The Myth of “Fake News”

fakenews

There is not a “fake news” crisis. There is an idiot crisis.

Ever since Hillary Clinton was soundly trounced by Donald Trump in the latest presidential election, the cultural gate keepers on the two coasts have been navel gazing for an explanation as to how an individual who, in their minds, is the equivalent of a Jersey Shore Bro with money, could become the most powerful man in the world. They have offered a number of reasons, the most popular being that it was a “whitelash” of sexist, homophobic, racist Redneck Gomer Pyles from Hicksville, USA, who hate Obama.

Recently, the newest, popular excuse they have embraced is the influence of fake news. The idea is that thousands of fake news stories about Hillary having Parkinson’s, or her space mumu outfits were made by ISIS terrorists, or Huma runs a sex cult out of her apartment, etc, became so prolific on Facebook and Twitter, that the Hicksville rubes, who may have internet in those hard to reach places, were too unsophisticated to know what is real news and fake news, and the fake news manipulated their small brains to vote for Trump.

So now, there is what is called a “Fake News Crisis.” The realization of this “crisis” has caused the metropolitan progressive left to fall headlong upon their fainting couches. The “real news” media began issuing nightly reports warning users on social media of the danger of this infectious mind disease and it’s ability to confuse and give the reader bad, non-progressive left thoughts. Even the president lamentably opined that the Democrat loss was due in part to Fox News being on in every bar and restaurant across America.

Democrat operative and government censor, Mark Zuckerberg, formed a task force for Facebook to figure out what would be the most effective way to keep grandma Eloise in Possum Grape, Arkansas, from posting endless fake news links from Screaming Eagle Patriot dot com and Todd Starnes. Brian Stelter, host for CNN’s Sunday’s Reliable Sources program, invited veteran CBS News anchor, Dan “forged documents” Rather, to lecture about the importance of reliable press and honest journalism. (You can’t make this stuff up!)

danrather

Archived photo of Dan Rather reporting “real news”

The National People’s Radio posted an alarming study from Stanford University that finds American college students have a frightening inability to distinguish between real news and fake news. While the pearl clutchers at NPR believe reporting on this story will trouble the nation’s collective soul thus stirring them to action and taking steps to remedy such a tragedy, their report ultimately accomplishes two objectives.

On the one hand, the blame for Trump’s undeserved victory is shifted away from the inconvenient truth that a lot of the reason people voted for him was due in part to the leftist policies the government has been cramming down the throats of normal Americans, and places it upon an imaginary threat. And on the other, it provides an excuse to censor opposing political voices, especially the conservative ones, under the guise of protecting the unwashed from “fake news.”

If I may be blunt: there is no such thing as a “fake news” crisis. It is completely made up. In fact, one could say the “fake news” crisis is a perfect example of “fake news.” What is being labelled “fake news” these days is really just grocery story tabloid journalism that has moved from the checkout stand at the local Kroger to the international platform of social media. The key difference being that the tabloid news, instead of being separated on its own news rack, is mixed with what one might call real news, and it takes a bit more scrutinizing discernment on the part of the internet consumer to identify it.

Honestly, the primary motivation behind the “fake news” crisis is to squash conservative thought and opinion. If a blog article is published effectively critical of some leftist policy, that article can be rightly censored because, well, it’s considered “fake news.” Already, a feminist professor published a list of “fake news” sites, that was picked up by the LA Times. On that list was obvious parody sites like The Onion, Click Hole, and Landover Baptist and conspiracy style sites like Coast to Coast and Info Wars. But also listed was reputable conservative sources like The Daily Wire, RedState, Project Veritas, and The Blaze. Conspicuously absent was foaming leftist loon sites like BuzzFeed, Vox, and Salon.

Back to that NPR Stanford report.

The report spends a considerable amount of space lamenting about how easily duped the students were with believing “fake news.” The researchers were “shocked” “Flabbergasted” and a number of other stunning adjectives. How could our American education system have failed a generation of students?, they wonder. Well, I can help you out there.

You see, those students are a product of the postmodern, liberal educational gobbledygook in which students are indoctrinated with propaganda and group think and the philosophy of “truth is whatever is true for you.” They are taught to feel and emote, not to analyze, use logic, and critically think. If you are going to coddle young adults and treat them like children, they will behave in society as big, grown children. That means they are going to believe anything you tell them.

Couple that with the instantaneous and ubiquitous social media platforms that are ready made for them to “share” and “like” any article, picture, or “news” items that confirms their biases and their social narrative, well of course they are gonna have a hard time distinguishing between real stories and fake ones. That goes for everyone, whether it is aunt Liz sharing the latest Hillary melt down as reported on the Minute Man Warrior or your Bernie loving atheist cousin, Tom, sharing the latest Trump-Putin connection via the Blue State Free Thinkers. They share “fake news” because they believe the “fake news” because it is confirmation bias for their souls.

Until people genuinely care about truth, “fake news” will abound. Censoring it and attempting to silence your critics will only fail.

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Jesus and Taxes

jesusconstitutionTime Traveling Kenny Loggins wants you to read this oversized document

I wanted to offer up a comment or two regarding a couple of articles from the Christian Libertarian Institute blog that an acquaintance passed along to me.

Taxation is Theft. Yes, Really

and

Taxation is Theft. (The Rest of the Story)

The articles are Jamin Hubner’s clumsy, hamfisted presentation for the notion that government taxation is theft and Jesus would never, ever approve of it.

Long time readers of my blog may recognize the name, Jamin Hubner. I tangled with Jamin a few years ago when he was flirting with Biologos-like ideas regarding the book of Genesis and what it tells us about creation. Those articles can be found HERE for those interested. He used to swirl about in my orbit of theological associates, blogging occasionally for James White and Alpha and Omega Ministries, as well as maintaining his own personal blog and doing a bit of podcasting.

His growing notoriety at the time, coupled with a sloppy handling of theological subjects, brought him under the scrutiny of additional critics other than myself and he eventually retreated from the internet blogging world. Since then, he started teaching at John Witherspoon College, received a doctorate from South Africa University (where, ironically, Ergun Caner received his), has become a shill for so-called feminist evangelicals, even being scheduled to speak at one of their navel gazing mugs and muffins conferences next year, and now quotes N.T. Wright liberally.

Somewhere along the line with all of that, he also started dabbling in economic theory and libertarian political philosophy and here we are with these two articles.

His first article quotes a bunch of academics on economics and dismisses any evangelical who cites Romans 13 as teaching that Paul taught taxation was entirely legit and Christians are required to pay taxes. Rather than even addressing what Paul argued in Romans 13, Jamin says he is gonna take it back to what Jesus actually said on the matter from the Gospels. That approach makes me wonder what he thinks about Paul. Seeing that Jesus inspired Paul to write Romans, what he wrote in chapter 13 about Christians and government and taxes would be Jesus’s thoughts on the matter, but oh well.

The second article is an attempt to explain why Jesus believed taxation is theft. According to Jamin, Jesus couldn’t just come out and condemn Roman taxation as theft because He and His disciples would be killed by the authorities. It is similar to how Jesus never came out and condemned slavery, because to do so was counter-cultural and would have the government powers putting a stop to Christianity before it could even get started.

