I cannot add much good to Dr. Moore’s article, “God, the Gospel, and Glenn Beck.” He articulates, more eloquently and thoroughly than I could have, the main problem with Christians supporting and participating in what Glenn Beck advocates as a solution for America. It’s alright to be patriotic, but we have to draw the line somewhere. I’m not going to rehash what he wrote; go read his article for yourself.
Also, I encourage you to take a look at this live-blog from someone in attendance at Beck’s Restoring Honor Rally. It appears to be written by someone who isn’t drinking Beck’s kool-aid, but am disturbed by what I read there: an offering collected for Beck; priests, rabbis, preachers, and imams linking arms; revival without the gospel of Jesus Christ; and the idea that if we are not with him and God’s plan for America (as delivered to Beck — you may recall that Saturday’s rally is based on a message Beck says he received from God), then we are against them. “Get behind the shield of God!”
I’ve only listened to a little bit of the Restoring Honor Rally, but this first clip bothers me. Skip to the prayer and listen carefully…
“It is You, Lord Gods…” He uses a 2nd person singular pronoun, but puts /s/ at the end of “God” every time he says it. Does the man have a speech impediment that makes his put /s/ at the end of each word that ends in /d/ and /t/? Is it just a little public speaking flourish? Is a flaw with the PA system? What’s up with that?
OK, back to why I started this post.
I want to throw something out there that’s just a detail, just a thing I noticed months ago that bothered me, that served as one of many red flags for me. I can’t recall the exact date or the guest who was on his show. But Beck asked this question of his guest, “Do you believe our founding documents were divinely inspired? Because I do.”
Beck sincerely believes that our Declaration of Independence and The Constitution were written by God himself. He mentioned this belief at Saturday’s rally. And here’s a portion of the commencement speech he delivered at Liberty University in May of this year when he says that same thing:
I can only recall two instances when God wrote with his finger: when he wrote the ten commandments in stone tablets and when Jesus bent down and wrote something in the dirt (John 8:1-11). The former being when God told the Israelites how they were to live under under his kingly rule and authority, and the second being an act of mercy. Government and social justice: two things Glenn Beck talks about a lot. Beck’s government would be conservative and his social justice would include those activities that promote a greater America.
I think this is significant because Beck seems to be developing a theology of America that is his own special concoction of Mormonism and patriotism. First, Beck frequently equates the deliverance of the Israelites and Moses with Christopher Columbus, the pilgrims on the Mayflower, and the Native Americans (a special people group whom Mormons believe Jesus visited) who helped them learn how to live in the new world.
Second, America’s founders are revered in his mind. The source of evil in his theology of America is always the progressive politicians under the sway of Satan. Their first evil act being the extermination of Native Americans.
Third, Beck speaks of miracles happening at his events…people praying together, singing hymns, and the sick being made well.
Fourth, he has said numerous times that very bad things are coming to America and that if we do not get behind God’s will for America, then we will be swept away in His judgment. (I don’t have time to link to videos and articles — just google it yourself).
Fifth, he is calling for a 40 day and 40 night covenant to pray and practice faith, hope, and charity.
What I don’t understand is why he placed such an emphasis on the military during Saturday’s rally? If it wasn’t a farce for a more religious service, then I don’t get it. Was he trying to inspire civilian people to sacrifice their all for the sake of this country like a soldier? Perhaps.
How does all of this fit together? I don’t have a comprehensive answer. But little by little, Glenn shares more of what he’s really thinking about America — our history, how we arrived where we are today — and what he believes it will take to “save” our future: American individualism, ingenuity, and integrity; faith, hope, and charity; God and family. His list goes on. The problem, however, is that far too many Christians are happy to join Beck’s revival even though Jesus is absent.
At its very basic foundation, Beck is leading a political movement similar to the Christian Coalition…only not distinctly Christian and much bigger. At its worst, Beck is creating a new (and false) religion.