Ft. Wayne, Indiana, is now my favorite Hoosier city. It is because of them, and their super-powerful, ultra-mega, gargantuan talk radio station, 1190 AM, WOWO, that I am able to listen to IU basketball games live over the radio. I guess they turn up the juice at night, and the signal is strong enough that I can receive it at home (in the valley), and even better in my car! Thank you Fort Wayne, I love you!
Speaking of receiving radio stations from far away, I ran across an AM station broadcast in New Orleans last night after the IU game. Some guy was preaching his conspiracy theory about the Bible’s very specific prophecy about things happening right now. While I can see how some of the prophecies in both the Old and New Testaments, I don’t think it’s as extreme as this guy was teaching (I know the preacher’s name, but I don’t want to give him unnecessary publicity. If you really want to know more about him and his interpretation of prophecy, email me and I’ll send you the link.). True to the form of other extreme interpreters, he is a big-time conspiracy theorist. I guess Satan isn’t enough of an enemy for the Church, there also has to be a clandestine group of people secretly planning and controlling the events of the last two hundred years. These people planned everything from the French Revolution to World War I and II. This group is, of course, in cahoots with communist countries and secretly influencing democratic governments as well. In addition to that, the U.N. is the end-all, be-all of evil (I agree the U.N. is far from perfect – look at the oil for food debacle – but there are worse things in the world).
Of course, the United States and Britain comprises God’s chosen people. How do we know this? They said they themselves are Christian nations. And the British claim was confirmed by a Council in the 15th century. The 15th century? I’ll address that more in a moment. Another thing, according to this preacher, that makes the US and Britain God’s chosen countries is they threw off the yoke of false teaching by the Catholic church (the pope is, after all, the Antichrist). Anyone against the Catholics surely had to be the true Christian!
But if the Councils in the 15th century affirmed the religious heritage of Britain, doesn’t that mean they relied on the authority of a false teacher? Doesn’t that make such claims false as well? That makes too much sense, though, doesn’t it? But who said anything about making sense? I digress…
So, according to this guy, the US and Britain are the first nations to truly be Christian. Nevermind the Ethiopian, Orthodox, and Syriac Christians converted their nations centuries ago, back when the earth was flat. It is up to the West to save the rest of the world by throwing off the evil scheme inspired by Satan himself. At least, he said something like that.
The common argument I keep hearing about our religious heritage in the States is that America has always been a Christian nation. Maybe our country was established on some Christian teachings and basic beliefs that show a Christian worldview. Just because the founding fathers mention God doesn’t mean they were Christians – at least not the way we think of Christians practicing today. Many of them were deists – humanists who believed there is a Creator God who endowed His creation with a certain framework. Then, as watchmakers do, left His creation to run on its own – completely removed from the unfolding of its history and its people. We need to make sure we know our history before we start arguing from it.
Even if all of the founding fathers were evangelical Christians and the U.S. was established as a Christian nation, that does nothing for our practicing of faith today. Don’t get me wrong – I value our freedoms, and I believe they are God given. That freedom allows me to practice my faith. But, I cannot allow the fact that my country’s history is Christian to allow me to think that I am, by default, a Christian, and have no personal responsibility for my spiritual development. Such thinking can be destructive.
Sometimes I think people are barking up the wrong tree when court battles are fought over the presence of the 10 Commandments on the courthouse steps. Maybe we should be focusing our resources and passions on impacting others through the church, rather than through the government. If we impact the culture through each person, the presence of the 10 Commandments won’t be an issue. If we try to force the issue by means of the courts, doesn’t that put us in the same boat as those who are “legislating from the bench,” forcing the country to legalize gay marriage? I don’t think that’s what Jesus called us to do when he said “make disciples.”
That is the end of my rant, and the end of the history lesson. In the next class we’ll discuss the role of Star Wars in the blockbuster movie phenomenon.
Be sure to do your homework.
OK, I’m going to bed now. I didn’t expect to type this much. I just wanted to type about Fort Wayne, Indiana!