I watched the CNN Town Hall regarding the recent school shooting in Florida and I came away from that feeling even more troubled and burdened. We blame things like mental illness, lack of adequate gun control, failure to follow up on tips, etc. but in this “debate” and seemingly every other one no one ever, as you have said, speaks into the microphone clearly and states what the most fundamental problem is. That is that we refuse to repent of our sins, turn to Jesus in faith, and to worship Him and Him alone. How would you recommend that someone such as myself begin to speak up? Of course, we should engage in personal evangelism i.e. one on one conversation and I have passed out tracts and done some street preaching in the past. Those are good things, but I am thinking of other avenues like letters to the editor, speaking at school board and town board meetings, speaking to politicians, etc. I am so tired of the Word of God being totally absent from our public discussions. How can you speak pointedly without being a hot head jerk? Hopefully you will get the gist of what I am trying to ask. God bless.
William, agreed. But I would only add that this does not mean that if a sufficient number of people “believe in Jesus,” then suddenly things like school shootings will magically evaporate. However, it does mean if we turn back to Christ we will discover that we have also turned back to common sense, and we will stop pursuing insane diagnoses and solutions. In this most recent shooting, we had governmental failures at epic levels, from the FBI on down. When your reflexive response to this kind of thing is to propose we give much greater powers to government, while blaming the NRA, something is seriously demented. It is like a Philistine praying to Dagon while sitting on the back of the idol that was face-down on the threshold.
I sure do wish all the students who will be walking out of class in a few weeks to protest for more gun laws could actually read and comprehend this sincere and accurate critique of our times, but alas . . . public education.
CSarge, yes. And the question that occurs to me is this—what will it actually take for all believing Christians to get their kids out of the government school system? How much worse will it have to get?
Having just finished my morning Bible reading about the Israelites complaining about not having meat in the wilderness, this article really struck home. Christian complaining (mine included) has reached an art form.
Melody, yes. And nothing stands out in contrast to the world’s way of doing things more than a refusal to complain. “Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,” (Philippians 2:14–15, ESV).
I was reading World’s children’s book issue. Apparently publishing houses employ sensitivity readers to screen books so they conform to the current zeitgeist. This is horrifying.
Jeff, yes. And not surprisingly, the results of this kind of treatment is that the results are unreadable.
The Other Rush
I recently read Intellectual Schizophrenia by R.J. Rushdoony. I was only somewhat familiar with the later theonomy of RJR. This book was written in 1961, before “the 60s” broke out, and it’s striking to see how everything we’re experiencing today was well under way by then. You read some of what he says, and it doesn’t appear on the outside it was close to as bad as he says it was, but it was. And he was prophetic about the results. Ideas indeed have consequences.
Mike, you are exactly right. The early Rushdoony was prophetic. I am recently rereading Politics of Guilt and Pity. Man.
God’s Law Down in the Details
I recently had a lengthy discussion with a dear brother about the relationship between God’s law and the laws that govern the U.S. I attempted to explain how God’s law has abiding validity (though not all of it in the same ways; some of it has been fulfilled and made no longer binding) over every nation no matter the year or culture. He pushed back on this idea. To his credit, he had good questions that I do not yet have clarity. One question that hounded me days and weeks after is this: What does God’s law have to say about the infrastructure of our country? What does God’s law say about our road system and other related specifics under the general category of “infrastructure.” As stated, I don’t have clarity on this topic, though I am inclined to think that those kinds of questions will be answered under the principal of “General Equity.” I am wondering if you have covered this topic somewhere on your blog and if you would be so kind to help me find it. Or, if there is some other resource you could point me to that you think would help me think through this, I would be thankful for any recommendation. I greatly appreciate the ministry God has given you and I’m asking Him to give you greater influence in the church, as I think you have clarity and wisdom where many evangelical leaders seem confused or simply inconsistent. Thanks.
Jake, I believe you are on the right track. Where God’s law des not give us specific instruction, we take the principles from what He did give us, and apply those principles to the new situation. You mention infrastructure, but another problem in this category would be water rights. There is nothing in biblical law about what to do when you have orchard farmers upstream and factories downstream. General equity it is. With regard to infrastructure, the Bible does teach us about taxation levels and property rights, so things like eminent domain would not be tools in the infrastructure build-out. But other than things like that, we should love God and do as we please.
Ross Douthat wrote this column in support of banning porn. I agree with his premise because of the insidious and idolatrous nature of porn, and what it does to individuals psychologically. I don’t think he addresses the question of what is the scope of the ban? How limited or broad is the power given to government to ban porn? What are the consequences to liberty in other areas of life if the porn ban is too broad?
Same thing with Matt Walsh’s recent column on his five reasons to ban porn and four rebuttals to his preconceived typical responses to porn bans. I agree with Matt’s premise, and he even attempts to address the slippery slope, but I don’t necessarily think he addresses it adequately and biblically.
How would the theocratic libertarian go about banning porn, while protecting individual liberty in other areas of life (preventing government from using the power from the porn ban to ban other forms of “art” and “thoughts” it might, at any given moment, think is equally insidious and grotesque as pornography)? What would prevent the Secularists or even Islamists from taking the definition of porn that’s used in the porn ban and apply it to “Christian art” to call it “Christian porn” because to their faith/worldview, Christians’ beliefs are insidious and grotesque?
Trey, both of those articles made some really good points. And the theocratic libertarian is working toward the day when there are laws against porn. But there is no way that such laws can save us. We are to be saved, if we are to be saved at all, by grace, through the preaching of the gospel. This means preaching the law, and preaching the gospel. Unless there is a great reformation and revival, turning Americans back to Christ, they cannot be brought to live as though they have been brought back to Christ. In other words, a saved culture can have laws against porn to deal with the outliers. But a degenerate culture cannot legislate its way back into decency. If good laws could save us, Jesus didn’t have to die. But both these articles are exactly right in recognizing that porn is killing us.
Fantastic piece. Our Father and strong communities. As our enemy from below has utilized those on the left to dismantle our moral culture, I am reminded of this admonition, do not tear down a fence if you do not know why it was built in the first place.
With the recent passing of Billy Graham, I’ve seen a number of friends post interviews where Graham says that people can be Christians without knowing the name of Jesus or the gospel (one such example). How should we respond to the legacy of Graham? His preaching generally seems to be orthodox on the main issues, and he clearly led many to Christ. But he sometimes spoke heresy. Should we label him a false teacher? A good teacher who occasionally stumbled? Thanks.
Brent, I wrote something about Billy Graham on our church web site here. I would describe him as a great man faithful at the center, but who stumbled in some critical ways.
I care about racial reconciliation because God himself gives us the ministry of reconciliation. I care about the environment because it honors the Creator and shows love for our neighbor, a kind of mini-summary of the Law.
Douglas, amen, as far as that goes. But we have to go a few steps beyond that. We have to ask what the specific content of our efforts at racial reconciliation will be. If it is unvarnished gospel for black and white sinners alike, then amen, and pour it on. But if it is refried cultural Marxism, tricked out with evangelical clichés, then one thing it won’t accomplish is racial reconciliation. The same thing with the environment. My objection to green policies is that they have the effect of turning everything brown. In other words, we might share ultimate goals but differ radically on how best to get there. But in our politicized times, those who want to reconcile blacks and whites by some other means than the current social justice route as glibly assumed to be “white supremacist.” And this is a great illustration of how counterproductive the whole thing is.
Cultural Marxism and the Comics
Where did you come across that X-Men image for your Second Paragraph post?
Ian, just a little cultural appropriation from the Internet.
I was curious if you were aware of the full context of the X-Men picture you used in this article. There’s an interesting culture war going on within comics right now. Marvel comics in particular has made it a personal point to saturate all of their properties with radical Marxist and intersectional collectivist theory. The fundamental problem with this plan being, their customers are primarily young white men who are completely uninterested in the kind of social engineering they want to talk about. So when they launch a new character designed to meet their identity checkboxes, black, Muslim, gay, whatever it is at the time, sometimes all three, nobody buys the book. To try and maneuver around the actual interests and tastes of their customers, they’ve began to try and retroactively change their existing popular character to fit the political agenda. Captain America now “always was” secretly a Nazi, while Thor is now a woman, there’s a new half black half Latino Spiderman, a new Hulk who’s Asian, so on and so forth. Part of this attempt at slipping in the propaganda under the radar is they made Ice Man, a character who has been overtly straight since the 60’s, gay. The X-Men traveled back in time and met their earlier selves. Jean Grey, with her telepathic abilities, read young Ice Man’s mind and “discovered” that in his subconscious, he really was gay all this time and “unlocked” his gayness so to speak. So now the character’s half century of history has been rewritten to fit the agenda. The picture you used is an example of how they’re now using the newly gay Ice Man as a political puppet to attack anyone who criticizes the SJW worldview. There’s something of a social civil war going on in the comics community about it and Marvel’s sales have been suffering, hitting historic record lows in number of copies sold. Meanwhile, the writers themselves have been openly attacking their customers on Twitter as “racists” for not buying their monthly manifesto.
