500 Pounds of Stratosphere

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We are now at that stage of our cultural devolutionary farce when, any day now, some bright kid is going to wear a tee-shirt to his government school, and on that tee-shirt a message will be emblazoned, and the message will read “endowed by his Creator with certain unalienable rights,” and he will be sent home for having displayed un-American sentiments.statue-liberty

The news in this department is unrelentingly bad. This next item is not to be filed under “hypothetical reductio,” but rather under what looks to be standard operating procedure in blue states now. In just a few weeks, Massachusetts begins its official persecution of churches that remain faithful to the Bible. Churches are included in the sweeping diktat, and these churches must refer to all sexually confused people in accordance with their chosen “gender identity,” or else.

As one web site has aptly summarized it, “Inside every liberal is a totalitarian screaming to get out.” We have moved well past the point where we need to document such abuses—no need for that when it is raining abuses now. Not only is it raining abuses, it is raining absurd abuses. The secularist, tethered to nothing, anchored firmly to 500 pounds of stratosphere, sets up a hue and cry about genital mutilation in the Middle East, and then in the next breath wants to make it illegal for anyone in this country even to object to our forms of secularist genital mutilation (i.e. youth transgenderism).

In Yemen, the mutilation of a young girl’s genitals is descried as primitive and backward. And yet now in Massachusetts, if a church objects to vile parents having a young boy’s penis cut off, those who object to this are classified as haters. In Yemen, that really is an appalling practice carried down into the present from centuries of backward superstition. In Massachusetts, this is the new regime, being instituted now, as we speak, by the enlightened ones, the progressives. In reality, they are as blinkered as it gets.

Such absurdities and contradictions abound. And if they are so plain, and yet so invisible to those in the grip of them, what we need to do is explain why that is. To do so, let us return to our first paragraph. Rights derive from God. God is the giver of rights. If there is no God, there are no rights. If there is a false god, there are false rights. Water does not rise above its own level, and rights in a worshiper do not rise above the nature and character of the one worshiped.

The true and living God can bestow rights. Idols cannot do so. Imaginative fancies cannot endow anybody with anything. The principles should be clear enough across the board, but let us take two deities, one true and one pretended, in order to make the point evident.

The God who actually made the world is unchanging and immutable, and He is also holy. His Word is therefore unchanging and holy. As a consequence, His gifts are irrevocable and good. On the other hand, the god of the secularists is Demos, the people. But the people, unlike Jehovah, are both mutable and sinful. So here is the basic point of contrast.

The gifts you receive will mirror the nature, character, and attributes of the one who gives them. If your rights are given to you by the Creator then your rights are completely out of the reach of the next plebiscite. Those rights cannot be touched by kings, parliaments, assemblies, bureaucrats, commissions, congresses, presidents, resolutions, or referenda. Demos did not give, and so Demos cannot take away. And since those rights cannot be touched by them, I intend to behave as though those right cannot be touched by them.

But if you are a typical progressive, you believe there is no voice beyond that of the people. There is no transcendental voice, and as a consequence vox populi vox Dei. But what is that god like? I will tell you what that god is like. He is both wicked and fickle. You have no rights that may not be entirely removed by the next election, and if you complain about it, the response will be puzzlement—puzzlement on the part of anyone who worships Demos. You have as many rights as anyone. These things come and go.

And so we see yet again, from yet another angle, the utter impossibility of secularism.

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Shawn Brown
Shawn Brown
5 years ago

Hit the nail on the head once again.

jigawatt
jigawatt
5 years ago

Churches are included in the sweeping diktat, and these churches must refer to all sexually confused people in accordance with their chosen “gender identity,” or else.

That can’t be true. They said they’d never go after churches, and that we were engaging in slippery-slope arguments when we said they would.

Once again, one of the veteran culture warriors needs to write a book entitled “We Were Right”.

ME
ME
5 years ago
Reply to  jigawatt

I am not surprised at all. Perhaps a better name for that book would be, “We Were (once) Right.” Than along came the Alt+Right and we lost all moral authority?

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  ME

Only if the Alt-right has a legitimate position within true conservatism. And I see no reason to concede that.

timothy
timothy
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

Alt-right makes no pretense of being within true conservatism. We have decided to live.

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  timothy

I’m saddened to see you identify with it. Whether it is part of a true conservatism is secondary; it is clearly a rejection of revealed divine order for human relationships.

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

Whether it is part of a true conservatism is secondary; it is clearly a rejection of revealed divine order for human relationships.

LMAO

ashv
ashv
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

Despite the rumours “alt-right” is not actually a euphemism for “homosexual”.

