This might well be the most important article written on this President during his Presidency. Never has America elected a more virulently anti-Christian man to be our leader. Now we are being asked to return him to office for a second term. Please read this article (reprinted by permission) here or link to it directly at the Wallbuilders Website HERE. This is a MUST READ. Note the careful documentation.
America’s Most Biblically-Hostile U. S. President
|David Barton – 02/29/2012|
Listed below in chronological order are (1) numerous records of his attacks on Biblical persons or organizations; (2) examples of the hostility toward Biblical faith that have become evident in the past three years in the Obama-led military; (3) a listing of his open attacks on Biblical values; and finally (4) a listing of numerous incidents of his preferential deference for Islam’s activities and positions, including letting his Islamic advisors guide and influence his hostility toward people of Biblical faith.
1. Acts of hostility toward people of Biblical faith:
2. Acts of hostility from the Obama-led military toward people of Biblical faith:
3. Acts of hostility toward Biblical values:
4. Acts of preferentialism for Islam:
Many of these actions are literally unprecedented – this is the first time they have happened in four centuries of American history. The hostility of President Obama toward Biblical faith and values is without equal from any previous American president.
2. Aliza Marcus, “Obama to Lift ‘Conscience’ Rule for Health Workers,” Bloomberg, February 27, 2009; Sarah Pulliam Baily, “Obama Admin. Changes Bush ‘Conscience’ Rule for Health Workers,” Christianity Today, February 18, 2011. (Return)
4. Johanna Neuman, “Obama end Bush-era National Prayer Day Service at White House,” Los Angeles Times, May 7, 2009. (Return)
5. Chris McGreal, “Vatican vetoes Barack Obama’s nominees for U.S. Ambassador,” The Guardian, April 14, 2009. (Return)
6. Meredith Jessup, “Obama Continues to Omit ‘Creator’ From Declaration of Independence,” The Blaze, October 19, 2010. (Return)
7. “Remarks by the President at the University of Indonesia in Jakarta, Indonesia,” The White House, November 10, 2010. (Return)
8. LadyImpactOhio, “ Feds sued by Veterans to allow stolen Mojave Desert Cross to be rebuilt,” Red State, January 14, 2011. (Return)
9. Marrianne Medlin, “Amid criticism, President Obama moves to fill vacant religious ambassador post,” Catholic News Agency, February 9, 2011; Thomas F. Farr, “Undefender of the Faith,” Foreign Policy, April 5, 2012. (Return)
10. Chris Johnson, “ENDA passage effort renewed with Senate introduction,” Washington Blade, April 15, 2011. (Return)
12. Todd Starns, “Obama Administration Opposes FDR Prayer at WWII Memorial,” Fox News, November 4, 2011. (Return)
13. Joel Siegel, “Obama Omits God From Thanksgiving Speech, Riles Critics,” ABC News, November 25, 2011. (Return)
14. Hillary Rodham Clinton, “Remarks in Recognition of International Human Rights Day,” U.S. Department of State, December 6, 2011. (Return)
16. Audrey Hudson, “Obama administration religious service for student loan forgiveness,” Human Events, February 15, 2012. (Return)
17. “Houston Veterans Claim Censorship of Prayers, Including Ban of ‘God’ and ‘Jesus’,” Fox News, June 29, 2011. (Return)
18. Jason Ukman, “Air Force suspends ethics course that used Bible passages that train missle launch officers,” Washington Post, August 2, 2011. (Return)
19. “Maintaining Government Neutrality Regarding Religion,” Department of the Air Force, September 1, 2011. (Return)
20. “Wounded, Ill, and Injured Partners in Care Guidelines,” Department of the Navy (accessed on February 29, 2012). (Return)
21. “Air Force Academy Backs Away from Christmas Charity,” Fox News Radio, November 4, 2011. (Return)
22. Jenny Dean, “Air Force Academy adapts to pagans, druids, witches and Wiccans,” Los Angeles Times, November 26, 2011. (Return)
24. Geoff Herbert, ” Air Force unit removes ‘God’ from logo; lawmakers warn of ‘dangerous precedent’,” syracuse.com, February 9, 2012. (Return)
28. Steven Ertelt, “Pro-Life Groups Left Off Obama’s Health Care Summit List, Abortion Advocates OK,” LifeNews, March 5, 2009. (Return)
29. “ Obama Signs Order Lifting Restrictions on Stem Cell Research Funding,” Fox News, March 9, 2009. (Return)
30. Steven Ertelt, “ Obama Administration Announces $50 Million for Pro-Forced Abortion UNFPA,” LifeNews, March 26, 2009; Steven Ertelt, “President Barack Obama’s Pro-Abortion Record: A Pro-Life Compilation,” LifeNews, February 11, 2012. (Return)
31. Steven Ertelt, “Barack Obama’s Federal Budget Eliminates Funding for Abstinence-Only Education,” LifeNews, May 8, 2009. (Return)
32. Steven Ertelt, “Obama Budget Funds Sex Ed Over Abstinence on 16-1 Margin,” LifeNews, February 14, 2011. (Return)
33. Steven Ertelt, “Obama Admin Terrorism Dictionary Calls Pro-Life Advocates Violent, Racist,” LifeNews, May 5, 2009. (Return)
34. “Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies,” The White House, June 17, 2009. (Return)
