Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Bible=Too Liberal; Jesus Followers=Anti-American Neo-Marxists

No this is no joke---there are groups of theological/political fundamentalists/conservatives who actually believe this way. One such group of course is Worldview Weekend who I've blogged about several times before. Yesterday AOL news had this article about one of Worldview Weekend's members---Phyllis Schlafly and her son Andy Schlafly's latest project---The Conservative Bible Project:
Bible Too Liberal? Conservatives Say Yes

By Anne Miller, AOL News
posted: 9 HOURS 5 MINUTES AGOcomments: 3154

(Oct. 6) -- Debates between conservatives and liberals are going biblical. A collaborative online project seeks to update the Bible with a more conservative translation -- and has drawn the ire of less right-leaning bloggers and columnists. The Conservative Bible Project is the brainchild of attorney and teacher Andy Schlafly, a son of conservative standard-bearer Phyllis Schlafly. His Bible-related Wiki, which allows contributors to post information, comment on others' and suggest tweaks or fixes, went up this summer. The project quickly drew fire. "These right-wing ideologues know better than the early church councils that canonized Scripture?" So asked Rod Dreher, a conservative blogger for Beliefnet. "They really think it's wise to force the word of God to conform to a 21st-century American idea of what constitutes conservatism?" Schlafly said he aims to counteract modern translations, not edit the Bible. "I think liberal bias was less of a problem in older translations," he said. "It's refreshing to read anything that is free of liberal bias, and the Bible is the most well-read book in the world, so that should be the first thing to clean up." As an example, he cited a recent church service he attended near his New Jersey home. "There was a reading from the gospel, and the pronoun used to refer to a child in this translation was 'it'," he said. "So this translation of the gospel referred to a child as an 'it,' a thing. And that is liberal, it's offensive and it's incorrect." The 10 commandments of the project include avoiding unisex or "gender inclusive" language, being concise (Lord, instead of Lord God) and expressing "free market parables." Meanwhile, a Time magazine writer called the project "insane." A Salon writer suggested a few sarcastic entries of his own. Schlafly counters that his critics "are liberals who are unhappy that their game is up." And a few dozen people have already logged on to help craft the new translation.
Schlafly predicts the conservative version will be completed, and available for a publisher to download and print, in about a year.

2009 AOL LLC. All Rights Reserved.
2009-10-06 14:22:51

Wow this is just over the top football bat insane! It's not surprising though as the Religious Right in the past have already condemned Jesus for being too liberal: A Baptist Perspective: JAMES DOBSON AND ANN COULTER CONFIRM THAT JESUS IS A GODLESS LIBERAL. Therefore we could conclude that it was only a matter of time before they realized that the book that they idolize doesn't support their worldview and in order to make it so, they would have to rewrite it to fit their agenda. Rewritten verses are likely to chastise the poor, be even more homophobic, castigate all liberals whether theological or political, pro-war, pro-death penalty, pro-theocratic fascist government/Calvinazism or anti-separation of church and state, pro-capitalist materialism, pro-enemy hate, pro-borders, anti-immigration and a myriad number of ways to support a myopic and isolationist worldview born out of Right-Wing philosophies.

Here are some hypothetical verses likely to be included in the conservative bible:
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who conserves His resources and gives only to those that work hard enough to earn wisdom; God will reward them with it.---for James 1:5.

Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, invest and save all your possessions and make a net gain, and you will have treasure on earth as in heaven. Then come, follow me and Reganism."---for Matthew 19:21.

And: The Sermon on the Mount
5:1 Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.
The Beatitudes
2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
3 “Blessed are the rich in spirit and those that work hard to get ahead, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 “Blessed not are those who mourn, for they shall not be comforted. Comfort and feeling good about ourselves is from the devil, sissies, weak pansies and liberals.
5 “Blessed are the proud and arrogant, for they shall conquer and triumph over all of the earth.
6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for legalism, for they shall satisfy God's wrath.
7 “Blessed are the judgmental, for they shall receive due reward for being right and correcting everyone else.
8 “Blessed are the proud of heart, for they shall see God in themselves.
9 “Blessed are the warmongers, for they shall be called sons [1] of God.
10 “Blessed are those who persecute non-fundamentalist Christians, pagans, queers, atheists and liberals for legalism's sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of facts against you truthfully on account of your idolatry. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the pharisees who were before you.


Christ Came to reinforce the Law
17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to reinforce them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.


38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him and slap him back. 40 And if anyone would try to sue you and take your tunic, [7] do not let him have anything. 41 And if anyone forces you to go one mile, force him to go two miles. 42 Give nothing to the one who begs from you, and refuse the one who would borrow from you.

