Thursday, September 14, 2006

Rosie O'Donnell and Radical Christianity

Scott Whitlock over at Newsbusters.org has exposed the latest looniness from that insightful social commentator, Rosie O'Donnell. As a new host on the ABC sitcom, I mean, talk show, called
"The View," she explained her concerns about Christianity very clearly in the September 12 episode.

When co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck's stated that radical Islam is behind the 9/11 attacks on our nation, O'Donnell responded that "radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America." You can watch the clip of it for yourself here.

This kind of thinking is characteristic of the political and theological left, whose ideology inhibits them from recognizing obvious and vital distinctions the way of Jesus Christ and the way of Mohammed. The prophet taught his followers to kill in order to advance his cause. The Lord Jesus teaches His followers to die to advance His.

One reason that such mischaracterizations as O'Donnell's are loudly applauded in our day (as her comments were by the studio audience) is because we have so few examples of radical Christianity in the West and particularly in America. American Christianity is far more American than Christian (read the latest TIME cover story, "Does God Want You to Be Rich?" if you want a clear example of this; note: the story has a great quote from the IMonk, Michael Spencer).

If more of us who name the Name of Christ were radically committed to Him and His way, our lives and churches would provide such a radical contrast to radical Islam that any attempt to equate the two would be immeidately recognized as absurd. Yes, there are some examples of such Christianity among us--but they are few and far between.

My wife and I once witnessed to an agnostic whose parents raised him to be a "free thinker." When I asked him what he understood about Christianity his response showed that he viewed Christians in exclusively political terms. He associated us with hard right Republicans. I am not suggesting that he was right to do so, but I do think that too often we make it too easy for such judgments to be made. Conservative Christian organizations (and even some churches) often look more like political action committees than the joyful cross-bearing, daily-dying, enemy-loving disciples that our Master calls us to be.

If Rosie O'Donnell really cared about America and really understood biblical Christianity, she would long for a revival of the radical version of the latter for the welfare of the former. If God in His grace does grant a "revival of true religion"--meaning a revival of radical, biblical Christianity--the difference between the way of Jesus Christ and Islam, as well as the way of Christ and all forms of civic and cultural Christianity, would become astoundingly apparent.

May our Lord quickly raise up a generation of radical Christians.

24 comments:

Joe Tolin said...

Tom,
Amen. If there really was more radical Christians sold out to the Lord Jesus Christ then there would not have been so much applause. I am surprised that the other women on the program came to the defense of Christianity. That is somewhat encouraging. However, the gay and lesbian agenda is to link radical Islam with Christianity and call everything hate speech that goes against their perversity.
So we see Rosie's agenda fully and we see the willingness of the people in the audience to follow along with it.

Joe

Elias said...

"May our Lord quickly raise up a generation of radical Christians."

Amen and amen brother!

Tom, I must say, I'm not afraid to be associated with the "far right." To be called this means that unbelievers are having to acknowledge the fact that we are very much engaged in the political process. We can be a force to be reckoned with in the spiritual battle I believe happening for the future of America today. I don't think the hateful ideologies of the left will ever be defeated but I do see us as winning battles that have brought glory to God.

"Conservative Christian organizations (and even some churches) often look more like political action committees than the joyful cross-bearing, daily-dying, enemy-loving disciples that our Master calls us to be."

I believe Christians can be both a "joyful cross-bearing, daily dying, enemy-loving disciple" of Christ while running a PAC as long as Christ is glorified. Do not be surprised if our prayers for God to raise "a generation of radical Christians" results in more "hard right Rebulicans."

Tom said...

Joe:

I think you are exactly right. Thanks for your comments.

Elias:

Point well taken. My concern is not so much for the political involvement of individual believers but of the tendency for that to triumph over the radical spiritual commitment of local churches.

Aaron L. Turner said...

Tom,

Thank you for another insightful post. I believe that our future in America, as Christians invovles an intensifying of persecution as public sentiment continues to become more aligned with Rosie's view point.