35. Matt Cover, “Obama’s EEOC Nominee: Society Should ‘Not Tolerate Private Beliefs’ That ‘Adversely Affect’ Homosexuals,” cnsnews.com, January 18, 2010. (Return)
36. Tess Civantos, “White House Spent $23M of Taxpayer Money to Back Kenyan Constitution That Legalizes Abortion, GOP Reps Say,” Fox News, July 22, 2010. (Return)
37. Steven Ertelt, “Obama, Congress Cut Funding for 176 Abstinence Programs Despite New Study,” LifeNews, August 26, 2010. (Return)
38. Steven Ertelt, “President Barack Obama’s Pro-Abortion Record: A Pro-Life Compilation,” LifeNews, February 11, 2012. (Return)
40. Steven Ertelt, “Obama Admin Ignores Planned Parenthood Sex Trafficking Videos,” LifeNews, March 2, 2011. (Return)
41. Elisabeth Bumiller, “Obama Ends ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Policy,” New York Times, July 22, 2011; George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, John C. Fitzpatrick, editor (Washington: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1934), Vol. XI, pp. 83-84, from General Orders at Valley Forge on March 14, 1778. (Return)
42. Luis Martinez, “Will Same Sex Marriages Pose a Dilemma for Military Chaplains?,” ABC News, October 12, 2011. (Return)
44. Barack Obama, “ Remarks by the President at Iftar Dinner,” The White House, September 1, 2009; Kristi Keck, “ Obama tones down National Day of Prayer observance,” CNN, May 6, 2009; Dan Gilgoff, “ The White House on National Day of Prayer: A Proclamation, but No Formal Ceremony,” U.S. News, May 1, 2009. (Return)
45. “Franklin Graham Regrets Army’s Decision to Rescind Invite to Pentagon Prayer Service,” Fox News, April 22, 2010. (Return)
46. “Obama Bans Islam, Jihad From National Security Strategy Document,” Fox News, April 7, 2010; “Counterterror Adviser Defends Jihad as ‘Legitimate Tenet of Islam’,” Fox News, May 27, 2010; “‘Islamic Radicalism’ Nixed From Obama Document,” CBSNews, April 7, 2010. (Return)
48. Barack Obama, “Remarks by the President at Iftar Dinner,” The White House, August 13, 2010; “Obama Comes Out in Favor of Allowing Mosque Near Ground Zero,” Fox News, August 13, 2010; Pamela Geller, “Islamic Supremacism Trumps Christianity at Ground Zero,” American Thinker, July 21, 2011. (Return)
49. “WH Fails to Release Easter Proclamation,” Fox Nation, April 25, 2011; “President Obama ignores most holy Christian holiday; AFA calls act intentional,” American Family Association (accessed on February 29, 2012).(Return)
50. “Report: Obama’s Muslim Advisers Block Middle Eastern Christians’ Access to the White House,” Big Peace (accessed on February 29, 2012). (Return)
51. Masoud Popalzai and Nick Paton Walsh, “ Obama apologizes to Afghanistan for Quran burning,” CNN, February 23, 2012; “USA/Afghanistan-Islamophobia: Pentagon official apologizes for Quran burning,” International Islamic News Agency (accessed on February 29, 2012). (Return)
52. “Military burns unsolicited Bibles sent to Afghanistan,” CNN, May 22, 2009. (Return)
After a bit of a break from my annual tradition, I’ve decided to resurrect my sometimes cited, frequently debated and occasionally requested list of Top Religion stories from my neck of the Christian world. As always, I offer my disclaimers first. This list is 100% subjective. This is just how I see things. I limit myself to ten primary stories (though I will list some honorable mentions as well), and I don’t put them in a particular order of significance as in greatest to lesser. I want you to add your own in the comment section – feel free to disagree, expand, add or challenge. That’s 99% of the fun. So without further fanfare…here’s the list for 2011.
1. 1. Arab Spring
Even if you aren’t a Van Impe/Camping/Left-Behind groupie, you’ve got to believe that something significant is going on in the Middle East with the collapse of multiple governments which were at least in an uneasy truce with the West (US/Europe) and generally with Israel. Egypt, Libya, Syria and other places are still in the midst of huge changes and where it will all fall out is anybody’s guess. But it doesn’t require ownership of a crystal ball to see that most of these countries are going to be dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood and other anti-Israel/anti-American/anti-Christian political forces which is going to change the status quo we have known for a generation. Of lesser eschatological concern, but greater immediate attention, is the impact on the tiny “Christian” minorities in countries like Egypt which are already seeing a marked rise in persecution and violence. In addition, we have no idea how far this regional revolution will grow. Should Saudi Arabia come under anti-American governance, one can only imagine the amount of mischief that could come from a hostile government using the billions of dollars of American armaments they now possess and the ability to strangle us with their oil output. And I didn’t even begin to deal with Pakistan and Turkey and the tenuous condition of our alliances with them. Anyway you cut it…this is BIG in historical, spiritual and eschatological perspectives.
