1. Joined
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    24 Jan '18 19:101 edit
    Several years back I came across the following by Phil Zuckerman a professor of sociology in California and started a thread on it. It seems more topical than ever. Thought it might be worth revisiting.

    Looking past the provocative title, what he has to say is generally consistent with the views of Evangelical Christians I have spoken with. Anyone care to share their insights as to what they think is going on?

    Jesus unambiguously preached mercy and forgiveness. These are supposed to be cardinal virtues of the Christian faith. And yet Evangelicals are the most supportive of the death penalty, draconian sentencing, punitive punishment over rehabilitation, and the governmental use of torture. Jesus exhorted humans to be loving, peaceful, and non-violent. And yet Evangelicals are the group of Americans most supportive of easy-access weaponry, little-to-no regulation of handgun and semi-automatic gun ownership, not to mention the violent military invasion of various countries around the world. Jesus was very clear that the pursuit of wealth was inimical to the Kingdom of God, that the rich are to be condemned, and that to be a follower of Him means to give one’s money to the poor. And yet Evangelicals are the most supportive of corporate greed and capitalistic excess, and they are the most opposed to institutional help for the nation’s poor — especially poor children. They hate anything that smacks of “socialism,” even though that is essentially what their Savior preached. They despise food stamp programs, subsidies for schools, hospitals, job training — anything that might dare to help out those in need. Even though helping out those in need was exactly what Jesus urged humans to do. In short, Evangelicals are that segment of America which is the most pro-militaristic, pro-gun, and pro-corporate, while simultaneously claiming to be most ardent lovers of the Prince of Peace.

    What’s the deal?

    Before attempting an answer, allow a quick clarification. Evangelicals don’t exactly hate Jesus — as we’ve provocatively asserted in the title of this piece. They do love him dearly. But not because of what he tried to teach humanity. Rather, Evangelicals love Jesus for what he does for them. Through his magical grace, and by shedding his precious blood, Jesus saves Evangelicals from everlasting torture in hell, and guarantees them a premium, luxury villa in heaven. For this, and this only, they love him. They can’t stop thanking him. And yet, as for Jesus himself — his core values of peace, his core teachings of social justice, his core commandments of goodwill — most Evangelicals seem to have nothing but disdain.
    .
    .
    Of course, conservative Americans have every right to support corporate greed, militarism, gun possession, and the death penalty, and to oppose welfare, food stamps, health care for those in need, etc. — it is just strange and contradictory when they claim these positions as somehow “Christian.” They aren’t.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/phil-zuckerman/why-evangelicals-hate-jes_b_830237.html
  2. SubscriberSuzianne
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    24 Jan '18 20:26
    Cue the "Why do you combine politics and religion?" whiners.
  3. Joined
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    24 Jan '18 22:47
    If Jesus always forgives, why is it most people will not inherit eternal life?
  4. Standard memberVelns
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    24 Jan '18 22:56
    Originally posted by @eladar
    If Jesus always forgives, why is it most people will not inherit eternal life?
    Isn’t it something to do with repentance?
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    24 Jan '18 23:14
    Originally posted by @velns
    Isn’t it something to do with repentance?
    Why should you have to repent to be forgiven? That would be earning salvation. Jesus isn't supposed to put conditions on salvation.

    Why can't people repent at the judgement seat?
  6. Seoul, South Korea
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    24 Jan '18 23:41
    It's actually a very easy explanation... You can learn it easily by spending a few hours familiarizing yourself with the ideas of 'Christian reconstructionalism' or 'dominionism.'

    It's amazing to think that people will spend years complaining about superconservative Evangelicals but they won't take like 2-3 hours to read some of the essays by Gary North or R. J. Rushdoony...

    Basically,

    Conservative Evangelical Christians view the secular world as inherently a corrupting influence. Because man is fundamentally flawed, institutions that he make will be flawed. The greater amount of control we give these institutions over our lives, the more likely that they will interfere with us.

    The Moral Majority movement largely came into being because Jerry Falwell was motivating very isolationist minded Christians into actually voting. There were plenty of Christians who felt that they should not even be politically motivated because all institutions were a lost cause, and to be worldly or to participate int he worldly wasn't their place.

    There is a surprising parallel between Christian evangelical libertarian types and Greek or Russian Orthodox reactionaries. It's just that instead of the ORthodox favoring excessively limited government to limit the influence of secular power over them, the Orthodox reactionary desires a return to autocratic sinfonia.

    ... The Evangelical wants to allow people to have guns so that the people themselves are a check on government power. This is something that even a deist like Benjamin Franklin endorsed.

    The Evangelicals despise socialism because it likewise gives the government massive control and influence over the society. Socialism doesn't always mean some successful NHS taking care of everyone -- some people remember the Soviet Union and watch the news coming out of Venezuela.

    I don't actually share any of these stances but you really just got to be cognizant of what their positions really are.

    Oh, and:

    2 Thess. 3:10: "For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: "The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.""

