Category: Anti-Christian


Of Christians and Politics Part 3

As I’m nearing the end of The Myth of a Christian Nation, some important points are standing out to me—particularly Boyd’s point on the over-reliance on government. 

First, people who believe America is in fact a “nation under God” may be inclined to view government as the handmaiden of God and thus inclined to rely on it to carry out the work God has called the church to carry out.  More specifically, as with most other Americans, many Christians assume it’s the church’s job to take care of the people’s spiritual needs and the government’s job to take care of its physical needs (153).

Kingdom people need to remember that the hope of the world doesn’t lie in government; it lies in Jesus Christ and in the willingness of his people to mimic his example (154)

This is interesting to me.  If the secular community’s reliance on government isn’t enough to be concerned about, now Boyd has pointed out how some Christians get swept into the mess.  Boyd keeps arguing that Christians need to worry less about what the government is doing and focus more on carrying out the Kingdom work—and that includes providing for the physical needs of others.  I agree that it is the church’s responsibility to take care of the poor and not the government’s, and that’s why we’ve gotten into the mess that we’re in.  The church was inactive for too long, and government has taken over.  But now we’re in a situation where the church needs to be politically involved to take back its responsibility.  I’m talking about lessening the government’s involvement in our lives—not forcing religion on people.  Christians need to be sensible and responsible with their political involvement and the way they behave and communicate with people.  They must never forget that they are Christ’s representatives. 

I was disappointed to learn about the recent Supreme Court ruling in favor of the Westboro Baptist Church and their anti-gay, military funeral protests.  According to Comcast News, “The protesters carried signs that stated, ‘God Hates You,’ ‘You Are Going To Hell,’ and ‘Thank God for Dead Soldiers.’”  This is exactly why authors like Boyd feel that the church should not be associated with politics. 

But what’s really interesting about this whole story is that “the American Civil Liberties Union and more than 20 news organizations supported the church, saying free-speech rights protected even outrageous, offensive or unpopular messages.”  Isn’t that just lovely.  The good ol’ ACLU who never supports the church on anything is supportive of hate speech coming from the church.  The same organization that, at other times, attempts to have people sued for hate speech for saying, in a loving way, that homosexuality is a sin.  I bet you anything that if the church was holding signs that said “God loves you” the ACLU would be all over them in a heartbeat. 

Christians, don’t be like those from the Westboro Church.  What were these “Christians” thinking?  I’m sorry, but true Christians know that God does not hate anyone—even the vilest of offenders—and that to say someone is going to Hell, even if it’s apparent that they might be, is just plain wrong.  This kind of behavior does nothing to advance the kingdom of God or transform the lives of homosexuals—or anyone else.  Instead, it leaves them with a bitter taste for Christians and anything they stand for, particularly God.

Edit: The more I hear and think about it, I’m not disappointed in the Supreme Court’s ruling.  I’m just disappointed in the protestors.

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Of Christians and Politics cont.

In my previous post, I mentioned that I’ve been reading Gregory A. Boyd’s book The Myth of a Christian Nation: How the Quest for Political Power is destroying the Church. There is one passage in the book that really got me thinking:

Why do we not place more trust in the power of prayer to affect the world? One primary reason, I think, is our national myth. Because we think our nation is “basically Christian,” we tend to trust Caesar’s “basically Christian” power more than Christ’s. We therefore allow ourselves to be sucked into the “power over” game of politics, thinking that if only we can pass certain laws and enact certain policies, the Christian status of our nation will be improved. While we, of course, tip our hat to the need for prayer, our actions belie the fact that we generally (there are marvelous exceptions!) place more confidence in our individual and corporate political activity than we do in the power of prayer…It’s not the power of your vote—every citizen in a democratic country has this; it’s the power of your kingdom heart expressed on your knees in loving service to the world (119).

Wow! What a profound statement! I absolutely agree with Boyd on this point. While I do believe that we should be politically aware and involved—after all, there are those who, if they have their way, will silence all Christians—we must not forget where the real power of the people lies—in our one-on-one communication with God. We have direct contact to the ruler of the entire universe. Talk about having influence and connections! Let’s use it!