2. 2. Tim Tebow and “Tebowing”Rarely has there been such a polarizing public figure who has caught the attention and dominated the national dialogue as Tim Tebow. The discussions surrounding him make the debates over Ron Paul, Justin Bieber and Charlie Sheen seem downright civil. And while football is the “excuse”, make no mistake – this is a cultural/faith wars battle posing as a debate over an athlete’s skill set. Every year in every sport there is conversation over whether the hot new player has what it takes to be in the Big Leagues, but this is a whole different level of fandom and venom spewing. There are very few fence sitters. On one side, people who thought the NFL stood for “Nearly Finished Looking” are now sporting Broncos Jerseys with “Jesus” written on the back. Others have now found a convenient way to cloak their unbridled hatred for all things Christian by framing their vitriol with Tebow’s awkward throwing style and oh, yeah…he’s a religious kook too. The cool thing is that Tim has, thus far, been able to live above the fray, showing amazing grace and maturity for a kid his age and in such glare and unless you are totally blinded by anti-Christian bias he is the kind of guy you’d want your daughter to bring home for Thanksgiving dinner. His prayer posture has now become a national version of “planking” and “owling” only with a deeper message. Whether you love or loathe the Broncos, Christians should pray for this young man’s character and spiritual strength. He’s going to need it.
3. 3. Fundamentalist Schools and Accreditation
Several years ago, I printed a series of articles (no longer available) on my blog which pointed out problems in the Christian colleges located in the most conservative neck of the “evangelical” world (largely Fundamentalist schools). It was quite controversial at the time and the number of “hits” I got on my blog for weeks originating in places like Greenville, SC and Pensacola, FL and other home ports for these schools was both surprising and revealing. While I’m not taking any level of credit and I don’t claim to be a prophet or the son of a prophet, it is worth noting that many of the things I predicted and challenged have started coming to pass. One of the most significant is the decision to start seeking some form of accreditation by these schools. Bob Jones University shocked their constituency and those who knew of their philosophy of anti-accreditation several years ago by applying for accreditation with the Christian accreditation association, Transnational Association of Colleges and Schools (TRACS). This was not the equivalent of regional accreditation, but was a significant position change nonetheless. Interestingly, not long ago, another great bastion of accreditation resistance, Pensacola Christian College announced that they too were seeking TRACS Accreditation. Now, within the last few months, in what can only be described as a shift of seismic proportions, BJU has announced that they will see full accreditation with SACS – a secular regional accrediting body and one of the most influential ones in the country. This has the potential to change the entire “non-accreditation” game among colleges of their sort. On a side note, because I work as a consultant to colleges and schools on occasion and have relationships with multiple accrediting agencies, I have “inside” knowledge that there are multiple other, less visible, but significant colleges who are also now considering accreditation for the first time. Whether or not this was done because of a more astute prospective student or declining enrollment or simply a rethinking of their opposition rationale, it will certainly remove an excuse that many have used for not applying for enrollment at these schools and will move the institutional credibility (once attained) in a positive direction.
4. 4. Scandals Come Home to Roost
Virtually every branch of Christianity has had major sexual scandals over the last quarter century – from Catholics to extreme Fundamentalist. This year, however, many past sexual scandals in fundamentalist circles came home to roost in a major way and virtually no branch of fundamentalism went unscathed. The most significant one was the Trinity Baptist/Chuck Phelps/Tina Anderson Case from Concord, New Hampshire and which ended up impacting Bob Jones University, Northland International University, Maranatha Baptist Bible College and multiple churches and prominent pastors and college officials in the process. You had to have been living under a rock not to come across info on this on the internet this year (not to mention 20/20 and CNN) and if you haven’t heard about it, just google “Tina Anderson” and grab a cup of coffee – you’re going to be there for a while. But that case was just the tip of the iceberg. There’s the case of a preferred mission agency of the GARB, the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism (ABWE) which was hit by a decades old sexual abuse cover-up involving a missionary doctor and multiple young girls which is still being debated and investigated. The Hephzibah Home for Girls in Indiana has been charged with abuse of their charges by the media and former residents. Fairhaven Baptist Church and Fairhaven Baptist College in Indiana were the subject of a CNN investigation regarding gross abusive and harsh behavior toward young people (though there are no substantive sexual charges at this time). Berean Baptist Church/College in Jacksonville, Florida made the headlines when leadership was accused of a cover-up involving the pastor’s son who videotaped young college women changing their clothes and they are also in the middle of a financial scandal that involves the loss of their ministry campus and charges of an excessive lifestyle by the pastor and his family. Two Independent Baptist Pastors committed suicide in the Southwest upon being confronted about sexual abuse including a rape. A graduate of Hyles-Anderson College was just the latest in a string of pastor’s from that school to have faced scandal and charges and was sentenced to prison for molesting several young men in his church and school. Another, non-sexual scandal, involved the President of Tennessee Temple University and the Pastor of the sponsoring church resigning due to charges of plagiarism in a book written years before. Bottom line – this year a lot of corruption came to light and it can be dismissed by saying “it happens everywhere” with a shrug of the shoulders or it can be examined and addressed with integrity. Whether or not it will be addressed or ignored has yet to be determined and due to the nature and value of “independence” in this arm of Christianity and which has lead to a significant lack of accountability, it is hard to envision how a legitimate examination and corrective action could even be taken.
