(282) Sat 29 Oct 94 11:28 By: Shelby Sherman To: All Re: more cor St: @EID:5b6c 1d5d5b80

---
Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

(282) Sat 29 Oct 94 11:28 By: Shelby Sherman To: All Re: more cor St: ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ @EID:5b6c 1d5d5b80 @GMD: 1:123/301 @MSGID: 1:123/67 2eb26a4a @PID: GED 2.41+ 124LM3 ============================================================================= * Forwarded by Shelby Sherman (1:123/67) * Area : THUMP_IT (Thump It! Religious Debate) * From : Starwyn, 1:104/515 (25 Oct 94 17:17) * To : All * Subj : more cor ============================================================================= >>>Text of article from "Church and State" by Fred Clarkson Pp 9-12<<< HardCor Mark Twain, reading today's papers, might observe that the news of the death of the Christian Right has been greatly exaggerated. Examples abound, but one need look no further than the thumpingly successful crusades of the Rev. Don Wildmon's American Family Association and the broader Christian Leaders for Responsible Television (CLEAR-TV) against television programming they don't like. Most recently, Burger King, a sponsor targeted by the groups, surrendered and pledged fealty to "traditional family values" in full page ads, after a two-month boycott over the fast food chain's commercials on allegedly racy and anti- Christian TV shows. But there is more to Wildmon and many of his allies than television trouble-making. He is a member of the Steering Committee of the Coalition on Revival (COR), a secretive, theo- political movement that seeks to bridge theological gaps among conservative Christians and foster religious and political unity. The movement's goal is nothing less than the establishment of its vision of the Kingdom of God here on earth. The Coalition is the epitome of the refocusing and retrenching of the Christian Right in the wake of the televangelist scandals of the '80's and the rise of the secular- minded presidency of George Bush. Its roots, however, grow from the Religious Right's heyday during the Reagan era, and it seeks the establishment of a government-enforced Christian nation. Working largely behind the scenes, the movement's influence has be subtle and significant. Prominent COR Steering Committee members have included: televangelists D. James Kennedy and Ron Haus, Robert Dugan of the National Association of Evangelicals, the Rev. Tim LaHaye of the Traditional Values Coalition, former U.S. Rep Mark Siljander (R-Mich.) and Religious Roundtable chief Ed McAteer, Founded in 1982 by Dr. Jay Grimstead, COR has sought to create a trans-denominational theology - a process that has included the creation of 17 "Worldview" documents, a Manifesto of the Christian Church, and a set of 25 key theological tenets called the 25 Articles. COR claims that "112 national theologians and leaders working with 500 experts in those 17 different fields worked together in 17 committees." The various COR papers have been distributed widely among sympathizers both here and abroad. One major focus has been to reconcile two main evangelical eschatologies (end-times theology), Most evangelicals in this century have been pre-millenialists/dispensationalists, that is, Christians who believe it is not possible to reform this world until Jesus returns. The minority post- millenialists/Reconstructionist camp believes it is necessary to build the Kingdom of God here and now. COR, which is led by post-millenialists and politically motivated by pre-millenialists (like Tim LaHaye), has sought to impose a non-quarrelling" policy on such matters. In response to a "Theological Summit" last year between COR advocates and critics, one critic astutely observed to Christianity Today that COR avoids defining both the means and ends of establishing to Kingdom and that "These (25) Articles seem to be devised to obtain if not the cooperation of the dispensationalists, at least their neutrality.." Indeed, the pre-millenialist/dispensationalist avoidance of entanglements with "this world" has kept much of evangelical Christianity on the sidelines of politics and government. COR's de-emphasis of eschatology could effectively dissolve barriers to political participation for many and clear the way for political leadership by the Religious Right. Although loath to admit it, many leading evangelicals have already been profoundly influenced by Reconstructionism, a movement that seeks to impose some variant of Old Testament law on all society. Sociologist Sara Diamond observes in her book Spiritual Warfare: The Politics of the Christian Right that Reconstructionism "has become the central unifying ideology of the Christian Right" and that COR is the cutting edge of Reconstructionism. Reconstructionism has many variations - the "Biblical Law Revival," "Kingdom theology," "Dominion theology"- and all are represented in COR. The acknowledged leader of Reconstructionism, R.J. Rushdoony, is a COR Steering