Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Danger of a "Conservative" Bible

By now news of an upcoming Conservative Bible has spread throughout the media and Internet. This news can be viewed as just another flash-in-the-pan-soundbite: strange but harmless, or it can be recognized as part of a multi-staged campaign to hijack and destroy Christianity. Conservatives might consider that accusation as "unfounded", but in fact it is very deeply rooted in the very scriptures that Conservapedia is hoping to edit. For example, no matter how much conservative spin may be placed on the gospels, Jesus clearly implied his belief in the separation between church and state by many sayings, including: "give unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.", and "No person can serve two masters; he will hate one and despise the other", followed by something that should frighten many conservatives: "You cannot serve both God and money".

The Republican party and the mainstream "Conservative" church have become hopelessly addicted to one another. The relationship between these two groups reminds me of the unfaithful wife and her lover, as described in Proverbs and elsewhere in scripture. No good has come of this relationship, and no good ever can. The world has already witnessed how the religious right-wing handles power: with unquestioning devotion to their leadership, and vile contempt for their political adversaries. Unfortunately, there are also many Obama supporters today who have followed the conservative example, and are just about as deep in their own political trench.

The fact is that political trench warfare which defines modern American politics started with members of the right wing whispering about some sort of "vast left-wing conspiracy" against the Republican party. Because of this unfounded rumor, the religious right banded together, voted in blocks, and vowed to destroy their democratic adversaries. By creating the phantom menace of a vast left wing conspiracy, an actual right wing conspiracy was born; its purpose was to win at any cost, which happened in the stolen 2000 Presidential race. Now the same accusatory tactic is being used in dealing with scriptures. The argument made on Conservapedia makes it seem as though there is a vast left wing conspiracy in translating the scriptures. They are working to rally the troops in making a Conservative Bible by outlandishly claiming that Liberal Bibles already exist. There is strong evidence that the spirit behind conservative Christianity is not the spirit of Truth. A by-product of political trench war-fare is a filter of bias that clouds the judgement on both sides; the reason is impaired, and chances of changing course go way down. In other words, turning the political arena into a battlefield makes it very difficult for people to go through the process of repentance.

Various definitions of sinful behavior come from scripture. The process of repentance is described in detail from many perspectives in the Bible. The tricks of the devil's trade: his tactics and strategies are exposed in the Bible. It is from studying the Bible that I have come to realize that the mainstream conservative church has fallen into the hands of the enemy of God. Conservatives who have followed the fold, and remain largely ignorant of the information contained in the Bible are lost without the guidance and correction that is offered through the Bible. What is being proposed in creating a "Conservative Bible" is a way to bypass the glaring discrepancies between what scriptures teach, and what many conservatives believe. The idea that such a translation could be made without completely butchering the entire Bible is laughable. But Conservapedia is attempting to do just that.

I believe the Republican party is an interloper that is figuratively in bed with the unfaithful wife known as the church. When on the mountaintop, Jesus refused to be given complete power in the world because he could only obtain it through spiritual infidelity: worshipping another over God. I believe that the modern church was given a similar choice, and chose worldly power and affluence over the course of faithfulness. In America today, churches are everywhere; compare this modern fact to Ezekiel 16:24-25 which says,
"You build a mound for yourself and make a lofty shrine in every public square. At the head of every street you built your lofty shrines and degraded your beauty, offering your body with increasing promiscuity to anyone who passes by".
Furthermore, the conservative mainstream church gives the Republican party votes, the only currency that matters to the GOP, and has done so for decades. In exchange for this, the Republican party has delivered nothing but lip-service in return. No laws re-banning abortion, no real steps taken to abolish gay rights (which are the two main hot-button issues of the religious right). Every voting season the Republican party brings these issues out of storage, and uses fear and promises to obtain millions of votes from church-goers across America, but the politicians never deliver on their promises. This, too has striking resemblance to Ezekiel 16: 32-34:
"You adulterous wife! You prefer strangers to your own husband! Every prostitute receives a fee, but you give gifts to all your lovers, bribing them to come to you from everywhere for your illicit favors. So in your prostitution you are the opposite of others: no one runs after you for your favors. You are the very opposite, for you give payment and none is given to you".
It is the responsibility of all Christians who are not under the spell that has hypnotized the religious right to stand up against such things as "the Conservative Bible", and to boldly hold powerful and persuasive church leaders accountable to the various ways that they consistently violate Biblical commands. That such misguidance has been allowed to flourish is evidence that we are very near the time of God's judgment. But judgment begins with the church.
Romans 13:10
"Give everyone what you owe him: if you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, pay revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. Let no debt be outstanding, except the continuous debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments, "Do not commit adultery" "Do not murder" "Do not steal" "Do not envy" and whatever other commandments there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself" Love does no harm to its neighbor, therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
Passages like these do sound suspiciously liberal. That fact should be an alarm to self-proclaimed Christians who subscribe to conservative principles. The warning signs and red flags that saturate scriptures against a selfish conservative spirit cannot be ironed out as mere wrinkles. To do so would be to close off the only escape from a labyrinth of dogma and emotionality. The only way to love misguided religious conservatives is to explain to them the error of their ways, using scripture. The spirit that would inspire a Conservative Bible is the adversary of Christ.