Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Errancy Of Inerrancy: A Dialogue

Big Daddy Weave recently posted on Bart Barber's critique of Jim Denison's critical paper on inerrancy---here is a snippet of that:
The Errancy of Inerrancy: Bart Barber’s Critique of Jim Denison
OCTOBER 27, 2009
Southern Baptist Texas pastor Bart Barber has written a lengthy response to a self-published paper titled “The Errancy of Inerrancy” authored by Jim Denison who is the Baptist General Convention of Texas’ Theologian-in-Residence and President of the Center for Informed Faith. Barber’s post, An Errant Bible: The Gateway Heresy, has received much attention across the blogosphere. Russell Moore, Dean of the School of Theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, featured Barber’s critique of Denison on his blog. Nathan Finn, Assistant Professor of Church History at Southeastern College, also featured Barber’s critique of Denison on the popular blog Between the Times. Between the Times is sponsored by Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and included among its contributors are Daniel Akin, President of Southeastern Seminary, and Ed Stetzer of Lifeway Research. Outside of the Baptist Blogosphere, popular evangelical blogger Justin Taylor highlighted Barber’s critique of Denison.

From Barber's post---here are the major points of Denison's paper:
Those main arguments are six in number:

Denison argues that the word “inerrancy” has been defined and qualified in too many different and highly technical ways to be of any theological use; therefore, we ought to prefer to speak of the “trustworthiness” or “authority” of the Bible.

Denison argues that the concept of inerrancy, since it is applied exclusively to the original Bible manuscripts, actually undermines the faith of believers in their own copies of the Bible.

Denison argues that inerrancy is a recent doctrinal innovation not shared by those in Christian history whom we ought to emulate—that it is not among our theological “roots.”

Denison argues that rather than the denial of inerrancy's leading to other heresies, the affirmation of inerrancy leads to unwarranted divisiveness.

Denison argues that inerrancy is a philosophical position not supported by the statements of the Bible itself.

Denison argues that the Bible actually is not inerrant; therefore, to apply the test of inerrancy to the Bible is to set the Bible up to fail at a test that it does not and would not apply to itself, and thereby to undermine one’s belief in the “trustworthiness” of the Bible.

Barber's main point is summed up in the beginning of his post:
An Errant Bible: The Gateway Heresy

One of the things I most appreciated about Dr. Danny Akin's sermon about the Axioms of a Great Commission Resurgence was his bold statement that there is no room in the Southern Baptist Convention for people who do not agree regarding the inerrancy of the Bible. It is an utterly unenforceable concept, but nonetheless a welcome clarification of what it means to be a Southern Baptist.

Inerrancy-fatigue has meant that there has not been much discussion in the blog world about the nature of the Bible. Indeed, inerrancy-fatigue may mean very little response to this blog post. Nevertheless, I have decided to reproduce a paper that I wrote some time ago on the topic of inerrancy. The paper amounts to an attempt to interact with the thoughts of James Denison, the official theologian of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, and his attack upon inerrancy in a self-published paper entitled, "The Errancy of Inerrancy." It is longer than my standard post, so if such things bore you, I won't be offended if you just don't bother. Otherwise, enjoy.

So what are your thoughts on all of this? I believe Bruce Prescott says it best.

Interesting News Of The Day

Monstrous Skull Fossil Found in UK
posted: 6 HOURS 56 MINUTES AGOcomments: 287filed under: Science News, World News

LONDON (Oct. 27) - British authorities say the fossilized skull of a giant sea monster has been found off England's southern coast.
The fossil came from a pliosaur, a ferocious predator that lived in the oceans 150 million years ago.

The skull was discovered in Dorset by a collector and measures 8 feet in length. The discovery was announced Tuesday.
Scientists believe the creature would have been about 52 feet long.
David Martill, a paleontologist from the University of Portsmouth, says pliosaurs had short necks and huge, crocodile-like heads with powerful jaws and a set of razor-sharp teeth.
He said they used paddle-like limbs to propel their bodies through the water and were generally carnivores.
The skull will be put on display in a Dorset museum.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. Active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.

Prostitution for the religion of sports:
Police: Woman Offered Sex for Tickets
posted: 1 HOUR 37 MINUTES AGOcomments: 132filed under: Crime News, National News

BENSALEM, Pa. (Oct. 27) -- Police in a Philadelphia suburb they've arrested a woman who offered sex for World Series tickets.
Bensalem police say 43-year-old Susan Finkelstein was arrested on Tuesday.
Investigators say Finkelstein posted an ad on the Web site Craigslist that stated she was a die-hard Phillies fan and buxom blonde in desperate need of two World Series tickets.
Police say her posting went on to say the price was negotiable and that "I'm the creative type! Maybe we can help each other!"
An undercover officer responded to the ad. Police say Finkelstein offered to perform various sex acts in exchange for World Series tickets.
She is charged with prostitution and related offenses. Her listed phone number was disconnected, and it couldn't immediately be determined if she had an attorney.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. Active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.
2009-10-27 16:44:21

Monday, October 26, 2009

Al Mohler, Tim Keller, Idolatry And Conscience

Recently Dr. Prescott posted this:
Al Mohler on Conscience

Al Mohler, President of Southern Seminary and architect of the heretical 2000 Baptist Faith and Message statement, has taken up writing about conscience lately. Today, he writes about "The Idolatrous Religion of Conscience" and concludes with a quote from Martin Luther:
"It is the nature of all hypocrites and false prophets to create a conscience where there is none, and to cause conscience to disappear where it does exist."

I find it ironic that Mohler is now demonstrating such concern about forms of idolatry. Particularly when the article on "Scriptures" that he wrote for the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message demoted Jesus and elevated the Bible to such and extent that his statement is the clearest expression of Bible idolatry ever approved by a Baptist convention.

For the record, I too believe that conscience can be elevated to idolatrous levels. No one should trust a conscience that is not informed by both scripture and by the Holy Spirit (Mohler also turns a deaf ear to God's Spirit).

I also find it ironic that Mohler cites Martin Luther so approvingly. I'm not sure where the quote he cites is to be found in Luther's corpus, but I'm certain that you can find quotes similar to this in Luther's denunciations of the Anabaptists whose conscience prohibited them from baptizing infants. Instead, they insisted on baptizing believers.

