Hi, its Walter posting this time 🙂
I’m sure you have guessed from the title that this is probably not the normal kind of stuff you would expect to see here. However something about this discussion struck me so deeply that I felt I had to post this up and get comments from you about what you think.
Before we cut to the chase, a little background – the following clip is taken from the Rachel Maddow Show, which is a political talk-show broadcast on the MSNBC network in the US. Now if you know anything about talk-show programming in the US you will know that it is highly politicised and polarised. You are either liberal or conservative and Rachel’s show is firmly on the liberal end of the spectrum. I find however that she really does try to present her topics with a balanced viewpoint (or at least as balanced as can be in the wacky American broadcasting landscape) and that the arguments that she presents are well-reasoned, intelligent and challenging. She is definitely one sharp cookie. Just to be clear, I don’t approve of some of the cheap shots that Rachel takes against the Republicans (read : conservative) and Republican Party, but then that’s the nature of the American broadcasting beast I suppose. (and to be fair, that’s rather tame when compared to some of the stuff you will see on conservative talk-shows!)
Here’s the clip and then more of my thoughts below :
Regular followers of this blog will know that Sandra and I are Christians and have been for a long while. Christianity as practised by the majority in a Singaporean context (where we grew up) tends to resemble in many aspects the Evangelical Christianity movement in America. (which, interesting enough, is itself identified very strongly with the Conservative movement) That is why I think I have always followed what goes on in the American Christian experience with interest, because so much of the material, the music we listen to, the literature we read and the theology that we follow comes from there. Tim LaHaye and his "Left Behind" series of books was one of those things that had a profound impact on my Christian experience early on.
However, having lived in and travel around Europe for the past six years or so now, I find that a lot of the beliefs and convictions that I held earlier on have changed. This is natural and only to be expected. I have been blessed with opportunities to travel through much of Europe, parts of Africa, the Middle East and North America and have seen and experienced many things that have challenged my beliefs and convictions.
The point I am trying to get at is that today, I hold a set of beliefs that would probably cause the authenticity of my Christian faith to be questioned in the eyes of many "evangelical" Christians. For example, I believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour. I believe in the inerrancy of the Holy Scripture. I believe that God created the heavens and the earth. I believe that global warming is an urgent problem that needs to be addressed. I believe that capitalism is an inherently evil system that is driven by greed and self-interest. I believe that anarchism and socialism are the best ways forward for the advancement of human society.
It’s interesting for me now when I hear someone like Tim LaHaye denouncing socialism as heralding the arrival of the End Times to see how far I have come in my Christian walk from when I first began. Also to see how much personal faith has been politicised in this day and age. What was that age-old wisdom about the dangers of mixing religion and politics? 🙂
Perhaps we really are approaching the beginning of the end. If that be the case then I believe all the more it shall require to "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:16)
Keep the faith!