Russell Moore’s Tectonic Plates

Introduction

So I watched Russell Moore’s Erasmus Lecture for First Things, which you can see here, and there are many things to say about it. But many of them are, truth be told, positive, and so I would like to begin with that. His talk was informed, learned, thoughtful, insightful, and balanced. I would want to specially emphasize that last word, balanced.moore

In this talk, there was no trace of some of the inflammatory things he has sometimes fired off with in the past . . . perhaps constrained as he was by 140 characters. For example, apparently gone was the idea that he was not “an evangelical,” or that he wouldn’t answer to that description any more. And he went out of his way to praise the religious right “at its best,” and he showed that he was fully capable of making such necessary distinctions in this mess of an election year. Another example of this same careful pattern is that he carefully distinguished rah rah Trump supporters who are hailing Trump as “God’s man for a time such as this,” and others that Moore disagreed with, but whom he still respected—those who understand that Hillary is cold and evil, and who therefore feel constrained to put a bag over their heads in order to get themselves to vote for Trump.

In other words, while listening to this lecture you had the feeling that this was a man that you could have a fruitful conversation with.

In addition, some of his criticisms of the professional and institutional religious right were not simply jabs . . . they were body blows. And he is exactly right that this election did not create these problems, but rather has done a magnificent job of revealing them.

But at the same time, all is not well. I want to proceed cautiously because most of what was “not well” lies in the realm of what was not said. Or rather, a few things were said, but in just a few words, and those few words just blew right by the great issues, the central issues, the $64,000 questions.

There are three areas that I want to address, from the less serious to the most serious. And in order to take Moore’s proposed project with the diligence it deserves, we absolutely have to work through these questions.

“Christians, keep your proper stations;
Don’t mess around with kings and nations.”

–That melancholy long withdrawing roar
you heard last night was Russell Moore.

In the Meanwhile, Keep This in the Front of Your Mind:

Chesterton, with his usual bracing good sense, spoke to his age and ours, and he put his finger on the precise problem—which we don’t like because our whole-hearted allegiance to imprecision is the precise problem.

“The one argument that used to be urged for our creedless vagueness was that at least it saved us from fanaticism. But it does not even do that” (What’s Wrong With the World?, p. 24).

And so it is that we have come down to our own time—an age suffering the desolations of rampaging fog. We still kill each other, just like the ancient times, but nobody is sure exactly why anymore. This is because, as Chesterton notes, our choice must be made between dogma and prejudice. We have rejected dogma, and so therefore our culture is seething in a cauldron of vague bigotries.

Allies and Cobelligerents

The reason for saying this will become more apparent shortly, but Moore has not really worked out the allies and cobelligerents thing. In the Second World War, we were fighting Nazi Germany and so was the United Kingdom, and we were doing so for very similar reasons. We were allies. At the same time, the Soviet Union was fighting Nazi Germany for completely different reasons. They were cobelligerents with us—they happened to be fighting the same people we were fighting. But that did not make them allies.

Moore wants us to “build collaborative majorities,” but on what principles? He is insistent that we must be theologically informed in what we do, and so must that other group over there that works with us, but what is the required shared theological commitment? There has to be one. What is it?

And when you piece together how elastic Moore’s coalition could be, you run into odd inelasticities. Why is he willing to work together with the LDS, for example, despite difference over “Christology,” but he puts “health and wealth” preachers utterly outside the pale? Now I grant that some of the “name it, claim it” guys are as doctrinally heretical as the Mormons, but some of them are orthodox. By what principle would we build a collaborative majority with the LDS, but exclude someone who believes that the Deuteronomic promises are still relevant today? I get excluding the hustlers and con artists, but I don’t get including polytheists and excluding Trinitarians.

So the question is this. By what standard? How do we determine what groups are out, and what groups are in? How do we build our coalitions in the generation to come? How do we define ally, and how do we define cobelligerent? Because I can guarantee you this—if we proceed with the imprecise language that Moore has thus far outlined, we are going to find ourselves in exactly the same embarrassed position that the establishment religious right is currently in. Some of the groups that are currently jockeying for position, willing to line up with our next generation of “gospel-centered” activists, have the potential to be every bit as tawdry as Trump.

The “Character Matters” Argument Is Not a One Way Street

One of the body blows that Moore delivered was this. He charged that when the previous generation of religious right leaders called for Bill Clinton and Rudy Giuliani to step aside because of their marital infidelities, and then turned around and waved away behavior on the part of Trump that was every bit as bad, this was a radical inconsistency. Moore said, and he was right to say, that they were right the first time. A man who will betray his wife has shown himself willing to betray, and this affects his qualification for any kind of leadership.

But in that same talk, Moore put forth Martin Luther King Jr. as a model of Christian and biblical engagement. Where did this standard go? If we say that King’s work was so valuable that we can accept it with gratitude, despite his adulteries, then why is Moore challenging those men now who say that keeping the Supreme Court away from Hillary is worth a bit of dealing with Trump, despite his adulteries? If Paris is worth a Mass, then surely Washington is worth a Hot Mess.

The question boils down to the same one. By what standard? When do we judge a man unfit for civic office or civic activism? What standard should we use? And when we come by our standard, and have grounded it in the Word, will it be applied selectively or not? Moore charged the establishment religious right with selective application, but then turned around and did the same thing himself, and he did it in the course of the same talk.

