Roman Punishments, Roman Failures, Jewish Success

This is a cross-post from the sci-fi blog, with the sci-fi references deleted/rewritten.

Now, this strict adherence to the law was recognized by their persecutors. And this is why our scripture was chosen. Our Scripture, Leviticus 21:16 following, deals with the requirements for the priesthood of Aaron. The priesthood of Aaron had to be unblemished. There could be no physical blemishes on the man, and of course it was assumed, no spiritual blemishes. They had to be men of God. But they could not be eunuchs, they could not be cripples, they could not be physically deformed in any respect, because in their ministry they were types of Christ who was to come. Therefore the early church felt that even as the Old Testament Priesthood was a type of Christ, the New Testament ministry was a representative of Christ, and therefore had to be without blemish also. And therefore the same requirements that are here in Leviticus were applied to the ministry.

This was known as I indicated, to the Romans. And accordingly the romans when they embarked on their persecutions, immediately decided the easiest way to wipe out the church was to eliminate the clergy by castrating them. Then they would have no valid ministry in terms of their law. And although this does not appear in your history books, this was one of the most common treatments of the clergy in the early church. And so the church did face a problem, and as a result there were various meetings of the churches to deal with this problem. And accordingly it was decided and it was entered into the records, the Canons of the first council of Nicea in 318, to make it a worldwide ruling, confirming all that was done before, that when it was done this way by persecutors, it did not constitute a blemish. Therefore such men could remain in the clergy. Gods law did not have such situations in mind. 

They also had to deal with a similar situation with regard to virgins who had been raped. Because again it was the policy of the Romans to rape the Christian virgins wholesale in order to say: “Well, you people put so much store by chastity and virginity, and your whole system of marriage and dowry rests on your law with respect of these things; we will make a mockery of it.” And again, the church fathers as they met ruled that no blemish could be ascribed to a girl who had been so raped. The Canons of the early church thus are full of such crisis as these. Dealing with situations where the Romans, deliberately to show their contempt of them when they did not kill them, did things to offend the law of God.

We find of course the early church ruling on all kinds of problems of the day, abortion was condemned, transvestites were condemned, divination, astrology, witchcraft, all these things. Restitution was required of offenders in terms of the Old Testament Law.

Appendix: Law in Western Society
R.J. Rushdoony

Note that the evil nature of Rome had a more rational basis than the evil nature of the Southern Slaveocracy or the Third Reich. Rome was cheerfully unconcerned regarding matters of racial purity, but knew full well the importance of sexual purity. On the other hand, the Race-driven societies are the types who will insist on the subhuman nature of the Inferiors right before raping them, “to prove the superiority of the Master Race.”

But in other words, the essence of Roman law was centralization. Totalitarianism. This was all there was to it virtually, every problem, every area of life was totally controlled by central bureaucracy. This centralization only aggravated irresponsibility on every other level. And it led to the destruction of all resources in [the] empire.

Let us see what William says on that aspect, and I quote: “Now the empires problem was shortages. Shortages of grain, of materials, and of men. Throughout the Mediterranean basin, agriculture had been operated to supply the distant mistress of the world. The rewards of the consumer had been too attractive, those of the producer not enough. Lands especially in Italy had gone out of cultivation. Areas in Africa from which Rome had drawn grain and meat for centuries were becoming desert. Spain and other countries had been deforested to provide fuel for the public baths of Rome. The decline of the Roman Empire is a story of deforestation, soil exhaustion and erosion. From Spain to Palestine there are no forests left in the Mediterranean littoral. The region is pronouncedly arid instead of having the mild, humid character of forest clad lands, and most of its formerly bounteous, rich top soil is lying at the bottom of the sea.” 

Now, the emperors were helpless as they tried to reverse this trend, because the very centralization they worked to gain made it impossible to do anything but to aggravate the evil. And as a result the farms increasingly went out of production. The little farmer disappeared. Italy for example, wound up in the hands of just a handful of estates. And even those began to collapse and fail.

As a result, it was as I pointed out before, possible for wandering tribes of barbarians to bring about the fall of Rome. The empire had disintegrated because of its inner decay. The gigantic bureaucracy had stifled and destroyed all production. Roman law fell apart, it ceased to have any relevancy. The kind of law that the code of Theodosius represented disappeared. When they talk about Roman law they are not talking about the code of Theodosius, they are talking about the code of Justinian.

Appendix: Law in Western Society
R.J. Rushdoony

You might want to look into the current energy problems of the People’s Republic, for a similar situation today.

“Which People’s Republic? The one in Europe, or the one in Asia?”

Now, that’s an interesting question.

I’m glad that Russia is not on the punishment seat here, for once. It’s nice to be able to sit these things out.

Moreover, there was another area whereby Biblical law influenced western society, through the Jews. This is a very interesting story. Months could be spent on this alone, as well as every other aspect that we are now discussing. When Rome fell, the cities fell. Rome itself dwindled from a city of a couple million, to a handful of 500 living in the ruins. How were the cities rebuilt throughout Europe? Well, they were rebuilt by merchants. Merchants. Who were the merchants? In a few areas like the south of France, they were the Syrians, or the Syrian descendants of the ancient Phoenicians, now Christian. In much of Europe it was the Jews. 

