Good for Texas

Quora: As upper middle class folks, what was the most eye opening thing about being poor?
Linda Buck Former Retired After Years as a Headhunter

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This is not the answer you’re going to expect. When I was dropped from upper middle class to being one of the poor people I discovered that there is a tremendous amount of help for the poor. At least in Texas there is. Food banks deliver food to us twice a month, charitable groups contact us all the time to see what we need. When I couldn’t pay my hospital bill and I told them I could only pay $10 a month they ask how much income I have. When they found out they wrote the hospital bill off. My credit card company wrote off over $6,000 when I called to make a arrangements to just pay the interest every month.

I am embarrassed to say that I am more comfortable being poor than I was being upper middle class.

You just need to get over your feeling of shame and ask for help. At least in Texas.

—<Quote ends>—

Texas has real problems, but Texas also has real strengths.

Christians around the world should follow Texas’ lead here.

(It helps to be at least as capitalistic as Texas, to generate the wealth to give to others, including the poor.)

Hint: don’t be poor in Russia, or China, or North Korea, or Cuba, or Venezuela, desperately hoping for the Loving Hand of the State to save you.

Listen to the Voiceless

Listen to the voiceless
by kevron2001

I strongly believe that if we believers care for those who have no defender, no voice — and yet still face great injustice and danger — then God will care for us.

God identifies with the weak. The poor. The stranger. The aged and feeble. The young and ignorant. The lame and blind.

We Christians must do so, as well.

With, or without, the approval of Our Secularist, Darwinian, Lawless Betters.

Detailed Religious Map of the World, 2015

New Knowledge

Incredibly Detailed Map Of The World’s Religions
from Brilliant Maps

I like the fairly small-scale level that the map gets to.

Even I discovered some things: the retreat of Christianity in British Columbia, Yukon, and New Zealand, compared to the (nominal) perseverance of Christianity in Northern Europe.

There is a bit of a cheat here: Christianity is divided into various denominations, but the Sunni and Shiite differences within Islam are ignored. Same deal with “Eastern Religions” that put Taoism, Shinto, and Confucianism into one category.

Finally, Atheism should be divided into Kim-worship (North Korea), Leninist, Stalinist, Maoist, Nazi/Racial, and Nationalist flavours.

I have a feeling that straight Scientism — Dawkins, et al — has been falling for decades outside the Academy. But even at their greatest level — around the early 70s, I think — they never amounted to more than maybe a million professionals.

It was their academic and intellectual positions, coupled with the Imperialist-minded/Revolutionary-minded European masses eager to hear them out, that gave them the influence they once had.

Woke ideology is broadly anti-Christian and influenced by Marxism, but not anti-religious or materialist per se. And as Woke takes over the Academy, straight Enlightenment, implicitly Race-based Darwinian Atheism is going the way of the dodo.

From Knowledge to Action

If Christians want to reshape the world, they had better take responsibility and action to change the world

  • from caring for the poor personally (compared to the impersonal “concern” of State Welfare),
  • to expanding the world of knowledge, science, history, medicine, and scholarship (as the very concept of”objective truth” is openly laughed at in the colleges and universities)
  • to insisting that the Law of God, unchangeable and fixed, become the law of all nations, just as Jesus demanded and His Father expects us to do.
    • As opposed to the self-serving Will of Powerful and Wealthy Men.

The one who takes responsibility, the one who acts on the behalf of God and for the benefit of others – believers, but also unbelievers – is the one who rises to cultural leadership.

And, in time, political leadership as well.

Seeing that we need a replacement for our incompetent and delusional Ruling Class — it’s time we stepped up to the plate.

We, and our children, and our grandchildren. To a thousand generations thousands of generations that love the Lord.

(Or until the Second Coming of Christ. Whichever comes first.)

Hat tip, Ciao, GetReligion: Thanks, all, for my tenure. Critic that I am, though, here are some final thoughts by Ira Rifkin. A fairly interesting read, if you are interested in the religious views of the mass media

*shrug*

I’d rather get more into the Chalcedon Archives, as well as PocketCollege. It’s a more cost-effective use of a Christian’s time, at least for the thinking side of the Faith.

The doing side of the faith, I don’t put on this blog. But it’s there, and your side of the active, in time and on earth growth of the Kingdom — from business to family to charity to teaching others, face to face — had better be materially real in the eyes of God too!

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

Matthew 25:31-40, ESV

Not just prayer, not just study.

Action.

Synagogue of Santa

I wish Christians who don’t really care for God’s commands nor God’s law nor Christ’s Kingdom, would just set up some Roman mystery cult that doesn’t involve Jesus’s Name.

I don’t care what they call themselves. Just don’t blaspheme God’s name, by claiming — explicitly or implicitly — His support for their lawless, man-pleasing vision.

As for men who don’t claim to be more holy than God?

Let’s study the Commandments — “If you love me, obey my Commandments” — and expand the Kingdom of God HIS way, by example and by teaching, by children and by conversion.

Step by step, we will retake the land.

The future — and eternity — belongs to those who are meek before God, and hard before lawless men.

Not in a foolish, kamikaze manner, but carefully picking your battles, guided by the Holy Spirit.

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

Matthew 7:23, ESV.
(The bold is mine, of course.)

The Power of Limits

A repost from the Chalcedon Report article The Power of Limits, from June 2018, by  Martin G. Selbrede

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I’ve borrowed my title from an important article by Christian architect James Elliott Bryant (those interested in seeing how a Biblical worldview directly affects the field of architecture should look up and study his one-of-a-kind presentation).1 We’ll be looking at this concept from several additional angles.

So, let us consider limits. Humanistic man hates limits, defying them at every opportunity. Limits are seen as oppressive, as restrictions imposed from elsewhere, that cramp modern man’s style and impede his potential. Just as rules were made to be broken, limits were made to be exceeded. A world without limits is the ostensible goal, where “everything is permissible.”

