Loser Politics

I was alerted to this post over the weekend:

How Dispensationalism Dams the Pro-Life Movement.

It’s a missive arguing that if you are a Dispensationalist your “judgment is near,” futuristic eschatology stifles the political effectiveness of the pro-life movement.  That’s because Dispensationalists believe the world is coming to an end with a fiery judgment and as a result of that eschatological “worldview,” Dispensational pro-life advocates elect candidates that are merely slowing the inevitable, rather than actually overturning abortion. So they will compromise with wishy-washy, phony-baloney candidates like Mitt Romney rather than politically pure, uncompromising candidates like Ron Paul.

What really made me chuckle was this opening remark,

The other day I was privileged to listen to Gary North pitch some ideas for an upcoming project Crown Rights is working on. If anyone knows anything about Gary North, he’s a man whose written millions of words, all in a manner that’s easily tweetable. So in the midst of our conversation and charming one liner tweetables like; “Show me a Church that engages in the sacraments every quarter, and I’ll show you a Church that lacks discipline”. He said the following – which quickly had me launching my twitter app –

“Any Christian who who get’s involved in politics is functionally a post-millenialist. No one gets involved in politics to lose.”

Indeed. I was reminded of this biographical sketch,

Gary North may be fairly labeled the most acerbic Reconstructionist of the triumvirate. Another prolific author, he has written on a variety of subjects other than economics. Also a former associate of Rushdoony, North currently heads the Institute for Christian Economics in Tyler, Texas. His zealotry has found expression in several ways. North served on the congressional staff of former Texas Republican Ron Paul during an eight-month interim term in Congress in 1976. Paul went on to become the 1988 presidential candidate of the Libertarian Party. Further reflecting the extent of his radical political attitudes, North has extensive ties to the “survivalist movement” in America. It has been suggested that North chose the somewhat isolated location of Tyler because of his belief in the eventual downfall of the American economy.

While serving as editor of the Journal of Christian Reconstruction, he printed several survivalist articles, including a “theology” of survivalism based on the model of Noah preparing the ark to escape the flood.

In his 1986 book Government By Emergency, North advises:
Every family should try to make the following purchases (starting at top):

  • $500 face value worth of silver US. dimes
  • A six month s supply of dehydrated food
  • A home water filtration unit
  • Water storage facilities (5 gallon collapsible units)
  • Chemical toilet
  • Kerosene heater and lights
  • Survival stove or cooking device
  • Fire extinguishers (car and home)
  • At least one .45 Colt automatic pistol
  • A 30.06 or .308 rifle with at least a 4x scope
  • A 12-gauge shotgun (pump action)
  • Ammunition for all guns (500 “rounds” [shots] for each weapon)
  • .22 long-rifle ammunition (10,000 rounds)
  • Air rifle (not B.B. gun)
  • Reloading equipment
  • A high quality ($200+) first-aid kit, plus manual
  • A battery-operated short-wave radio
  • A citizens-band radio (40 channels)
  • Lubricants for all equipment (business and personal)
  • 50 pounds of one-pound cans (or jars) of coffee (barter)
  • 100 6-ounce tins of cigarette tobacco (barter), plus a cigarette rolling machine 20 pounds of inexpensive pipe tobacco (barter)
  • One case of expensive whiskey (barter)
  • One case of other expensive liquors (barter)
  • 10 one ounce gold coins (South African Krugerrand)
  • 20 quarter-ounce coins (one-quarter ounce Krugerrand)
  • 30 Mexican 2-peso gold coins 5 U.S.
  • $20 gold pieces (St. Gaudens)

Whenever possible, make all purchases in cash. This leaves fewer records. It is a good rule of thumb that the fewer records you leave of items to be stored for future use, the safer you are. Furthermore, “[y]ou need a shotgun Get the shortest barrel legal, 20 inches. It is a real crowd subdue” [Government By Emergency  (Ft. Worth: American Bureau of Economic Research, 1983) 275-76].

To say the least, such sentiment is unusual for a postmillennial optimist. [Michael Gabbert, An Historical Overview of Christian Reconstructionism, Criswell Theological Review, Vol.6, No.2 (1993)]


11 thoughts on “Loser Politics

  1. Regarding the list of items: The author’s paranoia aside, if every American family were anywhere near that well prepared, our country would be a much better suited place to survive emergencies, crime, and disasters. :)

  2. Dan, I liked this line from the link you posted:

    “Have you ever noticed that it takes an awful lot of very detailed, sophisticated argumentation to “prove” that a passage doesn’t mean what it says?”

    In other words, if you torture the text long enough, it will confess to anything.

  3. See Fred I just can’t see Loraine Boettner, whom I consider one of the best post-mill sources, ever endorsing that kind of behavior as normal for post-mill eschatology.

  4. While it is true that Gary North is a conspiracy-theorist nutcase, stating the fact does not constitute a reply to an argument, even if the argument is in fact invalid.

  5. Escovado…hehehe…very true: “in other words, if you torture the text long enough, it will confess to anything.”

    Let me say this, the torture doesn’t only inflict pain on the text, but on those who hear the “interpretation” as well. =)

  6. I do appreciate a lot that Gary North has to say. However, I have always thought it was ironic that Theonomic Postmill who charge Premill for being pessimistic politically, can turn out to be the most pessimistic in terms of political engagement while Dispensational Premills can be optimistic enough to pursue political just cause.

  7. To me, Gary North has no credibility whatsoever as long as he decides he has nothing to say concerning people in his own camp who hold to far shakier stuff, such as Tim Keller and Mark Driscoll (both are Calvinists and staunchly post millennial, yet both are far more liberal than even the most pragmatic dispensationalists I ever know)

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