He writes,

Naturally, Jesus’ life and teaching caused listeners to wonder if paying taxes was really necessary (Mt 22:15-22; Lk 20:19-26). Being a good Jew, taxation for him—especially enforced by the secular empire—was theft. But, to go out in the streets and simply decree “taxation is theft, so don’t do it,” would mean immediate death—just as declaring “slavery is wrong” would mean the collapse of the entire ancient economy, with nearly 20% of the populous being slaves. So he never acknowledged the money as being stolen property (i.e., “give unto Caesar what is yours”), as that would have (a) openly legitimized theft and (b) fanned yet more fire for the flames of violent revolution. But he had to fulfill many other conditions in this tight box: (a) don’t leave people thinking Caesar/the state is Lord, since he’s not; (b) diminish the empire and its importance; (b) say this without getting crushed; (c) don’t cause anyone else to get crushed. Good heavens, only God could pull this off!

He then cites and applies a Bible verse out of context, and closes with a friendly reminder that everyone pays taxes because they have no other choice, so don’t stupidly take on the IRS.

Oh boy. Where to begin.

Let me zero in on the key phrase in the title of these two posts: Taxation is theft. The word theft means “to steal.” Stealing is a violation of God’s law; it’s number 8 in the Ten Commandments. If Jesus is God and the Angel of YHWH who brought Israel out of Egypt (Exodus 15:19-20; Judges 2:1-5), I would think that He would be familiar with the 10 Commandments.

So, if He believed taxation is theft, then He believes taxation is a violation of God’s law. If we take Jamin’s view, what he is suggesting is that Jesus basically told the Jews to tolerate, and participate in, the violation of the 10 Commandments by begrudgingly paying taxes to the Roman authorities because they had no choice but to. It would be like Him telling the Jews it is alright to violate the Sabbath, commit adultery, or murder, because you really have no choice and any resistance would bring the Romans in to crush everybody.

reganNothing says lower taxes like Ronald Reagan shooting a gun from the back of a velociraptor

But let’s expand that thinking. If it is true Jesus believes taxation is theft, then any Christian who works for the IRS, or the local county tax offices, or runs a financial business that specializes in helping people with their taxes, like H&R Block, is in violation of the 8th Commandment. The Christians are unlawfully aiding in the stealing from their fellow citizens and the financial folks are helping their fellow citizens prevent the unlawful theft of their money.

Now, let’s move to the Bible and see a couple of significant examples of divinely ordained taxation.

First, during the time of the theocratic kingdom of Israel, the people were required to give a number of tithes from their personal property to the Lord. See for example Leviticus 27:30-33, Numbers 18:21ff., and Deuteronomy 14:18-29. The tithe was a divinely ordained system of taxation. Its primary purpose was to maintain the state government, which was overseen by a Levitical administration. They were in essence the government that ran the religious duties of Israel’s theocratic kingdom. Because they did not have an inheritance of their own, the other tribes supported them financially.

Second, coming to 1 Samuel 8, near the end of the time of the judges, Israel demanded a king like all the other nations. God grants their request, but institutes a number of taxes that would be required of the people to fund the new kingly administration, 1 Samuel 8:10-18.

If taxation is theft as Jamin and his Christian libertarian pals suggest, then God essentially set up a system of tithes that violate the 8th Commandment. Moreover, when Israel demanded a king, God caused them to sin by forcing them to participate in a system of theft that broke His law. Such is patently absurd.

Now, let’s turn our attention back to a NT passage Jamin highlights. He mentions the story of Jesus and Peter paying the temple tax from Matthew 17:24-27. He writes,

Jesus’ trivializing of earthly authorities and embodied ethical life (e.g., free of theft) led again to the question: “Does your teacher not pay the temple tax?” [Peter] said “Yes, he does.” And when he came home, Jesus spoke of it first, asking, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or tribute? From their children or from others?”  When Peter said, “From others,” Jesus said to him, “Then the children are free. However, so that we do not give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook; take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a coin; take that and give it to them for you and me.”

It goes without saying that this is a lot different than the popular, naïve mantra of “just pay your taxes, it’s the law; Romans 13.” And Jesus’ response is not anything close to contemporary justifications of taxation. The very fact that it was and remained a controversial talking point indicates the complex nature of the situation. What does seem clear is that Jesus was rolling his eyes the whole time; “Yeah, like they’re in a position to demand people’s possessions. Sigh, whatever. Just find a coin and give it to them.”

Maybe I’m mistaken, but Jamin seems to be thinking that Jesus is addressing non-Jewish, secular governmental authorities, such as the Romans. But the question about the temple tax again comes from the OT. Jewish men over the age of 20 were required to pay a sanctuary/temple tax on an annual basis. Exodus 30:13-14 reads,

13 This is what everyone who is numbered shall give: half a shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary (the shekel is twenty gerahs), half a shekel as a contribution to the LORD.
 14 Everyone who is numbered, from twenty years old and over, shall give the contribution to the LORD.

That same tax is mentioned in 2 Chronicles 24:4-10 when king Joash decided to restore the house of the LORD. Described as a levy that had been fixed by Moses (vs.6), the tax was important to reinstate because the previous wicked queen, Athaliah, had raided the Levitical coffers and they had no funds to maintain the sanctuary.

Jesus’s response to Peter regarding the question of paying the temple tax is a Messianic affirmation, not a repudiation of paying taxes. He is God’s son. As the Son of the King whose temple it is, He is not required to pay the temple tax. But so that there is no offense and the law is upheld, he had Peter pay it. Nothing in Christ’s words to Peter suggests He believes taxation is theft or that he is rolling His eyes at the request of a temple tax.

While there is no where in Scripture when Jesus condemned taxation as theft, I think we could all agree that a case can be made that taxes can be unfair and excessively burdensome.

I live in California. Taxes, fines, and levies are placed on nearly everything the state government can get their greedy little hands on. A lot of that tax money is squandered on paying out golden parachute pensions and other retirement benefits for state employees, not to mention ridiculous programs like the green initiative nonsense.

However, the unfair and incompetent mismanagement of tax funds does not mean taxation is theft. Taxes are just a normal and necessary part of maintaining a functioning society. I know for myself, I do not have the skill set to be a fire fighter or a police officer or even a road construction guy. All of those duties are important to having livable townships. Paying for those goods and services are where taxes come into play. And while I may agree that many of those jobs could be given to the private sector, they still cost money to fund. You can call it taxation ,or paying a fee, but they still need to be paid for. I mean, the fire fighter needs to feed his family and pay off a mortgage just like I do.

Honestly, these articles are a tad worrisome. All I know is that Kent Hovind often argued in the same fashion that Jamin has. The feds wouldn’t let Dr. Dino get away thinking taxation is theft. I can tell you right now they won’t let Jamin, either.

Biological Disconnect

cakeLGBT Orientation and Evolution

LGBT advocates fail to recognize, let alone simply acknowledge, the profound disconnect that exists between the reality of biological nature and the homosexual/transgender lifestyles they promote.

During the social media firestorm over the suicide of Josh Alcorn, who claimed his Fundamentalist Christian parents forbade him from embracing his transgenderism, I got into an exchange with a transgender advocate on twitter — where all serious public debate takes place these days.

