Recent Articles from the Fire Breathing Christian

A selection of articles from a Christian Reconstructionist website, the Fire Breathing Christian:

Escapism vs. Exaltation: Two Opposing Motives for Sci-Fi and Fantasy

An excerpt:

…can fantasy in practice exalt God and thereby deepen our understanding, pursuit and application of His Nature throughout His creation?

One way of answering these important questions from Scripture is to notice the manner in which God has chosen to communicate truth about His Nature to us through His Word – a perfect, sufficient Word that often employs fantastic illustrations, fantastic characters, and fantastic (yet still totally true) stories.

There are dragons, demons, witches, angels, sorcerers, talking animals and all manner of fantastic characters involved, each of whom have been perfectly employed by God to tell us things about His plans, purposes, and Nature.

There are staffs turning into snakes (which then eat each other), there are vast bodies of water turning to blood, there are massive plagues, there are pillars of fire, there are battles between angels and demons, and all manner of fantastic means by which God has spoken (and continues to speak) of His Nature to His people in His Word.

Obviously, there are books worth of material that could be devoted to clarifying and understanding the many fantastic elements contained in Scripture and what they mean in application here and now for us. While I’d like to get around to writing such a book someday soon, Lord willing, for now let me just try to make two quick points before moving on:

  1. Fantasy, like myth, does not necessarily mean untrue or unreal. Fantastic tales and mythologies can indeed contain very real and very true characters, encompass very real historic events, and convey biblically sound truths. .

  2. The fact of God’s purposeful use of sometimes very dark characters and situations is not to be confused or contorted into God (or His people) in any way or at any time legitimizing evil actors or evil acts themselves. One apparent purpose of God using these darker elements as He does is to craft the dark backdrop upon which He juxtaposes the shining, bright beauty of His attributes. There is much more to say on this, of course, and I hope to tackle this area in some detail in the Part 2 follow up to last week’s post on gaming, but for now I hope that the notion of God’s purposeful use of dark figures and dramatic stories featuring many fantastic components can at the very least be seen as confirmation that the use of such things in such a manner can indeed be profitable, and perfectly so.

I get more into this article in my other Traveller blog, Escapism vs. Exaltation


America’s Open Marriage With Jesus

An excerpt:

Somewhere along the line way back in the day, “We the People” decided that God’s crystal clear Word on matters of fidelity and obedience to Him in detail and in practice were optional. We decided that His Word need not be our way in legal, economic, educational or political practice.

We imagined ourselves not to be bound to His Word, which is another way of saying that we imagined ourselves not to be bound to Him…all while claiming to be somehow seriously attached to Him through our (hollow) words, songs, and church services.

We wanted – and continue to desire – Jesus as our Savior, and even as the frequent object of gushing lip service aimed at preserving the illusion of fidelity to Him, but we have no intention of actually being true to Him in practice on His terms as lovingly conveyed in detail through His Word.

Oh no, We the People can’t have that!

Instead, we prefer an open marriage in practice, even if we’re far too cowardly and corrupt to admit it out loud (yet).

We don’t want to be bound to Him completely.

We want to keep our options open.

We want to play the field.

We want to be “free” to choose who will be our lord and lover in practice in the realms of economics, law, government, art, and politics.

We want to claim Jesus and promote the illusion of our commitment to Him when, in reality, we actually despise even the thought of submitting to him in detail.

It’s a lot like wearing a ring and calling ourselves married while just redefining marriage to mean what we want it to mean rather than conforming to the concept as defined by God in His perfect Word.

We don’t want Christ as our Husband in economics.

We don’t want Christ as our Husband in law.

We don’t want Christ as our Husband in politics, art, and business.

We want others instead.

Many others.

We want to whore around.

We want an open marriage.

But Jesus – the real One – doesn’t do open marriages.

He destroys them.

Few Christians actually believes this… which merely means that we are going to be taught this truth. Painfully, so the lesson sticks.


State-Supervised Polytheism: The Official Religion Of America

An excerpt:

Because the State-run “education” of Americans has gone on for so long now and transformed us as a people so profoundly over the last 150+ years of gradual, progressive indoctrination that we don’t even notice the putrid anti-Christian bilge we’ve been conditioned to swim in as though it’s the purest and cleanest of water.

Yet however much those “educated” by the State may have you and I to believe otherwise, America most certainly does have an official, and officially enforced, State religion.

That religion is State-Supervised Polytheism.

This variant of garden variety Statism – in which the State is God in practice – takes the clever route of pretending to encourage its citizens to pursue true devotion to whichever god or gods or goddesses or whatever they like while, in truth, denying in practice and at every turn the notion that any one of those gods or goddesses or whatever is really and truly God. The State is positioned as being “for freedom of religion” and its citizens are encouraged to pretend that they have true religious freedom when, in fact, according to every bit of God’s Word on the subject, they are actually being bound by the State to treat all gods, goddesses, and whatever else anyone wants to worship as equals in practice where the rubber meets the road in the real-life realms of law, government, economics and, of course, children’s education.

Put another way, all lesser gods (like Jesus, Allah, and Satan) are to be treated equally under the authority of the one and only true god in legal, governmental, and educational practice: The State.

God cannot be treated as God in legal, governmental, economic, or educational practice.

Oh no, we can’t have that!

Not in America.

In America, the State is god in practice in each and every one of these realms…which is precisely why we are so dramatically reaping the poisoned fruit of a satanic approach to  the realms of law, government, economics, and education.

We’re getting exactly what we’ve chosen for these areas of life by presuming to separate them from explicit subjugation to Christ as King. We have rejected Christ as Lord in education, economics, politics and law in order to chase after the almighty State as god in practice over these realms, and in doing so have forged the chains of our own bondage.

This is All-American State-Supervised Polytheism in action.

People say things they imagine are true, then actually make reality by their actions.

Don’t get distracted: keep your eyes on the ball.


US Military Preps Transgender Army For Prolonged War On God [insert “U! S! A!” chant here]

An excerpt:

Just in case anyone might be tempted to defend their denial by latching onto the now-laughable proposition that the US Army going with an openly lesbian general was a fluke or that the US Navy naming a new warship after famed gay rapist Harvey Milk was an anomaly or that Army Cadets being pressured into crossdressing was a weird little mistake that somehow slipped through the cracks of an otherwise honorable and good approach to reality, we keep getting wave after wave after tsunami after avalanche of crystal clear confirmation of the US military’s proud, headlong plunge into oblivion (and oblivion advocacy, of course)

The latest example of God-given uber-clarity on the matter comes in the form of a lovely little article entitled First transgender soldiers seek formal Army recognition, wherein AP reports (with bold emphasis added):

Within weeks of the Pentagon allowing transgender service members to serve openly, Army officials said 10 soldiers have formally asked to be recognized as their new, preferred gender.

The small number represents only those who have publicly said they are transgender, and doesn’t include soldiers who may be considering or beginning gender transition or those who don’t yet want to make an official paperwork change.

Gen. Mark Milley, chief of staff of the Army, said the key now is to educate the force, particularly commanders who will have to make decisions about soldiers in their units who request a gender change.

“Is the army ready? Well, we are educating ourselves, and we are trying to get ready,” Milley said in an interview with The Associated Press. “We’re well-past the issue of debating and arguing about transgender. We are now into execution, to make sure the program is carried out with diligence, dignity, respect.”

Dignity and respect, eh?

Do tell.

So the US military is now of a mind that the Christian worldview is inherently anti-dignity and anti-respect.

Anti-kittens, anti-rainbows, and anti-love, too, I’m sure.

That’s how anti-Christ perspectives roll: They tar the Christian worldview (and the God whose Nature it reflects) as mean and evil.

They make good evil and evil good.

At least they try to anyway.

[insert “U! S! A!” chant here]

Well, every secular empire dies in their own special way: the Soviet Army in one way, and the U.S. Army in another. Such-and-such an evil brings a particular curse, a particular blindness, a particular form of rot.

Progress.

That’s the name of the game, isn’t it?

The US Army is committed to progress.

Explicitly anti-Christian progress, of course.

The US Army is at war.

With God.

And His people.

Openly, proudly, and systematically so on all fronts, which can only mean one thing: Barring mass repentance, the America Empire is about to die and the Kingdom of God is about to advance over its cold, dead and unrepentant-to-the-end body.

That’s how these fights always end in God’s cosmos.

That’s how they always unfold in His creations of time and history.

So take heart, Christian.

Either way – whether through the beauty of a repentant and restored America being spared judgment and finding life again in loving, willful subjugation to Christ as King, or by way of King Jesus breaking yet another in a long line of unrepentant, proud, God-hating cultures to pieces under the weight of His unbreakable Law, His people always win and His Kingdom always advances…all by His grace and all for His glory.

All empires die.

But God’s Kingdom endures forever.


The Beauty Of Snowflakes In Hell

An excerpt:

To watch these reactions from gangs of thoughtless, emotion-driven drones who, just hours earlier, had been pompously proposing that Trump, “when he loses”, would probably not take it well and might even contest or deny the results of the election – to watch those people react as they have here in the real world after Hillary lost has been nothing short of spectacular, hysterical, and awesome in general.

But there’s something much more important and valuable to touch on here than just the knee-slapping, laugh-’til-you-cry reaction that any sane, rational person might have to the prancing, pouting parade of melting Snowflakes enduring the hell of a Trump win.

One valuable bit is this: If this is what we’re up against – if this sort of hapless, clueless, emotion-driven drone thing (on both the pagan political Right and the pagan political Left) has become the norm (and it has) for those advocating (and depending upon) the American System of State-managed religion (State-Supervised Polytheism), education, economics, perpetual welfare, perpetual warfare, “gay marriage”, “legal” child sacrifice, and every other overtly anti-Christian thing America has come to stand for – then we, God’s people chosen to expand His Kingdom here and now on the portion of His earth presently known as America, are in very, very good shape.

I mean, just look at them, these products and slaves of a System of systems pathetically attempting to rebel and make war with God.

Look. At. Them.

They’re ridiculous.

They’re weaker than weak.

They’re lamer than lame.

And their precious little bubble world is popping around them, which makes them terribly, terribly weepy. And pouty. And sad; very, very sad.

So it’s not like we’re exactly facing the hordes of orcs that Frodo & Company had to deal with. We’re not up against a well oiled machine composed of hardened, serious, sober-minded tacticians skilled in the art of warfare of any meaningful kind.

Nope.

We’re mainly facing the wrath of a bunch of infantile girly-men (and male-ish girls) who are big on pride, bigger on arrogance, and very, very light on substance, strength, intelligence, and wisdom.

If ever there was another good reason not to be afraid of our enemies as Christians, then these hordes of crying, collapsing Precious Little Snowflakes melting down all around us ought to fit the bill.

So, in this context, I think it’s both fair and encouraging to note that there really is a certain beauty to Snowflakes in Hell.

Now let’s hope, pray, and work toward God’s use of us this situation to save these Snowflakes and expand the Kingdom.

Let’s tear down every idol and pillage every safe space.

Rome wasn’t conquered in a day.

America won’t be either.

But with Precious Snowflakes like these standing in our way, something tells me that victory can come much more quickly than we’ve allowed ourselves to believe possible.

So don’t fear the Snowflakes.

Fear the Lord…and win.

This is the truth, but it’s important not to get comfortable, complacent, and sanctimonious.

As the author himself states, there is A LOT of work to do, before the Kingdom of God again expands at the rate it’s supposed to.

But we definitely have the ability to get things going – the opposition really is composed of pouty, isolated, fragile, short-sighted children.

Individual Purpose, The Kingdom of God, and Children

(…with a surprise appearance with our very special guest, Hard Work!    *applause* )

Introduction

Reading Bojidar Marinov’s excellent Individual Purpose and the Kingdom of God, I feel the need to put in my two cents in.

