By Don Koenig - 2006
I consider myself a Christian conservative but I cannot ignore the selfishness and hatred that is too often displayed by conservative Christians in America. While it is true that Christian conservatives claim the Bible is the word of God, many are not living according to its New Testament teachings. Some dwell more on the Old Testament laws and expect non-believers to live by them even though it is obvious that they themselves do not live by the commandments.
For example, the Deep South is the conservative Christian Bible belt of America but it also had so much racism and hatred towards blacks that the federal government had to intervene and force desegregation about forty years ago. The Ku Klux Klan in the early 20th century controlled many white Bible believing churches and most civil government in the South. Masonic groups controlled much of the rest of the South. Forty years after the enforcement of desegregation in the South there still are still many rural areas that are controlled by those who claim that they are Bible believing Christians but they display unbiblical views and even hatred toward others.
Christians should be able to see that there is a difference between those who call themselves Bible believing Christians and those who understand and try to practice the teachings of the Bible. Today, most who claim to be Bible believing conservative “Christians” have never read through the Bible in their entire lives. It should then be no mystery to anyone why they do not live by New Testament teachings. They tend to just repeat what they hear their peers and church leaders say, but what they hear is too often strict conformity to the letter of the law rather than its spirit (legalism).
Cultural conservative pseudo Christianity uses the words of Christianity but often they display they have no root in Christ. The fruit displayed by some shows selfish cold-hearted agendas justified by using legalistic or fabricated interpretations of Old Testament Bible passages. They just use the Bible to verify their own prejudices.
Jesus taught his followers to love even our enemies. If anyone is teaching hatred toward any group, or any people that they have identified as sinners, it is not of Christ. In fact, Jesus loved us sinners so much that He took our sins upon Himself and He died in our place.
Christians should have and do have political and social views, but real Christians know the only real answer for the world's sin problem is for the sinners on earth to repent of their own sinful ways and let Christ transform them. It all starts with a spiritual rebirth. This is the good news that true Christians preach.
When we try to reform unregenerate man to conform to God's ways without telling them how they can be reborn of His Spirit we will fail. Trying to reform a sinful society without changing the nature of man is futile. It really just brings more hatred toward those that are trying to put the unlawful under law. For this reason, Jesus never gave us some social agenda to change the world. Jesus gave us the mission to preach the good news of sinful man's redemption through His own sacrifice on the cross to everyone who will accept this message of God's righteousness and grace.
Any religious group that tries to enforce moral agendas in the world without salvation of sinners leads to a downward spiral of hatred. For example, we see that Islam has an agenda to convert the world to the moral code of Islam but we also see that their methods to establish that moral code in the world only brings hatred and violence to the world. Forcing Christianity on the world through Christian Dominionism will likewise bring hatred, violence and injustice.
Many social philosophies that Christian Conservatives support began with very good motives that line up with the scriptures but all too often the program or social movement is hijacked by sinful people for their own selfish purposes. For example, capitalism appears to be biblical in principal. However, in practice, without the love of Christ, greedy selfish people gain control of powerful corporations and then rob and oppress people for their own selfish gain. When one percent owns half of the wealth of the world and do little to help the poor, things are out of balance and a revolution is sure to follow.
On the other hand, socialism is not biblical because it forcefully gives wealth from those financially blessed by God to others. Socialist programs are only biblical when people voluntarily share their wealth out of Christian love and not out of compulsion. Government enforced socialism in practice in the world today is government sanctioned robbery, it also reduces the common man to become slaves of the ruling elite. When government controls most wealth, government control freaks and rule by tyranny becomes inevitable.
Capitalism or socialism is not evil in itself but they become evil because the heart of man is wicked. Man will always corrupt any world system without Christ. Therefore, when a Christian conservative supports predatory capitalism because he equates it with Christian culture he has departed from Christian teaching and is really supporting selfishness and corporate tyranny. Many conservative Christians are now preying on others through the means of predatory capitalism.
Examples of predatory capitalism can be found in every avenue of American society and even in our churches. A few examples in the real world are the oil companies, drug companies, cigarette companies, payday/title loan companies and the corporations that sell low quality imported merchandise at highly inflated prices. Examples in the church are lavish building programs, Madison Avenue fund raising techniques, and the prosperity gospel that promises what it cannot deliver for selfish monetary gain.
