Political Correctness - is it Biblical?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Gup20, Jul 15, 2005.

  1. Gup20

    Gup20
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    I don't think that political correctness is Biblical. What does it profit a man if he gain the whole world and loose his soul, afterall? I think we have let modern definitions of tolerance creep into the original intended meanings of scripture.

    From this article I have seen some very good Biblical arguments against political correctness. I will post a portion of that article here:

    _________________________
    Biblical basis
    Rebuke of false teachers
    Jesus often rebuked His opponents. For example, Matthew 23:27:

    Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like white-washed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.

    His chosen Apostles often rebuked false teachers—the apostle Paul even opposed the apostle Peter when he was carrying away others with his hypocrisy (Gal. 2:11 ff.). Also, Paul commanded Timothy to rebuke error (2 Tim. 4:2), and 2 Corinthians 10:4–5 says, ‘We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God.’

    Sometimes false beliefs were even mocked, for example, Elijah with the prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18:27, for the greater good of exposing their destructive influence.

    Biblical word plays
    Some of the word plays in the Bible are deliberate mocking of some person or system that sets itself up against God’s revelation. Genesis 11:9 says:

    Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.

    Some skeptics accuse the Bible of error here, because Babili means ‘gate of the gods’; balal means confusion. But, there is no error at all—the word play was intentional. While the rebels at Babel pretentiously thought they could make a tower to heaven, God puts their pathetic effort into its true perspective—it would be remembered only for the confusion of languages.

    Another possible example is the name Nebuchadnezzar. Some skeptics claim that this is an error, and that the ‘correct’ spelling is –rezzar. Indeed, this is the normal Hebrew adaptation from the original Akkadian version, nabu-kudurru-usur, meaning ‘Nabu protect(s) the eldest son,’ after the Babylonian god Nabu. One theory for the difference is that it was normal Hebrew linguistic practice to change the r to an n. But van Selms proposed another theory, that the OT’s –nezzar spelling may be derived from a snide reference to Nebuchadnezzar’s lycanthropy (animal behavior) by Jewish opposition groups. That is, from nabu-kudanu-usur, meaning ‘Nabu protect(s) the mule.’

    Challenge-riposte paradigm
    Some well-meaning Christians claim that any rebuke is ‘unloving’ (see next section), as do some skeptics who try to neutralize Christian opposition! When confronted by the examples in the previous section, these same Christians try to evade the force of these examples by claiming, ‘Jesus was God, so He had the authority and a moral right to say these things. So did God’s Apostles, as well as Elijah when he mocked the prophets of Baal. We do not have either of these.’

    But this fails to realize the historical context. Modern western culture is engulfed in political correctness with a victim culture, where we simply mustn’t offend members of liberal-appointed victim classes. But ancient public forums, and some modern ones, were often conducted under a challenge-riposte paradigm. In the New Testament cultural milieu, ‘the game of challenge-riposte is a central phenomenon, and one that must be played out in public.’

    The object of each party was to try to undermine the honor, or social status, of the other in an exchange that ‘answers in equal measure or ups the ante (and thereby challenges in return).’ Instead of merely defending himself, an honorable man in that culture would counterattack.

    We see countless examples in the Gospels where Jesus refuses to defend himself, and instead shifts the debate by a counter-question, and insults if necessary. For example, in Matthew 21:23–27, Mark 11:27–33, and Luke 20:1–8, Jesus entered the temple, and the chief priests and elders confronted Him and demanded to know by what authority He acted. Jesus responded with a counter-question about John the Baptist. When they refused to answer Him, Jesus refused to answer them, which was an insult.

    In Matthew 22:15–22, Mark 12:13–17, and Luke 20:20–26, Herodians and Pharisees plotted together to ask Jesus about paying taxes, trying to trap him in a dilemma of either disloyalty to His fellow Jews or sedition against Rome. Jesus again poses a counter-question about the owner of the coin. His famous concluding statement, ‘Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s’ was a further attack on the hypocrisy and disloyalty of his opponents.

    Another example is Matthew 12:5:

    Or have you not read in the Law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are blameless?

    Most people overlook that Jesus’ question ‘Have you not read … ?’ was a huge insult to His Pharisaic opponents. Obviously, they had read them, and they were the acknowledged experts in the Bible. So this question undermined their authority in the area they were supposed to know best. ... It was basically calling them foolish, unable to read what was in front of them, not having done proper study. But once again, in the challenge-riposte paradigm, this was appropriate in the public forum. It was a response to the honor challenge laid down by the Pharisees, who challenged Jesus on the behavior of His disciples. Jesus ups the ante by implying their ignorance of scripture, attacking them in the very place where they most prided themselves.

