Yet Another Sack of Mail

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On the Passing of RHE

They tell us that you’re nothing but bluster and bigotry, but this is as biblical, sensitive and nuanced as anything published on the corporate websites . . .

Ed

Ed, thank you. It was a difficult thing to address.


“My prayer is that RHE, perhaps somewhere in the course of the medically-induced coma she was in, will have been found by Christ, and as a result will be found in Christ at the last day, and that the ground of her acceptance will be the absolute perfections of the Lord Jesus, plus nothing else.” I agree with this, but disagree that RHE needed to be in a coma in order to be rescued by the grace of Jesus. The fact is that RHE, in spite of her severe theological problems pointed to Jesus as savior. She loved the outcasts and pointed to Christ as the answer to their very real problems inherited from Adam. Thankfully there will be no theological litmus test upon meeting of our Savior. If it were Christ + perfect theology none of us will be in heaven. May God have mercy on us all in the last day, and may he rescue us pathetic sinners from our own deserved doom.

David

David, it is true that we are not saved by our works, including our doctrinal works. And I mentioned a work of God in the coma as an instance of how God could have done something, not intending to limit Him to that. At the same time, there is a point where false teachers become false brothers, and we don’t want to issue an automatic pass to anyone who uses the name of Christ. I don’t think we have any business speculating on what was the case, and should just limit ourselves to what we hope was the case.


She just died two days ago but please go with your righteous puking. The rest of us are raising money for her family. Have you bothered to donate to her Go Fund account yet? Perhaps you are too busy demonstrating your black heart.

Anne

Anne, if it were the black heart effect I was after, I could have done a lot better than that.


Is it nice to have everything figured out?

Susan

Susan, I am afraid we are all the victims of an optical illusion here. This is created by the fact that I try to limit the topics I write about to those things that I do have figured out. But behind the scenes, mostly unpublished, is a vast ocean of ignorance, the size of which is scarcely to be believed.


Well said. This sudden end to life has forced me to think about what I want to be found doing, and saying at that moment; more importantly, what I want to not be found saying and doing. By good health and safety we can be lulled into a false sense of security where trivia and silliness can prevail. When I think of my Social Media comments, I must now ask, “Are these the last words I wish to leave to the world?”

Scott

Scott, yes, and thank you.


Beautiful and gracious post about the death of Rachel Held Evans! I have always been surprised that you use the RIP on things that you have written about the recently deceased—it seems like a type of a prayer for the dead. Having recently lost my brother in a tragedy, I have found comfort in asking God to have mercy on his soul, which causes my very-Reformed mother to bristle. Any thoughts?

Amanda

Amanda, the Reformers rejected prayers for the dead because they were opposing (rightly) the practice of using prayers to whittle down time served in Purgatory. But offering up a prayer that someone, now deceased, will be found in Christ is a very different thing.


Back to Presidential Politics

In an interview, Saturday with MSNBC’s Donny Deutsch, Democratic presidential candidate and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg discussed his philosophy of campaigning and previewed some of the lines of attack he might take against President Trump. “The fact that I was packing my bags for Afghanistan when he was filming season seven of ‘Celebrity Apprentice,’ we could have that fight,” he said. “And if somebody wants to raise the question of which one of us has a more traditional attitude on marriage, we can have that fight.”

So, here we go. Mr 3rd husband and two Corinthians vs a sodomite, faith professing, Midwestern Joe 2 pack Mayor. Is there #Winning in this? This is what judgement on a nation looks like. Enough of the pity party. How can we as believers rally our friends to not vote for the lesser of two Judgments? How do we build a true community and culture that will bear healthy fruit in our zip code? How do we take back masculinity and uphold complementary gender roles? I assume it begins with education regarding the disease, introduction of a cure. Finding a true salvation in the Savior. What does history teach us about the other side of this dark tunnel? Revolution is upon us, but how does renewal stunt and beat back the sexual revolution? #SpleenVenting

Ron

Ron, well, the first thing we have to do is leave room for spleen venting.


Ah, Yes, the Jews

Thank you for saying more about how Christians should engage with Judaism. I agree with Paul’s strategy and your disagreement with Zionism. Do you think “lame sauce” conservatives often breed resentment against Jews? For instance, if I say, “Islam is not a religion of peace” this will receive applause and a medal for bravery from conservatives. But, if I say, “Judaism is a religion of subversion” the same conservatives will start sounding a lot like cultural Marxists. Why aren’t more conservatives out-raged about things like this? Link I can sympathize with people who feel that establishment conservatives have long played warhawk for Israel and the relationship has been parasitic. From a layman’s perspective, the result has been war every five years with little benefit. I also understand the frustration from people who wonder why there funding for Israel’s wall, but not ours. I don’t think noticing this inconsistency necessarily comes out of sinful envy.

Joshua

Joshua, I agree that disagreement with various policies re: Israel need not be anti-Semitic. But it frequently is, and so it is necessary to be careful. With Islam, the radicals really are applying the teaching of the Koran. The Jews are a high achieving people, more likely than the average to wind up winning a Nobel Prize in chemistry, or becoming the first violin for a major symphony orchestra. When people from this group become atheists, the results can be really destructive. But I would fault the atheism, not the ethnicity.


Classic Kuyperian Rock

This is a set of follow-up questions to a question which I asked you after your talk “The Two Kingdoms That Weren’t” at the Ezra Institute last Saturday. It was a pleasure to attend and to meet you. In the Grace Agenda Dad’s Band concert kick-off promo video you quoted Abraham Kuyper that “there is not one square inch in all Creation over which the Lord Jesus has not declared ‘mine!’ and if we are interested in recovering a full-orbed Kuyperian Christianity, then how could that not include covers of classic rock?” I got a chance to ask you why you quoted Kuyper in the video (forgetting that you’d explained further in the video), but I wasn’t able to ask you more about it because the doors were closing and we had to leave. My questions arise from the fact that just because Jesus is Lord of something does not imply that his people may participate in that thing. Some of the things of which Jesus is Lord are being kept for destruction. He is Lord of all things in heaven and on earth, but some things will perish in the eternal fire. Also, the principle in Philippians 4:8 must be followed when we decide what we think about and do. I do like Classic Rock, but have a hard time justifying listening to most of the music in the genre, both because of the lyrics of some songs, and because of the context of open rebellion against God in which many are/were written and performed. How do you know that it is good and pleasing to God to play classic rock covers? You didn’t say “all covers,” so besides personal taste, how do you decide which ones you will play and which ones you will not play? Perhaps we can rate music on a depravity scale. We can place various renditions of the Psalms at the top, music by John Rutter of which your saintly great-aunt Milly was very fond near the top end, and closer to the bottom end we can place music like “Running with the Devil” by van Halen. (And then we could do statistical analysis to determine the depravity coefficient of a culture!) But seriously though, how do we decide where to strike the line between what we may and may not listen to or play? I’m interested in what you have to say. Maybe this subject would make a good blog post sometime. Thanks,

Sean

Sean, good question. The answer is that we obviously cherry pick what songs we are willing to do. But then the question would be “by what standard?” Any songs that glorify sin and rebellion would be out, or which demonstrate in some other way a basic allegiance to the other team. And sometimes, we change the song—as when we did Spirit in the Sky, and changed never been a sinner to always been a sinner.


TGC and Leftward Ho!

Since the initial reading of your rebut of Joe Carter, I’ve wondered how I may pray on Joe’s behalf (and the leadership of TGC) for his receptiveness to correction. Today, after reading this article I was even more concerned about how best to approach the Lord on his behalf. For my sense is that it is even more needful due to the growing pile of evidence, as you’ve accumulated here. In the face of increased verification of the leftward slouch, only two responses seem available: Humility or Entrenchment. Thankfully, just now, clarity came to me. I will pray Ecclesiastes 7:5. May Joe (and for that matter, all of us who claim the name of Christ) and the leadership of TGC embrace the truth that “It is better for a man to hear the rebuke of the wise than to hear the song of fools.” The song of fools is much easier to tap one’s foot to in its upbeat, catchy melody. While the song of the wise is heavy laden with the weight of considered words, somber tones, and numerous verses, each stating and restating their dependence on the only rule for all of life lived under the sun—God’s word. With gratitude for your constant, unwavering commitment to live and preach all of life under our Savior’s redemptive authority,

Dan

Dan, thank you.


