Category Archives: theology

And That Is What Some of You Were

Alleged comedian Bill Maher has been trying to wreck the candidacy of Christine O’Donnell by dredging an old clip from his old show where she said that she “dabbled into witchcraft” in high school.

I find myself wondering exactly what he’s trying to accomplish with this. Is he trying to alienate her from her base by trying to represent her as a kook or as someone a conservative or a Christian could not vote for? If so, Mr. Maher clearly doesn’t understand what Christianity is all about. Religiophobes on the left often make the mistake of thinking that the core of the Christian faith is a set of rules: a whole bunch of “thou shalts” and “thou shalt nots” (mostly the “thou shalt nots”). However, that’s not the core of Chrisitanity. The Christian faith is about redemption.

I Corinthians 6:9-10 gives a list of those who will not inherit the kingdom of God. It looks pretty dire.

9Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders
10nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

However, the following verse comes in with redemption:

11And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

The heart of Christianity is about relationship with Christ and redemption through Christ. If Mr. Maher thinks a shady past, or even a weird past would disqualify someone Biblically, then he should do his homework. The passages above were written by Saul of Tarsus, a Messianic Jew who had formerly sought to eradicate Christianity. Most people call him the Apostle Paul.

As far as the non-Christian Right is concerned, who doesn’t have things they’re not proud of in their past. The important thing is what has she learned from her past and who is she today.

(All Scripture quotations taken from the NIV)

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Obama’s Religion

There has been furious debate over President Obama’s religion. Many people believe that the President is a Muslim. Others defend his claim that he is a Christian. Ann Coulter asserts that Obama is an atheist.

However, I believe that all of them are wrong. President Obama’s religion is Narcissism… his god is self. Barack Obama worships Barack Obama. Now, I’m not the first to point out Mr. Obama’s hyper-inflated ego, but I think this goes far beyond that. The pattern of behavior is clear. He is his own god.


Added 9/12/2010
Regarding Mr. Obama’s purported Christianity, if he is indeed something akin to a Christian, then he is a heretic. He has repeatedly spoken of “collective salvation.” This is not a Christian doctrine. He may be a deist or a theist, but he is not a Christian. This doctrine comes from “liberation theology” which is basically Karl Marx wearing a Jesus mask. I suppose you could call him a “Liberation Theologist.”

One of the central tenets of Christianity is humility. Certainly, anyone who is capable of enduring the limelight will have the appearance of arrogance, if not actual arrogance. However, I believe that the President’s behavior demonstrates something beyone mere vanity.

I think that Narcissism as a religion is more prevalent than most people would believe. There are many people whose self love goes beyond mere conceit to become the primary virtue in their own eyes. I would assert that many people in this egotistical age view their self-esteem as being one of the greatest things to be pursued. Certainly, egotism has always been among us, but our culture has been pushing self-esteem to an unhealthy extreme for decades now. Children are coddled and insulated from the real world. They are taught that their value comes from their opinion of themselves, rather than from their personhood. It was inevitable that we would have a President who embodied this fault sooner or later. It just happened to be Barack Obama.

I suppose it is possible that he suffers from mere vanity or even Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Certainly, I am not the first to observe that. Many power-hungry politicians and celebrities are narcissistic, at least to some degree. Our media-driven culture sees to that. The unconstitutional growth of government over the past century has also encouraged this phenomenon.


Added 9/13/2010
Just a few areas of arrogance off the top of my head:

President Obama has refused to release his academic record.
President Obama publically rebuked the Supreme Court in this year’s State of the Union Address, an unprecedented move.
President Obama will single out a specific opponent for attack. In theory, this is not unique to him, but he seems to be doing this with a greater frequency. He seems to be making the attacks personal, rather than based on a disagreement on policy. Also, he has chosen media opponents, such as Fox News and Rush Limbaugh for personal attack.
President Obama repeatedly blames George W. Bush even two years into his Presidency.
President Obama has also repeatedly referred to the deficit that he inherited from Bush while neglecting to mention that he voted for that spending while in the Senate. He also failed to mention that he has added to that deficit as President and doubled our national debt.


Added 7/11/2011

President Obama gave 41 speeches from January 1, 2009 to September 23, 2009. In those 41 speeches, he referred to himself 1,198 times. That’s yet another sign that points to his extreme egotism.

Source: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2009/09/23/dan-gainor-obama-speeches-ego/





Further resources:
Liberation Theology
Barack Obama – Narcissist or Merely Narcissistic?
Wikipedia: Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Google Health: Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Mayo Clinic: Narcissistic Personality Disorder

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Social Justice Vs. Mercy

Of late, there has been a confusion of terminology in the church by saying that the needy “deserve” our help. They do not and it is not Christian to say that they do. They need it. God demands that we give it. We should give it, as Christians and as human beings. However, we do not give it because they “deserve” it.

There is no such thing as “social justice.” There is only justice, which means receiving what you deserve. What you deserve is nothing. You came into this world naked and will leave it that way as well. The world owes you nothing. God owes you nothing.

However, God has chosen to give mercy to those who would receive it. Mercy is giving you a good thing, even though you do not deserve it. As Christians, we are to share God’s love and mercy through various means. We do not owe these things to anyone, but we freely give because God freely gave to us.

Helping the poor is not justice. Helping the poor is mercy. The poor, the sick, the hurting… these do not deserve our time, our money, or any of our resources. However, we share our resources in mercy because we were shown mercy. We show compassion because we are human beings. Mercy is necessary, but we should never confuse it with justice.

This is not just an argument over semantics. Words have power. Meanings matter. Justice and mercy are two separate concepts which should not be confused or conflated.

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Some Tidbits from CS Lewis

Here are some tidbits from CS Lewis:

“And I say also this. I do not think the forest would be so bright, nor the water so warm, nor love so sweet, if there were no danger in the lakes.” – Hyoi in Out of the Silent Planet

“Try to exclude the possibility of suffering which the order of nature and the existence of free-wills involve, and you find that you have excluded life itself.” – The Problem of Pain

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.  God in the Dock

 
Without risk, there is no reward; without the possibility of true failure, there is no possibility of true success. This is the danger of modern liberal and progressive thought. Schools give awards to everyone to preserve self-esteem and by doing so, remove the incentive for the gifted to excel and the average to beat expectations. The nanny state seeks to cushion us from the bumps and bruises, never realizing that they are discouraging excellence and breeding mediocrity. Through it all, they are eroding our liberty.

I am not the first to say it, and I sure won’t be the last.

 

Here are a couple more about evil:

“I live in the Managerial Age, in a world of “Admin.” The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid “dens of crime” that Dickens loved to paint. It is not done even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clean, carpeted, warmed, and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voice. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the offices of a thoroughly nasty business concern.” The Screwtape Letters

“The safest road to Hell is the gradual one — the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.” The Screwtape Letters

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