Committee member who is slated to teach the biblical view of law at COR's planned Kingdom College. Fellow Reconstructionist (and COR Steering Committee member) Gary North has said, "Rushdoony is the Marx of this movement. I'm trying very hard to be the Engles." Reconstructionists seek to apply "Biblical Blueprints" to reform society, usually according to laws found in the Old Testament. Rushdoony's extreme views (not necessarily those of COR) include opposition to democracy and advocacy of the death penalty for homosexuals, adulterers, blasphemers, astrologers, witches, teachers of false doctrine and incorrigible children. (North takes that view one step farther and insists that the preferred biblical means of execution is stoning.) At COR's next "Theological Summit" - scheduled for the Crystal City Marriott, near Washington, D.C., Jan. 24-26 - the application of Old Testament law to modern life will be discussed. COR's more general "world-view" would also not bode well for American traditions of church-state separation, pluralism, civil liberties and labor rights. One of the "25 Articles" state in part: "We deny that anyone, Jew or Gentile, believer or unbeliever, private person or public official is exempt from the moral and juridical obligation before God to submit to Christ's Lordship over every aspect of his life in thought, word, and deed." COR "Commitment Sheets" - which must be signed by COR leaders - require that one must be "willing to be martyred for Jesus Christ and the establishment of His Kingdom here on earth" and be "willing to submit to the hierarchical order that God has created in which we are willing to submit as to Christ [emphasis added] to employers, civil government and church leaders, and within families, wives to their husbands and children to their parents." In 1990, COR created a political program and action arm called the National Coordinating Council (NCC), which advocates abolition of the public schools, the IRS and the Federal Reserve System by the year 2000, and seeks to Christianize all aspects of life from the arts and sciences to banking and the news media. (See "Kingdom Strategy," page 11.) The NCC hopes to accomplish its agenda in part by setting up a "kingdom" counter-culture of sorts, including a "Christian" court system. (In the meantime, NCC leaders propose an "aggressive fierce Christian version of the ACLU" to fight for its views in regular courts.) The NCC plans call for a grass-roots effort to elect their kind of Christians to county boards of supervisors and sheriff's offices, and disturbingly, once in power, to establish county militias. COR chief Grimstead says the militias are needed because the federal government can't be trusted to defend the U.S. against an invasion from a future "Communist Mexico." This implies, of course, not Minutemen on the Lexington Green, but fully equipped local "Christian" armies. The COR program is being taken to 50 North American cities over the next five years. The method is to hold invitation-only "Merge Ministry Seminars" geared toward the development of "councils of pastors." According to internal documents obtained by Church and State, COR/NCC teams are coming to San Diego, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Little Rock, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver, B.C. in 1991. "Our present war with the forces of darkness," wrote Grimstead recently, "will not be won in any city or county until the Christian leaders thee deliberately form a coalition of 'spiritual generals' who will work together as a single unit." Failing to create "such a unified D-Day approach," he continued, "is to ensure our defeat." He has invited COR members to move to the San Francisco Bay area this year [1991] to create a model "D- Day effect" - and plans a national invasion of the Bay area Oct 11-20. Grimstead's views of an ecumenism of the right may spring from his own pilgrimage through differing religious groups. The 57 year old activist started out in the Presbyterian tradition, but moved to an ultra-conservative off-shoot of the main denomination. An area director of the evangelical youth ministry Young Life for 1957 to 1877, he left that movement to form the now-defunct Council on Biblical Inerrancy. Grimstead is currently affiliated with a San Jose, Calif., congregation of the Pentecostal Holiness Church, a charismatic denomination. Grimstead believes Christian Right sympathizers can put aside theological differences to work toward common political and societal goals. At a COR-sponsored "Solemn Assembly" at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. in 1986, he told one reporter, "We think we can influence every sector of American in the next 10 years so it will be almost unrecognizable. Not just this Coalition on Revival, but fundamentalist, evangelical, charismatic and Catholic Christians whose foundation is the Bible and the Lordship of Christ. We're going to bring America back to its biblical