Our exchange stretched over the day, but here is the core ideas I brought up with my opponent.

Tweetconvo1Btweetconvo1Atweetconvo2Btweetconvo4

Notice that my tweeter antagonist never interacted with the point of my argument. The person initially linked two or three online articles in which “experts” allegedly “proved” transgenderism is a biological, natural occurring orientation in some folks. Hence concluding we must accept and celebrate who the person claims he or she is. So if a man says he’s a women, feels like a woman, wants to dress like a woman, no one is to say otherwise. To question the person’s sanity would be cruel, hateful, and harming of the person.

I simply pointed out that similar “experts” have claimed pedophilia is also a biological, natural occurring orientation in some folks. I even linked an article. Rather than dealing with my point, the reaction was to deflect, claiming it is a “red herring,” and that pedophilia harms others and is illegal.

But we are not talking about the legality of pedophilia. It may very well be illegal, and it certainly is harmful. However, those who claim to have a pedophilic orientation are still “feeling” that way. It is part of who they say they are whether it is illegal for them to act upon their orientation or not.

It is here that I see a major inconsistency in the thinking of LGBT advocates. I guess that is to be expected in our postmodern, glandolatrous society.

I once frequented a blog where groups of local progressives often gathered in great shoals to raise toasts and sneer at those dinosaurish, political conservatives. One particular day, shortly after proposition 8 in California had been overturned by a gay judge, one young progressive commented something along the lines of, “Nature (or God) made 10 percent of the population homosexual, so it is really uncool to be mean to people.”

Seizing upon that comment, I pointed out that probably every one of them believed in Darwinian evolution as the infallible, scientific paradigm. I mean, one just HAS to be an evolutionist to be a gay-loving progressive, right? Who wants to be perceived as a stupid creationist? That’s like what Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann believes.

Darwinian evolution is the default “scientific” mechanism to explain why life does what it does to adapt and survive. So where exactly does LGBT orientation fit in? The conundrum becomes even more ensnaring when we consider that homosexual orientation is a same-sex attraction and behavior; yet one cannot reproduce with the same-sex.

So what biological advantage does homosexual orientation confer? Even more to the point: if organisms are merely gene transferring machines as evolutionary dogma insists they are, how did homosexual orientation even come about to begin with? The genes have to be passed along from some previous, homosexual oriented organism, but again, organisms can’t reproduce with the same-sex. This is an especially difficult problem if one is going to argue homosexual orientation is genetic rather than nurture or a choice.

The push back was what I expected: emotional froth.

The first person said I was a hater burning a strawman. Okay, I guess. Heaven forbid I ask for some consistency among free-thinking, intellectual progressives who pride themselves with NOT being narrow-minded, gay-bashing conservatives and big believers in reason and logic.

Another person wrote that monogamy doesn’t confer an evolutionary advantage either, so put that in your pipe and smoke it you ignorant bigot.  I then pointed out that whether a couple is monogamous or polygamous is irrelevant. In a viable, evolutionary worldview, only heterosexuals can reproduce sexually, either with one or multiple partners.

Still another commenter responded to my objection by pointing out how there are many heterosexuals both male and female who can’t reproduce, you homophobic jerk. I acknowledged that was true, but again, it is also irrelevant. According to an evolutionary worldview, those reproductively impotent couples wouldn’t survive either, but the ability to reproduces really has nothing to do with the point: Only heterosexuals can reproduce and pass their genes along to the next generation.

A fourth person chimed in with some homophobia stomping anecdotal stories from around the world. He wrote,

Zoos in Japan and Germany have documented homosexual male penguin couples. They built nests together and used a stone as a substitute for an egg. (Happy Feet!) Both male and female pigeons sometimes exhibit homosexual behavior. Same-sex pigeon pairs will build nests, and lesbian hens will lay (infertile) eggs and attempt to incubate them. Courtship, mounting, and full (*I can’t type it-I’m blushing*) between bulls has been noted to occur among American Bison. Yup- good old mid-western American Bison. And I can’t even post what those naughty Amazon Dolphins do.

whaleOf course. Zoos in Japan and Germany are zoos. You know, where animals live in climate controlled captivity and are pampered by human beings 24-7.

A zoo is not the brutal, harsh real world of BBC Planet Earth. Homosexual male penguin couples would die in one generation without reproducing. So too with the lesbian pigeons. It’s called natural selection in the evolutionary construct, and it weeds out the weakest members of the group so the overall group can survive.

Additionally, bison bulls and dolphins that supposedly display homosexual behavior typically reproduce with females to pass along their offspring. They are not exclusively homosexual, as it were. And if we are going to look to the animal world to justify our behavior, chimps will kill and eat their own babies and male whales of all breeds gang rape females. At this point, I don’t see Washington repealing rape policy anytime soon.

Pro-homosexual defenders are stuck with what could be called a Dawkins’ Dilemma. It doesn’t matter if it is people or animals. How did homosexual behavior arise naturally without the ability of homosexuals to reproduce? If we apply evolutionary dogma, homosexuals are mutations; rejects that should be selected against because of their inability to continue the survival of the group population.

So in the overall debate with gay issues, if progressives on twitter are to be true to their core, intellectual and scientific values, they unwittingly encourage the idea that gays are natural mutations, which make them worst bigots towards homosexuals than religious conservatives ever will be. At least I believe homosexuals can be redeemed and freed from their sinful orientation.

Rage Against the Machine

rageMy wife and I are true, cultural subversives. Counter-culture to the core.

We homeschool our children.

I remember one time standing around with our neighbors outside on a Saturday afternoon when we were young parents still living in this condo complex. One of the other young mothers asks my wife about which school we were going to send our oldest son. My wife replies, “We’re going to homeschool him.”

Silence and blank stares.

Like looking into the eye of a chicken.

After about 8 seconds, one guy pipes up, “What’ya gonna do for their social skills?”

I answered, “Nothin.” The looks of dismay were precious.

Now just so I am clear:

Neither my wife, nor I , have anything specifically against public education. (Though our disdain for the creeping progressive leftism infecting public schools grows on a yearly basis). We were both publicly educated, and I actually graduated high school normal, well-adjusted, and loving my parents and church. And that in spite of the temptation to attend the weekly kegger parties.

My wife even taught 6th and 3rd grade for a number of years before she gave it up to become *GASP* a stay-at-home-mother.

momathome

We live in a more conservative than normal area of LA, so our public schools (for the most part) obviously reflect the community conservatism. We have never advocated “homeschool only.” We have a good number of close friends whose kids attend public schools. Some of them even attend LAUSD schools, and we let our kids play with their kids.

We had the conviction to homeschool for a few reasons.

First, we wanted to be the primary influence in our children’s young lives, not some gray-headed lady as sweet as she may be.

Second, we recognized how strong an influence our children’s peers can be. Public school, with their progressive values is bad enough, but parents can combat a lot of what kids are exposed to at home. It’s the peers that can be a problem. If there is one group of boys who are notoriously hateful toward authority, their influence is way more powerful on my sons than some spiteful, anti-Christian 5th grade teacher. Additionally, we didn’t want our kids exposed to junk earlier than we wanted them to be. In our day of instant, hard-core pornography on the internet, any 8-year old with an older teenage brother and the app to download videos onto his Ipod touch, can be scandalizing my kids’ minds before school or at lunch.

