We must embrace biblical Christianity

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The Aug. 22 Augusta Chronicle editorial page provides a contrast that is decisive for the future of America.

On the left side of the page, The Chronicle’s editorial (“Fight the mob mentality”) laments “societal problems spawning coordinated violence.” On the right (where else?), syndicated columnist Cal Thomas demonstrates the rampant abuse and slander of evangelicals (“The war on evangelicals”). These articles are intimately and necessarily connected.

The Chronicle editorial listed seven “root causes” of “an amorality and sociopathic aimlessness.” None of those mention Christianity. I have had many negative reactions online from my letters; nevertheless, the overt connection of the founding, rise and recent fall of America with evangelical Christianity is undeniable.

When faith and action were based on Christian belief in the Bible, this nation was strong. But evangelicals have to take most of the blame. With higher criticism, existentialism, neo-orthodoxy and liberal Christianity, biblical preaching became a social agenda of secular psychology and sociology. This secularism even influences evangelical Christianity.

I blame our pulpits for the current woes of America. Until they preach a full-orbed and comprehensive message, we have no real hope. Few if any churches in Augusta preach that total “gospel.”

While The Chronicle lists a daily Bible verse, and is in general friendly to Christianity, it must recognize that only a return to biblical preaching and congregations that “have ears to hear” is the only hope for America. Cal Thomas points out how that agenda is exactly what liberals do not want to hear. In its omission of biblical Christianity on Aug. 22, The Chronicle assisted in that “war” on evangelicalism.

The Tea Party foment is largely centered on evangelicals, and they were the only ones to resist the continuing of Big Government. That effort was a good start, but one that will have to go much broader and deeper to move this country where it needs to be.

Ed Payne, M.D.

Augusta

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DanK
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DanK 09/02/11 - 01:06 am
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Business been kinda slow

Business been kinda slow lately, Dr Ed? You seem to write one of these dreadful missives periodically, and the only thing I can imagine as a reason is that you need more patients to pray over. Hope it works out for you.

The majority in this country are tolerant of the "righteous right." After all, our country was populated by people of many diverse religious beliefs, and the separation of church and state was specifically and consciously embedded in the Constitution to protect that tolerance.

The majority in this country still adhere to the principles of tolerance. So, when righteous right true believers begin to influence politics, or worse, enter the political fray themselves, the majority will back off from the raging extremism.

Obama is hoping the Republicans will run a ticket of Perry and Bachmann, because they would be so easy to defeat, with their extremist political views infused with equally extremist religious agenda.

Your criticism of the Augusta Chronicle for not being extremist enough, when it is in fact a sycophantic tea party rag, is evidence how far from the mainstream you are.

Jon Lester
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Jon Lester 09/02/11 - 05:06 am
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I think if you start studying
Unpublished

I think if you start studying the King James version with the aid of a Strong's concordance (which is the one and only reason to use the KJV, as it is most certainly not inerrant), you may find your understanding of "biblical Christianity" transforming into something you never expected. If you agree that the resources you need have been provided for you, then I'd say it's your intellectual duty as a doctor to expand and improve your understanding of your faith. Maybe you already do and this is still where you are; the occasional letter is my only insight into your psyche.

Having said all that, I can only wonder which concepts you would expect to prevail if the nation at large were to "return to Biblical Christianity." Would we understand Acts 10:9-23 as an illustration of the egalitarian nature of the faith, or as an excuse to break the food laws? Would the book of Job be recognized as a play, or taught as a true story? Would the quasi-erotic Song of Solomon get equal treatment? Would it also follow that every event remotely resembling "End Times" prophecy would precipitate national hysteria?

These concerns were very much at the forefront of the Founders' thinking, and it's why our Constitution reads as it does, whether you like the ACLU's successes or not. It's proper to put your faith and family ahead of country, as people were once taught to do, but if you want theocracy, then maybe you're in the wrong place.

JesusIsComing
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JesusIsComing 09/02/11 - 07:15 am
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Ed, Thanks for the letter.