The Jews were the traders, the businessmen. So they would come to the crossroads, and half a dozen Jews would build houses there and establish a fair, so that the people would come there from the manor houses, the farms, the castles, to do business. The law of the cities for centuries was the Law of Moses, as the Jews established it. Until the time of the crusades the cities were ruled by the Jews, they were the major inhabitants of the cities. They ran them, in terms of Biblical law.

And the mark of Biblical law on urban law remained for countless centuries, well into the 19th century. The Jews were thus very powerful in that they ran the cities and controlled them for centuries. This was one reason for some of the hostility to the Jews that came after the Crusades, and one reason why so many of the Old Testament food regulations disappeared, because people as they became hostile to the Jews associated many of the Kosher laws with the Jews, and especially in Germany the Saxons there were very, very partial to pork. It was a part of their ancient pagan diet. And thus their hostility to the Jews made them discard the Biblical laws, with regard to diet, but not other areas.

Appendix: Law in Western Society
R.J. Rushdoony

Money (and economic growth) goes where it is protected by force of law.

It helps when envy and jealousy are condemned as the evils they are. And when all people — including the stranger — have their life, liberty, and property protected.

The world — including the Christian Europe of the Middle Ages — would have been better off without the Crusades. All wars are secularizing events, after all, with the possible exception of strictly defensive wars to protect your own family and land.

Good Winners, not Good Losers

From Chapter 1 of David Chilton’s Paradise Restored

The bold is mine.

—<Quote begins>—

This is a book about hope. For too long, Christians have been characterized by despair, defeat, and retreat. For too long, Christians have heeded the false doctrine which teaches that we are doomed to failure, that Christians cannot win – the notion that, until Jesus returns, Christians will steadily lose ground to the enemy. The future of the Church, we were told, is to be a steady slide into apostasy. Some of our leaders sadly informed us that we are living in a “Laodicean age” of the Church (a reference to the “lukewarm” church of Laodicea, spoken of in Rev. 3:14-22). Any new outbreak of war, any rise in crime statistics, any new evidence of the breakdown of the family, was often oddly viewed as progress, a step forward toward the expected goal of the total collapse of civilization, a sign that Jesus might come to rescue us at any moment. Social action projects were looked on with skepticism: it was often assumed that anyone who actually tried to improve the world must not really believe the Bible, because the Bible taught that such efforts were bound to be futile; as one famous preacher put it, “You don’t polish brass on a sinking ship.” That slogan was based on two assumptions: first, that the world is nothing more than a “sinking ship”; second, that any organized program of Christian reconstruction would be nothing more than “polishing brass.” Evangelism was an invitation to join the losing side.

This was rooted in two problems. One was a false view of Spirituality. The unbiblical idea of “spirituality” is that the truly “spiritual” man is the person who is sort of “non-physical,” who doesn’t get involved in “earthly” things, who doesn’t work very much or think very hard, and who spends most of his time meditating about how he’d rather be in heaven. As long as he’s on earth, though, he has one main duty in life: Get stepped on for Jesus. The “spiritual” man, in this view, is a wimp. A Loser. But at least he’s a Good Loser.

The teaching of the Bible is very different. When the Bible uses the term Spiritual, it is generally speaking of the Holy Spirit (which is why I use a capital S). To be Spiritual is to be guided and motivated by the Holy Spirit. It means obeying His commands as recorded in the Scriptures. The Spiritual man is not someone who floats in midair and hears eerie voices. The Spiritual man is the man who does what the Bible says (Rom. 8:4-8). This means, therefore, that we are supposed to get involved in life. God wants us to apply Christian standards everywhere, in every area. Spirituality does not mean retreat and withdrawal from life; it means dominion. The basic Christian confession of faith is that Jesus is Lord (Rom. 10:9-10) – Lord of all things, in heaven and on earth. As Lord, He is to be glorified in every area (Rom. 11:36). In terms of Christian Spirituality, in terms of God’s requirements for Christian action in every area of life, there is no reason for retreat.

The second obstacle to Christian action has been an eschatology of defeat. Our eschatology is our “doctrine of last things,” our expectation of the future. And there is no question about the recent expectations of many Christians: we have looked forward to failure. The world, as we noted earlier, was regarded as a sinking ship.

Of course, no Christian believes in ultimate defeat. All Christians know that God will be victorious over the devil at the end of history. As a young Christian, I remember my Bible teachers informing me that they had “peeked at the last chapter (of the Bible), and the Christians win!” But that is just my point: according to certain popular brands of eschatology, victory takes place only in “the last chapter.” In time, in history, on earth, the Christians lose. The world is getting worse and worse. Antichrist is coming. The devil is running the world, and getting more and more powerful all the time. Your work for God in this world will have no lasting effect, except to save a few individuals from hell. But you’d better do it quickly, before the Tribulation hits, so that you can escape in time. Ironically, the unintentional message of this gospel is: Antichrist is coming! There is something terribly lopsided about that.

