Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Black Robed Lemmings

CT reports on the Washington, DC Beck-scapades and his evangelical courtesans. Beck says:
"We can disagree on politics," Beck said. "These men and women here don't agree on fundamentals. They don't agree on everything that every church teaches. What they do agree on is God is the answer."
Um, yeah, but what if false gods offer the wrong answers? It's just astonishingly ironic to me that people who claim to be horrified at our cultural moral relativism so naïvely embrace religious pluralism under the guise of changing culture.


Mike said...

I don't mean this in a mean way at all, but really, what is the difference between those who support those who signed the MD, or speak down to those who offer criticism of those who signed that "Christian" document--with those who supported Glen Beck's day and all his talk about G/god?
I'm not sure that I've really made the question clear Ben. But when we had the discussion the other day about the term "christian," and how it related to the signing of the MD. It appeared to me that you were tepidly supporting the ones who signed it based on the definition of "christian." But you come out here stronger against this Glen Beck thing--I believe that both really are the same thing--just a few of our closer friends supported the MD, but none that I know of supported the Glen Beck thing.
Would this be a similar case of the type of post on the Psychoanalyzing the Separation of Lloyd-Jones and Stott/Packer? (Where we are softer on those we know than those who are farther away?)

Ben said...

Mike, fair question. But at no time, and in no way, have I ever supported—tepidly or otherwise—signing the MD. I've even argued that there was naïvety by the participants in both circumstances. There are other similarities, and you're right to point out that they're lost on some who signed the MD but criticize Beck. But some of the accusations that were tossed around were indefensible on the grounds that I pointed out.

I do think there are a couple differences that make this more problematic: 1) The political schlock and opportunism ought to be a bit more obvious and reprehensible. 2) The Beck event is in large part about economics prosperity, not morality—as if God is a means to our ends. God isn't about making Americans rich. The MD avoided that quicksand. 3) The Beck language of revival is strikingly different from the MD language of appeal to historically shared principles, Scripture, and natural human reason. It never implied that the pathway to prosperity is a return to God. It more reservedly appealed to culture to consider our historically shared moral presuppositions without casting itself as a pathway to cultural salvation.

To sum it up, political and economic opportunism masquerading as Christian revival is more reprehensible to me than an unwisely articulated cooperative venture to defend life and marriage.

Shayne McAllister said...


It seems that Dr. Richard Land on the one hand seems to support Beck in general, but Russell Moore and Al Mohler have serious concerns along the lines of you (and me). Is there any history with these men that makes sense of that?


Ben said...

You mean personally between them? I know nothing of it. Land is consistent in that he'll do pretty much any political stuff with anybody. Mohler and Moore do some, not all (MD, Justice Sunday, Mohler's initial plans to do D. James Kennedy's "Reclaiming America for Christ" conference years back). I don't know what their grid for yes/no decisions is.

Mike said...

OK, Ben. Thanks for the clarification on never supporting the MD. I'm glad you were able to wade through my question and get your answer out of it. That was pretty much what I was asking. Appreciate your answer. If I could summarize your answer, or put it in my words, I would say, "So if you are going to be against the MD, make sure it's for right theological/Biblical reasons, not reasons that are non-sensical/non-biblical, etc?"

Anonymous said...

This will probably sound snippy, please believe me, it isn't meant to. Just trying to quickly get to the point . . .

Are we really wrestling with the question of whether the errors of Roman Catholicism put their Trinitarian understanding of God in the same category as the Mormon's "god"? I really think that it's apples and oranges.

Nevertheless, even though I've defended cultural and political involvement here and elsewhere in the past, if this whole Beck type stuff is what you all have been reacting to -- then I'll concede the point to ya.

How can the same type of people who freaked out about JFK's Catholicism now be rushing to embrace guys like Beck and Romney?

I'm not saying that it would always be wrong to vote for a Mormon. But the rock band groupie, fan-boy gushing about folks like Beck is incomprehensible.


Ben said...

Mike, I think that's a fair summary.

Keith, I think it's about more than your second paragraph. My concerns also expand beyond your third paragraph.