Obviously, from a Trinitarian perspective, for the covenant man to have a specific task in history, the individual man had to have been given such a task. And for the covenant man to have an objective and purpose, to have the world subjected to him, the individual man had to have his own individual objective and purpose. It was not enough to speak generally about the task and purpose of mankind in general; a missionary and a preacher had to speak specifically about the task and purpose of every individual man in the plan of God and in the fulfillment of the Great Commission.

It isn’t just a group mission for the Body of Christ: it’s an individual mission.

Each of us are to gain our own reward, work our own plot, forge our own distinct way forward. We should find a way to build our own particular, unique province in God’s Kingdom, as priests and kings.

Fatherhood, Success and Failure

(The bold below is mine, although the words are Marinov’s)

Making the first steps of homeschooling our children in an environment hostile both to our faith and to homeschooling, my wife and I were from the very beginning convinced that our homeschooling would make no sense unless we teach our children to seek and find their specific task and purpose as individuals, in the plan of God. Not just as members of our family, and not just as members of a church, or of a community. We had a very clear postmillenial/theonomic vision not only for the communities they would be a part of, but also for their life: “You know, son, the Bible starts with a Garden where precious stones and gold are scattered around; and it ends with a City where those stones and that gold are built into walls and streets. Your life must be devoted to finding that specific corner of the Garden that belongs to you, and leave it built up and operating for the glory of God when you leave this earth. Your job is to capitalize—that is, make useful and productive—a portion of God’s creation. You’ll have to find out which part of it is yours.” It was a no-brainer for us that children need to be given their own direction and purpose. We wouldn’t even think anyone who understood the Dominion Mandate and the Great Commission would have any other idea about the purpose of the individual and the goals of their Christian education.

Even in the Body of Christ, we are not replaceable cogs, disposable parts — which is exactly what we are in various imitations of the Church. (And disgracefully, in several Christian churches too!)

Even more to the point, we are given the general direction and principles of where to go and what to build in the Bible and, if we are greatly blessed, by God-fearing fathers and mothers. But the details of what exactly are to do are up to us. Different times, different places, different technologies, different cultures… all this means a unique response to the unique situation we find ourselves in, in this life.

The issue came powerfully back to me a few weeks ago when a story about the testimony of the daughter of a Christian apologist hit the Internet. The girl had been trained in apologetics and theology by her father in a very systematic and thorough way; she knew all her verses, she knew all her logical responses to objections. And yet, she testifies, she revolted against her parents’ faith. The supposed reason was that she suddenly discovered a question about the Bible that no Christian—including her father—had an answer to. The question was rather stupid, and the claim that there was no answer to it doubly so. There was an answer. But the main issue was, as far as I was concerned, why would an intelligent girl use such ridiculous pretext as an excuse to reject her parents’ faith? I knew why. In the description she gave of her upbringing, one thing was missing from that rigorous training program in apologetics her father gave her: He didn’t teach her to find her personal place in Kingdom, her own area of the Garden that she was supposed to build into a city. She was trained to defend her faith, or rather, the faith of her parents. She was not trained to advance the Kingdom as an individual with her own purpose and place and area to conquer.

This is a horrific situation, but one I can definitely see happening in many Godly households. Especially the more controlling ones.

The problem is not limited to these two cases. Even among conscientious, professing, covenantal, theonomic, homeschooling Christians I see the same pattern: children are taught ethical boundaries as the highest expression of their faith. They are not taught purpose, direction, meaning of life, goals for the future, as applied to their individual life. Even where purpose is taught and preached, it is mainly collective, as applied to the family and the church. But individual purpose of man under God is lacking.

While boundaries are important, what we are meant to do is conquer, control, and direct: but not for our own pleasures primarily, but primarily for the pleasure of God!

If we think aright, then naturally what pleases Him will please us as well. But the details of our lives — which field we should study, which nation we should live in, where our greatest gifts lie — this is between us and the Holy Spirit that directs us. Dad and Mom, Pastor and Friend can give us advice if we ask, but really, God has given the individual the authority to direct his life.

OK, another quote, with the most striking concept bolded by me:

The Biblical analysis of the problem must start from an analysis of the very nature of the Kingdom of God, as revealed to us in both Old Testament prophecies and in New Testament parables. Contrary to the beliefs of many modern church-goers, individual salvation is not the ultimate reality in the New Testament, and it is not the main message of the Gospel. Individual salvation is only a tool for the Gospel, not its purpose, goal, or objective. The Gospel is much larger than the salvation of individual souls, and its greatness encompasses the whole world. In 1 Cor. 15 Paul gives us a description of the Gospel, and he continues it until he says that “all things will be subjected” to Jesus, so that at the end, “God may be all in all.” “All things being subjected to Jesus” here is that reality which the Bible calls the “Kingdom of God” or the “Kingdom of heaven.” It is this Kingdom that is the purpose and goal of the Gospel. The Gospel is called the Gospel of the Kingdom, and, judging from the Great Commission and from 1 Cor. 15:24-28, the Gospel therefore encompasses all reality, and addresses all reality with this great vision, the rule of Christ over all things. Salvation of the world is the ultimate goal, with individual salvation being only a means to that end (John 3:16-17); and that salvation of the world can come only through establishing the royal power of Jesus Christ over all the earth. Thus an analysis of the nature of that Kingdom is necessary before we can fully understand the problem and its solution.

VICTORY is the goal of God the Father, and of the Lawful Master/Creator/Judge of All, Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ: Master of Reality, Lord of Victory, God of Truth

The theme is continued in the next paragraph (yes, I’m still bolding stuff left and right):

Such analysis will show us the most striking characteristic of the Kingdom of God: its aggressive growth. Both the Old Testament prophecies and the New Testament parables of the Kingdom reveal a reality that is expanding, increasing, growing, taking all the space available, and consuming its rivals until it rules the whole world. There is nothing like the modern pacifist and passive view of the Kingdom where the Kingdom is a closed, besieged entity defended against the surrounding forces of evil. There is nothing like the modern reductionist idea where certain areas of life and culture are out of reach for the Gospel because they are by their nature part of the enemy’s realm. The Kingdom is shown to be advancing and increasing, and that after the First Coming of Christ, in history, not after the end of history.

God is truly masculine, ad His Kingdom reflects His character.

God intends to win, and we are invited to join in His victory: expanding His kingdom, labouring hard and enjoying the fruits of disciplined, unstinting labour in mind and body, and tearing apart the paper-tiger Kingdom of Satan: first spiritually, then physically.

  • The light of Truth and the reality of Salvation;
  • The discipline of Obedience, Chastisement, and Patience;
  • The power of Wealth & Wisdom, as God’s Will is made manifest in or lives;
  • The weight of Law, and the sword of the God-bound Magistrate.

Now, a real Bible Man will insist on Biblical evidence for the victory — in time and on earth — of Christ and His Law-Word. And here it is! (No bolding this time: you gotta know the details, not just grab the money shots!)

Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, revealed and interpreted by Daniel (Daniel 2), shows the Kingdom of Christ coming “in the days” of the kings of the old kingdoms, right after the Roman Empire. The Kingdom is described in the dream as a “stone cut out without hands.” That stone “struck the statue” of the human kingdoms and crushed it, and then “became a mountain and filled the whole earth.” Before Daniel, Isaiah prophesied about the coming Messiah-King, that after His birth as a child and a Son, “Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end.” In fact, the whole passage (Is. 9:1-7) sounds like a battle song, promising God’s active and aggressive involvement in the war against His enemies. Given the fact that from v. 6 we know exactly the time prophesied in the passage, this is all a prophesy about the coming Messianic kingdom, established with the earthly ministry of Christ. There are many other prophesies in the Old Testament that speak about God’s aggressive involvement in history to defeat His enemies, especially the most quoted Old Testament passage in the New Testament, Ps. 110. The promise of ruling the nations with a rod of iron, and the warning to the kings of the earth in Ps. 2 is another example. They all, of course, follow the prophesy-promise in Gen. 3:15 about the coming Redeemer. God is not in the business of simply saving a few souls from what is supposedly a largely unpredictable and uncontrollable historical process; He promised before the Incarnation that it would unleash an era of conquest, or rather, a re-conquest, and the coming of the restoration of God’s kingdom among mankind.

The New Testament is not timid about the expanding Kingdom either. Jesus’s parables unmistakably give us a picture of a growing entity in history before the Second Coming, whether in the parable of the mustard tree or the leaven in the flour. To the Jewish leaders He said that they would see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven (a picture of invasion and aggression, see Is. 19:1), and the timing of it was “from now on,” that is, from the very moment Jesus spoke to them. The Great Commission starts with the declaration of Christ’s total authority over the earth. Paul says the civil government must be God’s servant (Rom. 13), contrary to the statist ideology of Rome; he also says that all things belong to the Christians, including the world and the future (1 Cor. 3:21). It is the declaration that Jesus is King that earned the Christians their persecutions (Acts 17:7), not the declaration of Jesus as a personal Savior, which was actually received rather favorably by the authorities at the time (Acts 26). Jesus gave evidence of the presence of the Kingdom, and that was the work of driving out demons (Matt. 12:28; Luke 11:20), an aggressive assault on what was previously considered territory preserved for the realm of Satan. He also described the Church as pushing aggressively against the gates of hell (Matt. 16:18). Paul’s military language in 2 Cor. 10:3-6 shows an aggressive agenda of “tearing down fortresses,” “taking captive,” “destroying speculations,” and “punishing disobedience.” His sermon in Athens ended not with an altar call of passive expectation for someone’s conscience to be moved but with the verb παραγγέλλω, a military term meaning “charge, give orders, command.”

OK, as the gates of hell are broken up under the indomitable will of Jesus Christ — and those who follow Him, to storm the enemy’s stronghold and smash their pillars of power (you can already see the cracking!) — we get back to the main theme up from the necessary focus on the details to the grand overview (bolded by me)

The picture is very clear: in this world, in history, the Kingdom of God starts from a small seed, Jesus Christ Himself. It grows aggressively throughout history—His Kingdom and peace increase without end—until it fills the whole world, just like the stone in Daniel 2, and the leaven and the mustard tree in Matt. 13. It takes over the spiritual realm of Satan, but it also conquers the minds of men, and through them, their civilization, politically, economically, socially, etc. No church “ghettos” are envisioned in the Bible, no passive expectations of the coming of Christ, no desperate spiritual defense to preserve one’s faith or church against the superior forces of the enemy besieging the church. An aggressive army of an advancing Kingdom, winning cultural victories for her King, is what history after the Incarnation is all about.

“Violent Men Take It by Force”

So far so good. This vision of the Kingdom and the Church is being accepted by a growing number of Christians today, especially young families. The understanding that the defeatism and the eschatological pessimism of the previous generations have brought us cultural defeat and decline is growing, and there is a change in the very theological climate in the church.

What hasn’t been growing, though, is the understanding that this new—in fact, well-forgotten old—vision of the Kingdom must produce a new type of man, just as every ideology and every doctrine produces its own type of man. The pessimistic eschatologies dominant in the last century have produced a type of man that is basically passive to the assault of the prevailing culture. This has either driven Christians to generally acquiesce with the non-Christian culture or to withdraw from influencing it, into Christian ghettos. The churches have been reduced to distributing altar calls and passively registering the growing evil in the world—wherever, of course, they haven’t been actively collaborating with it in the first place. While such mentality is natural to premillennialism and amillennialism with their view of the power of evil vs. the power of the Kingdom of God, the majority of those who have adopted an optimistic, victorious eschatology, are still under the spell of this old mentality.

It takes time to purge out all the old, implicitly Satan-protecting lies.

But God’s will shall be done!

The mentality produced by the Gospel of the Kingdom of God can be best described with the words of Jesus in Matt. 11:12:

From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force.

Do you see this mentality in your church?