Of course, there’s no appeal in violating a boundary unless there’s a boundary to violate. It isn’t enough to lift all restrictions, or abolish all boundaries, if those limits were fictitious in the first place. It is the repudiation of authority, the assault on the Creator, which motivates such freedom fighters. There is a personal dimension to their rebellion: it’s not a rebellion against mere neutral conventions that are easily revised or amended. Stolen fruit simply tastes sweeter. If you’re going to spit in someone’s eye, make it count: spit in God’s eye.

Concerning the Father and the Son, the kings of the earth posit a counsel of personal rebellion: “Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us” (Ps. 2:3).

In Noble Savages, Dr. Rushdoony highlights the hatred of limits lying at the heart of modern thought, particularly in the moral domain. Lawlessness—the absence of limits—is applauded and celebrated. The Lawgiver is excoriated as a killjoy. It is not enough to just move the ancient landmarks: they need to be abolished entirely.

But only if the ancient landmarks were put there by God! For antinomian man is the consummate hypocrite, whose policies introduce new limits of their own. The new liberties humanists proclaim entail the return of the old and tyranny. When men then “limit the Holy One of Israel” (Ps. 78:41), their motivation is to supplant His counsel with their own (on the grounds that He is impotent or irrelevant or both).

The Bands of Wickedness

Isaiah 58:6 refers to “the bands of wickedness.” These are the various ways in which the wicked bind and limit and restrict the people they seek to control. When the kings of the earth attempt to break asunder the bands of God (Ps. 2:3), it is to replace His bands with their own. God’s restrictions must be burst and cast away: this is the kings’ joint mission. They resent the fact that God’s bands restrict them from imposing their own bands upon people.

Scholars have nominated many candidates for these “bands of wickedness”: judicial oppression, impositions on conscience, human domination in the church, etc.2 J. A. Alexander points out that Isaiah’s term is “descriptive of oppression generally,” which is why the prophet adds the explicit command, “Ye shall break every yoke.” This is our task: the liberation of the world from the oppressive yoke of man, that the peoples may take upon themselves the easy, light yoke of Christ.

Dr. Rushdoony fills in the details when God’s yoke, “the gentle waters of Siloam,”3 are renounced by man:

Tyranny is man’s rule without God, and it is obviously very popular because it is so common. What God’s law offers is freedom from man … God’s law requires holiness whereas man’s law requires conformity. There is freedom under God because we know the limits He Himself has set: His law is unchanging and His law does not encroach on us because its limits are fixed. Man’s law, and statist law, have no limits. The state that abandons God will also steadily abandon all restraints on its power. Tyranny is then the result. Men who rule without God and His law are tyrants because they rule without restraints. God’s law is a restraint upon man.4

Rushdoony concludes that humanism can only achieve conformity by coercion. Coercion is the only tool in the toolkit once men try to cast away God’s limits, His cords, His bands. The choice is not between bands or no bands, but rather whose bands will prevail.

There is thus a power in limits in respect to affording man the freedom to fulfill his potential under God: God limits men who would limit you and your family.

The Hypocrisy of Humanism

Ironically, philosophers have sensed the need for limits, and have smuggled God in through the backdoor to prop up their rebellious worldviews. Whereas God is unwelcome as a limit on human power, He is tolerated as a backstop to make philosophy a coherent enterprise. As Rushdoony explains,

In its Greek form, rationalism posited a god as the First Cause because its thinking was hostile to an infinite regress of causes, and hence a god as the first cause was required. Beyond that, he had little function. As the First Cause, this god was the ultimate idea in that he made unnecessary a blind regression from one cause to another in search of an ever-elusive beginning. This god was impersonal; he was simply a logical necessity as a First Cause, not an object of worship nor investigation, but a limiting concept.5

There it is: philosophy needs a limiting concept, and can’t find one outside of God. God is suitably muzzled and neutered before being put in harness like this, but the fact that man needs Him at all is a remarkable concession that modern thought is impotent without limits.

Yet humanism tries to have its cake and eat it, decrying limits at all costs. Rushdoony identifies this gambit in his critique of Michel Foucault:

But if we deny God and His lawword, then our word becomes law to us, and we drift into madness and death. Not surprisingly, Foucault, who has proclaimed the death of man, began an earlier work with these words: “we must renounce the convenience of terminal truths.” There is then nothing to bind man to man, nor anything to bind man to life. Foucault is logical: without the structure of God’s truth, man cannot live, and the only conclusion which remains for man is suicide.6

Rootlessness, the nirvana of modern humanism, the renunciation of terminal truths, mutates into a death wish where meaning is unbound from reality. There is no power in this abyss, in what Van Til called the shoreless ocean of humanism.

The Power of Limits

While the kings of the earth in Psalm 2 set themselves as they seek to burst God’s bands asunder, God informs them, “Yet have I set My King on My holy hill of Zion.” The Father anoints the Son, to Whom all power and authority are given. Consequently, humanism’s rebellion is on shaky ground when the test of strength inevitably comes. But where do we stand on this question? What is our attitude to God’s limits upon His creation? Humanists defy them. Do we embrace them? Rejoice in them?

We must recognize that limits serve as anchors, a place to tether things so they don’t float free. The imagery of architecture, of construction, of building, dominates the scriptures that depict the Kingdom of God. You sink foundations to fix the building to the underlying rock (rather than building on sand).

The growth of God’s Kingdom in Isaiah 54:2 requires something stable to drive the tent stakes into, that the dwelling place for the incoming Gentiles be fully secured: “Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes.” It is because the rock doesn’t yield, presenting a limit to our tools, that it is fit to build upon. A hillside sliding into the ocean is of no value, nor is sand suitable to build upon, precisely because these things are free to move.

Limits, of course, are part and parcel of the created order as well as the charter for liberty established by His law. A world without limits is a world of chaos. A world without limits is a world without meaning.