Interestingly enough it is not just the bible that has been made into an idol by the SBC and fundamentalists in general but also doctrines themselves specifically those doctrines that are deemed right and correct by fundamentalist leaders. Here is a quote from Tim Keller which demonstrates the doxolatry/orthodoxolatry of fundamentalists:
Tim Keller on The Idol of Right Doctrine
Posted on October 21st, 2009 by peteenns

“An idol is something you rely on instead of God for your salvation. One of the religious idols is your moral record: “God accepts me because I’m living a good life.” I’m a Presbyterian, so I’m all for right doctrine. But you can start to feel very superior to everyone else and think, God is pleased with me because I’m so true to the right doctrine. The right doctrine and one’s moral record are forms of power. Another is ministry success, similar to the idol of achievement. There are religious versions of sex, money, and power, and they are pretty subtle.”

Rev. Tim Keller, author of Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters, from an interview with Christianity Today.

We should beware of all forms of idolatry, false doctrines and false forms of conscience.

Interesting Links

OutsideTheBox: John MacArthur: "The evolutionary lie ..."


Biblia Hebraica: Creation in Rabbinic Literature

A God-Sized Puzzle: Dr. Seuss Bible



Sandwalk: Are You a Descedant of Charlemagne?


Ponderings on a Faith Journey: The Early Preaching of Karl Barth -- Review

Abandon Image: Sometimes It's Easier to Worship at a U2 Concert Than At Church....

Thanks to Dr. McGrath for sharing these on his Google Reader.

Archbishop Of Canterbury's Treasures Found

Ex-Archbishop's Treasures Found in River
posted: 1 DAY 9 HOURS AGOcomments: 61filed under: World NewsWith HP wireless printers, you could have printed this from any room in the house. Live wirelessly. Print wirelessly. PRINT|E-MAILMOREText SizeAAA

LONDON (Oct. 23) -- A fresh mystery is gripping Britain's religious community: Just how did a treasure trove of rare medallions and coins collected by a former archbishop of Canterbury end up at the bottom of the River Wear?
The coins, medals, goblets and other religious items were found over the last few years by two divers, Gary and Trevor Bankhead, in the frigid, murky river waters that loop around Durham Cathedral.
Research shows many of the artifacts are linked to the late Michael Ramsey, a former archbishop of Canterbury with longtime ties to Durham, a city 280 miles north of London where he served as bishop and spent some of his retirement years before his death in 1988.

(Read full article: Here).

Interesting stuff---what do you think?

Violence Unchecked

Violence has been a theme in the news as usual. Here are excerpts from just a few examples:

Community Laments Slaying of Priest/Janitor Accused of Stabbing Cleric After Argument
posted: 1 DAY 8 HOURS AGOcomments: 1521filed under: Crime News, National NewsWith HP wireless printers, you could have printed this from any room in the house. Live wirelessly. Print wirelessly. PRINT|E-MAILMOREText SizeAAA

CHATHAM, N.J. (Oct. 25) -- An arrest in the fatal stabbing of a beloved priest has brought little solace to an affluent Roman Catholic parish in this tiny northern New Jersey community.
Authorities say longtime church janitor Jose Feliciano stabbed the Rev. Ed Hinds 32 times with a kitchen knife after an argument in the rectory of St. Patrick's Church on Thursday. Parishioners and residents said his arrest represents a second blow to the community.

(Read full article: Here).

Police Storm Jerusalem's Holiest Site
posted: 1 DAY AGOcomments: 1189filed under: World NewsWith HP wireless printers, you could have printed this from any room in the house. Live wirelessly. Print wirelessly. PRINT|E-MAILMOREText SizeAAA

JERUSALEM (Oct. 25) — Israeli police firing stun grenades faced off Sunday against masked Palestinian protesters hurling stones and plastic chairs outside the Holy Land's most volatile shrine, where past violence has escalated into prolonged conflict.
A wall of Israeli riot police behind plexiglass shields marched toward young men covering their faces with T-shirts and scarves, sending many of them running for cover into the Al-Aqsa mosque, one of the Islamic structures in the compound known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary.

(Read whole article: Here).

Cops: Witnesses Didn't Help Rape Victim
posted: 3 HOURS 52 MINUTES AGOcomments: 429filed under: Crime News, National News

RICHMOND, Calif. (Oct. 26) - Police believe as many as a dozen people watched a 15-year-old girl get beaten and gang-raped outside her California high school homecoming dance but didn't report it.
One suspect is in custody for his alleged role in the assault, but police say as many as six other men raped the girl over a two-hour period Friday night outside Richmond High School.

(Read the rest: Here).

These are cases in which the church must speak a big affirmative "No" to the violence of culture. May God's grace prevail over culture for the living of these days.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Campbell Dedicates Butler Chapel

Here is the article about it from this week's Biblical Recorder:
Campbell dedicates Butler Chapel over 4 days
21. October 2009 by Norman Jameson, BR Editor

Campbell University stretched a “thrilling and most enjoyable moment” over four days to dedicate its new, $8.5 million Anna Gardner and Robert B. Butler Chapel Oct. 12-15.

Photo by Bennett Scarborough
Campbell's Anna Gardner and Robert B. Butler Chapel

The 12,000-sq.-ft. facility features an elegantly spartan, pine paneled sanctuary with lavish light, premier instruments, glass walls, creation and resurrection stained glass windows, a bride and choir room and the admissions office for Campbell University’s divinity school.

Other outside features include a memorial garden, meditation garden, memorial pool and memorial walk.
Construction on the red brick building began in May 2008.

Originally planned as a smaller facility, funding support was overwhelming, enabling a larger vision, according to Dwaine Greene, vice president for academic affairs and provost.

The new facility will seat 450. Turner Auditorium will continue to hold large student body events.
Butler Chapel, named for 1940 alumna Anna Gardner Butler and her husband, whose estate provided a $3 million lead gift toward the project, culminates a dream of Mrs. Butler who said, even as a student, that the Baptist university needed a chapel.

The chapel, with a 20-bell carillon tower above an intimate prayer room, commands the first view on the academic circle, a location placing it central to scholarly life at Campbell.

Greene said in his remarks Oct. 15 that “academic pursuit and faith commitment are like one hand washing the other and almost indistinguishable in this place.”

Allan Schuyler, pastor of Candle-wyck Baptist Church in Charlotte, said, “The God of the universe is neither contained nor containable,” but Christians construct such sacred places in which to meet Him.