The verse is very interesting in that it uses the word “violent” twice: to describe the manner of “taking the kingdom,” and to describe the nature of men who are taking it. Not just the manner of taking the Kingdom is aggressive; the men who are taking the Kingdom also have that quality of aggressive, uncompromising “vehement impetuosity,” of men who, compared to the others around them, look like “violent” men. Men who have a goal and purpose in life, and who don’t wait passively for things to happen. Men who bring about change in their own life and in the world around them, and are not satisfied with seeing things remain the same, day after day, year after year.

As described by the pietism and misplaced pacifism of modern churches, the image of a good Christian is one who has things happening to him—especially persecutions. While persecutions are characteristic to the life of a Christian, they do not come to people who passively wait for things to happen, or who let the world around them run its course unchallenged and unchanged. The heroes of the faith in Hebrews 11 are indeed described as men and women who went through persecutions (vv. 35-38). But these persecutions were not for idly and passively waiting for things to happen. They were the consequence of the same aggressive, warrior spirit which Jesus described as “violent.” These same heroes of the faith also “conquered kingdoms, dispensed justice, became mighty in war, put armies to flight,” etc., etc. (vv. 33-34). Persecutions do not come to those who are content to leave things as they are; the enemy reacts violently only to those who violently threaten his realm.

Today’s failure-loving Christian need not fear persecution: most of the elite only go into the trouble of persecuting those who threaten them, and most Christians are too busy mewing and wailing and crying and despairing to be a threat to any of Our Compassionate Masters.

Only those who challenge the Loving Masters get to see the writhing hatred behind the pretty mask.

God commands us to rip off that mask.

This aggressiveness of spirit is such an important property of the character of a believer that when Moses appealed to his own inability and lack of aggressiveness in speech, “the anger of the Lord burnt against” him (Ex. 4:10-14). Joshua and Caleb were commended by God for their aggressiveness in wanting to enter the land and take possession of it, while the rest of Israel wanted to go back to the old state of things, Egypt.

Egypt is dead. Forget about it.

So is today’s secularist, socialist, self-adoring, Christ-despising, lawless God-State. It is a mere automation, a husk without life or vigour, existing on mere fumes and bureaucracy and media blindness and financial shell-games. Any future it has died in the ’70s, back with the abortions and the divorces and the unveiled hatred of the future.

They, the servants of Satan, have chosen death and hell in return for a certain level of ease for their dwindling years: we, the adopted Children of God, must choose eternal life and productive, profitable work!

The Crippled Christian Man,
Focusing on Boundaries, not on Conquest

Given all that, it is rather inexplicable why even families who should know better, confine the education and spiritual training of their children to building ethical fences around them. Ethical boundaries are important; there is no doubt about it. Without ethical boundaries established by the Law of God man is left to his own devices, which most certainly produce death; spiritual, cultural, economic, etc. Without ethical boundaries dominion degenerates into tyranny, courage into recklessness, entrepreneurship into greed, leadership into exploitation. There are certain actions that sit outside the sphere of legitimate activities of man and the ethical boundaries which determine that sphere. Aggressiveness, that “violent” spirit Jesus speaks of, must be channeled according to God’s limitations and stipulations; it cannot be determined by the autonomous will of man.

And yet, in themselves, ethical boundaries are not enough to get one into the Kingdom of God, nor enough to “seize” the Kingdom of God. The Great Commission doesn’t read, “teaching them to not do anything of what I have forbidden you to do.” Instead, it presents a positive statement of active obedience, not of passive refraining from action. Jesus Himself, when speaking of “violent men” who are taking the Kingdom “by force,” contrasts that new era of the aggressively expanding Kingdom to the old era where the Law and the Prophets were the defining factor (Matt. 11:13; Luke 16:16). He is not contrasting the Law to the Gospel as some theologians today ignorantly claim; not at all, or His Sermon on the Mount wouldn’t make any sense (Mat. 5:17-19), and nor would Paul’s declaration that the legal foundation of the civil applications of the Law is the Gospel (1 Tim. 1:8-11). Jesus here is contrasting ruling principles of motivation: the passive obedience of ethical boundaries vs. the active obedience of violently taking the Kingdom. It is not enough anymore to just preserve oneself from committing a major sin; this won’t get one in the Kingdom. When a scribe acknowledged to Jesus that ethical obedience to the Law is much more important than liturgical participation, Jesus still did not say the scribe was in the Kingdom, He just said he was “not far from the Kingdom” (Mark 12:28-34). (The often-missed context of these verses is that “God is God of the living, not of the dead,” v. 27.) Teaching believers, or teaching children just to avoid sin, or just to defend their faith against attacks, can bring them close to the Kingdom, but not into it.

There must be something more. Something that agrees with that “violent” spirit of those who take the Kingdom “by force.”

Powerful men, serving a powerful Lord, uses that Lord’s fences as a tool for understanding what their Lord wants them to do, and NOT as an excuse for passivity and timidity!

Then again, there are those who, led by pietistic considerations, believe that that “violence” has to do with striving for the simple acts of repentance and profession of faith and the individual salvation the believer receives from God. And then, of course, with the “aggressive” evangelism of preaching that same individual salvation to others, so that they perform the same acts of repentance and profession of faith and get saved.

But this, again, is rather defensive; it is an escape from death and perdition, from the realm of Satan and the curse. It is a legitimate and necessary step for those who have been redeemed by God. But in itself, this step is still self-centered and passive; it doesn’t not have a Kingdom in mind beyond the scope of the individual needs of the believer. It may produce some changes in the individual life of the person, and in his eternal state, but it doesn’t necessarily produce changes in the world around him, in history, in his own generation. The author of Hebrews explicitly says that such repentance and profession of faith and conversion are just “elementary things,” “baby food,” and that the mature believer should “press on to maturity” (Heb. 5:11-6:2).

I hope that you are absolutely sick of baby food!

We are supposed to go forth and conquer, not hide and cower in some shrinking ghetto!

Therefore, there must be something more. Simple ethical boundaries, or simple conversion and evangelism, are not what defines the “violent” spirit of the men who take the Kingdom by force. What is it that “takes the Kingdom by force”?

The answer must come from the larger reality of the Covenant of God. And I mean, the Covenant of God that He made with mankind at the Creation. It is often called by theologians today the Covenant of Works (although I personally prefer if the name was changed to Covenant of Work). But a better name, that characterizes it best, is Dominion Covenant, or Dominion Mandate. Man was created in the Image of God, and the mistake many theologians today make is that that Image of God denotes something man is, ontologically, in his passive being. Thus attempts have been made to find that image of God in something man has or is, like his intellect, his ability, or anything else that pertains to man’s being. But the first chapter of Genesis defines the image of God as represented in man’s purpose of dominion over the created world. It is not found so much in man’s “being” as in his “doing,” in what he was created to do and to achieve.

With man created to take dominion over creation, the original Covenant of God, the large framework of all successive covenants, was that Dominion Mandate. It was the original aggressive mandate, to take the order and abundance of the Garden and expand it throughout the world. It was the purpose and direction, the “violence” that was from the beginning supposed to characterize man as a creature in God’s image. Violence, of course, not against his fellow man, but “violence” against the disorder and the formlessness and the fruitlessness of a world that didn’t have a steward, a legitimate master under God. Man was supposed to actively increase his dominion over the world and change nature into something better; he was supposed to capitalize it, to bring order to it, to transform it, and to construct it into a civilization.

Violence against the formlessness and chaos and lifelessness of Creation. Forge, build, tame, discipline, raise up!

(Yes, I believe that this extends to taming other worlds and star systems… but we must start on our own world first, with the people around us as it is! The journey to the ends of the cosmos start with walking uprightly before the Lord, in the here and now, and building a fruitful and excellent on this world, as He commanded!)

Jesus’s death and resurrection restored man to that original purpose. “All authority has been given to me” couldn’t mean anything else but that the earth was now legally restored to the descendants of the Second Adam, to fulfill their Dominion Mandate. In case that wasn’t clear, Paul told the Corinthians, “All thing belong to you,” including the world (1 Cor. 3:21-22). Abraham’s promise was interpreted in the New Testament not as inheritance of a small strip of land in the Middle East but as “the heir of the world” (Rom. 4:13).

And the redeemed humanity now had work to do, for Paul told them that “the whole creation groans,” waiting for us to be revealed as the sons of God, as being in God’s image, so that the creation itself can be freed from the bondage of corruption (Rom. 8:19-22).

Thus the active element in man’s purpose under God, the essence of that “violence” Jesus is speaking about, is . . . work. Work, that is, applying man’s labor to creation to change it from subject to corruption to proclaiming the glory of God.

Go forth and conquer, Christian! With God with you, guided by His Holy Spirit, what can be against you?

Work hard, work smart, redeem the Creation!

Thus the redeemed man is not characterized by his ability to successfully avoid sin; a dead body can achieve the same thing, and still have no life nor aggressiveness in it. A redeemed man is characterized by his productivity, by his ability to transform the created world according to God’s purposes. It is not a mere coincidence that Proverbs, the Book of Wisdom, ends with the description of a woman who is economically productive, and not only economically productive, but also aggressive in her economic actions. Wisdom that constitutes only ethical boundaries but does not lead to economic productivity is the “wisdom” of a dead body.

All those dead worlds in the sky are sinless….

…and I suspect that God is not pleased with it.

Let me argue, once again, that God wants a sinless life.

He is the God of the LIVING, not the DEAD.

So, why are all those dead worlds just sitting there, waiting for someone to bring them to life?

Hmmm…. it’s almost as if there should be someone gardening them, building them up, making them better than they should be.

For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. — Romans 8:22-23

Strictly as a personal matter, I believe that the whole of Creation is waiting for a certain thick-headed, obstinate, willfully sinful species to finally grow up, repent of their evil ways, and rise up to the holy and awesome destiny God has planned for them!

OK, back from the stars (which God has named, every one) and the worlds (which God has not named… perhaps expecting His obedient children to do so!), to this world, were we need to work on today.

The following quotation is long, but it’s worth reading every word. Even so, I will be bolding the parts that struck me the most. (Note the section titles are bold in the original!)

“Her Gain Is Good”

Indeed, it is important to realize that the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31 is not just a description of a good wife, she is a prescription for the church as a whole, and for every one of us as individual members of the church. In the context of the “violence” Jesus was speaking about, we can’t help but notice v. 25 of that chapter:

Strength and dignity [majesty] are her clothing, and she smiles at the future.

The woman described here has a purpose for her life, an individual purpose that is only hers and no one else’s. She is not described as a passive participant in a collective; not even her family is described as a collective where she participates in some collective actions. Under some well-meaning but misplaced views of the family and the relationships within the family, some modern commentators are trying to present her as acting under the constant direction and supervision of her husband, as his errand boy or servant. But the text describes an independently-minded, self-motivated woman on a mission, an individual, personal, actively and aggressively pursued mission within a covenantal framework, not just simple obedience to someone else’s commands.

And what is that mission? Economic productivity.

This very principle must set the goal for our children’s education: Our children must be self-consciously, aggressively, uncompromisingly taught to find their specific, personal, individual corner of the marketplace, where they will be economically productive, and where “their gain will be good.”

This must be the constantly present topic of our family devotions: That our children need to look to the future in terms of their professional development. Teaching them the ethical boundaries of the Law of God and the intellectual defense of the faith is important, no doubt about that, for not knowing the ethical framework of the Kingdom a person can be easily misled to start building his own kingdom. But the active, aggressive element of their spiritual training and instruction cannot be those ethical boundaries and intellectual defenses. This element must be their understanding that there is a place for them in the world where they can transform previously void and formless earth into an ordered structure which renders glory to God and service to men. They need an individual purpose for their lives, not just their place in the family of their parents. When a man leaves his father and mother (Gen. 2:24), he must be spiritually, ethically, emotionally, but also professionally prepared to be on his own and take dominion as an independent man.

