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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Santorum, Religion, The Devil, and America

If you go to Church, or a Religious School, you may hear about Religion.

Hey folks,

If you walk into a Church and you hear THIS,,,

"The Father of Lies has his sights on what you would think the Father of Lies, Satan, would have his sights on: a good, decent, powerful, influential country -- the United States of America. If you were Satan, who would you attack in this day and age? There is no one else to go after other than the United States, and that's been the case for now almost 200 years, once America's preeminence was sown by our great Founding Fathers.

The next was the church. Now, you say, "Well, wait. The Catholic Church?" No. We all know that this country was founded on a Judeo-Christian ethic, but the Judeo-Christian ethic was a Protestant Judeo-Christian ethic. Sure, the Catholics had some influence, but this was a Protestant country, and the Protestant ethic. Mainstream, mainline Protestantism. And of course we look at the shape of mainline Protestantism in this country, and it is a shambles."
changes are, you would not be surprised. Correct? If you go into some other Churches, you may hear things like this

"It's not God Bless America, it's God Damn America. It's in the Bible."
Remember that? You hear people talking about God, the Devil, and everything Faith when you go to Church. That's why you go. If you go to a Religious School, they TEACH Faith, God, the Devil, ETC. That's why you go. I do not understand what is so heard to understand. If you go to Church, or a Religious School, you may hear about Religion. Imagine that. If you are asked to be a Guest Speaker there, YOU may talk about things that only those that UNDERSTAND Religion, can understand. That's why you are there.

So back in 2008, while NOT running for President, Rick Santorum, visited Ave Maria University. A RELIGIOUS School. He said "The Devil is attacking America, and the Mainline Protestants are basically more concerned with agendas than they are dealing with matters of Faith." More on this in a second.

So of course, the Mainstream Media is all over this. Ignorant Liberals and those that listen to the Media, are calling him names, and saying he is not fit for President. Just because he DARED mention the Devil. In a Religious School and 4 years ago when he was not even running for President. I even had to turn off a New Radio Host yesterday. I will not be listening anymore. He started his Show complaining about not getting calls, and then he went into this rant about how Santorum is a nut, and he needs to keep this talk in his "Crazy Land" {Meaning Church, meaning anyone that believes in God, the Devil, or the Bible is Crazy} And he kept going. Nut, Crazy, Kook, ETC. Sorry, you should have stuck to being non-political, and NOT attack anyone of Faith for their Views. I actually found myself getting offended. THAT is very hard to do. He did it. Therefore I will no longer be listening.

But the Media gave Obama a pass with all the "Crazy Stuff" that his Rev. said over Twenty years. But Santorum? Not fit for President? Our friends over at Red State, have a GREAT Piece today talking about this. It's at RS - A Primer for the Media and I Agree With Rick Santorum Posted by Erick Erickson (Diary)Tuesday, February 21st at 11:01PM EST

The Drudge Report put up a story about Rick Santorum’s speech to Ave Maria University in which Santorum said Satan was attacking the United States. The speech was giving in 2008, but is largely consistent with statements he has given in the past few weeks.

I agree with Rick Santorum. I also think that this is a Romney leaked piece. Given the close ties between Matt Drudge and the Romney camp, that’s an easy guess. I also think it will hurt Santorum who apparently has Gingrichitis, a disease the frontrunners all seem to get where they mouth off on any topic under the sun once they are the front runner.

Focus on this topic does not help Santorum and is largely irrelevant to being President. Nonetheless, I feel compelled to defend Santorum given how clueless some of those attacking him seem to be on the specific points he made and also given the cluelessness of a lot of reporters trying to put his remarks in context or explain them.

In 2008, Rick Santorum wasn’t running for President. His statement is well within the mainstream of orthodox Christian theology. And that’s the point here for a lot of reporters who seem stunned by Santorum’s statements.

I’m not Catholic and disagree with some of the teachings of that church, but both orthodox Protestant and Catholic views are consistent with the idea of Satan (who is very real) at war and trying to both tempt and corrupt people.

