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Posted: 12/11/2001 12:12:15 PM EDT
Here's a link: [url]www.townhall.com/columnists/calthomas/ct20011211.shtml[/url] The article is excellent. Here are some excerpts:
The resignation of religious broadcaster Pat Robertson as president and board member of the Christian Coalition pulls the plug on a comatose religious-political body that effectively died more than a decade ago. The meltdown marks the second time in a century (the first being Prohibition) when an attempted marriage between church and state failed both institutions. Religious politics failed the church because believers were told they could improve the morals of a nation through legislation and politics. It failed the state because time that might have been spent preaching a gospel of redemption -- that would have had the collateral benefit of elevating culture -- was wasted in a futile attempt to reform the unconverted. In re-directing their energies, conservative Christians would do well to re-read the Bible and stop relying on the "spin" others put on it for their own temporal purposes. There is no biblical mandate, or expectation, for reforming the world through government. Government can, and usually does, reflect the moral attitudes of its people. However, government cannot heal broken marriages (the primary cause of most social ills), nor can it force parents to invest the time necessary to properly rear a child. These things are personal, not political. The time is ripe for conservative Christians to spend less time trying to influence Caesar, to consider what it means to render unto God, and to start rendering.
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Link Posted: 12/11/2001 12:28:24 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/11/2001 12:33:13 PM EDT
Originally Posted By raf: So does this mean the "Prayer in Public Schools" debate is over? [;)]
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In essence, yes. Christians should just go ahead and gather in groups as they wish WITHOUT gov't permission and pray whenever and however they want. No one should be forced into participating. We should NOT expect public schools that teach evolution and situational ethics to be involved in prayer to God they don't beleive exists. Not only is it wrong to do so, it is stupid. Was there ever a time Christ sought Rome's permission to do any of God's business?? NO. Well, neither should Christians.
Link Posted: 12/11/2001 12:38:13 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/11/2001 12:42:04 PM EDT
Originally Posted By raf: I agree, with the proviso that the participants be aware of and capable of enduring the censure that they will suffer. But in essence, I agree. Civil disobedience.
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That IS the Biblical model. Be willing to take your lumps.
Link Posted: 12/11/2001 12:52:16 PM EDT
Garandman, I just finished writing a paper about the necessity of Church and State. I could go on for hours. The problem with posts like this is that most Christians haven't the slightest notion of what Jesus was actually saying. When told to render unto Ceasar that which was Ceasars and to render unto God that which was God's, Jesus of Nazareth was making a VERY distinct [i]political[/i] comment. Background: "It is like a grain of mustard seed," He said, "which, when it is sown upon the earth, though it be less than all the seeds that are upon the earth, yet when it is sown, groweth up, and becometh greater than all the herbs, and putteth out great branches; so that the birds of the heaven can lodge under the shadow thereof." Jesus was commenting that the mustard seed, being a common bushlike weed would crowd out the better herbs. Mustard plants are a writhing, wiry, invasive plant. Rome was the mustard seed of the time, crowding out that which the Jews viewed as the holy land. Now, Matthew 22:15-22 15 Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk. 16 And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men. 17 Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? 18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? 19 Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. 20 And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? 21 They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's. 22 When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way. The Ceasars were considered the direct conscript of the Gods of Rome. Decendants and basically the divine hands of the Gods, much like the pre-war Japanese emperors. When Jesus said to render unto Caesar that which is Caesar and render unto God that which is God's, he was actually saying that the Ceasars were common men (within the disease of Rome) and did not deserve the following of men. He was saying to serve only God and not Rome. At the time this was a very frightening comment to make in public. Such things eventually got him executed.
Link Posted: 12/11/2001 12:57:14 PM EDT
M_D - I thnk if you'll look again, you'll see that the "grain of a mustard seed "is a reference to the Kingdom of God, not to Rome. FWIW - This passage has received MANY different interpretations, even within single denominations.
Link Posted: 12/11/2001 1:08:19 PM EDT
Originally Posted By garandman: Here's a link: [url]www.townhall.com/columnists/calthomas/ct20011211.shtml[/url] The article is excellent. Here are some excerpts:
The resignation of religious broadcaster Pat Robertson as president and board member of the Christian Coalition pulls the plug on a comatose religious-political body that effectively died more than a decade ago. The meltdown marks the second time in a century (the first being Prohibition) when an attempted marriage between church and state failed both institutions. Religious politics failed the church because believers were told they could improve the morals of a nation through legislation and politics. It failed the state because time that might have been spent preaching a gospel of redemption -- that would have had the collateral benefit of elevating culture -- was wasted in a futile attempt to reform the unconverted. In re-directing their energies, conservative Christians would do well to re-read the Bible and stop relying on the "spin" others put on it for their own temporal purposes. There is no biblical mandate, or expectation, for reforming the world through government. Government can, and usually does, reflect the moral attitudes of its people. However, government cannot heal broken marriages (the primary cause of most social ills), nor can it force parents to invest the time necessary to properly rear a child. These things are personal, not political. The time is ripe for conservative Christians to spend less time trying to influence Caesar, to consider what it means to render unto God, and to start rendering.
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So I guess religious people (shouldn't be / don't have a right to be) involved in politics.
Link Posted: 12/11/2001 1:13:09 PM EDT
Originally Posted By MIerinMD: So I guess religious people (shouldn't be / don't have a right to be) involved in politics.
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I think you are missing the point. HOW you are missing the point I am NOT sure. Cal Thomas HIMSELF, the author, is a Christian, and I would rate him as VERY involved in politics. But, for sake of clarity, let me state it simply. The message of Christ is to be taken into the heart willingly on an individual basis, NOT forced on the unwilling under threat of gov't.
Link Posted: 12/11/2001 1:21:50 PM EDT
if i may jump in here... i think the idea is that we should all try to live ethical and moral lives appropriate to our respective belief systems, leading by virtuous example. that does not preclude us from participation in the secular aspects of life(including politics), but it is also not an invitation to force our belief systems on others. ok, i'm jumping out now.
Link Posted: 12/18/2001 12:27:39 AM EDT
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