    There are many other places where Jesus ‘evidences considerable skill at riposte and thereby reveals himself to be an honorable and authoritative prophet.’
     
  2. billwald

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    Depends upon who is running the show.
     
  3. Eric B

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    You have to be careful trashing Political Correctness but so much. You can end up throwing out the baby with the bathwater. No one side is 100% right while the other 100% wrong.

    From http://members.aol.com/etb700/rightwing.html:

    Even though these movements [multiculturalism, egalitarianism, political correctness, and even "one world-ism"] may be widely influenced by non-Christians and non-Christian goals, still, these movements have made life better for blacks, women and others, compared to the abuse that was characteristic of the past.

    Egalitarianism forced the dominant white male to share power with blacks and women, although it may have gone too far in blurring male-female roles and forcing people to embrace others against their will.

    Multiculturalism forced them to stop telling things purely from their own self-centered perspective, though it has gone too far in including homosexuality.

    Political correctness forces them to restrain their words and deeds. They can no longer just come out and say and do anything they feel, trampling over everyone and everything in the earth, though once again, it goes too far with some of the "restrictions".

    And one-world-ism is seen to take America out of its dominant role in the world. People fear having their riches taken and "redistributed" (what they claimed was already going on here with the tax and welfare system). Ecumenicalism also takes each warring religious group that thinks it alone has the monopoly on truth off its pedestal by making it apart of one unified group, and thus equal with all the others. But of course, it is obvious that much evil can come from a universal government or a universal religion. Much error would be mixed in with the truth, with no higher authority to correct it.

    But if conservatives keep trashing these movements, and without even addressing the problems they were intended to correct, then it can be justly assumed that the conservatives only want to reconstruct the old order of control and abuse by themselves. If political correctness is so bad, then saying all kinds of INcorrect, IGNORANT, racist, sexist things must be people's right (and the conservatives have often focused on "rights", —but only theirs, not others'). If multiculturalism and egalitarianism are wrong, then what is right? The supposedly divine sanctioned, or even "hard earned" superiority/dominance of one culture?
     
  4. Gup20

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    I would agree with this. I do, however, think that political correctness is guilty of just that - throwing the baby out with the bathwater. The pendulum has swung much too far to that side.

    That's like saying that Hitler made things better for blond haired, blue eyed, white males. Comparative evil is a flawed methodology. We should not replace one evil with a more palatable evil - we should strive to replace evil with good.

    Non-Christian movements (such as evolution for example) have only served to deepen the gap between peoples. Imagine if the fuel of Darwinism's views (which BTW is the only racist doctrine I know of that is still endorsed by the government) that blacks and other minorities are an inferior race had never seen the light of day, for example. Instead of going to non-Christian movements for answers to problems, Christian solutions - Biblical solutions - should have been sought. For example, to do away with racism perhaps they should have learned that all people were descended from two people - Adam and Eve... therefore all people were related and there truly is no such thing as race. The Bible has solutions for ALL social injustices. Not to mention that Jesus is the ONLY thing that meets human need.

    Jhn 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

    Mat 6:25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
    26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

    Instead of forcing people to do things against their will - give them the good news and allow God to change their wrong desires into right desires. That's the Biblical way - that's what freedom and free will is all about! America's founding fathers realized that.

    Psa 37:4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

    Phl 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things.

    Again... if people had a Biblical perspective they would realize that "race" does not exist. The Bible has clearly defined answers as to why nations and people groups exist (the tower of Babel, for example). It has nothing to do with heritage or blood.

    Act 17:26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;

    The answer to homosexuality comes from scripture as well - if we saw Genesis as literal instead of a fairy tale we would know that God created Adam and Eve, not Adam & Steve. Therefore, the image of the correct marriage relationship is that of one man and one woman for life. We would know that marriage was instituted in Genesis 1 & 2. Even Jesus makes this clear:

    Mat 19:3 The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?
    4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made [them] at the beginning made them male and female,
    5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?

    Of course, Jesus was referring to Genesis:

    Gen 1:27 So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

    If we had a view of Genesis as literal history as did Jesus, the answers to homosexuality would be obvious.

    So we are a culture of liars never saying what we really mean or expressing what we truly feel. Would you rather have a warm fuzzy from someone who secretly loathes you, or know exactly where someone stands - who is with you and who is against you? This is what makes politics politics - the lies, deceit, and mistrust. Political Correctness is aptly named because it involves lies, deceit, and mistrust.

