Posts Tagged ‘Theology’

It’s happening, ctd.

September 19, 2010

More on Glenn Beck as false prophet in the evangelical movement.

Money quote: (more…)

It’s happening

September 3, 2010

There is apparently, a bit of concern among conservative evangelicals over Glenn Beck and his theology. This is no surprise. The only surprise to me is that it isn’t a bigger deal, though it may become one. Beck is opening himself up to a dangerous place. It’s almost as if he doesn’t realise how serious a threat Mormonism is taken to be among otherwise likeminded Christians.

I had the opportunity to ask a conservative protestant minister from Utah about the spirituality of Beck and his rally recently and the response was what I would have expected before getting a little confused by the underreported nature of the religiosity of it. That is, I got a very long rant about the craziness of Mormonism and its insidious evangelistic techniques. The pastor and his wife, who seem otherwise disposed to the conservative republican agenda and especially the low tax Tea Party talk (we had had a conversation about the “evils of Obamacare” and the tax code in Britain earlier) were not happy about Mormons using Scripture and the patois of evangelical Christianity in order to promote their own particular theology. Consider this tweet by Reihan Salaam:

Who else thinks Beck is more of a tent revivalist than a political pitchman, and that his ultimate goal is to win souls for the LDS Church?4:28 PM Aug 29th via Twitterrific

This will likely not end well for Beck. Or perhaps he is so savvy that he will know to change gears before it blows up in his face and people’s ministers start preaching against him from the pulpit. It might not make a dent in the size of his audience, but who knows.

Ironically, you know who might come to his defence in the end? Jim Wallis, who writes in an open letter to Beck:

I’ve been asked by people in the media if it matters that you are a Mormon. I unequivocally answer, no, it does not. We don’t want more anti-Mormon bigotry any more than we want the anti-Muslim bigotry now rising up across the country.

One interesting side note: In the conversation I had with the pastor from Utah, I asked him about Mitt Romney and if Glenn Beck might be making Romney more acceptable to conservative evangelicals. He said that he didn’t think that Romney would be a bad president and that him being a Mormon wouldn’t affect it either, but he sounded awfully guarded when discussing whether he would vote for him or not. “I suppose if he were running against a far left Democrat I would still vote for him.” Wow, there was nothing this guy said that suggested he would consider voting for any Democrat, but maybe Romney would do it. On the other hand, he certainly talked about Obama as if he were a far left Democrat, so maybe I’m being generous. No far left Democrat would ever have thought of Obama as one of them. He is merely a gateway for a far left agenda. Much like Beck is for Mormonism.

The most underreported story of the Glenn Beck rally?

August 31, 2010

I was starting to really wonder what the hell happened to American evangelicalism since I left the States in the 90s. When I was growing up in Texas, Mormonism was considered a cult and heresy and yet this Glenn Beck thing in Washington had been reported as if it were a religious event rather than a political one. I still don’t understand why this isn’t a bigger deal. I blogged about it previously.

But some have started to pick up on this weird phenomenon. I predict some prominent evangelical with brass balls and no sense of tact to declare Beck the antichrist before the year is up.

Who listens to heretics?

July 20, 2010

When I grew up in the South among conservative evangelical Christians, Mormonism was considered at best a heresy, but most people actually seemed to consider it a cult. We would notice who the Mormon kids were after baseball games because they were the ones who got the Sprites instead of the Cokes or Dr. Peppers. The few Mormon families at our school were known for being Mormons, much more so than Catholics were known for being Catholic or Pentecostals were know for being Pentecostals and I’m sure there were Jews at my school but I couldn’t name any off the top of my head because they were not as known for being Jewish as the Mormons were for being Mormons. The Mormons had their own book that seemed silly to us. They believed that Jesus came to North America and racism against blacks had actually at one time been institutionalized through the doctrine of their church. In short, no one stuck out more for being different than Mormons. And since I was very serious about my sheep and goat theology, Mormons were heretics in my mind and even in my conversations with friends.