Thanks for your interaction with Pastor Joe Carter’s post. I read his article on the Gospel Coalition website, and it seems that he is challenging a mentality within conservative Reformed & Presbyterian churches that concerns me as well. I prefer the term ethnocentrism to racism, but there does seem to be a deep sense among some of our brothers that the preservation of the West means pushing away foreigners. It doesn’t seem to me that Joe Carter is defending “cultural Marxism” but is simply challenging those who use the terminology as a club against any dissenters to buttress their own pride and sense of superiority. Christian leaders should join with him in challenging the fear of other ethnicities and encouraging the spread of the gospel among all ethnicities and not just holding it within our own clan. Whether or not the Gospel Coalition is going left, I would argue that his article is not proof of that fact. Instead is a challenge to our churches to be a salt and a light for biblical justice in the middle of all the tensions. Thanks!

Nathan

Nathan, it seems to me that if it were a problem with ethnocentrism, the “conservatives” would have as much of a problem with legal immigration as with illegal. But that does not seem to me to be the case, at least not in the circles I am familiar with.


It seems that Joe Carter has been looking for an excuse to write an article on kinism (which, apparently, nobody has ever heard of) and lacking any good reason, has decided use this sinful tragedy to get his headline. “What distinguishes Earnest from the other white nationalist murderers is that he seems to have been influenced by the racialist heresy known as kinism.” Earnest never references ‘kinism’ in his manifesto and Carter is obliged to try to define it, calling it heresy that many Christians are unwittingly guilty of. What is his point? Since he represents The “Gospel” Coalition, what exactly, is the “Good News” he brings?

Melody

Melody, thank you.


“Now this is a debate I am willing to have, but I think it would be more fitting to have such a debate after the shooter has been given a fair trial, is sentenced for the murder, and is hanged by the neck until dead. When we assign blame for such things, we ought to start with the culprit.” Two things come to mind immediately: 1. This is a motto TGC ought to memorize and implement immediately, starting with its own membership. (In most cases, the hanging being figurative and not literal.)(In most cases.) Think of the trouble it would have avoided or cut off if they had been doing this since the start. 2. In a Gospel-centered worldview, we have to live in that tension between being guilty by headship (Adam) and guilty by example (I am the chief of sinners). But guilt by headship has the terrible problem that it doesn’t create victimized subclasses and an ever-expanding list of intersectional enemies to blame. If “all have sinned” (as some benighted pre-enlightened rube once wrote) then in fact all at to blame, and we discover that the enemy is not the culture. The enemy is not race. The enemy is not government. The enemy is not history. The enemy is me—in every instance. Everyone who calls himself or herself “me” is to blame. And until TGC specifically can figure this part out, calling every man and woman (there is no third option) out to repent, the rest of their stupid, high-brow noblesse oblige to those who have not written a lot of books and are not paid by the hour to paint lifelike makeup on the dead face of evangelicalism needs to take a day off.

Frank

Frank, yes. Complicity is located in our federal head, and not where the devils of fashion would place it.


Shouldn’t we be examining mental illness as the root cause of this tragedy? I hope his church encouraged the young man involved to seek medical psychiatric help. It is likely many knew that the young man was troubled. Too often conservative churches treat mental illness as a problem with sin or failure to submit to authority. Sometimes elders employ church discipline (shunning) as a way to correct the sinner when what is most needed is psychiatric care.

Cathy

Cathy, I don’t have any details on the pastoral care this young man was getting. My concern is that because he was there in Escondido, he may have been influenced by R2K theology, which would leave him without any antibodies to resist a very definite and defined ideology. We don’t know, but if we were pursuing it, that is where I would start my questions.


I’ll have you know that in a rare quiet moment of my Wednesday, I sat down to enjoy a big bowl of ice cream and read your latest article, The Leftward Drift of The Gospel Coalition. I got to the sixth paragraph and looked down. Chocolate (phew!). But I did eat it out of a white bowl, so there’s that.

Adam

Adam, eating the ice cream was not a micro-aggression. But I am afraid that telling us about it is.


I think it would be useful to define kinism before we condemn it, as there is a fairly wide range of people who call themselves kinists. The more moderate ones often simply teach that it is right to have special concern for your family, ethnic group, and race, that it is wise to consider ethnicity concerning immigration, that one should not forgo having biological children in order to adopt, that a nation should be ruled by a man of its own ethnicity, and that interracial marriage is unwise or sinful in most cases, but should be honored like other marriages once officiated. None of these ideas should be cause to lose fellowship, and some of them are clearly supported by Scripture, and held by many mainstream Christians. The more radical ones, which I believe were those you meant to condemn in this piece, often do believe that interracial marriages should be annulled, that blacks and Hispanics should all be sent out of America, that the Holocaust is mostly made up, and that forced church segregation is desirable or even mandatory—all ideas which should either be condemned or only considered with extreme caution. It is wise to consider the true or potentially true in a movement while rooting out the false.

James

James, I am happy to consider that there may be “moderate” kinists out there, but I would urge them to have a word with the boys down in marketing.


Re: Those TGC Right-Wingers: First, a historical quibble. You have written in the past, and again in your latest piece, that the right vs. left nomenclature came from the post French Revolution legislative assembly, thus it distinguishes those who want to burn the social order to the ground slowly from those in a hurry. I don’t think this is quite right. The seating arrangement arose among the Third Estate during the Estates General, which was a lawfully assembled body. Those to the right supported the Ancien Regime. According to Wikipedia a participant claimed this was due to the foul manners of the revolutionaries, more than to define voting blocks: “We began to recognize each other: those who were loyal to religion and the king took up positions to the right of the chair so as to avoid the shouts, oaths, and indecencies that enjoyed free rein in the opposing camp.” The seating arrangement continued in one form or another throughout the revolution and the “center” moved ever leftward prior to Thermidor, but I think you can rest easy knowing that the original right-wingers were indeed to your right. Second note/question: you quote, favorably, Tim Dukeman, who recently tweeted: “Matthew Lee Anderson is an apostate who was a speaker at the antichrist Revoice Conference. @TGC still published him, and @ERLC is still willing to co-author with him. This is the essence of being a hireling, not a shepherd.” Do you agree that Anderson is “apostate?” Doesn’t this seem a little out of hand?

CW

CW, to your first point, I am happy to acknowledge that some of the original right-wingers were not moderate revolutionaries. I don’t think we have any disagreement there. To your second, I would not use the language of apostasy with regard to Anderson, but before condemning Dukeman, I would want to know how he is using the term.


Salvation by Works?

How can a person not view your writings and come to the conclusion that you are advocating for a works-based faith? Is Jesus not enough? Your writing and arguments remind me more than anything about Edgar Allen Poe and his disdain towards the Transcendentalists.

Jim

Jim, I am honestly unsure about how to approach this one.


Law, Not Life

One pro-abortion argument that I see often from the misguided masses is “if you’re pro life, why do you support the death penalty?” Or my personal favorite, “You’re pro-life but pro-gun. What a hypocrite.” Obviously there’s a pretty fundamental blurring going on here, but can you help me pin it down? While these arguments don’t have much weight in a formal debate, out in the real world they can be formidable in an environment where we’re a jaded people, ready to see hypocrisy in anyone. I’d appreciate your thoughts.

Samuel

The problem arises from the assumption that human life provides the standard, instead of assuming that the standard is God’s law. If human life is sacrosanct, then war or capital punishment is inconsistent. But if God’s law is the standard, there is not inconsistency. As for the justice of that standard, it is not a problem to support executing evil people who have had a fair trial while opposing the execution of innocents who have had no trial at all.

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Joshua Lister
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Joshua Lister

Thanks for responding Doug. I think you make good points, but my comment was about Judaism as a religion and not ethnic Jews. Is there something peculiar to the Talmud that attracts followers to messianic politics and subversion?

