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This is inspired by a comment by Karin to a quick message (see below) I posted recently regarding Christian political ignorants (not

ignorance though it does apply, but ignorants. I see the one as a condition and the other as the persons). So what if Im an arrogant, opinionated SOB. You cant please everyone and I really dont care to try much among certain segments anymore. Its all relative depending where you find yourself on the religious/spiritual and/or political planes of thought and perspective. To thine own self be true. In the mid to late seventies I was intimately involved with much of what was evolving within the Evangelical/Fundamentalist Christian community. My own Christian spiritual and religious understandings were yet in the early stages of development, though my approach to knowledge and truth were more highly influenced by my earlier questioning of authority as realized and manifested in my rebellious hippy years of the late sixties and the early seventies. Generally speaking, I was a zealot, but without a great deal of foundation to express my arguments regarding what I believed. I found myself sitting under the teaching of a highly intellectual pastor who consumed religious information at a rate that would boggle the minds of most and disseminated this to his congregation weekly and through the week through various courses. But prior to becoming a part of this I had already spent over a year travelling with an independent Evangelical evangelist who taught his trusts how to research the resources of the Bible and utilize these to get it for your self. This ability to think and study freely eventually led to challenges to the system that were disconcerting to some and perceived as rebellious by others. In the late seventies I was first introduced to the teachings of Francis A. Schaeffer through a series of videos produced by Frank Schaeffer, the son of Francis, entitled How Should We Then Live. The series was excellent and if you are interested in history in general, art and the influence of both art and Orthodox Christianity on Western culture it is well worth the time. This led me to explore many more of the writings of Francis A. Schaeffer. I have read about 15-20 of his works including reading twice a trilogy of his philosophy/theology considered foundational to the rest of his writings. In his later years he wrote numerous books including A Christian Manifesto which is loosely a Christian response to Marxs Communist Manifesto. There are many more, but time and space precludes enumerating these, and a history

of LAbri, although I can attest that from the perspective of a conservative theological and historical understanding of what is true these are excellent works. The reasoning and logic is virtually unarguable. BUT that is assuming that the Orthodox perception of history and reality is in fact true. Should that assumption be proven to be false and that the Bible is not in fact the absolute measure of truth the reasoning is just so much religious dribble and rehashed lies, even though presented in all sincerity and faith. Now, having said that, I will say that I do highly respect Francis A. Schaeffer and the insight he has exposed through his writings regarding many issues that should concern both Christians and non-Christians. I simply think the foundation upon which he builds his logic is faulty but I respect the man and many of his conclusions. The problem became, as Francis works were becoming popular, a second video series was produced by Frank Schaeffer, in collaboration with his father Francis and the then surgeon-in-chief at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, C. Everett Koop (who later became U.S. Surgeon General under Ronald Reagan), entitle Whatever Happened to the Human Race? This series galvanized the conservative Evangelical movement regarding the abortion right to life issue. As the more Fundamentalist segment of Evangelicalism (the Farwells and Pat Robertsons) became receptive of Schaeffers highly persuasive Biblical stance, more ultraconservative politically motivated religionists (Rousas John Rushdoony, Gary North, Greg Bahnsen and others) began surfacing and injecting their own formulas of reconstructionism and theocracy into the now more consolidated Evangelical/Fundamentalist movement. This reconstructionist dominion theology perspective is now what parades itself as Christian absolutism. It is this religiouspolitical-socio economic ideology that demonstrates itself on the streets of Washington D.C. and permeates the Republican Party. It isnt a matter of thinking and reasoning. It is a matter of a few conservative intellectuals presuming an absolute based on a limited perspective of history and rejecting all others, and an unwillingness

to consider that the church at some point may have gotten it wrong. It is the same lie that the Roman imperial powers of the early fourth century recognized as feasible and necessary in order to establish some form of universal control and thus manage itself and those it would rule. The church, willingly or unwillingly succumbing to the influence of power and wealth, and thus prostituting itself as a matter of its own security and preservation. God (although I do question the religious conception) did not die with this act on the parts of those who invoke his name, but the church as a spiritual entity (at least to the greater degree) did. That raises more questions than what this blog is about. This is about the Schaeffers and the influence they have had on contemporary Evangelicalism. In the late eighties I began to notice that Frank Schaeffer (the son) was beginning to speak out on his own. His first works were regarding the shallowness of most Christian art Addicted to Mediocrity: Contemporary Christians and the Arts. Later his writings included more critical examinations into basic assumptions of Orthodoxy and political and economic matters (Is Capitalism Christian?, A Modest Proposal, Bad News for Modern Man: an Agenda for Christian Activism, A Time For Anger - The Myth Of Neutrality). Eventually I became aware that Frank had left the Evangelical wing of Christianity and had taken up association with the Greek Orthodox Church which had always leaned more in the direction of the mystical aspects of the faith. Though Greek Orthodoxy may be more open to mysticism, it is still fundamentally Orthodox and in my own estimation and research, less than what the faith was pre forth century. So within the Christian environment there is some hope that thinking minds can be heard. But I fear over all the rest of the clamor, that is a very very small chance. The difference between Frank Schaeffers thinking and my thinking is that Frank Schaeffer remains within the box of Orthodoxy and I have stepped out of that box. Other than that, I think we would get along pretty well.
Original Quick Message: We are a nation in search of a collective spiritual identity. Im not sure one ever really existed, but we are fed a line of religious malarkey that assumes a particular vain of Christian logic as though it were and always has been intrinsic to our national identity Its a load of religious bull shit. Propoganda to manage the masses and the masses dont really give a damn we are and may very likely continue to be content in our collective ignorance at least until a measure of life long learning becomes a national value. But I dont see that coming any time soon.