Our Common Bond: Duane W.H. Arnold, PhD
Although the election is tomorrow, I fear that the wreckage from the election may well be with us for some time to come. I say this no matter who ultimately wins the contest.
We have allowed ourselves to become defined not by our faith, but by our politics, and politics have become a blood sport. As with any other blood sport, scars will be left even as wounds slowly heal. Speaking for myself, I have watched as relationships, some of long standing, have been strained almost to the breaking point. Together we have watched the erosion of respect for one another, for our civic and faith leaders, and for institutions once held in regard. I fear that this will not stop simply owing to the certification of the election. Those on the extremes of left and right will continue in their activities because we have normalized the fringe. In reducing complex issues to yard signs and bumper sticker slogans we have diminished ourselves and coarsened our discourse, both public and private.
Yesterday, my wife and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary. We were married in Kramer Chapel (Eero Saarinen, architect) on the campus of Concordia Theological Seminary. My old friend, John Michael Talbot, then a recent convert to the Roman Catholic Church, provided the special music in the service. In the congregation, numerous parishioners from my old Calvary Chapel were in evidence. An LCMS pastor celebrated a nuptial Eucharist using the rite found in the 1928 Book of Common Prayer. Anglican and Orthodox priests offered public prayers. All of them were close friends and colleagues… and I did not, and do not to this day, know the political leanings of any of those who participated. Moreover, my respect and regard for each and every one of them remains undiminished. Our common bond was our faith, not politics, and it has remained so thorough all these years.
As many have ardently embraced the politics of the moment in 2020, I have witnessed and felt the breaking of that common bond of faith, along with the abandonment of mutual respect that was once a part of normative Christian discourse. Worse, however, at least in my mind, is that I see little chance of bridging the gulf between many of us, much less a restoration of respect and/or regard that was once normative. The election, by its very nature, will likely be yet more divisive as our side either loses or wins, and as a subsequence, divides us into the binary categories of winners and losers. While I might wish and hope for graciousness on both sides, with a view to the common good, I doubt if this will be the case. Even in the church we have become addicted to our outrage. We have become expert in identifying enemies. Schoolyard taunts and making fun of names, appearances, illnesses or even disabilities – things which should have been left behind in middle school – have become the stuff of common conversation among believers whom, I have to believe, know better.
Tomorrow may provide a pause, but it will not provide a solution for the people we have become… Perhaps all we can do is pray.
Almighty God, who hast given us this good land for our heritage:
We humbly beseech thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of thy favor and glad to do thy will.
Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning, and pure manners.
Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way.
Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues.
Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in thy Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to thy law, we may show forth thy praise among the nations of the earth.
In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in thee to fail;
all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Thank you for the prayer of unity & thanksgiving.
Congratulations on 40 years of marriage, may you have many more.
So very kind… Thank you!
First let me say congratulations to you and your wife on 40 years of marriage – a great feat. Speaking of common bonds, I too was married by a Lutheran pastor about a dozen years before you, and if I have read you correctly over the years, neither of us were Lutheran at the time 🙂
I don’t know that bonds that we have, even “common” bonds are necessarily exactly defined as “being the same on all points” – nor are they establish to not endure differences.
I can have common bonds with other Christians gathered around Christ and Christ alone and still do social media battle Lutheran vs Baptist — without breaking bonds.
I can have common bonds with many as baseball fans (even fanatics) and still do social media battle Dodgers vs Giants — without breaking bonds.
The same goes for politics – we as Americans have that same common bond seeking to protect democracy and do what we think is best for America – and still do social media battle Democrat vs Republican — Biden vs Trump — without breaking that common bond.
I would like to believe that what you say is true… there is, however, much evidence to the contrary…
Duane – do folks in your local congregation openly get heated over politics? Does the pastor work at swaying people one way of the other?
I don’t see or hear any of that in mine.
I guess I should put this out to the public here – is anyone a member of a local congregation that if things didn’t calm down after the election would be on the verge of a split? I would take a guess that it is always this anonymous “they / them” that are fighting and destroying the church – but are we seeing any of that in our actual church – and if so isn’t that 100% the pastor’s fault?
Let’s see, the so-called “Patriot churches”, Rob McCoy, Trump’s Evangelical Advisory Board, Falwell (of recent disgrace)… the list could go on and on. I will not, however, discount those churches on the political left who have essentially pushed out politically conservative parishioners. This is an “equal opportunity” situation… I’ve seen and have personal knowledge of both types.
Thank you for your post. It is important and timely.
40 years!!! Congratulations indeed, this means the wandering is over, the wilderness experience yields an entry into rest. Your coming years are the most blessed.
I was still a Lutheran when I got married but two weeks later my Presbyterian wife and I were baptized in the Baptist church.
This unity that you speak of is crucial. Underneath this unity was is a common vision of our nation. That common vision has changed. The left now views our nation as systemically racist which means we must reject our heritage. The left now wants to re-interpret our history and renounce our inheritance.The left wants to renounce our borders renounce our citizenship basis and renounce our founding principles.
This election is not about Trump and Biden. This election is about our identity as a people. When you do not know who you are you cannot have a common unity. So the question is; are we a nation with problems and promises unfulfilled or are we a nation with evil foundations that have to be renounced and reformed?
The left is challenging our history. They are challenging our founding principles. They are challenging the meaning of our common language. They are redefining so many words and so many commonly held ideals as to shatter our union.
Duane what you were seeing is very real. 40 years ago all those people at your wedding had enough common assumptions that they could hold vastly different beliefs and still respect and honor one another. Today even when we say the same words they do not mean the same thing. Even with religious views at variance and political views at variance those at your wedding held a common view of who we are as a people in this nation. Today one group thinks we are evil and in need of renouncing our inheritance the other group thinks we are in need of continuing to progress toward the promises that were made to all but kept unevenly.
When human beings do not have a common language they use force to establish order in the midst of the chaos. Without common language violence settles matters. We are of people who no longer share a common language.
Your call to prayer is vital. Can the body of Christ be a healing agent in this divide? Perhaps but we will have to find our unity in Christ and not in the national covenant that just now is deeply divided. America has been here before 155 years ago our survival came a terrible cost.
But this is different 155 years ago we had very clear issues and very clear aims. Today we have visions of our nation that have more in common with Europe 100 years ago. Either way both yielded terrifying results may God have mercy on us.
I would assume that none of those would be classified as your local congregation.
How does the “they / them” affect the church – they have absolutely zero impact on my congregation. I can pretty much guarantee that if I brought up ““Patriot churches”, Rob McCoy, Trump’s Evangelical Advisory Board, Falwell (of recent disgrace)…” to my men’s group that I would get stares of non recognition as to who they are.
So is your local church being torn apart by the existence of these people / groups? Regardless of the political leanings of your local church, who has been pushed out?
Without the Phoenix Preacher “patriot churches, and Rob McCoy would have never
passed my radar. People and subjects like these, we never speak with our mouths – only type about with our fingers – and I think that is a huge difference.
See, I think there is a world of reality in which we all live and then there is this social media world that catches our fancy — but in reality, we don’t bring it back to the hive with us.
Perhaps I live in a cocoon.
I add my amen to your prayer & will repeat it throughout the next days.
I’m afraid that you have proven the point. I’m talking faith, you are talking politics and nation…
Many thanks… we all need to be praying.
I am asserting that what existed 40 years ago had a set of assumptions undergirding it that no longer exists.
I am talking faith. Faith defines race, sex, gender, nation, human nature, marriage, education, etc. My faith is not a secluded private compartment.
I don’t understand your view of faith that you seem to seclude from public corporate life. Separation of faith and life does not exist in my world. That is a strange cultural accretion flowing from American separation of church and state.
I have not made your point. I have asserted that the underlying assumptions in your point do not pertain.
Great post Duane.
First, congratulations on 40 years of marriage!
Second, I remember in the past you mentioned John Michael Talbots. I love and appreciate his compositions. My favorite collection/album/CD is “The Lord’s Supper”.
Lastly, I wish things were better in our society. I want to point readers here to a song by the late Rich Mullins called “Peace”…it addresses community that transcends our differences and unfamiliarities. Here is a sample of the words to this song:
Though we’re strangers, still I love you
I love you more than your mask
And you know you have to trust this to be true
And I know that’s much to ask
But lay down your fears, come and join this feast
He has called us here, you and me….
Duane – now I am confused with your comment back to Babs – “I’m afraid that you have proven the point. I’m talking faith, you are talking politics and nation…”
Are you saying that our common faith in Jesus Christ as Lord is broken? That does not make sense since your rebuttal to me was to toss out socio / political figures as the problem – “Patriot churches”, Rob McCoy, Trump’s Evangelical Advisory Board, Falwell (of recent disgrace)…”
Dr. and Mrs. Duane! 40 years of sharing life? Congratulations and the best may well be what you share in the years ahead…..
Our neighbors will cancel our votes as they are products of the 60s rebellion. An unmarried couple, her professor husband left her for a much younger woman. But she received the benefits his profession provides in the divorce – unless she were to remarry. They said their vows before God, family and friends, but no state license. I’m not sure how God views leaving the state out..
But we remain cordial… There aren’t many in this valley living with the spouse of their youth – a few, but the wounded seem to hide in the hills? Dunno…..
We do seem to have lost the high ground as a nation. The Church had better get their spiritual heads on straight – IMV
“That is a strange cultural accretion flowing from American separation of church and state.”
Actually, it has to do with the consensus of Scripture and the Church Fathers that as the Church our involvement with empire/nation consists of hoping for the kind of justice that we already exercise among ourselves as believers and praying that we may be given good rulers of character to rule justly. Our commitment is to the City of God, not the City of Man…
Pastor Dread @ 8:37… I think i agree
I haven’t wanted to do much more than sleep for the last few days…I am tired and fearful about the future.
I’m not afraid for myself, but afraid because I won’t be here forever to help my godson navigate a different world than I lived i…a world that is hostile and believes the worst about each other.
BD, with all due respect, you are terribly,dangerously, wrong.
You have believed and continue to cultivate the narratives of extremists.
Neither the left nor the right are monolithic in thought, but we have amplified the insanity until the extremes control the narrative.
When extremes are in control, unity is not possible.
If we rejected these extremes and relegated them back to the ideological ghettoes they belong in, the saner majority could work out a way to keep this great experiment going.
Because even learned men like yourself refuse to do so, we will see the end of it all if we are unfortunate enough to live that long…just a few more years.
The history of this country is checkered.
Without honest evaluation of it, we cannot repair the consequences of the darker parts of it.
I have been an advocate for issues about the border for many, many years…those who want to renounce our borders are as few as flat earth believers in the sciences…they exist, but are an anomaly. Claiming they are anything other than that is a lie.
I have spent too much time the last few days dealing with anxious and depressed people who are being pressured by friends and family to vote in ways their conscience won’t allow because others believe God has found a champion in a cruel narcissist.
The holy do not seem to understand the cognitive dissonance this creates.
I sat with a person yesterday who is quite intelligent, but totally frustrated because she does not know who to believe or what to believe because misinformation is the coin of the realm.
Our only hope no matter the outcome of this election is to reject both the extremes and those who help propagate their foolishness and appeal to each other on the basis of the common good.
We won’t…and we will all blame someone else for the disaster that will follow, ignoring the smell of gasoline on our own garments.
JMT and I have stayed in touch through the years. “The Lord’s Supper” remains my favorite as well. Before he recorded it, John would play me acoustic versions when I stayed with him…
You have created quite the bubble around yourself.
I commend you, but do not look to you as a pulse point for society.
Agreed… in total.
What this election cycle has done to some is heartbreaking. Our identity is in Christ. This should be obvious, and should be the place where our unity lies.
I’m to the point where it’s an effort to get out of bed and and effort not to get back in once I have.
I have avoided much social media and even my own site for the most part.
We have been told to expect violence from both sides here…
Yet, most of the people I know are good and decent people when the know the truth about a matter…by denying all of us even the reality of truth we have chosen to live on scorched earth.
Somehow, we all think our burned over plot will still produce sustenance…but all our claims will turn to ash in our mouths.
Michael – “You have created quite the bubble around yourself.”
I don’t know about a bubble – perhaps just living real life.
I have a men’s group of about 40 guys who come each week to my Bible study. I do not see how their faith would be affected if this Friday I did a one hour presentation on Rob McCoy?
Is people’s awareness level of Rob McCoy what you consider “a pulse point for society”? I think I will stick to teaching about Jesus Christ and not bring division into my church.
Now, more than ever…we worship different gods with the same name.
It is the greatest tragedy of my lifetime.
“This should be obvious, and should be the place where our unity lies.”
And the fact that it is not obvious is the tragedy…
I have literally hundreds of emails from people who are deeply impacted by the combination of the right and politics.
From people like McCoy and Laurie to Heitzig and Hibbs.
The SBC has many as well.
BD’s tribe is on fire for Trump.
I finally decided last night I couldn’t and wouldn’t reply to most of them.
I’m glad you have unity around the faith in your church…many, many, do not.
“I’m glad you have unity around the faith in your church…many, many, do not.”
Which I said earlier is the local pastor’s fault – or at least his negligence to properly prep his people.
One last thing.
The first shots of the civil war could be fired tomorrow night if Trump does what he says he intends to.
It is a foregone conclusion that due to the number of ballots cast this year (and the crippling of the Postal Service) it may take days to count all the ballots.
If Trump is ahead tomorrow night he intends to claim victory and accuse the other side of trying to steal the election…even though the ballots are valid that remain to be counted.
This is treasonous…but it could also be the spark that creates what may engulf us.
I’m praying…and staying close to the woods…
“Which I said earlier is the local pastor’s fault – or at least his negligence to properly prep his people.”
If it is any comfort, I have a friend who is a pastor locally who constantly pushes a left agenda. Michael will attest to the number of times I have wanted to put duct tape over the man’s mouth. I think it is a pastoral issue, but part of the issue is allowing pastors to preside as popes in their own churches…
I have a fear of people in the process of rapid idealogical change.
9/11 was one example. I started the day as a very patriotic person in a society that did not have my exact views, and that was just the way it was.
On my way home, I drove past spontaneous gatherings at major intersections. The term flag waving patriotism was literally taking place, as people showed up with whatever flag could be found. It alarmed me that rapid social change, could result in unforeseen actions. Twenty years later, we still are not able to disconnect from military deployments resulting from 9/11.
2015 profoundly affected me for the same reasons. But it was not an apprehension of events that would have little intrusion into my life. Non existant WMD was irrelevant to my daily activities.
2015 involved people I sat next to on Sunday mornings. I became afraid that my social circle would make unpredictable decisions that lead to violence, just like 9/11.
Not the pastor’s fault in most cases. Social Media is sheparding people to the extremes faster than any man can keep up.
It gives many of us the same sense of unease…
Duane (regarding your comment @ 8:45),
I think far, far too many American evangelicals have confused one for the other. The Christian Left has been irrelevant for decades, and the Christian Right is not far behind. I think the Trump presidency will prove to be prophetic though not in the way the Christian Trump supporters and their court evangelical leaders see it. Rather the complete opposite. American evangelicism will become impotent as a cultural and political force in American society. Something increasingly ignored as a relic from the past. I guess trading their birthright for a bowl of political porridge to go all into a unregenerate pagan was a bad deal after all.
Agreed, but it is up to us not to amplify the extremes…
Duane – Yes, it is true that many pastor’s themselves have been radicalized by social media. I think senior adults are the most susceptible, which is quite surprising.
“I think far, far too many American evangelicals have confused one for the other.”
Yes, and it is the culmination of of years going in this misguided direction…
How could one grow up in a time and place where his brothers and sisters were attacked by police dogs and sprayed with fire hoses and still say we had a “a common vision of our nation.”
Clearly, we did not. Unless the “we” is defined in a very cruel, exclusive way.
I think part of it is a nostalgia for a time in the past that really never existed… (Crossed in writing!)
It is interesting to see the difference in attitudes between Augustine (who wrote The City of God in wake of Rome being sacked) and Jerome. Both lived in the early 5th century and saw the waves of Visigoths and other barbarians roll across the Western Roman Empire.
Duane and Josh,
Speaking of nostalgia for the past, I think of lot of the support for Trump is due to a segment of the American population with a nostalgia for the 1950s that was shaped by a naive and myopic view of the era. Whether it is trade policy, law enforcement policy, etc. much of the PR and rhetoric harkens back to that era. But as the movie “Pleasantville” points out, much of that was shaped by popular culture and TV tropes.
Comment to Michael regarding the 1950s,
This is not a slight against the music of that era, especially the Million Dollar Quartet nor the skinny ties you are fond of wearing… 😀
Dread..”The left is challenging our history. They are challenging our founding principles. They are challenging the meaning of our common language. They are redefining so many words and so many commonly held ideals as to shatter our union.” Have you ever considered our Founders were infallible? That they considered a black man 3/5 of a human being? (Who does that..really?) Think of it..creating an arbitrary fraction to define human beings? So very “Christian” of them. They were brilliant men. Used by God. And as we all know from the Scriptures, God uses VERY flawed men and women. You and your conservative cohorts want us to live in 1789? Nothing should ever change? Bunk! You, like conservatives of old, are on the wrong side of history. The old guard of white, slaveholding, dehumanizing racists is passing away. That crap is not godly. Never was, and isn’t now. Good riddance!
Duane, what you write is so true. Thank you for the prayer.
I’ve spent some time thinking about why all this strife has depressed me so much.
I enjoy a good brawl more than most, to my own shame.
I’ve refused to brawl about these political issues because it soon became evident that relationships were at stake…and that was more important to me.
Now, relationships are ending anyway…and those that haven’t been severed are changed.
I grieve this…
Duane..thanks for another well thought out article. I personally think we’re making it much too complicated. All one must do is read John 17 to see our Lord’s Heart for His church. Then a quick reading of Ephesians 4. “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
That they may all be one. It really isn’t that hard. So…why are we making it so? Because some people worship America and her heritage above the Lord Jesus Christ and the Apostolic instruction given to us before America was a gleam in Columbus’ eye.
I think of lot of the support for Trump is due to a segment of the American population with a nostalgia for the 1950s that was shaped by a naive and myopic view of the era.
I think that’s a good observation.
I was struck by the article I read about these Christian patriot (they’re neither, BTW) churches. One person who’s joined is Newt Gingrich’s sister (!), who said something quite similar — that she was nostalgic for an earlier era or something to that effect.
The Founders were brilliant, yet fallible men. In order to move forward and get the Constitution drafted, signed and ratified compromises had to made. The 3/5th’s Clause was one of them. That being said, the influence of the First Great Awakening and abolitionism (think Wilberforce) was being felt, which is why the Jan 1, 1808 ban on the importation of slaves was put into the Constitution was drafted.
We had just fought a war of independence secured with a treaty just 4 years before (in 1783). The Founders realized that the Articles of Confederation were insufficient to create a nation and provide the framework for long-term survival. Britain was still the superpower and as the War of 1812 proved, easily capable of asserting its military power on the former colonies if it chose to (and this is during its involvement in the Napoleonic Wars). Of course, the Founders were well aware of the perils of this compromise. To quote Jefferson, “”But as it is, we have the wolf by the ear, and we can neither hold him, nor safely let him go. Justice is in one scale, and self-preservation in the other.”
Exhibit A in this nostalgia is Trump’s trade policies and protectionism. But like the aging boomers who worked in obsolete jobs manufacturing disposable widgets and who never bothered to learn a new skillset, Trump fails to realize that that era (and with manufacturing up to the late 1970s) is dead and buried. It was a fluke of the 2nd half of the 20th century most notably caused by most destructive war in the 20th century.
A co-worker had Rush Limbaugh on one day. I started having conservative alk radio on in the background and on my commute…for eight years. I was desensitize to the bitter, sarcastic arrogant angry white man tone.
I flipped that assorted white trash off one day, and my thoughts began to clear immediately. Limbaugh, et al, was poison. This is the advice I would give to any brother or sister in Christ, and it’s called freedom.
Many thanks and, yes, it should not be so difficult. This is not about “the faith AND the Constitution” or “the faith AND our culture”… it should be the faith alone. One thing that never seems to be said is that the vast majority of Christians live outside of the US…
CM-thanks for the history lesson. They made the wrong choice. They should’ve chose justice, and not compromised on that. Wouldn’t that have been the righteous thing to do? If they were such godly, “Christian” men, wouldn’t they have known God’s prioritization of justice for other human souls from a very cursory reading of the Scriptures? Hell, they only needed one verse…Micah 6:8. But…as my dear Em is wont to say…dunno, do I?
Hmmm… Don’t think I’d like to live back in 1789…. What worries me now is that many liberals are good hearted, too good hearted to see the dangerous turn that one of our two major political parties has been taken over by (or by which it has veen taken over LOL).
As many men here have no use for Trump, as a woman i look at AOC and her fellow squad “ladies” and they turm my stomach. Evil!
Yet, i am enjoying the posts here, gentlemen… too many “yes buts” come to mind to post today ….
God keep and give us all wisdom and discernment
And, Lord strengthen Michael ‘s body and mind to get through the months ahead of us…. May prove interesting, upsetting even… sigh
Back in his early early days, Rush Limbaugh was entertaining, witty, and informative. But he jumped the shark a long time ago. I haven’t listened to him in almost 20 years. Assuming he really held to conservative principles to begin with, he long since cast them aside. Exhibit A is Limbaugh’s reward of 30 pieces of silver (correction: Presidential Medal of Freedom) for selling out his conservatism (especially fiscal) to support the Orange Dear Leader. But like another recipient of 30 pieces of silver, he may not live enough to enjoy the rewards of his betrayal. Though it Limbaugh’s case I am sure he will be buried with it before too long.
What about when justice conflicts with other justice? One could argue that the Founders were doing justice to the former colonies by securing a new government which would allow these new found freedoms to flourish. One example is the 3rd Amendment, one of the reasons for the war of independence was the quartering of British soldiers in the people’s houses. That was an injustice you could say. This is why the 3rd Amendment is there. Which obviously was ratified with the other 9 amendments as part of the agreement to get the Constitution signed and ratified? What about the right to Due Process? Trial by Jury? Limitations on governmental power? There are a whole lot more from the Bill of Rights and other parts of the Constitution.
I would recommend you read up on all the debates and proposals and the whole back and forth during the Constitutional Convention to get a better understanding of what the Founders (those Christian or otherwise) were grappling with. Also remember you and everyone today is looking at things with 20/20 hindsight.
Congrats Duane on the 40 years. My fondness of John Michael dates back to the 1977 The New Earth. There is hope. My son who is now 33 was a wee little one of 8 years old when he desired to be baptized. At that time in our spiritual walk we were attending “seeker friendly” Andy Stanley during the days of his North Location before North Point. My son could not connect the dots to have baptism done by Andy and instead requested we seek out a small congregation of believers that sat on this small corner near our home. Done. Now I have started over with another 8 and 12 year old. As with past conversations with Michael, we shot some videos for the next generation relating to their voice, their non partisan view of politics and it was refreshing to witness their sincere belief that we adults could not mess this up for them and a coming tidal wave will hit with these kids of all colors, black/white/asian/hispanic ready to quietly tell stories that include a wide variety of voices, even in one case Bowman. Living in Kenosha, Trump is visiting tonight to garner interest. My take for what it is worth, those I live near could give a flip about his visit but we are grateful in a general sense that we only experienced a few days of serious unrest which could easily have gotten out of control. Whatever the results of the election, and whatever happens in terms of unrest nationwide, the younger generation will one day replace the nonsense with a voice of reason. It is very possible this could be like the Jesus Movement of the 70’s. A cleansing, a simplicity of beliefs. I tend to think us older ones have walked many paths of history that has left many of us jaded and convinced the better days are behind us. My 12 year old is watching the History Channel’s Vietnam with me and to observe her comments and how she refuses to believe that her generation could ever accept such a travesty is promising. Will there be enough voices? I think so….and the most sensitive and touching voices were Blacks, and not what you see on the media. Even while God’s judgment is present on the sin of a nation, I have this small discernment that God is raising up an Army that does not even know or understand that they will carry a torch that could bring a cleansing of the Church.
I used to enjoy Rush, about 20 years ago or so. He had some great one-liners.
Haven’t listened since then. I felt like throwing up when I read that he defended The Angry Creamsicle WRT remarks about John McCain. How disgraceful.
“Have you ever considered our Founders were infallible? That they considered a black man 3/5 of a human being? (Who does that..really?) Think of it..creating an arbitrary fraction to define human beings?”
1 I think you meant fallible — Yes they were
2 The 3/5 compromise was to suppress southern state authority – the founders were compromising to forge a union. They intended to move toward freeing the slaves
3 it is my belief in the PROGRESS we’ve made that drives me to advocate we continue our progress and not destroy what has been achieved in extending liberties to all
4. Your ‘wrong side of history’ and accusation that I want us in 1789 — false and not helpful to your point. No one has heard me advocate ANY of your claims.
5. Your white guilt is showing
If Trump is defeated he’s defeated. I don’t think he will attempt to stay in office. So far in his presidency the actual abuse of the systems have been those who endlessly tried to remove him from office.
I do think we are in for a pretty angry dispute over votes.
“You have believed and continue to cultivate the narratives of extremists.” Who do you think are the extremists I believe? We might have a difference about who’s extreme. I listen to and follow a long list of academics, scholars, media people etc. I don’t listen to any of the voices in “my tribe” and their ‘prophecies’
I do listen Brett Weinstein and Heather Heying, James Lindsay and Peter Boghossian, Victor Davis Hanson, Douglas Murray, Rod Dreher, Glenn Loury and John McWhorter, Joshua Mitchell, Thomas Sowell, The Hoover Institute, Hillsdale College, N T Wright, just to name a few. Conservatives, classic liberals, gays, atheists, theologians etc.
Who are the extremist you think I’m leagued with?
I preach the kingdom of God not partisan politics. This weekend I preached Reformation Day and All Saints Day
By the way a blessed All Souls Day to you all.
I believe my original post was sane though not I controversial or unprovocative – clearly.
I realize I’ve become an alien here on this blog 🤷🏻♂️
Grace and peace
Lumping NT Wright together with all these American conservatives is laughable.
Wright is conservative theologically but sure as hell not culturally.
Have you read his stuff on social justice and the Church? I’m afraid you’d have to boot him out of your hard-core American Conservative Club.
You must not know who those people are. I am aware of Wright’s justice teachings.
I am no enemy of justice and equality. I am a vicious enemy of ‘social’ justice and equity. Terms have narrow usage sometimes. Social justice is sometimes synonymous to justice but usually it means redistributive justice.
My exact point was and is that I do not listen to monolithic voices.
“Who are the extremist you think I’m leagued with?”
There are two lying narratives which have captured the public imagination.
One is that the “left” is represented by the small numbers of hoodlums and criminals rioting in some cities.
The other is that the “right” is dominated by authoritarians and racists just this side of Hitler.
In reality these are both minority reports that exist, but whose presence is amplified by media to represent millions…which is a lie.
The truth is that there is a reasonable center that, divorced from media driven, partisan driven, hysteria could come together and find solutions for all.
We could choose to amplify sane voices from both sides…but we think we’re gonna win it all.
We will all lose.
Good post Duane, thanks. I sent this to a friend who is a retired Anglican priest, he responded by saying it is the clergy that needs to light the way forward in this mess. Too often for me, it seems, that I have trouble finding my matches.
Perhaps that is our true calling—to address these times as a faithful presence. Hopefully we can see the opportunity.
Here is one from Bruce Cockburn to listen to this evening.
I know who they all are. Do they claim to represent Christ’s church like Wright does?
I remember “The New Earth” very well! When I first met JMT we were both in our late teens. He was in “mountain man” mode (BTW he plays a mean banjo). Then he switched to the all linen outfits that you see on “The New Earth”. When we talk these days, we marvel at how young we were…
Also, I agree with you… the next generation is the hope.
I don’t understand much of Babylons Dread post. He says that some on the left want us to admit America’s systematic racism and renounce our “heritage”. I don’t understand the meaning of “heritage” in this context. America renounced slavery of African Americans years ago because we knew it was immoral and wrong. Slavery is, indeed, a part of our past but would Dread claim it us our “heritage” as Americans? Of course there is systematic racism and sexism in America today. When the constitution was written women could not vote and when they married all of their property legally became her husband’s property. We now know this was immoral and wrong,too! The founding fathers wrote that we ought to be endeavoring towards a ” more perfect union”. That is what our nation has been doing all along and renouncing systemic racism and sexism is for the good of all . It serms to me that many conservatives are terrified of a “level playing field” and that is why they insist there is no bias in our system – because the bias works in their favor. Dread mentions twice in his post that the left wants to ” rewrite history”. I would like to see some examples of what he means by this. Taking down statues is not rewriting history. Those names will remain in our history books, just as Hitler’s name remains. No longer are they idols in stone towering over our public spaces, but that is not the same as “rewriting” history. As a lifelong educator I think ALL of history should be taugh in our history books.. The experiences of Native Americans, women, and African Americans ARE our history , though sometimes that history is ugly. Whitewashing out past is what has been done most often . We should look to the Bible asan example -he good, the bad, and the ugly is all there. We see mankind for what it is; we see the truth of the human condition. “Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it”. Isn’t this why we remember the holocaust and have museums to honor the victims?
Yes Limbaugh was Conservative. MAGA does overlap with Conservatism in appearences but not substance. MAGA is the oposite of fiscal Conservative idealogy with it’s runaway deficits. MAGA functions parallel to Modern Money theory, but because it does not rely on intellect, there is no theory, just budget allocations. And therefore, deficits.
Fiscal Conservatism is just one area where I was left feeling intellectually empty. My adoption of Conservatism took place in third grade. It was near the core of my self identity. It also made for intetnal conflict as I could not answer my own questions.
Many thanks! Even though I feel like listening to Bruce do ‘If I Had a Rocket Launcher’, I think yours is the better choice 😁.
Duane (and HT to you Dan from GA),
Every time I see banjo referenced, all I can think is, “Paddle faster, I hear banjos playing.”
And yes one movie completed ruined the image of a banjo player for all of history…
Dread–you are correct. I meant fallible. Thanks for pointing out that I am indeed also fallible. 😉 “Your white guilt is showing.” Yup. It’s called sorrow over America’s original, and continuing, sin in the subjugation and ongoing oppression of black people. Aren’t we supposed to be sorry for sin? Your white non-guilt and lack of understanding in this one area is showing. And I still love you.
Not sure of the difference between social justice and justice — if there is one. If social justice to you is synonymous with “redistribution,” then fine. I don’t believe they’re one and the same.
All taxes. for example, are redistributions. You have a problem with that, too? It’s the price of living in a civilized, shared world.
But whatever, it’s pretty clear that Wright sees a place for the government to be involved in justice and/or social justice — with Wright’s usual balance, saying that governments (as well as the church) are accountable before God.
Wright: All human governments are intended by God to do justice and mercy — to look after, in particular, the needs of the poor and disadvantaged. The great messianic passages like Psalm 72 are very, very clear on this. And Jesus absolutely endorsed this. But since all human governments, like all human individuals, are subject to temptation, especially the temptation to use this God-given role for their own ends, there must be clear and wise critique, and holding to account…
Here are some voices, one by a college black girl who used Michael’s story to bring hope. The kids sitting around were quite emotional at the end. https://youtu.be/9f7p3LyenVo
You are reading Wright correctly. He comes out of an Anglican tradition of conservative theology and liberal social policy that dates back to the mid-19th century. The proponents of this saw no conflict between the two.
Hi CM! Good to see you here again! Your banjo post made me chuckle.
I claim to represent Christ and his church. And taken as a whole my history here vindicates my claim. My recent alarm over the American left alarms many here. Including yourself. I continue to stay here because in the presence of such opposition my thinking is clarified and corrected. Of those other voice Rod Dreher is a churchman his Live Not by Lies would strengthen us all. Joshua Mitchell is a political theorist and Tocqueville scholar but has admitted he’s a theologian at heart. So there’s a mixed bag. There’s no need for you to just take a pot shot at me with ‘laughable’ talk. I’m reasonable and always available.
Renouncing our heritage would be undoing the Bill of Rights. That process is underway.
The 1619 Project and its intrusion into our schools is an example of rewriting our history.
Your admonition about remembering history IS WHY I am decrying the left. Read any of the authors I named and you will find such concern.
Finally yes there have been racist and sexist systems tolerated within our nation. My contention is that the Bill of Rights has been instrumental in dismantling them.
What system exactly are we saying is systemically racist. And what exactly will remedy it. The generalizations damn us.
Will you please speak to my dear brother Michael and TELL HIM HE NEEDS TO POST THAT VIDEO!!!
I’m glad to read that you still love me. I reciprocate. And no I don’t have white guilt. Gave it up. I have the live of Christ and the Gospel and a commitment to justice for all.
I have been of the “left” since a teen…and I hold to nothing you ascribe to me.
That video might be the thing I’m the proudest of in my time here.
Dread asked – “So the question is; are we a nation with problems and promises unfulfilled or are we a nation with evil foundations that have to be renounced and reformed?”
I’d lean towards evil foundations. The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. Genocide, slavery, millions upon millions of abortions…nasty, awful, evil stuff.
Redistributive justice is the devil I want to keep at bay. It appears as an angel of light and kills millions. IMO and if one follows the history of 1919-2019.
I’m hoping we avoid going to war to effect peace. Duane knows what I mean. But it could happen as cities collide.
I have ascribed nothing to you.
You know very well what I am decrying and what I am not.
You should feel very proud!
Thanks for your comment on Wright.
I was struck by something similar when I was reading about Churchill after the war. If I read it right, he was instrumental in starting National Health Insurance in Great Britain, about 1948
if memory serves. And you didn’t get much more conservative than him! think that’s another example of this conservative/libera social policyl split they have.
Also, I once read a book by John Stott, I think it was on tithing. He was saying that God always provides for His own. He told the story of an elderly lady who had little money and didn’t know how she’d make ends meet. Then her national pension or health insurance (can’t remember which) kicked in. Stott said that was how God provided for her and kept His promises. I was really impressed with that! A POV that I wholeheartedly agree with.
“I claim to represent Christ and his church. And taken as a whole my history here vindicates my claim. My recent alarm over the American left alarms many here.”
I guess that’s why the Gospels are filled with our Lord warning us about the Zealots… Oops, he actually didn’t say anything. Oh, I must have been thinking of the Essenes!… Ugh, nothing said about them either. Well, what about the political contests between the Pharisees and the Sadducees? Well, he really only talked about individuals and some being too proud. Well surely he blasted the Samaritans?!? Actually, no…
These were the political factions and movements of the day… Our Lord was not really that interested.
“I have ascribed nothing to you.”
You have rightly been a champion of the fact that words mean things.
Arbitrarily dividing the country into left and right means that one must fit in one or the other and you have ascribed characteristics and desires to one side as if all held to these beliefs which you negatively describe.
This, I contend, is the wellspring of division and the precursor to war.
It is careless and dangerous…just as those who do so to the other side.
We have to recognize and cherish diversity of thought and nuanced ideas if we’re going to survive.
I believe it starts with us…because you and I could spend an evening talking over a meal and drink with differences, but not rancor.
Understood. I picked fiscal conservatism as perhaps the most clearly obvious principle Rush Limbaugh sold out in his support of Trump. What was especially evident was the juxtaposition of Rush (the one who complained about Clinton, Bush 43, and Obama spending) getting his Medal of Freedom at the SOTU while Trump laid out his shopping list of big FedGov spending and programs right out of socialism.
There are many others. MAGA and Trumpism is not and never will be conservatism.
Good dialogue goin on… clarifies a lot..
Originally, the indentured Africans were uneducated and many took that to indicate stupidity. Yes and no – solvable !
I must amen Pastor Dread’s observation, as i read it. We are a progressing nation willing to admit wrongs and change, but i pray that we will be smart doing so….
What so many hope for, as i read, cannot happen until our King of kings reigns… Could be soon… dunno, though. 😇
CM-“One could argue that the Founders were doing justice to the former colonies by securing a new government which would allow these new found freedoms to flourish.”
Indeed. But flourish for whom? WHITE MEN only. Is that justice? Is it justice that this new nation these white men created explicitly endorsed a practice that caused oppression, murder, separating of families, (HMM…sound familiar?), rampant sexual assault by white masters against black women and probably black men too? Was it just to codify this misery to human souls that was so horrible that God Himself poured His wrath out on that new nation less than a hundred years later, allowing a war that killed 620,000 Americans (the historically accepted number, although there is some thought there were more)?..see https://www.history.com/news/civil-war-deadlier-than-previously-thought.
“What about the right to Due Process? (For blacks?) Trial by Jury?” (For blacks?)
“I would recommend you read up on all the debates and proposals and the whole back and forth during the Constitutional Convention to get a better understanding of what the Founders (those Christian or otherwise) were grappling with.”
Sure. I would recommend you read up on the history of slavery and especially the Civil War to get a better understanding of the human destruction these men caused by their racism and lack of compassion for other human beings.
Since Dreher was mentioned:
Dreher’s work in The Benedictine Option was good but I did not feel it compelling, in part, because I lack sufficient trust in most these days. And like everyone, I love my independence.
That being said, I agree with Dreher when he writes “the culture war is largely over, and we lost. . .” So what is our response, what is our voice, and where do we go from here?
Do we argue amongst ourselves from the margins or seek the common unity we have due to the fact that we are of another Kingdom? Do we need our voice to be the loudest in the room, or are we listening? He who has an ear. . .
I would hope that after this election, those on the left and right could drop their extremist views. The middle is where our future is at, IMHO. Americans in general aren’t fans of the edges. This is borne out in lots of polling.
Dread asked – “So the question is; are we a nation with problems and promises unfulfilled or are we a nation with evil foundations that have to be renounced and reformed?” Both/And..? Extreme, one-sided, non-binary thinking leads to…war.
It’s great to see you back here. I had noticed your absence recently and missed your participation.
Fair enough! I knew I was careless but you knew I wasn’t slapping at you. I was being general. Correction accepted.
Mike E – That’s probably a better answer. There are certainly advances we’ve made in this nation that are worth holding on to, but we can’t ignore the great evils that must be replaced.
I will also asset that a number of those on the left have found themselves homeless because of the inroads of CRT in education, entertainment, media and the extreme wealthy.
The far left is supplanting the whole spectrum.
Same drum, same tune…
I assure you I am quite the history buff and well aware of the carnage of the Civil War. The bloodshed of the Civil War was the price that came due, no doubt about it. Ever read Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address? If not, I suggest you do. Here is an snippet:
“Yet, if God wills that it continue, until all the wealth piled by the bond-man’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash, shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said f[our] three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord, are true and righteous altogether.”
Some may think that if somehow slavery was ended in the US at the time of the Constitution, we would not have had a Civil War. I even know about the skirmishes in such far off places like West Texas and New Mexico. I disagree, I would submit that is 20/20 Hindsight and I think it a false presumption. I would submit we would have not survived as a country as we would be a weak collection of individual states (ripe for the picking). Slavery may very well have been prolonged.
The British Empire ended slavery, but in order to do so, slave-owners were compensated for their loss (is that something a hard-core abolitionist would support)? France abolished the slave trade in 1794 but reinstated 8 years later. It did not end until 1848. Spain did not abolish slavery in Puerto Rico until 1873. Brazil did not abolish slavery until 1888. Seems to me that these other countries have yet to pay their blood price for their centuries of racism and slavery (longer than the US).
“The far left is supplanting the whole spectrum.”
No, it’s just the loudest voice.
Many conservatives are homeless because of Trump…but it’s our responsibility to create a center that is safe from both extremes.
Why are we divided? When one part of the church says this about another part of the church…
“You and your conservative cohorts…”
“You, like conservatives of old, are on the wrong side of history. The old guard of white, slaveholding, dehumanizing racists is passing away…”
“…assorted white trash off…”
The political labels have no place in the church…and in my opinion should never be used.
Most Christians do not live in America…
Safety cannot be the goal kingdom minded people. I understand your sentiment and your motivation and I can applaud it. If there is a kingdom outcome it will crash all other Kingdoms. In such an option no safe places exist. We are indeed receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken but these present kingdoms shall be dashed in pieces.
I know I have been speaking in a way that sounds otherwise. Indeed I presently seek answers in America that will postpone our demise. However Christ’s kingdom will make no peace with our rival thrones.
The kingdom comes in judgment actions and leaves nowhere to hide.
Of course I know we are safe in Christ but in this world …many tribulations.
Whie trash.. was my comment. That is not a label associated in any way with the Church.
That is a pre- Civil War term used by slaves and slave owners alike to discribe a violent prone element of Southern Society. In tern, the poor white element where likely exploited by the upper class, even though they may have feared them.
The angry, and resentful attitude towards blacks has no place in the Church. But it is also easy to see why it appeals to middle class males. The is especialy true for the self employed, or those who work hard to get food on the table.
No major Conservative influencer will ever remotely advocate violence. However, decades of derogatory talk takes a toll on the listener.
Babylon D, I understand that somefolks would have a problem with financial restitution or compensation for slavery that occurred a hundred years ago. However, I myself would support restitution money being used for furthering the education of African Americans today . That money could be used for Head Start preschools, improved public schools in Black communities, and university student support programs for black college students. I worked asa ” Compensatory Education” teacher for a good many years, which meant I taught in special programs for students who lived in low income areas. The idea is that these students need and deserve special programs and support due to their impoverished upbringing and surroundings. I could see slavery reperation money being loaned to small businesses owners who are African Americans, or being used to build medical better clinics and hospitals in inner city areas with high populations of African Americans. There are so many ways we could improve outcomes without directly handing over a stack of cash.
The welfare state was generations of reparations with so many other programs aimed at ameliorating black poverty. The result? And I take this ONLY from black sources. The result was the dissolution. Of the black family and worsening the problems.
BLM is not rooted in facts. Black reparation movements are not rooted in facts. American blacks are the wealthiest in the world. That hardly underscores the complaint of racism.
Blacks are NOT targeted by police and blacks are not poorer in America. The incarceration issue needs addressing but even that was done under Clinton (and Biden) at the behest of the black congressional caucus.
You see when you incentivize bad behavior you get more of it. The welfare state dissolved the black family not racism. Well that might be racism.
Read Sowell, Walter Williams, Glenn Loury, McWhorter, and Larry Elder. I can go on.
Grievance sources also abound but they have no solutions only dissolutions.
“American blacks are the wealthiest in the world. That hardly underscores the complaint of racism.
Blacks are NOT targeted by police”
As Duane said, “more yard signs.”
Pastor Dread dead? Oh noooo. 😫
American blacks, for the most part, ARE the wealthiest black folk in the world… and the best educated, IF willing to learn…
Targeted by police? Not if cooperative when encountered.. IMV, of course
Time to get off line and listen to Pastor Tom Brock
Michael @ your 1:05 PM,
Count me one of those conservatives in the political wilderness in the age of Trump…
Dread you are being willfully blind about the racism that still goes on around us. But in some ways, you have points. The american government caused the dissolution of the black family? No argument from me, but you’d have to start even earlier to find the true source. Did Clinton do bad things for blacks? Yep! I, at least, am not arguing that democrats are innocent in this, or that they have even done much better. The system itself is rigged.
“American blacks are the wealthiest in the world. ”
So they should shut up and be happy, right?
“Blacks are NOT targeted by police”
This is heartless ignorance. Go to black neighborhood in your city. Go door to door and ask the families how they feel that they are treated by the police. Then you’ll have to ask yourself, are they just lying? Do they not really feel that way. Maybe they’re feelings don’t match up with whatever numbers you read on the internet. OK, but they still feel that way. Why? Is there any basis for that? Or just stupid black people?
One needs to look at the Reconstruction Era and the end of it to get some of the origins. Plus throw in the Myth of the Lost Cause in re-framing much of the history of the Civil War and its origins.
CM, true, but even further back. One would have to assume that selling off fathers and brothers and breeding for good stock would affect families as well.
We’re all in a fight for a good conscience and rather look for it in reconciliation, we look for it in denial. I can barely believe my eyes when I read the kind of stuff noted by Josh above and by Ms. Daisy earlier.
What do you mean, Jean?
No those are actual facts — you’ve already told us that you are a guy who stands on the testimony of the aggrieved. That’s an actual principle of CRT facts are supplanted by stories that fire empathetic response. We are currently in a status where police are guilty if they have a deadly encounter with blacks.
The stupid people are the white liberals who are inciting this.
I only post here to be scorned. Soon enough I may get the ante raised for my presence.
Facts matter. Truth matters. People matter. If the first two go the last won’t matter.
I mean that you are stating the obvious. And I believe you live in a state that gives your voice above average credibility. Just this last weekend, peaceful marchers in your state, including children, were attacked by law enforcement with pepper spray in a souls to the poles march.
Can anyone reasonably imagine that a white group of church people, led by a pastor, would be met by such violence and hate?
Count me willful – I don’t back down easily
Count me ignorant – certainly things I don’t know
But I do care about truth.
Soon enough the scorn here will wear me down but it is little price for what I learn being here.
Dread, you are scared to death of this new boogeyman CRT. Fear Not! God is in control!
Surely you understand that each internet site you visit touts there on set of facts. You’ve believed the one that backs your view. That’s fine, but at some point you still have to get to the poeple.
So the black people are fooled, and are not really targeted. OK. What’s the next step? Screw it, let them live in fear? Maybe confiscate all cellphones so we don’t see cops killing black people every week? Oh wait, that would be a fact that isn’t convenient to your narrative. Again, let’s say you are 100% right. It doesn’t fix the very real problem, and it is heartless to those affected.
Dread, you’ve changed brother. You’ve let fear overtake you. God’s kingdom is way bigger than the USA. This nation will fall, but His Kingdom never will. Take courage!
Thanks Jean for the explanation. It does seem obvious to me, but I sometimes feel like I’m in bizzarro world.
Trump’s latest campaign promise: I am going to fire Dr. Fauci after the election.
This will drieve Louisiana turnout like nobodies business.
I am sure that will help move the remaining undecideds to Trump. /sarc
I think I have read 3 times different people telling Babs not to be fearful – God is in control. At the same time all of you are terryfied that Trump will be reelected. LOL 😆
When the election results are in and if Biden wins, I will say “my President” – any takers on the other side ready to say the same if Trump is reelected?
I’ve not changed —
I said the same as you just posted @ 1:18
History has lessons.
The Marxist revolutions of the last 100 years and the Nazi horrors should inform us that when grievance is catalyzed into action blood flows to the horses bridles. I see blood. I speak. Fear?
Too damn old to be afraid for myself. Fear? Rightly afraid of what may come.
Platitudes about the kingdom don’t stop the bleeding. We’ll be needed.
I’ll place my kingdom vision next to any you want to name. But the kingdom means conflict. For sure.
I know I am not allowed to address Jean personally per his own request, but he just told a big fat lie about Trump making a campaign promised to fire Fauci.
This is a purpose driven lie on Jean’s part – so I must call him out. Someone shouted out to Trump “are you going to fire Fauci and Trump chuckled and said Let’s win the election first then we will see.
No campaign promise.
“The Marxist revolutions of the last 100 years and the Nazi horrors should inform us that when grievance is catalyzed into action”
Where were you when armed vigilantes, caravans, so-called Militias, and gangs were forming?
Where were you when black men were being profiled, beat and murdered because of their color?
Where were you when states were actively suppressing the vote of minorities?
Where were you when the current President says that the votes should not be counted after the 3rd?
Where were you when the President says “we’re turning the corner” while family members are burying their dead or can’t visit their family members in the hospital? Or can’t get in for a procedure unrelated to Covid because there’s no room at the hospital?
The shit show that Trump brought us was all brought about by grievance. Is your grievance any more sanctified than anyone else’s?
Fauci is not a political appointee.
If Biden wins he will be “our President.”
I suspect he will win.
Let’s cool down a bit.
I hope no one here feels personally scorned.
We can debate ideas without making them personal.
Thanks for the “yard signs.”
“Don’t tell anybody, but let me wait until a little bit after the election please. – Donald Trump
You remember when things used to get heated here over theology? When Trump became a deity, debates about him became essentially theological debates.
Jean, even CNN has it more right than you they say Trump suggests…
You said Trump promised. Since I know you to be a pretty sharp guy, I know it was not and error on your part but willful deceit – one of those 8th commandment things.
Trump must really have you running scared.
“Don’t tell anybody, but let me wait until a little bit after the election please. – Donald Trump
I’ve been told not to trust CNN, so I read the plain words of Trump and give them their ordinary meaning.
Please stop addressing me or commenting on my comments. You are dead to me.
I take a backseat to no one when it comes to loathing this President.
My desire and duty is to love those who I differ with and know the ground of our fellowship is Christ.
It’s not always easy, but it is imperative.
We’ve managed to cull out the people here that I truly disliked…so I want to keep fellowship with those who remain.
For those who remember Steve Wright…he’s put his “Ten reasons why Trump will win” on his Facebook page and I think he’s worth reading.
Steve and I have our disagreements, but his piece is well thought out.
Everstudy…Michael…“You and your conservative cohorts…”
“You, like conservatives of old, are on the wrong side of history.” The old guard of white, slaveholding, dehumanizing racists is passing away…” Those were my comments. I’m not ashamed of them. How are these political labels? Why do they not belong in the church?Are they untrue? What, conservative thought doesn’t exist? Am I supposed to pretend conservatism has not produced rotten fruit? Rush Limbaugh never race-baited? So has American political liberalism produced rotten fruit. I never argued it hadn’t. But, in this issue of race, I submit that what I said was true. American political conservatism has always been on the wrong side of history on this issue. In the past, it was conservative democrats. Now, it’s conservative republicans. And they’re still are on the wrong side of history. And I’m not backing down or apologizing for speaking truth. We are commanded to speak the truth…in love. I do not believe anything I said was unloving. Pointed, perhaps, but not unloving. Love rejoices in the truth. I’m out.
I have admired and respected Dread for a long time. It’s what makes this latest turn a little hard to swallow. That being said, Dread I have no doubt you have a great Kingdom vision/ If there will be unity, it will be because we focus on that and work towards that together.
I expect Trump to win the electoral vote, and lose the popular vote. I think Biden is a exceptionally poor candidate. I am not afraid. I know that God is at work all around me.
these recent elections are reminding me that Qoholet sure seemed to call things in Ecclesiastes 8:16-17.
16 When I applied my mind to know wisdom and to observe the labor that is done on earth—people getting no sleep day or night— 17 then I saw all that God has done. No one can comprehend what goes on under the sun. Despite all their efforts to search it out, no one can discover its meaning. Even if the wise claim they know, they cannot really comprehend it.
I think Biden (yes a poor, but likeable politician) will win when the final tally is in at the end of the week and many, like myself, will always believe it was a poorly managed election…
That said, i also do believe it was God’s choice and we may ultimately conclude Divine discipline. 🙆
P.S. Does anybody know if the Arizona car cavalcade for Trump drove 96 miles or was a 96 mile long string of cars?
Josh @ 4:56 you may have to ask yourself, “Is it him or is it me?”. 😇
No offense was intended.
I have too many conservative friends who are anything but racist to allow a broad statement to go unchallenged.
I am just reading this well expressed and written opinion by Julie Roys. Everyone would benefit from reading it.
I love what President Obama said once:
“What happens in your house is a lot more important than what happens at the White House.”
An excellent perspective
This crap is driving me insane. One second, I’m posting about unity and peace and humility and kindness and the next I’m ramped up on adrenaline and attacking. I know you meant no offense Michael. I said I wouldn’t apologize. While I don’t apologize for holding strong views, I do apologize to everyone for getting in the flesh. Oh, what a day it will be when I shed this body and no longer see through a glass dimly, but face to face. 😢
Just thinking tonight… did Jesus ever do a sermon on the mount about the culture of Hellenization and its dangers? Did he ever try to “get out the vote” for Tiberius? I think we’re missing the point…
Duane, you can’t have both ways. Neither Jesus nor Paul preached any sermon about Christians lobbying the government to care for the poor, the widows, orphans, the homeless etc.
He preached that Christians and the church were responsible – not governments.
Yet another yard sign…
I agree… (surprise!)
“Donald Trump, Counterrevolutionary”
Or just a (violence encouraging) revolutionary
“The Supreme Court decision on voting in Pennsylvania is a VERY dangerous one,” Trump tweeted on Monday evening, only hours before Election Day. “It will allow rampant and unchecked cheating and will undermine our entire systems of laws. It will also induce violence in the streets. Something must be done!” – D. Trump
Pure evil, plain and simple.
Jean, evil? Or a warning? AND
We’ve certainly seen violence in the streets this year……
My body still thinks it’s past 8:00 and is saying go to bed… evil body! ! !
Your 6:48 deserves a notice and a recognition of your good will. Thank you sir.
@4:56 noted and I suspect in face to face conversations we’d do better at understanding one another.
You are a man of conscience and we’ve shared more in common than at odds over time.
I acknowledge that I’ve reached a profound moment of decision and decided to rise to it.
We will see what comes.
Jean said’ “You remember when things used to get heated here over theology? When Trump became a deity, debates about him became essentially theological debates.”
Hmmm, you may be right about this, Jean. I think an important discussion we should have is where does faith and the social conscience (which is expressed politically) need to be blended and when must we keep them apart. It cannot be based on our preferences, but on kingdom ethics. Yet, it looks like we might have trouble agreeing what those are, but in reality, that shouldn’t be so hard. Kingdom ethics is what we need to hammer out first, and then identify what it means to live them out in today’s world.
Back to some more Bruce Cockburn and Henri Nouwen. Peace.
Almost forgot your Dreher reaponse. His latest book is being received very differently. I’d like to hear your response if you get a look at it.
Thought this is interesting, some governors ordering the National Guard to be on standby.
I haven’t read it yet, I plan to read it soon and think would be a good discussion here. Dreher is tapping into Solzhenitsyn in his latest book. I did some reading of Solzhenitsyn for my doctoral work, and his resolve in standing firm against the hedonism, injustices, and abuse of power of both the East and West was inspiring.
In my limited exposure, the identifying of “soft totalitarianism ” is gaining more traction. I haven’t looked at this enough to comment much, but I see things that concern me like Integral theory that establishes parameters and hierarchical structure for human development and how we engage with our meta-narratives. It is a form of labeling, that can be misused as a means to psychologically manipulate and eventually separate dissidents from loyalists.
“Integral theory posits that evolution is not limited to the exterior forms of reality (matter and organisms), but is also evident in the interior spaces of reality, namely in the development of culture and consciousness.” from https://www.dailyevolver.com/theory/
Perhaps the new boss really is much different from the old boss.
Pluckrose the Brit has been on my radar as have a few others. No one did more to bring us to this moment than Obama the putative father of BLM. Biden simply does not have a record that proves he has any consistent ideology at all he’s certainly not a centrist at this moment.
His platform undermines his centrism. Further he’s clearly fading and will not be able to hold office much less hold the center. Which IS what we need. Mostly these articles criticize Trump’s person (as do I) and warn of the illiberal right. Clearly that is the needle being thread. Who can keep us from the extremes?
The article is useful but as Duane has insisted on mocking me — it’s another yard sign. His way of saying I missed his point — or Jesus’ point.
I do have to hope that as these maintain – the far left can be warded off if Biden wins. I think they can’t be warded off — that’s my pain — I think we are descending into hell.
Of course everyone will remind me of our kingdom eschatology. And I agree but the blood… we seem to retreat into our triumphalism only when we fear standing in the wrong place.
Last night I did some reading in Josephus and his description of first century Palestine. He goes to great lengths describing the various parties and factions present, often editorializing for his Roman readers as to who is right and who is wrong. It is a political/cultural/social history and description. It’s helpful in that it helps us to know a bit more about groups mentioned in the Gospels… mentioned, that is all. As I said, our Lord never approaches the cultural subject of Hellenization (the hottest controversy in the land) or the political struggles of his day. Indeed, he tends to draw a line – give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and give to God what is God’s. He says nothing about insurrection, even though he has a Zealot disciple. Just to say, the City of Man rises and falls and will continue to do so until Christ’s coming. If our attachment to the City of Man breaks our common bond of faith, we are all the losers…
“I think we are descending into hell.”
If you think you are, you probably are. I don’t say that as an insult or judgment, but as an observation that if one thinks they are descending into hell, they probably are already experiencing and creating for themselves the hell they anticipate.
Meanwhile, the most innovative, successful, companies and universities in the world are also the most diverse. They attract the greatest talent from the most diverse pool of labor in the world. That is the magic sauce that distinguishes America’s corporate titans from the rest. That’s why highly educated people and innovators from around the world want to come here.
These companies and universities don’t find providing opportunities to different races, genders, sexualities, and religions, through intentional recruitment, to be hell. They find it to be good business and part of being a good corporate citizen.
They believe voting is a great privilege in American, something that should be celebrated by all Americans, and not feared. It places us on a playing field with Russia and Venezuela to have a President express or imply that all valid votes shouldn’t count, that if he loses it will be because of voter fraud, that his followers will take up arms of he loses, etc. It’s the most demonic thing a leader could possible foment on the eve of an American election. We should all be horrified.
I wonder if and when the central message of American church will return to the good new of Jesus Christ. Hate and anger are not the kind of fuel that energizes the spread of the Christendom. The energy, more aptly, the power of Christian proclamation is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
“If our attachment to the City of Man breaks our common bond of faith, we are all the losers…”
We agree — though I believe Paul quite frequently dealt with the latest dividing controversy.
And we do have some 60,000 expressions of our common bond that keep us at safe distances
“We agree — though I believe Paul quite frequently dealt with the latest dividing controversy.”
In the Church, yes; in society at large, not so much…
Dread..thanks for acknowledging my apology. That means a lot and brings some comfort brother.
To all: To me, it’s truly amazing the deep intellect and learned arguments presented on this blog, whether theological, political, historical, life experience. This is a truly diverse group of people. I am thankful for each one here. I learn from you all every day. I thank God our Father for all of you. And I thank Him for this blog which God used to keep me from apostasy. Blessings to you all today and every day. And especially on this Election Day. I pray for peace and love to triumph. As our 16th President said..May we all listen to “the better angels of our nature.”
What planet do you live on. Everyone knows who will hit the streets in violence tonight. No one is boarding up except where Democrats have already rioted.
The only place I even debate is in this small blog.
As for preaching Jesus I’m going to believe the best about you and leave you to smugly rebuke myself and others that you don’t know.
Paul did not live where the church and the society were so deeply mixed. That comparison won’t stand under scrutiny. You cannot possibly be so narrowly focused on those divisions that do not exist in our culture.
“Paul did not live where the church and the society were so deeply mixed.”
The “deeply mixed” part is part of the problem. I’ve said it before, my calling is to be a priest, not a culture warrior…
My calling is to be a warrior priest and principalities and powers abound. Every priest who speaks or acts in any way to address the powers is at war. We wage peace by making war. It’s in Augustine and Paul. We heal by doing surgery. There’s no real separation.
Tomorrow you’ll be going on about all the things the church ‘ought’ to be doing. We cannot wash our hands and keep clean.
Doesn’t that article have a yard sign for its clickbait?
100 million voters have voted the only suppression that’s needed is in the democrat cities. And it won’t be there.
“only suppression that’s needed is in the democrat cities. And it won’t be there.”
I truly hope your right. I hope the Trump fueled right wing threats are just bravado.
Dread. Can you discribe what you mean by warrior preist? Does it relate to specific activities as you go about your week?
Can you discribe your understanding of the powers? Who are they?
“Tomorrow you’ll be going on about all the things the church ‘ought’ to be doing. ”
You clearly don’t know me…
I don’t understand why “left” = “hell”. That is just so weird to me.
Josh, didn’t you know that the left give off cooties. Not even masks protect oneself from the cooties. The symptoms are a desire to cross-dress, and for men the temptation to apply mascara before leaving the house.
I just saw where Jean said I was dead to him. My great aunt said the same when I became a Christian. She yelled it to me in yiddish.
But she was nutzo also.
It is what happens when faith is about politics… contemporary politics.
One of my eccentric heroes was a man named Percy Dearmer, who wrote ‘The Parson’s Handbook’. He was a theological and liturgical arch-conservative and a traditionalist. He was also a self-described Christian Socialist and wrote tracts for the Fabian Society in the 1920s. There is a long tradition of such people. On the other hand, in the 1960s there were numerous Episcopal priests and Presbyterian pastors who were extreme theological liberals while being rock-ribbed Republicans.
We’ve lost the ability and wisdom to divide a person’s faith from their politics…
Jean 6:38: no one on this blog has spread more anger and hatred as fuel than you have. You choose the target but, because you think yourself so righteous, you cannot even recognize your own fuel.
Was there something in my 6:30 that you found hateful, arthur?
6:38 not 6:30
Josh. I asked Dread for an explaintion of powers and conflict for this reason.
Demons, devil/s, satan/ic, hell, etc, are not always defined by the user. It can be hard to know how someone conceives these terms.
If you scan the headlines on a popular rag such as Christian Post, it would be easy to say Democrat/left/progressive/etc = hell/demon/devil/ satan,etc.
If “bad”things exist, then they must be associated with “bad” entities.
Left as I mean it here – and I believe I said it contextually – means Marxist/Socialist/Leninist. When the left goes too far no matter where we look in history there is hell on earth. When government controls the economy and removes private property hell ensues.
The left in America is very openly decrying capitalism. Many of our government servants, who have spent their lives in government service don’t seem to understand capitalism as anything other than oppressive. Kamala Harris comes to mind.
Identitarian politics on both sides lead us to hell. In America our only real image of hell is Nazi Germany. So if a politician is over reaching we yell Hitler as Biden did in the last speech. No one ever invokes Stalin or Mao or even Castro. The iconography of evil is Hitler. What happens when the left goes too far?
That’s the hell I rue.
Clearly we do not know each other, that may be a great commentary on the limits of blogging. I would maintain we share much more in common that would bond us than divide us, but in blogging…
The “limits” can be overcome by good will, actually trying to understand another position and not engaging in ad hominem attacks. Christian conduct does not stop at the comment box of a blog…
Great question and one that occupies me greatly. Every apostle was and is a warrior priest. I don’t claim apostleship. Our Lord Jesus makes war even now he is lion/lamb waging war and making intercession. Those images bear more parsing that that. Of course he has won the battle but V-Day was long after D-Day. The apostle invades a territory with the intention of conquest. Preaching the Gospel is both war and worship.
More directly to your question. I have two images of the powers. They are to me both entities and human systems. In a biblical worldview we find elohim that are not JHWH and we find JHWH described as Elohim. Even so in this world we speak of God and gods.
The powers and principalities that Paul speaks of were IMO both ontological and corporeal. They existed as created beings and embodies human structures. C. Peter Wagner wrote mostly about the former and he was a mentor to me in some ways. Walter Wink wrote of the powers as the embodies domination system.
A warrior priest – and I was not formalizing a term – is one who deals with the heavenly and the earthly with both intercession and direct conflict.
We cannot continue to dismiss one another with phrases intended to cast aspersion. I need Jean and Duane to forge ahead. I need their wisdom, wit and wrath. So, “culture warrior” is a theologians aspersion. And it is his call to be more noble. I am a man of blood and don’t need to be clean in battle. Ha — I bloviate… But I think you understand.
Walter Wink wrote of this exact moment in 1992 in his book Engaging the Powers. I am fixed upon what he wrote. Someone came along and edited it in later editions making it soppy and cutting its edge. But I think “the card laid is the card played” and Wink got it right in 1992. Perhaps I will post that sometime.
Babylon’s Dread (I shortened to Dread because I have to type the whole thing in every time)
I’ve been here many years and I would have to be shown that I attack persons and not issues. I’ve definitely gotten testy lately but I will call upon Michael to adjudicate if my path has been as you suggest.
I reject your characterization but will be willing to be corrected.
While at it I would suggest that your approach to me has been rather condescending and passive aggressive.
So now we are talking.
I wasn’t making a “characterization”, I was making an observation. I would say, however, in most threads these days, you seem to be much more interested in secular politics, with a sprinkling of “spirituality”…
Passive-aggressive? Not so much. Condescending? I’ll work on it…
Secular political? I would say meta-narrative and worldview
Sprinkling of spirituality? I would rather be pure political than “spirituality” That made me laugh. At least give me a sprinkling of Jesus… I am not that pagan.
Sword and Trowel Dread
BD. I know the name Wink and I trying to place it..
Wagner..yes I know him.
Elohim. Does your use of the term overlap Michael Heiser in any way?
Heiser certainly has aided me in the exegesis as per Ge 1, Ps 82 and examining how elohim is used in the text. Walter Wink was a Methodist by nurture. He wrote extensively on the ‘powers’ – he died a few years ago.
Right now i am thinking of our Lord’s words, “Nevertheless, not my will, but Thine be done.” And Jesus knew what was coming! Today i am praying for an honest, peaceful election. Not my will, but God’s be done? I think of our Lord and i realize that i do find those words scary at times like this…… 🙏
I wonder what powers and principalities those in refugee camps in Juarez are praying against.
I wonder what principalities and powers have afflicted hundreds of children who know not where their parents have been taken.
What demonic spirit would destroy the families and hope of the least of these?
When Jesus returns will He find faith on the earth?
Dread – I certainly agree with your disdain for Marxism / Communism / Socialism. I don’t think think it is right now the threat that you think it is. I think there is a tendency for right-wingers to see any mention of regulation / welfare / whatever, and yell socialism. I don’t see the devil over there on the left. I see people who have different ideas than I have. If they are able to express those ideas to the constituency in a way that relates, they may be able to get into office. Even in office, say 40+ years of Bernie Sanders for instance, their ideas meet reality and if they are to accomplish anything they will have to compromise.
I do not think AOC is evil. I think she is a bright young woman who should have never been voted into office. She is young and idealistic and thinks her theories might work in the real world. That’s not evil. That’s great that a smart young person is trying to engage and make a difference. I certainly disagree with her on many points, but she does not frighten me in the least.
The extreme left may lead to hell, but the extreme right does too.
All, i listened to a very tech savvy person yesterday….
Don’t worry, the Dems will win this election – barring Divine intervention….
the little abandoned children and families in detention camps and all the victims of racism? They’re about to be liberated …
The times? They are a changin’
I think that is sarcasm, but I don’t get it.
I too have been a warrior…but my battleground was the church.
I fought to keep her true and safe and holy.
I can count on one hand the clergy that have stood with me over the last twenty years.
I’m not sure that I count as a warrior… but it seems I’ve acquired a few scars.
“Washing with water and the word..” that is our commission!
And yes you are a warrior, it has always been thus.
I’m a lover, not a fighter 🙂
“I’m a lover, not a fighter”
Until someone mentions the Athanasian Creed. 🙂
I am going to try to step away from this…my soul is full of vice.
Blessings on you all.
How dare YOU!!
(kidding 🙂 )
“As many have ardently embraced the politics of the moment in 2020, I have witnessed and felt the breaking of that common bond of faith, along with the abandonment of mutual respect that was once a part of normative Christian discourse.”
When you began this post — this was your concern. From my first response you’ve said that I am what you are writing about.
I have posted vigorously, openly, responsively and yes, combatively at times. I have not shied from accusation, taunt or issue oriented challenge.
Nothing in this conversation leads me to think our common bond in Christ is threatened or broken by these matters. In fact, I think it is enhanced by the process.
Clearly, my posts have engendered the most reaction. One more time I will say that only aids me to think more clearly and experience how poorly at times I communicate.
If Biden wins he will be “our president” thankfully, none of us has to call the president Lord. Thanks for the pushback, feedback and interaction.
As Michael said, blessing on you all…
I will check back in today
It seems to me that Duane broke the common bond a year or so ago when he reported about the church busses dropping off loads at an Indiana Trump rally – stating he had nothing in common with Christian Trump supporters. He didn’t just say Trump supporters but Christian Trump supporters.
Nothing in common means no Eucharist, no baptism, not Christ. That was quite a break.
The “limits” can be overcome by good will, actually trying to understand another position and not engaging in ad hominem attacks. Christian conduct does not stop at the comment box of a blog…
Dread, you are one of the good ones.
With those screaming obscenities and threats… No, nothing in common.
I genuinely and deeply believe that the politicization of the Faith is at its worst, heretical; at best, schismatic. Unfortunately, I believe that common bond of faith to be threatened, if not, indeed, broken. Always willing to dialogue and even debate and, although I don’t know you well, willing to take you at your word as to your intent and motivation…
Define carefully what you mean by politicizing faith. It surely is more than blogging.
I’m well aware…
“We have allowed ourselves to become defined not by our faith, but by our politics…”
No “we” have not. This is a pet peeve of mine, but the only thing that bothers me about you and Michael is when you use the word “we” when discussing the govt or the Church.
I use the first person in short articles, as opposed to specifying the “we” which would be appropriate in an academic paper… but I’ll keep it in mind 😁
“Unfortunately, I believe that common bond of faith to be threatened, if not, indeed, broken“
Apparently as I reread you think me guilty of heresy or schism but leave room for doubt.
I ask for clarification and get a brush off.
So the level of interaction that I’ve given has led you to these assessments?
Perhaps, but it calls for a wider and deeper conversation…
Heresy is serious charge and I do not intend to stand before you on it. And pulling it out over a discussion like this is really lowballing. It betrays the original post pretty obviously.
So you don’t have that kind of authority and you certainly did not actually engage a wider deeper conversation to discover if I had transgressed the canons of the faith.
And here is the thing. According the common bond of faith I am your brother. You do not have to like me or acknowledge me, or approve of me. You just cannot kick me out because you didn’t put me in. It sucks to have such a dysfunctional family but here we are.
So you really pissed me off but I still love you. Nothing you can do about it. I know all of that was coarse but someone should have warned you that PP has always been for brawlers. Cigs and swigs on me anytime.
“I genuinely and deeply believe that the politicization of the Faith is at its worst, heretical; at best, schismatic.”
It was a general statement, not an indictment of you nor, indeed, directed toward you apart from trying to explain why I feel so strongly about this matter. It is reminiscent of one of the people from Church History that I genuinely loath, Eusebius of Nicomedia. If you don’t know him, look him up.
If I thought you were heretical, I would certainly let you know. After all, central to my life is Athanasius of Alexandria. So, sorry to have upset you. It was not intended…
Cigs and Swigs offer stands
No problem. BTW, I’m an Anglican… I don’t often brawl…