What I am saying is this. The eschatology of defeat is wrong. It is no more Biblical than its twin sister, the false view of Spirituality. Instead of a message of defeat, the Bible gives us Hope, both in this world and the next. The Bible gives us an eschatology of dominion, an eschatology of victory. This is not some blind, “everything-will-work-out-somehow” kind of optimism. It is a solid, confident, Bible-based assurance that, before the Second Coming of Christ, the gospel will be victorious throughout the entire world.

For many, that will seem incredible. It goes against the whole spirit of the modern age; for years, Christians have been taught to expect defeat. Certainly, it’s a good idea to be careful about “new” doctrines. Everything must be checked by the Scriptures. One thing to consider, however, is that the idea of dominion is not new. In fact, until fairly recently, most Christians held an eschatology of dominion. Most Christians throughout the history of the Church regarded the eschatology of defeat as a doctrine of crackpots.

The Hope of worldwide conquest for Christianity has been the traditional faith of the Church through the ages. This fact can easily be demonstrated again and again. We can see it in the words of St. Athanasius, the great Church Father of the fourth century whose classic book On the Incarnation of the Word of God reveals his strong eschatology of dominion. He summarized its thesis:

Since the Saviour came to dwell in our midst, not only does idolatry no longer increase, but it is getting less and gradually ceasing to be. Similarly, not only does the wisdom of the Greeks no longer make any progress, but that which used to be is disappearing. And daemons, so far from continuing to impose on people by their deceits and oracle-givings and sorceries, are routed by the sign of the cross if they so much as try. On the other hand, while idolatry and everything else that opposes the faith of Christ is daily dwindling and weakening and falling, the Saviour’s teaching is increasing everywhere! Worship, then, the Saviour “Who is above all” and mighty, even God the Word, and condemn those who are being defeated and made to disappear by Him. When the sun has come, darkness prevails no longer; any of it that may be left anywhere is driven away. So also, now that the Divine epiphany of the Word of God has taken place, the darkness of idols prevails no more, and all parts of the world in every direction are enlightened by His teaching.

You must not suppose that Athanasius was just a positive-thinking optimist, relaxing in quiet, peaceful surroundings. On the contrary: he lived through one of the most severe persecutions the world had ever seen, the Emperor Diocletian’s all-out attempt to stamp out the Christian faith. Later, Athanasius had to stand practically alone for 40 years in his defense of the doctrine of the Trinity against rampant heresy, being exiled by the government on five occasions and sometimes in peril for his life. In fact, his story gave birth to a proverb: Athanasius contra mundum (Athanasius against the world). Yet he never lost sight of the basic fact of world history, that the Word had become flesh, conquering the devil, redeeming mankind, flooding the world with Light which the darkness could not overcome.

The Church’s eschatology of dominion radically shaped the history of Western civilization. For example, think about the great cathedrals of Europe, and compare them to the church buildings of today. Those old cathedrals, magnificent works of art constructed over decades and sometimes generations, were built to last for centuries – and they have. But modern evangelical churches are usually built to last a generation at most. We don’t expect to be around long enough to get much use out of them, and we certainly don’t expect our great-grandchildren to worship in them. We don’t even expect to have great-grandchildren. It is safe to say that the thought of descendants living five hundred years from now has never even entered the minds of most evangelicals today. Yet, for many Christians of previous generations, the idea of future generations benefiting from their labors was not strange in the slightest degree. They built for the ages.

Let’s look at a very different field: exploration. Not one historian in a hundred knows what motivated Christopher Columbus to seek a western route to the Indies. Trade? Yes, that was part of the reason. More than this, however, it was unfulfilled prophecy. Before he began his expeditions, Columbus crammed his journals with quotations from Isaiah and other Biblical writers, in which he detailed the numerous prophecies that the Great Commission to disciple all nations of the world would be successful (see, for example, Isa. 2:2-5; 9:2-7; 11:1-10; 32:15-17; 40:4-11; 42:1-12; 49:1-26; 56:3-8; 60:1-22; 61:1-11; 62:1-12; 65:1-25; 66:1-24). He figured that if the Indies were to be converted, a sea route would be a much more efficient way to bring them the gospel; and he credited his discoveries not to the use of mathematics or maps, but rather to the Holy Spirit, who was bringing to pass what Isaiah had foretold. We must remember that America had been discovered numerous times, by other cultures; yet successful colonization and development took place only in the age of exploration begun by Columbus. Why? Because these explorers were bearers of the gospel, and their goal was to conquer the world for the kingdom of God. They came expecting that the New World would be Christianized. They were certain of victory, and assumed that any obstacles they met had been placed there for the express purpose of being overcome. They knew that Christians are destined for dominion.

Examples could be multiplied, in every field. The whole rise of Western Civilization – science and technology, medicine, the arts, constitutionalism, the jury system, free enterprise, literacy, increasing productivity, a rising standard of living, the high status of women-is attributable to one major fact: the West has been transformed by Christianity. True, the transformation is not yet complete. There are many battles ahead. But the point is that, even in what is still largely an early Christian civilization, God has showered us with blessings.