I believe this persecution will purify the church, and accentuate "radical christianity".

May we as pastors prepare our people to live in such a time, and may our churches produce disciples who are "joyful cross-bearing, daily-dying, enemy-loving disciples that our Master calls us to be."

Oh how we need the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ to do so!

Christopher Redman said...

America needs prophets to proclaim, "Thus says the Lord..." instead of "5 ways to win friends and influence people". American Christianity's obsession for the practical, at the expense of the theological, has allowed our culture to spiral so far downward that people like Rosie have a voice and a platform to propogate their anti-God message.

Unfortunately, we Christians continue supporting the Hollywood elite through our own entertainment addiction.

Chris

GUNNY said...

Radical ... talk about ironic. Calling us radical.

Hey, who's the one with the agenda and the ability to reall push it in our faces?

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure there are things that need to be examined in how we do things, but there is something comforting knowing that we show up on their radar screen, knowing that we at least have the capacity to matter.

flawedcricket said...

Tom, you are absolutley right. But as you said, you've presented one reason. Another reason Rosie responds the way she does is that she is "walking in the futility of [her] mind, being darkened in [her] understanding" and is "excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in [her], because of the hardness of [her] heart; and [she] having become callous, [has] given [herself] over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness." (Eph. 4:17-19)

I can't think of anyone, outside of politics, who fits the description better than Rosie.

My first response is to get mad when I hear such irrational comments coming from her and others. I have to remind myself to pray for them. I wish praying was my first response. Maybe oneday it will be as I am continually "renewed in the spirit of my mind."

GeneMBridges said...

It took what, two weeks on The View for her to say something off the wall? I wonder how many office betting pools cashed in yesterday? "2 weeks! Woohoo! I nailed it!"

Seriously, what we have here is a dramatic picture of the group think mentality that exists in the gay subculture. This, folks, isn't just radical left wing rhetoric, if you're living in a city with a large population of urban gays and lesbians, I assure you that this is reflective of exactly what their press and their political organizations feed them. The result is group-think. Nothing more, nothing less. Reaching out to these folks is like reaching out to folks in a cult. They've been programmed to think this way as surely as a Mormon or Jehovah's Witness has been programmed. It takes a lot of patience for you to witness to them; it's like entering the foreign mission field.
Might I suggest reading this:http://www.harvestusa.org
/articles/reaching%20gays.htm .

Andrew said...

From the Times story: "...American Protestantism is a dynamic faith."


ouch.

scripturesearcher said...

Rosie's guilt at being a snarling, shouting, slobbering LESBIAN and her intense anger at and hatred for
all who do not condone her sinful conduct causes her to erupt from time to time.

Is she ignorant of the punishment
the fundamental Muslims would inflict upon her and her perverted friends of both sexes if she/they lived in one of the Islamic nations? Maybe she/they should move there - SOON!

Romans 1:24-32, but start with the
18th verse. Rosie's future is not
a happy one whether or not she is
aware of what is coming!

Jason E. Robertson said...

Tom,
Is it not difficult sometimes to be both patriotic and radically Christian? Yes, because patriotism is of lesser value than my allegience to Christ.

I say that as someone who would be considered a conservative, gun-packing, tax-cutting, pro-military Republican. More importantly, I am a Bible-believing, born-again, Covenant Theology, Amil, evangelistic, Calvinist, Southern Baptist pastor. I vote conservative. I want my family protected, my taxes low, and my constitutional rights protected. And yes, I think Rosie is someone who has rebelled against God, nature, and American values.

But when I look at the popular evangelical Church in America, I see a Church more interested in designing their church to reflect our American values rather than equipping our citizens to reflect Biblical values. We consider our morals and politics to Judeo-Christian rather than just Christian. We think that America is blessed because it supports Israel, who is living in open blasphemy, rather than God blessing America because our nation blesses His Church.

I see deacon boards who say that churches should be democracies. Theological professors who say if a women are good enough to be Senators then they can be pastors. Eschatologically, I hear attitudes that if God’s promises to Israel are to be fulfilled literally in a 1000 physical kingdom then God must want to bless us physically and materially now during the “Gentile Dispensation.”

