A BIBLE BELIEVER IS VOTING FOR JOHN KERRY
may have a problem with this article if you are a "might makes right"
Patriot at all costs.
If you do not believe a conservative can do evil, you need to meditate on the following
thoughts very carefully, for conservatives are almost always hiding behind a patriotic
smoke screen or rhetoric about imminent danger. History proves that to be true.
also proves that the most incipient treachery is done in the name
of the gods. Virtually every tyrant in world history claimed that the gods
were on his side, and he had priests and monks on hand to bless him.
These priests, in retrospect, have come to be associated with the
darkest eras of religions. Their gullibility is seen as the weakest
moment in their religion.
classic example is the dumb fools the Popes sent
along with the Conquistadores of Spain who raped
and pillaged South and Central America. After
they destroyed the people there and made
slaves of them, the monks came along
and blessed the results in the name
of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
YOU come behind George
Bush and bless his faux war
and the rape of Iraq?
In the name of Jesus?
is error alone which needs the support of government.
Truth can stand by itself."
71:16 I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD:
I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only.
I thought you might like this. It is from The Life of William Jennings Bryan by Genevieve Forbes Herrick and John Origen Herrick and it shows what Christians in America once believed concerning war and imperialism specifically the American annexation of the Philippines.
It's from page 194 and 195. The quotation is from Mr. William Jennings Bryan during his second campaign for the Presidency in the year 1900. His opponent was William McKinley who was in favor of keeping the Philippines which the US had won from Spain during the Spanish American war. Said the authors "He lost on this issue in 1900; but again, he was only beaten, not defeated." In 1946 the US relinquished its title to the Philippines and it became an independent nation.
P. 190, "His own party was hardly with Bryan on the question of imperialism. Yet with characteristic courage he openly stated his position, refusing to trim his sails to the popular post-war sentiment. How well he succeeded in turning the Democratic party toward his way of thinking maybe shown by an inspection of the Democratic platforms of 1900, 1904, 1908, and 1912. Every one of them contains an anti-imperialism plank written in through Bryan's influence."
P. 190 (Bryan speaking) " The imperialistic idea is directly antagonistic to the ideas and ideals which have been cherished by the American people since the signing of the Declaration of Independence. A nation cannot endure half republic and half colony."
P. 191 (Bryan speaking) "I want to know whether the mothers of this land have no higher ambition for their sons than to raise them up and send them across the seas to fight the ideas of freedom in a foreign land in order that somebody may get railroad franchises?" [ In 2004, Bryan would have said, for oil contracts ]
P. 194, 195 (Bryan speaking) "If true Christianity consists of carrying out in our daily lives the teachings of Christ, who will say that we are commanded to civilize with dynamite and proselyte with the sword? He who would declare the Divine will must prove his authority either by Holy Writ or by evidence of a special dispensation."
"Imperialism finds no warrant in the Bible. The command. 'Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature,' has no Gatling gun attachment. [ In 2004 Bryan would say, no missile attachment] When Jesus visited a village of Samaria and the people refused to receive him, some of the disciples suggested that fire should be called down from Heaven to avenge the insult; but the Master rebuked them and said: 'Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of; for the Son of Man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them.' Suppose he had said: 'We will thrash them until they understand who we are," how different would have been the history of Christianity! Compare, if you will the swaggering, bullying, brutal doctrine of imperialism with the golden rule and the commandment, 'Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.'
"Love, not force, was the weapon of the Nazarene; sacrifice for others, not the exploitation of them, was His method of reaching the human heart. A missionary recently told me that the Stars and Stripes once saved his life because his assailant recognized our flag as a flag that had no blood upon it,
"Let it be known that our missionaries are seeking souls instead of sovereignty; let it be know that instead of being the advance guard of conquering armies, they are going forth to help and uplift, having their loins girt about with truth and their feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, wearing the breastplate of righteousness and carrying the sword of the spirit; let it be known that they are citizens of a nation which respects the rights of the citizens of other nations as carefully as it protects the rights of its own citizens, and the welcome given to our missionaries will be more cordial than the welcome extended to the missionaries of any other nation.
