As I had mentioned briefly in a previous post, how strange is it that the authors chose to only have part of the title of their book "Jesus for President" on the cover. They eliminated the "Politics for Ordinary Radicals" phrase! Hmmm......
Sorry fellas - but your book (with it's unfortunate use of Jesus' name in the title) is, for the most part, focused on getting their typical Bush-hating, anti-war, pro-Marxism screed out into the hands of other young evangelicals.
How sad it is that these men have chosen to use Jesus, and God's Word, the Bible in ways that distort the true message of the gospel. How unfortunate that their own minds have skewed hundreds of Bible verses in order to promote their own worldview. There are just too many errors in their writing to list them all here.
How terribly sad it is to read that they compare Harry Truman with Hitler! This, as well as the many examples of hate-mongering done towards traditional Bible-believing, Christ following, true gospel sharing, church fellowship and Bible studying evangelicals (which, of no surprise, includes the rejection of their own parents beliefs) are quite evident in their ranting contained within the pages of this book. It is the Bush-hating, far-left secular humanist's dream to have them on their side of the political spectrum!
Do these authors know that they are using God to promote their own, anti-American political agenda?
True Christians allow God to use THEM! And, not to use His Son to promote a Marxist political agenda!!
Everyone has a worldview. Some worldviews are better than others. The Biblical worldview is having "the mind of Christ" as Paul reiterates in his epistle.
How can I judge these young men so harshly - you may ask? Because they have been deceived, that's why.
For example. In the article link above we read:
But these voters say views on abortion and homosexuality won't define them in November. The environment and social justice are moving to the forefront of their discussions.
Now, in their book we read:
"We are dying and killing for abstract nouns like freedom and democracy...but this is not the gospel of Jesus Christ." - Letter from a U.S. soldier in Iraq
So...let's see now. One disgruntled soldier in Iraq skews their "Christian" worldview to agree with a statement like that? Nouns like freedom and democracy are abstract nouns?
These authors won't let "abortion nor homosexuality define them in November." Abortion has killed 52,275,770 BABIES since that horrible ruling in 1973. That amount of babies killed through abortion will have increased by the time you view the site. THAT is the evil of our time! If you listen to, and view, the brief video at that link, you will discover that abortion has killed ONE THIRD of Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw's (authors of "Jesus for President") generation! This is FAR MORE, MILLIONS MORE than the deaths of our brave military men and women fighting valiantly in the current war against radical Islamic terrorism!
What is wrong with this picture?
What would Jesus say about that?
But the book gets worse people - MUCH WORSE.
The authors compare our great nation, liberators of millions of oppressed peoples around the globe, to Rome's empire! I can see where they get their skewed theology. They read books written by John Dominic Crossan.
In the introduction of his book In Search of Paul: How Jesus' Apostle Opposed Rome's Empire with God's Kingdom, biblical scholar John Dominic Crossan asks this haunting question: "Who now is Caesar and where now is Christ?" As we consider the theology being preached from the pulpits by both pastors and politicians (and these days, its hard to tell them apart), we need to contemplate this question. Fortunately, more and more Bible-literate Christians are deeply disturbed by the skewed theology of empire. It is becoming more and more clear that the Pax Americana is not helping the world get any closer to understanding the crucified Christ and his gospel of grace. 29
O.K. We can see where they are getting their theological opinions from. But take a look at the authors' footnote. It's quite the eye-opener to their true agenda in writing this book!
29 The essence of our book is not dependent on whether the United States is truly a prideful empire. Christianity proclaims an alternate allegiance even to citizens of humble nations. And the point is certainly not that only the United States is one of the beastly powers. Among Russia, China, Rwanda, Belgium, and countless others, it would be quite a competition as to which dictatorship tops the list of most blood shed and worst publicly legitimated insanity. But to see the bad fruits of power is an important connection to make for those who have a white-knuckle grip on both the cross and the flag. When we take a good look at the history of the United States, we must face the reality that the U.S. is not, as Barak (sic) Obama (and countless others) said, "the last great hope for humanity." This not only is false according to the standards of secular history but also is heretical for us in the church. This is the kind of stuff that made John of Patmos seethe (not to mention God). And in the scope of history, the United States is a young project that doubtlessly will fall--whether in a few or in many years.
Quite the patriots...aren't they? /sarcasm
Notice how the CNN article LIED about their "neutrality" concerning the upcoming election!
They endorse no candidate and make no effort to sway the voters for one party or another.
Think that's bad enough? It's only the beginning. On another page, the authors discuss "idols and images". They quote Exodus 20:4, Lev. 26:1, and 4 Ezra 4:11:
"Therefore, you will surely disappear, you eagle...so that the whole earth, will be freed from your violence." The Eagle will not live forever, blessed be the Lamb.
