Christianity and Liberalism
I have chosen to depart from our frequently asked question mode, to pursue a connection that I have pondered for quite a long time now. I happen to be a frequent listener of Rush Limbaugh. Now, before all the nasty cards and letters start coming in, let me take the time to make my disclaimers. I am not aware of what Mr. Limbaugh's personal religious beliefs are. There are times when he seems very eclectic and universal (Catholic) in his theology, and there are other times when he seems to have a very firm personal relationship with 'Jesus Christ'. Not with the Jewish Messiah of Israel, but rather with the typical western view of the Savior. But, setting that aside, he paints a very clear distinction between conservative and liberal thinking, and has a very profound grasp of reality. His revelations of liberal thinking are accurate and humorous. Let me remind our readers that the ultimate distinction is not between liberal and conservative, but between those who follow the God of Israel and those who do not. However, for the sake of the perspective of the next few teachings I would like to borrow some liberal insights from Mr. Limbaugh and compare them with what I see has happened to the Christian religion.
I would like to take some basic fundamental belief systems from American liberalism and compare them to a very western Hellenistic theology that prevails in modern Christian thinking. A belief system that is lawless, full of cliches, ribbons, buttons, and bumper stickers. A theology that is evolutionary, with little action and a lot of intellectual pointy-headed fluff. An organization that redefines terminology, appeals to emotion, and is more interested in defending itself than defending truth. Well, Brad that was a little strong. I am only telling it like I see it. Are all who claim the Christian title guilty of this? No, not at all. I have found that most of the leadership fits the bill, however.
I am going to use Mr. Limbaugh's list of liberal definitions taken from his second book entitled, 'See I Told You So'. We will cover one or two subjects each teaching. I would just ask that you evaluate carefully what I am saying, and take the time to honestly think about it. If you are a frequent visitor to this web site or have been to one of our seminars then you will have a better background to evaluate my ranting. There is one thing that I have taught over and over that I want you to keep in mind. The moral corruption in our great nation does not spring forth from satanism, the new world order, the new age movement, Democrats, Republicans, Bill Clinton, Hollywood movies, Oprah Winfrey, or Harry Potter. It rests squarely on the shoulders of a Torahless church and a doctrinal system that contains a lot of heat and no light.
LIBERALISM: BAD MORALS AND CHARACTER ARE
SECONDARY TO HOLDING THE CORRECT VIEWS ON ISSUES.
The largest groups of liberal thinking in this country are in Hollywood, the media, our biggest institutions of higher learning, and in a handful of special interest groups. Unfortunately, these groups dominate our culture. But one has to ask if our culture created our religious institutions or did our highest profile religion create our culture. Rush Limbaugh is more right than wrong about his assessment of liberal thinking, in my opinion.
It was the President of this country in the decade of the 90's who became the poster boy for issues over morals. It became obvious that a large portion of the population was more interested in what Mr. Clinton could do for them rather than his character or his respect for laws and the constitution. The liberal media was right behind him in promoting his politically correct views of abortion and the environment, over his lack of ability to tell the truth or even to obey the laws of this country. After unsuccessfully chasing Mr. Clinton down for 8 years, the rival conservatives had to admit that his views on certain political issues far exceeded his moral standards in the eyes of the general public. This was verified by the fact that even if Hillary's husband did not win the actual majority of votes in each of his elections, his equally politically correct vice-president did win the majority of votes.
So where did this "issues over moral standards" attitude come from? It is this writers opinion that our view of the God we serve is what establishes the foundation of our philosophy and behavior. We live in a religious culture that has theologically determined that Christ nailed Torah to the cross and that New Testament believers are now 'free' from the law. It should be no surprise, then, that drug abuse, child abuse, violent crime, suicide, abortion, immorality, and crooked CEO's would be part of America's great testimony. According to scripture, it is Torah that is the standard by which we measure what is right and wrong, good and bad, moral and immoral. But that is no longer the case, for YHVH's teaching and instruction no longer has anything to benefit the people. Torah had it's time and it's purpose, but we are in a new age!
"Ye have said, It is vain to serve God; and what profit is it that we have kept His ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before YHVH of hosts?"