(End of quotations)
Just so you know where I am coming from I am a supporter of John Kerry but only as the lesser of two evils. Neither candidate puts forth a distinctly Christian position. So I can certainly understand your refusal to vote for either man. A Christian answers to our Lord and nowhere did our Lord command anyone to vote or participate in the political process. I think there is a civic duty to vote as a citizen of a democracy but if no candidate appeals to you then I do not think even this applies. Certainly you are not uninformed on the issues. I personally feel that John Kerry is your traditional business as usual politician and as such is less dangerous to this nation than Mr. Bush. Hardly a ringing endorsement I know but I do not think America can stand another four years of this "conservative", "Christian" President, George Bush.
In fact I think the danger is greater since Christians will not be deceived by Mr. Kerry who makes no claims of intimacy with our Lord while millions of good and decent Christians (I feel) are being influenced for evil by this man who claims to be on a first name basis with the Almighty even as he deceives the very elect and sheds the blood of innocents.
William Jennings Bryan is largely forgotten or remembered-- only for his performance at the infamous Scopes Trial-- but, he was a genuine soulwinning Christian and a farsighted politician. He lost most of his battles and never became President but most of the things he stood for were later adopted. It is a shame that such a great man is largely remembered as a fool, if he is remembered at all.
P. 422 (Rev. Dr. Joseph R. Sizoo, from Bryan's funeral address)
"Some day, perhaps, we may see his great contribution to life and the final heritage that he has come to leave. He has rebuilt the alter of faith in God and covered that alter with his very life. It was faith that gave such sweep to his helpful service.
"What a challenge is such a life to all who falter; what a comfort to all that believe; what an indictment upon all who reject it; what a prophecy of power to all who make it real
"We shall see him again, for such a life cannot die."
Editor: Steve Van Nattan--
AMBASSADORS DO NOT VOTE
What is the role of a Bible believer in the nation in which he humanly lives?
As to the king:
1 Peter 2:17 Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.
As to political action and issues:
1 Corinthians 3:19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.
As to voting:
2 Timothy 2:4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
What is my relationship to the people of this world?
2 Corinthians 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
Ephesians 3:10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
Ambassadors do not vote for the leaders of the nations to whom they are sent. Ambassadors answer only to their leader. They promote his cause only and avoid all local distractions.
To whom, and to what, do born again saints belong?
Hebrews 12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
So, why are Christ's pastors promoting depraved political men from their pulpits? How did the embassy of Heaven become a campaign head-quarters for George Bush?
Adolph Hitler was a flaming conservative. He called for the restoration of German power and honor. He demanded the highest moral character in his youth wing. The vast majority of German pastors supported Hitler in his early years. When they learned they had been betrayed, it was too late.
Abraham Lincoln was the embodiment of conservative old fashioned zeal. Christians were drawn to him and his simple ways with what sounded like Bible based convictions. Lincoln said that when he sent troops south that the ONLY thing he was concerned about was the securing of US forts and military hardware. LIE! He knew what he wanted-- power over the south. Lincoln, after the was, sent politicians south to rule the south for the Federal Government. This imperialist move was 100% in violation of the US Constitution. Lincoln was NOT a born again believer in Jesus Christ. He was a do-gooder who knew how to massage the minds of Christians. George Bush and Pentecostal John Ashcroft know very well how to mess with Christians' minds, and it is working.
I believe the Executive Powers Act will be used by a conservative like George Bush. It will follow some future event like 9/11, and you fools who exalt him as an alleged Christians will weep. But, it will be too late, just as it was too late for the pastors of Germany once Himmler and Goerbles were on a roll.
Southern Baptist relief workers were turned back in late May 2004 at the border of Iraq because the Iraqis hate American religion after what they think this religion did to them in Baghdad. All over the world, George Bush is doing damage to Christian missions.
I am sick of hearing that Bush is the great White hope of the Lord's Church. Where is my hope?
Philippians 1:20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.
Why do American Christians seem to crave their leaders to be born again, even if it must be done in pulpits in the form of Mother Goose theology invented by the likes of James Dobson and Jerry Falwell? Answer: American Christians believe that nations are Christians rather than people. They talk about America being a Christian nation. Jesus Christ did not die on the cross for America. He died on the cross for any man or woman who will trust in his saving work on that cross, and in his resurrection. There will not be a room in heaven for Americans to celebrate. There will not be a cellar full or Russians in heaven who are down there because they had a wicked government on earth.
