Aug 8, 2007
Failing America's Faithful
Watch the video above, and then continue reading. Really. I'll wait.
What took you so long?! Geez!!
For those that have kept up with my sporadic blogging, you may remember my short blog containing a rhetorical question concerning same sex relationships. This could easily follow as the end to that fuse I lit sometime back. Again, the lack of reading audience greatly diminishes the size and fallout of the powder keg.
For as long as I could vote, much to the razzing of my wife (though her registration choice was made from similar reasoning), I have been registered Democrat. In my short stint voting in elections (Starting with Slick Willy's second term) I can't remember actually voting for the Democratic Party for Presidential Office. I take that back. The one exception to that would have been my first time out when Bill was re-elected. Dislike him as I did, and still do, I couldn't bear the thought of Dole taking office ... and Perot is just a joke - he's got the right idea, but he's not the guy to bring his idea to fruition. All this said Ms. Townsend is making me doubt my decision to register myself as a hard working blue collar fundamentalist citizen. My politics and viewpoints are mine alone, and registering as Democrat to me means voting my second choice for Presidential office through the Primary. I don't always agree with the frontrunner for the Republican Party, but (until now) I've been resolute and comfortable with my choice of registered party.
(I'll be borrowing, and personalizing, an analogy from my pastor's last sermon.) To make the freshest frog legs, you need fresh frogs. You can't get any fresher than alive. If you drop a frog into boiling water, you'll have a hard time keeping the frog in the pot. The trick is to put the frog, or frogs, into a pot of cold water and gradually raise the temperature until the water comes to a boil. As the water's temperature slowly rises, the frogs become acclimated to the change. By the time the frogs realize they're in danger, they're all but cooked and no longer have what it takes to escape.
The title to the book intrigued me, so I stopped surfing channels and raise the volume a few notches. We are "mixing God with politics and losing our way". Okay, that makes sense to a point. Her comment about the (public voice of the) Christian Church not speaking out about "the common good - caring for the homeless, the helpless, the sick - but rather politicking against abortion, stem cell research, and same sex marriage. I'm still with her to this point. These are valid points. I don't think we should back down on our stands here, but we should be just as vocal about caring for the needs of those around us. Now actions speak louder than words, and a lot IS done, but why aren't we vocalizing these needs?
This is when the other foot hits the floor. "Nowhere in the Bible do you hear about same sex marriage?" I had to cheer for Stephen here. I don't know where he stands personally, but he did his homework if he didn't know the passage personally. Leviticus ..:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /> baby! Of course she retaliates with the popular argument about the Old Testament not being entirely applicable to today's times, citing passages (in general of course, nothing specific like the one just thrown in her face) that may sound pro slavery, and stating that we've evolved cerebrally enough to realize what those passages are really about and did away with slavery over 150 years ago. What passages are those again? Maybe she skipped reading Exodus, and missed the Charleton Heston movie as well. The title of that book alone alludes to what happens in it. God used Moses to free an entire people from slavery. Never once do you read of God instructing us (the Israelites, us today, however you want to read it) concerning slavery. There was servitude during the time, and that is a cultural matter of the times, and would be the better suited topic for the argument she was trying to make. She instead says we should be open and acceptant to the ways of others and love everyone unconditionally. Though the latter is exactly the way God loves us, and in turn should be the way we strive to love each other, she is clearly trying to gray some very clear lines. She tries to come back with specific reference to the second commandment "Love thy neighbor as thyself". Kudos for making reference, but the "second commandment" would actually be in reference to creating an idol, or making some thing an idol that you worshipped INSTEAD of God. The "second greatest commandment", as stated by Jesus Himself (second only to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength"), is actually what she was grasping for in effort to regain footing. Though it was mentioned later, I rather enjoyed Stephen putting the final nail in the coffin as he used her reference against her by insisting we needed a standard by which to measure how we love, and that is, as commanded, to love others as we love ourselves. If we have no love for self, how do we know how to love someone else?
She moves on to accuse the church of selling the public on the individual relationship with God instead of a more communal group mentality. This, in her words, is somehow "Shrinking God", or imposing limitations on Him. I seem to remember reading the curtain of the Holy of Holies being torn from top to bottom when Christ died. I also am reminded of Christ speaking with a rich young ruler and putting the proverbial ball in his court with some very real and PERSONAL choices that needed to be made. Christ spoke nothing of what this man should instruct servants to do, or what he should convince friends and/or family of, in regard to his question "What must I do to be saved?" Christ answered him regarding a personal commitment, not group involvement. Of course fellowship with others in our faith is necessary for spiritual survival, but it is by no means replacement, nor substitute for a personal walk with Christ. The fellowship without the salvation is just that ... fellowship. Ms. Townsend tries once more to throw another jab concerning the Christian Right shrinking God into this deity that only cares about "sexual plumbing". I hate to resort to a gimmicky cliché at this point, but here goes - "God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve."
Bottom line is this: Whether you think that Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, by writing this book, is a French Chef preparing a delicacy, or just another unsuspecting frog in the pot, she is both mislead AND misleading. To remedy the graying of the lines by Ms. Townsend, and any author or spokesman of similar thought, feel free to pick up a copy of the book I've read several times and cite below. It should go unsaid that this suggestion includes and implies that you also have your Bible in hand as reference when reading ANYTHING that makes reference to scripture.
All right. I'm done. Fire away with your thoughts on my thoughts ...
Posted by Scruluce at 2:07 AM