Tom Usher wrote or added | Well, I just posted this as a comment on a friend's Facebook thread. It's important for me to share it here on my Facebook Wall and then on the RLCC blog. There's a great deal of confusion between the "right" and "left" in Christianity, and I want to help clear the air.
This thread is an opportunity to make a number of things very clear that have been occulted for some time.
I agree with much of what Chris Hedges says. He is, however, flat out wrong on very significant theological points.
For instance, Chris calls the megachurches the great destroyers of families, but consider what Jesus Christ said:
Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. (Luke 12:51-53)
I'm not by any means defending the people Chris is speaking against. What I am saying is that Chris's alternative to them is also not an entirely correct view of Christianity. This is not simply Chris failing to qualify his positions enough with correct alternative views with which he holds. He holds incorrect positions.
Chris says "magic and miracles and angels" clearly in repudiation of the same. He should know (as a theologian?) that magic and miracles should not be used as such in the same breath. Magic is something Christianity teaches against. Magic is not credited to God.
Again, consider Jesus's words:
"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." (Mark 16:15-18)
"And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue" ... "And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief." (Mat 13:54;13:58)
Chris should know these verses. I'm sure that he does. In Chris's zeal to talk down the Christian-Zionists, Chris too distorts the religion.
As for 144,000 [someone mentioned this on another thread concerning this same video]:
"And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel." (Revelation 7:4)
One could argue as to the meaning of "of all the tribes of the children of Israel" as to whether or not Chris spoke incorrectly when Chris said "Jews," but there is certainly a semantical theology (I coined it, but I've seen the term used otherwise elsewhere) where "the tribes of the children of Israel" and the "Jews" are synonymous spiritually at least, which is crucial to the Christianity of Jesus.
As for Creationism, there is Creationism and then there is Creationism. I hold with what is called Old-Earth Creationism where the Earth is billions of years old. I also hold with evolutionary Creationism where genetic mutations are real and do eventually lead to speciation. However, neither of those positions, unlike in Chris's theology, discounts the Holy Spirit of the God and Father of Jesus Christ as being over the planet and over genetics and over the whole of matter, energy, and forces (transcending) able to do the things Jesus showed and more.
Chris holds with scientism. Scientism is a decidedly anti-Christ position. It is truly a secular-humanist position that in the eyes of Christ can be none other than Satanic by definition. It's a wrong use of the term "science," but I am speaking here against the current usage, just as I speak against the misnomered "Zionism." When I speak against Zionism, I am speaking against what the current usage represents in the minds of billions.
Now, one can disagree with Jesus, but one cannot rightly claim Christianity while also holding Chris's positions, even though Chris is correct that many of the mega-church leaders are far, far from Christian.
Scientism is not incapable of being every bit as totalitarian as the leaders Chris is speaking out against. The Soviet Union was largely "scientific" (anti-spirit).
Remember, that in Christianity, unbelief precludes the very proof that scientism requires. There is an excellent reason for it.
"An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:" (Matthew 12:39)
This life is a filter.
"And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation." (Mark 8:12)
"Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe." (John 4:48)
That was then. Now there are other signs.
Chris is bright in many respects, but he's in the dark. He is no theologian and Christian in name only.
I hope he comes to see the light.
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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)