Paul Cooper

NewsReal Sunday: MSNBC’s Self-Proclaimed Theological Expert Lawrence O’Donnell Chucks Glenn Beck and the Bible in the Trash

Posted on March 27 2011 10:00 pm
Paul Cooper is a husband and father above all else. With a wife and 2 daughters he could use a dog, but sadly he only owns a cat – a female cat no less. Paul is also a pastor, blogger, and business owner. Find him on Twitter.
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As a college student I started studying the Bible and got prideful about my Bible knowledge.  I once told a friend who had a Bible with commentary in it that I disagreed with that he should just throw his Bible in the trash.  That was a horrible thing to say, but now MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell thinks Glenn Beck and really all Christians should throw away their Bibles.  To O’Donnell, only a fool would take Glenn Beck and the Good Book seriously.

O’Donnell, the broke screenwriter turned hack Democrat political adviser, turned Olbermann low-rating replacement, now thinks he is a master theologian and knows what Scripture should be rejected. O’Donnell has picked a fight with Glenn Beck in order to get some attention for himself. Sadly for him, his hubris has taken him too far.

While Beck is part of the Mormon church, he will often talk about general biblical terms that won’t turn off his evangelical viewers.  One of the areas Beck focuses on is the Christian belief in the end times where things on earth move toward more destruction and natural disasters before Christ returns.  O’Donnell believes this is an area he can attack Beck on.  In an attempt to embarrass the popular Fox News host for talking about end time destruction, O’Donnell ends up trying to destroy the Bible.

This past week O’Donnell shifted from taking shots at Beck and his Mormonism to a full-on assault on core beliefs of orthodox Christianity.  The leftist pundit prides himself in being anti-capitalist, but this past Wednesday he looked more anti-Christian than anything else.

O’Donnell claims twelve years of formal education gives him the right to attack Christianity.  What formal education does he have?  He went to an elementary and secondary school that happened to be Catholic. That’s right, the man thinks going to a Catholic school makes you a theologian. Somehow a liberal arts education in math, English, and science makes you a religious expert if a nun happened to teach the class.  However, the MSNBC host has no scholarly theological or seminary training.

The pundit uses his weak qualifications to attack Christian beliefs and the Bible. You would think he would have limited his attack to Mormon theology (since Beck is a Mormon), but instead of focusing on the views of Joseph Smith, he turns to the traditional teachings of Christianity.

Good and thoughtful Christians do not believe the book of Revelation just as no good and thoughtful Christian literally believes everything in the Bible…Christianity has matured into a selective process where Christians take what makes sense to them in the Old and New Testament and ignore the rest.

O’Donnell argues that the Bible is not trustworthy since the Old Testament is filled with laws (like adultery or breaking the sabbath) that if broken could be punishable by death. And since no one thinks some of those laws should be punishable by death today, that means the Bible is a book that simply has some good advice.  Christians can pick their own truths to follow out of the mess of lies in Scripture.

If O’Donnell had biblical training he would know that the Old Testament has 3 types of laws listed by scholars as: Moral, civil, and ceremonial.  Moral laws are biblical statutes that are for all people for all time.  Ceremonial laws were specifically for Old Testament Jews in keeping certain ancient religious ceremonies.  And civil laws were only for Israel in the Old Testament where they had a theocratic government.  The only kind of Bible laws that applies to Christians are moral laws.

Christians don’t reject those civil and ceremonial laws because they don’t believe them or have matured (as O’Donnell claims), they simply understand their context.  The Bible is not false simply because certain laws were only meant for certain times and certain situations.

Father Lawrence closes his argument claiming that real and good Christianity had to reject most of the Bible in order for it to survive. Of course, O’Donnell must not have studied the last 100 years of church history or he would know that a small and dying breed of Christianity agrees with him, while the Bible-believers Beck is trying to reach are filling rapidly growing churches.

O’Donnell may have gotten himself some temporary attention with picking this fight, but it’s one he can’t win.  Beck has a theology different than many of his viewers, but he is smart enough to focus on the areas on which most can agree.  O’Donnell’s attack on faith is empty and it won’t hurt Beck. No, all it will do is offend the average American. And that’s precisely what MSNBC excels at these days.  In trying to trash Beck and the Bible, MSNBC has shown themselves to be the ones full of garbage.

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