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crsschk
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re:

Admittedly having only bobbed and weaved through a great deal of this. And even with the disdain for affiliated politics (party wise) and the particular caution SI has as a sort of unwritten rule in how much tolerance there is for politics as such .... Some great stuff here;

Quote:
In fact the commonest way to fall into either mistake is by sheer recoil from the other. The reason is easy to see: We tend to think of justice and mercy as antithetical, so that to practice either I must slight the other. By this line of reasoning the conservative emphasis on desert is a preference for justice, while the liberal emphasis on desire is a preference for mercy. By contrast, in the Christian account of things justice and mercy are corollaries that must be united. They are united in the Atonement because God neither waived the just penalty for our sins nor inflicted it on us, but took it upon Himself. This staggering gift also teaches what the unity of justice and mercy requires: sacrifice. If to us justice and mercy seem irreconcilable, the reason is probably that we are loath to pay the price of their reconciliation; we are afraid of sacrifice and shrink from the way of the Cross.



That whole 'either\or' that I have failed so many times to rightly express, how well this states it! It goes to all sort's of things we discuss, well beyond politics, those heart searching questions of intent and motive ... ah, this is worth repeating;

[i]the reason is probably that we are loath to pay the price of their reconciliation; we are afraid of sacrifice and shrink from the way of the Cross[/i]

Quote:
but the Christian thinks his work has only begun.


Yes! Precisely!

Quote:
He must now find another way to offer help; and he had better be prepared to pay the price. For a portrait of that price, don't think of a bureaucrat, think of Mother Teresa."


[b]![/b]
Quote:
How many conservatives are engaged in leading those who have not to Jesus?


If I may, would like to propose that the [i]neither[/i] of party affiliation be replaced by the [i]other[/i] of who we in fact are as disciples. It changes the question of 'how many _____' anybodies right out of the considerations.
Having a great deal of problem still with the leaven of politics and political thought processes having so much inroads into Christian thought, seems very much out of place as something to entangle the two 'philosophies' when only one is true. My two cent's anyway.


_________________
Mike Balog

 2006/11/11 14:28Profile
rookie
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Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4790


 Re:

Brother Mike wrote:


Quote:
If I may, would like to propose that the neither of party affiliation be replaced by the other of who we in fact are as disciples.



As time goes on we all learn to see things we have not before. The emphasis of this thread is to bring to light thoughts and motivations which are not of God. This first part concerns conservative thought or philosophies. The next thrust will highlight liberal thought or philosophies.

As another brother pointed out, we all have drank from one degree or another of these two philosophical rivers. We may hold to one observation more than another. We may hold both liberal and conservative philosophies. The chief end is summed up by Paul....


2Cor. 13:5 Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.


Quote:
Having a great deal of problem still with the leaven of politics and political thought processes having so much inroads into Christian thought,



As you have stated there is only one truth. Self examination in light of the word of God will through practice enable us to discern between good and evil. The hard part is the maturing process. The Scriptures have the ability to rip out the vane philosophies of our fathers. The hopes we were taught to love die hard. The result of this work creates enmity between those who allow the Scriptures to have their way and those who shrink back.

God Bless

In Christ
Jeff


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Jeff Marshalek

 2006/11/11 17:55Profile
Compton
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Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re:

Quote:
As time goes on we all learn to see things we have not before



Amen.


_________________
Mike Compton

 2006/11/11 18:06Profile
rookie
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Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4790


 Re:

Finally the author's conclusion on Conservative thought...

We have considered what Christians are to make of political conservatism. It might also be asked what political conservatives are to make of Christians. I am afraid that the more faithful we are to our identity in Christ, the less reliable they will find us even as occasional allies; and we must be honest with them. The Christian thinker Michael Novak wrote in his 1969 book A Theology for Radical Politics that because God is the source of all truth and good, whatever is true and good is Christian. At that time finding truth and goodness on the left, he therefore baptized the left. Like many Christians of the time, what he forgot was that in order to identify the true and the good, one must have a standard. "Every explanation of the meaning of human existence," said Reinhold Niebuhr, "must avail itself of some principle of explanation which cannot be explained. Every estimate of values involves some criterion of value which cannot be arrived at empirically." By the time he wrote Confessions of a Catholic, fourteen years later, Novak had arrived at the same insight. As he explained, his former self had erred in taking his principle of explanation and criterion of value from a worldly faction instead of the community of faith. The "reference group" of Christian activists like himself had somehow become "others on the left"; it should have been others in the Lord.




