Original Intent and Strict Constructionists
We Christians know what we want in Supreme Court Justices. We want judges that will interpret the Constitution based upon it’s original intent. We want strict constructionists! Why? Because if you interpret the Constitution based upon what it actually says and what the founders intended then you don’t get abominable decisions being handed down like Roe v Wade. Only the most obscene and dishonest of people can say that the Constitution contains a ‘right to abortion’ and that the founders intended that women should have a right to murder their unborn children.
Now here is a sad and strange irony.
An alarming number of American Evangelical Christians demand strict constructionists when it comes to Supreme Court Justices but they DO NOT expect or demand the same thing from their pastors when it comes to teaching and interpreting God’s word.
One only needs to sample the sermons of the average American pastor, and the vast array of programs and books being offered at the local Christian bookstore to see that Christians do not have a taste for meaty and accurate Bible lessons. Instead, they consume a steady diet of simple and popular sermons and books that are nothing more than self-help programs peppered with Bible verses and the most ‘recently discovered’ Biblical principles.
Sadly, Rick Warren’s second installment in his 40 days series, “The 40 Days of Community” is a perfect example of this popular genre of ‘Christian Self-Help Programs’. Strangely enough, Warren’s interpretation and use of scripture is at odds with the original intent of God’s word. Although Warren’s pursuit of building a community of love is noble, it is his responsibility as an ordained minister to rightly divide God’s word.
This critique of the “40 Days of Community” will focus on Rick Warren’s use of scripture in his 40 days program. This is not intended to bash Warren, nor am I claiming that he is a heretic or un-Christian.
Instead, this a rationed call and plea to Christians to get back to the original intent and message of the Bible. It is my hope that Christians and their pastors will prayerfully consider this critique and call for the same strict adherence to ‘original intent’ when it comes to preaching and teaching the Bible that they demand from Supreme Court Justices and their interpetation of the Constitution.
In preparation for this critique, I am posting some sound bites from Warren's 40 Days of Community.
As I develop this critique I will be referring back to these sound bites as well as posting more. Click on the link to hear each quote.
Sound Bite 1 - Nothing I Believe Will Matter
Sound Bite 2 - It Takes More Than Faith to Please God
Sound Bite 3 - Only Thing That Matters
Sound Bite 4 - What is Love?
Sound Bite 5 - Love is a Choice
Sound Bite 6 - Without Faith 1
Sound Bite 7 - Without Faith 2
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