Martin Luther King Jr. was an adulterer, and so was King David. I am not pretending that these questions are simple or easy. But I am suggesting that they are already complicated enough that we should avoid every trace of double standardry, especially when the heart of your argument accuses the old guard religious right of double standards.

The Tectonic Plates

The third issue relates to the first two, underlying them, and is really the big issue. These are the tectonic plates. Moore addressed his questions wonderfully, but there are much bigger questions deep beneath his feet.

There is a true dilemma here, and the problem is that Moore is opting to handle it in exactly the same way that the establishment religious right chose to handle it, and it is that way of handling it that created many of the problems that Moore so cogently critiques. We have seen this movie before, didn’t like it, and so Moore has picked up the remote to start over. But “resume from the beginning” is not an editing tool. We need to be the religious right, not the rerun right.

Here are the choices. Given the existence of the church and the existence of a secularized society, the church can refuse to engage, the church can engage as the church, or the church can engage as just one more pressure group. If the first, they opt out in the name of God like good anabaptists. If the second, they declare the truth to society in the name of God, like the prophet Amos. If the last, they claim their right to engage as time-share part-owners of Demos, the people, and they want their part of the involvement to be “theologically informed,” and “gospel centered.” But at the end of the day, this is merely lobbying.

They are saying what they have to say because of their deep commitment to Jesus, but at the same time, they are good with the system inviting others to be involved because of the will of Allah, and so on. So here we are on our side of the table. Muslims are on their side. The Mormons are in their chairs with their suggestions. All of us came to the discussion “informed” by our faith commitments. But who is the god of the whole room?

This is simply the move that we have seen countless times and in countless ways. It is the retreat to commitment, where we hold to our deepest convictions, but acknowledge that these convictions are but one option among many possible.

There is an ultimate theological basis for any shared cooperation together. There has to be. Is that basis true or false? If false, then why do we have anything to do with it? If true, then why can we not confess that Jesus is the author of it? Remember that religious liberties enable religious communities to carry on their work, and that is a good thing. But religious liberties are themselves a religious value. Who says that religious liberties are a good thing? Does Allah say that? Does the secular Left say that? Who says that? Why do they say that?

Let us make this simple. Jesus teaches that you can have no more than one wife. Allah says you can have four. So how many we actually get in this novo ordo seclorum? This question is a real stumper if you insist on leaving the voice of the true God out of it, “an authoritative God over all men” whether they believe in Him or not. You cannot build a society that honors women through Christian monogamy while at the same time insisting that Christian preachers “must not impose” their views on people who disagree with them.

So Jesus is Lord. Or Allah is God. Or Demos should be able to serve once we get him back on his meds. Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.

Hovering in the background of everything Moore said was his willing accommodation of the idea that the rules for public discourse, behavior, and engagement will be laid down for us by someone who did not rise from the dead on the third day. We all get our secularized copy of Robert’s Rules. Can we look at the spine? Who published this thing? Who owns the copyright? And, fundamentally, why do we have to submit to it?

So we are all of us in this jumbled up society, and we know that we need to get along. But what constitutes getting along? Who is the chair of the rules committee? Who made him the chair? Where are the by-laws?

All of this actually reduces to a playground argument. Why? And who says?

In short, all societies are necessarily theocratic, and so the only question to resolve is the identity of the god of the system. But because Moore explicitly rejected “theonomy” in his talk, and because his entire approach assumed ongoing engagement with the culture on the part of Christians, this necessarily means that he believes (without actually saying) that we must all submit to a set of standards that arises somewhere else.

Either Moore must develop a biblically-based vision for the entire society, showing how all of us must obey the God of Scripture, or he must somehow encourage Christians to obey a singularly undefined god from somewhere else. And this is what I meant at the beginning when I referred to imprecision.

These are the questions that have caused me to argue for mere Christendom. Secularism is incoherent. Secularism cannot work. Secularism is bankrupt. If that is the case, as I believe it is, should Christians urge a Christian foundation for social order? Let me think about it, yes.

Conclusion:

Near the end of his talk, Moore said—as all real reformers with an ounce of humility must acknowledge—that “we will make mistakes.” Yes, that is quite true, and understandable. We know we will make mistakes.

But we must not make the very same ones.

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David
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David

At the heart of the fight is between monotheism and polytheism, but polytheism is also a type of monotheism itself.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Can’t wait to hear this one. How is polytheism a type of monotheism?

adad0
Member

The individual decides who the gods are?

Don’t you? ????

Jane
Member

That’s not what the word monotheism means, though, of course.

adad0
Member

“Monotheism”:
“The doctrine or belief that there is only one God.”

“Themselves” for some individuals! ????

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Um, no.

Assuming the term “god” is sufficiently well defined that we know what we’re talking about, how many of them there are is an objective question that only has one right answer. So it’s not that somebody “decides” how many there are; it’s more that somebody looks at the evidence (or complete and utter lack thereof) and “determines” how many there are.

adad0
Member

Decide Synonyms:
“make a choice from a number of alternatives.
“she had decided on her plan of action”
synonyms: resolve, determine, make up one’s mind, make a decision;

“somebody” sure sounds like an individual!