Can you guess what is pictured next to these verses? You'll never guess so I'll tell you. They have sketches of three bombs dropping from the sky with "Made in U.S.A." stamped on them!
Some of the additional things written on the page do not even make sense. In one box, they quote Crossan as stating that, "over 50 percent of the Roman budget went towards the Roman military." Next, they write, "Of each dollar paid in taxes, 36 cents goes toward the military of the United States.
Duh!! Do these guys even know history? Do they know that military (and police) protection was the original (and only) reasons for taxes in the first place??
Here's the quote that reads a bit convoluted:
"Only God can make an image of God's self...and God did. Look in the mirror or look in the slums.
ONLY SOMETHING SACRED CAN BE DE*SACRATED.
Is "de*sacrated" even a genuine word? It's obviously misspelled.
–verb (used with object), -crat·ed, -crat·ing.
1. to divest of sacred or hallowed character or office.
2. to divert from a sacred to a profane use or purpose.
3. to treat with sacrilege; profane.
[Origin: 1665–75; de- + -secrate, modeled on consecrate]
What on earth are they talking about? Sounds like gibberish to me!
Then, we have evidence of their "youthful" views:
"It was once said, if you want to know your idols, consider what you are willing to kill for. WHAT ARE IDOLS?"
Next to that quote, they have a crude drawing of a television with "KILL YOUR TV" written on it. Quite the non-sequitur, isn't it?
It gets worse! On another page in the book they have a drawing of Jesus carrying the cross with a soldier holding a bazooka sitting on the cross behind Jesus!
Are you getting the picture of their skewed thinking yet?
Do they represent many of our young evangelicals today? I hope not! I PRAY NOT!!
Now, the authors aren't crazy. I just think that they are sorely misguided. For instance, read this quote:
Aelius Aristides: "Now the earth itself and its inhabitants have been granted universal security which is evident to all. Every war begins with fear."
Ah ha! That explains it! "Every war begins with fear." Period. Nothing else? What about being attacked? What about defending our nation and our peoples from further attacks?
I could go on and on and on. There is so much skewed theology applied to anti-war rhetoric in this book it would make your head spin!!
Lastly, I will share just why these authors (and their followers, presumably) do not concern themselves with the proliferation of the homosexual agenda in the political, social, educational, judicial, and church arenas:
What was so evil about Sodom? "Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned: they did not help the poor and needy" (Ezek. 16:49). That's not what we learned in Sunday school.
Whoo boy! Talk about leaving out some of the other equally important details!! Ah, but, if they included any other details about The Days of Lot and the Days of Noah, then they would have to address their errant theological opinion that the homosexual agenda "doesn't define them" or influence their voting preferences.
Look at the skewed way they describe the meaning of being "born-again" :
"So being born again redefines family: it grants a new way to see the world, a way to see right past the artificial borders we create and proclaim a deeper allegiance and affection. For those who pledge allegiance to the kingdoms of this world, Jesus preached good news: repent and become born again, "see the kingdom," and find a new identity. This is not a set of political suggestions for the world; this is about invoking and embodying the alternative. handwritten: (More on that later.) All of this is an invitation to join a peculiar people--those with no king but God, who practice jubilee economics and make the world new. This is not the old-time religion of going to heaven; this is about bringing heaven to the world."
We can agree with some of what is written in that paragraph. However, the ultimate point of being born again in Jesus Christ is to humble ourselves, confess and repent of our sin; then, invite Jesus Christ into our hearts where he will reside through the power of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit of God.
Question. Do the authors even mention this? No. It is no where to be found. Notice that the cross isn't mentioned in the above paragraph, either. Finding a "new identity" isn't defined either. Whose identity are they emulating? We are not told. Plus, that last sentence sounds more like Oprah's New Age theology rather than genuine Christianity.
P.S. Apparently, Shane Claiborne is 33 years old and Chris Haw is 27. However, it appears that their radicalism is appealing to 20-something-year old evangelical Christians. God help us!
Update: SJ Camp has a somewhat related post regarding skewed theology and how important it is to stick to biblical truth over at Camp On This
"Gifted men of God, like Keller, know this and know better than this. When they flirt with pushing the edge of biblical truth by redefining God in today's postmodern terms out of the pragmatic emerging church framework, they make it difficult for the many of us who want to trust them in how they handle God's Word to do so. But as in this case, orthodoxy it seems was not the prime consideration; but relating to an audience, being clever, and cutting edge. IOW, pragmatics again.
Biblical terminology should not be stretched to a place that is foreign to the meaning of those words as found in God's Word. It can be very confusing for younger believers in the Lord, it can be gangrenous to the body of Christ in general, and the fallout to maintaining a right view of God compromised. "