Glenn Beck’s Divine Destiny
So, I’ll start by equally offending the red team and the blue team. I like Fox News better than CNN. Glenn Beck scares me.
Let me rephrase that Glenn Beck doesn’t really scare me. He is an entertainer. He is a conservative. He is a Mormon. What he says and does is shaped by those three roles, and to complicate matters more I have no reason to doubt his sincere desire to honor our troops and renew our country. Not scary goal, good goals. Glenn Beck isn’t scary. What’s scary is the way conservative Christians are eating up the spiritual taste of his message with seemingly little evaluation of the spiritual foundation of his message.
If you haven’t heard about the “Restoring Honor” event or “Glenn Beck’s Divine Destiny” (recently retitled as “Glenn Beck Presents: America’s Divine Destiny”) you likely are not a true fan. Mr. Beck will be in Washington D.C Friday night and Saturday…hoping for 300,000 plus people on Saturday and enough to fill the Kennedy Center Friday night for “America’s Divine Destiny.”
Now there is no doubt that Mr. Beck is a passionate man, a religious man, and a political man. In fact he weaves all three together as he talks about the “Divine Destiny” event. He writes,
Divine Destiny is an eye-opening evening at the historic Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C that will help heal your soul. Guided by uplifting music, nationally-known religious figures from all faiths will unite to deliver messages reminiscent to those given during the struggles of America’s earliest days. The event will leave you with a renewed determination to look past the partisan differences and petty problems that fill our airwaves and instead focus our shared values, principles and strong belief that faith can play an essential role in reuniting the country.
In another message Beck describes the weekend this way,
I have been telling you for awhile this will be a historic moment. I promise you that it will be. I promise you. I have promised you before and I have personally seen them already. I have told you, prepare to witness mighty and powerful miracles. I have already seen them. What you will witness on September 28th, is the beginning of a restoration you and your children will never forget.
I understand why conservative Christians smile when they hear these words. I’ve used a lot of words like this before, in fact I’ll use a lot of word like this…this weekend at church. So for all the Glenn Beck fans amongst us, will you consider a few challenges spoken in grace?
1) Glenn Beck’s faith background is not Christian. Mormons have significantly different views on Christ than I do. Do I have any problem with him mixing his religion with his politics? No. Am I anti-Mormon? No. I simply hold to an orthodox view of Christ and Jesus gets first place in my passions. I want Glenn Beck to know the Jesus I love. Even if you are 100% in agreement with Mr. Beck’s political views, if you are a Christian, theology matters.
2) Never forget that the little kingdom of politics will never accomplish more than the Big Kingdom of God. Seek first the Kingdom of God. You may realize that Glenn Beck spoke at Liberty University’s commencement this year. Liberty University — a Christian school — was founded by Jerry Falwell — of moral majority fame, so the merging of politics and religion there is old news. But in a conversation with Jerry Jr. and Glenn Beck, Jerry Jr. made this statement, “There are bigger issues now, we can argue about theology later, after we save the country.” Christ is at the very heart of theology and I do not believe we can save the country without Jesus…and I’m NOT talking about bring Jesus into politics. I’m talking about a heart-change.
3) If you are a follower of Jesus don’t let politics divide you from other Jesus-followers… and NEVER let politics be your primary pathway of unity. In other words a conservative follower of Jesus has far more in common with a liberal follower of Jesus than with a conservative atheist.
4) Love Jesus more than you love your country. I don’t have to explain that one.
Thanks for sharing, Dan. This post is one of the many reasons that I’m glad to have you as my pastor and boss…
Dan, thanks so much for sharing this! As a Christian, my citizenship is elsewhere. While I still often think and act like an American(please forgive me), I am now a citizen of heaven. I enjoy Glenn Beck for his entertainment value. But recognizing that “I’m not from here”, I dont believe that we have a dog in this political fight anymore. We cant “take America back” anymore than we are able to save a soul. I realize now that Im not an American who is Christian… I am a Christian who happens to live in America.
I’m glad that you’re writing these things, Dan. I still remember the “I’m sorry for being too political” sermon, but this needs to be said more often. I think it’s vitally important for Christians to be engaged in the political discussion, but not to the detriment of theology.
Your 4th point is hard for many Americans, I think. Loving our country is something inherently ingrained in our psyche. Many of us pledged allegiance to the flag long before we pledged allegiance to Christ. I think that’s why Glenn Beck’s message is so loved by so many Christians. It gives people an opportunity to love their country and (theoretically) love their God.
Of course, as you mentioned, many folks have their priorities backwards.
I agree with you but want to say one thing in Becks defense.
I might be wrong but Beck is the only person in the media (liberal and conservative) who talks openly about Jesus, faith and the power of prayers. He is not afraid to “offend” anyone by saying Jesus name.