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

Whether it is part of a true conservatism is secondary; it is clearly a rejection of revealed divine order for human relationships.

Says the woman who insists that a white man celebrating the fact that his wife just gave birth to a black man’s triplets is not at all in conflict with the “revealed divine order for human relationships.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2016/04/21/my-wife-and-i-are-white-evangelicals-heres-why-we-chose-to-give-birth-to-black-triplets/

LMAO

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago

Don’t lie about me. I never said any such thing. Guess I’m not blocked anymore, though.

The fact that you focus on the race of the people involved rather than the rejection of their own fruitfulness shows that you know less than nothing about the revealed divine order for human relationships, so my faith in you (for those things about which you can be counted on) remains unshaken.

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

FREE TRAYVON MARTIN!

STEALING SKITTLES IS NOT A CRIME!

Farinata degli Uberti
Farinata degli Uberti
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

Can you say a little more about this? “Rejecting the revealed divine order for human relationships”, however accurate it may be, is an obscure charge.

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago

All the stuff about how it’s too hard to form a Christian family and stick to it because the legal system is stacked against you, so just forget about marriage, family, and home-ordered responsibilities. Go for the gusto and work the system for yourself.

There’s no exemption on living according to God’s design for home and family, living peaceably with others and pursuing justice for all, regardless of how difficult the wickedness of the world makes it.

ashv
ashv
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

This is hardly a component of a political platform. So far as I’ve seen, the few people who stick to that position weren’t going to get married and have kids anyway.

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  ashv

I wasn’t talking about a “political platform,” and in the final analysis there is no such thing as a set of beliefs or values that is merely a “political platform.” The assumptions that result in a given political platform are either congruent with God’s will, or not.

It is of no interest to me whether a person is was going to get married and have kids anyway — he and those who agree with him are still either speaking for or against what God has called us to. I’m not a pragmatist, sorry if that offends you. ;)

ashv
ashv
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

There are plenty of people who call themselves “alt-right” who are married with kids, and it’s generally regarded as the superior choice — at least, there are no significant opponents to it.

Farinata degli Uberti
Farinata degli Uberti
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

I agree that that is a false and cowardly notion. I disagree that it is essential to the alt-right movement. If you care to look at the various manifesti being promulgated, you’ll see very little defeatism on display.

After all, the sort of man who’s too scared of divorce court to reproduce is hardly going to champion a nationalist political movement.

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago

My point here is not to defend my view of the alt-right, but let me just say in reference to this:

“After all, the sort of man who’s too scared of divorce court to
reproduce is hardly going to champion a nationalist political movement.”

that people can be very selective about what they fear, and what they are committed to defending. How that applies to this situation is not my point, but I do believe that a coward can be very bold in defense of the things wherein his treasure lies.

Farinata degli Uberti
Farinata degli Uberti
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

Possibly. But, all things being equal, wouldn’t you expect a risk-averse attitude towards the future to express itself in multiple contexts?

Samuel Adams
Samuel Adams
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

Galatians 5:22,23

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  timothy

Timothy. I think you need to approach the position with more thought than the rhetoric coming from those quarters. Some of their positions may have justification. Others are more subtle and the lack of subtly can be error.

Our allegiance is to Christ. As such various political positions may be in agreement and disagreement with what we hold to. Not everything a party holds to is wrong. Further, we can be nationalist (over globalist) without being particularly tribalist.

ashv
ashv
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

The alt-righters have kept many of the mistakes of liberalism, but they have served the admirable purpose of destroying conservatism and the Republican party. They have laid the groundwork for a Christian anti-liberal, anti-democratic political worldview, even if they cannot achieve it themselves.

timothy
timothy
5 years ago
Reply to  ashv

Monarchists gonna monarch! (:

Wesley Sims
Wesley Sims
5 years ago
Reply to  ashv

Nailed it.

timothy
timothy
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

Thank you for your cautionary words.

Here is a popular map of the components of it:
comment image

Notice the Christian traditionalists in that map.

Vox has a first draft of his 19 points up
https://voxday.blogspot.com/2016/08/what-alt-right-is.html

The fields are ripe for harvest.

cheers.

JohnM
JohnM
5 years ago
Reply to  timothy

Timothy,
Choose this day whom you will serve.

Ref. Voxday:
Point 4. – No, Christianity is not one leg of a three legged stool. Point 4 also at odds with point 10, when history is taken into account, by the way.
Point 12 – That just makes the alt right sound like a junior high philosophy. Plus, obviously somebody cares or else they wouldn’t be posting 14 points of explanation.
Points 14 – makes me think 1488. It also contradicts Point 15.