“This chapel will speak to students as they walk by and give testimony to the hope of God leading us in his own way to all those who enter,” said Campbell President Jerry Wallace at the Oct. 14 service.

The new chapel is definitely a nice addition to my Alma Mater. It's another plus for all of the new renovations there and hopefully will serve as another beacon of light in the vastness of Campbell's legacy.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Amazing Grace Baptist Church Making News Again

The same guys that are planning to burn bibles, books and all things that they deem heretical are in the news again. This time for declaring several famous sports stars' eternal destiny---here's the scoop:
Tom Brady is going to Hell.

At least according to the Amazing Grace Baptist Church, which declared that New England's quarterback is destined for eternal damnation for his sinful existence in this life. Via NESN (via the Huddle)
"Tom Brady has an unwed child, but it's okay because he wins Super Bowls. Tom Brady is teaching us to have sex outside of marriage, to commit fornication, don't marry and do the right thing, don't take responsibility for your actions, have a good time no matter who you hurt in this world, go from sex partner to sex partner, and it's okay because of who I am. How many of you dad's (sic) cheer on Tom in the Super Bowl while your kids are watching?"

Not to make light of one's religious beliefs, but this is something you might find written on the walls of an insane asylum ... in feces. (And just so we're clear, nobody thought winning Super Bowls made it okay to have an unwed child; that it was with Bridget Moynahan made it okay.*)

Brady won't be alone in Hell, however. The church has also identified Matt Leinart and Adam Archuleta among many others. Leinart I get -- he also had a child out of wedlock and worse, he parties with Nick Lachey -- but Archuleta? Really? The poor guy was disgraced out of the NFL, cut by the Redskins before the Raiders gave up on trying to make him a linebacker. But that wasn't the low point of his professional career. He was recently released by the UFL's Las Vegas Locomotives. (I thought the UFL was like tee ball -- whoever shows up makes the team.) Doesn't matter, apparently. A date with Lucifer is still in his future.
"Engaged to a Playboy Playmate Jennifer Walcott. They have one son. This is called fornication, and we all know what their son is called, the same thing the Bible calls him."

(Read the full article: Here).

Wow is all I can say. There's nothing much else to say---so what are your thoughts?

Vatican Welcomes Traditional Anglicans

Here are excerpts from AOL news:
Catholic Church Makes 'Stunning' Move
By JAMES GRAFF, World Editor, AOL News
posted: 1 HOUR 54 MINUTES AGOcomments: 2953filed under: World News

(Oct. 20) -- The number of married Catholic priests could grow sharply as the result of the Vatican's epochal decision to welcome thousands of disaffected Anglicans and Episcopalians into the Catholic church.


"It's a stunning turn of events," says Lawrence Cunningham, theology professor at Notre Dame University. "This decision will allow for many more married clergy in Western churches, and that's going to raise anew the question, 'If they can do it, why can't the priests of Rome?'" says Cunningham. "I can already picture the electronic slugfest on the Internet in coming days and weeks."
The Catholic church already allows clergymen who convert from Protestant denominations to remain married on a case by case basis, and married priests are common in the Eastern Rite, a group that uses Orthodox traditions but is loyal to Rome.
But the arrangement with the Anglican Communion goes much further. Cardinal William Levada, the Vatican's top doctrinal official, announced in Rome that the church would set up a personal ordinariate -- in essence a diocese defined not by geography, but by function, like the division that serves Catholics in the military -- for converted Anglicans.
The move comes after years of discord within the Anglican Communion, which unites 77 million Anglicans and Episcopalians under the loose authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. The church has been racked by schisms over the ordination of women and its stance toward homosexuality.
Some Anglicans believe the Vatican's move will deepen those divisions. "When it comes to elegant funerals, no one can beat the Vatican," wrote commentator Andrew Brown in The Guardian. "The Roman Catholic church is no longer even pretending to take seriously the existence of the Anglican Communion as a coherent body."

For many traditional Episcopalians, as the denomination is known in the U.S., the last straw was the 2003 election of openly gay Gene Robinson as bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire. In protest, hundreds of churches have broken links with the Episcopal church and declared themselves in line with the conservative Anglican bishops in Africa or South America.
Martyn Minns, the bishop of one such dissident group, the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, said today, "This move by the Catholic church recognizes the reality of the divide within the Anglican Communion and affirms the decision to create a new North American province that embraces biblical truth."
The news is likely to have a particularly strong effect in Great Britain, where there has been a tendency for years for members of the nominally Anglican majority to join the Catholic church, from theologian John Cardinal Newman in the 19th century to former Prime Minister Tony Blair in 2007.
Such conversions have generally meant not only a recognition of the pope's authority, but also a rejection of Anglican traditions. That turning away may no longer be necessary. "Now you can be an Anglican and still be Catholic," says Jo Bailey Wells, director of Anglican Studies at Duke Divinity School. "The Anglicans never had that vote of confidence before."
Indeed, two prominent British priests who publicly broke from Anglicanism years ago stated today that after this ruling from Rome, some Anglicans "will begin to form a caravan, rather like the People of Israel crossing the desert in search of the Promised Land."
Whether that happens or not, today's decision marks a milestone in the relations between the Vatican and the church of England, which King Henry VIII established in 1534 after the pope refused to grant him a marriage annulment. Since then, religious and social battles have often marked relations between Catholics and Anglicans. Says Cunningham: "This would have been unthinkable 200 years ago, and barely imaginable in the 19th century."

(Read more: Here).

Isn't it interesting how one faith group always tries to save another one when the wounds are deep? This can be good in the sense that denominations need to work together---bad in this case because it can be perceived as denominational fishing so to speak. Not only is it denominational fishing---it is also a way of further fossilizing the Traditional Anglicans' ignorance, fear, and bigotry in this case.

Nothing really will change by this decision other than the Roman Catholic Church may or may not gain a few married priests and a few more homophobes. Anyways what are your thoughts?

See also: Shuck and Jive: They Will Know We Are Christians By Our Hate and The Rev's Rumbles: Pope Approves Plan to Bring Anglicans Into the Fold.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Step Backwards

No Marriage License for Interracial Couple
posted: 1 HOUR 44 MINUTES AGOcomments: 360filed under: National NewsWith HP wireless printers, you could have printed this from any room in the house. Live wirelessly. Print wirelessly.

