If you are Catholic the epistemology or the body of knowledge you refer to see if things are orthodox or conservative would be ex-cathedra or Papal encyclicals and Catholic dogma. Although it is not always that clear even Catholic teachings are supposed to be derived from the Bible. For the protestant the only guide is the scriptures, the Bible alone.
In today’s climate of “religious tolerance” it is more important for a person to allow all and any religious beliefs as some kind of area where everyone can be right. It is not politically correct to suggest anyone could actually be mistaken or mislead or outright deceived. Have we already forgotten Jim Jones or the Japanese cult that attacked the subways with poison? No, not all religions are OK. Even sincerity is a lousy substitute for the truth as in the genuine and sincere concern of the Doctor who prescribes the wrong medicines that result in someone’s death. Sincere; yes, but wouldn’t accurate (the truth) be a better deal?
Political advisors are now calling for Barack Obama to dump Rev. Wright and John McCain is being coerced to dump Evangelist and Pastor Rod Parsley who McCain says is his “spiritual guide.” You’ve got to wonder how the politicos got so much spiritual savvy so soon. In fact, they didn’t and here’s why.
On Friday March 14, 2008, Barack Obama spent a great deal of time trying to answer CNNs Anderson Cooper who fired questions to Barack about whether he knew about Rev. Wrights racist remarks made from the pulpit. Barack said he didn’t hear those remarks and said he would have stood up and walked out if he had. Barack was not as clear about whether he may have heard about the racist remarks from others.
In his usual “everything rolls off me” style Sen. Obama rehearsed his twenty year history of attendance and baptisms at Rev Wright’s church. He referred to Rev Wrights standing and reputation as a well known preacher especially in the black churches.
In a less than shining attempt to explain the possible reasons Rev. Wright made the now famous remarks it sounded like the last minute advice given to a patient by his therapist about feeling guilty. He suggested that Rev Wright’s feelings came from the social upheavals of the sixties civil rights struggle as if that would explain it away. The Farrrakhanese in Rev Wright’s recent remarks cannot be missed and it goes without saying that Rev Martin Luther King’s remarks were also a product of the sixties, who would dare compare the words of these two men.
Now some are advising John McCain to dump Pastor Rod Parsley the leader of the World Harvest Church of Columbus Ohio. The Times Online said in an article on March 13, 2008 “A number of prominent US weblogs demanded he reject the support of Reverend Rod Parsley, of the World Harvest Church of Columbus, an influential televangelist and political figure who campaigned alongside him in the run up to the Ohio primary.” Reasons given for advising Sen. McCain to dump Rev. Parsley said the Times Online “The leader of a 12,000-member megachurch, Mr. Parsley has written several books detailing his fundamentalist views, including the 2005 Silent No More. In this contentious work, Mr. Parsley castigates homosexuals, abortionists, the entertainment industry and civil libertarians before turning his attention to the perceived threat to the United States from Muslims.”
The common mistake of referring to Biblical theology as fundamentalism works only if someone is speaking in broad religious generalities. Silent no More may seem “contentious” to the Times Online but to the believer Parsley is obediently carrying out the command to “contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” (Jude 1:3)
Sound Biblical doctrine would put Rev. Parsley up for a commendation for his views. Those with only an iota of common sense and no theology at all are also blasting homosexuals, the entertainment industry, abortionists and civil libertarians. This is sound Biblical doctrine not the ranting of a rogue fundamentalist pastor from a wimpy cultural church in the burbs. Christian conservatives would have to break with Parsley as well as many Catholics, Charismatics, Evangelicals, Pentecostals and a swarm of independent church goers who hold these Biblically derived beliefs. Don’t hold your breath waiting for that.
Rev Parsley is being eviscerated in the media for exclaiming that the Muslim religion is false and based on a “demon spirit.” Once again the Bible clearly indicates that God has not nor will ever send a long list of saviors, avatars and religious leaders to set things in order. He has promised to send only one person, his own begotten Son as the Savior of a sinful world. He has already done that and Christ said all who show up declaring that they are another way to God are thieves and robbers. (Jn 10: 1-10) Parsley is only holding lines we are all holding to who trust the scriptures.
Even those who cannot agree that the Muslim religion is false are hard pressed to disagree with the fact that it is deadly. Between 9/11 and thousands of subsequent violent terrorist acts committed worldwide under the banner of Islam, a person would have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to see that it is a violent, implacable religion that takes no prisoners. Why are we so ready to condemn racial hatred but so willing to wink at religious hatred? Has PC and ultra religious tolerance shrunk our collective conscience? Can we actually become intellectual giants and spiritual pygmies all at the same time? Whose doctrine is that? Hasn’t Parsley nailed that?
McCain is also being questioned for his connection to Pastor and TV Evangelist John Hagee. This time it’s about Rev Hagee’s references to the Catholic Church being the “scarlet clothed harlot” found in Revelation chapter seventeen. The scarlet clad woman has always been referred to as the apostate church that cuddles up to the Antichrist, the world’s last dictator. That means “all” the apostate churches not just the Catholics. Those who give up Biblical teachings for religious soupiness and liberal fluff will increase as the rule of the antichrist approaches. Catholics have no exclusivity in this area. John Hagee? Good company many would say.
Many believe that for holding sound biblical doctrine no pastor should be dumped. It is not just doctrine the Rev Wright has brought to question but basic Christian behavior. Hatred is not part of true Christianity nor is cursing America. Check it for yourself!
If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? (1 John 4:20)
Rev Bresciani is an author and columnist for several online sites and magazines. His articles are now read throughout the world. For more articles, news, movie reviews and more visit The Website for Insight at http://www.americanprophet.org
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