5. 5. The Rise of Internet Driven Activism
This is related to Number 4, but is separate as this has the potential to indefinitely and in various forms become a significant “game changer” in how grievances are addressed and scandals are dealt with for the foreseeable future. Several years ago, anonymous bloggers in churches like the First Baptist Church of Jacksonville and Belleview Baptist Church of Memphis, TN rocked their congregations with accusations, charges and commentary. Today, anonymity is no longer necessarily the modus operandi of these activists. The lead character in this new “Fundamentalist Spring” of activism and scandal revelation is Jocelyn Zichterman who has combined personal wounds and frustration (and some would say, bitterness) with the “system” within her former branch of fundamentalism and the power of social networking and the internet to create a whole new force that has lead to earth-shaking revelations, scandals, media scrutiny and even policy changes in institutions touched by her formidable will. The daughter of a somewhat prominent Independent Baptist family from the BJU/NU neck of the woods, she has made it her mission to expose and investigate what she perceives to be fundamentalist corruption and cultic behavior largely using alleged sexual abuse in her own home as her impetus and the response of many fundamentalists to her exposure of it. Her fundamentalist resume is quite impressive and it has now become the platform on which she is waging a war against perceived flaws, failures and scandals of epic proportions utilizing Facebook, blogs and a media-savy willingness to generate headlines, interviews and investigations to speak up for some who were ignored or otherwise silenced. She was largely responsible for putting the Tina Anderson/Chuck Phelps case on the national radar and now the rapist in question is in prison. Most recently, she brought about the end of Bob Jones University’s ill-conceived reappointment of Chuck Phelps to one of their prominent Boards through amazingly successful on-line protests, petitions and other tactics serving as the catalyst with other dissatisfied or wounded individuals or groups. While the University will deny that it had an impact on them, very few are going to believe that claim. The ABWE scandal mentioned above largely gained traction as the result of a blog where many shared their stories of abuse and cover-up. In 2011, a blog by disgruntled Sovereign Grace senior leader and pastor, Brent Detwiler was largely responsible for the Sovereign Grace head, C. J. Mahaney, taking a leave of absence/sabbatical to deal with spiritual issues in light of some of the charges and which continues to unfold with other resignations within SGM and disciplinary actions taken against Detwiler. Bottom line – this story is significant because the Internet connects anyone on the planet who has a story to tell or a charge to make with others who had similar experiences or who might be inclined to take up their cause. Many of these scandals are legitimate and poorly handled. On occasion, some appear to be exploiting the anonymity of the web and the ability to cast an experience from their singular perspective in order to garner sympathy or to attack others. Few would say that this is the best way to handle such matters. Others would claim that is the option of last result and their final venue for seeing things made right. However you feel about the tactic…no one can deny that it is a new and powerful force and those who have skeletons in their closets should be shaking in their boots.
6. 6. No “Religious Right” Candidate for President
This year’s Presidential Sweepstakes is all but destined to offer a choice between two major candidates who will not receive the endorsement or enthusiasm of most in the religious right. Many of whom will endorse the candidate (and let’s be honest…it’s going to be the Republican nominee) will do so out of a sense of political expediency, not a sense that this is “their guy”. Those who had a chance to earn the support of this formidable block of voters – Pawlenty, Palin, Perry, Bachman, Santorum, Huckabee – either didn’t even enter or never caught fire. Thus, Republican values voters are largely dispersed among candidates for whom many will admit to “holding their nose” when voting for them. Mitt the Moderate Mormon, Gingrich – the serial adulterer and Ron Paul – a guy whose followers make North Korean political party leaders look disloyal in comparison are all a far cry from the savior that Christian conservatives would like to see run against the man they perceive to be the greatest enemy to the national values our country has ever known (which might be an overstatement, but their perception nonetheless), Barak Obama. It will be interesting to see if any of the last election’s evangelical “rock star” young leaders come out supporting Obama again much as they did in 2008 when the Dems captured 40% of the evangelical vote. Sadly, there are few on the entire political scene down the road that might give any more hope to them except for one exception – FL Senator Marco Rubio – who has a Reaganesque vision, verbiage and values, but who just isn’t seasoned enough quite yet for the Oval Office. (At least he, unlike our current occupier in chief, is aware of that.) If I were a betting man, I’d say that Obama will win re-election by a hair this fall. More tragic than another four years of his leadership is the reality that he will then change the face of the Supreme Court and Federal Courts for the next generation – a consequence from which we will likely ever recover.
7. 7. Bell’s Hell
Not a lot needs to be written on this topic, but Emergent Church hipster, Rob Bell, shook up Christianity with his re-warmed version of a form of possible annihilationism and set off a storm of controversy and counter-tomes and sermon series and so on – the likes which haven’t been seen since Y2K. Bottom line – Rob Bell is a heretic and his church is better off now that he has resigned to pursue other “opportunities”. But there is no denying that he was a big story this year. (Note: since writing this originally, I have been told that the new pastor may be more theologically liberal than Bell — and that’s saying something.)