Of Christians and Politics

As a Christian, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about the role I play as an American citizen.  Some of my previous posts show evidence of this.  I recently picked up a book at the library by Gregory A. Boyd called The Myth of a Christian Nation: How the Quest for Political Power is Destroying the Church.  One of Boyd’s main points is that associating Christianity with America is dangerous because of all the non-Christian actions America has taken in the past.  Point taken, but I don’t necessarily think that means that Christians should be silent about what’s going on in our country—and by our country, I mean the country in which we live.  Considering Boyd’s views, as well as others’, I’ve been examining my own thoughts and forming my own conclusions on the issue.   When a friend recently invited me to hear him speak on this very issue, I decided it was time to share my thoughts.  Here’s what I’ve concluded:

 It seems to me that the word politics has two different meanings: 1) the first is used to refer to governmental matters or offices and 2) the second refers to deal-making, special interests, self-interest or gain, etc.  The first has a neutral connotation, while the second one obviously has a negative connotation.  Because of the second meaning, many people, especially Christians, have come to fear the word in general.  The second seems evil, and therefore Christians don’t want to dabble in it.  Too many Christians are reluctant to be #1 politicians because they fear #2 politics or from fear of being co-opted into #2 politicians.  They’re also afraid of even following politics and voting because of the negative connotation that has been given to the term as a result of the #2 definition.  But it is because of the #2 politics that Christians need to get involved—as both government officials and active citizens.  Here’s the reason why.  Number 2 types are what corrupts the government, and the more deal making and whatnot that takes place, the bigger and more out of control government gets because it becomes an idol to these people.  In serving their own self-interests and political careers, they actually serve and become slaves to the government (spiritually).  At the same time, the common people are affected and become slaves physically/financially. 

 The government begins to get so out of control that it then has to drive God out of the picture in order to continue to function as a god itself because man cannot serve two gods, and if he’s serving the one true God, the government god will be limited.  So, God has to go.  As it becomes more and more powerful, the government god starts taking on the responsibilities of the one true God and starts dealing out rights to people and deciding who lives and dies, etc.  But then it goes even further and starts making everyday decisions for us to the point that we have no decisions left to make for ourselves.  The government would have us become robots.  This is against everything the true God stands for because he created us in his image as free-thinking beings capable of making our own decisions and governing ourselves.  That’s what makes a relationship with God so special—the fact that we choose him. 

 I read a couple of books not too long ago by husband and wife writing duo John and Stacy Eldredge called Captivating and Wild at Heart.  Captivating is all about how women are made in God’s image and what characteristics we inherited from Him..  Wild at Heart is about men.  Captivating explains how a woman wants to be sought after and fought for because God wants to be sought after and fought for by His people.  He doesn’t want us to be robots.  He wants us to be free to choose him; that’s why he made us to be free.  And a government that goes against that is a government against God.  God also wants us to fight for Him—meaning he wants us to do everything we can to guard and protect our relationship with Him.  And that means getting involved and peacefully doing what’s necessary to take our nation back for God—not so that we can establish a Christian nation or force religion on people (that would also go against God’s intentions), but so that we can remain free to love him if we so choose and, at the very least, be free to be what we were created to be.  And that’s not a slave to some false god of government.  Perhaps a better phrase would be to take our nation back for the people—for God.  So Christians need to realize that #1 political involvement does not mean that you dabble in #2 politics; on the contrary, it means that you keep #2 politics at bay for the freedom to live free lives and for the freedom to advance God’s kingdom, which is what all Christians are called to do.

Now that Christmas is past,  some of the anti-Christmas/anti-Christian attacks will hopefully die down for awhile so I can stop harping on it.  It’s not that I think religion should govern our country; I just get extremely annoyed by the whole hypocrisy behind these attacks, as you can read in my previous posts.  I just finished Culture Warrior by Bill O’Reilly (which I’ll discuss more in a later post), and I feel that it sums it up pretty well:

“Traditional Americans and conservative thinkers who understand their country do not put God at the head of public policy, nor do we point fingers at the opposition and label them ‘sinners”…Traditionalists believe that secular-progressive policies will weaken America and lead to societal chaos.  While we see no reason to banish God from the public square, we don’t expect Him to be writing societal policy on tablets and handing them to us in the Sinai” (192).

