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10.13.2005    |    You give them eyes, Lord...
...but they do not see. Found, via the Weekly Standard, the latest foray into global politics by that withered branch of Christ's church, the Church of England. The Standard does a good job of trashing the CoE and its ability to sit on its high horse and criticize us knuckle-dragging troglodytic Christians here in the U.S. of A. The focus of their ire is a typically prolix thesis from the CoE's bishops, entitled "Countering Terrorism: Power, Violence and Democracy Post 9/11".

The focus of the CoE bishops' ire is us. By "us", meaning the United States, which has had the effrontery to actually engage in the war on terrorists. By "us", also meaning, particularly, us pesky members of the VRWCC (that's the Vast Right-Wing Christian Conspiracy). All of "us" are nothing but slack-jawed yokels, engaging in the worst kind of unilateral imperialism. Here's but a mere sample from the good bishops:
This sense of moral righteousness is fed by the major influence of the "Christian Right" on present United States policy. This has a very worrying political aspect in the way in which Christian millennialism has been taken up by so many evangelical Christians, with its apocalyptic overtones and its very clear political agenda in relation to the Middle East. We argue that not only is this political reading of current history in the light of apocalyptic texts illegitimate, but that those texts need to be read in a different way altogether, as a critique of imperialism rather than as a justification of a particular form of it.
We're bad, and we're worldwide. In truth, the bishops do raise some troubling issues for Christians who are called to follow our Lord when he did not resist those who would, and did, torture and kill Him. Unfortunately, they give away their actual game when they cite, many times, the United Nations as their ultimate authority for the use of force.

Part of the bishops' screed is to trash dispensationalism, which they claim is "a majority faith among millions of American evangelical Christians," all achieved through a single book. No, not the Bible, which, in my opinion, is not the best source for the dispensationalists' view of the end times. Rather, Hal Lindsey’s book, "The Late Great Planet Earth." Followed, some years later, and right now, Tim LaHay and Jerry B. Jenkins "Left Behind" series.

I've not any problem with the bishops trashing the dispies. The problem is that they are doing this from a modern, anti-American and purely political point of view. A point of view that is obvious, but which they will not come out and admit. They are, in other words, good at half-truths and deception.

There are valid Christian arguments to be made in favor of non-intervention in the Middle East. For instance, the notion that Muslims have already been enlisted in Satan's legions, and that God will judge them harshly at the end. We Christians owe them nothing in this world. We certainly should not go about changing what God has established (if Romans 13 applied to the vile and brutal Romans, surely it also applied to Saddam). But that really wouldn't be Christian, now would it? To let our Iraqi brothers suffer and die without at least attempting to free them. Not to mention for the very noble purpose of putting an end to a regime that has warred on its neighbors and slaughtered its own citizens.

Oh oh. Looks like I'm just one of those nasty Christian right wing imperialist warmongers, wanting to invade Iraq, steal their oil, convert their people, and then move on to the next target. Syria? Iran? There are so many tempting targets...

To read the CoE's latest is to understand that many "mainline" Christian denomoninations seem to have lost their way. They seem to have lost even the will to survive as Christian churches. Pray for them, that they will wake up and open their Bibles again.

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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.