So, would I vote for John Kerry? I will not be voting because I am NOT bound by the Word of God to choose one of two profane and depraved men for any reason. Since I have the choice to NOT vote, I take that choice. I do respect Mr. Sherman's position in voting for Kerry though. Think about Bill Clinton's eight years. He did not do a fraction of the harm to America that George Bush has done, financially, and in terms of invasion of our privacy. I also recall that Bible believers watched him like a hawk, as did Rush Dimbulb. Bush has had carte blanche from Bible believers in the USA. Almost every preacher I talk to thinks Bush has done what he had to do. LIE!
George Bush is a liar who told us he had the evidence against Saddam Hussein as to weapons of mass destruction. I do NOT believe the CIA is to be blamed for this lie. Bush lied, and he is now trying to pass the blame off on others. The only one coming close to admitting the truth is General Powell, and he may be snuffed any day if he keeps talking that way. It is very curious that the only man who shows real remorse over the lies is a Black man. White people have this nasty record of being the only promoters of Fascism, Libertarianism, and Nazism. The Skull and Bones Mafia is ruling America, Bush or Kerry, Rockadems or Rockapubs. I believe it is always safe to change men at every election and keep Caesar off balance.
By the way, today, because of the imperialist expansionism of George Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and other banking elite in Washington DC, American missionaries have become the target of hate and are being killed for being Americans. Herr Könige Bush has done more to harm Christian missions than any 1000 Mullahs of Islam. You may not like that, but kindly tell me how ANY Liberal in US history hurt Christian missions? It is the bully boys on the right who make the most dedicated enemies for the USA. It was Harry Truman who, virtually alone, but on the recommendation of a missionary friend to Jews in New York City, recognized the state of Israel for the USA. Not ONE of his advisors agreed with him. Not ONE! Democrat!
SO, ANYONE WHO DOES NOT VOTE FOR BUSH
DOES GOD A DISSERVICE? WELL, HERE IS YOUR MAN.
BIBLE AND FLAG?
See a school on the right, Bob Jones rhetoric, which mixes "reverence" for the Bible and flag.
Compare what the Word of God calls "revenend":
Psalms 111:9 He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.
I thought I had heard the extreme example of the Bush pushing devils in Baptists pulpits. Folks, here is a terrifying thing. This reminds me of stories I heard of Catholic priests and Lutheran pastors in Nazi Germany who coerced their people to support Adolph Hitler. Read and weep:
Minister Ex-Communicates Members For Not Backing Bush
Another 40 members have left in protest.
Waynesville, NC-- The minister of a Haywood County Baptist church is telling members of his congregation that if they're Democrats, they either need to find another place of worship or support President Bush. Already, the Reverend Chan Chandler has ex-communicated nine members of East Waynesville Baptist Church. Another 40 members have left in protest. During last Sunday's sermon, he acknowledged that church members were upset because he named people, and he says he'll do it again because he has to according to the word of God. Chandler could not be reached for comment, but says his actions weren't politically motivated. One former church member says Chandler told some of the members that if they didn't support George Bush, they needed to resign their positions and get out of the church, or go to the altar, repent and agree to vote for Bush. A former church treasurer says she's at church to worship God and not the preacher.
Producer created: 5/6/2005 3:05:35 PM
Last updated: 5/6/2005 3:08:59 PM
A Masonic page quote:
"On Tuesday we went to a Bush BBQ and dance, some of it was good but not the food.
The banquets in the hotel have been good. The hotel is actually a Casino. I haven't been
in there but Loma has. Formal Opening was last night. Beautiful but very very long.
Bible and Flag ceremonies were very nice. Looked great having Amy carry the Missouri
Flag (glad they got their clothes recovered)."
"Bible and flag" ceremony in a Casino!!!!!
Here is a man who exalts himself as more than a pastor--
A Military man who mixes the flag and Bible.
