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? 

Some Reason in this Season of Treason

For those of us in the pro-life movement, the current presidential campaign has produced more high-profile traitors and defectors than any other election in history.  In just two of several recent examples, we saw Pat Robertson and Rick Warren abandon both their principles and the unborn children they’ve always claimed to care so much about. 

Now comes Frank Schaeffer, the son of one of the pro-life movements giants, the late Francis Schaeffer.  A few days ago, he announced his undying support for the rabidly pro-abortion and most liberal member of the United States Senate, Barack Hussein Obama.  He says he reached this decision after concluding that the November election should not be about policy but character.  Apparently, Schaeffer got his definition of the word “character” from the same dictionary that caused Bill Clinton to be a little befuddled on what the meaning of the word “is” is. 

In any event, like Robertson and Warren before him, Schaffer attempted to rationalize his betrayal with explanations that ranged from the laughable to the bizarre.  But in the end, his tortured logic was transparent and could not erase the fact that he is a traitor.  You can also be fairly certain that he will not be the last one of these guys to go over the hill before this election cycle is over.  As this phenomenon continues to play out, I think it is important for us to keep two things in mind.

On the philosophical front, while most people in the pro-life movement accurately characterize the effort to save the unborn as a war, we have generally misunderstood its nature.  We see it as a war between the pro-aborts and us, despite the fact that we are not the targets of the enemy’s aggression.  After all, our lives and futures are not on the line and, even if we were to lose, the practical ramifications for us would be virtually zero. 

It is time for us to understand that this is not a war between the pro-aborts and us.  It is a war between the pro-aborts and the unborn.  We are simply soldiers who volunteered to fight on the side of those children.  So when the Robertsons and Warrens and Schaeffers of the world run for the tall grass, they are not abandoning us; they are selling-out the babies.  The only offense they are committing against us is disloyalty. 

That leads me to a more pragmatic point I want to make. 

There is no denying that these betrayals are painful, and they are even more so when committed by people we trusted and loved and whose dedication to the cause we never questioned.  But we should also understand that their acts of treason serve an invaluable purpose. 

As we move closer to victory, our enemies are going to become even more vicious and more brutal and more vitriolic than ever.  In fact, we can already see that happening.  To win in that environment, we have to know who can be trusted and who can’t.  And that is precisely what we are being shown.  Perhaps we need to open our eyes to the possibility that God is preparing the pro-life movement for the final push to victory.  I am convinced that, after the November elections, our movement may indeed be smaller than it is now, but far stronger.  I can assure you that, no matter who wins, if the end result is that we traded quantity for quality, we will be in a much better position to fight the battles that are in front of us.

The choice before us today is whether we are going to be winners or whiners.  We can flap our arms and wring our hands and face the wailing wall over these turncoats, or we can see them for exactly what they are: people who are more to be pitied than scorned.  Pat Robertson is a perfect example of what I’m saying.  Throw out all the rhetoric he used to justify his backing of Rudy Giuliani, we all know he did it because he thought Giuliani was going to win and Robertson wanted “a seat at the table” after the election.  His defenders can sugar coat it all they want, but the bottom line is that Pat Robertson traded his principles for political power and ended up with neither. 

Such is the risk of being a traitor.  It is their fate to discover that disloyalty is seldom rewarded and never respected.  The problem is, they never seem to understand that until it’s too late.        

Barking Dogs and Counterfeit Christians

America’s Godless Left continually derides Christianity by talking about all the harm its followers have done over the centuries.  Whenever the subject comes up, we are regaled with stories about the Crusades, the war in Ireland, the pilgrims, and a cornucopia of other Christian crimes that are meant to shame us into contrite silence. 

The fact that most of what these people say is at best inaccurate and at worst fabrication, is of no consequence.  Most of them are not bright enough to know that what they are saying is nonsense and the ones that do know don’t care.  As card-carrying members of the Godless Left, they have the comfort of knowing that their lies will never be exposed by their stooges and fellow travelers in the media.  So they can even talk about atrocities carried out by Muslims and cite them as examples of what people do “in the name of God.”  In this convoluted world, every “believer” is the same regardless of what they believe so it is only natural that Christians would be held accountable for what Muslims do.  The fact that much of the violence committed by Muslims over the centuries was actually committed against Christians is inconvenient and, therefore, ignored.  After all, they will never allow truth to compromise their political agenda.        

