Thursday, June 11, 2009

Pulpit Pundits Seek to Destroy Traditional Christian Subculture

There is a lot of interest and discussion at a couple of my favorite Okie-related blogs on religion, primarily targeted at condemning and criticizing the so-called Christian-right for being so political instead of staying at home in your "home-based church" keeping your mouth shut and opinions to yourselves regarding politics... unless you lean left of course.

Oklahoma, like most states, has had a sudden rise in left-leaning Christian liberal Churches since the 2000 and 2004 election victories for George W Bush were attributed to the Christian-right. I have done several posts on Oklahoma's Pulpit Pundit Robin Meyers and others who all preach separation of state and church from the pulpit while preaching Democrat talking points and anti-Republican rhetoric from the pulpit in the same breath.

Keith Giles is a home-church planter in California.
He is also a writer, artist, and very prolific blogger with a half dozen or so sites.
His self described mission in life as a "Christian" is to destroy the existing Christian subculture.
From one of his many blogsites Subversive-1: "What is Subversive? It’s a systematic overthrow of one system or power by those working from within."

He supports "reducing abortions" by making them more available, supports gay marriage by telling Christians we shouldn't oppose it... or oppose anything else for that matter... except the war in Iraq of course.

To Giles, the liberation of millions of innocent Iraqi's is termed "killing innocent people" and fighting back on any level is out of the question... unless a Democrat is in power of course.

He has nothing but contempt for the traditional Christian church preaching instead his own brand of tolerance for all things... except the conservative Christian right of course.

"Destroying the Christian subculture from within".... hmmm where have we heard of this before?

At least Giles is honest in that regard.

ScripturesforAmerica.org
"It is the proclaimed aim of world Communism and its traitors within the ranks of Christendom, to demoralize the Christian world, and thus destroy all opposition to communism. "

From Time Magazine-

When the Communists took over Czechoslovakia in 1948, Dr. Joseph Hromadka, dean of the Jan Comenius Theological Faculty in Prague, was one of the few Christian leaders to cooperate with them. Since then, he has become one of Europe's rare spokesmen for the view that Christianity can get along under Communist regimes.

How does it work in Czechoslovakia? The Christian Century interviewed Dr. Hromadka during the international Protestant conferences at Lund, Sweden (TIME, Sept. 1), last week reported, in third-person paraphrase, Hromadka's answers to the question, as checked and approved by Hromadka himself. Excerpts:

Cooperation with the Communists: "When Hromadka declared [his] attitude . . . many of his colleagues in the Czech church considered it a false step. Some even questioned his integrity . . . But now most of this has changed. There are still those who disagree, but they do not question his integrity—only his judgment. An increasing number of the younger students have come to take this position."

Policy as a Czech Christian: "There are not many choices ... If one will not work with the regime in its endeavor to reshape the old economic order, and tries to undermine it, one follows a path which can only lead to anarchy and ugly reaction . . ."

The Religion of Marxists: "Religion, of course, they consider an ideology and an opiate. In all this there is much with which Hromadka believes Christians would have to agree ... We must confess that [religion] has often been an opiate, that it has carried along much of superstition and legend, that it has been made a tool of exploitation."

A Substitute Faith: "It is really quite surprising to see how much the practice as well as the theory of Marxism presents a secularized form of Christianity . . . the quality of regret for deviations approaches genuine penitence."

Marxist Morality: "There are no moral absolutes for the Marxist, either in history or over history. Good and bad are always relative to concrete and changing situations. Now there is much truth in this for Christians. They cannot face all situations with premeditated norms or moral conventions. The saints have often done astonishing things."

Indoctrination: "In the elementary and secondary schools there is no systematic indoctrination in Marxism, although, of course, the teachers have it always in mind. On the university level it must be taught, and the Prague theological faculty is the only higher school which is free to teach another philosophy than Marxism. There are difficulties, of course, and some minor officials and minor party members are more suspicious and intolerant than others. But there has been nothing like forced confessions."

Relations with World Protestantism: "It was very encouraging to Hromadka . . . that he was permitted to come to Lund, which had not seemed at all a high probability. Nobody told 'him what to say, or even asked him what he intended to say . .' ."

