Archive for the ‘ Politics ’ Category

Glenn Beck – Mormon Historian?

I was listening to Glenn Beck’s show this morning, and heard this discussion:

(Note: This may be a first, me linking to Media Matters – but they have the relevant clip)

Here’s a transcript:
22:40: Glenn: “…the Dead Sea Scrolls, you know what they are? Stu, do you know what the Dead Sea Scrolls are?
Stu: Well, of course I do…
Glenn: Now, c’mon, most people don’t.
Stu: Well, I heard of them, I don’t really know
Glenn: You don’t really know. You have no idea why they were there. Sara average person doesn’t know. Any idea, take a guess on why the Dead Sea Scrolls were there, or anything else.
Sara(?): Something religious.
Glenn: Okay, good. Even though I’ve explained this on this program a couple of times, I’m glad to see that even the people that work with me don’t even listen.
So here’s what happened. When Constantine decided that he was going to cobble together an army, he did the Council of Nicea, right, Pat?
Pat: Yea.
Glenn: The Council of Nicea, and what they did is brought all of the religious figures together, all the Christians and then they said, “Ok, let’s put together the Apostles’ Creed, let’s you know, you guys do it.” So they brought all their religious scripture together, that’s when the Bible was first bound and everything else. And then they said, “Anybody that disagrees with this is a heretic and off with their head!” Well, that’s what the Dead Sea Scrolls are. The Dead Sea Scrolls are those scriptures that people had at the time that they said, “They are destroying all of this truth.” Whether it’s truth or not is up to the individual, but at that time those people thought that this was something that needed to be preserved and so they rolled up the scrolls and put them in clay pots and they put them in the back of caves where no one could find them. They were hidden scripture because everything was being destroyed that disagreed with the Council of Nicea and Constantine. That’s what those things are.” 24:37

Okay, let’s count the problems.

1) “When Constantine decided that he was going to cobble together an army, he did the Council of Nicea”

Really? Wasn’t Constantine’s formation of an army well prior to Nicea? Was there an army at Nicea at all? For information about Constantine, from a real historian, see here.

2) “then they said, ‘Ok, let’s put together the Apostles’ Creed, let’s you know, you guys do it.'”

The Apostles Creed is from the century after Christ.

3) “So they brought all their religious scripture together, that’s when the Bible was first bound and everything else”

See this article, discussed later. The first Bible was bound there? Really? I’d love to see some documentation of that. Was there any canon discussion at all? I’d love to see some proof of that, as well.

4) “then they said, ‘Anybody that disagrees with this is a heretic and off with their head!'”

What went on at Nicea is well-documented here. The canons of Nicea are available online, as well. No historian I know of has ever produced a shred of evidence that there were beheadings or executions at Nicea.

5) “Well, that’s what the Dead Sea Scrolls are. The Dead Sea Scrolls are those scriptures that people had at the time.” “but at that time those people thought that this was something that needed to be preserved”

What time is that? As noted on this site, they are dated from anywhere from the third century B.C. to 68 A.D. Glenn is off by at least 250 years.

6) “They are destroying all of this truth.” “They were hidden scripture because everything was being destroyed that disagreed with the Council of Nicea and Constantine.”

First, who? Second, these are the Dead Sea Scrolls. Wrong century. Wrong people. WRONG PLACE. The Dead Sea Scrolls were found where? Khirbet Qumran, near Kalia, a modern Jewish settlement. Nicea is where? Present-day İznik – Turkey.

7) “Whether it’s truth or not is up to the individual”

Very postmodern of him. However: “I was answered that I must join none of them (Christian Churches), for they were all wrong…that all their creeds were an abomination in His sight” (Joseph Smith History 1:19).

Folks, practically everything in this explanation is wrong. It’s mind-boggling. Immediately, I tried to call the show, but the lines were jammed, so I didn’t get through. I did send him an email, however, with a very short list of factual problems with this section above, with my cell #, just in case he wanted to contact me.

In that email, I provided this link: What Really Happened at Nicea? In this article, Dr. White explains the history and proceedings of the Council of Nicea (which was in 325, not in 378, as a Media Matters commenter claimed).

