God's Politics

God's Politics

Voice of the Day: Morton T. Kelsey

One cannot go in for silence in a big way, make a pile and then retire. It would be better to settle for a more modest undertaking so that one could stay in business and keep at it. Otherwise the profits soon dry up.
– Morton T. Kelsey
from The Other Side of Silence
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Lynn C. Jaeger

posted August 27, 2007 at 7:01 pm

I(who am now a middle-aged 53) grew up in San Diego – Tim LaHaye’s home town. He hasn’t changed a whit inside(tho he looks like he’s had a few face-lifts). What HAS changed since I was a kid and he was persecuting an active (and by all accounts, effective)Youth for Christ leader (an elected local school board member, no less) because he suspected he was gay is that the kind of narrow-minded, “you’ll-know-we-are-Christians-when-we-kick-your-a**” mentality he has always espoused has gone mainstream.
Then, as now, the meaning of Bible passages was less important to him than the use to which the Bible could be put. But this is nothing new. Read the book of Kings – or the book of Amos! Power politics has for many centuries justified its selfishness and cruel excesses – either by treating religion as superfluous, or by hiding under superficial religiousity. Doesn’t the Bible – from the story of Noah all the way through to the Revelation of St. John – tells us that those who are true to God’s Word are always in the minority?
Our current situation, when this kind of thinking is by many mistaken for Christian orthodoxy, and their are millions of dollars to be gotten by publishing the stuff, has been a long time coming. I think there was something terribly wrong when Eisenhower had “in God we trust” put on the coinage, and then added “under God” to the pledge of allegiance. No offense meant to Billy Graham, who encouraged the President to make those changes, but I think that those acts contributed mightily to America’s prior confusion.
We already, as a culture, thought we were somehow special. Many of our progenitors had come here because they were certain they – and their religious views – were right and others’ were wrong. We already had a hard time distinguishing between being graced by God and holding “exclusive rights” to God; between the temporal national interest and God’s eternal will for the world; between attitudes of humble and awe-struck gratitude and entitled triumphalism.
The religious Right – they called themselves the “Moral Majority”, something the Bible tells us does not exist – has simply taken the UN-Christian doctrine of “manifest destiny” – itself a political descendent of that Calvinist/Puritan religious heresy that taught that
the proof of righteousness is worldly success – to its ultimate conclusion.
In that light, America has the right to rule the world, because we are uniquely able to bully those who would stop us. Might – measured in dollars or megatons – proves we are right. And Christians have the right to run the world (even to enforce politco-religious hegemony through warfare), to use the words of a military spokesman for this world view,”because our God can beat their god”.
For my money, we couldn’t leave this stuff behind fast enough.

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