The family—before the church—is supposed to be the training ground, the equipping center for the saints to go out and conquer the world for Christ. It must instill in the children a sense of personal, individual purpose, and the aggressiveness of pursuing that purpose. It must give the children the emotional fuel to continue studying and preparing themselves for a life of independence and economic productivity, even when there are no immediate results. Too often today we encourage our children to go into vocations that are glossy and glorious on the surface but require little investment in academic studies—small business, technical jobs, movie-making, arts, etc. But the real culture-changers are those fields of employment and business that require long-term effort of academic and professional training: engineering, the medical profession, science and technologies, organization of labor and production, industrial design, law, banking, etc. They don’t look glossy and glorious and attractive and fun, but it is these areas of productivity that leave the deepest influence on the culture. Whoever serves, leads, says Jesus (Matt. 23:11-12), and the best way to serve your fellow human beings is to invest in years of accumulating knowledge about how the world operates and use it for building a civilization from the scattered resources God placed in your corner.

This professional and academic training is what will give our children the aggressiveness to expand the Kingdom of Christ. It is dominion through service. And our children must be taught to devote their individual lives to the study and work that God has for them. First learn to identify the specific purpose for them individually, and then spend the effort and the energy to pursue it. This part of their training and education is just as important as teaching them to belong to a family or to a church. In fact, if we train them collectivistically, to surrender their individual calling to an institution—even a God-ordained institution as the family or the church—we may succeed in destroying their spirit, and may eventually lose them. Granted, their gifts must be exercised in a covenantal framework, but ‘covenantal framework’ is not the same as ‘institutional subjection’. The Dominion Mandate and the Great Commission are fulfilled not by collectives but by individuals trained by their families and their churches.

This also means that while we as parents need to find the Biblically ethical way of training our children for their future professional successes, we can’t afford to build walls around them that would stop them from exploring and pursuing their gifts to the maximum. While as Christian homeschoolers we need to keep our children at home during the time they are in the stage of maturing spiritually and intellectually, we can’t afford to keep them on the same level when they reach the age of maturity and must grow in their academic and professional pursuits. While a Christian college (for academic, or engineering, or medical, or legal education), or a Christian company (for business, or technical apprenticeship), is preferable to non-Christian colleges and companies, it is still important to understand that in the age of maturity some training is better than no training at all. We can’t trust the non-Christian teachers in the public schools to train and instruct our children in the Lord. But we can trust our already trained and instructed young men and women to survive in a hostile environment, if the prize is the ability to pursue their economic calling before God, under His Dominion Mandate.

Conclusion

The battle for the hearts of our children will not be fought in the area of ethical boundaries, nor in the area of evangelism and apologetic defense of the faith. The battle will be fought in the area of personal, individual purpose for each one of our children. It is this individual purpose that will give them the aggressiveness, the “violent” characteristic of their faith that Jesus was talking about. It is work, the actions that transform a void and formless mess into an ordered, capitalized, useful and usable civilization, that characterize a redeemed man.

Our children need to know that there is a place, a corner of the Garden, for each one of them individually, no matter what their family connections are, and no matter what their church connections are. Church and family must stand only as a covenantal framework, not as an institutional master over them; these two institutions must be there to provide training and equipping, ethically and professionally; and provide that training to men and women as individuals, not as cogs in a collectivist machine. Our family devotions must focus on each one of them as an individual under God, and on finding their individual purpose under God.

Without that individual purpose, and without that understanding that the Dominion Mandate—and the Great Commission as the restoration of that Dominion Mandate—was given not only to mankind as a whole but also to every individual person under God, we will lose the hearts of our children. They will naturally tend to find such individual purpose somewhere else, if they don’t find it through the family or through the church. True enough, in many cases the family will provide that purpose—and many sons have continued the business or the ministry of their fathers; but it must still be in the context of individual purpose, not of de-personalizing the individual for the goals of an institution.

To end with the words of R.J. Rushdoony:

God’s creation and recreation unaugurate history: man is given an objective and a purpose. The world is to be subjected to man; for this goal to be realized, man must first subject himself to God.

And as parents, we need to always remember the flip side of this: If our children do not have their individual objective and purpose, to have part of the world subjected to them individually, there will be little motivation for them to subject themselves to God, individually.

So, you know what you need to do, and what your children must aspire to.

With greater knowledge comes greater responsibility, and greater accountability before God.

But upholding your holy work before God leads directly to great reward: and aggressive, violently-minded men should be eager to get to the top, and get all the good stuff God has planned for His faithful, initiative-seizing, violently-minded soldiers!

The Two Kingdoms, Baptists, and Slavery

From American Vision’s McDurmon:


I have previously written about American slavery and two kingdoms doctrine in regard to the Methodist church. The same points made there hold true, of course, for other denominations, although most did not use the term “two kingdoms” at the time. The Presbyterians followed Thornwell’s version emphasizing the “spirituality of the church,” and southern Baptists likely followed that line as well, or something like it. This short article is about a Baptist example of the level of abomination to which Christians will devolve once this cancerous dualism is allowed to insulate the civil and social order from the preaching and correction of the Law of God.

[…]

The article includes a note about the historical context which is both crucial and damning:

From 1696 through 1722 South Carolina masters were required by law to castrate a slave who ran away for the fourth time (for thirty days), under pain of forfeiting ownership of the slave to the first white informer.1

Men with “deep religious conviction” could obviously be torn by such a legal demand, and thus, a group of South Carolina Baptists seemed to be uncomfortable with it. In fact, a church in “Charelestown” S.C. was experienced some level of division because a member, or members, had followed through with this barbaric law while other members objected and felt the masters in question had sinned. Thus, the church leaders wrote to a Baptist group in Devon, England for higher counsel. The original sources involved here are two letters that the Devon Baptists wrote in reply.

The great problem the letter addresses, then, is, “Whether, a master may, and not sin against God, make an Eunuch of his Slave, for being absent (without his master’s leave) from his business for the Space of 30 [days]?”2

When the British Baptists wrote back, the theological dualism was on full display. They exonerated the barbaric civil law of castrating a runaway slave on such grounds as this: “Now ’tis presumed, this law was made by the Majestrate, and So the more binding; . . .”3

Right. The civil government spaketh, therefore the law bindeth. The church has no say in this matter.

This reasoning makes clear that such Baptists felt that as long as the civil rulers made a law not obviously contradicting the Biblical mandate to preach the Gospel (in a stripped-down, narrow sort of way), they could enact anything—indeed, any tyranny.

Once it sets out the question, and has conceded the assumption that the practice in question was duly enacted by the civil government, the Baptists had to answer whether a member would be committing a sin to go ahead and impose such a barbaric punishment. The Baptists’ answer was unambiguous:

We think he may not, as Circumstances may be; as, if he doth it without the law of the Majestrate, or in a Spirite of revenge, or obscenely like that forbiden, Deu. 25. 11, 12.

This is the radical two-kingdoms tyranny in action: when the church says that the church has little-to-nothing to say to the civil realm, and whatever the civil realm does, the church must therefore stand by and remain silent. The only hindrances to even members of the body of Christ engaging in the most heinous acts of cruelty is where the church may determine that the members may be engaging in some kind of personal sin—anger, revenge, etc.—in the process!

Do you see the dualism? By this reasoning, the church could allow a member to commit murder as long as the church determined the member did not have “revenge” in his heart when he did so!

Worse, the Devon Baptists even searched the Scriptures to find justification for the barbarity—in this case, stretching the imagination so far as to apply Deuteronomy 25:11–12 to the castration of a runaway slave! (Why they didn’t think to apply the much more clear, direct, and obvious Deuteronomy 23:15 bespeaks something like depravity.)

Yet, the story gets even worse. The reply letter went so far as to encourage the SC Baptists to find good in the barbaric act: “may we not Se Some mercy mixt with this Brother’s Cruelty”?4 And how should we see some mercy in this act? Because, the letter states, some other guy had castrated his slave somehow out of “filthy lucre,” whereas this member “had foreboren” to do so. Such a great guy! Such compassion!

[…]

Folks, this is radical two kingdoms theology. This is how the traditions of men render the Word of God of none effect. This is how you absolutely set aside God’s Law and replace it with man’s law. This is why governments get away with murder, and why tyranny rules in every branch of government in virtually every government in the world. This is the doctrine lying behind every evil from Nazi Germany to Soviet Russia to American slavery to the modern behemoth police state.

This is what happens when the church does not preach the law and its applications. What follows is that tyranny reigns, and then the church starts getting creative in finding ways to avoid its responsibility to preach against it. It starts finding ways to turn a blind eye, and then even to justify and praise the tyranny. In the end, the church ends up calling evil good and good evil. The march of Satan runs through the governments, and the church is its greatest ally.

The only way to stop this slide into further tyranny is to rediscover the Law of God. Learn it. Learn its applications. And preach it.


Ah yes, these men of Deep Religious Conviction.

I wonder how much this Conviction will be worth, in the Divine Court.

Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;

Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.

— I Corinthians 3:12-13

I’m guessing stubble, at least when it comes to slavery.

I can only pray that I do better than these Men did – something that is not guaranteed, in this world of comfort, ease, and government-backed universal lies.

Avoid the “go along to get along” gang, forever looking up to powerful and wealthy men, as opposed to the Creator and Judge of All.

(For example, take abortion and sodomy, both of which are strongly endorsed by Our Masters. Secondarily, there is divorce and government-backed theft/redistribution, both of which is despised by the Lord.

“But we made our peace with that decades ago.”

God didn’t.)

OK, back to the solution to tyranny and slavery. From the article above, with my bolding for emphasis:

This is what happens when the church does not preach the law and its applications. What follows is that tyranny reigns, and then the church starts getting creative in finding ways to avoid its responsibility to preach against it. It starts finding ways to turn a blind eye, and then even to justify and praise the tyranny. In the end, the church ends up calling evil good and good evil. The march of Satan runs through the governments, and the church is its greatest ally.

The only way to stop this slide into further tyranny is to rediscover the Law of God. Learn it. Learn its applications. And preach it.

Amen, and Amen.

Taking the Cities II

This is a review/requote of Bojidar Marinov’s Mission of the Cities (2), which also doubles as a guideline on how to bring a culture into a Christian Reformed state of mind.

(As opposed to cowering somewhere, shivering in fear, waiting for the Rapture.)

The post is divided into two parts:

  • Family and Bible-grounded churches founded and nurtured by families
  • Businesses as the building blocks for growth, prosperity, and dominion

Family

The Biblical model for the family is the nuclear family: a man, his wife, and their dependent children. No matter what situation the family is in, the Bible does not prescribe any additional covenantal authority over the husband; there is no concept of extended family, or a clan, as a covenantal unit or institution. From the very beginning, the boundaries around the nuclear family are clearly established in Gen. 2:24. A man – which should mean in the context a grown up adult – should leave the covenantal authority of his parents, and start a new covenantal family with his wife. While Isaac lived in the same geographical place with his father Abraham, and Jacob and Esau lived with Isaac, the evidence is that they had separate households and made their decisions separately from their fathers. The New Testament also establishes the covenantal boundaries around the nuclear families in Paul’s words in 1 Cor. 11:3: “Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of the woman.”

[…]

In the society of the fallen man, especially in rural settings, the temptation has always been toward replacing the nuclear family with the clan, where one family head controls all the families within his jurisdiction and acts as both civil government and religious priest over them.2 That model is rejected by the Bible, and it is oriented toward stagnation, not toward dominion. The nuclear family, as Gary North points out, provides maximum harmony.3

But in the context of the big city, a different temptation is present, one which acts in the opposite direction: the atomization of the society and the individual, and the flight from all human institutions, including those that are Biblical, good, and effective. Including the family. By a combination of factors – cultural, economic, psychological – the big city seems to discourage its young people from forming families, or, when they form them, from having children…. The problem has been discussed by many Christian authors, both in previous centuries and in modern days, but one main aspect of that problem is especially troubling: that the more individuals rely on a centralized government to supply all their needs, the less willing they are to rely on the Biblical family as a covenant institution.