When selfish worldly techniques are used to take advantage of others for the benefit of the corporations, organizations, stores, or even churches they are practicing predatory capitalism. The way to differentiate between predatory capitalism and Christian capitalism is that Christian capitalism treats others honestly, as they themselves would wish to be treated by others. Predatory capitalism is selfish and does whatever is necessary to increase the bottom line.
Some conservative Christians hate our government and teach others hateful lying conspiracy theories in order to convince the simple and the gullible to support their agenda of rebellion and hate. All this is contrary to the teachings in the Bible that tells us to obey and submit to government authorities that God places over us.
Some Christian conservatives want to do away with most government social programs that aid the poor. They believe that if government would get out of the picture people would be better off. Some fail to understand that most of the nation is not truly Christian and most in this nation will not take care of the less fortunate and downtrodden. In fact, I doubt if most conservative "Christians" would do very much to even help other Christians in their church that are less fortunate than themselves.
Example 1 - Should we really now invest what we are putting into social security retirement trust funds into the trusts of predatory capitalists? These predators cannot even be trusted to pay the pensions that they promised to their employees decades ago. Many predator corporations raided or did not fund the pension trust funds and left their workers with little or nothing, yet most of their CEO’s still take home millions in pay. The government, had to become the insurer of last resort for pension funds that were mismanaged and robbed by predatory capitalists. Many corporate and union vultures now provide pensioners only a small portion of what they were promised. Some give them nothing. What would these pensioners do without the government? Work for McDonald’s out of their care homes?
Example 2 - Does anyone really want to trust medical insurance corporations to pay your medical costs during a future national health crisis like widespread avian flu? Does anyone really want to trust homeowner insurance corporations to help people to rebuild if there is a massive national disaster? One should hope there would be a government in place to intervene in these events.
Sure, there is too much government involved in our lives and we should address these excesses, but what is the alternative to government? The idea in some ultra conservative Christian camps is that everyone can move back to the woods and do what is right in their own eyes. This simply is not credible in a nation of over 300 million people. It is a recipe for total anarchy and living under rules of the survival of the fittest. This is not Christian teaching.
Some Christian conservatives are willfully ignorant of the fact that if anyone rapidly did away with most government and social programs in the United States there would be anarchy and civil war. If the programs were replaced over time by the good works of the Church we certainly would need less government, but I guarantee you most conservative churches will not have the heart to even attempt to do the good works required to address even the minimum social needs in this nation.
Conservative Christians in general are a little too eager to get the United States involved in foreign wars without counting the long-term costs. After all, the mess we are in Iraq is the result of decisions made by two Presidents put in power by Christian Conservatives. I am not saying we should not have gone into Iraq. I also am not saying that we should now pull out of Iraq. I believe that action would bring worse problems for the United States in the future. I am saying, when we do support war, we should insist on clear victory and that includes changing the conditions that brought us to war in the first place. We should not have to repeat the war ten years later. We certainly should get it right the second time we go in – three strikes and we’re out.
Christian conservatives often put on airs of self-righteousness while committing the same sins as the rest of America. Some leaders have recently been found out, but they really just reflect many of us. Does anyone really think that the Christians conservatives who are so quick to point out the sins of others are themselves living a moral lifestyle in our decadent society? If we were, our society would not be nearly as decadent as it is. Many conservative Christians do not even want anyone that they believe is a sinner to attend their assemblies. How then do they expect them to find freedom from sin in Christ? They think they have all the answers claiming conservative values but their lifestyles do not bear it out. For example, their divorce rates are just as high as the rest of the country as is the drug use, pornography, and the debauchery of their youth.
Somewhere along their yellow brick road to success, Christian conservatives lost their heart. Many Christian conservatives need to take a lesson from the Tin Man in “The Wizard of Oz” and find their heart by taking a journey of faith in a new direction that puts others first.
I am still a Christian conservative in areas of theology but my social values are that of a Christian and not the views of some of the talking heads of the Christian right. The Christian liberals should not think they are any better than these heartless Christian conservatives. The Liberals have the best social programs that man can dream up but since they leave out God and distort Biblical truths their social programs never get to the root of man's problems. They never succeed in their humanistic goals but they certainly will succeed in bankrupting this nation.
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