The humorous thing is there are many on the left who are trying to claim Santorum’s view is nutty, wacked out, or bizarre. There’s actually a stronger case for saying Satan is trying to corrupt the United States than that Barack Obama is a Marxist. Pick your poison.

But one of the statements Rick Santorum made that the media has terribly portrayed and clearly does not understand is Santorum saying, “We look at the shape of mainline Protestantism in this country and it is in shambles, it is gone from the world of Christianity as I see it.”

He is absolutely correct in this statement. When mainline Protestant denominations are in the news these days, it is more likely to be over their debates on the ordination of gays than on anything they have done to actually advance Christ’s kingdom. The problem is that a lot of reporters and even a lot of conservatives do not understand what “mainline Protestants” are.

It is not hard.

A mainline protestant is not a “mainstream” protestant. The two are not interchangeable. The former is more of an academic term.

The base way to understand what a mainline protestant is would be to understand that the term largely means those protestant denominations that existed during the colonial era of the American colonies and as they have evolved from that point.

Many suggest the term comes from the Pennsylvania Main Line railroad that ran through Philadelphia neighborhoods at the turn of the twentieth century, which were organized around communities of interest making up those original colonial faithes.

Specifically, Mainline Protestant denominations are Episcopalians, the United Methodists, the Presbyterians (USA), the American and Northern Baptists, the United Church of Christ, the Congregationalists, the Disciples of Christ, and the Lutherans.

While evangelical churches are more mainstream in America, they are not considered main line. Many evangelical churches branched off from the main line. The Southern Baptists, the nation’s largest protestant denomination, branched off from the Northern and American Baptist Churches. The Presbyterian Church in America, Evangelical Presbyterians, and Reformed Presbyterians broke away from the main Presbyterian Church, which is today the PCUSA. Anglicans have come back into the country in response to the ordination of gays within the Episcopalian Church.

I await the United Methodist Church splintering over that issue and the social gospel too. The Methodists are one of the last major mainline denominations not to have a serious split. But it is on the verge of happening.

There is a long history here and I am no religion scholar, but there are a couple of points to understand.

The mainline churches are more concerned these days with the social gospel, the role of gays in the church, etc. These churches are in decline. Their numbers are falling as they have replaced the actual Gospel with a modern sense of spiritualism that ultimately does not feed the flock.

Evangelical churches over all are growing. The charismatic churches are really seeing strong growth. These churches are much more concerned with fundamentalism, which is, like “mainline”, a specific term. Fundamentalist churches believe in the fundamentals of the faith, which were toward the turn of the twentieth century narrowed to five points including the inerrancy of the Bible, the death and resurrection of Christ, and the need for salvation. When people talk about “fundamentalists” these days, they usually mean hard line Christians who are no fun. Actually, a “fundamentalist” is someone who subscribes to five specific points within Protestantism: (1) the inerrancy of the Bible; (2) the virgin birth of Christ; (3) the atonement of sins through Christ’s death; (4) the bodily resurrection of Christ; and (5) the reality of Christ’s miracles.

So, when Santorum says mainline Protestantism in this country is in shambles, he is referring to specific churches, not all Protestants and specifically not evangelicals. He is referring specifically to those specific denominations more interested these days in the social gospel and the ordination of gay ministers than in salvation through grace. And both the decline of those churches’ populations and their ceding the field on actual matters of the Gospel are proof that Santorum is right. These churches have less and less to do with orthodox Christianity and it is no surprise that it is from the ranks of these churches that the media typically draws on ministers to rebut long held orthodox Christian views and the mainstream churches of America, which are more and more evangelical.
I don't think this will hurt him at all. The Media will of course jump all over it, but People of FAITH will understand EXACTLY what he means. They may even agree with him. There is only one thing in this whole thing that could be harmful to Rick Santorum. That is if he backs down. If he backpedals, or denounces what he said in any way. Rick, just say "I said it. I mean it. Look where I said it." Leave it alone. Do not show us that you can be Bullied by the Media and the Liberals. Stand strong Rick, stand strong.
Peter

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