Friday, February 24, 2006

Right-Wing Evangelicals And War In Iraq

This is the fruit of centuries of falling away from the truth. Christendom's right-wing evangelicals distort bible truth for political power.
Excerpts from the February 24, 2006 article "The Brutal Christ of the Armageddonites: Religious fanaticism in American foreign policy"
by Jon Basil Utley

A few educated evangelicals, however, are now questioning where their brethren are trying to take America. In January, the New York Times carried a piece by Charles Marsh, a self-declared evangelical, about how many ministers agitated for war on Iraq, even telling their congregations that it would help expedite biblical prophecy. Eighty-seven percent of white evangelical Christians supported the attack, and some even linked Saddam Hussein with wicked King Nebuchadnezzar of Biblical fame. Marsh:"Recently, I took a few days to reread the war sermons delivered by influential evangelical ministers during the lead up to the Iraq war. That period, from the fall of 2002 through the spring of 2003, is not one I will remember fondly. Many of the most respected voices in American evangelical circles blessed the president's war plans, even when doing so required them to recast Christian doctrine."Charles Stanley, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Atlanta, whose weekly sermons are seen by millions of television viewers, led the charge with particular fervor. 'We should offer to serve the war effort in any way possible,' said Mr. Stanley, a former president of the Southern Baptist Convention. 'God battles with people who oppose him, who fight against him and his followers.' … "Tim LaHaye, the co-author of the hugely popular 'Left Behind' series, spoke of Iraq as 'a focal point of end-time events,' whose special role in the earth's final days will become clear after invasion, conquest, and reconstruction. For his part, Jerry Falwell boasted that 'God is pro-war' in the title of an essay he wrote in 2004."The common theme is that America must do God's work, which is surely the sin of pride for real Christians. One of the "Left Behind" characters muses about how the few survivors in America after Christ's bloody return could "start rebuilding the country as, finally for real, a Christian nation." Their desire to violently reshape society brings us full circle back to Stalin, Pol Pot, and other secular horsemen of the apocalypse.

Marsh concludes,"What will it take for evangelicals in the United States to recognize our mistaken loyalty? We have increasingly isolated ourselves from the shared faith of the global Church, and there is no denying that our Faustian bargain for access and power has undermined the credibility of our moral and evangelistic witness in the world. The Hebrew prophets might call us to repentance, but repentance is a tough demand for a people utterly convinced of their righteousness."Many influential evangelicals reject the Armageddon agenda. For example, Tim Wildmon's American Family Association's magazine, in its review of a movie about the Crusades, Kingdom of Heaven, notes "the futility of Christian efforts to build the kingdom of heaven here on earth.""Such a 'war of the cross' should strike Christians as a contradiction in terms. A literal war in the name of Jesus – a 'Christian war' – is an oxymoron, like 'hateful Christian.' Jesus said that His kingdom was not of this world, otherwise His followers would draw swords to defend Him – and presumably the kingdom itself (John 18:36)."The large World magazine doesn't promote the "Left Behind" mentality, and non-evangelical leaders of the religious Right also disagree with dispensationalism. One of the first critics to write about the phenomenon was Gary North. The Armageddonites, despite their self-proclaimed goodness, are a brutal, ignorant, and vengeful people. They have also become a major force dragging America to the abyss of endless war, a domestic police state (they care little for constitutional freedoms), financial ruin, and the enmity of the world.


Blogger Louise said...

Speaking of the "Left Behind" best-sellers, a penetrating look into the mind of the man who's behind them can be had by typing in "LaHaye's Temperament" on search engines like Yahoo. Carl Olson has written that a book in the 1970s by a Mr. Kirban entitled "666" is so similar to "Left Behind" (even down to small details) that one has to at least wonder about LaHaye's "inspiration." Dave MacPherson's "The Rapture Plot" contains side-by-side quotations showing that LaHaye plagiarized two fellow prophecy authors (Hal Lindsey and John Walvoord). The same "Rapture Plot" has the same sort of proof of plagiarism also in the writings of Lindsey, Van Impe, Falwell, Dobson, Bullinger, Unger, Tan, C. C. Carlson, Hindson, Missler, etc. Should the Christian Right now be known as the Christian Rewrite? If Larry King and other media folks were aware of the dark side of the prophecy hucksters, do you think they were have them as guests? And if you would like to see the little known history of the "rapture" that brings in mega-bucks for the Religious Right's social and political agendas, type in "Pretrib Rapture Diehards" on engines. The crazy history of that wacko 19th century view is THE Achilles Heel of the RR - the thing the RR would least like to have widely exposed since it would definitely reveal their inherent dishonesty and thus cause the support of their followers to dry up!

1:45 PM  
Blogger hope2endure said...

I have to admit I was not all that familiar with their teaching on the rapture until Left Behind got so popular. After investigating it it bears no relationship to scriptural teaching. I am amazed this doctrine is being taught to justify worldly political goals. The sad part about this is what will happen when they realize that they will not be raptured up and will suffer with the rest of us in the miserable world they are helping to create?

Thanks for the heads up I want to do some more research to better understand where this false teaching originated.

11:07 AM  

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