Tag Archives: politics

President Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Day Proclamation

Lincoln Thanksgiving Day

God’s divine appointments are always amazing to me. In my normal daily chronological reading through the Old Testament this morning, I ended up reading 1 Chronicles 16, a chapter just about giving thanks, which contains David’s thanksgiving song to the Lord. It was a divine appointment at least for me, and a great reminder that today we give thanks TO our creator and Lord. Not necessarily for what we have physically, but for what God has done in our lives, and yes for the blessings he has abundantly supplied.

Thanksgiving should not be an “American” thing, and when this day was first made into a holiday, Lincoln said as much as well. This is the day for the world to give thanks to God, and in his own words, I give you:

President Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Day Proclamation

Washington, D.C.
October 3, 1863

This is the proclamation which set the precedent for America’s national day of Thanksgiving. During his administration, President Lincoln issued many orders similar to this. For example, on November 28, 1861, he ordered government departments closed for a local day of thanksgiving.

Sarah Josepha Hale, a 74-year-old magazine editor, wrote a letter to Lincoln on September 28, 1863, urging him to have the “day of our annual Thanksgiving made a National and fixed Union Festival.” She explained, “You may have observed that, for some years past, there has been an increasing interest felt in our land to have the Thanksgiving held on the same day, in all the States; it now needs National recognition and authoritive fixation, only, to become permanently, an American custom and institution.”

Prior to this, each state scheduled its own Thanksgiving holiday at different times, mainly in New England and other Northern states. President Lincoln responded to Mrs. Hale’s request immediately, unlike several of his predecessors, who ignored her petitions altogether. In her letter to Lincoln she mentioned that she had been advocating a national thanksgiving date for 15 years as the editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book.

he document below sets apart the last Thursday of November “as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise.” According to an April 1, 1864, letter from John Nicolay, one of President Lincoln’s secretaries, this document was written by Secretary of State William Seward, and the original was in his handwriting. On October 3, 1863, fellow Cabinet member Gideon Welles recorded in his diary how he complimented Seward on his work. A year later the manuscript was sold to benefit Union troops.

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,
Secretary of State

… and so it is today. We celebrate with food and family today, and give thanks to our creator and savior that he is truly Lord over all.


  1. Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, edited by Roy P. Basler.
  2. Abraham Lincoln Online: Writings and Speeches

A Christian Vacuum and My Prayerful Vote for America

Lines at My Local Auburn Polling Place

Lines at My Local Auburn Polling Place

I have been voting since 1988, and I really can’t remember ever waiting in line, ever. There is just something a little different about the election this time around. It seems like each candidate is already resolved to their fate, but seeing this kind of turnout is awesome. If you are an eligible voter in our country today, and you didn’t vote, shame on you, go vote. Regardless of party affiliation or particular ideology, people in our country have given their life so that all of us can freely vote our conscience on this day, and it’s our responsibility to do so. My polling station was busy. As you can see from the photo above, there were a lot of people in line, but it didn’t take long, and wasn’t too long a wait for the freedom to vote.

Over the past several months I have been trying to finish one of the greatest books ever written on discipleship, The Cost of Discipleship, by Bonhoeffer and he had some really incredible things to say about our process today. If you have access to this book, go read chapters 12 and 13 and read it in context of today’s world with the understanding that he wrote that during one of the reigns of the most evil leaders the world has ever know. His other epic book, Ethics, starts off with this explanation, which I find so pertinent to our world today.

The Christian does not live in a vacuum, but in a world of government, politics, labor, and marriage. Hence, Christian ethics cannot exist in a vacuum. The reality is not manifest in the Church as distinct from the secular world; such a juxtaposition of two separate spheres is a denial of God’s having reconciled the whole world to himself in Christ. On the contrary, God’s commandment is to be found and known in the Church, the family, labor, and government, with a responsibility for the institutions of the world.

