Sunday, July 31, 2016

US Presidential Elections: Christian Wahabbism

Every few months I get a mailer from Bethesda Book Centre listing many Christian books on discount. One book which was regularly featured was Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem. I wouldn't be surprised that book is required reading for those training to be pastors. Today a pastor friend left that on his Facebook page (see pic above) and Prof Grudem explained himself here.

As usual there are some theologians who hold other views. I found one, Andrew Naselli who is a colleague of one of my favorite theologians, John Piper. Dr. Naselli also wrote on how to vote during this peculiar presidential elections: Can You Vote for Donald Trump with a Clear Conscience?

I am with Dr. Naselli. I think Grudem is wrong to suggest that not voting for Trump is tantamount to sinning. Grudem a theological heavy weight, labored at explaining his position which I didn't have the time to follow in detail. The average responsible voter must know that Donald Trump cannot be trusted with the keys to the White House. Even his language is unacceptable and embarrassing to the ears of school children and Dr. Naselli enumerate the rest of the reasons why Trump cannot be President in his blog post. But I needed this necessary digression. I am supposed to write about Christian Wahabbism which even a quick scan of Grudem's writings is patently clear.

We know the Wahabbism that sprung from Saudi Arabia but what is Christian Wahabbism? The term doesn't exist and I am using it as my short hand to describe an intolerant version of Christianity. Their preferred method of influence on society is through the levers of political power and changing the laws to be "Christian friendly". To me this is the ultimate weakness of the Christian whose faith could not survive except in the most friendly environment. Grudem conveniently forgets that Jesus was not a zealot. He submitted to Roman authority. My suggestion to him and his followers is if he wants to make society better begin with their own lives. The fact that American society has become what it is, in many ways is their failure to reflect Christ's personality in their lives. These Christians cannot survive outside their Christian bubble and to be successful socially they need that bubble to encompass the whole of society. If they are granted their wish that is just euphemism for creating a Christian state which when challenged today, they will deny. Lawrence Khong and his followers are trying to do the same to Singapore as well. It will not bring peace but a sword to our society if they get their way.

Meanwhile Trump keep piling up reasons why he is morally and temperamentally unfit to be President. See Politico's story and Today Online summary. I am sure from now till November 8, Trump will keep adding evidence of his unfitness.

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