Many Christians do not realize it, but the Hope is the basis for many of the great old hymns of the faith, written before the modern era of evangelical despair and pessimism. Think about that the next time you sing Martin Luther’s “A mighty Fortress is our God,” Isaac Watts’s “Jesus shall reign where’er the sun doth his successive journeys run,” or George Duffield’s “Stand up, stand up for Jesus.” Do you really believe that Jesus is now leading us “from victory unto victory… till every foe is vanquished, and Christ is Lord indeed”? That is what the Church has historically believed. That is what they sang in their hymns. This can be seen most clearly in the traditional Christmas carols, which, like Athanasius’s reflections on the Incarnation, are unabashed expectations of Christ’s triumph over the world through the gospel. Carols such as “Come, thou long-expected Jesus,” “O come, O come, Emmanuel,” “Hark! the herald angels sing,” “God rest you merry, gentlemen,” and many others are written from the same basic perspective as the present book. The conviction that – as a result of His first advent – Christ is now reigning from heaven and conquering the earth underlies the message of “Joy to the world!”:

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;

He comes to make his blessings flow
Far as the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of his righteousness
And wonders of his love.

—<Quote end>—

The Spiritual man is not someone who floats in midair and hears eerie voices. The Spiritual man is the man who does what the Bible says (Rom. 8:4-8). This means, therefore, that we are supposed to get involved in life. God wants us to apply Christian standards everywhere, in every area. Spirituality does not mean retreat and withdrawal from life; it means dominion. The basic Christian confession of faith is that Jesus is Lord (Rom. 10:9-10) – Lord of all things, in heaven and on earth. As Lord, He is to be glorified in every area (Rom. 11:36).

I’ll let you guess when the overwhelming majority of today’s mainstream — or even evangelical! — churches will support and uphold the paragraph above.

We all know what the answer is: NEVER.

But the Kingdom of God is going to expand, regardless of the quiet and low-key — but bone-deep, intense, and total — opposition of the Institutional Churches.

By their actions — and by their lack of action, decade after decade — you shall know them.

(That’s how you know that the spiritual authority of the Institutional Churches is kaput.

If there is no interest in expanding/upholding/manifesting the Kingdom of God and His Law-Word, in time and on earth, as revealed in His Word, then you can be confident that the Holy Spirit is long gone.

He does not stick around, where He is not wanted.)

Never forget: it was the unprofitable servant that Jesus explicitly and repeatedly condemned to hell and the lake of fire.

Not so much the violent Pagan. Or even an envy-driven Collectivist.

The servant that knew — and hated! — his Master’s Command will be far more harshly punished than the ignorant unbeliever in the bush, or even in the university.

For many, that will seem incredible. It goes against the whole spirit of the modern age; for years, Christians have been taught to expect defeat.

If something goes against the whole spirit of the modern age, I’m going to pay attention to it… especially as that “spirit of the modern age” is frankly demonic, enslaving, and driven by lies, theft, and murder.

Since the Saviour came to dwell in our midst, not only does idolatry no longer increase, but it is getting less and gradually ceasing to be. Similarly, not only does the wisdom of the Greeks no longer make any progress, but that which used to be is disappearing. And daemons, so far from continuing to impose on people by their deceits and oracle-givings and sorceries, are routed by the sign of the cross if they so much as try. On the other hand, while idolatry and everything else that opposes the faith of Christ is daily dwindling and weakening and falling, the Saviour’s teaching is increasing everywhere!

It’s been quite a while since anyone seriously thought that the Enlightened Classes even knew what they were doing — besides protecting their own power base, of course! — never mind actually leading the world to a better, more rational, more prosperous, and more peaceful era.

Those old cathedrals, magnificent works of art constructed over decades and sometimes generations, were built to last for centuries – and they have. But modern evangelical churches are usually built to last a generation at most. We don’t expect to be around long enough to get much use out of them, and we certainly don’t expect our great-grandchildren to worship in them. We don’t even expect to have great-grandchildren. It is safe to say that the thought of descendants living five hundred years from now has never even entered the minds of most evangelicals today. Yet, for many Christians of previous generations, the idea of future generations benefiting from their labors was not strange in the slightest degree. They built for the ages.

We should focus on building spiritual structures, societies, knowledge-networks, legal schools, and civilizations that will last through the ages – with a special focus on the Kingdom of God, and His Law-Word.

Not so much on piles of stone and massive hierarchical Institutions, which have proven to be so much powerless dust in the long term.

We need to stop returning to our vomit.

In contrast: systems, cultures, attitudes, families, civil groups that have a vision of upholding God-defined truth, justice, and mercy: these people have a future far better than some burnt-out religious stone hulk in Europe, or anywhere else.

God is far more interested in using living stones to build His kingdom, than in the toughest granite, or the most beautiful marble. First things first.

The Church as defined in the Bible, the Body of Christ, must obey His instructions. We must care for the widows and the orphans, the fatherless, the weak, the poor, the stranger. We must teach what is true, to live and to govern according to the Law-Word of God, regardless of what Our Betters wish.