HAMMOND, La. (Oct. 15) - A Louisiana justice of the peace said he refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple out of concern for any children the couple might have.
Keith Bardwell, justice of the peace in Tangipahoa Parish, says it is his experience that most interracial marriages do not last long.
Neither Bardwell nor the couple immediately returned phone calls from The Associated Press. But Bardwell told the Daily Star of Hammond that he was not a racist.
"I do ceremonies for black couples right here in my house," Bardwell said. "My main concern is for the children."
Bardwell said he has discussed the topic with blacks and whites, along with witnessing some interracial marriages. He came to the conclusion that most of black society does not readily accept offspring of such relationships, and neither does white society, he said.
"I don't do interracial marriages because I don't want to put children in a situation they didn't bring on themselves," Bardwell said. "In my heart, I feel the children will later suffer."
If he does an interracial marriage for one couple, he must do the same for all, he said.
"I try to treat everyone equally," he said.

Read more: Here. Wow...just wow can we say a step backwards in the wrong direction. Racism indeed is still alive and well in America.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Burn A Bible For Halloween

King James Onlyists in NC are planning a big shindig for Halloween by burning all the things they deem heretical. I thought they didn't celebrate Halloween. Anyways, here's Big Daddy Weave's post about it:

Burning Bibles Baptist-Style
OCTOBER 13, 2009

On October 31, Amazing Grace Baptist Church in Canton, North Carolina will celebrate Halloween by burning Bibles. Here’s the description of this upcoming shindig:
Come celebrate Halloween by burning Satan’s bibles like the NIV, RSV, NKJV, TLB, NASB, NEV, NRSV, ASV, NWT, Good News for Modern Man, The Evidence Bible, The Message Bible, The Green Bible, ect. These are perversions of God’s Word the King James Bible.
We will also be burning Satan’s music such as country, rap, rock, pop, heavy metal, western, soft and easy, southern gospel, contempory Christian, jazz, soul, oldies but goldies, etc.
We will also be burning Satan’s popular books written by heretics like Westcott & Hort, Bruce Metzger, Billy Graham, Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, John McArthur, James Dobson, Charles Swindoll, John Piper, Chuck Colson, Tony Evans, Oral Roberts, Jimmy Swagart, Mark Driskol, Franklin Graham, Bill Bright, Tim Lahaye, Paula White, T.D. Jakes, Benny Hinn, Joyce Myers, Brian McLaren, Robert Schuller, Mother Teresa, The Pope, Rob Bell, Erwin McManus, Donald Miller, Shane Claiborne, Brennan Manning, William Young, etc.
We are not burning Bibles written in other languages that are based on the TR. We are not burning the Wycliffe, Tyndale, Genevia or other translations that are based on the TR.

No wonder we Baptists aren't taken seriously anymore because of all the Fundamentalist nutjobs calling themselves Baptists today.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Brennan Manning on Grace

Brennan Manning on Grace:
“Yes, the gracious God enfleshed in Jesus Christ loves us.”

“Grace is the active expression of his love. The Christian lives by grace as Abba’s child, utterly rejecting the God who catches people by surprise in a moment of weakness—the God incapable of smiling at our awkward mistakes, the God who does not accept a seat at our human festivities, the God who says “You will pay for that,” the God incapable of understanding that children will always get dirty and be forgetful, the God always snooping around after sinners.”

“At the same time, the child of the Father rejects the pastel-colored patsy God who promises never to rain on our parade….

…the child of God knows that the graced life calls him or her to live on a cold and windy mountain, not on the flattened plain of reasonable, middle-of-the-road religion.”

“For at the heart of the gospel of grace, the sky darkens, the wind howls, a young man walks up another Moriah in obedience to a God who demands everything and stops at nothing. Unlike Abraham, he carries a cross on his back rather than sticks for the fire…like Abraham, listening to a wild and restless God who will have His way with us, no matter what the cost.”

“This is the God of the gospel of grace. A God who, out of love for us, sent the only Son He ever had wrapped in our skin. He learned how to walk, stumbled and fell, cried for His milk, sweated blood in the night, was lashed with a whip and showered with spit, was fixed to a cross, and died whispering forgiveness on us all.”

“The God of the legalistic Christian, on the other hand, is often unpredictable, erratic, and capable of all manner of prejudices. When we view God this way, we feel compelled to engage in some sort of magic to appease Him. Sunday worship becomes a superstitious insurance policy against His whims. This God expects people to be perfect and to be in perpetual control of their feelings and thoughts. When broken people with this concept of God fail—as inevitably they must—they usually expect punishment. So they persevere in religious practices as they struggle to maintain a hollow image of a perfect self. The struggle itself is exhausting. The legalists can never live up to the expectations they project on God.”

“A married woman in Atlanta with two small children told me recently she was certain that God was disappointed with her because she wasn’t “doing anything” for Him. She told me she felt called to a soup kitchen ministry but struggled with leaving her children in someone else’s care. She was shocked when I told her the call was not from God but from her own ingrained legalism. Being a good mother wasn’t enough for her; in her mind, neither was it good enough for God.”

“In similar fashion, a person who thinks of God as a loose cannon firing random broadsides to let us know who’s in charge will become fearful, slavish, and probably unbending in his or her expectations of others. If your God is an impersonal cosmic force, your religion will be noncommittal and vague. The image of God as an omnipotent thug who brooks no human intervention creates a rigid lifestyle ruled by puritanical laws and dominated by fear.”

“But trust in the God who loves consistently and faithfully nurtures confident, free disciples. A loving God fosters a loving people.” [Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel]

Monday, October 12, 2009

Gott Mit Uns/God With Us: Hitler And Fundamentalists

The church and state unseparated:

Church & State

Hitler in front of "Church of our Lady" in Nuremberg, Sept. 1934. Photographer, Heinrich Hoffmann.

Christian Cross with Nazi Flag

From a Heinrich Hoffmann photo book titled: HITLER BAUT GROßDEUTSCHLAND (Hitler Constructs Greater Germany) which follows Hitler in Austria in the spring of 1938.

