Rss

  • youtube

Archives for : politics, politics, politics

Politics In Passing: Norman Geisler’s Flawed Attempt at Endorsing Trump

Oh no, politics.

In case you’re wondering, I’m not voting for Hillary or Trump….. onto the story.

I generally have a great deal of respect for Norman Geisler and his works over the years (at least up to “Answering Islam”).

I’m finding my same level of disappointment in his argumentation level as I did 16 years ago when I saw “Chosen But Free”.

His article endorsing Trump for President over on Christianity Today is written very short and straight to the point. Unfortunately, it also ignores a lot of what Trump has DONE and SAID in the past in order to railroad through the idea that Trump is the best candidate.  His points dealt with one by one:

Geisler begins with the ‘lesser of two evils’ fallacy. “Basically, there are only two realistic alternatives in the coming presidential election: stay on the same liberal path we have been on for years or try something new.

I wouldn’t consider Trump “something new”. Up until he became candidate for president, Trump’s views have consistently aligned with the democratic party. Even his kids forgot to switch their political affiliations for voting prior to the cut off date for changes.

Second, the “there are only two realistic options” assertion assumes that everyone or the majority of people will only vote for one of those two candidates…. because that’s what they are told they have to do. This is fallacious and erroneous reasoning. Even the once radical Bernie Sanders has sold his soul to support Hillary Clinton and drag his former supporters into her corner with the same line of argumentation.

Every election cycle, we are told the same thing: now is not the time for a protest vote, hold off, work with what we have and in a few years, we’ll work on getting better candidates.

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

When will be the time ? I say the time is now. Vote your conscience, not what people tell you are your only “realistic” options.

Geisler tries to get in front of  the charge that “…..Trump is that he is a flawed candidate”, but simply repeats the two-party mantra again. Further, it’s more than just Trump being a ‘flawed candidate’….Trump is simply another garden-variety politician. He’s done the usual: lied about previous stances and views, pandered to one particular group of people , generally ignored the concerns of others and (worse), refused to deal with elements in his own support base that undermine the very values he supposedly holds to.

What people need to understand is that in order to disassemble the two party system, you have to actually elect people outside of it. It may start small. The Green Party, for example, currently has a little over 130+ folks elected locally in different areas of the country. Jill Stein’s received more press this year than in the past (she’s been her party’s nominee before that). Likewise, the Libertarian Party’s stats are slightly higher (145). Gary Johnson is currently polling around 8%.

Point is, we’re not bound to a two-party system. The two major parties have conspired together to make sure that power does not leech from the two of them to others. They put in place systems which, on an individual level, are difficult to break through. Collectively, however, it is a great possibility. The only thing that individuals need to get over is their “fear of the other guy winning”.

Geisler then makes this statement: “In politics, as in life, sometimes we must choose the so-called “lesser of two evils.” So when both presidential candidates have high negatives, we must choose the one with fewer. A friend once described his dilemma to me as a choice between “a known devil and a suspected witch.” If so, then we should choose the suspected witch!

The lesser of two evils….is still evil, Dr. Geisler. Trump isn’t a suspected witch; he has a known history with the known devil, Hillary Clinton. He has a known political viewpoint history via his own words in the past which are on YouTube and other media for anyone who takes the time to look them up.

The one point Geisler makes in his introduction that is solid and biblical is the one regarding staying home and not voting.

Onto his main points:

1. A Vote for the Right to Life (followed by a short statement on how Trump is supposedly pro-life)

How many times does Trump have to contradict himself before people like Geisler will stop believing whatever his campaign says ? Trump isn’t pro-life and never has been.  If your track record doesn’t show what you suddenly hold to as a position, my bet is that you’re lying and pandering to get what you want.

2. A Vote for National Security

Geisler states: This begins with Law and Order because there is no security in an anarchy. Donald Trump promises to be “the Law and Order” candidate who will help strengthen our society and provide freedom and justice for all.

Trump can’t (or won’t) even contain or address his own people attacking minorities who attend his rallies. That’s not fairness, security, freedom and justice for all or treating all life as if it matters.  Spare me.

3. A Vote for International Respect
Geisler states: “No man is an Island” applies to our nation as well as to individuals in it. In a shrinking world, isolationism is no longer a realistic option. America is no longer feared by its enemies or even respected by its friends, chief among whom in the Middle East is Israel. Long ago, God promised (Gen. 12:3) to bless those who bless Israel. But recently, we have given support to a nation (Iran) which is dedicated to Israel’s destruction. Trump has pledged to reverse this self-destructive path.

