WHAT'S NEW

About
My Other Blog
Blog Schedule
Activism
Past Blog Posts
Various &
a Sundry Blogs
Favorite
Websites
My Stuff
On The Web
Audio-Visual
Library
Favorite
Articles
This Month's Scripture Verse:

Whoever loves money never has enough;
whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income.
This too is meaningless -- Ecclesiastes 5:10

SEARCH THIS BLOG

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Is Trump's 'America First' Just Another 'Am I My Brother's Keeper'?

Genesis 4:1-16 (click here for the text) tells the story of Cain killing Abel. After Cain had murdered his brother, God confronts Cain by asking where his brother is. Cain responds with a rhetorical question of his own. 'Am I my brother's keeper?' he asks  (Genesis 4:9). Of course, Cain's question was hoping that the answer would be 'no.' But it didn't work out that way.

One of President Trump's campaign promises was that he was going to enter into trade agreements with an 'America First' agenda. Such assumes that our trading partners would be responsible for putting themselves first in any negotiations. Thus, American negotiators would be responsible only for how any agreement would affect any Americans while negotiators from other nations would be the only ones responsible for how any agreement would affect their own nation. Thus, America would not be responsible for how any agreement would affect the people of other nations even if they were being exploited because each participating nation in any agreement would be responsible for itself only.

This notion that one party is responsible only for itself is the basis for today's Neoliberal Capitalism. Its idealistic believers are convinced that under a perfectly crafted Capitalist system, each participant could work for its own interests only without worrying about exploiting others because the system itself would prevent exploitation. But in short, what such idealists are really saying is that they don't want to be their brother's keeper; they only wish to be concerned for themselves. Of course, there are non idealists who also promote Neoliberal Capitalism and who say the same thing only they do so without any delusions of righteousness dancing in their heads.

We should note that nation first pursuits, like today's maximize profits ethic, is a reductionary one. All other guidelines, principles, and morals become sacrificed to gain the best one can for oneself. Even if doing so violates the law and hurts others, all must be sacrificed for the sake of what one wants. And because these approaches are reductionary, psychologically speaking, an all-or-nothing form of thinking starts to hold sway in evaluating one's actions or the agreements one makes with others.

But even more important is the denial that modern life makes us more and more interdependent. The more interdependent we are, the greater the moral responsibility we have for each other. That is because our interdependencies result in increasing the effects our actions have on others. And thus any attempt to deny the interdependencies that exist in our world must be motivated by other reasons than facing reality. Historically speaking, denying the interdependencies that exist in our world is motivated by ambition or greed.





Monday, February 20, 2017

ONIM For February 20, 2017

Christian News

World News

Protest News

    Standing Rock Sioux - DAPL News

    Pick(s) Of The Litter

    Friday, February 17, 2017

    Are We Christians Trying Too Hard To Fit A Stereotype? Part V

    For the near future, some of the articles posted on Fridays will consist of reviews of Christian writings from 2 perspectives. The first perspective will be that of the view of the role of the Church in America as described by the report, The Crisis Of Democracy. This report is a view of the role of the Church from a liberal viewpoint. This perspective is an observation of the past which was interrupted during the protest years of the 1960s. That time was described by the report as having an 'excess of democracy.' And that view says the following (click here for the source):
    In the past, those institutions which have played the major role in the indoctrination of the young in their rights and obligations as members of society have been the family, the church, the school, and the army. The effectiveness of all these institutions as a means of socialization has declined severely. The stress has been increasingly on individuals and their rights, interests, and needs, and not on the community and its rights, interests, and needs.

     The second perspective is an observation, not an ideological declaration, about the Church made from the Left in Russia prior to its October, 1917 Revolution--we should note that Russia also underwent a February, 1917 Revolution. This perspective was written by Vlad (a.k.a., Vladimir Lenin) and it went like this (click here for the source):

    Religion is one of the forms of spiritual oppression which everywhere weighs down heavily upon the masses of the people, over burdened by their perpetual work for others, by want and isolation. Impotence of the exploited classes in their struggle against the exploiters just as inevitably gives rise to the belief in a better life after death as impotence of the savage in his battle with nature gives rise to belief in gods, devils, miracles, and the like. Those who toil and live in want all their lives are taught by religion to be submissive and patient while here on earth, and to take comfort in the hope of a heavenly reward. But those who live by the labour of others are taught by religion to practise charity while on earth, thus offering them a very cheap way of justifying their entire existence as exploiters and selling them at a moderate price tickets to well-being in heaven. Religion is opium for the people. Religion is a sort of spiritual booze,   in which the slaves of capital drown their human image, their demand for a life more or less worthy of man.