When we do this, then we are laying down a sure foundation, something that God will certainly bless!

Something that will last forever, long after those piles of stone in Europe are utterly forgotten.

(And those other European idols of superficial salvation and actual sterility, the Welfare State.)

Plant-Eating Crocs

Ancient, plant-eating crocs?

Possible.

I would say certainty, as I know that there was no death among animals nor men until Adam did his wicked deed.

Interestingly, it can be reasonably argued that, as fruits, leaves and plants are living beings, there was always some level of (limited) death in Creation, even before Adam fell.

Hmm…

Taking It Easy

Well, life isn’t that easy for Postmillennialists. Since we must 1) be filled with the Holy Spirit to 2) properly build the Kingdom of God in time and on earth, we have plenty of work to do, spiritually and physically.

But, in another way, life is exactly that easy for those who uphold the Great Commission. We don’t need to waste time and energy in obscure doctrinal fights against other Christians regarding which form of irrelevant escapism is correct. We can instead focus on obeying Christ now, in reshaping both our inner spiritual world and the outer public world into a form that better pleases the King of Heaven and Earth.

Less noise, more signal.

Less heat, more work – and more light to the nations, too!

Our job is not to escape the world.

Our job is not to dominate the world under some unified clerical religious empire, either.

Our job is to change the world, to disciple the nations under Jesus Christ.

Many nations, many peoples, many governments, One Lawgiver.

Trinitarianism, Justice, and Liberty for the win!

No True Scientist

That… was pretty good.

And I like the definition of a Christian: someone who obeys the Law, and so recognizes the Lawgiver, Jesus Christ.

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”

John 14:15, English Standard VErsion

A two-thousand year plus definition, that the modern Institutional Church has chosen to despise, by and large.

Leading – Surprise! Surprise! – to the death of that false witness and worthless servant, by and large.

(There are exceptions… exceptions that will inherit the future.
But they are few and far between, in the West.)

Smart question, with a smart answer.

Now, he doesn’t address all the corruption in the church today: but that isn’t his duty. And that would be too much of a load for any mortal man!1

But he is correct to focus on the critical points he addresses:

  • Either God created and so owns heaven and earth, or He did not.
    • The Owner may lay down the Law on what happens on His property, and what His servants may or may not do, just as He pleases.
  • Either the Word of God actually speaks the truth and is historically reliable, or it is not.

1While it’s impossible for anyone to take on all the corruption within the Institutional Church, we can all turn against it, when it is uncovered before the light. And – unlike the governments of the world, Secularist and otherwise – we can support the whistleblowers when their cause is just and have evidence to back their claims.

If you are not part of an Institutional Church, you can work on the corruption within your own heart. Plenty of work there: just ask the Holy Spirit for details.

The Stars as Angels

As this blog is called “Acrosss the Stars”…

(Wes, the mispelling is intentional!)

From The Biblical Educator: Christian Education: Tax Exemption vs. The Whole Counsel of God

—<Quote begins>—

THE BIBLE AND MODERN SCIENCE

By James B. Jordan

[…]

Moreover, the angels are God’s personal agents who enforce His Word and are present in the universe running it. Both the eternally active God and His angels are busy working the universe. The Bible associates the angels with the stars (Job 38:7; Is. 14:13; Rev. 12:4; Judg. 5:20). Whether the stars are angels in one of their forms, of whether the stars are the homes of the angels, or whether they sustain some other kind of relationship, we do not know. But when you look at the stars at night, see the angels in their dance, as they govern God’s world for Him.

The Bible associates angels (stars) with the weather. Special storms are brought by the angels on special occasions (Ezek. 1, 10; Ps. 18: 1-9; Ex. 19:6; and Heb. 2:2), but weather in general is also controlled by the angels (Ps. 104:2-4). Evil as well as good angels have a hand in the weather (Eph. 2:2), which explains those sudden storms on the Sea of Galilee which threatened Jesus Christ when He walked the earth. Next time you fly in an aircraft, remember that it is God’s good angels who restrain the demons which might toss you right out of the sky.

God’s other personal agent in running His universe is man. Man was given dominion over those things listed in Genesis 1:26-28, and so man establishes the “law” for the animals, etc. We have no trouble seeing that man’s governance is not “natural law,” and if we keep this in mind, we will be able to see that the angelic and Divine governance of all things is also not “natural law,” but wholly personal.

Understanding this truth makes prayer more relevant. It also explains how the Bible can promise a change in weather, long life, change in animals’ eating habits, etc. There are no “natural laws” governing these things, only God’s flexible administration of His world.

The association of angels with stars solves a number of problems which vex some people. It tells us when the angels were created (Gen. 1:16). It tells us where they live, and why it is that they have to traverse space to get to the earth (Dan. 10:13). It tells us why Satan can be called the “prince of the powers of the atmosphere” (Eph. 2:2). It indicates why the universe is so vast in size, when man has only been given the earth to take dominion over. It helps to explain the Biblical association of angels with wind and fire (Heb. 1:7). The angels were busy during the Flood year, rearranging the world.

