Newsweek beats steady drum against true Christianity

If you’ve been reading Newsweek throughout January ’09, you’ve probably seen the articles on religion that they have been running.  The articles caught my eye because they all seemed to have an underlying, subtle theme to them.  There are three that captured my attention, which I will highlight and give my opinions on.  After reading the articles, I got the feeling that the writers and the editors at the magazine don’t really care for true, Bible-based Christianity all that much.  But I’ m not surprised since they are a secular organization that, like other secular organizations, desires a watered-down version of Christianity or the cessation of Christian views altogether in modern society.

The first article I came across was by Tony Dokoupil and had the title “The Lost Shepherd.”  It was an update on how Ted Haggard is doing these days and was published in anticipation of a follow-up documentary about him which will air on HBO January 29.  In the article, the fallen evangelist who had an ongoing affair with a male prostitute and bought meth from him, tells of the struggles he has gone through since his admission to his non-Christian actions.  Haggard talks about his anger toward himself and toward his church (New Life Church) that kicked him out, his severance package from the church, how he and his family had no real place to stay afterwards, how he had difficulty finding a job to support his family, and whether or not he will return to ministry at any time in the future. 

In the article, Haggard is quoted as saying, “In my [resignation] letter to the church I said I was a deceiver and a liar, but I hadn’t lied about anything except to keep quiet about what was going on inside me.”  So I guess to him, his showing up on the national news when the story broke to deny the affair and deny that he bought meth weren’t really lies.  Yeah, right.  It’s interesting how we as sinful humans can sometimes downplay our sins so that we come across as not being such a bad person.  Although Haggard in the article claims to have only had sodomitic relations with Jones (the male prostitute) during his adult life, word has now come out that Haggard was also involved with a twenty-something male volunteer at New Life Church.  This has both been confirmed by the church, who paid for the young man to get counseling, and also by the young man himself.  I wonder how Newsweek feels now that it has been revealed that Haggard has been lying to them.  Do they still have sympathy for him?

But I have to admit that there’s a part of me that felt sorry for him and his family, especially his two teen sons.  But after the article stated he got a six-figure severance, and he lied to Newsweek and its readers about being with only one man, my sympathy meter dropped for him and leaned more toward his kids.  Could the church have done things a little differently so his basic needs were met?  I think in this case, when he received the $140,000 severance, it should have been plenty to sustain him enough to get back on his feet financially.  I’ve known families who make less than this in a year and are rather comfortable.  Nevertheless, all too often when we as Christians are faced with disciplining people in the church we either don’t do it at all or we overdo it.  This reminds me of Paul’s encouragement to the Corinthian church to forgive and welcome back with love the man who had repented of having an affair with his stepmother (2 Corinthians 2:5-11).  Paul went so far as to say that when we don’t forgive and love a repentant brother or sister, they can be overcome by too much sorrow, which then leads to Satan having an advantage over the congregation and the individual.  In the Haggard case, the advantage that Satan got was the ability for a secular journalist to come along and portray Christians as unforgiving and unloving.

The second article is from the January 26, 2009 Newsweek.  It is by Eleanor Clift and is titled “The Quest for a Spiritual Home.”  It generally talks about how many religious Americans have switched either their denomination or religious affiliation.  Then it focuses on Father Albert Scariato, a gay Episcopal priest who was once a Jew.  The article goes on to give details about Scariato’s migration from being Jewish to being ordained in the Episopal church after his gay lover died from AIDS complications.  He gave up his job as a radiation oncologist to go full time into the ministry, but still considers himself homosexual.  He faced some opposition to his ordination because of this, but his ordination still went forward.  At the end of the article, Clift gushes about how the Episcopal priest is ” known for biblically based sermons that can be applied to daily life and that convey a message of social justice. He spends much of his time ministering to the sick and dying, and reaching out to the poor.” 

