All posts by Alvin Plummer

About Alvin Plummer

I'm working to build a better world, a world that blesses Christ and is blessed by Him. I hope that you're doing the same!

Human Sacrifice Among the Romans

After reading Nine Corrupt Pillars of Classical Greece, I decided to look for a few more publications of Lord Acton’s essay “Human Sacrifice”. I managed to find one at the Internet Archive, in addition to the original work.

There are a few related online essays on the subject, including Human sacrifice in Ancient Rome by M. Horatius Piscinus, and a quick survey of 25 ancient cultures who were into cultic murder, mainly to appease their gods (read: demons.)

The State: God’s Hangman?

Not Just a Hangman

Last week we saw that according to scripture the state is more than God’s hangman. The state has a prophetic office, the protection of life. The expression the state is God’s hangman of course comes from Luther. But, it has been very commonly taken out of context. The Lutheran church in using it as it’s doctrine of the state has not been true to Luther. As a matter of fact Luther saw the state as far far more than God’s hangman, rather as God’s prophet and servant.

Sixth Commandment: To Make Alive by R.J. Rushdoony

True enough, if you are talking about, say, safety requirements in building codes (Deuteronomy 22:8). But even here, there is no ban of roofs without railings, there are no licensing codes involved. Instead, if someone falls and is injured/dies of it, the building owner is liable for it, with a penalty up to and including execution.

The Christian Prince, The Christian Scholar

We tend to think of Lutheran as churchman and as ecclesiastical in it’s emphasis. And of course the Lutheran clergy has made a very pious and strong church man out of Luther who worked to reestablish a new church.

This is radically twisting the facts. Luther was primarily a professor! And we cannot properly understand his career unless we understand what he was. Indeed, he was concerned about the faith, but his main concern was with Christendom and the whole society of church, state, and schools! And as a professor, as a scholar, he was concerned with the revitalization of all of society by means of Christian scholarship. And so he saw as the two central agencies in that revitalization of Christian society, the Christian prince and the Christian scholar.

Sixth Commandment: To Make Alive by R.J. Rushdoony

Certainly, as political authority devolves, there will be a need for local Christian leadership in the courts and the executive.

I am doubtful of the purpose of a legislature, if you assume that the only legitimate laws are Divine Laws. Also, you don’t give power to human legislators if you don’t want to be quickly swamped by an ever-expanding pile of poorly-considered laws that nobody even reads.

(See: What Makes You Think We Read The Bills? 2nd Edition by Senator H.L. Richardson

right before you read Confrontational Politics: How to Effectively Practice the Politics of Principle 4th Edition by H. L. Richardson)

These two worked together to revitalize society, so that it was not so much church and state in Luther’s thinking, nor how the Lutheran clergy today read it, the church, but it was the Christian ruler and the Christian thinker. And this is why the universities in Germany came to have a tremendous fire and vitality for centuries after Luther. In fact, until our day, almost, the German university had a import that no university elsewhere in the world had! And until a generation ago, their supremacy was marked. And even today the language to learn if you are interested in scholarship is German, because the great scholarly works that are not in English are predominantly in German.

And all this because of Luther’s emphasis on scholarship. Christian scholarship. We might add parenthetically here that Luther had during his lifetime 20,000 pupils, and those 20,000 had an important position in revitalizing the face of Europe! So that Luther’s position was not that the state was just God’s hangman. It had a positive, a prophetic function. To speak for God, to declare the law word of God in the domain of justice. Now God specifically declares that as he deals with the world his principle of operation which he ask human authorities to follow is this. See now that I, even I, am He. And there is no God with me. I kill and I make alive, I wound and I heal. Neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.

Sixth Commandment: To Make Alive by R.J. Rushdoony

The faster Christians return to producing high-grade scholastic works — outside of the Academy, which today values conformity and obedience far more than truth and logic — the better.

Every Sphere of Life Carries a Sword

So that God as he faces the sinful world proceeds then to kill and to make alive. To destroy that which is evil and to prosper that which is good. And as he faces any law order that fails to fulfil this calling which he delegates to them, to kill and to make alive, he exacts vengeance upon them. I set my glittering sword, mine hand takes hold of judgement. I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and will reward –that is, with judgement– them that hate me.

God as the supreme law giver has this function. And he delegates to human authorities. All human authorities in every sphere have this function. Not only the church, but the state and every calling: To inhibit, to injure, to kill out that which is evil, that which is destructive, that which harms. And to further that which protects and furthers life, under God. In the church it is the binding and the forgiving of sins. In other areas it varies in terms of their function. And so the scripture sees everything that man has and man must do in terms of this function of killing and making alive.

It surprises us when we realize the extent of this, but when we examine the book of psalms for example we see that music also has this function! To make alive. Conversely we can say that bad music certainly kills. That’s the way I respond to a great deal of music today. It has a very depressing, killing effect, so far as I’m concerned. But good music makes alive! And this was the function of the psalms, of music in worship.

Sixth Commandment: To Make Alive by R.J. Rushdoony

Not just church and state, but family too.

Wicked children can — and should! — be disinherited, while godly children are to be strengthed and receive the inheritance. Just as Esau is to be kicked out, and all the great goods are to be placed in Jacob’s hands – just as God expects, and regardless of the will of their father Issac.

