Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

How a Legacy Can be Squandered
American Vision ^ | November 22, 2010 | Gary DeMar

Posted on 11/22/2010 8:42:56 AM PST by topcat54

Frank Schaeffer, the son of the late Christian worldview apologist Francis Schaeffer (1912–1984), writes the following in a post-election article that was published on the ultra-liberal Huffington Post website: “One reason the Republicans won on Tuesday is because many of their supporters have already given up on this world and are waiting for the next. I know, I used to be one of them.” One of the major faults of his father’s worldview was its lack of a viable eschatology. I’m not the only one to make this observation. William Edgar, a professor of apologetics at Westminster Theological Seminary, recounts the time in the 1960s he spent studying in L’Abri, Switzerland, under the tutelage of the elder Schaeffer:[1]

I can remember coming down the mountain from L’Abri and expecting the stock market to cave in, a priestly elite to take over American government, and enemies to poison the drinking water. I was almost disappointed when these things did not happen.[2]
Edgar speculates, with good reason, that it was Schaeffer’s eschatology that negatively affected the way he saw and interpreted world events. One of Schaeffer’s last books, A Christian Manifesto, did not call for cultural transformation but civil disobedience as a stopgap measure to postpone an inevitable societal decline. “The fact remains that Dr. Schaeffer’s manifesto offers no prescriptions for a Christian society. . . . The same comment applies to all of Dr. Schaeffer’s writings: he does not spell out the Christian alternative. He knows that you ‘can’t fight something with nothing,’ but as a premillennialist, he does not expect to win the fight prior to the visible, bodily return of Jesus Christ to earth to establish His millennial kingdom.”[3] This view has been true for millions of Christians. Providentially, the cracks in the foundation of this prophetic edifice are beginning to show.

Frank Schaeffer is right about a generation-long preoccupation with the end times among evangelicals and fundamentalists. Long before he wrote his latest irrational and misinformed rant, I and others have been writing about the impact or lack thereof eschatology has had on culture, education, and politics. My critique, contrary to Schaeffer’s, has been exegetical. That is, I offer biblical reasons why books written by Tim LaHaye, John Hagee, David Jeremiah, Thomas Ice, Ron Rhodes, John MacArthur, Mark Hitchcock, and others are wrong on the subject of prophecy. That’s why you will never find anything like the following, written by Schaeffer, in anything I’ve written on the topic. Notice the lack of any biblical analysis:

The Left Behind novels have sold tens of millions of copies while spawning an “End Times” cult, or rather egging it on. Such products as Left Behind wall paper, screen savers, children’s books, and video games have become part of the ubiquitous American background noise. Less innocuous symptoms include people stocking up on assault rifles and ammunition, adopting “Christ-centered” home school curricula, fearing higher education, embracing rumor as fact, and learning to love hatred for the “other,” as exemplified by a revived anti-immigrant racism, the murder of doctors who do abortions, and possibly even a killing in the Holocaust Museum.[4]

And now that the “death panel”[5] republicans who also claimed Obama is the Antichrist[6] are in power, maybe it’s time to take a look at the religious insanity that beats at the heart of their movement.

The younger Schaeffer is not the only person to criticize end-timers as dangerous, especially in the area of foreign policy. For example, Chip Berlet and Nikhil Aziz write the following in “Culture, Religion, Apocalypse, and Middle East Foreign Policy”: “It’s hard to believe, but the Bush administration’s foreign policy and the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq are influenced by the writings of a cave-dwelling hermit who had apocalyptic visions some 2000 years ago.”[7]

There is no doubt that many Christians are otherworldly and have no interest in culture or the dirty business of politics. Many more Christians are eschatologically schizophrenic. They believe that we are living in the last days but still engage society at some level. You can see it in a book like David Jeremiah’s The Coming Economic Armageddon. But why warn about such a thing when the subtitle links the economic Armageddon to “Bible Prophecy” that all the current prophetic signs point to? I used to believe that these guys were sincere but misguided about their beliefs. But now I’m not so sure. They may be in it for the money.[8]