When they mention recent Christianity-induced violence, the name that most often pops into the conversation is that of Adolf Hitler.  The Left loves to hold him up and talk about how a Catholic envisioned and then carried out the Nazi holocaust.  The major flaw in that argument is that Hitler was not a Catholic.  He was simply born to parents who were Catholic.  Read any legitimate biography about him and you will see that he was virtually devoid of any sort of spirituality and that the closest thing to religion in his life was a disturbing fascination with occultism.  The bitter irony is, if Hitler had indeed been a Catholic it is highly unlikely that World War II would have ever occurred.  

Let’s cut to the chase here.  Uncovering the real motivation behind this Christian-bashing phenomenon begins by understanding that the world just went through the most violent time in its history.  In World War II alone, while Hitler’s thugs were terrorizing western Europe, Joe Stalin and his buddy Lenin were carrying out a genocide – often against their own countrymen – that made Uncle Adolf look like a bumbling amateur.  Meanwhile, the Japanese had jumped into bed with Hitler and Stalin and were piling up Chinese, Indonesian, Korean, Filipino, and Indochinese corpses by the millions.  Then came despots like, Pol Pot, Mao Tse-tung, Chiang Kai-chek, Tito, Kim Il-sung, and others who carried on this tradition of using mass executions as a political tool.

In the end, the best estimates are that government sanctioned genocide during the 20th century stole the lives of about 175 million people.  What the Godless Left does not want the public to think about is the fact that almost all the perpetrators of these atrocities were self-admitted atheists and/or non-Christians.  In other words, the overwhelming majority of the butchery that occurred during the most violent century in world history, was done by people with the same world view and belief system as the American Left.  Their Christian-bashing campaign is simply a scheme to divert attention away from that uncomfortable reality.  In short, they are the embodiment of the “guilty dog barks first” philosophy and, unfortunately, to a large measure it has worked.     

The unvarnished truth is that the Godless Left has always embraced genocide as a means to an end.  One such atrocity is going on right here in the United States as over 3000 helpless human beings are being executed by abortion every single day. 

Of course, there are those who will contend that this holocaust is not associated with atheism since many of the people who call themselves pro-choice, and many of the people actually having abortions, claim to be Christians.  That ignores the fact that just because someone claims to be a Christian does not mean that they are one.  In reality, when someone says they are both pro-choice and Christian they are either heretics, outright frauds, or painfully ignorant about what it means to be a Christian. 

Two non-negotiable foundations of Christian doctrine are that (1) God is the author of life, and (2) He is incapable of making mistakes.  The only logical conclusion one can draw from those beliefs is that when life exists in the womb, it is God’s will that it be there.  On the other hand, support for legal abortion always denies at least one, and generally both, of those two fundamental concepts.  By definition, that makes the “pro-choice” position incompatible with Christianity.

When someone claims to be both pro-choice and Christian, he or she is basically asserting three principles.  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.  Finally, they are saying 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 positions are absurd.
 
The bottom line is, there can be no such thing as a “pro-choice Christian” when abortion is the choice.  A Christian 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.

In the final analysis, those who participate in or defend the abortion holocaust are as godless as those who have participated in or defended most of the world’s other holocausts.  To be certain, Christians have a lot to answer for and answer for it they will.  But to suggest that they are even in the same league with these people is preposterous.

Christian Lemmings

The December 8, 2003, edition of U.S. News & World Report contains an article called, The New Evangelicals in which the modern megachurch is portrayed as little more than a large building in which people congregate to have their ears tickled by a slick and well-paid preacher/entertainer. 

I am always skeptical when the secular media starts analyzing Christianity or the church, but the message of this article is, unfortunately, impossible to deny.  Today, Americans want a low-maintenance no-demand Christianity that pushes absolution without the need for confession and revival without the need for repentance.  They don’t want to hear about sin or repentance or the need to live by some moral code handed down thousands of years ago; they want to be dazzled.  Most of all, they want a church that makes them feel good about the lifestyle they are involved in regardless of what that lifestyle might be.