To repeat the error would be a shame, for the reference group of Christians can no more be others on the right than others on the left. Citizenship is an obligation of the faith, therefore the Christian will not abstain from the politics of the nation-state. But his primary mode of politics must always be witness. It is a good and necessary thing to change the welfare laws, but better yet to go out and feed the poor. It is a good and necessary thing to ban abortion, but better yet to sustain young women and their babies by taking them into the fellowship of faith. This is the way the kingdom of God is built.




It is not by the world that the world is moved-yet how it pulls. Ah, God, help us let go of the heights and the depths, the thrones and dominions, the powers and principalities; to be not conservatives, nor yet liberals, but simply Christians. "Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of Hosts."




J. Budziszewski is Professor in the Departments of Government and Philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin.

end of conclusion...

The next thrust of this thread will now deal with liberal thought...

In Christ
Jeff

















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Jeff Marshalek

 2006/11/12 14:16Profile
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Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re:

Quote:
the more faithful we are to our identity in Christ, the less reliable they will find us even as occasional allies; and we must be honest with them.



This is the line we have crossed...allowing our alliance with politicians to obscure our alliance with Christ. Conservatives have done it without apology since the Reagan years but many other factions of the church such as select African American communities have also been doing it with impunity as well. Today Christians like Jim Wallis, with his "God Politics" and Sojourners organization is making the same mistake that the Conservatives have done. We are willing to make certain deadly compromises, in order to benifit from them.

We want to ply children born of natural descent, of human decision and man's will, with something they do not want. In our campaign to convince the world of our rightness, we have willingly made God's house a den of thieves. Even the honorable Billy Graham has shot himself in the foot more then once from getting too familiar with strangers to Christ.

I grew up in Lynchburg Virginia, attending Jerry Falwell's church as a boy during the Moral Majority years. This notion of 'reclaiming America for God' has been woven into my Baptist DNA. Yet before people act surprised at that, they should remember that the Moral Majority was a worldy reaction against other worldy biases in the media, politics and most of all liberal social churches. The issue here isn't whose worldliness we should align with---the right or the left.

The real lesson is that both the Republican and Democratic unclean thing should be unwelcome in the house of God...unless they come as humble individuals without their party clothes. Yet we American Christians are mixers...we merrily sip our spiritual cocktails, though God himself hates spiritual mixture. He just hates it, especially when it comes to his people. Consider the faultless robes of righteousness, given wholly new for those who had only prodigal rags before.

Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woolen and linen together.

This robe has nothing to do with the conservative morals or liberal social ethics. It is a shame that we have cloaked ourselves in rags when God has warmed us in His finest garments. I'm not saying that we don't go out into the world and contribute as good and dutiful civic people...but we can not continue to bring the world back into our sanctuaries and think we are living dutifully towards the Lord. I'm talking first of the brick and mortar sancturaries where we dwell locally in peace with once another and God.

Yet far more important is the invisible and universal Church, and the sancturary of our worship in Spirit and Truth. In this most holy place, saints of every tongue, tribe, and nation leave their flags behind to enter into Christ's blood wrought unity, humbly worshipping God the most exalted above all other powers. Oh that we could pour around the throne as a vast ocean, a single holy nation of the redeemed whose roaring praise rises up like storm clouds before the hushed angels. Someday my friends.

Rookie, I thank God for your systematic assault on our political idolatry. May we continue to wash one anothers feet of the dirt and dung from our misguided wanderings.

I keep coming back to John 1. To me it explains what our hope is is...not morality, or compassion, or even Godly blessing upon a nation...it is this: Without Christ the whole world is groping in darkness though it gropes with machinary of war, money and power. So how do we react...join in the fray for the cause of Christ? God save us from such a denial of Christ! What partnership can light have with darkness? For we have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. Let's not expect the darkness to understand this, though the darkness recruits us, and utilizes some of our morality and even religion.

