From “But That Doesn’t Mean What It Means”
In our theological controversy with our dispensationalist brethren, one of the most common arguments is this: “I am a dispensationalist, I believe in the rapture, and that we live in the end times, the great apostasy is upon us, the Antichrist is soon to be revealed, but that doesn’t mean we sell everything and go out and sit on a hill waiting for that day, doing nothing.” We who are posmillenialists, i.e., we have victorious, optimistic eschatology and philosophy of history, keep pointing to the fact that dispensationalism has only one logical conclusion: All work for the Lord is useless this side of the “rapture.” Our dispensationalist brethren resent this conclusion, but they don’t show how it is illogical. They are content to use the disclaimer, “but that doesn’t mean.” And they think that with that disclaimer they have proven their case. They haven’t.
“But that doesn’t mean,” when one needs to repeat it many times, is a confession of logical and intellectual weakness. Translated into the language of honesty it reads: “I refuse to accept the logical conclusions of what I say or believe.” It says that the speaker knows very well what his beliefs and words really mean, but he dislikes the obvious conclusion. He refuses to accept the consequences of his ideas; he prefers to live in a world where there is no discernible predictable connection between his beliefs and his practical actions.
We see this same pattern not only in dispensationalism; all intellectually untenable positions are forced to use the same phrase when it comes to practical applications. Evolutionists and atheists are forced to use it: “but that doesn’t mean we don’t believe in ethical values.” The truth is, there are no ethical values that can be derived from an atheist’s position, but the atheist resents that obvious logical conclusion. Those who are anti-theonomic: “but that doesn’t mean we believe in humanistic law.” Well, if you reject the Law of God, that’s exactly what it means: you believe in humanistic law. Arminians: “but that doesn’t mean salvation is a result of man’s works.” Nonsense. The Arminian position is very logically and obviously based on salvation of works. Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholics: “but that doesn’t mean we worship icons and statues.” It means exactly that, but they refuse to admit it means what it means.
People refuse to think straight, when it interferes with getting what they want. Gary North pounds on this when it comes to Keynesian illogic:
All around us are economic imbeciles. We find them in the major university economics departments. We find them on the financial media sites. We certainly find them in Congress. Above all, we find them on the Federal Open Market Committee. These people believe that a government committee, filled with tenured bureaucrats, is better equipped to solve economic problems than the competitive free market is, where people have their own money on the line.
They really are economic imbeciles. They may have IQ’s that got them through college or graduate school. But, in their understanding of cause and effect, they are imbeciles. They do not understand that they are imbeciles. They preach to the choirs that surround them.
Why do economic imbeciles get a hearing? Because voters desperately want to justify the fact that they have used the state, and especially the federal government, to confiscate wealth from each other. They want to believe in their hearts that they are doing the morally right thing by sending out a thug with a badge and a gun, who tells the hapless citizen to fork over his money, or he will go to jail. We have an entire political and economic system which rests ultimately on this threat.
Anyone who falls intellectually for this kind of immorality is not a reliable judge of much of anything. When this person goes looking for an expert opinion to justify the fact that he is a thief, he is likely to find that only third-rate logicians, who cannot follow the chain of reasoning, are going to come forward in the name of organized theft.
It starts with a moral problem. It starts with a violation of the commandment not to steal. We have a modern civilization that is built on a systematic violation of this commandment.
People who have build an entire theology on the inevitability of defeat should not be surprised when they are ground under the heel of their enemies.
Civilizations who are rooted in contempt for the law against theft – then expanded to raising abortion to a sacred rite, and supporting the suicidal drive of sodomy – are not long for the earth. Not so much due to fire from heaven – over time, there are fewer and fewer miracles – as much as to the build-in suicide pill in all those who despise Christ.
North continues, in reference to established and deeply-rooted socialism (a.k.a. theft that is either passed over in silence, or openly supported, from the pulpit):
BAD ETHICS AND PAINFUL OUTCOMES
If there were no built-in self-destruct arrangements in the very character, meaning moral character, of the institutions of organized theft, then I don’t think we could win the battle. If it were simply a matter of good arguments driving out bad arguments, I don’t think we could win this thing. Self-interest really is dominant. That is what economic analysis teaches, and I believe this principle.
But self-interest on behalf of organized theft is misplaced. Built into the creation, and built into the free market economy, are a series of poison pills. When individuals use violence or the threat of violence to interfere with market processes, they don’t look at the long-term consequences of these interferences. Somewhere down the road, there is going to be hell to pay. There is going to be a great default. There is going to be something that disrupts the lives of those voters, as well as their victims, who vote in favor of the expansion of governments into the lives of citizens.
The poison pills are not only tied to foolish economic practice, by the way…
The defenders of organized theft deny that there are these built-in negative sanctions against any society that follows these practices, but, as I’ve said, the defenders are economic imbeciles.
If incorrect ideas and bad ethics did not produce bad results, the case for liberty would never get off the ground. People would simply ignore the arguments. But, there really are built-in negative sanctions that will produce disasters in those societies that extend the influence and power of civil government into market processes. The public will be astounded when these sanctions arrive. Millions of voters are going to go looking for answers. In that period of confusion, consternation, and enormous capital losses, which is going to destroy the dreams and schemes of generations of complacent thieves, the thieves are going to want to know how this happened.
There are going to be a series of disasters that will afflict the Western World – indeed, we are already entering into the era of painful payback, punishment that is (by and large) simply the logical consequences of our idiotic rebellion against God and His Law-word.
Repentance is humiliating.
But the refusal to repent leads to death, and then damnation.