The Impact of Communism on Theology: "This is our terribly difficult task. We cannot hide from this remorseless analysis of Christianity; we must confess how much has been hollow and unreal or worse. And we search passionately for that center and foundation of our faith which is invulnerable to attack."

13 Comments:

Blogger Keith Giles said...

Hey Red, thanks for engaging in this discussion. I appreciate your comments.

I do have to take issue with one section where you mistakenly claim that I "...supports "reducing abortions" by making them more available, supports gay marriage by telling Christians we shouldn't oppose it... or oppose anything else for that matter... except the war in Iraq of course."

And also where you say, "
To Giles, the liberation of millions of innocent Iraqi's is termed "killing innocent people" and fighting back on any level is out of the question... unless a Democrat is in power of course."

The reason I take issue with these statements, my friend is that I have never, ever said these things. And I know I have never said these things because I do not believe these things. So, these words and thoughts would never come from my mouth, or my heart.

I can understand that you might assume I would agree with these statements, even though I never wrote or said them, because I may disagree with a certain political party position, but this is illustrative of my actual point: We Christians in America are incapable of imagining our faith in Christ and following Jesus apart from a political agenda.

I am a lifelong, straight-ticket Republican. I have voted in every election since I was of legal age (and I am now 43) and in ever single one of those elections I have voted for the Republican. Every. Single. Time.

See? My point is that, for a follower of Jesus, the solution to society's problems will not ever be found in politics. If we hope to change the hearts of men and women by laws and policies then we are both mistaken and misguided.

Jesus commands us to pledge allegiance to the Kingdom of God, not to a flag or a nation. I'm not saying it's a sin to love your country, or to vote, but I am saying that once we blur the lines between what Jesus is all about and our national pride we might have a problem.

I oppose abortion. It is murder. It is evil.

However, we are commanded to seek first the Kingdom of God and to trust in God Almight, not the laws of our land, or our political leaders.

My writings are aimed at refocusing the people of God on the person of Jesus.

It distrubs me that so many Christians I know are more acquainted with politics than they are with the Word of God or following Jesus in their daily life.

Peace to you, my friend.

Keith
www.KeithGiles.com

10:58 AM  
Blogger Keith Giles said...

One last thing: The little snippet you took from my blog about "subversive being the overthrow of a system from within" is about the Gospel of the Kingdom, not politics.

The Gospel was intended to overthrow and subvert the pattern of this world. It is a seed that starts small and grows powerful in the hearts and minds of the redeemed.

Just wanted to correct that misunderstanding, my friend.

Blessings,
kg

11:05 AM  
Blogger Red S Tater said...

Keith I appreciate your stopping by to comment, however all of those statements that you deny were taken directly from your posts at your blogs.

"If being a good American citizen means you need to cheer on a war that kills innocent people then you must lay aside your Christianity."

Our men and women in uniform were not in Iraq killing innocent people... I don't care how you claim to have voted.

You said...""When it comes to people suffering in war, whether at the hands of Israel, or America, or anyone, our response as followers of Christ should be to weep and to pray for peace. We are called by our Lord and Savior to be peace makers, not war mongers."

And...
"When it comes to issues like Gay Marriage, let us remember that we're all sinners and we all need the same Jesus and the same mercy and grace. Let us be dispensers of grace, mercy and love, not hate, judgment and bitterness. God is still in control and our calling is still to be people who are filled with the radical love of God."

Now please tell me again how you oppose abortion and support traditional marriage and voted Republican down the line?

Did you vote for gay marriage in California?

I have a specific problem with pastors who are advocated for separation of state and church for the first 30 minutes of a sermon and then tell us how to vote the next 30 minutes.

Please stop by anytime and if I am wrong about the meanings of your words, please accept my apology. My intent is not to misrepresent what someone else says.

BTW- what denomination of church are you licensed?
-red

11:14 AM  
Blogger Red S Tater said...

"One last thing: The little snippet you took from my blog about "subversive being the overthrow of a system from within" is about the Gospel of the Kingdom, not politics."

I understood that Keith, I don't think that helps your case however. As I understood it you intend to subvert the traditional Christian system of religion... and I would oppose that as I did here and added that I believe such subversion is by design and whether you are a willing participant or simply a pawn in this big game we call life (useful idiot) doesn't matter. The result is the same.

