Brendan Malone - Church and State Summit 2018
Brendan Malone instantly caught my interest because he has five children. Us families with more than 2.5 children need to stick together, haha! Second of all, he is the media representative for Focus on the Family in New Zealand. I love Focus on the Family and all they do, so I was immediately interested!
Now, Brendan spoke a lot over the summit and his talk on euthanasia I found very difficult to listen to. It was quite harrowing. However, first I'd like to write about his first topic and work through them chronologically.
First up, Mr Malone talked about EFFECTIVISM. It's not a 'real' word and I have a little wiggly red line underneath it as I sit here typing in my Blogger dashboard! Basically, Mr Malone's point was that we need to be an 'effectivist' rather than an 'activist' - ie. put our energy into activities that will be effective and not waste our precious time. So, be effective. Think about what you do and what you're putting your energy into.
Straight off the bat, Brendan listed 5 common myths about Christians and politics. I'm going to list them here because they're quite good. Brendan's points are in italics. My comments are added in normal font:
MYTH #1: Christians shouldn't be in politics.
MYTH #2: We need the 'state' (government). Yes, we need a basic framework for infrastructure, etc but they need us (the people). Don't apologise for having a voice!
MYTH #3: We need to offer a more popular 'sales pitch'. Um, no. We need TRUTH. You remember Matthew 5:13-16? Christians should be salt and light. Salt and light hurt at first - salt stings wounds but heals them and light hurts when one has been in darkness, but then is so beneficial.
MYTH #4: We need to placate the media and their labels. You don't need to justify truth you just need to have the courage to present it with clarity and charity. You don't need to justify your position.
MYTH #5: Trying to convince politicians to change their views is the only way to influence culture. It's both - convince and replace. We have to be involved in politics!
Brendan also offered the following ideas which I'm going to call 'truth bites'. Again, my comments are not italicised:
#1: Western culture and Christianity are married. Otherwise known as "Westianity". Without it, we get tribalism.
#2: Jesus Christ brought a huge amount of good things to politics. He prioritised truth and goodness, a non-negotiable commitment to respecting the human dignity of every human person, human equality even for the least, restrained the power of the state (politicians should be subject to something higher than themselves).
#3: We're now living in a very anti-science society - basically an age of superstition. This is evidenced by the Marxist idealogy (idealogy is ideas imposed on reality) with pushing women into STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) careers. Most women aren't interested in STEM careers. It's biological and a fact about how women are made. There are exceptions, of course, which is totally OK. But because some women might choose a career in those industries, Marxist idealogy forces outcomes of 'equality' despite clear scientific and anecdotal evidence. This is also clear in the pro-life movement who are often demonised for showing real images of a foetus and the consequences of abortion. Science no longer matters. Idealogy and superstition do.
#4: This age of superstition is dangerous. It relates to cultural Marxism, identity politics and the subjectivising of reality. Say that three times fast! Ha!
#5: We need to engage because what we have is true and beautiful!
So........effectivism can be basically summed up in this sentence:
Are you screaming or lighting candles?
Recommended reading from Brendan:
Inventing the Individual by Larry Sidentop
The Strange Death of Europe by Douglas Murry
(both of these books above are written by atheists)
Anything about Hans and Sophie Scholl and their 'White Rose' movement in Nazi Germany. Sophie was executed by the Nazis aged 21.
Check out Brendan's YouTube channel (link is on his name at the start of this post) for more on this amazing speaker.