Old Science, New Science

First, a snippet from Quora: What aspects of life in middle ages Europe do movies always get wrong?

Jesse Nicolaas Dijk, BSc Animal Science, Wageningen University and Research Centre (2017)

[…snip…]

3. Clergy

The clergy is usually being depicted as cruel, ruthless, dumb, selfish and idiocratic. And yes, most of them were selfish or dumb, but isn’t every human being (or animals for that matter)?

Anyway, these same persons, believe it or not, were the backbone of society, research, literature, exploration and recording at the time of the Middle Ages.

The things that happened in Rome, the Seat of Saint Peter didn’t differ from the intrigues at any given court and arguably didn’t contribute a lot to scientific progress, but what happened inside the everyday abbey or church did.

The gruesome things you probably think about only started to happen at the end of the Middle Ages, or the Renaissance. Don’t forget, a priest is also a human, and no (sensible) human loves to see his neighbours being burned.

Note that it wasn’t the Vatican that was much interested in science, but the local abby and church acrually did push the wheels of science forward.

Much better than today’s superstition-ridden Christian, worried about the Rapture and the Mark of the Beast, and with no interest in better understand the Creation all around him, or even leveraging some math and physics to help his fellowman!

And…. about that math and physics… there’s something odd going on in the universities, as Tom Woods points out:

—<Quote begins>—

It turns out that feminists don’t like quantitative research — you know, the kind where you gather and assess objective data.

A fine gentleman in my private group brought to my attention a gem from a textbook called Social Research Methods.

Here are excerpts from the section called “Feminism and Quantitative Research,” followed by my commentary on each.

“Quantitative research suppresses the voices of women either by ignoring them or submerging them in a torrent of facts and statistics.”

My commentary: This is insane.

“The criteria of valid knowledge associated with quantitative research are ones that turn women, when they are the focus of research, into objects. This means that women are again subjected to exploitation, in that knowledge and experience are extracted from them with nothing in return.”

My commentary: This is insane.

“The emphasis on controlling variables exacerbates this last problem, and indeed the very idea of control is viewed as a masculine approach.”

My commentary: This is insane.

“The use of predetermined categories in quantitative research results in an emphasis on what is already known and consequently in ‘the silencing of women’s own voices.'”

My commentary: This is insane.

This kind of gobbledygook is actually taught in real-live universities.

—<Quote ends>—

Any Darwininan worth his salt – most certainly including the feminists! – will insist that the human mind exists to ensure survival, not gain truth.

And the best way to survive is to get the power. If that means that math and science — or objective reality, for that matter — must be corrupted and destroyed so that you get your way, so be it.

In contrast, Christians are to focus on The Way, The Truth, and The Light.

(Jesus had no interest in claiming to be Power Incarnate, even though He was the Son of God, and thus truly omnipotent. Interesting, don’t you think? It’s as if there are more important things to do than fighting to control other people, and insure your own Protected Status.)

Christians are quite likely to spend the days moaning and bleating, instead of capitalizing on the compounding failures and errors of their increasingly-mindless, delusional and profoundly incompetent foes. For example, yanking every child in the Church out of the public schools, and homeschooling them (I like the idea of mutually-supporting homeschooling groups myself) would be a great start to building a better culture today.

Best to make sure that a good slice of the kids with the required aptitude and interest get a strong grip on math, physics, chemistry, biology, medicine, and the rest of the sciences.

A sound understanding of objective reality is surprisingly useful for scientific research. Something that the certified delusional running the universities have no interest in.

If Christians want to win,in time and on earth — not immediately, but inevitably, within two generations or less — the road is wide open.

(Points to the Ron Paul Curriculum as my go-to model for homeschooling. But note that for pure science, The Robinson Curriculum is actually better: the RPC is more for history, IT, and the business-minded family.

Both are light-years ahead of the public schools: but as we all know, that’s a rather low bar.)

Go Move to Somalia!

The main point from Tom Woods’s recent letter replies to the common rebuke against “libertarian Somalia” is made with the numbers: extracted, quoted and bolded for emphasis:

…if we’re going to get a picture that’s worth anything of life in Somalia without the state, the correct comparison to make is not between Somalia and the United States (the comparison most writers like this are implicitly making), but between Somalia and comparable African countries.

And on that front, Somalia during its stateless period comes out pretty darn well. In most metrics of living standards it held steady or improved.

In the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization in 2008, Professor Benjamin Powell and his colleagues wrote:

“This paper’s main contribution to the literature has been to compare Somalia’s living standards to those of 41 other sub-Saharan African countries both before and after the collapse of the national government. We find that Somalia’s living standards have generally improved and that they compare relatively favorably with many existing African states. Importantly, we find that Somali living standards have often improved, not just in absolute terms, but also relative to other African countries since the collapse of the Somali central government.”

Economist Peter Leeson, in Anarchy Unbound (Cambridge University Press), reports similar findings — yes, Somalia ranked low in some categories during the stateless period, but that’s where it ranked before statelessness, too, and if anything it actually made progress in those categories (life expectancy was up, for instance, and infant mortality was down).

Quite interesting!