Meaning… neither candidate we see today may be our perfect choice as Christians, but we don’t live in a perfect world, and we only have one perfect candidate, Christ himself. We have to live in the world we are placed, not stick our head in the sand. This article published by Religion Today says it very well, Evangelicals Want Moral Government But are Ignorant of the Bible, and the point is we need to become as knowledgeable about God’s word as we are about Obama or Romney.

This was my prayer for our election this morning: “Lord I pray for this election, that you will make your choice clear today, that your will be done, even if that means letting this country go deeper into the depths of hell before it finds its way out, and finds its way back to you.” For some reason David’s words when we prayed for deliverance in 2 Samuel 22 seem relevant to the state of our country at this point in history. We should do as he did and earnestly “call upon the Lord.”

I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised… for the waves of death encompassed me, the torrents of destruction assailed me, the cords of Sheol entangled me; the snares of death confronted me… in my distress i called upon the Lord; to my God I called. 2 Samuel 22.

People Waiting to Pick Up a Ballet in Auburn

People Waiting to Pick Up a Ballet in Auburn

A Man Takes His Ballet From a Poll Worker in Auburn

A Man Takes His Ballet From a Poll Worker in Auburn

The Alabama Ballet for Election 2012

The Alabama Ballet for Election 2012

I hope you voted today, or are planning on voting today. This vote has historic consequences, as all elections do, but the world seems poised, seems to be on the cusp, of a time where we are still not too far gone, but can very easily fall over the edge. That edge, or cliff, is a combination of all kinds of things from war in the middle east to an economic crisis like we have seen in Greece.

For me, the edge or cliff is the erosion of faith in our country. A country that now receives more missionaries than it sends, where we continue to move into complete pluralism, where Christians themselves no longer stand for Gospel truths, and are no longer convicted to call sin, sin.

So regardless of who you vote for, have a reason for choosing a particular candidate, and go vote. This is not something to take lightly, nor something to brush off as unimportant. As Christians we have a call to be involved in the world we live in, to be a part of the process, not just as an armchair quarterback.

Thanks Mayor Rahm Emanuel It’s Now Our Moral Obligation to Eat @Chick-Fil-A

Chick-Fil-A Gay Marriage Prayer

Thankfully it is now our moral obligation to eat at Chick-Fil-A, not just a place you go when you want good chicken. This of course is due, in part, to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino who apparently want to lead the way in being the two most stupid mayors in the country, and thus pushing both sides to action. Ever since word got out Chick-Fil-A was a Christian company a few days ago, (oh wait, haven’t they always been?) these mayors have insisted on displaying their lack of knowledge on how our country was founded. Like a mob boss from the 1960′s the mayor of Chicago greatly discourages Chick-Fil-A from coming to Chicago where they are not welcome, and the Boston mayor Vows To Block Chick-Fil-A From Opening Restaurant After Anti-Gay Remarks. I hope the ACLU sues both of them seeing how the ACLU actually agrees with Chickfila’s right to move into any city they choose.

This is an amazing time we live in when the words of a person who owns a private, family run business, can cause a fire storm by say, “guilty as charged.” He didn’t say, “I want to kill gay people,” or “I’m going to bomb a gay politician,” he didn’t even go as far as those stupid people in Topeka, KS led by Fred Phelps at Westboro, and he didn’t actually DO anything. From those three words though, eating a Chick-fil-a sandwich has now become a political statement, and a moral obligation to those who support traditional marriage.

I’ve got news for these mayors. You know why most of us, even those who oppose gay marriage, eat at a restaurant? Because they have GOOD FOOD! Deborah loves eating at Hooters because she thinks they have the greatest wings, and trust me, she’s not going there because she wants to see anything besides the wings. I don’t particularly care for Hooters wings, so I generally prefer the local chicken finger place down the road.