When the shovel blade resists being driven into the ground, this is a good thing. It requires work to operate within limits, and sweat to shape His creation as His stewards, to rejoice in the fact that “their rock is not like our Rock” (Deut. 32:31), which even God’s enemies acknowledge to be so. We can build (physically and metaphorically) knowing that those limits insure that our labor is not in vain in the Lord, who embedded those limits into the world He has provided for us to exercise stewardship over (under His law).

Limits provide freedom in other areas7 as well: when God limits debts, He prevents us from enslaving ourselves for ten, twenty, or thirty years or more. His Sabbath puts a limit to working ourselves into an early grave.8 And we’d be wise to recognize the limits upon technology and our interactions with it and through it. Facebook, for example, is rife with limits that not enough Christians recognize. As Francis Ford Coppola pointed out, “Believe me, social media is not lasting content.”9 Like any tool, it has limits, and to know its limits is to avoid misuse and abuse of the tool.

Those who delight in God’s law are likened to trees that are planted in a fixed location. The chaff blown by the wind knows no such limits such as mark God’s man in Psalm 1:3: “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”

Yes, the righteous man is limited in where God plants him, because He has appointed us to bear much fruit and to prosper where the waters flow. Jeremiah 17:8 underscores the true power residing in Psalm One’s limits: that God in turn prevents heat or drought from harming the trees of righteousness, so that they shall never “cease from yielding fruit.” The righteous will rejoice that “their works do follow them” (Rev. 14:13) in the Lamb.

May your works do the same.

1. James Elliott Bryant, “The Power of Limits: A Created Order for Architecture,” presented at Chalcedon’s Second Annual Conference on the Media and the Arts in 1984. The text of Bryant’s exceptional presentation is posted online here: http://&nbsp;www.jamesbryantarch.com/beta/w… uploads/2016/07/created-order-jb.pdf

2. Joseph Addison Alexander, Commentary on the Prophecies of Isaiah (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, n.d.), 2:357–8.

3. See Isaiah 8:5–8, where the people refuse the gentle governance of God, preferring to align with impressive power states, which in turn overflow their banks and consume the people entirely.

4. Rousas John Rushdoony, The Institutes of Biblical Law, Vol. 3, The Intent of the Law (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 1999), p. 169–170.

5. https://chalcedon.edu/magazine… rationalism-and-tyranny

6. Rousas John Rushdoony, The Institutes of Biblical Law (Cherry Hill, NJ: Presbyterian & Reformed, 1973), p. 444.

7. e.g., Western music, though limited to twelve pitches of the chromatic scale, nonetheless permits generation of an incredible variety of music. Remove the limitation and music soon loses its power to communicate. The power of limits can likewise be seen across thousands of other disciplines.

8. Rushdoony observed how Soviet rejection of a Sabbath rest actually reduced productivity in their nation.

9. Time, May 21, 2018, p. 56.

—<Quote ends>—

Let’s zoom in, to three key concepts:

“So, let us consider limits. Humanistic man hates limits, defying them at every opportunity. Limits are seen as oppressive, as restrictions imposed from elsewhere, that cramp modern man’s style and impede his potential. Just as rules were made to be broken, limits were made to be exceeded. A world without limits is the ostensible goal, where “everything is permissible.”

Of course, there’s no appeal in violating a boundary unless there’s a boundary to violate. It isn’t enough to lift all restrictions, or abolish all boundaries, if those limits were fictitious in the first place. It is the repudiation of authority, the assault on the Creator, which motivates such freedom fighters. There is a personal dimension to their rebellion: it’s not a rebellion against mere neutral conventions that are easily revised or amended. Stolen fruit simply tastes sweeter. If you’re going to spit in someone’s eye, make it count: spit in God’s eye.”

There is an intensely personal dimension in the hate that drives today’s Secularist culture reserves for Christianity, believing Christians, and the Biblical God.

One reason why I like Selbrede is that he really understands where Our Betters are coming from.

“Tyranny is man’s rule without God, and it is obviously very popular because it is so common. What God’s law offers is freedom from man … God’s law requires holiness whereas man’s law requires conformity. There is freedom under God because we know the limits He Himself has set: His law is unchanging and His law does not encroach on us because its limits are fixed. Man’s law, and statist law, have no limits. The state that abandons God will also steadily abandon all restraints on its power. Tyranny is then the result. Men who rule without God and His law are tyrants because they rule without restraints. God’s law is a restraint upon man.4

Let’s repeat this sentence: “God’s law requires holiness whereas man’s law requires conformity.

Our Betters truly dislike limits on their power and control: especially limits on what they can do to the Inferiors.

They really, really don’t.

And the fetters they hate most are the fetters that come from God.

But if we deny God and His lawword, then our word becomes law to us, and we drift into madness and death. Not surprisingly, Foucault, who has proclaimed the death of man, began an earlier work with these words: “we must renounce the convenience of terminal truths.” There is then nothing to bind man to man, nor anything to bind man to life. Foucault is logical: without the structure of God’s truth, man cannot live, and the only conclusion which remains for man is suicide.6

Rootlessness, the nirvana of modern humanism, the renunciation of terminal truths, mutates into a death wish where meaning is unbound from reality. There is no power in this abyss, in what Van Til called the shoreless ocean of humanism.

We are about half-way to the fulfillment of the humanist death wish. We already have flat-out, legally enforced denials on what is obvious to all. And, inevitably and relentlessly, the demand for blatant lying in biology and science will grow to the demand for blatant lying in economics and the budget.

Which leads directly to the end of the Free Stuff bribes.

Which goes directly to an abrupt end to Progressive Power.

The Terminally Naive Christian Right

From Chalcedon, What Went Wrong with the Christian Right? by Gary North

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The answer is simple: the Christian Right has refused to break with the worst assumptions of the pre-Christian Right.

Before discussing what is wrong, we should discuss what is right. What is right is Biblical covenant theology.