Jill Smith
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Jill Smith

Josh, the vast majority of western Jews never come close to reading the Talmud. Unless you are a boy getting an Orthodox religious education at a yeshiva, you are very unlikely to know what it contains. It’s hard enough getting the average Jewish kid to learn enough Hebrew to be bar mitzva’ed. But the concept you’re referring to is called Tikkum Olam which loosely translates to “repairing the world.” It began with a mystical interpretation of the rabbinical literature and was held by Kaballist Jews starting in the 16th century. According to this teaching, sparks of the divine light got… Read more »

Joshua Lister
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Joshua Lister

Thank you Jill. Your comments about this are really helpful. I was unaware of those historical background Tikkum Olam. I’ve found researching this topic to be fairly difficult. This issue seems to be like a hot potato that nobody really wants to talk about for to long. Given the complicated history, it is difficult to wade through all of the confusion. However, I worry that the refusal to talk about Judaism as a theological or ideological group only makes things worse. I would like to hear more conservatives deal with it substantially. Perhaps I should read the entire Talmud myself… Read more »

demosthenes1d
Member

Joshua, I agree that an unwillingness to talk about Jews, Jewishness, the Jewish religion, etc. can be a problem. A lot of people are cagey about it because they see what appears to be rationalization for some really toxic doctrines and bad behavior, but the solution to a lack of understanding is more light. Everyone should be willing to deal in specifics and to uncouple things which are separate so that light can be generated rather than heat. To the specific question: ideas have consequences, different religions will produce different beliefs, practices, and models of the world in their adherents.… Read more »

Joshua Lister
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Joshua Lister

demosthenes1d, thanks for the words. On a number of points, I think you hit the nail on the head. I agree that the evil of Islam is unique from other groups. It has an identifiable form and ideological/theological source. The cameras are on them more than other groups and they aren’t usually known for subtlety. Soros and Trotsky are interesting cases, and you can throw the many Hollywood degenerates who claim to be Jewish in the mix too. I honestly don’t know if the fruit of the Talmud is atheism or if the atheism comes from a generally sinful heart.… Read more »

demosthenes1d
Member

Joshua, “I certainly don’t hear many Jewish leaders yelling bull-horn denunciations of “bad” (religious) Jews. However, there certainly could be a lot of them and I am just not aware.” I’m not sure what you mean here. Jill covered this somewhat, but orthodox Jews tend to be social and political conservatives – they went for Trump in 2016. Not sure how categories like “good” and “bad” play in here. This is part of the irony of your line of questioning – pretty much all of the influential Jewish people – bankers, celebrities, media personalities, film directors and producers, etc. are… Read more »

Joshua Lister
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Joshua Lister

Demosthenes1d, I think you misunderstood me. It’s not a double standard but an observation. It’s also one that I am willing to be wrong about. Basically, I acknowledge that there are liberal secular Jews and conservative Jews. My point was that I do not see them policing their own ranks. I frequently see Christians do it. I could just be ignorant of it. The most liberal groups of Jews in my city still meet in the same synagogue as the Orthodox Jews. They disagree on issues that would have split Christians immediately. From the outside this seems like ethnic similarity… Read more »

Jill Smith
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Jill Smith

Policing the ranks was probably more common when US Jews felt less secure. There is a Yiddish expression that covers it, which was applied to a Jew who was perceived to have disgraced the group in front of the gentiles. You were a shanda, a shame, and you might have endangered everyone by provoking hostility. But the weakening of group ties has altered that, which I think is a good thing. It wouldn’t occur to my daughter that she is responsible for some other Jewish person’s bad behavior–any more than it would occur to me to apologize for the misdeeds… Read more »

demosthenes1d
Member

Joshua, I’m not sure how this policing usually works or is supposed to work, but I’m opposed to a situation where co-religionists, or co-nationals are assumed to be responsible for the actions of others. I have not taken extraordinary actions to distance myself from the disciples of Christ, or Westboro Baptist, or any of the innumerable sects that claim to be Chistian – the Moonies, the Mormons, etc. I don’t feel that I’m responsible for them, or that I need to weigh in on their actions one way or the other (though I am happy to if asked). Therefore, I… Read more »

Joshua Lister
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Joshua Lister

demothenes1d, I am trying to learn more about this. My line of questioning does not have an agenda behind it. I’m not talking about guilt by association. I am talking about ideological or theological ideas working themselves out in a group. In Christianity, denominations split over theological differences because they worry about what’s potentially downstream of those ideas. Christians point to the bible and hold other Christians to that standard. They say, “hey your not acting like a Christian.” In Judaism (the religion), liberal and conservatives seem less ready condemn other Jews on a similar basis. For instance, the liberal… Read more »

demosthenes1d
Member

Joshua, I wasn’t accusing you of an agenda, I was just pointing out an apparent contradiction – the issues that you seem concerned about (left-wing activism) are mostly undertaken by secularist Jews who give little to no credence to scripture or the Talmud. Yet your stated concern is with the nature of Talmudic Judaism. I don’t know exactly what you are looking for WRT self-policing. There are a lot of movements within reform, conservative (note: they aren’t conservative) and orthodox jewry. I don’t pretend to know the ins and outs of these movements – I believe they are all seriously… Read more »

Joshua Lister
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Joshua Lister

demosthenes1d, thanks for the response. The article you sent looks like it is an example of “ultra-Orthodox” Jews opposing liberal Jews. You said, “the issues that you seem concerned about (left-wing activism) are mostly undertaken by secularist Jews.” I do not know if that is true. Tikkun magazine is a religiously Jewish publication.

demosthenes1d
Member

Joshua, It was an example of the orthodox purging their ranks over homosexuality – policing boundaries. It would be like a OPC church kicking someone out because they went to a gay marriage (I doubt they would actually). The examples you gave of policing within the church were mostly informal things that would be invisible to outsiders. I don’t think most major churches are doing much policing at all. The lack of pushback that Catholic democratic politicians have gotten over abortion stances is scandalous. I’m not super familiar with Tikkum but they appear to be pretty secular and interfaith. They… Read more »

Jill Smith
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Jill Smith

Hi Josh, nor do I suspect you of an agenda. This is kind of a complex issue. So I want to try to make it clear because I’ve had the advantage of an inside view (although I don’t know any Orthodox and I don’t suppose they would exactly want to hang out with me!). There are a great many Jews who identify with Judaism only ethnically. They may be atheists, agnostics, or have a vague left-over belief in God, but they are absolutely not religious people. As long as they don’t become members of another religion, other Jews will see… Read more »

Joshua Lister
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Joshua Lister

Jill, thanks for typing this out. There is a lot of good information here that I did not know. Your comments about The Chief Rabbinate are also helpful. I did not know most of that. This gives me a more dynamic view of the Jewish community. I think that the blend of ethnic and religious unity makes it difficult to make apples to apples comparisons with Christianity. You said, “But nobody is in a position to police their behavior, any more than a Protestant pastor would try to police the behavior of someone who, while born into a Protestant family,… Read more »

Jill Smith
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Jill Smith

I think you’re right but that a real outsider (someone totally outside Christian circles) doesn’t necessarily see that diversity of opinion. I have been surprised at the extent to which my Jewish friends are clueless about denominational differences–or even that they exist unless we are talking about high profile groups such as Mormons. Have you noticed how often TVs and movies totally get things wrong? Like putting Roman collars on Baptist preachers, and crucifixes in Presbyterian churches? I think that in order to find arguments among different factions of Jews, you would have to find the kind of discussion boards… Read more »

JohnM
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JohnM

Beside your point, but how do the Disciples of Christ fit along side Westboro Baptist? Not to mention Moonies and Mormons? Just curious.

demosthenes1d
Member

John,

I wasn’t really making an equivalency argument, just different species of problems.

