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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, February 24, 2016

Comments Which Conservatives Block From Their Blogs For February 24, 2016

Feb 18

To Elliot Clark and his blogpost on suggestions for being or creating 3rd culture Christians where we share the Gospel. This appeared in the Gospel Coalition website.

Suggestions #2,3, & 5 are very good. Suggestion #4 needs to be fleshed out. That leaves suggestion #1 and that needs to be qualified if we don't wish to spread colonialism with the Cross. For much of Church history that follows Constantine's conversion has been about Christian imperialism and colonialism is an important issue. That points to how the Church has throughout most of its history, been corrupted by the actual or potential acquisition of political power. With the corruption of the Church comes a distorted Gospel message. And that corruption continues to occur throughout the world today.

So how should this affect our teaching of Church history? Should we just focus on doctrines or do we include the Church's on-again, off-again love affair with political power? For while Christianity can be easily distinguished from other religions by its doctrine, it becomes one of the gang of those seeking power. And such is our dilemma in what to teach from Church history.


Feb 20

To Joe Carter and his blogpost on how liberal economists disagree with Sanders' economic plans. This appeared in the Acton blog.

Here is a fact that is overlooked in the article. While Sanders never explains in detail how he is going to finance his promises, he has made one valid point: other nations are doing what he is promising to do here. So whatever "liberal" economists are claiming, the point is that a lot of what Sanders wants done is being accomplished under different conditions than exists here. And since conservatives, like Carter, harp on the fact that a raise in the minimum wage will mean a rise in unemployment without ever asking why, it is our current economic system and its conditions that need as much scrutiny as the promises made by each of the candidates.


To Jordan Ballor and his blogpost on 5 theses on taking care of the  environment. This appeared in the Acton Blog.

Theses #1-3 are fine. But #4 has problems. Whether our economic stewardship clashes with our environmental stewardship should examined case by case basis. For much of produces profits and economic growth does hurt the environment regardless of whether short-term profit is involved. 

Thesis #5 misses a point. Fossile fuels are a key concern because of what they put back into the environment. Just because the use of nuclear fuel doesn't put back the same emissions that contribute to the build up of greenhouse gases doesn't mean that we can afford to neglect what the use of nuclear fuel does deposit in the enviornment. Perhaps solar and wind technology should be looked to more than nuclear--though doing so would not benefit corporate America as much as the other technologies.


Feb 22

Free trade advocates forget a couple of things here. First, not everyone is starting from the same point. The industries of some nations' are more developed than others. And one of the reasons why some nations have more developed industries is because those industries were formerly protected by tariffs. So now that they are developed, those nations with the developed industries insist that other nations continue to lag behind them because the other nations cannot use the same method of developing their own industries as were used before. Or in the case of the nations being targeted for tariffs by Trump and Sanders, one nation's industries outcompete their counterparts from other nations because they can cut costs by exploiting workers and the environment This is designed to keep nations in a strict caste system that is governed by those who are calling for their own freedom: business elites. 

This brings up a second problem with free trade. Free trade is not free to the nations that participate in it because they are not allowed to make laws that govern how foreign players from the private sector are treating the people in their nation. What is called economic freedom and free trade is nothing more than the continual reduction of social responsibilities for businesses. And what is deemed as reward for this freedom is the bottom line for those businesses because it is assumed that whatever is good for business, is good for all. 

Analogies are only as good as  their  portrayal of the object is complete. So like statistics, analogies that filter information can be classified as lies. Tariffs have never been viewed as a tax on those purchasing the goods as much as on those producing the goods. And when tariffs allow for nations to develop their own industries, then there comes a tradeoff for the higher prices one must pay today for those tariffed goods. That tradeoff can be more jobs for more people that come from developing industries that can eventually compete with the foreign industries of those nations which must pay tariffs. ANd we know what happens when these local industries begin to flourish. As the supply of goods increases, the prices go down. So to use the venacular here, the "taxes" that the middle and lower class consumers must pay now carry with them the potential for those taxes to self-destruct--as well as the elimination of the economic caste system managed by private sector elites. 

So why is it that Carter did not present this tradeoff or the above mentioned use of tariffs in his analogy and artilcle?


Feb 23

I believe that the writer here confuses freedom and privilege. The main difference is that freedom is enjoyed by all, privilege is enjoyed by some. And those who are in the economic-political axis, and that includes Charles Koch, are gaining more privileges as the rest of us lose more freedoms. 

There is a reason why the writer here doesn't recognize the difference between freedom and privilege. It is, IMO, that the writer here reduces all freedom to individual freedom. Such destroys the concept of democracy. For Democracy involves a corporate freedom where society tells its members how they are allowed to treat each other. Yes, Democracies can go too far in making such rules. But reducing all freedom to individual freedom weakens, if not destroys, democracy for the benefit of the privileged. 

The Citizens United decision simply allows those who have the means to enjoy a privilege that others do not have. The Citizens United decision works to replace the 1-person-1-vote system on which our democracy is based with the free market principle of $1-1-vote. Those who object to populism may struggle to see why such a replacement is so abhorent. It is because such a replacement ensures a rule by elites rather than a democratic rule by all.


To Michael Dever, Voddie Baucham, and Bill Kynes and their podcast discussion of Christians and politics.  This appeared in the Gospel Coalition website.

There are important points to cover here. First, distinguishing being partisan and political in the Church is important especially since politics includes issues of justice and thus morality. So how can one be political without being partisan? It is a matter of the Church being a curmudgeon to all who are in or are seeking power that enables Christians to be political without being partisan. That is because  the Church can speak prophetically when being a curmudgeon and as long as it acts that way to all who are in or seek power, partisanship dissipates.

Also exposing utopias for what they are is another important point. But there is a subtle and sly way of advocating a utopia. That is to brand all attempts to improve the status quo as being utopian. That is because saying that things cannot improve is simply another way of saying that we have a utopia.

Finally the homosexual and same-sex marriage in society issues was brought up. And here, we should note that there is another issue involved besides a doctrinal one. That issue concerns itself with how we will share society with others, not just whether homosexuality is biblical. Of course it isn't, but neither worshiping other God and we allow freedom of religion. So the question regarding laws concerning hmosexuality an same sex marriage becomes whether we will share society with others as equals or will we seek some hierarchical relationsip as being over them.


Ordinary Things said...

Hello, I just stumbled across your blog. I too am a Christian, and I share your views on politics (in my experience a Christian Socialist is a pretty rare thing, and it's nice to see I am not the only one). I have only read a couple of your posts so far, but they seem pretty much spot on to me. I am just curious, were your comments actually deleted by these conservative blogs, or just not posted? If they did delete them I think that is insanely ignorant! (though of course I am not really surprised) Anyway, I look forward to reading more posts.

Curt Day said...

Ordinary Things,
Thank you for your encouragement.

As for my comments, some are not posted based on a case by case basis where I am blocked from contributing to others because of my previous views expressed.

Right now, control is very important to certain Christian blogs and places. That is not true for all them, but definitely for some of them.