The beginning of the good news about Donald the Messiah

The Russians Visit the Anointed One

1 After Donald was born in Queens in New York, during the time of Hillary, Russians from the east came to Washington 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born President of the Americans? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

3 When Hillary heard this she was disturbed, and all Washington with her.4 When she had called together all the deep state and teachers of the social justice, she asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 “In Queens in New York,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

6 “‘But you, Queens, in the land of New York,

   are by no means least among the rulers of New York;

for out of you will come a ruler

   who will shepherd my people America.’”

7 Then Hillary called the Russians secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 She sent them to Queens and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

9 After they had heard Hillary, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, cheetos and McDonalds. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Hillary, they returned to their country by another route.

The Escape to Mexico

13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Fred in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother Mary and escape to Mexico. Stay there until I tell you, for Hillary is going to search for the child to kill him.”

14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Mexico,15 where he stayed until the passing of Hillary. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Mexico I called my wall.”

16 When Hillary realized that she had been outwitted by the Russians, she was furious, and he gave orders to abort all the boys in New York and its vicinity.17 Then what was said through the prophet Shapiro was fulfilled:

18 “A voice is heard in Manhattan,

   weeping and great mourning,

Lady Liberty weeping for her children

   and refusing to be comforted,

   because they are no more.”

Moral Foundation Theory and the Bible

Moral foundations theory is a social psychological theory intended to explain variation in human moral reasoning. It was first proposed by the psychologists Jonathan Haidt and Jesse Graham. In more recent times it has been used to explain the differences between progressive, conservative, and libertarian views based on the different relative weights each group gives to the different moral foundations. Below I have selected verses from the Bible that correspond to each of the 6 moral foundations.

Care vs harm

Proverbs 12:10 – The righteous care for the needs of their animals, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.

Genesis 50:20 – You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

Fairness vs cheating

Leviticus 19:15 – Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favouritism to the great, but judge your neighbour fairly.

Genesis 31:7 – yet your father has cheated me by changing my wages ten times. However, God has not allowed him to harm me.

Loyalty vs betrayal

1 Kings 12:20 – When all the Israelites heard that Jeroboam had returned, they sent and called him to the assembly and made him king over all Israel. Only the tribe of Judah remained loyal to the house of David.

Proverbs 11:13 – A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.

Authority vs disrespect

Leviticus 19:3 – Each of you must respect your mother and father, and you must observe my Sabbaths. I am the Lord your God.

1 Timothy 6:2 – Those who have believing masters should not show them disrespect just because they are fellow believers.

Purity vs degradation

Titus 1:15 – To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted.

Isaiah 64:6 All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.

Liberty vs oppression

Galatians 5:1 – It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Deuteronomy 26:7 – Then we cried out to the Lord, the God of our ancestors, and the Lord heard our voice and saw our misery, toil, and oppression

Political divisions and Christological heresies

I have been giving a lot of consideration lately to the political divisions within Christianity and it has got me wondering if the Christological heresies of the past haven’t disappeared so much as taken on new guises.

Conservatives show some distinct Docetic and Apollinarian tendencies at times. They can be much stronger on the divinity of Jesus than they are on the humanity of Jesus. I have witnessed many lose touch with the particularity of Jesus, with his Jewishness, with his socio-political context, with his real life texture. He can be reduced to a theological object, rather than a subject; as someone we can worship, but not practically model our lives after.

Progressives, on the other hand, show some distinct Ebionitic and Arian tendencies at times. They can be much stronger on the humanity of Jesus than they are on the divinity of Jesus. I have witnessed many lose touch with the universality of Jesus, with ability to challenge us cross culturally, with the uniqueness of his identity and achievements. He can be reduced to a one teacher among many; as someone special, sure, but not that special.

I am prompted, therefore, to consider the need for a renewed focus on Christology, on the possibility that Christianity’s divisions can only be reconciled with a renewed focus on Christ. That we need to more adequately explain and explicitly affirm both his humanity and his divinity, both his cultural rootedness and his transcending challenge.

Boasting is not for the wise

trump-tweetThus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares YHWH.” (Jeremiah 9:23)

 

Where do you go for intelligent conservative commentary?

Where do you go for intelligent conservative commentary? For weeks now my solicitor friend Scott has been trying to persuade me on the virtues of the (conservative) Liberal Party and the vices of the (progressive) Labour Party as we draw ever closer to the Australian Federal Election. So far he has convinced me of the latter, but not the former, with the consequence that I am now more likely to vote informal than anything else, much to his horror and exasperation.

Even so, I have found our conversations helpful in clarifying what lines of argument I find more convincing. I am turned off by anything that smells of xenophobia or anti-intellectualism, no matter how subtle. I am also turned off by any form of ethical reasoning that puts the earlier prophets and later apostles on par with Jesus, no matter how well intentioned. That my friend largely avoids these pitfalls is why I find his arguments more compelling than that of his supposed representatives. I would love to hear more Christ centred arguments from conservative Christians but ironically I find they are hard to come by. It leaves me feeling that the religious rhetoric of many politicians is little more than a fig leaf. I do however accept that there are thoughtful, welcoming, conservative Christ-centred Christians out there. I just wish I could find more, whatever their political leanings.