Only is successful America could such health-wealth-physical-material-temporal theology blossom. It is not America’s fault. It is the Church’s fault. Hey during the Ryder Cup I am “Go USA!” But that is my ultimate cry is “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven!”

May the church in America be revived and redefine "radical Christianity" as the radical joy of life in Christ and the expansion of a Spiritual kingdom, not through politics, swords, or lawsuits but through the preaching of God's Word.

Chip said...

Tom,

The very best line from this post is this...

"American Christianity is far more American than Christian."

Brilliantly stated, sir!

"American Christianity" -- which has been on the path toward civil religion for some time -- gives Rosie and her ilk ample examples to site which support her comments. By focusing on ways to gain God's support for our political and cultural agendas we've demonstrated a brand of religion that to unbelievers, regrettably, more resembles Islam than the faith of Scripture. To them we're just practicing the same kind of religion by a different name.

It always pains me to see Christianity characterized in such ways. How much more must it pain our Father in heaven to see us practicing a faith inconsistent with the Bible and providing some of the opportunities for such characterizations.

Stephen Pruett said...

I agree that individual Christians can and possibly should be involved on some political issues. However, the type of tight connection illustrated by Justice Sunday, for example, is potentially harmful to our role in forwarding the cause of Christ. Politics fosters factionalism and increasingly labels the other side as enemies. Is it easy to motivate your flock to reach enemies for Christ? Are people who we have declared to be our enemies likely to be open to our efforts to evangelize them? It seems to me that we need to decide whether we believe that political solutions or the spiritual solution (following Christ) will best solve the problems in our culture. Political activity is strikingly absent among New Testament leaders. Jesus stated that we should render to Ceaser that which is due him, but He did not encourage political activity as a solution to any problem. Paul viewed reaching people for Christ as such a high priority that he was willing to go out of his way to make himself acceptable enough to various persons that they would listen to his message. Billy Graham has purposely avoided controversial political issues and has probably been the most effective evangelist ever. I think the first characteristic contributes to the second and that we should learn something from it.

Christopher Redman said...

Stephen,

I think that instead of positioning other "sinners" as "our enemies", we should remember that without Christ, all men are God's enemies.

This is a divisive message but still needed. I'm not sure if eternity will show that Billy Graham was the "most effective evangelist ever".

Chris

Stephen Pruett said...

Christopher, I agree with you. I think if we state the case carefully (sharing a gift that is ultimately meaningful to us and gives us grace that we didn't deserve) the message does not have to be divisive. There is a scripture passage that answers the question of whether the church should be primarily concerned with confronting unbelievers with their sins. "I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: 10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. 12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? 13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person." (1 Corinthians 5:9-13).

This passage indicates that we are not to judge those outside of the body of believers, but only those who are in the body. Doesn't this indicate that our criticisms of sinful behavior need to be limited to sinful behavior within the the church? I can guarantee you that doing this would open many doors to reaching people who are now inaccessible because they view us as arrogant. It would model the self-critical evalution taught by Christ. The bottom line is that Paul did not forbid associating with notorius sinners that were unbelievers, because forbidding such association would cause us to isolate ourselves and be unable to reach those unbelievers. This seems so different from the average Southern Baptist's attitude (which is disdainful and often hateful of those nasty sinful liberals) that I have to wonder if we are not just a little off target on this matter.

What do you make of this passage? I don't see anything in the context to suggest that its application should be limited to a particular time or place and the nature of the advice is as clear as it can be, as far as I can understand it. After thinking about this matter for a long time, I am beginning to believe that our desire to confront our culture with its sin is based largely on the selfish motive to form a culture in which we can be more comfortable. I do not hear much in the statements of those condemning the sins of our culture indicating that their motive is concern for unbelievers. I would also like to point out that even if the motive to change our culture is not selfish but is based on concern for others, changes that are forced from without (by laws and rulings from judges with whom we agree) will not help unbelievers in our culture in the ultimate sense. The only thing that will help them is an effective presentation of gospel that they accept.

