History Repeats Itself: Some Christians Never Learn

The following is an article that is posted at www.newreformation.org whose founder is definitely off the deep end liberal in my opinion, but I find this article so utterly brimming with the mind blowing  truth about how wrong conservative Christians have historically been on social issues in this country that I reposted it here.  This should give us all pause to think the next time we think we know what the Bible “clearly says.”

Moral Legalismby Steve Faulkenberg

The fundamentalist evangelical church is the natural heir of pharisaism. They have a well deserved reputation for being judgemental and moralistic. The conservative protestant evangelicals have always taken what they call a strong stand on issues of right and wrong. They have always stood firmly for Biblical standards as set forth in the Old Testament and the New. They have always defended these standards in the face of social and cultural disintegration. The following are some examples:

  • In the founding charter of the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest protestant denomination in the United States, just prior to the civil war, the founding fathers took a firm stand in defense of slavery which they believed to be ordained by God and justified through the references to slavery in the scripture (Eph 6: 5-9, Col 3:22-4:1).
  • Many conservative evangelicals took a strong stand against women’s suffrage around the turn of the century. They argued that the Bible clearly specifies that women should have no place in the governance of men and that to give women the right to vote would be a clear violation of the laws of God (1 Tim 2:11 – 3:13; 1 Cor 14:33-35).
  • In the early decades of this century, conservative evangelicals took a strong stand favoring prohibition. This issue was so important to them that they violated their own doctrine of separation of church and state to lend their full weight to the ratification of the 18th amendment. This too was done based on clear scriptural authority (Rom 14:21, 1 Cor 6:9-10, Eph 5:18), while ignoring scripture to the contrary (1 Tim 5:23, John 2:1-11). In standing for prohibition, the church participated unwittingly in laying the foundations of organized crime in the United States. The structures and alliances which developed during prohibition for distribution of moonshine are now used to distribute drugs. As a result, prohibition may well have been the most socially destructive event in our nations history. (For more on this topic see Sermon Number Nine).
  • Conservative evangelicals took a strong stand against allowing divorced individuals full participation in church life. This too was based on strong scriptural authority (Mark 10:1-12, Mat 19:1-12, Luke 16:18). For many years divorced individuals were not asked to teach Sunday School or hold office in the churches.
  • Conservative evangelicals took a strong stand against racial integration. Churches which accepted African-Americans as members were removed from fellowship in the local associations and censured in various ways.

In fact, conservative evangelicals have been on the wrong side of every major social issue in the past 150 years. Is it any wonder that the church has lost its place in society as a moral authority. Is it any wonder that evangelical fundamentalists have become a laughing stock. (emphasis added)

The message of Christ is not about right and wrong. In the Bible it was the Pharisees that had right and wrong all figured out. The message of Christ is about loving people, good or bad, right or wrong. We should be following the example of Christ who condemned the Pharisees (who were the great authorities on what was right and what was wrong), but did not condemn the woman taken in adultery, or the Samaritan woman, or Zacchaeus, or a multitude of other sinners He encountered.


5 thoughts on “History Repeats Itself: Some Christians Never Learn

  1. I’m liking you a whole heck-of-a-lot, my friend. I stumbled onto your page via The Rebel God and I’ve got to say that I really dig you and your thoughts, bro. You and I come out of similar backgrounds and are heading in very similar directions.

    A few questions if you don’t mind…

    1) What’s your name?
    2) Where are you from?
    3) How about those “other” theological issues that make you no longer an Evangelical? I’d love to hear about those because I find myself drifting that way, but trying to find something to hold on to because I am so connected with Evangelicalism.
    4) What do you think about Christian pacifism/non-violence/non-resistance? What about Christians and politics? What about atonement? What would you say is the gospel that Jesus preached?

    Anyway, shoot me an email anytime. I’m looking forward to connecting with you.

    stay salty,

  2. Howdy every body, snazzy website I find It positively useful and its helped me out alot
    I hope to be able to give something back and support other people like this message board has helped me

  3. Good post, quite liked it.
    Though I’m not sure about the prohibition point – “the church participated unwittingly in laying the foundations of organized crime”. Ergo, the harm resulting from prohibition was unforeseen, and so I’m not comfortable holding people responsible for it. It’s like the old asking someone a question so that they’re ten minutes later than usual and happen to be in the position where they’re stabbed by a random mugger – if you hadn’t asked the question your friend would still be alive, but you can’t be held responsible for the death of your friend, and neither is the action of asking a question a bad one.
    And given the harms alcohol can cause, how we deal with alcohol is a legitimate issue. Prohibition may be going too far, throwing the baby out with the bath water, but it’s not in the same league as denying woman’s rights to vote…

  4. Nathan, I agree with you that they can’t be held responsible for the organized crime as they people who organized the crime bear that responsibility. The point that I think he his emphasizing is that all of these moral crusades end up accomplishing is hurting people and creating more problems. They’re doing the same thing with gay marriage now and are driving young people farther away from God who they are horrifically misrepresenting. It’s shameful at some level, but their stubborn self-righteous pride keeps them blind to their past and so they keep on going along making the same mistakes and hurting more and more people. Thanks for reading and leaving your thoughts. Hope you like the new Christian Universalism post!

  5. Cheers for your reply!
    At some point could you you send me an e-mail? I’m curious about a couple of things you’ve said, but would rather raise them in an e-mail conversation than on here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s