Biblical Covenant Theology

Covenant theology has five points. First, God is absolutely sovereign. That is, He has predestinated everything. He is different from the creation, yet He has entered into the creation, above all through the Second Person of the Trinity’s incarnation as Jesus Christ.

Second, God rules in history covenantally, meaning hierarchically and judicially, primarily through mankind. After the Fall of man, God has dealt with redeemed men in a special way, which includes granting to them the lawful authority to impose judgments in history, including civil judgments.

Third, God has revealed His law for mankind in the Bible, though also in nature. Both man and nature are fallen, which places the Bible, God’s Word, as the central source for wisdom and ethics. It alone is trustworthy.

Fourth, as the providential sustainer of the universe, God judicially imputes meaning and then brings salvation (healing, deliverance) to individuals, societies, and nature, based on the comprehensive judgment brought against Jesus Christ at Calvary. We are therefore to think God’s thoughts after Him, subordinating our thoughts to the Bible.

Fifth, the new heavens and new earth, announced by Isaiah, will progressively replace Satan’s kingdom in history before Jesus comes in final judgment. To put these points in one sentence, the Bible teaches predestination, theocracy, theonomy, presuppositionalism, and postmillennialism.

Covenant theology is an inescapable concept. It is never a question of covenant theology vs. no covenant theology. It is a question of which covenant theology.

Having summarized the Bible’s doctrine of the covenant, I will now summarize the covenant theology of the pre-Christian Right.

American Covenant Theology

First, God is not absolutely sovereign. Man’s free will acts as a retarding factor on God’s decree. God’s decree is not comprehensive. God may or may not know the future perfectly, but men are surely sovereign in accepting or rejecting the gospel, and therefore sovereign over less important matters as well.

Second, God rules hierarchically through mankind, but He no longer has selected redeemed men to exercise special authority in civil affairs.

Third, God’s revealed law is confined to the Old Testament, which is no longer binding. Mankind is to be ruled by means of natural law, which is common to all men. Man and nature are fallen, but this has not seriously impaired the operation of natural law, as discovered by fallen man.

Fourth, God imputes meaning to all things and then salvation to individuals, but He does not save societies. Salvation is souls-only. So, in order to maintain society apart from specific redemption, truth must be available to all men on a common-access basis.

Fifth, because God saves souls only, and because the souls saved will remain a minority throughout history, society will remain unredeemed until Jesus comes again.

To put these points in one sentence, the Bible teaches free will, democracy, natural law theory, common-sense rationalism, and pessimillennialism (premillennialism or amillennialism).

We now turn to the area of applied theology. Each of these rival covenant theologies has undergirded a specific way of looking at the world. Each has produced a rival social outlook: in education, economics, politics, psychology, and popular culture. Each has produced a rival program of reconstruction.

Christian Reconstruction

Christian Reconstruction (capital R) can be said to have appeared as a developed theological system with the publication of Rousas John Rushdoony’s book, The Institutes of Biblical Law in 1973. That marked the resurrection of a lost Protestant tradition: a 300-year hiatus since the publication of Richard Baxter’s A Christian Directory, published in 1673. Baxter’s book was a work of Protestant casuistry: the application of Christian principles to society.

Rushdoony’s first book was on Cornelius Van Til’s philosophy: By What Standard? (1959). Van Til was a strict presuppositionalist philosopher — unique in church history. He was a true radical. Rushdoony explained and affirmed Van Til’s approach: a rejection of natural law theory and all common-ground systems of rationalism. This offered Rushdoony a strategy of reconstruction: education.

His second book — not counting a short extract of By What Standard? published as Van Til (1960) — was Intellectual Schizophrenia (1961), a defense of Christian education and a rejection of public (tax-funded) education. He began with a strategy: replace the public schools. Do not attempt to reform them, he warned. De-fund them. This was a radical position for Christians in 1961. It still is. It is consistent with Van Til’s presuppositionalism: no common-ground reasoning. Rushdoony extended his critique of public education, as no one had before or has since, in The Messianic Character of American Education (1963). Here, he showed that humanism has a rival theology, which is redemptive. The public schools serve as an established church for the priesthood of humanist education.

His strategy of reconstruction for education was simple: “Replacement, not capture.” This requires the development of separate Christian schools, programs, and curriculum materials, financed by Christians, not the State. He understood this ancient principle: “He who pays the piper calls the tune.” And this one: “If you take the king’s shilling, you do the king’s bidding.”

He maintained this stand with respect to all of his recommended reforms of society’s institutions. He did not trust the State to be a positive force. He did not believe in taxation for the purpose of passing out positive sanctions. Again, this had to do with point four of the covenant: evaluation, imputation, and sanctions.

“You can’t beat something with nothing.” This traditional political maxim applies to every fallen institution. Criticism of evil is not enough. Criticism alone makes you a gravedigger, Rushdoony said on numerous occasions. But Van Til’s critique of humanist philosophy was negative. Van Til was like a demolition expert, blowing up the epistemological foundations of humanism’s institutions. Rushdoony therefore looked for a way to reconstruct these logically demolished foundations. He turned to ethics: Biblical Law. He began a multi-year series of sermons in 1968, which became Institutes of Biblical Law.

Unlike Van Til, an amillennialist, Rushdoony was optimistic that the Kingdom of God will inevitably replace the kingdom of Satan in history. Point five reinforced points four and three, and thereby reinforced the general strategy of Christian Reconstruction: replacement, not capture.

Rushdoony’s Calvinism repelled the Arminians in the Creation Science movement. This was true also of the developers of the Christian curriculum movement: Bob Jones University Press, Pensacola Christian School (A Beka), and Accelerated Christian Education. These movements are anti-presuppositional, common-ground movements. Creation Science wants “neutral” facts to convince evolutionists. Fundamentalist educators baptize humanistic conservative ideas, modify their textbooks’ content slightly, and present the jumbled mess as “a Christian world and life view.”