Ed, Thanks for the letter. Disregard the comments from those "thinking themselves wise". In these last days believers need to focus on believing and spreading the Gospel to all who will listen and to continue living Godly lives among those who choose the world over what is right. As more and more of us do this, perhaps we can redeem the times with the Lord's help.

soldout
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soldout 09/02/11 - 08:25 am
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Since the nation was based on

Since the nation was based on Christianity and nothing talked about separation of church and state then to survive and thrive Christian principles must be in place. No one can show a problem that Chrisitanity will not solve. Christ is the source of freedom. The talk of extreme is strange because everything great ever done, whether good or bad, was done by extreme people. Running this nation without Christ is like running a combustion engine without combustion. Those who deal in reality fully understand the removal of God and the downhill direction of the nation. The Bible would call the ones who don't connect those actions fools.

burninater
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burninater 09/02/11 - 09:25 am
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The Third Great Awakening was

The Third Great Awakening was such a stabilizing influence on our country that we had a Civil War smack dab in its heyday!

Methinks the author is interested more in righteous opinion than in historical fact.

InChristLove
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InChristLove 09/02/11 - 09:39 am
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Jon Lester, Act 10 has

Jon Lester, Act 10 has nothing to do with egalitarian nature of the faith or breaking food laws.

The visions Peter had were from God concerning the destinction between Jews and Gentiles (clean and unclean) at that time. God is not speaking merely about food here, but also about people. Up to this point Gentiles were considered "unclean" to the Jew and Jews were not supposed to associate with them beyond a certain point. God put those laws in place to keep the Jews holy and separate from the pagan peoples around them, but now the new covenant is in place and all peoples are welcome in God's family.

As for Job, other biblical writers refer to Job as a real person, Ezekiel, Daniel and Noah all referenced Job. Instead of trying to diminish the authority of scripture, it would be best to consentrate on the wonderful lesson, that God is in control and He is the creator of the Universe. It is a story of faith even during our trials.

burninater
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burninater 09/02/11 - 09:57 am
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Alternatively, when reading

Alternatively, when reading Job we should focus on the wonderful lesson that some people profess blind faith to a being that would utterly shame, torture, and ruin a man's life in order to prove a point.

InChristLove
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InChristLove 09/02/11 - 10:27 am
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Ah but burninater, his life

Ah but burninater, his life wasn't ruined. Job is restored to health, gaining double the riches he possessed before and having new children, 7 sons and 3 daughters. His daughters were the most beautiful in the land, and were given inheritance along with their brothers. Job is blessed once again and lives on another 140 years after the ordeal, living to see his children to the fourth generation and dying peacefully of old age.

And just as a point, God didn't shame, torture, or ruin this man....that was Satan's intentions but God made good out of evil. That is the wonderful lesson.

burninater
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burninater 09/02/11 - 10:28 am
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Oh, too bad I killed all of

Oh, too bad I killed all of your children, take these new ones, your daughter's are HOTTER now, and look, now you're RICH, and we all know THAT'S really important, Jesus spoke to NO END about how important being RICH is, everything's all better now!

Excuse me if I don't see the "wonderful lesson" here.

And for the sake of clarity on this point: "God didn't shame, torture, or ruin this man....that was Satan's intentions but God made good our of evil." According to the myth, God gave Job into Satan's hand, only permitting him not to take his life. If my father gave me into the hands of a known torturer and tormentor, would it be honest to hold my father as unaccountable for the tortures and torments that ensued? Not on your life.

I think I would have more respect for those that take myths as literal truth if they were at least forthright about the mythical text. Thankfully their myth doesn't say anything about false witness or anything like that.

soldout
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soldout 09/02/11 - 10:39 am
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Jesus didn't argue anyone

Jesus didn't argue anyone into heaven but always protected their right to choose to go to hell. Both thieves on the cross could have went with Jesus but only one did.

InChristLove
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InChristLove 09/02/11 - 10:48 am
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Oh, too bad, you totally miss

Oh, too bad, you totally miss the whole point. This lesson wasn't about Hot looking daughters, or riches. It was about trust. Only someone with a carnal heart and worldy view would have a limited understanding and the inability to interpret the scripture as it was meant to be.