Third, schools waste a lot of time on frivolous, stupid stuff like pep rallies and seminars about not smoking, going green, bullying gays, etc. It’s nonsense junk our undiscerning, feelings-driven culture believes is essential for being healthy. In reality, it’s filler to keep the kids in class until a specific time, like baby sitting; and it’s propaganda to teach them to be mushy minded, pliable leftist. The truly important stuff, you know, like reading, writing, adding numbers, could take half a day to complete. With my wife directing the course work of our children, their education stays focused and their thinking isn’t cluttered by silliness.

peprally

Fourth, our education is well-rounded, much more so that what is offered in public education. By that I mean our kids will be exposed to ALL points of view and they will be taught how to critically think through those issues.

Kids now-a-days – and I am thinking more along the lines of older, teenage kids – go to class and hear one point of view from a teacher. Yes. I know people want to think a teacher is objective, fair, and centered on the facts of the material being presented, but such is rarely the case. They are imparting their values onto a subject they are teaching.

So, for example, the obvious contentious debate between evolution and creation will be hopelessly lopsided in a public school setting. That’s because the school is forbidden to teach creation and the teacher is typically biased in favor of evolutionary thought. Thus, the kids get a propaganda lecture, and are not taught to critically think through the issues of dissenting opinion. Even more so now with the Gaystapo demanding children be exposed to homosexual perversion earlier and earlier in their education. The last thing I want is 7 year olds told about cross-dressing and sex change operations in their 2nd grade class.

Our convictions to homeschool are shared by many of our friends, and I would imagine the hundreds of thousands of homeschooling families across the United States. However, our convictions are despised by the elites who worship the State “god.” In fact, our convictions are beginning to be considered subversive, undermining the very fabric of our society.

As Big Gay continues to cram their agenda down the throats of families in our culture, and eventually corrupt our laws, any “dissent” against homosexuality being a legitimate lifestyle will not be tolerated. Meaning, homeschoolers, who tend to be Christocentric and in turn confidently teach their children homosexuality is sinful perversion and contradicts simple, biological nature and that it will be judged by God, will increasingly be seen as a serious threat to the secular society. So much so, that any talk of “tolerating” the intolerant for the sake of the 1st amendment rights will be dismissed.

Consider a moment a report written by law professor Catherine Ross,

FUNDAMENTALIST CHALLENGES TO CORE DEMOCRATIC VALUES: EXIT AND HOMESCHOOLING

It is a amazing document to read. She practically argues that homeschoolers shouldn’t exist. Those that do should be hunted down and their kids seized.

Consider some of her more precious insights, (Note my emphasis)

Many liberal political theorists argue, however, that there are limits to tolerance. In order for the norm of tolerance to survive across generations, society need not and should not tolerate the inculcation of absolutist views that undermine toleration of difference. Respect for difference should not be confused with approval for approaches that would splinter us into countless warring groups. Hence an argument that tolerance for diverse views and values is a foundational principle does not conflict with the notion that the state can and should limit the ability of intolerant homeschoolers to inculcate hostility to difference in their children—at least during the portion of the day they claim to devote to satisfying the compulsory schooling requirement. [Ross, 1005]

And

Homeschooling parents who subscribe to an absolutist belief system are at the base of many legal disputes that arise in schools. They often insist on a closed system of communication—objecting to their children’s hearing or reading about discordant ideas or beliefs. If a parent subscribes to an absolutist belief system premised on the notion that it was handed down by a creator, that it (like the Ten Commandments) is etched in stone and that all other systems are wrong, the essential lessons of a civic education (i.e., tolerance and mutual respect) often seem deeply challenging and suspect. If the core principle in a parent’s belief system is that there is only one immutable truth that cannot be questioned, many educational topics will be off limits. Such “private truths” have no place in the public arena, including the public schools. [Ross, 1006]

I love this line, They often insist on a closed system of communication—objecting to their children’s hearing or reading about discordant ideas or beliefs. I wonder if she would say the same thing about a biology teacher who insists on telling kids how homosexuals, according to the facts of the CDC, are more disease ridden and often die early deaths? And what about those Muslims with their “closed system of communication?”

But I digress.

And in conclusion she writes,

As I have argued, democracy relies on citizens who share core values, including tolerance for diversity. When parents reject these values, the state’s best opportunity to introduce them lies in formal education. Setting aside all of the other issues surrounding homeschooling, the importance of inculcating democratic values is sufficient reason for more rigorous regulation of homeschooling than prevails at present. Whatever the precise parameters of parental liberty ultimately prove to be under the U.S. Constitution, they neither protect the right of parents to homeschool without oversight nor outweigh the state’s interest in the appropriate education of youth for citizenship. [Ross, 1013]

When Ross writes, “tolerance for diversity,” that’s Orwellian new speak for “you must embrace my sexual perversion without question and celebrate it with me.”

I don’t think we can mark this off as the rantings of a bitter homeschoolers anonymous, anti-patriarchy church hater. She represents the growing voice of the “machine” demanding that you conform or be cast out. And it’s more than just long-suffering with sinners: if you teach your kids anything the “machine” loathes, you do so at the peril of you and your family.

I guarantee you. Here in the good ole’ US of A, we’ll soon be reading more of these reports.

Ferguson

fergusonAfter watching the wanton destruction of the neighborhood of Ferguson, Missouri, I was going to let loose with a ranting post on the whole situation, but thought better of it.

Not that I believe my comments are merely emotional laden keyboard rhetoric that add heat rather than light, but I don’t wish to deal with the simpletons with their accusations of “racism” and say that I have no room to genuinely offer an opinion as a white guy. Unless, of course, it is one of those groveling confession of manufactured culture-shame that renounces my “white privilege.”

I will say this, however: It is grieves me, almost to the point of despair, that generations of black Americans have been taught to believe by their leaders, as well as a political party, that their fellow white Americans are racists at heart and there is nothing they can do to better themselves in our society because of that racism.  Even more distressing is that this deceiving spirit has so blinded their minds to hate law enforcement that they readily accept the testimony of a lying punk that said a police officer executed an innocent black teenager in broad daylight, in the middle of the street, in front of numerous eye-witnesses, for the minor infraction of jay walking. The scenario is from the realm of sheer fantasy.

That stated, I did want to highlight an excellent podcast that addresses these issues, particularly from the point of view of law enforcement. Tony Miano, known for his street evangelism, is a retired LA county sheriff’s deputy and he pulled together a number of active officers, along with some others who are now retired, to get their perspective as Christian men on dealing with the situation in Ferguson.

A Round Table Discussion with Christian Police Officers

Also consider Tony’s article that expands upon the podcast as to how pastors are to respond to animosity toward law enforcement.

Why Many Police Officers Won’t Enter the Doors of Your Church, Pastor

 

Dear Editor,

A Reply to the Santa Clarita On-line Torch and Pitchfork Society

I got pilloried over at the Santa Clarita “Letters to the Editor” facebook page last week. The folks were outraged by my post-election article evaluating the spiritual conditions of our American society. I even had one dude declare how he’s caught me in a lie from a previous encounter on another local blog and I imagine he thinks that is supposed to discredit anything I write.