Prophecy writer John Hagee writes in a similar way. In one book, Financial Freedom, Hagee sets forth “What you must do to survive the devastation of an economic collapse!”[9] In another book, published two years later in 2010, Hagee asks, Can America Survive?: 10 Prophetic Signs that We are the Terminal Generation.[10] He devotes an entire chapter to the “terminal generation” in his 2003 book The Battle for Jerusalem.[11] Hagee is not the first to use the “terminal generation” idea. Hal Lindsey made the phase popular in 1976, nearly a generation ago![12] A 1977 review of Lindsey’s book The Terminal Generation gets it right:

Lindsey has unquestionably tapped the pervasive apocalyptic mood in American society. The realization is growing that we are living in a world of limits, not an open future. Unfortunately, neither Lindsey’s strained attempts at biblical interpretation nor his socio-political analysis will help people to understand their world and act in faith and responsibility. Lindsey and his readers might ponder the calm wisdom of 1 Peter 4:7: “The end of all things is at hand; therefore keep sane and sober for your prayers.”[13]
The use of 1 Peter 4:7 is interesting. Peter wrote this around A.D. 63, and yet he says “the end of all things is at hand,” that is, it was near for his first-century audience. Nearly 2000 years have passed, and “all things” are still here. The apostle was describing the end of all things related to the old covenant, not the end of the space-time universe. Their redemption was not by way of silver or gold or animal sacrifices, “but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1:18-19). Peter’s reference to “silver or gold” may be an allusion to the temple (2 Kings 14:12-14: Ezra 5:14). With the passing away of the temple in A.D. 70, there would no longer be any need for animal sacrifices or the temple itself.

Economic, political, moral, and religious conditions seemed to have set the world on the brink of destruction numerous times in history. Economic circumstances were so bad in Israel thousands of years ago that some people resorted to cannibalism (Deut. 28:53-57; 2 Kings 6:28-29; Jer. 19:9). Josephus relates an account of a woman who killed, cooked, and ate her own child during the siege of Jerusalem which began in A.D. 70. Adam Clarke offers the following comments on Leviticus 26:29:

Ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, etc.— This was literally fulfilled at the siege of Jerusalem. Josephus, Wars of the Jews [Book 6, Chap. 3, sec. 4], gives us a particular instance in dreadful detail of a woman named Mary, who, in the extremity of the famine during the siege, killed her sucking child, roasted, and had eaten part of it when discovered by the soldiers!
There have been other economic crises in the not too distant past, and we have weathered them: The Great Depression in the United States and the hyperinflation in Germany where the United States dollar was worth 4 trillion German marks. We can include two world wars, prime indicators used by the prophetic speculators that the end was near. The late Larry Burkett wrote The Coming Economic Earthquake in 1991. It was republished in 1994 and included the following subtitle: “Revised and Updated for the Clinton Agenda.” Evaluating economic conditions and the state of foreign policy can and should be done without weaving a web of prophetic intrigue, especially since so many have been so wrong for so long. There’s enough in the Bible on economics and politics that can be appealed to without framing everything in prophetic terms. If you get the prophecy wrong, many may suspect that you’re getting other things wrong as well, including who Jesus is and the authority of His Word.

But back to Frank Schaeffer’s comment, “One reason the Republicans won on Tuesday is because many of their supporters have already given up on this world and are waiting for the next. I know, I used to be one of them.” This makes no sense. Much of what Frank Schaeffer writes these days does not make much sense, as I’ve previously pointed out (see here and here ). Why would Christians get involved in the political process if they knew that end was right around the corner? Don’t get me wrong. There are lots of people who do believe the end is near, and they don’t get involved. But this is beginning to change. Christians are reevaluating their end-time beliefs. Some very prominent Christians are no longer in the prophetic speculation camp. I’ve spoken to several of them. There are very few (if any) scholars defending the prophetic system made popular by mounds of books and articles on the subject. Many who still teach it do so because they need a job. The published defenders of the system continue to write their popular books. There still is a market for them, but their audience is shrinking. For some time now I have attempted to engage some of these men in public debate on the subject. They won’t do it. It would be the best thing for them, however. They would either shut me up or their poor showing would drive a stake through the heart of their system and end the charade quickly.

