Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Why Does Glenn Beck Trouble You?

As much as I like Glenn Beck politically, something always scratches me when Glen wanders into discussing spirituality. Brannon Howse in the video below well states the problem.

Because I can not stop the clip from auto play, I will simply provide a link here.

I have no further exposure to Mr. Howse's teachings but plan to give him a whirl. I know Christians who refuse to look critically at teachers if those teachers have a certain label. For instance if you are Charismatic then looking critically at Catholic doctrine is fine but analyzing Joel Osteen's message would be taboo. Fill in the blank with your own untouchable label and keep those proponents sacrosanct and criticism free. Is there an easier way for wolves to enter the sheep fold? This non-critical position is not Biblical. We are warned of the inevitability of destructive error and commanded to be vigilant against it. Certainly we should be able to view a Glenn Beck critically.

I know, it's all about love. Criticism appears so unloving. John, the apostle of love, views it like this:

1 John 4
1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

Now we would need to have a discussion about what "Jesus Christ has come in the flesh" means. I don't think Mr. Beck's version of Jesus in the flesh is the Apostle John's.

So Then, What Should I Do About Glenn Beck.

I like Glenn's politics, humor, economics and ideas? Practicality should not be dead even though it is not found in government. I don't need to agree with Mr. Beck's theology to agree with some of his common sense.

In some instances of extreme Christianity people hired Christians, bought from Christians and associated with Christians. Then as time went by and some of us were burned by our Christian employees vendors, the lazy ones and the dishonest ones and the crazy ones; we had people swearing off ever hiring or doing business with a Christian again. Of course both of these positions are ridiculous and are doomed to failure and frustration. We hire people based on their ability, personality, reliability and for all the qualities that would make them a good employee. Does it inconvenience me that we have laws against age, religion, race and sex hiring bias? Not at all. Those things are irrelevant when it comes to good hiring policy.

Likewise, considering race, religion, age or sex as a criteria for good common sense ideas is foolish. But, as Christians, our understanding of God is not about common sense. In fact Paul said:

1 Cor 18For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

This is not to say that all understanding of God is irrational. But the foolishness of salvation through redemption is not plain common sense. Redemption is however both clearly stated in and a dominate theme of the Bible.

Is there a bottom line? I think I will keep my church and state separate. This is how I see Jesus and his Apostles operating. In fact they seldom addressed issues of state and when they did, they discouraged conflict. Democracy and electoral responsibility arguments are losing credibility with me. The Jews were extreme nationalists but Jesus and followers were clearly not involved. This was an unusual position to take in Rome dominated Israel.

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