Saturday, February 17, 2007

In Defense of Christian Exodus

Heidi Cenac wrote a piece in the 10 February Anderson Independent that simply must be repudiated. Read the entire thing and then come back for analysis.

The story begins "objectively" enough -

Some people read the Bible and some people use the Bible.

This is of course a true statement but it is an odd way to begin a fact based article.

Local ministers and religious experts are concerned that Christian Exodus might be the latter.

This would imply that all or most local ministers and religious experts share this view. I wonder if Heidi asked all or most of these people after they were fully informed of what Christian Exodus is all about and what they really envision for government in South Carolina. I doubt that she did because I doubt that most ministers in Anderson fully understand these things right now. Any opinions they could possibly express would be based an upon incomplete understanding of the facts.

As an example of the ignorant views she solicited we have -

Tom Ritchie, pastor at Young Memorial Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, said he has difficulty finding scripture that suggests Christians should take over government.

This is an ignorant response because Ritchie is suggesting that CE desires to take over, that phase implies some tactic other that the utilization of legal precedents. It is a strong term, it connotes negativity. If we applied the term, as used in Ritchie's response, any time one political party achieves a majority we might say that they have "taken over". In reality all Christian Exodus seeks to achieve is a majority in the various law-making bodies. The application of the phrase "take over" is better applied to a coup, something outside of normal legal channels; this is not why CE stands for. He continues:

“I think it’s pretty tragic and pretty frightening stuff,” he said. “If the people of Anderson allow it to happen, we probably get what we deserve.”

So according to Ritchie, if a majority of Christians in Anderson elect lawmakers that observe natural law and respect liberty then the county will get what it deserves. I must question what alternative Ritchie would propose? Would he rather see agnostic, atheist and heathen lawmakers legislating based on secular values? Does he propose that this is a better alternative?

What is truly frightening is the notion that anyone that seeks higher guidance in lawmaking is somehow inferior to someone that relies entirely on human reasoning.

And of course then there is Dan Olinger from Bob Jones -

Those in conservative Christian circles are worried about Christian Exodus’ implication that the church should use the power of the state to enforce biblical morality, said Dan Olinger, a professor in the seminary at Bob Jones University in Greenville.

“We want to be good citizens and participants, but we’re not really interested in using the iron fist of the law to compel people to everything Christians should do,” Mr. Olinger said

Here again we find someone answering a question unrelated to the issue at hand. Ms. Cenac never even attempts to establish that CE desires to "do anything like compel people to do everything Christians do." Why then print a response to an unproven accusation? By printing this response the article implies that it is a known fact that CE does wish to impose some sort of theocracy. Nothing could be further from the truth.

But let us take Mr. Olinger to task for his statement all the same. A careful review of history clearly demonstrates that for most of American history and all of Western history morality has indeed been regulated by law. It is true that we have ever so slowly slipped from an adherence to natural law to secular law. This fact alone does not make the trend a correct course of action.

The preamble of our own Constitution recognizes the fact that man alone is not supreme. We, the people of he State of South Carolina grateful to God for our liberties, do ordain and establish this Constitution.

One wonders how we could be grateful on one hand but disobedient on the other. Mr. Olinger suggest that Christians should be mere participants in what ever happens. But if we take his own words, "good citizens and participants", is it not logical that voting, and maybe even voting together for Christian leaders, is not reasonable?

Let's just break this entire thing down. Christian Exodus is nothing more than a group that intends to build a voting bloc. The method is unique in the American but not solely so - it has been done before (successfully in Kansas). Critics make large deal of the fact that CE wishes to return the county and state to a legislative stance closer natural law. People act as if this is something new, or perhaps something old that was tried and failed.

The questions that any Christian in South Carolina ought to seriously ask themselves is this.

  1. Will there children be better off in a secular or Christian society?
  2. Is society really better off without some constraints on morality?
  3. Who better to make laws, a Christian or a secularist?
  4. Who better to vote with, Christians or secularist?

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