Whatever.

Such a reaction is to be expected, I guess. Haters are gonna hate. Still, I thought I would offer a response to the more choice comments.

I respect Fred a lot. He’s a thoughtful guy in his realm, advanced theology and biblical studies. When he dips his toe in politics, he comes off like a crank. Example:

“Over time, my freedom to call Mohammed a false prophet who deceives people to eternal damnation will be limited, but that will come after I am forbidden to speak against the perversion of homosexual behavior from a pulpit or in the public square with the threat of being fined or imprisoned. My religious freedom will eventually be eroded by a political party who falsely claim to be for personal freedom and the like.”

Name one thing, JUST ONE THING, that Obama did in the first four years that would lead you to believe he’s about to forbid the discussion of Mohammed.

I find it amusing that I have been boxed into a “realm” – dare I say a “compound” maybe? Living in my “realm” apparently doesn’t afford me the privilege of commenting on secular things.

A couple of thoughts here.

First, I wasn’t addressing “politics” in my article per se, though I imagine one could say writing about the results of a presidential election is “politics.”  My primary concern is with the spiritual condition among Americans that would lead them to embracing a course of ultimate demise. The simple answer is as Tom Chantry noted in his post-election autopsy: sin makes people stupid.

Second. I wasn’t specifically noting the “last four years” of Obama’s administration, though I am sure we could find some examples where the establishment clause has been abused.  Probably the biggest is forcing religious institutions, say for example, Catholic hospitals and Tyndale publishers, to comply with the abortion mandate in Obamacare. Another one I can think of off the top of my head that is not directly related to Obama but does reflect the climate of our age is the hapless printer who got sued for refusing to print a lesbian couple’s “wedding” invitations.

At any rate, I am thinking forward to the next four years. Definitions of “hate speech” are sure to be expanded. Take the two examples I noted, speaking against Islam and Mohammed and gay rights.

After the Libya incident this past September, Obama went to the U.N. and gave a speech in which he said the future doesn’t belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.  He then went on to speak against those who desecrate crosses, burn churches, and deny the Holocaust, which I reckon he has in mind Egyptian Brotherhood Muslims who do such things against Christians and Jews, and then he quoted some platitudinous remark by Gandhi about how intolerance is in itself a form of violence and an obstacle of growth to the democratic spirit. (Honestly, I take that as just being code word for “Christians need to stop publicly criticizing Muslims and gays.”)

As “happy” as that all may sound, the protection of our free speech as Americans is what makes us unique as citizens in the world. Obama should have at least attempted to explain that to the Muslims hearing his speech. A president shouldn’t spend 70,000 dollars on Pakistani TV apologizing for a film-maker making an anti-Muslim film.  In the U.S., a film-maker has the freedom to make an ultra-low budget film that mocks the prophet Mohammed. It doesn’t matter if it’s offensive.  He has that “freedom.” The same could be said about San Francisco gays doing a hunky Jesus contest, or a theater troop mocking Mormons, or atheists printing up their anti-God fashion wear.

I personally find these items offensive, particularly the “hunky Jesus contest.” My first reaction, however, is not to kill them or burn down their homes. Yet, because of hyper-sensitivity to Muslims sensibilities, our government is moving toward welcoming a mind-set that will censor criticism of Islam, especially the prophet Mohammed. That will only extend to any efforts by Christian evangelists to evangelize Muslims, something our religion tells us to do, as well as stifle public criticism of Islamic beliefs. Such is happening in other countries and will only be a matter of time before it happens here.

But as to the second about criticizing homosexuality and calling it sinful, efforts are well under way to make any critical remarks made against gays to be hate speech punishable by fine or imprisonment. So if I am a parent of a teenage girl, or even a young girl participating in the swim academy at Evergreen College in WA, I have to suffer a mentally deranged 45-year old sex pervert dressing in the woman’s locker room because he’s “transgendered.”  If I don’t want my daughters looking at his naked body or him looking at their naked bodies, they need to get behind a privacy curtain or get out. If I raise any concern or criticize him or call him a “sex” pervert, why I’m the hater. Do we realize how insane this is? These are the people who voted in the current president.

Moving along,

Christian Fundamentalists in America just don’t get it. You can claim the Founding Fathers were influenced by Judeo-Christian values and that’s fine. You can say you want to live your life according to these same values and that’s fine. You can say all other religions are wrong and only you’re right and that’s fine. You can say homosexuals are wrong and you don’t agree with their choice and that’s fine too. Its when you seek to introduce these ideas into government policy and force others to live according to your ideals do I have a problem.  And apparently the majority of America feels the same way as was evidenced on Tuesday.

The irony of this comment is that it is made by a guy I happen to know is a Muslim and I heard once publicly make an apologetic for Sharia based litigation in minor court cases. Be that as it may, other than abortion and passing amendments recognizing marriage as being only between a man and a woman, where have “fundamentalists” introduced their ideas into “governmental” policy? Especially Federal policy that goes all across the U.S.? Some may say prohibition, but temperance movements entailed both secular and liberal religious groups and had far reaching impact across all areas of society not just among “Fundamentalists.”

On to the next one,

This article is ridiculous. Its like the guy standing in a public square screaming to everyone the end is nigh because he has become so paranoid about the sins of mankind that he loses his own purpose and actually becomes a plank in the eye of his creator, disengaged from society and no longer able to make the impact Jesus taught him to. The world is not coming to an end because your party didn’t win the election. And fyi, this is not the period in time in which sin was invented. Nor will it be the period when sin ends. This author and anyone who truly believes this stuff needs a basic apologetics course.

Metaphorically speaking, I am standing on a street corner screaming to everyone that the end is nigh. Indeed, it is true, as the previous commenter noted in his last sentence, that the majority of Americans don’t agree with my views. And again, it is odd that boast in the previous comment is coming from a Muslim, but I digress.

Rather than being disengaged from society, however, I believe I am very much engaged. I don’t believe the decision the “majority” of Americans made to reject the moral law of their creator and seek to live in rebellious autonomy against God is a good thing. In fact it’s a terrible thing.  But rather than jumping into the throng of lemmings hurling themselves headlong over a cliff and into the sea, I will take this opportunity for complete engagement in our society. I plan to double-down in my proclamation of the truth, because when it is darkest, the light shines brighter and I believe the gospel is more powerful than the unwise consensus of our misguided youth culture.

Now, there was one comment that was truly epic. A tremendous rant against me.  It rambled a bit due to being written out of sheer emotion, but the basics of it was how I allegedly hate handicapped people and anyone disabled. It’s too long to cut-and-paste, so let me just respond to the first part that gives us the gist.

I just read this post and am offended. Really, truly offended. I think there is a real disconnect between those who need government help and those who think the government should give no help. Fred writes, “My wife spoke with a neighbor the morning after the election who thinks the next 4 years will be awesome. But she’s in her early 50s, is on “disability,” and doesn’t really do anything except play with her two dogs.” I wonder, as someone on private disability, when I walk my dog if Fred would feel the same about me. Should someone on disability not do anything? Should we just be trapped in our homes and in our wheelchairs, eating only the food you allow (lord knows when we buy something they don’t like we also get slammed for using their tax dollars for some unapproved food) and doing only the things tax payers think are acceptable for someone on disability to do?

