Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Trouble with Certainty

The Washington Post discusses John Danforth's book tour where he blames the Christian Right for turning the Republicans into a sectarian party.

"The problem with many conservative Christians is that they claim that God's truth is knowable, that they know it, and that they are able to reduce it to legislative form," Danforth writes. "The popular question, 'What would Jesus do?' can be difficult enough to contemplate with respect to everyday interpersonal relations. It is mind boggling when applied to the complex world of politics."

That problem is especially challenging for charismatic Christians. They believe that they understand the mind of god. Proclaiming to act on behalf of god, their leaders are arrogant and domineering. Rather than serving something that is greater than us, we mistake our personal biases for divine revelation.

It is about the adulation of the leader. And for leaders, it is about the adulation of one self. That is why some charismatic ministers ostentatiously display jewelry, expensive cars, and huge churches. That is why Joseph Smith needed access to every woman imaginable.

God becomes secondary. It is all about them. That's idolatry.