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So what am I doing in Civics 101?

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  • So what am I doing in Civics 101?

    I'm sure some have noticed (and I have noticed some of you have noticed ) my venture into Civics 101. This will continue for a while, though mostly I'll be lurking and reading, and occasionally saying a thing or two to try to sharpen some iron.

    Why am I doing it, against my prior commitment to stick to this section of TWeb?

    The answer is longer than what I explain here, and has many details I'm not at liberty to reveal yet. But the sum of the matter is that it's part of field research I've done (and been doing) for an upcoming e-book.

    After I get done with an expansion of the inerrancy e-book, and the slavery e-book, the next major e-book will be one on social issues. The title will be A Church Without Conscience.

    That's a harsh title, but I think it accurately reflects a serious problem that was developing back when Colson wrote Kingdoms in Conflict in the 80s. It's now even worse, though I don't mean by that universally so.

    One place where the problem is very serious is right here in my home state. Over in Civics 101 you can see me sharing a few links about the governor Florida just re-elected:

    http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/sh...l=1#post116862

    This man is corrupt and evil beyond measure, and when he first ran in 2010, other members of the Florida GOP (and even some outside our state) said as much. In spite of his record then, and four more years of even more appalling results, he won again in 2014. And here's what's disturbing to me: Both times, Christians were one of his most solid voting blocs.

    As part of my field research I went undercover, so to speak, trying to figure out why Christians would support someone this wicked.

    What I found out was appalling. Christians who supported him lacked even the most basic understanding of how government works. I found myself having to explain that no, a chief executive (of a state or nation) is not a mini-king who can do just anything; the Legislature has to do most of it first. I found all of his supporters, whether Christian or not, devoid of the most basic ability to use logic and reason; they were addicted to slogans and catchphrases, and were as bad as, if not worse than, the fundy atheists I deal with on a daily basis. Whenever I presented contrary information, I was either ignored or dismissed with nothing more intellectual than LOLs.

    And a couple told me they voted for him because God told them to.

    They made also excuses for his evils. They eagerly swallowed the lies he told during his campaign, and by my research, at least 90% of his campaign claims were false or misleading. (His opponent wasn't pure himself, but his campaign was maybe 20% falsehoods.) Some even acted as though he were Jesus' Second Coming. I wish I were overstating it, but I'm not.

    The owner of Classic Apologetics reminded me that it wasn't always like this. You can find ample quotes from people like Noah Webster, like this:

    Let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers just men who will rule in the fear of God [Exodus 18:21]. . . . [I]f the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted . . . If [our] government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the Divine commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the laws.
    A Church Without Conscience will be a work where I draw on my research in the Bible's original contexts to determine what our stance should be on various social issues. Of necessity it'll also be a primer on how our government works, since it seems there's a lot of loss of knowledge on that out there. And above all, expect the theme I laid out here:

    http://tektonticker.blogspot.com/201...god-thing.html

    It’s a God Thing is not, strictly speaking, an apologetics book. But I want to highlight it because it mirrors an important point I’ve been making for a while. Before we begin, though, some disclosure.

    Charles Roesel, the author, is the father of my local ministry partner, Carey Roesel. He is also pastor emeritus of First Baptist Leesburg (FL), a prominent church in the mostly rural county to my west. But I’d write this review as I do even if none of that were true. I’ve said a few times that if the church as a whole were doing its job, we wouldn’t need things like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare. FBC-L under Pastor Roesel was (and still is, under the new pastor) one of the few churches I know of that is actually fulfilling its mission properly. It’s a God Thing is a sort of manifesto for “ministry evangelism,” which is the phrase Roesel uses to describe the mission.

    How is that mission fulfilled? At FBC-L it is fulfilled with a wide variety of ministries associated with the church. You’ll find everything there from a ministry for homeless men to counseling to a thrift store to services at nursing homes. The campus of FBC-L is filled with buildings dedicated to ministry. One of these is a local motel that was purchased to house the homeless.