    Mat 5:37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

    There is one truth - Jesus. He said He is the way, the truth, and the life. He said that NO MAN comes to the father except by Him.

    I agree. However, the root cause of the problem is the foundation. The problem is that the foundation needs to be based upon scripture. The Bible needs to be considered the ultimate authority concerning everything - from the first verse in Genesis to the last verse in Revelation. Everything that it touches upon must be believed.

    Foundationally we have given up much of the scripture as allegorical fairy tale, rather than absolute truth.

    For example The Jesus Seminar is a group of Bible scholars that gets together. This group has decided that only ~ 16 sayings of Jesus in the Gospels are actually close to being authentic. They deny the resurrection, they deny the virgin birth, they deny that Jesus was even Jewish!

    While extreme, this is an example of people who do not see the scriptures as infallible and absolute truth. However, I think that this is exactly what is needed - to view the scriptures as they were intended.

    I think there is something about that in the US constitution actually. People have the right to be ignorant and let everyone else know ignorant they are. At least the ignorance can then be dealt with.

    2Ti 3:16 All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

    Jesus is the only thing that meets human need. The Bible is divinely inspired in it's entirety. It has the answers, but many are unwilling to accept them.

    The Bible calls the church the "hinderers of lawlessness". It describes that we are all that stands between complete anti-Christ revelation. It's time we accepted our role, and set about the task of meeting human need by performing the great commission. I think the most effective way to do that is in an authentic and genuine manner - with the foundation of the Bible as absolute truth.
     
  5. billwald

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    If the OPC/Reconstructionists were running the world the PC would be in the BIBLE. <G>
     
  6. Eric B

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    That's true. Both generally are guilty of the same things they criticize in the other side. My statements are addressed to Christians and the Right, who I would think should know better, since they are supposedly the ones with the Bible.
    I'm not trying to justify all the evil PC has been associated with. PC brought with it a change of thinking, and what I am pointing out is that some conservatives who trash it sound like they are against everything it has caused (including the betterment it has brought for some). My point there is that they did not address the issues that PC came and answered. Michael Horton has made a good point in Beyond Culture Wars in showing that Christians often "separated" from the issues, allowing evil movements to take up the cause. Then they bash ALL of the changes, as if they were for going back to oppressiuon of some people. (And the rhetoric of some seems to make it look that way as well).
    But then we must not forget that the more popular view of the past was that man came from two people, who were of a certain race, and then some were cursed by God, making them into another race. (or some other twisted view about "the mark of Cain".) That is where most racism came from, and I always found it amazing that a Conservative Christian movement, that never really repented of its own past, would now throw the blame on evolution. Early evolutionists may have taken it that way (based on the popular preconceived notions of racial superiority), but most today I would think do not believe that, and it is not really central to the theory. (The theories change as time goes on anyway). Now, the theory generally says that all men descended from Africans, and that the Caucasians were the cavemen in the north.
    I think we need to be careful in what context we use this. It was used to justify people being oppressed. It was like "You;re oppiressed? So what? You don't need your rights, all you need is Jesus, and the promise of Heaven". Jesus is the way, but that is no substitute for treating one's fellow man right. In that way, we truly show Jesus and live His life in us.
    I'm not advocating force. I realize what you have said, and the ones who preach this, but then try to change society back to a more conservative standard through lobbying, accusing, complaining trying to get legislation passed to force Christian symbols (prayer, 10 commandmens, etc) on everyone should realize this in those areas.
    But some areas of race and gender oppression did need a strong push. People back in both slavery and segreation tried to argue "just leave us alone, and this will work itself out", but that was really just a way to prolong the injustices, as they founght against any change. (Once again, we should then just leave the homosexuals and atheists alone, then, and that problem will work itself out, if that is true.) And everyone thought they had the good news then, with all the Christian religiousity in the land, which Christians still look back to as an ideal of a "Christian nation". Apparently, this "good news" didn't change them, as it was slanted to justify the system; but people didn''t know that. They thought it really was what the Bible taught, so they either maintained it, or rejected the Bible altogether.
    We can advocate the Bible more, but then we still cannot expect everyone to drop all lf their old beliefs, and then BOOM, we have this noice Christian society. And if it doesn't happen, then we complain and demand Christian ideals to be forced onto everyone. We have a challenge before us: to try to win people with Christ in our lives, not just bashing their beliefs (such as PC) while they see we are just as sinful and self-centered as everyone else.
    True in one sense, but then PC comes from offense of others, and who wants to just allow others to offend them.
    This issue even extends into fictional animation! Fans of classic theatrical cartoons lament the editing of these films' references to blacks, Asians, American Indians and others, claiming "revision". I too think that "Mammy Two Shoes" from Tom & Jerry should not always be edited, and that "Coal Black and De Sebben Dwarves" (one of the infamous "Censored 11" of the Warner Bros. library) was an interesting idea. It is a shame that racial strife is such that such artforms cannot be looked at more objectively. But many of these references were very offensive (blacks' humongous lips, for instance), and American whites were not so stereotyped. As many people today have not changed such insensitive attitudes towards others (all one has to do is listen to people talk when they're not aware you're listening), this touches on still wounded nerves and sore spots and thus causes suspicion when such caricatures are shown; so the restrictions of "political correctness" continue and grow. This is why Senator Trent Lott could get into trouble for his remarks arguing that the country would heve been better off if Strom Thurmond had become president.
    So yes, the Civil Rights movement and liberals often thought that if you just force PC, then people would change, but this of course did not change what was inside. (and often bred more sresentmant at the forces of change). So it may create an illusion of neigborliness. But still, such offense of people should not be allowed to go on unchallenged in a so-called "civilized society", any more than immorality should.
    But once again, "not every man has that knowledge"(1 Cor. 8:7), so to them, the only safe way is to make all equal. Once again, the supremacy of Christ is to be manifest in our lives, not forced through legislation, or whatever (which then makes it look all the more like it is not true, but only a tool of control! This is what happened in the past)
    But I don't think those are really even professing Christians. Aren't they just secular scholars trying to put their own spin on Bible history?
    The way many Christians have often "given up scripture" is by turning the gospel into a moral works righteousness crusade to be forced on society against their will if possible.
    "If multiculturalism and egalitarianism are wrong, then what is right? ..." Once again, the people do not know. We must show it in our lives. We should be the hinderers of lawlessness through Christ in our lives. But just complaining about everyone's sins and false beliefs, or trying to legislate the Bible onto them will just provoke more rebellion. (Rom.7)
     
