Jesus Needs New PR

Jesus Needs New PR


Glenn Beck & Jerry Falwell Jr. unite against ‘social justice’

Watch the latest news video at video.foxnews.com

In addition to hating on social justice, Falwell Jr. tells Beck that his commencement speech at Liberty University was the best that Liberty had ever experienced.

Really Jerry? Glenn Beck was the BEST?

Watch the latest news video at video.foxnews.com

Your thoughts?



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Dale Best

posted May 19, 2010 at 12:13 pm


How do you type the sound of throwing up?



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    shellie (baylormum)

    posted May 19, 2010 at 4:46 pm


    B.L.E.C.H.



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Ken

posted May 19, 2010 at 12:14 pm


Pretty sad. Just because the actual phrase “social justice” isn’t found in the Constitution or Bible, doesn’t mean the concept isn’t. The term Social Justice has nothing to do with “entire classes”. I”m not surprised at Glenn Beck or JF Jr., but very surprised that the President of Westminster Theological Seminary, a very reformed and solid school, would buy into this. His explanation is a mere glossing over terms like “liberalism”. He criticizes how liberals have “changed” good, Christian language. If that is the case, why can’t we reclaim those words? I would recommend a better book, “The Hole in Our Gospel” by Richard Stearns, which is the 2010 Book of the Year in the ECPA.

It’s very tiring where people continue to allow politics to inform their faith, while pretending it is the other way around.



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    Rachel H. Evans

    posted May 19, 2010 at 12:45 pm


    Loved “The Hole in Our Gospel.” Great suggestion!

    I too was bummed and surprised to see the president of WTS there. Sounds like he couldn’t resist selling a few more copies of that book. (Free enterprise!)



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Dianna

posted May 19, 2010 at 12:19 pm


Wait, wait, wait: A person can’t be BOTH a Methodist *and* a Communist? Well darnitall! And here I was, thinking that both Democracy and Communism are post-Enlightenment systems of government that have no bearing on what the Bible itself has to say, and therefore one could easily support the system of government that he or she feels most reflects Biblical teaching. Shame on me, I should have realized it that all that talk that Jesus had about giving your stuff to the poor meant an American Democracy! Right.

Also, “the individual character of salvation”? Last I heard, Salvation was kind of a communal thing. That’s why we have churches, and that’s why we talk about the communal Body of Christ. Gee, poor me for basing my entire theology on that idea that we are a community, and not merely individuals. Guess I’ll rip that MA Thesis up.

*headdesk*



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    Amy

    posted May 20, 2010 at 11:10 pm


    hmmm… i suppose if you are extracting some parts of communism from the whole, you could be methodist and communist, but i think taken as a whole, as laid out in the manifesto, perhaps some of that rebellion and violence is a bit less than christian.
    you’re completely right on the communal salvation part though.



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Zach Hoag

posted May 19, 2010 at 12:20 pm


I love that shot in the second video where he’s staring at the static screen listening to his own voice. Something symbolic about that.



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    shellie (baylormum)

    posted May 19, 2010 at 4:49 pm


    Or Beck’s face on the 2nd clip while Nancy Pelosi is speaking. Smug jerk.



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Jay

posted May 19, 2010 at 12:28 pm


I don’t watch or listen to Beck, but I did watch that second video and do think he’s spot on.

When President Bush was actively courting faith-based organizations to help with issues like drug addiction, liberals blew a gasket. When President Bush won in 2004, Andrew Sullivan declared “Welcome to Jesus-Land.”

While I find it offensive for very conservative Christians to use the government as means to their ends (Human Life Amendment, school led prayer, etc.), I find it just as offensive for left wing Christians to attempt to use the federal government to advance their agenda (Cap and Trade, health care reform), especially under the guise of “social justice.”

Neither side is innocent here.



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Mike Utech

posted May 19, 2010 at 12:34 pm


having watching Beck’s speech I must say it was really good. I haven’t heard/seen any others so it is hard to make an all exclusive comparison.
As for social justice, Beck is spot on. Christian Charity is not Social Justice. As according to Rev. Wallace, Christian Charity doesn’t go far enough as it doesn’t have enough resources. Wallace wants the government to redistribute wealth to make things fair and use the church as its pawn.
Yes the church in America has fallen short of its responsibility. It’s because we are all leaving our tithes in the parking lot and driving them home.



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Rachel H. Evans

posted May 19, 2010 at 12:36 pm


Wow. What little respect I had left for WTS just disappeared.

(Never had much for Jerry Falwell Jr. or Glenn Beck to begin with.)