    The reason for reviewing Christian writings from these two perspectives is to determine whether today's writings show that the Church has changed since the times in which those observations were made. And for the record, I just want to say that I am not a fan of Lenin regardless of how I refer to him.

    This week, the focus is on R.C. Sproul (click here for a bio) and his blogpost on the value of human life and abortion (click here for the article). This blogpost will also cite some other articles from the Ligonier list of articles with some by Sproul while one or two are from his son. The reason for this will become apparent.

    In talking about abortion, Sproul brings up two biblical passages. One talks about lust and adultery (Matthew 5:27-28) and the other talks about anger and murder (Matthew 5:21-22). He does not bring up both of the these passages talk about abortion primarily; rather, he does so to talk about how we should read the laws given in the Bible. For with passages, the prohibition cited applies more than to just the literal acts. The prohibition against adultery, for example, applies to more than just refraining from the physical act of adultery, it applies both desire and allowing the conditions that would lead to the potential of breaking God's law. The same applies to anger and murder.

    Thus, the commands of God have negative implications far beyond what meets the naked eye when reading the commandments. Likewise, Sproul notes that there are positive implications to the commandments on adultery and murder that would foster conditions the preserve both purity and life. He places all of this in the context of the sanctity of human life which he discusses when he quotes from Genesis 1:26-27 as well as other passages.

    With regard to abortion, he tells us that we are prohibited from killing life and from participating in the potential killing of life. Thus, we should allow for abortion because it is the taking of actual or potential living person. That refraining from participating in the actual killing or the potential taking of life comes from those negative and positive implications from reading God's law on murder.

    So far, everything that Sproul has said is sound and valuable in terms of how we should read and apply the Scriptures. It is well worth reading. So why does it sound like there is going to be the mention of a problem or two? It is because how Sproul applies the Scriptures that prohibit murder to the case of abortion is not also immediately applied to the case of war and economics as far as can be detected in other articles. For those on war, please access the following links: War And The Christians, When War, What's The Most Important Economic Lesson Americans Need To Learn, and Tough Economic Times.

    Before going on, some disclaimers must be made. The list of articles cited is very brief and so we can't conclude that Sproul never associates the subject of murder or the potential killing of others with war and economics. So we must qualify what our complaint says to saying that the prohibition against murder and the potential for participating in murder was not as foremost in the minds of those who wrote those articles as we would want. In addition, the articles on economics was not written by R.C. Sproul, they were written by his son and his son writes from a very conservative political and economic viewpoint. But the articles by his son is still coming from R.C. Sproul's Ligonier Ministry's website.

    So when we read these other articles, what we find is no association of the prohibition against murder or the potential of killing with war or with economics. Now some would question why do we need to associate the command against murder to economics? It is simply because exploitive economic systems provide for the potential of hurting or even killing others in multiple ways.

    Now what does all of this have to do with what Vlad and The Crisis Of Democracy have said about the co-opting of the Church by those who maintain the status quo? With regard to abortion, we should note that it has become a moot issue because we are in the process of wrecking the world by waging war and destroying the environment. How can we talk to nonconservatives about the sanctity of human life for the unborn when we don't talk about the sanctity of human life when discussing war and the environment? 


    In addition, the abortion issue is an individual, personal decision--this statement does not justify elective abortions. And even though Sproul goes on to associate the prohibition against murder as a reason to protect the vulnerable as well as the unborn, the decisions to do so are made by Christians as individuals, not the Church as an institution. And there is no mention of protesting the conditions forced on the vulnerable by the Church as an institution. Thus, when talking about war and economics, there was no mention of the Church as an institution preaching repentance to those who call for war and/or maintain exploitive economic systems. 

    Thus, what Vlad observed in his day carries over to today regarding the Church not challenging those with wealth and power. So when those same people provide assistance for the victims of the pursuits they support, they are working what Vlad rightfully called a 'cheap' grace angle. As for what was said in The Crisis Of Democracy, the Church as an institution still serves as an institution of indoctrination in silent complicity. Yes, it might encourage some of its adherents to resist the call to some wars in accordance with what those individuals believe; but the Church as an institution will never speak out against the authority figures of either the public or private sectors.

