Sunday, July 16, 2006


Did 7th Heaven Take God Out of Christianity?

I've been watching 7th Heaven re-runs recently and I was suprised how secular the show is, considering it revolves around a preacher and his family. I was really expecting a discussions about conversion and how Christianity is one true religon. But 90% of the episodes I've seen deal with not having sex before marriage. On the rare occasions that anyone is persuaded to convert, it's based on the secular benefits that a church provides. A sense of community, help in times of need, and personal moral direction.

Don't get me wrong, those are very excellent reasons to go to church. But are those good reasons to convert to Christianity? After all, couldn't Muslims or Jews or Buddhists claim the same thing?

Even when the show's character's are discussing sex, they give very secular explainations for why you should wait for marriage. STDs, unwanted pregnancies, run away dads, and so on and so forth. But isn't the only thing that matters is that God doesn't like it?

What about the question of whether the Christian God actually exists? What about the problems of interpruting and trusting the Bible? Has 7th Heaven taken the God out of Christianity?

Really, I can't complain too loudly. The show is heart warming, which is rare for TV these days. Plus, the writers do a good job of making the characters believeable (most days). Anyways, tell me what y'all think.

I don't watch the show, but it interests me that you have struck upon something so important. What exactly is it that makes Christianity so unique? Honestly most Christians couldn't give you an answer. Fewer still could give a decent answer, and not one in 10 could give a defendable response.
I personally liked the Book of Daniel series before it got cancelled. I thought it dealt with more interesting issues, though probably too many at once.

I figured you'd like this post. ;)

I never wathed Book of Daniel, but it looked interesting.
I never really liked/watched the show.

It seems that the main focus is to get people into the Churches and hope for a conversion there. I wouldn't think the show would actually convert people though...

The unique thing about Christianity, is that it is supposed to clear up the "purpose of life" question. Why are we here? What are we supposed to be doing?

You're probably right. It would be really hard to address major theological questions in an concise and entertaining way.

I never watched the show either until the wife showed it to me. It was better than I expected, but still my favorite shows. That honor goes to SquidBillies!!!!!11
I missed this blog while I was on vacation...
Most of you know where I come from on these issues.
I've been reading a book that pisses off a lot of Evangelicals, and makes my Dad think I'm a pansey. "The Politics of Jesus" by John Howard Yoder, a Menonite, pacifist. I'm not sure I'm a sold out pacifist yet, but the thrust of this book is that Jesus was anti-statist. He did not come to establish a new hierachical institution that would control men's lives. He came to destroy the link between religion and the state. He disappointed many of his own followers in this regard when he did not set up a theocracy that gave Jews the upper hand.
The link between religion and state is my oft-mentioned paganism. Whenever men sacrifice some of their liberty to relieve themselves of their responsibilities they are failing to fulfill the role they were created for.
If this smacks of Objectivism, you're right.
Most people approach church the same way they spproach government: What can you give me? How can I "be fed" (in Christianese)? Awesome power and responsibility are pressed onto a small group of people, who in turn try to do the work of the entire congregation. Other churches turn into places of "family worship" where the father is given special priviledge and authority and sex is shameful. This is where most free-market economic christians go astray, like Gary North and Rushdooney. Other Christians screw up their economics the old-fashioned way, by giving too much responsibility and priviledge to the government. Such are the socialist Christians, like Ron Sider. These guys read too much Galbraith.

Most people are reluctant to step into the risky waters of Objectivism. They'd rather barter away some of their liberty for greater security. Rand would call these men weaklings.

Likewise, Christians are reluctant to step into pacifism. The Anabaptist movement during the Reformation rarely gets but a paragraph or two in most history books, because they are the most dangerous element to the state. They refused to allow their children to be baptised as infants. This made them outlaws, as you had to be baptised in a state church to be considered a citizen. Such brazen rejection of the link between religion and government earned them the priviledge of being hunted down and killed, much like the early christians and jews who threatened the state's authority.
Anabaptists survive in the Menonites, and Amish communities, and to a much lesser degree the tradition of adult baptism is practiced by most Baptist denominations.

Sorry for the long history lesson.
One thing I did get out of your long history lesson:

Entitlements are simply another ball and chain added to the bonds of slavery that this world places over men. We are slaves to it and we welcome it with open arms.

What is SquidBillies???

Just another absurdist cartoon from Adult Swim. But this one doesn't seem as trite/hackneyed as all the many many others they show.

It's well worth a view.
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