Sadducees did not want to hang with Jesus. Herod did not want to hang with Jesus.

And note that people wanted to “hang out with Jesus” because he provided an answer as to how they could find forgiveness for their sins. This is what the Pharisees did not offer. So, the Lord Christ, was popular because he did not ignore their sins but provided a solution they could not find elsewhere. Jesus invited people to take his yoke upon them but they had to confess that they were weary and heavy laden. They had to confess their sins. I don’t find Christians today saying much about sin anymore and this is why so many are eager to hang out with them.

LW Fundie writes,

However, we often exclude others which is contrary to the life of Jesus… a behavior which waters down the Gospel to something that’s for us, and not them (at least not until they change and become more like us). Yet, I don’t find any of that in scripture… instead, I find a Jesus that invites everyone into relationship FIRST, and invites everyone to experience his love, FIRST.

The religious leaders of Jesus’ day were consistently offended with how inclusive Jesus was, because they believed a watered down version where God’s guest list was extremely exclusive and limited.

Any version of Jesus that doesn’t start with authentic, loving inclusiveness, is a watered down version.

Christian doctrine teaches that regeneration is entry into the life of Christ. The only way we can have a relationship with Jesus is by being changed. Does Jesus have a saving Relationship with the unrepentant liar or thief who has not been regenerated?

The Gospel comes as a relief for those who have seen their sin. If they have not seen their sin they can have no relationship with Jesus.

How can those who hate Christ know the love of Jesus?

So all are commanded to repent but none can know the love of Jesus without first desiring to change to become more like Jesus.

LW Fundie is just vague enough here to know for sure what he is speaking of but it sounds like he might be saying that we shouldn’t join the Love of Jesus with repentance.

LW Fundie,

6. We water down the gospel when we tell people it’s clear and simple.

Unfortunately, there’s nothing clear and simple about this… it’s actually quite complex.

Jesus used to teach in complex and obscure parables, something that frustrated even his inner circle. Often, they can be found frustrated that it’s not more simplified. In fact, in his final teaching the disciples let out a collective sigh, and said: “finally you’re talking plainly with us!”

I remember in 2008 when I left for Seminary at Gordon-Conwell, I thought that going to seminary would make the Bible more black-and-white. Yet, after two Master’s and part way into my doctorate, things become a lot more gray the deeper I go. And, that’s okay. I actually think Jesus wanted his message to be complex enough that we spent our lives wrestling with it.

It’s not clear and simple, but complex. The message of Jesus is something that you could spend a lifetime wrestling with, yet never fully wrap your head around it. It is really THAT radical (and I’ve learned to love it, exactly for this reason).

We water it down when we try to remove the complexity, and mystery (see Mark 4) of some aspects of it. Just let it be what it is– minus the extra water designed to remove tension that God actually wants us to experience.

1.) The Gospel is clear and simple.

God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself.
God is both Just and Justifier of those who believe in Jesus
If we confess with our mouths and believe in our hearts we shall be saved

All because the Gospel is clear and simple doesn’t mean it is simplistic. It doesn’t take an angst filled Gordon-Conwell graduate with two Master’s degrees to understand the Gospel.

2.) Second, LW Fundie has used the word “experience” a couple times now. It is clear that his view of the Gospel is experience oriented. This is not something we find in Scripture. Scripture teaches that Christianity is the life of the mind. Now, certainly experience will follow but Christianity is not primarily about experience and we water down Christianity when we suggest otherwise.

3.) In our postmodern age it is all the rage to suggest that truth is obscure and hard to know. I don’t deny that the Christian faith is profound but neither should it be suggested that it is nearly unknowable given its complexity. When we introduce the idea of complexity like LW Fundie does here we introduce the possibility that because it is so complex that we can’t arrive at any hard and fast truths. Such beliefs tell us more about the person who holds them then it tells us about basic Christianity.

From the Mailbag — Question On Obama-care

Pastor Bret,

My mother-in-law went to Sam’s Club yesterday to get some prescriptions. Her co-pay has gone up $30 for some prescriptions. She was flustered and asked the pharmacist what was going on. They had a long chat about the matter. From the pharmacist’s perspective, the co-pay difference was due to Obamacare. From his perspective, also, the govt, via Obamacare, is trying to “wipe out old people,” by increasing costs of prescriptions, by making some medications rare and unavailable, etc. He said that the effect this is having (as he sees it) on the elderly and the middle class is going to be huge.