    And what was just said about war goes more than double for the economy. For as we see in Sproul's son's views, the government can only inhibit the business sector with its actions. Thus, according to Sproul's son, the government cannot represent the people in prohibiting those with wealth and other business owners from legally exploiting others or benefiting from an exploitive system. And here again, we want to note the very conservative politica/economic beliefs of Sproul's son.

    The close ties between political/economc conservatism and theological conservatism in this nation has only ensured that at least much of the Conservative Church in America will follow the examples provided by the predominant branches of the Church that existed in the pre revolutionary times of French, Russian, and Spanish Revolutions. During those times, the predominant branch of the Church sided with wealth and thus it ended up siding with tyranny. When the revolutions came, quite a bit of dishonor was brought to the Gospel by those allegiances. The same could be said of the predominant churches prior to coups that existed in Guatemala (1954) and Chile (1973). The predominant churches then sided with wealth so that when the respective coups came, those churches ended up siding with tyranny. This is what Vlad objected to while fitting in to the system of the wealthy which is what The Crisis Of Democracy said was the purpose of the Church.






    Wednesday, February 15, 2017

    Comments Which Conservatives Block From Their Blogs For February 15, 2017

    Feb 8

    To Joe Carter and his blogpost supporting the striking down of the law that prohibits political speech in churches. This appeared in the Gospel Coalition website.

    A perspective that is missing here is that from Russia. The Russian Orthodox Church has supported Putin. So now Russia maintains laws that put strict limits on those from the LGBT community in terms of what they can say about their sexual orientation and Russia has passed a law that prohibits evangelism by other churches than the Orthodox Church outside of the walls of one's own Church. Can supporting politicians bring privilege to the Church? And if the Church has privileges, then is the separation of Church and State gone?

    History tells us that one of the flaws of the Church is that it often supports wealth and power. It tells us this through the examples of the predominant Churches in France, Russia, and Spain prior to their revolutions. This led to the Church siding with tyranny. It tells us this with other examples, such as Chile and Guatemala, where the Church sided with wealth in Socialist nations whose governments were democratically elected with the result of the Church siding with tyranny of those governments were overthrown.

    Striking down this law may explain why some evangelical leaders supported Trump in the first place. Now one only needs to see how these leaders and the evangelical movement benefits afterwards.


    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Feb 9

    To R. Scott Clark and his blogpost citing J. Gresham Machen’s opposition to the creation of a federal department of education. This appeared in the Heidelblog.

    Why it is important that it was Machen who said what is recorded above is a mystery. For what we see is just a libertarian expressing his views regarding federal standardization and aid. We should note that Machen opposed a child-labor amendment and federal aid for roads. We should note that without the latter, we would have no interstate system and the ability for states and even regions to maintain infrastructure would depend solely on the resources of that region and state even though the stakeholders of such resources include many who do not live in the state or region.

    Certainly, Machen is speaking as a libertarian. But I wouldn't want to blame everything he said on his libertarianism. I would also add that perhaps Machen's personal history in the Presbyterian Church influenced his opposition to all standardization in education especially regarding the teaching of morality. But a question I would have for Machen is this: Would today's educational standardization of morals which include racial equality be objectionable to him? Would he object to the teaching that we are all equal regardless of our race? The issue at hand is not racism per se, and such is not a minimizing of the importance of the subject, but on whether Machen's thinking at least sometimes unnecessarily followed all-or-nothing patterns. That to accept a part would be no different than to accept the whole. His rejection of liberalism seems to lean that way.

    One final comment is due. Certainly, Libertarians would no doubt agree with Machen's position expressed above. But the problem becomes whether Libertarianism's rejection of Federal involvement in so many areas of life involves a denial of the differing degrees of interdependency that existed in society during the writing of The Constitution and Machen's time as well as with what exists during our time.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Feb 11

    To Rev Ben Johnson and his blogpost review of the healthcare debate between Cruz and Sanders where Johnson states that Cruz highlighted the weakness of government run healthcare. This appeared in the Acton blog.

    There are two problems with the article above. First, while wait times in Europe and Canada or determined by the provider, wait times in America are forced on people by their personal financial abilities. It is funny that that argument, which is a point Sanders brought up, was not mentioned above. The second problem is that the wait times are unfairly attributed to the government. It is unfair because the wait times are not due to inefficiency since single payer systems are more efficient than the health care system we have now because administration is simplified by single payer systems. Increasing competition by allowing people to cross state borders to purchase healthcare insurance, as suggested by Cruz, only increases the administrative part of providing healthcare because it adds to the mix of providers. And it is the number of providers that complicates the administration part of healthcare because each provider has its own system and rules.

