1/22/19

What to Say About MLK (And The Seminaries That Love Him)

Martin Luther King Jr. has become almost universally respected as a symbol of freedom. Recently an article in Baptist Press entitled, "MLK taught as 'Christian hero' at SBC seminaries," reported on a truly startling trend within evangelical circles to grandstand him. How should orthodox and conservative Christians view MLK?






www.worldviewconversation.com/

Subscribe:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/conversations-that-matter/id1446645865?mt=2&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Like Us on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/worldviewconversation/

Follow Us on Youtube:
https://www.youtube.com/conversationsthatmatterpodcast

Follow Us on Gab:
https://gab.ai/worldiewconversation

Follow Us on Twitter
https://twitter.com/worldviewconvos

More Ways to Listen:
https://anchor.fm/worldviewconversation

Referenced in the video:

https://kinginstitute.stanford.edu/king-papers/documents/humanity-and-divinity-jesus?fbclid=IwAR0CjqGas9YxMEaf-ci5p82xVzFRvJSoyhxEffoY5dXU6N4784ca1t16wks

http://bpnews.net/52270/mlk-taught-as-christian-hero-at-sbc-seminaries

1/20/19

A Compassionate Argument for a Strict Border Part 3

In the previous installment we looked at the idea of incentives, specifically trying to target the motivating factors for those who come to the US illegally. The thesis of that piece was this: it is not compassionate to incentivize those who are healthy and wealthy enough to make the move to US to abandon their nations – this is an especially gross injustice when it involves entitlements that destroy personal industry and integrity. We will now consider the most important part of this discussion: how can the poor, downtrodden and desperate of other lands actually be helped?

As a young man, I spent a sizable chunk of time in Southern Africa, specifically South Africa and Mozambique. I learned a lot about the world, other cultures and myself from the experience, but I also learned much about what true charity looks like. I saw a great deal of actual help for people who were in desperate need of assistance, but I also saw (to a much lesser extent) goods, service and time being given to people who probably could have done things themselves and were actually discouraged from being more productive because they knew that the help would come. The reason the second phenomenon was less common was primarily because the mission I was working for (which exists on a conglomerate of US and SA funds) was smart about how, why and when aid was given. The people running it understood what qualified as effective and compassionate, and what was faux compassion – charity given for the sole sake of making the one bringing it feel good about themselves without attention to how it would affect those receiving it. Sadly, much of the benevolence around the world is exactly that – faux compassion – redistributionism that hurts rather than helps those it is given to (see When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor. . . and Yourself by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert). True compassion is not throwing money at a problem, nor is it giving away goods and services to those who haven’t earned it because of their perceived disadvantage – true charity is personal - it is life-to-life action based on kindness, sincerity and the identification of actual problems, lacks and needs. Sometimes it is rashly given, sometimes it is meticulously planned, but it is meant to be real.

What does this have to do with the border crisis? The overwhelming majority of rhetoric coming from many sides of the border debate but especially from the left falls into the category of faux compassion – perceived care and concern that isn’t based in anything tangible or substantial. A vote, Facebook repost or walk down to the Capital in D.C. may demonstrate the perception of caring for the oppressed of other nations, but it’s just perception because there’s no “skin in the game.” Outrage accomplishes nothing if there is no action to follow beyond voicing opinion, casting a vote, taking a walk or screaming at a politician. The point is this: advocating compassion is not the same as practicing compassion. As already has been established, throwing money at a problem (i.e., entitlements for immigrants/illegals) does them no great service, just as it doesn’t in the missional world – what makes the policies advocated by those in support of an open/soft border so much more confounding and immoral is that they so often advocate taking others’ money rather than their own.   

The inconvenient truth is that most organizations, groups and movements that actually have improved economic, social and cultural conditions for the poor/disenfranchised of the world are just who the progressive left loves to hate – Western empires (Britain, Holland, Germany, etc.), trade organizations/entrepreneurs (East India Company, Cecil Rhodes, Gilded Age philanthropists) and certainly most of all because of the their contributions to literacy worldwide, Christian missionaries – all of these the most prominent villains in Hollywood storytelling today. This is not to say that these entities and individuals were always driven by compassion, but even for those who haven’t, the effects have often remained because specific individuals wanting to show specific compassion saw opportunity and acted. Therefore what we think of as compassion is often not, and what we think of as not sometimes is.