This sounds like liberation theology to me, which is not the true gospel.  Although Jesus Christ was concerned about the social state of mankind, his message and the message of his apostles was that if you first address what ails man spiritually, then man can reap everlasting benefits in this life as well as in the life to come.  Or, as Jesus put it plainly, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness: and all these [temporary earthly] things will be added unto you.” [Matthew 6:33].  If we truly want to promote social justice or minister to the sick and the poor, then we should let our actions and our words speak about the love of Jesus Christ–how he came to save us from our sins.  But, of course, this is not the gospel Eleanor Clift or Newsweek want to promote in the article.  They prefer the false gospel that says you can continue in your sinful lifestyle and God will continue to bless your ministry by giving you lots of people to follow you.

The third article catching my attention is titled “Faith Beyond His Father’s” by Tony Dokoupil and Lisa Miller.  We are introduced to such individuals as Doug Paul and D. J. Glisson who grew up in traditional Christian churches but have now embraced a more liberal theology.  It highlights the conflicts the younger generation of churchgoers has with the older generation of churchgoers.  The younger generation, by being exposed to what takes place outside the church, is questioning the values they were raised under.  Some of them, like Doug Paul, are leaving their churches because they are “tired of the narrow lens through which [their] pastors view[] the world.” 

Although many continue to be pro-life, they feel many churches are not practicing what should be the focus for Christianity–improving the lives of those who are less fortunate.  The article also highlights how the views of the “Joshua Generation” tend to be less judgmental toward gays and gay rights.  In spite of their evangelical, conservative upbringing, they tended to vote for Obama over McCain.  Doug Paul even expressed his anger with his parents when their church had a banner displayed by the road near the church urging Virginians to vote for the ban on gay marriage.  He was upset that this particular church felt “that gay people preyed on children,” especially since he and his wife were about to host a gay visitor that weekend.  But if Doug Paul really did his homework, he would find that many gays and lesbians became homosexual because they were molested as children by either gay perverts or straight perverts.  Those who are abused as children tend to be abusers.  Even if they don’t prey on children physically, they can sometimes prey on children mentally by presenting their lifestyle as fun and harmless.  This, in turn, will ensure the strength of their gay rights movement in the future since more people who have the right to vote  and shape public policy will be on their side.

It’s not surprising to me that the so-called Joshua Generation (the majority of whom are not really like Joshua at all) would hold to these views.  This type of thinking was bound to happen eventually with the way Christians have compromised the gospel both in church and in their home lives.  Having grown up in the age of the self-serving prosperity gospel and the lack of genuine love in mega churches, it’s no wonder the young people are disillusioned by what they’ve seen, especially since the economic downturn highlights how fleeting material things can be.  So since the foundations of the gospel were not sufficiently laid in the young people’s lives, the secular media has pounced on the opportunity to highlight the flaws of the Christian church.  On the other hand, young people are exposed to more false doctrines these days than in the past with all the different ways messages can be delivered–whether it’s electronic, broadcast, or printed media.  When messages that rebel against God’s truth are joined with young people’s tendency to rebel against their elders, the result will be a generation that sees God’s commandments as being subjective.

Overall, the underlying themes about Christianity that Newsweek is promoting are:

  • Christians aren’t progressive enough.
  • Christians should be more like us non-Christians who care more about people’s rights than they do.
  • Christians should lighten up on their anti-gay positions since gays are harmless.

These themes will become more prevalent as the years progress since we are living in the age that is preparing little by little for the coming of the Antichrist and his one-world religion, to which true Christianity is a threat.

–posted by Harry A. Gaylord–

2 thoughts on “Newsweek beats steady drum against true Christianity

Add yours

  1. These magazines and indeed ALL of our “so-called ” media, news and entertainment, have an agenda that is as far from Christian as it can possibly be.
    It is downright evil and Satanic.
    It has seeped into every facet of this earth, and indeed it matters not which way we even vote Harry. We have all been asleep, and our constitutional rights have been stripped away. They are working together for our end. I pray for all mankind now every day. Follow the money, and they are all owned by just a couple of different corporations. which are owned by a select few. They are the ones in control of this world now, just like Christ told us it would be. IT IS TIME TO WATCH!

    Like

    1. You’re right, Allison, that secular media is basically evil. Jesus said Satan is the prince of the world system so that shouldn’t surprise us. He is also called the prince of the power of the air, so it also shouldn’t surprise us that he has hold of most of what is broadcast.

      Like

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