Finally, there is the issue of theocracy. Point two’s hierarchicalism is only partially acceptable to fundamentalist Christians. Oath-bound covenants must be Trinitarian, they insist, to secure individual salvation, family authority, and church authority. But the State must always be neutral with respect to the God of the Bible. Natural law or common-sense rationalism must dominate. Biblical civil law has been annulled.

If common-ground rationalism and common-ground ethics are morally mandatory, then common-ground politics is also mandatory.

This leads us to the Christian Right.

The Christian Right

The year 1973 was a crucial year in the development of the Christian Right. In January, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down Roe v. Wade, legalizing abortion on demand. Rushdoony had warned that this was coming in the July 1970 issue of the Chalcedon Report. No Christian leader paid any attention.

It took several years for Protestant evangelical leaders to become active in the anti-abortion movement. I once heard Tim LaHaye give a speech to a group of pro-life activists in Texas. He admitted that he had for years paid no attention to the ruling.

Abortion brings into the public arena a Van Tilian fact of life: an aborted baby is either dead or alive. There is no neutral ground, no halfway condition, in between dead or alive. The abortion issue was the wedge of Van Tilian self-consciousness for millions of Christians. They gained the first glimmer of awareness regarding a Van Tilian truth applied to civil law: the State is not neutral.

We began to see placards: “Abortion is Murder.” But then Christian Reconstructionists (alone) asked that terrifying judicial question: “What is the proper civil penalty for murder?” The answer was obvious: execution. The anti-abortionist leaders all began to waffle, and they have waffled ever since.

The pro-life movement has become almost invisible today, a pale reflection of what it was in 1985. Its leaders refuse to deal with the obvious judicial implication of those early placards, which we rarely see today.

In a world governed by a 5–4 vote of the U.S. Supreme Court, pro-life activists seek deliverance by a constitutional amendment. But this is not going to happen, and the leaders know it. “Thus saith the Court” has more authority today than “Thus saith the Lord.” The pro-life leaders refuse to go to Exodus 21, the only passage in the Bible that clearly provides a judicial answer to abortion, the passage that Rushdoony cited in 1970.

If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe. (Exodus 21:22–25).

“Eye for eye? Why, that’s Old Testament stuff!” Indeed it is. And so the pro-life movement has become just one more special-interest political fundraising group. Its leaders refuse to offer Biblical support for their proposed constitutional reconstruction. Why? Because if you cite Exodus 21 as morally binding on America, you are stuck with Exodus 22.

Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. (Exodus 22:18)

Whosoever lieth with a beast shall surely be put to death. (Exodus 22:19)

He that sacrificeth unto any god, save unto the LORD only, he shall be utterly destroyed. (Exodus 22:20)

The pro-life leaders are not about to get pulled into Exodus 22. So, they send out fund-raising letters and propose strategies that have failed before and will fail again. They propose more of the same. But the longer this holocaust goes on, the larger the number of Christians who have nieces and granddaughters who have had an abortion. The oldsters therefore begin to accept abortion “in special circumstances,” which all boil down to this one: “Pregnancy of someone related to me.”

Leader by leader, issue by issue, the Christian Right turns to political alliances with humanists in the Republican Party. They are now facing the situation that Blacks face in the Democratic Party: “When you are in a political Party’s hip pocket, you will be sat on.”

The Christian Right wants a halfway house between democracy and theocracy. It also wants a halfway house between theonomy and autonomy, revelation and rationalism, creationism and evolutionism. It wants equal time for Jesus, which means equal time for Satan.

Their allies, the humanists, want no time for Jesus. They want the votes and donations of the faithful, but nothing more. They generally get what they want.

Conclusion

We see the outworking of two rival Christian covenants: two rival strategies. The Christian Reconstructionists want replacement, not capture, of tax-supported institutions. The Christian Right wants capture, but with shared power as the price — shared power with Republican Party humanists who hate the idea of Christian civilization far more than they hate the Democrats. Then the Christian Right seems amazed when power is not shared.

The Christian Right is terminally naive. For politics, this is always disastrous.

—<Quote ends>—

Highlights:

Unlike Biblical Covenantal Theology, American Covenantal Theology states

“First, God is not absolutely sovereign. Man’s free will acts as a retarding factor on God’s decree. God’s decree is not comprehensive. God may or may not know the future perfectly, but men are surely sovereign in accepting or rejecting the gospel, and therefore sovereign over less important matters as well.”

A.k.a. “God does not decide. We decide.”

Wrong. God decides. Not men.

“Third, God’s revealed law is confined to the Old Testament, which is no longer binding. Mankind is to be ruled by means of natural law, which is common to all men.”

The only people who actually believe in natural law — a thought experiment of the pagan Roman Empire — are a few aging Catholic Thomists. That’s it.

(OK, there are the Rothbardian libertarians.)

All other Westerners believe that Power Justifies All Things. “Might makes Right,” and defines the Law… just as Darwin said.

And there are those Christians who insist that God’s Law-Word, as given via Moses and Jesus, is effective today. “Right makes Might.”

“Fourth, God imputes meaning to all things and then salvation to individuals, but He does not save societies. Salvation is souls-only.”

No, the American Covenantal Theology does not hesitate to flat-out defy Christ Himself, when He demands the salvation of all nations, to teach all nations to kneel to Him and His Commandments.

“If you love me, keep my commandments.”

“Finally, there is the issue of theocracy. Point two’s hierarchicalism is only partially acceptable to fundamentalist Christians. Oath-bound covenants must be Trinitarian, they insist, to secure individual salvation, family authority, and church authority. But the State must always be neutral with respect to the God of the Bible. Natural law or common-sense rationalism must dominate. Biblical civil law has been annulled.”

The “Shut up, King Jesus” corner of the Western Christian Church has grown to be the Church entire, excluding a few loyalists to the cause of Christ.