We must then ask the question: what is true compassion? Here are a number of principles to help us navigate:

1) True compassion is specific. While one can bring awareness to a need for compassion, the outworking of that compassion has to fit specific needs. For example, one could bring the plight of the Christian minority in Kurdistan to a conversation, give money to a large organization that serves their cause, or retweet a news story that gives an overview of the situation, but none of these demonstrates “skin in the game” compassion, though they may all be proper and admirable. If giving money, true specific compassion would target specific individuals, churches or communities for specific needs. It could also mean traveling to the location and seeing firsthand what the needs actually are. It could even be personally welcoming in a family or individual in need to one’s home. In reference to the immigration question, these same standards should be applied.

2) True compassion expects nothing in return. An easy way to identify faux-compassion is by assessing whether an individual is trying to get something out of either their stance on an issue (like the border wall, for example) or even from getting involved in an organization through donation or volunteer. How do you tell? Those who are truly compassionate probably don’t talk about it.

3) True compassion is not hypocritical. This is fairly straightforward, and it’s the one out of these three principles that those in support of a stricter border usually remember to bring up, though it’s the least likely to change someone’s mind. If walls aren’t needed and the doors to the country should swing wide open to take any and all, then why not at your own house? Your own community? Your own city? The fact of the matter is that when problems become larger than us, we tend to see them less as our problems and more as someone or something (for instance, the government) else’s problem.

To get pragmatic, here are some ideas for actually showing compassion to those south of our border who want to come here (note: the first three are purposely sarcastic):
 
1) Research some of the countries that are sending us migrants. Study the political situations to identify what the problems are in those countries that are causing people to want to leave. Ask: what would actually solve this problem to the point that people could stay in their country? Then ask, is there anything you could do specifically to help the situation. If you want to be a vocal advocate, perhaps advocate for change in that country rather than just importing the people from that country here.

2) Talk to more recent immigrants (legal or illegal) and ask them why they left their country and if given the opportunity, if they would want to return.

3) Actually visit an aid worker or missionary living in one of the countries that are giving us an influx of migrants. Not an organized “voluntourism” trip, but contact someone specific and ask to stay with them. Learn about a country and meet people that live there. You’re far more likely to care about the people of that country if you know them where they live.

4) Donate your own money to causes, organizations and most importantly, individual people that do specific and personal work to improve the lives of the poor, oppressed and downtrodden

1/18/19

How Social Justice Parrots the Gospel

Jon Harris explains why Social Justice is a gospel competitor, not a gospel accessory. An orthodox Christian cannot accept both and be consistent, much less a Calvinist.

Video:



Audio:



Subscribe: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/conversations-that-matter/id1446645865?mt=2&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Like Us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/worldviewconversation/ 

Follow Us on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/conversationsthatmatterpodcast 

Follow Us on Gab: https://gab.ai/worldiewconversation

Follow Us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/worldviewconvos 

More Ways to Listen: https://anchor.fm/worldviewconversation 

Referenced in the Video:

http://enemieswithinthechurch.com/ 

https://sovereignnations.com/

How Social Justice Parallels the Gospel
  • White/Male/Straight Privilege = Original Sin 
  • Political Correctness = The Law 
  • Woke = Born Again 
  • Liberal Politics = Sacraments 
  • Woke Leaders = Priests 
  • Sociology = Cannon 
  • Equality = Heaven  
 How Social Justice Contradicts the Gospel
  • Focus: External Behaviors instead of Heart Condition
  • Group: Oppressor Classes instead of Individuals
  • Order: Sanctification precedes Justification
  • Power: Perpetual Repentance instead of Justification

1/16/19

Immunizations and Hamster Wheels

A Follow Up on the “Downgrade of SEBTS”
By: Jon Harris

A few months ago many of us lined up somewhere to receive our annual dosage of sore arm and flu symptoms, er, I mean, our flu shot. But, not everyone gets the flu right? Only those exposed, without having a strong enough immunity, will catch the disease. So why not just get a flu shot when flu symptoms start becoming noticeable? Don’t be silly! By that time it’s too late! So what does this have to do with social justice infecting a Southern Baptist seminary (to pick from the countless examples one could draw from the hat)?