More or this arrogance by Bob Thieme
HERE IS THE HISTORY OF FUNDAMENTALISM IN TEXAS
article shows how Fundamental Baptists in particular, and later,
all Fundamentalists, were suckered into politics by their on folly, and by the Bush empire.
Fundamentalism is usually characterized by scholars as a religious response to modernism, especially the theory of evolution as an explanation of human origins and the idea that solutions to problems can be found without regard to traditional religious values. Protestant Christian fundamentalists hold that the Bible is the final authority on matters of all sorts, that it is infallible in every way, including details of its stories which appear to be in conflict with modern scientific teaching, and that the "fundamental" tenets of the faith are nonnegotiable and exempt from the varieties of interpretation that members of less authoritarian religious bodies might place on such teachings.
Fundamentalists constitute one part of the larger group of Protestants called evangelicals, who believe that they are bound by God to win converts to their faith, usually both from the ranks of nonbelievers and from those of adherents to other forms of religious belief, including other branches of Christianity. Protestant fundamentalists sometimes embrace a view of the end of human history called premillenialism, the expectation that Jesus Christ will return to earth, having triumphed over the forces of evil and degradation, then usher in and preside over a period of 1,000 years of heavenly peace on earth. Though there have been large numbers of biblical literalists among African-American Christians, militant fundamentalism in Texas most often has been an outgrowth of white evangelicalism.
Texas fundamentalists' activities unfolded within three general time periods in the twentieth century. Dismissed by many observers as backward-looking, anti-intellectual, and dangerous, for approximately the first thirty years of the twentieth century fundamentalists in Texas waged a form of religious warfare against the cultural and educational changes associated with modernism. Their tendency was to do intellectual, political, and legal battle with their modernist opponents, especially with the goal of winning control of religious institutions and using the apparatus of secular governments to attempt to stamp out instances of modernist influence. During the first period Texas gave the nation one of its most remarkable fundamentalist leaders, Baptist pastor J. Frank Norrisqv of Fort Worth. Throughout the century it provided homes for some of the best-known fundamentalist institutions and movements. But during the middle years of the century fundamentalists in general attracted and sought less public attention. Unable to win control of mainstream religious organizations or achieve their most fervently longed-for changes in society through legal means, they followed for the middle third of the century a strategy of separating themselves from people who disagreed with them on the fundamentals of the faith.
Texas fundamentalists participated enthusiastically and publicly in anticommunist activity in the 1950s and 1960s. But most of their efforts in the middle period went toward the establishment of their own schools, publishing concerns, and broadcast-media facilities. They also helped build an evangelical subculture during those years that surfaced later to take on highly visible roles in national debates over public policy and personal morality, thus making the state a focal point in the last third of the century for the merger of conservative politics and traditionalist religion. In the latter decades of the twentieth century, fundamentalists in Texas returned to many of the methods they had employed in their public and institutional battles in the first part of the century. This last period also saw the embrace of modern methods of persuasion and marketing by fundamentalists determined to restore old values to prominence in the United States. Their reemergence in the major denominations from which fundamentalists had separated in earlier years reflected in the last third of the century a national trend back to the kinds of intrachurch conflict aimed at ridding denominations of suspected liberal influence that had characterized fundamentalism in its beginnings.
Fundamentalism in Texas had its roots in intrachurch controversies of the nineteenth century that originated in other parts of the South. The "restorationist" movement embodied within the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and Church of Christ,qqv the attempt to recreate church life on the presumed New Testament model, attracted many separatist Baptists and Presbyterians. In Texas much of the restorationist impulse within the Disciples of Christ issued from a dispute between their publishing houses. Firm Foundation in Austin argued an exclusivist position, based greatly on the growing insistence over forbidding the use of musical instruments in worship services; this prohibition characterized Church of Christ practice and pointed many Disciples in the direction of the Churches of Christ. Opposing this position was the Christian Courierqv publishing concern in Dallas. Members of the Church of Christ and many people within Southern Baptist congregations held the exclusivist view that theirs was the only legitimate church; among Baptists this view was called Landmarkism (see LANDMARK MOVEMENT). Their disapproval of the beliefs of those who disagreed with them, including the majority of Texas Baptists, set the stage for some of the bitter intradenominational struggles in the twentieth century and helped initiate a tradition of Baptist separatism.
