Saturday, December 21, 2013

Charisma--Faytene is "not only calling for righteousness but walking in it"

[Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On Feb 20 2013] [caption id="attachment_13476" align="alignleft" width="300"] Charisma, February 2013 issue[/caption] By Rick Hiebert. All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission I figured that Charisma's coverage of Faytene Grasseschi--she graces their February 2013 cover--would be very friendly. Now I can confirm that it is. Their cover story on her will be at your local Christian bookstore, if it carries magazines, for another two weeks or so. Charisma's imprimatur will probably make Faytene a charismatic celebrity, if she isn't one already. I've already seen a brief notice or two from people who are advising that Grasseschi will be coming to their gathering or church,citing the story for those who might wonder "Who?" Let's start to look at it. A photo on the contents page directs readers to Charisma's 4 1/3 pages of coverage of Faytene and what she is doing. The description of the story on the contents page says that "Faytene Grasseschi leads a unique movement of activist intercession that's shifting Canada--and beyond." See page 24. But before we go there, let's stop by editor Marcus Yoars' column on page 6. He argues that personal righteousness and holiness, writ large, has the potential to transform a nation. No arguments from me on that, but a passing comment is worth noting. He writes: "...As believers, we understand that "there is none righteous" (Rom. 3:10, yet through Jesus, we have become the righteousness of God" (2 Cor. 5:21 ). Fully grasping this revelation keeps us in the posture of redeemed server-saints. And just as Christ changed the world by first entering it as a servant, we must mimic His Servant's heart if we hope to change nations, regions, cities or even neighbourhoods. Faytene Grasseschi (p. 24) has found this to be true in Canada, where a movement of young believers is blending service-and humilty-with activist intercession. By not only calling for righteousness but walking in it, these believers have become a national voice, in a pivotal season for Canada--with even politicians crediting them for influencing a nationwide shift toward godly values." So much for helping Faytene's efforts towards humility by saying that she is "walking in righteousness." Hope that pans out to be true and you haven't jinxed her. Clearly, Charisma's editorial policy will be to like her. And given that she sometimes shows qualities that are admirable, especially if you share her conservative values, that is perhaps okay. It's okay for an introduction. But it is not definitive. And Charisma's friendliness has a tendency to be misleading, as shown in their coverage. Since the editor has introduced the idea of Faytene moving from success to success, let's briefly look at the sidebar to the main story, in which freelance writer Anthony Petrucci addresses her political work. "10 Minutes That Changed A Nation" begins like this: "Though liberals in Canada are stunned by the resurgence in conservative values, Faytene Grasseschi isn't alone in her ability to trace the cultural shift back to a precise moment in time..." He then goes on to relate the story of how The Cry Ottawa in 2008's prayer efforts caused the polls to shift with the Tories going up and the Liberals going down. It is essentially the same as what I heard at The Cry Vancouver, and looking at what I had to quote and argue at the time might be helpful here. Elections following soon afterwards, he adds, resulted in an estimated "40 per cent of the members of Parliament" being "professing believers in Jesus Christ." Positive results, he adds, include legislation to combat human trafficking, apologies for historical injustices the "most pro-life caucus in decades" and Prime Minister Harper Harper, an "evangelical" known for his "conservative values and positions." For argument's sake, let's agree that conservative positions are more Christ-like. [Tommy Douglas and believers in the "social gospel" would  bring forth many strong arguments to the contrary--which my progressive friends could more ably argue than I--but I seek to judge by Faytene's own standards.] Prayer may have indeed helped, but the past few years have been a bit of a "perfect storm" politically, I would suggest. The federal Liberals had ineffectual leadership, and the Bloc imploded, which may have helped the Tories creep upward. Would the rise of the NDP due to their new-found support in Quebec, mean that Canada is becoming more amenable to any "social gospel" ideals in the NDP? After all, if we are dealing in poll numbers, as the lede here suggests, a bigger "bounce" for the NDP would mean that "God's side" is losing ground. Tory is not synonymous with conservative.  From the perspective of someone who is strongly conservative, like Faytene, Tories from the days of R.B. Bennett on down have tended not to be purely conservative. Take Harper. You'd think that the "most pro-life caucus in history" would be able to persuade the House of Commons to hold formal discussions on abortion. Not pass pro-life legislation, just discuss the issue. But Motion m-312 crashed resoundingly. If I were to advocate for Faytene's point of view, I would suggest to her that she advocate policies because they were the best thing to do. But unfortunately, there is always the temptation to build up what little there may be to appear that you are on the crest of a wave, even if it is really in a puddle. Without "success" though, people are not willing to be patient and reward people with their support, in the interest of a long-term strategy. Crying "Winner!" very prematurely  makes Faytene sound like she is channelling Charlie Sheen. ;) I hope to address the main story soon. I'll explain why I feel it is not exactly wrong but at the same time, perhaps not exactly right.