The opiate of the people

Communism teaches that religion is the opiate of the people, a consolation that prevents the masses from rising up against their oppressors.  Apparently, judging from this article by David Ignatius, the true opiate of the people in still-Communist China is material prosperity and pop culture:

Americans sometimes assume that a richer China will soon demand greater freedom and democracy. Don’t bet on it: What Chinese repeat to foreign visitors, in so many settings that the canned phrases become credible, is something like this: We like what we’ve got; we’re worried about losing it; we want stability even if it means less freedom and openness.

Chinese don’t seem to know much about Xi Jinping, the man who this week became heir apparent to President Hu Jintao, beyond the fact that he is a “princeling” son of power and that he is married to a star singer. This makes him a man who is likely to maintain the status quo — and perhaps reform the system and spread the wealth just enough to keep any dissenters quiet. For most Chinese I encountered, those qualities seem to be enough. . . .

There’s protest in China, to be sure, but it’s largely about economic and property issues. The freedom agenda of Tiananmen Square in 1989, embodied today by the imprisoned Nobel Prize winner, Liu Xiaobo, has mostly been throttled. Among the elite in China’s wealthy cities, fear of the peasants in the hinterlands seems to be a bigger concern than the opaque Communist Party leadership.

For a snapshot of China’s future, talk with students at Beijing High School 101. Decked out in their blue-and-white uniforms to meet visiting Western journalists (organized by the Committee of 100, a private U.S. group that promotes Chinese-American dialogue), the children are astonishingly bright and well-spoken in English. But even here at the top of the heap, there’s a fragility. They’re all products of China’s one-child policy, and you sense the heavy expectations of their parents: Study, succeed, prosper, don’t lose your seat on the express train to riches. . . .

At Tsinghua University, a graduate student named Yin Wang offers a catchy and probably accurate line: “Young people don’t care who succeeds Hu Jintao; they care about who succeeds Michael Jackson.”

A recurring theme here is self-censorship by a population that doesn’t want to risk crossing the fuzzy limits on free speech. Students attend journalism school partly to learn what subjects are off-limits. Young reporters who dig beyond the official account get branded as “unreliable” and lose good assignments.

The government monitors the Internet to keep it tame, and Chinese businesses and consumers play along. One of China’s biggest Web sites is said to employ 100 people to scan the proliferation of micro-blogs here. Parents avoid telling their children about the Tiananmen protests for fear they will ask more questions — and get in trouble.

The threat to this elite urban life comes from the still-poor rural provinces. The Chinese revolution began among such peasants, and there’s an almost palpable fear that the new China’s growing inequality could trigger another such revolt. That’s one reason people are nervous about democracy: They don’t want to enfranchise those angry peasants.

via David Ignatius – In China, it’s all about prosperity, not freedom.

And isn’t that a danger here as well, that materialism and our entertainment fixation (“who will succeed Michael Jackson?”), are breeding political and spiritual apathy?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I don’t know much about China, but in the US, freedom caused prosperity. Could that work in China too?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I don’t know much about China, but in the US, freedom caused prosperity. Could that work in China too?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “The threat to this elite urban life comes from the still-poor rural provinces. The Chinese revolution began among such peasants, and there’s an almost palpable fear that the new China’s growing inequality could trigger another such revolt. That’s one reason people are nervous about democracy: They don’t want to enfranchise those angry peasants.”

    Gee, you mean they don’t want them to vote themselves free government health care and retirement benefits? Talk about hard to explain to the kids. Capitalist countries have social benefits for the poor, but communist ones don’t. You can’t redistribute what doesn’t exist.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “The threat to this elite urban life comes from the still-poor rural provinces. The Chinese revolution began among such peasants, and there’s an almost palpable fear that the new China’s growing inequality could trigger another such revolt. That’s one reason people are nervous about democracy: They don’t want to enfranchise those angry peasants.”

    Gee, you mean they don’t want them to vote themselves free government health care and retirement benefits? Talk about hard to explain to the kids. Capitalist countries have social benefits for the poor, but communist ones don’t. You can’t redistribute what doesn’t exist.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    I would agree that the Chinese leadership and upper classes are nervous not only about “angry peasants,” and also about tens of millions of men who have no chance of ever marrying because the one child policy induced people to kill their daughters. I believe India, and perhaps other Asian nations, have the same issue to a lesser degree.