But now, you mayors Emanuel and Menino have awoken the dead and sleeping, and have made it a necessity to support Chick-Fil-A even more by your idiotic statements (I’m not quite sure how I can personally do that though since I already eat there several times a week). Now, thanks to your careless disregard for the constitution, you have even awoken and united those toughest of baby boomers who would sooner give up part of their 401(K) than to hold a protest sign, and lowered them to “Eat Mor Chikin.” Even Billy Graham Defends Chick-fil-A, Traditional Marriage Amid Uproar, and he is a far more powerful individual in history than either mayor.

This is the defining social agenda of our day. Amazing. It is not what a terrible economic situation our country is facing. It is now how to best celebrate the sin of homosexuality and make sure everyone agrees that gay marriage is acceptable by all. As it was written recently, Gay Is Not the New Black, and this redefining of marriage is not something orthodox Christians are going to ever give up. This is core to Scripture’s teaching, and not because homosexuality is a sin, which it is, but because Scripture presents us, the Church, as the bride of Christ. Those churches who have given in to the pressures of homosexuality have violated the marriage between Christ and their church, they have become an adulterous church.

Society and culture may keep trying to waste away the beliefs of some when it comes to homosexuality, just as they did with abortion convincing millions this horrific act is not the actual killing and murder of another person, but they will never be able to change the Word of God. There are few things in Scripture that are more clearly defined than the sin of homosexuality, and there just isn’t thing one any mayor can do about that. As society tries to convince the faithful that homosexuality and gay marriage is acceptable in God’s eyes, they show their understanding of the issues to be one like Homosexuality, Polyester, and Shellfish. The more they protest, the more they show a total and complete misunderstanding of basic hermeneutical principles of the Bible.

Did you know there is actually something that orthodox Muslims, Jews, and Christians all agree on? That homosexuality is a sin. Now there is something the ACLU and Chick-Fil-A both agree on, the Freedom of Speech that clearly allows Dan Cathy to say what he wants, without the threat from thugs in Chicago.

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Sacrifices that Allow Us Freedom, Family, and Eternal Life

Fillmer Memorial Day Dinner

Today is of course Memorial Day and I guess I’m adding to the glutton of Memorial Day blog posts that celebrate the day, but it’s a day worth celebrating. My family celebrated with a meal, pictured in this post along with the photos of my dad and Uncle about the time they were commissioned, and my grandfather who also served in the Army.

Today, our culture seems to have this tendency to sweep death and sacrifice away to the point where we don’t even understand anymore how difficult it was to obtain the freedom we have, and at what price many people paid to give us that freedom. My family has a long list of those who served in the military, going all the way back to the Civil War (with the South). Both my dad and my Uncle (604th Air Force Band), and both my grandfather’s were in the Army, one flew bombers in WWII, and the other (Don Fillmer) was in the European Theater. According to Don Fillmer’s Discharge Papers from the Army in 1944 he was in the 101st Airways Communications Squadron, and was given the European African Middle Eastern Service Medal upon his discharge in 1944.

While I was not in the military, I recognize their sacrifice, and others, who served those of us who now enjoying the freedom and prosperity they fought to give us. I can’t help but think about the ultimate sacrifice made for us by Christ, who willingly put himself in harm’s way, so that we may be able to enjoy an eternal life with God. There is no greater “Memorial Day” celebration than to have been given life through someone else’s death. Our military did that for us for the past 200 years, and Christ did that for us for the past 2,000 years.

We should recognize both for what they are, not hesitating to honor a person, or people, who have given their life, so that we may live. Pictured below from left to right top down is the Fillmer family (Larry, Dale, Deborah, and myself), Deborah, then Allen Fillmer, Donald Fillmer (my granddad), Larry Fillmer, and Les Fillmer (my uncle).