Timothy, you’ve already chosen, right? In Christ alone. Don’t be turned aside.

ashv
ashv
5 years ago
Reply to  JohnM

Point 14 is supposed to make you think that, it’s in there on purpose. :)

Point 12 is specifically to address the chief flaw of conservatism: leaders that fear disapproval from their opponents more than their supporters.

I quite agree with you that the strict insistence on ethno-nationalism is short-sighted and impractical. But it’s better than what we have now.

timothy
timothy
5 years ago
Reply to  JohnM

I am not here to convince you of the platform. Your arguments have not convinced me that it is invalid. As for whom I will serve. Erick Erickson is a Christian. I reject his true-conservativism as an utter failure. This after years as a supporter. Was I any less a Christian for having supported True Conservatism? No. If I supported a Democrat against a Republican, would I be any less a Christian? No. Socialist? No. The role of the civil magistrate is to (fill in the blank here). Can we agree its role does not include the destruction of Christendom?… Read more »

Arwenb
Arwenb
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

I’m thinking that the Alt-right is what happens when the leftist totalitarians wind the spring too far in one direction.

mkt
mkt
5 years ago
Reply to  Arwenb

And when the conservative church turns into SJW Lites who push soft feminism and think every conference/meeting/synod/assembly is a chance to repent for things that happened 50 to 160 years ago…while ignoring current sins.

Farinata degli Uberti
Farinata degli Uberti
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

What does “true conservatism” mean? Is it like being a real Scotsman?

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago

That seems like a loaded question. Either it has a definition or it doesn’t — why assume my definition is a prejudicial version of the NTS fallacy? I suppose if you wanted to develop a definition, you might start looking at the principles held by self-identified conservatives over time. And I doubt that you’d find much like the alt-right within the long-term tradition. But my point was not so much to rule the alt-right out of the tradition as to question ME’s assumption that it belonged there simply because of the word “right.” Crony capitalism is an example of a… Read more »

Farinata degli Uberti
Farinata degli Uberti
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

Less a loaded question than a wisecrack. But I do think the question “is X truly conservative?” is far less helpful when deciding if we like X than something like “is X reasonable and just?” In my view, the Alt-Right as I understand it earns a mostly positive answer to the second question.

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago

You are correct, it is a less important question. But consider what my comment was in response to — the implication that everyone who identifies as conservative is rightly tarred with whatever negatives are associated with the self-styled “Alt-right.” That is either a) a fair assessment because the alt-right is properly identified with the larger idea of conservatism or b) not a fair assessment, because it is not.

And that is the only point I was attempting to make.

Farinata degli Uberti
Farinata degli Uberti
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

Fair enough.

ME
ME
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

Dunsworth, I realize you do not wish to cede territory to the alt right, but it done been ceded already. The undeniable fact is that Trump is the candidate of the “right,” backed by the alt right. We can bicker over what “conservative” means and declare ourselves to be right, but not “that kind of alt right,” but it doesn’t matter. The truth is the alt-right has revealed a dark and ugly aspect of the right side of the political aisle. It has revealed what lurks in the hearts of many conservatives when taken to an extreme, and it has… Read more »

ashv
ashv
5 years ago

Nuke Harvard.

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago

Well, the response to the “gender identity guidance ” edict seems pretty simple. “No” would work.

It seems to conflict with freedom of speech, thought and association.

Will steers now get separate stock yards?

ashv
ashv
5 years ago
Reply to  "A" dad

“Freedom of speech” is a unicorn — often sought, but impossible to find. Every society prohibits some forms of speech, and rightly so.

timothy
timothy
5 years ago
Reply to  ashv

I could not find the “report abuse” button or I would have clicked it just for grins (:

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago
Reply to  ashv

We seem to be speaking pretty freely here, and I for one don’t have a horn sticking out of my forehead !????????

Jeremy
Jeremy
5 years ago

From Girard’s *I See Satan Fall Like Lightning*: “Persecutors think they are doing good, the right thing; they believe they are working for justice and truth; they believe they are saving their community” (126).

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago

Pastor Wilson, Thank you for this post. Your critique of secularism is good, but I do want to take issue with your understanding of rights. God does not grant rights anymore than do the collective of sinful citizens. “Rights” as understood in American and European parlance, is an extra biblical notion. Since He is both creator and sovereign, He is the authority over all things. We do not get to say that one has a right to anything. God provides us with duties and authority. I have authority over my family, you have authority over your congregation, and God has… Read more »

Capndweeb
Capndweeb
5 years ago

John 1:12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God– (I grant that KJV uses “power” where NIV and others use “right.” The Greek uses “exousia” which Strong’s defines as “authority” or “power.”