One of the reasons that I use the Nazis frequently in my parodies of the Fundamentalists of the Religious Right variety is because the Nazis serve as a warning from our recent past about mixing church and state together in a blended marriage. However, this is not to say Fundamentalists are evil people though Fundamentalism is a social evil---there are good Fundamentalists who stand for church and state separation and all. Besides as Romans says:
Romans 3:22-26 RSV: [22] the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction;
[23] since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
[24] they are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus,
[25] whom God put forward as an expiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins;
[26] it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies him who has faith in Jesus.
This is just a warning against the Christian Right's idea of mixing their view of the church with the American government. Anyways, here are some comparisons of Nazi and Fundamentalist ideas:

Protestant fundamentalists of Nazi Germany backed Hitler's laws which included such things as:
The first law, The Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honour, prohibited marriages and extramarital intercourse between "Jews" (the name was now officially used in place of "non-Aryans") and "Germans" and also the employment of "German" females under forty-five in Jewish household


The household is "the basic residential unit in which production , consumption , inheritance, child rearing, and shelter are organized and carried out"; [the household] "may or may not be synonomous with family"....
s. The second law, The Reich Citizenship Law , stripped persons not considered of German blood of their German citizenship


Citizenship refers to a person's membership in a political community such as a country or city. It has different legal definitions in different countries....
and introduced a new distinction between "Reich citizens" and "nationals".
Theological liberals like Dietrich Bonhoeffer completely opposed this. The Religious Right support Proposition 8 which denies the rights of non-heterosexual citizens. Theological liberals completely oppose Proposition 8. Also Pat Robertson has said:
US Constitution: For Christians Only

The Constitution of the United States, for instance, is a marvelous document for self-government by the Christian people. But the minute you turn the document into the hands of non-Christian people and atheistic people they can use it to destroy the very foundation of our society. And that's what's been happening.
-- Pat Robertson, The 700 Club television program, December 30, 1981

Only Christians and Jews in Government

Individual Christians are the only ones really -- and Jewish people, those who trust God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob -- are the only ones that are qualified to have the reign, because hopefully, they will be governed by God and submit to Him.
-- Pat Robertson, The 700 Club television program, January 11, 1985, defending his stance that only Christians and Jews are fit to hold public office

Hitler wrote:
"I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.."
Fundamentalists frequently state that they have God on their side and that they are doing the will of the Lord by supporting militarism and violence and defending their ideas by such means. Even more so by Extremist Fundamentalists who actually do commit violent acts in the name of God like bombing abortion clinics. Here's a quote from a Fundamentalist:
"I want you to just let a wave of intolerance wash over you. I want you to let a wave of hatred wash over you. Yes, hate is good...Our goal is a Christian nation. We have a Biblical duty, we are called by God, to conquer this country. We don't want equal time. We don't want pluralism."--Randall Terry, Founder of Operation Rescue, The News-Sentinel, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 8-16-93

Hitler believed that Jesus wasn't a God of Love but a 'Divine Warrior.' He said:
"My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God's truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice... And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people.

-Adolf Hitler, in a speech on 12 April 1922 (Norman H. Baynes, ed. The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, April 1922-August 1939, Vol. 1 of 2, pp. 19-20, Oxford University Press, 1942)
Certain Fundamentalists also believe that Jesus is a 'Divine Warrior.' Here's a quote from a Fundamentalist---John Eldredge:
Churches too often expect men to "check their manhood at the door." They picture Jesus as effeminate, as "Mister Rogers with a beard," according to John Eldredge.

There are two problems with this view of Jesus: (1) it's not accurate, and (2) no man wants to follow a feminized man. Men are looking for a real man to follow: dynamic, outspoken, bold, sharp-edged. They want a leader who is decisive, tough, and fair. They respect a man who tells it like it is and doesn't mince words, even when it makes them mad. Men most respect a leader who doesn't care what others think of him.

Ironic, isn't it? The Jesus of Scripture was exactly this kind of man.... Truth is, the Jesus of Scripture is more General Patton than Mister Rogers.

Jesus Christ is the most courageous, masculine man ever to walk the earth. But we've turned Him into a wimp. His manliness and toughness are seldom spoken of, and men fall away because of it. Present the Christ of Scripture, and men will be irresistibly drawn to Him.

Other Hitler quotes of note:
It matters not whether these weapons of ours are humane: if they gain us our freedom, they are justified before our conscience and before our God.

-Adolf Hitler, in Munich, 01 Aug. 1923

The Government, being resolved to undertake the political and moral purification of our public life, are creating and securing the conditions necessary for a really profound revival of religious life.... The National Government regard the two Christian Confessions as the weightiest factors for the maintenance of our nationality. They will respect the agreements concluded between them and the federal States. Their rights are not to be infringed.... It will be the Government's care to maintain honest co-operation between Church and State; the struggle against materialistic views and for a real national community is just as much in the interest of the German nation as in that of the welfare of our Christian faith. The Government of the Reich, who regard Christianity as the unshakable foundation of the morals and moral code of the nation, attach the greatest value to friendly relations with the Holy See and are endeavouring to develop them.

-Adolf Hitler, in his speech to the Reichstag on 23 March 1933

God the Almighty has made our nation. By defending its existence we are defending His work....

Only He can relieve me of this duty Who called me to it. It was in the hand of Providence to snuff me out by the bomb that exploded only one and a half meters from me on July 20, and thus to terminate my life's work. That the Almighty protected me on that day I consider a renewed affirmation of the task entrusted to me....

Therefore, it is all the more necessary on this twelfth anniversary of the rise to power to strengthen the heart more than ever before and to steel ourselves in the holy determination to wield the sword, no-matter where and under what circumstances, until final victory crowns our efforts....

In the years to come I shall continue on this road, uncompromisingly safeguarding my people's interests, oblivious to all misery and danger, and filled with the holy conviction that God the Almighty will not abandon him who, during all his life, had no desire but to save his people from a fate it had never deserved, neither by virtue of its number nor by way of its importance....

In vowing ourselves to one another, we are entitled to stand before the Almighty and ask Him for His grace and His blessing. No people can do more than that everybody who can fight, fights, and that everybody who can work, works, and that they all sacrifice in common, filled with but one thought: to safeguard freedom and national honor and thus the future of life.

