Theology and Ideology of a Visitor Called PLEASE
PLEASE posted an interesting comment right before the blog went down. (On Sep 29, 2007, PLEASE commented on Go Maryland!!!) I liked it, I did not agree with a lot of it, but I did like it. PLEASE’s theology has an interesting ideological streak as the bold statement below demonstrates:
"love, is 100% Liberal."
Such a statement causes me to ask for someone to explain the entire nutroots movement, the black panthers, the SLF, the ELF etc.
I am sure PLEASE was and is thinking about M.L. King. King was about love, but there is a whole set of baggage that comes with him. One cannot, though PLEASE would like to, divorce King from the SLF, ELF and moveOn.org. Since the left is stuck with all of these groups of self identified liberals the above statement does not hold water. Furthermore, since the nutroots make up a huge block of the liberal party, I think it safer to say that today liberalism is in a dark and angry place.
PLEASE and others may not realize that hating the sin is not the same thing as hating the sinner. Something I see as critical when recognizing that a higher being (G-d) is in control and sovereign. Something we, humans are not. PLEASE’s following statement epitomizes this …
He [Christ] rejected ... and the personal judging of others, their lifestyles and beliefs.
Judging involves the impugning the intentions of others. Discernment revolves around the ACTIONS of others. Please keep in mind that when a Christian is telling someone they are sinning, that is not hateful. Calling out a warning to someone before they fall off a cliff is the act of a friend. Telling someone they are on the right track when they are walking into quicksand is NOT the act of a friend. Reading Ro 1:24-28 would be a good idea with regard to this.
The only question is the intention behind the words. If a Christian is calling an act a sin, but he excuses himself for engaging in such an act, then he is a hypocrite. On the other avoids such acts to the best of his abilities and confesses his when he does stray then he is following Christ's teachings. Christ said "whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me"
Recall, Matthew was a tax collector, but, he STOPPED be a tax collector after he started to follow Christ. G-d invites all to the table, but they are changed when they come to the table, exchanging filthy rags for cleansing blood of Christ. Christ said "If you love me you will keep my commandments (Jn 14:15)" God is interest in changing us from the inside out. G-d does not love us just the way we are. G-d loves us despite the way we are.
PLEASE goes on and writes …
"Webster's dictionary defines a Liberal as one who is open minded, not strict in the observance of orthodox, traditional or established forms or ways."
True, but putting lipstick on a pig won't make it pretty. Today's 'liberals' demand orthodoxy at school, in public life and in ALL social experiments. Can someone explain the speech codes in our modern Universities or the Swastika on the Professor’s door at Columbia?
Furthermore, it is one thing to be 'loose' in ones observance, but that is miles away from attacking traditional forms and views. What I see are closed minded individuals who demand I change my world view or I am labeled hater, bigot, racist and homophobe.
I also enjoy all the inferences that southern whites are all dirty, stupid and inbred. Gee, that sounds like rank bigotry to me. I really enjoy the whole get your shots thing before you go to a NASCAR event. A negative generalization impugning intelligence and sexual practices of some 70-100M people cannot be anything but bigotry. I take it that this open mindedness at its height in the view of our left leaning friends? Is that pluralism in your view PLEASE?
To put a point on it, the pluralistic outlook was hardly exemplified by the unwashed angry liberal thugs who charged the stage, kicked over the podium and physically assaulted the speaker from the Minutemen when he was invited to speak at Columbia. Since this assault on a conservative speaker is not an isolated incident, the "that is just a few" argument does not hold water either.
PLEASE then goes over the cliff with …
"Jesus was a pluralist Liberal"
No, he was not. Nor was he a Jeffersonian Conservative. Trying to put G-d in a box of your own design is futile. It is also a violation of the first commandment. G-d defies explanation. Note the first image we make of G-d is in our minds. The first commandment warns against this emphatically.
Furthermore Jesus said "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them (Matt 5:17)"That is not a liberal sentiment by any stretch. Note: It does not make G-d conservative either.
PLEASE continues with
"[Jesus] taught that one need notvconform to strict and orthodox views of God"
PLEASE, this is at odds with scripture. Christ railed against MAN's laws, not G-ds. The Pharisee's where not Orthodox they were hypocrites. John the Baptist was Orthodox. Christ said "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 (Matt 5:18)" and then to show difference between man's law and G-d's He said to them (the hypocrites),
"Which one of you who has a sheep, if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out? Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good [work] on the Sabbath. The good work in this case being the healing of a blind man.