The lying God-State at work. It comes up again and again, as the fatherless masses cry out for a Master to Save Them… a human Master, who gives out the goodies without the demand for righteousness and justice… or even hard work, often enough.

Every missionary who went to work in an urban environment, has encountered the problem of too many single young men and women (mostly single women), and very few families. The problem is especially persistent in Europe where the memory of two world wars and the several decades of Communism in the East and socialist policies in the West have dealt a serious blow on the family as a covenantal institution. (I avoid the label “traditional family” for it has no identifiable meaning from a Christian perspective.) In many places, and especially in the urban regions of the world, the family is not the basic institution of the culture.

This is mainly because in the context of a pagan culture, subjection and service are seen in negative terms, as a drain on one’s life, and as a liability which interferes with the “self-development” of the man or the woman. Rushdoony explained how the Christian family is based on the principle of mutual subjection and service.4 Without Christianity, there is no understanding of the moral value of mutual subjection and service, and therefore there is no psychological or emotional fuel for young men and women to spend efforts to start and build a family.

Man doesn’t become free by rejecting the Biblical principle of mutual subjection in the family; he only replaces it with totalitarianism and tyranny.5 The flight from the Biblical family in the cities has been the main factor which produced socialism. It is no wonder that in the 20th century the big cities have become a fertile ground for socialist ideas, as well as an endless supply of voters for statist political agendas. It has nothing to do with the supposed “modernity” of the city dwellers, nor with any social “progress”; the prevalence of socialist ideas in the cities is the direct product of the abandonment of the family as an institution. An atomistic society of lonely men and women will naturally try to embrace another principle of cohesion. If it’s not the family, then it must be the state. Mutual love and subjection and service in the family then is replaced with subjection and servitude to the state, without any love whatsoever.

Obviously, Atheists, Secularists, and Muslims naturally despise the Christian Faith; but even if the Leader calls himself a Christian, there is a distinct scent of idolatry if he is the focus of fear, and not God.

To have a society where men Fear God and His Law is the goal: not a baptized humanism, where Christians stinking with fear turn to a strongman for protection from their ideological enemy. The arm of flesh will fail Christians, from King Saul to Donald Trump (or even a future President Pence, and onwards until we finally learn our lessons.

[Naturally, I have no problem with Christian supremacy… so long as the general population is actually Christian, and actually wants Divine Law as the basis of government. A Christian state without a Christian culture as its foundation is just a waste of time and energy at best, a baptized tyranny at worst.

I have serious doubts about the supposed “Christian supremacist” Pence though. Does he even know what the Law demands? Noting his support of the Patriot Act, the War on Drugs, Stop-and-Frisk, etc, he seems more of the authoritarian Christian of the Franco mode.

Best for actual Theonomists and Christian Reconstructionists to keep their distance.

Politics comes fourth – after the individual, church, and family (business). (And politics is just part of community). And even in formal politics, it’s local first, and national last.

Do your ground work FIRST.
So, You Want to See the Country Changed Politically. Here’s How.“]

Anyways, let’s turn our eyes from the political distractions, and get back to the core of the issue: God, Family, Business, City… and Victory.

And then, of course, the state in its turn implements policies that additionally atomize the society and separate the individuals from each other, until the only social cohesion that would be tolerated by the brainwashed majority is the cohesion of the crowd under the dominance of the political elite. The individuals end up dealing only with the government in all their endeavors – whether in business, or in welfare, or in intellectual development – while all other institutions except the government are left without any purpose for existence. The family has no reason for existence in such a society; and therefore, the church and the faith in Jesus Christ have no foundation in it. A culture of single men and women dependent on the state is a Satanic culture, even when there is no direct worship of demons involved.

As we all should know, Satan does not require personal worship per se… all that is needed is the worship, adoration, and fear of something or someone other than Jesus Christ.

  • A billion ways to die…
  • A billion ways to fail…
  • A billion ways to hell…
  • But only ONE way to LIFE…. Jesus Christ, the Son of God!

A missionary who wants to build the church in such setting, then, must make sure he builds families. As I mentioned above, the synagogue model requires at least ten families for a synagogue to be established. Without families there is no church, and there is no Christian culture. And in the context of the big city, the problem of lack of families is a major problem. And that might turn out to be the greatest challenge of a culture-changing missionary.

A warning…

It is fashionable today in many churches and groups who call for a return to the Biblical family to mainly look at the family as a “relationship,” and to emphasize the “relationship” aspect of it. The family is mainly preached and described in terms of the love between a man and a woman, or of the mutual respect, and the joys of having children around, or of how a father should spend time and show affection and attention, etc., etc….

There is a problem with this approach. And the problem is that it is female-oriented, just as the concept of “relationship with Jesus” is female-oriented. I have talked more about this problem in the church, and how the church destroys the Christian family, in my article, “Relationship vs. Purpose: How the Church Destroys the Christian Family.”

[…]

A wise missionary, then, will preach the family as it is described in the Bible: as the basic institution for the fulfillment of the Dominion Mandate to man. Man was created to work and conquer (Gen. 2:15); and the family must be preached as the institution to give him the tools to work and conquer. Without a family, a man is unable to be a successful worker or conqueror (Gen. 2:18). He needs the family in order to achieve God’s purpose for his life, and for the lives of those around him.

  • The goal is not survival.
    (Something that Our Compassionate Masters – be they Secularist, or be they Islamic – would be sure to deny eventually.)
  • The goal is not relationships.
  • The goal is obedience to God.
  • The goal is victory!

The bold in the paragraph below is mine:

The reproductive function is not simply having children but also teaching and training these children to know God, know His Law, and obey His Law in their life. Therefore, together with preaching Christian families, a missionary will also teach the parents to take the responsibility for teaching their children, especially in cultures where government education has become the accepted cultural norm. There is no true Christian family where the parents have abdicated the responsibility of training their children to those outside of the family, and especially to unbelievers. The economic function consists of the family’s place as a trustee of God’s resources. It includes wise management but it also includes care for the poor and needy, and especially care for the elderly. Just as the family must reclaim the education of its children back from the state (and sometimes from the church), so the family also must reclaim the economic initiative and the welfare functions back from the state (and sometimes from the church). In the cities, where the covenantal family has been under severe attack, a missionary must start preaching the purpose and the function of the family from the very beginning of his mission. A Christian culture can not be built without Christian families who are restored in their purpose and function under God.

Victory everywhere means hardened, tough Christian families everywhere: families that multiply, families that are obedient to God and His Law-Word, families that plan to WIN.

(And not just in this generation, or just one lifetime!)

Business

Businessmen as Teachers

I said above that the modern church has insulated itself into something similar to a pagan temple, an institution limited to providing liturgy and religious experience on Sunday morning. I also said that a culture is captured not when Sunday morning is captured but when Monday morning, and every other week day, are captured.

God wants dominion over all the week, not just a few hours on Sunday… when it doesn’t interfere with football.

Many churches, then, after having defined themselves in such limited way, realize that not capturing the week days makes them lose the hearts of their members, and that much of the significant and relevant life of their members happens outside of the “church,” during the week. The solution then is not to expand the definition of the church beyond the limited institutional setting and the strictly religious gathering on Sunday morning but to expand the number of religious activities within this limited definition of the church. Instead of capturing the weekdays, many churches are working hard to destroy the weekdays and replace them all with Sundays.

Craven cowardice and insipid failure, cloaked with piety and pretty pious words.

Tons of time on secondary duties, and nothing for the primary duty: gaining dominion over the earth, in the way and the manner that God demands.

Why would anyone think that God would be pleased with that?

Don’t they think that God sees?

[This blog writer believes that gaining dominion over just one world isn’t enough, as Christ isn’t Lord of just one world… but even if my opinion is wrong, it is absolutely Biblical for Christ to demand the discipleship of all nations on His Victory starts on this Earth, in our lifetimes.

God demands the discipleship of all the nations, and we — His servants, His agents — filled with the Holy Spirit, must and shall bring it to pass!]

Many American missionaries abroad have adopted the same approach to “church-planting”: Once a “church” is formed, the main concern becomes what activities need to be devised and organized so that the “church” justifies its own existence. The goal is to capture the time the new converts spend “outside” of the church service. Since most American missionaries have no comprehensive Biblical worldview and are unprepared to speak and teach to all areas of life,

…a.k.a.: unprepared to fight, and unprepared to win…

such activities are designed to be a substitute for solid Biblical instruction about the practical life of the new believer during the week, in his family, his job, his business, his political activities, his recreation, his intellectual endeavors, etc.

Such approach, while it is taken for granted by the modern church, is in essence dualistic, and therefore not Biblical. It assumes the duality of life – church vs. secular – and therefore assumes that there are two areas of life regulated by different laws. It denigrates the practical life and work of a believer to be “lower-class” compared to his “spiritual” or “church” life; and then it attempts to replace that practical life and work with a set of irrelevant activities believed to be “spiritual” or “evangelistic.”

No stealing from God is to be permitted… not even in the name of the Church!

(And in this case, the thing being stolen is the entire world outside of the four walls of the church – not just material, but irreplaceable time!

Does the word sacrilege mean anything to our fearful, escape-minded leadership?)

But Biblically, the time from Monday morning to Saturday night is time for work (Exo. 20:9). And it is exactly work that most church activities are competing against, not the world as a system.

Amen, and amen!

Work, of course, includes both the actual process of working, but it also includes rest and recreation which make work bearable. The time during the week is supposed to be time of work, not time of activities with the only purpose of making people busy “for the church.” When a church is trying to take the time of its members during the week, that time is at the expense of work, and not at the expense of the “world.” (Church activities can be more worldly than any “worldly” job out there.)

Just when you thought the Catholic system of ecclesiastical tyranny/world domination was finished forever…

Many modern pastors, and many modern missionaries do not realize that work is not only not a “worldly” thing, but it is the most spiritual and ethical activity of all activities mentioned in the Bible. Based on the number of verses work is declared to be an ethical and spiritual virtue, it is more spiritual than prayer, church attendance, praise and worship, singing psalms and hymns, helping the poor, offering sacrifices, healing the sick, performing miracles, raising children, having the right relationship with other people, be nice to people, street evangelisms, etc., etc. From beginning to end, man’s very nature as the image of God is defined much more by the word “work” than it is defined by liturgy, relationship, or prayer. Man was created and put in the Garden, and the first task he was given was to work. The Law of God as given to the Hebrews, from beginning to end, presupposes a working culture, not a culture of religious observances. (Any religious observances were peripheral and temporary in nature.) The Promised Land was described as a place where work will be blessed, not cursed; the commandment for offering the first fruit presupposes they would work the land (Deut. 26:1-2). The exiles who went to Babylon had no formal liturgy anymore – God must not have considered it as important as it is for some modern liturgical zealots – but they were commanded to work and serve (the same word in Hebrew) there, building houses, planting gardens, and advancing the welfare of Babylon (Jer. 29:1-7; 40:9). And the warnings against laziness in the Book of Proverbs are far too many to list in one short article. In any case, the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31 is almost entirely described as a working or businesswoman; and we know that she is portrayed there not only as a moral instruction to the believers today but also as a symbolic description of the Church.6

God expects us to centre our lives around work, labouring to bring His will to pass, guided by the Holy Spirit, the Holy Bible, and the Divine Law encoded within, as conveyed by Moses and modified/fulfilled/expanded by Jesus Christ.

We had better get to work: God is watching, and He is judging, weighing us in the balance, this very day, this very moment, continuously, forever.

Whether we like it or not.

Note especially the secondary and temporary nature of strictly-religious observances, and the primary and permanent nature of work.