That is the market these megachurch preachers have tapped into.  It’s called the “Seeker Movement” and it is designed to appeal to aging baby-boomers who are looking for a philosophy that is more John Lennon than John the Baptist. 

In the USNWR article, megachurch preacher Lon Solomon claimed that churches like his are “offering people a different and better way to live than secular America offers.”  However, their touchy-feely-I’m-okay-you’re-okay theology and entertainment-based delivery system demonstrates that there is actually little if any difference between the two.  In fact, his own words prove that modern secular society now has far more influence on the church than the church has on society.

Among the many problems with this Seeker Movement theology is that it will never pull America out of its current moral tailspin.  For example, in this article Solomon referred to issues like abortion as just “minor concerns” to this wave of New Evangelicals.  It was clear that people like Solomon see no contradiction in getting all jacked-up about someone being born again, while being functionally indifferent to those who don’t get to be born even once. 

The result is, with the church’s averted gaze and silent approval, today more people will be killed in the womb than on every battlefield in the world.  Of course, that’s just a minor concern for those who are already born.

Counterfeit Christians and The Great Ping-Pong Scam

Recently, forty-eight Democrat members of Congress signed a letter railing against Catholic bishops who say that pro-abortion politicians should be denied communion.  Interestingly, some of the people signing this letter claim to be “personally opposed” to abortion but say that it is not their place to legislate Catholic doctrine. 

As a Baptist, I agree.  Lawmakers shouldn’t be legislating Catholic doctrine. 

The problem is, the basis for saying that the unborn child is a living human being is not theological but biological.  Just because the Catholic Church recognizes this does not make laws against abortion a Catholic issue.  If we are going to say otherwise, then we have to eliminate our laws against theft since Holy Scripture says, “Thou Shalt Not Steal” and the Catholic Church agrees.    

So let’s cut to the chase here.  The people who signed this letter while claiming to be opposed to abortion are not the enlightened intellectuals they would have you believe.  They are cowards.  After all, there is no basis for being opposed to abortion other than the belief that it takes the life of an innocent and helpless baby.  So what the “personally opposed” crowd is really saying is, “I am aware that abortion is the murder of helpless children, but I’m not going to do anything to stop it.” 

Any way you cut it, that is nothing more than garden-variety cowardice.    

This letter signing nonsense is just part of The Great Ping-Pong Scam that gutless preachers and politicians have been pulling since the day abortion was legalized.  Ping is when the pro-life movement goes to the church and asks them to help do something about the abortion holocaust.  We are politely told that because abortion is a political issue the church shouldn’t get involved.  So we go to the nation’s politicians and ask them to help do something about the abortion holocaust.  From them we are informed that because abortion is a religious issue politicians shouldn’t get involved.  That is the pong part.

This slimy strategy has served both groups well for over 30 years.  But now, when a few Catholic bishops get serious about their clerical responsibilities, the Counterfeit Christians in Congress get worried that if this spreads The Great Ping-Pong Scam won’t work anymore. 

Of course, the person with the most to lose in all this is John Kerry.  As the most high-profile of the “personally opposed” cowards, he is the one most often identified by the bishops as being unfit to receive the Sacraments of the Catholic Church. 

It is revealing to think back to the last time the Democrats nominated a Catholic for President.  In the 1960 campaign, many American’s were in a lather over the possibility that if John Kennedy was elected he would just be a puppet of the Vatican.  But no one is expressing this concern about John Kerry and the reason why is simple. 

Kerry has made it perfectly clear that when his faith and his political ambitions collide, it will always be his faith that he abandons.  That is why America’s Godless Left is comfortable supporting him.  They have all the proof they need that his Catholic beliefs mean no more to him than Jimmy Carter’s, Bill Clinton’s or Al Gore’s Baptist beliefs meant to them. 

The reality is, the Godless Left has never had a problem with politicians who claim to have religious beliefs – as long as they didn’t actually live by them. 

As for the rest of us, the questions is: if God can’t such these people, can we?


Mark Crutcher of Life Dynamics