The deconstruction of religion.

11:23 AM  
Blogger Red S Tater said...

And... let me get this straight. You form churches in your home with only a few people attending instead of going out to meet a lot of people in a large congregation as a way to break down the walls of religion and go out into the world?

How is meeting in your basement with a few close friends and not meeting with hundreds of new people at a large Church breaking down walls and going out into the world?

12:14 PM  
Blogger Keith Giles said...

Red, you asked: "Did you vote for gay marriage in California?"

Answer: No, I did not.

You ask what denomination I am licensed and ordained by:

Answer: Southern Baptist (General Convention of Texas)


You ask: "How is meeting in your basement with a few close friends and not meeting with hundreds of new people at a large Church breaking down walls and going out into the world?"

Answer: It doesn't. But then again, the meeting isn't about breaking down walls and/or going out into the world.

A better question might be, "In what ways does your house church empower people to discover their personal mission and mission field and how do you go out and proclaim the Gospel of Jesus in your community?"

The answer to that is a long one, but in general we see our gatherings as opportunities to identify and encourage the personal mission of every believer. It's a fulfillment of the Great Commission to:
1 - Go
2 - Make Disciples
3 - Teaching them to obey all that I have commanded.

Our gatherings are intentionally designed to foster the "Go!" component of the Great Commission.

Members of our house church lead other studies and groups with other non-believers/new believers during the week. They are in loving relationships with their actual neighbors on their street. They are intentionally following Jesus in their daily life at work, at school, etc.

As a corporate Body we take 100% of our offerings and purchase free groceries for poor families living in a local motel. We help those who struggle financially (whether in our Body or outside). We serve at an orphanage in Tijuana, etc.

As followers of Jesus we are called to go out to where the lost, broken, forgotten are and to bring them not only the message of the Gospel, but the love and compassion that accompanies that good news.

We must be good news, not just speak it.

Our house church is doing all we can to make disciples, to go out with the Gospel, and to teach one another to obey all that Jesus commanded us to do.

I can appreciate that maybe it isn't your experience, but I've found that there are many who do not feel welcome in our traditional church gatherings because they are poor, they have addictions, they don't speak the Christianese language, or (for whatever reason) are not loved and embraced by the Church.

Our hope is to prepare a place where everyone can be welcome and loved. Not to say that there aren't welcoming traditional churches, mind you, but our aim is to be one of the welcoming ones.

Oh, on the Abortion issue: You quoted from an article where I argued that a follower of Jesus should never support the killing of anyone, but I don't see what that has to do with my position on Abortion.

In fact, none of the quotes you pasted from me were in any way related to the Abortion issue.

You also quoted me about gay marriage and I stand behind that quote:
"Let us remember that we're all sinners and we all need the same Jesus and the same mercy and grace. Let us be dispensers of grace, mercy and love, not hate, judgment and bitterness. God is still in control and our calling is still to be people who are filled with the radical love of God."

What part of that statement would you disagree with, my friend?

Do you disagree with:
"Let us remember that we're all sinners and we all need the same Jesus and the same mercy and grace."

Or
"Let us be dispensers of grace, mercy and love, not hate, judgment and bitterness."

Or
"God is still in control and our calling is still to be people who are filled with the radical love of God."

What of that quote would Jesus disagree with?

1:39 PM  
Blogger Keith Giles said...

Hey, I did respond to your comments earlier today but they're not here? Do you moderate comments?

Hmm...?

I'd hate to have to type all that out again.

6:40 PM  
Blogger Like a Mustard Seed said...

The truth is, American military HAVE killed innocent people (civilians)... A fact that the U.S. government would acknowledge. It is a consequence of any war....

But it is acceptable, because the cause being fought for is just and worthy, right? The freedom of the Iraqis? Democracy? The right to vote?

Jesus died for none of those things.

So if you're worried about the communists, or Marxists or anyone else destroying religion, don't worry...

Jesus didn't come to give us religion in the first place. He came to give us LIFE. It is the LIFE of CHRIST which indwells those who truly believe.

This LIFE cannot be put into people by having them file into a religious building.

