RICHARD CIZIK AND THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF EVANGELICALS: BOTH NOT RIGHT ENOUGH

Richard Cizik, probably the most famous Creation Care, so-called conservative-Christian evangelical to date, resigned December 10, 2008 from the National Association of Evangelicals because of the furor raised when he said on the radio that his views concerning civil unions for homosexuals was changing from opposition to acceptance (an approximation of what he intended to impart).

The National Association of Evangelicals (centered in the Southern United States Bible Belt where "legal" slavery reigned the most and the longest in the U.S., which tells you about hearts and lack of understanding) has been known for it two-issue agenda: Anti-abortion (aka pro-life) and anti-homosexuality (aka for preserving the legal sanctity of heterosexual-only marriage).

Richard Cizik has been correct in his position that it is a Christians duty to care for the gift that is the planet. The Real Liberal Christian Church (RLCC) position is that one can not be practicing Jesus's version of the Golden Rule or following the New Commandment while knowingly despoiling the Earth. This is why Revelation calls for the destruction of those who are destroying the Earth.

And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.  (Revelation 11:18 KJVR)

Let me clarify here that the RLCC holds that the above verse is only partially correct. The spirit of which Jesus is, is not the spirit of wrath.

And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.  (Luke 9:54-55 KJVR)

Does this throw you? Many hold that The Book of Revelation was authored by or dictated by Jesus (revealed to John by the spirit of Jesus). It was what John was given, but even the best of the disciples fell short. We love John. Jesus loves John even though John didn't grasp all that Jesus was about. He grasped a great deal though. Anyone who can't see that is shallow.

Therefore, we do not pray that God will punish the wicked but rather turn them. If they refuse to turn, then Satan gets them. It is why we warn, as Jesus does.

Satan is not God.

As for homosexuals, the RLCC holds also that one cannot be a Christian and be coercive concerning those outside the Church. Even concerning things internal to the accepted Church, the membership is limited by the dictates of the Gospel concerning coercion.

The secular, per se, is not within the Church. The American government is not Christian. It is not a voluntary association of only those who profess Christianity and agree to live by its tenets as stated by Jesus Christ in the Gospels.

The thing about the National Association of Evangelicals is that they use the secular to coercively enforce the secular law that they, the Evangelicals, seek to conform to their own views. That is not Christian.

The Christian has no part in the secular law concerning what is termed "civil union" between and among homosexuals.

The Moral Majority and other follow-on groups have done a huge disservice to all those who want to think of themselves as following the teachings of Christ but are not even close. Christians do not take part in secular government. They work solely via non-coercive means concerning all those outside the Church. Within the Church, they continue practicing the admonition to turn the other cheek and to do all the other things commanded. They do practice progressive discipline (Matthew 18:16-18) leading to designating individuals and groups as heathens not part of the whole body. This is consistent with Jesus cleaning the temple.

Therefore, Richard Cizik is only partially right but so is the National Association of Evangelicals. However, half-truths just aren't good enough.

UPDATE

It occurs to me that I should add that there are many who believe that the John of the Gospel and the John of Revelation are not the same person. People may speculate but won't know for sure until more is revealed. If they are one and same, then the Gospel and the other writings in the New Testament (other than Revelation) attributed to John (who lived with Jesus) were written from a different perspective from Revelation. The Gospel John clearly appears to grasp that Jesus was not the wrath.

And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. (John 12:47 KJVR)

Either John had a change of heart in Revelation or John is speaking in a different context in Revelation where he is still being consistent with (able to be reconciled with) the Gospel or the John of Revelation is a different John entirely.

There is a place for wrath. Jesus prophesied about it. Who brings it though? Is it God or Satan? If it is Satan, doesn't Satan destroy his own house? Sure he does.

If it is Satan who is the destroyer of worlds and God allows Satan, so what?

Did God stop George W. Bush from invading Iraq based upon lies?

God is not the destroyer. Willfulness looses evil to destroy the house. It isn't God's fault. It's human kind's fault.

I have no problem thinking of the John of the Gospel and the John of Revelation as being the same. It wouldn't shock me that they are not though. Christian minds think alike even separated by millennia.

I'm not trying to rewrite what is written in Revelation. I'm really pointing out the difficulty with semantics. I'm pointing out the difficulty in trying to anticipate how things can be misconstrued if sufficient qualification of the language is left out. Of course, humans aren't supposed to read in what isn't there. It's our challenge.

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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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