Now, I listen to Beck for a simple reason. He’s a Mormon, and his worldview “bleeds through” quite frequently – and I find it interesting. Especially when, as is more common lately, he speaks about faith and religion. He frequently refers to himself as “Christian” – when he is nothing of the sort. For instance:

Glenn Beck – Satan vs Jesus

The section I’m most interested in is here:
“The enemy of Jesus is not a government. It is the capping of individuals. It is the stopping of people understand what the power inside of you is. The ability to choose between right and wrong. Jesus never took anybody and waterboarded them and told them ‘accept me, accept me, accept me’. He never did that. Religions, when they became about politics, did that. Jesus said ‘forgive them, for they know not what they do’. Jesus said ‘do you not yet understand all this and more you can do’. It’s individual rights. It’s a war that has been going since before time. I’ll save em. I’ll save em all. Just give me the credit, I’ll save em all. I’ll make the choices for them so no one can fail. No, no, no. Let men fail – and I will send a Savior, and He will redeem them for the price that they cannot pay. But let them fail.”

An observer who isn’t familiar with Mormonism might miss this. Check out Moses 4:1 in the LDS scripture. Sound familiar? Look at their teaching on this subject in “The Pearl of Great Price“.

Interesting, isn’t it?

Note: Lucifer’s plan has often been compared, negatively, to Calvinism – which, ironically, is what a Presbyterian is. Like… the Presbyterian author (and seminary president at WTS) he approvingly endorsed earlier in that same show!

So, we’ve established two things.

While Glenn might consider himself a good historian on the founding fathers, he should stick to things he has actually studied.

Glenn’s Mormon presuppositions slip through, and color his viewing of history as well his statements about faith.

Our Source of Truth

I will say, from the outset, that this post will have political overtones – but only peripherally. I’m not much of a political pundit, but the recent election has served to show a very clear demarcation in worldviews – the subject addressed by this blog. My wife has a childhood friend that she’s kept up with, who tends very much toward a liberal viewpoint of Christianity, social issues, and moral issues. As I read her take on the election, I was a bit taken aback at a nominal Christian expressing such things about a man with such an obviously antithetical viewpoint to orthodox Christianity.

“It felt like a big moment. I could imagine being part of this massive wave of people, with hope burning in our hearts, having faith that this vote wasn’t a risk but a shout for desperately needed change. … I didn’t quite believe it until I turned the channel to CNN, where at least they had put the holograms away for a few minutes, and my heart opened wide to receive the truth, the beautiful truth shining like the sun in my eyes. It’s true. It’s good. It’s here. Thank God.”

Now, if you’ll pardon me for a moment, that looks… idolatrous. I really don’t know how else to put it. A mere man, no matter how powerful, is not worthy of such speech. I can’t pare it down to anything else. I’d like to – but I really can’t see how it’s anything else. “Do not trust in princes, In mortal man, in whom there is no salvation.” Can we reduce this to anything else? As I also quoted in my response, “Woe to those who call evil, good, and good, evil.” When you pair this with the fact that Obama has voted for late term abortion of babies, has in fact voted for the death of babies who somehow survive their abortions, supports so-called homosexual “marriage”, has ties to Islamic groups likeCAIR, sat under Rev. Wright, whose theology was discussed recently by both Dr. James White and myself, not to mention his varied ties to shady characters of every sort – I find it amazing, when we are told to not let immorality, impurity, or greed be even named among us!

Are we not told that …”although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them?” What then, is the Scriptural response to such an action? Hearty approval of those who practice such things? Are we to idolize such persons? Consider them to be the answer to our prayers for… hope and change? We cannot, are not, and must not! Yet, some who claim the name of Christ do so. Why is this?

The answer is simple – and it fits the purpose of this blog exactly. Presuppositions. Those who are thinking in such a way, are “children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming.” What, according to the next verse, is the antithesis to such a state? “… Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all {aspects} into Him who is the head, {even} Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.”

What further amazed me, was this comment on that post. “Just because you believe in someone’s right to choose to do something doesn’t mean you believe in that something they choose to do.” What is it we just talked about? What does Romans 1 warn us of? Those who give approval to such things. The argument that says sin should be allowed as a choice is specious on it’s face. Sin, my friends, is sin. Saying a certain sin is permissible shows something of our willingness to compromise the truth of God. Also, it shows what our view of truth really is. From where it is derived. Does that not sound likesubjectivism ? A relativistic view of man-derived truth, with no stable foundation? I can’t see it in any other way. The original poster, (in her request that I no longer comment on her blog) had this to say; “All I’m going to say here right now is that I continue to celebrate the difference of opinion we can have in our country. And that truly we are all different and I’d rather be accepting of that fact rather than spend time arguing, especially in the presence of people who don’t ascribe to our certain choice of belief. I don’t think we shed light by tossing Scripture (or Tertullian) back and forth between us.” She refers to the fact that I quoted Tertullian’s indictment (in his Apology) of the Roman practice of the abandonment of unwanted infants to the elements, and noted elsewhere that it made her think. I truly hope it did.. He also had a bit to say about abortion – and my point was that it was considered barbarous behavior 1800 years ago – yet we consider it somehow appropriate today. This is progress?