Hate Your Enemies
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Hate your neighbor as well as your enemies and pray for your enemies' death, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the good---the Elect, and sends rain on the unjust---the non-Elect. 46 For if you love those who are your enemies, what reward do you have? Do not even the liberals do the same? 47 And if you greet those that are not your brothers, [8] what more are you doing than others? Do not even the heretics do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect by separating yourselves from liberals, heretics and sinners just as your heavenly Father is perfect and separated from them.


Judging Others
7:1 “Judge others often, so that you be judged to be truly elected by God. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged righteous, holy and pure---guardians of the Absolute Truth, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you a reward. 3 Always see the speck that is in your brother's eye, so that you do not notice the log that is in your own eye. 4 Say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ so that you can avoid the guilt of the log in your own eye.
Next---today, I got this in my email from Worldview Weekend:

By Jan Markell

October 5, 2009

In many Bibles, all the words of Jesus are in red. There is nothing wrong with that. But something is wrong when Leftist Christians or so-called Christians want to mute the words of Paul and other writers and only follow Jesus' words. They call themselves "red-letter Christians."
Jan Markell proves again how arrogant and self-conceited she is---but then that is the majority of those that belong to the Worldview Weekend crowd. First Jesus' words are more important than Paul's and other scripture writers because Jesus is God incarnate---they are not---also, Jesus is God's self-revelation to humanity. More of Jan's article:
They feel it is convenient to blot out the words of Paul on homosexuality and focus in on the good deeds Jesus talks about. Most are pacifists who reject an "eye for an eye" (Leviticus 24:19-20). They focus on Jesus' words about helping the poor, ministering to "the least of these" (Matthew 25:40), loving our enemies, etc. That justifies abandoning hundreds, even thousands of condemning verses in the Bible they choose to wish away. That makes homosexuality OK and war wrong! And remember, Paul and the others in the Bible represent Jesus' words. They were His spokesmen.
So Paul is the final word on God huh? We should read Jesus in light of Aristotle through the lens of Paul through the lens of Augustine and Calvin right? Instead of reading Paul in light of Jesus. Is Jan Markell insane? So love and peace are wrong but state supported mass murder and genocide are Godly?

Moving on with Jan's screed:
Some who believe this way practice a form of neo-Marxism and others would call it "Christian Marxism" -- an oxymoron if there ever was one. They note that the early church shared everything (socialism). A close cousin to this is "liberation theology."

Those who are high profile in this movement include Jim Wallis, Tony Campolo, Brian McLaren and his Emergent bunch, and the National Council of Churches. Jim Wallis says, "In those red letters, Jesus calls us away from the consumerist values that dominate contemporary American consciousness." Translate that to mean he loathes capitalism and opts for socialism and/or communism.
Christian capitalist materialism/consumerism= the bigger oxymoron. Yes Jan, the early church was communist and socialist but not as you think of communism and socialism. Unlike you, the early church viewed communism and socialism through the lens of God's grace and the community of believers providing for all of their needs---not the government and certainly not a corporate controlled free-market economy. Here is an example:
Acts 4:32-37---NRSV: The Believers Share Their Possessions
32 Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. 33With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. 34There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. 35They laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. 36There was a Levite, a native of Cyprus, Joseph, to whom the apostles gave the name Barnabas (which means ‘son of encouragement’). 37He sold a field that belonged to him, then brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
Back to Jan's article:
Wallis continues, "Jesus calls us to be merciful, which has strong implications for how we think about capital punishment. When Jesus tells us to love our enemies, He probably means we shouldn't kill them. Most important, if we take Jesus seriously, we will realize that meeting the needs of the poor is a primary responsibility for His followers. Ghandi once said that everybody in the world knows what Jesus was teaching in those verses except Christians." To your average evangelical, the words of Ghandi are meaningless.
Yeah because we should only listen to those who believe just like us right?

Reading on:
Red-letter Christians feel evangelicals spend far too much time worrying about abortion and homosexuality. Wallis and Campolo make the college circuit and get standing ovations from young people who are seeing them as newfound gurus. Red-letter Christians champion "social justice," the cause of illegal immigrants, environmentalism, high taxes, discrimination issues, socialized medicine, and getting rid of the death penalty. They are first to stand in line to play the "blame America" game.

Red-letter Christians support unrestricted big government, sometimes equating the welfare state with the Kingdom of God.

This crowd loves to spend other people's money. They put down conservative Christianity when, in fact, it is conservative Christians who are first to step up to the plate whenever there is a disaster at home or abroad!
Yes that's because social justice is a big issue to Jesus. There are countless numbers of verses in which Jesus speaks about social justice issues---but not a single verse in which Jesus mentions homosexuality or abortion. Yes we should abolish the death penalty as well as regulate abortion to only health reasons. As to the welfare comment, yes it has been corrupted and abused. Really that's news to me---so John Piper stepped in to help the Lutheran church when he said God sent a tornado to punish the ELCA for accepting homosexuals? Or how about Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson---they really helped Katrina victims huh?

