* Originally Published as EPOCH Commentary*
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Vol. 11, No. 7 August 13, 2008 © 2008
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THE INIMITABLE YOGI BERRA ONCE
SAID IT SO WELL: "THIS IS LIKE
DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN"
Where to start? There quite a few of Yogi's "deja
vus" to choose from. We are going to have to use
some of his "deja vuing" in order to comment on
some important issues which have resurfaced in the
past few days.
In our issue of Dec. 5, 2007, we commented on the
letter from "138 Islamic scholars" addressed to Pope
Benedict XVI, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and
a broad assortment of prominent American religious
leaders. The letter was titled "A Common Word
Between Us and You," and challenged Christians
to an extended discussion on some basic beliefs
claimed by the Muslims as common to both faiths.
As could well have been expected, the far-to-the-left
Liberals at Yale Divinity School prepared a response
and asked a very diffuse group of American
Christians ranging all the way from extreme Liberals
through a mixture of pseudo-Evangelicals, and right
up to and including a few true Evangelicals, to sign
the response, which they ran as a full page ad in the
New York Times in December.
The nominal "Evangelicals" who signed the response,
essentially capitulated to the Muslim view that we
all worship the same God, and that love of neighbor
is the most important feature of the two religions.
Ignored by those signers is the fact that Muslims deny
the Trinity, deny that Jesus was the Son of God, and
reject the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ
for the sins of the world. Beyond denying those basic
tenets of the Christian faith, Muslims also hold that
they and Christians share in the Abrahamic Covenant.
Yet with all those impossible-to-reconcile beliefs,
some more-or-less Evangelicals did sign the response.
There may be more who later came to their theological
senses, and insisted that their name be removed, but
the President and Provost of Wheaton College are the
only ones which have been publicly recognized as
having done so. They were right, of course.
Now for the deja vu. This was not a one-shot effort
by the Liberal Left -- in a meeting at Yale just a few
days ago, July 28-31, a recommendation was agreed
upon that called for Christian and Muslim clerics to
pledge to publicly speak in praise of the traditions of
each other's faith during a designated week each year.
It was even suggested that such a proposal be made
to the United Nations. We should not be surprised if
that happens -- what would surprise us would be to
hear any Muslim cleric speak in praise of the Christian
faith -- in their eyes a religion for infidels. We can, of
course, conceive of some of the "pseudo Evangelicals"
speaking favorably of Islam.
The Lambeth Conference has ended, some will
say with a dull thud, rather than a bang. Rowan
Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has been
given praise, although faint, for steering the conference
away from making any definite decisions, resorting
instead to a series of indaba discussions which were
essentially talking and listening, but not deciding. The
essential problems which the conference faced from
the start -- the ordination of a homosexual bishop
and the blessing of same-sex unions -- were still
unsolved at the close of the conference which was
notable by being boycotted by at least 250 Bishops
who cling in this Liberal age to the orthodox faith of
the Anglican Communion.
Now for the deja vu: The London news media has
disclosed letters written by the Archbishop of
Canterbury, in which he states very clearly: "I
concluded that an active sexual relationship
between two people of the same sex might
therefore reflect the love of God in a way
comparable to marriage." In support of his
views, he says that "the Bible does not address
the matter of appropriate behavior for those
who are for whatever reason homosexual, by
instinct or nature." He further writes, "The church
has shifted its stance on several matters... and I
am bound to ask if this is another such issue." It
could be suggested that if he read his Bible a bit more
carefully, the weakness of his position that there is
no condemnation of homosexuality, or that modern
times should dictate the message of the church, he
would understand the ridiculousness of his views.
Those are just two examples of the ongoing battle
between the "new Liberals," and the traditionalists
who hold to "the faith which was once delivered
unto the saints." These new Liberals even go so
far that God himself (or herself) must be redefined.
The theory of evolution has become an underlying
force to lead mankind onwards and upwards. Amid
all this "progress" is the continuing battle to honor
the freedom of choice of women to kill their unborn
children, and the ever-increasing movement to give
new "rights" to homosexuals at the price of rejecting
the traditional concept of marriage and family. And
while these moral values are under attack, on an
international front the new Liberals are attempting
to weaken the Christian position by opening doors
to increased cooperation with the Muslims. This
is a battle to be decided not by military might, but
by ideological convictions. Here we of the West
are at a disadvantage, because while the Muslims
may be weak militarily, they are strong on belief
and conviction. The West, while strong militarily
is weak on belief and conviction. The challenge
before the Christian church is to bring back to
America a firm conviction as to the principles
upon which this nation was founded.
A thought provoking editorial comment:
"Summer vacations, Olympic games, and even
election campaigns must not distract us from
the frightening reality that Iran is building a
nuclear bomb launch and that it may soon be
too late to do anything about it." (IBD//8/08)
And from a Founding Father: "We should never
despair, our situation before has been unpromising
and has changed for the better, so I trust it will
again. If new difficulties arise, we must only put
forth new exertions and proportion our efforts to
the exigency of the times." -- George Washington,
Some Random Afterthoughts . . .
The 2008 Olympic Games: more than just a few
athletic contests with medals made of metals of
varying degrees of value. This time, in an amazing
blend of sport and politics, TV viewers around the
world joined with 91,000 in the Olympic stadium
to watch a dramatic presentation of history set to
music and dance and electronic wizardry, reminding
world leaders -- Bush, Putin and Sarkozy, among
others -- that Beijing is the center of a universe called
China, which is absolutely as legitimate as those born
in Athens and Rome . . . London and Washington.
Although blurred by the dense haze of the world's
worst air polluters, the games are underway; the final
count of the "Golds" will soon be published.
That lawsuit against God: the Nebraska lawmaker
who made news recently by filing a lawsuit against
God for making terrorist threats against mankind in
the form of floods, earthquakes and other calamities,
and demanding that He cease and desist immediately,
says that his suit is valid, and he will continue to press
it until it is deemed unlawful by a judge. The State
Senator, Ernie Chambers, says "Anybody can file
a suit against anybody -- even God."
Another new holiday -- this time in California.
And by the way, that mess about the new Muslim
holiday which canceled Labor Day at the Tyson
plant in Shelbyville, TN (ANC, 08/06) has finally
been straightened out -- Labor Day will be observed,
and a new Muslim holiday will be added. However,
the Muslims are not to blame for the new holiday
proposed in California. The State Assembly passed
AB2567 which would make "Harvey Milk Day" an
official state holiday, observed by schools, etc. Harvey
Milk was a homosexual activist and member of the
San Francisco Board of Supervisors -- murdered by
a fellow county supervisor. Young people will thus be
forced to commemorate the life of a man whose claim
to fame was his sexual orientation.
Don't trust the media; but you already knew that.
The Baptist Press reported on a Pew Research
Center survey disclosing that just 6% of national
journalists consider themselves the be Conservatives --
as against 36% of the nation's population. And 32%
consider themselves to be Liberal or very Liberal,
and 2/3 admit their political leanings affect their
reporting of the news. We have long known that the
elite media observes the world scene through Liberal
biased lens. One more survey repeats the story from
previous surveys, that the media's Liberal bias isn't
news to us -- it's just reality. Keep that in mind as
we move through this election cycle.
From a former president: "Now more than ever
before, the people are responsible for the character
of their Congress. If that body be ignorant,
reckless and corrupt, it is because the people
tolerate ignorance, recklessness and corruption.
If it be intelligent, brave and pure, it is because
the people demand these high qualities to
represent them in the national legislature."
-- President James Garfield, 1877