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"Jesus Camps", Mel M., etc.

Reader comment on item: My Debate with London Mayor Ken Livingstone
in response to reader comment: Don't forget the "God's Kingdom" menace. How many "Jesus Camps" will it take? And, where are the moderates?

Submitted by Peter J. Herz (United States), Jan 29, 2007 at 17:43

Mel M.; I am not Christian "moderate". I would like to see the conversion of everyone to Gospel Christianity. I even honor the memories of Huldreich Zwingli, Heinrich Bullinger, Jean Calvin, John Knox, Andrew Melville, Oliver Cromwell, and Samuel Rutherford. I hate women's ordination, and see sodomy as disgusting. Nor do I accept the dispensational premilennial eschatology that animates much pro-Israel sentiment among my brethren. But I do NOT support the Christian Reconstruction movement.

I agree that the movement is dangerous--especially when, in the case of people like Gary North (the dude who brought us the Y2K brouhaha) it mixes with Pentecostalism (in Massachusetts ca. 1650, Pentecostals would have been flogged out of town at the cart's tail for Quakers--look at what P's and Q's believed now and back then, and you'll see how akin they are). Christian Reconstructionism is a case where people touched by the radical fire of the Silly Sixties and Sillier Seventies decided to react in a similar bullying, paranoiac, and irrational manner.

However, one thing that will keep us all from the CR scourge is that the Dominionists are about as brittle and schism-prone a movement as ever existed. They will damn each other over the slightest pretext long before they can get enough power to do anything to anyone else. if they did indeed have a unified hold on the Christian Right, and were indeed a unified force, I assure you that the "Bible-based executions" you so fear would've already begun.

Ultimately, the Risen Christ's final marching order to His church is "make disciples", not "massacre the Canaanites!"; and the warnings of the Book of Revelation are about what GOD, not the church, will do--and also contain an invitation to hearers to "come". It is why there will always be Evangelicals (yes, even Confessional Reformed folk like me) who are more concerned that the Gospel appear as a door through which people are invited to enter rather than as a club held over their heads.

Remember, we Christians also call the Old Testament Scripture--even if we see the civil and ceremonial (but not the moral) laws of the Pentateuch set aside since the coming of Christ. If we learn anything from the Babylonian Captivity, it is that good guys can and do lose--especially when their Heavenly Father wants them to put away abominations and get back on the right track.

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