But the Disciples have gone way down the depraved sexuality slope: https://www.hrc.org/resources/stances-of-faiths-on-lgbt-issues-christian-church-disciples-of-christ

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

Hmm. I knew the Disciples ordained women. Other than that I was under the, apparently mistaken, impression that they were relatively conservative.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

In the face of serious persecution, ethnic unity would probably become very important. It isn’t in America. The division between secular and very observant Jews is enormous. Because I married a Jew, I have lived my life among liberal (but not generally atheist) urban Jews who regard the Orthodox with a fair amount of suspicion and dislike. Going the other way, the Orthodox don’t recognize many of my relatives as authentically Jewish. Some of the ethnic unity is pretty superficial and can’t be teased out from other factors–it’s a commonality of preferences and attitudes that comes from growing up in… Read more »

demosthenes1d
Member

Jill, That is one of the many things that is confusing and frustrating about the recent uptick in jew-hate. Assimilation was working just fine. The process seems to go less persecution –> less strong in-group loyalty/identity –> less strong group mating and living preference –> more intermarriage and less isolated communities –> even weaker ingroup loyalty and mating preference, etc. You can make a case that the American Jewish community watering down their genetic inheritence is a bad thing, but if you think Jews are a pernicious influence wouldn’t you be invested in making sure the above cycle continues. Reinvigorating… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I have run across some anti-Semitic websites that say intermarriage is a plot to hijack precious Anglo DNA. I would have thought that the mutual hijacking of DNA was kind of the whole point of reproduction. But a person who truly believes that Ashkenazim genes pose a threat to western civilization must obviously be pleased that my Snowflake’s great-grandchildren will be at most 1/16 Jewish if the pattern continues to hold. The fact that they are not pleased at all shows us something else is going on. Something like the one-drop rule and about as reasonable. Overt anti-Semitism must surely… Read more »

Nathan James
Member

“I would have thought that the mutual hijacking of DNA was kind of the whole point of reproduction.”

This is gold.

Joshua Lister
Guest
Joshua Lister

Thanks again for the comment Jill. Hijacking the Anglo DNA sounds looney tunes. From what I know, Ashkenazi Jewish traits are difficult to identify. When I took a 23andme, it was the only race it asked me specific questions about. If I were to claim Askenzi Jewish heritage, there was a procedure for proving my identity. I am worried that the “uptick in Jew hate” is partly a consequence of dishonest conservatives, nutty legislation, and groups like the SPLC labeling anyone an anti Semite. People start noticing double standards. Saying Jews have high IQs might be statistically provable but WASPs… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Josh, I think you’re right about that–which is probably why most Ashkenazim I know either repudiate the idea they have a genetic IQ advantage or they are very reluctant to admit it. I think that IQ differences among various groups are fairly well documented. But cultural values that promote academic achievement probably play just as important a role. In my experience most Jewish parents are passionate about education from the moment their children are born, so it can be hard to tease out how much is due to early advantage and parental high expectations. According to research reported in the… Read more »

JP Stewart
Member

“groups like the SPLC labeling anyone an anti Semite”

Thankfully that group of scam artists and miscreants are starting to get sued and exposed….like they should have decades ago. Morris Dees is a child molester according to his divorce papers. Maybe the Washington Post should’ve looked into it when they came to AL for the Roy Moore witch hunt last year (fat chance). They also incited the 2012 shooting at the FRC headquarters. Hopefully the IRS will look into the gobs of money they have overseas, too. If they were a conservative group, they never would’ve survived the Obama era.

demosthenes1d
Member

JP,

I have no sympathy for SPLC or Morris Dees, but unsubstantiated allegations of child molestation made during divorce proceedings should be taken about as seriously as bigfoot sightings. It is disgusting, but it has become a standard tactic when trying to drag your former flame over fresh coals.

https://quillette.com/2019/04/16/divorce-and-the-silver-bullet/

JP Stewart
Member

Demo, you have a point in the #metoo, frivorce, skewer-my-husband-and-marry-the-tall-rich-guy era. However, Dees was divorced in 1979, which was a totally different climate. He was also recently fired for some sort of sexual misconduct per local reports. Sex perverts tend to be repeat offenders. None of this proves the allegations are true, but I take this much more seriously than current cases. For the record, besides the 1970s stuff, there’s only one other sketchy allegation against Roy Moore in 1991.
https://spectator.us/morris-dees-fired-splc/
https://bigleaguepolitics.com/court-docs-splc-co-founder-accused-of-trying-to-molest-step-daughter-with-sex-toy/

demosthenes1d
Member

JP,

1979 was very near the historical peak in the divorce rate. Accusations of abuse and molestation were less common then but they were becoming popular. I not interested in defending Dees in particular, but we should be really careful about adopting smear my adversary tactics – especially when the accusations come in the context of divorce, then or now.

demosthenes1d
Member

Joshua, I would echo Jilly here: most Jewish people are very uncomfortable with this idea that they have a genetic endowment toward brilliance. Very talented people are in a double bind in some ways. You have two (maybe 3) options when explaining success: 1. We aren’t any smarter than any other people, we just work and study much harder. If you tried harder you could win nobel prizes too. 2. We dont work or study any harder than anyone else we are just gifted with incredible mental skills. No matter how hard you try you will never approach this level… Read more »

Joshua Lister
Guest
Joshua Lister

Thanks for sharing that Jill. Hearing about your experience is helpful. I think you’re right that a high rate of intermarriage doesn’t indicate in group preference.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Josh, my theological background isn’t really up to dealing with St. Paul in these verses! But I would reflect that he himself was a Jew who had participated in the persecution of believers–which doesn’t suggest he believed in a special theological category for Jews who rejected our Lord. In addition we have St. Paul’s teaching about the Jews in Romans 9:4-5: “theirs is the sonship and the glory and the covenants and the law and the worship and the promises; theirs are the fathers and from them is the Christ according to the flesh.” My own church (Catholic) reconciles these… Read more »

Bro. Steve
Guest
Bro. Steve

Kinism is devotion to a sacred cow.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

An openly immoral and proudly ignorant old man just got elected to the presidency running on anti-immigration sentiment as his #1 issue. Not just anti-illegal immigration, he ran strong on restricting numerous forms of legal immigration too. Anyone who wants to claim that the Steve Bannons and Stephen Millers of the world are perfect happy with legal immigration of non-Europeans at any meaningful level is either remaining purposefully ignorant or lying. And the administration’s actions have matched its rhetoric – they’ve restricted legal immigration more profoundly than any other administration in my lifetime. I have rarely if ever heard any… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Nathan, it seems to me that if it were a problem with ethnocentrism, the “conservatives” would have as much of a problem with legal immigration as with illegal. But that does not seem to me to be the case, at least not in the circles I am familiar with. This is at odds with my experience on two fronts. First of all, the very reason that illegal immigration even exists on any large scale is due to ethnocentricism. The first US law that banned immigration at any meaningful level was the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which was obviously ethnocentric.… Read more »

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

“Nathan, it seems to me that if it were a problem with ethnocentrism, the “conservatives” would have as much of a problem with legal immigration as with illegal. But that does not seem to me to be the case, at least not in the circles I am familiar with.”

I guess….the quotes around conservatives explains it ?? Otherwise, yeah, I don’t know how on earth outside of a cave anyone comes up with that conclusion either.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

The fact that my statement is voted one down and yours is voted one up makes me wonder if someone failed to parse your comment correctly.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Jonathan, I wondered if I could add sub-items before you answer Demo’s last question, because this is something I personally worry about. And heaven knows, my concern isn’t driven by any lack of sympathy for immigrants. Los Angeles, as you know as well as I do, is made up of the well-to-do, a few people who can’t be easily categorized (like me), an underclass of people who get by on social benefits, a huge homeless population, and an enormous class of the working poor, most of whom are Hispanics here legally. It is undeniable that LA’s enormous public school system… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I’ll say off the top that I think the fact we’re having mass migration at all is sad. Most people, all else being equal, don’t want to leave their homes. People don’t want to leave their nation, their culture. While some people always wish to wander, most humans are pretty conservative on that front. Whenever you see mass migration, it is indicative that something deeply wrong is in process, and the first goal should always be to address that root cause first, so that people can stay home for the most part (unless they don’t want to) and live lives… Read more »

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

Mmm. Don’t know who or why.

