October 1, 2011

Jon McNaughton, Mormon artist being portrayed as "Christian" by conservatives

A lot of politically conservative Christians are passing this guy's stuff around as "Christian" art, not realizing he's a Mormon, and so he likely thinks the Constitution is inspired.

Check out the captions for mousing over certain religious figures here (enlarge the pic first)
Via Dolorosa
Especially Mother Teresa and Joan of Arc. (and others)

He painted this also:
One Nation Under God

Here's a good article on that:
One Nation Under A Mormon God


Jesus isn't going to be co-opted for anyone's political agenda, be it conservative or liberal.

The conservatives want to legislate a Godly society by prohibiting sin. The liberals want to legislate a godly society by prohibiting sins of omission.

I would say conservatives are closer to being right, since the government's job is to wield the sword and punish evildoers,  but both are wrong in that they think we can create a godly society by means of law.

NO, that will not happen - ever. Law is not a means to saving or sanctifying people. Godly people are created and grown by a sovereign act of God, through the preaching of the pure gospel by his invisible church. That gospel is not being preached in most churches today. Instead we receive a steady diet of law and 'how to' sermons and complaints about sinners 'out there' and we forget that WE ourselves are as sinful and offensive to God as everyone else, were it not for Christ.

We rarely hear about Jesus crucified for our sins, reminding us even as Christians that our sins are forgiven.  I need to hear this every day, and especially on Sunday from an ordained minister of the gospel.

Instead we're told to pray a prayer and then we have to do all kinds of stuff (it varies from church to church) to prove we're sincere, to demonstrate our gratitude, and convince the world Jesus is real.  Because if our witness isn't perfect, they will hate Jesus.  News flash: They already hate Jesus.  They don't "like Jesus but not the church" - they hate Jesus, and look for any excuse to justify their hatred for the Biblical Jesus, even if it means condemning Christians who are as judgmental as they prove they are themselves.

This is not to condone bad behavior.  But if we are constantly fed law or predominantly fed law, which is our natural (i.e. unbiblical, unspiritual, carnal, fleshly) religion, then we have a recipe for one of two things:

1. In those who are aware of their sin, you have a recipe for despair and depression.
2. In those who think they can measure up or that they are doing it, you have a recipe for legalism/pharisaism.

This is why we left Oak Heights Evangelical Covenant Church and found a church that reminds me there is hope for me even in my messed up state. There was no comfort given there by pastor Todd Ertsgaard.  There was only "we should be doing this, this and this!  Jesus did this for you, why aren't you doing that for him?"  Occasionally he'd threaten us that we had BETTER make sure we don't lose sight of the gospel, that Jesus paid for it all.  It whipped by so fast and so small that you'd need a particle accelerator to catch it.

I need to know that my only hope is in Christ, not my 'good works' or obedience to the law. And ironically perhaps, this is the only thing that gives people the relief from guilt and corresponding freedom to live by faith in light of the gospel.

This is why the nation is failing. the churches are trying to be political activist (right or left) rather than preach the gospel in all its beautiful offense. We're trying to be 'seeker sensitive' and in so doing we don't even get the only saving message out. We preach a 'social gospel' or 'social justice'  when that is not the church's mission.  (Mormon Glenn Beck is at least partially right about that, but sadly his Jesus is the wrong Jesus.)  The church's mission is to get the saving message out,  to its own members, to remind them they are still forgiven, to keep them from going back to justification by the law. And to get that saving message out to the people they contact on a day to day basis. It is not to bring unsaved people to church and try to reform them by social pressure.

It's the CHURCH that is the problem, not the government.

But, if you have in your mind to return to the truth so that you can save the country, that is also a false motivation.  That's what gives us the social gospel. You must love the truth, for its own sake, whether anyone else follows or not. Jeremiah preached for 40 years without a single convert, was thrown into a well and left there, and no one listened to him. But by his faith in God and His truth, he got the message out that God gave him.

When will the church wake up and do the same?

Probably not until persecution comes.  Maranatha!

For a proper handling of Law vs Gospel
C F W Walther's Law and Gospel (even if you aren't Lutheran!)