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  Capndweeb

Thank you Capndweeb.

Our authorization to do anything comes from our Creator. In the case of John 1:12, it is merely an indication that without the sovereign intervention of God, we would be incapable of becoming children of God. The use of family language itself makes this clear.

This is fundamentally a different thing than rights as we think of them in the political sense.

Capndweeb
Capndweeb
5 years ago

Agreed. In any and all, the glory goes to God alone. But, that He would cede us the authority or the power to become His children while were yet sinners, while we were so far from His glory, and so wholly undeserving magnifies His glory and specifically His grace all the more. It humbles me. I can conceive the only response that even comes close to being appropriate is to collapse to ones knees in gratitude and awe at the foot of the cross. That being said, it makes human institutions like government and any “rights” they would grant seem… Read more »

Nathan Tuggy
Nathan Tuggy
5 years ago

“Authority” has to be defined and limited, though; the government has authority in some cases to kill citizens, and in other cases not. The concept of “rights” is a systematic theological way to determine what those cases are more generally than simply listing all the cases exhaustively; in other words, it’s a method to adapt from the OT legal system etc (which cannot be used as-is) to designedly Christian legal systems. If you disagree with the basic approach of systematic theology, I suppose that’s your right, but I don’t think “extrabiblical” is a fair statement.

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  Nathan Tuggy

Nathan Tuggy, thank you for the reply. Saying it must be limited is coming from the wrong direction. We are not given full authority and told to “limit” it. Our authority is delineated from God to specific tasks. We can only do what God has given us to do. A pastor has the duty to baptize and officiate the Lord’s Table, rebuke and correct, but not imprison. A father has the duty to train his family, provide for their needs, and teach them to glorify God, but he cannot execute civil justice. Likewise, a government under God’s authority has the… Read more »

Nathan Tuggy
Nathan Tuggy
5 years ago

How would you express the Mosaic law’s set of marriage and divorce rights as a set of duties? In particular, the law providing for a jealous husband to have his wife tested. Or how about the right of the priests corporately to the various offerings? More generally, civil government is given some authority to make ordinances. But much of the subject matter of those is not found in the Bible, because it didn’t exist then. Are there principles we can use to determine which of these laws are acceptable and which are not? How do we distinguish between a law… Read more »

katecho
katecho
5 years ago

Durden wrote: The notion that God or the state or anyone for that matter owes us any rights is extra-biblical. The notion of rights as “entitlements”, owed to us, is a more recent spin on the term. Natural rights are liberties that are ours at birth or maturity, which do not have to be earned or supplied by someone else. Think of them like common grace. Examples would be things like liberty of association, freedom to own and control one’s possessions, equity before the law, freedom from being convicted on the testimony of only one witness, etc. Notice that the… Read more »

somethingclever
somethingclever
5 years ago

Extrabiblical is not necessarily unbiblical. Driving a car is extrabiblical. Driving a car over my neighbor is unbiblical, even though the scriptures never mention cars specifically.

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago

I would think that the principle expressed, even applies to steam rollers!????

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago

You are correct and not everything that people in the West are demanding as their rights is necessary un-biblical. Many of them demand medical care and a state sponsored education. Neither are un-biblical, per se, but they are not something that God or the state are obligated to provide. The duty to provide an education and physical care falls to the father, and the duty to care for the poor who cannot provide the education and medical care for themselves and their family falls to the elders of the church. It is a violation of the commandment against theft to… Read more »

somethingclever
somethingclever
5 years ago

Thank you for your clarification. If your argument is that we demand many things we don’t deserve in the name of rights, then you probably won’t find much argument here, and you certainly won’t from me. I simply want to warn against the line of reasoning that says, “it’s not in the Bible; therefore, it’s not valid.” It doesn’t sound like that’s what you were trying to say, but your original comment could definitely be read that way.

John
John
5 years ago

Mr. @kilgore_t_durden:disqus,
I’m not trying to be a troll, I genuinely want to seek understanding. Alisdair MacIntyre in his book After Virtue argues as you do that there is no biblical concept of “a right,” but what about Paul speaking about not making use of his rights (1 Cor. 9:15) or about conjugal rights (1 Cor. 7:3)? (Maybe I need to learn some Greek.)
Thanks,
John

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  John

Thank you, John. God owes us nothing. We cannot make the mistake of overlaying our notion of rights onto the text of Scripture. As to the specific texts, sexual activity is an obligation of marriage, not a right in the Western sense. We have so twisted sexuality in the West that we see libertine behavior as liberty. The man was obligated to provide a child to his wife through this obligated sexual activity, the very purpose of marriage itself. It is a woman’s created purpose to procreate, and the man’s duty to contribute is quite necessary, obviously. In chapter 9,… Read more »

Billtownphysics
Billtownphysics
5 years ago

I agree. Look into an empty bucket. It contains everything you have a right to or are entitled to. God owes us nothing, we owe Him everything.

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago

This is correct, and the proper response to this state of affairs is to act in accordance with His revealed will, not sanctimoniously demand things from God, the state, or others.

Malachi
Malachi
5 years ago

Your statements are true in a sense, but the notion of “inalienable rights” granted by our Creator was very much a statement aimed squarely at the Federal government, reminding them that THEY do not grant and cannot take away certain “rights” that are–as you put it–duties and authority derived from God. I don’t think the Declaration or Constitution were trying to assert a theological treatise so much as they were saying “Back off! These things are from God.”

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  Malachi

I would ask you to point out to me where in Scripture we have inalienable rights. The constitution assumes the inherent goodness of the population and tells the government to protect the ability of man to sin, skirt his duties, and betray his authority. It is a foundationally deistic document, even if it has religious window dressing.

My point is that duties and authority are not the same as rights.

ashv
ashv
5 years ago

I think one of the assumptions underlying the liberal political order that needs the most scrutiny put on it is the idea of individualism. Locke, Hobbes, and the rest all come to their political conclusions starting from the idea of completely disconnected individuals doing things to form a society — when the reality is that every person experiences community before they experience individuality. Furthermore, our understanding of God is that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are both individuals and in relationship with each other, neither preceding the other. So we should seek a political philosophy that more accurately matches… Read more »

somethingclever
somethingclever
5 years ago
Reply to  ashv

I thought you were a monarchist.

ashv
ashv
5 years ago

In some sense of the term, probably. What about it?

somethingclever
somethingclever
5 years ago
Reply to  ashv

Hobbes was a big fan of monarchy, too. Obviously doesn’t mean you have to agree with his presumptions. Just found it curious.

Jack Bradley
Jack Bradley
5 years ago

Amen and amen.

ME
ME
5 years ago

“There is no transcendental voice, and as a consequence vox populi vox Dei. But what is that god like? I will tell you what that god is like. He is both wicked and fickle.” LOL! And the Pampered Prince of the alt right, the one who also fancies himself the Voice of God too, where is one to file him? What does one do when one’s “Christians” represent the god of this world, even more than one’s secularists? What is one to do when one’s Christians are more hateful, more dark, more wicked than one’s secularist, one’s atheists? It’s just… Read more »

Rob Steele
Rob Steele
5 years ago

The Puritans are unfairly ridiculed, it’s true, but you have to admit they have some idiot children.

Luke Pride
5 years ago

We shouldn’t stand against it though. We don’t want to be called unloving

Mark Hanson
Mark Hanson
5 years ago

I look at the bright side. We’ll have castratos for our ancient music choirs again.

David Trounce
5 years ago

Assuming the article being referenced is accurate, I want to hear from Christians, and especially Pastors, in MA. What is the response going to be?

David S
David S
5 years ago
Reply to  David Trounce

I agree – we need an appropriate response. If Bruce (Caitlyn?) Jenner walks into our church and goes into the woman’s bathroom, what are we supposed to say? To we call Bruce (or Caitlyn?) him (or her?)? How often? If Bruce comes back, at what point do we say that what he is doing is a sin? I can definitely see this bureaucratic diktat being used as a weapon by the LGBT activists. It would be super easy to walk into a church as a “transgender”, walk into the woman’s bathroom while your little girl is in there and then… Read more »

PB
PB
5 years ago

“Inside every liberal is a totalitarian screaming to get out”
Demonstrated nicely by these students.

http://thefederalist.com/2016/09/15/watch-a-mob-of-yale-students-bully-a-professor-who-hurt-their-feelings/
I wish Doug would comment on this.

mkt
mkt
5 years ago
Reply to  PB

This happens all the time. It’s happened at many college campuses (conservative speakers getting things thrown at them, etc.). And look at the Trump supporters who have been attacked in CA. There have also been a few white nationalists groups who had a permit and were protesting peacefully…then got attacked by progressive thugs with baseball bats. And no, I’m not a fan of those groups, but neither they nor anyone else should be attacked for a peaceful demonstration.