Re: Traditional Xtianity teaches

From: Rich Blinne (richblinne@hotmail.com)
Date: Thu Oct 10 2002 - 13:05:08 EDT

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    ----Original Message Follows----
    From: "Terry M. Gray" <grayt@lamar.colostate.edu>
    To: asa@calvin.edu
    Subject: Re: Traditional Xtianity teaches
    Date: Mon, 7 Oct 2002 23:19:37 -0600

    Burgy wrote:

    >
    >Rush Limbaugh, by the way, is one of several key exhibits in the case for
    >associating Republicanism and traditional/fundamentalist Christianity.
    >(Terry calls this "conflation," but that term presupposes no causal
    >relationship between the two). He (Rush) claims about 2,000,000 "ditto
    >heads" nationwide, and his popularity with some folks indicates that claim
    >may be fairly accurate.

    >What does Rush have to do with the religious right? (Other than much of his
    >listeners.) I don't really think Rush identifies with religious
    >fundamentalism--underscoring my point that they really are different
    >phenomena--lots of correlations, no doubt, but "causal"--I don't think so.

    If anything traditional/fundamentalist Christianity in general and the
    religious right in particular puts Rush at arms length. They get a sense
    that he is not really a Christian. It got to the point that Rush stated on
    his program that he was "infuriated" by all the e-mails asking about his
    spiritual state. About ten years ago I met a fundamentalist pastor who
    claimed to have known David Limbaugh quite well (he had photographs to prove
    it). The pastor stated that David Limbaugh does not believe his little
    brother was a Christian. Rush's background is liberal Methodist. He stated
    on his program that he was proud of how his father taught Sunday School.
    What did he learn? The famous Benjamin Franklin quote that God helps those
    who help themselves. It is this "rugged individualism" that flies in the
    face of traditional/fundamentalist Christianity whose message is dependence
    on God and ministry to others (e.g. Jonathan Edwards had a sermon entitled
    God Glorified by Man's Dependence).

    A good example of the love/hate relationship that traditional/fundamentalist
    Christianity has with Rush can be found in Daniel Evearitt's book, "Rush
    Limbaugh and the Bible". While he likes Rush's overall social conservatism,
    he nevertheless doesn't fully trust him. I will close with a quote rife
    with that ambivalence:

    "The 'gospel' that Rush Limbaugh preaches is heavy on the societal
    implications of religion and light on a theology of personal redemption. The
    message Limbaugh presents is theologically incomplete. He trumpets the role
    religion has played in the shaping of our nation's founding documents and
    history. He notes that belief in God is important. But teaching that
    America's founders were religious and that one should believe in God will
    not get at the core of the human problem. Important as our religious roots
    and belief in God are, standing alone they are insufficient to remedy man's
    malady. The fundamental issue of human sin must be dealt with on an
    individual basis by repentance for sin and acceptance of salvation through
    Jesus Christ the Lord" (Daniel Evearitt, Rush Limbaugh and the Bible, 1993,
    p. 59).

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