Do You Think America Is Far From This?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by gb93433, Jan 4, 2009.

  1. gb93433

    gb93433
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    Over Christmas we had a yong man over to our home for Christmas who is one of my former students and who is from Japan. It was interesting when we talked about the church in America.

    In 1975 I heard Richard Wurmbrand speak at the university near my home. I did not walk away being the same person again.

    Recently I found a quote from the book Tortured For Christ which he wrote.

    "The Communists convened a congress of all Christian bodies in our Parliament building. There were four thousand priests, pastors, and ministers of all denominations- and these men of God chose Joseph Stalin as honorary president of this congress. At the same time he was president of the World Movement of the Godless and a mass murderer of Christians. One after another, bishops and pastors arose and declared that communism and Christianity are fundamentally the same and could coexist. One minister after another said words of praise toward communism and assured the new government of the loyalty of the Church.

    My wife and I were present at this congress. Sabrina told me, "Richard, stand up and wash away this shame from the face of Christ! They are spitting in His face." I said to her, "If I do so, you lose your husband." She replied, "I don't wish to have a coward as a husband."

    Do you think the same thing will happen in America because of the church contunually weakening?
     
  2. Alive in Christ

    Alive in Christ
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    I'm not sure that the whole church is weakening.

    Certainly groups like Catholiciscm and the Orthodox are completely apostate, and the ultra liberal "churchs" are apostate as well.

    But God is never left without witnesses, and Gods remnant will always be around, even as most of the "professing only" church continue on in their downward slide.


    :godisgood:
     
  3. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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    I think America is a long, long way away from what the OP describes. You have a vigorous democratic system (unlike the former Eastern Bloc)* and a vigorous church.

    [ETA - * although I know Obama is something of a boogeyman for those of you on the Religious Right, he's scarcely Uncle Joe!]
     
  4. gb93433

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    No doubt America has a vigorous democratic system. When I think about some of my missionary friends with whom I was in college with come back and tell me the differences of clothing and TV etc. compared to when they left. Now they talk about how consistently the preaching and Sunday School lessons are seriously watered down. That kind of thing disturbs me a lot.

    Knowing that a democracy is ruled by the majority it allows for the majority to be in power whether it is good or bad for Christians. We now see Christian bookstores open on Sunday in America. We also see a number of businesses open on Sunday that we never saw. We also see Christians working on Sunday which was non-existent when I was a kid except in hospitals.

    I believe we are also seeing a weakening in the preaching and steadfastness of so many Christians. When I consider what I read a few years ago about 2/3 of the theology students in the seminary where I graduated do not want to be pastors but work in parachurch organizations that disturbs me and makes me wonder about what God is doing.

    I am concerned about what I see and my missionary friends see. Some of them tell me that the people in the countries where they are pray for America.

    I do have a lot of hope in some ways though. The state in which I teach now has taken the lead on abortion issues. When I go to church there I can easily see why. It is nice to hear good preaching on Sunday. For too long I had heard what call make me feel good sermons. What a difference!

    I noticed that your post shows a location of England. What is the condition of the church in England? Do you see any resemblance of where England once was and America is now.
     
  5. Palatka51

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    All political events of the modern era tend to happen over night, taking the general populace by total surprise. Only the informed see the train coming and have the means to get out of the way.

    So Matt, just go back to sleep and dream of Strawberry Fields and Marsh Mallow Pies,:sleep: while us "right wing religious" types keep watch for ya. :flower: :smilewinkgrin:
     
  6. Matt Black

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    Which bit?
     
  7. gb93433

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    The strength of the church in terms of the people. Would you consider the Christians as nominal Christians or are the Christians strong in their faith?
     
  8. Matt Black

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    There's less nominalism than there was 40 years ago, largely because, despite having an established church, we are in most respects a post-Christian society. As a consequence, those who go to church tend to be the more committed ones. Sure, amongst them, particularly in the said established church of which I am a member, there's the usual crop of liberal cuckoos in the nest, but no worse or better than in the US, I'd say. The proportion of regular church-goers is however less than half that of the US, but very possibly the proportion of those who do go who are also committed is higher than in the US.
     
  9. billwald

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    >No doubt America has a vigorous democratic system.

    I disagree. Both parties are owned by the same rich people. The system is stacked against 3rd parties. Lincoln was the only 3rd party candidate to win the presidency and he fixed it so it would never happen again.
     
  10. gb93433

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    In what way did he fix it?
     
  11. Eric B

    Eric B
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    Hi All!
    Took a long break, becaue I had gotten tired of all the endless arguing on everything. Seemed pointless after awhile, because it seems people can make the bible say anything they want. It doesn't convince anyone anyway. I see Heavenly Pilgrim is still at it, but otherwise, it seems to have calmed down!

    In the past year, the two main stories I wanted to comment on were

    1) Paul Washer

    I found his message alarming, as he emphasizeds works and says practically that most Chrstians are unsaved. I then find that Comfort/Cameron are associated with him, and they're all in MacArthur's Lorship Salvation camp. It was almost sneaky like, as you could see the clues in Cameron's series, (such as the focus on "Law"), but not realize the doctrine behind it). So what's worse, is they they're Calvinistic and believe that all these "lost" are preordained to that state. Yet Washer gets to thunder judgment at them anyway. He preaches against decision in favor of "fruits". And since God is the one who "enables" repentance and regeneration, it does not violate "grace" alone. Yet that can easily be turned into perfectionism, even though Washer apparently doesn;t go that far. But since he says so many aren't saved, that raises the question of where you draw the line. So it's dangerous stuff to me.

    It's like we go from one extreme to another. Some water it down into entertainment, user friendliness, signs and wonders or prosperity, while others now respond by going into virtual works-salvation.