demosthenes1d
Member

Jonathan, I likely don’t have time for a full-orbed discussion here – but we really need to clarify our questions and decouple a number of things in order to make headway on the issue of immigration. First – my position: I believe immigration restrictions are matters of prudence, reasonable people can disagree on the correct course of action and it is not necessarily indicative of a sinful condition. People can be concerned about the demographics of immigrants without the driver being racism or ethnonationalism. I certainly grant that nativism has played a big role in immigration restrictions to date, and… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Demo, I agree with your entire introductory paragraph in the broadest sense. Everything you say is true for at least some people to some degree some of the time. We may disagree on how much we believe people are weighing different considerations, of course. 1. Yes 2. Yes 3. Yes, but I think it’s relatively rare. Diversity can increase in a great many ways and yet it seems that racial diversity brings up much stronger feelings. And when conservatives find themselves in a substantial minority somewhere, I never hear the argument that they wish for fewer conservatives (or fewer white… Read more »

demosthenes1d
Member

Jonathan, Thank you for the response. Unfortunately my wording of question #4 was very poor which caused a conflation between the alien in our midst versus a theoretical immigrant – someone currently at home in Calgary or Guatemala City or Beijing who may for a variety of reasons want to come to the US. My question was intented to be about the socio-political calculus involved, and the weight that the welfare of each party should be given in such calculus, rather than about personal ethics when confronted with an alien in your midst. 1 and 2 – good, we agree.… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I’ll get my answer together. First though, I want to emphasize that I don’t believe we’d have to fear any massive increases in diversity if we weren’t acting in such an unGodly way off the top. In other words, let’s look at the causes rather than simply trying to manage the effects. I want to privilege George Kennan’s Memo PPS23 here. Especially this paragraph: Furthermore, we have about 50% of the world’s wealth but only 6.3% of its population. This disparity is particularly great as between ourselves and the peoples of Asia. In this situation, we cannot fail to be… Read more »

Nathan James
Member

Jonathan, thanks for the reading suggestions. I am interested in the topic.

Disparity is a corrupt measure of financial benefit so anyone using it will necessarily find it directing them to corrupt, un-neighborly acts. People should concern themselves with improving their financial condition with regard to the objective standard of bodily necessity, rather than relative to others. Economic success should be about dominating the natural world and enjoying the fruit thereof rather than dominating our fellow man.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

What is your Biblical support for such a strong claim? I agree that people who based actions and policies on their desire to maintain disparity will engage in corrupt, unneighborly acts. However, it seems quite unlikely that calling out that sin would also be deemed off limits. I’m not going to stop talking about something the Biblical authors and early church fathers discussed so vividly. In the world in general and in our economic system in particular, disparity is profoundly important. If you are a small farmer trying to survive where large agribusiness wants your land, if you are a… Read more »

Nathan James
Member

What is your Biblical support for such a strong claim? I agree that people who based actions and policies on their desire to maintain disparity will engage in corrupt, unneighborly acts. However, it seems quite unlikely that calling out that sin would also be deemed off limits. I’m not going to stop talking about something the Biblical authors and early church fathers discussed so vividly. You easily recognize that working to maintain disparity is wrong and likely to lead to corrupt actions. What my comment was pointing out is that the motive is wrongheaded regardless of the actions that follow.… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I completely agree with everything you say there. However, Bob in both situations can see the issue and recognize that it is wrong, without falling into the sins that you speak on.

Nathan James
Member

Jonathan, since you seem to take disparate wealth as an undulterated evil, how do you read God’s oft stated desire to prosper Old Testament believers, to make them “the head and not the tail” and that sort of thing?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Saying “disparate wealth is an unadulterated evil” takes a lot of clarity away. I’d say that disparities so large that they give some people significant power over others do lead to sin, and they are not what we should be shooting for as Christians. Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality, as it is written: “The one who gathered much did… Read more »

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

Jonathan, for clarification, when you say “disparities so large that they give some people significant power over others do lead to sin”:
1 Some people holdings power over others is sinful per se?
2. Power over others *inevitably* leads to sin?
3. Power over others tends to be used sinfully?
4. Something else?
5. Is “significant” an important qualifier to what you mean?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Of course it depends on what kind of “power” you are talking about – I am referring specifically to the kind of power that is wielded via large financial advantages, which is a power that can only be used in particular ways. In general though, when people hold power over others there is a frequent human tendency to use it sinfully, and I think with financial power this is even more often true. Answering 1,2,3,4, I wouldn’t call it sinful per se, but perhaps somewhere on the order of happening to notice a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition just lying on… Read more »

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

What I’m gathering is that you are talking about a kind of power that is apart from from formal authority, although you may also have in mind power that is concurrent with formal authority.

Nathan James
Member

You see “power over others” as something to be minimized. I see it as a design feature of creation. The New Testament doesn’t call on masters to forfeit their power but to use it in a way that recognizes their accountability to God.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

You’re wading into an extremely dangerous suggestion there. Even our host has affirmed strongly that when the full work of the gospel is fine, those masters ARE to forfeit that power. The New Testament also repeatedly calls on the wealthy to forfeit their wealth and states that would-be leaders should be servants and slaves rather than exerting authority. But let’s back up to the exact example I’m speaking of. I’m referring most directly to the power of the rich to further enrich themselves at the expense of the poor. This is a power that is used in numerous ways every… Read more »

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

However, I don’t think Matthew 20:25 categorically proscribes anyone exerting authority. Among other things, that would run contrary to too much of the rest of scripture. It does teach us to renounce status as a motive or goal. I’m not sure it has much to do with the kind of power you are talking about. That kind of power is informal and mostly incidental. Now please note, I’m not saying it is never a problem, or that you don’t have a point at all because you certainly do have a point, but I wonder, do you assume as a given… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

However, I don’t think Matthew 20:25 categorically proscribes anyone exerting authority. Among other things, that would run contrary to too much of the rest of scripture. It does teach us to renounce status as a motive or goal. I’m not sure where you get “motive or goal” from the text. The passage is explicitly about actions, not motives. It is always worth repeating directly from Scripture: “But Jesus called them aside and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their superiors exercise authority over them. It shall not be this way among you.… Read more »

Nathan James
Member

That Jesus is dealing with motive is clear from the fact that Mat 20:25 is a response to Mat 20:24, in which the ten apostles were indignant at James and John for seeking a privileged position. You’ll note that Jesus does not say “in my kingdom, everyone will be equals.” It is assumed, and never contradicted, that there will be great and small even in that day. Jesus here provides an attitude adjustment to be applied by those who desire greatness. “whoever would be great among you” —> “must be your servant” The model Christ sets before us is one… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

That the disciples were upset at James and John’s motives does not show that was what Jesus was upset at – the disciples invariably missed the heart of every issue before Jesus explained it to them. Your interpretation presupposes that the rest of the disciples already understood the lesson before Jesus even taught it. In fact while they were upset at James and John for actively seeking that power, or perhaps jealous that they had tried to acquire it for just themselves, Jesus corrected them in the thought that attainment of such worldly power was even an objective good at… Read more »

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

I got motive and goal from the text, specifically the context. What should I have gone ahead and pointed out earlier is that we should remember, just because verses have been numbered in the bibles we have doesn’t mean a specific verse is presented to us as dictum detached from anything preceding or following . Read Matthew 20: 20-24. Consider the motives, the desire and intention, the misconceptions that Jesus was addressing. Remember too, action is always driven by a motive. Bad actions result from bad motives.

Nathan James
Member

Surely you’re not suggesting that the New Testament supports the power of the rich to enrich themselves at the expense of the poor as a power a follower of Christ could ever wield righteously, except to lay it down? The rich have power in their riches. That power is not limited to harmful exploitation. Surely you would not suggest that it is? The strong man has power to evil or to do good. The intelligent man has power to evil or to do good. The rich man has power to do evil or to do good. Of these three types… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

The rich have power in their riches. That power is not limited to harmful exploitation. Surely you would not suggest that it is? I feel you are not reading carefully as I already stated my position on this explicitly, and more than once. In other words, disparity in power is never going away. What the world needs is for the powerful to use their power, not divest it, but use it to produce fruit that benefits themselves, their families and their neighbors. Except that Jesus repeatedly told his disciples to divest themselves of wealth, not maximize it. Employees need employers.… Read more »

Nathan James
Member

You said: Surely you’re not suggesting that the New Testament supports the power of the rich to enrich themselves at the expense of the poor as a power a follower of Christ could ever wield righteously, except to lay it down? So I said: The rich have power in their riches. That power is not limited to harmful exploitation. Surely you would not suggest that it is? There is no such thing as a “power to enrich themselves at the expense of others” as distinct from a more general power to good or evil by use of the resources at… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Except that I gave ten examples of that exact thing,which you continue to ignore.