If your father handed you over to torturers and tormentors I wouldn't blame you for holding him accountable. He's not God. He's not Holy and creator of all things. He (as much as you might wish) cannot restore you. Job had faith in God not his earthly father.

Whether you have respect or not really doesn't matter. Truth is truth and God is truth. Don't believe it, that's your right. Doesn't make God's truth any less the truth....just means you don't believe it.

burninater
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burninater 09/02/11 - 10:50 am
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And just for the record, I am

And just for the record, I am not part of any organized movement that seeks to defame or deny rights to those that take the Bible as literal truth.

I will challenge what I view as nonsense, just as those that believe challenge my lack of belief as nonsense.

What I WILL actively fight is any attempt to Talibanize our gov't under the banner of a specific interpretation of Christianity, which is exactly what this letter writer seeks to do, through the insistance that the only way to properly govern America is through the complicity of those who actively preach and live the evangelical lifestyle.

burninater
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burninater 09/02/11 - 11:00 am
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"Ah but burninater, his life

"Ah but burninater, his life wasn't ruined. Job is restored to health, gaining double the riches he possessed before and having new children, 7 sons and 3 daughters. His daughters were the most beautiful in the land ..."

"Oh, too bad, you totally miss the whole point. This lesson wasn't about Hot looking daughters, or riches"

A forked tongue could not speak from both sides of the mouth any better.

"Only someone with a carnal heart and worldy view would have a limited understanding and the inability to interpret the scripture as it was meant to be."

Really? Because I was repeating your interpretation back to you. I know you believe you have the right to behave as a manifestation of God's understanding on Earth, ICL.

All the more reason to NEVER let people with that type of mindset gain a control of our gov't as though it were a Western Hemisphere Caliphate. NEVER.

Good day to you ICL.

Iwannakno
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Iwannakno 09/02/11 - 11:03 am
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We already govern enough
Unpublished

We already govern enough based on Christianity. Stop it already. I don't care who you believe in or what you follow. Making laws based only on one's religious beliefs is unconstitutional and one day when the shoe is on the other foot you may have to live with that decision!

InChristLove
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InChristLove 09/02/11 - 11:21 am
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burninater, you stated his

burninater, you stated his life was ruin. I showed you where his life wasn't ruin. You made this the point of Job's suffering which was not the point of the lesson. Because I am a believer and a child of God, I do have the right by the authority given to me by my heavenly Father to understand His word and to teach. That is not a bad thing, although you seem to think it is. I never insinuated that I wish people of Christian faith control government but I would like to see the teachings of Christ more in the people that do run our government.

InChristLove
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InChristLove 09/02/11 - 11:25 am
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Iwannakno, I'd really like to

Iwannakno, I'd really like to know how our government is based on Christianity. As far as I can see, we have a class of government that is dishonest, cheat, lie, sexual immorality, manipulation, you name it and according to Christ teachings, none of these are considered characteristics of Christianity.

InChristLove
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InChristLove 09/02/11 - 11:28 am
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burninater......just for

burninater......just for clarification so you don't think the lesson was based on material possessions. The lesson in Job's suffering was about trust in Almighty God, that even in all the desparate situations we go through, God is in control and He will bless us if we are faithful to Him and trust in Him.

burninater
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burninater 09/02/11 - 11:35 am
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"Because I am a believer and

"Because I am a believer and a child of God, I do have the right by the authority given to me by my heavenly Father to understand His word and to teach."

ICL, I do in fact think that a gov't in the hands of people who BELIEVE they have an authority given them by a god is a bad thing.

The historical record of theocracies, divine right kingdoms, or atheistic gov'ts that deify their leader is an exceptionally violent and repressive one. I challenge anyone to find an analogue for the free America they envision in any of these "godly" gov'ts past or present.

If the Tea Party stuck to their fiscal discipline guns while avoiding the tendency to ally themselves with those who seek a theocracy, I would be all for them. I think they've given the Republicans an excellent opportunity to step away from the evangelical vote and return to their claimed philosophy of gov't that is necessary, and no more ... particularly in terms of dictating conformity to the demands of humans that believe they are the vessels of the will of a god. Rubbish.

