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Thursday, December 29, 2011

FALSE LIBERATION

"In order to be true peacemakers, we must educate ourselves in compassion, solidarity, working together, fraternity, in being active within the community and concerned to raise awareness about national and international issues and the importance of seeking adequate mechanisms for the redistribution of wealth, the promotion of growth, cooperation for development and conflict resolution."
-Pope Benedict XVI

Recently Anthony M. Stevens-Arroyo wrote a piece for the Washington Post which has caused a bit of a stir. The title of the bit is Christmas means the redistribution of wealth and its all about Liberation Theology. His argument is that Christianity is all about redistributing wealth so as to bring redemption to culture.

The core of this argument is this:
The idea that the world needs to be saved - and not just individuals -- is contained in the doctrine of original sin as found in the teachings of St. Paul the Apostle. How can he say that a child who has just been born is a sinner? It’s because the world’s history before Jesus made it logical for each individual to care only about him or herself. The evil person alone prospered in the Roman Empire. But Jesus changed that imbalance by substituting for selfishness Christian love of neighbor in Jesus’ name.
In other words, the problem with people isn't inside them - original sin isn't a state of humanity, its caused by mans inhumanity to man. Again, this is the assumption that people are basically decent and culture makes people mean to each other. And again the basic flaw is "where did those people get the idea to be mean to begin with, if we all started out decent to each other?"

Liberation Theology has its roots in the Vatican II conference held by the Roman Catholic Church, and was brought up by radical leftist priests and monks who had come up with a new blend of theology. What they did was take the principles of Maxism and try to apply them to the Bible. They started with the presumptions of Marx about the world rather than the Bible, then found places in the Bible that seemed to support this and created a different theological approach.

For them, redemption is about being good to each other, reducing poverty and misery, and making the world a more equal, peaceful place. They sought to bring redistribution, economic equality, and justice as defined by ownership and relative power. They taught a Christ who died to make people nice to each other, rather than to save us from our sins. During the 60s, 70s, and 80s, Liberation Theology was big in South America, and it ended up backing a lot of nasty revolutionary causes. This is part of why priests kept getting killed by government troops in places like El Salvador: because they'd joined up with the Marxist and Maoist rebels.

Politically speaking, Marxism sounds nice in theory, but upon closer examination becomes baldly foolish. The idea that everyone will, out of the goodness of their heart and desire to help their fellow man, do horrible, unpleasant, and tedious things while everyone gets the same no matter what they do is simply idiotic.

But the Liberation Theology guys had to do away with the concept of original sin or their entire system falls apart. If people are basically not good, then they won't work together for the common good in a Marxist utopia. They'll be as selfish, greedy, and narcissistic as we know humans are.

Liberation Theologians swear they are about peace and justice, but everywhere they go, they end up hooking up with rebels who kill and destroy to bring about the glorious revolution. And ultimately, that's one of Marx' most basic principles: the old system has to be destroyed, and with it anyone who won't go along with it.

In terms of Christian theology, their ideas are simply absurd. They are, like the theologian who runs to the newspaper to see how prophecy is working out, looking outside the word of God to find their answers, then applying them to the Bible. They start with presuppositions which are alien to scripture and try to jam them in at any cost to the integrity of the Bible.

The truth is, the very command against theft ("Thou shalt not steal") absolutely demands a concept of ownership and property. That means what you earn and own, others have no right or place in taking away, no matter what the cause. Christian charity and care for others is always internal, not external. The Bible continually tells Christians to help those in need, to love their neighbor, to assist any who require it, and to give to the poor.

This principle means that people own things and they are to do with them as their wisdom, gifts, and conscience lead them to with it, but not to give all to a common pool which everyone shares from. Although the Old Testament legal and government system for the Hebrews is no longer binding, the principles and approach God takes toward ownership and charity is clear to understand through study of them.

What it never does is say that this is done through redistribution of wealth by the government. The government's job according to scripture is to encourage good and punish evil. Period. Anything beyond that is not only violating the word of God, but it is actually destructive to us as humans because it takes away our charity and cheerful giving and replaces it with sloth; the government will take care of everything, we don't have to.

Further, the Bible clearly and inescapably teaches that we are saved from our sins to glorify God in Christ's doing and dying, not shown a nice example of how to behave sacrificially (as defined by taxes). Jesus died to save us from the wrath of God justly directed at our sin, not to be an example. There's absolutely no reason for Jesus to die at all if his entire purpose was to teach us how to be better people. And that approach to religion is identical to 1481245 other faiths, making Christianity just another ethical system rather than truth and salvation.

What sets Christianity apart from every other religion on earth is salvation by grace alone through faith alone, something this man rejects utterly not only because he's basically a Marxist, but because he's a Roman Catholic. That objective, external salvation to change us within despite our opposition to God is to bring us into a loving family of God to serve and glorify Him. In and through that we do good for and to each other, as a result, not a primary focus. Liberation Theology offers a weak, pointless Christ without salvation, with no future hope, in the name of economic equality, in a failed system that rejects basic human nature. And it always in the past has led to picking up that AK-47.

And for more than a decade, President Obama was steeped in a black-racist version of Liberation Theology taught by Father Pfleger and Reverend Wright, shaping his ethical and Biblical understanding.

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