I like the emphasis on measurable, objective facts: this is rather important if we are going to measure and compare living standards across nations.

Meanwhile, in Mogadishu:

Pious Hatred

The money shot’s in bold:

The European tradition of government by experts reaches back beyond Napoleon and Hegel to royal techno-bureaucrats. Being essentially amoral, it treats transgressors as merely ignorant. It may punish them as rebellious, but not as bad people. That is why the fascists, who were part of that tradition, never made it as totalitarians. People—especially the Church—remained free to voice different opinions so long as they refrained from outright opposition. America’s growing oligarchy, however, always had a moralistic, puritan streak that indicts dissenters as bad people. More and more, America’s ruling class, shaped and serviced by an increasingly uniform pretend-meritocratic educational system, claimed for itself monopoly access to truth and goodness, and made moral as well as technical-intellectual contempt for the rest of Americans into their identity’s chief element. That, along with administrative and material power, made our ruling class the gatekeeper to all manner of goods.

From Revolution 2020 by Angelo Codevilla

This nonsense will continue for as long as the public schools — the official church in America, that defines good and evil to the masses — remain. However, said public schools are going to receive less funding, and there will come a time in a generation (say), when the incompetence of their pretend-meritocratic system becomes too obvious to ignore.

Already, most children in the American public schools are non-white, even though the population remains majority white until ~2045. Soon enough, the schools will be seen as the incompetent warehouse operations they always were designed to be.

(Well, in truth, they weren’t truly incompetent until the 1960s. Since then? Only ever more so.)

Progressivism’s foundational proposition—that the American way of life suffers from excessive freedom and insufficient latitude for experts to lead each into doing what is best for all—is the intellectual basis of the oligarchy’s ever-increasing size, wealth, and power. The theme that the USA was ill-conceived in 1776-89 and must be re-conceived has resounded from Woodrow Wilson’s Congressional Government (1885) to the campaigns of Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy, Barack Obama, and Joseph Biden: “listen to the scientists!” The criticism’s main point has been constant: America’s original conception validated the people’s right to live as they please, and made it hard to marshal them for Progressive purposes.

But the Progressive critique adds a moral basis: the American people’s indulgence of their preferences—private ease and comfort, focus on families, religious observance, patriotism—has made for every secular sin imaginable: racism, sexism, greed, etc. Because most Americans are racist, sexist, un-appreciative of real virtue or refinement (these are somehow rolled together), because these Americans resist knuckling under to their betters, America is a sick society that needs to be punished and to have its noxious freedoms reformed.

From Revolution 2020 by Angelo Codevilla

Our Merciful Overlords Have Spoken.

In 1950, Americans at all levels of government spent 2% of GDP on K-12 education and 0.37% on higher education. In our time we spend 4.4% on K-12 and 1.9% on higher education, of a GDP that is about ten times as large. By any measure, the increases have been huge. These were supposed to uplift Americans intellectually and (maybe) morally. But they have dumbed down the nation to the point of mass illiteracy at the bottom and, at the top, created herds of ignorant, haughty, debt-ridden college graduates, fit only to enforce government edicts against Americans they despise. But the money also built up and entitled a class of monied, entitled, self-indulgent educrats—mostly administrators. U.S. college towns nowadays are islands of luxury, ease, and hate. They act as the ruling class’s gatekeepers.

From Revolution 2020 by Angelo Codevilla

The government church — and it’s official doctrines and ideologies — must be broken.

This is certainly not going to be done by the actual church rising up, and growing the same spine and determination as the church under the Emperor-worshiping Roman Empire did: the seminary system and it’s stream of pre-broken graduates have seen to that.

Instead, comprehensive bankruptcy will be the way forward, the same way that the French dynastic system was smashed.

The Little Law That Ate the Constitution

One initiative, sold as the pursuit of justice for black Americans, has empowered the U.S. ruling class with power that transcends money. More than all the other campaigns combined, it has fueled its members’ sense of entitlement to rule fellow citizens it deems moral inferiors. That sweet, heady sense—not any love for blacks—is what drives it.

From Revolution 2020 by Angelo Codevilla

The intensely racist Progressives of the first half of the 20th century were the ones to build the comprehensive segregational system in the first place. Odd, that Republicans never bother to mention it.

Also: if the American churches wanted to, they could have – with a fair amount of ease – helped out Black Americans in the numerous ways that tossing government checks and promoting welfare culture never could. “What Democrats Would Really Hate“… and what Republicans point-blank refuse to do.

Codevilla is certainly right: Our Betters have no interest in actually build up blacks: just in posing and preening about how righteous they are, by gaining power over other people’s money and other people’s property.

But the Deplorables are certainly not innocent in this manner, even if it’s more along the lines of the Stupid Party, rather than the Evil Party.

And obviously, Black Americans are hardly free of guilt in this matter. It’s been a long time since most blacks were directly killed by white men. Then again, if the (explicitly anti-black) Drug War was shut down, the death rate would fall down rather swiftly.

Ending the Drug War, and ending the Welfare State, are both needed to end the crippling of 1/8th of all Americans. The Welfare State will die first, as the loathing of Black Americans — and the yummy, yummy returns of Civil Asset Forfeiture — will keep the Drug War running for a while yet.