    2) The other big story was Why Wont God Heal Amputees: Ten Questions for the Intelligent Christian.

    On the site, one question that stood out was "who is this guy? Where is he coming from? What is his agenda?" (because it is certain that there must be one, if religion needs so badly to be invalidated and removed).
    There is absolutely no clue on the site, and the contact info is an anonymous e-mail address.
    It was on the site's blogs that people were also asking this, and then one person pointed out that is was Marshall Brain, who does the howstuffworks site. On that site you can find a link to Brain's own site, but on neither do you find anything about WWGHA. It's on the Wikipedia article on Brain that you can find that he is behind both HSW and WWGHA. You right away wonder why he would try to hide behind anonymity like that. Just what is he up to? It also mentions that he is into a science known as "transhumanism", which will aim to learn how to grow body parts, and thus truly "heal amputees". So it starts to become evident that this is his agenda. On the Amputees site, you do see what his ultimate goal is, and that is a "real Heaven On Earth" as opposed to the "imaginary" Heaven of religion he takes such pains to debunk. Science and "new social structures" replacing the "delusion" of religion are what would create this world of peace, where man would evolve to possibly live forever or at least, much longer than he does now.
    So NOW it becomes clear what this assault on religion is about. The agenda is a utopian vision! God cannot heal amputees because He is imaginary, but we can, one day! So religion then is impeding progress to this brave new world, such as fostering bigotry and opposing cloning and stem cell research, which are repeated themes of his "questions" that only make sense if God is imaginary.

    Christian responses were basically predictable. The first one I come across is CalvinDude,
    http://calvindude.com/dude/blog/2008/03/why-wont-god-heal-amputees/
    which uses the occasion to take repeated swipes at Arminianism. Only Calvinism can answer these questions, because only Calvinism "takes sin seriously". Yet Calvinism is the epitome of what Brain is talking about. With its much prided "hard doctrines about God", which naturally raise more "why" questions, Calvinism more than any other doctrine has as its only recourse, the "we just can't understand God's plan" response (which is even reiterated on the site regarding a supposed healing of cancer). But it should be becoming clear with this that the world is fed up with bold assertions that cannot be backed up, and thus rely exclusively on deflectionary tactics.

    The site also appears to take the Lordship approach in judging others by denying that all the divorcing Christians are really Christians. (i.e. The "No True Scotsman" argument) And this, using superficial criteria such as church attendance and Bible reading. But many of the people being referred to do both things.

    While Brain thinks he has finally come with the ultimate refutation of God, his vision faces the same ontological problem as all other utopian schemes. It is predicated on getting people "educated" and changing their views, as well as getting along in peace and harmony, as all utopian visions desire. (And also making religion the main scapegoat, like if we could just get rid of that, then our Heaven On Earth will arrive).
    Problem is, how do you plan on accomplishing this? He even gives us a neutralized version of the Ten Commandments, as well as steps to achieve this future paradise. Yet, after making such an argument that we are nothing but chemical processes, and even that the "soul" is "imaginary". What he fails to take into consideration is man's natural proclivity to act and act on the premise of "What's In It For Me?" If we just live 80 or so years and then cease to exist, then most people will be more concerned with "getting mine while I'm here" and by any means necessary, after all, "you only have one shot", and not the future. Now it may be true that religion has not stopped its own leaders from "getting theirs now" and using the doctrines to keep others down to attain that. And that utopians like Brain can think about and plan for the future after he's gone. But most people, what good will it do to build some paradise that they won't be around to see? I'm not saying then "just teach an afterlife and scare them with hell" to get them to behave. But it is true that man's first focus is on his own immediate temporal existence, and not all will have this hope for the future. Rather than everyone in America being devoutly religious, most people today are living only for the present (or only the immediate future that is in reach of their lifespan, or perhaps their children), and neither any afterlife, nor a distant future.
    And then look at the much decried proliferation of religion itself. Hundreds of years of science and skepticism have not erased this basic tendency to prolong religion. You can talk about how it is all from primitive or "childish" fear of death, and we just need to "grow" out of it. But how will you get other people to change their minds? You can educate people, like this site aims to, but even after centuries, there will always be people who stubbornly cling to their religions, for all sorts of reasons. Now, if you heatedly identify it as so "dangerous" and important that the "delusion" be addressed and eliminated, because it's such an impediment to progress, then what should be done about it? Perhaps some sort of "push"; maybe through legislation? Or maybe worse. Brain may not advocate persecution, but he cannot answer for everyone who comes after him, or even those who might join his cause now, with the common goal of eradicating religion. Especially when religion is made the "bad guy" of the world. Then, all sorts of measures will seem justified to people; "for the greater good".This is why utopian schemes have always ended up producing just as much violence, even with their oft cited referrals to slavery and the Crusades, and now, 9-11 as the horrors of religion.

    This goes to support the notion that man falls short --even of our own utopian goals. We have high ideals and aspirations that we don't live up to. Where do these come from?

    Fallacy: "God is imaginary" seems to "fit" as making the questions "make sense". Therefore it is proven by default. But we have not looked for any other explanations. It is true that Christians have unfortunately resorted to quick, easy answers that often rely on deflection. But that does not mean that the only other solution is that God is imaginary.

    He also assumes that just because we do not see any miracles today, that they never occurred. Calvindude touches on this as well. He argues that miracles should have "left evidence", but how is healing someone's withered hang going to leave evidence? Can we find where the person is buried and look at his skeleton?

    So with all of the logical argument, we still have an underlying agenda, which generates a lack of objectivity. Brain "needs" for God to be imaginary, for his agenda to work. But this skews the logic, as we see in these assumptions and fallacies.
     
    #11 Eric B, Feb 4, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 4, 2009

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