AAAAGHHHH!!!

AAAAGHHHH!!!

How else can I respond to some of the sad, twisted, deluded, straight out lunatic ideas that I’ve seen promoted as being legitimately Christian? And this week seems to have thrown up some of the worst examples I’ve seen in a long time.
I’ve been following the opinions being shared on a topic on this blog here: http://www.revivalschool.com/civil-war-in-the-usa-the-visions/

I’m not even sure where to start in trying to determine why and how such aberrant views can be expressed by some of those commenting after the article, but maybe the best place is the beginning.
And the beginning is the opening article: “CIVIL WAR IN THE USA? – The Visions”. The article closes with the questions:

Could civil war be coming to America? What should the Christians’ response be?

What is the basis for this line of questioning?
It comes from a collection of “visions” but how reliable and legitimate are they?
Are they something that should be raised publicly and around the world as something that should be of genuine concern?
Maybe – but what has been the fruit produced by the promotion of these “visions”? Is there evidence that anyone has been inspired into Godly action through being “forewarned” of this “prophesied” civil war?

It’s maybe inevitable that the promotion of such unsubstantiated ideas would flush out some of the warped beliefs revealed in the replies to the article some of which I’ve found to be extremely disturbing. It think the beliefs of some of the commenters could even help to make these predictions become “self-fulfilling” prophecies.

One person writes:

“From what has been said, let’s start using guns now rather than later to take on the enemy whoever they may be and known to us. Let’s board up our homes from inside to keep the enemy out. Let’s have those who have guns in the Christian church protect us from what is coming.”

Another commenter continually poses a hypothetical challenge of how others would respond to a situation where:

“…people are raped and slaughtered before your very eyes, day after day, month in and month out…”

And he advocates the taking up of arms by Christians to prevent this (hypothetical) mass abuse and murder.

A favourite example to raise in support of armed resistance is that of Hitler and Nazi Germany and how inaction (that is lack of violent action) by citizens allowed the rise of Hitler and his mass-murder of Jews.
There are also several references to alleged FEMA death camps… a favourite fear-inducing claim of conspiracy adherents.
Articles like the “Civil War” post can’t help but bring out the religious lunatic fringe, and anti-government “christian” militants.

One thing seems to have been missed in all of this talk of rebellion and civil war – (a lot of which has been stirred up through anti-Obama sentiments*). The majority of wars and dictatorships throughout history have come about due to the actions of extreme “CONSERVATIVES” like those advocating the legitmacy of “Christian” violence (I would include the communist regimes under the label “conservative”) and rarely if ever through the actions of so-called “Liberals”.
As misguided as “liberal” ideas may be they don’t usually try to force those ideas and their politics upon everyone through violence. At the worst they just ALLOW sinners to sin, they ALLOW people to have abortions or to live a homosexual lifestyle – they don’t force those things upon unwilling participants.

Ironically that is very much the approach God Himself takes. He doesn’t force people into obedience. He doesn’t force people into righteous behaviour. He doesn’t force His standard upon anyone. He allows them their disobedience and unrighteousness. He gives people over to the things they desire above Him and His ways. He gives people over to the sinful desires of their hearts. He gives them over to their shameful lusts. He gives them over to their depraved minds. Whatever they choose in place of Him He will give them freedom to follow (see Romans 1).

And neither does He force anyone to an eternity in hell (the lake of fire) – He made a way of escape from that destiny through personal sacrifice. He gave His Son so that whoever believes (trusts) in Him can escape that terrible future. He tells us that He sent His Son NOT to condemn, because mankind was condemned already. He came to SAVE us from that condemned state. He came to give LIFE (abundantly) – Life to those who give up their own lusts, sinful desires and corrupt thinking by handing themselves over to Him through Jesus.

Such a liberal God, freely giving to us what we did not deserve.

______________________________

*Obama is reportedly the most threatened President in US history. One report I heard suggests he’s received more death threats than all previous Presidents combined. I wonder how many Obama-hating violence endorsing “christians” secretly (or not so secretly) rejoice over that.

Tired of the violence or ignoring accountability?

In today’s Daily Telegraph (Sydney Australia) Randa Abdel-Fattah described as a Muslim lawyer and commentator notes the irony of Muslims violently protesting against a film that depicts Muslims as being violent. She says:

 “Some Muslims, apparently seeking to repudiate a certain film’s claim that Muslims are violent, took to the streets and engaged in violent protests. It would be the stuff of a comedy skit if it weren’t so depressing.”

But in her article she also asks why moderate Muslims in general should always be required to speak out against what is described as a Muslim minority who have resorted to violence, whether in the recent protests or in the extreme events of September 11 2001.

She asks:

“When Anders Breivik massacred 77 people in Norway we did not expect Christians the world over to explain why his actions were a clear abomination of Christian teachings…”

I’m sure I can answer that accusation of double standards with two clear and obvious statements:

1) Breivik was not a Christian and few would describe him as one.

2) He was an individual acting as an individual – the recent violent protests by Muslims are going on across the world and are strongly supported by huge numbers. What actually happened in Sydney was mild in comparison to what is happening in nations with Muslim majority populations.

The reality is, people see what is happening around the world and even on our own doorstep and are made afraid by what they see. If Islam is genuinely the moderate religion that the writer of the Telegraph article implies, then THAT is why the moderate Muslim community ought to be keen to distance themselves from the violent displays that cause fear and suspicion.

The Telegraph article is here: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/tired-of-the-violence-and-stupidity/story-e6frezz0-1226476804604

Freedom or persecution?

Protests around the world turned violent as Moslems demonstrated against a film they  found offensive.

In Australia the morning news shows have featured interviews with Moslem leaders trying to distance themselves and the greater Moslem community from the violence that marred an intended peaceful protest. The fact that a peaceful protest regarding an insult against their religion could even be considered shows the vast difference between western, nominally Christian, but mostly secular nations and those that come under Islamic law.

How free would Christians be to protest in Saudi Arabia? Is the true picture of Islam shown by the Moslem spokespeople featured on the morning news in a country where Islam is still a minor (but growing) faith? Or is it shown in those nations where Islam is dominant?

These links to the Open Doors site are interesting:

http://www.opendoors.org.au/persecutedchristians/countryprofiles/saudiarabia/

A list of top 50 countries where persecution of Christians is most intense:

http://www.opendoors.org.au/persecutedchristians/countryprofiles/

 

 

Pardon me, but your prejudices are showing

Andrew Strom has certainly stirred up a “hornet’s nest” on his blog today. (see  http://www.johnthebaptisttv.com/2012/07/10/why-the-tea-party-is-unchristian-comments/)

One thing I find interesting about the article is the type of comments it inspired. Many comments say more about the condition of the person commenting than about the views expressed in Strom’s article.

Something that has become increasingly clear to me is the way people reveal their influences during a discussion or argument. The terminology used is the clearest indication. And when doctrine is discussed the proof texts quoted will usually reveal a person’s theological influences. A similar thing can be seen with political views..

In the discussion on Strom’s blog, it’s surprising how often the terms “socialism” and “Marxism” have been used accusingly. As if Strom must somehow be a “socialist” for expressing the concerns stated in his article.

These terms seems to represent the evil of evils in the American mind, but why? Haven’t they moved on from the days of McCarthyism or even Reagan’s “evil empire”? Do they still need to have a political scapegoat to deflect attention from real issues?

Socialism, Marxism, Communism are no more the enemy than any other “ISM” that tries to promote answers while denying or pushing God aside. At least with Marxism and Communism their rejection of God was out in the open. How much worse is it to use His name as a promotional tool while effectively denying HIS ways and who HE really is?