Donald Hank
February 8, 2008
Purpose-driven to the far left
By Donald Hank

According to the Family Research Council, a new Barna poll shows that the "born again," whatever that might this week, now overwhelmingly support Hillary (20% of the "born again" vote) and Obama (18%).

How is it possible that seemingly devout Christians could support the party that stands like a phalanx behind partial birth abortion and redefining marriage into oblivion and opposes biblical free market principles?

Look no further than "America's Pastor" and the Saddleback Church, where Obama and Hillary were guests last year. Rick Warren, while claiming to be acting in a Christian, conciliatory manner, treating these leftwing politicians as though they were ideological equals (perhaps they are), was in fact spreading the message that it's ok for evangelicals to vote for pro-abortion politicians who spurn the free market, because they are decent folks like him, concerned with the same issues, like AIDS, poverty, and peace. Thus his message is in line with the rest of the "religious left," which, in terms of social issues, can be summed up:

    Abortion, marriage and the like social issues pale against the problems of poverty, the environment and world peace. The Democrat message of ending poverty and disease and seeking world peace is a Christian one. It is un-Christian to oppose abortion and gay marriage because this sullies non-Christian sensibilities.

These people have forgotten the lessons of the War on Poverty and the lessons on appeasement taught by the clueless Neville Chamberlain. Sheep-like, their followers fall into line.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported last May:

    "Howard Dean, Democratic party chairman, recently credited Rick Warren and Joel Osteen with helping the Democrats.

    "Dean specifically cited the positive impacts of Christian leaders such as Rick Warren [...] and of young pastor Joel Osteen, .... who has welcomed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to his Houston-based Lakewood Church.

    'Those people don't beat up on other people to make their point and raise a lot of money,' he said. 'And we need to reach out to those folks, and work with them, and not be afraid. There is common cause with folks that we never thought we had common cause with.

    'That's how you grow (the Democratic Party) to be inclusive and to control America again ..'"

When all the celebrating is over, the purpose-driven pastor and prosperity-driven pastor, respectively, and their ilk have succeeded in blinding people to the truth, of which older, biblically minded religious leaders once convinced the majority of their flock, namely, that the platforms of the Democrat party are inconsistent with the message of Christ, who did not support killing the unborn, command taxpayers to care for the poor or order nations to make peace with implacable enemies bent on destroying them. In fact He said "you will always have the poor with you," and that he had come to "bring not peace but a sword." Unlike Confucius, for example, He was indifferent to the workings of government. He healed the sick and fed the multitude only to show who He was. Thus when some of that multitude followed Him across the sea and asked Him to "show us a sign," He understood they didn't really want or need a sign, because He had already fed them miraculously. They hinted that the "sign" should be in the form of handouts, manna from heaven. They wanted socialism, a perfect Kingdom of God free of hunger, i.e., essentially the Democrat platform.

But Jesus made it clear that the only bread he could offer them was the bread of life, whereupon many left and never walked with him again. These "social issues" Christians were the faithless secularist hangers-on with ulterior motives.

Most church denominations today have distanced themselves so far from Christ's message that their founders would no longer recognize them. Major denominations have openly Sodomite pastors with "partners" to whom they are "married," legally or de facto. Most denominations will not oppose abortion and some favor terrorist Palestine over democratic Israel to the point of boycotting companies that do business with Israel. Most also refuse to defend traditional marriage. Most denominations, even the most "fundamental" ones, believe it is un-Christian to love one's country, and gauche to deem America a world leader. All in all, most do not deserve to be called Christians and, minus the government incentives, many would voluntarily drop the "Christian" label in a heartbeat.

All of which brings us to a hard question:

If tax freedom, faith-based initiatives and other government support produces a net negative for orthodox Christianity of the kind that Christ and the apostles would recognize as their own, if Wiccans, Unitarians and terror-sponsoring mosques, are equally exempt, and if the IRS threatens right-wing churches with rescission of tax exemption while tacitly approving openly Marxist churches, isn't it time to rethink tax exempt status for churches? This is not as hard a question as you may think. Multimillion dollar church buildings dot the landscape, many with pastors receiving salaries in 6 digits. It should be crystal clear that, even without tax deductions, such affluent congregations as these would have no trouble building and maintaining adequate buildings and paying their pastors well enough, if their flocks were sincere and not money-driven.

There are a few churches that already refuse the tax deduction, most of them poor. They are to be lauded for sticking to the original gospel message, not watering it down to hang onto a government subsidy with strings, nay, ropes, attached to it. Jesus said his followers would be persecuted and not approved by men ("woe unto you when men speak well of you").

Tax exempt status isn't persecution. It's approval. And at this point in history, it appears to be a net liability for the authentic Gospel of Jesus Christ. Isn't it time to give it a decent, Christian burial?

© Donald Hank


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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Donald Hank

Until July of 2009, Don Hank was operating a technical translation agency out of his home in Wrightsville, PA. He is now retired and residing in Panama with his wife and daughter.

A former language teacher, he holds an undergraduate degree in French and German from Millersville State University (PA), a Master's degree in Russian language and literature from Kutztown State College (also in PA), has studied Chinese for 3 years in Taiwan at the Mandarin Training Center, and is self-taught in other languages, having logged a total of 8 years abroad in total immersion situations.

He is also the founder of Lancaster-York Non-Custodial Parents, a volunteer organization that provides Christian counseling for non-custodial parents.


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