Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Monday, October 15, 2007

How exactly do they define "Christian?"

Beliefnet has their list of the most influential "Christians" in Hollywood, and Mel Gibson has topped the list at number one. I guess I saw that one coming.

What I find interesting is the others listed. The entire list breaks down:

1. Mel Gibson
2. Denzel Washington
3. Patricia Heaton
4. Tyler Perry
5. Ralph Winter
6. Angela Basset
7. Martin Sheen
8. Martha Williamson
9. Kristen Chenoweth
10. Philip Anschultz
11. Howard Kazanjian
12. Scott Derrickson

I am only familiar with a handful of these folks. But what on earth qualifies them as being "Christian?" Patricia Heaton is probably the only one I would trust being a somewhat orthodox, conservative Christian, but, I mean, Martin Sheen? He spouts leftist conspiracy theory goobley-gook everytime he opens his mouth. I think it may be me, but a leftist, conspiratorial and activist world view just doesn't comport with biblical Christianity. If Sheen is considered a Christian, I certainly wonder about those others listed.



Blogger ThirstyDavid said...

This is why I call it "unbelief.net."

3:56 PM, October 15, 2007  
Blogger Ebeth said...

Maybe if they are neither Jewish nor Muslim?

4:47 PM, October 15, 2007  
Blogger Jason E. Robertson said...

Fred you said: a leftist, conspiratorial and activist world view just doesn't comport with biblical Christianity.

I do not disagree, but of all the other "types" of Christianity what do think would best describe such?

7:08 PM, October 15, 2007  
Blogger Richard J said...

Fred--First off, I love your blog! I always find something to think about.

About Marty Sheen: what part of being a leftist, conspiratorial, activist disqualifies him from being a Christian? He may be a nut (ok, he IS a nut), but can't Jesus love leftist nuts too?

Does a person's political view mean he can't be saved? I don't see the necessary connection between political conservatism and biblical Christianity.

11:58 PM, October 15, 2007  
Blogger Faultline USA said...

The growth of “Marxist” or Leftist Christianity” in the western world hasn’t helped the situation either. We would like to add your article link to Christians Against Leftist Heresy at http://christiansagainstleftistheresy.blogspot.com/

4:24 AM, October 16, 2007  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Hey Richard,
Thanks for the encouraging note. I feel all warm and loved when people tell me the enjoy my blog.

You do ask a good question, and to answer, I would first say that I believe it is a misconception that our Christian, biblically based world view can be separated from how we function in the secular world, particularly politics. I am sure you would agree, right?

I believe it is disingenuous for people to suggest that any religious faith can be and must be separated from politics. It is just impossible, because our faith in Christ derive from our Lord who not only has absolute sovereignty over this world, but demands personal lordship over the individual lives of his redeemed. Because politics intersects with the world, that means we must think in terms of Christ's lordship governing our individual political lives.

Now I am not suggesting a Christian has to be politically active, but I would suggest that they should have a working understanding of their place in the country they live and how their Christian faith can play a part in their country's society.

Obviously, the notion of Christ's lordship over our individual political lives is much bigger in scope than what I can handle in a brief comment and it certainly is worthy of separate discussions I may take up in the future sometime. And for the record, I don't necessarily believe it automatically equates red state conservatism.

At any rate, the gist of what you asked was whether a person can be a leftist, political activist and a biblical Christian. I would certainly affirm that Jesus can save anyone, including leftist activists (and rightist activists as well). That really is not an issue. What is at stake is whether a person who adheres to leftist ideology, which Mr. Sheen does, can be a genuine, Bible believing Christian and still maintain his leftist ideology. In my mind, it is similar to a person who is saved as a Mormon. I do not believe he can continue being a Mormon after genuinely coming to saving faith in Christ.

Leftism is a philosophy and I believe one that is vigorously opposed to biblical Christianity. For example, the leftist idea of collective wealth where the rich are forced to distribute their wealth certainly goes against the scriptural idea of personal property rights.

Also, leftism tends towards atheism. Such unbiblical ideas like abortion (a woman has the choice to choose what she can do and not do with her body) and the promotion of homosexual "super" equal rights.

Now, I am not entirely sure where Martin Sheen stands on his views of abortion and homosexuality, but I do know his conspiratorial madness he imbibes is detrimental to a rational, God fearing Christian who strives to see reality through a biblical lens. My posts on Tin-Foil Hat theology (scroll down the right side bar to find them) goes into more detail by what I mean.

I hope that helps clarify where I am coming from.

6:03 AM, October 16, 2007  
Blogger Hayden said...


Good observations. The only one that I have heard speak of their faith is Tyler Perry, and interesting enough I saw an interview with him yesterday. Just some information. He seemed liek a nice guy, with soem strong convictions.


6:31 AM, October 16, 2007  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Fault line people,
You're more than welcome to link my article, though it is more of my little rant/opinion than a full on article.


12:59 PM, October 16, 2007  
Blogger Richard J said...

Fred--Glad I can give you warm, fuzzy feelings. I do appreciate what your saying. And I agree that we can't, and shouldn't, separate our faith from the rest of our lives.

I do believe that someone can adopt a more "leftist" view of politics, and still maintain a serious Christian faith. In ol' Marty's case, I know he's passionate about wiping out nuclear weapons. Now if he comes to that position because he believes God values each human life, and nuclear weapons wipe out a lot of innocent (i.e., non-military) human lives, doesn't his position come from a position of faith?

He might be wrong, but you can't say he's not attempting to be a biblical Christian. (I don't really know what his motivations are. I'm using this as an example.)

This is different from being a Mormon because to be a Mormon, you have to deny some of the essential doctrines of the faith: the nature of God, salvation by grace alone,and others. I think we have to allow a little more charity when it comes to how biblical Christians live out their faith in the world.

I do agree that most leftists are unabashedly secular. But I don't think that it has to be that way...

3:23 PM, October 16, 2007  
Blogger pilgrim said...

That's what you get from a hodge podge like beliefnet.

7:22 PM, October 16, 2007  

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