Thursday, May 20, 2010

Hate That Only Loves Itself

This blog will not be used to spread hate, dissidence or any other dogma antithetical to a healthy society, community and church.

I thought that I should make that message clear based on information that I recently received. We do not agree with ongoing antagonistic efforts against any individual or person. We challenge, debate and speak of societal issues strongly. We gladly point out problematic doctrine and identify personalities and practices that take advantage of people, society and do the church harm. We continue to identify dogmas and teachings both secular and religious which we feel are detrimental to the growth and the long term sustainability of our families, churches and community, but we decry all forms of hate speech, methodology and public or private violence and dissidence. 

Secular/Religious Ideals & Politics

The Dunamis Word gladly points out political policies which we feel are damaging on any number of levels, but once a case is made, we do not and will not continue to revisit the issues and will not attack personalities in an undue fashion. We do not promote anarchy whether that is public or in the church. Leadership is essential to any community and our purpose is to present ideas that will not only challenge leadership, but also make leaders accountable and ultimately make communities better. We will not be a part of unfounded personal rhetoric or attacks beyond the issues at hand and demand that accusations be accurate, pertinent to the subject and rooted by certain supports such as reasonable logic, or physical proofs.

Our Presidency

Since the election and installation of President Obama there has been an upturn of what is described as religious and political conservatism. This type of conservatism is nothing new, but it has taken a serious turn and become more radical akin to some brands of religious extremism. Recently we received information that was no shorter than hate speech filled with physical threats toward many of our governmental and political leaders. We notified authorities immediately and have placed such information in the proper hands. We decry the proliferation of such sentiments even if they are based on religious dogma and more specifically Christian dogmas or biblical scriptures. The message is clear, neither this blog, nor this author lends his time to destroying our country by wishing evil on it's political and secular leadership. With that said, there are a few things that I would like to address as I have observed what seems to be a circus of activity since the country elected it's first Black President.

Faulty Assumptions:

I: The Myth Of A Christian Nation

The problem is that many religious political conservatives mistakenly assume that America is or was a Christian nation. While there is a ring of truth to that statement we should know that there is not neither has there ever been a Christian nation. A truly Christian nation would never have built itself on the backs of slaves, broken land trusts and undermined hopes. That same Christian nation would not have driven Geronimo's and Cochise's children into Mexico and Canada and then create laws to keep them out when they wish to come back home.

Click HERE for Gregory A. Boyd's book.



Another assumption often levied by the religious conservative extremists is that God's economic system is capitalism, that President Obama is anti-capitalism and, in essence, anti-American and ultimately the anti-Christ. I don't believe that any of these assertions hold true.  Once again, while I may not agree with many of the President's moves such as appointments of certain quasi-socialist and apparently even Marxist liberals to top US positions, and negative statements made regarding capitalistic endeavors; yet God does not endorse a particular political or economic system over another. In fact, under the biblical rubric, not only were the strong to serve the weak as a service to God and an indicator of their relationship to him, but the New Testament church also lived out of the means of the entire community rather than by individualistic endeavors or pursuits. The first church community was really a "community".The bible describes how the first church survived economically and socially: 

Acts 2:42-47 ~ "42-And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43-And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. 44-And all that believed were together, and had all things common; 45-And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all [men], as every man had need. 46-And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, 47-Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved."

Actions of the first church were based on the cultural style that existed at the time, but fact is that the New Testament church did not resemble a capitalistic republic or democracy. Neither were the church leaders close to endorsing what we view as a capitalistic structure, socially and or politically.

Extremism & Pundit Mania

III: If We Talk Loud Enough & Say It Over And Over We'll Make Things Change

First, President Obama is not a spiritual leader. He does not require worship, although many are ready to give it. He is a secular leader and many of us are Christian individuals. Our demand cannot be that he obey Christian rules and dogma, but on the other hand we must not fail to advise him in the biblical capacity and wisdom which we have been given by Christ through scripture. We must not fail to challenge political leadership with biblical proofs and speak to power. However, truly Christian efforts need not be to the extent of extremism, and ultimately dogmatic personal attacks.

Conservatives such as Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh have exploited a political and religious conservative gap going overtime to the extreme in their efforts to "reveal" to the American public that the current Presidential policies are harmful to American sovereignty and dangerous to the moral underpinnings of American values. These gentlemen spend over 12 hours of programming per day presenting information as if the ceiling will fall in tomorrow if something is not done today, and if Presidential actions are not wrung in. They use protections of the First Amendment, which we are certainly glad that are there to shield us, but their voices have promoted some who hold extremist ideals and ideologies. American grown terrorist groups, calling themselves militias, have risen and joined the chorus of voices willing to blame the government, and the President personally as the source of America's problems. Too many of these individuals hold bibles under their arms and quote biblical verses as they wish hate and destruction upon political leaders for not carrying out or observing their wishes.  This is insanity. 