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Jeff Nusser

posted May 19, 2010 at 12:36 pm


Taking care of the poor is communism. Who knew Jesus actually invented communism? I learn something new everyday.



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Ken

posted May 19, 2010 at 12:39 pm


Jay and Mike, where I think you are wrong is the context of these statements and Beck’s previous statements. He isn’t criticizing merely “social justice” on a governmental level. He is criticizing any mention of the term or any practice of it even by churches. He said he would leave his own (Mormon) church if they ever even used the phrase “social justice.”

The term is not rooted in government action. I would like to think that I care about social justice and practice social justice in my life and in my business…apart from any government programs or control/interference.

And THAT kind of social justice seems to be at the heart of the gospel. True religion = caring for the widows and orphans. The Good Samaritan. THAT is social justice.



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    Jay

    posted May 19, 2010 at 1:12 pm


    Ken, when looking at Beck’s comments right away, it is hard to defend and Beck was careless for doing it in such a way that left him open for such criticism. But a closer examination reveals a political context to his statements. He specifically spoke about Jeremiah Wright. Unfortunately, there is no shortage of pastors in the United States who have handed off the gospel of Jesus Christ and instead use their pulpit as a platform for economic and political change. And it is often packaged as “social justice.”

    The term may not be rooted in government action, but for many that’s where it is rooted starting with Washington Gladden and Walter Rauschenbusch. To them and to the people who subscribe to that kind of thinking, the gospel of Jesus Christ – salvation from sin through the blood of Jesus Christ – is secondary to the “social gospel” which is to the attempt to somehow bring about the Kingdom of God here on earth through fighting societal issues and injustice.

    This too is something that is wrong in my view. Just as it is wrong to just say, “I will pray for you” when a hungry person asks for food, it is just as wrong to omit sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with that person if you offer him food. (Mark 8:36)



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      Ken

      posted May 19, 2010 at 1:19 pm


      I see your point, but based on Beck’s previous and ongoing comments, he is not rooting this in government programs.

      John Q. Public has no clue who Wright, Gladden, and Rauschenbusch are. But they do know that people are hungry and poor.

      And I might even disagree with your last statement a little. I believe that when Christians feed the hungry, they ARE sharing the gospel of Christ. If there is a compulsion to verbally witness to all whom we feed, it becomes a motive thing. We should love these people regardless. Otherwise they become “projects.” If that is our motive, then if and when they DON’T respond to the gospel, we wash our hands of them and have no interest in them. Our only interest in others should not be based on sharing the gospel.



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        Chris

        posted May 19, 2010 at 1:31 pm


        Ken,
        You are correct in saying that our interest in others should not be based on sharing the gospel, but it should be based on loving this as individuals and building relationships with them. I don’t see how any government program will ever help in satisfying this motive.



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          Ken

          posted May 19, 2010 at 1:33 pm


          And again, I”m not advocating any sort of government programs. THough I can see why people want the governement to step in when the Church fails to do its job.

          Everything I promote is about loving and building relationships. Even my own business is built on that particular model and I urge my clients to do the same.



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        Jay

        posted May 19, 2010 at 1:31 pm


        I believe that when Christians feed the hungry, they ARE sharing the gospel of Christ.

        That’s incorrect. Giving and aiding the poor are the implications of the gospel. It is not the gospel itself.

        And yes, we should love people regardless, but that’s not the point I was making. Unfortunately, too many have replaced sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ (repentance and faith in response to Christ’s death and resurrection) with the implications of the gospel and think it’s good enough. People want and appreciate being helped. They also want to know WHY. If all we say to them is, “Because I love you as a person” what good does it do them for eternity?



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          Ken

          posted May 19, 2010 at 1:35 pm


          Again, I agree in part. Beck makes the mistake of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. In trying to correct a drift in the church (though as someone outside of the Church, he’s not a great person to speak on this), he goes overboard. It is his rhetoric which is damning, and far too many conservatives and Christians fall into that trap. We are to speak the truth in love, and there is no love in his words or tone. All he ever talks about is a love for America. I’m far more concerned about Jesus words of loving God and loving others.



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Jeff Nusser

posted May 19, 2010 at 12:52 pm


OK, so I’ve got a few more thoughts.

It seems to me that too many people confuse “social justice” with “quest for equality.” That’s the argument Beck seems to be making by saying that “social justice” is about propping up classes of people, hence the comparison to communism. If everyone’s the same, then no one’s an individual, and that’s anti-American.

A better synonym for “social justice” is “quest for equity.” Equity in access, equity in opportunity, equity in all of the things that allow people like Glenn Beck, Jerry Falwell Jr., me, most of my friends — all of whom came from middle to upper-middle class America — to become what we became via our own individual effort.