foundations. "We're standing on a commitment to getting God's will done on earth as it is in heaven," he observed. "We think no Christian can argue with that, because it is part of the prayer the Lord taught us to pray. Anybody who can go for that is with us." Early on, Grimstead seemed to be having some success. The COR Steering Committee, featured on the group's letterhead, includes a cross-section of conservative Christian activists. In addition to the prominent evangelicals mentioned earlier, names on the list include Robert Simonds of Citizens for Excellence in Education, Reagan administration official Carolyn Sundseth, "creation-science" advocate Duane Gish, anti-abortion leader Peter Gemma, "pro-family" activist Connaught Marshner, home- schooling attorney Michael Farris, Intercessors for America chairman John D. Beckett, Dennis Peacocke and Bob Mumford of the controversial "Shepherding/Discipleship" movement, and Edith and Franky Schaeffer, wife and son respectively of the late evangelical guru Francis Schaeffer. But Grimstead's radicalism seems to be threatening the group's unity. In addition to the goals already mentioned, his recent NCC "ministry merge" document also called for all "leadership Christians" to practice fasting and learn how to cast out demons. Local church groups, he said, must form a Christian voting bloc and be linked together into a "single, area-wide, mobilizable, spiritual army." In addition to evangelizing all junior and senior high schools, NCC goals include taking control of all school boards, with a view toward replacing public schools with private Christian schools by the year 2000. Grimstead's ideas have led to some schisms with COR. Defectors include Religious Right activist and Biblical Scorecard publisher David Balsiger, Beverly LaHaye of Concerned Women for America, Gary Amos of Regent University, and Robert Dugan of the National Association of Evangelicals. Among other's who seem to be scuttling away from the taint of Rushdoony's views and the emerging militance of COR/NCC is Don Wildmon, who actually sued an official of the National Endowment for the Arts for slander after she inaccurately attributed Rushdoony's views on capital punishment and democracy to Wildmon and his American Family Association. (Rushdoony himself is a long accepted leader in conservative circles, having served on the Board of Governors of the elite Council for National Policy, and on the advisory board of the Conservative Caucus and Conservative Digest.) Gary Amos now claims that the COR/NCC agenda exists only on paper and blames it on Grimstead. NAE's Dugan says COR has gotten too Reconstructionist for him. In his own defense, Grimstead told Christianity Today that the COR/NCC program is a fair representation of the views of Pat Robertson and D.James Kennedy of Coral Ridge Ministries. Top Kennedy aides George Grant and Charles Wolf are listed as two of the NCC's 45 activists. The ties to Robertson are also clear. Joe Kickasola, a professor at Robertson's Regent University (formerly CBN University), was a principal author and with Gary Amos, defender of the 25 Articles at last year's Theological Summit. Regent U. Board Chair (and COR Steering Committee member) Dee Jepson is another link that shows the influence of FOR and Reconstructionist thought. According to Robertson, Jepson was the main advocate of the name change from CBN to Regent University. Robertson explains that the meaning of the new name states the mission of the school. He says a "regent" is one who governs in the absence of a sovereign." And Regent U. trains students to rule until Jesus, the absent sovereign, returns. "One day, if we read the Bible correctly," he predicts, "we will rule and reign along with our sovereign, Jesus Christ. So this is a kingdom institution to teach people how they may enter into the privilege that they have as God's representatives here on the face of the earth." regent U. has 700 graduate students in education, communications, religion and law - with plans for 3,000 (possibly 12,000 through "extension programs"). The Christian Right is clearly building for the future, and COR is playing a pivotal role by building the theological and political alliances for the 1990s and beyond. Fred Clarkson, a Washington D.C. freelance writer, reports extensively about the Religious Right. This story is an expanded version of a piece that appeared in the Nov/Dec issue of Mother Jones magazine. -+- SuperBBS 1.17-2 (Eval) + Origin: Visualize Whirled Peas! (1:104/515) ============================================================================= --- GoatEd Ver.0.00 * Origin: Sheets Inc. (1:123/67) SEEN-BY: 102/2 138 435 524 752 835 850 851 890 943 112/1 147/7 170/400 SEEN-BY: 206/2708 209/209 720 770 270/101 280/1 9 10 25 35 53 108 115 333 SEEN-BY: 280/359 378 385 500 1776 290/627 309/2 345/31 396/1 3615/50 @PATH: 123/67 303 301 3615/50 396/1 280/1 209/720 102/2 851

---

E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank