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Commentary


The Real Battle

by John Thomson


If we, as evangelicals continue to use the Bible and its absolutes as the hammer to fight the good fight for truth, then we are falling into a trap. The issue to those advocating homosexuality is philosophical. It is about empowerment as the so-called downtrodden, and as such is seen as an extension of the civil rights movement.

I believe that the real issue is the battle between rationality and irrationality; between modern thought and postmodern thought. Modern thought believes in immutable absolute values (for us, Scriptures) while postmodern thought believes in relativism (all religions have some truth), and that for one to insist on the contrary, then that person is being intolerant. That this is an inherently contradictory position is irrelevant to the postmodernist. Just as Christians hold the conundrum of election and human responsibility as a part of God's inscrutable wisdom and plan from eternity, so also the postmodernist sees nothing inherently wrong by holding onto irrationality as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else. Thus the Discipline as well as the Bible are seen equally as tools of oppression.

Here is a clip from World Magazine, December 2, 2000 issue. The context is the election, and in particular the Gore team, but it is on target for this piece, also:

These postmodernists maintain that truth-claims and moral absolutes are nothing more than a personal or social construction. Politically, this means the politics of spin-doctoring (professional construction of plausibility paradigms), image manipulation (since style, not substance, is what persuades in an era without truth), judicial activism (since law is just a matter of interpretation), and ruthless power politics (since truth is nothing more than the imposition of power). For those unbounded by the limits of truth or morality who see everything from cultural institutions to human nature as a social construction, the state has, theoretically, infinite power.

Al Gore has inherited this mantle. Despite his apparent retro-liberalism, Mr. Gore is actually taking postmodernism further than his mentor. Mr. Clinton re-invented himself when he needed to, in a manifestation of what postmodernist psychologist Robert Jay Lifton approvingly calls the "Protean Self." But Mr. Gore is even more Protean, changing his persona from week to week, audience to audience. More seriously, postmodernism teaches that ideological and cultural disagreements are not just differences of opinion, but rather issues of power, that culture is a thinly disguised mask for groups in power oppressing those who are not, who, in turn, must be "empowered" to turn the tables. Thus, Mr. Gore scored votes by setting groups against each other and promising, "I will fight for you!" [demagoguery!]

Methodists, the battle is not focused only on our denomination; the things that are happening among our ranks are symptoms of the larger cancer. We are good, we have a form of godliness, but we deny the power of God working among us. We all are in a spiritual battle, and the prize is the hearts of the American people.

John Anderson, in his November 15, 2000 article in Pastor's Alert writes the following:

Across our nation, the votes for George Bush and Al Gore are razor close. The Senate and the House are split down the middle. Men have voted one way; women another. Married women have voted differently than single women. Minorities have voted differently than whites. The rural vote is unlike the urban vote. Suburbia has split. Christians have gone one way (with some sad exceptions); secularists another. Pro-life has had one candidate; pro-death the other. Pro-traditional values have stood with one candidate; pro-immoral values have stood with the other. Those who believed the scandals of President Clinton were important voted for Mr. Bush; those who exonerated the president voted for Mr. Gore. On one side have been those who believe we are a nation "under God"; on the other side those who would completely secularize our culture. And on and on.

It is chilling to realize that on one side are those who vigorously contend to allow the shedding of the innocent blood of our unborn, taking us even more speedily toward our certain judgment; on one side are those who would lead to sin worse than Sodom by allowing men to marry men and women to marry women.

... We appear split. Deeply.

One place where both sides seem to agree is that we are at

a wrenching, soul-revealing moment. It is Baal or God.

Are we at a time when as one observer has said is a time when we "could rip the crust off our culture, and we could quickly slip into a dark age"?

Dr. Bill Bright told national leaders in Washington that the present electoral crisis is the greatest crisis in the history of our nation, greater than the "revolutionary" and "civil wars." He said godless men are tearing America from God and that "our nation's soul is at stake."

The pivotal question is: What is going on?

Answers include the following. Select one:

A) What is going on is this is the latest spiritual battle over the soul of our country;

B) It is the most recent clash in the destruction of our country as a Christian country, and over whether we will continue to exist as a republic;

C) It is further evidence of God's judgment on our country in which He is judicially "giving us up" to our sin and its consequences (see Romans 1:24, 26, 28);

D) It is part of God's discipline on the distracted, worldly American Church, calling them to repentance, to humility, and to seek His face above all else (one thing God is saying to us in the pulpit: "Clean up your message");

E) All of the above.

My selection is "E": all of the above. In various ways, each is true. However we'll not take the time to discuss them in detail here.

But what we want to do is call fellow ministers to lead their churches in urgent, special prayer.

This is a spiritual battle of major importance! More than you and I know."

We are facing a crisis, and it is not only in Methodism. I believe that the wrath of God is being withheld from our nation in mercy, but only for a while. If He disciplined his chosen people Israel for 400 years, we are arrogant fools if we think we will escape because we are rich and militarily mighty.

Look at the warning and promise in Scripture: 

If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place.(2 Chronicles 7:13-15 KJV)

-- Shalom,

John

From: Rev. John Thomson jthomson@sosbbs.com
Sent: Saturday, December 02, 2000 2:08 PM 
To: ucmpage@ucmpage.org 
Subject: Accountability Coalition Files Complaint Against UM Church and Society Mag For Promoting Homosexuality

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