  7. DHK

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    The KJV translators themselves to some degree were bound by "political correctness."
    For example:
    They were bound to translate ekklesia as church, instead of assembly or congregation, a much mor accurate translation. Their ecclesiastical association with the Church of England and even the Catholic Church forced their hand on issues like this. Church has a multitude of meanings and confuses the issue of ecclesiology. But ekklesia has only one meaning--assembly.

    The same is true with baptidzw, which means immersion. Baptism is an all inclusive word taking in every form of baptism, and thus quite suitable for all denominatons. But that is not what the word means. It means immersion. If they translated the word properly there would be less confusion on the doctrine of baptism. But because of political and ecclesiastical correctness, they couldn't.

    Take a look at 1Tim.3:1,10
    Is there an "office of a bishop" or an "office of a deacon?" Check the Greek, or even your Greek interlinears. You wont find those phrases their. If you have a program like sword searcher, check out Darby's translation. It is much closer to the Greek in the translation of these two verses. There is no office in the Greek. The word for bishop is more accurately translated overseer. And the word for deacon is more accurately translated servant. Nowhere do these verses speak of an office. That was put in there because of political correctness, to appease such churches as the Anglican and Catholic.

    We are commanded to "study to show ourselves approved unto God, workmen that need not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." And for good reason!
    DHK
     
  8. billwald

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    Being Catholic was PC during the Inquisition. Being OPC will be PO if the REconstructionists take over.
     
  9. Gup20

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    Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

    Rom 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

    Don't forget the whole of the earth was cursed at the sin of Adam and Eve. This nonsense about another race being formed when Cain was cursed is rule out in that ALL are cursed in Adam with the same curse - death. All races, therefore, that experience death are the same race. Moreover all races that experience death are decendants of Adam and Eve.

    Act 17:26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;

    But what determines the morality under which we treat one another? The Christian might argue the Bible does. But is it opression to impose that moral code on someone who believes something else? Lets say the Muslim believes in fundamental Islam and thinks that those who won't convert must be killed. Is that "treating one's fellow man right"? According to them it would be. However, according to us it is not. Why? Because our morality is based on the Judeo-Christian ethic (aka the Bible). Therefore it is essential that one ethic be imposed upon another where there is a conflict of moral code.

    Imposition of one's own beliefs is a part of life. Surely we must take on the full council of Christ (the entire scripture) and make sure that we not only fulfill his purpose and destiny, but that we do it in a way that honors our saviour. While this does mean operating in love at all times, it is NOT a mandate to do one's best to keep from stepping on toes or offending anyone. People will be offended by the gospel - it's a fact. But we must consistently persist.