    It might suggest that when government interferes too much in the family (e.g. one child policy), freedom becomes problematic to impossible….I’ll have to think about that….

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    I would agree that the Chinese leadership and upper classes are nervous not only about “angry peasants,” and also about tens of millions of men who have no chance of ever marrying because the one child policy induced people to kill their daughters. I believe India, and perhaps other Asian nations, have the same issue to a lesser degree.

    It might suggest that when government interferes too much in the family (e.g. one child policy), freedom becomes problematic to impossible….I’ll have to think about that….

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “I would agree that the Chinese leadership and upper classes are nervous not only about “angry peasants,” and also about tens of millions of men who have no chance of ever marrying because the one child policy induced people to kill their daughters.”

    Sounds reasonable, but may not actually be so. Rather unemployment and population age structure, not singleness seems to be what goads young men to violence. There are actually fewer young men than middle aged and old in China, so its population structure is not full of young men without plenty more older men keeping them employed and in line. One analysis I read actually noted that a surplus of men meant less crime/violence. Pretty much every young man in China has plenty of authority bearing down on him with little to distract their focus from him. He is generally the only son of his father and only grandson of his two grandfathers. No pressure. :-)

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “I would agree that the Chinese leadership and upper classes are nervous not only about “angry peasants,” and also about tens of millions of men who have no chance of ever marrying because the one child policy induced people to kill their daughters.”

    Sounds reasonable, but may not actually be so. Rather unemployment and population age structure, not singleness seems to be what goads young men to violence. There are actually fewer young men than middle aged and old in China, so its population structure is not full of young men without plenty more older men keeping them employed and in line. One analysis I read actually noted that a surplus of men meant less crime/violence. Pretty much every young man in China has plenty of authority bearing down on him with little to distract their focus from him. He is generally the only son of his father and only grandson of his two grandfathers. No pressure. :-)

  • Abby

    “And isn’t that a danger here as well, that materialism and our entertainment fixation (“who will succeed Michael Jackson?”), are breeding political and spiritual apathy?”

    Not only a danger, but a well-rooted tree. Pastors work so hard to teach and preach. So few people care to show up. It has been widely reported that church attendance is dropping rapidly. Churches are marginally being held together by the older generation who are dying out (those who remember history). And the young ones are disappearing because church is too boring and not “relevent.”

    People don’t view our freedom as needing the prerequisite of “God.” Materialism is god. And there are many other gods. Isn’t political correctness nearly a law that we must obey? Society has done a good job teaching that. History books are being rewritten to “change” history in the minds of our children. People don’t seem to want to read and listen and learn either spiritually or politically. Just let me practice what I believe. That’s well and good, but sooner or later somebody wants to be on top. Whether by force or coercion. Saul Alinsky: given enough time, people will want to be Marxist voluntarily.

    “. . . Chinese don’t seem to know much about Xi Jinping, the man who this week became heir apparent . . .” Is there a true vote in China? We have that gift. We have cared a lot about having a christian man govern our country in the past. I see us losing that.

    I am very sad when I see “it” (materialism and entertainment)infiltrate the churches as a “gimmick” to draw customers. (It may work temporarily but fails ultimately because it lacks substance.) And the prosperity gospel preachers! God is a materialist!

    If we fall, we will pull together. Maybe with “unregistered” house churches like the many that China has. The Holy Spirit is alive over there. An article here earlier talked about the “explosion of christianity” in China. It gives one hope.

    The Way is indeed narrow. And few there be that find it.

  • Abby

    “And isn’t that a danger here as well, that materialism and our entertainment fixation (“who will succeed Michael Jackson?”), are breeding political and spiritual apathy?”

    Not only a danger, but a well-rooted tree. Pastors work so hard to teach and preach. So few people care to show up. It has been widely reported that church attendance is dropping rapidly. Churches are marginally being held together by the older generation who are dying out (those who remember history). And the young ones are disappearing because church is too boring and not “relevent.”

    People don’t view our freedom as needing the prerequisite of “God.” Materialism is god. And there are many other gods. Isn’t political correctness nearly a law that we must obey? Society has done a good job teaching that. History books are being rewritten to “change” history in the minds of our children. People don’t seem to want to read and listen and learn either spiritually or politically. Just let me practice what I believe. That’s well and good, but sooner or later somebody wants to be on top. Whether by force or coercion. Saul Alinsky: given enough time, people will want to be Marxist voluntarily.