As usual, it’s going to be a few that gets out of the desert: the rest will die there, just as in Moses’ day.

“We began to see placards: “Abortion is Murder.” But then Christian Reconstructionists (alone) asked that terrifying judicial question: “What is the proper civil penalty for murder?” The answer was obvious: execution. The anti-abortionist leaders all began to waffle, and they have waffled ever since.

The pro-life movement has become almost invisible today, a pale reflection of what it was in 1985. Its leaders refuse to deal with the obvious judicial implication of those early placards, which we rarely see today.”

Still true in 2022, after Roe vs Wade has been shut down.

“Leader by leader, issue by issue, the Christian Right turns to political alliances with humanists in the Republican Party. They are now facing the situation that Blacks face in the Democratic Party: “When you are in a political Party’s hip pocket, you will be sat on.””

Surprise, surprise.

“The Christian Right wants a halfway house between democracy and theocracy. It also wants a halfway house between theonomy and autonomy, revelation and rationalism, creationism and evolutionism. It wants equal time for Jesus, which means equal time for Satan.

Their allies, the humanists, want no time for Jesus. They want the votes and donations of the faithful, but nothing more. They generally get what they want.

The Christian Right “wants equal time for Jesus, which means equal time for Satan.”

Let’s pretend political fights sell clicks and views, but pose no threat to Powerful Men.

“Their allies, the humanists, want no time for Jesus.”

Some people want to play.

Others want to win.

Guess whose been winning for, oh, roughly the last 200 years?

Christians are expected by God to win: but that means paying the price for victory, then accepting the responsibility that winners receive.

Much safer to play and fail and lose around instead, and avoid the hard looks of the Better Class. Hey, flail and be incompetent enough, and we believers may even be tossed a few dog treats by Our Betters!

Poisoned dog treats, of course. With shards of glass embedded within.

Time to stop playing with Pharaoh, with Caesar, with Dear Leader, with the Better Kind of People.

Time to repent, to stop the cowardice and faithlessness that cripples us. Warping us into man-fearful, power-worshipping dogs, looking for Free Treats.

We must break the spiritual slave chains, kick away the Free Treats, and rise to be the faithful, fearless fighting men God demands us become.

We see the outworking of two rival Christian covenants: two rival strategies. The Christian Reconstructionists want replacement, not capture, of tax-supported institutions. The Christian Right wants capture, but with shared power as the price — shared power with Republican Party humanists who hate the idea of Christian civilization far more than they hate the Democrats. Then the Christian Right seems amazed when power is not shared.”

I like that bit: “Republican Party humanists who hate the idea of Christian civilization far more than they hate the Democrats.”

True in 1947, true in 2006, true in 2022.

“The Christian Right is terminally naive. For politics, this is always disastrous.”

In war, naivety means death.

Lets take the power of man-centred humanism — left-wing or right-wing — across the West, from 1822 to 2022. Let’s compare that with the power of assorted Right-wing Christian movements for the same time period.

It is obvious who is winning, and who is dying.

Time for us Christians to repent, and to stop playing step’n’fetch it with Powerful Men.

Right-wing, or left-wing. Fascist, Communist, Nazi, even Democratic.

Dump ALL the idols of power, ALL of the Ba’als.

Christ Alone is the True Lord, the Real Man of Power.

Christ Alone is King.

The Fruits of Faithlessness

Quora: What is something socially accepted in Russia but totally disgusts you?

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Georgy Djaparidze Investment Manager (2010–present)

I left Russia in 2011. I had a good job in Moscow and a very nice life. Yet, I was planning to have children and under no circumstances did I want my children to grow up there. At that time Russia was not a pariah state, it did not yet start troubles/war/genocide in Ukraine. It was mildly authoritarian and except for occupying 20% of Georgia (which NOBODY in the whole world paid any attention to) was almost a model world citizen. Well, in any case a dynamically growing important economy. But, as I said, I did not want my children to grow up there. On to “why”.

Russians of my age are overwhelmingly and terminally cynical. In all fairness, this is probably not something they’re to blame for. Generations of people who lived under the Soviet Rule used to having two different lives – public, where they professed to be good communist citizens and acted accordingly, and private – where they hated communism, laughed at it, feared it, and were by no means communist. This schizophrenic existence for 70(!) years under the communist rule must have left deep scars in the collective psyche of the people. That’s the first explanation that I have for why an upper class educated Muscovite would commonly profess things like “Post-truth” (i.e. truth doesn’t matter, the whole world lives a big lie), acceptance of corruption (everybody is corrupted and corrupt, people in Western countries just hide it better than us – goes a common belief), belief that democracy/human rights are otiose. I think the communist regime is only partly to blame for it – as a nation Russians are amazingly lazy. Magnificently so. Being the richest country in the world in terms of natural resources, Russia is so very used to living off rent of its immense territory and many riches, that it influenced the nation, rendering it rather slothful as a whole (yes, there are always exceptions). So, instead of changing the country and their lives – difficult and time-consuming, during the last 15–20 years Russians simply preferred to be cynical about the world, making excuses and not tackling problems head on, when they still had a chance.

So, yes, the cynicism is something that is completely accepted socially in Russia and really disgusts me.

—<Quote ends>—

Live Not by Lies.

Even if they are pushed 24/7 by the Power Elite of the West. Just as the lies of the Communist were pushed 24/7 by their Ruling Class.

The lies will fail, sooner or later.

We must be in a position to live – we and our children – and inherit the future, when the Betters fall apart and crumble into dust.

What Happens When We Fail

From Quora, from the group Loving and Amazing World

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Richard Strachan · I want to show the good and beautiful that is in our world 

This is the final photograph of Phillip Herron 34, crying in his car, literally minutes before he took his own life.

He was a single Dad of three young children, struggling with escalating debt of over $20,000 and was desperately waiting for a Payday lending payment he’d applied for. But it’s paid in arrears, with a 5 week wait time. That wait drove him even deeper into debt, and when he died he had $4.61 in his bank account and clearly couldn’t see any other way out.

