Designer Christianity, Jimmy Carter Style

Today many Christians are trying to design their own form of Christianity, ending up with nothing more than a postmodern relativistic form of Christianity. Jimmy Carter’s new interview in the Huffington Post, which you can read here, exemplifies this view.

In Jimmy Carter’s view, “God inspired the Bible but didn’t write every word in the Bible.” If the Bible isn’t God’s Word completely, then how do we determine what we should obey and what we can ignore?

Carter essentially answers that question when asked about Scriptures that talk about women not teaching men or speaking in church: “Every worshipper has to decide if and when they want those particular passages to apply to them and their lives.”

He also said, “Jesus never said a word about homosexuality.” Technically, one could say he was correct, because Jesus never broached the subject while He was on Earth. However, he’s missing the bigger picture; because Jesus doesn’t address an issue directly, that doesn’t mean it’s not addressed elsewhere in God’s Word. Also, certain sexual sins weren’t controversial in His time but were understood to be an abomination to the Jews and thus didn’t need to be addressed by Him. Jimmy Carter, again, was showing his designer Christianity with that statement, ignoring the parts of the Bible that are politically incorrect to support and rationalize his position. He even supported same-sex marriage, though only in civil ceremonies. Doesn’t he realize that he was negating the fact that God created marriage, not man?

In the end, Jimmy Carter’s view of Christianity is a watered-down Gospel that weakens the faith of Christians and puts a stumbling block in front of non-Christians. He teaches Sunday School, and I can’t help but wonder, does he teach biblical Christianity or the Jimmy Carter designer version of Christianity?

All of us must conform our lives to fit the Bible, not conform the Bible to fit our own beliefs and lives.


A striking hypocrisy
If the Scriptures contain error, then why cannot the injunctions against injustice, racism, etc. be summarily dismissed as irrelevant and flawed? The fallacy of seeking to be trendy is, in doing so, you end up becoming irrelevant by refusing to say things which are eternal, as Simone Weil observed. And when the tension between the Gospel and culture is negated, you are left with no Gospel at all.
Very Well Written!
Thank you, Mr. Babish, for an excellent article on our former President. The only Democrat I ever voted for was JFK (my 1st election), and never since. I was a bit skeptical of Mr.Carter when he was elected, and grew progressively disappointed during his tenure. He has continued to progressively bend away from classical Christianity and toward anything politically correct. Today, I would do the opposite of anything he recommended.
Not only is his theology questionable, the only thing this interview accomplished was to provide hundreds of HuffPost's anti-Christian commenters the opportunity to impress each other with their ridicule our faith.

Unfortunately, however, some conservatives don't have hands any cleaner than Carter's when it comes to creating a version of Christianity more in line with a political ideology than with the Bible. About a year ago, I watched a nationally televised preacher spend virtually his entire "sermon" delivering a political rant. There was barely even a connection to Biblical principles because, after all, there is little Biblical justification for some of the dishonest and heartless positions he was advocating.

It's shocking how many people on the left and the right don't seem to think they will ever be held accountable for the evil they rationalize in the name of God. President Carter needs to figure out which side he wants to be on: Does he want to publicly discuss the Word of God in an honest way, regardless of who doesn't like it, or does he want to continue delivering a milquetoast presentation intended mainly to impress his political allies. He can't do both.
Off the deep end
Very sad. Was Carter this theologically liberal when president, or did he change his views? This certainly isn't the picture of himself that he seemed to present in 1976, but maybe we were so excited that he was willing to say, "Yes, I'm born again," that we didn't really look into what that meant.

His uncharitable attitude toward theological conservatives is pretty striking: claiming that those who interpret the Bible "rigidly" think that nonbelievers are "subhuman" is a nice way to put his antagonists beyond the pale.

It's also amazing to see how much his gay-friendly attitude is damaging his understanding of the Constitution: he thinks it's merely "arbitrary" to permit a church to refuse marriage to gay couples. Is he really so ignorant of the First Amendment?

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