The Political Christian

My reflection on Chapter 7 of Unchristian:

Dealing with the perception that Christians are primarily motivated by a political agenda and promote right-wing politics.

This chapter did not stick out to me too much.

I’ve blogged about this before so I will not spend too much time on it.

Obviously, younger generations are less traditional in their political viewpoints and agendas. Their stands on issues like homosexuality, media decency, sexuality, and family is continual shifting away from what their parents believed.
The younger generations are more willing to compromise their opinions to get the job done. They do not hold strongly to one position. As you can see in today’s relativistic, post-modern mindset!
Also the young generations are more skeptical than any others before them. Especially of the Bible.

As you have heard me rant before: I believe that politics are important but they are not worth dying for. By that I mean we need to put focus on the right thing. God and our love for Jesus is the right thing. If we win an election but loss our soul in the process, then it is not worth it. Also we need not put too much emphasis on Politics, nor on one particular party. Christians should never have a political party of association. We should go a lot deeper than just right wing or left wing. But instead vote for change. World change through the love of Jesus.

One party does not have all the right answers. Don’t put your eggs in one basket, don’t vote nessicarly on one issue. But one which is the best canidadte to lead us as a whole.

Also Chrisians need to lear about respect.
Respect others who have different believes.
Respect the leaders of our nation despite their agenda.
And do not get confused by the word respect!

Also do not think you can solve all the world’s problems with politics, cause you cannot. God can!
Do not be a hypocrite, but do vote. Do pray for our leaders. And do engage politics with a Christ-like attitude! And do promote good thing through politics in light of the Bible.

Social justice…and politics

How does this relate to Dominion theology and what are the concerns (pros and cons?)
How does this relate to our political stance?
Should a conservative and/or liberal Christian work together for social justice?
How does fighting for social justice relate to post-modern society?

So if we are Christians fighting for social justice, does that make us extremists?
Do people have a reason for concern when they call us out for believing in Dominion theology?
Should we be followers of Dominion Theology?

I believe that we do not have to be extremists. I believe that we should not take an incredibly extreme belief in Dominion theology. Sure at one level we do have a responsibility to take care of the earth. God has in fact put man at the highest level and given us that responsibility.
But we do not have to try to rule the world through politics and we do not have to follow New World Order Conspiracies. We should not put all our eggs in one basket, especially if you are basing the own Dominion theology around one verse of the Bible. There is a healthy responsibility God has placed on man to rule over the earth and take care of it, but not necessarily force everyone into Christianity.

If we are fighting for social justice will we come across as liberal Christians? should we join the democratic party in order to get some of these social justices?

Forget politics. This should not be about politics. If you are conservative, liberal ,Democratic, or Republican – you can agree that we have a duty to fight for social justice, it is Biblical, not politial. We will not come across as ‘liberal’ Christians, if we are fighting for the right things and doing what is the right thing. For example, if we are fighting poverty, yes we give money and food to the poor, but (this is key) we also have the oppurtunity to share God’s love and the Gospel message with the people we are ministering to. If we are “making the Main thing, the main thing,” then we will not be fighting social injustice to fight social injustice, but we will be showing and telling God’s love. Iti s about sharing the Gospel and fighting injustice. Not just one or the other. And the amazing thinkg is that we can work together on this! Calvinist, Arministist, Obama, McCain, anyone who truely claims to be a Christian! It is time to stop fighting about petty in0-church doctrines and truely live it out in the real world, with people who have never heard any doctrine!

How does this relate to our post-modern world?

Agian, we have to keep the Main Thing (Jesus Christ) the main thing. In a society of relativism, it seems likely that people will want us to join their campaigns for justice. And outsiders of Christianity might want to join our campaign for justice. Both of these situations are great. We can and should work with non-Christians in our fight for justice. But we cannot loose sight of what is most important, the Gospel. We as Christians do have a doctrine that we cannot forget about, that is the message of Christ’s love for us at Calvary. We need to be clear that we believe in doing what is just but we also have to be clear about why we are doing it! That is to show God’s love, to be God’s light. Present the Gospel as well as minister for justice!

Young Earth or Old Earth?

A recent question I came across sparked a rant…the question:
“If Biblical creationists believe that man and dinosaurs lived at the same time, where is the evidence?”
Answers In Genesis has a through article on this topic.
This has sparked my interests, even though I am still not sure if I agree with all of the conservative ideas and theories of Ken Ham and the guys at Answers in Genesis.

I recommend that you check out the article…

My highlight is the evidence from the Flood. And what I find very interesting is that both Young Earth and Old Earth Christians use the Flood evidence to support their arguments. This is so cool because even though, our time frames are quite different, it still goes to show that the evidence from the flood is so significant…how do non-Christians deal with it?

