Re: Traditional Xtianity teaches

From: Walter Hicks (wallyshoes@mindspring.com)
Date: Sat Oct 05 2002 - 19:37:35 EDT

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    Opinion, observations & generalities:

    Scientists in general are required to keep an open mind about their
    professional
    work. Otherwise, their work will likely be poor. Outside of that
    arena, however,
    scientists act pretty much like the rest of ordinary folk. My observations (and
    some data) indicate that about 50% of the populace are rather strongly
    opinionated and the other 50% are more ìwishy-washyî. Of the first
    50% about half
    are liberal in their views and half are conservative. This liberalism or
    conservatism carries over into most aspects of their lives from
    raising children,
    political views, religious views, etc. By inserting his ìpoliticalî
    notions into
    his religious observations, Burgy has just observed that conservatives are
    conservatives. I do think that there are better ways to say it.

    Politics and Religion:

    Let me suggest that our political outlooks should not affect our community life
    as Christians. Let me give you one (bad) example. I once belonged to a church
    that would usually be considered to be conservative by nature. However, in
    Kennedyland, the people are generally liberal by nature. Hence there
    was a mixed
    group in this congregation. Things were quite fine for a number of years, until
    some members decided that their particular view was the Christian one
    and others
    who did not support it were not being Christians. It was the opposite
    of Burgy's
    objection with conservatives like Falwell, etc. This time it was the
    liberals who
    wanted to establish the Church's political agenda. One thrust in was a liberal
    notion about disarmament versus ìimmoralî people who ìlove the
    bombî. Pressure
    was also exerted to use the church money to support a number of (liberal)
    political activist groups. It got ugly and was one symptom of ultimate
    unravelling of this congregation (both pastors and lay leaders).

    Will all due respect to the opinions by Bob and Burgy, I would suggest that, As
    Christians, we should actively _avoid_ taking the political notions
    of a few and
    inserting them into any religious debate whatsoever ñ even if
    Falwell or someone
    else starts it.

    Walt

    Robert Schneider wrote:

    > I understand Terry's misgivings about what he sees in Burgy's list as a
    > conflation of politics with theology, but I think there is some merit in
    > Burgy's doing so in the context of some expressions of American-style
    > Christianity. Unfortunately, there are many fundamental believers in the US
    > who have done just that--conflated the two: they have politicized their
    > theology and theologized their politics. The moral-theological positions of
    > some on abortion, homosexuality, school prayer, gun control, and YEC are so
    > often articulated in political terms, that one wonders if it is possible for
    > some now to separate them in their minds. I saw a bumper sticker here in
    > Boone recently that reflects this: "Christian--and a Democrat!" This
    > person obviously felt the need to make the point that you don't have to be a
    > Republican in order to be a "true Christian."
    >
    > This politico-theology phenomenon is not confined to fundamental Christians
    > of the Protestant variety. An elderly Catholic woman reported during the
    > 2000 election that she received a letter from her priest, who noticed the
    > "Vote Democrat" bumper sticker on her auto and informed her that he would
    > not administer communion to her if she was going to vote with the
    > abortionists. She was outraged, of course (she opposes abortion), but the
    > anecdote illustrates the extent to which some go on such matters.
    >
    > As for dispensationalist theology, thanks to the phenomenal success of the
    > Left Behind movement, it seems to me that there are many conservative
    > Christians who are buying this theology without realizing what it is. From
    > what I have read of LaHaye's work there is a clear political agenda wedded
    > to his dispensationalism.
    >
    > Bob Schneider
    >
    > ----- Original Message -----
    > From: "Terry M. Gray" <grayt@lamar.colostate.edu>
    > To: <asa@calvin.edu>
    > Sent: Friday, October 04, 2002 12:16 AM
    > Subject: Re: Traditional Xtianity teaches
    >
    > > Burgy,
    > >
    > > Several have responded--perhaps that is adequate, but I thought I'd
    > > throw my two-bits in. I'm again disappointed in your conflation of
    > > politics with theology. I'd like to think that this was all
    > > tongue-in-cheek (we'll abbreviate that TICIH--"tongue in cheek, I
    > > hope"). I'm going to answer from my perspective which would be the
    > > fundamentalism of Warfield and Machen (not the fundamentalism of
    > > Whitcomb, Morris, Lindsell, etc.). As most of you know I represent a
    > > fairly conservative brand of presbyterianism (although I'm considered
    > > to be somewhat liberal in those contexts--I can ditto Bob's comment
    > > that "one man's Mede is another man's Persian.")
    > >
    > > To say what Gordon Brown said slightly differently, right-wing
    > > politics must be separated from right-wing theology. Their overlap
    > > sociologically shouldn't be interpreted to mean that right-wing
    > > politics are part of right-wing philosophy.
    > >
    > > One that you may have left out that I think is more prominent in
    > > conservative American evangelicalism (although not so much in more
    > > Reformed expressions of it) is a view that tobacco, alcohol and other
    > > recreational drug use even in moderation are forbidden by scripture.
    > > Also, the groups that seem to be represented by your list would also
    > > tend to advocate dispensationalism and premillenial eschatology (the
    > > rapture, 7 year tribulation, the importance of modern day Israel in
    > > God's plan, etc.)--again, not part of my theology.
    > >
    > > I'd also suggest that you include as parts of your list the
    > > affirmations of the Apostles' and Nicene Creed, i.e basic Trinitarian
    > > theology, the vicarious, substitutionary, and propitiatory atonement,
    > > the necessity of the new birth, the abrogation of Old Testament civil
    > > and ceremonial laws, the necessity of Holy living and good works, the
    > > work of the Holy Spirit in sanctification and spiritual gifting (not
    > > necessarily with the charismatic flares), the importance of prayer,
    > > the practice of the Lord's Supper and baptism, the importance of the
    > > church (some kind of fellowship of believers), the importance of
    > > worship (praise, prayer, preaching, etc.), the reality and
    > > universality of sin (probably more if I took more time to think about
    > > it).
    > >
    > > Here's my reaction to your list:
    > >
    > > 1 Adam and Eve were actual people**********Yes
    > > 2 Those who never hear of Jesus in this life are lost.*******Probably
    > > (that's why we send out missionaries)
    > > 3 Those who hear of Jesus and reject him are lost.********Yes
    > > 4 Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, etc. are lost********Yes
    > > 5 All lost people will suffer endless punishment*******Yes
    > > 6 Homosexual acts are always sinful.***********Yes
    > > 7 Abortion at any stage of pregnancy and for any reason is always
    > murder***Yes
    > > 8 Only males should be ordained as ministers, elders, bishops or deacons.
    > > (I like to divide this question--ministers,elders, bishops--yes,
    > > deacons--no)
    > > 9 Jesus second coming will happen***********yes
    > > 10 Believers will be resurrected with new bodies********yes
    > > 11 Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation********yes
    > > 12 It is not sinful to be a Democrat, but it is close to it.*******TICIH
    > > 13 It is always sinful to have a female lead in a worship service*******no
    > > 14 Republicans follow God more closely than Democrats*******TICIH
    > > 15 Salvation means the attainment of heaven after death***Yes (among
    > > other things)
    > > 16 There are only two possibilities after death, eternal bliss or
    > > endless punishment*****yes
    > > 17 Jesus Christ is both human and divine********yes
    > > 18 Government welfare is not fair to those who have been sober and
    > > thrifty*********TICIH
    > > 19 Jesus had a physical body after his resurrection**********yes
    > > 20 Satan is a real entity********yes
    > > 21 Jesus does not approve of gun control laws********TICIH
    > > 22 Jesus does approve of the government mandating public school
    > > prayers*****TICIH
    > > 23 Divorce is always sinful***********no
    > > 24 The flood really happened*************yes
    > > 25 Jonah is literal history***********probably
    > > 26 Job is literal history***********probably
    > > 27 The original manuscripts of the Bible are inerrant*****yes
    > > (with the word inerrant properly defined)
    > > 28 What we have today is quite close to the original manuscripts*******yes
    > > 29 The earth was formed in its present state less than 10,000 years
    > ago******no
    > >
    > > --
    > > _________________
    > > Terry M. Gray, Ph.D., Computer Support Scientist
    > > Chemistry Department, Colorado State University
    > > Fort Collins, Colorado 80523
    > > grayt@lamar.colostate.edu http://www.chm.colostate.edu/~grayt/
    > > phone: 970-491-7003 fax: 970-491-1801

    --
    ===================================
    Walt Hicks <wallyshoes@mindspring.com>
    

    In any consistent theory, there must exist true but not provable statements. (Godel's Theorem)

    You can only find the truth with logic If you have already found the truth without it. (G.K. Chesterton) ===================================



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