As someone who works with high school students on a daily basis, I can state definitively that these inequities in our families and in our communities play a large role in keeping otherwise perfectly capable people from reaching their potential — from fulfilling the American Dream that Beck and so many other like-minded individuals cling to.

Until there is equity in our nation and in our world that allows every person’s ability to match their achievement, I’ll continue to fight for “social justice.”



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Michael Shelley

posted May 19, 2010 at 12:52 pm


@Jeff Nusser: There’s a HUGE difference between the people taking care of the poor and the government taking care of the poor. The people need to step up and the government needs to step off.



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    David Henson

    posted May 19, 2010 at 1:32 pm


    “The people” are much more ineffectual than our ineffectual government.



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    Alise

    posted May 19, 2010 at 1:33 pm


    What is stopping people from helping the poor? Certainly not the government.



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    Jeff Nusser

    posted May 19, 2010 at 2:30 pm


    Last I checked, the government is made up of people.



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      Jeff Nusser

      posted May 19, 2010 at 6:15 pm


      I suppose what I’m getting at is that it’s a shame that people turn to joining government to bring about change rather than the church.



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Mike Utech

posted May 19, 2010 at 12:52 pm


Ken
Glenn’s criticism of Social Justice is based upon the definition and co-oping of term that occurred in the early 20th century. The last time the Progressives tried to turn this country from a Republic to a Socialist state.
I know this can get lost in the sound bites and I would encourage you to find the entire context of Beck’s statements.
The point is – words mean things. And social justice has been used in the past and currently by religious people who think Jesus’ call was for the government to take from the haves and give/redistribute to the have-nots – Wallace has said from his own mouth that well meaning charities do not have the resources and do not go far enough, the government must be involved. I’m sorry but that is NO WHERE in the Bible. Jesus said if you see someone in need to give them your coat, not give it to the government so they can take care of them.
The church has lost its way – we were called by God to take care of our neighbor but instead we got all wrapped up in consumerism and have borrowed our way into slavery. And now those in need are looking to the government to help them and in turn our politicians believe that they are now the provider and deity.
The Good Samaritan was not social justice, he was being charitable. No one forced him to help the beaten man or pay for his recovery – he choose to cross the street and care for him.



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    Dianna

    posted May 19, 2010 at 1:06 pm


    Mike,
    Though Beck’s interpretation of Social Justice is based on such a co-opting of the term, it is not what churches mean nowadays. Your comment about Jim Wallis is interesting sleight of hand – He says that when charities, parachurch organizations, etc, have exhausted their means to provide social justice, then the government needs to step in. You seem to be interpreting that as “government first and only,” rightly something we should be scared of. But that, indeed, is not what any of us (or Jim Wallis) are saying. When the church/religious/privatized means are exhausted (which happens quite quickly because, let’s face, people are selfish and don’t give easily, partly because of the emphasis in America on keeping yourself and your dream happy first and foremost), the government needs to step in and help remedy those inequities because they are the next largest body of power. As Jeff says above, this is not about the equaling of classes and redistribution of wealth, but about the equaling of opportunities. It’s a little hard to pull yourself up by your bootstraps if you have no bootstraps to begin with. We “liberal social justice progressive types” go to the governments because it’s really hard to get justice for a victim of trafficking if they’re being punished for being in the country illegally. It’s really hard to help a woman build her own business and support her family if the government laws are such that she can’t do work outside the home.

    I would urge anyone interested in the social justice movement to look back at the Women’s Moral Reform Movement of the 19th Century, particularly in the New England area. Lots of women banded together to help the poor because they felt it was their religious duty to provide a place for women who had been damaged by society to go and survive and make a good wage. Eventually the movement realized that it couldn’t demand survivable wage for the downtrodden women without demanding a change on a government level – in order to do their work in the private sector, they needed to the ability to change things on a governmental level, and thus the women’s suffrage movement was born. The system itself needed to be changed in order to achieve a private social justice end.



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      Chris

      posted May 19, 2010 at 1:49 pm


      @Dianna,
      I really enjoyed your thoughts. The Women’s Moral Reform Movement is a great example of how church should try to mold society. The group did as much as they could on their own, and then eventually went to the government to accomplish only what they could not in order to achieve their goal. There is a role for government, and are the playing field should be fair for everybody. However, to have politicians working in collaboration with churches is very dangerous stuff.

      The social justice issues you brought up, NEED to be addressed. However, I think what Beck is largely concerned with is programs designed to redistribute wealth. I think he raises good issues here, but then discredits himself by going way overboard….as he does.