Our modern interpretation of the Fourth Commandment often focuses on the Sabbath rest and we seldom stop to think that that commandment actually has two parts: work and rest (not work and worship). But Jesus challenged our modern interpretation and explained that the more important part of that Commandment is work; in John 5:16-17, he replied to the Jews concerning their interpretation of the Sabbath and their accusations, that “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.”

An example for Christians to follow, when it fits the holy mandate to bring all under His dominion. On the other hand, God blesses His servants with rest, one day in seven: The Sabbath was made for Man, and not Man for the Sabbath.

In Matthew 7:15-20 Jesus talks about the trees being good or bad according to what they produce. Immediately after that, He says that religious observances do not secure one’s place in the kingdom of heaven (vv. 21-23). And of course, that great parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30 declares that refusal to work and produce and increase wealth may cost a man his place in the Kingdom. Jesus there specifically calls the servant, “wicked and lazy,” indicating that laziness is a vice. Paul told the Thessalonians to “do their own things and work with their own hands” (1 Thess. 4:11), and in case they hadn’t gotten the message, in his next letter to them he warned them that “if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat either” (2 Thess. 3:10). (Seriously, Paul? You’ll let a man starve just because he doesn’t work?) The threat of starvation must be a convincing testimony to the ethical importance of work in Paul’s thinking.

Paul is serious.

In general, work is considered in the Bible as more important and of a greater spiritual value than religious observances. Therefore, teaching the Biblical laws and principles about work, occupation, and business must be considered a priority for a pastor or a missionary, higher than teaching about church services, liturgy, or church organization. A missionary who doesn’t address work and business in his preaching, is delivering to his listeners a dualistic, almost Gnostic “gospel,” not the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And therefore, a missionary who is making every effort to engage his converts in “church” activities during the week, thus taking from their time of effective work or recreation (which will make work bearable), is a missionary who is wasting his time and the money of his sponsors.

Gnostic dualism is a dreary, matter=evil, spirit=good lying delusion, that has been infecting the Church for far too long. Dump it in favour of God, who said that the physical creation was good.

A century ago, the Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions still included changing the work and business habits of a nation in the legitimate tasks of a missionary;9 the testimonies of many of the missionaries at the conference in 1910 included the changing economic and business environment in places like Latin America, Turkey, India, and Eastern Europe as a result of spreading the Gospel. Such testimonies today are seldom heard of, and I have been criticized quite a few times by American Reformed missionaries for “diluting the Gospel” with focus on work and business.

The Gospel was explicitly created for the real world. For it is the real world that needs to be redeemed!

But work is a spiritual virtue, and a pagan society will naturally tend to despise, hate, denigrate, and reject work. No wonder; for the fallen man, work is curse, and the less time is spent in work, the happier the fallen man feels. Conversely, a Christian society will put a heavy emphasis on work and business, and on “redeeming the time” to use it in serving one’s fellow beings.

Bolded by me in the next paragraph: the two main purposes of work.

Work has two main purposes in the Bible. First, it is increasing the value of one’s capital. The parables of the talents and the minas are very clear about that. The examples of Abraham and Jacob are also very clear. The Old Testament expected of the faithful Israelites to build, and plant, and expand in the land. This first function of work includes production, management, investment, organization of production and labor, education and training, marketing, trade, and many others. Second, it is solving problems. In a regular day, where there are no accidents or unfortunate circumstances, a man works to increase his capital. But in a world that is not entirely under man’s control, there are contingencies which man must anticipate and deal with to prevent his capital from shrinking.10This second function of work may include insurance, contingency planning, protection of assets, maintenance and safety, damage control, rescue of human and non-human capital from dangerous situations, etc. This second function of work is so important that Jesus said it trumps the Sabbath regulations: Matt. 12:11 and Luke 14:5 show that safety, rescue, damage control, and protection of assets were permitted on a Sabbath day; Luke 13:15 shows that maintenance was permitted on a Sabbath day.

God made all good things for a purpose.

But people like to twist what God made for good, and use it for evil purposes.

… from very early in history the cities have attracted not only the most innovating and industrious members of the society, but also the most corrupt and the lazy. Sodom and Gomorrah were extreme examples but they were certainly not exceptions. Athens, Rome, and Alexandria had their share of the population which was committed to living without working. “Panem et circenses” was a successful policy of control exactly because the population of Rome expected bread and circuses; it was corrupt and lazy and it viewed physical labor as something only the slaves do. The same policy, represented today by the modern policies of government welfare, works mainly in the cities where there is a separate class of dependents on the government who have lost their ability and desire to ever be independent and productive. Even among those who have work and are better off, the welfare mentality runs strong. (In fact, welfare recipients can be found in all strata of society, from the poor to bank owners and CEOs.) So, what’s a missionary to do in the big city?

What’s the plan?

The solution is in returning to what I said above about the synagogue model for the church. A missionary must realize and accept the fact that the Church is not limited to the institutional organization and its gatherings, but it is also an organism, and its members are lawful representatives of the Church in their vocations. The missionary must also recognize that teaching work ethic, stewardship, and problem-solving is an important part of the Gospel, and therefore the church members must be encouraged to learn and practice those important Gospel virtues. Of course, every member of the church must be a hard-working member in his area of vocation and expertise. But the businessman, the entrepreneur, the innovator, is in a special position to learn, practice, and teach those skills. The Christian missionary has a special obligation to that specific type of person, and can reap results that can help his church and his work grow beyond the results of many modern missionaries.

The successful innovator successfully upholds the Dominion Mandate… and opens tedoor for others to do so even more succcesfully!

It is often assumed that business and entrepreneurship is about money and profit and getting rich. It is true that this is part of motivation of a businessman; just as part of the motivation of an employee is getting that paycheck at the end of the week. (In fact, very often the paycheck is a much greater motivation for an employee than is profit for a businessman.) But to declare the financial result the essence of business is the same as to accuse parents who have decided to have many children that their only motivation is to have someone take care of them when they retire. Of course, parents expect their children to take care of them. But there is much more to parenting than that. In the same way, there is much more to business than simply profit and getting rich.

I’m bolding the next sentence.

The essence of entrepreneurship is stewardship of resources. And these resources include raw materials, time, and – notice carefully – labor. In the context of the modern city, in a constantly growing population and an economy getting more and more complex, organization of labor becomes one of the main tasks of business. What is seldom realized by modern critics of capitalism – both Christian and socialist – is that industrial capitalism wins not because it is profit-oriented but because it is superior to other social systems in its organization of work. And since work is the highest spiritual virtue in the task of dominion, modern industrial capitalism will always take dominion, criticisms and predictions to the contrary notwithstanding. Making work more effective is a Biblical virtue; and businessmen and entrepreneurs, risking their own capital, and employing their own resources and skills, are the people who are taking up the task of making work more effective. As the Gospel grows, capitalism will grow, for it is the system that most effectively puts to practice the Dominion Mandate: increase and multiply, and take dominion over the earth. A businessman in the church, therefore, is just as important for spreading the Gospel as is the pastor, or the evangelist, or any other church occupation one can think of. He is a steward of resources, and especially of work. And work is a spiritual virtue.

Others extend their power by media control, by secret police, by terror and beheadings, by massive bureaucracies and welfare-state dependency.

God’s people expand the Kingdom of God by preaching the Gospel, building Godly families, and bringing all things to work for God’s glory and the benefit of covenant-keeping families by high-quality work, as entrepreneurs or as hired servants, experts, labour, magistrates, and skilled tradesmen.

Taking the Cities

Taking the Cities with Bojidar Marinov:

A friend of mine from Brazil, who is working to start a Reformed church in a large city, asked me a few weeks ago, “How do you do urban missions from a theonomic perspective?”

It’s a very important question. In fact, I can safely predict that this will be the most important question for the next generation of missionaries. And it is a huge question too; and it will require much more than one or two articles to be answered. But I will try to lay the foundation for the answer, at least.

There are several reasons I believe it is a very important question, if not the most important practical question about missions in our generation.

First, because Biblically, we should expect a movement from rural to urban, from the country side to the cities, and we should expect the Christendom to be centered in the cities, and be built from the cities to the country side. The Bible starts with a Garden and ends with a City. While I know that the meaning of the City is largely symbolic, the change is of the deepest significance.

We need to take the cities.

It’s the natural Biblical pattern of growth and development, where the last becomes first, the truth rises from the bottom to the top.

The good guys haven’t won until the mountain has been taken: and God expects us to take that mountain!

Second, historically, God has increasingly worked for the advancement of His Kingdom through cities. True enough, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, the Patriarchs, and all of Israel until the time of entering the Promised Land under Joshua, were predominantly agricultural. But that was because they were still pilgrims. They hadn’t found the Promised Land yet. When the Israelites moved to the Promised Land, their life was organized around cities. The cities were the centers of their military defense. Living in cities that they didn’t build was part of the promise (Deut. 6:10). And even before they entered the land, the cities were declared to be the center of their judicial authority (the city elders, see Deuteronomy chapters 21-25).

You see that city? You have to take it.

God has the right of sovereignty over all, and the Kingdom isn’t in its proper place until it is dominant in the cities and in the countryside. Wherever people are, that is where God wants His laws enforced and His truth proclaimed… and His enemies ground down, and pushed off their platform of lies and theft and bloody murder.

As Pastor Joe Morecraft pointed out in a recent sermon, the wisdom described in Proverbs 8 speaks to a city man, in an urban setting. So while the land was the basis of their economy and was divided between the tribes, God made the cities be the foundation of the society of Israel. This was later acknowledged by Jesus when he based his evangelism strategy on the cities (Luke 10:10). And He declared curses on cities as communities (Luke 10:13, Matt. 23, Luke 13), pointing to their covenantal significance.

We can say, both the Law and the Gospel were centered around cities, and the cities were and are important in the administration of both.

The cities belong to God, and not to Satan. Get it back!

Third, from an economic standpoint, it is the cities that make it possible to pool together economic resources and human creativity at the lowest cost (due to low transportation costs and the economies of scale) and thus produce more goods. The economic aspect of society is often ignored by pietistic Christians, and especially by missionaries, but it shouldn’t be. The Bible states many times the promise that the covenant-keepers will increase in numbers; the Dominion Mandate in Genesis 1:26-27 has never been cancelled, and it continues to be the foundation for historical blessings and cursings even after the Fall (see Deut. 28; also, Gen. 12:2-3). But if covenantal obedience leads to the blessing of demographic increase, then by default it must lead to economic blessings as well. Otherwise, increased population without increased economic output will only produce more misery and curse (as is happening with covenant-breakers around the world today).

Indeed, because cities tend to attract talent, we should expect to see a culture that values talent and innovation undergo an increased rate of urbanization compared to other cultures. For example, after the Reformation in Europe, the Reformed communities saw a significantly greater movement of population to the cities.

The cities belong to those who choose to have children, to win the future.

That will be us, those who fear and obey God and not some pro-abort anti-future child-killer.

As Gary North mentioned in his book Millennium (footnotes deleted):

Point five is the issue of eschatology. Man’s past, present, and future are covenantally intertwined. Christianity has always affirmed the linearity of history: creation, fall, redemption, and the final judgment. Western Christianity, especially Puritanism, has at times also affirmed the possibility of progress within this linear temporal process: history can be “linear upward.” The widespread public acceptance in the West of the twin concepts of scientific progress and economic growth was closely related to the spread of Puritan postmillennial eschatology.

It was a secularized version of this Puritan vision of progress that was adopted by Enlightenment humanism: progress without God’s sovereignty, authority, law, historical sanctions, or final judgment. The past was seen as being pregnant with the future.