    “. . . Chinese don’t seem to know much about Xi Jinping, the man who this week became heir apparent . . .” Is there a true vote in China? We have that gift. We have cared a lot about having a christian man govern our country in the past. I see us losing that.

    I am very sad when I see “it” (materialism and entertainment)infiltrate the churches as a “gimmick” to draw customers. (It may work temporarily but fails ultimately because it lacks substance.) And the prosperity gospel preachers! God is a materialist!

    If we fall, we will pull together. Maybe with “unregistered” house churches like the many that China has. The Holy Spirit is alive over there. An article here earlier talked about the “explosion of christianity” in China. It gives one hope.

    The Way is indeed narrow. And few there be that find it.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    This reminds me of the proles in the novel 1984

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    This reminds me of the proles in the novel 1984

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “And the young ones are disappearing because church is too boring and not “relevent.”

    What is relevant to youth? What do they care about? A sermon from Martin Luther would be more relevant and interesting to most youth than the goofy youth ministry stuff out there now.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “And the young ones are disappearing because church is too boring and not “relevent.”

    What is relevant to youth? What do they care about? A sermon from Martin Luther would be more relevant and interesting to most youth than the goofy youth ministry stuff out there now.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    From the article: “Americans sometimes assume that a richer China will soon demand greater freedom and democracy.” What, really? Do Americans not even pay attention to their own country? Would anyone disagree that we have both grown richer as a country and also less free in 230+ years?

    “What Chinese repeat to foreign visitors … is something like this: We like what we’ve got; we’re worried about losing it; we want stability even if it means less freedom and openness.” Yeah, that sounds pretty familiar to me, as an American, as well. In fact, is there a country where people aren’t worried about losing what they’ve got?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    From the article: “Americans sometimes assume that a richer China will soon demand greater freedom and democracy.” What, really? Do Americans not even pay attention to their own country? Would anyone disagree that we have both grown richer as a country and also less free in 230+ years?

    “What Chinese repeat to foreign visitors … is something like this: We like what we’ve got; we’re worried about losing it; we want stability even if it means less freedom and openness.” Yeah, that sounds pretty familiar to me, as an American, as well. In fact, is there a country where people aren’t worried about losing what they’ve got?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SG (@1), care to flesh out your claim that, “in the US, freedom caused prosperity”? Was there no prosperity when we were colonies? Seems to me that the fight was to maintain the prosperity they already had and didn’t want to lose.

    “Capitalist countries have social benefits for the poor, but communist ones don’t.” Again, this seems to fly in the face of any actual facts. I’m no expert on the topic, but even this bare-bones Wikipedia article seems to contradict your claim quite strongly.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SG (@1), care to flesh out your claim that, “in the US, freedom caused prosperity”? Was there no prosperity when we were colonies? Seems to me that the fight was to maintain the prosperity they already had and didn’t want to lose.

    “Capitalist countries have social benefits for the poor, but communist ones don’t.” Again, this seems to fly in the face of any actual facts. I’m no expert on the topic, but even this bare-bones Wikipedia article seems to contradict your claim quite strongly.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    tODD, #8, great point. However, the Chinese (in my limited experience – I have several Chinese friends I went to school with) have a very different outlook on things – as one might expect of a culture that old. Stability and balance are prized high above “freedom”.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    tODD, #8, great point. However, the Chinese (in my limited experience – I have several Chinese friends I went to school with) have a very different outlook on things – as one might expect of a culture that old. Stability and balance are prized high above “freedom”.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Freedom caused prosperity. Well in the colonies, the folks were left alone in as much as Britain was really far away. It seems they got pretty annoyed the more Britain tried to assert itself and control/tax the colonies. Surely the colonies were not highly regulated.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Freedom caused prosperity. Well in the colonies, the folks were left alone in as much as Britain was really far away. It seems they got pretty annoyed the more Britain tried to assert itself and control/tax the colonies. Surely the colonies were not highly regulated.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Bare bones also describes the actual benefits. How many Chinese are obese? In the US receiving benefits is a risk factor for obesity.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Bare bones also describes the actual benefits. How many Chinese are obese? In the US receiving benefits is a risk factor for obesity.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SG (@12), I have no idea what your point is, concerning obesity.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SG (@12), I have no idea what your point is, concerning obesity.