Do I have a god-like mastery of vocabulary or what?! ; – )

‘Hope we are all polyhumorists and not monohumorists!

fp
Guest
fp

Krychek, I find your line of argument highly amusing, given that you’re the one who clings to the belief that Bruce Jenner is a woman and that Hillary is the most qualified candidate ever to run for President, despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Therefore, your irrational beliefs call into question your ability to evaluate evidence and render a fitting judgment in this case, or any case for that matter.

I suggest you recuse yourself.

Katecho
Member

Indeed. Krychek_2 has the same problem on the subject of morality. How many morals are there? How did Krychek_2 determine them objectively? In Krychek_2’s materialism, morals are simply made up for the pleasure of societies and are a constantly moving target. If belief in one or more gods makes someone, or some society, happy and fulfilled, Krychek_2 has no basis within his worldview to say anything against it. Whatever is, is.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

You can’t win on the merits, so your only hope is to change the subject. Have you considered writing for the Trump campaign?

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Well, I wouldn’t have said that Hillary is the most qualified candidate to run for president ever because I don’t think that’s true. I think she’s the best candidate of the lot that’s running this year, though admittedly that’s a pretty low bar.

Look, you don’t agree with how I analyze the evidence, fine, but given the three logical fallacies in your relatively brief comment, that’s pretty amusing.

fp
Guest
fp

Krychek, you once said: Oh, she’s not running on her husband’s resume; after eight years in the Senate, four as Secretary of State, and multiple projects Bill put her in charge of when he was president, plus as former legal counsel to a Senate committee, she’s arguably the best qualified presidential candidate we’ve seen in years. Then there’s this: “I think she’s the best candidate of the lot that’s running this year, though admittedly that’s a pretty low bar.” So, your ringing endorsement of Hillary turned into damning her with faint praise. Not a total repudiation, but it’s a good… Read more »

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

“Most qualified candidate ever to run for president” (which I did not say) and “the best qualified we’ve seen in years” are not exactly the same thing, and neither of those statements is incompatible with being the best of the lot this year, although admittedly that’s a low bar. Your reading is somewhat sloppy; words do have precise meanings. If you look far enough, you’ll find I also said in a previous thread that as a Democrat I hate that she’s my party’s nominee, which is also not incompatible with any of those other statements. On paper, she has a… Read more »

fp
Guest
fp

Krychek, you’ve demonstrated that you’re not above sloppy reading, as evidenced by your exchange with 40 Acres in which you demanded “empirical data” that homosexuals are “promiscuous narcissists” when 40 Acres never made that claim. His claim was merely that homosexuals are narcissists; you inserted the “promiscuous” part all by yourself. Way to go, Sloppy Joe. So, the takeaway is that it’s okay for you to read sloppily, but not for anyone else. Perhaps you should work on your own reading comprehension before attacking others for theirs. The way you described Hillary’s “qualifications” were nothing short of gushing; my “sloppy”… Read more »

Krychek_2
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Krychek_2

I don’t recall that specific exchange with Badonicus, but even if I were to take your word for it that I sloppily read what he said, you’ve now introduced the logical fallacy of tu quoque — you do it too. What, are you trying deliberately to see if you can use every logical fallacy in existence? And should I be flattered that you’re committing to memory my entire comment history so you can talk about stuff that happened weeks or months ago? Hillary Clinton is a politician so a certain amount of dissembling is par for the course, but she’s… Read more »

fp
Guest
fp

Ah, yes: The old, “I don’t recall” excuse. Just because it seemingly works for Hillary, doesn’t mean it will work for you. You may be a liar, but you’ve still got a long way to go before you’re at Hillary’s level. Apparently you also don’t recall that everything you say here is in writing; it’s not like it was difficult to find examples of your sloppy reading comprehension. And of course, while you were all hung up on tu quoques and observing Robert’s Rules of Order for debate, you completely missed what I said, which was this: “My ‘sloppy’ reading… Read more »

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

OK, I went back and read it. I still don’t think I misrepresented him, but the point is that even if I did, saying “you do it too” is a logical fallacy, because even if I do, that doesn’t excuse you. You’re basically making the same argument as the six year old who did something to get in trouble, who is now trying to shift attention to what his brother did. His brother may indeed have done that, but it doesn’t get him off the hook for what he himself did. And in all the years I’ve been posting here,… Read more »

fp
Guest
fp

Sure, Krychek. Again, read the following: “My ‘sloppy’ reading of your ringing endorsement was merely a difference in degree, not in kind. That, kind sir, was why your argument was flawed.” Does that sound like a tu quoque to you? You also said: Sloppy screw ups (which everyone agrees she made) are not specific intent. Everyone agrees? All it takes is one couterexample to disprove that sloppy claim: Clinton knowingly set up her email system to route 100 percent of her emails to and through her unsecured server (including keeping copies stored on the server). She knowingly removed such documents… Read more »

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

She’s far better qualified than Mr. Trump, who thinks supreme court justices sign bills and that he can close off part of the internet to combat terrorism. And this time, I should have written more clearly than I did. “Sloppy screw ups (which everyone agrees she made)” was intended to convey the minimum, not the maximum. In other words, everyone agrees it was AT LEAST a sloppy screw up; of course there are also people who think it was more than that. But nobody is saying that, in retrospect, it was a good idea. And I would say to you… Read more »

fp
Guest
fp

Krychek, this has got to be one of the dumbest posts you’ve put out in a while. OMG, Trump is, like, SO BAD, because he, like, doesn’t know that China isn’t part of TPP!!!! Do you even realize how you sound right now? And Obama claimed that people in Austria spoke Austrian and that there were 57 states in the U.S. That would be the country of which he’s president. And those were only a couple of his gaffes. So what’s your point? That Trump’s the only incompetent ever to run for President? Now before you go all tu quoque… Read more »

