Saturday, March 29, 2008

More Conservative Wisdom

Last week my post referred to a column written by John Hawkins at Townhall. This week Mr. Hawkins has written another column called "10 More of the Greatest Pieces of Conservative Wisdom". Take a look at it. There are some good thoughts there. You might have your own favorite pieces of wisdom, of course, but reading someone else's list can expand your thinking and give you some new ideas.

At American Thinker I found another article that I recommend for its thought-provoking ideas. It is called "'Seeker-Sensitive' Conservatism" and was written by Alan Roebuck. In the article, Mr. Roebuck discusses the problem of basing Christian teachings on a "seeker-sensitive" marketing approach. Mr. Roebuck defines that as:
The seeker-sensitive movement is a close analogy to the contemporary conservative movement. In both cases, people who ought to be offering timeless truths that can save individuals and societies are instead using market research to craft a product that appeals to consumers, telling them what they want to hear rather than a truth that is initially painful but ultimately liberating. Even if you are not a Christian, you should be concerned about a mass movement that thrives by suppressing many important ideas that it once believed in, especially because the same error tempts other idea-based movements, such as conservatism.
He goes on to tell us that a pastor, Bob DeWaay, has studied this seeker-sensitive movement and has concluded thusly:
DeWaay's basic conclusion is this: The purpose-driven movement begins with the premise that the only way to attract non-Christians to church is by offering to meet their felt needs, rather than their real need for salvation through Christ. If a non-Christian "seeker" visits a church where he hears the traditional Gospel message that he is a lost sinner in need of a salvation that can only come from personal repentance and trust in the atoning death of Christ, he will be repelled by the challenging message, and will not return. To prevent this failure, so the theory goes, a church must conduct market research into what people in its area want, and then find a way to give these seekers what they want.

One result is that the deep and challenging teachings of traditional Christianity must never be presented in the Sunday morning worship service that has traditionally been the cornerstone of Christian fellowship. Not only will non-Christian seekers probably not want to hear that God regards them as sinners, but they will have no interest in what Warren (and theological liberals) dismissively call "doctrine," that is, the actual content of the religion preached by Christ and the Apostles. The result is a Christianity that retains the rituals and some of the language of traditional Protestant Christianity, but is effectively stripped of its content.

Mr. Roebuck continues:
But what does this have to do with conservatism? Doesn't the conservative movement stand in unambiguous opposition to the foolish and destructive ideas of the left? Don't conservatives suffer the hostility and sometimes the persecution of the liberals and leftists who have de facto control of the universities, the media, and much of the government? How could conservatism be "seeker-sensitive?"

By failing to stand on principle. As I have argued in Liberalism 101, liberalism (i.e., the worldview of the left) has almost complete control of America. It is our "unofficial state religion." But since liberalism is largely false, John Q. Public senses (even if he cannot articulate it) that something is seriously wrong with the ideas and policies he is relentlessly taught by the schools, the media and even, God help us, by many clergy. This being the case, there is a major market for "conservatism," that is, articulate opposition to liberalism. People have a felt need to have their intuitions vindicated.

But whenever there is a popular product, its producers will be tempted to modify their product to suit the desires of the consumer. There is much profit to be made in giving people what they want, rather than what they need.
Something that struck me was Mr. Roebuck's statement that:
It is something entirely different to admit, as I have argued in Liberalism 101, that the real problem is America's general acquiescence to an entire worldview based on the nonexistence of the God of the Bible, and which therefore means that God is not the supreme being, but rather man.

And if man, who is constantly changing, is the supreme being, then we cannot know anything for sure, except that the highest priority is protecting myself and asserting my ego. And people devoted ultimately to themselves can hardly form a strong nation, defeat the bad initiatives of liberalism, and pass on their way of life to their descendants.
His solution?
I have argued here that we need a sustained and aggressive public campaign against the fundamental ideas of liberalism. Individuals, of course, are free to believe whatever they want, but any nation must have ideas that are authoritative for the guidance of its public policies. Since the publicly acknowledged comprehensive system of thought that has de facto authority over America is liberalism, liberalism must be fought publicly, at the level of its fundamental ideas. That is, we must aim to discredit publicly not just the specific foolish initiatives of liberalism, but more importantly the foundational ideas that make liberalism what it is. If we fail to discredit these ideas in the minds of both John Q. Public and our leadership class, liberalism will continue to be the guiding philosophy of America, and America will continue to decline.

To change the entire way of thinking of a nation is a fearfully difficult undertaking, and success is by no means guaranteed. If liberalism really is our state religion, then most people will resent our contention that we must change the way our nation thinks. But liberalism, being largely false and irrational, is intellectually vulnerable.

And the stakes are high: America is in mortal danger. The America that we have known, under the onslaught of many maladies either caused or exacerbated by liberalism, is in danger of ceasing to exist and being replaced by something radically different and worse. Think of the mass immigration that, coupled with multiculturalism, is Balkanizing us, of the widespread promulgation of secularism, agnosticism and atheism that is making us more self-centered and cowardly, and of the creeping socialism that is making us a nation of dependents.

I've quoted a lot of what I believe is an important article, but go read all of it to get a better idea of what Mr. Roebuck is talking about. We need to really think about our futures and the future of America and in what direction we are headed.

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At 3:51 PM, Blogger JR said...

Hear, hear!

At 9:52 AM, Blogger Mary A said...

Thanks, JR! :D


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