Monday, October 8, 2007

the kingdom of heaven is at hand

Jon Meacham wrote this op-ed about John McCain in yesterday's New York Times, but he could have been talking about Barack Obama as well.

First, let's look at Meacham's words:

John McCain was not on the campus of Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University last year for very long — the senator, who once referred to Mr. Falwell and Pat Robertson as “agents of intolerance,” was there to receive an honorary degree — but he seems to have picked up some theology along with his academic hood. In an interview with last weekend, Mr. McCain repeated what is an article of faith among many American evangelicals: “the Constitution established the United States of America as a Christian nation.”

According to Scripture, however, believers are to be wary of all mortal powers. Their home is the kingdom of God, which transcends all earthly things, not any particular nation-state. The Psalmist advises believers to “put not your trust in princes.” The author of Job says that the Lord “shows no partiality to princes nor regards the rich above the poor, for they are all the work of his hands.” Before Pilate, Jesus says, “My kingdom is not of this world.” And if, as Paul writes in Galatians, “there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus,” then it is difficult to see how there could be a distinction in God’s eyes between, say, an American and an Australian. In fact, there is no distinction if you believe Peter’s words in the Acts of the Apostles: “I most certainly believe now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears him and does what is right is welcome to him.”

Now, let's look at this piece on Senator Obama's recent visit to a church, where he spoke the following words:
"We're going to keep on praising together. I am confident that we can create a
Kingdom right here on Earth."
Is Obama a dominionist? It's important to note that he's talking about creating "a kingdom," not "God's kingdom." God may not even be needed in Obama's mind.

Here's the church's website. It seems to be becoming increasingly popular for large churches to be pastored by a husband-and-wife team. These particular pastors - Ron and Hope Carpenter - consider themselves to be "apostles." The website describes Ron as someone who has "a cutting edge apostolic voice for today’s church and wisdom beyond his years." (Did Ron write this himself? If not, he certainly endorses; otherwise, he would not have left it on the church website)

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