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Ken Aven

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Blogs by Ken Aven

An Evangelical Mindset III
5/29/2008 5:46:27 PM    [ Flag as Spam or Inappropriate ]

An earthquake hits Northridge, California on January 17, 1994. The incredibly strong shocker registers a 6.8 on the Richter scale. Damage is well over $12 billion in the overpriced San Fernando Valley. Fifty-seven are officially proclaimed dead with approximately 12,000 injured. Scientists can easily explain the movement underground that causes large quakes like this one to hit California.

It is not much longer after the disaster has struck that some Evangelical leaders (including Pat Robertson) assert that God has struck Northridge due to the predominance of the porn industry within the city. For just a moment, a very short time indeed, one might actually see some kind of relationship with God being angry at the proliferation of cheap porn videos and the need to take down such a sinful industry. But that moment must fade fast when one sees the widespread destruction that hit many areas outside of Northridge proper. If the damage had been almost 100% to the porn participants, then Robertson might have a point. But alas, many innocent people (with zero ties to porn) had their apartments and homes destroyed,and received a plethora of physical and psychological injuries. If one could step back from the narrow focus on the porn studios, one could see that Northridge is the home to a large state universty, has many fine public and private schools, and basically is a wonderful suburban area outside of Los Angeles.

The extreme view that was proclaimed by these Evangelicals has been repeated in many other catastrophes. Hurricane Katrina was not seen as the result of poor planning and weak dikes but as another punishment for a city that likes to party and has a large gay population. Similar reasons were attached to the horrors of September 11th.

This narrow mindset if held by people who mean well. They read their Bible, usually try to live good, clean, wholesome lives, and through their churches do many charitable deeds in their communities. But what they are attempting to do is read God's will and God's hand in every and all situations. Science and common sense is tossed aside as they look to God as their partner in a never ending battle to undo all the world's perceived evils.

Additionally, many in this particular Evangelical strain are eagerly awaiting the return of Jesus with what is known as a premillennial rapture. Every news item is scrutinized as a part of a prophetic puzzle. An earthquake in China, a tsunami in Burma, and a war in Iraq are not things to frown about but events that one should rejoice over as signs that Jesus is coming soon. They have taken the Book of Revelation and overlaid it upon the world's events. Never mind that Jesus said not to take thought about when He would return. Never mind that He has not returned in over 2,000 earth years. Never mind, that many of these Evangelical leaders, who seem outwardly so excited about calamities and preach about Jesus' imminent return, continue to build their own large ministry kingdoms (with personal material gain for themselves and their families) with donations from those who look to them for guidance.

In the nexus of religion and politics, this prophetic conservative Evangelical bloc is a force to be reckoned with. When spurred on by hot button issues (i.e. gay marriage and all the other typical "evil" concerns that we all hear about every election), they can come out to the voting booth and make a huge difference. Even with three main candidates who do not espouse this type of Christianity, their push for a more "Christian" state cannot be ignored. Thus McCain seeks actual endorsements, while Obama and Clinton was publicly about their own church life.

It was not that long ago in American life, that religion was a more private matter. Yes, except for John Kennedy, all of our presidents have been Protestant. But the particular brand of Protestantism was not the end all and their was a healthy marriage of faith, sense, and science. Today, a conservative Evangelical bloc is viewing the world in a different light from the majority. Time honored practices such as public schools and the support for scientific research are under attack by those who live in this narrow world. The rest of us must broaden our view to understand these folk and do what we can to honor the good in them and work and pray to straighten out some of their misconceptions.

FULL BLOG: http://inlandechoes.blogspot.com



Comments (2)

More Blogs by Ken Aven
• A Mighty Wind - Monday, November 17, 2008
• Comparisons - Tuesday, November 11, 2008
• It's A Beautiful Day - Thursday, November 06, 2008
• Wednesday Morning - Friday, October 31, 2008
• A Baseball Interlude - Tuesday, October 28, 2008
• Sarah Ambitious - Friday, October 24, 2008
• Food Stamps & Fried Chicken - Sunday, October 19, 2008
• Joe Six-Pack; Joe the Plumber; Joe ... - Thursday, October 16, 2008
• State Of The Race - Sunday, October 12, 2008
• Out Of Ideas - Wednesday, October 08, 2008
• Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid - Saturday, October 04, 2008
• CNN's Targeted Debate Coverage - Tuesday, September 30, 2008
• Decide Already - Saturday, September 27, 2008
• A Pox On All Houses - Tuesday, September 23, 2008
• McCain Quits - Friday, September 19, 2008
• The Mugging Of John McCain - Tuesday, September 16, 2008
• A Time For Truth - Saturday, September 13, 2008
• Barack Huxtable vs. John McCain Brady - Tuesday, September 09, 2008
• The American Family - Friday, September 05, 2008
• Juno For (Vice) President - Tuesday, September 02, 2008
• We Came To Praise Obama and ... Palin? - Saturday, August 30, 2008
• Thank The Clintons - Wednesday, August 27, 2008
• The Narrative In Beijing & Denver - Monday, August 25, 2008
• Give Us Hillary - Wednesday, August 20, 2008
• McCain Wins - Sunday, August 17, 2008
• If It's Tuesday It Must Be Sydney, Athens, Beijing... - Thursday, August 14, 2008
• Olympic Anxiety - Monday, August 11, 2008
• Hawaii Obama-O! - Wednesday, August 06, 2008
• COMEBACKS - Sunday, August 03, 2008
• 5.4 - Wednesday, July 30, 2008
• ALL STARS & LAYOFFS - Monday, July 28, 2008
• ISOLATING OBAMA - Friday, July 25, 2008
• The Sky Is Falling? - Tuesday, July 22, 2008
• RETRENCHING - Thursday, July 17, 2008
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• An Evangelical Mindset II - Monday, May 26, 2008
• An Evangelical Mindset I - Saturday, May 24, 2008
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