Like a lot of people, especially men, he kept all of this to himself, nobody else knew how bad things were getting. The poor man even had to tell his children that Father Xmas wouldn’t come this year, and in his suicide note he wrote that they’d be better off if he wasn’t there any more.

And now he isn’t.

We need to talk more. We need to be kinder. And we need to be a country that helps people when they need it the most. #ImHere

RIP ❤️

—<Quote ends>—

When Christians fail, Satan wins.

When we are cut off from each other – without Christian community – Satan wins.

When we don’t care about the poor, or the weak, or the elderly, because “the government till take care of it”, Satan wins.

When the wicked triumph because good men won’t risk death imprisonment losing their job (!!) to fight lawlessness and truth-twisters, Satan wins.

When no one will challenge Our Betters when they insist that we Live By Lies, Satan wins.

This world belongs to God. Not Satan, and not his slithering servants – regardless of their political and social positions. And regardless of their wealth, political power, and/or media/academic dominance.

Jesus Christ is king of the world today, Not the serpentine squatter, liar, murderer.

Satan’s string of victories must become fewer and fewer.

Which means, God’s victories must grow and grow.

Jesus has already won the greatest of victories, the tide has already turned.

We, the servants of Christ, must push His victory forward. And so save more and more lives.

Not just by prayer, which is necessary but not sufficient.

Prayer and action, in time and on earth, is rightfully demanded by our King.

Patience, Wealth, and Long-Term Horizons

Patience generates wealth… like most – possibly all! – blessings do.

Just one more reason to not only cultivate it, but to give thanks to God as it grows and grows.
(And your wealth and sanity grows and grows, too!)

Also: It is the Christian who knows the value of patience. Not the majority of secularists, and certainly not the Marxist. Even the Progressive “long march thru the institutions” – a truly patient, and successful, endeavor – would be despised by Marx himself.

Patient Christians who keep the faith, steadily push for victory, and stick to their knitting will change the world.

For the better.

From Mises.org, Economies Cannot Produce Wealth without Patience and Long-Term Horizons by Lipton Matthews

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In a pioneering study, psychologist Walter Mischel demonstrated that delaying gratification in childhood led to success in later life. The experiment entailed placing toddlers in a room with treats and giving them the option of eating them immediately or waiting for fifteen minutes so that they could get a second offering. Follow-up studies found that participants were more successful in adolescence if they exercised self-control by waiting for fifteen minutes before eating the treats.

The observation that self-control is correlated with individual accomplishment is uncontroversial, though its link to national success is underexplored. Building a civilization necessitates the renunciation of present desires for long-term benefits. For society to thrive, citizens must save, invest, and plan. In planning for the future, people will automatically prioritize investments at the expense of acquiring luxuries, thus indicating low time preference.

Invariably, capital accumulation is a consequence of low time preference, and those with lower time preference will be inclined to forfeit current wants for future success because they are future oriented. When an entrepreneur reinvests profits into his venture, this is an outcome of futuristic thinking. Since he is a long-term thinker, the entrepreneur appreciates that capital investments drive value creation and ultimately increase the firm’s competitiveness.

Even contemplating starting a business is indicative of long-term thinking, considering the roadblocks that entrepreneurs frequently encounter. Most people are unlikely to become entrepreneurs, however, sustaining progress requires that characteristics of entrepreneurship like long-term orientation and patience are widely diffused throughout society. Essentially, outlier performers are indeed crucial for national success, but the average quality of the population maintains prosperity.

Many countries boast talented entrepreneurs and intellectuals; however, they remain poor because the population’s average quality is too low to induce economic dynamism. Economists in a 2019 paper state that the reproduction of middle-class traits emphasizing human capital investments and long-term planning might have played a pivotal role in the rise of industrialized England:

We find that the middle class had the highest reproductive success during England’s early industrial development…Hence, the prosperity of England over this period can be attributed to the increase in the prevalence of middle-class traits rather than those of the upper (or lower) class.

Today, saving and investments in human capital are markers of elite status, but originally, aristocratic elites preferred conspicuous consumption and cared little for boosting family wealth through enterprise. Therefore, the assumption that England’s rise was aided by the proliferation of people with bourgeois traits is entirely plausible. Interestingly, there is evidence showing that patience—a proxy for long-term thinking impacts national wealth

In a paper entitled “Patience and the Wealth of Nations,” economists conclude that patience explains “a substantial fraction of development differences across countries.”

Countries with more patient populations have higher incomes, superior levels of human and physical capital accumulation, and better institutions. Such findings are explained by the future-oriented outlook of patient people. People invested in the future will save and work hard in the present to live a better life in the next decade.

Furthermore, more recent research asserts that patience is positively correlated with a country’s external wealth. According to Mika Nieminen, countries inhabited by patient individuals have a positive net foreign asset position, whereas countries populated by impatient people have a negative net foreign asset position. Similarly, economic literature suggests that long-term orientation is also instrumental to development.

A 2021 study by European economists argues that long-term orientation increases economic freedom’s benefits. Using a panel analysis of a sample of sixty-seven countries from 1970 to 2019, Johan Graafland and Eelke de Jong reveal that economic freedom has the greatest effect in countries where people are high in long-term orientation. Discussing these findings, they write:

Economic freedom appears to be particularly effective in raising income per capita in countries in Asia (China, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Vietnam), because these countries combine low Uncertainty Avoidance with Long Term Orientation…In addition, South American countries and countries in the Middle East and Africa hardly benefit from more economic freedom, because of the combination of a relatively high Uncertainty Avoidance and short-time orientation.

Additionally, countries that score high on long-term orientation are also more innovative. This is unsurprising because inventing is a trial-and-error process that includes failure; therefore, people who exercise patience and think long term are more likely to materialize success, since they refused to quit.