    2Ti 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

    Mat 13:19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth [it] not, then cometh the wicked [one], and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
    20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
    21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.

    I would agree. You are spot on here. However, I think you should add to this that the Christian should not bind themself to a PC mindset or even behavior to win over a non-christian. Why? Because to do so demonstrates a non-genuine reflection of our true beliefs. In truth, the Bible is not politically correct. It is very much biased - proclaiming itself as the only source of truth.

    Paul said "imitate me as I imitate Christ" (1Cor 11:1). Jesus was definately not PC. For example look at him overthrowing the money changers tables in the temple. He didn't go to the temple committee and file a greivance or try to reason it out with them - he walked over and did something very not PC.

    And where did those ideas of "civilized society" come from? According to Darwin, for example, we are all just 'higher apes'. Our motives should be 'the survival of the fittest'. However, if you look at the very idea of social services (such as welfare, for example), charity - they all have to do with survival of the weakest. This is certainly unnatural to anyone who does not take the Bible literally, isn't it? So where did this ideal of morality come from? The Bible. This 'imposition' of Biblical morality isn't bad, surely!? But so many want that morality, but they do not wish to accept the truth that comes with it - that Jesus is God. That the Father is the Creator.
     
  10. Eric B

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    :confused:
    Huh?
    What is OPC? PO?
    (Note; the Reconstructionists are very anti-PC, being on the far right of the issues).
     
  11. Eric B

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    Still, they believed in an additional curse. One of sin, and the other, to be particularly depraved (moreso than others, hence, Canaanites, voodoo, etc), and trampled and enslaved by the others.
    Of course, those who though they were in the lless "Cursed" group in practice did seem to deny or forget their sinfulness from the first curse. Today, people look at the supposed " moral righteousness" of their past society.
    But "impose" means different things. That's what the Muslim in your example is doing. And Christians did do it in the past. We are to proclaim the truth, but not expect everyone to just drop what they believe and accept what we say, and then get mad if they don't.
    I'm not saying we must always avoid stepping on others' toes. But we must be careful how we do it. It must be the "offense" of the Gospel; but often, people have added to this offense a bunch of other things that are not of Christ, such as a self-exalting cultural agenda or other things like that, and simply called it "the offense of Christ/the Gospel".

    I'm not saying that they should bind themselves to a PC mindset. My statements are not a defense of PC. Just a caution to balance, and realize that everything "PI" is not of Christ or the Bible either. But some seem to assume that they are; like how even guns become something defended by some in the conservative Christian agenda (As unfairly regulated by the govt.) I call this right wing counterpart to PC, "TC" ("Traditionally Correct"; hence the title of my page). Ironically, on Bill Maher's show "Politically Incorrect", he seemed to see religious conservatism as "PC", with his criticisms of it as "PI".
    I am not questioning where the ideas of civilized society came from, but just that while accentuating the good from Judeo-Christian culture, we should remember the evil done uner that banner as well. In fact, part of this stems from the notion of a "civilized society" that looked down on others and justified oppressing them, which cast more disprepute on the morals and values than anything else. The good of one does not justify the other.
     
  12. Gup20

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    Indeed. However, it is also wrong to compromise your Christian beliefs to acquiesce to a non-believer. Instead, one should live and breath as the Bible says - irrespective of PC expectations or restrictions. To compromise the "christian way" for the "PC way" is a mistake. So often we are complacent or even silent to evil because it is politically correct to do so. This is where PC goes too far to conditioning people to accept (or "tolerate") evil.

    It is not that I disagree with this; however, I feel that society has accepted the base morality, but rejected it's source. That is - they get the general basis of 'right and wrong' from the Judeo-Christian ethic, but reject the source of that Judeo-Christian ethic which is the Bible. Therein lies a conflict between PC and Biblical Christianity. As Christians, then, we need to show people that the Bible is true in it's entirety - and that it can be trusted.

    We can see a prime example of this in the creation/evolution debate. Our public school systems are basically churches of secular humanism. They tell us that science can be trusted, but the Bible's account of the creation and the flood in Genesis cannot. We have entire generations of people being told Genesis is a fairy tale, but that they should believe the part about Jesus from that same book.

    The authority of scripture has been severely undermined and disregarded. It is no longer the source of truth. PC puts it on equal footing with any other religious book or idea. There is a huge attitude of "it doesn't matter what you believe as long as you believe something". Or that "all religions lead to God". This is a result of PC thinking. This is an evil doctrine.

