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« 'Fitna' released in storm of controversy | Main | Whatever will the boffins come up with next? »

Comments

Acid Comments

"It is surreal to see such a post from DPF, whereas I have heard many atheists claim that churches would be a lot more credible if they pursued social justice as vigorously as the Salvation Army."

Many of the other Christian Churches do pursue 'Social Justice'. but you won't hear much about it.

There's been many meetings with some of our various leading Church Ministers and Govt officials and conferences and so forth over the years and attempted meetings, etc, but often the Govt doesn't want to listen. On the odd occasion the Govt has listened and invited some of them to meetings, but in the end the Status quo stays the same.

peter

Ropata says:

"It is timely to remind ourselves that according to the Church the worker is always more important than capital, for the workers are human persons. We wish to remind all New Zealanders of the rights which belong to all who work and those without work, and call on them and on all people of integrity to resist further erosion of the dignity of the worker, and the unemployed."

Timely word indeed Ropata, and very courageous of you to put such a posting in this particular forum.

Because I want to ask bloggers - could they explain how a govt under Don Brash was going to deliver toward these goals?

For that matter, how would ACT or National change in order to aspire to these things? They still appear to subscribe to "trickle down" as far as I can make out - and by trickle down think of drip feed!

This anti-socialist bandwagon is turning into something else.

ropata

National or ACT do not need to "change to aspire to these things". National under John Key has already moved significantly towards a moderate centrist position, is distancing itself from radical policies based only on ideology, and is now picking up votes from blue collar workers who have been taxed to death by the metastasizing govt bureaucracy.

Even Roger Douglas makes a good argument that ACT policies will help the poor, e.g. no income tax for those earning below $20k.

ropata

Also, it's not particularly courageous of me -- I'm simply echoing the sentiments of churches through the ages, and the current leaders of the Anglicans, Baptists, Catholics, Methodists, Presbyterians and the Sallies. You shouldn't form your opinion of churches and Christian values based solely on MSM sensationalism.

Christianity is historically against all forms of oppression; be it authoritarian governments or exploitative corporations. You'll find more Christians on the right mainly because the Left is so intolerant.

peter

I love your message Ropata - everyone is intolerant except people I agree with - that is the message you communicate so well.

And you say that Christianity historically opposes oppression. Christianity has done its share that is for sure. Just think of the Catholic Protestant battles of the Tudor period. So much "martyrdom" has been generated by Christian versus Christian.

Roger Douglas would again widen further the gap between rich and poor no matter what he did about tax.

belt

Lions, Rotarians, Masons et al are strong supporters of social justice.

Many "churches" concentrate on increasing the spread of "the[ir] word" and the indoctrinations of "souls"

There could be a difference.

I often feel that churches are the "corporatised" side of faith.

It is a selfless church indeed that would put its own demise second if it meant the salvation of a soul (or two).

I would like to think that Jesus the Christ would have been that selfless.

I am similarly not sure many organised religions are or would be.

ropata

peter
I see now that you have no interest in Churches pursuing social justice; you prefer to retreat to long-lost battles as your bulwark against reality, and to maintain your judgmental attitude.

I love your message Ropata
Thanks. In that case don't go putting words in my mouth. I didn't say "everyone is intolerant". Only mad anti-theists like yourself seem to lose rationality whenever Christian perspectives enter the political fray.

belt

Its own demise first, or, its own survival second.

Oh for a post submit edit function :)

ropata

belt
Yes you do have a point, the Western church does not have a patch on some of the amazing deeds of the forgotten, persecuted churches in China, Laos, Indonesia, Africa, the Middle East. The light of the Gospel is undiminished.

reid

"Unless you first believe, you shall not understand." St Ansell.

And those words reflect perfectly the tenor of KB's thread, right from DPF's original post.

There was an opportunity there to explore faith in action, and was it taken? No. It was instead quickly taken down to secular issues because most of the posters don't have faith and don't understand. Foolishness and trivia abounded.

Peter, you're a waste of space. Try opening your heart.

reid

I love James Allen. And here's a rather long quote that to me typifies KB's thread: from "The life triumphant"

Rather than cast pearls before swine I prefer to pass it to those who care to visit ropata's wise thread on this excellent blog.

"Faith is the grey dawn which precedes the full and perfect day of knowledge. Without it there can be no attainment of strength, no permanent security of heart...They who have no faith in the triumph of good ignominiously succumb to the elements of evil. And this must be so; for he who does not elevate good, elevates evil, and, among seeing evil as the master of life, he receives the wages of evil.