It may be objected by some that this exhaustively personalistic view of the universe eliminates science altogether, and makes science part of theology. Well, so what? As a matter of fact, the Christian view does eliminate modern science’s presuppositions. This does not mean that there is no place for men to investigate how God is governing His universe. Such an investigation may properly be called science, but of a Christian sort. But when we do science, let us realize we are studying how God runs His world, not some impersonal “natural law.”

—<Quote ends>—

I have no interest in explaining away what James Jordan wrote.

I am far more interested on the question: it is Biblically accurate?

Certainly, his main point – that this is a Personal universe, not an Impersonal one – stands with any faithful, wise, and believing Christian!

—<Quote begins>—

The Deistic philosophy is that God created the universe and infused it with natural laws. Now God does not interfere in the universe, but lets it run itself. Christians try to modify this Deistic philosophy by asserting that God occasionally intervenes in the natural processes, such interventions being called miracles.

This is fundamentally wrongheaded. The Bible teaches that God directly runs his universe. What we call “natural laws” are simply summary statements of what God usually does. There are no “natural laws” which God has infused into the universe to run the universe automatically. God is wholly Personal, and He personally runs all things.

God manifests His Lordship in three simultaneous ways. God is the Controller of all things, and by His providence He ordains all that comes to pass. He personally brings all things about. Second, God is the Authority or Lawgiver to all things. He rules by, His Word, or decree. His Word establishes those things which come to pass. This may look like an impersonal natural law, but it is the personal Word of a personal God. Finally, God is actively Present in all that comes to pass. God is extremely near, working things according to His plan. It is this concept of God’s presence which natural law theory cannot accommodate. It is the goal of secular natural law theory to push God out of His universe, to deny His presence. Christians make a mistake when they concede this point and only seek to retain God’s occasional presence through miracles.

[…]

Why doesn’t God do miracles all the time? Well, the answer to that is so that we can fulfill the cultural mandate of Genesis 1:26-28, 2:15. If God were always changing His ways of doing things, we could not count on the world’s going along the same way from day to day. God, however, has covenanted to keep the world on a predictable course (Gen. 8:20-22). What we have here is not some natural law which we may ‘take for granted, but God’s covenantal faithfulness which must lead us to worship. Science is possible only on the basis of faith in God’s Word, His promise to keep things going in a predictable way. We can count on God, depend on Him. Thus, all scientific investigation is based on faith, and is a branch not of philosophy but of theology.

The “law of gravity”, then, is not some natural law built into the universe, but it is God’s continual action of pulling or pushing things down to the surface of material bodies. He can reverse this action, if He pleases, so that iron floats (2 Kings 6:1-7).

The same is true of life. We do not have life in ourselves, as if God infuses life into us and then it drains out over the years until finally we die. Rather, life is a gift of the “Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life,” as the Nicene Creed states. The breath of God which was breathed into human clay at the beginning is the Spirit (Gen. 2:7). Men die when the Spirit leaves them (Gen. 7:22; Eccl. 12:7). We depend on Him moment by moment for our breath.

—<Quote ends>—

The more seriously Christians understand that God, personally, runs all things, the more we will trust God.

The more Christians trust God, the more we will obey Him, turning away from our sins and our filthy rags of delusional self-righteousness.

The more Christians repent and obey God, the more the Holy Spirit will be pleased to fill our minds, guide our actions, and insure our victory over all the enemies of Jesus Christ… and the more visibly and inescapably is the Kingdom of God manifested.

To the joy of God’s friends, and to the terror of God’s enemies.

In time and on earth, as well as eternally and in the heavens. And under the earth, as well.

This is a GOOD thing.

The stars themselves will aid us, in our fight against the enemies of God.

Tax Exemption vs. The Whole Counsel of God

Just by reading the title, we already know which side the denominations have taken.

Therefore, we will have to prepare for the continued worship and preaching of the Word of God, and the instruction of God’s Law to our community and children, long after the denominations — and the entire guild of religious experts — has turned into so much blowing dust.

One huge positive: the seminaries will be gone. A massive step in the right direction! The end of our pre-broken, failure-fixated, trained-to-lose, hopelessly crippled Christian leadership means a genuine shot for the actual expansion of God’s Kingdom in the West, not just in the East and the South!

From Christian Education: Tax Exemption vs. The Whole Counsel of God

—<Quote begins>—

TAX EXEMPTION VS. THE WHOLE COUNSEL OF GOD

By David H. Chilton

[…]

Consider the case of a prominent evangelical church—let’s call it the “Free Church”—where the pastor is legitimately considered one of the most gifted Bible teachers in the country. He is a theological and political conservative, a Calvinist whose exposition on Romans 9 is better than that of Charles Hodge. What more could a church ask for? Incredibly, the church has a serious problem: it is enslaved to the state. Here’s how it happened.

The Free Church recently constructed a beautiful new building, at a seven-figure price. Naturally, they didn’t have the money, so they went into debt—mistake No. 1. “The borrower is servant to the lender” (Prov. 22:7); the church is no longer really “free.” But there’s more. To help finance the debt, the Free Church leaders asked the members to purchase interest-bearing notes, redeemable after a specified time, to be repaid out of the future receipts of the church. (This common practice, incidentally, is specifically prohibited by Scripture—Deut. 23:19-20—but then the word “Free” in the church’s name ought to stand for something.)