But with no more treats, sticks will not be enough. Not enough to keep Blacks down, not enough to keep the Deplorables down. The end of Middle-Class entitlements means the end of most government authority; the death of the Corporate Welfare State calls the continued existence of the American government into question.

Into the 1960s, the states of the former Confederacy had imposed segregation to racially separate accommodations. In Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), the Supreme Court had approved them so long as they were “equal.” In fact, most of what states had reserved for Negroes was grossly inferior. The longstanding campaign for “civil rights” had rallied the country against this obvious negation of the 14th amendment’s guarantee of “equal protection of the laws.” But as liberals fought state-imposed racial segregation, they had come to equate justice with the forcible imposition of racial integration resulting from countless personal choices. The Supreme Court’s 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education, which outlawed state-directed segregation, also gave impetus to all manner of efforts to re-form society by legal-administrative force.

From Revolution 2020 by Angelo Codevilla

Codeville misses the hand of the Progressives – especially FDR – in establishing much of the discriminatory structure of 20th century American society.

The decision itself eliminated any chance that this could be done in a disinterested manner. It was not based on the plain, unequivocal meaning of the 14th Amendment’s “equal protection of the laws.” Back in 1896, Justice John Marshall Harlan had dissented from Plessy, arguing that any state establishment of racial preference whatever, regardless of its character or intention, violates those words. But Thurgood Marshall based his decision on “science”—that is, on the variable opinions of the credentialed class. A sociologist by the name of Kenneth Clark claimed he had proven that Negro children could feel and learn normally only in a racially mixed environment. (The “black is beautiful” movement began countering this immediately.) Quickly, “scientific” conventional wisdom made “benign” or “remedial discrimination” by race official U.S. government policy.

From Revolution 2020 by Angelo Codevilla

Ah yes. Science, a.k.a. the credentialed scientific priesthood, makes its appearance.

“Weren’t these guys the same evolutionary scientist that uniformly insisted on the inferiority of Black Americans?”

“Yes. Yes, they were.”

The Brown decision’s reliance on “science” also confused legally established segregation with the segregation that results from personal choices. This confusion was the basis for Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed discrimination in “public accommodations” on the basis of race. Thenceforth, Civil rights law was no longer about removing legal barriers to personal choices. It had begun forcing personal choices. The Supreme Court’s approval of the law as a mere regulation of interstate commerce was thin pretense. The Act turned out to be the little law that ate the Constitution and poisoned American society.

From Revolution 2020 by Angelo Codevilla

More power, to the Right Sort.

Progressives will be Progressives, whether they be officially anti-black, or officially pro-black. The babble about Race and Tolerance and Compassion changes, the thirst for power over others remains the same.

It was passed primarily by Republican votes. Democrats, seeing the empowerment of a historic Republican constituency in the South as potential disaster, scrambled to avert it by out-pandering Republicans, while describing any reticence on their part as racial animosity and ascribing whatever ailed Negroes to the Republicans’ racism. Quickly, the dynamics of politics turned “civil rights” into a ruinous socioeconomic scam.

From Revolution 2020 by Angelo Codevilla

Note the mysterious disappearance of decades of Progressive support for segregation. Try looking for it in your school’s history books.

Howard W. Smith, segregationist Democrat of Virginia, best foresaw the scam’s size. Bitterly, to ensure that the law’s logic would roil the lives of its sponsors as it was roiling his constituents’, Smith, Chairman of the House of Representatives’ powerful Rules Committee, added language that outlawed discrimination on the basis of sex. The list of supposedly invidious discriminations that the Act (as amended) thus prohibits never stopped growing—age, all manner of disabilities, sexual orientation, etc. In the Act’s lengthening legal shadow, even speech that some may construe as insufficiently hostile to discriminatory “anti-discrimination” has become punishable civilly as well as criminally. Thus, willy-nilly, the Act established what U.S. law quickly recognized as “protected categories” of persons. This negates the American republic’s bedrock: “all men are created equal.” It invited whoever perceives himself disadvantaged or dishonored to construe himself part of such a category and to invite the government to discriminate against his foe. As government joined in some people’s quarrels against others, government became fomenter and partisan in endless strife.

From Revolution 2020 by Angelo Codevilla

A divided population will never be able to unite against the Masters.

Race (and sex, etc.) is yet another set of excuses for transferring power to the ruling class. The oligarchy is no more concerned about race than it is about education, or environmentalism, or sex, or anything else. It is about yet more discretionary power in the hands of its members, for whom not all blacks (or women, or whatevers) are to be advantaged—only the ones who serve ruling class purposes. In education, employment, and personnel management, co-opting compatible, non-threatening colleagues is the objective. As Joseph Biden put it succinctly: if you don’t vote for him, “you ain’t black.” A ruling class of ever-decreasing quality is a result.

From Revolution 2020 by Angelo Codevilla

Obedience to your Cultural and Scientific Betters is expected, as any Progressive would demand.

