1. notleia says:

    Me, I fall into the camp where I think that most fundagelicals are useless BECAUSE they spend so much time faffing around about the End Times and the New Whatever when things are fixed without them having to work at it.
    Most of them have lost whatever street cred they try to maintain by keeping the same name as the 19th century evangelicals that advocated for slavery abolition and prison reform and child welfare reform, because most of them have been sucked into the authoritarian party (now performed by the GOP) where continuing improvements to labor, prison systems, child welfare, and also plus environmental concerns are bulldozed over in favor of cancer-stage capitalism to concentrate the money and power in the oligarch class.

    Fun fact: Do you know why the US hasn’t ratified the UN convention on the rights of the child? Because fundagelical kooks like Michael and Debbie Pearl (who are also sexist like WHOA) want children to be beaten without legal repercussions (because “Biblical”) rather than finding better and more effective methods for child rearing. (I was spanked as a child, and not cruelly, but I think there are better methods. My parents even stopped spanking my youngest sibling earlier than the rest of us, and I’m not resentful about it.)

    • Travis Perry says:

      What’s interesting on the discussion of child raising methods are how ethical rules about psychological studies are conducted actually prevent double blind experiments where you’d deliberately separate identical twins and spank one and not the other but otherwise raise them in identical conditions. You’d also want to test different methods of spanking, if you wanted a scientific answer. Since that’s not ethical, there is no actual scientific answer to this question, believe it or not.

      Studies today tend to contrast all punishment versus all positive reinforcement, do very poorly about correcting for genes and social class, do virtually nothing to discern between spanking done under control and physical abuse, and overall qualify as dumpster trash (with a few bits worth picking out).

      There is real evidence in favor of spanking, but it’s in a way anecdotal (because many other factors are involved) but the use of judicial caning in Singapore has produced an extremely clean, orderly, and decent society. It’s been known to work in other places as well…anecdotally.

      I’d say it’s a no-brainer that pain is a deterrent–that’s why God created it. Or from the point of view of the sophomoric thinkers who seem to think pain has no instructive value, that’s why pain evolved. Why modern man suddenly believes people learn nothing from pain, in spite of thousands of years of human experience to the contrary, I don’t know. Well, part of it is a kind of arrogance about how modern we are and how much we’ve learned over the primitive past…as we trip over ourselves to make mistakes of the past…

      But anyway, you can tell I’m not overly heartbroken about the UN convention about the rights of the child. There are a number of conventions the USA has never signed–including the most updated Geneva convention rules. Including the protocol on landmines, which bothers me a bit more than UN rules on corporal punishment. Because kids losing limbs to landmines in Afghanistan, etc.

      As for things Evangelicals have accomplished, a tremendous amount of money goes out of Christian pockets to Third World places to support various forms of ministries. Most of which are primarily paying ministers and missionaries, but also at a minimum give some charitable donations. And sometimes give a lot. Plus there’s Samaritan’s Purse who more directly gives aid. And a number of other Christian-based NGOs who help people overseas. Overall, Christians give money that winds up helping people at rates that far exceeds non-Christians…who, with a number of important exceptions, generally expect help for the poor to be paid for by taxes.

      I think a natural cause for modern Evangelicals to fight against would the modern traffic in slave trade, most of it sex slavery. While there have been a few voices that talk about this a bit, mostly we’ve done nothing much. Christians have probably pushed harder against drug trafficking–not that drug trafficking doesn’t get people killed in places like Central America. And again, Afghanistan. But overall, not as worthy a cause. At least though Christians are mostly (mostly) not contributing to drug trafficking by using illegal drugs. That’s something worthwhile, if not spectacular.

      We also have taken a stand against abortion, which you think is good, Notleia, but which I think is horrific.

      But anyway, yeah, there’s always been a wing of Christians of all times waiting for Jesus to return. Which is a good thing in my opinion. If you don’t think that way for real, you start thinking about how you need to take over political parties to ensure your comfortable way of life continues, instead of fighting for good all your life and not worrying so much what happens to you personally, because the Lord will take care of that in the future when he returns.

      But I guess that take-over-a-political-party-so-I-can-stay-comfortable thing has already happened to a degree, hasn’t it?

  2. Brie Donning says:

    I think you’ve got a point here.
    Taking another snippet of Scripture, ”There will be no more sea.” Unless people can come up with some metaphorical way to explain that, even if the earth is the same physical matter, that’s a lot of rearranging going on. But not a flood this time, and I have no idea how fire achieves that.

  3. David says:

    Travis, I don’t know how this helps or hurts your case, but here’s 2 Peter 3:10-13 from the CLNT:

    “Now the day of the Lord will be arriving as a thief, and which the heavens shall be passing by with a booming noise, yet the elements shall be dissolved by combustion, and the earth and the works in it shall be found. At these all, then, dissolving, to what manner of men must you belong in holy behavior and devoutness, hoping for and hurrying the presence of God’s day, because of which the heavens, being on fire, will be dissolved, and the elements decomposed by combustion! Yet we, according to His promises, are hoping for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness is dwelling.”

    Let me know what you think and I hope you get to see this comment before your 5 weeks away begin.

    • Travis Tyree Perry says:

      The translation you’ve listed is in accordance with what I think I see in the Greek. Only the use of the word “combustion” strikes me as an odd choice.

What do you think?