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Repeat after me, slowly: The FBI has already determined that what Hillary Clinton did with her emails wasn’t criminal. You are entitled to your opinion that it was, but professional, career prosecutors have taken a good look at it and determined that she didn’t commit a crime. And given recent shenanigans, don’t think Comey wouldn’t have indicted her if there had been a case. And the problem isn’t that Trump occasionally mis-speaks. Everyone occasionally mis-speaks; you do it and I do it and Trump does it and Obama does it. That’s not the point. The point is that consistently, every… Read more »

JP Stewart
Member

“OMG, Trump is, like, SO BAD, because he, like, doesn’t know that China isn’t part of TPP!!!! And Obama claimed that people in Austria spoke Austrian and that there were 57 states in the U.S.”

The difference is the amount of media coverage. The same was true of Dan Quayle and Al “Internet Inventor” Gore in the 90s.

Jill Smith
Member

I wouldn’t care if Trump had simply not known that China was not part of TPP. What I didn’t like was his claim that the TPP agreements were specifically engineered to benefit China. A claim that suggests malfeasance and then turns out to be spectacularly wrong seems different to me than a simple error of fact. I didn’t know about Obama’s gaffe, but if he had said “In Austria they speak Austrian, and this is a direct result of the incompetence of George Bush,” it would be the same thing.

JP Stewart
Member

It would be nice if the GOP would spend as much effort making life better for Americans as they do on all these investigations that mostly don’t go anywhere.”

All of this “Republicans…unprecedented investigation…” bunk is quickly dismissed. Billary/Gore had their own law enforcement revelation 4 days before an election:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmKkGhuYutk

This was back in 1992, not all that long after Gore invented the internet.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Did that revelation come from the FBI? The problem in this case is the director of the FBI apparently trying to swing an election. If that’s what also happened in 1992, then I don’t approve of that either, but the youtube video doesn’t say.

And I don’t recall the Democrats ever spending a quarter century investigating a single person the way the GOP has Hillary Clinton. If you do, please refresh my memory.

David
Guest
David

ah…

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

If that’s the beginning of a sneeze, bless you. If that’s what you think passes for an argument, better luck next time.

drewnchick
Member

That’s because 2 is also a type of 1, plural is also a type of singular, and crowd is also a type of hermit.

David
Guest
David

I guess my comment was unclear and I was rightly ridiculed. Let me try again. Suppose there is this question: what’s the result of 1 + 0? Mono says the answer is 1. Poly insists the answer is (I’ll will singular form instead of plural) 1 and 2. Note though Poly tolerates multiple answers to the question but Poly is really insisting she is right. It is in this sense Poly is no different from Mono in saying she is the only answer that is right.

adad0
Member

Aka, the individual, “poly”, is the “god” who rules over what she insists is right!
????

David
Guest
David

It is in this sense Poly doesn’t really exist and Poly is really Mono.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

But the problem in this case is that the question is not well defined. By “result” do you mean simple addition ( 1 + 0 = 1) or do you mean the total number of digits, in which case the answer is 2. I think most people would assume you mean arithmetic, but regardless of what you’re asking, once the question is well-defined, there is only one right answer. And anyone who thinks there is a different answer is mistaken. Likewise, once the term “god” is well defined, there is only one correct answer, and monotheism and polytheism have little… Read more »

adad0
Member

Thus saith the Krychek. ; – )

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

No, thus saith the laws of logic and language.

doug sayers
Guest
doug sayers

“Let us make this simple.”

Not a chance, and I’m a college dropout who really likes to keep it simple!

Like many others, I can wish you were on to something but your hope of a theonomy without the Theos being engaged in a much more hands on way, is simply not a rational hope. We wouldn’t be any more successful under deuteronomic law than the Jews were.

Now, maybe, if we could find our way to some kind of evangelical anabaptist approach….

Aw, nevermind, best to just keep pressin’ on.

Billtownphysics
Guest
Billtownphysics

Keep pressin on? Sounds like giving up. Why do you think that we as Spirit-filled Christians could do no better than the Jewish nation could in living under God’s law? Don’t we have the better covenant, and the law written on our hearts? If we don’t live by God’s standard, then whose standard do you propose we follow?

doug sayers
Guest
doug sayers

BP, be careful of reading too much into my words. “Pressing on” is hardly the same as “giving up.” In fact, one of the ways we might press on would be to live under and advocate for God’s standards; but, if the last 2K years are any indication, it would appear that spirit filled (and highly educated) Christians have had precious little success in realizing any measurable earthly / political authority anywhere / anytime. We are to be salt and light. There is more in the NT about submitting to the “magistrate” then there is on how to be the… Read more »

Katecho
Member

doug sayers wrote: It is a celestial city that I’m pressing on to. That one descended from heaven to earth. The New Jerusalem is a light to the nations. The nations stream to it. King’s of the earth bring their glory into it. Just because Christ’s Kingdom is not of the earth (in origin), does not mean that its realm does not include the earth. Remember that Christ was given all authority, not just in Heaven, but on earth, and we pray for His will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Some will say that God… Read more »

Matt
Guest
Matt

Your convictions are just one option among many. You need to convince people they are better. How are you going to do this?