RoadkiII
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RoadkiII 09/02/11 - 11:41 am
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So, we weren't founded as a

So, we weren't founded as a Christian nation....

Every person who shall be chosen a member of either house, or appointed to any office or place of trust, before taking his seat, or entering upon the execution of his office, shall take the following oath, or affirmation, if conscientiously scrupulous of taking an oath, to wit:

" I, A B. will bear true allegiance to the Delaware State, submit to its constitution and laws, and do no act wittingly whereby the freedom thereof may be prejudiced."

And also make and subscribe the following declaration, to wit:

" I, A B. do profess faith in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ His only Son, and in the Holy Ghost, one God, blessed for evermore; and I do acknowledge the holy scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by divine inspiration."

Anyone care to take a stab at where that came from?

burninater
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burninater 09/02/11 - 11:42 am
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ICL, I understand your

ICL, I understand your interpretation of the story of Job. My point is that I don't agree that having increased wealth and replacement children demonstrate a just reward for trust and faith. A just reward, in my opinion, would involve letting a man live in peace without tormenting him and murdering his children.

I don't teach my dog that I am in control, and that she should have faith in me, by whipping her, tormenting her with fleas and mange, and murdering her puppies. Remaking our country based on the vision of those who think this is an appropriate way to teach a lesson? No way.

burninater
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burninater 09/02/11 - 11:45 am
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Correct me if I'm wrong, RK,

Correct me if I'm wrong, RK, but we aren't the United State of Delaware, are we?

We were founded by our Constitution, and the Constitution contains ZERO language specific to the worship of Jesus Christ. ZERO.

TrukinRanger
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TrukinRanger 09/02/11 - 11:45 am
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Christianity is based on the
Unpublished

Christianity is based on the bible. A fictional book of fairy tales and exploitations. It has long been weaved into our society to control the masses and never should have been. I agree, we should go back to our roots- roots planted by our founding fathers that wanted freedom to worship whatever religion you wanted. Our country was NOT based on Christian principles- somehow they just got injected like a virus. EVERY person should be equal and have the same rights as everyone else. Religion has been the cause of the majority of wars throughout our history and needs to be kept within their own institutions, not our government.

howcanweknow
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howcanweknow 09/02/11 - 11:50 am
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As I have posted before,

As I have posted before, there are some interesting thoughts:

"It is impossible to govern the world without God and the Bible. Of all the dispositions and habits that lead to political prosperity, our religion and morality are the indispensable supporters. Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that our national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle."

This person could not be elected to public office today.

Who said this?

George Washington.

Times have changed.

RoadkiII
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RoadkiII 09/02/11 - 11:56 am
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Correct, the first state. A

Correct, the first state. A reference to God appears in ALL 50 states constitutions. Strange for a country that wasn't founded as a Christian nation.

burninater
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burninater 09/02/11 - 11:58 am
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howcan, where in that quote

howcan, where in that quote does Washington claim a God-given authority to teach the will of God to those that lack that authority?

Where in that quote does George Washington mention Jesus Christ?

Where in that quote does George Washington say that one must be a religious devotee of God or the Bible?

Where in that quote does George Washington say that we must take the Bible as literal truth?

"This person could not be elected to public office today."

Really? Try this.

"When I wake in the morning, I wait on the Lord, I ask him to give me the strength to do right by our country and our people. And when I go to bed at night, I wait on the Lord and I ask him to forgive me my sins and to look after my family and to make me an instrument of the Lord."

Guess what President said that, howcan?

President Obama, elected 2008.

Times really haven't changed, as much as your demogogues deceive you into believing.

burninater
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burninater 09/02/11 - 12:01 pm
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Yes RK, it IS strange, isn't

Yes RK, it IS strange, isn't it, that every colony's Constitution mentioned God, but the national Constitution they wrote and RATIFIED DIDN'T.

Almost seems DELIBERATE, doesn't it?