-Adolf Hitler, in a radio address, 30 Jan. 1945
Other Fundamentalist quotes of note:
"Don't you feel it rather interesting that every time you have a story about terrorism, it is linked to Muslim extremists? You don't hear somebody, 'Christian extremist killing film producers, Christian extremists blowing up trains.' It just doesn't happen. But it's Muslim extremists and, ladies and gentlemen, Islam, at least at its core, teaches violence. It's there in the Quran in clear, bold statements. Well over 100 verses dealing with violence against infidels, and that is what they're taught. They're also taught to sacrifice themselves in jihad against infidels to gain paradise. It is part of the teaching of that faith. And I know people so reluctant to say, 'Lets not identify those terrorists with these wonderful people.' Well, yes, they may be wonderful people, but this is what that faith teaches, and those who believe it sincerely in their hearts are those that think Osama bin Laden is their great hero. And I think we need to recognize that. Political correctness says that you're not supposed to recognize this, but it just happens to be the truth. Every story, you see it over and over again, Muslim extremists blew up trains, Muslim extremists assassinated film producers. Muslim extremists blew up a crowded shopping center in Netanya [Israel]. Muslim extremists, it's always Muslims, and that's where it comes from, it's the breeding ground. And then it's radical clerics who incite this kind of violence, and it's time we recognize it and begin to deal with it."
--The 700 Club, July 14, 2005 [Looks like Pat forgot about Timothy McVeigh, most of the Old Testament (chock full of violence) and those Christian extremists who protest military funerals]

"You know it's an amazing thing -- this is a Christian country, it's founded by Christians, Christmas is one of our great celebrations. It's been a time of joy for our people for many years, and not only us, but now they're picking up Christmas in Japan, picking it up in China. It's something that has blessed the world. And if people don't like America and the traditions that made America great, let them go to Saudi Arabia, let them go to Pakistan. Yeah, they can go to the Sudan and find a wonderful Muslim holiday."
--The 700 Club, December 23, 2004

ROBERTSON: They gamed it, these guys are out and out communists, they are radicals, you know some of them killers, and they are propagandists of the first order and they don't want anybody else except them. That's why Regent University for example is so terrifically important and why we're setting up an undergraduate program that hopefully will see shortly 10,000 students, and then from there 250,000 because you don't want your child to be brainwashed by these radicals, you just don't want it to happen. Not only brainwashed but beat up, they beat these people up, cower them into submission. Ahhh! "The Professors", read it.
--Transcript of Pat Robertson and Terri Meeuwsen conversation on the March 21, 2006 edition of The 700 Club

"This country does not belong to the ACLU, the radical left or the communists. It belongs to God and his people. I frankly am tired of us being second-class citizens in a land our forefathers founded and claimed for the Lord."
"We have had a distortion imposed on us over the past few years by left-wingers who have fastened themselves into the court system and we have had a lie foisted on us that there is something embedded in the Constitution called separation of church and state."
"When I suggested that God had lifted his protection from this land that we had enjoyed for many years, the people were incensed."
"We cannot stand before God and say we're righteous when we have the blood of 40 million unborn babies on our hands."
--Pat Robertson, speaking at the 2002 "Road To Victory" convention

"The strategy against the American radical left should be the same as General Douglas MacArthur employed against the Japanese in the Pacific... bypass their strongholds, then surround them, isolate them bombard them, then blast the individuals out of their power bunkers with hand-to-hand combat. The battle for Iwo Jima was not pleasant, but our troops won it. The battle to regain the soul of America won't be pleasant either, but we will win it."
--"Pat Robertson's Perspective," April-May 1992

"We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We weren't punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That's war. And this is war."

"Not all Muslims may be terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims."---Ann Coulter.

"Yes, religion and politics do mix. America is a nation based on biblical principles. Christian values dominate our government. The test of those values is the Bible. Politicians who do not use the bible to guide their public and private lives do not belong in office."---Beverly LaHaye.

"There should be absolutely no 'Separation of Church and State' in America."---David Barton

"The long-term goal of Christians in politics should be to gain exclusive control over the franchise. Those who refuse to submit publicly to the eternal sanctions of God by submitting to His Church's public marks of the covenant–baptism and holy communion–must be denied citizenship."

"This is God's world, not Satan's. Christians are the lawful heirs, not non-Christians."---Gary North.

"We're fighting against humanism, we're fighting against liberalism...we are fighting against all the systems of Satan that are destroying our nation today...our battle is with Satan himself."

"AIDS is the wrath of a just God against homosexuals. To oppose it would be like an Israelite jumping in the Red Sea to save one of Pharoah's chariotters."---Jerry Falwell.

Nazis And Far Right Christian Fundamentalist Extremism

Christianity is not based on the teachings of Jesus.---D. James Kennedy.

So you think Fundamentalists and Nazis can't be compared? Well think again. While it's true not all aspects of fundamentalism are comparable to Nazism---the scarier aspects are. Excerpts from The Royal Race of the Redeemed? Christian Nazism Exposed by Lewis Loflin:

To be a Nazi is an attitude that doesn't always involve revering Hitler. Anyone who promotes, genocide, slavery, anti-Semitism, racism, and just out-right terror to obtain a political goal is a Nazi in my book. Christian Reconstructionism is Nazism in every important way. Reconstructionism is only two things, power and hate. It is evil cloaked in religion.


Christian Reconstructionism considers democracy/freedom a heresy. Its distortion/reconstruction of American Christian traditions is used to justify its evil. Its social and religious dogma promotes genocide, enslavement, and terror to promote the delusions of a self-chosen royal race to dominion over the earth. They see themselves in religious terms as a new "master religion" whose destiny is to crush all others in the name of God.

Except for perhaps Christian Identity, Christian Reconstructionism has to be one of the worse perversions of Christianity ever devised. It is the personal political opinions of its founders wrapped in a form of hyper-Calvinism totally stripped of anything Jesus ever said (they claim Jesus' moral teachings are for Jews only) while preaching a society stripped of all freedoms and personal choice. Every facet of society, government, family, schools, etc, would be "reconstructed" along Old Testament lines. This includes the death penalty for abortion, homosexuals, atheists and other non-believers, blasphemy, etc.

According Rushdoony son-in-law Gary North in a letter to Paul Hill in relation to the killing of Dr. Gunn at an abortion clinic in Florida:

"The sixth commandment reads, "Thou shalt not kill" (Ex. 20:13). The God who mandates this is also the God who ordered the total annihilation of the Canaanites (Deut. 7:16), so this verse cannot legitimately be interpreted as a defense of pacifism." "What is murder, biblically speaking? It is the slaying of a human being by someone who has not been authorized to do so as a covenantal agent ...the authorization to execute a transgressor under the Mosaic covenant was ordained by God and revealed in His law."