Nathan James
Member

Loans at interest … I’m willing to learn why charging other Jews interest was forbidden in the OT. So far, I haven’t heard anyone make sense of it. I do think it’s despicable that student loans were made non-bankrutable in the name of helping people get educations. exploitation of workers … tautologically bad, so I’m opposed, but using the phrase doesn’t help identify anything in an actionable way. using advantages of capital to force smaller competitors out of business … normally indistinguishable from honorable business practices. You must supply the motive (as you have here) to make this clearly wrong.… Read more »

Nathan James
Member

In sum, the things you mention can not be prohibited in a “rule of law” society. It would have be rule by some arbiter. Eventually that role will be filled by Christ himself, but until then… well, neither of us want Trump calling the shots, right?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Actually, several of them can easily be prohibited, but why is that even important? Why does something have to be governable by a civil magistrate for it to be wrong for a Christian? Very few sins can be effectively banned, that doesn’t mean we should stop doing them.

But Israel itself banned loans at interest, permanent accumulation of land, permanent indebtedness, several forms of worker exploitation, profiting off of violence, etc.

Nathan James
Member

You’re supposed to explain how the “power to exploit workers” is a power distinct from the power to organize and employ them in profitable economic activity. Or how Christians could divest themselves of the “power to use advantages of capital to force smaller competitors out of business” without divesting themselves of the power to use advantages of capital to better serve their customers, provide rewarding employment and be benevolent in their community.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Degree of scale makes a substantial difference. When businesses are not enormously large then it is very difficult for any one business to use capital advantage to drive another out of business, and it is harder for them to exploit workers without those workers leaving for myriad other options. And when workers are not desperately poor they are that much harder to take advantage of. Also , a Christ-obedient employer can share discernment and decision-making authority with his employees, can choose to profit-share with employees rather than stockholders, can find other ways to elevate employees to the status of equal… Read more »

Nathan James
Member

I guess this last comment is you throwing in the towel? It doesn’t look like you even tried to demonstrate there is a power to exploit that is distinct from power to do good.

Instead you’ve shifted to “well, less power would be good.” But I’m not budging an inch.

Authority over other people is not bad. Full stop. We don’t need less of it. We don’t need to divest it. We need to exercise it in constant recognition of our accountability before Christ.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Once again I’m perplexed by how you’re getting the things you claim to be getting out of both my words and the text. I agree you’re not budging, but there’s nothing to “win” here. You seem happy to just not apply the Biblical edicts about exerting authority, choosing servanthood, rejecting worldly power, divesting oneself of wealth, striving for equality, considering others better than oneself, loving neighbor as oneself, not accumulating resources at others’ expense, and not profiting from exploitative practices like loans at interest and profiting from blood. You created this false equivalence between “power to exploit” and “power to… Read more »

Nathan James
Member

You created this false equivalence between “power to exploit” and “power to do good”.

This is exactly the point on which have failed to offer any argument. And that’s because there is no argument to be made.

You could demonstrate your integrity by admitting the point that rhetoric has already effectively conceded.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

This is a great list for elucidating the difference between a modern capitalist worldview and a Christ and Gospel centered worldview. I want to answer them all fully so give me a bit more time to finish.

Nathan James
Member

I’ll be interested to see what you come up with.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

The god of Capitalism has so thoroughly overtaken the God of Jesus Christ in the business world that it’s generally assumed, “If it’s legal in business, it must be alright with Jesus.” There are so many things that are obviously harmful to neighbor, obviously rooted in greed, and yet aren’t even questioned. attempts to minimize labor costs in order to maximise shareholder profit … this really is a virtuous thing. Would you prefer: 1. maximizing profits by minimizing costs 2. minimizing profits by maximizing costs 3. paying no attention at all like a sluggard ? You believe it is virtuous… Read more »

Nathan James
Member

it’s generally assumed, “If it’s legal in business, it must be alright with Jesus.” I have maintained exactly the opposite. You have somehow got the roles reversed in this conversation. You were claiming that there exists a power to exploit others which Christians could give up. I was the one claiming that the power of riches could be abused and ought not to be so abused. I assumed that you intended the things you listed to have legislation directed against them. Apparently that was an error on my part. Throughout your reply you have misunderstood many of my comments as… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

On the question of price-gouging, since reading this: ….exploiting-people-emergency-laws-against-price-gouging-both-wrong…. I’ve considered whether its possible to identify a difference between adjusting prices for demand and price gouging. It’s hard to justify raising prices to the maximum that an individual in desperate straits might pay, but hard to fault raising prices if there a still multiple customers willing to buy a limited resource. Great insight – you see how the inherent expectations of capitalism that one maximize one’s own profit are in opposition to the demands of Scripture that one not take advantage of a needy neighbor. You just haven’t figured out… Read more »

Nathan James
Member

Well, I’ve had more than enough of this conversation.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Thank you for participating – I think your responses helped to draw the lines clearly.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Thank you for appreciating the book recommendations. Also on the book front, The True Cost of Low Prices by Gallagher is yet another look at how we maintain our both relative and absolute wealth at the cost of the poor. “Mountains Beyond Mountains” asks what it means to be Christian in the face of massive disparities in health care access (about the 400th time you see a doctor in a poor country serving a community of 100,000 abandon it for a rich country where he makes far more serving a community of just 10,000, you’ll realize that relative wealth matters… Read more »

demosthenes1d
Member

Jonathan, Thanks for the comment. I agree that foreign and domestic policy should not have disparity as its telos, and there are plenty of terrible actions that have been undertaken by the USA in order to take advantage of other nations and other peoples. I am no defender of the US led world order – now or throughout the 20th century – but I would likely see more good in it than you do. However, I think we have a real point of disagreement on the problems with massive increases in diversity as such. I think it is part of… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I don’t want to answer in full until I get the chance to read your link, which I suspect I may find a lot to agree with. I just want to clarify the previous comment because I think you missed the intent. What I was trying to get around to was that if we and other powerful countries pursued a more just foreign policy, these massive increases in diversity you worry about would be far less likely to happen. We’ve spoken enough that I think you realize I do not like mass media, degradation of the family, urbanization etc. either.… Read more »

demosthenes1d
Member

Jonathan, Thank you for your thoughts again. I think you are right that many of our differences are matters of degree, or of emphasis. I am opposed to some aspects and some downstream consequences of mass media and mass transportation but I think these are also enormously beneficial things in many ways – we just havent learned how to live with them in a way that isnt enormously destabilizing, and i’m not completely sure such a pathway exists. I agree with you that there are other factors which exacerbate mass migration, however – just with advances in technology and global… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

In a corrupted world with capitalist incentives, labor will move to capital when the disparities in capital are sufficiently large – when the USA has succeeded in maintaining that disparity that was expressedly sought. But when resources aren’t stolen from less powerful nations, capital would do less of this accumulating and more dispersing. It is logistically easier for financial resources to move towards people than to force people to move towards financial resources. The main thing that keeps that from happening is greed, as facilitated by our military policy, trade policy, and entire financial system especially the loans-at-interest that drive… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I would agree with many of Alastair’s smaller points, and disagree with many others. (For example, I don’t think dropping from 89% White to 84% White is any big issue, and I think the phrase “the failure of multiculturalism” is a weak one.) However, I basically agree with his main point of “proventials” and “cosmopolitans”. I feel deeply that the globalists, cosmopolitans, or whatever you want to call them have caused enormous harm to all of our communities, and that if we are ever going to turn that around it will require much greater commitments to land and community and… Read more »

demosthenes1d
Member

Jonathan, Those were powerful paragraphs, and everyone would do well to spend some time reflecting on the ways tgat transcendent orders and ideologies wreak havoc on normal human affiliations and affinities. I think China supports my broader point: *China has enormous internal diversity and has historically had very strong regional and rural cultures, extended families and even family religions are powerful forces for local solidarity traditionally. *China, through marxism (now market marxism) has intentionally uprooted many of those earlier forms of solidarity, and removed the privledge place of family and local cultural expression. *Now that China’s internal social firewalls have… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I think China does support your larger point where it intersects with mine. My point being we could have all the immigration restrictions in the world and we still would have gone down the same path. The forces supporting anti-immigration sentiment in this country are not willing to address any of the internal issues you speak of, at least not with any sort of commitment. That is another reason I see ethnocentricism as the greater driving factor – so long as the race involved isn’t a factor, all the problems are allowed to spiral out of control. Trump portrays himself… Read more »

