Why is faith so important this election?
by Jim Hutson
Not For Sale
Author requests article critique
Not For Sale
Author requests article critique
"A man who strays from the path of understanding comes to rest in the company of the dead." Proverbs 21:16 NIV
More than ever, the faith of the candidates running for the office of President of the United States has become a divisive and critical point for those who vote. As it should be, for it is the faith of a person that affects their decisions, their choices, and their effectiveness. All Americans should be concerned about who is representing the nation and themselves in the white halls of our government. For far too long, we have been silent. Picking 'the devil we know instead of the one we don't' is becoming commonplace in American politics. And we wonder why we don't have the kind of leadership we want in office or good choices to make. The political parties don't care; they feed us what they want, because we'll elect someone.
It becomes a choice of who is the best dressed, not the most qualified......
Reverend Wright was finally denounced by Presidential hopeful Barack Obama, who said the man whom just months ago he considered his spiritual mentor was nothing more than a black man with an agenda all his own. After being critical of those who called for him to disassociate himself from this Black Theology leader, Obama has finally turned his tune to one of indignant suffering. This 'unifier' of the whole of humanity has taken the steps to isolate himself from a theology that only months before, he claimed was integral to his faith, was the totality of his faith. As given to him by the Reverend Wright.
This is presumably in response to the Rev.'s comments of 'Obama just saying things that a politician who wants to be elected would say.' The poor Reverend, whose soundbites of "God bless America…..No! God da** America" and terrorism is "the bird coming home to roost," have caused many Americans to question the ability of his spiritual mentoree to join the country, lead this country, and represent this country.
I wonder if the Reverend isn't finally 'Wright' about it after all. In the midst of campaigns in larger middle class white America (as the reporters label the states holding their elections), where the theology of Reverend Wright and his infamous speeches hold very little flavor, Barack Obama suddenly seems to have realized that the person he considered a great pastor, friend, advisor, and American isn't so keen on America. Of course, if Obama wants to shake off the pursuit of Clinton, he must win decisively in these states and this would be one way to isolate himself from the direct assault taking place upon his friend.
Of course, you still have a lot of people out there, like Brian Dickerson ( a Detroit Free Press Columnist), who like Wright and feel that his black liberation theology, which promotes the death of all whites by a God who is only for the black race is nothing more than honest and respectable Christianity. I wonder, if Dickerson (who is white), realizes that such theology calls for his death. Just like Islam and other religious movements.
Black Theology is as much a Christian religion as Islam is actually a peaceful religion and Mormonism is a wonderful way to realize we are the gods of the worlds to come. Each man-made religious expression becomes reflective of the creator. Only followers of Christ cannot alter and change the text of the foundation of their faith.
The founder of Black theology, James Cone tells us exactly what it is:
"Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him. The task of black theology is to kill Gods who do not belong to the black community."
And this is what the 'unifier' candidate has been taught. Much like the problems that lie inherent within the Islamic faith, where peaceful Muslims say the Qur'an isn't the militant and authoritarian book for the radical Muslims who created 9-11 and the other atrocities that the world has been visited with in the last several years, the selectivity of the Church of the Latter Day Saints who declare only their faithful (a pitiful 144,000) will attain heaven, and the illusionary expression of the Emergent Church (God loves you, it's cool), the creation of the black theology movement is an fluid and changing theology that proclaims freedom and care for the poor while the underlying authoritarian, militant movement bent on division and chaos lies hidden in the open; its only desire wrapped in the pursuit of the primary objective----domination by a race of better human beings.
Sound familiar? Hitler felt the same way. The result? Not the end of racism, rather the callous extermination of a race declared inferior, and a war to stop his nation of elitists that erupted across the world stage, killing many free loving people who rose up to oppose his army. Hitler was supposedly a 'christian' too.
What is worse, in my opinion, other than the militant violence of Black Theology is its view of God. If He doesn't get with the program, He'll have to die:
"Black theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy. What we need is the divine love as expressed in Black Power, which is the power of black people to destroy their oppressors here and now by any means at their disposal. Unless God is participating in this holy activity, we must reject his love." James Cone-Black Theology and Black Power (1969).