8. 8. Harold Camping Strikes Again (and Again)
Like a cat dropped off your deck will always land on his feet, radio evangelist Harold Camping has shown a decades-long knack for setting dates for the return of Christ only to have them pass without nary a whistle, let alone a trumpet blast, and still have followers willing to listen for and heed his next prediction. But his setting of the date of May 21st had a new level of support among his adherents as people quit their jobs, sold their homes, bought RV’s and painted them with doomsday messages and took to the Interstates warning of the coming Apocalypse months in advance. When the date passed and nothing happened – he offered an “ooops” moment and reset it AGAIN. It too, was false. In OT days, false prophets were executed. Harold should be glad he’s in the 21st Century. Of course, the media made a big deal with smarmy smirkiness throughout, subjecting even more citizens to his nonsensical predictions and by proxy suggesting that most Christians who believe in a rapture were Camping Crazy themselves.
9. 9. Mainstreaming Mormonism
Mitt Romney’s candidacy and likely future win of the Republican nomination has brought some interesting scrutiny to the cult of Mormonism (and using the term “cult” is apparently a VERY politically-incorrect thing to type – according to some evangelicals, many of whom teach at Fuller Seminary). With their “Holy Underwear”, Native American Jews, abstinence from coffee, coke and tea (caffeinated at least), secret baptisms of the dead, history of polygamy, mandatory tithing, golden discs, BYU’s good Basketball team and all – who wouldn’t want a little closer look at the faith system of a potential “most powerful man on earth”? What is interesting is that few orthodox Christians seem willing to hold the line that Mormonism is not a legitimate Christian sect with much dogmatism, and those who do – like the President of the Southern Baptist Convention – well, they should apparently be considered the crazy ones – not those who believe they are eventually going to get their own planet to run. Go figure. The sad fact is that Mormons, with all of their nicely-funded commercials, slick advertising and POWERFUL politicians and celebrities (Romney, Harry Reed, Orin Hatch, the Osmonds – for a few examples), are now gradually being accepted as mainstream and not even as extreme as say….those nasty “Baptists” or “Bible-Thumpers”. Compromise is the Life-Blood of Politics, but it is the Death-Knell of Sound Theology.
10 10. Homosexual Activism Gains the Upper Hand
Let’s face it – the GLBT forces had a good year and their radical agenda shows no signs of abatement. With even moderate conservatives rushing to prove their tolerance, they intimidate politicians and businesses into embracing pro-gay-lifestyle positions time after time after time. Now serving openly in the military and looking for ways to recall the Defense of Marriage Act passed by a previous congress, gaining the right to adopt children, punishing private (and public) enterprises who don’t just discriminate against them…but who don’t PREFER them in many cases, using judges to over-turn citizen initiatives approved by a majority to give them the right to marry, demanding and receiving preferred funding, constantly portrayed in a positive light by both the media and the entertainment industry — this tiny minority of Americans (probably less than 5% of the population) have unprecedented political clout in the history of the nation. (Don’t believe that? Ask this question. “Who is more likely to win confirmation to the Supreme Court if nominated – a conservative, pro-life evangelical or a liberal homosexual.” I believe I’ve made my point.) Why is this a major story for 2011 – the repeal of DADT was the high water mark in a very successful year for homosexuals and they are just a few court decisions away and a few hate-crime laws removed from being able to sue pastors, authors, bloggers, churches, private employers, etc… for ever giving voice to the consideration that their lifestyle is sinful and that they are not a legitimate “minority’. Religious freedom and 1st Amendment not withstanding – their agenda will take precedence and Christians need to think through those future scenarios as fines are considered, tax exemptions are lost and censorship is imposed. I do not believe such a scenario is a wild-eyed prophecy – it’s a coming reality.
Honorable Mentions: Considered, but not chosen.
- The Southern Baptists Consider a Name Change Removing “Southern” at Least
- Small Christian Colleges in Peril as Tough Economic Times and Declining Enrollments take their Tolls
- Disgraced LBTS Dean Ergun Caner takes Provost Position at Arlington Baptist College
- C. J. Mahaney and Sovereign Grace Ministries Rocked by Accusations
- 400th Anniversary of the King James Version
- Churches No Longer Allowed to Meet in Public Schools in New York
So, those are my thoughts — what are yours? Feel free to disagree, debate or offer your own list below! Happy New Year everyone!
Read it HERE.
I’m having tons of people ask me about Rob Bell and the stuff floating around the internet about his perceived flirtation/endorsement of some sort of Universalism. If you’ve been asleep lately, check out some of what has been said HERE, HERE and HERE.
I’m not particularly surprised to be in disagreement, yet again, with Rob Bell’s theology and philosophy. I’ve struggled with years to see why he’s today’s sexy rock star equivalent for so many young seminarians and many of my young evangelical friends. He and McClaren were never guys I found worthy of serious emulation and the few good points that they make do not, in my mind, make them someone that I can’t wait to hear from over and over again. But we must admit, a lot of up-and-coming evangelical future leaders are quite enamored by him. Thus, we need to examine what he is saying and subject it to Biblical scrutiny. It’s part of the process of real scholarship and theological examination should be at least as rigorous as any other science and perhaps more so if indeed, as Spurgeon put it, Theology is the “queen of all the sciences.”
Phil Johnson takes a more insightful look at the whole controversy by scraping past the surface issue of heresy and looking at the complete lack of discernment being exercised by today’s generation of young evangelicals. Wherever you stand on Rob Bell — take a moment and read THIS.
