Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson is Not a Christian?

According to orthodox definitions no. City Journal profiles the anti-Rev. Jesse Jackson. They note:

Take Peterson’s vision of restoring the lost black family, which is unflinchingly religious and traditional. “There is a spiritual order to life that was ordained by God,” he tells me. “And that order is God in Christ, Christ in man, man over woman, woman over children. And it’s not an ego trip, it’s just a spiritual order, that men are subject to Christ and women are subject to men.”

At this point on the interview tape, you can hear me start to stammer hilariously. I don’t agree with everything he says, but. . . . And yet, at the same time I’m stammering, several thoughts crowd in on me. First, Peterson’s traditionalism is only an echo of Paul’s advice to married couples in Ephesians, not to mention John Milton’s deathless description of Adam and Eve: “He for God only; she for God in him.”

Milton, purportedly an "Arian," may not have been a Christian according to this understanding either.

Here is the offending passage:

It was another radio preacher who changed Peterson’s direction: Roy Masters, a British convert from Judaism, who advocated praying to God for self-knowledge and listening quietly for God’s response. Such prayers led Peterson to confront his anger, not against whites, but against his own parents, so that he came to understand himself outside the context of his skin color. He visited his mother and forgave her for her anger. She cried. He visited his father and forgave him for his neglect. The older man was grateful. For Peterson, the experience was liberating and set him on the path of ordination and a successful, directed life.

Yet, Roy Masters doesn't believe in the Trinity, adds books of the Gnostic Gospels to the biblical canon and teaches reliance on a meditation technique which he claims is "Judeo-Christian," not Eastern or New Age, as essential for salvation. You can listen to it here.

Likewise one of Rev. Peterson's Bible experts shocked "Joe Kovacs, author of 'Shocked by the Bible: The Most Astonishing Facts You've Never Been Told'" in claiming Jesus was not God.

The late Bible answer man, the very "orthodox" Walter Martin, claimed Masters was not a Christian and that his philosophy is peppered with anti-biblical and anti-Christian teachings. You can listen to this very fun, illuminating debate here.

Most if not all orthodox Christians, according to Masters, are not saved, but deluded into believing they are saved. Masters also teaches, interestingly, anger is a sin and that saved Christians do not sin (and there are verses and chapters of scripture for both ideas especially the latter; see among others, Matthew 5:48, and 1 John 3:8-10).

(Masters also brags that he stopped having sex with his wife when he was in his mid 40s. He's over 80 and still married.)

Masters' teachings on anger are a little harder to glean from the Bible. However, he might note when the Bible speaks of God's wrath or vengeance, it speaks of something that differs in kind with the emotion of anger human beings are subject to. "Anger" is arguably a mistranslation if, when discussing God's attributes, that English word ever attaches to a biblical translation. And when Jesus chased the money lenders out, he did so not subject to what human beings understand as "feeling angry." He just did the right thing (as he always did) and chased them out.

Anger, accordingly, shouldn't be expressed or repressed (you are damned either way). Humans shouldn't be subject to it. And as long as they are, they aren't saved. Do the meditation and eventually you cease to react in an emotional way to the stresses of life.

I distinctly remember Roy's son David, to demonstrate that you don't need to be subject to anger to do whatever, i.e., take a stand, righteously strike someone (some people think they need to get mad as Hell before they can stand up for themselves), noted: He could come home, find a man raping his wife, pull his gun out and righteously execute the man in defense of his wife -- what he would do -- all the while not being angry or upset.

This is, accordingly, what it means to be saved.

Is this "Christian?" Is it "Judeo-Christian"? As with Mormonism, this reminds me of parallels to the American Founding. You have very "Christian" sounding terminology like "God in Christ, Christ in man, man over woman, woman over children" mixed in with other arguably "alien" elements so a new creature emerges over whose proper religious identity or label is arguable.

That's why the "orthodox" argue "Mormonism isn't Christianity" even though Mormons call themselves Christians. Or that Dr. Gregg Frazer calls what presented itself as "rational Christianity" during the American Founding as "theistic rationalism," not "Christianity."

1 comment:

led signs said...

There are forty-some fuselages survivors at this point; and we are to assume he's interacted with several others whom we haven't met or that he's stuck mostly to the core group of characters?