Now comes the sticky part. Every year, the church files an innocent-looking form with the State of California, amounting to an annual request for tax exemption. The state requires that any church receiving such exemption must not attempt “to influence legislation or any ballot measure.” For violating this mandate, some churches have already had their property confiscated. The Free Church officers are aware of this problem, and are taking definite action: bowing, scraping and kissing up. The pastor doesn’t preach against abortion, ERA, homosexuality, ungodly taxation or inflationary banking policies. He can’t afford to: his beautiful, heavily mortgaged temple might get taken away. Or at least they could lose their tax exemption, and it’s hard enough getting people to donate now—what would happen if the donors couldn’t claim deductions? The church’s receipts would drop. And if the cash flow stopped, the church wouldn’t be able to pay its debts to the bank and the usurious church members. Then the church would default, go bankrupt, and lose the property anyway. So the pastor keeps quiet. The whole counsel of God is not preached. The church of Jesus Christ is enslaved. Of course, the pastor does have some freedom—all slaves do, within limits. But the Master defines the limits of the slave’s freedom. Where the state defines the church and its legitimate functions, there you have a state church.

—<Quote ends>—

I’d like to stress this part:

“The pastor doesn’t preach against abortion, ERA, homosexuality, ungodly taxation or inflationary banking policies. He can’t afford to: his beautiful, heavily mortgaged temple might get taken away…  So the pastor keeps quiet. The whole counsel of God is not preached. The church of Jesus Christ is enslaved. Of course, the pastor does have some freedom—all slaves do, within limits. But the Master defines the limits of the slave’s freedom. Where the state defines the church and its legitimate functions, there you have a state church.”

All slaves have some freedom. But, it’s the Master who defines the limits of the slave’s freedom.

We ought to have just one Master: God, who is in Heaven.

Not Powerful and Wealthy Men – or the rotting God-State that they control.

“Lots of power, and guns, and rules, and shrieking media mouths.
But also declining authority, and even less legitimacy.”

—<Quote begins>—

Routinely, the state churches receive “comforting” and “how-to-cope” sermons in periods of disaster—but only rarely (and then vaguely) do the pastors instruct the people about the causes of disaster, which are often related to the apostasy of those who claim to be God’s people.

—<Quote ends>—

Sure, the godless State is a lawless Beast…

…but an evil Ruling Class reflects an evil population.

All nations — but especially democratic nations! — really DO get the leadership they deserve.

It will be up to the Body of Christ – and not the hopelessly compromised denominations and studiously irrelevant religious institutions of today – who will have to turn the situation around.

The population will have to be led to repentance by God’s people. There can be no salvation, unless the Word is preached.

But, I can confident that the average Joe will never repent, until we, the People of God, FIRST repent of our own sins.

Not just repent, but change our ways, take obedience to the Law of God seriously and personally, and rise to be the holy people we are called to be.

We need to become worthy servants, walking in the way the Holy Spirit directs.

Not worthless ones, fit only for the flames.

—<Quote begins>—

The second consequence of apostasy, however (8:11-14), was to be even more severe: a famine, not of bread or water only, “but of hearing the words of the Lord.” God’s response to those who neglect His word is to simply deprive them of it. Without revelation, there is no hope, for the individual or for his culture. Those who acknowledge the state’s authority to define the faith, Amos says, “shall fall, and never rise again.” Note well: It is not the oppressive acts of godless governments that cause the famine, but the flight of those who claim to serve God.

—<Quote ends>—

Let’s repeat that last bit for emphasis, shall we?

“It is not the oppressive acts of godless governments that cause the famine, but the flight of those who claim to serve God.”

It is not Pagan wickedness, but Christian cowardice, that delivers victory into the hands of the monsters, the serpents, the dogs, and the beasts.

—<Quote begins>—

Last January, a group of Christian leaders issued a “Christian Declaration,” denouncing the evils of the state in terms of Biblical law. A prominent, “born-again,” socialistic Senator from the Northwest was outraged at the audacity of these Christians in attacking his god. He and other statists threatened the believers that, unless they backed down, the tax-exempt status of their movement would come under close scrutiny. That’s all it took. Faster than you can say “Onward, Christian Soldiers,” the reformers dropped their little manifesto. Out the window went the word of God and Christian reconstruction, but the church property was saved.

—<Quote ends>—

No doubt, those deeply religious leaders were proud that they saved their income streams and protected church property. “Church wealth and land and institutional authority IS the Church, and it is the Church that is at the CORE of the Kingdom of God!”

God has no time for insipid mystery cults, and their big, impressive temples.