    In reality, the wait times in both capitalist and government systems are more due to the matchup between demand and available resources. When demand exceeds available resources, then wait times are longer. And so the European and Canadian healthcare systems have two options in alleviating wait times for medical procedures. First, they can invest more money into their healthcare systems. Second, they can reduce the number of people their systems serve. In America, the second option occurs naturally when  people who feel financially constrained put off obtaining healthcare services til a later time. And to show that point more vividly, we should note that before Obamacare, the number one reason for personal bankruptcies in America were due to healthcare costs.

    We should note one more point about Cruz's position. He wants the private sector to solve the problem of people being able to access sufficient healthcare in a timely fashion. Thus, he wants to expand competition to force the healthcare insurance industry into offering better deals. But such a dynamic doesn't always work with publicly owned companies that are operated for the sake of shareholders who are more and more becoming the business owners' equivalent of absentee landlords. Do we really think that shareholders, who have become the only significant group of stakeholders recognized in today's publicly owned companies, will continue to invest adequately into health insurance companies as competition reduces the ROI?


    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Feb 13
    To Pat Buchanan and his blogpost criticizing the courts for stopping Trump’s immigration ban and urging President Trump to ignore the courts and their power. This appeared in the Imaginative Conservative blog.

    Buchanan exhibits the worst traits of authoritarianism and tribalism in this article. For the validity of Trump's executive order banning refugees from 7 Muslim nations, according to Buchanan, rests in the authoritative position of the people commenting on it. Thus, Buchanan seems to say that Trump's executive order is correct because he is making a wartime decision as President while the decisions of the justices who have ruled on it are wrong because they are merely justices. In addition, Buchanan gives personal attacks on those who disagree. He did the same by unnecessarily attacking Elizabeth Warren who challenged the nomination of Jeff Sessions.

    There is nothing in Buchanan's article that discusses the concerns of either side let alone that of the justices. And there is nothing in Buchanan's article that even mentions that there already exists a vetting process for refugees let alone mentions how effective that process is. Rather, Buchanan believes that it is time to reduce the power of our courts who use The Constitution to review our laws. And he promotes this position so that the power of the President can be increased and he has fewer people to be accountable to.

    Certainly, if Buchanan was consistent, then he would have written similar articles defending President Obama's executive order on immigration during wartime when it was reviewed by the Supreme Court. But he didn't. Instead, he attacked him. And when he criticized Obama, he resorted to something he didn't use when he defended Trump's executive order on immigration, he mentioned the details on immigration to bolster his argument (see http://buchanan.org/blog/rogue-president-7159 ).

    If we learned anything from Star Wars it is this, that those who have an insatiable desire for power use war or conflict as a camouflage for obtaining more and more power. Now that one of Buchanan's own is in the White House, he is arguing for his President to assume and exercise more power. Again, Buchanan has, in this article exhibited the worst traits of authoritarianism and tribalism.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Feb 14

    To Joseph Pearce and his blogpost praising Trump’s protectionism as providing a hedge of protection for American economic sovereignty from foreign economic elites. This appeared in the Imaginative Conservative blog.

    Just for clarification, only a small group uses violence on a consistent basis to demonstrate for the nonconservatives. That group is Black Bloc. Most of the other nonconservatives are peaceful protesters. As for why nonconservatives didn't protest Obama's inauguration?  If the left didn't protest his inauguration, they did oppose his globalization. It is the Democrats who refrained from criticizing their own.

    There are things to agree with here. Protectionism is a viable option for America to take provided that it allows other nations to do the same. That has not always occurred. But we should note this, while protectionism provides an economic wall that could possibly partially block the immigration of the influence exercised by foreign economic elites, Trump will not provide sufficient protection for America from being controlled by economic elites in general. This was made clear by Trump's promise to corporate leaders that he will cut taxes and regulations by over 70%. The problem here is that in so doing, Trump is removing a layer of protection from economic, workplace, and environmental exploitation for many Americans. The more one cuts corporate taxes to the extent Trump is promising, the more the tax burden is shifted to workers and the federal deficit is increased. The more one cuts regulations, because regulations primarily deal with pay, working conditions, and protecting the environment, the more that workers and workplace communities are placed at risk for abuse. And though Trump's protectionism might act as a wall that restricts the flow of control foreign investors might have over our nation, his promise to cut taxes and regulations by such a significant amount allows foreigners who invest in American businesses to benefit at the expense of all other stakeholders besides shareholders.

