"Which comes first, my spirit or my religion?"

Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama is no different than many in asking himself this question. He is a member of the United Church of Christ, a denomination of about 1.2 million members that is considered on the far left statist-socialist end of the mainline Protestant spectrum. This church champions the teachings of Karl Marx under the label "Liberation Theology." The Wikipedia Encylopedia states, "In Christianity, liberation theology is a school of theology that focuses on Jesus Christ as not only the Redeemer but also the Liberator of the oppressed. It emphasizes the Christian mission to bring justice to the poor and oppressed, particularly through political activism."

This is a strange form for a Christian religion to take since Jesus in no way attempts to use politics to bring about change, and in fact emphasizes again and again that the kingdom of heaven, which is available to everyone right now, is not of this world.

So in this case Barack Obama feels his religion pulling him in one direction and his spirit pulling him in another direction altogether. His spirit gives him a feeling of compassion for the poor and for those who might be oppressed. His spirit guides him to help voluntarily and even rally others to help voluntarily. As he progresses spiritually, he might be guided to participate in a community which voluntarily shares wealth, a sort of voluntary socialism.

But his spirit would never guide him to sell his soul to the devil (the ego) who says, "I'll give you earthly power, and you can use it for all good." [See Matt 4:8-10] One doesn't serve the Lord by using legalized government force to coerce others into doing good. The statist-socialism of Marxism is dictatorship, and no truly spiritual person supports dictatorship, not even dictatorship of a voting majority at the ballot box.

Just as Barack Obama is conflicted between his spirit and his religion, so it is with many others who feel spiritual longings, embrace religions in the hopes of satisfying a deep desire, and then find that their religion is capable of severely twisting and turning them away from the experience they are really longing for. And so there is conflict and controversy. Yet Jesus Christ is with us always making course corrections, so at any moment we can say, "Wait a minute! It doesn't have to be this way!"

Here's how Jesus Christ says it in his revelation for the 21st Century, A Course in Miracles:

"All terms are potentially controversial, and those who seek controversy will find it. Yet those who seek clarification will find it as well. They must, however, be willing to overlook controversy, recognizing that it is a defense against truth in the form of a delaying maneuver. Theological considerations as such are necessarily controversial, since they depend on belief and can therefore be accepted or rejected. A universal theology is impossible, but a universal experience is not only possible but necessary. It is this experience toward which the course is directed. Here alone consistency becomes possible because here alone uncertainty ends."





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8 comments
  1. Jens July 5, 2007 at 2:47 PM  

    If it's bad to get into politics in order to help people than why is Jerry Falwell considered to be such a great guy? He is the pioneer of politically organizing religion.

    I think you should read that agian and realize the logical fallacies inherent in it. Liberation Theology is nothing more than the liberal christian equivalent of the Moral Majority.

    Would you call the Moral Majority Marxist. I think not. Show me the direct link between socialism and Lib. Theo. and I will show you the same link in the conservative equivalent. I dare you.

  2. A Christian Prophet July 6, 2007 at 7:57 AM  

    Jens, both are immoral if they want to force their good on others.

    You would not go door to door in your neighborhood, point a gun at each resident, and demand money to carry out programs you considered to be helpful and good.

    Why would using politics as your means of forcing people to pay for and participlate in your "good programs" be suddenly somehow acceptable?

    Is a woman's right to choose, or a man's right to choose, going to be thrown out the window in order to "help people" at the point of a gun?

  3. Jens July 6, 2007 at 8:55 AM  

    Where you miss the point is that politics is not a gun. Politics is a meeting of the minds. It takes a vote of equals to make something happen in a democracy, with the implicit understanding that the loser of the vote must abide by the results. If, in some way, Marxists are able to take enough seats in congress as well as the presidency and vote in their agenda I will abide by the laws until the next election, at which point I will work to elect someone else and change things more to my liking. The same would be true if the Moral Majority were to institute some of their dumb ideas.

    If representative democracy is not enough choice for you then I would ask you what system you would reccomend? A true democracy would be impossible in a country of 300 million people, but it would be the ideal. Or would you rather there were no government at all?

    Unfortunately it becomes very difficult to be idealogical about politics. We need government, and government requires compromise. If you don't like the compromise then escape the government and live in a place better suited to your tastes, or work for change through the political system. We live in a flawed world, but you have to make of it what you will.

  4. Leon July 6, 2007 at 10:15 AM  

    Whoa! Wait one minute. Obama is not in politics to force his religion on others. Not every Christian is some wacko bent on getting the world to follow his beliefs and shoves a Bible down their throats if they don't. He's a man that just wants to change things, just like MLK did.

  5. A Christian Prophet July 7, 2007 at 9:05 AM  

    Jens, it would be great if what you wrote is true.

    But talk to those who live anywhere where the vote of a majority took away the rights of a minority and the minority decided to stand up and fight.

    It takes very little time for the legalized gun of the sheriff or national guard to show itself.

    America could have evolved as a very good system of government. Instead it has evolved as a tyranny of the majority of voters. Nobody any longer says, "Wait a minute! There are certain things a majority of voters cannot force on you."

  6. A Christian Prophet July 7, 2007 at 9:14 AM  

    leon, I don't think Obama wants to force his BELIEFS or force the BIBLE on all of us. But he clearly wants to force on all of us the PROGRAMS he believes would benefit us. Otherwise, he would say in his campaign, "Let's cut the federal government by 9/10s and get the government out of people's way so they can live their lives as they see fit."

  7. Jens July 9, 2007 at 10:20 AM  

    So, why do you complain about the government and do nothing about it? You have three options:

    Join the fight to change things politically (it can be done, talk to any black person alive in the 60's).

    Take up arms or nonviolent protest(the founders said if a system of government doesn't work for the people then it should be replaced, if you think than then act.)

    Leave for somewhere you like better. (there are multiple places where your views are seen as the majority within the US. There are also many places in the world were your views are the majority or you won't be denigrated for having them)

    If you don't like it then work to change it. If you don't have what it takes to do that, I don't have much sympathy for whining. But complaining that just because someone has different views and they were voted in doesn't equal them forcing it down your throat.

    Edi Amin, the Kmer Rouge, and Stalin forced things down peoples throats. Until it comes to that I don't think you have much to complain about. Government by it's nature limits peoples choices. If it limits it enough that you cannot be prosperous, happy and sane then something needs to be done. Is it to that point for you? If so I feel sorry for you, but only to a point. If you don't like it you need to advocate a change. If you can't advocate that change force it. If you can't force it, you have no choice but to leave.

    To have a defeatest attitude about it, when by comparison to the rest of the world you have more rights than any of them, you are just being a whiner.

  8. A Christian Prophet July 11, 2007 at 10:05 AM  

    Great comment, jens. Everyone is really being prompted to listen inside to their spirit, which some call "holy." One's spirit never complains or whines, as you say.

    To follow one's spiritual guidance, one needs freedom. One even needs freedom to make mistakes and if necessary to hit the bottom of the barrel, so learning can take place.

    Except for government safeguards against aggressors, thieves, etc, one's spirit, which I believe people should consider holy, says to government "Stay out of my way!"

    If government becomes so intrusive that men and women can no longer follow their spirit in the regular course of daily life, their spirit will naturally guide them to fight government, bring government down altogether, or find some place more freedom-oriented to live ... just as you say.