The Heresies of Glenn Beck

It’s kind of fitting that I’m reading Alister McGrath’s Heresy...

It’s no secret that I dislike Glenn Beck.  He distorts the truth, provides misinformation, and stirs up fear and anger.  It’s shocking that someone who provides as much misinformation as he does has a platform to spout his half-truths.  If I provided as much half-truth as Beck does, I would have failed out of seminary.  One only needs to look no further than Beck’s explanation of the Council of Nicaea and the Dead Sea Scrolls.  For those who need a refresher, here’s what Beck said:

All right. So here’s what happened. When Constantine decided he was going to uh… cobble together an army, um, he did the uh… Council of uh… Nicaea, right, Pat? …
Council of Nicaea. Um… and what they did is brought all of the religious figures, uhh, together, all the Christians and then they said, “Ok, let’s uh, put together the Apostles’ Creed, let’s, you know, you guys do it.” So they brought all their religious scripture together, and that’s when the Bible was first bound and everything else. And then they said, “Anybody that disagrees with this is a heretic and… off with their head!” Well, that’s what the Dead Sea Scrolls are. The Dead Sea Scrolls are those scriptures that people had at the time that they said, “They are destroying all of this truth.” Whether it’s truth or not is, is up to the individual, but that… at that time those people thought that this was something that needed to be preserved and so they rolled up the scrolls and they put ‘em in clay pots and they, they put ‘em in the back of caves where no one could find them. They were hidden scripture because everything was being destroyed that disagreed with the Council of Nicaea and Constantine. That’s what those things are.

Fact: Constantine had nothing to do with the Dead Sea Scrolls.  About 3-4 centuries separate the Dead Sea Scrolls from Constantine.

Becks half-truths are bad…his theology is worse and it blows my mind that any Christian would listen to, let alone support Beck.

Religion Dispatches has this assessment of Beck:

Opposition to Glenn Beck’s crusade against social justice has inspired a Twitterstorm, letter-writing campaign, and Christian radio ad from religious groups who believe he’s distorting theology.

But the problem with Beck isn’t just theology or, as Faithful America puts it in its radio ad, his “piecemeal gospel.” Beck’s heresy is not that he’s cherry-picking parts of the Bible to claim that Jesus was an inconsiderate cad or that Matthew 25 was actually written by Joseph Stalin. It’s that he’s using his anti-government heresies to produce a false, ahistorical civics class that distorts his viewers’ understanding of the role of government in serving the needs of its citizens.

Combine the half-truths and the bad theology and Beck becomes dangerous Christianity because he pushes the conservative Mormon theology and the Mormon god on Christians while at the same time promoting misinformation and half-truths concerning the role of government.

Glenn Beck’s ‘Social Justice’ Heresies | Religion Dispatches


4 thoughts on “The Heresies of Glenn Beck

  1. I freely admit my ignorance here, but would you consider adding a quick primer on the reality of The Council of Nicaea so a fellow Beck-hater can better understand Glenn’s heresy?

    • Absolutely Robert.

      While Constantine did call the Council of Nicaea, had absolutely nothing to do with the Dead Sea Scrolls or the Apostles’ Creed. The Dead Sea Scrolls were composed between 150 BCE and 70 CE by the Essenes. The Council of Nicaea was called in 325. This Ecumenical Council settled a Christological debate on the relationship between the Son and the Father. This debate is called the Arian Controversy. The creed that was a product of the Council of Nicaea was the Nicene Creed, not the Apostle’s Creed as Beck claimed. This I would file under misinformation due to no research on the topic. I simple search on Wikipedia provides more accurate information than Beck gave on his show.

      The Heresy, as I see it, is Beck’s twisting of Christianity and Church history to promote fear and anger among Conservatives.

      • Thanks, Craig! Much obliged.

        One day I’ll tell the full backstory of when I–an openly gay atheist Democrat Obama supporter–found myself on Glenn Beck’s show alongside a teabagger, both of us defending Americans’ freedom of peaceable assembly and speech… THAT was an interesting couple of days…

        For now, here’s Part One and here, if you can stomach it, is Part Two. I’m the guy in the blue shirt & sunglasses wearing the Human Rights Campaign ballcap & rockin’ a hawt manpurse.

        Hearing Glenn Beck say your name is a VERY strange feeling for someone who so vehemently loathes everything he represents.

  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention The Heresies of Glenn Beck « Simul Iustus et Peccator --

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