    When we look at Trump's team of the "best" people, we are quick to discover that those with wealth will hold on to their power since they are well represented. All others, especially workers, are left unrepresented. This is perhaps why Trump stated that he had heard no complaints about DAPL.





    Tuesday, February 14, 2017

    What Kind Of Populism Will We Choose?

    Much has been made of populism for over the past several months. We've seen populism on both the conservative and liberal sides. We should note here that the Left in America does not have enough people to claim to be a populist movement.

    And so the question that is implied, by the existence of the conservative and liberal flavors of populism, is which one should we choose? Here we should note that not all populism is really populism. Quite often, the Republican and Democratic Parties want to co-op the respective forms of conservative and liberal populism. However, when this occurs, populism dies for the people of a populist group become followers of the elites who have co-opted them. Many who followed Sanders during the Democratic Party primaries learned this unfortunate lesson after Hillary obtained enough delegates. As for the Tea Party, though it has some independence, it works either under the leadership of the Republican Party's elites or under rogue elites like President Trump.

    What we should note about populism is that it isn't just a movement, it is a practice or method. The method or practice is that of the people making their voices heard by their representatives so that they have more say in governmental decisions.

    In one sense, populism, like elite-centered rule, is a neutral state of affairs that becomes good or bad depending on the quality of decisions made. Of course the difference is that populism is democratic while elite-centered rule is not. But the value of populism depends on the quality of the decisions made by its participants. And the advantage of populism is that more voices are being heard and thus more concerns are, hopefully, being addressed in the decisions being made.


    There are two traits that make populism more constructive than destructive. The first of these traits is that the people in a given populist movement are more 'person-oriented' rather than 'thing-oriented.' These terms come from Martin Luther King Jr. And what it is meant here is that people are counted as being more important than things. The things King had in mind were gadgets, profits, and property rights. But our problem with getting people to be more person-oriented than thing-oriented is that our Capitalist economic system is constantly teaching us that happiness is achieved through materialism, through the growing acquisition of things. And the reality that comes with people being more thing-oriented than person-oriented is that their focus will be UNNECESSARILY on increasing their acquisition of things for themselves and for those in their groups. This means competition starts to push sharing and cooperation out of the picture. We should note that we are talking about 'unnecessarily' increasing the obtaining of goods because there is nothing wrong with those who live in poverty to want and get the basics of life.

    The second necessary trait for any populist movement that wants to contribute to society rather than take away from it is that it must open rather than insular. What is meant by a group being insular is that the group obtains all of its information about the world from its own members only. There is no learning from those outside the gruop. And because there is no learning from others, there is no need to listen to them. And why should those in an insular group listen to those outside when a group is insular because those outside the group have been demonized?

    Without these two traits of being person oriented and not being insular, populism will merely maintain the status quo. That status quo is a king-of-the-hill competition between members of a society in order to see who gets to rule over all others. 



    Monday, February 13, 2017

    ONIM For February 13, 2017

    Christian News


    World News

    Protest News


     Standing Rock Sioux - DAPL News


    Pick(s) Of The Litter







      Friday, February 10, 2017

      Are We Christians Trying Too Hard To Fit A Stereotype? Part IV

      For the near future, some of the articles posted on Fridays will consist of reviews of Christian writings from 2 perspectives. The first perspective will be that of the view of the role of the Church in America as described by the report, The Crisis Of Democracy. This report is a view of the role of the Church from a liberal viewpoint. This perspective is an observation of the past which was interrupted during the protest years of the 1960s. That time was described by the report as having an 'excess of democracy.' And that view says the following (click here for the source):
      In the past, those institutions which have played the major role in the indoctrination of the young in their rights and obligations as members of society have been the family, the church, the school, and the army. The effectiveness of all these institutions as a means of socialization has declined severely. The stress has been increasingly on individuals and their rights, interests, and needs, and not on the community and its rights, interests, and needs.