Fundamentalists in Texas wasted little time in trying to use the power of the state to prevent the spread of modernist teaching. In 1923, state representatives S. J. Howeth of Johnson County and J. T. Stroder of Navarro County, a Baptist minister and Baptist layman, respectively, introduced the legislature's first antievolution bill. If it had passed, it would have predated by almost two years the Tennessee act prohibiting the teaching of the theory of evolution in state-funded schools that led to the famous trial of John Thomas Scopes in Dayton, Tennessee (1925). The measure failed, though the House passed a resolution condemning the theory of evolution during one of the year's special sessions. During House debates, Stroder claimed to have received the support of William Jennings Bryan, who went on to help prosecute the Scopes case in Tennessee. Other efforts were made over the years to pass legislation in Texas limiting modernist teaching or encouraging Christian perspectives in public education. Church groups advocated legislation authorizing the inclusion of Bible courses in public school curricula and brought pressure on the legislature to make it illegal for public schools to employ agnostics or atheists. Such pressure affected the filling of the presidency of the University of Texas in 1924 and prompted a move the next year to prohibit the university's employment of anyone who was an "infidel, atheist, or agnostic."
Texas reaction to the Scopes trial included resolutions by church groups and editorials favoring the prosecution of Scopes in fundamentalist newspapers, especially the Searchlight, J. Frank Norris's paper published in Fort Worth, leading secular newspapers of the state, and papers in small towns in heavily Protestant East and Central Texas, where fundamentalist support was strongest in the 1920s. Supportive statements came from various elected officials all over Texas. Nationally, however, the Scopes trial generated much ridicule for fundamentalists, who were lampooned in many publications. This ridicule helped account for the comparative movement of fundamentalism in Texas out of the public eye between the 1930s and the 1960s.
The fundamentalists had succeeded, however, in reducing instruction in evolution in the schools for several decades. In the late 1950s, an unexpected source of renewed emphasis on teaching evolution arose: the accelerated national program of science instruction prompted by fears of falling behind the Soviet Union in military research and technology. Though fundamentalists had no shortage of anticommunist fervor, they opposed the teaching of evolution in post-Sputnik science curricula intended to help American students compete with their Soviet counterparts. Fundamentalist-sponsored antievolution rallies were held in Texas throughout much of the 1960s, including a large ecumenical conference devoted to that purpose in Houston in 1968.
Though the state legislature never passed an antievolution bill, fundamentalists managed to force the removal of discussions of evolution from state-adopted textbooks in 1925. Mel and Norma Gabler of Longview became nationally known in the 1970s and 1980s for their ability to win changes in or outright rejection of proposed Texas public schoolbooks they and others found offensive. But fundamentalist forebears pioneered their tactics in the 1920s. Despite the failure of antimodernist legislation in the state, Governor Miriam A. Fergusonqv and the state's textbook commission and board of education ensured that no biology texts would be adopted for Texas schools which mentioned evolution; they threatened teachers with dismissal from their jobs if they were discovered using textbooks that did so. Ma Ferguson's immediate predecessor as governor, the future president of Baylor University, Pat M. Neff,qv had made public assurances that the state would adopt no textbook that conflicted with biblical teaching. Sixty years later, the issue was still alive. The state Republican party called in 1988 for teaching of the origins of life in the schools to be "balanced" between creationist views and evolutionary ones. It seemed that the power of the Gablers and their allies might have diminished when the state's board of education approved guidelines in 1988 to provide for discussion of evolution in high school geology texts and in 1989 for inclusion in high school biology texts of "scientific evidence of evolution and reliable scientific theories, if any." But some interpreted such decisions as victories for antimodernist viewpoints because of precedents they set for control of evolutionary teaching.
