The July 31, 2008 Chicago Tribune carried the article by Mara Tapp Celebrity again trumps real values. Mara used the occasion of someone taking Barack Obama’s note out of the Wailing Wall and publishing it. She correctly points out:
The problem is that Americans, as usual, focus on the celebrity rather than the deeper and more troubling issues the note’s fate presents. Its leak offers just another tidbit about those Obamas—a sacred variation on how cute Michelle Obama’s dress is or whether she yells at her husband about picking up his socks or his older daughter’s mortification when he shakes her friends’ hands. After all, to the celebrity-struck, don’t-bother-me-with-real issues average American, these are the details that matter.
Many in the church are trying to figure out how to minister to the post modern culture but don’t realize that as Dr. Ergun Caner has pointed out in his talk Christians Coming Out of the Closet that since September 11, 2001 we have lived in the transmodern culture. In the transmodern culture the spokesman for culture is celebrity. It is driven by feeling and the desire to be near or at least emulate celebrity. Real issues are set aside where they interfere with celebrity stuff and as it plays itself out in the world we are seeing that Young Adults and Liberals Struggle with Morality.
The “faith” vote is playing big on both sides of the aisle this election and Evangelicals are divided as can be seen in Evangelicals say McCain’s the one while Brian McLaren and others in the Matthew 25 Network claim that Barack is the one and act as an Evangelical advisory group to Obama’s campaign. As part of that coalition Donald Miller to Give DNC Benediction.
As those who are born again by grace alone through faith alone in Christ’s death, burial and resurrection alone, how are we to decide such important issues? The answers are not easy and I certainly do not have the inspired, inerrant and infallible understanding of the inspired, inerrant and infallible Scripture but perhaps we can lay out some basic guidelines for consideration.
C.S. Lewis . . . political philosopher?
. . . Classical political theory, with its Stoical, Christian, and juristic key-conceptions (natural law, the value of the individual, the rights of man), has died. The Modern state exists not to protect our rights but to do us good or make us good–anyway, to do something, to us or to make us something. Hence the new name “leaders” for those who were once “rulers.” We are less their subjects than their wards, pupils, or domestic animals. There is nothing left of which we can say to them, “Mind your own business.” Our whole lives are their business.
Could one start a Stagnation Party—which at General Elections would boast that during its term of office no event of the least importance had taken place?
Is “mind your own business” to government consistent with the great commission of mere Christianity? Continue reading …
The August 7, OCRegister headline read, Rick Warren hopes to redefine presidential politics. The issues that will be addressed are of a social nature, curing AIDS, poverty, sickness and will likely avoid such questions as same sex marriage, and abortion. As the article notes:
“It is a lot more sterilized and socially acceptable to be concerned about people who got HIV in Africa – because they acquired it in a heterosexual way – than to discuss the real, core issues of why Americans are getting it, which have to do with sexuality, poverty, lack of education, drug use,” said Rodriguez, president of the AIDS Services Foundation Orange County board. “These are segments of the population that don’t really get people votes.”
Earlier this year we also saw the birth of the Obama Bill: 845 Billion more for global poverty. I am not certain that McCain would be opposed to this since both he and Obama endorse Warren’s P.E.A.C.E. Plan:
Warren noted that McCain and Obama have endorsed Saddleback’s PEACE Plan, a strategy to mobilize churches to fight global problems such as illiteracy, corrupt leadership and disease
Rick Warren seems very comfortable and enamored with the political left. He is dedicated to the idea that contrary to Jesus’ claims that we would always have the poor (Matt. 26:11; Mk. 14:7; Jn. 12:8), we humans can eliminate poverty, hunger and sickness from the face of the earth. He seems so consumed by this that he seems to convey it is the church’s mandate to do so but the church doesn’t have the financial wherewithal to fulfill Warren’s mandate. He seems to be of the view that the Federal Government should steal the money from its citizens in order for the church to fulfill Warren’s dream. Will 845 Billion more for global poverty. be the ticket? Will McCain Continue reading …
One of the topics I spoke on at a church retreat recently was Roman Catholicism. One of the points I made was that Rick Warren stated at the Pew Forum that he doesn’t see much difference between Roman Catholicism and what he believes. I pretty much followed the outline of our Journal article Thus Saith Rome! which poses some questions based on Rome’s official teachings. On August 1, 2008, John H. Adams published his article ‘Emerging church’ spreading in PCUSA on The Layman Online. To those reading these may not really seem connected at first glance. The connector comes in through a quote a friend emailed this week which bears on both of these issues. The quote is from the book Faithfulness and Holiness by J.I. Packer (Crossway Books, 2002). On page 38-39 Packer quotes the late J.C.Ryle, whom the book was about:
‘I believe the most powerful champion of the Pharisees is not the man who bids you honestly and openly come out and join the Church of Rome: it is the man who says he agrees on all points with you in doctrine …..all he asks you to do is to add a little more to your belief, in order to make your Christianity perfect….
‘I consider the most dangerous champion of the Sadducee school is not the man who tells you openly that he wants you….to become a free-thinker and a skeptic. It is the man who begins with quietly insinuating doubts…..whether we ought to be so positive in saying ‘This is the truth, and that falsehood,’ doubts whether we ought to think men wrong who differ from us on religious opinions, since they may after all be as much right as we are….It is the man who always begins talking in a vague way about God being a God of love,and hints that we ought to believe perhaps that all men, whatever doctrine they profess will be saved.’
Although this came from Ryle over a century ago his points are just as relevant and poignant today, perhaps even more so. It is more honest for a Roman Catholic to Continue reading …