I’ve thought about it a lot these past weeks. I haven’t posted anything on this site for quite a while. One reason is simply a housekeeping item. I am going to need some technical support to filter out the spam that has flooded the site. The other is more personal.
As the current spate of debates and attack ads by politicians has shown, we are in an important season in our national life. I found myself getting engrossed and frankly stressed by the tone of our national discourse. A commentator after the most recent Republican debate asked one of the talking heads…
“So, when do you think he ‘drew blood’?”
Politics has become a blood sport. Highly paid consultants literally ‘go for the jugular.’ I am deeply concerned about our country. I read a blog entry recently where a pastor basically inferred that there is nothing special about America and that we need to get over ourselves. To be fair this brother’s main point seemed to be that Christians should not mix their faith in God with uber-nationalism. There was something troubling about how seemingly dismissive he was of the place America has held in the world.
There is a lot of chatter in Progressive circles these days that the church needs to disengage from the political issues (somehow the ones always cited are the abortion debate and gay marriage) and focus on social justice and earth keeping.
I remember well the video “Lord, Save us from your Followers.” In a style reminiscent of a Michael Moore hit piece (Think “Roger and Me” and “Bowling for Columbine”) The producer made the case that Christians had made fools of themselves by engaging in the political issues of the day. He ended his documentary with a scene of a replica of a Catholic Confessional which had been set up at the (gay) ‘Pride’ parade in Portland. He invited the participants to come into the confessional so that he could confess the sins of the Church against gay people.
After sending a very confusing message to young people (This was shown at one of our denomination’s High School camps) the producer made the talk show circuit, gained an entrée into the progressive mover/shaker crowd and moved on. To what? He now has a program on the Sci-Fi channel to do with Zombies! He wants to show Christians can be ‘engaged with the culture’ (his own argument)
Another self-described ‘Progressive’ Christian, after pontificating about the ‘abusive doctrine’ that there is a Hell (Love Wins) made his money on the book and then left his church and got hooked up with Oprah! He is wittingly or unwittingly using his celebrity to promote ‘another gospel’ which is no gospel at all.
Still another author wrote a book called, A Faith of Their Own. He too chides the Christians who speak about abortion and gay marriage. His pastor, a well-known mega church pastor labeled those who speak out about these issues as people “like your crazy Uncle Harry…He’s family… but he is embarrassing.” This author made the New York Times List, hit the interview circuit and then was himself ‘outed’ as a homosexual.
Perhaps most troubling of all was the fact that I was slowly becoming cynical and my own remarks had a decided edge…a judgmental tone. A sister in the Lord responded to one thing I posted with a loving exhortation that I “may have been presumptive” in some remarks I made about the President. After considering what she wrote, I realized that “how” I said what I said communicated a judgmental spirit. I went back and reread what I wrote and she was right. I did come across as personally judging the man.
Frankly I still believe that what I wrote needed saying, but I admit that my tone was reflective of an increasingly acrid atmosphere on the internet. I have a right to state my opinions, and don’t plan anytime soon to keep silent on the major issues of our day. I must however keep in mind that my speech, my choice of words, and my tone reflects on my identity as a Christian.
So I am going to start posting material again on the www.jude3fellowship.com site as well as www.chuckhawks.com I want to encourage believers to get engaged in this current battle for the soul of our country. Before we dismiss the role that America has played in the history of civilization we would do well to visit Arlington Cemetery, or check out the oldest American history text you can find in the library and see what a rich heritage we have been given. Just take time to read and re-read “how’ you make your point.
A reminder…This ministry needs support. Will you prayerfully consider making the Jude 3 Fellowship part of your giving to help spread the message that God’s Word is reliable and trustworthy? Thanks.