Only those who fear getting a disease will line up for the immunization, which is what the video was. A warning for those who see the threat social justice poses. It was not open heart surgery, nor antibiotics for someone already infected. To them it was only a concert for the deaf. 

Now, this gets down to the base assumption. Social justice is deadly, it kills, and a truly orthodox faith cannot ultimately survive being tossed about in its waves. The vast majority of responses to the video indicated A. This same belief, or B. A process of coming to this belief.  

I should probably say two things at this point. First, I have been greatly encouraged by the large and diverse group of people who have shown their support, including alumni, prospective students, current students, and even at least one person on staff. Second, because of the variety of platforms in which comments and personal messages have been sent, and because of my own tight schedule, I will not be able to get to all of them, but they are appreciated.

Now back to needles and scalpels. Social justice does need to be rooted out. And yes, I have endeavored to do my part not just in exposing it, but explaining it. The video was perhaps high on the exposing, and low on the explaining. This is not a defect anymore than an immunization is not heart surgery. This being said, I will now grab my scalpel for a few minor incisions.

There were a handful of negative remarks that I thought I would do well to address. One person accused me of saying that SEBTS had to dumb down their academic standards in order to receive minorities into their program. Of course, I said nothing of the kind. Changing the curriculum by making it less academic and more devotional (I.e. dropping hermeneutics as an M.Div. Requirement, and adding in courses on leadership and Christian disciplines, not to mention social justice courses sponsored by the Kern Family Foundation), is what is causing the lower standards. 

There is, however, a point to be made here. A personal friend of mine has been a member of the Southeastern society for years. At a donors meeting last year he told me about the pitch that was made to sponsors. Long story short, Southern Baptists are afraid their denomination is going the way of the woolly mammoth. One way to combat this, is to diversify the campus, at least according to them. Affirmative action and social justice are the chosen strategies for attracting this audience.

Here’s where the scalpel cuts. Minorities are capable. The immediate objection is usually that systematic racism determined that they would start a wrung down on the economic ladder. The giveaway here is that affirmative action sees ethnic and gender categories before it ever sees economic ones. It isn’t because of poverty that wealth is re-distributed, it’s because of something more fundamental. As a woman, or as a minority, you are not capable. You need our help. But that contradicts the second sentence of this paragraph? That’s because the second sentence is what I believe, and the fifth sentence is what proponents of affirmative-action believe when it gets down to it.

With “Kingdom Diversity” also comes social justice in advocacy and implementation. Though I tend to be more convinced that the advocacy of social justice has more to do with alleviating a white guilt that the cross of Jesus Christ must have overlooked, it is crystal clear that its implementation, in the minds of its creators, was for the purpose of attracting minorities.

Let’s think through this. Requiring knowledge of the Bible, including hermeneutics, is not enough to attract minorities? There needs to be something extra? What they really understand is social justice, so let’s focus on that. The problem with all this is, well, it’s, um, a bit racist. This is not being all things to all men, unless of course the apostle Paul thought it was unnecessarily offensive to share the gospel with some unless it was served with a little bit of left-wing politics on the side. No, the assumption here is that minorities will not come for just the Bible. I say this is a wrong assumption. All who are God’s sheep hear his voice, regardless of skin color.

If someone was willing to adopt the ideas contained in the previous three paragraphs, there would be no contradiction in also adopting the idea that academic standards need to be dumbed down for minority students. But, I'm the one rejecting all these ideas.

