Between Heaven and Earth: Thoughts on the Culture Conflict vol. 3

Categories: General
by on September 11th, 2008

Obama Backtrack on Abortion

The Christian Post is reporting that Obama admitted to ABC news’ George Stephanopoulos that his comment on when life begins voiced at the Saddleback Civil Forum was “probably too flip.”  Ya think? Obama goes on to say:  

“It’s a pretty tough question,” he continued. “And so, all I meant to communicate was that I don’t presume to be able to answer these kinds of theological questions.”

My thought is that if the moral status of fetuses is a theological question then why leave it to smart people in robes? Furthermore, if its a theological question and thus out of the realm of the empirical, then shouldn’t we discourage the practice simply on the grounds that it might be completely and utterly immoral? Better to err on the side of caution.

But its not just a theological issue for Obama. In the next breath, Captain Obvious points out that the issue of abortion is a moral issue and and “he does not think the government “criminalizing” the decision of families is the best way to reduce the practice. ” The problem here is that Obama is a politician, and moralizing is above his pay grade. The criminalizing argument is almost worse than the theological argument. Let’s see if we can spot the problem. I’ll replace abortion with something else. “Slavery is a moral issue. He doesn’t think the government “criminalizing” the decisions of slave owners is the best way to reduce the practice.” Moral issues are sometimes criminal issues and sometimes they are not. Merely punting to the moral high ground in an effort to permanently ride the fence doesn’t help. This is doing ethics without a license. Senator you owe us an explanation why this moral issue doesn’t need to be criminalized to reduce the practice especially if we are gambling on whether or not we are committing negligent homicide.

Osteen admits to being a theological lightweight

I love this headline Osteen Arms Thousands with Hope, Not Doctrine from the folks at the Christian Post. While half the article is about how Osteen stays above the political fray and finds good things about both candidates, the real story is how Osteen answers those who say his preaching is more Tony Robbins than Jesus Christ:

Just the fact that we’re presenting hope, that we present the Gospel as good news, as God being good, some people think that …” Osteen said as he paused to try to identify what he feels is most misunderstood about him. “I don’t know if it’s misunderstood. That’s what I feel like my calling is.”

My gift is to help people to live out the Christian life because you can have a lot of knowledge but if you don’t know how to forgive when people hurt you, have a good attitude, expect good things … I feel like that’s my main gifting,” he told The Christian Post. “But I do believe we need to know what Jesus did when he died, what it all meant, and we have people that teach that.”

Pardon me while I grab some duct tape and wrap my head in it to keep it from exploding. (deep breath) Sarcasm in check . . . nope not going to work. I feel that my gift is to draw really big pictures and sometimes to shout in the streets to get people’s attention. My primary gifting may be sarcasm. So here goes: Hey Joel! here’s a newsflash. You don’t get to feel what your calling is. If you are a pastor your calling is pretty much laid out for you and motivational speaker isn’t one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Somehow I missed the part where having a good attitude and expecting good things is part of discipleship. Okay got that out of my system. Seriously though, what is happening here is a tragedy. A man who ostensibly loves God has traded the sacred trust and blessing of shepherding God’s people for a bowl of beans that is the self-help circuit. (See Genesis 25:28-30) I’m not saying that self-help books don’t help. I’m just saying that when a pastor gives up his sacred trust to preach the word in season and out, in favor of making people feel good, angels weep. C.S. Lewis once said in an essay entitled “First and Second things” that prefering the secondary things over primary things of importance has the unintended consequence of warping both the primary and the secondary things. As Lewis says, “You can’t get second things by putting them first; you can get second things only by putting first things first.” This well could be the epitaph of the modern church movement. We have attempted to get secondary things like relevance, respect, social justice, and compassion by making those things the center of our gospel and relegating doctrine, study, and proclamation to the secondary. Unfortunately if Lewis is right, doing this could end up costing not only the first things but the second things as well.

Have you heard about Orissa?

Thousands of Christianshave been the victims of violence in the east India state of Orissa.  For 16 days, Christians have been the victims of what can only be called a purge. And we have heard very little about it. Where’s George Clooney when you need him? Christians are being killed, forced from their churches and homes, and burned (both the homes and the Christians). Now there are reports that Christians are being told to convert to Hinduism in order to save their homes. Forced conversions. India’s central government has condemned the attacks and has called on the Orissa state government to restore order. My question is why haven’t we heard more about this? I’m a news junkie and the only way I hear about Orissa is to set up an alert on my google news service. Forced conversions, refugees, break down of social order and a government that has lost control. This is begging for a 60 minutes special. Seriously, Christians need to let everyone know what is going on in Orissa. When I mention to my non-Christian friends that Christians are still persecuted for their faith, I get an incredulous stare. I think most of secularists don’t realize that the only place where Christianity is the status quo in here in America.

 

3 responses to “Between Heaven and Earth: Thoughts on the Culture Conflict vol. 3 ”

  1. denis wilson says:

    Wow, Captain Obvious? Always nice to drop in on you christian chaps and see the love. Good thing you are pro-life and you have been picketing all the deaths in Darfur, Iraq, and all around the world. I was so happy to see all you pro-life people there to stop the death and call attention to it. Also it was great bumping into you at those pro-life/anti-death penalty rallies too. You guys are truly consistent and show us what Christianity is all about! Yippee! You might have some knucklehead views on science and double standards as far as biblical contradictions and truth, but we can always count on your consistency. Yay for consistency!

  2. Lynn says:

    Pardon, me, Don, and pardon me, Jonathan, but Denis, you are a real piece of work.

    http://www.worldhelp.net/

    This Christian organization has worked with many others to help free children from the Lord’s Resistance Army conscription in Uganda, and has helped many children all over the world, and . . .

    http://www.innetwork.org/

    http://www.zreportage.com/fetish_priests/FetishPriestsTEXT.html

    I’ve met a former Trokosi slave freed by this other particular Christian organization, with which I am much more familiar. And that is not all they do.

    I’ve been priviledged to host children in my home from the former organization who were touring the USA to raise funds to help rescue children in dire straits all over the world — not just Uganda.

    I could supply links to many more organizations, such as Samaritan’s Purse, which does a lot more than the Christmas box distribution in the more troubled areas of the world. In fact, Samaritan’s Purse has a hospital in one of the hot spots of the Sudan. The people who work there have put their lives on the line, literally, as I know the place has been bombed at times.

    There is a lot that has escaped your notice, Denis. Perhaps you are like many others and just get your information from the six o’clock evening news, and the tireless efforts of Christians in the above organizations, the leaders of which I have personally seen or met, and the work they have done, has escaped your narrow field of vision.

  3. You go Lynn! She’s absolutely right. While we could do more, this caricature of Christianity is truly laughable.

Leave a Reply

*