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Giving the trumpet a certain sound

June 2006

Goals of the Christian Right

A recent article reflected on some of the expressed goals of the religious right:

Speaking to outsiders, most Christian nationalists say they’re simply responding to anti-Christian persecution. They say that secularism is itself a religion, one unfairly imposed on them. They say they’re the victims in the culture wars. But Christian nationalist ideologues don’t want equality, they want dominance. In his book “The Changing of the Guard: Biblical Principles for Political Action,” George Grant, former executive director of D. James Kennedy’s Coral Ridge Ministries, wrote:

“Christians have an obligation, a mandate, a commission, a holy responsibility to reclaim the land for Jesus Christ -- to have dominion in civil structures, just as in every other aspect of life and godliness.

     But it is dominion we are after. Not just a voice.

     It is dominion we are after. Not just influence.

     It is dominion we are after. Not just equal time.

     It is dominion we are after.

     World conquest. That’s what Christ has commissioned us to accomplish. We must win the world with the power of the Gospel. And we must never settle for anything less...

     Thus, Christian politics has as its primary intent the conquest of the land -- of men, families, institutions, bureaucracies, courts, and governments for the Kingdom of Christ.” (“Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism,” Salon.com, May 12, 2006)

Inspired Commentary

In an often-quoted passage, Jesus gave what is called the “gospel commission.”

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Matt. 28:18-20.

Given the warning of Bible prophecy (Rev. 13:15, 16) and the persecutions during the Middle Ages, one should wonder about the desire to have dominion in civil structures and what that might mean in practice.

Vatican Astronomer on Creationism

In an interview before a speech at the Glasgow Science Center, the Pope’s astronomer was quoted expressing his views about creationism:

BELIEVING that God created the universe in six days is a form of superstitious paganism, the Vatican astronomer Guy Consolmagno claimed yesterday.

Brother Consolmagno, who works in a Vatican observatory in Arizona and as curator of the Vatican meteorite collection in Italy, said a “destructive myth” had developed in modern society that religion and science were competing ideologies.

He described creationism, whose supporters want it taught in schools alongside evolution, as a “kind of paganism” because it harked back to the days of “nature gods” who were responsible for natural events. ...

“Religion needs science to keep it away from superstition and keep it close to reality, to protect it from creationism, which at the end of the day is a kind of paganism - it’s turning God into a nature god. And science needs religion in order to have a conscience, to know that, just because something is possible, it may not be a good thing to do.” (“Creationism dismissed as ‘a kind of paganism’ by Vatican’s astronomer,” news.scotsman.com, May 5, 2006)

Is it the same to assert that God is over nature as to worship a god of human invention to explain an event occurring in the natural world?

Inspired Commentary

The power of God over nature is clearly stated in the Bible. To suggest that belief in the literal meaning of the words of the Bible is superstition, is to pit the changing perceptions of scientific study against the revealed truth of the Scriptures. Unwise.

... knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 2 Peter 3:3-7

The DaVinci Code

A best-selling book, The DaVinci Code by Ron Brown, was released as a movie during May. The movie reported grossed $77 million at its debut in the USA and $224 million worldwide. Billed as a blend of fact and fiction, the story apparently has a lot of appeal. One writer noted the following:

The cult of The Da Vinci Code is a marvelous illustration of both these impulses concerning truth. It purports to offer transparency, an unveiling of things kept hidden by powerful institutions. It simultaneously feeds our skepticism about truth, since it deflates the greatest claims to truth in the history of human civilization. This is why conspiracy theories are at once superficially so satisfying and essentially so vacuous. And Brown’s conspiracy theory has a clever hook; it invites us, as readers, to participate in the solution of the great mysteries, as the book is structured, tediously by the end, around a series of codes that need to be deciphered. ...

There is double trouble here for Brown’s heroes. First, how do we get from the Gnostic repudiation of the body in favor of the spirit to the assertion that what is most significant is pure biology, a bloodline? Second, why should anyone today care about the protection of a royal bloodline? On the one hand, Brown wants to demote Christ, who is no longer to be conceived of as divine, but merely as an influential human; on the other hand, Brown wants to elevate Christ’s human bloodline, his royal genealogy. (“The Da Vinci Crisis” by Thomas S. Hibbs, National Review Online, May 19, 2006)

Inspired Commentary

The great conflict between good and evil as recorded in the Bible has been attempted to demote Christ for a long while:

Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written:

‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and,

‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’”

Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’” Matt. 4:5-7

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