I suspected this might happen in Obama’s second term and I have watched chess pieces being moved to get the process started including the Federal Government’s power grab of all student loan programs. What is this issue? The federal government’s desire to control all of higher education and eventually all of private education. There will be several tacks taken in the coming years, I believe, to accomplish this part of the extremist agenda of social reconstructionists and liberals. Because a second term for Obama is looking increasingly “iffy” at this point and because Obama will no longer have a friendly Congress in a couple of weeks, I believe you will see this moved to the front of their domestic/social agenda and rather than do it through legislation, they will do it through executive order and regulation via the bureaucracy.
Recently, Dr. Marvin Olasky, Editor of World Magazine and an acclaimed journalist and professor, wrote an article about his concerns. Take the time to read this important article to inform yourself about the conflict to come.
Federal Power Grab Threatens Private Colleges and Universities
by Marvin Olasky
About eight out of every nine K-12 students, and two out of every three college-age students, go to government schools. You’d think that Washington officials would be satisfied with that dominance, but no.
The Department of Education has proposed new rules that could potentially give state governments control of private colleges and universities. The prospective change has received little public attention, even though the new rules-unless they inspire heavy public protest-will take effect on Nov. 1, one day before this fall’s elections.
The growth of for-profit and online educational institutions is creating the rationale for such governmental expansion. The idea is that without governmental control students will fall prey to fast-talking salesmen who lure them into flimsy courses that leave them stuck with heavy loan payments and unprepared for career progress.
That sometimes happens, but the new rules would require each state to enact “substantive” rules and regulations with which to judge private educational institutions. That goes beyond the licensing and registering that is now typical, and beyond state fraud and consumer protection laws. States would have to supervise college attendance and admissions policies, examine the success of graduates in obtaining employment, and to some degree rule on course offerings.
Vagueness about the degree of proposed government scrutiny is leading to different reactions to the proposals. The American Council on Education and over 75 other higher education and accreditation organizations are protesting many regulatory aspects of the proposal, noting that education “is an area where a one-size-fits-all approach does not work.”
Former Colorado Senators Bill Armstrong and Hank Brown, now serving as the presidents of Colorado Christian University and the University of Colorado, go further: They contend that “the Department’s power grab carries with it an implicit invitation for various pressure groups to seek legal mandates requiring colleges and universities to implement their pet theories about curriculum, degree requirements, faculty qualifications, teaching methods, textbooks, evolution, phonics, ROTC, climate change, family policy, abortion, race, sexual orientation, economic theory, etc.”
Beyond the question of how bad the regulations are rises a further question: As with healthcare, why not deal specifically with education problems, instead of putting an entire industry under government control? Nonprofit regional accrediting agencies already scrutinize most colleges and universities. The proposed rules would move authority from the private to the public sector and require all institutions to submit or go out of business.
Dr. Marvin Olasky is the editor-in-chief of WORLD Magazine.
If you haven’t read the Newsweek article by Jon Meacham that I cited in my previous post, much of what I’m about to write will not make sense. You may read “The End of Christian America” by clicking HERE.
Jon Meacham asks outloud in last week’s issue of Newsweek, “Have we reached the end of Christian America?” To some extent, he may be asking a question that has largely already been answered. One only has to spend time among the population today or view the religious melting pot that has become our cities to realize that Christianity — as “the” monolithic faith system in America that it once was — is rapidly become one among many. Without a doubt, it is still the dominant one, but even among those who would lay claim to the identifier “Christian” it means less and less. I was told recently of a community interfaith service held in small town Binghamton, NY designed to remember 14 people killed by a madman during which the name of Jesus was not invoked even a single time. In today’s pluralistic hyper-sensitivity to tolerance, the distinctive of Jesus as “THE (only) Way/Truth/Life” is simply too narrow and dogmatic to be acceptable by most, it would seem.
So without debating the thesis of Meacham’s article, what does the evangelical church do in response to the reality that is “religiousity” in American today. Indeed, there is as much hostility against evangelical Christianity as there is fervency for it in many quarters. What follows is a mix of ideas, observations and thoughts….
1. We need to look within our borders for missionary activity.
Simply put, we have a new mission field to consider and it is us. And in particular, it is the part of “us” that lives in the Northeast — the land of the Pilgrims, Puritans, Moody, Wesley and Whitefield. I was told recently that there are 60 Southern Baptist churches in New York alone looking for pastors. Few young people “dream” of moving to Massachussetts to start a church. Could there be many places harder to start an evangelical church with a Biblical worldview that leans toward a conservative philosophy than say, Vermont? New York City? Boston? Connecticut? Maine?
There are a handful of small Bible colleges in the Northeast dedicated to equipping church planters, pastors and missionaries — Davis College in Binghamton. Boston Baptist in Boston. Word of Life Bible Institute in Upstate New York. But they struggle in recruiting young people from the hotbeds of evangelicalism in the South, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest who are willing to go to the cold (in every sense of that word) Northeast for a life of ministry. But indeed, it is a mission field worthy of investment and attention and individuals and churches should consider a place to send money, prospective students and other support.
Like it or not, the Northeast may be the most influential area of our country in terms of education, politics, economics and literature. It’s closest rival would be Southern California and its music and movie industries. We need to recapture this area with the Gospel.
2. We must re-emphasize the Supremacy of the Word of God
Someone once asked me what I believed was the most important theological issue in the Universe. In a phrase — it is the Word of God and in that I have a dicotomous emphasis - The Infallability of Scripture and the Sufficiency of Christ. Both the Written Word and the Living Word must be pre-eminent in our faith or we have nothing.