I noted that this revolution’s logic leads to no logical end. That is because “the logic that drives each turn of our revolutionary spiral is Progressive Americans’ inherently insatiable desire to exercise their superiority over those they deem inferior.” Its force, I observed, “comes not from the substance of the Progressives’ demands,” but rather “from that which moves, changes, and multiplies their demands without end. That is the Progressives’ affirmation of superior worth, to be pursued by exercising dominance: superior identity affirmed via the inferior’s humiliation.” Affirmation of one’s own superiority by punishing inferiors is an addictive pleasure. It requires ever stronger, purer doses of infliction, and is inherently beyond satisfaction.

In short, the Progressive ruling class’s intensifying efforts to oppress those they imagine to be their inferiors is not reversible. It is far less a choice of policy than it is the consequence of its awakening to its own identity—awakening to the powers and privileges to which they imagine their superior worth entitles them. It is awakening to its deep resentment—indeed, to hate—for whoever does not submit preemptively.

Let there be no doubt: the ruling class’s focus on Donald Trump has been incidental. America’s potentates do not fear one pudgy orange-haired septuagenarian. They fear the millions of Americans whom they loathe, who voted for Trump, who gave his party control of House and Senate, and who will surely vote for folks these potentates really should fear.

From Revolution 2020 by Angelo Codevilla

“Affirmation of one’s own superiority by punishing inferiors is an addictive pleasure. It requires ever stronger, purer doses of infliction, and is inherently beyond satisfaction.”

Your Masters don’t like you very much.

The Required Christian Response

Fortunately, the Progressives are going to be defunded: not by principled Republican resistance (that died long ago), but by various forms of governmental bankruptcy and default.

But while the destruction of welfare states across the world is being worked out, it is required that Christians — the prime target of the Malice of Our Masters — organize and protect themselves.

And of course, the leadership to organize Christians isn’t going to come from the seminary, nor from the pulpit. Two generations of pastoral failure makes this an obvious fact.

Leadership will have to come from somewhere else.

(Hat Tip to Gary North, for pointing out the Codevilla article in The Greatest Election Outcome Since 1924, If… )

The Law, Responsibility, and Restoration

The Law, Transgression vs. Crime, and Personal Responsibility

—<Quote from Sixth Commandment: Responsibility and the Law by R. J. Rushdoony>—

“Thou shalt not subvert the judgement of the stranger or of the fatherless, nor take a widow’s raiment to pledge, but thou shalt remember that thou remember that thou wast a bondman in Egypt and the Lord thy God redeemed thee thence. Therefore I command thee to do this thing.”

A central point of biblical law is summed up in one sentence in Deuteronomy 24:16. “The father shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers, every man shall be put to death for his own sin.” This is a fundamental and important point. This law is cited in Kings and Chronicles as well as in Jeremiah and Ezekiel. There are certain aspects of this law which must noted in order to appreciate its significance. First of all, responsibility is an aspect of every law system. Someone must be held responsible whenever there is an offense. No law system can escape this fact, there must be a responsibility this is inescapable. If there is no responsibility then no law enforcement is possible.

Thus the important question to ask with respect to any doctrine of responsibility is this: Who is responsible? The answer to this question is a religious question. It makes clear how you answer this what you believe. The responsibility can be attached to the family, to the society, the community, the environment, to the gods, or to a person. Where the responsibility is placed makes for a fundamental difference in your social order… who is responsible? This is an all important question, and the way you answer this makes all the difference as to how you begin then to deal with the world.

—<Quote ends>—

Individual responsibility is God’s focus.

Any other focus — typically some politically expedient red herring, like class or race — merely destroys justice for the individual man, in the name of some abstract Collective.

Moreover, it places both the power and the definition of the Law in the hands of the Leader of the Collective. (Or, often enough, in anonymous, accountably-free bureaucrats enforcing the rules they have created.) This is wrong, oppressive, and idolatrous: God alone defines the Law, and different authorities uphold the Law in different spheres of authority.

—<Quote begins>—

Second we must not in terms of this law that the biblical doctrine is one of individual responsibility. The essence of sin is personal guilt. According to Genesis 3 verses 9-13, the sinner tries to evade personal responsibility this is basic to his sin nature; so that when God confronted Adam and Eve with their sin the attitude of Adam was, the woman whom thou gavest to me, she did give me and I did eat. So that Adam instead of confessing his personal guilt blamed Eve, my environment, my wife, and ultimately God. You, God, are responsible for my sin because you gave Eve to be my wife… I would never have been in this problem if it had not been the woman and you. Similarly Eve evaded her responsibility by saying, the serpent did give me and I did eat. This then in the essence of sin and the biblical point of view the evasion of personal responsibility, whereas Godly man assumes responsibility assumes responsibility for his actions. He does not say it was the condition that made me do this, but I even I, have done that which is evil in thy sight.

—<Quote ends>—

God does not permit the successful evasion of personal responsibility. Not definitely, and often enough not temporarily either.

—<Quote begins>—

Third, related to this question of who is responsible, the question is to whom? Because the very word responsible means accountable to someone, or to something. So that, when you say man is responsible, or is you say society is responsible, or the family is responsible, then you have to follow with this point… to whom? And again this question is all important, and the answer is religious one. Are you responsible to the family, or to the community, or to the state? The biblical doctrine is that we are responsible first of all to God.

