Wednesday, January 11, 2006

A Nation Under God?

This is a strange article (John Sugg, "A Nation Under God," Mother Jones, Dec/Jan 2006). It was strange because the writer defined "Christian Reconstructionism" as "an obscure but increasingly potent theology was top exponents hold that Christian crusaders must conquer and convert the world, by the sword if necessary, before Jesus will return" and then attributed this belief to "the conservative Presbyterian Church in America."

But the article took Gary DeMar's (and Gary North and Rousas Rushdoony's) views and imputed them to an entire denomination. That would be the same as saying that Al Sharpton represents all African-American Christians--it would be taking someone who is largely discredited and marginalized by the group's mainstream in order to characterize an entire religious organization. I frankly find it irresponsible.

Another thing about the article that was very strange was the amount of breathless hand-wringing and outlandish finger-pointing--"in this world view, the mandate for Christians is not just to live right or to help their neighbors: they are called upon to take over or eliminate the institutions of secular government." What? Even the theonomists that I know wouldn't claim that--they recognize that government is necessary. What they want is "Christian" government that obeys God's law. And as wrong-headed as I think their position is, it is a long way off from what this article presents.

There are a number of conservative Presbyterians who desire to live their lives in accordance with 1 Thessalonians 4:10b-12: "But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may live properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one." It is sad that this article wrongly identified my denomination with a fringe group and failed to recognize the vast number of us who seek to live in the light of this peaceful and peace-filled way.

HT: Dominic Aquila's By Faith e-letter

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