Wednesday, September 09, 2015

The Pope, Stephen Colbert, Hillary's Apology, and Truth

For absolute truth to exist, God must exist.  For truth to be absolute, it must be transcendent, that is, not dependent.  I think of James 1:17:

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

Whatever comes from God hasn't been ruined by its relationship to everything else.  Since God could remain separate in His place of majesty and holiness, His separateness, His gifts could be, remain, and then be delivered to us pure.  Sin starts with us -- that's what James says earlier (1:13-14) -- not with God.  God has no variableness, neither shadow of turning.  Everything is relative to God, but He is not relative to us.  He stays the same.  He doesn't change.  He doesn't need us for light.  He is Light.

And so on.  But the pope.  The pope doesn't offer the same understanding of truth.  Truth to the present pope, and really by definition all popes, is malleable.  He is the progressive pope, every liberal's favorite pope, because he sees the rules as changing.  As a result, we hear that there is potential mutiny among the conservatives in the Vatican.  This is news from the Washington Post two days ago.

A biblicist, a biblical or true Christian, has a hard time with his view about the pope.  What does it matter whether he's conservative or liberal?  In the end, it's very wrong, either way.  In either way, it can't really be conservative.  I could write a whole book on the subject.  It interests me.  Why would I want a conservative pope?  I'm not Catholic.

A liberal pope is bad news for the world at large, when one considers the danger of either liberal or conservative.  A conservative pope is probably unacceptable now.  It probably isn't going to happen, despite what we read in the Washington Post article.  People's relationship with the truth has changed.  A Catholic may have thought that his religion taught him the truth.  This pope offers something far more on the sliding scale.  In a lot of ways, this pope is keeping up with what is occurring all over, so he is politically and therefore theologically correct.

The conservatives in the Vatican see the demise of Catholicism, its erosion to something that couldn't very well even be called Roman Catholicism, perhaps something closer to Unitarianism.  It might be religious, but the god is so pliable that he/she/it couldn't very well even be "God" any more.  I've already noticed this about Catholics, at least in California, for awhile.  Hardly a Catholic is a Catholic any more.  You will rarely to never talk to a Catholic who knows what he's talking about.  He already treats the doctrine like a smorgasbord or buffet, to handpick the religion he's most comfortable with.

I see most people going the way of the present pope.  Evangelicals are way down that path to various degrees, just with a greater variety than Catholicism.  The variety within Catholicism is mainly cultural, just like evangelicalism.  Certain cultures tend more towards stricter Catholicism, but Western culture has seeped and even saturated further than before, bringing more uniformity to the progressiveness.  Progressiveness is uniform.  It's spread it's doctrine of tolerance everywhere.  It advertises diversity, but there is mass conformity to relativism, so that everyone looks and acts the same.

The pope represents a shift and he is pushing it further.  Human instinct prefers its own way and he offers a Catholicism that doesn't stop that.  It encourages it.  I say he's more dangerous, because you can't get a Catholic to agree there is truth.  Before, if you showed a Catholic the Bible, he could be persuaded, because he tracked toward absolute authority, just the wrong one.  Now you offend him if you expect an absolute.  Evangelicals are on the same trajectory and they are beginning to meet now on the same philosophical terrain.  Everybody is in for himself, and the religious leader (and politician) succeeds, where he presents self-interest as the great motivating factor.  This is the major clash with Islam today too.  The most influential Islamics operate under an entirely different worldview -- also a wrong one -- but one in which absolutes do exist.  This is why progressives see Islamics and genuine Christians as more the same than different.

Stephen Colbert comes to this conversation with the article, "The Gospel of Stephen Colbert," in The Tablet Magazine.  He took over hosting the Late Show with David Letterman, which both reflects and influences probably a majority of Americans, who approach their late night television with more reverence than Sunday services.  Marjorie Ingall asks at the end of the first paragraph:  "What will he do when he’s freed from his bombastic, know-nothing, truthiness-loving persona?"  Truthiness-loving.

Colbert played a character in his former show, a crude, totally warped caricature of a conservative, essentially mocking the right side of the country every night.  If you didn't laugh, you didn't get the joke, you know.  It was only comedy.  Chuckle-chuckle.  Ingall sees "truthiness-loving" as a negative.  Do you see that?  We're supposed to be repulsed by a "truthiness-loving persona"?  All hail relativism and multiculturalism, that sees the world in an appropriate gray tone, not the black and white that Colbert wore every night, except that he really does see a certain truthiness in his own flavor of postmodernism.  If you can stand it, you can read her whole article, but consider this paragraph:

For Colbert, Catholicism has always been tied to both social justice and liberalism. He testified before Congress about the plight of migrant workers, quoting Jesus’ words in Matthew 25:40: “Whatsoever you did for the least of my brothers, you did it to me.” He invited an activist nun, Sister Simone Campbell, onto his show, and when she appeared wearing a blue blouse and patterned skirt, sneered, “Where’s the outfit? Did you burn it at one of those wimple-burning parties you radical nuns hold?”

Evangelicalism is already there.  They laugh at dress code too.  They think beauty is in the eye of the beholder, music is amoral, and many are careful to be too judgmental of almost anything.  Part of the church growth movement and an expanding spirit of ecumenism revolves around dividing doctrine into a mammoth and growing number of non-essentials and a tiny, almost infinitesimal number of essentials, and this includes the conservative evangelicals.  I'm called "purgatory" by them for a biblical view on this (with no scriptural basis or answer from them [they know]).

Catholicism for Colbert might not be Catholicism, and if it is, what does it matter?  Is it really Catholicism if it is your Catholicism.  His Bible is also his Bible.  He quotes the Bible in the convenient section with the convenient verse with his convenient interpretation.  Who are Jesus' "brothers," for instance? What does the Bible mean if it means only what it means to you?  Why is Colbert, a comedian, an expert on the Bible and how it applies to migrant workers?  His opinion is as good as anyone else's.  There's a certain lack of truthiness to it.

So what does the above then have to do with Hillary's apology?  Well, is Hillary admitting she did something wrong?  Why would she apologize if she wasn't wrong about anything?  If she was wrong, how does anyone judge that any more?  Kim Davis--wrong.  Gavin Newsom--right.  David Petraus--wrong.  Hillary Clinton--right.  Why?  Hillary is more wrong presently because the Obama wing of the Democrats don't like her quite so much, so if she's wrong, Joe Biden can be right.  However, if she was with the Obamas, she would still be right.  She's growing more wrong all the time, so she apologizes just in case she might need it.  If she gave away classified materials, top secret, then she should be in big trouble, but she's still running around campaigning to be president, because truth is not absolute.

What I'm describing is the world we're living in, but it isn't actually the world we're living in.  This is that lie of two worlds I wrote twice about a few weeks ago.  The real world is still God's world and his truth still remains in force.  The planet will get hotter.  Climate will change drastically and it has nothing to do with carbon emission.  It has to do with God's anger at this world.

1 comment:

George Calvas said...

Well said.

Many tell truth about lies (i.e., Who changed the truth of God into a lie...), and they lie about the truth (The truth is Jesus Christ).