Frank Schaeffer has squandered his father’s legacy. Some of his criticisms of Christian conservatives are partially correct (as were his father’s), but they fall on deaf ears because he comes off as a spoiled and angry child (even though he’s nearly 60) and offers no alternatives either to the dualistic worldview of evangelicalism or the hate-filled and irrational splatterings of the radical Leftists he has hitched his latest wagon to.

Endnotes:

[1] William Edgar, “Francis Schaeffer and the Public Square” in J. Budziszewski, Evangelicals in the Public Square: Four Formative Voices on Political Thought and Action (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2006), 174.
[2] William Edgar, “Francis Schaeffer and the Public Square” in J. Budziszewski, Evangelicals in the Public Square: Four Formative Voices on Political Thought and Action (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2006), 174.
[3] Gary North and David Chilton, “Apologetics and Strategy,” in Tactics of Christian Resistance: A Symposium, ed. Gary North (Tyler Texas: Geneva Divinity School, 1983), 127–128. Emphasis in original.
[4] Schaeffer is referring to James von Brunn, the man who allegedly shot and killed a guard at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., on June 10, 2009. Von Brunn was a virulent racist and anti-Semite. He was also an evolutionist and anti-Christian. Von Brunn is a creature of the anti-Christian Left. See Bob Unruh, “Darwin-loving museum shooter hates Bible, Christians,” WorldNetDaily (June 11, 2009): http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=100882 Also see Kathy Shaidle, “Holocaust Museum shooter von Brunn a 9/11 ‘truther’ who hated ‘neo-cons,’ Bush, McCain” (June 10, 2009).
[5] Since publication of Schaeffer’s article, Democrat operative Paul Krugman has come out in support of “death panels.” “The left’s favorite economist, who condemned others for saying ObamaCare would require death panels, now admits they are real and necessary. The way to control costs, he says, is death and taxes.” (“Krugman Endorses Death Panels,” Investors.com (November 16, 2010).
[6] Only a few nut balls claimed that Obama might be the antichrist, certainly no more than Democrats who still believe George W. Bush is the devil incarnate.
[7] Chip Berlet & Nikhil Aziz, “Culture, Religion, Apocalypse, and Middle East Foreign Policy,” Right Web 5 (December 2003). The cave-dwelling hermit is a reference to the Apostle John and his “writings” refer to the book of Revelation.
[8] For the record, I don’t get paid any royalties for any of the books I’ve written. In fact, I no longer draw a salary from American Vision where all of my books are published.
[9] John Hagee, Financial Freedom (Lake Mary, FL: Front Line, 2008).
[10] John Hagee, Can America Survive: 10 Prophetic Signs that We are the Terminal Generation (New York: Howard Books, 2010).
[11] John Hagee, The Battle for Jerusalem (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2001), chap. 5.
[12] Hal Lindesy with C.C. Carlson, The Terminal Generation (Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell Co., 1976).
[13] John M. Mulder, “A Review of Hal Lindsey’s The Terminal Generation,” Theology Today 33:4 (January 1977).


Permission to reprint granted by American Vision, P.O. Box 220, Powder Springs, GA 30127, 800-628-9460.


TOPICS: Theology
KEYWORDS: eschatology; sociology

1 posted on 11/22/2010 8:42:59 AM PST by topcat54
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: ItsOurTimeNow; HarleyD; suzyjaruki; nobdysfool; jkl1122; Calvinist_Dark_Lord; Dr. Eckleburg; ...
Reformed Eschatology Ping List (REPL)
Biblically Optimistic and Gospel-Based

"For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled." (Luke 21:22)

2 posted on 11/22/2010 8:44:01 AM PST by topcat54 ("Dispensationalism -- like crack for the eschatologically naive.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: topcat54

I don’t know which one of the guys (Frankie or the writer) is the water and which one is the bathwater, but I don’t have any problem throwing both of them out.