When you completely banish God from society, what values are left?  As O’Reily discusses in his book, you don’t have to believe in God to be a traditionalist.  However, you do acknowledge that America was founded on Christian principles that help keep society in line.  This is obvious in most of our basic laws and personal values:  don’t lie, don’t kill, don’t steal, don’t cheat on your spouse, obey your parents, etc.  It’s true that these concepts are found in the 10 commandments, but they’re also good personal rules for anyone to live by—believer or not.  For those of us in America who believe in a higher power (which is the majority of us), that belief holds us accountable for our actions—and if it doesn’t, then the laws of society based on the principles of that belief do.  When you rid society of these values, as O’Reily points out, society is weakened and people just do whatever they want regardless of the cost to themselves or others. 

Trying to remove Jesus from Christmas is just ridiculous.  Take the Franklin County Courthouse Nativity Scene, for example.  The atheists’ separation of church and state argument isn’t a good one.  Let’s look at what the 1st Amendment actually says: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”  The reason for this amendment is so the government can’t force anyone to practice a particular religion or keep anyone from practicing a particular religion.  Putting the nativity scene on the courthouse lawn is not establishing a religion.  The FFRF said that it was promoting a religion.  Perhaps, but I don’t think so.  I think they were simply recognizing the meaning of the holiday.  Regardless of whether or not they were promoting it, they certainly weren’t establishing a religion, and they weren’t forcing anyone to practice it.  Now that I’ve got it all out of my system, I’m going to try to be done with this topic for a while.

If atheist groups aren’t enough to deal with this Christmas season, now the Federal Reserve is in on the war on Christmas/Christianity.  A news article on KOCO.com is reporting that a bank in Perkins, Oklahoma has been ordered by the Federal Reserve to take down a sign that says, “Merry Christmas, God With Us” along with other Christian items.  According to the article:

“Specifically, the feds believed, the symbols violated the discouragement clause of Regulation B of the bank regulations. According to the clause, ‘…the use of words, symbols, models and other forms of communication … express, imply or suggest a discriminatory preference or policy of exclusion.’

The feds interpret that to mean, for example, a Jew or Muslin or atheist may be offended and believe they may be discriminated against at this bank. It is an appearance of discrimination.”

Seriously?  Discriminatory preference or exclusion?  I highly doubt that the bank is going to inquire about a customer’s religious beliefs before doing business with him/her.  This is just more anti-Christmas/Christian subterfuge.  Nobody’s going to be discriminated against.  And if they are, it will happen whether or not the bank displays these items.  If Jews, Muslims, or atheists are really concerned about discrimination, I would think they would appreciate the bank having these items on display.  That way, these individuals can be forewarned and take their business elsewhere. 

This article on The Economic Collapse Blog makes an interesting point:

“Now, before people start screaming ‘separation of church and state’, please keep in mind that the ‘state’ is not involved here.  The local bank in Perkins is a privately-owned financial institution.  The owners of that bank should be able to express themselves however they want.

In addition, it is important to note that it was not an agency of the federal government or a federal court that ordered this private local bank to remove all traces of Christianity.

The truth is that the Federal Reserve is not part of the U.S. government.  In fact, the Federal Reserve is about as ‘federal’ as Federal Express is.

You doubt this?

Well, perhaps you will believe what the Federal Reserve is publicly saying about itself.

In defending itself against a Bloomberg request for information under the Freedom of Information Act, the Federal Reserve objected by declaring that it was ‘not an agency’ of the U.S. government and therefore it was not subject to the Freedom of Information Act.”

Click here to read the entire article.

The latest news on the Brookville nativity scene, according to this article , is that the courthouse will not be removing the nativity scene.  Good for them.  The article provides FFRF attorney Rebecca Market’s thoughts:

“The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled a Nativity scene by itself creates a governmental endorsement of Christianity, which violates the Constitution’s prohibition against government establishing a state religion.”

Really?  An endorsement of religion?  I’m not so sure about that.  How about just a respect for the origin of the holiday?  Have any of these atheists thought of it as a history lesson?  Christmas is a federal holiday, after all.  But what is Christmas all about?  What does it mean?  What is the reasoning behind it?  I’m not an atheist, but I think if I were, I would still be fascinated by the history of the holiday.  Another thing I’m confused about is why they would be okay with having Santa Clause on the lawn but not Jesus.  If atheists are correct in their belief that there is no God or that Jesus was not the messiah, then wouldn’t a nativity scene fall into the same category as Santa?  They appreciate the story of Santa as part of our culture, but not the story of Jesus?  Of course, they are saying that the nativity scene would be fine as long as secular decorations were RIGHT NEXT TO IT.  That doesn’t even make sense.  Why not have all the decorations, but let the nativity scene be set apart out of respect for the Christians?  I guess I just don’t understand why atheists want to attack Christians.  What’s next?  Are they going to start attacking children for believing in Santa? 