If your ideas can’t succeed in the marketplace of ideas, then they just lose.

Katecho
Member

Mat wrote:

You need to convince people they are better. How are you going to do this? … If your ideas can’t succeed in the marketplace of ideas, then they just lose.

Shhh, don’t show Matt a graph of how the Christian faith has grown since Christ’s ascension. We want this victory to be a complete and unexpected miracle.

Matt
Guest
Matt

And here I thought Moore was talking about the religious right in 20-21st century USA.

Katecho
Member

Matt wrote:

And here I thought Moore was talking about the religious right in 20-21st century USA.

Perhaps Matt forgot that he was responding to Wilson, and Wilson was talking about the standard that will necessarily be applied in society, and how Christians are to communicate that standard. Hint: It’s not by being another lobbyist in the marketplace of ideas.

drewnchick
Member

Love the article! One little statement left me scratching my head, because I don’t recall having ever read anything of the sort:

“Jesus teaches that you can have no more than one wife.”

I’m aware that the Bible as a whole teaches this, so maybe this is shorthand for Jesus = The Word; The Word says “one wife”; therefore, Jesus says… But if there’s a place where the red ink in my NT says it, I am unaware.

adad0
Member

Matt 19:3-12. ????????

Jane
Member

Everything in the OT and the NT is Jesus’ teaching.

Jill Smith
Member

Jane, could you explain to this poor Catholic why that is?

bethyada
Member

Jesus is God. God authored the Bible. Everything in the Bible is authored by Jesus and thus his teaching.

Jill Smith
Member

I remember the fuss when Ralph Abernathy, King’s closest friend, was castigated all round for including the adulteries in his book. Bryant Gumbel demanded that he “publish the legend.” Similarly, when Oliver Stone wrote a movie script for a biopic on King, he was told the people who guard the legend would never permit any studio to use his script because it was truthful. Stone backed out of the project because he was unwilling to write hagiography. I have read defenses of King which state flat out that a black man cannot be expected to adhere to white Christian sexual… Read more »

Ian Miller
Member

When I was in high school, I signed up for a class at the University of St. Thomas where we were going to read Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. I wrote a letter about the text selection to the teacher, and they said the scenes of incest early in the book were part of an exploration of “black male sexuality.” I was very confused. I still don’t understand how they didn’t see the racism inherent in that statement.

Jill Smith
Member

Good grief!

Paul Hastings
Guest

Hi Doug, Sorry for leaving my comment here because I don’t want to hijack your article or anything (and feel free to remove my comment). I’ve been trying to figure out how to contact you, but unfortunately I can’t find a contact form on your website. (maybe I’ve overlooked it?) Below is my intended message to you: === Some friends and I released a video explaining why we as Christian Conservatives aren’t voting for Trump. It’s going viral and has over a quarter million views and over 6,000 Facebook shares. It’s been picked up by: – RedState (http://www.redstate.com/sweetie15/2016/10/25/watch-this-amazing-video-and-new-website-implores-christians-vote-conscience-2016-presidential/) – The… Read more »

ashv
Guest
ashv

LOL. This is the worst kind of political wishful thinking. Either that, or just an audition for being put in next cycle’s focus groups.

(“When the people of God vote like they belong to the Kingdom of God, evil always loses” — Seriously? Does your Bible have Ecclesiastes in it?)

Maybe Trump should build The Wall on the northern Texas border.

ashv
Guest
ashv

As you watch this video, remember that this has two audiences:

One is you, the voter, to persuade you to join his vote bloc.

The other is political candidates, to persuade them that Paul Hastings can deliver the support he needs from the vote bloc he’s persuaded.

You aren’t the customer to him. You are the product.

JP Stewart
Member

We’ve already address this faithtrumpsfear stuff on another thread. https://dougwils.com/s7-engaging-the-culture/least-important-election-lifetime.html Below were my thoughts. PaulM and AlexinWonderland chimed in with good comments. The #NeverTrumpCrybabies have hit a new low: http://faithtrumpsfear.com/ Among others, they list various socialists, democrats and “Green” party types to vote for instead of Donald. Mohler and other usual suspects are involved. I suspect Russell Moore approves, but didn’t see his name. Talk about the “Failure of the American Baptist Culture” (to borrow a great title of an early 80s reconstructionist book). Where were these guys when a Mormney was running? Or Dole, Bush or the foul-mouthed, ever-compromising… Read more »

brandon
Guest
brandon

I sure wish Moore would respond, if he hasn’t.

Dan Phillips
Guest
Dan Phillips

I think the rule is, without exception, that he doesn’t.

Larry Farlow
Guest

He won’t. He doesn’t do disagreement.

Dan Phillips
Guest
Dan Phillips

I believe his is also the TGC leader stance towards all disagreement, no matter who is disagreeing: “I’m sorry, I can’t see far enough down to where you are to answer.”