As someone who visited La Brea when his dad was still alive, I think Frankie jumped the shark long ago and is a disgrace to his father and all that he believed. He belongs in the same cesspool as Tony Campolo (Clinton’s ‘counselor’) and Jim Wallis from Sojourners.


3 posted on 11/22/2010 8:58:26 AM PST by formerlytempaussie (Minnesota- National Headquarters for Recounts, Recants and Scoundrels)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: topcat54

Seems Frank is like the sons of the High Priest Eli.


4 posted on 11/22/2010 9:01:46 AM PST by huldah1776
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: topcat54

They call for a viable eschatology, but ignore the prophetic scripture which describes terrible days prior to the coming of Christ(Daniel, Joel, Zechariah and Revelation).

You might strive for reconstruction, but the man of sin might take exception.


5 posted on 11/22/2010 9:09:18 AM PST by lurk
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: topcat54; All
Mark 13:5–23; Luke 21:5–24

4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.

9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.

11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

15 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath.

21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.

23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand.

26 “Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it.

The Second Coming

Mark 13:24–27; Luke 21:25–28

27 For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 28 For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.

29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. ...”

6 posted on 11/22/2010 9:36:28 AM PST by geologist (The only answer to the troubles of this life is Jesus. A decision we all must make.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: topcat54

As a student of his father, I have often been grieved by Frank Schaeffer.


7 posted on 11/22/2010 9:38:17 AM PST by pallis
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: topcat54
According to Wikipedia: On February 7, 2008, Schaeffer endorsed Senator Barack Obama for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, in an article entitled "Why I'm Pro-Life and Pro-Obama."

[sigh]

8 posted on 11/22/2010 9:50:27 AM PST by Campion
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: topcat54
Frank Schaeffer has squandered his father’s legacy. Some of his criticisms of Christian conservatives are partially correct (as were his father’s), but they fall on deaf ears because he comes off as a spoiled and angry child (even though he’s nearly 60) and offers no alternatives either to the dualistic worldview of evangelicalism or the hate-filled and irrational splatterings of the radical Leftists he has hitched his latest wagon to.

Almost thirty years later, I am still deeply indebted to Francis Schaeffer for his book A Christian Manifesto. That book literally changed my life. Like DeMar, I realized that Schaeffer's premillennial eschatology worked to hamstring many of his arguments. That intellectual conflict was present even in A Christian Manifesto. One chapter would inspire Christians to stand against tyranny, while another part would say to hope for stalemate at best. I vividly recall flipping back-and-forth between pages, hoping that I'd missed something that would reconcile the two positions in my mind. It wasn't until I'd become a postmillennialist nearly a decade later, that I understood that I hadn't missed it - Schaeffer really was conflicted. He appeared unwilling to reconsider his pessimitic eschatology, in the light of his optimistic soteriology.

Gary North devoted nearly a third of his book Political Polytheism to the ministry of Francis Schaeffer. What he writes in that book provides a broader context from which to understand Schaeffer's personal ministry, and his written works. It echos many of my own thoughts re Schaeffer's shortcomings. But given how much Schaeffer "gets right", I prefer to gloss over the other issues when possible. Here's the "money quote" from Political Polytheism, which introduces the section on Schaeffer:

My essay on Rev. Schaeffer is mostly critical. I believe that he gave away far too much ground to the humanists and liberals who were the targets of his critiques. I believe that his apologetic approach, like Cornelius Van Til's, was deeply compromised by antinomianism and by eschatological pessimism. To prove my case, I have had to take a critical stand against him. This is a one-sided, specialized essay, not a well-rounded assessment of his personal ministry overall. I believe that on the whole, he (like Van Til) fought the good evangelical fight, given his self-imposed theological handicaps, his lack of formal academic training beyond seminary, and his geographical isolation in Switzerland (To some extent, all three were advantages: they kept him out of the increasingly debilitating clutches of the academic compromisers who control the humanities classrooms of the modern Christian liberal arts colleges). He inflicted serious wounds on humanists within the modern evangelical Church, which is why they are so vindictive, how that he is gone. Furthermore, his counsel and books brought many intelligent young people to saving faith in Jesus Christ in a turbulent period of Western history. Finally, he did elevate the terms of evangelical intellectual discourse from 1968 until his death. My disagreement with Rev. Schaeffer centers on the fact that he did not go far enough down the confrontational road. He waffled on key issues. He operated a halfway house intellectual ministry, with all the liabilities associated with any ideologically middle-of-the-road ministry. He did, however, sell over two million books. None of his published critics can match that performance, including me.