The Truth...We Can Disagree Without Inciting Violence, Violent Feelings Or Emotions  

Disagreements are sometimes essential for a truly healthy society. I'm sure some disagree with many of my assertions in this post. However, there is a difference between disagreement and the inciting of radical and negative feelings and emotion. We can encourage individuals to live out their political goals at the polls without being antagonistic or inciting anarchy. Once can read this blog and readily find that I disagree with President Obama over his public actions regarding:

  • Abortion,

  • Certain portions of the health care law,

  • Employment regulations directed through the Office Of Faith Based & Neighborhood Partnerships.  

  • His interpretation and proliferation of biblical scriptures

  • His nominees for the US Supreme Ct. (new-and yes I do)

  • His apologetic stance toward rogue and terrorist nations,

  • His stance on homosexual marriage and other issues,

  • The national direction within public education, etc
However, we do not seek to perpetuate an antagonistic environment beyond the issues or facilitate an environment that is contrary to the safety of President Obama or his family. Many of us disagreed with former President Bush. (who was not the choice of the people) Thousands have died because of his decisions and America is no more safe now, than when the invasion of Iraq began, but by scale, we do not call for Bush's destruction. We certainly don't do it for over 12 hours per day.  Disagreement with political policy must be balanced with temperament and must be objective.

Complaining for the sake of complaint itself is more akin to sensationalism and should not be a desired practice for individuals seeking to make a difference. Recently, Minister Louis Farrakhan appeared on Chicago talk radio's WVON (Cliff Kelley Show) pleading against the actions of extremists as it pertains to the physical safety of the President Obama. In one segment, he pleaded on behalf of the President's children that extremists would consider the unnecessary damage that would not only be done to the nation, but also to the President's children if they were to loose their father at the hands of hatred.  

Contrast Historic Racial & Group Oppression

There has not been one religious conservative candidate nor official with whom there has not been disagreement displayed by large segments of society. For instance, in the Black community we were aware from its inception that the "war on drugs" under President Ronald Reagan's tenure (who is hailed by the religious conservative extremist to be the greatest President of all time) was nothing more than code words for "war on Black America" and "Black neighborhoods". It has proven to be just that leading to the highest rates of criminal incarceration among among any ethnic group within the United States. Currently, slightly over 10% of all African American men between the ages of 24-29 are in prison or accountable to the penile system in some form. In some states such as New Mexico, these rates reach as high as 30%. What is notable is that these are the ages when men should be men raising their children and preparing the next generation...but too many of them are in prison. According to the Justice Policy Institute: 

  • 3,161 African-Americans per 100,000 were under the custody or care of federal or state penile system, this compares to 1,200 per 100,000 Hispanics and 487 per 100,000 whites. This means that black men in the United States are 6.5 times more likely to be in prison than white men and that Hispanics are 2.5 times more likely to be in prison than white men.
The religious conservative extremist balks, "that's their problem, they shouldn't have been breaking the law!" While it is true that many of these men were breaking the law, a good percentage of them were doing more harm to themselves than harm to others. An alarming percentage of Black men are and were incarcerated for drug usage as opposed to drug sales or violent behavior. The statistics were clear on this before the laws were established, but that didn't matter to the powers that usurped their authority. Blacks were made slowly aware that federally mandated minimum sentencing would land then in jail for longer periods of time, and that many of them would never be able to take part in raising their families simply because they used drugs themselves. Why? The law placed a greater value on the criminal activities that Blacks engaged in more heavily that the alternate criminal activities of Whites. There was a specific difference in the sentencing of Blacks who used crack cocaine and whites who traditionally used powered cocaine. We know that it is tragic that the Black male prison population exceeds that of the Black college student population. Do we hear any of the radical religious conservative political extremists taking the lead to reverse this inequity? No! Are we to radically and emotionally charge individuals to take action and liberate themselves in an anarchist fashion? 

ABSOLUTELY NOT!

We teach how Black men can avoid these pitfalls and how the general public can make the system better by becoming better informed. We do not blame the educational system, the business community, the courts, judges, nor the legislators even if some are more to blame than others. The blame is equally spread. Those who thought of the disparity, and facilitated it are as much to blame as those who promoted it and those who allowed it and those who were caught in it.   