Al Mohler, one of my favorite authors and thinkers, said this in the Meacham article: “The post-Chrisitan narrative is radically different; it offers spirituality, however defined, without binding authority.” The fundamental question for every Worldview comes down to this: “Who’s the Boss?” All of theology and philosophy are built on that question. Not “Who am I?” or “Why am I here” — but “Who is in Charge”. Whom or what we accept as Truth is that on which our entire nature of being is hinged.
Philosophy and Theology are not nearly as complicated as we make them. It is fairly simply and the crux of Worldviews is found in the “Book of Beginnings” — Genesis. The questions with which Adam and Eve grappled in the Garden of Eden are still the questions of today. “Is there really a God and does He really matter?” “Can we trust God to tell us the Truth or is there something that He is holding back from us that we really need to know Truth?”
Bottom line — Either God matters and is telling us the Truth or God is irrelevant and can’t be trusted. You must decide. AND you must give it more than lip-service. Many people claim to believe in God and His Word, but in the end, their actions indicate something entirely different with every choice that they make. Wiersbe said, “Our behavior is a reflection of our beliefs.” Don’t tell me what you believe….show me.
Today’s evangelical — let alone the man who makes no pretense of being a “believer” — generally chooses a lifestyle, a values system, a course of direction that indicates that God isn’t really to be trusted and we are the ultimate authority for what is right or wrong. The implications of that are huge.
3. Genuine Christians will have to decide Who or What will define their values.
American Christians are flabby and undisciplined. For too long, we have enjoyed a government that largely reflected many — if not most — of our values. Since Darwinism and the Public Education System emerged in the late 1800′s however, we have seen a steady and progressive movement away from the core Biblical worldview that was held and taught by the Puritans who founded this nation. Even non-Christians like Jefferson and Franklin at least held an appreciation for the Absolutist Worldview of those who held Scripture as the Standard for Truth.
Not so today. Christians are often difficult to differentiate from non-Christians in how we think, how we spend our money, what we find entertaining, how we amuse ourselves, our sexual values, our integrity and business ethics, the sanctity of our marriage vows and how we identify with the world around us. In some cases, people who make no pretense of being an orthodox believer in the values of Scripture conduct themselves with more consistency and integrity than those who plaster their faith statements on their T-shirts and car bumpers.
Thus the church must adjust its mission to teach things like Biblical literacy, theological discipleship, a Biblical worldview (philosophy), practical Christian living and Biblical discernment as it is now a counter-culture mission — often even within our own churches.
4. Evangelical Christianity must resist theological Heglianism.
In brief, Georg Wilhelm Freidrich Hegel was a theological philosopher who postulated (among other things) that Truth could be found by the impact of two opposing ideas. The “Thesis” would collide with the “Anti-Thesis” to produce a “Synthesis” which, having survived the violent clash of ideas would be embraced as “Truth”.
Today’s virtue of “Tolerance” utilizes that premise in many ways by asking us to “put aside” or compromise our distinctives for the sake of unity or harmony. We are challenged to discard the inconvenient truths of our faith for the sake of unity, harmony and tolerance. The Ecumenical result of this is a faith that is born of a sense of “spirituality” and not from a foundation of doctrine. This transient form of faith takes the pleasant and leaves behind the difficult. It “cherry-picks” values held in common among various faiths, but neglects the roots that produced the fruit. It is Oprah’s spirituality and Madonna’s Kaballah and the Dali Lama’s Noble Path and the earthy karma of Hinduism all rolled up into one. Dogmatism is not a virtue, but a vice. Absolutes do not provide a foundation, but are an example of intolerance. Not believing is as valued as believing.
Jesus did not come to bring peace to man. He came to bring peace with God. His way is narrow (narrow is the gate), His claim was exclusive (no man comes to the Father but by ME) and His authority was Supreme (I and My Father are One.) No room for compromise in His message. Indeed, while compromise is the lifeblood of politics; it is the deathknell of theology.
5. American’s Hope is NOT Political
I am a political junkie. I enjoy the drama of politics the way some people follow sports. Every other November is my “Olympics”. However, we have to get away from the idea that there is a political solution to the moral crisis in this nation. Our national values are generally reflected in Washington — not dependent upon Washington. As our country moves deeper into the era of “post-Christianity” we have to come to grips with the idea that Washington has moved from being a shelter for us to possibly becoming an adversy against us. But this does not negate the soul autonomy which is assigned to each believer and what he or she does with truth whether or not a government declares it legal.
No one can make my daughter get an abortion in this country — yet, I wonder how many Christian parents have looked the other way as their daughter (or wife) went to take an innocent life because to have allowed it to continue would have been embarrassing or inconvenient. I don’t need the Supreme Court to tell me that abortion is murder. No one needs to keep drugs illegal in order for me to avoid them any more than the legal sale and consumption of alcohol has compelled me to take even one single drink in my entire life. I don’t HAVE to watch smutty TV shows, I am not required to visit pornographic websites, I am not compelled to use vile language in order to appreciate “free speech” and I don’t need to buy a gun if that would be dangerous for me to do so. My values are linked to Scripture, not legislation. But when the choice is left to me, it does require me to THINK and DISCERN and to exercise SELF CONTROL.