I am comparing him to what he could have been, had he remained more faithful to the older Puritan standards of the Westminster Confession of Faith that he affirmed at his ordination. I am comparing him to what he might have been, had he taken the Old Testament case laws more seriously. I am comparing him to what he should have been had he thoroughly abandoned the myth of neutrality that he publicly attacked, and had he really adopted the presuppositional apologetic approach that he sometimes claimed that he accepted. Most of all, I am comparing him to what we needed him to be, had he turned away from the political pluralism that he adhered to. Pluralism's moral foundation is relativism, which he forthrightly warned against--a warning which has outraged his neo-evangelical academic critics. But compared to Hal Lindsey, he was a breath of fresh air. Compared to Robert Schuller, he was a theological life-support system. Compared to Tony Campolo, he was the Apostle Paul.


9 posted on 11/22/2010 10:03:27 AM PST by Alex Murphy ("Posting news feeds, making eyes bleed, he's hated on seven continents")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: topcat54
I think it´s Talmudic that, if you´re planting a tree and hear that the
moshiach is come, first finish the planting, then go to greet him.
10 posted on 11/22/2010 10:08:10 AM PST by onedoug
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: onedoug; topcat54
I think it´s Talmudic that, if you´re planting a tree and hear that the moshiach is come, first finish the planting, then go to greet him.
"Warmhearted Jesus always loved to be hugged and embraced, especially by children. A simple handshake is acceptable, too. But don't try too hard to impress the Savior with how "manly" your grip is. Squeezing Christ's palms could irritate his crucifixion wounds."
-- from the thread THE RIGHT WAY TO ACT WHEN YOU MEET JESUS. . . AND STAY ON HIS GOOD SIDE!


11 posted on 11/22/2010 10:32:17 AM PST by Alex Murphy ("Posting news feeds, making eyes bleed, he's hated on seven continents")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: formerlytempaussie
As someone who visited La Brea when his dad was still alive,

The tar pits?

12 posted on 11/22/2010 12:39:49 PM PST by topcat54 ("Dispensationalism -- like crack for the eschatologically naive.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: onedoug
I think it´s Talmudic that, if you´re planting a tree and hear that the moshiach is come, first finish the planting, then go to greet him.

"He who has thirsted and quenched his thirst at the living fount of Christ's Teaching, can never again stoop to seek drink at the broken cisterns of Rabbinism." (Alfred Edersheim, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, 1883, III:18)

13 posted on 11/22/2010 12:42:43 PM PST by topcat54 ("Dispensationalism -- like crack for the eschatologically naive.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: lurk
You might strive for reconstruction, but the man of sin might take exception.

Are you referring to the man of sin ala dispensational futurism? He doesn’t exist. He is an eschatological phantasm.

14 posted on 11/22/2010 12:46:11 PM PST by topcat54 ("Dispensationalism -- like crack for the eschatologically naive.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: topcat54; Alex Murphy
I´ll continue to drink from these broken cisterns of Rabbinism as I am drawn to amazement at the mechanisms of existence, and how they fit into my own life for others.

I don´t reject Christ so much as I wonder things like why the ¨devil¨, for example, recognizing himself as necessarily inferior to God´s omnipotence would even seek to tempt not the human in Jesus, but God himself in the wilderness. The outcome is a foregone conclusion, whereas could the reverse happen - which it can´t - we wouldn´t be around to discuss it as existence would be completely different, if it even was at all.

Thus while things like the fact that the United States could not have been founded without Jesus also intrigue me, nonetheless I find it more satisfying to know that God is knowable only for His having created us, and that we, in His image, discern more of existence only as the universe expands.