Conclusion:

Disagreement with Presidential policy should not cross personal lines and boundaries. God does not favor Obama any less than he favored Bush, Regan, Nixon or anyone else. Sentiments for the destruction of individuals, including their office and person is not only deplorable, but it is despicable. As stated, for years Blacks and Native Americans in America suffered injustice at the hands of a racially charged establishment, but TRUE Freedom Fighters fought out of respect, honor and reverence for the sanctity of human life even if the abusers of freedom had alternate sentiments. 

In this country, we have many problems. More problems than we can adequately address or attempt to solve in the blogosphere, however, none of those problems cause us to dissent from this great nation.  We can disagree and we will disagree, but we can also direct our disagreement toward the issues and not the individual. None of the disagreements should cause us to wish evil or ill upon any governmental, political and or church official. It is in that spirit of true Christianity that we should engage the issues and be encouraged to pursue life.

Blessed! 

7 comments:

  1. Beloved Pastor,

    I wholeheartedly agree w/you, I served this country faithful, as I told you in the Marine Corps, and consider myself a patriot, but I am not a "blind" patriot for true patriotism is not blind to the faults and miscues of there parent nation. This country might have been "founded" in christian beliefs, but has never walked in those beliefs, for being founded in something and walking in it, are two different things. All anyone has to do w/an historical background read the peace treaty between the young united states and the barbary pirates. Thats why it disturbs me when ministers on certain patriotic holidays deify the country's forefathers' as though they were as pure as the driven snow, you know there are times when we as the body of Christ, can be just as narrow minded as the scientific and historical communities who constantly refute us.

    This nation is simply a nation that has christians in it, nothing else. Yes unlike Greece, whose experiment w/democracy was a disaster, this nation has walked in democracy for almost 300 yrs and democracy as a standard code is definetely not full proof, especially w/the majority rule concepts, praise God we fall under a "theocracy" at heart. Look at Israel who was given the Law, but unfortunately never walked in or understood it. And yes, as you described, like him or not, Mr. Obama, whom I believe is not a christian, is this nation's president, and he and his family is to be prayed for without amiss in the hearts of believers', for God never asked us to like those in leadership, he said to pray for them, even those who are "froward." Once again an illuminating topic for mature discussion.

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  2. Thanks so much, Supt. Burnett. I understand that Obama is a very polarizing figure, where people either worship him or loathe him. But certainly, we as Christians, do take it too far. Yes there are some things about his policies that I disagree with...but there are things I disagree with my boss about as well as my pastor about--but that doesn't warrant my slandering and threatening my pastor, my boss, or Obama for that matter.

    It is shocking some of the comments i read on blogs and things; so much for Christians being light and salt in the world; in fact, I would submit that anyone being overly concerned about the ills of the current administration is an indicator that you are worldly. You care about the things of this world and we would do best to take heed to Jesus' warning "Beware of the leaven of Herod..."---Herod was not called to save the world; Jesus is...

    Thanks for bringing biblical balance to our view of a person that God is using in this country--whether he is being used by God as a tool of destruction or a tool of blessing, God is still in control.

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  3. The bible encourages purity and purification . If the black man would seek purity in his leadership , education , and religion these problems that you have mention would be corrected .

    The main problem of the American society is the church is separated from the church of which the bible speaks against . America teaches that the separation of church and state best serves justice . When the truth of the matter is this takes power away from the church and give it to the state . Man law is foolishness as compared to God's law , God knows what man knows not .
    The problem of the black man lack of education and his problem with incarceration is that in America he has never had control of himself , his education , or his doctrine which puts him out of control . If you can not control yourself you can not control the environment and if you can not control the environment you , you can not control your children this makes you a victim of the environment . Which robs you of the purpose that God give you , dominion . But to have dominion you must have the truth something that the African Americans has never had . To have the truth is to have dominion .
    In America the black man is at the bottom of society , he is the most oppressed , hated and despised naturally he is at the lowest level of society .

    If you are honest you are able to accept the fact that America was established for the purpose of white supremacy and this is what it is and this is the purpose it serves . When blacks live in white supremacy they concede their most sacred asset dominion . The lack of dominion puts you on only one path , servitude . Which is the cause of serving the purpose of white supremacy instead to the will of God . It is amazing that the blacks are doing as well as they are with a false leadership . Blacks are lead of man instead of God , man's law is chaos and God's law is order . God says the church is the head and not the tail , anything else and you are in rebellion . By the blacks leadership coming from out side of himself he is never able to reach his full maturity therefore he is served by immaturity , this is why he is the greatest victim of oppression . If you request oppression this is what you will receive.

