Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber was paid $400K for his work on crafting the signature legislation of Barak Obama and the Democrat party made news again this week as he boldly proclaimed that the law was intentionally crafted to deceive the Congressional Budget office and the American Voter because according to him American Voters are too stupid to know what is good for them. So, according to Gruber, the best way to govern is to not be transparent but rather to be intentionally deceptive. In fact, he says, â€œLack of transparency is a huge political advantage.â€
While I was cogitating the implications of this admission we had a comment on last weekâ€™s blog, â€œPersecuted, but not forsakenâ€ from a reader that goes by the name â€œBenâ€ who took a quote from the blog and pointed out something I had not heard or considered:
Beth Felker Jones, professor of theology at Wheaton College, said, â€œOrthodoxy is life-giving, and Godâ€™s people need access to it.â€ Participants who gave unorthdox answers are not heretics, but probably lacked quality resources, she said. â€œChurch leaders need to be able to teach the truth of the faith clearly and accurately, and we need to be able to show people why this matters for our lives.â€
I hadnâ€™t heard that part of the story yet. Iâ€™ve heard the survey lamented by pastors and professors but conveniently not this bit. 🙂
Apt to teachâ€¦ and refute those who contradict.
He is on to something here. It may be that the pastors and professors he has heard may not be aware of that part of the quote, perhaps the material they are reading doesnâ€™t include it, or that they intentionally left it off I am not sure. It may be both. Some who are reading may be wondering how these two stories are related? Those who know me well are already beginning to see the connection. In both cases they problem is a lack of sound truthful information from the leadership to the average person. In the case of Jonathan Gruber the lack of transparency is intentional, by his own admission. I wish I could say that is an affliction that is only found in Progressives and Liberals but sadly it is not. Conservatives can be just as opaque in what information they allow out. An odd thing seems to happen to those who take positions, either elected or hired, as â€œpublic servants.â€ It is true they are on the public payroll but many forget the part about being a servant and abuse their position and often the people they are supposed to be â€œservingâ€ as well. Withholding information, making backroom deals and other practices keep the average voter in the dark. But lack of information is not the same as stupidity. However, withholding information does make it easier for public officials to work their will on the unsuspecting while coming across as the one in the white hat.
In churches the issue is a lack of information perhaps more by omission than by intentionality. As Beth Felker Jones is quoted in New Poll Finds Evangelicalsâ€™ Favorite Heresies:
â€œOrthodoxy is life-giving, and Godâ€™s people need access to it.â€ Participants who gave unorthdox answers are not heretics, but probably lacked quality resources, she said. â€œChurch leaders need to be able to teach the truth of the faith clearly and accurately, and we need to be able to show people why this matters for our lives.â€
Ben is correct, â€œApt to teachâ€¦ and refute those who contradictâ€ This comes directly from 2 Timothy 2:24-25. Too many who sit in church week after week are not given sound doctrine but lite spiritual fare but nothing to ground them in the essentials of the faith. From time to time I am asked what I think about the Left Behind series. My response is that I havenâ€™t read it. As far as I know there is no direct heresy in it (although those who hold to a non-pretrib rapture would disagree) but my concern is that so many seem to get their theology from novels. In the end they may have a novel theology (double entendre intended Pastor Dan:D) but not a biblical one.
What is worse is it leaves them defenseless against false teaching which may be part of a website that has a very orthodox statement of faith such as The Christian Post. CP affirms the doctrine of the Trinity in their Statement of Faith but also hosts Anna Diehl and her â€œPursuing Godâ€ blog in which she asserts tritheism, denies Jesus was truly human and denies the inerrancy of Scripture. For example, in her post The Messiah Crisis she writes:
Notice Yahweh isnâ€™t saying, â€œHey, thatâ€™s Me in a human form.â€ Heâ€™s identifying Jesus as someone elseâ€”Someone who is NOT Yahweh, yet who claims to be EQUAL to Yahweh. This was why the Jews went spastic over Jesus: not just because He claimed to be God, but because He claimed to be ANOTHER God. Itâ€™s very important to understand this, for Yahwehâ€™s current Covenant demands a belief in MULTIPLE Gods, and if you run too far with this Trinity theory which insists that â€œGod is Oneâ€, you are in danger of missing salvation.
Missing salvation by believing in the Trinity. Hmmm. We and our friend, Rob Bowman at The Institute for Religious Researchhave been looking at her material. Rob emailed CP with his concerns. So far they have not responded in any way. Rob posted his letter with additional remarks under the title, Pursuit of Gods: Anna Diehl and Christian Post . The problem is that enough unschooled and undertaught believers with â€œnovelâ€ theology can and will be duped because they are unequipped to know why what Anna Diehl is teaching is unbiblical. It is possible that Ms. Deihl herself may be as Beth Felkner Jones suggested, â€œnot heretics, but probably lacked quality resourcesâ€ and needs church leaders who are â€œable to teach the truth of the faith clearly and accurately, and we need to be able to show people why this matters for our livesâ€ to come alongside her and do just that.
In the area of politics and faith the primary problem seems to be a lack of credible, reliable transmission of essential and truthful information. In both cases the solution is the same. Remind those in leadership positions they are servants not bosses. They must therefore live their lives in glass houses and be accountable or be removed from their positions. There is too much at stake for the rest of us to think or act otherwise.