Tag Archives: election

A Question About Christian Theology

Why would God tell us to love our enemies if at least some of our enemies are beyond redemption¹ and God has already decided to destroy at least some of them², so by asking us to love them, God therefore is asking us to do something that would be loftier and nobler than what God is willing to do³

¹ This phrase assumes, for the sake of argument, some are predetermined to be beyond redemption (predetermined in this case because of points made in the following notes). Then again, maybe none of “our enemies,” the ones who ultimately really are enemies, are beyond redemption. Furthermore, it might not be clear right now who “our enemies” really are, which might be one reason to love those who appear to be enemies.

² By choosing to save some and to damn others. This point of view, while very present in Christian theology, is difficult because God cannot choose to save some without choosing to not-save others. When One is an all-powerful being*, not-doing must be just as volitional as doing. When all-powerful, choosing not to embrace one sentient being You have created must be just as volitional as choosing to embrace another sentient being You have created.

*or even all-powerful and outside of being

³ This phrase assumes, for the sake of argument, that God does not love those whom He created yet knows ultimately will be His enemies, and additionally, assumes that God has decided to create some to ultimately become His enemies. In other words, God creates some people He does not love or plans to stop loving. So, by calling humans to love their enemies as themselves, God has asked us to do something noble and good that He neither is willing to do nor desiring to do, which you should admit is kind of strange. Again, choosing not to embrace one sentient being You have created must be just as volitional as choosing to embrace another sentient being You have created. Oddly enough, two verses later, Jesus asks, “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?” So maybe by asking us to love our enemies, God is asking us to follow His characteristics or part of His nature.

The question seeks a coherent explanation of both the command to love our enemies and the interpretative and systematic traditions which affirm non-universalist positions on predestination and election in which some individuals are intentionally created by God for the purposes of committing sins and thereafter being held accountable for the sins without being given grace and therefore damned. Is there some achievable coherence between God’s decision to create some people to experience His wrath and God’s command to love our enemies?

Leave the PCA, take a beating from oh-so-loving brothers

When Jason Stellman wrote a sincere and respectful letter to the Presbyterian Church in America about his decision to leave that denomination, the arrogant and hateful blowback from some members was so severe that he decided to stop blogging for a while just to keep his Christian composure.

I guess being Truly Reformed means never having to demonstrate the Fruits of the Spirit.

Your election to salvation is irrevocable, so you can act like a total shit.

And everyone else already has been damned or saved, so you don’t have to worry about your Christian witness. Just hold the occasional lecture on sovereignty and anticipate your great reward.

‘Studying less while the economy burns’?

Even if both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney can tap dance on water and heal the stupid with spit and dirt, nothing can stop the bad economic news to come….

Just in time, college students across America have launched a strategy to deal with this crisis: Study less.

Less studying, as you might recall, is a time-honored approach to getting a good job and staying ahead in a global economy that’s competitive and tanking.

Read the full column HERE.

Libertarian politics and Christians

It seems odd that Christians would be divided between two U.S. presidential candidates who (regardless of the winner) will continue the Washington-as-usual method of implementing coercive measures to move the failed machinery of government.

John McCain and Barak Obama, reformers that they are, claim special possession of fancy new flash drives — which they’ll try to insert into an ancient, house-sized computer that still runs on punch cards. (That would be a metaphor for the federal government.)

Here are the key questions of the hour:

Is statecraft really, truly, soul-craft?

Do you become a different person because of what programs you are forced to fund?

Will your enemies really become different people because of what your candidate, if elected, will force them to fund?

Is Obama’s appeal to envy any better than McCain’s appeal to greed?

Envy means you desperately want something you don’t have — spread the wealth, share the wealth.

Greed means you want more and more and more — incentives for the wealthy, federal help for corporations.

Those motivations of our hearts — envy and greed — are silent killers.

More obvious to you and me should be the nature of our current government.

During the past several decades, the Democrats and Republicans have worked together to create a government in which coercion is inevitable — whether you’re thinking about President Clinton’s manic issuance of executive orders and his administration’s disastrous handling of Waco and Ruby Ridge, or President G.W. Bush’s unconstitutional detentions and The Patriot Act (supported by members of both major coercive political parties).

U.S. Christians, especially evangelicals, are split ever so preciously and self-consciously in their support for either John McCain or Barak Obama, and they can only imagine victory in terms of the hard-won ability to stick it to the other side.

The basic mentality among evangelical political progressives seems to be this: “To counter the loony excesses of the religious right, let’s make an idol of government programs by dressing up mandates to look like Christian charity.”

Speaking of government programs (and looking rightward), no one with any sense will look at John McCain as a candidate representing less coercive government. A reformer of government and political machinery, perhaps; a reducer of government and political machinery, not a chance.

(Self-consciously choosing between Obama and McCain, politically minded evangelicals especially seem to have all the drama and substance of “Project Runway.”)

The libertarian principle of “first do no harm” has been replaced with “push forward my agenda — never mind who gets hurt.”

Win and force change — that’s what this election is all about.

Win and get your hands on the levers of coercion.

Never consider a libertarian approach in which the system of coercion might be systematically undone.

But like the ancient Israelites in I Samuel 8, we don’t want freedom; instead, we want an earthly monarch.

-Colin Foote Burch

How a politician can defend Mormon beliefs

This is an admittedly silly parody of Mitt Romney’s recent speech defending his Mormon faith, and probably not for anyone who demands his humor to be sophisticated. Read “What Mitt Romney Should have said.”