This humanist vision is now fading. Nisbet is probably correct regarding the cause of the late twentieth century’s loss of faith in progress: “There is by now no single influence greater in negative impact upon the idea of progress than our far-flung and relentless jettisoning of the past.'” The humanists also failed to understand why disrespect for the past would lead to loss of faith in the present: we are all becoming part of the past. We, too, will be jettisoned by future generations. Our works and dreams will be cast out of future men’s thinking. We will be consigned, as Communist Leon Trotsky put it, to the ash can of history. So, what kind of commitment to such future ingrates can modern man be expected to reveal? Very little. Millions of people today are increasingly ready to abort the future, as well abort the yet unborn who would otherwise become the future. Western society has become increasingly present-oriented, with fateful consequences for Western culture. Present-orientation is a denial of the very foundations of Western culture: respect for the past and faith in the future.

Summarized in Proverbs 8:35-36

For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord.

But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.

And in Exodus 20:12

Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

Don’t live in the past: but remember it, and be inspired by the heroes of earlier Christians, who fought – and won! – in conditions worse than you had.

And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:

Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions. — Hebrews 111:32-33

If David and Samson – they with the serious lust-control problems — can enter into the Kingdom with honour and respect, then so can you!


On Islam’s Refusal to kill It’s Own Children:

Naturally, Islam as a belief system despises the Son of God… and so naturally hate God and His Law… and instantly hate the Church and seek to slaughter men — aka the Image of God.

But they love the idea of conquest, and they’re smart enough that the guy with the bigger army gets to win the war. Guess what happens when they realize that the army with the most votes gets to rule. And in Islam, as Erdogan of Turkey said, democracy is like a street car: “You ride it until you arrive at your destination, then you step off.”

This is the same man who controls a bridge leading from Asia to Europe: you have to pay to get to Asia… but getting to Europe is free!

How thoughtful of him – a real Brotherhood man!

In contrast, you have Childless Secular Europe, living only for pleasure today, thinking that a bunch of rules and regulations and a sterile cultural heritage (complete with empty and rotting cathedrals) will protect her from the teeming crowds of intensely hostile and deeply envious neighbours.

Rules and regulations that are NOT enforced, and nations that are NOT protected, by Europe’s long-murdered sons, denied even a chance to breathe.

If Christians will not take the cities, you can be sure that others WILL!

Patriarchy, Good and Bad

With Relationship vs. Purpose: How the Church Destroys the Christian Family, Bojidar Marinov goes over the effeminate church’s destruction of the family (and thus, the family, period)

Years ago, an American Reformed missionary in Europe complained to me that in the church he had planted, there was only one family.

“Well,” I said, “why don’t you encourage the single ones to marry.”

“It wouldn’t work,” he replied grimly, “they are mostly women. They don’t need my encouragement. But there are no men available. Men sometimes would come to the meetings but they don’t stay for long. And the few men we have are not interested in marriage.”

I can think of only one solution to a problem in the church: the pastor should preach the Biblical solution to it. “May be you should start preaching and teaching on the family. Thus you will encourage the men to marry, and have families and children, and become responsible adults.”

“I do,” he said. “I preach and teach on the family all the time. I teach on the relationships between husbands and wives, between parents and children, I preach on what a wonderful gift the family is, I preach on how God blesses families.”

“Hmmm,” I said, “the relationships stuff will attract and encourage mostly women. But what about what attracts the men? Do you preach and teach purpose, what the family is created for? Do you teach the commandment to multiply and replenish the earth, have many children and through them take over the culture? Do you teach and preach on the educational function and purpose of the family; teaching the children in the Lord? Do you teach them the purpose of the family as God’s institution for economic decisions and action? Do you teach them on the fathers as protectors and conquerors? Do you teach them on the function of the family as a welfare agency, the only institution ordained by God to take care of the poor and the needy?”

In our conversation, it turned out he didn’t teach those things.

[Snipped the list that said Reformed missionary did believe in, which was amazingly close to what a good agnostic liberal from 1960s onward believed — minus the homosexuality, of course.]

“I believe,” he said, “that we shouldn’t try to scare people with legalistic requirements about what they should do as families. We first need to show them the beauty of the family as a relationship; a place where people find God’s love and comfort, and where God comes to take care of them as their loving Father. When we do that, and we have families, then we will be able to teach them further about their obligations.”

In other words, he took away all the reasons why the family should exist in the first place, and then try to recreate it without purpose and meaning.

And then he wonders that men are not excited by such picture of the family and are not coming to his church; and those that are in, are not excited about having families. His explanation was that the men in that nation are very immature, and that’s why they do not fall for his view of the family.

He never even stopped to consider my words: That such talk about relationships, beauty, comfort, being cared for, etc., may be exciting for women but not so exciting for men. I bet he never even thought about the fact that there may be a direct correlation between his priorities and his preaching in relation to the family, and the gender ratio in his church.

Amen, and amen!


And with Christian Culture vs. Clan Culture, Marinov goes over the temptation to overemphasise the Family as opposed and over the State and the Church:

In our day in America, the danger of statism is obvious to all Christians, and the historical memory of a church that overstepped its boundaries is quite fresh. What is lost is the historical memory of the pagan character of the family/folk culture, which the early church had to battle and vanquish, in order to build a Christian culture. If Wyclif lived today, with his temperament, he would have probably swung the pendulum far to the side of the family, advocating family/folk culture as the solution to the social evils of our day.

And he would have been disastrously wrong, just as he was disastrously wrong more than 600 years ago.

[Note: at that time, Wycliff was insistign on a State-owned Church. He was insisting

“If the church fail in its duty, the temporal lords may rightly and lawfully deprive it of its temporal possessions; the judgment of such failure lying not with the theologian but with the civil politician.”

As if the Church was the property of the State – you know, as any and all atheists & secularists will insist. “The superior authority taxes the inferior authority, after all, and wealthy leaders with guns and mass support trump any bather about Divine Justice and Holy Commandments every day of the week!”

As we all know, there can be only One True Lord over our lives… and the State is a very jealous god, indeed…]

But we don’t need Wyclif today to give us an example of overreacting due to overzealousness. We have Christians in our own time who look to the family as the institution which, if emphasized as the foundation and the center of our culture, will help us restore the cultural values we have lost in the last two centuries. The extended family, that is, as it is imagined to have existed before the Industrial Revolution took its toll on it.

One of these Christians is Israel Wayne. His views on the importance of the family/folk culture as the supposed “Biblical” alternative to the modern popular culture can be found in his article, “Family Culture vs. Pop Culture.” I hate to have to criticize Israel, for I know he is a crystal pure character compared to me, a much better Christian in all respects, and a man I would be glad to give my life for. Unlike some other Christian authors I criticize, I can safely vouch for Israel that he is honest and sincere. But Israel is wrong in this article, his theology is going in the wrong direction, and I have the obligation to correct him as a brother, for his theology, if developed, will create monsters, just as Wyclif’s theology would have created monsters if God allowed it to develop. And unfortunately, Israel is not alone. Many more Christians have bought into the cult of the patriarchal family culture, mistaking it for a Christian culture. A Christian culture it surely isn’t; to the contrary, it’s origins are decidedly pagan. And in order to build a Christian culture, we need to understand the true nature of the family/folk culture, and understand how it differs from the Christian culture.

[…]

Before I get to the theological analysis of that view, a few logical and factological problems with Israel’s article must be pointed out.

First, of course, he typed his article on a keyboard, and published it on an Internet site. He didn’t scratch it on birch bark to read it to his uncles and aunts and gramps and nieces. This should be enough to show how much he values that old lifestyle.

Second, he admits that this new “pop culture” has given us a lot of good economic “time-saving” resources which the old family culture couldn’t produce. One wonders how is it that “accountability, resourcefulness, and creativity” failed to produce such good things, while “spending aimlessly and consumerism” could produce them. I mean, he may be right about the imagined values of the old culture but what exactly did those values produce, so that we know that they indeed existed in the old family culture?

A.K.A.: Results matter. That’s true today, as most countrymen with any get-up-and-go have got-up-and-went to the city… the Church-abandoned city, where said country people will naturally pick up and follow liberal/atheistic ways of thinking.

And so it is, when Christians decide to hide, instead of deciding to lead.

Third, Israel needs to learn some history. The breakdown of that old clannish culture happened much earlier than the Industrial Revolution or the War Between the States. It happened as early as the 1500s in Calvinist Netherlands, and then in Calvinist Scotland, and in Protestant England, and in Puritan New England, when those men, armed with the new doctrines of Calvin, went out to the ships to traverse the oceans and trade extensively in order to increase their own wealth and the wealth of others, as all Reformed confessions and catechisms required. The same impulse of leaving your extended family to follow the call of God was present in 1620 among those settlers who landed in Massachusetts from Mayflower. The breakdown was under way when the sons of these first settlers refused to abide by the rules of the old towns, took their brides and moved west to settle new lands. It was happening between 1680 and 1870 when millions of young men – Christian men, not pop culture deadheads – led their Conestoga wagons through the Cumberland Gap, across the Plains, and all the way to Columbia River. That breakdown was in action when the original 300 families of Texas left the security of the valleys in the East and challenged the scorching Texas sun, the Comanches, and the Mexican government. It was the wilderness in the West, not the factories in the East, that destroyed Israel’s idyllic world. The Western Frontier broke extended families much faster and more effectively than anything the Eastern industry could offer.

To go forth and conquer, you can’t have a clan-based society. You need mobile nuclear families, where the sons leave their father’s house, and their wives their mothers – as demanded in Genesis, by the way. “You could look it up.”

Fourth, Israel should keep in mind that the claim that the Industrial Revolution broke families is monstrously fallacious. Rural England remained demographically stagnant for centuries; it was the Industrial Revolution that created an unprecedented population boom, and that boom was in the cities, not in the countryside! Contrary to the modern perceptions, it was the British industrial workers who valued family more than anything else and married young and had many children. It was the British industrial workers who were the largest audience of preachers like Charles Spurgeon, leading Friedrich Engels to admit that of all men it was Spurgeon he hated the most. The countryside was lagging behind the cities, both in weddings and in procreation. Israel needs to learn his history before he makes his claims. Not only didn’t the Industrial Revolution destroy the Christian family, to the contrary, it gave it a boost stronger than any other social factor since the 1st century AD.

Very interesting information, that even in the 19th century the cities were much more interested in the gospel than the countryside. It’s even true today, in the UK: there are far more Christian holdouts in London than elsewhere in the country.

I wonder if the American Christian Church will reach for the commanding heights of the cities, instead of hiding fearful and poor in the countryside.

And fifth, Israel’s description of the “women’s liberation” movement is rather shallow, and it doesn’t even touch the true nature and reasons of feminism. The truth is, feminism wasn’t a reaction against the Christian order for the family, and its goal wasn’t to get the woman to the job market. Feminism was a reaction against the quasi-patriarchal order established on the ideas of the Enlightenment. Yes, you read that correct: The Enlightenment created a patriarchal order which kept the woman in the home and deprived her of the ability to apply her gifts and skills in the society. The women’s liberation movement was a reaction against this patriarchal order; and the reason it went in the wrong direction was that the Christians weren’t there to lead the charge against that patriarchal order. R.J. Rushdoony explains the problem in his Institutes, Chapter 7, pp. 349-353.

Things Our Masters don’t care to talk about: “It’s off-message, you know!”

But let’s get to the theological problems in Israel’s thinking.

To start with, Israel seems to have problems understanding the Biblical view of culture. His view of culture is tribal; he says that culture is “the accumulative sum of the beliefs and values of a people-group.” The central point here is the “people-group,” and that’s why Israel can speak of a “folk culture,” a culture that has something to do with the genetic proximity of people. The beliefs and values are secondary, since he talks about the “accumulative sum,” without really stopping to think that one can not “accumulate” just any kinds of beliefs and values. Such definition of culture is essentially materialistic for it defines culture by material factors (people-group, folk) while the spiritual factors (beliefs and values) are simply lumped together into an amorphous mass called “culture.”