Bro. Steve
Guest
Bro. Steve

This is a late comment, so it’s likely nobody will see it. But here goes. The religious right isn’t waving off its commitment to character. Most of the bona fide religious right was right there with you, Doug, voting for Cruz or Carson. We all did that because of the character issue, the abortion issue, and marital fidelity issue, the corruption issue, and so on. But the bona fide religious right is a small faction of voters. There weren’t enough of us to get our candidate into the winner’s circle, not even in the GOP primaries. Now the election is… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Why must I choose between the two major party choices offered? Because I’m afraid? Because of pragmatic self-interest? We know that God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. This principle is more important than all of the pragmatics. It will do no good to have all of the things Trump has promised us, if, in the end, God is going to resist our nation anyway. All of those things are just horses and chariots. How is Trump not just as proud and arrogant and unrepentant as Hillary? How is Trump not just another vote for the status… Read more »

Steve H
Guest
Steve H

True. God did not deliver Isreal from Egypt by using the ‘vote’. Vote according to God’s word and let the chips fall where He wants them.

Bro. Steve
Guest
Bro. Steve

I don’t know if you’ll see this, but I thought your questions deserved an answer. Trump is approximately as proud and arrogant as Hillary. The difference between Trump and Hillary on the matter of character is that Hillary has a long history of crime while Trump has a long history of vice. As I said previously, I wanted Cruz or Carson on the character issue. We didn’t get that. Now you’ll get either Trump or Hillary (unless one of them dies or whatever). To pretend otherwise is just not being realistic. Trump is not a vote for the status quo… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Bro. Steve wrote: I do not believe Trump would continue this aspect of the status quo for the simple reason that the east coast establishment hates him so bad. My point was that our nation needs God’s blessing, and God has not told us that He blesses the nation with the right corporate or foreign policy, or the right financial system, or the right media objectivity. Those pragmatic things do not determine whether our nation will be blessed or resisted by God. What matters is our humility and repentance. On that aspect, Trump is complete status quo. His slogan is… Read more »

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

You’re assuming that a serial adulterer who has changed his position on virtually every major issue (sometimes in mid-speech), who has spent his life getting rich by ripping off workers, small business owners and students, can somehow be trusted to keep his political promises once he gets into office. I can’t stomach the idea of a Trump presidency, albeit for reasons different than yours. But if he does get elected, watching the shock and horror on the faces of his supporters as he proceeds to break every promise he made to get elected would be the silver lining. Anyone stupid… Read more »

adad0
Member

Hillary Clinton: “politicians need to have “both a public and a private” position”,

Wow, HRC has two opposite core principles, about policy positions. (double that of Trump!)
This allows her to be “for” anything, before she becomes “against” anything.

AKA, HRC has rotten core “principles”. : – (

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Well played.

I do agree that Trump hasn’t shown that he has any core principles except “be pro-Trump”. But Clinton’s own words and actions have caused serious difficulty for her supporters in this area.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

See my response to “A” dad.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

And if you’ve read the entire portion of the speech, rather than that one snippet taken out of context, you see that what she was saying is that different arguments FOR THE SAME POLICY appeal better to different groups. So, for example, if you’re trying to get an energy policy passed, you might make one argument to the Chamber of Commerce and a different argument to an environmental group. She was not saying, as you’re implying, that you support one policy in public and a contrary policy in private. It’s the same policy position, just with a different emphasis depending… Read more »

adad0
Member

‘Check, you’re off a bit on your position here. Hillary’s policy is self preservation. This is why, in an actual instance, HRC tells her daughter the Stevens attack was a terrorist attack, but then HRC tells the public the Stevens attack was a protest about a youTube video.
Honest people call her behavior and statements a lie.
Truth haters like you, call HRC’s lies “arguments”.

Jesus did nothing of the sort.
Finally, you lie again when you say I hate HRC. I don’t. I think prosecution for her crimes would be the best thing for her! ????????????

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

First, I did not say that you personally hate HRC. I made a general comment about Clinton haters, which you apparently took personally. The fact that you took it personally may be a sign of a guilty conscience, however, so you may want to take another look at that issue. It’s my understanding that there was some initial confusion as to the motivation for the attack, and conflicting statements may have been made as a result of that confusion. Be all that as it may, HRC is a politician, and as a politician a certain amount of dissembling is par… Read more »

adad0
Member

Check, I am saying you are a truth hater. Your obfuscations, tangents and red herrings continue to demonstrate your lack of honesty.
There was never any question that the Stevens attacks were just that, terrorist attacks. HRC and the administration concocted the lie that there was a protest.
You also lie about embassy security. That is a specific responsibility of the sec. of state. Period.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

So you think the Secretary of State personally makes logistical and operations decisions for every one of our hundreds of embassies and consulates around the world? Seriously? When would she have had the time to do anything else?

adad0
Member

Sorry “Lie-retch squared” nice try “moving the goal posts”. We are talking security, not logistics and operations. The Sec. of State is personally responsible for mission security. Stick to the facts, copied below, not your comically biased opinion. If you are not a paid seminar blog commenter for clinton, I think you missed your calling. (Item (ii) is especially comic!) ; – ) 22 U.S. Code § 4802 – Responsibility of Secretary of State (1) The Secretary of State shall develop and implement (in consultation with the heads of other Federal agencies having personnel or missions abroad where appropriate and… Read more »

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

It says that she will develop and implement plans, not that she will be responsible for the day to day execution of them. That’s what staff is for; she’s responsible for big picture. You’ve obviously never been part of a large organization.