Justin, I am not up on the cultural currents in the world of comics at all. But I have been generally aware that the battle that is raging everywhere is also raging there.
The Ineffective Wilson?
That second paragraph. This is weird. I’m pretty sure that I’m the only person that disagrees with you (or one of few) who reads your blog. And that’s probably due to your writing style. It’s not that you writing style is wrong or anything, it’s just that it’s completely ineffective. If you wanted to convince people you would be academic, and fair minded, and humble. If you want to get on the Internet and let off steam because you’re mad at the left, then your style is perfect. Yes, if you want to fight, you do exactly as you do, but if you want to actually change anyone’s mind, you’ll swap your boxing gloves for a suit and notebook. So yes, your position is defensible. And if you want to make your readers more set in their ways and more angry and antagonistic to the left, then you’re doing a great job. But if you want someone to change their mind, or if you want people who disagree with you to pay attention or think about the issues, then sure, you CAN use your style, it is not morally wrong, but it’s just counterproductive.
Malik, the goal is not to write in such a way as to simply harden my readers in their prejudices. But neither is this blog set up to persuade non-believers. Rather, my desire is to write in such a way as to attract people who share my faith in Christ, and general worldview outlook, and then to encourage and equip them. The goal is to equip them with arguments, which, if you look closely, you can see buried under all the gaudy adjectives.
I would not say that your writing is like a cup of Martha Stewart punch at all— cinnamon ice or not. No, it’s more like a fajita plate with tomatoes and peppers and tortillas and salsa and some real, actual meat sizzling on the cast iron. Yessir, another helping please! On the other hand, I have noticed that when I share one of your posts, occasionally (just occasionally) one of the recipients will act as if I had dumped a plate of medium rare chicken livers with pureed Brussel sprouts in his or her lap. This is to be expected because, as you point out in the last paragraph, there are elements of our society who have an adverse reaction to the pleasant aroma of sizzling red meat rising before the throne. But then,
Dan, thanks. Would you mind having a little word with Malik?
A Particular Problem
To cut to the chase, our city council in a small and barely conservative-leaning rural town in Western Washington (Stanwood if you must know) is having a second go-round on considering putting a pot shop on main street after the recent elections saw the retirement and replacement of a couple of conservative members. On the last go-round just enough folks turned out and a fairly predictable vote (5-4) was had. I’m not optimistic about this round, but am not giving up either. I appreciate your take on the sinfulness of marijuana, but the council I am sure will have less appreciation for it. You’ve talked in places about taxes (revenue as they call it down at City Hall) serving more or less as a bribe. One question I could pose to the council is to ask if they would even consider this if additional revenue for the city (and boy is there plenty to be had) were not on the table? Would they still want it downtown, kitty corner from the police station, and two blocks from the middle school? Or anywhere in our community for that matter? This is one approach, but looking for any more practical civic advice you’d pass my way. As these things go, they’re trying to run this through in the dark of night, and we just heard today that the planning commission meets Monday and the City Council on Thursday. Though I heard the council might be there this Thursday to consider some of it as well. Details are still coming in. Wiley movement nonetheless. Understand you probably get hundreds of these to prioritize so leaving this to your discretion and divine providence. Thank you.
Bryan, I obviously don’t know the circumstances on the ground there. But the question I would ask a city council under such circumstances is this. If you do this in order to increase tax revenue, and the presence of the pot shop turns out to be a public nuisance (because it turned into three pot shops and stoners hanging around downtown all day), how have you not structured our affairs such that the city government now has perverse incentives to hope for an increase in the public nuisance because of the revenue they get from it. Like cameras at traffic lights incentivize the cops to want you run the yellow light . . .