Much of the fundamentalist energy directed toward politics, especially the crusade against communism and other threats to fundamentalist Christian views of society, transformed many apparently secular issues into religious ones. Communism came to be seen not just as a political and economic alternative to the capitalist democracy of the United States, but as a promoter of modernism and anti-Christian sentiments as well. Texas fundamentalists drew inspiration from the fact that one of the principal heroes of anticommunism, John Birch, had been a student for a time before World War IIqv in the Fundamental Baptist Bible Institute, later renamed Bible Baptist Seminary, in Arlington. J. Frank Norris, one of the chief patrons of the fundamentalist seminary, helped solidify the ties between anticommunism and fundamentalism when he addressed the state legislature in 1949, calling for an end to tax-derived support for colleges and universities that had allowed their faculties to be infiltrated by communists.
Prominent fundamentalists blamed communism for such progressive initiatives as desegregation and the civil-rights movement.qv Through much of the 1950s, many Texas fundamentalists supported efforts to resist racial integration and attacked such prointegration figures as Thomas B. Maston,qv a professor at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. Fundamentalists also provided much of the most loyal support of Martin Diesqv of Texas, the prominent chairman of the House Committee on Un-American Activities. In 1960 the national Christian Anti-Communist Crusade established one of its four regional offices in Houston. Similar organizations appeared in Dallas in the early 1960s.
Several denominational purges were attempted by fundamentalists during the 1920s. The Methodist Churchqv lost members and congregations over the premillenialist doctrine, especially as it was questioned by professors at Methodist-sponsored institutions who had embraced the new methods of "higher criticism" in biblical scholarship. The church was attacked by militant Methodist evangelist William E. Hawkins in 1922 in connection with the teaching of evolution in Methodist schools. Southern Methodist University professor Mims Workman was dismissed from the school's faculty in 1925 because of his supposedly heterodox views. Moderate Methodists won a victory, however, in 1927, when William Hawkins's governing conference withdrew his ministerial credentials. Hawkins set up headquarters at the new fundamentalist seminary in Dallas, which came to be called Dallas Theological Seminary, and inaugurated a radio program. Texas Disciples of Christ made their own investigation of possible heterodoxy in their schools. Presbyterians' debates over biblical inerrancy heated up when controversial pastor William Caldwell moved from Baltimore to Fort Worth.
Texas Episcopalians witnessed a controversy that broke out in 1923 over the modernist views of Fort Worth priest Lee W. Heaton, who was never tried for heresy but who was publicly rebuked by Bishop Co-adjutor Harry T. Moore of Dallas. Dallas Theological Seminary was symptomatic of a new strategy fundamentalists increasingly followed, both as groups and as individuals, of separation from the main bodies of churches they considered to have become irretrievably worldly. Much of the growth of such separatist groups as the Pentecostal churches and the Church of the Nazareneqv dates from this period. The new seminary in Dallas resulted in part from a split among Presbyterians in the 1920s over fundamentalist views and became a national center for dispensationalism, the belief that human history is divided into ages, or dispensations, and that the present one will be the last. It was also in part an outgrowth of the vision of Cyrus I. Scofield,qv an influential Congregationalist pastor in Dallas and editor of the renowned Scofield Reference Bible. Dallas Theological Seminary became widely noted through another reference Bible edited by one of its faculty members and oriented toward dispensational premillenialism, the Ryrie Study Bible.
From the 1930s until the 1970s, most mainstream denominational groups experienced relatively peaceful times, principally because of the departure from their ranks of unhappy militants. Many fundamentalist dissidents, including J. Frank Norris, left mainstream churches to join or form their own purist denominations, the principal exception being a sizable contingent within the Texas convention of Southern Baptists, who kept alive a tradition of fundamentalist dissent beginning in the teens. Militant fundamentalist Texas Baptists were led in large part after the 1950s by W. A. Criswell, longtime pastor of the gigantic First Baptist Church of Dallas,qv who burst onto the national scene as a result of highly publicized remarks critical of racial desegregation. Unlike Norris, Criswell never removed himself or his church from Southern Baptist affiliation, but his biblical literalism made him and his church the focal points around which emerged a growing movement that challenged the entire structure of Southern Baptist work in the 1970s.