Think of it this way: The president is the commander in chief of the armed forces and ultimately responsible for them. Does this mean that any time a field commander makes a bone headed decision, the president is personally responsible for it? Nope.

adad0
Member

“22 U.S. Code § 4802 – Responsibility of Secretary of State” Sorry Lie-check, you are still lying. re·spon·si·bil·i·ty noun 1. the state or fact of having a duty to deal with something or of having control over someone. synonyms: authority, control, power, leadership 2. the state or fact of being accountable or to blame for something. Think about a mature, responsible, adult leader like Ronald Reagan. When the Marine barracks in Lebanon was blown up by terrorists, Reagan took responsibility for that tragedy, something your girl Hillary will never do. Finally, you would do well to stop your speculations, you… Read more »

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

How exactly did Reagan take responsibility? Did he resign? Did he take responsibility like he did for Iran-Contra? Or did he just recite the magical phrase “I take responsibility” as if that makes it all better? And if Hillary said “I take responsibility for Benghazi” would that make you feel better? Neither the president nor the secretary of state is omniscient or omni-present. They simply can’t oversee the day to day details of everything that happens in government. Benghazi was not a policy failure; it was a day-to-day execution failure, and that’s what you have staff for. Again, you’ve obviously… Read more »

adad0
Member

Lie-check, you can squirt your opinion all over “22 U.S. Code § 4802 – Responsibility of Secretary of State”, as you do, but your opinion will still be wrong, as are your continuing speculations on my involvement with organizations. The fact of known US code and statute is not obvious to you, never mind my “unknown to you” involvement in anything.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Dude, I gave you the benefit of the doubt by assuming you’ve never been part of a large organization and don’t know how they work. Because if you have been part of a large organization and do know how they work, then you are deliberately slandering Mrs. Clinton, because you know full well that she wouldn’t have been expected to deal with day to day security issues. See, unlike you, who calls people liars because they analyze the evidence different than you do, I prefer giving people the benefit of the doubt. You might try it sometime; there is biblical… Read more »

adad0
Member

Lie-check, you don’t speak with moral authority, no matter how many red herrings and fake “facts” you pitch.

I do not “slander” h Clinton when I reiterate her statute responsibilities as Sec of State.
HRC has no ability to take on “the buck stops here.”

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

You haven’t shown that she violated anything in the statute. What exactly did she do, or fail to do, that that statute requires?

adad0
Member

The Sec of state is responsible for:
“( ii ) development and implementation of communications, computer and information security.”

Sputter on lie-check.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Both of which she did — she’s the policy maker. You’re trying to add a requirement that she’s also personally responsible for day to day execution, but that’s not there.

adad0
Member

Her home brew server was not secured, which is why Carlos danger has her emails.

Nice sputter. ????

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

First, as of now there has been no claim that anybody actually has *her* emails. The FBI has told us nothing more than that it found more emails that it needs to review. For as much as we know from the FBI announcement, it could be all spam. (I doubt that it is all spam, but for all we know from the FBI announcement it could be.) Second, there has been no claim that anybody who is unauthorized actually saw any classified information. The news reports have been that the emails on her private server were all unclassified, except for… Read more »

adad0
Member

Sorry krycheck-2, I guess nobody warned you that when you play dumb as much as you do, you start to become what you play.

Ruh roh.????

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Toots, the thing is, my world view requires evidence. Not innuendo. Not insinuation. Not supposition. Evidence. (Oh, and re-writing a statute to make it say more than it actually does, won’t cut it either.)

If and when you come up with some, let me know.

adad0
Member

Chek, did you wash your socks yet? Here is some more fact re: the Secretary of State’s “FULL RESPONSIBILITY”. Do keep denying the facts,… it cements your profile! ; – ) The S of S is required to keep up keep up on these, , no matter how much you deny it. Again, you are running at zero on honesty. I do wonder how you do it. Must be the socks? (c) Oversight of posts abroadThe SECRETARY OF STATE shall— (1) HAVE FULL RESPONSIBILITY for the coordination of all United States Government personnel assigned to diplomatic or consular posts or… Read more »

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

And what evidence do you have that she didn’t do those things? Again, the problem is that you’re trying to take a requirement that she do things at a high level and make her responsible for every low-level day-to-day executive decision. It’s as if you expect the President to personally oversee every field commander because he’s the commander in chief. You just don’t get how large organizations work.

adad0
Member

“And what evidence do you have that she didn’t do those things?”

‘chek, you are in no position to be asking the questions, as you keep playing dumb.

You figure out the smoking ruin in Libya, the dead bodies, the unheeded security requests, the ensuing cover-up and the administration lies to the media .
If you can’t figure it out, well, I guess that’s what makes you a Krychek.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Those things indicate that the people responsible for day to day operational and security decisions at that embassy didn’t do their jobs, and probably should have been fired. But again, the Secretary does not look at every embassy every day and say, “Gee, I think we need to beef up security at that embassy.” She can’t. She wouldn’t have the time. I asked you once if you thought Bush was responsible for 9/11, since it happened on his watch. You said no, because you recognize that the person up at the top can’t watch everything all the time, even though,… Read more »

adad0
Member

(c) Oversight of posts abroadThe SECRETARY OF STATE shall—
(1) HAVE FULL RESPONSIBILITY for the coordination of all United States Government personnel assigned to diplomatic or consular posts or other United States missions abroad pursuant to United States Government authorization (except for facilities, installations, or personnel under the command of a United States area military commander) [2]

Keep lying krycheck. The buck doesn’t stop with you or HRC.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Right, just like the Constitution requires that the President shall ensure that the laws of the United States be faithfully executed. Does this mean that the president is personally responsible every time someone somewhere doesn’t obey federal law?’ What you’re advocating is the idiot position. No one who has actually thought it through for more than about sixty seconds seriously believes that one person could do what you think the Secretary of State is required to do. And frankly, I think your hostility to Mrs. Clinton has blinded you to the fact that what you’re advocating is stupid. As you… Read more »

Christopher
Member

So what does full responsability mean if not personal responsability? Does the president have full responsability for ensureing the laws are faithfully executed?