It is amazing, with this rhetoric, that Obama—whose campaign is about joining together, about commonality, and the change for the good he would bring as President---would have ever said he felt that Reverend Wright was his spiritual father and mentor, as well as his friend and that he owed a lot of his own faith to this harbinger of separation from and the destruction of the white race. Does that sound like a 'uniter' to you?
Distortions of the truth seem to prevail in these trying times more so than ever before in the history of the world. Racism, unfortunately, still runs rampant within the walls of civilized society and it has taken on more hideous and dark forms in the last century. Reverse discrimination has become as harmful as the problem it was supposed to solve. But the answer of militarizing the Biblical commandments isn't the proper path to take, as it flies in direct opposition to God's obvious intent.
But, Cone and his like-minded theologians have simply done what the Church has done in recent times; take an unchangeable truth and bend it until it meets the needs of the populace, ignoring what cannot be changed. We haven't learned the lesson taught in the Garden; we are still trying to be gods.
Attempting to make Christianity 'relevant' to a certain race of the human species by making it about here and now aggressively eliminates any future hope of an eternal perspective. It causes division and unbiblical actions to become acceptable. By making the Bible Truths a "here and now" issue creates a vortex of dissatisfaction, disillusionment, and ultimately a truth that is only relevant for the times and the culture, both of which continuously change. There is no bedrock and the foundation constantly is shifting, leaving more chaos in its wake. The 'truth', as defined by inferior human standards, becomes something unrecognizable to those who have lived through the generations.
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering the sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord." Luke 4:18-19 NIV italics mine
Liberation theologists point to this proclamation by Jesus at the beginning of His ministry to be the declaration and purpose of His ministry; to liberate. "God [has entered] human affairs, James Cone argues, "and takes sides with the oppressed." Whereas the rest of the Biblical accounts support a theology of the oppression of sinful nature and unnatural living (i.e., we all fall short of the glory of God due to our sinful inheritance from Adam and have such a disconnect within the world because we were designed to live in a perfect world.), such theologies create a banner call for those who don't want to stand in faith regardless of the circumstances and let God do what God will do.
When a theology declares one race superior over another, it creates Crusades, world wars, and terrorism that affect all people of all races. No longer does humanity belong to us all, but only to those who are powerful enough to back it up. Jesus declares that He would leave the flock to reclaim one lost sheep (with no specific racial profile), and such specialized theologies speak only to the one group, further alienating Christ from their religious principles. Islam and the host of other 'religions' fill the gap that the Church created when it separated the mission declared, empowered, and managed by God by declaring that man once again capable of dealing with the world himself.
Unfortunately, when man decides that he has the right to define god and as a result, the truth, we have racism and a segregation that will continue to grow into a form of idolatry that is directly opposed to the Creator's message. And then buildings fall, thousands are killed, and all humanity loses more of its morals and values. Man cannot define justice, because it becomes a reflection of the wishes of only those who define it. To be truly righteous, truly impartial, we can only submit to the Divine authority that stands outside our attempts to intervene in His plan. Then, true justice will occur, according to Biblical law and the words of Jesus.
"The time has come for white America to be silent and listen to black people." Cone declares in his 1969 book, Black Theology and Black Power.
"All white men are responsible for white oppression." Not that far in the past, Cone declares in his 2004 essay, Living Stones in the Household of God, that "Black suffering is getting worse, not better……White supremacy is so clever and evasive that we can hardly name it."
That would be like someone saying that the entire United States Navy was responsible for the "Tailhook" incident that took place years ago when a bunch of male aviators sexually harassed and abused several female aviators. I was not represented there, was not involved in the sexual abuses, and my only association with these deviants was that I wore the same uniform and was responsible to the same UCMJ.
According to the Democratic Party, such worries over an agenda once supported by Obama, and now rescinded by the candidate shouldn't be the focus of whether he is suitable for office. Senator Bryon Dorgan (D-ND) told Cybercast News Service:
"This is a campaign for the presidency between candidates in the Republican and Democratic Parties."
Senator Dorgan feels that a person's judgment of someone's minister, barber, or plumber should be disassociated from such determinations. "The association is insignificant to me and I hope it is to most Americans."