First Baptist Church, Dallas, furthermore, sponsored a separatist system of private schools, fostered a close relationship with Dallas Baptist University, and in 1971 started a seminary, the Criswell Center for Biblical Studies. In these schools, the children of church members and likeminded people could move from kindergarten through graduate study in school environments that they considered theologically safe, unlike those found in the public schools and universities and in denominationally affiliated schools they considered wayward, such as Southern Methodist University and Baylor University. Criswell's allies in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, including James Robison and Jimmy Draper, helped promote an atmosphere of discontent with the moral drift they saw in modern society and put pressure on churches of various denominations to take stands on such issues as the changing roles of women, mandated prayers in public schools, and, with increasing importance, abortion. Robison's television ministry generated considerable controversy in the 1970s and 1980s because of his blistering attacks on nontraditional modes of life, especially homosexuality.
Much of the focus of Baptist disagreement in Texas has had to do with Baylor University. Promodernist views and opposition to American participation in World War Iqv cost Baylor professor J. L. Kessler his job. Norris's tireless assaults caused the departure of Grove S. Dow from the faculty in 1923 because of his authorship of a book describing the social and biological aspects of human development. Criticisms of Baylor came not just from Norris. Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary contributed somewhat to the fundamentalist critique of modernist scholarship at Baylor and elsewhere. Seminary faculty members J. J. Reeve and Charles B. Williams contributed articles to The Fundamentals, the national series of pamphlets that promoted adherence to the basic catalog of fundamentalist teachings. Though the seminary received a great deal of attention from Norris as well, several of its faculty members and President Lee R. Scarborough joined in occasional criticisms of Baylor faculty members suspected of unorthodox beliefs. Periodic attacks on Baylor faculty by conservative Baptists continued, and intensified during the 1970s and 1980s as the resurgent fundamentalist movement began to gain power in Southern Baptist life.
The new attacks focused especially on Baylor's religion department and to a slightly lesser degree on the general direction of the university. In a dramatic surprise move to cut off the possibility of a fundamentalist takeover, a majority of Baylor trustees in 1991 voted to invoke charter privileges dating back to the nineteenth century and sever legal ties with the Texas Baptist Convention. For more than 100 years, the convention had exercised power to appoint the school's trustees, a growing minority of whom were in the fundamentalist camp by the time of the charter change.
During the last quarter of the twentieth century Texas Baptists showed in other ways as well how fundamentalist controversies had moved back where they began, within denominations rather than between them. The Southern Baptist Convention became a key arena in which Texas fundamentalist Baptists perfected a new strategy for altering church bodies they considered wayward, one of conquest from within. Two Texans, President Paige Patterson of the Criswell Center for Biblical Studies and Judge Paul Pressler of Houston, orchestrated a long-range takeover attempt built around winning the presidency of the Southern Baptist Convention, an office with the enormous power of appointing trustees of national Southern Baptist agencies and seminaries.
On the strength of their superb organizational abilities and their claim to speak for the majority of Southern Baptists, the Pressler-Patterson faction won the first of a remarkable string of victories at the 1979 convention meeting in Houston and appeared to have assured control of the denomination by the 1985 meeting in Dallas. During the mid-1990s, the militant fundamentalist wing of Southern Baptists controlled virtually every aspect of national Southern Baptist life and vied with moderate forces for supremacy within the state conventions. In 1994 fundamentalist trustees of Southwestern Seminary consummated their takeover of the Fort Worth school when they fired moderate President Russell Dilday. Their action prompted an outcry from many Texas Baptists and increased interest in the moderate seminary Baylor was making moves to form.
Militant Texas fundamentalists offered key participation in the rise of the new "Religious Right," especially during the presidential campaigns of Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. Houston preacher Bob Thieme, whom a historian called "a bombastic, superpatriotic colonel...preaching an astoundingly militaristic gospel," gained attention as a friend and spiritual mentor of the families of Marilyn Tucker Quayle and Dan Quayle, George Bush's vice president. As part of a religious coalition that would have seemed impossible in earlier days, many Texas Baptist fundamentalists and other conservatives within mainstream Protestant and fundamentalist denominations worked to deliver evangelical votes to conservative candidates, especially those who, alongside Catholics, opposed abortion. Politically if not in religious doctrine, the antiabortion cause and attempts to change government policies toward church schools united fundamentalist Protestants, whose ancestors had nourished deep hostility toward Catholicism, with Catholics.