This is why I find the feud between Glenn Beck and Jim Wallis and Glenn Beck and Union Seminary so strange. Beck is a Mormon. He has his own theological convictions. Wallis and Union are Protestant Christians and have their own theological convictions. The theological differences are fundamental, not quibbles about how to implement the Gospel in one’s everyday life. The Scriptures upon which Union and Wallis hold their faith are totally different than that of Beck. (more…)

Manute Bol, little Christ

June 21, 2010

I don’t know how devout Manute Bol (1962-2010) was, but I understand he was a Christian. His actions in his adult life exemplify my understanding of the Christian life. According to St. Paul in his letter to the Philippians, Christ gave up his riches and his life for those he loved. He also, according to the Gospels, gave up his dignity by undergoing embarrassment and dying on a tree, a sign of being cursed in the Torah. (more…)

Still trying to understand Pat Robertson

February 15, 2010

Man, this guy is something else. I mentioned in an earlier post that Robertson has a kind of retributive theology, which is akin to a prosperity gospel. He seems to believe that the ends justify the means in a way. That is, if something bad happens, then you probably did something to deserve it. Likewise, if something good happens, then you probably did something to deserve it. Forget the various passages in the Bible, (esp. Job and Ecclesiastes, several of the prophets, and also several passages in the Gospels) that challenge that position.

Well, here he is giving aid to Charles Taylor, of all people. (more…)

If I changed my name to Jesus, would more people listen to me?

February 10, 2010

Maybe if I moved to Nazereth, I would get even more attention. This is an absurd notion, obviously, but it seems akin to Michelle Bachmann supporting the current nation of Israel because of Genesis 12:3, which states, “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

I take this verse seriously, too. I take it so seriously that I refuse to apply it to a secular nation that happens to have the same name as the theocratic nation described in the Bible. If the current state of Israel were the same state as the biblical one, wouldn’t they have a monarchy instead of a parliament with a prime minister? (more…)

Trying to understand Pat Robertson, the Temanite

January 14, 2010

Many people have been posting Pat Robertson’s pretty vile explanation of the Haitian earthquake. No one that I’ve seen has attempted to justify what he says, though. I’m sure some people agree with him since he has such a following, but I’m not sure how significant it is.

As horrible as what he said is, something must be behind it. Though he has said a number of racist things in the past, I don’t know if his motivation is purely racist in this case. I think what he does is that when he sees something horrendous occur in the world, either naturally or at the hands of humans, he feels there must be some reason for it.

His moral imagination is tied to his theology. He has a view of God that is quite strong, for good or bad. If Haiti has experienced such a tragic history, something must be at the root of it. So he does a cursory glance at the history of Haiti and notes that they have a voodoo religion. Matt Yglesias does a good job of explaining it here. (more…)

Chuck Norris should just go back to kicking people

December 18, 2009


It’d be a lot more effective and make a lot more sense. Here is a ridiculous paragraph from an article by Walker, Texas Ranger:

Lastly, as we near the eve of another Christmas, I wonder: What would have happened if Mother Mary had been covered by Obamacare? What if that young, poor and uninsured teenage woman had been provided the federal funds (via Obamacare) and facilities (via Planned Parenthood, etc.) to avoid the ridicule, ostracizing, persecution and possible stoning because of her out-of-wedlock pregnancy? Imagine all the great souls who could have been erased from history and the influence of mankind if their parents had been as progressive as Washington’s wise men and women! Will Obamacare morph into Herodcare for the unborn?

It’s probably not productive to address this weird mess, but it does remind me of why I don’t really get the socially conservative problems with universal health care. By legislating against abortion but not providing universal coverage, the right’s goal seems to be to beat the sin out of apostate women. But that seems to me to be a cowardly copout. I, as a man, can make it more difficult for a woman to have an abortion by making abortion illegal. However, by doing this I still don’t make it easier for the woman to have the child.


Boycott the Gap for using the word Christmas!

November 19, 2009

This really chafes my hide. Despite being somewhat nonsensical in several of its phrases, the author of this announcement and promoter of the boycott seem to have little understanding of Christmas.

Here’s the add: (more…)