Will I continue to vote for people who reflect my values? You betchya. But you know, elected office has a way of changing people, so I’d better not depend on them to keep me free, safe or holy. In Meacham’s article he quoted journalist and commentator, Cal Thomas, who said, “No country can be truly ‘Christian’. Only people can.” We elect what we value, what we deserve, what we trust. Look at whom we have put in power and that will tell you much about how we think.
That’s enough of my rambling for today. Feel free to disagree or extend your own thoughts. I’m not discouraged about Christianity in America. Where there is much darkness, the smallest light makes a bigger difference.
One of the favorite fantasies of far-left liberals is dreams of playing Robin Hood. As America prepares to elect the most extreme President in our history a week from tomorrow, it might be nice to see what we’re getting. This shocking audio interview gives us a little insight into what Obama wants to appoint to the Supreme Court and how he wants them to take from you and give to others. It is a tradition among liberals to use the courts to due what legislation will not support. It’s called an “Activist Judiciary” and is one step short of an elite dictatorship. I wonder how long it will be before Obama follows in the course of the last great activist liberal President (FDR) and tries to expand the Supreme Court by a couple more members so that he can force his agenda through. Of course, it’s the greedy hope — that somehow an Obama administration might toss a little plunder our direction — is what is driving many to vote for him.
There’s a lot of irony in the fact that I’m going to be heading to C uba in a week where this whole “Redistribution of Wealth” thing has been such a stunning success.
Listen to it for yourself HERE…
I believe that the Wall Street Journal is absolutely dead on in THIS editorial.
When even Newsweek sees the “Pornification” of our culture, we have to ask why more self-identified Christians don’t recognize it or do something about it. This article ought to wake parents out of their apathy before it’s too late.
It may not be the end of the world, but you can see it from here….
Warning: This post contains offensive quotations.
It’s always amusing to me to hear liberals talk about “tolerance” and “diversity” and “acceptance.” In case you are brain dead, when they use those terms, what they really mean is “YOU have to accept THEIR twisted lifestyles, viewpoints and hate speech.”
When the liberal elite say “Hate Speech” what they mean is that they want to be as vile, disgusting, mean, degrading and offensive as they want to be, but when you disagree with their opinion, you should be censored.
The Liberal Elite are a GIFT to the Republican Party right now. Their response to McCain’s nomination of Sarah Palin is the best energizing force they could provide for red-blooded conservatives this side of arranging for the actual Resurrection of Ronald Reagan. They’ve certainly taken this bored-of-politics, disinterested and unlikely-to-vote withdrawn member of the “Cultural Conservatives” and revived him. I’ve even gone out and registered to vote in my new home state of Florida — something that wasn’t on my priority list just a few weeks ago.
If you wonder how DEEPLY, the Liberal Elites — and by them, I mean the Hollywood Hooligans, the Mainstream Media Big Namers and a smattering of entertainers, financial moguls and left-wing professors — then all you need to do is read the papers these days. The hate spewed from these lunatics is absolutely stunning.
Now you got Uncle Women, like Sarah Palin, who jumps on the s–t and points her fingers at other women. Turncoat b—h! Don’t you f–kin’ reference Old Testament, bitch! You stay with your new Goyish crappy shiksa funky bulls–t! Don’t you touch my Old Testament, you b—h! Because we have left it open for interpre-ta-tion! It is no longer taken literally! You whore in your f–kin’ cheap New Vision cheap-ass plastic glasses and your [sneering voice] hair up. A Tina Fey-Megan Mullally brokedown bulls–t moment.
In the same “show” she also warns Palin not to come into Manhattan lest she get gang-raped by some of Sandra’s big black brothers. No hate speech here, right? Can you imagine if Don Imus were to say something disparaging about liberal black folks what might happen? Oh wait — we’ve already seen that! Why the double standard? And in case you missed it, the “Goyish, crappy, shiksa….” she is speaking of is the NEW TESTAMENT. Of course, she’d never dare saying anything like that about the Koran, would she? Again, the REAL “sin” here is being conservative — or even worse, a conservative Christian. See the whole mess HERE.
The has-been comedian Chevy Chase called on Tina Fey to “Decimate” Sarah Palin in her future SNL appearances. Read about that HERE.
Hollywood’s newest little lesbian superstar, Lindsey Lohan spewed the following on her blog:
“Is our country so divided that the Republicans best hope is a narrow minded, media obsessed homophobe?”
I can (and will later on) give you pages of these diatribes. Sure, you can find some whacked out conservative who’ll say some awful things as well — but they are rarely mainstream and when they do say trash, they are roundly and soundly denounced by principled conservatives. You won’t hear that from the liberals — you’ll just get smirks, smiles of agreement and the secret hope that somehow their hateful opinions are the majority.
Conservatives should be concerned with this level of vitriol. Can you imagine what would happen if this country gives them the keys to the White House, Congress AND the Courts all at the same time? That, in and of itself, should give reasonable voters pause when they enter the voting booths in a few weeks.
I am going to link the hate-speech to this blog in the future — watch for it. Uninformed and under-educated voters are dangerous.
Late Entry: Here‘s another particularly VILE one from Salon.com.