Nathan James
Member

While not disagreeing with the idea that mass media has been corrosive to the social fabric, I can’t help but think of the counterpoint to all this. The technologies that make mass media possible, modern transportation and telecommunications, were built into the nature of creation by God himself. What does the reality of telecommunications imply if not increased association with those geographically distant from us? If modern technology brings me into closer contact with more people, that must require greater neighborly responsibility on my part. Local, traditional communities can mean Molech-worshipping Cannaanites, or quiet villages of Waldensians. Modern, high-tech society… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

The technology that makes nuclear annihilation possible is built into the fabric of creation too, but that doesn’t mean we should employ it. I’ve never developed a “mass media is inherently evil” argument, but its commercial aspects do appear to have had more negative effects than positive. I fear that we keep trading a manageable number of meaningful relationships for greater numbers of more superficial ones. Even with further reach we still rarely care enough about people distant from us to be willing to truly change our ways in order to positively impact their life, and in most cases we’ve… Read more »

demosthenes1d
Member

Nathan, Just saw this comment, it may have been directed at me, can’t tell with the threading. I don’t think that local traditional communities are good per se, or that technological advances are bad. As I stated earlier, technological advances have brought enormous goods – I can load my big family up and travel to the most beautiful places in the world fairly affordably, I have access to enormous amounts of high quality and extremely interesting information. I can comminicate and collaborare with people all over the world with almost no friction. These things are good, but they also create… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

In terms of Brexit, global vs. local economics, and organizations built around worker value or shareholder value, I thought the situation in Preston checked a lot of boxes in our discussion:

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2019/05/british-town-local-economy/588943/

adad0
Member

“Is it nice to have everything figured out?” Susan.

Wow. ….

Somehow that seems like a great question for Jonathan!
; – )

J’ ?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

adad, that seems more like the sort of insult meant to be directed towards a long stream of suspect opinions than a recounting of actual events. There’s no shame in knowing history. If I have distorted anything, then chime in, if my facts are accurate but there is a more nuanced interpretation, then share it. But if what I’ve said is verifyably accurate and fair, then it deserves to be incorporated into our understanding of reality. Pastor Wilson suggests that kinism bears no relation to anti-immigrant sentiment and that legal immigration isn’t being seriously opposed. Neither claim stands up well… Read more »

farinata
Guest
farinata

The question is: Am I allowed not to want other people in my house? Can I exclude people from territory I control for any reason or for no reason according as my conscience dictates? If the answer is no, then who does decide? If the answer is yes, then on what grounds do you condemn those who want to control immigration of whatever sort?

JP Stewart
Member

Exactly. And when the woke crowd starts quoting “alien and stranger” verses to support mass immigration, ask them about Lev. 24:10-17. A half-Egyptian gets stoned to death for blaspheming. Aliens were allowed in OT Israel, but had to follow the laws–and it was nothing like the modern U.S. You couldn’t just waltz in, build your own house of worship and live as you please. In other words, if Muslims were around back then, they’d be in for a rude awakening. It wasn’t a modern welfare state either.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I mean, if you were alive back then you’d probably be in for a rude awakening and likely be up for a stoning sooner or later yourself unless you changed your beliefs and practices drastically. But that’s neither here nor there. Your argument seems to be that because Moses condemned blasphemy, therefore the Biblical witness towards how we treat alien and stranger is irrelevant? I’ve never heard that interpretation before – what’s the hermeneutic that allows you So what happens to “love your neighbor as yourself” are we tossing that one too? Or is it only our attitude towards foreigners… Read more »

JP Stewart
Member

As usual, the verbosity (8 paragraphs?) aren’t necessary. As usual. you brought up Trump and your favorite pet issue (“white wacism is wuining the world!”). So yes, this discussion has already been framed around civil law and immigration policy–not how we treat immigrants as the church or individuals. The hermeneutic is that we shouldn’t be selective theonomists. It’s completely inconsistent to say we shouldn’t vote for a strict immigration candidate based on a few OT verses…. but say nothing about the other side who’s practically made sacraments out of homosexuality (capital offense in OT, condemned in NT) and abortion. It’s… Read more »

Matt
Guest
Matt

“It’s completely inconsistent to say we shouldn’t vote for a strict immigration candidate based on a few OT verses…. but say nothing about the other side who’s practically made sacraments out of homosexuality (capital offense in OT, condemned in NT) and abortion.” If you read Blog and Mablog for about 5 minutes you’ll hear plenty about the “other side”. I’m not sure why it is that people want these online bubbles and safe places, but it’s pretty bad when any criticism of your own side has to include a qualification about how of course the other side is just totally… Read more »

JP Stewart
Member

Says Matt from his own echo chamber.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

No, he actually typed it onto dougwils.com

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I have no idea what you’re trying to argue at this point. The question was whether anti-immigration sentiment had been driven by egocentricity. I provided ample historical evidence in support of that claim. You thinking, “But the democrats do bad things too!” is neither here nor there – it has nothing whatsoever to do with the discussion at hand.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

“driven by ethnocentricity” – spellcheck apparently doesn’t have that word.

JP Stewart
Member

You most certainly do. You continually jump on here with clickbait crap like “An openly immoral and proudly ignorant old man just got elected to the presidency running on anti-immigration sentiment as his #1 issue.” Then you pretend to act in good faith as if you have no agenda…though yours is at least as clear than Armin and others who have been booted off here. The fact that some here engage your verbal masturbation with more of the same has made this comment section nearly unreadable.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Where in the world did this weird accusation come from that I claim no agenda? I have a strong and explicit agenda in each thing that I bother to write. Otherwise I wouldn’t even participate here. If you ever catch me writing something that purports to have no agenda, just ask for clarification and I will tell you with no reservations exactly what I’m aiming for.

And many people think the comment section is the best part of this site. Do you believe you make it better or worse?

Also, you’re using “clickbait” wrong.

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

No, that is not the question. We are not talking about your house and territory you control.

If we were talking about your house, and for no reason other than your perception of “not my kind” you despised certain people for being in that not-my-kind category and no one of those people would never be welcome in your house no matter what, I would say that is your prerogative. I’m not the one who will answer for how you exercise it.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

It’s not your house farinata. No one has ever infringed on your right to control who lives in your house. But if racism did dictate who you let into your house, it would still be sinful under God no matter whether it was your prerogative under the law or not. Remember, “The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine; with me you are but aliens and tenants.” Any argument that starts with “but its mine mine mine” is already at odds with God’s declarations about the land. As JP noted, there’s also the little issue… Read more »

farinata
Guest
farinata

Well then, if we agree I can control my own territory, then why can’t my village, city, and ultimately nation have that same prerogative? Hospitality is enjoined in the Scriptures, but if you don’t feel like you get to exercise veto power or call me names over my dinner invitations, then why cannot people differ with you over our national immigration policy without you impeaching their motives?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

fainata, you “can” control who enters your own home legally, but that does not mean you will not be judged by God for the decisions you choose to make and your reasons for making them.

Motives matter. I gave a concise historical summary and exact quotes from the protagonists in order to show their own self-described motives. You can try to support ethnocentric immigration policy if you want, but trying to claim that motives don’t matter at all for a Christian is not a serious position.

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

Because those people who differ with you have equally the same claim on village, city, and nation that you do, and because neither your claim nor their’s is precisely the same as any claim on personal property. Of course people *can* differ with me over national immigration policy, and there are people from *both* poles of the argument that do differ with me, and both ends should understand I form an impression of their motives from the words they use and the arguments they employ.

adad0
Member

Gosh Spartacus, I stand corrected! ????

soylentg
Member

“… just got elected to the presidency running on anti-immigration sentiment as his #1 issue. Not just anti-illegal immigration, he ran strong on restricting numerous forms of legal immigration too.”

Specifically the legal immigration of future terrorists who would do their best to change the U.S. into a Muslim nation, thereby leading to the abandonment of the constitution.