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

It means that she is responsible for implementing policies and procedures, and hiring people, to see that it happens. She’s a policy maker, not a day-to-day operations person.

adad0
Member

chek,
You don’t understand responsibility.
You don’t understand leadership.

You have denial issues.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

And which of her other duties would you have had her abandon so she has time to personally supervise embassy security around the world?

adad0
Member

Check, you are ignorantly conflating “full responsibility” with sole responsibility. HRC had full responsibility for making sure state facilities and her data were secure. She personally failed at both. As for schedule she should have done her job instead of having pay for play meetings with Clinton foundation doners.
Have you washed your socks yet? ????

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

And you’re conflating being a policy maker with day to day operational responsibility, which is why I keep repeating you obviously have no clue how responsibilities are delegated within large organizations. On a day to day basis, I doubt the Secretary is even aware of security staffing levels at any given embassy. And there’s no evidence there was any pay to play; more innuendo. As Secretary of State, it would be expected she would meet with most of the people on that particular donor list whether they were donors or not. Oh, and by the way, the Clinton Foundation at… Read more »

adad0
Member

Actually, HRC has no idea how to delegate responsibility within her own organization. That is why she delegated her data management to an unauthorized, non secure server, located in her residential basement, “managed” by Clinton foundation hacks, and then Platte river networks. None of whom had security clearances Required to allow them to access to the data.
You and HRC are “co-clueless”.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Except that none of those emails was classified (except for a few that were re-classified after the fact). This looks far, far worse than it actually is. That said, I suspect she probably did get bad advice; that even though what she did was technically legal, it looks bad and has given the Republicans an opening they shouldn’t have gotten, and the savvy thing to do would have been to not have that server installed. But even acknowledging that, she at least listens to good advice most of the time, unlike Trump who knows more about ISIS than the generals… Read more »

adad0
Member

Check, your ability and appetite for denial continues to fascinate!????
I sort of have to suspend disbelief!????
On the plus side, at least this is one area where you are “monumental”.????
Good luck with the socks.

Jill Smith
Member

I have read that both Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice used unsecured servers for their emails. Do you think this is true, and if so, was it less reprehensible in their cases?

adad0
Member

Jilly, RFB explained this pretty well to both of us a few months ago. The kind of secret information HRC let slip, is not allowed to be taken out of it’s secure physical or electronic environment. In the case of her top secret emails, they were copied off the secured environment, pasted into her unsecured server environment, and transmitted, all of which is criminal, despite krycheck’s insistance otherwise. No one is saying Rice or Powell had any secret information on their personal email accounts. It’s more like Hillary had no email on her official State Dept. account, which made the… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member

That makes sense. Thanks!

adad0
Member

Jilly, always a simple pleasure to speak with you.
I always look forward to your expressions of humor! ; – )

John
Member

While that is technically true, Powell had a separate Aol private account and Rice was not big on using email in general. From ABC news “I have reviewed the messages and I do not see what makes them classified.” Powell said. “The emails were from my Executive Assistant and forwarded messages sent by two of our Ambassadors to State Department staff members. My Executive Assistant thought I should see them in a timely manner so sent them to my personal account. Both messages were unclassified. There was no reason not to forward them in this manner. … The Ambassadors did… Read more »

John F. Kennedy
Guest
John F. Kennedy

Really? Equating the president’s responsibility for the administration of tens of thousands of pages of federal laws, with the Secretary of State’s responsibility for the security of 294 embassies and consulates? Are you really doing that? And you are the one calling someone else an idiot? Maybe it’s your servile relationship to left wing propaganda that is the problem here.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

The point is that no one person can do it. Embassy security is a full time job for not just one, but several people. If she were to do what you and “A” dad were suggesting, she’d have no time to do anything else.

Jill Smith
Member
Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Jilly, even if Hillary Clinton were every bit as corrupt as her detractors make out, she at least knows what she’s doing and understands basic governance, and knows when to get advice on issues she’s not familiar with.

Suppose I need major surgery and my choices are a doctor with lots of financial shenanigans in his past but who did actually go to medical school, versus a janitor who is as honest as the day is long but doesn’t know a kidney from a kidney bean. Whom should I pick? This is a no-brainer.

Jill Smith
Member

We are in trouble when a candidate’s ignorance of such basic information is taken as a plus. I am sure it would be spun as a virtue that Trump has more in common with low information voters than with snotty Ivy Leaguers who know (along with eleventh grade civics students) that the supreme court does not sign bills. Just a technicality!

Pietist Peter
Guest

ACK! I don’t know what I just read, but I fear for you. And I fear you. I’m bolting back to my prayer closet as fast as I can.

“Christian foundation for social order”?!?! Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world!!!!

jonmnoel
Member

And when you have Danny Tanner for an avatar, nobody fears you, or listens to you.