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Always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience (1 Peter 3:15b-16a ESV)

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5/24/2004

Here we go again .... 

So, I'm trying out my new RSS reader, NewsDesk (which is awesome, btw), and one of the blog feeds that comes pre-programmed in the software is Kuro5hin. So I'm reading along, and I come across this article.

Christian Reconstructionism. The Great Evil which Plagues American Politics (tm).

{sigh}

I wouldn't mind these articles if they got the information right. I wouldn't mind it if they didn't try to lump every evangelical Christian into the Reconstructionist camp. Newsflash, folks -- there are very few real Reconstructionists. Unfortunately, the differences are downplayed by everyone and his brother, to try to paint us all with a very broad brush.

I'm not going to rant about the intersection between Christianity and politics -- I've done that already today. What I AM going to do is try to set a little of the record straight.

The problem seems to be where Reconstructionists agree with orthodox Christianity. All Christians believe that God should be the center of every Christian's life (another point I've discussed before). This is the nature of faith. I don't know of many Christians (though I'm sure there are some) who don't believe in the return of Christ for His Church -- the Bible clearly teaches this. The point of contention is when. Most Christians believe that the Bible is the Word of God. This is an ongoing debate between myself, Back of the Envelope, and Parablemania.

The thing that bugs me is when people say things like this:
Much of the modern conservative agenda ties in closely with Reconstructionist beliefs, and are frequently in lock-step with them.
Modern conservatism is based in a belief in small government -- something that is attractive to Reconstructionists. Simply going the same direction that someone else is doesn't imply a close tie with them.
Environmentalism - Obviously if you believe that a divine entity has given the Earth to you for you to use as you will, you will be angered at those who seek to stand in your way.
Actually, having a Diety give you responsibility (which is what the Old Testament concept of dominion entails) over the world demands that you use resources wisely (the basic point of stewardship). This is why many evangelical Christians are paying more attention to environmental issues.
Civil Liberties - Liberty and freedom are not terms that appear very frequently in Reconstructionist writings, since so much of Reconstructionism is in direct opposition to the principles of freedom.
On the contrary, the very basis of evangelical Christianity is the freedom we enjoy in Christ.

I'm not going to do a thorough fisking of the article -- suffice to say that the comments made about Reconstructionism show clearly that it is at odds with evangelical Christianity, and most flavors of fundamentalist Christianity. Any resemblence between actual policy from the Bush administration (or any other administration, for that matter) is more the result of coincidence than any direct influence that Reconstructionists have. Don't worry everyone -- if they try to create a theocracy, evangelical Christians will be on your side, opposing it.

Of course, everything I've said kinda spoils the stereotype of evangelical Christians, so I doubt anyone will pay a bit of attention to it. I'm finding out that nobody in the world really has any tolerance at all. Not that this surprises me or anything.


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