Thursday, February 02, 2006

Brownback: God's Senator or proponent of Theocratic Gnosticism?

In the latest issue of Rolling Stone, The Revealor's Jeff Sharlet (who covers religion regularly and understands Evangelicals better than most mainstream journalists) offers a fascinating and frightening profile of Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas, a favorite of the Christian Right and potential Presidential candidate. Brownback is a man of serious conviction and from every thing I read, he is a serious minded man of integrity. Those who have come into contact with speak of his candor and his friendliness.

In fact I have come to find him a great advocate for justice issues in Africa, including stopping the genocide in Darfur (he has been speaking out longer than any other Senator I am aware of) and fighting poverty and AIDS in Africa. However, his vision for America is not one I share.

According to the profile (which he allowed) he believes strongly in a Theocratic State, has pushed for absolving of the wall between church and state (Constitution Restoration Act and Houses of Worship Act), believes in the expansion of the American Empire as a means to spread the Gospel, belongs to a secret Catholic order, leads a secretive public policy shaping machine and belongs to a group of Congressmen called The Fellowship, which meet in secret (lots of secrets here) cells and believe that they can establish the Kingdom of God on earth with its capital in D.C. This group, according to various sources has some cultish beliefs. (more on some of these ideas here )

Sharlet writes,
"They were striving, ultimately, for what Coe (a leader in the
) calls 'Jesus plus nothing'-a government led by Christ's will
alone. In the future envisioned by Coe, everything- sex and taxes, war and the
price of oil- will be decided upon not according to democracy or the church or
even Scripture. The Bible itself is for the masses; in the Fellowship, Christ
reveals a higher set of commands to the anointed few."
Are these secretive leaders of the Christian Right really Gnostics? This sounds like something out of the X-Files or Conspiracy Theory.

Read this article and be frightened (hopefully- I may not want to know if this article gives you hope). Here is a sympathetic interview with Brownback.

it is not my desire to be political in this posting. I am genuinely concerned as a believer and follower of Jesus Christ. Sadly, much of the Christian discussion of this article centers on a misunderstanding between author and profilee over a Biblical reference which was taken as a poor joke. This, along with anything else they can find, has given many Christians ammunition to dismiss the profile instead of debating the beliefs that Brownback and others do not deny having. If he advocates any of the above ideas, along with believing in the Fellowship principles (if accurate), the discussions should be on theology and politics, not liberal media bias.

1 comment:

Alex F said...

Haven't read the article, but your summary sure sounds like a textbook definition of Gnosticism to me - which would make these guys total heretics.
Very interesting.
Imagine a primary contest between a Gnostic and a Mormon.