Although I find no encouragement of political invovlement in the New Testament, it is not prohibited either. Perhaps the best approach is an analogy with physical exercise, which is referred to as a little beneficial, whereas spiritual exercise is of great value. Perhaps political activity to the extent necessary to be a good citizen (rendering unto Ceaser that which is his) is appropriate, but not to the extent that it interferes with the spread of the gospel. If you doubt that the SBC's often arrogant pronounement of judgement on our culture's sins interferes with spreading the gospel, you should spend more time in the secular workplace where most Baptists spend their days.

One more thought. If you read into any of this that I am soft on sin or think we should compromise on biblical moral positions, you read something into this post that was not here.

John Weatherly said...

Beware the False Prophet Who Walks Among Us!!

Hi, all!

:-)

I just discovered this page and this forum/blog.

Praise the Lord!

I have been posting my views on scripture (hopefully, they're biblical) and current events for some time on Usenet (arcb for the curious), but to a mostly very hostile crowd.
The reason I am posting this today is to make all of you aware-- should you for some reason NOT be aware--that we have a MUCH bigger threat to this nation, and to Christianity as a whole, than Rosie O'Donnell.

( I had posted -- or attempted to post -- these comments under the article about Rosie O'Donnell's recent anti-Christian comments on the chick program, "The View."

While this person (who is a greater threat to Christians than Rosie O'Donnell) flaunts Christianity and Christianity's core values OPENLY and frequently, everywhere she goes, she is perceived and received as almost a female Jesus Christ, which she is not.

I am referring to a person who is universally recognized as the most powerful, and the most influential woman in the WORLD, Oprah Winfrey.

For those of you who are unaware, Oprah Winfrey makes "Christian noises" at times, and many Christians have gathered to her side as "her friends" (including most notably Dr Phil MacGraw, a Southern Baptist born-again Christian); however, make no mistake.

Oprah Winfrey was CONFRONTED awhile back by a buddy of hers-- Tina Turner ("Ike and Tina Turner"). Ms Turner is a Buddhist. Oprah said something Ms Turner took exception to, and Ms Turner challenged Oprah, UP FRONT,

"I thought you were a Christian!"

Oprah's reply floored me!

Oprah very openly said,

"No, I am NOT a Christian! Christianity is TOO NARROW!"

With those words still rining in my mind these months later, Ms Winfrey's frequent "Thank you, JESUS!" and "Help me, Jesus!" and "I believe in Jesus!" become blasphemous TAUNTS, and "flip."
She has OPENLY denied Christianity, and last I was aware, "IF you deny me before men, I will deny you before my Father...!"

The word needs to be spread among the Christian community.
Oprah Winfrey -- for all the "good" she is doing -- is anti-Christ! ( I do not mean "The Anti-Christ", which is why I used a small "a".)
I have an issue with this: Can someone who is so openly so concerned for so many issues and throws so much money at the needy, but who OPENLY denies the Christ... can she be saved in spite of herself? I believe Jesus said, "No!"

Oprah has OPENLY stated (if you just LISTEN) that she believes in "the god that in all of us". (she is a pantheist)

Oprah is also an outspoken advocate and preacher for Yoga. She has devoted at LEAST one entire program to "I Love YOGA!" And she came out that day, chanting her "mantra", "I Love YOGA! I Love YOGA! I Love YOGA"! If only she gave that sort of commitment-- that sort of LOVE to the Lord Jesus;
but she doesn't!

If you didn't know, Yoga is dressed-in-a suit Hinduism. And Yoga promotes Hinduism (Transcendental Meditation, what many call "essential to proper Yoga" is one of several channels by which people who practice open themselves to demon possession).

Oprah certainly rubs shoulders with Christians (Chuck Norris, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw), but she is most certainly NOT one of us.

Yes, I am a Christian who chooses to make a difference! I hope you will agree with me that this public blog statement will make a difference!