I’d like to examine the inherent presuppositions in her statement above. What I find interesting, first, is her equation of opinions to moral judgment. Is morality truly nothing more than an “opinion”, comparable to one’s like or dislike for, say, lemon meringue pie? Should the fact that people think morality is merely an opinion be celebrated? Then, take her next statement into consideration. Shall we, in fact, accept that simply because some people reject God, are hostile to God, and sin against God, this is ample excuse to refrain from casting down the strongholds we arecommanded to throw down, erected against the knowledge of God? Then, examine this innocuous-sounding phrase; “our certain choice of belief”. Ignoring, for a moment, that “certain”,definitionally, means “true, sure, settled” – certanus – do we really “choose” our belief? Is not faith a gift of God, as Scripture says? Do we, and I’ll be intentional – choose our epistemology as if choosing a hat? Isn’t that the very thing in contention? Whether it’s possible, whether we should? I think that we can find the crux of the matter right here. The underlying assumption is that we simply choose to believe this way – and others do not. Therefore, there is no inherent superiority to our belief – we just chose it, after all. It isn’t as if it’s intrinsically true. Therein lies the problem. This woman has ceded the grounds of truth to man, and removed it from the feet of God. She is not interested in God’s truth – at least not in practice. The last comment is particularly revealing as well.

“I don’t think we shed light by tossing Scripture (or Tertullian) back and forth between us.” This is a breathtakingly plain indictment of the grounds for her conception of truth. Scripture is not the only sure source of divinely revelatory truth to man, and for man. It is not the sole means whereby we mayknow God, and His requirements for us. It is merely something to be “tossed” – not “The Truth,” but merely “a truth” – for, and it is very apparent, there is no truth with a capital to her, and it saddens me to see it. I’ve been to her house, we’ve shared time together, and she’s been friends with my wife a decade and a half. She, however, is not seeing the Word as what it truly is. “the word of truth, in the power of God; by the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and the left”.

The Word is our only source of truth – the Sword of the Spirit. Living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart, divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. That is what the Word is. I truly grieve that she does not see it as such – and she will see this post – and my hope is that she may, perhaps, be shown to the Word by it. I pray that thereby the Lord may open her eyes as to the nature of what she dismisses in favor of a merely temporal ruler, and for the opinions of men, who relegate the divine Word to merely another opinion. I’m sorry, but it’s anything but opinion. The Gospel – and the Word which proclaims it, that we may proclaim it in turn, is an exclusive Gospel. It is the only way, the only truth, and the only life. I can only pray, and I hope you pray with me, that all of the temporal fluff that obscures the truth of the Word’s centrality will be revealed to us all more and more – and to her most of all. We cannot compromise our view of Scripture, and subject it to mere opinion, as if it has no more worth than the bare estimation of man. Scripture is God-breathed, and we must treat it as such.

Consider.

I’m breaking my politics fast, to make a very short comment.

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained; What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him?

If you are a Christian, and in the doldrums about the results of this election; Consider.

Consider the kindler of the stars you can see above you. Consider the Creator, whose words brought into existence those incandescent thermonuclear dots of light spread across the heavens like a panoply of minuscule brilliance. Consider the transcendence of the Almighty, whose words brought all things into their appointed places, whose very will set all things – past, present, and future – into motion, all of which obey His will, to the slightest detail. Consider your Savior, the God-Man Christ Jesus, without which nothing was made that was made. Consider all of this – and then consider the relative importance of what we all know to be the judgment of Almighty God on this nation, in this election. It is only a passing phantom. An event ordained, yes – but still ordained within His sovereign decree. One of billions every day.

Be still, and know that He is God. We are the light of the world, brethren. The light is more easily seen in contrast with darkness, and your purpose on this earth is to be that light. Your God is great, and greatly to be praised. Thus, fear no evil. He is with you. He will greatly bless you – and He will use this for good, for those who love God, and are called according to His purpose. He always does, does He not? Thus, while you may mourn, mourn on the march. We have work to do, and we must be about it.