Another objection, which I saw more than once, was that I should name names. Now I do realize, there are those who may have received more of an inoculation than they really needed. I fear that for some, not only has this destroyed the social justice disease, but it has also destroyed kindness and graciousness with it. I’m not really in the business of sniffing out communists or racists simply to sniff them out. I find it interesting that the majority of times in the epistles when heretics are called out they are not named. Words like antichrists, false teachers, false prophets, and wolves seem to do. Because I’m warning about a disease at an institution, and not a particular person, I feel the same way.

There is also the other side. Those who think I should name names so that I cannot hide behind anonymity. I think what this crowd fails to recognize is that my warning is for those considering an institution. Some of the players involved are people, not organizations, events, or articles. But the same case can be built upon the latter three. They are the proof in the pudding. If there were a small number of people pursuing a hostile take over I would name them. This isn’t a take over though. This is a united front. Those to whom I made the video, who are already against social justice, are free to look at the front and see if what I say about individual players rings true. Otherwise, I don’t have personal problems with anyone, and as I stated in the video, I’m not looking to start any. My focus is broader than individuals.

A note on heretics- those pushing social justice occupy a broad range of dogmatism. Not all of them are heretics. In fact, the majority are probably not, at least yet. As I emphasize in the video, SEBTS is in a transitional phase. They only recently welcomed a female to their board (The board that oversees a seminary curriculum for men in the ministry), as far as I know the MLK 50 was the only sanctioned event given for class credit that outwardly pushed an identity politics message, and I did not hear about a professor warning students in his theology class concerning reading the Bible through the lens of “white privilege,” until last year (to name a few things I did not mention in the video). If left unchecked, all Christian organizations that have adopted oppressor/oppressed categories will eventually land themselves in heresy land whether they like it or not. A Gospel that places only certain “oppressor” groups upon the everlasting hamster wheel of penance is ripe for Tetzels, not Luthers. 

A final clarification. There are probably a few out there who, after reading this, are seething (a good indication that one has already caught the disease). How can he be so arrogant as to think he has the cure?! I will answer this- I don’t. Why Peter, an apostle was temporarily taken in by Judaizers I don’t know. Paul was not superior to him in spiritual discipline or love for the Lord. But Peter repented. This is the surest sign that someone is in fact a believer. Continuing in willful error is the sign of a false teacher. I’m certainly no Paul. I’ve sought to use some of his strategies (including his sarcasm at times), but like him, I am the chief of sinners. 

Let me tell you about Jesus. May I? I would have no light if it were not for Him. Without his Word I would be blind to the errors of social justice. It is the New Testament which tells slaves to serve even their unreasonable masters with the love of Christ, says it is the worker who is worthy of his wages, and endorses private property (Peter to Ananias) and even unequal wages (parable of the Vineyard) that I bend the knee. Men are the “heads” of women (complimentarianism), masters in charge of slaves, and parents in charge of children. Racial categories are not even consideration, at least not in the sense social justice advocates want them to be. 

Here’s where we are all equal- we are all equally sinful and responsible for breaking God’s law, a fact that does not distinguish between gender and ethnic groups. Here’s where Jesus comes in. You want to talk about giving up privilege? Jesus gave up everything to die for yes, even slave owners, and yes, even slaves. He took the wrath of almighty God for His own. It is at this point that two groups emerge within Christian churches. Sheep and goats. The sheep hear His voice, the goats reject it. The outward trappings of self righteousness are just too tempting a prospect to part with. I’d rather let Jesus deal with my sin, and the sins of my ancestors. Just because my eyes are open to social justice does not mean they are blind to other areas of works righteousness. May the Lord Jesus take away all our hamster wheels and immunize us against finding new ones. May He take off the heavy load and replace it with an easy yolk. He alone is wonderful and He alone is who we must preach.



1/15/19

The Disgusting Character Assassination of Steve King among Republicans and Conservatives

“His view do not align with our values. His personal character has become a stench to all the members of this body. There’s no place in our Congress for such speech or ideas. There’s no place in this party for such speech or ideas – he must be purged from the Party.”
   