This comment offends me. I mean truly offends me. Not only does it represent a profound inability with basic reading comprehension, I’m embarrassed for the person. It’s a buffoonish, knee-jerk reaction that makes the person appear like a bigot, and I would imagine he is otherwise not like that.

Did I suggest disabled people shouldn’t be helped? Does the person seriously believe I think wheel-chaired people need to be shuffled aside, or pushed down a hill? This person doesn’t know my neighbor. Notice what I did write. I stated that a neighbor who was WALKING her dogs. The point being this neighbor is a fully healthy, fully functioning and quite capable of working. I can point to dozens of individuals I know who are able bodied yet have been successful at scamming the system to be declared “disabled.” They’ve made bad life choices that may have temporarily hurt them physically so they get on disability. Time comes when they are back to normal, but they have come to like their life of idling away the day watching TV or whatever.  It’s one big extended summer vacation at the expense of society.

So, rather than yelling at me and accusing me of being a heartless, uncaring cad, he should busy himself exposing those frauds who sponge off the system and make a mockery of those individuals who are truly disabled.

Oh, and BTW, on that food comment, tell that to the first lady and the mayor of New York City.

A Proverbs 29:2b Culture

As my family and I were driving home from my son’s 10th birthday party Tuesday night, we had the radio on listening to any updates regarding the final 4 states that would essentially determine the outcome of the election. We stopped at a light and while we waited for it to turn green my wife says to me, “Obama will win.” I think I muttered something like, “We’ll see,” but then she added something like, “There is just too much of a spiritual dimension to all this that people would vote for a president who will be their ultimate demise.”

When Obama was finally declared the victor, we were of course discouraged.  I couldn’t really sleep that night; something a number of folks have reported. That is because they see the re-election of Obama as a major shift in the values that shape America. It is more than just our favored sports team loosing a bowl game.  What happens in the next four years (bearing that Obama isn’t removed from office over Libya within a few months) will set a trajectory that will have far reaching implications to our daily lives as American citizens.

My taxes will go up, even though I am no where near being categorized as “rich.” Money that I would otherwise save to spend on my family’s well-being, my children’s future, and re-invest into our home is now going to be funneled to the Sandra Flukes of the country to fund their sexually irresponsible livelihood and ability to perform infanticide.

Over time, my freedom to call Mohammed a false prophet who deceives people to eternal damnation will be limited, but that will come after I am forbidden to speak against the perversion of homosexual behavior from a pulpit or in the public square with the threat of being fined or imprisoned.  My religious freedom will eventually be eroded by a political party who falsely claim to be for personal freedom and the like.

And that is just a small, small part of the changes we will face.

Regrettably, and much to the collective dismay, there are 60 million people who think this change is a good thing.  My wife spoke with a neighbor the morning after the election who thinks the next 4 years will be awesome. But she’s in her early 50s, is on “disability,” and doesn’t really do anything except play with her two dogs.

I know of some progressive hipsters who also think this is an awesome change of life.They’re the ones who believe everyone should live in high density communities like over in Amsterdam, have small families, and bike everywhere rather than own a car.  When it comes to paying for all the “goodies” the president and his minions have promised every American, their mindset is like my four year old when it comes to shopping.  Upon seeing me pay for groceries with my debit card she asks, “Can I have one of those?” The logic being, “Daddy just bought some cool stuff with a little plastic card. I need to get one of those.” It truly is like what Rush said on his radio program, “A Santa Claus culture.”

But that attitude goes back to what my wife said to me in the car: There is a spiritual dimension to all of this. Our society has cultivated an climate of greed and selfishness that panders to the selfishness already present in the fallen, human condition. I want something and I’m gonna get it and if I can do it at the expensive of another person, then that’s even better.

And this is not just “secular” people either. Christians think this way, too. There is a reason why the Health and Wealth heresy is huge.  People have basically turned to the Canaanite fertility gods as the providers of their sustenance, and ergo the spiritual dimension to all of what happened on election night. Obama is like a big TV preacher telling people they can have great lives and be blessed a hundred fold if you give him other people’s money.

I believe God is sovereign over all things, even election results. I was never looking to a Romney/Ryan ticket to be the savior of our society, just as a means to return us to some form of normalcy. I truly believe Obama was allowed to be president a second term for God’s purposes. Honestly, I think it is to maneuver world nations and events toward an end-time scenario. But what ever that purpose is, I trust the Lord. It will be hard. I haven’t been promised anything but maybe being hated for my faith, but I trust the Lord.

But I do admit I am still troubled by what I see, especially the spiritual darkness that led people to stupidly vote for an administration that will be their disaster, a disaster that will also include me and my family.

A number of writers and bloggers have captured my sentiments much better than I can right now, so I refer you to them. I’d encourage you to take a look at these articles when you have the time.

How I Absorbed Three Punches and Stood up Anyways.

I Wept Last Night

The Meaning of Yesterday’s Defeat

Fred’s CA Voter Guide 2012

The 2012 elections are upon us once again. Man. How four years just flew by.

In my 2008 election guide, I stated something like how the 2008 election was probably the greatest worldview shaping political election I had ever seen like in 15 years or more. I can safely say, without any hyperbole, that the 2012 election dwarfs the 2008 one in comparison. If Obama gets re-elected, America is doomed to become like one of those mediocre, Scandinavian welfare nations.

I’ve already explained why voting for Mitt Romney is the only viable option we have. If you happen to be one of those over-rated, intellectually lazy, culturally disengaged lay-about “undecided” voters who just paused his Worlds of Warcraft long enough to use the bathroom and get another beer, I just want to tell you there’s a presidential election this year. And, it’s a mighty important one that will have lasting impact upon our American society for years to come. Let me direct you to four articles on this very issue of who and why Mitt Romney:

See HERE, HERE, HERE, and this set of posts HERE.

Now, moving my attention to the California propositions. It is at this point my non-California friends who live in Canada or where ever, can click off to somewhere else, because the following information doesn’t pertain to you at all; but your welcome to hang around.

I was going to write up a little something about each and everyone of the propositions, but I don’t really have the opportunity this time around. So let me just hit on the biggest two for Californian voters and then give you my responses to the other, lesser ones.

The two most important propositions on the ballet: Proposition 30 and 32.

Prop. 30 is Jerry Brown’s attempt to raises taxes on Californians for the purposes of plugging the gaping holes in state budget that have been caused by the demands of the overwhelming public union pension contracts.

In order to strong arm the public to voting in a 50 billion dollar tax increase, he has taken the public schools hostage and threatens that if we don’t agree to his demands to raise taxes, he’s gonna cut schools left and right. Teachers will be laid off, school districts gutted, and those poor state community college kids will be driven from their culture studies programs.

The advertising promoting prop. 30 insists all the money is going to save the schools and insure a bright, California first class education, but this is a lie. The money raised will be placed in the general treasury for use in non-school related projects, a large part being the pay offs to various public employee union contracts.  Of course, Jerry could fix this problem immediately by shutting down the environmentalists who prevent California from getting its natural resources like oil off the coast, doing away with CA special “gasoline” blend, and opening closed farm lands in the once fertile San Joaquin Valley.  He could also shut down his stupid bullet train to nowhere that is costing the state billions of dollars and divert that money to the budget.