Now my rant and what I am learning:
Some times I spend a lot of time on complex, non-essentials. Before I go into too much depth, I will admit that this is a non-essential. We as Christians are free to argue and free to agree to disagree…in the end it is not important. We are all going to be living together in Heaven in the end…in fact my step-dad chooses not to argue for any side because he brings up an awesome point, he said, “I choose not to answer your question, because it distracts me from what is truly important.” He relieves that sharing the Gospel message and living the laws of the Bible are what is truly important not debating specific theological issues. I

As far as non-essentials go this one is fun to talk about, very interesting…and I will say I am no expert. I am still struggling through this issue myself and am extremely open to all sides of the debate.
Here is what I know and think of each side so far….
Ken Ham and the extreme conservative…believe that 6 day Creation is literal and actually occurred in 6 days!
This I always find so interesting and no one has really given me a good answer so far, (…I have studied the Answers in Genesis website and I even visited the Creation Museum in Cincinnati, Ohio…), but I always think to myself…yes, but the word for DAY in Hebrew “yom,” has several possible meanings…(even Answers in Genesis will admit that.)

The conservative, young earth believers are so set on the literal meaning, they never really even addressed the other liberal theories. They pretty much ignored the idea that “yom” could be interpreted differently and instead merely gave me “If the earth were a billion years old then…” arguments. While, had not heard some of these external evidence arguments before (I was impressed by some of them) I still was left wondering…because I value the internal evidence of the Bible. And so far, I think it is still possible to go either way according to Internal Biblical evidence. We know that with God all things are possible, even an old earth scenario. Besides there is some great external evidence that they are also ignoring when they are making their philosophical conservative arguments. (But this blog post is not my time to get into all these arguments, sorry for wetting your appetite.) Creation Museum did do a good job though of presenting the Gospel, that was impressive and honorable, for a conservative or liberal theologian!

The staff at Apologetics.com did a show on this topic and they are Old Earth proponents. It was a little surprising to me, but I really liked their arguments. They used a lot more internal evidence from within the Bible. They gave the “yom” argument, as stated above but they also referenced several other Bible texts (one particular in Hebrews) showing how God’s idea of time is completely different from ours as humans! We have no idea for sure how long each “yom/day/time period” consisted of in Genesis. It might have been thousands or even millions of years between each “day.” One really strong point that stood out from their arguments was from Creation account itself….One the third ‘day’, God lets the plants bear fruit….(this will take more than 24 hours normally). After day five God lets the animals be “fruitful.” And agian after day six God allows man to be fruitful, produce things, and fill the earth…
THe question could be asked, did God creat them with fruit or did he LET them create fruit over time?
Now agian, using my own words agianst myself, God could have done it in 6 days, sure! All things are possible with God!

Finally my final point is that I want to side with the Bible above and beyond choosing sides or picking the most correct solution. Sometimes this makes me seem like a flip flopper (or more conservative on some points and more liberal on others) but this is partly because people look at issues with a false dichotomy too many times. When in reality the middle ground is sometimes best. Be open on issues but back your self in the Word of God!

A new kind of Theologian

Theology is a passion of mine. I love studying it. I am no expert. In fact one reason why I love theology so much is because it makes me think and I challenge almost everything in it while it challenges everything in my life. My main source is the Bible. I struggle with the issues regularly. There are tons of resources, classes, theories, and what not but the most important is what the Word of God says.

What really gets me going, is the fact that there are quite a few other Gen Yers who are really strong in Theology. But they are not limited to specialization. You see, us Gen Yers are tired of all the categories, all the specific politics that is within anything, including theology.

Instead of fighting between conservative and liberal theologies, the next Generation of theologians are wise in that they want to work together. They want to know what the essentials of our faith are. They want to engage culture and share the Good News, instead of gaining respect among the elite Christians fighting for their side of an issue. Instead they want to use their arguments in real life. They want to led people to Christ and be well-informed. Instead of merely arguing theology, they want to live theology. We are at a point where we can do big things through the love of Jesus. At point where we can do what truly is essential in our faith, evangelism.

Okay, yes we must be careful NOT to fall into extremely liberal thoughts. For example we do not want to be so engaging that we loose our doctrines. We need to be engaging but we do not have to compromise our doctrines and standards. We can be emerging but not emergent! And the beautiful thing is that many Gen Y theologians understand this. We are sort of trying to get the best of both conservative (strong doctrines) and liberal (engaging culture) theologies.

The point is we are able to dig into our roots, the Bible. We are to be “in but not of the World!”
And I am so excited that a lot of young theologians are ready to make social changes real, engage our neighbors with the true Gospel, and yet not loose the actual doctrines of the Word of God. We ourselves need to remian in the Wword, but also we are called to disciple followers.
Evangelism is part one, discipleship is on-going and continual!

What are Evangelicals to do?