In essence to God; against thee, thee only, have I sinned and done that which is evil in thy sight; David said with respect to his sin. Now it was an act of adultery so that there was a responsibility to a man and to a woman, and yet in essence it was to God. Primarily it was a sin against God, secondarily only, against man. God confronts man at every point with his total law, and therefore man has a total responsibility at every point to God. Essentially and basically to God, only secondarily to man.

—<Quote ends>—

We are responsible to God, first and foremost. And only secondarily to other men, the church, the state, etc.

—<Quote begins>—

For we must then say that guilt cannot be shifted to others or passed on to the people around man. Guilt is non-transferable. This is an important point in theology. A disposition or a nature can be inherited, but not guilt. We may inherit a disposition from our parents which predisposes us to a temper which can lead us into guilty actions, or a stubbornness which may be a vice or virtue depending on how we use it. Or a disposition perhaps to alcoholism, but we inherit only a nature, not a guilt! Thus man inherits from Adam a sinful nature, but he does not inherit Adam’s guilt. In Adam we have a nature that is one of total depravity, that is every aspect of our being is tainted with sin.

—<Quote ends>—

The only one who can truly see clearly, who is not deluding Himself in any way, is Jesus Christ. Every other human being is flawed and cracked, twisted and corrupted, to a greater or lesser extent.

—<Quote begins>—

So that if you take responsibility away from the individual, where it rests in biblical law, you transfer also guilt and punishment. And so it is, when you begin to weaken Christian faith or destroy it, you destroy also the doctrine of individual responsibility which has been responsible for all the progress of the western world. And you pave the way for collective guilt and collective punishment. This is the essence of Marxism. Marxism holds an entire class to be guilty, and this guilt attaches itself and is transferred to anyone who in any respect by any opinion associates itself with that class.

—<Quote ends>—

Why imprison just one man, when you can imprison a nation?

Why kill just one man, when you can starve, shoot, or work to death XXX millions?

As any Marxist — or Darwinian — would say, “We are not designed for truth, but for survival.” and gaining absolute, unlimited power is the best guarantee of survival, no?

No.

It isn’t.

—<Quote begins>—

Thus, the family is responsible. The parents, or the husband, or the wife, or the community. Society is blamed for the crime of the juvenile delinquent and of the criminals and so it is punished. The lawless thus are absolved of guilt and the guilty made innocent while the innocent are punished. Now, we must ask the question because those who are critical of our position will raise it, does the bible teach nothing of community responsibility? And the answer is yes, of course it does. But the responsibility of the community according to scripture, is to see that justice be done. It is not that the community is held guilty for the crime but only that the community is held guilty of the crime if it does not see that justice is done.

—<Quote ends>—

There is a form of collective responsibility: to uphold the Law of God, as outlined in the Bible.

God insists that all communities uphold this Law, believer or not, pagan or Christian.

Otherwise, judgement… and, after a sufficient level of judgement, death.

—<Quote begins>—

It is interesting at this point to note that the biblical law does not use the word crime. Check a concordance, and you’ll never find the word crime. Only, transgression. Transgression. Now the word transgression indicates a deliberate offensive action… the word crime which is crept in in modern times is different. It doesn’t indicate responsibility in the same way.

A crime has been committed, we say, but when we use the biblical word there has been a transgression it is an active word, it indicates that somebody willfully, deliberately, was guilty of a transgression or an assault. An offensive action against another. So that, the word transgression means a deliberate violation of God’s law whereas the word crime is neutral, it does necessarily imply an actor. It speaks just of an offence, and you can attach that offense to society or the family, or the environment generally. In biblical law you see we have an ultimate personalism. The triune God, you see, is the author of all things and every offense is an offense against the person of God primarily and secondarily the person of man. Whereas in modern sociology, in modern criminology we have a basic impersonalization.

Because of its evolutionary perspective we evolve out of nothing and persons are not the basic thing, ultimately there is chaos, impersonal chaos. And so crime to is an impersonal kind of thing. It isn’t the self conscious, deliberate act of a man, and therefore you read persons out of offenses, out of crimes. Crime becomes an impersonal offense. Thus, law that is humanistic, evolutionary, is disrespectful of persons. Persons are not in charge, things govern the world. Hence people are treated very callously by social scientists. Because their belief is that since man involved out of an impersonal world and has always been manipulated by an impersonal environment, why should man object when social scientist manipulate him? Because, after all, he’s never had anything in the way of a personal world… and the best that he can account for is this impersonal social scientist. He’s never had it so good.

The de-Christianization of society therefore, is also the depersonalization and the destruction of man. Thus our text, Deuteronomy 24:16, disappears from all society with it’s belief in individual responsibility where a belief in the personal God. Where a belief in Christian faith wanes and disappears. To have individual responsibility we must return to biblical faith. Let us pray.

—<Quote ends>—

Secularists and rationalists always do love their abstractions.

They find it really useful for both 1) gaining power over millions without an ounce of personal responsibility, and 2) a useful tool to rob, lie, steal, and kill millions because “It’s just an enemy class of people. So, who cares?”

Christians are not to follow in their footsteps. Our nations and our courts are to be based on a different foundation.