There are those who, having yielded to defeat in the battle of life, talk thoughtlessly about the wrongs they have suffered at the hands of others. They believe - and try to make others believe - that they would have been successful, or rich, or famous but for the treachery and villainy of those about them. They tell, for the thousandth time, how they have been deceived, defrauded, and degraded by others. They imagine that they themselves are all trust, all innocence, all honesty and good nature, and that nearly everybody else is all that is bad and malicious. They tell how they would have been just as prosperous and honoured as others if they had been as selfish as those others; and that their great drawback, and the chief source, in themselves, of their failures, is that they were born with too great an endowment of unselfishness. Such self-praising complainers cannot distinguish between good and evil, and their faith in human nature and the goodness of the universe is dead. Looking upon others, they have eyes for evil only; looking upon themselves, they see only suffering innocence. Rather than discover any evil in themselves, they would have only humanity bad. In their hearts they have the wretched Demon of Evil as the Lord of Life, and see in the course of things only a selfish scramble in which the good is always crushed and evil rises triumphant. Blind to their own folly and ignorance and weakness, they see nothing but injustice in their fate, nothing but misery and wretchedness in their present condition.

He who would have even a useful and successful life - much more so a spiritually noble and victorious one - must at once root out and cast away this wretched condition of mind that negatives all that is good and pure, and gives the pre-eminence to all that is base and impure...The man who believes that evil is more powerful than good, and that bad men have the best of life, is still involved in the elements of evil; and, being so involved, he suffers - must necessarily suffer - defeat."

peter

Here is interesting philosophy on nature of churches. While it talks Roman Catholic, it can be argued that all churches derive from the left-footers. Message seems pertinent to fundamentalists too:

"Contrasting structures

Our Church institutional structure can be traced back centuries to the adoption of a Roman governance system
centered on a supreme human authority.

Until then, following the example of St. Paul, it adapted its structure to different cultures as it spread the Good News.

Scholars identify the chief characteristics of a Roman system as monarchical, dogmatic, male dominated, with overtones of infallible divine authority
coupled with legalistic administration.

Citizens were indoctrinated with loyalty to the state.

Discipline, loyalty and obedience were the esteemed virtues.

In contrast, the early Church revolved around local leaders, often women,
in house churches.

Entire households were included.

The sensus fidelium was sought in a consultative system structured for shared responsibility and collaborative governance.

The legalism of original Jewish converts flexed
in response to Paul's stress on Christ's universal message as gentiles were added to the Church.

Esteemed virtues were love, compassion, and humility.

Prophetic zeal for the Gospel message was the focus of their life.

The rigidity of this Roman System gave us the sinful division of East and West,
the Reformation, the contra-reform against Vatican II and the current crisis.

Compare legalism,
governance-by-divine right, and absolute obedience with compassion, subsidiarity, and respect for conscience.

Which offers most to the adult, thinking, Catholic Christian community?

It will be a long road back, but a clear awareness of the problem is a good start.

As human instruments of God, the change begins within ourselves.

The Roman system will not, can not, change itself.

Invest your time, talent, and treasure in the system that you want for the Church.

(From the ARCC Assoc for the Rights of Catholics in the Church)"

Lucyna

Peter, you are quoting from a "Catholic" dissenting organisation whose sole aim is to destroy the RCC.

Here's a list of a number of the other major groups.

Paula

Peter,

I commend you.

People need to remember you cannot EXPOSE truth.

Paula

Peter,

I think you would find this very interesting.

http://www.truthforfree.com

There are several books on the left. Tap onto the 2nd one called
'From Babylon to New Jersualem', and see if you can recognise the church of the New Testament.
I think for you it will be 'crystal clear'

John Boy

Put Jesus first and the rest falls into place. Jesus second and the rest doesn't fall into place irrespective of intentions.

peter

Paula

Thank you for recommending the book. Here is what an Amazon reviewer says:

"Very appropriately and deservedly, this book also provides a devastating exposé of right-wing conservative politicians, particularly George W. Bush & Company, and right-wing Republicans in general. It reveals the true motivation behind Bush's war in Iraq, exposes the lies and hypocrisy of he and his lieutenants, and provides more evidence of how and why they serve themselves and their wealthy supporters at the expense of everyone else in this country and the world."

Paula

Thanks for looking at it Peter,

I think if you consider
a theology called 'Kindgom now' theology as followed and believed by Brian Tamaki and the prosperity gospel preachers that follow it, would be more in line with the majority of right-wing and Bush.

This is completely different.

If this groups of believers were to walk into the
churches of whom I mentioned, they would reject us, just like they rejected Jesus, and we would NOT be under their authority, as they would command us to.
And that attitude if you were not one of them, you were against them....mind you some are now trying to include us, to merge us, but it is only on their terms and control.

Paula

Remember Peter,

The false church in Revelations 17. 1-4

Babylon.

And what was the tital of THAT book.
From Babylon to the New Jerusalem.

Paula

OK Peter just re-read your comments.

Yes I agree, the political and religious system.

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