Actually, Trump has proved the opposite in the international community. Several foreign diplomats have expressed deep issues with what type of presidency they will see under Trump and what kind of relations that means with the rest of the world.  While the US’s standing in the world has been weakened gradually since the 90’s under EVERY president since Clinton (though Clinton was much more adept at international issues and diplomacy), the last twelve years have shoved us over the edge. The last eight alone, primarily because of our own infighting and inability to produce a united front on the world scene, and our own home-grown hypocrisy regarding human rights issues  (how can you care about human rights abroad, yet tolerate discrimination and the murder of the unborn at home ?) have made many of the so-called American values a joke to non-Americans.

Let’s be honest.

4. A Vote for the Supreme Court

Spare me the Supreme Court mantras.  Plenty of people nominated to the court as conservatives, switched to be liberals.  I place no faith and value in the supreme court of the United States to hold the country back from its’ current downgrade.  Trump is only on record for conservative judges to get elected.

Besides, National Review already dealt with the “Trump Card” of the Supreme Court issue.

5. A Vote for Religious Freedom

Geisler states: “Recent liberal policies have separated these two things and have transformed “freedom of religion” into “freedom from religion.” 

Christianity thrived under Roman occupation and persecution.  I’m not worried about which candidate will supposedly guarantee freedom of religion. I have a feeling that both will press for freedom from religion. People forget (very quickly, I might add) that much of the downgrade in terms of religious beliefs having a place in the public square came about under the Bush presidency.  Much of it fomented in the background during the early Bush years and became full-blown during the latter years. The DaVinci Code (2006), Religulous (2007) and Zeitgeist (10/1/2008) were released during this time period, as was Christopher Hitchens’ book God is not Great (2007).  These media phenomena (and others) have helped to shape public opinion. In many cases, they simply gave an excuse for others to all the more “hold down the truth through their unrighteousness” (Romans 1:18-23).  These have been problems in the culture all along. They simply began bubbling more to the surface in recent times.

A real concern is in the media and entertainment arena. Much public policy and public opinion are being swayed by these things more than by politics and politicians.

6. A Vote of National Prosperity

Geisler opines: It seems to me that Trump’s policies on taxation, regulations, balancing the budget, and immigration will promote national prosperity better than his competitors. He is a proven job-creator, and his competitor is not.

Trump is also a proven life-destroyer. Anyone paying attention will notice that Trump’s consistent pattern with his business investments is to ride them until they are no longer profitable, abandon them, file for bankruptcy, avoid taxes and move on to the next investment. I don’t think this is a healthy pattern of doing business as each of these businesses he has dissolved cost some people their entire livelihood.  I don’t think it will promote national prosperity.

And of course, Trump shirts and suits and made in China and Mexico. NAFTA is good when it works for you….bad when it contradicts the politics you’re promoting.

7. A Vote against National Corruptions.

This line of argumentation is kinda laughable. Trump is friends with the Clintons.  Not just associates. Friends.

Trump’s foundation is currently being investigated.

He’s just as crooked as Hillary is.

*sigh*.

Sadly, I’ve actually spent time arguing these same points against Hillary, which goes to show that both candidates really are the same and propped by both parties in order to preserve the two party system.

For an alternative and much more Biblically-centered viewpoint, I highly recommend Darrell Bock’s article on Christianity Today. Give it a read. I will not choose between the tornado or the category 5 hurricane. Both cause damage, destroy property and lives.

Still Around. A Few Quick Thoughts on the 2012 election….

Beginning of the school year….as usual.  A few quick thoughts:

1. As I trust God more, I worry less about the culture of the US going to hell in the next election. Paul wrote in pagan Rome, where young boys were expected to be molested, there were brothels on every corner, temple prostitution was the norm (prostitution as part of a religion) and the penalty for being a runaway slave was sure death.  BIBLICAL Christianity thrived under these conditions.

2. As I watch politics more and more, I realize that both sides are simply playing the pro-wrestling game. It’s all scripted and controlled by someone(s) over both parties who will still benefit no matter which candidate gets in office.

3. As I watch the intersection of politics and theology, I realize that even well-meaning believers can be suckered in by hucksters whose only concern is to rope them into voting for them with ‘God-talk’.

4. As I said 4 years ago…no matter who wins, it will be the person that God wants in office. The same God who gave Bush, Clinton and Regan 8 years has given Obama at least 4 (and probably another 4).  Let us be faithful to worry about changing hearts and minds with the gospel message first rather than with political power and legislation.  Pray for the peace of the city, vote your conscience, preach the gospel regardless.

Twenty Observations and a Few Additional Thoughts….

The Weekend to Remember Conference gave me some needed rest and mental refueling. Crawford Loritts is really a GREAT example of a pastor and leader. I tell you the truth – this man made me want to dress up in armor and fight the invading hordes of whateverstan with nothing but a spear, sword and shield.

