Thursday, January 26, 2012

American Family Radio, Bryan Fischer & Conservative Media Bias

I was listening to American Family Radio Host Bryan Fischer today while he questioned a guest about the remaining GOP candidates' individual deficiencies as viewed by Evangelical voters. In the question, Fischer cited the non-mainstream Mormonism of Mitt Romney, the past infidelity of Newt Gingrich, the quirky views about Prostitution and drugs of Ron Paul and the Roman Catholic Faith of Rick Santorum. I immediately was flabbergasted at the bias of the question from this supposed proponent of the Truth.

I've said before that AFA's choice for the presidency was Rick Perry and had been from before the beginning of the run by Perry. It went back to at least prior to The Response coordinated by Rick Perry in Houston Texas. Though publicly not allowed to endorse a political candidate because of their 501C3 status with the IRS, it has been obvious who they prefer. And it hasn't been limited to Bryan Fischer, but runs the gambit of radio personalities as well as management and staff.

Since the departure of Perry, the AFA favorite to defeat President Obama has been Newt Gingrich. Romney, his Mormon faith and liberal politics are not thought to be able to mount a viable campaign against the Obama administration. So the most attractive candidate ideologically is Gingrich. This has become more evident with Gingrich's win in South Carolina and the supposed momentum gained from that victory.

The bias I am referring to has to do with the supposed weaknesses of Gingrich and Santorum. As stated, Fischer referred to Gingrich and his past marital failures while the glaring weakness of Santorum was his non-Protestant Roman Catholic Faith.

The bias lies in this fact. Newt Gingrich is also a Roman Catholic. Please tell me how this failed to be mentioned. Tell me also how this is a negative for Santorum but not for Gingrich.

And you thought media bias was only for the liberals!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Curfews & The Role of American Parents

The issue of curfews for children occasionally resurfaces in various locations in the United States. This time the State is California. As reported on One News Now, The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors will review a proposed daytime curfew for children under the age of 18.

These laws, when proposed, usually create a firestorm of negative response from parents and parental organizations, especially among those homeschooling their children. The reason is rather obvious from a parental viewpoint. A daytime curfew would "restrict the constitutional rights of minors and instead encourage officers to selectively detain the youngsters."

Surprisingly, Finn Larsen of Christian Educators Association International says that parents are partly to blame for the problem. ""It is unfortunate that many parents, for whatever reason, are not providing good oversight and care for their children," he laments. "So what this does is it allows the state, if you will -- the police, the government -- to have a little bit more exercise of authority in a problem that, again, is growing.""

For those who may possess a little more curiosity than the normal resident, it may be interesting to know how the State views its citizens. Does it strike you as hypocritical that any State of the Union would attempt to impose itself within the family sphere in order to alleviate a problem, especially when that problem stems from a lack of parental oversight?

The answer is very simple. It is also written into law. The fact is that the State claims ownership of its citizens through the legal doctrine known as Parens Patriae, the State is the Parent of the Nation. So, when the property of the State, in this case the parents, aren't performing their civic duty, the State has the right, nay, the duty, to step in and correct the problem. The state is simply taking care of what is legally theirs. And, ultimately, the State's property will not and cannot determine what the State will do.

If you think that this is un-American and Unconstitutional, save your breath. This concept is as old as civilization and was present in the American Revolution. Benjamin Rush, a Signer of the Declaration of Independence and Founding Father extraordinaire, had this to say about children. "We must teach our pupils that they do not belong to themselves, but are public property."

Do you remember hearing that in history class? I didn't think so! Think about it.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Hating Tim Tebow

If you have followed the saga that has become Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos, you have experienced a wide range of responses to his life on the gridiron. Some spew hate. Some seem to almost worship him and his ways. Regardless of what he has or has not accomplished, many seem to possess a definite opinion about him.

For the professing Christian, especially of the Evangelical variety, the negativity and vitriol toward Tebow has been rather confusing. It's hard for some to comprehend. Surprisingly, it's coming mainly from other professing Christians, though not necessarily from Evangelicals. Social media, blogs, personal and sports website forums abound with condemnation of all things Tebow.

Not the least of these sites is Commandments of Men moderated by Lewis Wells. Tim Tebow has been the topic of several blog posts over the last few months. The latest is entitled This Tebow Stuff, I tell Ya.

Following the theme of previous posts, it condemns Tebow's openly public display of acknowledgement of and devotion to God as a follower of Jesus Christ. This condemnation is predicated on the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:5-6,
  • 5. And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be like the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward.
  • 6. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thine closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

According to this particular statement by Jesus as understood by Lewis Wells, all public prayers by His followers are forbidden.