In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.

He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.

We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.


_________________
Mike Compton

 2006/11/12 15:44Profile
rookie
Member



Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4790


 Re:

Brother Mike wrote:

Quote:
Without Christ the whole world is groping in darkness though it gropes with machinary of war, money and power. So how do we react...join in the fray for the cause of Christ?



I have finally found a church here in Hershey...the pastor's sermon today was taken from 2 Chonicles 35:

2Chr. 35:20 After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Necho king of Egypt came up to fight against Carchemish by the Euphrates; and Josiah went out against him. 21 But he sent messengers to him, saying, “What have I to do with you, king of Judah? I have not come against you this day, but against the house with which I have war; for God commanded me to make haste. Refrain from meddling with God, who is with me, lest He destroy you.” 22 Nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself so that he might fight with him, and did not heed the words of Necho from the mouth of God. So he came to fight in the Valley of Megiddo.

2Chr. 35:23 And the archers shot King Josiah; and the king said to his servants, “Take me away, for I am severely wounded.” 24 His servants therefore took him out of that chariot and put him in the second chariot that he had, and they brought him to Jerusalem. So he died, and was buried in one of the tombs of his fathers. And all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah.

2Chr. 35:25 Jeremiah also lamented for Josiah. And to this day all the singing men and the singing women speak of Josiah in their lamentations. They made it a custom in Israel; and indeed they are written in the Laments.

2Chr. 35:26 Now the rest of the acts of Josiah and his goodness, according to what was written in the Law of the LORD, 27 and his deeds from first to last, indeed they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah.

His sermon was focused on hearing God. In the case of King Josiah, he failed to obey God. The result was deadly. He knew beforehand that God's word had prophesied that the nation of Judah would be destroyed by a heathen nation. King Necho a non-believer, was used by God to warn Josiah. The king would not go against Judah. Yet Josiah in order to trick Necko, disguished himself and picked a war with King Necko.

What can be learned from this example? Only through the feeding on Scripture and the wisdom given by the Holy Spirit can we too recognize the works of God. Only through Scripture can we find that God does speak to those who are ready to listen.

The book of Daniel teaches us about revelation. The dreams Daniel received, especially in the last half of the book, gives us a way to understand how revelation often works. Each time Daniel dreams, the content of the dreams build upon one another. As time goes on, the picture grows clearer. The other thing we learn is that Daniel waits on the Lord.

We live in evil times, we suffer greatly from what we do not know.

The pastor closed with this exhortation...

Eph. 5:8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. 14 Therefore He says:
“Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light.”

Eph. 5:15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

This is what we are called to...redeeming the time, because the days are evil...

Awake, you who sleep
Arise from the dead
And Christ will give you light...

God Bless you Mike and all the congregation

In Christ
Jeff


_________________
Jeff Marshalek

 2006/11/13 2:30Profile
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Member



Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re:

Quote:
Refrain from meddling with God



Psalm 2

1 Why do the nations conspire
and the peoples plot in vain? (If we join in their plotting, we join in their vanity...)

Quote:
finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.



2 The kings of the earth take their stand
and the rulers gather together
against the LORD
and against his Anointed One. (How do they do this? Not always by disrespecting God's name publicly as some are concerned with. Instead, because of the depravity of their natures, many worldy rulers appear to keep religion but in reality work and fight against the character and spirit of God.)

3 "Let us break their chains," they say,
"and throw off their fetters." (The spirit of our age...)

4 The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
the Lord scoffs at them. (God is not impressed by our power nor fretting over our enemies...)

5 Then he rebukes them in his anger
and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,

6 "I have installed my King
on Zion, my holy hill." (Yet we strive for political dominion upon an unholy dunghill.)

7 I will proclaim the decree of the LORD :
He said to me, "You are my Son ;
today I have become your Father.

Quote:
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light



8 Ask of me,
and I will make the nations your inheritance,
the ends of the earth your possession. (Jesus has been actually given what men vainly imagine is theirs...)