Searching Out the Reasons for Writing Religitic

This is my first actual post on this blog, so titled Religitic, in a while. The title I chose years and years ago for the life we Christians sometimes lead, one that is partly spiritual, partly heretical, and often mostly hypocritical. Therefore, I combined heretic, and hypocrite, with religion and got Religitic. The walk of any believer should be filled with trying to remove the “ic” and add the truly “religious” part, but the word religious today is as dirty as any cuss word we can use.

This blog, domain, and twitter account, was created years ago, but I am just now getting around to working on some of the content. I find myself more and more frustrated with things in our culture, our society, aspects of work, and other things that just make up life. I created this blog called “Religitic” a while back in the hopes that some day I would just start writing in a much more unfiltered way than I do on my own personal blog that has all the bureaucratic filtering of a life involved with office politics, religion, and people’s feelings. It never really happened that way, but I did create a sub-section over here with the tag Religitic, based on writing as described here, a little less filtered and polished.

I find myself so often writing with such a filter that I can’t even say the things I really want to say, not out of a fear of offending someone, but more out of expectations I have created on my other blog. The intent for this was to be able to write without as much of a filter, to generate ideas, passions, and work out my understandings of different topics.This blog is going to be filled with partial thoughts, politically incorrect ways of thinking for our society today, and theories or theologies I haven’t fully understood enough to talk about yet. It will not be filled with photos and fun, but it could be filled with posts from my personal journal, my daily devotionals, or just short ramblings. Hopefully so I can learn, and put my polished work on my main blog. I will still be writing everything from the basic worldview I hold… or that of a protestant orthodox believer in Jesus Christ as the single one and only savior of humanity. If you are looking for polished theologies and fully vetted work, look elsewhere, this won’t be the place.

Letter Explains Mitt Romney for Commencement Speaker at Liberty University

Mitt Romney at Liberty University

Every since Liberty University announced that Mitt Romney was going to be the Commencement Speaker (see also the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, the CBS News, and even the POLITICO) for this year’s graduation class [some] people have been in an uproar (so says the Daily Kos anyway, the people I know had no problem with it at all). Most of the uproar comes in the form of the fact that Romney is a Mormon, and doesn’t align with Liberty’s theological vision, which is correct, he is, and he doesn’t.

Yesterday, the Office of the Chancellor, or Jerry Falwell, Jr. addressed concerns with the statements below. I guess at some level an explanation was needed, but the one presented below is a great example why this is no different than any other speaker Liberty has had in the past. I for one am glad that they have such a wide variety of speakers at Liberty. I’m sure there are those who can shred the theological explanation below, but it’s good enough for me, and it goes beyond just the criticism of having a Mormon speak at graduation, the letter explains why Liberty’s mission statement, to train Champions for Christ, includes welcoming Mitt Romney, regardless of his faith or politics.

Dear Students,

My office has received hundreds of messages from students and 2012 graduates who are thrilled and honored that the presumptive Republican nominee for president of the United States will be our Commencement speaker. Some graduates have also inquired about Liberty’s policies regarding the doctrinal beliefs of graduation speakers. These same questions seem to surface every spring and I am writing you in response to those inquiries.

First of all, it is important to remember that Liberty actually has two Commencement speakers each year. Long ago, most universities ceased their practice of including a Baccalaureate service during their Commencement weekend, but we have insisted on keeping this service as a demonstration of our Christian commitment to the Great Commission and the Great Commandment.

This year our Baccalaureate speaker is Luis Palau. Dr. Palau is an evangelist who has preached the Gospel to a billion people. Palau is often considered second only to Billy Graham in his influence for the Gospel, and, as is our tradition, he will be clearly delivering the Gospel at Baccalaureate.

For twenty-five years Liberty has traditionally had leaders from the worlds of politics, business, and entertainment speak during the Commencement ceremony on Saturday. Most of these leaders have not traditionally shared Liberty’s doctrinal convictions. In the last few years, our Commencement speakers have included an evangelical filmmaker (Randall Wallace), a Mormon commentator (Glenn Beck), a Jewish economist (Ben Stein), an evangelical actor and athlete (Chuck Norris), an evangelical – now Catholic – politician (Newt Gingrich), a Catholic commentator (Sean Hannity), a Southern Baptist senator (John McCain), and an Episcopalian chief of staff to President Bush (Karl Rove). In all, at least 20 of Liberty’s 38 Commencement speakers have fit in this category.

