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Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.
The Collect.

O LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse

Friday, July 14, 2006

Ambiguity and Deceit in Public Speech

I am increasingly less tolerant with doublespeak in the political and public arena these days. Why can't politicians and preachers just speak plainly and tell us what they really believe on an issue? Jimmy Carter claims to be an "evangelical" and a "conservative Christian" and a "born again Christian." Yet Carter denies that there is a common faith because he believes that faith is what the individual believes apart from his church or denomination. In effect, Carter is making individualism the primary basis for faith. But this gets back to the biblical problem where every man does what is right in his own eyes.

Carter vilifies "fundamentalist" Christians while claiming to be a "conservative" himself. What Carter really means is that any Christian who disagrees with him is a "fundamentalist." In all reality, Carter is a theological liberal and his identification of himself as a "conservative" Christian is a misnomer (see Albert Mohler's comments at http://www.baptist2baptist.net/b2barticle.asp?ID=39 ). Not surprisingly, the largest Baptist denomination in the United States is the Southern Baptist Convention and is "conservative" and not "fundamentalist." It's popular to use labels to discredit one's opponents while condemning those who use labels to identify their positions. Carter is guilty of this by labeling his opponents as "fundamentalists," yet Carter himself disdains being called what he really is: a theological liberal. Not all evangelical Christians are fundamentalists. The trouble is liberals are trying to pre-empt our own labels and nomenclature to deceive people into thinking that liberals are actually conservatives. The situation has gotten so bad that the term "evangelical" is practically meaningless these days. (See Carter's remarks at http://www.yuricareport.com/Dominionism/JimmyCarterChristianRightIsntChristian.html).

Christians realized too late that Jimmy Carter was a liar. Moreover, he claimed to be against abortion but when the rubber met the road he was a radically pro-choice president and basically lied to the American people about his true position. In fact, it was this lie which cost him re-election in 1980.

The war of words and rhetoric has become so blurred that it is practically impossible to trust what any politician says in public anymore. The reason is that so many of them use doublespeak to hide their true position. Carter is no different. If only Carter would be honest and stop trying to vilify those who sincerely disagree with him as "fundamentalists," then we could have a real dialogue and an honest discussion. As it stands, men like Jimmy Carter have simply muddied the water, hiding their true beliefs behind a smoke screen of ambiguity.

In fact, this should be a red flag to all of us. Anytime a person's words don't line up with his actions, you can bet that his words are meaningless and more likely to be doublespeak of the kind mentioned in the George Orwell novel, 1984. It's rather like Hitler's propaganda that had so-called "Christians" agreeing with the genocide of the Jewish people. Carter's statement that he is opposed to abortion while publicly endorsing and actively promoting "a woman's right to choose" is on the same level as a German Christian saying that he opposes the genocide of the Jews while at the same time participating in genocide by active government legislation pushing the agenda of genocide. It's time for Christians to stop allowing such deception to pass by without shouting the alarms from the rooftops.

Democrats have publicly stated that they don't care if they get the conservative Christian vote. Well, until they change their party platform and remove abortion and gay rights as planks, until they stop their aggressive anti-Christian policies, they will most certainly lose any appeal to conservative and evangelical Christians.

Jimmy Carter has said that "fundamentalist" Christians vote Republican because they hate the poor and they are prejudiced. But Carter is misreading the situation. Many conservative Christians vote Republican because they are forced to do so by moral conscience that overrides the other issues. I would be more than willing to vote for Democrats if they would stop with their anti-Christian agenda. In fact, I happen to agree with many of Carter's views regarding our care and support of the less fortunate and I agree that society and government bear some of the responsibility for poverty and crime since these are sociological problems as well as the problems of individuals who act in irresponsible ways.

I have much empathy for the poor and it appalls me that Republicans and the far right commentators like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Bill O'Reilly can be so insensitive and so ignorant of the real situation regarding social problems like poverty, unemployment, drug abuse, crime, prostitution, and other social issues. But the reason I cannot bring myself to vote for any Democrat is that no Democrat I know of rejects the party planks for pro-choice on abortion and unrestrained views regarding "gay rights." I don't reject gay rights as far as equal housing and employment. But when it comes to giving them special privileges like civil partnerships and gay marriage and all the rest, I think gays and lesbians should have no more rights than any other single American. I draw the line there.

Democrats just don't get it. I hope they keep losing elections until they get the message. My advice to conservative Christians is to keep boycotting the Democratic Party by voting Republican; or they could start a new party that rejects the abuses of the Democratic party on moral issues like abortion and gay rights and rejects the abuses of the Republican party on issues like homelessness, medical care, poverty, crime, etc. At any rate, voting for Democrats right now would be like voting for the antichrist. While the Republican party has its share of apostates, at least it isn't openly hostile to the morality of the Bible as traditional Christians see it.

I don't personally identify completely with any political party. My faith stands or falls apart from politics. However, I do see myself obligated to uphold God's moral law. The quandary is that neither the Democrats nor the Republicans uphold God's moral law. One party is in favor of murdering the unborn and the other is oppressing the poor. What shall we do? Voting for either party is condoning one evil or the other. I guess for me it comes down to voting for the lesser of two evils. At this point in time I believe conservative Christians should keep voting for Republican candidates who do not give in to judicial legislation from the bench, who refuse to give in to double-talk about abortion and other moral issues that concern every Christian. Outright murder of the unborn overrides the issues of medical care, poverty and crime until such time as Democrats repent of their sin.

May the peace of God be with you!

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