I was once a conservative, but now find myself more often than not in between the two extremes of most issues. This blog is dedicated to those who live in the tension critical thought can bring. I am the pastor of Harmony Baptist Church in Morton Valley, Texas, and am currently attending Seminary at the Logsdon Theological Seminary at Hardin-Simmons University.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Falwell Attacks Chrsitian Alliance for Progress

Following is my response to Falwell's letter he sent out about the Christian Alliance for Progress:

Mr. Falwell,
It is a shame that Christianity has been reduced to a few litmust tests to determine authentic devotion to Christ. You claim to serve Christ, but your letter shows that all you really care about is your own political agenda. You have reduced Jesus' ministry to one dimension, salvation. If Jesus only came to seek and save the lost, then why do you spend so much time bellyaching about certain sins? Why do you dare to assume that God only approves of one political party? Why do you set up your shibboleths without any mention of love?

Surely the Jesus who was friend to tax collectors and prostitutes could find it in his heart to be nice to people who might be homosexual. Jesus never condemned specific sins, but rather those who were religious hypocrites (the Pharisees). Do you remember what he said to the woman who comitted adultery? It was not "at least you didn't sleep with another woman, or, at least you're not going to have an abortion." No, Jesus said, "Go forth and sin no more."
Do your remember what Jesus said to the thief on the cross? It was not, "vote Republican," but "Today you will be with me in paradise."

The religious right and its members are the Judaizers of the twenty-first century. Instead of saying one has to be circumcized and become a Jew to be saved, now they are saying one has to become a Republican to be a True Christian.

5 Comments:

Blogger JC Baker said...

Great Response, Tank. I wanted to reply to his email as well, but have been too angry to do it. You have summarized well what I believe many Christians in our country feel. Keep up the good work!

Friday, July 22, 2005 10:27:00 AM

 
Blogger Matthew61 said...

Found your blog through the moderate ringsurf.

I really like the idea that now in order to be Christian you have to be Republican.

So to paraphrase Paul "I guess Christ died for nothing."

matthew61

Monday, August 01, 2005 7:22:00 PM

 
Anonymous B.L. Baker said...

I agree this is a great response. I also posted a response to be sent to Falwell on the Christian Alliance for Progress website. In my view, he is not the one to judge who is Christian or not. Only God can do that. I hope the Alliance got lots of responses to forward to the reverend.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005 12:51:00 PM

 
Blogger Carl Gobelman said...

I stumbled across your blog during the random search, and your title caught my eye.

Never having read Dr. Falwell's letter, I am in no position to comment. I do want to say that many conservative Christians (of which I am one) need to focus less on politics and more on the gospel.

But I want to ask a question of clarification. Do you think Jesus would approve of homosexuality? Or abortion? Even though Jesus didn't specifically speak to these issues, the Bible does and its voice is clear. Homosexuality and abortion (among other things of which I'm guilty) are sin. There is no equivocation.

Would Jesus show compassion on the homosexual or the woman who had an abortion? Absolutely! But as you aptly stated, Jesus would exhort them to sin no more; implying that what they had done is sin.

As a pastor, I'm sure you're aware of 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. Paul lists many sins, of which homosexuality is numbered. Then he concludes by saying "and such were some of you." Implication? Homosexuality is sin, but can be covered with the blood of Christ. Repentance is available to the person who is enslaved to homosexuality as it is to the person enslaved to pornography or gambling, etc.

You're right in stating that salvation is in Christ, not the Republican party. But as Christians, we do have a civic duty to vote our conscience, and right now, the Republican party has more in common with Christian ideals than the Democratic party which has aligned itself with groups and causes which are clearly NOT Christian.

I, for one, will continue to vote for politicians who want to promote life from conception and don't want to further ruin the culture by promoting a clearly sinful lifestyle. Right now, those candidates are primarliy found in the Republican party.

Peace & God bless!
Carl

Tuesday, August 02, 2005 1:54:00 PM

 
Blogger Tanktimus said...

Carl,

I do not believe that Jesus approves of any extra-marital sexual conduct, including between two people of the same gender. I cannot see how Christ could approve of abortion, except possibly when the mother's life is at stake (and there I am on shaky ground). I also believe that Jesus did not, would not and does not single out one or two sins to condemn more highly than others.

You have shown the tenuous position I am in as a moderate, those on one side would chastize me for not condemning certain sins enough, while those on the other side might chastize me for not condoning those same sins. I am doing neither. I am stating that I believe certain things are sins, and leaving it at that. It is up to the Holy Spirit to convict people of sins, not me.

As for political parties, neither is without blame, and neither is without praise. Like the churches at Ephesus, Pergamum, and Thyatira, Christ would most likely praise and condemn both major political parties in the U.S. You feel that one party is closer to your views, and that is probably the truth. Do not, however, turn a blind eye to the foibles of your favorite party. Remember, caring for the poor and disenfranchised is at least as important to Jesus as maintaining good ethics. The Republican party has a poor track record when it comes to favoring big buisiness over against individual people, like the new energy bill that gives billions of dollars to the already rich energy industry without finding new ways of helping individuals use less gasoline.

Now by the same token, the Democratic party has its problems as well. They have emphasized social justice at the expense of personal ethics it seems. They have conducted themselves in such a way that many religious people in America feel alienated, whether justifiably so or not.

Neither is without fault, but then neither deserve total condemnation. Blind alegiance to one party is inadvisable to say the least. There are good Christian people on both sides of the aisle, and bad Christian hypocrites on both sides as well, I am sure.

Tank

Thursday, August 04, 2005 9:00:00 AM

 

Post a Comment

<< Home