    Jhn 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

    Jesus said that He is the ONLY way. All religions do not lead to God - only one.

    Freedom to choose Christ is the best possible environment for someone to come to God. The greatest threat, however, to a free society is the collapse of morality. You can see that trend in the Roman empire, for example. PC - while making life easier for some - attacks the foundation of morality in our country, the Bible, by rejecting it as the source (in essence saying it is no greater than any other source). In the long term, it is not good, and will lead to the moral collapse of our 'civilized society'.
     
  13. Eric B

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    Not saying we should compromise or acquiesce. Just that we should understand better where they are coming from. (sometimes, we get into such a conspiratorial mindset regarding others' beliefs, we look at them as enemies attacking us, who need to be conquered and controlled, rathger than as blind needy souls).
    The base morality I believe comes mostly from the conviction of the Spirit. In fact, this is how men will be judged for their sins. With all the philosophy or whater that promotes relativism, they know deep down inside that some things are right and wrong. It is from God, and we cannot give too much credit to "Judeo-Christian ethic", which makes it seem like it was made up by Jews and Christians, only we are claiming it is "better", when it is just as human as everything else (the basic claim of most atheists/agnostics in pop culture and education).
    True, how they always insist "A non-literal reading of the Bible does not destroy your 'religious beliefs'. All religion is about 'love', anyway, so you can still keep your belief in Christ's teachings". They tell us how to believe what we believe! (and they are the ones always complaining abouyt religion being forced on them). True, it's all full of hypocrisy. But once again, they are blinded, so what really can you expect? (I address this here: http://members.aol.com/etb700/relativism.html
    The approach I use on the above page is to point out how morality is not relative. Philosophically, they are convince that it is, so we can scream all we want "The Bible is the truth", but they are thoroughly convinced in their minds that this is arrogance, so the more we shout it, the more it proves their points (to themselves) that we are off the wall. We cannot win them through politics. All we can do is show them, and especially, in our lives.
     
  14. Claudia_T

    Claudia_T
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    WHAT IS THE TRUE PURPOSE OF GOD'S CHURCH?


    We as Christians are supposed to BE the Bible to the world. This is all many may be able to see of Christianity or of the Bible. And the fact that many are NOT... in the way that they conduct their lives, is the reason that ---no matter WHAT Christians may SAY, be it "politically correct" or not, it makes no difference to those out in the world who witness how Christians ACT.

    2Corinthians
    2: Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:
    3: Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.


    God has a reason for calling out a special people to Himself, and for creating the Church. The Lord desires to separate His people from the customs, habits, and practices of the world, that in life and character they may reveal the principles of His law and His Government. The Christian has taken on the name of Christ and therefore is to be a representative of God to the world.


    The ten commandments of God are a transcript of His unselfish character of love. By beholding the goodness and the love of God revealed in His Church, the world is to have a representation of His character. When the law of God is thus exemplified in the life, the world will recognize the obvious superiority of those who love and serve God above every other people.


    And if observed from the heart, the law of God would cause all of humanity to prosper and live in true peace and happiness: "He that keepeth the law, happy is he" Prov:29:18. And now let us go back to the writings of the Old Testament, that we might discover the intended role that the children of Israel were to play in the world. Listen to Moses...


    "Behold," said Moses, "I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the Lord my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon Him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?" Deut. 4:5-8.


    But although Israel were called to be a light to the world, they resisted Heaven's grace, abused their privileges, and slighted their opportunities. Instead of instructing those in the world around them by example about the God of Abraham, His chosen people fell into the idolatrous practices of the surrounding nations. Rather than the Church leading the world to God, the world led them instead into the ways of the heathen!


    Baal worship was practiced in their borders, even though the prophets of God spoke out against the false gods of their day See 2 Kings chapter 21 and 23. Yet as Israel fell into idolatry, the worship of the God of Abraham was not openly renounced. Rather, the nation combined the old rituals with that of the pagan mysteries. And thus, slowly the demarcation between true and false worship became eroded until finally it was to a great extent lost sight of.


    To glorify the God of Heaven, keeping His commandments, thus drawing all of mankind unto Himself was the very purpose for the existence of the Church. But unfortunately, Israel had failed to fulfill it's divine mission. Thus the Lord declared of this nation,


    "I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto Me?" Jer. 2:21. "Israel is an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit unto himself." Hosea 10:1. "And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt Me and My vineyard. What could have been done more to My vineyard, that I have not done in it? Wherefore when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?" Isa. 5:3-7.


