The law, religious piety and practice have fallen on hard times these days in the church. The modern day status quo stance of many professing evangelicals seems to be something of, “I’m free in Jesus to do what makes me happy while not hurting anyone else and to follow the way of Jesus as he outlined in the Sermon on the Mount,” etc. etc. This may be the kind of stance red-letter-only Christians tend to possess. However there’s a big problem with this.
The words ‘piety’, ‘holiness’, ‘righteousness’ amongst others are words few hear today from church pulpits without thinking of the evils of legalism. Even the word ‘religion’ has been lambasted to the point of being equal to that of the ideology of the Pharisees.
What has occurred though to a great degree is that the idea of piety itself, properly defined, in Biblical terms has been left by the way side, in the wake of moving from one extreme to the other. Personal holiness is something that is lightly if ever talked about. We talk about our mistakes or external sins here and there, for sure, but how often are we admonished to pursue virtuous piety, in the terms the Bible describes? It is a shame personal holiness is not advocated the way the Scripture advocate it. The problem is that you risk offending people, which is exactly what Scripture does to sinners (like myself) who are in violation of God’s law. It brings rebuke and correction, something our “enlightened” American society has a hard time with.
While many are well-intentioned in saying, “I hate religion, but I love Jesus,” or, “It’s not about a religion but a relationship [with God],” it seems the word ‘religion’ itself has come under intense fire as a source of all kinds of evil, particularly amongst the evangelical landscape. There is some validity to this assumption looking back upon our history as fallen sinners (or even the present day), where in the name of religion, many horrible things have been done to others. And in the last 50 years there is more weight given to this view that the concept of religion is a bad thing based upon the kinds of Christian groups who picket absolutely everything the world does they don’t like, or which threaten their reign on things of this world.
However, those wise men of old who have gone before us to be with the Savior knew the problem wasn’t with religion itself. The problem is sinful man and the work of Satan have distorted what the Puritans called ‘true religion,’ that is a living faith granted by the living God in which we do that which is pleasing to Him, initiated by and through the work of Christ’s grace alone. One of those men who has gone before us (though not a Puriran per se, but certainly within the same tradition) was Louis Berkhof.
Shhhh …. it’s a secret. I didn’t quite catch what exactly Tommy Davis was offended by in this video, so offended it was worth walking out on an interview, being interviewed by someone who was not being offensive at all with his questions. If the answer to the question is no, that’s not correct, just say so. If yes, well, just say so. What’s the deal?
So are you offended by distortions of your beliefs, Mr. Davis? Then why not tell the interviewer that those are distortions? Or … are you offended they would ask about things that are supposed to be secret, but were leaked and are now public, and you are actually ashamed of those beliefs and won’t discuss them with ‘outsiders’? Why are you so defensive? Why is your organization so litigious? Mr. Davis, an official spokesman for Scientology, is quite the apologist for his faith, or rather, (let’s call it what it is) cult.
- (Original Article): Obama’s hit — and big miss – Camille Paglia
- (Archived Article): Obama’s hit — and big miss – Camille Paglia
It seems the “glory” and mystique of President Obama is all quickly fading. Not for all, but certainly for many. Those intellectual elites who voted for him are finally beginning to have gotten over the great historical and emotional nature of such an amazing election win. Now to the issues. Liberal commentators, even those at Salon.com and (oddly enough) MSNBC (at least in this one video), are beginning to actually start looking at issues through an intellectual grid instead of blinding emotional infatuation. Of course, with the exception of the Brian Williams of the countryside.
Camille Paglia has written a piece on Salon.com that makes some great points concerning Barack Obama’s speech in Cairo last week. She goes after several other points as well. But what really caught my attention was that her analysis of his assumptions of the three major religions (Christianity, Judaism and Islam) couldn’t have been better stated by many conservatives. She has a way with words. I want to quote the best parts and let you read the rest. Great article.
(FYI, if you’re coming from a politically liberal-leaning point of view, please ignore the caption at the beginning and end of this video … that’s totally irrelevant to the main issue at hand: Oprah’s deceit. In addition, I realize there is a book mentioned apparently directly linking Obama to the occult and New Age movement at the end of the video. I have done no investigation of these claims or the book and would liken such a title to far-right fear mongering of some kind … though certainly the actual proposal of establishing a Department of Peace does sound eerily familiar to the Ministry of Love in Orwell’s classic 1984, a place in the story in which the main character, Winston, is tortured into submission to “love” for Big Brother, but I seriously digress from the real topic at hand 🙂 )
This is the absolute essence of false religion, the antithesis of Christianity, the antithesis of the Gospel. In this thinking, You are the starting point for all that is in your world and the world that is out there, as it were. How utterly vain. This kind of thinking, left unchecked, will eat our culture from the inside out, because the ultimate end, the ultimate goal of the type of person this creates is a sociopath. A society of sociopaths? Frightening prospect, just on a worldly level, let alone the abandonment and suppression of the Gospel.
This is a brief clip of one of Lance Secretan’s presentations to a group of corporate employees. Notice how at the beginning of this clip, he disregards anything Christianity had to offer in history as an explanation for natural and supernatural reality. He doesn’t even mention all of the thousands of Christian thinkers who have contributed greatly to the progress of “humanity” who believed Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. These voices are simply ignored. Sure, he mentions Jesus as a good moral teacher, and even quotes Him in the presentation. Yet Secretan cherry-picks what he wants from what Jesus said without dealing with the portions of Scripture where He claims to be God Himself, the only way to salvation, the greatest Person in all of history. This is ignored, for to deal with these texts simply denies his own worldview perspective of reality.