I got a quick chance to talk with him (originally confusing him for his son, Bryan Loritts, who made the Elephant Room comments that I disagreed heavily with) about said comments in parenthesis.  Dr. Loritts was very gracious and mentioned that the point his son was trying to make was that sometimes, when ‘our people’ (African-Americans) get introduced to new theology, there is a tendency toward ‘hero worship’ and attempting to parrot just to fit in (my words, not his).  I can agree with that to a point.  I do think that Bryan could have phrased his statements better…. but I see where he gets his ‘strong stances’ from.

Anyway, Dr. Loritts really REALLY did a spectacular job speaking at the Weekend to Remember Conference. I just wanted to push that point home.  I wish WTR would record and make his sessions available online. A lot of people could benefit from them, especially in African-American communities where the fatherlessness rate is almost double the country’s national average.

That moves me on to my FB page….and it generated a bit o’ good conversation. Here’s twenty observations I posted:

TWENTY observations:

1. If you claim to be a Christian, but don’t you’re not a member of a church family under the authority of a pastor, you ARE in disobedience to scripture and to the Lord who gave scripture, no matter how ‘good’ you think God is with your idea.

2. The number one cause of divorce is not finances. It’s selfishness. Husbands being too selfish and self-centered to communicate and wives being too selfish and self-centered to forgive…or encourage.

3. Ephesians 5:22-33 is not rocket science. Stop trying to explain it away, stop being disobedient and do it.

4. Saw this today: a wife at the WTR conference publicly apologized to her husband. He’s 6’2″. She’s 5’0″. She realized that her words cut him down way too much and too often.

5. Point #4 will go ignored by several women (single and some married) because feminism has poisoned their brains (they will call it liberation) so that they are only capable of supporting their husbands if they ‘do right’.

6. Related to point #5, 50%-50% in a marriage sounds good, but it’s a fallacy. It’s based on performance….and no one ever lives up to their own standards for ‘meet me halfway’. The Biblical model is 100% on both sides of the table.

7. Most men would love to step up and lead, but are (literally) frightened away by loud and obnoxious women who want to be their equal.

8. Most men would love to lead, but they haven’t had strong male role models to draw from….and the culture isn’t exactly man-friendly these days.

9. Speaking of the culture, there is a direct war on men and masculinity – entertainment industry only promotes hyper-male immature young boys (see most of current hip hop as an example) as role models, television has almost NO decent husbands who love their wives and raise their kids right (i.e. another Bill Cosby) and 7 of 10 commercials that have a man and woman in a humorous situation usually have the men as the butt of the joke.

10. There’s a war on women too – being LED by women. It’s more of a war on any type of woman that isn’t a career-focused, overassertive, male-with-ovaries. Hilary Rosen’s comments are only the only ones that got major press coverage. It’s not a coincidence that most ‘feminists’ (self-identified ones) seem hostile to women who are pro-life. It’s also not a coincidence that most of unborn being aborted are women.

11. Fatherlessness is THE major cause of most of the social ills in our country – from entitlement to poverty to crime. Notice – I didn’t say simply producing a child or putting in a child support payment on time. I said FATHERlessness.

12. Most of the women I mentioned in point #10 will disagree with point #11 and claim that they are the father AND mother to their kids. Sorry – you can’t teach a boy to be a man. Boys are wired differently and have different needs just like women and girls have different needs.

13. Most of the women in point #10 who are contemplating a mental response to #12 will realize their own hypocrisy at this point because they will find themselves agreeing with the statement that women have different needs (or certain needs), yet want to say they can be a ‘father’ to their kids. At this point, they’ll call me names in their heads (or in the comments below) instead of dealing with themselves.

14. Proverbs 26:4-5 dictates that sometimes true wisdom is found in walking away. Ten foolish and ignorant people patting each other on the back about how smart they are….are still foolish and ignorant. Better to nail a message to a brick wall than argue with one.

15. The longer you sit in the bathroom, the less likely you are to smell your own crap. Humility goes a long way.

16. Some people are searching for truth. Others are searching for an excuse to disbelieve (or justify what they already believe). Wisdom, time and patience shows which is which.

17. We’re all sinners. We all need a Savior. There’s only one. Unless you think you’re perfect and you are ‘good enough’ to merit salvation on your own strength and prowess. When you’re done being arrogant, the gospel will still be here.

18. I don’t have to be a woman to have a strong opinion against abortion anymore than I need to be a child to disagree with child molestation or have a vagina to disagree with rape.

19. Some people can and will find ‘racism’ in a snowstorm…simply because all the flakes are white. These same people will be hypocritical and say they agree with Dr. King’s dream (King’s dream was not to run around yelling racism constantly – but to work toward a post-racial society where people are people, regardless of skin color).

20. Some people will ignore racism unintentionally because they are genuinely trying to look objectively at a situation. They may also refuse to recognize that racism exists because they are under the illusion that just because there are no ‘white only’ signs up anymore (except that one swimming pool in Ohio), everything else is entitlement and oversensitivity.