That is what is wrong with American politics and why the Republican party, so long the champion of the Conservative Christians, has fallen to the greater enemy within the political movement; the lack of caring. And that is the secret of the Democratic wins in recent elections. They don't want you to hold your politicians accountable. This is becoming a nation controlled by minorities and not by the People.
If the thought of a potential President learning and accepting the stance of "Black Theology" by a Pastor whom he called "His mentor, spiritual advisor, and friend," doesn't bother the American people then the fact that even the basic theology most common to Christianity is distorted by Reverend Wright should. The Democratic potential candidate has learned several things that make me worry.
Reverend Wright was asked at the Press Club an incredibly important theological question. Wright was asked about Jesus’ exclusive claim from John 14:
“Do you believe this? And do you think Islam is a way to salvation?” the reporter asked.
Now, Jesus claimed (John 14:6) that he was the Way, the Truth and the Life—and that no man comes to the Father but by him. Jesus wasn't being politically correct, open-minded or inclusive as the candidates and their spiritual advisors are. He didn't walk a middle of the road. Never once did He campaign for the office of Most High. No, Christ claimed absolute finality in His statement, and He claimed it for Himself. That is the record, regardless of what a person believes as a classical, orthodox, or biblical Christian. It will not go away, regardless of likes, dislikes, belief, or care of another.
Jesus asked one potentially larger question in Matthew 16 that can be applied to Wright's question and his response;
"Who do men say that I am?”
Reverend Wright, ex-spiritual advisor, mentor and friend to a candidate for the office of President of the United States, said, “Jesus also said, ‘Other sheep have I who are not of this fold.’”
In John 10, where Jesus is speaking to the Jewish leadership that is opposing him, Jesus tells them that God's salvation will be offered to non-Jews as well as Jews! This was shocking and offensive to the Jewish leadership. That is the first indication of a verse being taken out of context and misapplied.
In addition, Islam expressly denies the deity and the messianic role of Christ (Sura 5:72, Sura 5:75, and Sura 9:30). And all who believe in Christ's deity are blasphemers and cursed by the Islamic god Allah. It doesn't seem remotely possible that Wright's interpretation of John 10 is correct.
Obama apparently agrees for the first time. "The person I saw yesterday was not the person I met 20 years ago," said Obama in his strongest denunciation yet of his former pastor. "His comments were not only divisive and destructive, but I believe that they end up giving comfort to those who prey on hate, and I believe that they do not portray accurately the perspective of the black church."
As much as Democratic Senators such as Kennedy and Dorgan would disagree, as Americans, we need to link Barack Obama’s judgment with the philosophical and theological judgment of the man so previously involved in his formation. Professor Grant Horner, a professor at The Master’s College in Santa Clarita, California where he teaches classical literature and writing, specializing in the theology and philosophy of the Renaissance and Reformation, feels this is a key factor in electing the next President.
Mychal Massie, chairman of Project 21, a conservative black think tank, told Cybercast News Service "There is no black church, there is no white church. There's only the Christian church. And if it's not (a Christian church), it's an abomination to God." Massie said Wright's message is anything but biblical. "You cannot preach division, you cannot preach hatred, you cannot preach any theology that goes against the word of God," he said.
"In J.I. Packer’s 1973 classic Knowing God, he pointed out that “ignorance of God—ignorance both of his ways and of the practice of communion with him—lies at the root of much of the church’s weakness today.” S. Michael Craven; Author, Speaker, and Founding Director of the Center for Christ & Culture states, "The ignorance to which Packer refers is that of theology. Our calling is to know God and if we deny that responsibility then we deny what it means to be Christian."
Knowing God is not in accordance with our definition of who He is, but by what He says He is. It is written in the Bible, translated, condensed, and consolidated throughout thousands of years without change. To grow stronger in our faith, churches, communities, and government, we need to apply what God has taught us and stand against the immoral, impracitable, and improbable designs of the enemy and those who follow him.
"We have the economy in trouble and a war and we are talking about a candidate's minister?" said Dorgan. "It's unbelievable."
For once, I have to agree with Dorgan, it is unbelievable. Unbelievable that we have to talk about this at all.
We should have the finest of our countrymen running to serve in the highest office of the land; morally, biblically, and ethically strong. One's faith is directly tied to those standards.
Christians need to stop 'settling' for what is offered to us as nominees to this office and DEMAND better.
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