  • bunnycatch3r

    Pastors work so hard to teach and preach. So few people care to show up. It has been widely reported that church attendance is dropping rapidly. Churches are marginally being held together by the older generation who are dying out (those who remember history). And the young ones are disappearing because church is too boring and not “relevent.”

    Would the Lutheran response to this concern be sublime indifference? I mean as long as Word and Sacrament are administered in their purest form then church apathy, for all we know, could be part of God’s plan.

  • bunnycatch3r

    Pastors work so hard to teach and preach. So few people care to show up. It has been widely reported that church attendance is dropping rapidly. Churches are marginally being held together by the older generation who are dying out (those who remember history). And the young ones are disappearing because church is too boring and not “relevent.”

    Would the Lutheran response to this concern be sublime indifference? I mean as long as Word and Sacrament are administered in their purest form then church apathy, for all we know, could be part of God’s plan.

  • Abby

    Aaahh, the Lutherans. “Arrogantly unruffled” indifference. I struggle with that with my lovely people. I feel like saying, “wake up!” “Don’t you care?” Because they seem not to. But they are nice people, and sinners. And confused. Just like me. Still in our dirt shells. I believe that God makes the Word and Sacrament pure. I do not believe he sanctions church apathy. He died for it. He weeps–just as He wished He could draw all of Israel under His wings, but they would not have Him.

    A sinful woman came to Jesus while He ate dinner at a Pharisee’s house. She washed His feet with her tears over and over. Jesus said, Simon . . . “her sins, which are many, are forgiven–for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little. . . and He said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace.’” For her small act of loving Him, He forgave her and called her coming to Him with her sorrow, faith! (Lk 7: 36-50)

    Our sins are great–even if we think not. Our recognition may be too small. Our love for Him is too small. He says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.”

    I don’t believe all Lutherans have “arrogantly unruffled” indifference. Because to say that is to believe that one can read people’s hearts. And if some do display this, I don’t believe this is just a condition with Lutherans. This exists in all churches. Only Jesus gives the forgiveness of sins–when we come with our love and tears.

  • Abby

    Aaahh, the Lutherans. “Arrogantly unruffled” indifference. I struggle with that with my lovely people. I feel like saying, “wake up!” “Don’t you care?” Because they seem not to. But they are nice people, and sinners. And confused. Just like me. Still in our dirt shells. I believe that God makes the Word and Sacrament pure. I do not believe he sanctions church apathy. He died for it. He weeps–just as He wished He could draw all of Israel under His wings, but they would not have Him.

    A sinful woman came to Jesus while He ate dinner at a Pharisee’s house. She washed His feet with her tears over and over. Jesus said, Simon . . . “her sins, which are many, are forgiven–for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little. . . and He said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace.’” For her small act of loving Him, He forgave her and called her coming to Him with her sorrow, faith! (Lk 7: 36-50)

    Our sins are great–even if we think not. Our recognition may be too small. Our love for Him is too small. He says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.”

    I don’t believe all Lutherans have “arrogantly unruffled” indifference. Because to say that is to believe that one can read people’s hearts. And if some do display this, I don’t believe this is just a condition with Lutherans. This exists in all churches. Only Jesus gives the forgiveness of sins–when we come with our love and tears.

  • Abby
  • Abby
  • bunnycatch3r

    Thanks Abby, I listened to most of it before I had to put it down~ was it really necessary to refer to “bad theology” almost twenty times? (I think Jesus only uses the term like…seven or eight times tops~ oh wait, that’s right he never uses the term) Ok, we get it ~ Lutherans are on a mission to save the world from “Bad Theology”. And this is where it gets entertaining- they don’t seem to understand that the world has moved on; it couldn’t care any less about an antiquated, mechanical system of dogma and it never will. No amount of persuasion will compel people of the 21st century to subject themselves to life-long religious indoctrination. And no amount of crowing about how our doctrine ist uber alles is going increase church attendance. ( Sadly, the only way to do this is to produce more Lutheran babies and then brain wash confirm them before they learn to think for themselves.) But nonetheless it’s fun to watch.