    LJ

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  4. Brethren,

    I believe the problem w/man is man, regardless of what color he is. You can take a person who had/has lousy parents, and comes from a corrupt environment and make something of his/her self, but then you can have a person, who has wonderful parents, and comes from the best quote unquote environment, and become a menace to soceity, once again regardless of what color there skin is. Now am I being oblivious to the racial situation that has not only corrupted this country but other parts of the world as well, of course not, but in the end it is the heart of man that is corrupt and causes him to treat his fellow w/such shamefulness, is it any wonder why the 2d greatest commandment is "Love your neighbor, as you love yourself." For you have prejudice within the races, which can be just as deadly, as outside the races, especially when we differ in opinion.

    Now dear friends, I happen to believe in the separation of church and state, now both are ordained of God, the noachanic covenant brought forth human government and the new covenant brought forth the church. One is to protect and the other to teach, look at ancient Israel, which was more of a republic than a democracy, each element of the nations government had its own function. And if we look at it historically, everytime when both have mingled, more times than nought it was the church which became corrupt and compromising. That is why in my opinion, only when the King of Kings returns that both will be harmoniously joined, for man within ourselves cannot maintain peace, thats why the scripture says, "You'll being saying peace...peace and there will be no peace, and then sudden destruction will come upon you."

    For if we were able to bring about this type of order, stability and dominion within ourselves, then why does Christ need to return or should I also say, why did he come. Now just because I believe in the separation of church and state, does that mean as christians we don't keep our leaders accountable and responsible, once again using ancient Israel as an example, of course we do. If I may I'm reminded of a incident between Sam Houston and Steve Austin, called sometimes the fathers' of Texas. Well they really never got along, and one day Sam Houston, said to Steve Austin, "We all have different callings, yours is to build a country and a government, mine is to lead an army. Let us make sure were walking in our own callings."

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  5. Tony,

    You said:"For if we were able to bring about this type of order, stability and dominion within ourselves, then why does Christ need to return or should I also say, why did he come."

    That kinda brings us full circle doesn't it? thank God that HE will come and right every wrong. That's encouraging.

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  6. One quote that addresses the entire article written that I'm sure was not printed in the book you are promoting.

    1791, Benjamin Rush - a signer of the Declaration of Independence who served in 3 different presidential administrations. Holds the title "The Father of Public Schools", founded 5 colleges, 3 of which still exist today, one of the first educators in America to promote education of women and African Americans.

    Penning why the Bible (already a school book) should be the primary textbook in our schools, he listed a dozen reasons ending with what would happen in America if the Bible was ever removed from schools:

    "In contemplating the political institutions of this United States, I lament that (if we remove the Bible from schools) we waste so much time and money in punishing crimes and take so little pains to prevent them...For this Divine Book above all others, favors that equality among mankind, that respect for just laws, and those sober and frugal virtues which constitute the soul of the republic."

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  7. Anon,

    The bible in schools is not in question. Making school a place to compel people to religion is.

    Who's religion teacher do we want to be in charge? Yours or mine? you rally and I rally and it all become a tug of war and that's senseless.

    I carried my bible with me all throughout high school and didn't care what the administrators thought...NONE thought negatively, neither did any give me problems. A few teachers and I often talked religion. I did this even before I was saved...the fear of loosing something is uncalled for.

    The article isn't directed at people standing for religious freedom...that's a good thing...This is directed at the radical fundamentalists that condemn beyond reason. Look, Bush was a religious conservative, who drank, funded planned parenthood to record levels and pursued a war for which we will pay probably until the Lord calls me home...none of these radicals harped on that even when it was happening, neither do they say that we should not be in these foreign countries today. There was good reason to go, but should we be there now? NO.

    I listen to them almost daily. I am familiar with all of their scatter and slam techniques. Some are on point and appreciated, but when they make the relationship that being religious is about being a capitalist or an American, there's no biblical support for it. This creates an us/them and that's never helpful.

    How I found out about Bush's expansion to Planned parenthood came from internet research...it wasn't Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck or any of the other wanna-be's...Why???

    Why do we have to get a reinterpretation for every word that President Obama says? Simply because of extremism...That give us a bad name. Like the man who killed Dr. TIller. he was a radical and unhelpful to the truly Christian cause.

    How can you violate being a Christian and expect to be honored as a Christian for it??? What I'm talking has nothing to do with carrying a bible or the bible in schools, but it has everything to do with hiding that word in one's heart and living it.

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