BONUS:

1. Classism is the new racism. It’s almost identical to the old racism. White flight and black flight have produced de facto segregation in many public schools.

2. Black folk cared more about our communities, education and our image when we were ‘colored’ (when we were segregated by law).

3. The people ruining public education: non-parenting parents (only really 30% of the population of school parents) who raise and shelter their kids so they never face consequences (nothing like a 504 plan or a ‘diagnosis’ to shield a kid from reality), drive-by education specialists with doctorate degrees who haven’t spent time in the school system beyond 2-5 years, school board officials who’ve never been in the classroom as teachers, but think they know our jobs better than we do and idiotic politicians who make legislation that makes our jobs harder than they need to be….then complains when the situation THEY helped to create can’t be cleaned up.

4. Most black folk only voted for Obama because he’s black. A lot of them have since awakened to see that Bush 3.0 is just another politician that gives good speeches. At least Tom Joyner is honest enough to say that ‘we’ should vote for Barack out of loyalty to black people.

5. You may or may not agree with me on every point. That’s cool. You have a right to disagree with me. I can appreciate people with whom I have an honest disagreement with. For example, Peter Singer is an evolutionist, bioethicist, philosopher and ethicist. He’s pro-choice, pro-euthanasia and extremely utilitarian. He tells the truth when it comes to the issue – he believes that biologically, human life begins at conception and that the unborn is a separate biological entity from its’ mother. But he also believes that human beings (because he’s an evolutionist) have the right to terminate their unborn out of convenience (survival of the fittest/natural selection). I can at least have an honest disagreement with him.

I can have an honest disagreement with John Norman. He’s a synergist, panentheist and is Eastern Orthodox. But he won’t pretend that he and I (I’m a monergist, reformed presbyterian) agree and our disagreements are just semantics. I respect that. We can have REAL conversations, even when we walk away not agreeing.

Truthfulness in conversation is a lost art in post-post-modern conversation.

 

Comment below as you desire.

Why I Won’t Be Signing the Manhattan Declaration

Sproul: http://new.ligonier.org/blog/the-manhattan-declaration/

MacArthur: http://www.shepherdsfellowship.org/pulpit/Posts.aspx?ID=4444

Dan Phillips: http://teampyro.blogspot.com/2009/11/nineteen-questions-for-signers-of.html

Between these three, I believe the issue is pretty clear.

While I understand why Dr. Mohler signed it, I think his choosing to do so was a bit short-sighted….especially since he has stated that his signing it did NOT imply that he believed that Rome’s gospel and the gospel as found in scripture and held to by evangelical protestants was the same:

I cannot and do not sign documents such as Evangelicals and Catholics Together that attempt to establish common ground on vast theological terrain. I could not sign a statement that purports, for example, to bridge the divide between Roman Catholics and evangelicals on the doctrine of justification. The Manhattan Declaration is not a manifesto for united action. It is a statement of urgent concern and common conscience on these three issues — the sanctity of human life, the integrity of marriage, and the defense of religious liberty.

My beliefs concerning the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox churches have not changed. The Roman Catholic Church teaches doctrines that I find both unbiblical and abhorrent — and these doctrines define nothing less than the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But The Manhattan Declaration does not attempt to establish common ground on these doctrines. We remain who we are, and we concede no doctrinal ground.

Even though the document does the very thing he says it does not:

We, as Orthodox, Catholic, and Evangelical Christians, have gathered, beginning in New York on September 28, 2009, to make the following declaration, which we sign as individuals, not on behalf of our organizations, but speaking to and from our communities.

and especially:

We are Christians who have joined together across historic lines of ecclesial differences to affirm our right—and, more importantly, to embrace our obligation—to speak and act in defense of these truths. We pledge to each other, and to our fellow believers, that no power on earth, be it cultural or political, will intimidate us into silence or acquiescence. It is our duty to proclaim the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in its fullness, both in season and out of season. May God help us not to fail in that duty.

Which gospel ?

So more than a few folks remain perplexed as to why Mohler, Grudem and a few more solid names have signed the document. We can freely pursue these causes lock-step with Catholics and the Orthodox without claiming to be all ‘Christians’, when in doctrinal practice and affirmation, we can’t claim each other (well…..protestants can’t claim Rome or the Orthodox…. Rome calls protestants ‘separated brethren’). People like Rick Warren, Colson and others, I expect to sign it, since they all tend to be wishy-washy on doctrine (and strangely, on things like THIS important doctrine).

I’ll admit: I was persuaded a bit by Mohler’s argument until I really READ the document. While I agree with its’ aims, there’s too much assumed by it in regard to the gospel. Ultimately, the only thing that will truly change the human condition from a social standpoint is the real gospel. Anything else is simply moralism and religiosity.

