Of great concern to Christians are those that pretend to be Christians but use this pretense for their own personal or political gain.
As Christians in the South most of us have some association with atheists and Gnostics. Most of the time they do not affect us directly, but we should attempt to communicate with them as to the benefits that being a believer can bring.
Of greater concern than these non-believers are those that pretend to be Christians but use this pretense for their own personal or political gain. These people make a mockery of Christianity.
Such examples are with us every day. Recently the radio airways have been filled advertising a special financial consultant who has gone from rages to riches. Describing himself as a minister he tells us he has discovered a secret method he calls,
“THE BIBILICAL MONEY CODE.” Accordingly, he tells us that woven in the scriptures are special messages he has discovered that can make us rich. This abuse of the Bible and Christian doctrine is certainly disgusting to most of us. Yet there must be those that follow this lunacy as the ads continue. Eliminating the sacra-religious element if he has such a magic code, why wouldn’t he just use it to make him and his friends filthy rich?
Our country’s history is awash with people like Elmer Gantry who use their dramatic talent to milk people of their money. He and others convince you if you want to be saved and have a perfect life just give money (lots of money if you can) to his special program. The majority of those giving funds to these TV hucksters are people with only modest incomes.
Closely allied to this cagey group are the politicians who try to convince you they are much closer to God than their unworthy opponents. This seems to be more prevalent in Arkansas and the rest of the Bible Belt.
Recently the torch carrier for this type of showmanship is our own senior Senator, Mark Pryor. You have probably seen his TV political ads showing him waving the Bible and declaring – this is my moral compass and this is what I live by. For those that are influenced by the Elmer Gantry types this ad might be effective. For the rest of us we are flabbergasted that in today’s world Pryor thinks it’s beneficial for him politically to flaunt his beliefs. It reminds us of the Pharisees that Jesus warned us about. A true Christian doesn’t spend his time in the public square bragging about his goodness and his own privileged position.
Some of our Protestant churches have spent decades proclaiming their own biased and political causes under the guise of Christianity. On Monday December 30th the Arkansas Dem-Gaz told us about a Methodist church in California that has its own nativity scene. In it they replaced the baby Jesus with a bloodied Travon Martin. The Methodist minister explained it was an important message to proclaim the importance of gun control.
The Episcopal Church and its endorsement of non-biblical beliefs have brought about a landslide of congregations that have left the mother church. As reported in World magazine the original Episcopal Church led by super-liberal Katharine Jefferts Schori have become radical proponents of such issues as gay marriage and abortion rights. They have driven congregations by the dozens to leave.
In their never-ending attempt to promote “social justice” presiding Bishop Schori and her administration are attempting to punish those leaving by denying them the building and grounds these people have worshiped in – sometimes as long as a hundred years. Legal battles have cost millions as to who has ownership and in many cases judges have allowed the mother church to prevail. In one instance consistent with the “Inflicting Pain M.O.” Schori and her followers refused to sell the church structure to the traditionalists for $150,000 and instead sold it to the Muslims for $50,000.
But the news is not all bad. The Methodists are gradually winning the war on evangelical issues. At each General Conference the radical gay-rights movement has threatened to make a mockery of church business and basic Methodist’s beliefs. They do this by “Rainbow Like” protests and motions to defeat any proposal they label as capitalistic. They are losing.
Nancy Pelosi recently thanked the Methodist Church for supporting Obamacare. She was referring to a tiny entity within the Methodist Church called the Commission on Church and Society that always promotes leftist causes. This fringe element continues to receive funding from the hierarchy of the Methodist Church.
The fight goes on but those who use religion as a cover for their own personal and political goals will get their proper reward. You can see part of the result today in the decrease in membership and influence of many of the mainline Protestant churches and the dramatic growth and excitement of the evangelical movement.