God’s Goals: Restitution, Restoration

—<Quote from Sixth Commandment: Restitution and Restoration by R. J. Rushdoony>—

God’s purpose in redemption is the restitution or restoration of all things in, through, and under Jesus Christ our king. This is very plainly summarized for us in Acts 3:21. The goal of all history is, according to Matthew 19:28, the general regeneration or to use the greek very literally, the new Genesis of all things in Jesus Christ. The consequences of sin are removed God’s kingdom established. This is not only the goal of history it is declared that it must be our primary petition in all prayer. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven. This is at the heart of the Lord’s Prayer, it is the first petition.

Restoration means that humanity is to be restored to blessedness and the earth to be blessed together with men. Now, the principle of restitution is basic to biblical law.It is especially forcefully brought out in the sixth and eighth commandments but it is present in all the law. It is the tragedy of our time that this basic principle of biblical law has been neglected and virtually forgotten. Briefly summarized, restitution means that if a man steals a hundred dollars from you he must restore the hundred plus another hundred. The exact amount he hoped to profit thereby.

Now the summary statement of this principle of restitution which appears in law after law throughout the whole of the mosaic legislation and elsewhere in scripture is given to us in the statement “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” and so on. This means restitution. It is revealing that not only the modernist scholars who are trying to discredit the bible but also so many evangelicals insist that this means that in the early days of the new testament and through much of the old testament, if by accident you knock out the eye of someone else then your eye had to be gouged out!

Now of course this is evolutionary thinking applied to the bible. There isn’t a shred of evidence that this is what the bible ever meant. In fact it goes directly contrary to all the evidence! We can understand why the evolutionist insist that this is what must have been the case even though there is no evidence for it. But why should the evangelicals, like Maryle Unger of the Dallas theological seminary insist on the same meaning? It is of course to discredit law. Because they are antinomian they do not want law to stand, so at this point they join ranks. Premillennial dispensationalists with the unbelievers to try to undercut the bible. But the principle eye for an eye tooth for a tooth simple sums up the legislation which we have read.

—<Quote ends>—

To pay back the loss, to restore the victim to his original position before someone transgressed against him, is the goal of actual Justice.

A grim amusement it is, when Atheistic enemies of God’s Law and Christian enemies of God’s Law join hands against what binds them together. But you know it had to happen.

—<Quote begins>—

Criminal law now works to imprison the man. it regards his offence as an offence against the state, so that the primary concern of the court is not restitution but the punishment and imprisonment of the guilty party. As a result, if you have been the object of any offense and you want damages and they refuse to pay you have to go to court. Not to a criminal court, but to a civil court, and sue at your own expense! Now this is reversing the whole procedure! Under biblical law, the criminal court -if we can use that term for biblical court- declares that the punishment for the criminal is restitution. It did not sentence him to prison but it sentenced him to repay. If we go back, for example, to early American law (which was biblical) a man was guilty of any kind of offense towards another when he was taken to court, had to pay. And the normal American principle was triple. In other words he paid if he had done damages to the tune of $500.00 he paid $1500.00, and if he failed to pay then he became a bondservant and worked it off.

What happened to the biblical law of restoration, or restitution? To understand what had to happen is to realize that this was made by the early church in terms of scripture the principle for all Christians and for all Christian societies. For all law. But, as the middle ages progressed towards the latter parts the feudal barons and the medieval church stepped into the picture. And they said to themselves, as it were, here is a tremendous area of profit for us! If we collect it for ourselves as the penalty against the person, if we say it is an offence again the the person. If we say it is an offense against the state rather than against the person! And so, the feudal barons and the church, well they began to hail all offenders into their courts and throw them into prison and say “You’re not getting out until you pay us!”.

And so they began to imprison them for ransom. And they either confiscated all their property, or their relatives paid up a certain sum as was laid upon them. The victims in the process were neglected. The state collected, or the church collected, but not the victims. Thus, the theory developed out of this that is now the theory of every modern state… that crime is an offense exclusively against the state. It is an offense against, say, California, or against her majesty Queen Elizabeth, or against the french government, whatever the case may be. The rights of the victim thus are neglected and he must start a civil suit[?] to get compensation.

Now to sum up this entire history, a transfer of law from restitution to imprisonment, we must note first what we’ve already stated that the shift from restoration and restitution to imprisonment has its roots in the seizure of power by the church and the state which was originally a shake down with imprisonment as part of the shakedown. In the process of course the church has lost out and the state has taken over entirely. Second, the state made imprisonment its criminal law and relegated restitution to civil law with little care to enforcing the results of its own decisions in civil courts.

—<Quote ends>—

There’s good money to be had, for the State – not the Victim – to gain compensation for any transgression or violation of the law.

That’s why law-breakers go to jail, which is collected by taxes to fund the System and its operators. For the Right Sort, this gathers far more power than having the criminal pay the victim for his loss. Also, it teaches people to fear the State, not violating other people’s lives, liberty and property.