Justin Parris
Member

In order for any useful conversation to take place, we would need to first define two items. 1) What are we calling a conservative? I have never in my life heard non-conservatives define conservatives in any way even slightly resembling the way conservatives would self define. Talking about whether or not conservatives hold one position or another obviously requires we be talking about the same thing. 2) To what new legal immigration restrictions are you referring? I would wager the average person you’re describing hasn’t even heard of these, unless you’re just talking about admitting fewer refugees, which is not… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

1) Pastor Wilson is the one who introduced “conservative” as a noun into the conversation, and I believe he did mention the need to define it recently though I’m not sure he brought full clarity. Words like “conservative” are often subject to No True Scotsman attacks. Generally, I consider actions broadly supported by the Republican party to be indicative of what conservatives are willing to support except in cases where a significant self-identified “conservative” faction within the party opposes the rest. 2) I don’t know what makes refugees “not a normal means”, but the administration has been working to reduce… Read more »

Justin Parris
Member

” Pastor Wilson is the one who introduced “conservative” as a noun into the conversation,” People use “conservative” as a noun all the time. Not everyone uses it as a broad ambiguous label to attack a large group of people. Knowing who it is you are attacking is paramount in assessing the truth or falsehood of your statement. ” Generally, I consider actions broadly supported by the Republican party to be indicative of what conservatives are willing to support except in cases where a significant self-identified “conservative” faction within the party opposes the rest.” This suggests you’re not especially familiar… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Would you mind quoting the specific statement I made which you believe is an unjustified or inaccurate attack on conservatives? Pastor Wilson made a statement, I disputed that statement. Where do you see me suddenly changing the use of the word anywhere in order to unfairly “use it as a broad ambiguous label to attack a large group of people”? The “This suggests” paragraph seems to be a misreading of what I said – you accuse me of being ignorant of the very phenomenon that I was accounting for with that sentence. Unless you believe that conservative Republicans disagree with… Read more »

Justin Parris
Member

“Would you mind quoting the specific statement I made which you believe is an unjustified or inaccurate attack on conservatives? ” I didn’t suggest that it was unjustified or inaccurate. I suggested that it was an unclear attack, needing more specificity to evaluate whether I objected to it or not. I was relatively certain that, intentional or not, you were unlikely to be defining “conservative” the way conservatives do. I highly doubt Pastor Wilson would have ever defined the term the way you have, where the term is interchangeable with “Republicans” unless the speaker is personally aware of dissent within… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I didn’t suggest that it was unjustified or inaccurate. I suggested that it was an unclear attack My request still stands for you to quote this big attack you feel I made on conservatives. I believe that many conservatives in 2016 opposed the current levels of legal immigration. Is that the “attack” you are complaining about? Isn’t this a pretty spectacular moving of the goal posts? No. If you believe that conservative views are expressed by literally no one in power, then I feel your definition diverges from the public one and am not particularly interested in it. If Pastor… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

There was no Muslim ban in its final form. There has never been a Muslim ban. This is simple objective fact. There has been no point in the Trump administration where the very large super majority of the world’s Muslims were not able to immigrate as normal. You can argue that the immigration ban on specific countries was motivated by discrimination, but it is simply false to call it a Muslim ban. Non-Muslims from those areas could not immigrate. The many, many, many, many, Muslims from other countries could. Now while I opposed the form this policy took, particularly in… Read more »

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
Guest
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp

You talk about a Muslim ban as if it’s a bad thing.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Are you a conservative?

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
Guest
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp

Does it matter?

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
Guest
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp

Are you Muslim?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

No. Now, in your opposition to their legal immigration, do you believe you are speaking as a conservative? It’s highly relevant to a little discussion we were just having.

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
Guest
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp

Then you as a non-Muslim should have no problem with banning the adherents of a false religion who engage in slavery, slaughter Christians, hate Jews, won’t assimilate into the culture, and would forcibly impose their religion/political system on those they consider infidels if given half a chance — that is, if they didn’t kill them first.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

How would your ancestors ever have ended up here if people who did those things had been banned? “Engages in slavery”, “hates Jews”, “slaughters Christians”, “won’t assimilate”, and “would forcibly impose their religious/political system if given half the chance” perfectly describes all too many American Christians from our own period of immigration.

I totally agree that enslavers, slaughterers, killers, etc. shouldn’t be let in. I’m pretty sure they’re not passing the modern background checks though.

Now, I’ve answered all your questions, still waiting for you to answer mine. Are you a conservative?

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Justin, I take that as a personal challenge, and I promise not to cheat by looking up definitions. Tell me how I do for accuracy. I define conservative (using it as a political term to describe someone who holds a traditional and mainstream school of thought) as: a person who rejects utopian plans for societal change on the grounds that no one can be safely trusted with too much power over others, that radical change produces dystopias, and that the cure for the human condition doesn’t usually lie in legislation; who thinks there are aspects of the past that are… Read more »

Justin Parris
Member

A very strong effort Jill. The last time I had a conversation on this definition it was with a left wing journalist reporting that “A majority of conservatives support universal healthcare”. I just had to know how she got to that conclusion. As it turns out, she was counting “conservative” to mean “virtually anyone who isn’t a Democrat”. Richard Spencer, for example, was considered a conservative. I asked her to define conservative, and she only got one item of your list. “Believes in traditional values” was her only criteria for being a conservative. I asked her if she was aware… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I think it would be useful to define kinism before we condemn it, as there is a fairly wide range of people who call themselves kinists. The more moderate ones often simply teach that it is right to have special concern for your family, ethnic group, and race, that it is wise to consider ethnicity concerning immigration, that one should not forgo having biological children in order to adopt, that a nation should be ruled by a man of its own ethnicity, and that interracial marriage is unwise or sinful in most cases, but should be honored like other marriages… Read more »

demosthenes1d
Member

Doug’s response to letters is often perfunctory. I wouldn’t read too much into his views of kinism (or skinism as he has been known to call it) based on his lack of denunciation here. He has written pretty forceful (though nuanced) denunciations in the past that cover the sorts of things commended in the letter.

There is a reason the folks at Little Geneva, and their ilk, were very anti-Doug.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

That’s fair.

Lori
Guest
Lori

If “moderate” kinism teaches it is right to care about your own race/ethnicity above others, I’d say it’s still fundamentally antithetical to Christian living. I might be more interested in history related to my ethic group or favor the food or like the music, but that doesn’t mean I should favor the people or have a special concern for them over others. Our special concern is to be for our brothers and sisters in Christ.

JP Stewart
Member

Kyle J. Howard is a good example. He recently asked for recommendations for a “majority ethnic church.” And while claiming to be a former Crip (very likely a lie–his parents were both attorneys), he refused to be in the same room as James White for his “safety”….White is a skinny, long distance-running man old enough to be his dad. Ekemini “Whiteness is wickedness” Uwan is another example.

Justin Parris
Member

“I think it would be useful to define kinism before we condemn it, as there is a fairly wide range of people who call themselves kinists.”

Aren’t you the guy who just condemned an even wider range of people who call themselves conservatives?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

No, I’m not, and you’re also quoting a quite from someone else that I was merely replying to.

Justin Parris
Member

Ah. My apologies. If you don’t expand the window for that specific comment, it doesn’t display the quotation formatting or font.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Apology accepted, forgiven, forgotten. :)

demosthenes1d
Member

Doug,

I’m not sure I understand your point re: Anderson and Dukeman… Does apostate have some esoteric meaning that I am unfamiliar with?

The post that Dukeman highlighted was Anderson taking a well argued stance to the right of many evangelicals on IVF and assisted reproduction more generally. Wayne Grudem posted a rejoinder arguing that IVF is (in some cases) A-OK…

Nathan James
Member

I’ve written a piece on anti-semitism showing how it’s rooted in the the spiritual reality of God having chosen the Jews to make himself known. https://greatlight.blog/2019/05/07/anti-semitism/

adad0
Member

Top ten answers to Susan’s question: Is it nice to have everything figured out? 1. Sometimes I use a calculator. 2. I think you have me confused with AOC. 3. Well, it has to be nicer than being clueless. Right? 4. I still can’t make a coffee I like without caffeine. 5. Have you seen my gut? 6. You tell me. 7. My secret plan for world domination is still in process. But it would have been finished! If it wasn’t for those meddling kids! 8. There are still more sow’s ears than silk purses. 9. Ruh-roh, that’s only nine.… Read more »

JP Stewart
Member

I thought I knew everything, but I just read an ignorant, old (ageism?) man JUST got elected. I must have had a Rip Van Winkle style nap. That news sounded so 2016…