"Praise The Lord!" (a Christian mantra)

John Weatherly

Ben Keller said...

Those are great thoughts, Tom.

Aside from the remarks themselves, to me the worst part of that clip was the moment Rosie grasped Elizabeth's hand. What a pedantic gesture - as if to say, "There, there. I know you are a simpleton with conservative beliefs and I am going to gently guide you toward the liberal truth." Ugh. Elizabeth should have thrown her hand off and told her not to treat her like a kindergartner.

YnottonY said...

One could point out the absurdity of Rosie's moral outrage. In asserting that "radical Christianity" (whatever that is) is just as dangerous as radical Islam, she's presupposing that there's something objectively wrong about that. What is her basis for asserting that anything is objectively wrong? Will she try to ground her moral outrage in some transcendent being called "God"? If so, which version? The major theistic religions condemn her homosexual behavior. Will she try to ground her ethical theory in naturalistic evolution so that she appears scientific and rational? If naturalistic evolution is the case, then homosexuality would have been extinct long ago. Will she try to ground her moral complaints in eastern philosophy? Then she has to dump the law of non-contradition and embrace irrationality. There would then be no objective distinction between "good and evil," or between "dangerous and non-dangerous."

Her moral outrage against "radical Christianity" makes no sense given her anti-Christian worldview, and someone should have pointed that out. She has to steal from the Christian worldview in order to complain against the Christian worldview. Her moral preferences are nothing but a matter of personal taste, just like her taste for the abundant foods she apparently eats.

phoebe said...

I'm not sure, at this late date, if anyone will read this. I don't even know if women post comments, most of what I've read has been by men. However, I should tell you I have been highly offended by the way some have referred to the sin of homosexuality. It is a sin like any other, and as such should not be treated as if it was the one sin there is no salvation from.

I wonder if some of the comments would be as hysterical if the person was a glutton, or a drunk, or a gossip. She said what she did because she is a sinner and for no other reason. It just so happens that her most outstanding sin is homosexuality.

If you think I don't know what I'm talking about, consider this, I lived as a lesbian for 13 years. I no longer live that way. And not everyone involved in that world is part of a vast conspiracy to over run normal sinners and make the world homosexual compatible.

If I understand the bible clearly, when we are told breaking one commandment breaks all commandments that would mean every one has the same nature as the homosexual, the murderer, the thief. That alone should make any of us think twice before responding with hatred toward any given sin or group of sinners. We are only freed from that nature because of the graciousness of our Father and the price paid by Christ.

If none of this makes any impression, then remember our master. He would never have responded to any sinners this way regardless of the remarks. However, he spent a lot of time rebuking the pharisees and the saducees for being nothing more than white washed tombs.

phoebe

Tom said...

Phoebe:

Thanks for your comment. You make some valid and important points. One of my favorite verses is 1 Corinthians 6:11, which starts with "And such *were* some of you...."

Elias said...

Phoebe,

thank you for sharing with us your feelings about how Christians should respond to sin and specifically the sin of homosexuality.

If I may, I would like to share with you my initial reaction to your post. After reading your comments, I went back and reread all 18 comments before yours. Because you wrote to the general audience, I was expecting to fine more gay-bashing than I found. What I found was mostly comments about what she said and not so much about the fact that she is gay. Of the 18 comments, only 4 mention homosexuality:

Joe tolin makes reference to "the gay and lesbian agenda," Genembridges talks about the "group think" he believes exists in the "gay subculture," Scripturesearcher (who I believe you should have directed your comments too) refers to Rosie O'Donnell as a "snarling, shouting, slobbering LESBIAN" (and thats about as bad as he gets). Ynottony mentions homosexuality but in my opinion not to bash homosexuals but to point out how it is condemned by most religions.

I'm not trying to defend anyone of these statements, what I'm trying to do in pointing them out is that MOST of your brothers in Christ who have made comments here about Rosie, have done so without disrespecting her as a person.

Now, that being said, I also know that probably most of these men have (or should have) a passionate hatred as I do of the sin of homosexuality. Phoebe, when I say I have a passionate hatred for the sin that God calls an abomination, I need you to know that I also have a hatred for every other sin as well. When you said "breaking one commandment breaks all commandments" I couldn't agree with you more - God hates all sin and so should we.

I don't think there is anything wrong for the believer to respond with hatred towards sin. It is when we allow our hatred of sins we especially dislike (i.e. homosexuality, gossip) to turn into anger toward the sinner that is involved in that particular sin. When we do, the Bible says that the righteousness of God in us becomes compromised.

James Hunt said...

Phoebe,

Sometimes it's the tone. You're right...some of the tone was harsh. God loves people...sinners like what you and all of us have been.

ReligionGuru said...

The Adam & Eve story is taken from a Chaldean myth. It never really happened. Christians say we need a savior, since those people in the garden were disobedient. Since the Adam & Eve story never really happened, we DO NOT need a savior. We are our own savior. By trying to live a righteous life, we progress thru many lifetimes to a perfected state.

LOVE TO ALL

susiecabc said...

Check out what I wrote to Barbara Walters. I hate Rosie.

Dear Barbara,
I had just recently came back from vacation in china and when I had gotten home I was so sad to hear that Rosie from the View had made a racist comment about the Chinese language. I'm sorry to write to you and not Rosie but I just couldn't find the link to her e-mail. I know it's probably old news to you by now, but I just feel like I need to address the fact that she does not have to right to say "ching chong, ching chong" about chinese people. I know damn well that if she were to speak about african americans, there would be a nation riot. She does not have the right to criticize chinese people when Lisa Ling use to be on your show. And I heard that when Rosie attempted to apologize, she stated that she might just do it again. I think she should apologize again on your show and this time mean it and not leave some silly blog on her website with an unsincere apology. Donald Trump has every right to call her a fat slob, pig, idiot or whatever. Donald Trump is a very intelligent man. But getting back to her insult of chinese people, she should not ever say anything in that measure again. When she speaks, she acts as if she doesn't have an education and I doubt that it's even because she's a comedian. I think she tries too hard for the audience and embarrasses caucasion people. She has unnessessary roughness and she doesn't give anyone else a chance to talk. Rosie gives The View a bad rap and having her on the show is like a sophisticated Jerry Springer Show, because people only watch to see who else Rosie O'Donell will criticize next for the next round of insults towards her on CNN, Larry King Live, or on the Morning Show with Merideth Viera. She spits while she talks and probably stinks too while you sit next to that fat sloppy slob. She has no sense of fashion for a person who is lucky to make as much money as she does. She gives very one-sided views and is mostly incorrect about the facts that she gives and the rest of the crew of The View doesn't even make an attempt to even correct her. Her niceness only comes from the fact that she's made fun of because of her weight. She speaks like a worthless drunk that just gets sober in the morning in time for her appearance on The View. Watching her makes me depressed, because she seems like she is lonely and friendless. Like Donald Trump says, she lucky to have her girlfriend but thats all she probably has. It's funny how Rosie was so obsessed with Tom Cruise on her own syndicated talk show and then all of a sudden she comes out and says she's gay. Maybe it's because no person of the male gender (no matter how ugly he may be) would even give this poor lowlife fat looser a chance at love or even a drunken one night stand. I am very disappointed with the show. I enjoyed watching it much better when Rosie was not on the show. People only laugh at Rosie because she's fat and they feel bad for her cause she seems hurt inside and lets it out by being a horrid comedian. If having Rosie on the show is the only way you can recieve ratings, I'm very disapointed with this show. I don't think I will be watching anymore along with some others that I know. I know now that your show is prejudice against people who try to help other people (i.e. Donald Trump), chinese people, and black people (i.e. Star Jones)...oh yeah...all except for fat people and gay people. Is this what you, Barbara Walters, accomplished to be?

Disappointed,
Susie

P.S. Rosie should see this. She probably won't even understand.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjO7laQuTu8