15 posted on 11/22/2010 1:30:31 PM PST by onedoug
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: topcat54

La Brea, lol....let’s try L’Abri. Funny, but I used to teach senior high English and I find the older I get, the less sure I have become about words/spelling without looking things up.

For your information, I have visited the tar pits too.


16 posted on 11/22/2010 1:38:43 PM PST by formerlytempaussie (Minnesota- National Headquarters for Recounts, Recants and Scoundrels)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: topcat54
Frank Schaeffer has squandered his father’s legacy. Some of his criticisms of Christian conservatives are partially correct (as were his father’s), but they fall on deaf ears because he comes off as a spoiled and angry child (even though he’s nearly 60)

One sincerely hopes the younger Schaeffer will work through his family "issues". Every time he fires up his word processor for an opinion piece, it's just ugly.

17 posted on 11/22/2010 1:50:43 PM PST by Lee N. Field ("I'm so thankful for the active obedience of Christ. No hope without it." -- J. Gresham Machen)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: topcat54
There is no doubt that many Christians are otherworldly and have no interest in culture or the dirty business of politics.

This is true, and I believe very, very sad. I would even go so far to say that the lack of involvement in the culture/political realm is, quite possibly, an indicator of the [American] Church's failing.
What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone
James 2:14-17 (KJV)

Many more Christians are eschatologically schizophrenic. They believe that we are living in the last days but still engage society at some level.

Yes, there does seem to be a rather jarring disconnect, or even 'doublethink' among the majority of Americans (not just Christians). How common would it be to hear someone say "yes the Constitution prohibits the government to infringe on the right to bear arms, but the restrictions in schools/courts/army-bases are to keep people safe." Either the Constitution is the supreme law of the land, that is to say the ultimate legal authority in American law, or it is not; there is no 'but'. {The belief that the Constitution is the ultimate corporal law logically precludes the 'but'.}

You can see it in a book like David Jeremiah’s The Coming Economic Armageddon. But why warn about such a thing when the subtitle links the economic Armageddon to “Bible Prophecy” that all the current prophetic signs point to? I used to believe that these guys were sincere but misguided about their beliefs. But now I’m not so sure.

Indeed. As I've gotten older I've become "not sure" about many, MANY things. It is, however, [IMO] a mark of moral impotence to fail to do *any* action because any particular 'belief' *MAY* be false. Along with the [American] societal rejection of the 'absolutism' we have lost the ability to reason, precisely because Logic *requires* the absolutes of TRUE and FALSE and the recognition of an axiom called "The Law of Non-Contradiction" which states: "No statement may be simultaneously True and False."

That is a tragedy of epic proportions. Hard sciences become "alien thought" to the general culture and the entire subjects of Law and Theology become nothing more than "belief-fests" where something is true based on your opinion/belief and you don't have to believe something because it's true.

They may be in it for the money.

They may also be in it for the feeling of power/importance [ego-stroking, as some would say]; but I think that the heart of the mater is that their faith/belief is dead -- What works do they have to show their belief?

I joined the Army National Guard when I was young, partially because I needed/wanted to get school taken care of & partially because I wanted to do so in such a way that I wouldn't [see myself as] a leach off of society sucking up the "free ride" scholarships/grants. I got to help people too, I was deployed to Katrina; later I was deployed to Iraq. One of the semi-propaganda/morally-therapeutic-motivations was that of liberating the Iraqi people.

Upon returning to the States I let my enlistment expire; not because I didn't like being a liberator (though I can seriously criticize myself and my fellow service members for taking that title, I can also recognize that it is 'acceptable' in literal terms) but because it was ultimately quite a hypocritical thing to do: I returned in time for the 2008 elections to the injustices of ACORN and the New Black Panthers and saw, with my own eyes, that America is NOT free. So to stay in the Army and "Fight for Freedom!" when said organization will not do anything about the trampling of the Constitution that it is sworn to uphold against that Constitution's domestic enemies would be hypocritical.

18 posted on 11/22/2010 2:23:21 PM PST by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson