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This Month's Scripture Verse:

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
2 Timothy 3:1-5


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Comments Which Conservatives Block From Thier Blogs for October 21, 2015

Oct 19

To Brian Cosby's blogpost on troubling passages in the Scriptures that can cause embarrassment. This appeared in the Gospel Coalition website.

Unlike the writer of the above article, I've never been embarrassed by the Bible. But after teaching a World's Religion class for the first time, I can safely say that I was constantly embarrassed by Church history and the many instances of Christians' inhumanity to man.

As for the Bible, there some troubling parts that I can easily admit that I don't know the answer to and there are other troubling parts that I can give at least a partial answer to. In particular, the participation in the wars and violence which was commanded by God points to the seriousness of sin and how God can react to sin according to a particular time period in redemptive history.


To Denny Burk and his blogpost talking about Albert Mohler's book on same-sex marriage and how one review reduced the book to the single of issue of whether Christians should attend same-sex marriage. This appeared in Denny Burk's blog.

Certainly, we cannot be silent regarding same-sex marriage. We must tell people what the Scriptures say: that same-sex sexual relations are unbiblical as is same-sex marriage. But it is also possible for us to overreact to what we cannot be silent about.

Noting that I have not read Mohler's book, but am solely reacting to Burk's article, what seems to be the point here is that Mohler's book deals with a loss of Christian privilege in society where certain Christian values caused the marginalization in society of particular groups of people such as those from the LGBT community. And here, the full accectance of the LGBT community as equal members of society could be an issue that is being piggybacked with any biblical opposition to same-sex marriage causing us to overreact to our changing times. And when that occurs, the culture shock is causing many to overreact to the changing status of same-sex marriage in society.

As for the headline issue on Mohler's book, I agree that Christians should not attend same-sex marriages as invited guests. But the same cannot be said of our participation as business owners.


Oct 20

To Joe Carter and his blogpost about how foreign aid to nations can keep poor nations poor. This appeared in the Acton blog.

What is forgotten in this discussion is how some foreign aid, such as loans, comes with conditions that maintains leaders who cooperate those lending the money. This allows other gov'ts or elites from the private sector to gain a control over the gov't of so that those who make the loans benefit from a country's resources more than the people do. And we don't have to go to 3rd world countries to see how this works. The loans being made to Greece not only sabotages Greece's economy by preventing a wider distribution of wealth through austerity measures, the payments made on the loans funnels money out of the Greece and into the hands of foreign investors.

See, it is the conditions on which loans or foreign aid is made that most often causes such aid to keep nations poor, and not the aid itself. Treaties, like NAFTA or the TPP, foreign aid, and loans can act as an economic form of gunboat diplomacy. BTW, that the TPP can replace gunboat diplomacy is actually found in the text of the TPP. And here we should note what history teaches us about what happens when changes in a nation threaten the interests of foreign investors: Iran in '53, Guatemala in '54, Chile in '73, ...


To Joseph Sunde and his blogpost criticizing Bernie Sanders' economic positions as threatening economic freedom. This post contains a video that claims that economic freedom is strongly correlation with the wealth of a nation and its living standards. This appeared in the Acton blog.

It seems that this article practices the same sin that Bernie Sanders does when it comes to explaining our economic woes: it uses a scapegoat. For Sanders, and for my Occupy Movement as well, the scapegoat consists of x% of the wealthiest people in our nation. For this article, it is the government as it interferes with the economic freedom of its citizens. And the two main ways that the government interferes with this freedom is through overspending and regulations. But in making this criticism, what the article misses are the contributions made to the economy by these two practices.

Regarding overspending, as with Reagan, President Bush greatly increased the national debt by overspending. But what did he overspend on and who benefited from this spending? Bush overspent on the military when he started two unfunded wars. But it wasn't just the military he spent money on, it include paramilitary and other contractors who were suppose to either support our military or rebuild what was destroyed. During Bremer's provisional authority gov't, billions of dollars went unaccounted to the contractors  who were suppose to rebuild Iraq. In the meantime paramilitary contractor companies were making huge profits along with contractor companies that supplied support services to our military. And we should also remember the arms and other manufacturers who profited from the military's use of their products. So the question becomes this: Where would our economy be if there were no wars from which certain companies could profit? This is an important question considering what percentage of manufacturing jobs that rely on our nation's military ventures. We could also look at medicare and how the government overspent there partially because Medicare is prohibited from negotiating pharmaceutical prices. Who is benefiting from this prohibition? And finally, we can also ask about the role that the Bush tax cuts played in his doubling of the national debt.

At the same time, we might want to ask who benefits from regulations? For example, who benefits from OSHA regulations? Who benefits from labor regulations? Who benefits from environmental regulations? And so on. To attack regulations simply because there ar so many, and assuming that some regulations are not good ones,  forgets who benefits from regulations. Suppose we gut these regulations, who pays the price? Workers can easily pay the prices when we eliminate OSHA and labor regulations. Everyone pays the price when we eliminate environmental regulations. And the problem becomes the costs that follow  the elimination of regulations.

Now the differences between the contributions listed above involves the identity of the primary beneficiaries of the above contributions as well as their sustainability. How many people benefit from the increased spending that comes with waging wars and rebuilding nations? After answering that we need to ask the following question: Is relying on such spending good for the nation and sustainable economically? For it seems that the former set of contributions fail in terms of either benefiting the general population or being sustainable. The latter set of contributions conditionally succeed in both.

It should follow then that scapegoating the gov't for infringing on economic freedom as the cause for  our wealth is rather oversimplistic. This is especially true since some of the nations involved in the comparison in the video could be divided into those nations that exploit others for their natural resources and those nations that are exploited. For there seems to be a positive correlation between the wealth of a nation and its role as being an exploiter of other nations.


To Denny Burk and his blogpost consisting of the new Star Wars trailer and his question of where is Luke Skywalker in the poster and trailer. This appeared in Denny Burk's blog.

The more important question to where is Luke Skywalker is this: Does the Church sometimes join the dark side when it seeks a privileged position in society in order to control it?


To R. Scott Clark and his Oct 19th response to my comment stating that the person criticizing moralism did so from the context of discussing salvation. This appeared in the Heidelblog.

But then when we criticize moralism, shouldn't we be explicit in stating the context in which moralism has legitimate applications? And if the answer to that question is 'yes,' wouldn't suggest that even liberal versions of the social gospel have a legitimate place and thus criticisms of it should at least be somewhat nuanced? For again, when we condemn moralism while nonChristians are exhibiting a greater moralism in society than we do, the credibility of the Gospel and God's Word are damaged.

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