Gotta take a listen to this, folks. Timely, and passionate defense of God’s created institution.

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Great, Politics.

Once again, dear friends, it’s an election year.

Which means it’s time to endure endless rhetoric, lying snakes, and nutjobs, all pandering for our votes. Frankly, the entire modern political process in the US makes me sick, makes me tired, and makes me see red. What is even worse, to me, is the spiraling descent of conversation in Christian circles when the subject of politics is broached. If you impugn a favorite candidate, or the entire process, you must be 1. ignorant, 2. biased, or 3. Want the democrats to win.

Frankly? I don’t really CARE who wins, past the local level. They all do what they want, within the confines of the power we’ve “granted” them (as if there was truly a choice about the whole thing to begin with, in a two-party system). To vote, I have to hold my nose about something to do with the candidate, or take them at their word – which, if they are a politician, is about as likely to be kept as for me to win the lottery without even playing. It’s not going to happen.

For those who object that it’s not fair, or useful to generalize – I sincerely ask the objector to examine the collective records of the golden boys of conservatism, libertarianism, and see if my maxim holds true. Perhaps there are exceptions. All well and good. However, I believe that if there is really no guide to certainty as to their decisions, once elected, we have no way to endorse such people, as Christians, without potentially compromising our stance as followers of Christ. 1. Power breeds corruption. 2. Politics breeds compromise. 3. People, politicians in particular, LIE.

Further, I will remind you that in a government such as ours, our positive endorsements of specific people have very real consequences, and are very real indicators to the world on our willingness to compromise our God-given principles in one area for a potential advantage in another. We pass by, in our choices of governmental leadership, things which we would never pass by, in choosing a church leader. Or in a Sunday school teacher. Or even a friend we hardly know. Which, to be completely honest with you, is why I am very cynical concerning the whole concept of “elected” governance at all, the older I become. In a system such as ours, where corruption is rampant, and even encouraged – where anti-biblical statements are the cornerstones of platforms in both parties, can we really endorse anyone, with a good conscience, in that atmosphere?

I say no. I’m also gravely tired of the endorsement, of the lack of endorsement, of political campaigners being grounds for harsh words, name-calling, and vituperation. This is the reason i’ve had a long-standing policy on this blog of a “no political comments, unless the subject is politics” rule. It brings out the worst in people – including me. So, I’m done with it for the year. Period. I’m also disabling my usually-neglected poltiical blogroll for the duration.

Politics:

I do not want to see politics discussed within any topic I don’t have listed within the “Politics” post category. I am not here to talk politics, and you aren’t either – or your comment will have any political commentary removed – unless I specifically say the subject is politics.

The largest percentage of major blogs are politically oriented. Yes, I sometimes link to them – because I read them – but I don’t write about it often. If you’d like a political discussion, I suggest you visit one of the blogs listed to your right under “Politics”.

I hate to be a spoilsport, but that’s not what this blog is here for. This blog is here to discuss why you think the way you think, why you believe the way you believe, and why you hold the moral values you hold. If you’d like a discussion about one of the things above – feel free to comment. Otherwise… don’t.

This IS a politically categorized post, but I’m disabling comments on it – because, really, I don’t want to have to respond to any comments about it. I’m sick and tired of it.

No, I’m not voting for a candidate in the Presidential elections. I don’t trust any of them enough to vote for them. I have one exception, on policy – perhaps. I could almost like Ron Paul, but there is no way in God’s green earth he’s going to get the nod. Even if he does, he doesn’t have any experience in that sort of office, and although I like many of his ideas – he doesn’t have the experience to govern a nation. He’s a dark horse, albeit a very conservative/libertarian one – but one with little experience in an executive office of any sort. That’s all I have to say about that.

I’m done. I won’t respond to any more of it in chat channels, because it puts my blood pressure up through the roof, and I’m really not especially interested in being the Lone Ranger, and going it alone, with my contrarian view, against all comers. I’m done with it, I want to spend my time on more productive things, and I really don’t want to tick off my friends because they don’t agree with me, and I’m such a bulldog about what I believe. I’d rather take a stand on something other than how much I despise a bunch of slimeballs who are able to deceive enough people to be elected. I’d rather be an apologist about something that matters, thank you.

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