What is your take on this?

Dear Kirsten,

I’d say your Mother-in-law’s Pharmacist is correct.

What is going on is that the FEDS have these HUGE entitlement obligations to Senior Citizens (Social Security) and to sick (Medicare / Medicaid). There is one of two ways you can get out of those obligations. You can either increase the money supply to fund the programs or you can decrease the recipients to make funding un-necessary.

Now the FEDS could bankrupt the country by raising taxes on younger generations. But that will inevitably lead to generational warfare as younger generations eventually refuse to impoverish themselves in order to enrich the generation or two ahead of them. At some point people realize that there is little use in working if the majority of your income is being taken. The FEDS could also just print more money but in the end that debases the currency and the purchasing power declines precipitously, with the same sure result of social unrest.

Or alternately, you can kill off the people who are the beneficiaries of the entitlement programs. I believe this is the route that the FEDS are taking.

Promises were made that could never be kept. The whole entitlement leveraging by the FEDS was a giant Ponzi scheme. The grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the voters who originally created Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid etc. are going to pay for “the greatest generations” sins in creating this monster. The Greatest Generation created the Monster and now their descendants are about to be eaten by the monster they created.

Obamacare has always been about killing people. The very title tells you that if you are familiar with how Government Euphemisms always work. Obamacare is not about health. Obamacare is about death management. It will very soon, once implemented, be deciding if the contribution of the ill to society is equal to the value of the procedure that the ill person needs to regain their health.

Plus of course Obamacare may be the final piece in totalitarian collectivist government. Now the State can control the cattle (people) it owns every step of the way. From Birth, to school (school to work programs), to the food we eat (The FEDS are in bed with the GMO Creators), to the medicines we take, to the media we imbibe. What Obama-care is, is the final piece in a “Brave New World” social order that the NWO has been working on for decades.

Some of us tried to warn people. But they were to busy with their bread and circuses.

Perhaps the worst part of all this is that the Church is largely asleep on these issues, or where it is not asleep, it is actively fighting for the NWO agenda. Really, we have come to the point where the visible Church is largely the problem.

The Cultural Marxism Captivity of the Church

” … a significant clerical group under Professor Nieburh’s influence is able to rationalize and to some extent at least justify the perpetration of almost any crime because it serves, as Lenin said, ‘the interests of the class struggle of the proletariat.’

… Until we come to understand the effect on a wide section of Protestant clergyman in this country, we are not going to get very far in understanding the way in which the Church is integrated, in part, into this whole communist movement.”

Dr. J. B. Matthews
The Actor — Alan Stang — pg.80

Dr. Matthews was a investigator who worked with the House committee on un-American activities. As such, the quote is dated.

Still, I would say the thrust of the quote remains true. Much, if not most, of the American clergy has been either saturated in the Marxist paradigm (Cultural Marxism today) or has been coated with a patina of Marxism so that even orthodoxy as it comes from their lips is tainted with Das Capital. From Tim Keller’s retooling of “social justice”

http://www.amazon.com/Generous-Justice-Gods-Grace-Makes/dp/1594486077/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1375472793&sr=8-1&keywords=Tim+Keller+social

to Carl Trueman’s British Socialism, to much of the Church’s embrace of illegal immigration and everywhere in between the Church is a hotbed of Cultural Marxism and the clergy are those at the point of the spear of this agenda. Even Churches that insist that the Church must not speak on public square issues create a open door for the success of cultural Marxism in our culture and social order by suggesting, through its silence, that God is not opposed to Cultural Marxism.

Unless one is epistemologically self conscious holding a Biblical Worldview the Church and its clergy are dangerous realities. I think it is fair to say that he who dines with the contemporary Church had best dine with a long spoon.

A good book length treatment of the compromise of the contemporary church is C. Gregg Singer’s “An Unholy Alliance.”

http://www.commentary.net/freebooks/docs/a_pdfs/gsua.pdf

The work is dated, leaving off sometime in the 1970’s but if one reads carefully and one is at all aware of what is going on today in Denominations one can get a feel for where we are at.