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    David Henson

    posted May 19, 2010 at 1:37 pm


    There are a lot of things that aren’t in the Bible. Cars, radio, democracy, equal representation, the trinity. Jesus said to give to all who ask. Many of us (who are middle class or wealthy) do not live in close community with those who would ask, and, of course, when they do, we tell them to get a job and work for their living. The point is, if we are going to take the Bible seriously, or literally, when it comes to issues of poverty, I suggest that anyone with a house, land or lots of possessions put them up for sale, give that money to those who are asking (the millions of hungry who die every day) and live like a pauper, like Jesus did.

    Then maybe the church can start to find its way again.



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Ken

posted May 19, 2010 at 1:05 pm


Mike, I guess my point is that I don’t care how someone has co-opted the term or whether that term is actually in scripture, or what Wallace means by it. I know what we are commanded to do in scripture, and in my mind…these things ARE social justice. We are called as individuals, and the Church, to care for the poor and the widows.

Again, I urge a reading of Stearns’ “The Hole in our Gospel”. Beck, et al may see these as code words for government intervention, and for many they are, but he denounces more than just the words. He throws the baby out with the bath water. He denounces churches that even use those words, regardless of how they use it. That, in my mind, is incredibly dangerous.

And despite that, Glen Beck is an entertainer, not an intelligent, thinking man who adds to the conversation. He is divisive, and is the type of person who makes comments in order to get a rise out of people, and that is why so many people think that all conservatives are loud mouths.



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    shellie (baylormum)

    posted May 19, 2010 at 4:59 pm


    And am I missing Beck’s solution? Other than to run? Once words come out of our mouths they are a sound bite for eternity. Any apologies, or corrections, for the misuse of words get lost in the loud rhetoric that has already begun because of the “loud mouths”.

    People don’t seem to be able to think for themselves anymore. I don’t wanna be a sheep!!! Blah, blah, blah. Or is it baaa, baaa, baaa? The facts are out there. Don’t depend on scare tactics as gospel the truth. I have a mind. I want to weigh what is put before me.

    Lots of interesting convo on here today, MPT. On a day where you are speaking into a mic for an audio book. No subliminal messages, now!!



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Jacob Hammack

posted May 19, 2010 at 1:16 pm


Psalm 146
5Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord his God,
6 who made heaven and earth,
the sea, and all that is in them,
who keeps faith forever;
7 who executes justice for the oppressed,
who gives food to the hungry.

The Lord sets the prisoners free;
8 the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
the Lord loves the righteous.
9 The Lord watches over the sojourners;
he upholds the widow and the fatherless,
but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.



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Chris

posted May 19, 2010 at 1:22 pm


Call me crazy, and I HATE to say this, but I actually find myself siding with Beck on this one. He might be going a little over board (surprise surprise), but I agree with his general line of thinking. Tony Campollo, who is an advocate for the social justice movement (and a favorite author of mine), has a terrific quote about combining church & state:

“When government and church begin to mix, you got a problem. It’s like mixing ice cream with horse manure: You will not ruin the horse manure, but it will ruin the ice cream. I think to mix the church and state is to, in fact, put the church in a compromising position.”

Nowhere in the bible did Jesus or any of his followers claim that Rome should do anything to help anybody. The message I get from the bible is to leave government out of it, and use my own resources to help the poor. Otherwise generosity becomes irrelevant and so does the church.

What’s the value in selling all my possessions to give to the poor, if the government is already doing that? The more responsibility the government has in serving the poor, the less the church has, and thus the entire institution of church becomes more and more meaningless. If you don’t believe me, compare churches over the last hundred years in a Capitalist America vs. a more socialist Europe. There’s no comparison.

I would rather live in a society of compassionate individuals who take care of each other, than a society where the government takes care of everybody. If you can think of any group in society that has benefited from a compassionate government, please let me know. The general truth that I’ve witnessed in the inner city projects of America, on numerous Indian reservations, and in Eastern Europe is that the more social responsibility that the government accepts, the more depressed (and Godless) it’s people become.



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    David Henson

    posted May 19, 2010 at 1:40 pm


    Is it fair to compare a reaction to the government of Rome to our current government?

    Would it be fair to compare black political participation/reactions/involvements during the time of slavery to black political participation in a time when we have a black president?

    There is a significant rational disconnect here when we try to figure out a proper response to government from a Jewish outsider rabbi who lived under imperial, oppressive rule of Rome, which killed him for his teachings.