But no, Jerry is a radical 60s hippie crack-pot. He must pursue his utopian hippie dreamscape at that cost of tax payers and common sense.  If you want to have a picture of the sort of “crazies” who run our government and the life they have made for citizens in CA, read this article by Victor Davis Hanson. Thankfully, we have this one shot to jolt Jerry back to reality.  I am voting NO on 30.

Next is prop. 32. Whereas prop. 30 is designed to continue feeding the public employee union beast, prop. 32 is designed to kill it. Hands down this is the most advertised proposition on the ballet.  Gianormous signs everywhere screaming at me to vote NO on prop. 32. Itty-bitty red signs popping up like mushrooms all over my community telling me to vote NO on prop. 32.

Bizarrely, the haters of prop. 32, public employee union mafia, are claiming it is a proposition designed to help “special interests,” as if they are not a “special interest.”  The one fact that is overlooked by prop. 32 haters is that one of the major framers of this proposition is a state senate lady who is a barking mad liberal who experienced a “born again” moment when she couldn’t get support for a piece of legislation she was drafting because her fellow state senators and representatives needed “permission” from certain state union thugs before they could vote on it.  That is when she realized how the union godfathers ran everything in Sacramento, not normal politicians.  I’m voting YES on 32.

As to the other propositions, I’m personally voting thusly:

  • 31 – Yes
  • 33 – Yes
  • 34 – No
  • 35 – Yes
  • 36 – No
  • 37 – No
  • 38 – No (That’s another tax increase proposition by a rival political crack-pot to Jerry Brown)
  • 39 – No
  • 40 – Yes

As to the county measures, Yes on A, Yes on B, a big fat No on J (a county tax increase [on top of Jerry Brown’s nutty increase attempt!])

As to the other items listed on the ballet like senators and judges and DAs and whatnot, I refer you to Craig Huey’s voterguide website to find the individuals and measures specific to your area. By the way, he recommends voting differently on some of the lesser propositions, so all I can tell you is inform yourself well the next couple of days.

Theonomists for Romney

I had a bit of a row earlier this week with Marcus Pittman of Crown Rights Media over at the Facebook page of Sye TenBruggencate. In the comments under this post, we had ourselves a “discussion” about politics, government, and God’s sovereign ordained purposes. I thought I’d bring the comments to the front page of the blog for others to see, learn, and evaluate; and of course, be entertained:

Marcus Pittman  This idea that being a Mormon has no consequence whatsoever on being president needs to die the death.

From your post, “Additionally, he made a comment or two about Christians voting for a Mormon, to which he said they could because we aren’t voting for a pastor or some church leader. He’s a president in a secular government.”But we are voting for a “Minister of God, for Justice” correct?This really just goes to prove my post more. Worldview matters. In response to this I present Charles Spurgeon, since you guys at Grace to You are students of him:

“I should not allow a Mormonite to be Judge in the Divorce Court, nor a Quaker to be Commissioner of Oaths, nor an atheist to be Chaplain to the House of Commons; and, for the same reason, I would not have a Roman Catholic, sworn to allegiance to the Pope, to be Viceroy of India. Mr. Gladstone said this himself when writing about the Vatican; but the way in which he eats his words, and puts on a new form so soon as he is in power, does not increase my esteem for him.” http://americanvision.org/6532/charles-spurgeon-on-elections-and-voting

Fred Butler Nebuchadnezzar was called God’s servant. He was a cruel tyrant until his salvation. The same would be said of Caligula and Nero. God ordained them to be rulers, to be in essence, “Ministers of God, and Justice.” Nebuchadnezzar wasn’t elected, but obtained that position via birth. Caligula and Nero by the election of a senate in Rome, or other nefarious, dishonest means. What ever the case, God ordained means for them to rule.

In the case of America, God has ordained the election process. We as Christians, who are members of our society, are allowed to partake in the election of our officials. Even though they are “divinely” appointed ministers of God, they are divinely appointed within a secular government.

Worldview certainly matters, and any truly discerning believer would study to show himself approved in these matters. It’s entirely disingenuous to argue that Theonomist have the right worldview, but then be disengaged from the reality of things politically.

As to Spurgeon, the man lived 150 years ago or more. What he says about elections in 19th century England has no relevance to 21st century America. In fact, it was pretty much irrelevant when he spoke these words in the 19th century seeing that, again, he lived in England, not America.

Marcus Pittman So you would vote for Nero? Let me rephrase that. Would it be a sin for a Christian to vote for Nero? By what standard?

Fred Butler That’s a clown question and is beneath you.

We are living in different circumstances, different points in history. Mitt Romney, in spite of his Mormonism, is not promoting unrighteousness in the same manner as a Nero, or a King James the 1st for that matter. His duty, according to Romans 13, is to restrain evil and punish evil doers in society and to strike fear in the hearts of the unrighteousness. His duty is not to bring forth some Puritanical “Dominion mandate.” He’s to govern a secular government in the U.S. I’ve been given the God ordained privilege to vote, and I am not squandering that privilege by not voting or voting in some third rail candidate.

Marcus Pittman correct me if I am wrong. But are you making the case that Government is autonomous? Whose standard of Good and Evil should the Government administer justice?

Fred Butler No. I am not making that argument. Government is under God’s authority. He ordains the humanity to run them, even the corrupt and evil. He also ordains the means to get them into their ordained power, by such manner as military might, bribery, assassination, and in our case, voting them in by democratic process.

The government administers justice by the standard of God. This is what Romans 1,2 and 13 say, or do you disagree? Men are created in the image of God, they have the law of God written on their heart, they understand by nature right and wrong. It’s not salvific, of course, but it reflects God’s general law.

Marcus Pittman Obviously things like adultery, homosexuality, are violations of God’s objective law and its written on men’s hearts. Would it be “puritanical” for the Government to punish those acts…or would it be just?

Fred Butler I would say it is good to legislate those things, for example, opposing gay marriage and passing marriage amendments, which Romney is likely to allow states to continue doing, but we don’t live in a theocratic nation. The church does not bear the sword against sinners in this dispensation =-)

I would not want to live in Puritan Boston. As soon as I speak of believer’s baptism, I’d be either exiled into the wilderness with Puritan Roger Williams or stockaded. OR my tongue bored through.

Marcus Pittman Fred, no one mentioned the Church bearing the sword. I was only using your own standards.

Fred Butler Fair enough. But Theonomists would execute sinners in such a fashion, correct? Please correct my “strawman” views of theonomy in this regards.

Marcus Pittman No, Theonomist would execute criminals, who have been found guilty in the court of law. Not every sin is criminal.

Fred Butler What about breaking the Sabbath?

Marcus Pittman the objective standards for criminal justice are eternal and unchanging. If they do change, then God is not immutable and the death of Christ could one day not be enough. Was God unjust when he laid out the instructions to civil magistrates for Sabbath breakers?

Fred Butler  He was not unjust under the circumstance of a theocratic nation. There is no theocratic nation now. The NT church is not under the terms and conditions of the nation of Israel. The application of that law has been suspended until Christ returns and establishes a global theocratic nation.