 

I saw on the news a few days ago that the Freedom From Religion Foundation, an atheist group in Wisconsin, is demanding that a nativity scene be removed from an Indiana courthouse lawn in Franklin County.  The display has been there for over 50 years (according to one report), but now they’re being forced to get an attorney and fight to keep it up.  I don’t know all the details of this story, but my question is why do these Wisconsin atheists care about what’s going on in Franklin County, Indiana?  They cannot possibly claim that they’re offended by it because they don’t even have to see it (although I guess they’re now claiming that some members of the group supposedly live in Indiana).  Even so, it should be those residents dealing with it—not some group in Wisconsin.  Why don’t they worry about what goes on in Wisconsin and leave Indiana alone?  Now, you might be thinking I’m hypocritical because I recently criticized the atheist billboard between New Jersey and New York.  Here’s the difference:  I didn’t demand they take it down.  In fact, I didn’t even suggest they take it down—even though it was a blatant attack on Christ and the intelligence of anyone who believes in him.  As offended as I am—and as obvious as it is that this is a clear expression of their belief system— I never implied that it should not be allowed to remain up. I merely criticized their alleged reason for putting it up.  Atheist groups, however, jump at every chance they can get to slap a lawsuit on someone and suppress their beliefs in an attempt to force atheistic beliefs upon them. 

Why do atheists feel the need to eliminate anything Christian?  If you read the previous post about the atheist billboard, you’ll see that the American Atheists claim Christians are intolerant and that their fight is against that intolerance.  I beg to differ.  I think Christians have been far too tolerant of all this nonsense for far too long.    Who is the one really being intolerant?  Who’s the one being hypocritical?  Anyone who buys the story that these groups are offended should really rethink that conclusion.  These groups are not offended; they are on the warpath to secularize our country, and the attacks on Christmas are all a part of it. 

What’s interesting is that it sounds like the group might be willing to compromise if secular decorations—like Santa Claus and his reindeer—are added to the nativity scene.  That way it won’t look like the local government is promoting any certain religion.  Sure, let’s just put Jesus among fictional characters–that doesn’t belittle the meaning of the nativity scene at all.   Don’t fall for that trick!  If forced to do that, perhaps the courthouse should get a statue of Santa bowing down in reverence to the Lord Jesus.

Update

If you happen to be travelling through the Lincoln Tunnel between New York and New Jersey this Christmas season, you’ll probably notice this:

 This is a $20,000 billboard put up by the American Atheists organization.  But don’t worry.  The atheists aren’t trying to convert Christians or criticize their belief—or their intelligence for that matter—by saying that people should celebrate “reason.”  No—not at all.   As you’ll hear from the American Atheists spokesman Dave Silverman in the video below, “The intent here is not to convert Christians.  The intent here is to get atheists who are going through the motions and pretending to be religious to stop.”

 This is by far the biggest load of malarkey I think I’ve ever heard.  When talking about the whole war-on-Christmas-say-Happy Holidays- instead nonsense that we’ve been dealing with the past several years, here’s what the American Atheists website has to say:  “It’s not a war on Christmas, rather it’s a war on intolerance and ignorance.  It’s a war on false gods, false prophets, and false promises.”  You bet it is; at least they got that part right.  What they neglect to mention, however, is that they are the ones who are intolerant and ignorant with their false gods/false promises of “reason.”  There is one other point on which I do agree with Silverman: Christmas has become too commercial.  Interesting that he makes that statement while purchasing a billboard with his organization’s name plastered on it.    

 There is one gentleman in the video who sums up my thoughts exactly when he says, “I feel like if you’re an atheist, you’re going to seek out your own group anyway.  You don’t need to broadcast it and knock a Christian faith.”  Seriously, atheists don’t need to be reminded that they’re atheists with a billboard.  Anyone can see that this is just another attack on Christianity.   After all, as seen on the website in the aforementioned quote, these guys admit “it’s a war.”