This should be a statement made by a politician attempting an ousting of a fellow member of a totalitarian congress, but it’s not far off from sentiment directed toward Republican representative Steve King over the last several days. Let the author be crystal clear to begin with – this short piece is not meant in any way to defend or come to the aid of anything remotely resembling White Nationalism, White Supremacy, Nazism, Fascism or anything that bears practical resemblance – such as Communism, Socialism or Cultural Marxism. All contributors on this media platform categorically reject these fore mentioned political philosophies and all dangerously errant ones of similar nature. Ironically, that’s something we hold in common with increasingly fewer individuals in the political sphere or the media, but do hold in common with congressional representative Steve King, who has been slanderously ascribed the labels “White Supremacist” and “White Nationalist” while rejecting both ideologies with fervor.

What makes the recent character assassination of Steve King so gross and dastardly is that it is coming from members of his own caucus, party and those who agree with him on the “right” side of media outlets. While it’s not super surprising that politicians would throw their fellow reps under the bus for political expediency, it’s far more shameful when commentators and pundits who should know better and have far more understanding, compassion and common sense (as well as a basic command of written and spoken English) do so. Indeed, how hard would have been for just one conservative media outlet to read the New York Times article that put Rep. King in the boiling water he’s currently standing with even a smidgen of objectivity and come to the blatantly and painfully obvious conclusion that Rep. King wasn’t even remotely endorsing White Nationalism or White Supremacy – in fact, he was attacking them.

 What did congressman King actually mean by the following words?

“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive? Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?” (original article: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/10/us/politics/steve-king-trump-immigration-wall.html) When taken by itself without any context, or ascribed context (which is exactly what the NYT article did), it appears that Rep. King is conflating together these three items of White Nationalism, White Supremacy and Western Civilization. Since almost no conservative media outlets have really felt it very necessary to report Rep. King’s response to this conflation, here is a link: https://steveking.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/king-statement-regarding-leader-mccarthy-s-decision 

As King indicates, what he actually was saying was akin to this: “White nationalist, white supremacist *pause* Western Civilization *pause* - (note the hyphen) how did THAT (stress) language (referring to Western Civilization) become offensive?” In other words, how did Western Civilization become grouped in with these abhorrent ideologies? I recommend reading Rep. King’s statement over till an understanding of what his actual point was is achieved – it took the author of this short piece about one minute to understand the difference between what Rep. King is being accused of advocating vs. what he actually did. It is thoroughly disturbing that media outlets on the right and a host of so-called conservative Republican constituents could trust a politically charged mischaracterization from, of all media outlets, the New York Times, and run with it to the point of dragging a fellow conservative Republican through the much muck and mire of the character assassination swamp. More than anything else, it’s morally repugnant – slander is a grievous transgression that leaves lasting impact on those on whom it’s inflicted – surely those on the receiving end of so much slander would have the good sense not to inflict it on others, especially those in their own ideological family.

The point is simply this: it is intellectual and moral suicide for the right to degrade itself to the point that the testimony of a blatantly leftist publication like the NYT is held in higher regard than the personal testimony of a fellow conservative representative – there only two possible explanations for this phenomenon that this author can think up: either the right is hopelessly trusting of leftist media outlets, or the right is using the condemnation of Rep. King as a political tool to virtue signal about how they are not what the left-wing media portrays them to be – racist, white supremacist, etc. –
essentially all the things that everyone is accusing Rep. King of being. If the answer is the former, there is hope because stupidity can be fixed. If it is the latter, perhaps the right, just as much as the left, deserves the metaphorical and suicidal head bashing into the wall it is currently inflicting upon itself. Those who eat their own will eventually be eaten themselves.
      
To briefly consider another King, Martin Luther King has been quoted as saying, “A riot is the language of the unheard.” Many have taken this to be an endorsement of rioting by MLK, but the man stood stalwartly against violent protest his whole life – perhaps Rep. King, like MLK, has personally disqualifying failings, but even so, should not both Kings be taken in the way that they meant to be taken in regards to their speech: in context?

1/12/19

1/4/19

Podcast: Why Hiking is the Best Fitness Resolution

Jon shares his success with hiking to maintain fitness, even with a busy lifestyle, and gives advice on how to find motivation and glean the benefits that come with hiking.

Video:



Audio:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...