This LIFE cannot be legislated into existance through Congress, or the Oval office....

This LIFE cannot be protected by nine conservative court Justices...

This LIFE cannot be brought to a nation or culture by military force...

It comes through faith in Christ, and wherever those who have His life are, there His LIFE is! (even if it's in someone's basement...)

6:49 PM  
Blogger Red S Tater said...

Okay... Keith first, I usually don't sit by the 'puter all day waiting for someones comments to publish. But I do publish them as long as they are clean and not just a vile attack.

Next... look, you advertise that your mission is subversive, that you claim to seek to overthrow the traditional Christian Church in favor of your own version of what church should be, you consider traditional Christianity to be evil and want it destroyed, your opinions on the leading issues of our time are at all of your blogs are vague at best... thus when you make comments about America and Israel being warmongers, killing innocents in Iraq (I'll get to you in a minute mustard seed) hopefully you will understand how someone would take you at your word. Which I did.

Now I will take you at your word about your politics but it is very hard to imagine someone voting for Bush and referring to the war and America defending itself the way you did... warmongers? I mean really.

I don't have a problem with you home churching, I don't have a problem with you having political opinions.

I think that God and Jesus want us to participate in the running of our country just as we should participate in running out lives. To participate one should be informed and have an opinion... God put us on this earth to do our best in my opinion.

However, you must also be aware of the assault on Christianity from the left and you must be aware that Communists have used and are using Christianity for their own purpose to destroy America... are you familiar with the term "useful idiots"?

Your attacks on the traditional church and traditional Christianity only serve to weaken the Christian movement as a whole.

Titles of posts endorsing "The Destruction of the (so-called) Christian Subculture" don't exactly sound like peace love and understanding to me my friend.

But I respect you for coming here and openly discussing this... I believe your heart may be in the right place but your methods and the results of your actions are not.

But that's just my opinion.
God Bless and best of luck-
red

8:45 PM  
Blogger Red S Tater said...

Okay... mustard seed, you're up...

I know about Jesus but thanks for the update on what he believed and how he would have voted anyway.

Look, as I said above... God put us on this earth to do our best... this includes being a good citizen, voting in such a way and for issues that you believe support your belief in God and your religion is the responsible thing to do.

Not having an opinion on politics allows you to be controlled by others who do have opinions and vote with them...

I will end with this one thought for you fine folks...


I thank GOD (and Jesus) that our forefathers and founders of this great nation had BOTH a strong belief in God AND a strong sense of the importance of politics.

For if not for our forefathers having faith in God while being very active in politics.... none of us would be having this discussion right now and Keith would not have the freedom to start home churches.

8:54 PM  
Blogger Red S Tater said...

Ohhh and one more thing seed... no nation has ever in the history of warfare worked so hard to avoid any killing of any innocents as America has done in Iraq and Afghanistan and your statement that America kills innocents is worse than misleading and you know it. It is an insult to the men and women who risked their lives so you can sit at home and call them murderers.

Enjoy your nice warm and cozy bed tonight... and thank a veteran before dozing off.

8:58 PM  
Blogger Red S Tater said...

I'm sorry Keith, but you really haven't convinced me you're an evil rightwinger... but I give you an A for effort. I mean you can't really subvert something if you aren't pretending to be onboard right?

9:10 PM  
Blogger Red S Tater said...

Okay, trying to be fair here... as I said in the post... you certainly don't sound like you sincerely oppose abortion.

Since we live in a country of laws not a theocracy, I disagree that Christians should not be active in politics... considering that is where laws are written and we are a country governed by laws... not religion.

If we lived in a theocracy then we wouldn't need to be involved in politics would we? The Church/government will figure it out for us.

You wrote...
"First, while I agree that abortion ends a life I can honestly say that, since 1973 (the year of the Roe vs Wade decision) we have had no significant judicial or congressional legislation enacted to overturn this landmark case. Even with our great Republican presidents at the helm such as Reagan, Bush Sr., and George W. Bush --most of them serving two terms -- we have had no change.

Your Question: Why do we still believe that if we continue voting and lobbying and endorsing and fighting that we will change this law?

The Answer: Because we are a democratic republic of laws not a theocracy.

10:35 PM  

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