    In an age when so many of our churches are engaged in frivolous pursuits like building swimming pools, this is a refreshing difference. Roesel knows that the Gospel comes with responsibilities. Like me, and like Carey, Charles Roesel sees that the church is losing members, and he knows why: We’re not doing our job.
    http://tektonforge.blogspot.com/2012...epic-fail.html

    I saw a news item the other day on Hurricane Sandy victims which brought home a point I made here once before some years back. The interviewee, a man who had a good deal of his property lost and damaged, remarked that the government and other major organizations like Red Cross had done little or nothing for him, or had only done what they did in a manner that was less than timely. It was small groups that had really done the job of helping people in a timely fashion.

    Naturally I won't presume to expand a single man's account to a widespread pattern. But it does bring to mind again the point that the government has stepped in to various places precisely because the church hasn't done its job.

    Let's consider for a moment how life in America might be different if the church did do (or had done) its job.

    We wouldn't have needed Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid -- because Christian organizations would be taking care of the needs those represent.

    We wouldn't need unemployment benefits from the government, or food stamps, or even welfare, because churches and Christian groups would provide for the needs those represent.

    Since we wouldn't need all of those programs, we wouldn't be facing the so-called "fiscal cliff." We also would have a lot lower taxes -- and there wouldn't be harangues about raising taxes on the rich. Well, not the Christian rich, anyway, because they'd all be something on the order of what is called "reverse tithers."

    We wouldn't have big issues over abortion. Some of the chief arguments of the pro-choice coterie -- such as that a woman would not be able to support a child, so it is better off aborted -- would be emasculated. We'd also have a lot more moral authority and credibility on issues like gay marriage, and pornography, and capital punishment.

    We'd be without Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen, Kenneth Copeland, and so many other "prosperity" or feelgood preachers, because we wouldn't be seeing Christianity as a therapeutic tool.

    (Hmm. Getting rid of Meyer and Hinn, and all those others? That ought to really motivate us!)

    We as Christians wouldn't need private insurance -- not for health, not for property, not for any purpose. We wouldn't fear being bankrupted by a major medical emergency. Why? Because like the early church, our resources would be at the disposal of those in need.

    We'd carefully tend our resources, and issues concerning the environment would virtually disappear. I expect we'd all drive a hybrid at the least, and that wind and solar power would have been in much greater use.

    If this all sounds too good to be true, well, of course, it assumes a lot. It assumes widespread success in what all too many have failed at, which is following the teachings of Jesus and the New Testament. But that's sort of the point, isn't it? The church HAS failed in so many large ways to enact what Jesus taught us; and who can blame everyone else for stepping in to do the job?

    In the biography of Ulysses S. Grant I read, it told of how Grant was asked by an aide if some government funds ought to be set aside for some farmers who had been struck by disaster. Grant turned the request down, reasoning that those farmers would get aid from their neighbors.

    It's too bad Barack Obama doesn't have the luxury of making such a reply today.


    Expect this one no later than 2016. It's badly needed.

  • #2
    I am glad you are venturing out!

    I for one, welcome our Tektonic overlords.


    Comment


    • #3
      I thought only fictional people in comic books were dumb enough to elect some one that was evil like Lex Luthor! And they reelected the guy?! Is he REALLY a Christian? Or is he getting a platinum toilet brush?
      If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Christianbookworm View Post
        I thought only fictional people in comic books were dumb enough to elect some one that was evil like Lex Luthor! And they reelected the guy?! Is he REALLY a Christian? Or is he getting a platinum toilet brush?
        That's what happens when people are as devoted to party labels as they would be a religion.
        "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

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        • #5
          I know Joyce Meyer gets a lot of flak, and for good reason, but some of her works did help my mom get into deeper material(although probably not as deep as many here read). Of course this was quite a while ago. I think maybe her works weren't as crazy back then.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Cerebrum123 View Post
            I know Joyce Meyer gets a lot of flak, and for good reason, but some of her works did help my mom get into deeper material(although probably not as deep as many here read). Of course this was quite a while ago. I think maybe her works weren't as crazy back then.
            Don't know about that. I watched her and Benny Hinn on TBN once selling "anointing oil" that they had personally blessed. Basically the modern televangelist equivalent of selling snake oil. And for some additional money, they would include a prayer rug (paper place mat) and would personally pray over your letter and cure whatever ailed you.