  • bunnycatch3r

    Thanks Abby, I listened to most of it before I had to put it down~ was it really necessary to refer to “bad theology” almost twenty times? (I think Jesus only uses the term like…seven or eight times tops~ oh wait, that’s right he never uses the term) Ok, we get it ~ Lutherans are on a mission to save the world from “Bad Theology”. And this is where it gets entertaining- they don’t seem to understand that the world has moved on; it couldn’t care any less about an antiquated, mechanical system of dogma and it never will. No amount of persuasion will compel people of the 21st century to subject themselves to life-long religious indoctrination. And no amount of crowing about how our doctrine ist uber alles is going increase church attendance. ( Sadly, the only way to do this is to produce more Lutheran babies and then brain wash confirm them before they learn to think for themselves.) But nonetheless it’s fun to watch.

  • SKPeterson

    @bunnycatch3r #17. Yes Perry Noble, vanguard of the uber-relevant, has indeed declared those of us Lutherans (and others, he tars with a broad brush) who desire something less shallow than inane platitudes and more Word and Sacrament are “jackasses.”

  • SKPeterson

    @bunnycatch3r #17. Yes Perry Noble, vanguard of the uber-relevant, has indeed declared those of us Lutherans (and others, he tars with a broad brush) who desire something less shallow than inane platitudes and more Word and Sacrament are “jackasses.”

  • Abby

    Dear Bunnycatch3r:

    I wonder how you got from here:

    “A sinful woman came to Jesus while He ate dinner at a Pharisee’s house. She washed His feet with her tears over and over. Jesus said, Simon . . . “her sins, which are many, are forgiven–for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little. . . and He said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace.’” For her small act of loving Him, He forgave her and called her coming to Him with her sorrow, faith! (Lk 7: 36-50)

    Our sins are great–even if we think not. Our recognition may be too small. Our love for Him is too small.”

    To here:

    ‘. . . they (Lutherans–also Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic)don’t seem to understand that the world has moved on; it couldn’t care any less about an antiquated, mechanical system of dogma and it never will. No amount of persuasion will compel people of the 21st century to subject themselves to life-long religious indoctrination.”

    Do you read the Bible? Do you define the “dogma” of the holy catholic Church as the : “arrogant declaration of opinion?” Then you missed the point.

    Pastor Fisk puts out a lot, pretty fast. And, yes, he did defend the theology of the Lutheran church. But, he stated in the first 2 minutes that “God always does save us in spite of bad theology (sorry)” where it exists. He stated that if we know nothing except believing in Jesus for forgiveness of our sins, we will be saved.

    Would the thief on the cross (the one who showed honor to Jesus), been baptized if he could have been? Jesus showed the importance of baptism by being baptized Himself. Holy Communion is His body and blood shed for us for the forgiveness of sins. We are to take this to remember this until He returns again. Are people seperated from church remembering Jesus? Jesus is our dogma and theology–that’s all. He is in every chapter, and I’ve heard said, every verse of the Bible. It truly is beyond me why anyone would refuse this incomprehensible love.

    You seem hostile to the teachings of the church (not just Lutheran). But are you hostile toward Jesus? To me, your mind seems very closed.

    Going back to the sinful woman. She may not (probably not) have been educated. She did not know one stick of dogma and theology. (I wonder where those words came from?) And look at what Jesus gave her! And when she left Him, what did she have? Joy and peace. Two things she had not had before. And Jesus’ love and forgiveness and eternal salvation! She believed Him–that’s all.

    Bunnycatch3r, I want you to know I am not arguing with you. I can hear you. I know Jesus loves you and just wants to give you His gifts.

  • Abby

    Dear Bunnycatch3r:

    I wonder how you got from here:

    “A sinful woman came to Jesus while He ate dinner at a Pharisee’s house. She washed His feet with her tears over and over. Jesus said, Simon . . . “her sins, which are many, are forgiven–for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little. . . and He said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace.’” For her small act of loving Him, He forgave her and called her coming to Him with her sorrow, faith! (Lk 7: 36-50)

    Our sins are great–even if we think not. Our recognition may be too small. Our love for Him is too small.”

    To here:

    ‘. . . they (Lutherans–also Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic)don’t seem to understand that the world has moved on; it couldn’t care any less about an antiquated, mechanical system of dogma and it never will. No amount of persuasion will compel people of the 21st century to subject themselves to life-long religious indoctrination.”