Evangelicals are not going for the Democratic agenda. (especially not the more liberal agenda of Obama.) And Evangelicals have reservations about McCain too.
Who are Evangelicals going to vote for?
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I remember everyone was saying four years ago they were voting Bush as the lesser of two evils.
That is interesting. Now the same people are wondering if Kerry was the lesser evil, while others wonder how much more evil Kerry would have been…
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Well, in the end it comes down to our two-party system. At least that is what I think. The two parties leave a difficult dilemma for any individual (evangelical or not). Most people are not one-platform believers. What I mean is that hardly anyone agrees with every single aspect of one particular party. A two party system does not really represent everyone. I know people like to vote on a couple of really important issues, but think about that a minuet. How smart is that really? We are picking a President all aspects of what he believes is important and can change our society not just the social issues!
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(random but funny pics sorry they have little to do w post)
I understand that changing the party system is practically impossible. So am not leaving much of a solution, but just thinking out loud. What might change everything for this year’ election would be the VP selection. McCain and Huckabee ticket anyone?

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Science and Truth: How Truth Works

Truth holds everything together.
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Theology and Science are related and go hand in hand with each other, because they are both founded on truth, they are not opposites. Liberal and postmoderns who want to keep these things separated are not thinking straight. They are failing to understand how truth works. The reality is that these things can never be liberated from each other without ruining both institutions.
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Why?
Becuase if you separate any of the physical sciences or theology (the religious science) away from truth then they will fall apart. They will no longer have their foundation. Nothing will make any sense.

God is a necessary element in order to show have all sciences (physical, metaphysical, social sciences, religious theology, or historical sciences- all of them!) and truth work.

Theology (the study of God) in really should be the mother to all other sciences. Becuase the more we understand God and how He created and set truth into motion, we see how all the other things work. Truth sets us free.

For all of those angrily thinking, “Don’t put your religion and your God in science. All we need is science with an agenda!”

You make a great point, think a little a bit about what you are saying, the reality is that true science always does have (and has had) an agenda.

The only instance where there is science without an agenda is scientism….but
(A.) You are not going to find a true scientism believer because they are rare and it is not really rational. True scientism has been well-refuted recently.
Even Skeptic Dictionary says, “scientism is either false or meaningless.”
(B.) people get into true scientism for their own agenda!

Jesus Camp movie

Jesus CampI saw Jesus Camp, an Oscar-nominated documentary that looks into a fundamental Pentecostal church camp for kids called Kids on Fire. I did not like the documentary for several reasons:

First the documentary was random and failed to meet its own goals. It missed the point in its own argument. It tried to tie things together that did not really fit together. Part of the time the documentary was examining a church camp, a children’s ministry, and the leader of the organization (Becky Fisher). Then random parts of the documentary talk about how Christians are playing a huge role politically in America. Why sure the Evangelical vote is huge in America, there is not much of a correlation to this one particular children’s church camp wit hteh overal Evangelical vote. Even more so, this one paticular camp is not responsible for all the political issues that the documentary was attacking.

Second I did not like the approach to this documentary. Sure the documentary is implying that this camp is not the only one and that in America there are tons of other church camps where children are “brainwashed” into Evangelical beliefs, but the documentary is stretching its own argument quite a bit (without any facts). First there are not tons of camps JUST like this one. Second, the documentary did a bad job of portraying true Christianity even Evangelical beliefs. They went to the most exetreme example they could find, an intense charasmatic subsect of the Pentecostal kind. Even Rich Tatum, a Pentecostal was upset about how his denomination is portrayed in the film, has written a commentary for CT Movies titled, “Brainwashed in the Blood.”

An uncredited writer at MovieGuide calls it “a sarcastic documentary that paints evangelical, fundamentalist, charismatic, and politically concerned Christians as very shrill, warlike, and dangerous.” – This is simply NOT the case and a FALSE portrayal!

Finally I hated how this paticular camp ran. I hated what this camp portrayed . I actually thought that this paticular camp was way too extereme. As an evangelical church goer and even summer camp goer, I have NEVER seen or been a part of a church, camp, or a organization that was so militaristic, extreme, and scary. This camp in my opinion even used these kids to make political points. I AM TELLING YOU THIS IS NOT TYPICALL!

Go to fullsize imageI also did not agree with some of the startagies and Pentecostal beleife andlike I siad these beliefs DO NOT portray all evangelicals!
1. speaking in tongues
2. extreme love and dealings with President Bush
3. dealings with government, anti-government beliefs
4. the Tim Haggard interview

The film gets some things right:
1. Jesus is the right way
2. The Bible is the evangelical belief system ( now, the Pentecostals sometimes get some things wrong with in the Bible)

a stat that did not surprise me that I learned in this document:
75% of all homeschoolers are devoted evangelicals.
The film pointed out how homeschool kids are taught a more balanced education, which scares liberals. As it should they want every one to belief in their lies, their religion, evolution.

Finally a great summary quote from Christianity Today review:
“When a documentary explores a subgroup of a large contingent and implies that this defines the whole, then it is appropriate to call ‘foul.’ This is the case in Jesus Camp. … The implication is made that Pastor Fischer is a prime example of Evangelical Christians’ beliefs and practices. This is not only untrue but it also leads to a pervasive misunderstanding.”