This view is absolutely contrary to the Reformed view of culture. The Reformed view was summarized beautifully by Henry Van Til in his book, The Calvinistic Concept of Culture: “Culture is religion externalized.” From beginning to end, culture is the product of a faith statement. We all act according to ultimate beliefs, no matter what our family connections are, and no matter what our genetics is. The culture we build comes not from our “folk” or our “people-group” but from our fundamental beliefs about God. Different religions means different cultures, even if the people come from the same “folk.” That’s why in Israel a family-member was divorced or disinherited and turned over to the authorities in case of idolatry; he was of a different culture now. The same religion means the same culture, even if the family origin is different. That’s why Salmon could marry a Canaanite, and Boaz could marry a Moabite: By placing their faith in God, Rahab and Ruth were now of the Hebrew culture.

The tribal days are dead, except in the Middle East and Africa. We should drive it out of Christian Africa, so such murderous, accursed and backward attitudes can be left to fester in places that deny Christ’s Kingship, and so by definition despise God.

In any case, the family is not a culture in itself, and can not be trusted at all times to provide a healthy culture; Jesus emphasized it many times (Matt. 8:21-22; 10:36; Luke 8:21; 14:26). Our Christian culture is not a family culture, it is a creedal culture, and the family has only a limited jurisdiction in it, just as the church and the state have limited jurisdictions. The family – extended or nuclear – must itself be judged by the creedal standards of the Christian faith, and if it falls short of them, its “culture” is just as destructive as are the cultures of statism or of churchism, and that culture must be rejected. The family/folk culture has no intrinsic value in itself, and more often than not in history the family/folk culture was pagan culture, vehemently opposed to Christ. (Read Fustel de Coulanges’s The Ancient City to learn about the pagan origins of the familistic-patriarchal social order.)

The Biblical social order is not based on the extended family. Romanticized descriptions like the following are not to be found in the Bible:

Imagine with me, if you can, a culture where you are surrounded with people who know and love you. There are parents, uncles and aunts, cousins, grandparents and even on occasion great-grandparents. Living, working, playing and worshiping with these loved-ones creates a wonderful sense of security and stability. You know who you are, to a great extent, because of your relationships with those of your surrounding family. Family can serve as a fixed reference point, linking you to geography and to the past in a way that no other friendship or community can.

Absolutely not. The only fixed reference point is the faith in God. The extended family isn’t, and is never mentioned as such. The Biblical family is always the nuclear family. The only family romantics in the Bible is the relationship between a man and a woman. Read the Song of Solomon. There are no uncles, cousins, and gramps there. The Bible is full of heroes who – much like those American settlers of old – left their extended families to settle in another land, and looked for their purpose and place under God in self-sufficiency and independence from their extended family connections.

Marinov here focus on the nuclear family… as God does. A list of men who left their clan at God’s command — from Noah to Abraham to David to Jesus — follows.

It may come as a surprise to some modern Christians, but not only the Bible is full of examples of people of faith leaving their extended families, the Law of God actually contains economic provisions for the break-up of the extended family. First, there is God’s promise to Israel to multiply them in the land (Deut. 30:5). Second, there is the system of inheritance which required that the land was divided between the covenant-keeping sons in a family (Deut. 21:15-17, see also R.J. Rushdoony, The Institutes of Biblical Law, p. 180; and Gary North, Inheritance and Dominion, Vol. 2, p. 592ff.). Third, there was the Jubilee regulation which prohibited the Israelites from selling permanently the family inheritance in the land; at the end of the 50-year period, the land had to return to the original owner (Lev. 25:13-17, 27:24). The combined economic effect of these three would mean that over time, the heirs of the original families would have grown in numbers to the point where the allotted land to each son would be insufficient to feed him and his wife and children.

God wants His People to be in the cities, where the power over a nation is to be gained.

And, He expects us to be VICTORIOUS when gaining authority over New York City and Tokyo, Cairo and Bombay.

The Word of God – explicit and implicit – makes it clear: forget the clan, go to the city, and conquer it’s rebellious spirit.

We have the tools need to build a vibrant, growing, dominant, excellent, compassionate, free, prosperous and just culture – and not the socialists, not the collectivists, not the perverts, not the atheists, and not the pagans.

Or are we supposed to just hide in the woods, bawling and murmuring and yapping away the ever-imminent Last Days and the ever-delayed Rapture, while the Muslims and the Secularists fight over who rules the West?

(I’d peg it at 80% that they’ll come up with a working alliance as they wipe out their mutual enemy…. IF a small minority of Muslims weren’t SO EAGER to kill people RIGHT NOW.

What happened to the typical smooth lies and sweet-talking deception that the smarter sort of God-Despisers are so well-known for? Why not weave pretty lies for 40 years or so, while quietly moving Islamic State/Brotherhood assets into military and police positions – and naturally decrying all opposition as “Islamophobia!”

Well, such is the way of the wicked. After all, if Hitler wasn’t such a murderous and short-sighted idiot, he could have had Germany master all Europe by 1950 — with the approval of the UK, France, Russia, and the US (or at least without any meaningful opposition)… and a lot more living young German men and intact wealth to build his 100-year or so Reich.

“But if you remove the delusions (and the thirst to kill), then you are essentially destroying the core of the religion. That’s as true for pro-abort Moderns as pro-head-chopping Muslims.”

And so it goes… and so it goes…)

Indeed, historically, family-and clan-centered societies have never exercised dominion. They have remained stagnant and have disappeared from history even if for a short time they have achieved military or technological successes. There isn’t much left of the old clan societies of Germans and Celts. The clannish-tribal structure of the Native American tribes not only made them powerless to oppose the Christendom’s nuclear families’s assault on the American West, it was also a source of constant internecine wars and acts of savageness and brutality of natives against natives that kept their population numbers and economic endeavors at very low levels. China, a stable civilization for several thousand years which made many of the technological discoveries that built the West, was exactly the same in 1911, socially and economically, as it had been 2,000 years before. Some clannish societies managed to survive for a longer period of time only because they gradually evolved into statist societies; for the natural evolution of a culture based on the extended family, see Fustel de Coulanges’s book, The Ancient City. Islam, after the initial conquests, also stagnated because it had nothing comparable to the Biblical Law but instead incorporated old tribal and patriarchal laws. The Ottoman Turks were able to continue their conquests only because their old tribal system evolved into a statist/collectivist system very early.

Clans fail, in the end. It’s a dead-end… often a very literal dead-end, as the endless violence in the Middle East demonstrates.

The only cultures that were able to exercise long-term dominion – geographical, scientific, technological, literary, educational – were the Old Testament Judaism and modern Christianity (and especially Protestant Christianity). They followed the Biblical model: nuclear families, united not by the extended family but by the institutional church (or the synagogue), in a creedal culture where the only fixed reference point is faith. Our modern industrial capitalism and economic globalization, with its unprecedented technological and economic growth, is not a force that developed independently of Christianity, neither is it a force hostile to Christendom and the Christian culture. To the contrary, it came as a direct result of Christianity and of the Biblical worldview. Industrial capitalism and global trade and communications are the Christian economic and social model, and they stand or fall with Christianity, not war against Christianity, contrary to Israel’s assumptions.

It isn’t about bloodlines. It’s about faith… and in which God you will have faith in, by public obedience and private submission, heart and soul and mind.

There is a good reason for the historical success of the nuclear families and the stagnation and decay of clannish societies. The nuclear family is oriented toward the future; the extended family is oriented toward the past. When the family is defined as only a man and a woman and their underage children, the purpose of the family and the whole life of the family is naturally focused on bringing up these children and making them independent of their parents so that some day they fulfill Genesis 2:23-24:

The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.

Since the Biblical culture requires nuclear families as over against extended families, we should expect it to be focused on parents teaching their young children for the future, not on grown up adults trying to conserve the past by hanging around with their relatives. Indeed, the Book of Proverbs is all about a father teaching his young son how to prosper righteously as an independent man.

We must grow and prosper, and not dwell in the past.

The nuclear family is the Biblical standard, and our modern industrial capitalism is not only not hostile to the Biblical culture, it is itself a product of that Biblical culture, and in itself encourages righteous dominion by faithful Christian nuclear families. There is no spiritual value in returning to the imaginary idyll of playing family music on the porch with family-made instruments. That idyll never really existed in the first place (otherwise young men wouldn’t leave their homes to settle new lands), and as an ideal, it is stagnant, unproductive, past-oriented, and ultimately self-defeating. The obsession with the past is essentially a product of a pagan worldview, not of a Biblical worldview. The Biblical Christian forgets what lies behind and reaches forward, taking from the past only the faith of his spiritual family, that is, the Church, and not the beliefs of his extended family, the clan.

This was the legacy of the Early Church, and this is our legacy from the Reformation.

Keep your legacy, remember your inheritance, bless those who forged the way before you…

…but Keep On Pressing Forward!

 

Flying Up in the Air, to Meet Christ

From Gary North’s Millennialism and Social Theory

There is a coming discontinuity called the final judgment, but compared to the discontinuity in history from God’s wrath to God’s grace (Christ’s atonement and His saints’ personal regeneration), it will be a comparatively minor affair. Lots of trumpets and noise, plus a few million (or a few billion) people flying upward all at once, but hardly anything on the order of magnitude of the judicial discontinuity of personal regeneration in history: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature [creation]: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (II Cor. 5:17).

Let me briefly mention the main point here, before going off on a tangent.

The main point of the passage — that it is the Crucifixion, with it’s transition from wrath to grace, that is the focus of history, and not the Second Coming, the Final Judgement, and the end of history — is something that is worth carefully chewing over.

As North emphasizes earlier:

The order of magnitude separating the death of Christ from the final judgment is much greater than the order of magnitude between this world and the post-resurrection world. How can I be so sure? Because I recognize that the order of magnitude separating (1) Adam’s legal status before God immediately prior to his fall from (2) his legal status immediately after was far greater than the order of magnitude separating (a) the pre-fall physical world from (b) the post-fall physical world. Transgressing God’s one law in Eden was a monumental discontinuity. God’s curse on the world was merely God’s negative physical sanction. God’s common grace to Adam and the creation, made possible because of Christ’s payment to God on the cross, allowed God to reduce His negative physical sanctions on both Adam and the environment. God’s negative physical sanctions were minimal compared to Adam’s transgression. Therefore, compared with the death of Christ, the future positive physical sanctions of final judgment and the post-judgment world will also be minimal.

Let me put this a different way. The order of magnitude of the separation of Jesus Christ from God the Father at the cross was analogous to the separation of heaven from hell or the post-judgment perfection of the New Heaven and New Earth from the perfection of the lake of fire (Rev. 20:14-15). This is the judicial difference between “saved” and “lost.” Compared to this, the physical circumstances of Christ’s bodily return to earth are minimal. Therefore, the magnitude of the judicial transition from wrath to grace in history far overshadows the physical transition from this world to the next.

The salvation of our souls — and naturally, the redemption of all Creation — is the great break in history, and this is only possible by the atoning death of Christ.

THIS is the great break – and NOT the Second Coming.

Now, with the most important, world-changing truth spelled out, I can finally focus on one of the minor points, starting with I Thessalonians 4:16-18

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

As Christ rose into the clouds, to ascend to His exalted place by the right hand of God, so we will rise to meet the Lord in the air as He descends to rule the world in person.

So we will be like Christ, able to fly into the air.

Is this a one-time only affair, or a permanent power? I don’t know: but it opens the possibility to travel where we wish, without cars or spaceships or horses. Christ was able to simply appear where He wished: again, I don’t know if we will have this power (teleportation?), but perhaps we will.

As we draw closer to the Second Coming, century after century, the world is slowly shaped into its permanent state. After all, we can fly, we can visit the Moon, we can drive (and soon, be driven without work, via robots), we have full bellies in the West (and soon, in all places).

My mind has been shaped by science fiction imagery and ideas: but the coming Kingdom of God will be far greater than my imagination. But, I have the privilege to see the world draw closer to the Kingdom state, even though sin still mars this world.