Bothered by The Whole Port Thingie…..

Wolves watching the henhouse.

I’ve been one to defend Bush-Cheney and some of the things administration has done over the past 5 years. But this one…. nahhh. I can’t do it.

With LaShawn Barber’s recent review of a book on securing our borders, I’m surprised she hasn’t blogged more on this, though Michelle Malkin has – and she gives much more detail.

Anyway, my recent thoughts on this….(as posted on the 5th quarter):

Someone asked me:

So Kerry, why do you think he’s so adamant about making this thing happen? I don’t ask this as an argument, I seriously wanna know, and you’re the only Bush person I know, so even though it angers you as much as it does me, I wanna know what in the world makes this so important to him, other than “being right.”

I know you’re not asking to start an argument. :) We’re on the same page here. Here’s some food for thought on the whole thing (and as you can tell, I’m quite bothered by it….really just irritated… but I’ll get over it….)

Bush isn’t stupid, but he won’t admit wrong in public (one of the things that bugs me about him). Brownie gets fired quietly, for example.

Remember the presidential debates where someone asked him what was one thing that he regretted as far as decisions he’d made ? He answered back “I regret appointing some people. I’m not going to mention them publicly.”

It’s no secret that Bush isn’t as friendly in the WH halls as he is on tv and that staff that screws up routinely gets blasted by a rather cold Bush, than the friendly ‘every-man’ Bush we see on TV.

Expect to see some heads roll over the next few months. Why’s he defending it ? He won’t publicly admit (at least not fully) all the implications of a screw up like this one. Nothing big. No cover up. That’s one part of it. The other is listed below.

To his credit, he does make a good argument. And the ‘we can’t racially profile people – even Arabs’ argument would be valid with just about any other country or nationality at any other time. I just don’t think that the argument is valid when it comes to Islam. Before Islam became an issue with terror and America, I studied it (a decade or so ago) in detail, including all factions, offshoots like the Ba’hai and so forth. The only ‘peace’ in Islam comes at the end of a sword when you confess that Muhummad is the prophet of Allah. Why do you think there is no tolerance of other religions in Islamic countries ? Surah 9 commands the slaying of ‘infidels’ (those who do not believe in Allah) – thus, in Arabic countries like Saudi Arabia, according to Sharia law, the penalty for converting from Islam to Christianity is death. Saalman Rushdie’s “The Satanic Verses” easily got him a fatwa because open criticism of Islam is not allowed or tolerated. Public evangelism for Christianity, for example, is not allowed. The underground church in most middle east countries is under constant persecution with folks locked up, tortured, jailed, KILLED and taxed heavily – for being anything else but Muslim (especially if they are Christians or Jews).

Orthodox Sunni AND Shiite philosophy seeks to conform the entire society to Islam wherever they settle. What they do is set up community centers, organize and gradually seek to grow in influence, until they are able to ‘take over’. Why do you think, for example, France had a near-riot break out years ago when they banned Muslim headcoverings for women ? The Muslim population in France and England has quietly exploded over the past two decades. As mentioned above – there are now more Muslims in England than Baptists.

Bush’s entire approach to the ‘war on terror’ reeks when it comes to how to deal with Islam, but I know why he does it. I simply don’t agree with his approach. That’s why our soldiers are still on the defensive over in Iraq instead of whuppin’ arse and getting things done quicker. His approach (Bush’s) is to approach Islam like one would approach Christianity – and appeal to the general want for peace, safety and quiet and non-violence. The problem, however, is that from a theological perspective and a worldview perspective, that ain’t how Islam operates. But Bush seeks to make friends in Arab countries by appeasement. It’s not just him, though. Clinton, Bush Sr., Regan and others have all done the exact same thing. That ‘door’ has just been opening up more and more lately since Gulf War I.

I simply know – from studying the theological foundations of Islam (including current academics, clerics, translators, debaters, etc….) – that appeasement will NOT ultimately work. While there are a few ‘liberal’ Muslims, the bulk – even the name-only Muslims – integrate their faith (specifically the Qu’ran and Hadith) into how government is operated. Islam, by it’s very nature and from its’ very foundation, has always been militant. The ‘fundamentalist radical Islam’ nonsense that gets attacked on TV as not representing true Islam…. actually does. A lot of people just won’t admit it because it’s not politically correct. Islam does seek to ultimately take over society and impose itself on all.

That’s why, for example, though the Iraqi folks are happy Sadaam is gone, they view Americans and others as ‘occupation forces’ and would prefer them gone, even with the ‘good’ presently going on that doesn’t get reported on CNN.

A guy in my caregroup at church – http://ht4e.blogspot.com – a very proud Democrat – and I had very interesting convo the other night after care group meeting was over. Besides the fact that he says Bush is not a Republican, but really a neo-Con (and I’m starting to agree, although I said on here months ago that Bush is more of a moderate than people give him credit for), since one of ‘our’ tenets is smaller government with less spending. His solution to dealing with the war on terror had me cracking up – it was very controversial though….