    Instead of bringing forth the "fruits" of love, which the ten commandments were designed to produce, God's children in old testament times were as an empty vine, devoid of love. Thus they could not bring glory to God, and darkness came out of her instead of light to the world to reflect the holy character of God.

    This same scene is being repeated in the Christian Church today. Instead of bringing forth the "fruits" of love, which the ten commandments were designed to produce, God's children in new testament times are as an empty vine, devoid of love. Thus they could not bring glory to God, and darkness came out of her instead of light to the world to reflect the holy character of God.


    Mt:21:19: And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.


    The cursing of the fig tree was an acted parable. That barren tree, flaunting its pretentious foliage in the very face of Christ, was a symbol of the Jewish nation. The Saviour desired to make plain to His disciples the cause and the certainty of Israel's doom. For this purpose He invested the tree with moral qualities, and made it the expositor of divine truth. The Jews stood forth distinct from all other nations, professing allegiance to God. They had been specially favored by Him, and they laid claim to righteousness above every other people. But they were corrupted by the love of the world and the greed of gain. They boasted of their knowledge, but they were ignorant of the requirements of God, and were full of hypocrisy. Like the barren tree, they spread their pretentious branches aloft, luxuriant in appearance, and beautiful to the eye, but they yielded "nothing but leaves." The Jewish religion, with its magnificent temple, its sacred altars, its mitered priests and impressive ceremonies, was indeed fair in outward appearance, but humility, love, and benevolence were lacking.


    Jesus had come to the fig tree hungry, to find food. So He had come to Israel, hungering to find in them the fruits of righteousness. He had lavished on them His gifts, that they might bear fruit for the blessing of the world. Every opportunity and privilege had been granted them, and in return He sought their sympathy and co-operation in His work of grace. He longed to see in them self-sacrifice and compassion, zeal for God, and a deep yearning of soul for the salvation of their fellow men. Had they kept the law of God, they would have done the same unselfish work that Christ did. But love to God and man was eclipsed by pride and self-sufficiency. They brought ruin upon themselves by refusing to minister to others. The treasures of truth which God had committed to them, they did not give to the world. In the barren tree they might read both their sin and its punishment. Withered beneath the Saviour's curse, standing forth sere and blasted, dried up by the roots, the fig tree showed what the Jewish people would be when the grace of God was removed from them. Refusing to impart blessing, they would no longer receive it. "O Israel," the Lord says, "thou hast destroyed thyself." Hosea 13:9.


    The warning is for all time. Christ's act in cursing the tree which His own power had created stands as a warning to all churches and to all Christians. No one can live the law of God without ministering to others. But there are many who do not live out Christ's merciful, unselfish life. Some who think themselves excellent Christians do not understand what constitutes service for God. They plan and study to please themselves. They act only in reference to self. Time is of value to them only as they can gather for themselves. In all the affairs of life this is their object. Not for others but for themselves do they minister. God created them to live in a world where unselfish service must be performed. He designed them to help their fellow men in every possible way. But self is so large that they cannot see anything else. They are not in touch with humanity. Those who thus live for self are like the fig tree, which made every pretension but was fruitless. They observe the forms of worship, but without repentance or faith. In profession they honor the law of God, but obedience is lacking. They say, but do not. In the sentence pronounced on the fig tree Christ demonstrates how hateful in His eyes is this vain pretense. He declares that the open sinner is less guilty than is he who professes to serve God, but who bears no fruit to His glory.

    "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Matt. 5:13-16.

    As Christians, we are to do good works, and by so doing bring glory to God. We see by the words of Christ that it has always been the purpose of God to manifest through His people the principles of His kingdom, that they may be a light to the world! We are to be the salt of the earth, and a city set on a hill that gives light to the earth's inhabitants.This was the same identical task given to the children of Israel in old testament times. You see, this entire thing is much bigger than just "me and my salvation". We as Christians have been commissioned to represent our Heavenly Father to the whole world! That is what it is all about...

    "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Matt. 5:13-16.

    As Christians, we are to do good works, and by so doing bring glory to God. We see by the words of Christ that it has always been the purpose of God to manifest through His people the principles of His kingdom, that they may be a light to the world! We are to be the salt of the earth, and a city set on a hill that gives light to the earth's inhabitants.This was the same identical task given to the children of Israel in old testament times. You see, this entire thing is much bigger than just "me and my salvation". We as Christians have been commissioned to represent our Heavenly Father to the whole world! That is what it is all about...