PLEASE and I have are in agreement when he says
"He [Jesus] rejected greed, violence and the glorification of power"
If the power to be glorified is aside from G-ds, we are in agreement. PLEASE wanders back into mixing theology with ideology when he says
"[Jesus is against] the amassing of wealth without social balance,"
The amassing of wealth for wealth's sake is addressed in the parable of the farmer's barns. The whole "social balance" thing is blarney out of some socialistic manifesto not the New Testament. PLEASE then repeats himself but considering the context of the previous conversations on this blog …
"the personal judging of others, their lifestyles and beliefs"
"Judge not lest ye be judged" is the most misquoted verse in the Bible. This passage revolves around intentions, not actions. For the discernment of actions try reading Prov 17:24 and Is 44:18 in the old testament, and Rom 12:2, 1 Cor 2:14, Eph 5:10 in the new testament. Also recall from above "If you love me you will keep my commandments"
PLEASE here demonstrates what I see as a vital error in his theology …
"Over and over again, He [Jesus] taught us to believe in and live a spiritual and ethical life based in our essential, inherent goodness."
Jesus taught no such thing. Actually the statement above is diametrically opposite of the message of the Gospel. A spiritual and ethical life is only possible through G-ds goodness and mercy for we lack any essential inherent goodness.
I wonder if PLEASE has ever read the Bible and or at least the four the Gospels. Mankind is fallen; Christ told of this in the parable of the wicked tenants. This parable is about G-d and mankind, with Christ being the murdered son. As Christ told this story I would think that the parable deserves serious consideration. Another example of man inherit fallen nature is how the Apostles were arguing on the road to Jerusalem who gets to take over after Jesus is killed. Where is "innately good" in all that? These 12 guys lived with Christ and they still did not get it.
PLEASE, it is written that the wages of sin are death. If we are inherently good, and therefore without sin, then explain why do we all grow old and die? Note: "for all fall short of the glory of G-d", a verse from the book of Romans. PLEASE goes on with
"While not Biblical scholars, our common sense understanding of His lessons as philosophically and politically Liberal is founded upon Jesus' own words"
Then I strongly recommend that PLEASE read Jesus' words, (the rest of the Bible as well, for the context). Reading this at least once will hardly make him a biblical scholar, but at least he might get a basic understanding of the gospel message of Christ. PLEASE claims Liberalism has Christian foundations, but if one is utterly ignorant of these foundational text how can he know this?
If one has scant knowledge of what is written in the Bible then it impossible to understand what is the message of G-d's word. In order to argue about something, one needs to study it at least a little. PLEASE continues in his vein ...
"Certainly, Jesus brought a radically Liberal theology to the Orthodox believers of his time."
A little Bible lesson is in order. The Pharisee's had over 550 laws, and despite all that were not Orthodox. G-d had 2 great commandments, 10 commandments, and a few dozen laws governing things ranging from pulling an Ox out of a hole on the sabbath to child sacrifice. Christ was there to sweep away the 500+ man made laws and to overturn the corruption of his covenant with Moses. Read Mark 7:1-7 about the difference between Mans traditions and G-ds law. It was not a question of Orthodoxy but of heresy. The Pharisees were heretics.
The whole temple economy was about sacrifice. G-d and his mercy became incidental. This is a blasphemy. G-d set of the sacrificial order so that man could attain mercy. Jesus said "I seek mercy, not sacrifice."
Christ was interested in G-d's law, G-d's glory and this required his sacrifice on the cross so that man could be redeemed because man is not innately good, but because fallen man is just the opposite. Man needs redemption. More importantly Man cannot redeem himself, which is why Christ redeemed Man on the cross. (BTW, this above paragraph is basically the message of the New Testament)
PLEASE is wrapped up in liberation theology which is about social revolution. G-d is interested in spiritual revolution, and freedom of Mankind from sin. Liberation theology is chiefly interested in land and social (spelled 'money') reform. While the two are not mutually exclusive by any means, they are also NOT one and the same by any stretch.
PLEASE goes on to quote Luke 14:13 &14.
But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.
Amen, PLEASE is correct in that good works are important (James 6:14-17), but they are not a means for salvation. Works serve more as a sign of salvation (Hebrew 10 addresses this I believe) and as a means of G-d sanctifying the individual.
PLEASE appears to be hanging his faith on a few favorite verses coupled with Socialist dogma. The whole of the Bible provides a better perspective. Just knowing to a few verses will give one a strange view of G-d. The real G-d is far bigger than the G-d of Liberation Theology or Social Justice. Think about it, if all were saved would there be any injustice?
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