In sum, the latest findings in economics should make policy makers aware that designing policies without accounting for a population’s capacity to think long term won’t yield preferred results. Proposing workable solutions is an exercise in futility when people fail to appreciate their impact.

—<Quote ends>—

The Law, The Unborn, and the Pregnant

An interesting article regarding the new legal restriction on abortion. What is most interesting to me is how truly rare medically necessary abortions actually are. So rare, that I can sympathize with those who just want to criminalize abortion, period, as there are too many doctors who would unlawfully stick an elective abortion under the “medically necessary” category.

(I’d bet, something like 9 fakes to one real case.)

But enough about my thoughts.

Let’s listen to someone practicing in the medical field, and his quite informative article!

Quote from Will Laws Protecting the Unborn Endanger Mothers? by Michael Egnor

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In the wake of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, which overturned Roe v. Wade and returned the question of abortion to the American electorate, abortion advocates have unleashed a barrage of claims that protecting the lives of children in the womb inherently risks the lives of their pregnant mothers. For example, from Stateline:

“We are already telling pregnant patients who are suffering a miscarriage: ‘You can’t have the best level of care because of the politics around abortion,’” she said.

[Amy] Domeyer-Klenske cited the hypothetical example of a woman whose water broke during the first trimester in her pregnancy. The fetus would likely be unviable, but the woman could develop a life-threatening infection unless a doctor performed an abortion quickly, Domeyer-Klenske said.

But many doctors, fearful of criminal prosecution, might hesitate to act. “Am I going to have to wait until you are in the ICU and septic before I invoke the life is at risk exception?” she asked.

Medicine and the Law

The fallacy used here by abortionists and their allies is that doctors will be handicapped by having to comply with the law applicable to the care of their patients. That’s nonsense. All medical care is encumbered by legal constraints. Even touching another person (let alone poking them with a needle, etc.) without consent is battery, and consent is often a difficult issue in medical practice. Yet millions of doctors deal professionally with these legal boundaries every day. In my own practice, I’m a neurosurgeon who works at a Level 1 trauma center. I’ve performed thousands of brain operations on patients without first obtaining consent from them — they arrive in the ER comatose with life-threatening injuries and we take them to the operating room immediately to try to save their lives. Unconsented touching (let alone cutting) may constitute assault and battery, but the law and standard medical practice recognize that physicians need to take action to save lives, even in situations where consent cannot be readily obtained.

Medically Necessary?

The vast majority of abortions committed in the U.S. are elective and are done without even the pretense to protect the health of the mother. Situations in which a mother’s live is genuinely in danger and for which removal of the child is the necessary medical treatment are quite rare. Neonatologist Dr. Kendra Kolb has an excellent discussion of whether abortion can be medically necessary:

It is often said that abortion is sometimes medically necessary to protect the life or health of the mother. This is simply not true.

As a neonatologist, I am regularly consulted to advise mothers with high-risk pregnancies, and I routinely care for their babies. I have also personally gone through two very difficult pregnancies each requiring hospitalization. So I have great empathy and respect for all women who are pregnant, especially those with difficult or high-risk pregnancies.

What women deserve to know, however, is that even in the most high-risk pregnancies, there is no medical reason why the life of the child must be directly and intentionally ended with an abortion procedure.

In situations where the mother’s life is truly in jeopardy, her pregnancy must end, and the baby must be delivered. These situations occur in cases of mothers who develop dangerously high blood pressure, have decompensating heart disease, life threatening diabetes, cancer, or a number of other very serious medical conditions. Some babies do need to be delivered before they are able to survive outside of the womb, which occurs around 22 to 24 weeks of life. Those situations are considered a preterm delivery, not an abortion. 

These babies deserve to be treated with respect and compassion, and parents should be given the opportunity to honor their child’s life… A mother’s life is always of paramount importance, but abortion is never medically necessary to protect her life or health.

A Crucial Distinction

Dr. Kolb’s distinction between abortions and pre-term deliveries is crucial to understanding the indications for delivery of the child when the mother’s life is genuinely in danger (which again is quite rare). An abortion — that is, a procedure intended to deliberately kill a child in the womb — is never medically necessary, any more than an execution or a suicide is medically necessary. Killing a human being is never a medical procedure

There are situations in which a pre-term child needs to be delivered or removed from the mother because her life is genuinely in danger and delivery/removal is the best option — ectopic pregnancies, eclampsia, and severe heart disease are among the rare circumstances in which premature delivery is medically necessary. These are deliveries, not abortions, because the purpose of the procedure is to save the mother’s life by separating the child from the mother, but the purpose is not to kill the baby. If the baby’s life can be saved, then all reasonable measures are taken to do so. There are circumstances in which saving the baby’s life is not possible (e.g., if the child is less than 21 weeks of gestation). In this rare situation, the mother’s life is saved although, tragically, the child’s life is unavoidably lost. 

Legal Consultation on the Spot

Even before Roe v. Wade was overturned, there were myriad laws regulating abortion. If anything, the laws will be clearer and easier to comply with now that the Dobbs decision has returned the authority to legislate such matters to the legislatures whose job it is to write laws. In rare cases of genuine legal ambiguity, legal consultation can be obtained immediately (all hospitals have risk-management teams on emergency call to address such issues) and can be resolved on the spot, with no significant peril to the mother. In decision-making involving pregnant women’s lives, on one hand, and the legal constraints on medical practice (constraints by which all physicians operate), on the other, obstetricians may plead incompetence or negligence. But by their incompetence or negligence, they have done their patients an extreme disservice.

Obstetricians who find legal medical practice too stressful should relinquish their medical licenses. Compliance with the law in difficult emergency situations is inherent to medical practice, and doctors treating pregnant women and their babies can claim no rational exemption to the requirement that all physicians practice legally in the best interest of their patients (both mothers and babies). 

—<Quote ends>—