So it isn't murder as long as it is for religious reasons. Everyone who doesn't submit to their perverted version of God is in fact Canaanites. This group is the driving force behind Operation Rescue and Randal Terry.

While it is true that most Christian fundamentalists don't agree with all of their theology, they do agree with their social agenda that all functions in life, including the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and all civil law be subordinated to the Bible. All society will be run according to their version of the New Testament (as opposed to the OT, the one point they disagree) and all of those who don't fall in line will be dealt with. Its founder R.J. Rushdoony has had his books endorsed by Jerry Falwell, has appeared on the 700 Club, and is a past associate of John Whitehead of the Virginia based Rutherford Institute. (He is claimed by many to run the organization, which is denied by Whitehead.) Their influence is wide spread yet most fundamentalists try to distance themselves publicly from this group for good reasons.

This cult is also the driving force behind home schooling, vouchers, and efforts to destroy public education. Part of their bizarre scheme is to train legions of Christian soldiers with home schooling to overthrow secular society. In their words:

So let us be blunt about it: we must use the doctrine of religious liberty to gain independence for Christian schools until we train up a generation of people who know that there is no religious neutrality, no neutral law, no neutral education, and no neutral civil government. Then they will get busy in constructing a Bible-based social, political and religious order which finally denies the religious liberty of the enemies of God.

So says his son-in-law Gary North, "The Intellectual Schizophrenia of the New Christian Right" in Christianity and Civilization: The Failure of the American Baptist Culture, No. 1 (Spring, 1982), p. 25. Gary North (I.C.E. Free Books) is also the biggest distributor of literature for home schoolers. They also call for an end to income taxes, end to most government functions, etc. The Christian Right agenda down the line. There is no conspiracy here, these folks operate in the open and they mean what they say.

Read more: Here. See also: An Introduction to the Christian Theocratic / Nationalistic Movement, Calvin and Christian Theonomy and http://www.brucegourley.com/writings/inresponseto/chuckpoolebiblical.htm.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Charles Curran On Homosexuality

Today is National Coming Out Day so as a Straight ally and friend of gays and lesbians---here is my post in honor of it. Here is something about that great Catholic moral theologian---Charles Curran:
Charles E. Curran, “Public Dissent in the Church”
An Introduction to Christian Ethics. New York, Paulist Press, 1989, pp. 383-396
Abstract by Brad Bergan

Curran's article first appeared in Origins in 1986. It was the year the Vatican barred Charles E. Curran from teaching Catholic theology. The article was written to discuss the role of the theologian in the Catholic Church. The article stemmed from a talk he was scheduled to give on “Authority and Structure in the Churches: Perspective of a Catholic Theologian,” which he revised after his dismissal from The Catholic University of America. Curran was dismissed because of his public dissent with the Vatican on the papal encyclical, “Humanae Vitae.” He renamed his talk “Public Dissent in the Church” (383).

Curran freely admits that his words are a defense of his position and his own view of the role of a theologian. He describes the Catholic theologian “as somewhat independent and cooperative with regard to the hierarchical role in the Church” (385). Curran points out that a shift of power for the theologian came about with the revision of the Code of Canon Law in 1983. Theologians were no longer “missioned,” but rather, the new code (Canon 812) said “Those who teach theological subjects in any institution of higher studies must have a mandate from the competent ecclesiastical authority” (385). In other words, theologians taught because the heirarchary of the church allows them to do so. Curran viewed this change as a major one.

He contends that his dissent on the artificial birth control issue led to an examination of all his teachings and writings because he exercised what he believed was his right to dissent from a non-infallible church teaching. Curran says, “the only acceptable form of dissent on these issues [artificial birth control] is that which is neither written nor spoken publicly” (387). Curran contends that the restrictions prohibit the theologian from doing more. He continues, “At most the theologian can think in a dissenting way, perhaps even discuss the matter in private and write private letters to the proper authorities explaining the reason for one's dissent” (387).

Curran believes Humanae Vitae was not an infallibile teaching document and that the Vatican Congregation for the Faith was wrong to restrict public dissent on a non-infallibile document. He says, “The central point at issue in the controversy is the possibility of public theological dissent from some non-infallible teaching” (388). His dispute is not about infallible documents and he clearly states this in this article and says, “I am in no way questioning what is an essential matter of the Catholic faith” (391).

Curran expands his argument in defense of dissent by claiming that it applies to more than just theologians. He calls into view, “the possibility and legitimacy of dissent on the part of the members of the church. In a very true sense my present controversy involves more than just the role of theologians in the church” (392). The crux of Curran's argument is that theologians have to deal with issues that affect people's lives, like contraception, homosexuality, abortion and divorce. They are realities of life and as such, Curran maintains, the members of the church have a right to know what theologians are thinking about them. He says, “These issues are being discussed at great length and in all places today, and theologians must be able to enter into the discussion even to the point of dissenting from some official Catholic teaching” (393).

Yet, Curran's main argument remains that the Vatican has failed to define what “public” dissent from non-infallible issues really means. He says, “it is necessary for the congregation to state its position on public theological dissent from non-infallible teaching” (394). He contends that their failure to do so leaves in question the “justice and the credibility of the church's teaching office” (396) because they will not define their norms on what constitutes public dissent.

Good News/Bad News

Here is some good news: Yankee pitcher Fritz Peterson now Pitches for God instead of swapping wives. Here in an excerpt from an article about it:
Wife-Swapping Yank Now Pitches for God

By BUCK WOLF, Senior Correspondent, AOL News
posted: 2 DAYS 10 HOURS AGOcomments: 311filed under: National News, Weird NewsWith HP wireless printers, you could have printed this from any room in the house. Live wirelessly. Print wirelessly.


HOBOKEN, N.J. (Oct. 8) -- Fritz Peterson is pretty sure he isn't going to hell, even though many sports fans remember him for just one thing -- how he met his wife, a woman he's been with for 36 years.
The former New York Yankees pitcher, now 67, figures prominently in the answer to two great sports trivia questions. The first one is this:
In 1973, which two baseball players traded their wives, their two children, and even their dogs?
Indeed, at a time when wife-swapping was a hot topic -- and a sign, perhaps, that the sexual revolution had gone too far -- Peterson and teammate Mike Kekich took the practice to a whole new level.