US: Dear Middle East – These nutcases are your problem. Your countries harbor them, train them and encourage them tacitly. You need to stop them – and now. If we get another terror attack, here’s what’s going to happen – your SECOND most holy city – Medina – will glow in the dark for 1000 years. No joke. We’re dead serious. If things don’t change and we get hit with another attack, no one will be able to do a Hajj for the next 1000 years.

In return, if you work with us, after setting things right in Iraq, we will leave your countries. If you’re working with us, we’ll give whatever resources are necessary to help out in fighting these nutcases and then leave. Leave us alone, leave everyone else alone, we’ll both be fine.

That’s his solution.

And truthfully, I like the approach.

Of course, I know from the Truman doctrine, that none of this stuff is going to resolve the way I’d like it to, for the most part. The US is always going to be involved in world politics, with its’ hand in everyone’s cookie jar because if we stay OUT of the world scene (ala 1933-1940), eventually the world scene will affect us for not acting sooner (Pearl Harbor).

That’s my rant. I’m going to bed. :)

4 out of 5 ain’t bad….

One of my discussion board members – Searaptor22 (teenager from Indiana with a good head on his shoulders), posted a link to the Libertarian Party website and why he’s a libertarian.

http://www.lp.org/issues/lp-oss.shtml

Four of their five points, I can mostly agree with. Really, the only point I can only partially agree with is #5. 1,3 and 4, I believe in full.

The one I blatantly disagree with is #2, quoted below.

Step 2. End Prohibition

Drug prohibition does more to make Americans unsafe than any other factor. Just as alcohol prohibition gave us Al Capone and the mafia, drug prohibition has given us the Crips, the Bloods and drive-by shootings. Consider the historical evidence: America’s murder rate rose nearly 70% during alcohol prohibition, but returned to its previous levels after prohibition ended. Now, since the War on Drugs began, America’s murder rates have doubled. The cause/effect relationship is clear. Prohibition is putting innocent lives at risk.

What’s more, drug prohibition also inflates the cost of drugs, leading users to steal to support their high priced habits. It is estimated that drug addicts commit 25% of all auto thefts, 40% of robberies and assaults, and 50% of burglaries and larcenies. Prohibition puts your property at risk. Finally, nearly one half of all police resources are devoted to stopping drug trafficking, instead of preventing violent crime. The bottom line? By ending drug prohibition Libertarians would double the resources available for crime prevention, and significantly reduce the number of violent criminals at work in your neighborhood.

My reasons are pretty simple – if everything is allowed, everything will be done. It’s also part of the reason why I disagree with #5 – the ‘root’ causes of crime is sin. We can blame-shift all we want, blame society, environment, etc…. but all of these things do nothing but absolve people of personal responsibility. John MacArthur tackles this point at length in his book The Vanishing Conscience. The U.S. has become a ‘nation of victims’ and everybody’s busy passing the blame for their doing wrong off on something other than themselves.

MacArthur puts it this way:

In this matter of self-examination we have to get in touch with our conscience. And I want to address that issue this morning. A couple of years ago I wrote a book called The Vanishing Conscience, which at least for me was a very, very important and foundational book. And it is still in print for which I’m grateful. But in that book I recounted a news report that I had read some years before. It was 1984 and an Avonca Jet crashed in Spain. As always after a crash like that investigators study the accident scene looking for the black box. The black box is the cockpit recorder, and that’s important so they can reconstruct the conversation as well as the electronics, the technology is recorded in that black box unit to try to determine why the accident happened.

Amazingly when the found the black box and they played the recording it revealed that several minutes before the plane flew straight into the side of a mountain, a shrill computer synthesized voice from the planes automatic warning system told the crew repeatedly “pull up, pull up, pull up, pull up.” The pilot inexplicably snapped back “shut up gringo!” and flipped off the switch. Minutes later the plane smashed into the mountain and everybody was, of course instantly killed.

When I read that It appeared to me to be a great illustration of how the conscience functions. And how a modern people treat their conscience. Conscience is the souls warning system. And it tells us when to “pull up” to go another direction, to make an immediate midcourse correction because were flying into disaster. Conscience is described for us in the second chapter of Romans verses 14 and 15. Here we learn that every body has a conscience when they come into the world, it’s a gift from God, given to every human being. The pagans called gentiles here, the nations, who do not have the law, they don’t have the mosaic law they don’t have the scripture. But they do instinctively things that are in the law. Because though they don’t have the written law, they are a law to them selves. Now what that tells us is that when God made man he made him not only a physical creature, but He made him a spiritual creature. In his physical creation man has certain capabilities, certain reflexes. He has senses, physical senses. And in his spiritual creation he has also some moral senses, some moral reflexes, some moral information. And that is the law of God written in the heart. And everybody coming into the world has a sense of right and wrong, has a built in ethical code. A built in moral compass.

