Just musing..

This clip was an interesting exchange which took place on the Chris Matthews program yesterday between Matthews and a Catholic bishop. The interview’s original intent was to talk about Rep. Patrick Kennedy being denied communion because of his support of abortion rights, but the discussion actually ended up being more about Church and State–moral law and civil law, and what the church’s position should be.

The last few minutes, starting around 7:00 into the clip, is worth watching…

(Chris Matthews) “you’ve gone into the area of law-making and condemned the behavior of public officials who have to write public policy. Going back to what John Kennedy said concerning the separation of church and state, the difference between rendering unto Cesar the things which are Cesar’s, which is the law, and rendering to the flock (*the church) what is right and wrong. And I would contest, that your problem is you haven’t gotten people to obey your moral code through teaching, and so now you’ve resorted to using the law to do your enforcement for you..”

The last part of the above quote is true, “your problem is you haven’t gotten people to obey your moral code through teaching, and so now you’ve resorted to using the law to do your enforcement for you”

Matthews may have stated this concerning the Catholic church, but its true concerning Evangelicals in America as well.

You may not see this as I did–but it was as though a light went on when hearing Matthews make that statement; for it explains the reason for the countless number of  so-called  “Christian” activist groups today, groups signing public “declarations”, calling for civil disobedience, etc.

Its because that part of the Church in America has no other recourse but to seek to change people (and morality issues) by changing civil laws. They no longer possess a message by which real change would come about. They lost the ability to reach people and bring about lasting change, because they left off teaching Christ and him crucified–the gospel.  So now, as was stated, their only recourse is to use government (civil laws) to enforce morality.

And in the end, it will never work.

8 comments on “Just musing..

  1. Talk about nailing the matter on the head. How true. I sincerely hope the “Christian right” will consider that truth. You’ll never be able to legislate righteousness into peoples heart.

    • Yemi i wasn’t kidding about having a light go on–(and i thank the Holy Spirit!!).

      It was as though i suddenly saw clearly why the Christian leaders of these groups feel the necessity to deal with moral (and/or biblical) issues, and enforce them through civil laws rather then by teaching Christ. They have no life giving and life changing message to offer!!

  2. First of all, that “interview” was a travesty…I have come to expect very little from MSNBC but this episode was a new low.

    I guess we’re looking at the mountain from different sides. Does a person DESERVE the right to take part in communion? Should an unrepentent sinner even be allowed to attend a church, let alone participate in communion? How is a supporter of abortion any different than an unrepentant serial killer, adulturer, thief, or blasphemer?

    It can be said that an elected official cannot let his personal beliefs stand in the way of how he performs his duties in Congress. If a person cannot stand firm on his beliefs what good is he?

    Is he concerned that he might lose re-election? I was under the impression that God was in control of everything so why would that even be a concern. Even if he did lose re-election, of what consequence is that compared to the status of his very soul?

    If a person who professes to be a Christian cannot find it in himself to oppose something that is so fundamentally wrong in God’s eyes, then is he truly a Christian in the first place? God deserves more from His flock.

    In my opinion, this is not a matter of the Church trying to enact moral code into civil law…it is a matter of an elected official who professes to be a Christian while supporting something that is clearly against Biblical teaching (the Catholic Church in particular in this instance).

    If a person refuses to follow the Bible’s teachings…if they are willing to follow just the parts they like…then they should quit calling themselves Christian and cease taking part in the Church.

    Some day we will all be standing in front of God and I would hate to see God’s response to the following statement, “Well, what was I supposed to do, God? I had to vote for abortion because a lot of my constituents supported it. That whole separation of church and state, ya know…”

    Once again, not saying that the Church has a place in passing laws based on their beliefs…just that I cannot see how a REAL Christian could ever compromise their beliefs in such a manner. Let the chips fall where they may, but at least don’t support something as abhorrent as abortion.

    • I guess we’re looking at the mountain from different sides.

      Yes Mark we must be.

      The Holy Spirit truly opened my eyes to something i’d been seeking God for an answer to, in this clip.

      Not about Kennedy and his fight with the Catholic church, (that’s something between God and himself) but concerning what i’ve been witnessing for the last few years within a section of the evangelical Church.

      If a person refuses to follow the Bible’s teachings…if they are willing to follow just the parts they like…then they should quit calling themselves Christian and cease taking part in the Church.

      I agree. That has been my point all-along (within a number of threads) concerning politics and Christians. Its always going to be a problem for any Christian who was voted in by constituents within their State, who represent a cross-section of different religions.

  3. I see two things at work here.

    I agree 100% that the Gospel is the only way to bring about lasting change. However, there are always going to be only a certain, seemingly a small amount of people that accept that Gospel teaching and are truly changed. Jesus did say, “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Mt. 7:14) The Bible also says in II Timothy 3 that things will be perilous in the last days and men will become more and more wicked. So I don’t think it is very realistic to think that by preaching the Gospel, everything is going to change in our nation either. There is always the possibility that God would grant us a great revival, but it is certainly not something that is guaranteed by any New Testament teaching as far as I can tell.

    The Catholic gentleman was correct when he said that the laws of a land often reflect the moral law, or God’s law. So I certainly see nothing wrong with trying to keep our countries, or any other countries laws, reflecting the moral law. In fact, keeping our laws following a Biblical moral code is at least a way to slow down immoral acts done by the vast majority of people that are not believers and that are among those that the Bible says are getting worse and worse in the last days. Without good laws, there is no deterrent for evil at all with those who see no need for it because of inner convictions. After all, Paul did say in Romans 13:14 that one of the purposes of rulers is to bring about punishment on those that do evil. If we have no laws restricting evil, there is no way that function of government can even take place.

    I do agree, however, that the church has fallen down in preaching the Gospel. On the other hand, unless the Law is preached too, people don’t know there is any problem and that they have any need for the Gospel. They always need to go hand in hand. I think the church has fallen down on both counts.

  4. One sentence from an article at the Washington Post which says it all:

    From Church’s influence on politics shifting

    Ministers who oppose same-sex marriage say they now feel belittled, ignored and isolated by a government that no longer views the clergy as a mighty political force.

    The church was never meant to be a mighty “political” force or a partisan power base.

    “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you;and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

    History has proven when it was, it always turned out bad for the church and more importantly, for the gospel.

  5. I’m no admirer of Chris Mathews’ ideology, but what he said there is TRUE! Shame on us that it took such a one to say it, that we the church do not see it ourselves.

    • Amen Vicki, amen!!

      That’s how i saw it too…

      I sure don’t listen to the likes of Chris Matthews (LOL) to hear some truth concerning the church, but like you i thought this time he spoke the truth.

      As i wrote before it was strange because i’d been praying about certain questions i had been wrestling with, on this same topic. I look at it this way–God can give us an answer through anyone at any-time. In this instance i sure wasn’t looking for it to come through a segment on Hardball! ahahaha

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