Closer examination will, however, reveal quite the contrary. And hopefully we will be prevented from doing what Lewis so personally and thoroughly hates and detests, outward legalism.

Continuing the pattern set earlier in His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus, rather than attacking the outward action, instead confronts the heart of men. Jesus didn't condemn praying in Public. He did, however, condemn public praying simply to be seen by others. The inner motive for praying in public was the key issue, not the outward action.

Jesus said that we are not to be like the Hypocrites "because" they love to pray to be seen of men. Then Jesus addresses the next topic, reward. Jesus says that the hypocrites have received what they were after, the acknowledgement of others.

Yet Jesus tells us that public rewards should come from God after we have prayed when no one was watching except God. His approval is to be what we are seeking, not the approval of others.

Interestingly, this supposedly direct prohibition to publicly pray comes into stark conflict with what Jesus earlier stated in this same sermon in Matthew 5:16,

  • Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Is it possible that Jesus was confused? Maybe he didn't realize that he was contradicting Himself!

Don't count on it! Jesus knew exactly what he was saying and any conflict in His words is imaginary. His words are perfectly complementary to one another.

And in the case of Tim Tebow, this is exactly what he seems to be doing, letting his light shine before men. And if you want to condemn Tebow for his public displays, you have delved into the realm of judging a man's heart, which we all are ill equipped for.

In fact, later in the same Sermon, Jesus tells us that by their fruits you shall know them. (Matt. 7:16a) What are the fruits of Tim Tebow? Well, look at his actions on and off the field. Let them speak on Tim's behalf.

Then again, maybe everyone would be happier if Tebow ran afoul of the law, the NFL and society at large. Maybe thugs are easier to identify with than being raised by parents who care for third world residents by taking care of their physical needs as well as telling them about the Savior who loved them and gave His Own life so that they could have Eternal Life.

Personally, I prefer Tim Tebow just as he is.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

The Commandments of Men & Human Divinity

I've recently been involved in a blog discussion on Commandments of Men moderated by Lewis . Unfortunately, I was kicked off. And even more unfortunate are the reasons for ending my welcome on his site.

While presenting himself and his actions as being biblical and loving, his manner of responding to, what he terms "religious addiction," is rather extreme in itself. Essentially, only those who can agree with the statements, conclusions and positions regarding, what they consider extreme religious indoctrination, are allowed to participate. Like me, anyone can begin to offer comments that don't necessarily agree with the premise of a particular post, but to begin to examine and critique their statements, conclusions and positions is a completely different matter. You will be allowed to proceed only so far. Then you will be shown the exit.

This whole blog seems to stem from the unfortunate experience of Lewis with a women he came to love and was on the verge of marrying. Then, the antics of her father began to interfere with their relationship and ultimately, destroyed it. So, the bliss that was theirs, was not allowed to come to marital fruition. You can read his 16 part account here.

While the story is sad and unfortunate, the response of Lewis and others on his blog may be even more unfortunate. While seemingly rejecting the extremes he encountered in his ex future father-in-law and his attitudes and actions regarding his daughter, Lewis ends up rejecting far more. While vehemently deriding and rejecting his supposedly ungodly and unbiblical actions, he ends up rejecting many things that are truly godly and biblical. Of course, he has specifically denied this "throwing the baby out with the bathwater."

Admittedly, his own life has changed drastically in the last few years. This episode with the destruction of a valuable relationship was simply apart of the entire equation of change.

Part of the result of this change is the conclusion that God has not preserved His message to mankind in what has become known as "The Bible." The 66 books, because they are the product of man and his thoughts, are rejected as being infallible and inerrant. To trust in the works of man in the compilation of the works of various authors over several centuries is considered to be Imbibling, the over partaking of and, ultimately, worship of the written word.

So, instead of an objective standard to live his life by, he elevates Love as the ultimate standard to seek in living his life. And for this concept, the words of Jesus have merit and are to be trusted. But please don't ask him to rely too heavily on the written words of Jesus when discussing Jesus' teachings on love or any other topic for that matter. That's going a bit too far. One might find himself Imbibling again if too much is made of the words of Jesus.

So, ultimately, it comes down to following the Holy Spirit within. He's never wrong and can always be trusted to lead you to do the right thing. But, of course, there's no standard to resort to to determine whether our actions are right or wrong. That is simply a matter between you and God. So, you can't tell Lewis that he's wrong.

If, on the other hand, you are engaged in an activity that Lewis considers extreme and religiously addictive, then he has every right to point this out to you and condemn you for it as well as all the other religious addicts that may be engaged in the same thing.

What this proves is one thing that many in this Post Christian American culture have succumbed to. They have elevated themselves and their thoughts as the ultimate standard. They have become their own God. Such is the plight of Lewis and all like him.