My father’s vision for Liberty University was both a theological and a cultural vision. Theologically, it was to found the world’s preeminent Christian university where every faculty member professed faith in Jesus Christ, agreed with our doctrinal statement, and sought to fulfill the Great Commission and live the Great Commandment. Culturally, it was to found a university that held in high regard our nation’s founding principles of limited government, the free enterprise system, and individual liberty. Liberty’s tradition has been to focus on the first part of this vision during the Friday night ceremony and the second part on Saturday morning.

Liberty’s commitment to an annual Baccalaureate service has ensured that we have never held a Commencement that did not include a strong gospel message from an evangelical leader.

I am sure that members of the Liberty University community will treat Gov. Romney with the respect he deserves, regardless of whether they agree with his religious or political beliefs.

When my father traveled the nation speaking at many secular universities, he was often met with boos and hisses by those who held different theological beliefs than he. I am so proud that Liberty students have gained a reputation for treating those whose beliefs are different than their own in a Christ-like manner. You have shown respect to speakers as divergent from Liberty’s worldview as Ted Kennedy, Bob Beckel, and Tim Kaine.

Gov. Romney is a man who has excelled in business, governed a state, and even managed the Olympic games. He has been faithfully married to his wife, Ann, for 43 years, and they have 5 sons and 16 grandchildren. Gov. Romney is a leader of global significance, who might eventually be the leader of the free world, and we are honored that he accepted our invitation.

An invitation to speak at Commencement is not an ad-hoc endorsement of a presidential candidate or even of that particular speaker’s religious or political views. The ultimate purpose of having a prominent Commencement speaker is not to promote the speaker or his views but rather to inspire and challenge the graduates and showcase Liberty and its mission.

My prayer is that having the presumptive Republican nominee as our speaker will cause many who have never heard of Liberty to take notice of what Liberty is doing to train a generation of Champions for Christ. Perhaps, many of them will consider a Christian education over the secular alternative.

Sincerely,

Jerry Falwell, Jr.
Chancellor and President

That explanation won’t cut it for some, but for many, no explanation would suffice at all.

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Should Christians Rejoice over the Death of Osama Bin Laden?

I suppose this is as good a photo of the day post as anything. I took this shot around 11:30pm ET last night with my iPhone and it about says it all. It’s probably the biggest news to hit the “war on terror” in 10 years, but last night as we the country awaited a rare (and almost scary, unknown, speculative, bizarre) live news conference at 11:30pm on a Sunday night I did not share the overwhelming “joy” that Geraldo Rivera had or the giddy, almost tailgate-ish rejoicing, in the street in front of the white house and at ground zero. Yes, it was a victory for the United States, yes, it was necessary in the same way it was necessary to rid the world of Hitler or the like, but a time to a time to jump up and down like the U.S. just won an olympic event? No.

On a side note… this “War on Terror” is unlike previous wars where we can clearly define a victor, or a even when victory has occurred. That’s because this war is not a war over territory, or resources, but ideologies and ultimately at it’s base root, it’s a holy war. Those who don’t see the religious side can parse out the war to a way of life, or political freedom, but ask an Israeli and you might get a different answer than the average Joe Smith waving a flag in front of the White House. Because of this, the war on terror will not end until the second coming of Christ.

The Wisdom of the Psalms

So, from a Christian perspective, I just don’t see anything that teaches us to be joyful in the death of an enemy. In fact, it says just the opposite in Proverbs 24:17-18. This section of Proverbs represents the “Thirty Sayings” of “the wise” as clearly indicated in Proverbs 22:20, which covers from Proverbs 22:17 to 24:22. Proverbs 24:17-18 is the twenty-eighth saying, and where 15-16 are aimed at the wicked over the righteous, 17-18 is talking about the righteous gloating over the downfall of the wicked. Maybe rejoicing in the street or on TV isn’t gloating but to me that’s just semantics.

17 Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles, 18 lest the Lord see it and be displeased, and turn away his anger from him. (ESV)

On the practical side, verse 17 tells us not to rejoice when our enemy falls and verse 18 tells us why, because God may turn around and bless our enemy, making us even more miserable. If that isn’t enough, God actually tells us that He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 33:11), and if God takes no pleasure in the death of Osama Bin Laden, than neither should we. The bible clearly indicates that God will “punish sin and vindicate his holiness and justice… but God also feels sorrow over the punishment and death of creatures created in His image” (ESV notes on Ezekiel 33:11). God would rather the wicked repent of their sins and live than die in their own sins without forgiveness.

Although this must be an almost impossible task for those who had family members killed on 9-11 (or the USS Cole or any of the other terrorist acts) by the hand of Osama Bin Laden, I find it hard to rejoice over the death of a (seemingly) lost and unrepentant soul. Rather we should love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (Matthew 5:44). As impossible as this may sound, Jesus gave us the example and did this very same thing as he went to the cross.

Air Force One on Takeoff for Tuesday’s Election

The photo of the day today is a shot I took of Air Force One on it’s takeoff run at Las Vegas McCarran Airport a while back.  With the elections taking place tomorrow I thought this would be an appropriate shot, but we are also trying to get to a place where we can watch the Space Shuttle launch tomorrow as well, so it served two purposes today.  If we get to the Space Coast I will post some photos on Twitter and here, but I am sure we won’t get as close to the shuttle as I was able to get here with AF1.  For additional aviation photos you can check out some of my shots at http://www.planephoto.net as well.

Does Freedom Mean Allowing Idiots to Burn the Quran?

I am truly amazed at how much press Dove World Outreach Church in Gainesville, Florida is receiving for it’s planned burning of the Quran, or as they put it “International Burn a Koran Day” planned for this Saturday, September 11th. It truly shows how a message, any message good or bad, can spread in our world today. This is a 50 member “church” in a small town. Fifty members. How many millions of dollars will other churches (with far better messages) spend to get their message out, and much of the time with little effect. Our church, and many others like it, are helping to change lives locally, and all the way over in Africa, but that isn’t news of course.

Sometimes it is the “shock-and-awe” that makes a message go viral, and their message, Terry Jones’ message, has reached every corner of the earth at this point thanks to Hilary Clinton, Gen. David Petraeus, Attorney General Eric Holder, CNN, Fox News (Orlando), and every high profile person who mentions the Quran burning. Even the Vatican (multiple times) and the White House has weighed in, all giving semi-credibility to this tiny little “outreach center” and their “look at us burning” party.

Other churches have tried this, like the one in North Carolina who created a sign that said “The Koran Needs to be Flushed” and was later forced to leave the SBC. If you dig into “Dove World Outreach” you will see they are a “church” who is mainly focused on the “shock-and-awe” of Islam, not on teachings of Christ and Christianity.

What I haven’t read in any of these reports however is that no matter how much stupidity they claim as their own, the lack of any true sensical Christian message they offer, and the Adolph-Hitler-Natzi-like event this seems to be, this country has fought to allow these freedoms, even if we don’t like them. We don’t fight for only those freedoms we like, but for all freedoms within the law. What would dilute their message today is to heavily vet “Dove World”, Terry Jones, and their other fifty members. Their Facebook page alone is enough to discredit them, and their “about” information for their church shows no focus on any doctrinal beliefs of Christ, yet, today, shock-and-awe wins out.