            This was from at least 5 years ago.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Christianbookworm View Post
              I thought only fictional people in comic books were dumb enough to elect some one that was evil like Lex Luthor! And they reelected the guy?! Is he REALLY a Christian? Or is he getting a platinum toilet brush?
              Many voters here in Florida ought to be comic book characters!

              Scott professes to be a Christian, but he only seems to mention it when he is up for election. His professions of faith are purely rote and I have never seen him refer to Jesus or Christianity at any other time. To make matters worse, he attends a church that spent over 2 million dollars on itself for a building then gave a relative pittance to help churches in poorer areas with their own facilities.

              http://www.businessobserverfl.com/se...h-avenue-home/
              http://naples.floridaweekly.com/news...ebration_.html

              If he gets a toilet brush it will be plastic.
              Last edited by jpholding; 11-10-2014, 11:19 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Cerebrum123 View Post
                I know Joyce Meyer gets a lot of flak, and for good reason, but some of her works did help my mom get into deeper material(although probably not as deep as many here read). Of course this was quite a while ago. I think maybe her works weren't as crazy back then.
                I read more than a dozen of her books for my study:

                http://tektonticker.blogspot.com/sea.../Joyce%20Meyer

                Some of her earlier works are indeed not too crazy and could conceivably lead someone into deeper study,

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sparko View Post
                  Don't know about that. I watched her and Benny Hinn on TBN once selling "anointing oil" that they had personally blessed.
                  Those two on the same stage?

                  I'm surprised the cameras did not blow up! They must have used the reinforced concrete lenses.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sparko View Post
                    Don't know about that. I watched her and Benny Hinn on TBN once selling "anointing oil" that they had personally blessed. Basically the modern televangelist equivalent of selling snake oil. And for some additional money, they would include a prayer rug (paper place mat) and would personally pray over your letter and cure whatever ailed you.

                    This was from at least 5 years ago.
                    Are you sure it was her? Benny Hinn I could see doing that, but I'm really surprised to hear that Joyce Meyer was too. Doesn't really sound like her shtick. I read her book Battlefield Of The Mind years ago for a friend. Had a sort of pop-Christianity element to it, but it wasn't all bad.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Sparko View Post
                      Don't know about that. I watched her and Benny Hinn on TBN once selling "anointing oil" that they had personally blessed. Basically the modern televangelist equivalent of selling snake oil. And for some additional money, they would include a prayer rug (paper place mat) and would personally pray over your letter and cure whatever ailed you.

                      This was from at least 5 years ago.
                      I'm thinking this was quite a bit further back than that.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jpholding View Post
                        I read more than a dozen of her books for my study:

                        http://tektonticker.blogspot.com/sea.../Joyce%20Meyer

                        Some of her earlier works are indeed not too crazy and could conceivably lead someone into deeper study,
                        Like I said to Sparko, this was quite a while ago. I'm thinking closer to 8-10[1] years ago. And, yes, I have read what you linked before, but thanks.

                        [1]My memory isn't nearly as good as it used to be, but it seems like forever since my mom got upset with Joyce Meyer and dropped her stuff. "Word Faith" type stuff was the problem IIRC.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jpholding View Post
                          Those two on the same stage?

                          I'm surprised the cameras did not blow up! They must have used the reinforced concrete lenses.
                          well it was a long time ago. It was her and someone on TBN. I was remembering it as Benny Hinn, but it might have been someone else.

                          It wasn't on stage though. It was a promo commercial showing them standing around a table stacked with letters.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Sparko View Post
                            well it was a long time ago. It was her and someone on TBN. I was remembering it as Benny Hinn, but it might have been someone else.

                            It wasn't on stage though. It was a promo commercial showing them standing around a table stacked with letters.
                            It was probably Marilyn Hickey. She used to be into all of that goofy stuff, and they sorta look the same. Rod Parsley is also big into anointing oil and prayer cloth as well.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Adrift View Post
                              It was probably Marilyn Hickey. She used to be into all of that goofy stuff, and they sorta look the same. Rod Parsley is also big into anointing oil and prayer cloth as well.
                              that name sounds really familiar! You might be right!

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