—<Quote begins>—

At least, in faithfulness to God, you should determine to do this much: Regardless of the cost, never allow the state to dictate the content or method of your teaching in church or school. Speak to the issues. Influence legislation. Throw out the rascals, and vote in the good guys. Make an impact on society, and turn the world upside down (i.e., right side up). Won’t that make the statists mad? Yes. Couldn’t we get taken to court and thrown in jail? Yes. Just like in the Book of Acts, when the believers realized that “we must obey God rather than men.” The conflict will escalate in this decade, and we had better make a clear stand now, while the heat is relatively mild, than set precedents for compromise.

—<Quote ends>—

We must obey God, rather than men.

Those Christians who disagree ought to be shown the door, as the idolatrous power-worshippers they are.

“And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell.”

The Door is Right There.

—<Quote begins>—

The obvious drawback is that this costs money, which is always the main issue in Christian circles. “Sure, Jesus said we should take up our crosses and follow Him, but He didn’t say anything about giving up our tax benefits!” We all want the faith as cheap as we can get it, but we have to face facts: resistance to an ungodly state is a necessary cost of Christianity. And to get the state off our backs, we dumped the benefits. It just makes it harder for them to get us. They may get us anyway—but they’ll get you first.

[…]

It helps that we have really nothing to tax. The church owns no property—we meet in homes. If we get too big, we’ll either find a bigger home, or have a good old church split (which reminds me of the church that had a revival—they didn’t add any new members, just got rid of a few old ones). A church that is regularly dividing and multiplying in smaller groups is probably more healthy anyway: it increases the members’ responsibility, and discourages clerical tyranny.

—<Quote ends>—

Some good thinking, here.

Note that Chilton was writing in November 1980: some young, lean and hungry types — who have a better grip on modern technology than I do — can think of more ways to efficiently get more work done.

But don’t neglect the physical world either, or the power of a face-to-face meeting.

The FBI as Common Thieves

From Now They’ve Crossed the Line, by Jeffery Tucker

—<Quote begins>—

In Beverly Hills, California, there is a private service that provides lockboxes for people’s valuables. It is called U.S. Private Vaults. It seems more promising, to some degree, than a box at a bank, where the government has a long history of breaking in.

There was never any particular reason to think that the company could not keep its promises. Many people did trust this company with vast amounts of personal wealth. However, being a private company provides no real protection when the government has an agenda.

After all, we learned over the last 20 months that there is nothing that limits governments’ rights to have their way with private business. They can break in, shut them down, keep them closed, bankrupt them, and there is very little that can be done to stop it.

Six months ago, the FBI raided this company, broke into 800 different boxes by force and took all the contents. They claimed this was justified because they had probable cause that the box contents were gained from illicit activity. They have yet to prove that, however.

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

The company’s website has posted a notice. It now has a notice:

“PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT LEGAL COUNSEL JUST RECEIVED THE FOLLOWING NOTICE OF FORFEITURE. THE U.S. GOVERNMENT IS SEEKING TO FORFEIT AND ASSUME OWNERSHIP OF THE CONTENTS OF ALL PRIVATELY HELD VAULTS ON THE PREMISES OF U.S. PRIVATE VAULTS, WHICH IS NOW CLOSED.”

You would think this would be national news, but instead the event got no attention. The total loot: $86 million. It included cash, coins, and jewelry. The Feds want to keep it all.

But here is another fascinating thing. That $86 million figure is what the Feds said, but look at the actual items listed in the boxes. It seems like the agents became lazy at some point and started marking everything as having the value of one dollar.

Here is just one example from one box. It had a Cartier bracelet with diamond, a Cartier bracelet “nail shape,” a diamond tennis bracelet, an 18” gold necklace, a two-tone Rolex men’s watch, another Rolex with gold and diamonds and a platinum Rolex.

Each item was valued at $1. It was the same with a tremendous amount of the gold and platinum coins that were taken. Again, each was valued at $1.

I’ve not added it all up, but we are certainly talking about a lot more than $86 million. It seems safe to add a zero to this figure. We are looking at the property of many serious people who trusted this company could keep their stuff protected and safe. Now it is all in government hands.

The owners have to beg to get it back and must prove that it is all licit.

Among those pillaged was Joseph Ruiz, an unemployed chef. He had $57,000 in cash inside his box. He had to sue to get it back. The government claimed that he made that money by running an unlicensed pot business. They further claimed that dogs had sniffed out drugs on his cash.

Ruiz produced evidence that this was not true. The FBI returned his money, without apologizing or admitting error. He told the Los Angeles Times that this was “a bank heist in broad daylight.”

They have kept everyone else’s money. Six months have gone by. Some 300 of the victims are fighting for their rights in court. The rest of the 500 or so clients have probably just given up doing anything about it.

[…]

There is no safe way out for anyone or anything when civilization is headed to destruction. No person is safe. No property is safe. You are better off knowing that than not.

It pays to be alert and careful, knowing full well that we are living with a system of government that has become highly dangerous to everything and everyone we hold dear.

—<Quote ends>—

Living in a fascist culture, where your life and your property can be taken away without any due process whatsover by the secret police, is a bitter thing.

Regardless of what the conservatives or progressives think, we can do better than this.

We can start by revoking the “asset forfeiture” laws, and revoke the Patriot Act as well.

Getting rid of the perverts at the airport is also a step in the right direction.