Liberal Denomination Fires Salvos at right wing Christians

Discussion in '2006 Archive' started by Ben W, Apr 11, 2006.

  1. Ben W

    Ben W
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    By NEELA BANERJEE
    Published: April 7, 2006
    David Richard for The New York Times

    After years of turning the other cheek, the United Church of Christ, among the most liberal of the mainline Protestant denominations, has recently staked out a more pugnacious stance toward the Christian right.

    The Rev. John H. Thomas, the denomination's president, has sharply criticized the Institute for Religion and Democracy, a conservative religious watchdog and advocacy group, for supporting groups within mainline denominations that would further a conservative theological and political perspective. And the church has undertaken new advertising and e-mail campaigns to combat more conservative forces.

    "I.R.D. is using church members, and even outside groups, to disrupt and ultimately control the mainline to promote its own political agenda," Mr. Thomas said last month in a speech at Gettysburg College.

    In the e-mail campaign, the denomination is accusing the ABC News political program "This Week" of booking far more conservative Christian leaders than moderates for the Sunday morning broadcast. The network has called that assertion "unfounded and not based on fact."

    And after stirring up publicity in late 2004 with an advertisement about tolerance, the church is distributing an even more pointed commercial that shows people who might not be considered mainstream, like a single mother and a gay couple, being shot through the roof of a church from an "ejector pew."

    "God doesn't reject people," the commercial says. "Neither do we."

    Critics of the United Church of Christ, including the Institute for Religion and Democracy, assert that the church tries to silence those who do not agree with its liberal interpretation of Scripture.

    "In Thomas's case, I'm seeing an advancing case of paranoia," said Steve Rempe, the content editor for the institute's Web site. "He sees this vast conspiracy centered around conservative political motivations and doesn't seem to see the possibility that these people might have a legitimate pastoral concern for their churches."

    Continued -

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/07/us/07ucc.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&oref=login
     
  2. JFox1

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    American churcbes are becoming more and more polarized. It's really sad. It's between the liberals and the conservatives, each one jockeying for political power. Whatever happened to just preaching the Gospel?
     
  3. Squire Robertsson

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    The problem is the modernist apostates do not preach The Gospel. They preach Another gospel. I refer you to Machen's Christianity and Liberalism.
     
  4. Magnetic Poles

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    Very true. Churches should concern themselves with helping people and sharing God's love, not becoming PACs.
     
  5. Scott J

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    Well yes except... you forgot upholding the truth of God's Word and moral laws. Christ not only helped people and shared God's love... He called sinners to repentance. Repentance is based on knowing what scripture says about sin, agreeing with scripture, and turning from sin.
     
  6. Scott J

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    It is very amusing to see the hypocrisy of religious liberals on this...

    They got the hooks of the social gospel into government long before the "Religious Right" started having any influence. It is ridiculous that they now want to complain about conservative Christians having too much influence.
     
  7. Squire Robertsson

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    We are called to preach the Gospel to an unsaved world. We are to preach in season and out of season. To the unsaved natural man, this will seem unloving and unhelpful. But light is naturally made for darkness.
     
  8. Baptist in Richmond

    Baptist in Richmond
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    Yes, I agree with you in some aspects. They are, IMO, just as bad as the RADICAL religious right apostates.

    Regards,
    BiR
     
  9. JFox1

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    Unfortunately, it's not really about preaching the Gospel any more. It's about who can influence the government the most, and both the liberals and the conservatives want as much power as possible. It's pathetic.
     
  10. go2church

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    For one I am glad the religious right is finally being confronted by the religious left, it's about time! Left unchecked, they might start thinking going to war is mandated by scripture, that welfare isn't necessary, that gay marriage and abortion is the most important thing God is concerned about, that the world we live in is going to end anyway why bother taking care of it.

    Whoops, too late!

    I say go get'em lefties, we need more balance in this conversation.
     
  11. SpiritualMadMan

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    Balance?

    The only Balance that Matters is being weighed in God's balance and found wanting... Or, not wanting.

    The UCC is clearly "wanting" in regards to the true Gospel of Jesus Christ...

    Of course, to many Jesus wasn't an 'Activist' either...

    But, He sure did get in the face to the political powers of His day. Just by being who He is.

    Mike Sr.
     
  12. go2church

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    Why is it that the UCC is castigated for being way too liberal and fundamentalists get a pass when they are clearly way too conservative?

    Also, I think I get your point about Jesus "just be being who He is" but I would say he was very intentional about his confrontations, there where times he clearly set out to point out the short-comings of leaders of the day.
     
  13. Scott J

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    Example? I have taken other "fundamentalists" to task for going too far by claiming that the "husband of one wife" qualification must mean "no divorcees".

    In fact, I am much harder on the KJVO's, dress/music legalists, "I'm more conservative than God" crowd, et al than I am on liberals. IOW's, the errors within the camp are more of a concern than those without.

    Moreover, since when do conservatives/fundamentalists get a "pass" in society at large? If anything, it is definitely liberals and moderates that are palatable to the media, government, and the unchurched. And exactly how can someone be a genuine fundamentalist and be "clearly too conservative"? In fact, what do you mean by "too conservative"? Trust the Bible too much? Try to be too holy?
     
