“Restoring Honor” with Glenn Beck

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This past Saturday, Glenn Beck traveled to Washington, D.C., where he stood on the steps of the Capitol and issued a call for national “revival.”  Unlike revivals of the past, however, this was not a purely Christian revival – the kind where believers are called to the mission field, or new believers get baptized, or churches grow and multiple to reach more of our neighbors for Christ.

Instead, this “revival” sounds like a syncretistic blend of church and conservative politics.  And as much as I think that the conservative “agenda,” generally speaking, derives its values from Christian ethics more so than does the liberal agenda, I think that Glenn Beck’s desired “revival” would actually reflect a hijacking of the true Gospel.  Christ did not come to earth to see certain laws passed and others struck down.  He did not come to earth to advocate for a certain political party, or mindset, or agenda.  He did not predestine Republicans for glory and Democrats for damnation.  To claim otherwise – to tie evangelicalism or Catholicism (or Mormonism) to politics in hopes of advancing your agenda – demonstrates a gross misunderstanding of exactly what Christ came to do and exactly what Christians (should) seek to accomplish in the world around us.

Dr. Russell Moore goes into more detail here.

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Don’t get pulled over in Utah unless…

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My husband emailed this link to me at work today.  I read it several times, becoming increasingly frustrated about many of the issues discussed herein.

The complaint that using crosses (or any religious symbols, for that matter) on a roadside to memorialize a death is actually some attempt at subtle, state-sponsored Christian evangelism is smoke and mirrors by atheists.

When a rational person who has lived in America for any length of time sees a cross alongside a road, their first assumption is that someone died at or near that site in some kind of automotive accident.  I don’t believe anyone would see a cross alongside the road and instantly think, “Clearly the government is telling me to repent and be saved!”  I have a hard time believing the atheists themselves think this is the case.

Even more absurd is the 10th Circuit Court’s ruling that seeing these crosses on state roads “may lead the reasonable observer to fear that Christians are likely to receive preferential treatment from the UHP — both in their hiring practices and, more generally, in the treatment that people may expect to receive on Utah’s highways.”

My first thought when I read this was, “this judge can’t possibly be serious.”  Unfortunately, based on the fact that he wrote this into a formal court ruling, it appears that he is.  I wonder how he imagines this would play out?

“Do you know why I pulled you over?”
“I’m not really sure Officer…was I speeding?”
“In fact you were.  55 in a 25.”
“I’m so sorry – I was just on my way to church!”
“In that case, carry on – Christians don’t have to obey the laws in Utah, you know!  Just look at those crosses on the side of the highway – that should make it obvious!”

Try again, Judge.
 
The increasing hostility shown to public expressions of religion in this country – particularly to Christianity – is, I think, based on an incorrect understanding of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause.  If we could rouse the Framers from their graves and ask if this is what they expected would become of religion in America when they wrote the Bill of Rights, I bet the answer would be a resounding no.  Perhaps they would remind us that freedom of religion is NOT the same as freedom from religion.
 

When the government starts limiting access to services or granting privileges to one group over another based solely on religious preference, that is unconstitutional.  Memorializing fallen officers with crosses does none of those things.  Why then the protest?