In the years since, Peterson has rarely talked about his private life. He married the former Susan Kekich, retired from baseball in '76, became an evangelical Christian, and ended up trying to support two households, because his ex-wife and Mike Kekich didn't stay together very long.
Skip over this content
Now, however, Peterson has something to say. He's battling prostate cancer and wants to set the record straight. His memoir, "Mickey Mantle Is Going to Heaven" (Outskirts Press), mixes baseball with reflections on what he calls the "lake of fire" that separates some of us from our place with the Almighty in that great ballpark in the sky.
"I'm not scared of death," Peterson said. "I always thought it would be hilarious to rent a coffin and show up in it at one of those fan fests where the players sign autographs."

This is good news and worth rejoicing in. However, here is some bad news: Irish Priest Kidnapped in Philippines---here is a snippet of that article:
Irish Priest Kidnapped in Philippines
posted: 1 HOUR 21 MINUTES AGOcomments: 14filed under: Crime News, Terrorism News, World News

MANILA, Philippines (Oct. 11) — Heavily armed men barged into a Catholic convent and kidnapped a 78-year old Irish priest late Sunday in the volatile southern Philippines before spiriting him away in a motor boat, an official said.
The six gunmen entered the Columban House in Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur province, and dragged Michael Sinnott into a van in front of his horrified aides, regional police commander Chief Supt. Angelo Sunglao said.
"They could not do anything because the abductors had powerful weapons," Sunglao told The Associated Press.
The van was later found abandoned and burned near the convent. The kidnappers then took the priest away by sea on board a motor boat toward a town called Tukuran, Sunglao said, citing fishermen who saw the abduction.
Police have been dispatched to pursue the kidnappers and rescue Sinnott, he said.

Read on: Here.
Hopefully all will work out in the end.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Turkey, Armenia Sign Historic Treaty

This is a step forward for Turkey. Hopefully peace reforms will be a continuing trend within the Turkish government as well as the Armenian government. One can only hope that healing will be made eventually on both sides of divisive politics.

Here is an excerpt from AOL news' report:
Turkey, Armenia Sign Historic Treaty
posted: 1 HOUR 33 MINUTES AGOcomments: 42filed under: World NewsWith HP wireless printers, you could have printed this from any room in the house. Live wirelessly. Print wirelessly.


ZURICH (Oct. 10) - Turkey and Armenia signed an accord Saturday to establish diplomatic relations after a century of enmity, as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton helped the two sides clear a last-minute snag.
"It was pulled back from the brink," said a senior U.S. official.

The Turkish and Armenian foreign ministers signed the agreement in the Swiss city of Zurich after a dispute over the final statements they would make. In the end, the signing took place about three hours later and there were no spoken statements.
Officials say Clinton and mediators from Switzerland intervened to help broker a solution.

The accord is expected to win ratification from both nations' parliaments and could lead to a reopening of their border, which has been closed for 16 years.
But nationalists on both sides are still seeking to derail implementation of the deal.

Read more: Here.

A Canadian Response To The Conservative Bible Project

Here's a nod to all the Canadian readers of this Blog.

Read this: Exploring Our Matrix: A Canadian Perspective on the Conservative Bible Project.

See also: TheoPoetic Musings: The Bible=Too Liberal; Jesus Followers=Anti-American Neo-Marxists.

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.

Church May Not Provide Support for Depressed

So a study says---here is an excerpt from a PsychCentral article:
Church May Not Provide Support for Depressed
By Rick Nauert PhD Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on October 2, 2009

An ongoing study by a well-respected Baptist university has found that local churches may not be the best place to receive counseling or support for mental illness.

Baylor University researchers built upon a 2008 study that found nearly a third of those who approached their local church in response to a personal or family member’s previously-diagnosed mental illness were told they really did not have mental illness.

In the new study, investigators discovered individuals experiencing depression and anxiety were dismissed the most often.

(Read the rest: Here).

This doesn't bode well for the church as a whole. The church should always provide support in times of need but then you have fundamentalists denying peoples' psychological problems. See this sermon by John MacArthur for example: Elements of Joy--Part 1. We must work to correct these problems. John MacArthur also believes biblical counseling is the only true way to treat mental health problems but this is just foolishness---spouting off random scripture verses in an attempt to exorcise one's psychological demons will only lead to further mental health issues.

See: Christian Counseling, http://forum.rickross.com/read.php?14,12133,page=1, "The Day Gods Word Went on Trial" and http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/2007/07/john-macarthur-and-kenneth-nally.html for example. In order then to correct these problems---the church must admit the reality of mental health problems and be willing to aid those suffering from such in positive ways. The church must also extend it's hands where needed while encouraging the role of psychologists where they are needed. I think this would be a step forward in providing support for the depressed and other mental health patients in the church.

Edgar Allan Poe Finally Gets A Lavish Funeral

Poe Finally Getting Buried in Style
posted: 18 HOURS 38 MINUTES AGOcomments: 82filed under: National News, Weird News

BALTIMORE (Oct. 6) -- For Edgar Allan Poe, 2009 has been a better year than 1849. After dozens of events in several cities to mark the 200th anniversary of his birth, he's about to get the grand funeral that a writer of his stature should have received when he died.

One hundred sixty years ago, the beleaguered, impoverished Poe was found, delirious and in distress outside a Baltimore tavern. He was never coherent enough to explain what had befallen him since leaving Richmond, Va., a week earlier. He spent four days in a hospital before he died at age 40.

Poe's cousin, Neilson Poe, never announced his death publicly. Fewer than 10 people attended the hasty funeral for one of the 19th century's greatest writers. And the injustices piled on. Poe's tombstone was destroyed before it could be installed, when a train derailed and crashed into a stonecutter's yard. Rufus Griswold, a Poe enemy, published a libelous obituary that damaged Poe's reputation for decades.

But on Sunday, Poe's funeral will get an elaborate do-over, with two services expected to draw about 350 people each — the most a former church next to his grave can hold. Actors portraying Poe's contemporaries and other long-dead writers and artists will pay their respects, reading eulogies adapted from their writings about Poe.

(Read on: Here).

This is pretty cool as Poe is a brilliant writer and has finally started to get the respect that he deserves. This funeral is a little late but hopefully will be a step forward in helping to preserve Poe's legacy. Here's to the Father of Gothic Horror---may we think of you more than just around Halloween.