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    Jeff Nusser

    posted May 19, 2010 at 2:36 pm


    “I would rather live in a society of compassionate individuals who take care of each other, than a society where the government takes care of everybody.”

    True. Problem is, we aren’t full of compassionate individuals who take care of each other. That’s why the government feels the need to step in. It’s the same reason why the government has to step in and regulate business, as thousands of years have shown that unchecked capitalism results in untold corruption.

    Am I saying it’s right that the government get involved? No. In an ideal world, government would do its only intended function — maintain order. But our own ambition and greed has created this world we live in, and we’ve got no one to blame but ourselves that the government feels it has no choice but to step in.



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      Jeff Nusser

      posted May 19, 2010 at 2:38 pm


      In fact, in an ideal world where everyone is concerned about the welfare of others, we wouldn’t need government.

      But I suppose that’s what heaven is for.



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Alise

posted May 19, 2010 at 1:43 pm


This whole thing is why we need to be involved on a personal level with caring for the poor. When it’s just The Poor, they become “those people.” They are a “they.” But when we donate our time, they’re just Jim & Kelly. They’re not a group, they’re people. We know their stories. And when we’re involved, we want to help in whatever way we can. And we realize both how much and how little we can do.

I guess I just don’t understand why government involvement means that the Church can’t help. How is our own laziness the fault of the government?

As for the whole Glenn Beck thing. Whatever. He’s an incredibly polarizing figure. Using him as a keynote speaker is silly, IMO.



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Leanne

posted May 19, 2010 at 2:32 pm


Theologians should not use the defense that a word is not in the Bible so therefore it is not Biblical. The term Trinity is not in the Bible and I would believe Westminister Seminary believes in the Trinity…..
I do not believe Faith can fully be logically explained. But when we present an argument we need to be a little more consistent.



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DK Stangeland

posted May 19, 2010 at 3:10 pm


Ok, I watched the videos and read the comments. My desire to comment decreased with each one I read but here is how I see it. It’s a question on semantics. It is how you interpret the words Social Justice. If you interpret them as political, then there is a problem. But if you interpret them as a calling on your life to help someone else who has a need whether in this country or another one, then you are living your faith.

Beck did serious damage with his March comments by using the term Social Justice to describe an act of government. We have plenty of other terms for that. But now, people who want to do the right thing and live their faith in a real and tangible way will be scared and run away because they hear this term used to describe the important and wonderful work that thousands of Christ Followers and churches are doing around the world.

That makes me sad. But it also makes me want to work even harder to keep doing what I have been called to do because someday I’ll have to answer for it and it won’t be to Glenn Beck.

If you are concerned about this in your church – go ask your pastor how he interprets the term and then make your decision.



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Wezlo

posted May 19, 2010 at 4:46 pm


Glen said, “I don’t care what God you serve, we’ve got to get back to right principles.”

Can someone explain to me why the President of a Christian University and the President of a seminary didn’t stand up and say, “No Glen, we actually believe that’s completely wrong?”

Sigh.



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    Danny Bixby

    posted May 19, 2010 at 8:39 pm


    Because in some ways they don’t.

    Ideology trumps theology.

    Why would a mormon be giving the commencement address?



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karen spears zacharias

posted May 19, 2010 at 4:55 pm


Glen Beck makes me proud of being wrongly labeled a liberal.



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nate

posted May 19, 2010 at 6:01 pm


bull.

the “-hood” in “falsehood” has nothing to do with the “hood” in “robe and hood”. the former is basically the same as the german suffix “-heit” and the latter is related to the word from which “hat” is derived.

don’t claim what you don’t know, dr lillback.

also, your theology reeks of unchallenged western philosophy. it ain’t all wrong, but it certainly ain’t right.



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Brad S

posted May 19, 2010 at 8:10 pm


The sad thing is that there are millions of people hanging on every word of this crook. HE IS USING YOU!! ALL HE CARES ABOUT IS MONEY!! Glenn Beck is an entertainer, he has said as much. He is not the new messiah and he is not much of a Christian.

They complain about taking language and giving it a new meaning. “Hello pot, I’m kettle.”



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James

posted May 20, 2010 at 12:51 pm


Ryan Dobson gave Glenn Beck a semi-beating on Korkast yesterday. Unfortunately, he gave a semi-shoutout to “The Shack” later in the broadcast.



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Libby

posted May 20, 2010 at 1:37 pm


fortunately, only the liberals are changing the words of christianity. really glen? really?



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Beata Frymire

posted July 4, 2010 at 2:23 pm


Very interesting post thank you for sharing I have added your website to my favorites and will check back :) By the way this is a little off subject but I really like your blogs layout.



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