Seeking to shed the "backwoods" image of fundamentalism, which had always been exaggerated, and to distance themselves from Pentecostals and Charismatics, Texas fundamentalists took pride in the educational attainments and modern tactics of their leadership and sought out kindred spirits in other parts of the religious landscape. As the twentieth century drew toward its close, they continued to help set much of the national agenda of the political crusade to reverse social and cultural changes that they did not want.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Sydney E. Ahlstrom, A Religious History of the American People (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1972). Randall Balmer, Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: A Journey into the Evangelical Subculture in America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989). "Fundamentalism," "Modernism and Religion," "Politics and Religion," "Restorationist Christianity," in Encyclopedia of Southern Culture (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1989). Norman F. Furniss, The Fundamentalist Controversy, 1918-1931 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1954). Ray Ginger,
Six Days or Forever?: Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes (London: Oxford University Press, 1974). Robert T. Handy, A Christian America: Protestant Hopes and Historical Realities (New York: Oxford University Press, 1971). Patsy Spencer Ledbetter, Crusade for the Faith: The Protestant Fundamentalist Movement in Texas (Ph.D. dissertation, North Texas State University, 1975). Patsy Spencer Ledbetter, "Texas Fundamentalism: Secular Phases of a Religious Conflict, 1920-1929," Red River Valley Historical Review 6 (Fall 1981). George M. Marsden, Fundamentalism and American Culture: The Shaping of Twentieth-Century Evangelicalism, 1870-1925 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1980). Martin E. Marty and R. Scott Appleby, eds., Fundamentalisms Observed (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991). Martin E. Marty and R. Scott Appleby, eds., Fundamentalisms and Society
(Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993). Martin E. Marty and R. Scott Appleby, eds., Fundamentalisms and the State (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993). Howard Miller, "Texas," in Religion in the Southern States, ed. Samuel S. Hill (Macon, Georgia: Mercer University Press, 1983). Eugene F. Provenzo, Jr., Religious Fundamentalism and American Education (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1990). C. Allyn Russell, Voices of American Fundamentalism (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1976). Clyde Wilcox, God's Warriors: The Christian Right in Twentieth-Century America (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992). Garry Wills, Under God: Religion and American Politics (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1990).
ON ANOTHER NOTE:
Steve Van Nattan-- I wrote to a friend:
" We have a standing rule that we do not trust a preacher who wears his military uniform unless he is on active duty..." This followed an exchange in which we agreed that the flag waving and Bush hype in the church house are profane and border on blasphemy since George Bush shows no fruit unto salvation, and the flag now stands for abortion and sodomy.
Our reader friend responded:
I had to call the Secret Service recently. I was making "stage" money for an entertainer friend, and when I printed the stuff out it occurred to me that, in spite of my comedy modifi-cations, even from a short distance the stuff could pass as the real deal.
So I called the Boys and asked them what the rules are on funny money. The agent on the other end told me that unless the "money" is obviously play money (like MONOPOLY money for example), ANY fake bills-- no matter what their color-- must be at least 1/3 larger than a real bill.
I was so impressed with the way that covered it ALL in a few words.
Then I thought of the tag that came with a Colt revolver I bought years ago. All it said was, "DO NOT POINT THIS AT ANYONE YOU DO NOT INTEND TO SHOOT."
There! All bases covered, again in a few words.
This all leads me to Paul in his first epistle to the Galatians. He notes that ANYTHING that is not the gospel is NOT the gospel, no matter how noble, how life-affirming, how seemingly worthwhile. If it is not the gospel, it is NOT the gospel. It is, in fact, a FALSE gospel.
There go Dobson, Robertson, Moral Majority, Warren, get-out-the-vote, right-wing politics, Rush Limbaugh (you could sooner curse the Holy Ghost in some churches than say a word against Rush!) and all the rest.
Galatians 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
Steve- Editor: Your unsaved hero's best intentions are damned to hell in a hand basket.
2 Thessalonians 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Do gooder religion is a lie, and those who promote is are damned, including Dobson, TBN, your Masonic Lodge, Rush Dimbulb, Pope Johnny, and George Bush. "Let them be accursed."
THE THIRD CHOICE: ABSTAIN FROM VOTING
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