In addition verse 15 says to the law written in there hearts, “there conscience bears witness.” Now that introduces us to the conscience. The conscience is a witness. The conscience gives testimony. The conscience speaks. And it speaks as to how we respond to the law. And so verse 15 says the conscience works in the thoughts alternately accusing or else defending. Now let me sum that up by simply saying, everybody who is created, comes into the world with a sense of right and wrong. That is the law written in the hearts. In addition to that, God has put the conscience, and the conscience is a warning device that sounds off when we violate that law. Or affirms when we obey it. The conscience is not that law it is merely the warning device.

As such it’s priceless to us. Because when it says “pull up, pull up, pull up!” It is giving us critical information. Warning us that continued flight in the same path is deadly. Conscience is to the soul what pain is to the body. We would like to avoid pain as much as possible but at the same time we recognize that pain is a gift from God. If you didn’t have pain you would destroy your self. Its what we learned last week, didn’t we. In studying Leprosy, or Hansen’s Disease. You are anesthetized, once your nerves no longer responded you can literally destroy your-self because you feel nothing. Pain is critical to physical preservation. And so the Conscience is critical to spiritual preservation.

Now when you come into the world with this sort of basic morality, and a responsive witness to that morality, that either indicts you or honors you, in response to how you conduct your-self according to that innate morality. When you come into the world that’s only a minimal provision by God. To strengthen your conscience, you need to continually inform it not only of that basic morality that’s written in your heart, but of that very refined comprehensive moral law recorded where? In scripture. As you raise your children you teach them the law of the Lord Deuteronomy 6 says you teach them the law of the Lord “when you stand up, lie down, sit down, walk in the way.” In other words all the time, all the time, your teaching, your teaching, your teaching, your children the law of God. Because you want that law basic law written in their hearts, strengthened and developed and built up and fulfilled and completed. And so you teach them the law of God. And the more they know about the law of God the richer there understanding of scripture, the more truth there to activate the conscience to warn them. The more information the conscience has the better.

Our society attacks that. Our society under the price of the power of the air, has two objectives. Objective number one, is destroy the moral law, so that the conscience is misinformed. Train people against what is innately the law that is in their hearts when they’re born. Give them a new morality, not the morality of the Bible not God’s law. We want people not to think biblically. We want them freed from that so we’ll construct another morality and we’ll pour that into their lives, through every means possible. That’s destructive.

http://www.biblebb.com/files/MAC/jm-conscience.htm

The destructive impact of recreational drugs (as well as other things such as same-sex marriage, abortion, etc….) have been well-documented. Legislating it into law may curb some of the crime rate… but you would have a whole other issue now. Keeping alcohol legal, for example, has not stopped people from driving drunk, going into insane drunken rages and hurting people or even hurting themselves. And though alcohol is a ‘drug’ that can be taken in moderation (and not to excess), legalization of things like weed, pcp, lsd, x and others are a whole other issue in and of themselves. Imagine the druken man who beats his wife, but gets stopped by a police tazer. Now imagine that man on PCP instead.

Scary enough for ya ?

They say that high folks (folks under the influence of alcohol or drugs to the point where they are intoxicated with it) ‘tell the truth’ a bit more. I’ve seen this firsthand repeatedly. And the truth is… that people are sinful. I’ve seen the drunk relative rant and rave in a drunken stupor about how he really doesn’t like certain family members anyway and then proceeds to curse his own mother out. Yet, when not under the influence, he’s such a nice guy. The issue with crime, drugs, etc…. is not economic, but moral.

People don’t murder people for drugs. If drugs were legal, there’d be a whole other set of issues that people would find to latch onto and murder people, rob people and steal from people to get.

People over in African countries would consider our ghettoes to be palaces. With Somali and other warlords armed with thousands of rounds of ammunition, they’d consider the U.S.’s worst inner city to be safer. With the opportunity to work, live in your OWN apartment and not be forced to live in a shanty with 8-9 other relatives…. the chance to eat more than three times a week… many aspire to leave their countries wracked in civil war and come here.

And with these things that others don’t have… our problem of crime – especially violent crime – remain. The problem isn’t education or economics. It’s a sin issue. The fix isn’t intellectual. It’s moral and spiritual.

No political party is the solution to mans’ woes. Only Christ is. And until He returns, there will be no perfect political party.

—–

A Strong Rebuke…. Ya Think ?

I haven’t talked politics on the blog in a while because I spend most of my days talking about it on The 5th Quarter in the 5Q Lounge.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking….and in the midst of showing someone that they were busy arguing with the ‘republican stereotype in their mind promoted by the media’ and not interacting with what I was specifically saying, this all came to mind…..

