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"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)

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  • « Crowning Grace with More Grace | Main | The Reformed Man Says.. The Arminian Man Says »

    God, the Gospel and Glenn Beck

    Russell D. Moore wrote an excellent article concering the Glenn Beck rally and the reaction of American Christians. He writes:

    A Mormon television star stands in front of the Lincoln Memorial and calls American Christians to revival. He assembles some evangelical celebrities to give testimonies, and then preaches a God and country revivalism that leaves the evangelicals cheering that they’ve heard the gospel, right there in the nation’s capital.

    The news media pronounces him the new leader of America’s Christian conservative movement, and a flock of America’s Christian conservatives have no problem with that.

    If you’d told me that ten years ago, I would have assumed it was from the pages of an evangelical apocalyptic novel about the end-times. But it’s not. It’s from this week’s headlines. And it is a scandal.

    Fox News commentator Glenn Beck, of course, is that Mormon at the center of all this. Beck isn’t the problem. He’s an entrepreneur, he’s brilliant, and, hats off to him, he knows his market. Latter-day Saints have every right to speak, with full religious liberty, in the public square. I’m quite willing to work with Mormons on various issues, as citizens working for the common good. What concerns me here is not what this says about Beck or the “Tea Party” or any other entertainment or political figure. What concerns me is about what this says about the Christian churches in the United States.

    Continued here.

    Posted by John Samson on September 2, 2010 12:42 PM

    Comments

    I have been a Reformed Christian for twenty years, and I was dismayed by this commentary by Mr. Moore, who did not sway me by logic or the ability to use scripture to prove his point.

    But what concerned me most of all was that Mr. Moore arrogantly assumes He knows how God works.

    I quote: "Jesus will build his church, and he will build it on the gospel. He doesn’t need American Christianity to do it. Vibrant, loving, orthodox Christianity will flourish, perhaps among the poor of Haiti or the persecuted of Sudan or the outlawed of China, but it will flourish".

    Mr. Moore, are you certain that you know the mind of the Lord? Are you so certain that God cannot use Americans, because America is too materialistic, or too powerful? Why do you surmise that the gospel will more likely flourish in Haiti or in the Sudan or in China? "Who can know the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?"

    Jesus came to the most powerful empire on earth -- the Roman Empire. Paving the way was the Greek Empire, which gave a common language so that people could understand the gospel. Jesus did not come to some obscure, out-of-the-way area, although (and I hope you blush at this, Mr. Moore) the Mormons teach that.

    God will use whom he will use, at the time of His choosing, and it will be all for his glory. It's totally up to God. Even if American Christians are too arrogant, or too rich, or too right-wing, He can choose to use them, too. Don’t assume that he can’t.

    And this statement makes little sense: "Rather than cultivating a Christian vision of justice and the common good" . .. . what on earth is that? Every person is justly condemned to eternal death. God's mercy grants us eternal life through Jesus. But as far as earthly justice goes, there is nothing in Christianity about the virtue of forced redistribution of wealth through excessive taxation and the malice of greedy politicians. Paul said every one in his group would work, or they would not eat.

    Mr. Beck's rally raised $5 million for orphans of brave soldiers killed in action. Mr. Moore, can you name me one evangelical leader who, in recent times, has done so much for orphans? Can you at least give him credit for that?

    Additionally, there is such a thing as common grace, Mr. Moore. God provides common grace that even unbelievers can receive benefits from and acknowledge exists.

    Finally, Mr. Moore quoted: "It’s sad to see so many Christians confusing Mormon politics or American nationalism with the gospel of Jesus Christ" . . Did you personally ask them if they were confused, or are you assuming that simply by showing up there they were confused? I had many Christian friends who attended who were in no way confused about their personal salvation vs. the need to render honor where it's due (Romans 13). Perhaps you should be careful not to pre-judge your fellow Christians about their muddled heads. Also, I do encourage everyone to watch Mr. Beck's presentation on liberation theology in July 13th. Google it - I think you will be surprised. Mr. Beck argues that Christians believe in individual salvation, based on grace, and not in collective salvation or salvation based in politics or any form of nationalism whatsoever.

    Mr. Moore accused his fellow Christians who attended the event of worshiping mammon. Nothing could be further from the truth. The liberation theology of left worships mammon - there is greed in every human and especially in the "let them eat cake" crowd among our leftists in America. And fighting off Rome? The liberation theology of the left fights off Rome? The liberation theology of the left *is* Rome. Beck is mostly about simple liberty.

    Mr. Beck’s philosophy reminds me more of John Locke or Alexis de Tocqueville’s, and less of Joseph Smith’s. I don’t think “so many Christians” are confused about apples and oranges, but I think Mr. Moore might be.

    Finally, please let me share with you an anecdote.

    I was in a local paint shop last year admiring a copy of a Chinese Warrior statue. The shop's owner, for some reason, was chatty about the issue of Chinese culture. He said to me, "we can't judge their population control methods based on our own cultural standards." I thought back to 11th-grade social studies, when our teacher showed us a video of a woman in tears, who was 6-months pregnant with a large baby bump showing. The authorities had finally managed to capture her, and the video was of her going through the forced abortion. Now, I'm not supposed to judge that because my cultural values skew my judgment. Right? Well, where do those cultural values come from? They come from the Bible. They come from Jesus, who says "do unto others" and they come from the 10 Commandments, which say "thou shalt not kill."

    Can we merry band of remnant Christians, in a secular culture, stay quietly in our churches and be pleased with ourselves because we have the correct doctrine and we're going to heaven, or can we join together and take part in standing up for a basic Judeo-Christian culture, because we believe that it will be good for humans although it may not ultimately save their souls?

    I totally agree. A revival without our Lord Jesus Christ is no revival.

    I was unaware of this incident until now. However, I will keep an eye on Beck in the future.

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