  14. Scott J

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    Really? What exactly makes you think that? War is a right that a sovereign nation has to defend itself from perceived threats.
    Welfare isn't necessary, charity is... and no, social programs are not loving and they are decidedly NOT charity.

    In fact, it is the religious liberals, left unchecked, that came to believe that they had a mandate to use the state to redistribute income. The core of that idea isn't love nor charity... it is envy. Charity says that I share what God blessed me with... not that I force someone else to share what they have... even if in reality they should.
    These are very important things that God is concerned about. God is always concerned about sin and disobedience and the hardness of heart evidenced by these two particular sins along with the pervasive sexual immorality seen in our society.
    The world we live in is going to end. We are commanded to be good stewards of it... not worshippers of it. In fact, Romans 1 directly associates those who worship nature and the depravity so very evident in our society. A society that is very much the product of the liberal ideologies of the later half of the 20th century.

    Actually I agree. Truth is best recognized when set next to error.
     
  15. fromtheright

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    The Rev. John H. Thomas, the denomination's president, has sharply criticized the Institute for Religion and Democracy, a conservative religious watchdog and advocacy group, for supporting groups within mainline denominations that would further a conservative theological and political perspective. And the church has undertaken new advertising and e-mail campaigns to combat more conservative forces.

    Wait a minute, a liberal organization is upset that a conservative advocacy group is seeking to advance its perspective? Sounds to me like the lefties are more worried about the conservatives' success and their own relative failure.
     
  16. go2church

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    Scott,

    I was speaking in more general terms, about the "church" as a whole rather then one specific example. The too conservative comment is a play on words, like too liberal. I don't really care if fundamentalists get a pass in the media or not, I am speaking about getting a pass in other churches. The conservative churches are far too willing to leave outrageous statements publicaly unchallenged. We lose credibility when we set out to tourch the "liberals" yet say nothing when one of "our own" goes too far.
     
  17. go2church

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    I won't argue this, I just wish we didn't enjoy it as much as we do. War is wrong and it should break our hearts that we get to the point where it somehow becomes the best idea we have.

    The government has a responsibility to the protect the most vulnerable in our society. I wouldn't call food and medicine a social program, but I guess that is just me.

    I don't think you do, but just for clarification, you don't think the left is always wrong and the right is always correct do you?
     
  18. Scott J

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    I won't argue this, I just wish we didn't enjoy it as much as we do.</font>[/QUOTE] I agree with this as a statement about our society... though I would reject the notion that it is a particular attitude isolated or even prevalent amongst the group you apparently oppose. Yes, most conservative Christians zealously support our soldiers and their mission. That isn't the same as enjoyment.
    Please cite the justification for this statement. I would agree that war is the result of wrongs/sins but not necessarily that it is wrong in and of itself.
    Yes... or else the only rational option we have based on what the evidence says about the threat.

    Even when justified, the losses are none the less grievious to any genuine fundamental/conservative Christian. Conservatives however view sacrifice differently than do liberals. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/04/11/opinion/main1489914.shtml

    The direct implication of the info presented in this article is that conservatives are actually less selfish when it comes to personal sacrifice for principles or people... thus they are much more likely to respect rather than only lament sacrifices made by others for principle.

    The government has a responsibility to the protect the most vulnerable in our society.</font>[/QUOTE] No it doesn't. It has a responsiblity to protect the rights, liberties, and freedoms of all its people without respect to who they are or their status in life... you remember... equal protection under the law?
    Apparently so. The redistribution of wealth unvoluntarily from even those who have too much to those who have too little is NOT a legitimate function of government... especially one that is supposedly ruled by the principles of equal protection under the law and rule by law rather than men.

    Jesus made the relief of the poor a responsibility of His followers. At no point did He suggest that His followers should confiscate (either directly or by proxy) the wealth of others and give it to the poor. He didn't tell the rich young ruler to tax those under his rule and distribute to the poor... he told him to sell what he had and give it to the poor.

    I don't think you do, but just for clarification, you don't think the left is always wrong and the right is always correct do you? </font>[/QUOTE]Depends on the definition of left and right. I am arguing in another thread for the legalization of drugs... something that the "right" would object to and at least some on the "left" would agree with... though I doubt they would agree with the terms I'd accept for legalizing drugs.

    I think that the Constitution's premises of God given rights and the sovereignty of the individual are right... which precludes wealth redistribution, the denial of rights to people who can be demonstrated to be living individuals (ie. the unborn), government efforts to cause people to accept or reject various behaviors, etc.

    For the most part, I am libertarian... and yes, I think libertarian ideas are almost uniformly superior to liberal/socialistic ideas.
     
  19. go2church

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    Hungry and sick children, elderly or those with disabilities shouldn't be the responsibility of the government, that is role of parents, family. However, there are times and places where for whatever reason this doesn't work like it should. In these cases I think there is a legitimate role for government to defend the rights of those unable to defend or provide for themselves. I'm not even close to redistribution of wealth, I am talking about changing the priorities in which the government spends the money they have. Bridges to nowhere verses medicine for elderly as an example.

    Now being libertarian in your bent, I'm guessing any tax is redistribution of wealth and on that point we will have to just agree to disagree. I don't like taxes much either, but I see a place for them in our society. I just wish they would let me write the checks!

    I can hardly see war as an amoral activity. If it is rooted in the sinfulness of humanity as you stated, it is wrong because sin is wrong.
     

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