It is my experience with the 'Christian' religion and all of it's tentacles, that my views on certain predetermined issues is what establishes the validity of my 'faith'. If I am asked, "Do you believe that Jesus is your Savior and that He died for your sins?" and I answer in the affirmative, then I am a Christian. My answer to other issues are what confirm my 'walk' with Christ. "Do you believe in 'the' pretribulation rapture?" "Are you baptized in the Holy Ghost, with the evidence of speaking in tongues?" "Do you believe in the Trinity?" And finally the grandest affirmation of my walk with the Lord, "Do you believe you can lose your salvation?" To some denominations my view of the rapture is evidence of my walk with the 'Christ'. To others it is my view of the trinity. The answers to these questions are the 'fruit' of my Christian life. My desire to obey the commandments of the 'Lord' I profess is irrelevent. Morality and ethics as determined by the one who created us is relegated to the Jews. As a matter of fact, in Christian thinking, the more I desire to obey God, the less I am relying on faith. Why the great determiner of my faith is not whether I 'take up the cross' and follow the Messiah, but rather my response to questions 'about' the Messiah. Oh, I get it, it's the issues stupid!
LIBERALISM: CLICHES, BUZZ WORDS, RIBBONS AND BUTTONS
This aspect of liberalism logically follows our last commentary. Election after election after election we hear the same speeches addressing the same issues. The problems facing our culture today are basically the same problems thirty years ago, and some of them we have struggled to solve for a hundred years or more. Liberalism is notorious for slogans, ribbons and promises to be our parents and give us what we need. When a deadly disease strikes our nation, we all do something about it by wearing a ribbon or making a giant blanket. To solve our health care issues, we build more hospitals and design better health care coverage. We come up with slogans and catch phrases to deal with crime. "Hey! Take a bite out of crime". To solve unemployment, we give the unemployed just enough money to keep them from taking 'just any ole job'. Meanwhile, every election campaign continues to address the same problems. The black population of this country has overwhelmingly backed liberal candidates for five decades and is still confronted with the same problems. Excuse me Monty! But I have picked door number one, eleven times in a row and have ended up with a dead llama every time. I think I'll try door number two this time!
In liberal thinking, it is the intention that matters. Liberal leaders depend upon the lack and the want of the populace in order to maintain position and power. If the needs of the common man are met, then their position and power is no longer needed. It is kind of like a psychiatrist actually curing his patient. The livlihood of the psychiatrist depends upon his patient coming back again and again and again. You see, as long as we care and we have love, that is what really matters. Care and love is expressed by wearing ribbons, coming up with witty cliches and slogans, and teaching the ignorant masses that if they keep on giving, some day their seed of faith will blossum and their ship will come in. (This is the real reason why lotteries were created)
One does not have to think too hard to see where this kind of philosophy came from. The modern church has historically followed the Hellenized world of the 1st century C.E. Sha’ul commented on this in his letter to the Corinthians when he stated that the Ye'hudim require a sign, but the Greeks SEEK after wisdom. Christianity is the great thinking religion. What you think ABOUT God is what matters, and we express those ideas with cliches and slogans. 'Jesus is the reason for the season'. 'There is a God-sized hole in your heart that only God can fill'. 'You need Jesus'. 'What would Jesus do?' 'No peace, no Jesus, Know peace, know Jesus.' All these sayings are conveniently displayed on t-shirts, buttons, bumper stickers and hats. When we wear these it means, of course, that we are a Christian. And how do we know that? Why this t-shirt says so!
There is something even more important to ponder. Sha’ul taught us very clearly that true love is not something you talk about in a three points and a poem sermon.
"Owe no man any thing, but to love one another; for he that loveth another hath FULFILLED Torah. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any OTHER COMMANDMENT, it is briefly COMPREHENDED in this saying, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. Love worketh no ill to its neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of Torah."
Sha’ul is saying that to love means to obey the commandments. Messiah said, "If you love me you will obey my commandments." (Yochanan 14:15). So, according to historical Christian doctrine, who actually wrote the commandments? Hmmmm! Now picture a typical Sunday morning in America. The pastor stands in the pulpit and begins to teach the congregation that true love is to keep Torah and to obey the commandments of the God they say they believe in. He begins by starting at the beginning and teaching the Sabbath, promising to begin a teaching on the feasts as soon as the masses have figured out that the seventh day is not the first day. What do you think will happen? He will begin to lose his membership. (Which is really what it is all about). When his membership drops, his paycheck drops and he has a family to feed. Remember the psychiatrist? So instead, next Sunday arrives and he titles his message (slogan), 'For by the grace of God go I'.