9 You will rule them with an iron scepter;
you will dash them to pieces like pottery."(God will judge this world that we love so dearly...who will we run to for safety?Must we wait for the destruction of our government to run to God...is He our fallback or our first love?))

10 Therefore, you kings, be wise;
be warned, you rulers of the earth. (Judgement and the conclusion of all of man's evil activities, is imminent...How does the worldy way we live deny this warning to kings? If we cannot heed this warning then who can?)

11 Serve the LORD with fear
and rejoice with trembling. (Rejoice because fear of God demolishes our fear of man!)

12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry
and you be destroyed in your way,
for his wrath can flare up in a moment...

Quote:
When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world...



Blessed are all who take refuge in him.


Blessed are all who take refuge in him...though our outward predictament grows more dire by the day. Though Abaddon is to be released upon the Earth, God is our refuge. Though love will grow cold with many, it need not with us, because we are shielded by God's power.

Blessed are all who take refuge in him alone. If we do not have this glorious hope, then the world and it's failing governments are all the more without hope. We use the language of the Lord, but we participate in worldly systems and in doing so render our words meaningless. We might render God's Word meaningless if it were up to us to fulfill them...but God will fulfill His own promises regardless of our confidence in them. This is the warning to kings...and the lukewarm church.

Blessings brethren,

MC


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Mike Compton

 2006/11/13 4:15Profile
rookie
Member



Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4790


 Re:

Now for the liberal debate...

"The Problem With Liberalism


J. Budziszewski


Copyright (c) 1996 First Things 61 (March 1996): 20-26.

Believers in the congregation of my youth took for granted that Christianity and liberal politics were opposed. The Bible seemed to back them up; of Lyndon Johnson's two great wars, for instance, they viewed the first, the war in Vietnam, with enthusiasm because America was a "City upon a Hill," while viewing the other, the war on poverty, with indifference because "the poor will always be with us." An antiwar socialist, I rebelled, eventually leaving the faith completely. When in middle adulthood I returned, I found myself in a congregation of a different kind. Here, to my surprise, the believers took for granted that Christianity and liberal politics were brothers. Again Scripture was gleaned for support. "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me"-obvious backing for the welfare state. "There is neither male nor female, for ye are all one in Christ Jesus"-a manifesto for feminism. "God is love, and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him"-homosexual activists asked for no more. As a teen-ager I had hurled some of the same verses against my elders. God had devised a cunning penance.

Of course, both sides were tearing passages out of context and reading into them things that are not there. The City upon a Hill is the Body of Christ, not the United States of America. If the poor will always be with us, then we will always have to care for them. I am expected to look after the least of Christ's brethren myself, not to have the government send them checks. The apostle who said that in Him there is no male or female also said that in the family their roles are different. And the apostle who said that God is love also claimed for God the authority to define that love.

Unfortunately, knowing these things does not answer the ideological question. Should Christians be political liberals? Or even, to put the query the other way around, Can they be?

In one way, both forms of the question are wrong- headed. According to the letter to the Philippians, our commonwealth is in Heaven, not on earth. In the same vein, the Great Commission shows that the mission of the Church to the world is to preach the gospel, not to underwrite any worldly regime or ideology. Therefore the primary identity of the Christian is in Christ-it cannot be in liberalism, any more than it can be in conservatism, communism, or communitarianism.

But to stop at this truth would be evasive. Although the faith does not mandate any worldly regime or generate any worldly ideology, it does stand in judgment upon worldly regimes and ideologies. Moreover, Scripture makes clear that so long as human institutions do not defy God's commandments, we are to submit to them. Under a monarchy, submission might mean nothing more than obedience. In a republic, however, submission includes participation, so we have no alternative but to take positions on political questions. Willy-nilly, this involves us in responding to the worldly philosophies by which other people settle such questions.

The result? Even though I am not a duck, I will sometimes seem to quack like a duck. I cannot be a liberal and I cannot even be in strategic alliance with liberals, but I may from time to time find myself in tactical alliance with them-just as with conservatives-defending the cause of particular laws, precepts, or policies that they too approve, but for reasons of their own. To keep my head, I had better be clear about what those reasons are and how they differ from mine. So although we cannot ask whether Christians can or should be political liberals, we can and should ask what Christians are to think of liberalism.