    And now you might say, "But we are under the new covenant now, and thus we no longer are expected to keep God's ten commandment law!" Reader, do you feel this way? ...if so, then you are misunderstanding the old and new covenants!

    The terms of the old covenant were, Obey and live: "If a man do, he shall even live in them"(Ezekiel 20:11; Leviticus 18:5); but "cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them." Deuteronomy 27:26.
    But the new covenant was established upon "better promises"--the promise of forgiveness of sins and of the grace of God to renew the heart and bring it into harmony with the principles of God's law.

    "This shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts . . . . I will forgive their iniquity, and will remember their sin no more." Jeremiah 31:33, 34.

    Hebrews 8:
    6: But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
    7: For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
    8: For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
    9: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.
    10: For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people

    The same law that was engraved upon the tables of stone is written by the Holy Spirit upon the tables of the heart. Instead of going about to establish our own righteousness we accept the righteousness of Christ. His blood atones for our sins. His obedience is accepted for us. Then the heart renewed by the Holy Spirit will bring forth "the fruits of the Spirit." Through the grace of Christ we shall live in obedience to the law of God written upon our hearts. Having the Spirit of Christ, we shall walk even as He walked.1John:2:6

    This light that we are to give to the world, are the principles of God's law, and they are the principles of love.

    We have established the fact that God desires His people in all ages to represent His character to the world through the keeping of the Law, which reveal the principles of His government of love. Yet even as Israel of old failed in it's mission, and instead of bringing forth fruit unto God, brought forth wild grapes(Isaiah 5:3-7) ...so too have today's modern Church failed in her mission to reveal the Heavenly Father to the world through her good works.

    In old testament times, God's people misunderstood the deep meaning of the ceremonies and rituals they were required to perform. They instead did them expecting to gain the favor of God. Their inward hearts and lives were corrupt. They were unholy hypocrites. God sent His prophets again and again to correct them, but His people did not desire to obey Him out of the motive of love, having a true change of heart. And to substitute external forms of religion for holiness of heart and life is still just as pleasing to the unrenewed nature as it was in the days of these Jewish leaders.


    As long as the Church continues on attempting to "tell the world about Christ" yet lives like the world, they will have no weight with the world, other than to convince them that they are hypocrites. And there is no reason for them to come out from the world if the Church is no different.

    Using force, using politically correct phrases, all of these things amount to nothingness, unless the speakers are like Christ and reflect His character to the world. You need to use tact of course... just as Christ used tact. Other times you need to be very frank about things... just as Christ was sometimes very frank and blunt about things.

    There is such a thing as "preaching Christ" but leading people to a fase Christ, as did the Pharisees. They were hypocrites who did not practice what they preached.

    Mt:23:15: Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

    Unfortunately, today, many modern "Christians" dont preach OR practice the correct ideas about Christianity. They teach and act as if being a Christian is no different than being like the worldling. The only difference to them is that Christians say the words "I believe" every now and again and mention Jesus' name frequently. Then they want to turn around and try to force Christianity upon the world and the world is not stupid. They can see the hypocrisy there.

    ...and they can see that many Christians try to just use various methods of phony "politically correct" phrases and ideas to win them over.

    How are we to witness to the world? Jesus told us:

    Mt:5:16: Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

    "Good works" are anything within the realm of the Ten Commandment Law... "bad works" are anything outside of that law... and/or trying to do good works from a self-centered motivation.


    and to repeat:
    "Behold," said Moses, "I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the Lord my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon Him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?" Deut. 4:5-8.


    Claudia

    [ July 21, 2005, 01:26 PM: Message edited by: Claudia_T ]
     
  15. Claudia_T

    Claudia_T
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    As an illustration about what I mean, you all should go to the thread on here called "Ellen White a Prophet of God?"
    --
    Read what I put there in a post about the testimony of Harold Nathan Williams ...an Eyewitness Testimony About Ellen White

    A Pastor was wanting to put on an evangelist series in a place where everybody said it couldnt be done. Even Dwight L. Moody was unsuccessful there.

    A testimony about this Pastor's endeavors:
    "I am a devout Roman Catholic and have attended everyone of your meetings in Oddfellows Hall."

    "You have hurt the Roman Catholic Church more than any other man who has ever come to this Catholic city. But you take it all from the Bible, and your listeners love you. You don't throw any mud or insults at anybody else. We want your messages to go over my radio station.


    What I am saying is that political correctness is not the key. How you act and how you treat people is the key. You can say the most BLUNT and TRUE things but it all depends on how you say it.


    Claudia
     

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