—<Quote begins>—

Third, restitution is, according to the scriptures, always mandatory always required for a society to be healthy before God. Thus, when there is no person to make restitution, the state must make it. Where no guilty part is found, then the state for having failed to make the law punishable in this case for having failed to locate the criminal must restore to you that which was stolen. In other words, there must be restoration or else the society faces God’s judgement. Thus the goal of society is clearly spelled out the law of restitution. It is the restoration of God’s law and order. The evil must be punished or penalized, the Godly defended, and Godly law and order developed. This is what is involved in part in our prayer: “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven.” If we pray that prayer then we have a duty to live in terms of the principle of restitution, and to bring all of our society into conformity to it. Because, God’s will is declared in scripture to be restitution. Thus to be faithful to the Lord’s prayer we must work and pray for a law order in which restitution is again basic.

—<Quote ends>—

Of course, the secular state laughs at the concept of restitution for people (but takes extremely seriously any violation of its own property, privacy and power). And it’s pointed contempt for God’s Commandments is well-known.

Which is just another way of saying that we are under judgement. And the judgement will only get heavier, until there is repentance or death.

Euthanized Loneliness

From National Review’s Elderly Woman Euthanized to Avoid Anguish of Lockdown Loneliness by Wesley J. Smith

—<Quote begins>—

An elderly Canadian woman was killed by her doctor because she would rather be dead than go through another COVID lockdown. When it looked like she would have to be confined to her room for two weeks, she asked for — and received — the lethal jab due to declining mental health and vitality. From the CTV story:

Russell, described by her family as exceptionally social and spry, was one such person. Her family says she chose a medically-assisted death (MAID) after she declined so sharply during lockdown that she didn’t want to go through more isolation this winter…

This time, doctors approved her. Russell would not have to go through another lockdown in her care home. “She just truly did not believe that she wanted to try another one of those two-week confinements into her room,” her daughter said.

But note, for her death, she could be surrounded by friends and family!

When 90-year-old Nancy Russell died last month, she was surrounded by friends and family. They clustered around her bed, singing a song she had chosen to send her off, as a doctor helped her through a medically-assisted death.

So companionship to be made dead but not to remain alive. And her family thinks this was a fine option, demonstrating how the social mindset becomes twisted by euthanasia consciousness.

But, we are told, killing to end suffering is oh soooo compassionate! And lockdowns are measures of good public health! Bah!

Those with eyes to see, let them see.

—<Quote ends>—

  • Beware of the loving-kindness of the wicked and the murderous.
  • People really will choose slavery and death “in the name of certainty”, over freedom and life “and face the uncontrolled risk of loss”.

Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast,
    but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.

Proverbs 12:10, English Standard Version

On Top-Down “Cleaning Up” of Media

One of the things most of us can agree on is that television is full of programming which is aesthetically and morally on a very low level. The usual targets of the critics of television is the strong emphasis on sex and violence. (One can add to that the increasing vulgarity of television, so that it is painful to watch even momentarily so cheap and degrading a view of man.)

But are the critics right? Is “cleaning up” what television needs? Will we have better television if we eliminate the offensive sex and violence, the profanity, and the vulgarity, or will it not in fact be worse?

Our Lord issued a warning against a false and empty cleansing. To expel one demon without remaking the man means to lay him wide open to seven worse demons (Matt. 12:43-45). Such a false reform leads to turning men into “whited sepulchers” which are the epitome of uncleanness (Matt. 23:27).

If all we do is to “clean up” television and the films, will we not be creating whited sepulchers? This is in fact what will result. We will give a facade to humanism to make it resemble Christian morality. Most television programming and film productions as well give us the “gospel” of humanism. Do we want to put a Christian face on that? Humanism with a facade of Christian morality will be the greatest deception and evil imaginable. Apparently this is what such churchmen want? What we need instead is programming which reveals a Christian world and life view. This means a work of affirmation and reconstruction, an entrance into the arts, not a retreat from them. The image of the Christian as critic is a false one. The true Christian is a builder and a re-creator in Christ our Lord; the Christian’s calling is to bring every area of life and thought under the reign of Christ the King.

Should we “clean up” television? Rather, should we not make it our own? Should we not move into it and make it a Christian domain?

Should We Clean Up Television? by R. J. Rushdoony
(Taken from Roots of Reconstruction, p. 1102; Chalcedon Report No. 215, June, 1983)

Christians need to earn the right to lead. Not merely fight for power and fling about some arbitrary edits that emotionally pleases us and makes us feel good.

We work for God, we do things His way.

And His way is the way of high-level, high-value service to others.

All done under His authority, His law-word, that applies to all equally, believer and unbeliever alike.

BAHNSEN AND REVELATION STUDIES

A good tribute to Dr. Greg L. Bahnsen!

Postmillennial Worldview

PMW 2020-102 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

I am writing this article as a brief tribute to Dr. Greg L. Bahnsen (Sept. 17 1948–Dec. 11, 1995) regarding his influence on Revelation studies, especially as the twenty-fifth anniversary of his death is approaching. He certainly is gone, but not forgotten.

Dr. Bahnsen’s formal training and primary ministry focus were in the field of philosophy, including Christian apologetics and biblical ethics. Nevertheless, deep interest, wide learning, careful analysis, and perceptive insights touched on many and varied fields of study. Among his leading interests was eschatology and the Book of Revelation. And though he never released a commentary on this majestic prophecy, he did produce sixty-three hours of taped expositional lectures, which have been very popular and quite influential in reformed circles.

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