       The second perspective is an observation, not an ideological declaration, about the Church made from the Left in Russia prior to its October, 1917 Revolution--we should note that Russia also underwent a February, 1917 Revolution. This perspective was written by Vlad (a.k.a., Vladimir Lenin) and it went like this (click here for the source):

      Religion is one of the forms of spiritual oppression which everywhere weighs down heavily upon the masses of the people, over burdened by their perpetual work for others, by want and isolation. Impotence of the exploited classes in their struggle against the exploiters just as inevitably gives rise to the belief in a better life after death as impotence of the savage in his battle with nature gives rise to belief in gods, devils, miracles, and the like. Those who toil and live in want all their lives are taught by religion to be submissive and patient while here on earth, and to take comfort in the hope of a heavenly reward. But those who live by the labour of others are taught by religion to practise charity while on earth, thus offering them a very cheap way of justifying their entire existence as exploiters and selling them at a moderate price tickets to well-being in heaven. Religion is opium for the people. Religion is a sort of spiritual booze,   in which the slaves of capital drown their human image, their demand for a life more or less worthy of man.

      The reason for reviewing Christian writings from these two perspectives is to determine whether today's writings show that the Church has changed since the times in which those observations were made. And for the record, I just want to say that I am not a fan of Lenin regardless of how I refer to him.

      Today's review will consist of applying the above quotes to the end of a sermon preached by B.B. Warfield (click here for bio) and quoted in a blogpost by Justin Taylor on the Gospel Coalition website (click here for the blogpost). Note that what is being evaluated is what is being quoted from Warfield, not Warfield himself and what he said at other times.

      In the part of the sermon being quoted, Warfield is describing the kind of self-sacrificial attitude Christians must have when they serve those in need and involve themselves in the world. Please click the above link to the blogpost to read how Warfield describes a very laudible kind of humble and sacrificial attitude that serves as an imitation of Christ in how He came into the world to serve. What is ironic here is that regardless of how worthy the kind of attitude Warfield describes is to have, by itself that attitude is a siren song that ends on the rocks of social injustice and thus the possible dishonoring of the Gospel. In other words, unless what Warfield describes lies in conjunction with other concerns, it will only compound the problems people face rather than help them.

      First, we should look at least part of what Warfield said--that is for those who did not click the link. What Warfield said includes the following:


      Wherever men suffer, there will we be to comfort.

      Wherever men strive, there will we be to help.

      Wherever men fail, there will be we to uplift.

      Wherever men succeed, there will we be to rejoice.

      Self-sacrifice means not indifference to our times and our fellows: it means absorption in them.

      It means forgetfulness of self in others.

      Certainly the above describes the ideal Christian on his/her best days of imitating Christ. But the question becomes how does what Warfield said address Vlad's concerns? In other words, though the Christian, in imitating Christ, might be an ideal example of life to those around him/her, in the end, if all we do is to both encourage those who succeed and help and comfort those who are victims of the system employed by the status quo, will we not merely resemble the street sweepers who clean up after a parade? And yes, we will be helping those who are suffering, but we will not be working for the prevention of future pain and abuse. This is the value of Vlad's statement as well as the statement from The Crisis Of Democracy. For it challenges us Christians  in being willing to sacrifice ourselves to prevent others from suffering the same problems we are cleaning up after today.

      In fact, unless we challenge those who oppress others to repent, not only might we be securing praise from others for our noble efforts, we are costing those who oppress others opportunities to change.

      With that being said, if we do not challenge an abusive system and those who maintain it to repent without having the same self-sacrificial attitude that Warfield describes above, then we risk sabotaging our efforts at affecting change. For challenging those with wealth and power to repent with anger and self-righteousness not only further hardens the hearts of those who are well rewarded in this life for their shrewdness, it does the same to those who ride in on their coattails. Thus, just as the self-sacrificial attitude that Warfield implores us Christians to have is insufficient by itself for us to live out our faith, it is essential to the living out our of faith.

      But if how Warfield calls us to be is imitating Christ, then aren't we saying that imitating Christ is insufficient to follow Him if we so criticize Warfield's quote above ? Not at all. Why? Because we don't imitate Christ in everything He did. Though we are called to sacrifice ourselves for others as Christ came to sacrifice Himself for others, we can never make the sacrifice He made. Our sacrifice is not to atone for sins, but it is to reflect Christ's love for us to others. For while Christ knew that the end of His ministry culminated in His sacrifice on the cross, we do not know when the end of our ministry will come regardless of any sacrifice we are making at the time. In addition, our job is to make disciples of others and those others include those with wealth and power whose position in life is the result of exploiting others. Just as we are called to help the oppressed, we are also called to preach repentance to the oppressor. And here we might want to consider how it dishonors the Gospel when only nonChristians are calling on those who oppress and exploit others to repent.