Continuing on Jan says:
As David Noebel of Summit Ministries writes about Wallis, "Wallis and his Sojourners' community believe Castro, Hugo Chavez, Daniel Ortega, and the other revolutionary forces are the Communist paradises the U.S. needs to emulate in order to establish 'social justice.' " Noebel emphasizes the startling and frightening fact that Wallis is Obama's spiritual advisor.

Ronald Nash in his book, Why the Left Is Not Right, says, "Wallis was pro-Viet Cong and gloried in America's defeat in Vietnam. Wallis said, 'I don't know how else to express the quiet emotion that rushed through me when the news reports showed that the U.S. had finally been defeated in Vietnam.'" But he said not a word about the blood baths that followed.
That may be---but support of the Vietnam War was stupid then and it is stupid now. It was a total failure and we had no business being over there. It was the beginning of all of America's problems today.

What a lie Jan:
The issues you will never hear red-letter Christians talking about include winning the lost, the lateness of the hour, or sin and repentance. Their mantra is peace, yet they do not understand that only Jesus ruling from Jerusalem will bring peace to this planet. They would scoff at that and say peace would be better accomplished if they saved the planet with their works based on the red letters of Jesus. And their understanding of the peace of God is minimal.
Tony Campolo on sin and repentance:
Christianity teaches that Jesus is truly divine and that his life and ministry - such as his sacrifice on the cross -- transcend human time. Thus, Jesus is constantly carrying the sins of the world and of individual sinners. During a visit to another campus, Campolo said he met a young man who was a perfect example of those who fail to take this doctrine seriously.

"He said, 'Yeah, I do a lot of things that are wrong, you know, a lot of stuff sexually. I'm really into it. But, you know, I believe it's all taken care of on Calvary,' " said Campolo. "I was furious. I said, 'The next time you're screwing around, I hope you can hear Jesus screaming in pain! Because at that very moment, as he hangs on Calvary, he feels your sin and is absorbing it!' "

It's normal to hear preachers use this kind of language. But during the past
year, it has become common to hear the likes of Geraldo Rivera and Larry King
leading discussions of sin and grace, repentance and forgiveness. While this has been a troubling experience for many people, Campolo believes it has been
good for the country.

For one thing, people on both sides of the political aisle are being forced to
seek common ground on moral issues.

"All of a sudden we realize that no one sins to himself," said Campolo. "When you commit a sinful act, it has a rippling effect that goes around the world and back. We recognize that there is no such thing as private sin, anymore. It's all connected. And what is more, we have this sense now that there are a set of absolutes out there. There is a right. There is a wrong."
Jan spreading more misinformation:
"As Mark Tooley of the Institute for Religion and Democracy writes, "These people only criticize the U.S. and Israel in its human rights critiques, while remaining largely silent about monstrous regimes. They focus on America's supposed mistreatment of Indians, about slavery, and the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. But they will never talk about the Holocaust." You will also note they don't talk about the butchery of Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein, or Kim Jong IL.

Red-letter Christians join the chorus of those who believe in a utopia with no wanting or war. Yes, that will come someday, but not the way they think. This could come as a shock to them just because they have little to no regard for other parts of the Bible. They have almost created a new meaning for the term "biblical illiteracy."

It is also tragic that these folks are frequently called "the evangelical Left." They don't have even 1% of evangelical theology in a single bone in their body. They cherry- pick the verses they like, almost exclusively the red letters of Jesus.
Yes there are injustices everywhere. You're one to talk Jan---after all, one of your heroes and fellow fundamentalist bibliolater---John MacArthur in his zeal for the Calvinazis' literal interpretation of Romans 13 said that Christians should obey Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Suddam Hussein, etc. Yes, Jesus is peace and He reigns in heaven as well as on earth---but that is no excuse for not doing all that we can to promote peace and follow Jesus' example. No the only biblical illiterates are the fundamentalist bibliolaters who cherry-pick away Jesus' words and place Paul---a mere sinful human's words above Jesus'. Also, fundamentalist bibliolaters follow a new and contrary revelation to God's self-revelation in Christ by promoting dominionism or Christian Reconstructionism, the deluded babblings of a Scottish teenager and Darbyism---a scary cocktail and mish-mash of lunacy.

Read the rest of Jan's article: Here. There's nothing much else to say but scary stuff.


That Baptist Ain't Right said...

So if they don't like what the text says, they just rewrite the text. Sounds 'bout right.

TheoPoet said...

Pretty much!