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5.22.2007    |    "kinder, less harsh style of leadership"
This is a quotation from the new leader of the Southern Baptist Convention, talking of us pesky Baptists. You know that there's something wrong when the Washington Post, or other liberal outlets, start to write favorable "news" pieces about evangelicals. The recent death of Jerry Falwell, the evangelical the left loved to loathe, has resulted in yet another mis-reading by the secularists of what it means to be an evangelical.

The Rev. Falwell was not my cup of java, mind you. He made the same error, from the right, as the Posties now laud when it comes from the left. The error? Using the pulpit to espouse a political point of view. As a Baptist, I know that church has only one legitimate purpose: to show us the way to salvation of our eternal souls.

One may disagree with this, or believe in a different path. Or no path at all. That is our right. But one should never confuse the sacred with the secular. Jesus himself set the standard, which political pastors like Falwell, and now younger ones, ignore with great regularity. That standard? "My kingdom is not of this world" (John 18:36).

The current emphasis of some post-Falwell pastors on global warming, other environmental issues, poverty, AIDs in Africa, etc. is being highlighted by the Post for the simple reason that it fits with the liberal secularists' view of what religion should be about. Trouble is, this is secondary to the principal reason for Christianity: salvation.

This is not to say that Christians should simply sit back, claim to be saved, and never do what is sometimes called "good works." Hardly. But we must never confuse the cause and effect. The Christian is moved to do good in this world because he has been saved; he is not saved not because he follows a certain political party or has particular opinions or performs certain works (Catholic theology as I understand it does not claim that works are sufficient; it is the saving grace of Jesus Christ that is the cause for the good works).

Among the secular left, global warming has become the issue du jour. And one that is approached with as much certitude as the Catholic Church used in the Inquisition. Believe this way, or die. Well, the would-be Torquemada of Global Warming, Al Gore, isn't in power...yet. Not that there is not a warming trend in some parts of the world; just that it has become an article of faith.

This from people who clearly don't understand that faith has everything to do with the world to come and one's eternal soul.

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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.