I do not use the term “idiot” lightly. The dictionary definition says this is “someone who acts in a self-defeating or significantly counterproductive way”, and this is exactly what this group of 50 are doing, in many different aspects, but, in this country, they have the freedom to act like idiots, and others in turn have the freedom to condemn their actions as idiotic.

The Pop-Culture Glenn Beck Religion and Theology

Linus in his great wisdom instructs Lucy well, sound theology is a great comfort to the mind, but I wonder how that would be written in the 21st century. I try to read a small dose of poetry every day in my quest to understand this complex and powerful form of literature, and this one, “Theology” by Paul Laurence Dunbar was so funny, sad, and true, I had to share it today. Some days it seems there is such a Christianity culture shift going on in our country that Christians themselves are trying to re-write what it means to be a Christian.

The New Hipster Christian

Each generation sort of does this and re-defines how they see the Church and tries to make it their own, which is fine, better to revive and revitalize the church than leave it all together (which many young people have done too). The danger is when we re-write the Gospel message to meet our pop-culture needs, and turn Christianity into our own personal Jesus (as Depeche Mode put it about a decade ago). Christian theology isn’t something a generation can choose to define, it was defined for us, by Jesus himself.

A recent article in Christianity Today by Brett McCracken entitled “Hipster Faith” (also from his book Hipster Christianity) put it so well. This pretty much nails it.

It’s [hipster Christianity] a world where things like the Left Behind book and film series, Jesus fish, and door-to-door evangelism are relevant only as a source of irony or nostalgia. It’s a world where Braveheart youth-pastor analogies are anathema, where everyone agrees that they wish Pat Robertson “weren’t one of us” and shares a collective distaste for the art for Thomas Kinkade. The latest incarnation of a decades-long collision of “cool” and “Christianity” is in large part a rebellion against the very subculture that birthed it.

It’s a rebellion against old-school evangelicalism and its fuddy-duddy legalism, apathy about the arts, and pitiful lack of concern for social justice. It’s about a rebellion against George W. Bush-style Christianity: American flags in chruches, the Ten Commandments in courtrooms, and evagelical leaders who get too involved in conservative politics, such as James Dobson and Jerry Falwell.

They prefer to call themselves “Christ-followers” rather than “Christians.” They cringe at the thought of an altar call, and the prospect of passing out tracts gives them nightmares.

Nothing is inherently wrong there except I do find that the “hipster Christians” do not give anyone the respect they deserve, like the aforementioned Dobson and Falwell, but I don’t see them giving due respect to hardly any of their “elders” per-say. They may disagree with the method (I always hated the thought of door-to-door myself) but much of their theology is very sound. We all far pray to our own culture, it is just part of being alive. You can follow me and my exploits around on Twitter just like you can McCracken, but where do we get our theology today.

Theology, Get it Wherever You Like

So they/we get theology from CCM (Christian Contemporary Music), and the pop-trends of the day. The latest craze that includes us older generations with Glenn Beck (see Beck Wants to Lead, But Will Evangelicals Follow? and a great article by Dr. Russell Moore God, the Gospel, and Glenn Beck, and for another look, And Glenn Beck Shall Lead Them). Beck calls for a return to God, and then on Chris Wallace’s program (see video) Beck made it quite clear that he totally understands the Gospel message, and the differences between the LDS Church (Mormon Church) and Christianity. Sometimes it seems that the only ones who can’t see the difference, and there are plenty of differences, are us Christians.

Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com

I guess the question is, who are we looking to for our theological base and teaching, Beck? I don’t want to just pick on Beck, I like his show. While he is a super pop-culture-talking-head and has many good points, should we really be taking our theology from Beck? He would probably even say that’s not a good idea. Luckily, Christians today can go right to the source and skip all the middle men. The unchanging God of Abraham is still there for us. We are the ones who change, not Him.

I was going to post the poem, “Theology” by Paul Laurence Dunbar here as well but this post is too long already, so look for it in the next post shortly.