Friday, December 01, 2006
We have seen recently that some people want to prevent a couple from displaying a Christmas wreath in the shape of a peace sign. The opponents say the peace sign is pagan. Well, Christmas is pagan. The peace sign means what is says: Peace. That's what offends the opponents. They are pro-war. Pro-war is anti-Christ.
We also hear people complaining that Keith Ellison, who is the first Muslim elected to the US Congress, wants to take his oath on the Qur'an. Well, the so-called Christian right is up in arms about it. However, Christians aren't supposed to take any such oaths period, whether on The Bible or the US Constitution. One cannot uphold the message of Jesus Christ, the Gospel message, and also swear to "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States." It isn't possible.
Real Christianity has no part in all the side-tracking issues.
Real Christianity has no part in the side-tracking issues of the tepid. For instance, Joel Hunter of the Northland Church near Orlando, Florida, had been the president-elect of the Christian Coalition of America. However, the Coalition didn't want to head in the direction Hunter suggested that was campaigning for the poor and for good stewardship of the environment. The Coalition wants to stay focused on the coercive force of the mundane law concerning 1) the sanctity of heterosexual marriage and 2) fully protected life at the moment of conception. Hunter said, "...Christ was not just about morality, Christ was about compassion." He further said the following:
The compassion of Christ has somehow been tagged as liberal. It's not about being liberal or conservative. It's about following Christ and trying to live the kind of life that he lived.
This could not better describe where real Christianity begins where those who don't understand what being an Isaiah liberal is all about. Jesus was a liberal in the Isaiah sense. There is no doubt about it. Also, the term "liberal" as used and meant by Isaiah will always be the true meaning of the term.
Real Christians know better. They know that compassion and morality are one-and-the-same. It is immoral to lack compassion. Nevertheless, Jesus shook the dust from his feet wherever his message of plain and clear truth was rejected. So be it.
That said, we want to say that Hunter is headed to turning in the right direction if he will simply continue and not turn too far into villainy (false-liberalism). He is right to stand opposed to homosexuality. He is right to stand opposed to indiscriminate abortion. He is also right to stand for feeding the pure and for good stewardship of the environment. Now let him call this combination what it is: Liberal, real-liberal, not churlish and not villainous but rather unselfish, the new commandment, bringing forth the fruits worthy of repentance, bringing forth the real abundance, not capitalism.
Also, Rick Warren of Saddleback Community Church, Lake Forest, California, hosted Democrat US Senator Barack Obama for Warren's "Global Summit on AIDS." Obama calls for condom distribution to unmarried teens and others for the sake of preventing the spread of AIDS. Warren also hosted Republican US Senator Sam Brownback, a so-called conservative. Warren said, "...you have to have two wings to fly...." Of course, real Christians know that you don't "have to have two wings to fly." The mundane ideological left and right are wholly incompatible with each other and with Christianity.
The following should appear at the end of every post:
According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":
Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state and local level.
Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Section 501(c)(3) private foundations are subject to additional restrictions.
Political Campaign Intervention
Political campaign intervention includes any activities that favor or oppose one or more candidates for public office. The prohibition extends beyond candidate endorsements.
Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.
Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:
- Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office
- Whether the statement expresses approval or disapproval of one or more candidates' positions and/or actions
- Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election
- Whether the statement makes reference to voting or an election
- Whether the issue addressed distinguishes candidates for a given office
Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:
- The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
- Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
- We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
- When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
- It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
- We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
- We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
- When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
- We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
- It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)