Finally…….

*putting on steel toe boots*

Some folk call themselves Christian on here, but follow right along with the non-Christians on here in ‘speaking evil of dignitaries’ (Jude 8, 2 Peter 2:10). I’m not talking about legit criticism or policy disagreements – but stuff like ‘fugg Bush’ and all this other nonsense. The above passages referenced refer to things FALSE PROPHETS do. Believers, on the other hand, are commanded to:

1 Peter 2:13-17
13Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, 14or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. 16Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. 17Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.

and also:

Romans 13:1-7
1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. 4 For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. 5 Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. 7 Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.

and also:
1 Timothy 2:1-2
1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.

Now if scripture (not Bionic’s Opinion) says you owe the king honor and you continually dishonor him in your speech, you are not contradicting me, but disobeying God. If your speech matches the speech of ‘the world’ in simply condeming, name-calling, cursing and all in regard to the leader of your country, no matter how much you ‘dislike him’ and not praying for him, you are in direct disobedience to the Word of God. Your beef ain’t with me – I’m just the mailman. You can call me all the names you want and that won’t change one jot or tittle of the scriptures’ commands to YOU.

It needs to be noted that both Paul and Peter wrote these words under the ‘regime’ of a Caesar-worshipping, hedonistic, lust-filled Roman empire. Yes, there were some laws which required believers to do things that were anti-Christian that were to be shunned and outright resisted (i.e.- calling Caesar ‘Lord’ and worshipping him). You find something analogous to that in simply treating your leader with respect, let me know. As believers, we have an example to set for the world. Some of you hollar about signs and wonders in order for folks to be saved (and Tracey, I love you for always reminding me of this, because I need it – don’t stop!), but the greatest ‘sign’ and ‘wonder’ is a changed life. God doesn’t just save us and give forgiveness of sin, but takes us and shapes us into an image of Him. that means your language – even on political issues – should be markedly DIFFERENT than that of non-Christians. And how you go about handling political issues should ALSO be different.

Good tree. Good fruit.

Perhaps the reason a bunch of you don’t feel like you’re living peacefully is because you ain’t prayin’ like scripture says you should.

Think on it.

and REPENT.

What’s very interesting – I just had some dude join my board who came over with an agenda to ‘support the democratic party’ and ‘bash Bush’ with much the same rhetoric spewed on here (though he’s white).

He recently posted something right along these SAME lines – that he was WRONG from a *BIBLICAL* standpoint – to attack Dubya personally. And I wasn’t the main person interacting with him……

thank God for repentance. :)

*takes off boots*

Closing thoughts…..

Ultimately, EVERY political candidate will fall short of the biblical standard for righteous ruler until Christ comes and rules. Putting all (or even most) of your trust in them to establish your agenda is akin to trying to build the kingdom of God on earth. It’s a fool’s errand, destined to fail as much as trying to worship a Jesus Christ who isn’t God or believing in a God who isn’t Triune.

fin

Church Expels Democrats…..

Religion and Politics Clash

Religion and politics clash over a local church’s declaration that Democrats are not welcome.

East Waynesville Baptist asked nine members to leave. Now 40 more have left the church in protest. Former members say Pastor Chan Chandler gave them the ultimatum, saying if they didn’t support George Bush, they should resign or repent. The minister declined an interview with News 13. But he did say “the actions were not politically motivated.” There are questions about whether the bi-laws were followed when the members were thrown out.

(posted at 7:30am, 5/6/05)

There’s a link I found on this and a blog with 436 comments – and growing faster than I can refresh the page.

Mind you, I’m a republican…. but this is utter lunacy. There are plenty of brothers and sisters in Christ who vote democrat for whatever misguided reason :D (though, most probably voted republican this past election, based on moral stance alone, since these issues DO take precedence for the believer), but seriously. If I was a pastor, I wouldn’t excommunicate folks just for voting dumocrat. I’d seriously question how Biblically-oriented their worldview was – this past election had plenty of folks who claimed to be Christian busy fighting the wrong war with the wrong weapons – but I wouldn’t excommunicate them or recommend that they be excommunicated. Hell…. wouldn’t even be an issue for me. Bush won. The ‘Dubya’ stands for Winner. That ends that discussion.

But the discussion that does need to continue is one that continues to put folks face to face with the Word of God and His heart for marriage, abortion, etc…. when the Word comes to bear on a situation, many folks without a biblical mindset/worldview, will excommunicate themselves.

1 John 2:19 – They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. (ESV)

Oh well. More fodder for unbelievers to yak on about….

FBI questions Pastor over sermons on Abortion and Homosexuality

One out of twelve…. probably more than a few Judaseses lurking in YOUR congregation….

—–