The Triumph of Style Over Substance

When Bill Clinton was elected president, I made the argument that the problem wasn’t Bill Clinton but the millions of people who voted for him.  And the same thing is true about Barak Obama.  I can assure you that there have always been people who wanted to be president whose morals were no better than those of Clinton or Obama.  The difference was that, back when America was still a Christian nation, the voters had better morals than to knowingly elect these kind of people to public office.  That’s because we were able to assume that there was a connection between what people claimed to believe and how they conducted themselves.  For example, in those days when someone said they were a Christian, that meant something.

Unfortunately, that is no longer the case and the abortion issue provides a perfect example of this phenomenon.

All across America, there are those who claim that it is possible for them to be pro-choice – or vote for a supporter of legalized abortion – without abandoning their Christian principles.  They get away with this despite the fact that, from a theological standpoint, what they are saying is clearly demonstrable hogwash.

Two fundamental doctrines of Christianity are that God is the author of life and that He is incapable of making mistakes.   Obviously, the only logical conclusion that can be drawn from those concepts is that when life exists in the womb it is God’s will that it be there.  Since the obvious goal of abortion is to deny that will, support for its legality is, by definition, incompatible with Christianity.

The fact is, when someone claims to be pro-choice they are asserting three things.  The first is that life is not a right inherited from God but a privilege bestowed by human beings who can withhold it if they “choose” to do so.  The second is that God is neutral on whether a child He created is brutally torn limb from limb.  The third is that it is possible to reject the innocent new lives that God creates without rejecting God Himself.  From a Christian perspective, all three of these views are absurd.

In the final analysis, Christians cannot be pro-choice about the intentional destruction of innocent human life any more than they can be pro-choice about rape, robbery, slavery, incest, child abuse, etc.

A couple of years ago, I saw something that demonstrated just how far we’ve taken this idea that someone’s behavior is unrelated to their Christianity.  In a documentary on cable about the exploding pornography business in America, there was an interview with some sleaze ball from California who is generally acknowledged to be America’s Porn King.  Within the industry, his company is known for churning out an almost unbelievable volume of the raunchiest material imaginable.  And understand, we’re not talking about videos of naked people, we’re talking about videos of people doing things so revolting that most of the pubic could not even imagine that they are actually legal.

Not surprisingly, the underlying theme of every video is the submission, exploitation and intentional degradation of women.  It is hard to imagine the volume of drugs that this industry has to pour down the throats of its “actresses” in order to get them to participate in this kind of garbage, but I would not be surprised if it rivaled the GNP of some small countries.

In any event, one could not help but notice that, during his interview, the Porn King was wearing a necklace with a small gold cross on it.  The documentary also featured a clip from one of his videos in which one of the several women writhing around on screen was wearing a cross around her neck as well.

When the pornographer and his young porn star were asked how they could reconcile this apparent inconsistency, both said that their religious beliefs and their chosen professions were two separate issues and that being in hardcore porn does not mean you can’t also be a good Christian.  In their world, the most fundamental symbol of Christianity – the cross – no longer represents a belief system or a lifestyle or a commitment to right over wrong. It’s just a fashion statement.

The regrettable thing is, this same attitude has become almost universally adopted by the contemporary American church.  It is now in such an advanced state of decay that anytime someone dares to suggest that certain lifestyles and behaviors are incompatible  with the claim of being a Christian, they are attacked for being dogmatic and judgmental.  Like the society at large, the church has chosen to become so open-minded that its brains fell out.

Well, there are times when someone has to say what has to be said and Tuesday’s stomach churning inauguration makes this just such a time.  I know that a lot of fine upstanding church-goers will be angry when they hear me say this, but the fact is that people who claim to be Christians while helping to put a man like Barak Obama in the Oval Office – or while supporting the election of any other “pro-choice” politician – are no different than the Porn King with a cross dangling from his neck.

A Little Mutual Back Scratching

Regarding Rick Warren’s decision to give the prayer at Barack Obama’s inauguration, assume for a moment that we had just elected a man to be president who, during the campaign, spoke to a rally of the Ku Klux Klan – all the while reassuring us how important his Christian faith is to him.  Let’s also assume that, during this rally, he told the assembled cone heads that he thinks America should return to the times when only white male landowners were allowed to vote.

 

The question is, could anyone in America be stupid enough to think that Rick Warren would give the invocation for this guy’s inauguration?  Do they think we’d be hearing all this warm-fuzzy rhetoric about “coming together” and “setting aside our differences” or any of the other touchy-feely emotions we now find so trendy?  Believe me, anyone who thinks that would happen has lost contact with the mother ship. 

 

I suggest that we take off the rose-colored glasses for a moment.  The cold fact is that this sorry situation is nothing more than an arranged marriage motivated by politics and ambition. 

 

On one hand, Obama needs someone who can give him cover with the Christian community.  His goal is to hide from them the fact that he is a heretic and moral degenerate.  He chose Warren for this job because he knows that (a) Warren has “street cred” within the targeted demographic group and (b) the vast majority of the people in this particular group are too naïve to see that they are being played.  He also knows that, as pro-lifers go, Warren is “safe” because he has shown that–regardless of what he says about abortion–it is not an issue he cares much about and it is certainly not one for which he will fight.  In the same way some people used to say,” I’m not a racist, one of my best friends is black,” Obama can now say, “I’m not a baby-killer, one of my best friends is pro-life.”  

 

Meanwhile, Rick Warren’s willingness to become Obama’s token pro-lifer is part of an extended job interview.  He knows that Billy Graham is nearing the end of his life and that the job of “America’s Preacher and Spiritual Guru to the White House” is about to be available.  He also knows that, in order to ascend into this role, he will have to throw the unborn under the bus.  After all, he’s watched Graham do it for the last 35 years.  It’s called “selling out” and for those who covet a seat at the tables of power, more often than not it’s just the cost of doing business.  Such is the nature of political life in a nation that no longer places any value on principles and statesmanship.   

 

Now, for those of you who will inevitably accuse me of being unfairly cynical here, let me suggest that January 20th will tell the tale.  If I am wrong about Rick Warren, then he will use this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pray for mercy for the unborn and ask God to soften Obama’s heart toward them.  While he’s at it, he will also call America to repentance and beg God’s forgiveness for the 50 million defenseless children we have already slaughtered.    

 

Anyone taking bets? 


Mark Crutcher of Life Dynamics