    I'd love to see liberals unpack this for us.
  7. Standard memberRajk999
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    25 Jan '18 02:08
    Originally posted by @eladar
    ..Jesus isn't supposed to put conditions on salvation.
    You will never find this in the Bible.
    Another manmade piece of nonsense church doctrine.
  8. SubscriberFMF
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    25 Jan '18 02:121 edit
    Eladar: Jesus isn't supposed to put conditions on salvation.

    Originally posted by @rajk999
    You will never find this in the Bible.
    Another manmade piece of nonsense church doctrine.
    Jesus surely was very explicit - according to the Bible - about what the instructions/conditions are for "salvation".
  9. Standard memberRajk999
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    25 Jan '18 02:14
    Originally posted by @fmf
    Jesus surely was very explicit - according to the Bible - about what the instructions/conditions for "salvation".
    Of course. How do some Christians sleep at night knowing that they are so far removed from the truth as preached by Christ.
  10. Seoul, South Korea
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    25 Jan '18 02:18
    Originally posted by @eladar
    Why should you have to repent to be forgiven? That would be earning salvation. Jesus isn't supposed to put conditions on salvation.

    Why can't people repent at the judgement seat?
    Honestly, that is a kind of interesting question... why isn't repentance available post facto...

    Judging by a lot of passages like the famous Romans 5 narrative... suffering in this world is supposed to produce virtues within us. We are being tempered and made, in this world, so that when we inherit eternal life we can partake of God in a far fuller form.

    There are also passages which talk about those worthy of eternal life as a sort of 'elect' (Ephesians 1:4). God had foreknowledge of us, and wants us to become holy and blameless, which ties right into the idea of improving through our suffering in the world.

    Both of these passages provide for a narrative where our suffering and time on earth is meaningful, and imply that simply repenting after the fact will not work...

    That makes sense, right? I hope it helped answer the question.

    Just curious... do you think it would be unjust to not allow repentance after the fact? That could be a good discussion.
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    25 Jan '18 03:04
    Originally posted by @rajk999
    You will never find this in the Bible.
    Another manmade piece of nonsense church doctrine.
    I know it isn't in the Bible but it is the assumption in the op quote.
  12. Joined
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    25 Jan '18 03:05
    Originally posted by @jacob-verville
    Honestly, that is a kind of interesting question... why isn't repentance available post facto...

    Judging by a lot of passages like the famous Romans 5 narrative... suffering in this world is supposed to produce virtues within us. We are being tempered and made, in this world, so that when we inherit eternal life we can partake of God in a f ...[text shortened]... hink it would be unjust to not allow repentance after the fact? That could be a good discussion.
    I was being sarcastic based on liberal point of view in the original post.
  13. Joined
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    25 Jan '18 22:321 edit
    Originally posted by @jacob-verville
    It's actually a very easy explanation... You can learn it easily by spending a few hours familiarizing yourself with the ideas of 'Christian reconstructionalism' or 'dominionism.'

    It's amazing to think that people will spend years complaining about superconservative Evangelicals but they won't take like 2-3 hours to read some of the essays by Gar ...[text shortened]... he one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.""

    I'd love to see liberals unpack this for us.
    You seem to have missed the author's point which is that many of the views held by many Evangelicals are contrary to the gospel preached by Jesus. Whatever rationalizations they may make up for themselves do not change this fact.
  14. Seoul, South Korea
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    25 Jan '18 23:23
    Originally posted by @thinkofone
    You seem to have missed the author's point which is that many of the views held by many Evangelicals are contrary to the gospel preached by Jesus. Whatever rationalizations they may make up for themselves do not change this fact.
    I think I explaiend well why they may believe very much in helping the poor or peace, but have a lot of cynicism towards the government and towards institutions designed to do just that.

    Of course, I would not say that the Dominionists & Reconstructionalists are 100% right. I am not one at all, after all!

    But I think their rationale is pretty OK... and that my explanation, which shows their point of view further, precisely states why they aren't some liberal democratic or Eurosocialist.
  15. Joined
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    25 Jan '18 23:35
    Originally posted by @jacob-verville
    I think I explaiend well why they may believe very much in helping the poor or peace, but have a lot of cynicism towards the government and towards institutions designed to do just that.

    Of course, I would not say that the Dominionists & Reconstructionalists are 100% right. I am not one at all, after all!

    But I think their rationale is pretty ...[text shortened]... oint of view further, precisely states why they aren't some liberal democratic or Eurosocialist.
    Regardless of how well you think you explained it, it does not address the author's point which is that many of the views held by many Evangelicals are contrary to the gospel preached by Jesus.

    Is it as the author summarized?:
    Of course, conservative Americans have every right to support corporate greed, militarism, gun possession, and the death penalty, and to oppose welfare, food stamps, health care for those in need, etc. — it is just strange and contradictory when they claim these positions as somehow “Christian.” They aren’t.


    But I think their rationale is pretty OK.

    In your mind, because of their "cynicism towards the government and towards institutions" they are justified in holding views that are contrary to the gospel preached by Jesus?
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