RoadkiII
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RoadkiII 09/02/11 - 12:10 pm
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Pennsylvania, the second

Pennsylvania, the second state has this in its’ original constitution.That all men have a natural and unalienable right to worship Almighty God

New Jersey, the third state..That no person shall ever, within this Colony, be deprived of the inestimable privilege of worshipping Almighty God

Georgia, the fourth state... All persons whatever shall have the free exercise of their religion;

Connecticut, the fifth state...The People of Connecticut acknowledging with gratitude, the good providence of God,

Massachusetts, the sixth state...We, therefore, the people of Massachusetts, acknowledging, with grateful hearts, the goodness of the great Legislator of the universe, in affording us, in the course of His providence,

Maryland, the seventh state... That, as it is the duty of every man to worship God in such manner as he thinks most acceptable to him; all persons, professing the Christian religion, are equally entitled to protection in their religious liberty;

South Carolina, the eighth state...1st. That there is one eternal God, and a future state of rewards and punishments. 2d. That God is publicly to be worshipped. 3d. That the Christian religion is the true religion 4th. That the holy scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are of divine inspiration, and are the rule of faith and practice. 5th. That it is lawful and the duty of every man being thereunto called by those that govern, to bear witness to the truth.

New Hampshire, the ninth state...Every individual has a natural and unalienable right to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience, and reason; and no subject shall be hurt, molested, or restrained, in his peers on, liberty, or estate, for worshipping God in the manner and season most agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience; or for his religious profession, sentiments, or persuasion; provided he doth not disturb the public peace or disturb others in their religious worship.

Virginia, the tenth state...That religion or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and, therefore, all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity towards each other.

New York, the eleventh state... We The People of the State of New York, grateful to Almighty God for our Freedom, in order to secure its blessings, DO ESTABLISH THIS CONSTITUTION.

North Carolina, the twelfth state... That all men have a natural and unalienable right to worship Almighty God

Rhode Island, the thirteenth state...We, the people of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, grateful to Almighty God for the civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing upon our endeavors to secure and to transmit the same, unimpaired, to succeeding generations, do ordain and establish this Constitution of government.

Well now, do I hear any argument that the representatives from these colonies were not the founding fathers, framers of the Constitution, creators of a nation, sons of liberty, or any one of many monikers you could give them? No? The again I ask, where does the sentiment that we were not founded as Christian nation come from. It certainly isn’t found in any historical documents. Quite the contrary is found in these documents. Maybe our founders were much more intelligent than we have ever given them credit for being.

howcanweknow
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howcanweknow 09/02/11 - 12:10 pm
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Burni, GW was referring to

Burni, GW was referring to the God of the Bible, i.e., Jesus Christ. If you were more familiar with the Bible, you'd know that. I do not know which God our current president believes in. That's up to him.

Obama is speaking about his personal God. GW spoke specifically about GOVERNING via God. That is the difference.

I don't need a demogogue or any other gogue to see the obvious of what is said. Stop trying to twist and spin what is pretty clear.

RoadkiII
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RoadkiII 09/02/11 - 12:12 pm
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Well, I tried to post some

Well, I tried to post some more but evidently the Chronicle has to approve it first.... oh well.

burninater
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burninater 09/02/11 - 12:26 pm
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howcan, Jews would not agree

howcan, Jews would not agree with your stement that JC is the God of the Bible. Nor would Muslims, and NOR WOULD DEISTS LIKE GW.

" ... a Presbyterian minister, Arthur B. Bradford, who was an associate of Ashbel Green another Presbyterian minister who had known George Washington personally. Bradford wrote that Green, "often said in my hearing, though very sorrowfully, of course, that while Washington was very deferential to religion and its ceremonies, like nearly all the founders of the Republic, he was not a Christian, but a Deist."

http://www.veteranstoday.com/2011/05/05/americas-forgotten-religion-deism/

A. I am twisting nothing.

B. YOU are twisting history.

Isn't bearing false witness a sin? Why would you preach that and then turn around and do it?

Prove these ministers and this biographer wrong, howcan. Prove you aren't bearing false witness. Post a SINGLE QUOTE from Washington professing his faith and devotion to his Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. ONE. SINGLE. QUOTE.

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