At the threshold of the question we run into another problem. The term "political liberalism" can mean several things. In which sense are we using it here? Its principal meanings are threefold. Broadly, it means constitutional government with a representative legislature and generous liberties. In political economy, it means a competitive, self-regulating market with minimal government interference. Colloquially, it means the contemporary variety of government-driven social reformism. The first sense makes both Senator Kennedy and Speaker Gingrich liberals. The second makes the Speaker a liberal, but not the Senator. The third makes the Senator a liberal, but not the Speaker. For present purposes I use the term in the third.

My thesis is that, even as worldly philosophies go, political liberalism is deeply flawed. We may best describe it as a bundle of acute moral errors, with political consequences that grow more and more alarming as these errors are taken closer and closer to their logical conclusions. I am not speaking of such errors as celebrating sodomy and abortion-for these are merely symptoms-but of their causes. Nor am I speaking of all their causes-for this would require reading hearts-but of their intellectual causes. I am not even speaking of all their intellectual causes-for these are too numerous-but of the most obvious. No claim is here made that every political liberal commits all the moral errors all the time. Nor do I claim that all the moral errors are logically compatible, so they even could all be committed all the time. Certain moral errors support certain others, but others are at odds, so they must be committed selectively. One must not expect logical coherence in moral confusion.

The political implications of the faith are more negative than positive, so rejecting liberalism does not mean accepting conservatism. In the first place, under the influence of a liberal culture conservatives often fall for liberal moral errors too. In the second place, like every worldly ideology conservatism commits heresies of its own. But we can study conservatism another time."


(end of introduction)

In Christ
Jeff


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Jeff Marshalek

 2006/11/20 2:22Profile
rookie
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Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4790


 Re:

The first observation on liberalism:

" The first moral error of political liberalism is propitiationism. According to this notion I should do unto others as they want; according to Christianity I should do unto others as they need. Numerous mental habits contribute to the propitiationist frame of mind. Most of my college students, for instance, think "need" and "want" are just synonyms. Many also construe the Jeffersonian right to pursue happiness as a right to be made happy by the government. Propitiationism corresponds to a style of politics in which innumerable factions, both organized and unorganized, compete to become government clientele, fighting not only for shares of the public purse (such as grants and loan guarantees) but also for governmental preferences (such as trade barriers and racial quotas) and for official marks of esteem (such as multiculturalist curricula and recognition of homosexual unions). Of course, in a representative system every government functionary, whether liberal or not, finds it difficult to resist group pressures. Propitiationism, however, reinforces the habit of giving in by making capitulation a moral duty.

Christians can slip into propitiationism by misunderstanding the Golden Rule. This happens when we read Do unto others as you would have them do unto you as though it implied Do unto others as they would have you do unto them-"I'd want others to honor my demands, so I should honor theirs." The mistake lies in overlooking the fact that the "you" to whom the precept is addressed is a free subject of the kingdom of heaven, not a stranger. We are therefore speaking of what in Christ we would have others do unto us-to minister to our godly needs, not to our foolish or sinful wants. Unto others we should minister in the same way. It follows that keeping the Golden Rule may even mean saying "No" or suggesting a better way. Jesus instructs us to feed the poor, and so we should; but Paul says to the church at Thessalonica, "For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat."

To be sure, it is easier to see the need to say "No" to a greedy industrialist who wants the government to protect him from honest competition than to a teen mother who wants to marry the government instead of a man. Both want what is bad for them, yet he is likely to get much more of what he wants but doesn't need than she is. The sloppy sort of compassionator is tempted to say, "If he gets what isn't good for him, then it's only fair that she should get what isn't good for her." But to give it to her might be to take her sole beatitude away. Find another way to help her. Blessed are those who cannot pay the entry fee to Hell."

end of observation...

How are our views or values aligned with this observation?

In Christ
Jeff


_________________
Jeff Marshalek

 2006/11/21 2:39Profile





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