Marcus Pittman Fred, you keep bringing up the Church. We are not talking about the Church. We are speaking of the Minister of God, for Justice. The Civil Magistrate. There are three institutions in scripture founded by God. The Church, The Family, and The State. You wouldn’t say a Father should rule his family according to God’s word would you?

Fred Butler I keep bringing up the church because ultimately you will insist on laws and principles of spiritual conduct that are only for the church being imposed upon the state. The minister of God for justice operates under separate principles for the state that are maybe similar, but are distinct from those that govern the church and family. For example, I don’t execute a child for apostasy.

Marcus Pittman  Can you show me in scripture where this Change has taken place?

Fred Butler In the inauguration of the NC. See Hebrews. Additionally, look at the parables of the Kingdom Jesus taught. When the tares grew up with the wheat, what were the workers to do? Wait until the end so no wheat would perish with the tares. In other words, we do no exercise the authority in the church to execute apostates or false Christians.

Marcus Pittman I agree. We’re not talking about the Church. We’re talking about the Government.

Fred Butler Okay. So what exactly is the problem with voting for Mitt Romney? He’s the minister of God for the state, not the church. He operates under a different application of divine principles than a minister. He’s not being voted in as head pastor. Unless you are arguing that state officials must be elder qualified per 1 Tim. 3.

Marcus Pittman No, I use the standards given by God for an Elected official.

“Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens.” – Exodus 18:21

Four simple requirements. Able. Fear God. Trustworthy. Can’t be bribed.

Fred Butler But that is for a theocratic nation. A distinctly redeemed people. Essentially, those qualifications would transfer over to the qualifications of elders and church leadership. Not a minister of God for the state.

Marcus PittmanThe three institutions. Church. Civil. Family. Were distinct and separated in the OT as well. It’s no different in structure.I would ask that you define “Theocratic” as I would say it is impossible for one to “rule according to Law” without a source of that law. That source, would be the standard and thus the Government would be theocratic.It’s impossible to have a neutral rule. Every Government is theocratic. It’s not a matter of should we have a theocracy, but which one is best.

Fred Butler No different in structure? Are you telling me how God held the nations accountable is the same as He held his covenant people?

“Theocratic” means God’s rule over a nation. But it just isn’t any ole nation. It was Israel. God’s redeemed people He personally promised He would make a great nation and delivered from Egypt by His power. When He chose them (beginning with Abraham) he made a specific covenant with them that was ratified further at Sinai, and to David, and through to Jesus. The standard by which God deals with Israel is going to be different than what He deals with the nations based upon the fact that Israel is God’s special, unique people in an exclusive covenant with Him. None of the other concurrent nation-states at that time experienced God’s dealings in such a way.

Of course it is impossible to have neutral rule, but God’s rule over the nations who are not His people is going to be different than His rule over His distinct, covenanted people. That rule is different now over the people of God who comprise the Body of Christ that is both Jew and Gentile, but still distinct from His rule over the State. Same God, different applications and administrations of His rule.

Why The “Christian” America View is Dangerous

I once again had the occasion to hear Dr. Gregg Frazer speak on the religious faith of our founding fathers. This talk was a scaled down version of the ones I linked in a previous post addressing David Barton and his exaggerated, dishonest citations of a “Christian” American history.

With this talk, Dr. Frazer provided a handout that on the first side defined the term “theistic rationalists” he has coined to describe the beliefs of the founding fathers, or those men who were directly involved with crafting the documents of our country.  The second side was his 13 reasons why he believes the so-called “Christian” America view of U.S. history promoted by Barton and others similar to him is not merely problematic, but in the end, dangerous.  I thought I would write it out and share it with a larger audience.

Keep in mind that he is not advocating that Christians drop out of politics, or not vote-in good candidates that reflect Christian values, or abstain completely from any form of governmental participation. What he is addressing is a specific ideology pushed by Christian/conservative activists who have re-invented American history to shape their modern day “Christian America” narrative.  What we could say is “patriotic idolatry.”

Consider this article by a historian who recently attended one of Barton’s lectures. He states that the first part of Barton’s talk was good, but after a brief break, he returned to the lectern with his endgame in mind.  That being: “the United States has been uniquely blessed because of its Christian character.”  He went on to describe how the founders were “Christians” because they used “Christian” words, and draws the conclusion that we are thus a Christian nation.

Ultimately, Barton’s theology has a lot to do with his proof-texting of historical events. As the author notes in his review, “The biggest problem is his version of Civil Religion, wherein the nation displaces the church, and America emerges as the new Israel with whom God has a special covenant.” I am not entirely certain of Barton’s eschatology, but this is the kind of idea that was developed by state-church Puritans in the Boston colony that flourished into the theonomic postmillennialism that is advocated by a number of individuals in our country today.

With that in mind, here’s that list by Dr. Frazer. I haven’t modified anything and all the emphasis is his.

——-

Why the “Christian” America View is Dangerous

It is theologically wrong. In the church age, there is no such thing as a “Christian nation.” Earthly nations are no longer the primary tools God is using for His work.  Rather, the church is “a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession.” (1 Peter 2:9)

It is historically inaccurate. Christians should base their arguments and positions on truth and reality — not myths or history as we wish it had been.

It tarnishes the Word of God.  By designating a mixture of Christian and non-Christian influences as simply “Christian,” “biblical,” or “Judeo-Christian,” we attach the authority and reputation of the inerrant, infallible Word of God to a hybrid/mixture of biblical and non-biblical influences.

It cheapens and corrupts the Gospel.  Identifying merely  “religious,” “decent, generous, moral” churchgoing people as Christians makes the Gospel one of moral behavior and pronouncements rather than the saving work of Christ and personal commitment to Him.

It exalts what God hates. Scripture clearly teaches that God hates generic, moralizing “religion” worse than a lack of religion.  While the framers were “religious,” they were not (as a rule) distinctively Christian.

It cause believers to confuse their cultural heritage with biblical Christianity. Many lose the ability to distinguish what is truly biblical from what is merely American tradition.  They, in fact, worship the “tribal god” of America rather than the transcendent God of the Bible. (Romans 12:2)

It reduces the Bible to a mere tool or servant of a political agenda.  According to the “Christian America” view, proper use/interpretation of Scripture is not important — what is important is counting how many times it is quoted.

It (sometimes idolatrously) places confidence in processes and institutions rather than the sovereign God. Belief that the political system was originally Christian/biblical focuses or directs efforts towards correcting the political system and misdirects the resources of the church. “If we could just elect the right people….”

It accelerates the process of secularization in society. When believers fail to maintain an independent Scriptural position by which to judge and evaluate the culture, the most important independent voice to stem the tide of secularization is co-opted and, thus, rendered impotent.

It obscures the principles of evaluating true Christianity by the fruit it produces — Rather than simply on the basis of claims of piety.

It leads to national idolatry and national self-righteousness. The naturalistic political ideals of the nation are treated as if they were on a par with Scriptural revelation.

It increases the tendency to violence. One may become convinced that God is “on our side” and focus on “awakening” the system.

It emphasizes redeeming the world system rather than redeeming people.