    Do you read the Bible? Do you define the “dogma” of the holy catholic Church as the : “arrogant declaration of opinion?” Then you missed the point.

    Pastor Fisk puts out a lot, pretty fast. And, yes, he did defend the theology of the Lutheran church. But, he stated in the first 2 minutes that “God always does save us in spite of bad theology (sorry)” where it exists. He stated that if we know nothing except believing in Jesus for forgiveness of our sins, we will be saved.

    Would the thief on the cross (the one who showed honor to Jesus), been baptized if he could have been? Jesus showed the importance of baptism by being baptized Himself. Holy Communion is His body and blood shed for us for the forgiveness of sins. We are to take this to remember this until He returns again. Are people seperated from church remembering Jesus? Jesus is our dogma and theology–that’s all. He is in every chapter, and I’ve heard said, every verse of the Bible. It truly is beyond me why anyone would refuse this incomprehensible love.

    You seem hostile to the teachings of the church (not just Lutheran). But are you hostile toward Jesus? To me, your mind seems very closed.

    Going back to the sinful woman. She may not (probably not) have been educated. She did not know one stick of dogma and theology. (I wonder where those words came from?) And look at what Jesus gave her! And when she left Him, what did she have? Joy and peace. Two things she had not had before. And Jesus’ love and forgiveness and eternal salvation! She believed Him–that’s all.

    Bunnycatch3r, I want you to know I am not arguing with you. I can hear you. I know Jesus loves you and just wants to give you His gifts.

  • bunnycatch3r

    @SKPeterson, I admire the Lutheranism that stands as alternative to inane platitudes. I admire its unique worship style and that it takes its doctrine very seriously. But the arrogance of denigrating all other expressions of faith as “bad theology” is naive and myopic. The last time I checked nowhere in the beatitudes does it say “Blessed are those who possess the one true perfect theology.” And besides, the world no longer cares for such relics.

  • bunnycatch3r

    @SKPeterson, I admire the Lutheranism that stands as alternative to inane platitudes. I admire its unique worship style and that it takes its doctrine very seriously. But the arrogance of denigrating all other expressions of faith as “bad theology” is naive and myopic. The last time I checked nowhere in the beatitudes does it say “Blessed are those who possess the one true perfect theology.” And besides, the world no longer cares for such relics.

  • bunnycatch3r

    Sorry Abby,
    Twelve hours of state band competition is my fate for today. I”ll get back to your response later tonight.

  • bunnycatch3r

    Sorry Abby,
    Twelve hours of state band competition is my fate for today. I”ll get back to your response later tonight.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “the world no longer cares for such relics.”

    Okay. Christians are not here to give the world what it cares for. We are specifically charged with not bowing to the world’s fickle demands. God created the world. He is the master of the universe. He is our master, not the world. Many died horrible deaths to bring us His word. The world rejected them. Jesus said directly, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.” John 15:18

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “the world no longer cares for such relics.”

    Okay. Christians are not here to give the world what it cares for. We are specifically charged with not bowing to the world’s fickle demands. God created the world. He is the master of the universe. He is our master, not the world. Many died horrible deaths to bring us His word. The world rejected them. Jesus said directly, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.” John 15:18

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  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    “The arrogance of denigrating all other expressions of faith as ‘bad theology’ is naive and myopic.” Bunnycatch3r (@20), can you explain to me how your statement is not, itself, arrogant, if not also naive?

    And SG (@22), I hope that’s not what you think Christianity is all about: “We are specifically charged with not bowing to the world’s fickle demands.” Christians are here for an entirely different reason than to live up to a law that demands perfection. Because we do bow to the world’s fickle demands. Over and over.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    “The arrogance of denigrating all other expressions of faith as ‘bad theology’ is naive and myopic.” Bunnycatch3r (@20), can you explain to me how your statement is not, itself, arrogant, if not also naive?

    And SG (@22), I hope that’s not what you think Christianity is all about: “We are specifically charged with not bowing to the world’s fickle demands.” Christians are here for an entirely different reason than to live up to a law that demands perfection. Because we do bow to the world’s fickle demands. Over and over.

  • Pingback: Global Times: China’s Journalism schools producing generation of drones « Center for Innovation News Study

  • Pingback: Global Times: China’s Journalism schools producing generation of drones « Center for Innovation News Study


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