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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, December 21, 2016

Comments Which Conservatives Block From Their Blogs For December 21, 2016

Dec 15

To Joseph Sunde and his blogpost about the emergence of capitalist “pioneers” in Cuba. This appeared in the Acton blog.

The above mentioned "pioneers of Capitalism" in Cuba are no such thing. Such a statement can only be said if one assumes that the history of Cuba reads: 'In the beginning, there was Castro.' Prior to Castro ruled a brutal tyrant named Fulgencio Batista. Batista enjoyed diverse support from the Stalinists, who were bought off when he put them in charge of the labor unions, to American businesses, which profited under his rule. In fact, there were Cuban business owners who suffered the same fate that Russian business owners suffered from the Russian Revolution of October of 1917. So in other words, Capitalists were in Cuba before Castro and many of them supported a tyrant. And so today's capitalists are hardly pioneers when one looks at Cuba's history. The real question is this: Will capitalists support a business friendly tyrant in Cuba as they have both there and elsewhere? After all, there are multiple instances in history where supporting a tyrant was good for business.


To Joseph Pearce and his blogpost on certain groups’ use of demonizing their enemies. This appeared in the Imaginative Conservative blog.

There are two points to be made here. First, Pearce forgets about another group that had some of the same traits as the similarities he listed between the Nazis and the Communists. That group were the Tsars and their capitalist supporters. After all, the Tsars believed in big government as well. And they received much support from Russia's capitalists because those capitalists benefited from at least some of the policies followed by the Tsars. In particular, the Russian involvement in WW I enriched these Capitalists while it impoverished the nation.

In addition, it would not hurt if Pearce tried to be a bit more precise in describing the Communists back then. For before the Revolution, Russia's Left was divided into the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks with the former group wanting quick change and centralized rule while the latter were stagists and relied on the bottom up democracy that reliance on the soviets, which were nothing more than working class decision making councils whose members were democratically elected. So the group that became known as the Communists were the Bolsheviks, not the Mensheviks. We should also note Rosa Luxemburg, a Socialist contemporary of Lenin and was a revolutionary, rather than a stagist, herself, and her criticism of Lenin and his way of ruling Russia. She noted that his rule was modeled on the same kind of rule that the Bourgeoisie exercise in their private sector businesses. Thus, she called what Lenin instituted a bourgeoisie dictatorship.

The second point to make is that it is rather ironic that Pearce restricts the use of the term 'demonize' to secular groups or people or to fringe religious spokesmen. Isn't such a restriction a demonization in and of itself? Such a restriction is, at least, historically inaccurate because many Christians in America often demonized their current opponent whether they were addressing people from other denominations or people from other races. And while his warning against demonizing is very appropriate, we can't afford to be like the pharisee from the parable of the two men praying by only recognizing this act in others. For such allows the self-righteous to justify unrighteous means of controlling and subduing those they demonize. And we should note from the parable of the two men praying that it was the religious person who was demonizing the other person in an effort to feel righteous before God, not the most despised of people at that time, the publican. This takes us to the first point being made that not all Communists were Bolsheviks.

There could be another point added here. The warnings against elite rule from a globalism that stems from neoliberalism is not a warning against Jews. These warnings are. Rather, these warning are against the replacing of democracy with oligarchy and have been issued by some Jews themselves. But what flies under the radar in the name of nationalism allowing the rule of domestic elites replace the rule of global elites. The appointments made by Trump are illustrating that already.


Dec 17

To R. Scott Clark and his blogpost quote of Randall B. Smith who complained about  university’s reaction to one of its professors criticizing diversity. This appeared in Heidelblog.

I think that in the nation where Christians are the safest, lies one of the largest Christian persecution industries. We should note that Esolen is not facing any threat of dismissal let alone any disciplinary action at all. In addition, if universities are suppose to allow for reasoned discourse, why are the reactions of some students and faculty not being recognized as legitimate responses or the university's decision to hold a moderated debate as being a place for reasoned discourse.

What seems to have upset some conservative commentators on the university's reaction to Esolen is they didn't automatically repent after hearing or reading his tirade against diversity. In the meantime, where Christian persecution is so very minimal, some of the Christians there are making the loudest noise about their suffering. And I suspect that is being done out of opportunism by some Christian leaders.


Dec 18

To R. Scott Clark and his blogpost quote from Robert Godfrey warning us about the compromises we could make to the Scriptures when we pursue some cause with an outside group in order to increase the appeal of the Gospel. This appeared in Heidelblog.

I don't think that it is necessarily wrong if, on a issue by issue basis, we experience having more in common with those from the Roman Church or unbelievers than with those from our own church or denomination. Why? It is because when focusing on an ecumenical or a non-Church issue that pertains to society, the contrary views of some of our fellow Christians will at best only frustrate us and at worst will make us feel alienated. But that should only occur when some non-Church issues gain our focus.

In addition, whether we intend to increase the Gospel's appeal to other groups or not, even the mere existence of outside issues could cause us to compromise what the Scriptures say. That is our passivity, or our attempts to refrain from having any involvement with the outside world, signals an acceptance of the status quo with all of its faults and sins. This is a point that Martin Luther King Jr. tried to make repeatedly. That sometimes, not taking a stand means that one is supporting an ongoing compromise with the Scriptures which is occurring in our world.


Dec 19

To Hunter Baker and his blogpost gave some support to Trump’s picks whose views satisfy some Christian concerns about the Supreme Court and government bureaucracy while criticizing Trumps economic nationalism, his views on border control, and his character. This blogpost says that both Christians who supported him and those who opposed him can now work together to improve America’s political culture. This appeared in the Gospel Coalition

The article above needs a wider perspective. For it seems that those Christians who supported Trump have traded morality and rationality for the porridge of some immediate Christian concerns. For what Trump's picks have signaled is the continuance of the rule of business elites who have little concern for either workers or the environment. For what does Trump's pick to head the EPA signal when that pick denies what the vast majority of scientists have come to realize regarding climate change? What will now happen at Standing Rock when Trump's pick for the head of the  Department of Energy sits on the board for DAPL? Or what are his picks to head labor and budget suppose to signal when one opposes significant increases in the minimum wage while the other supports deep spending cuts to items such as maintaining the infrastructure? And how will that person's penchant for budget cuts affect social safety nets? And all of that is for the sake of increasing immediate profits for big businesses. In addition, what is Trump's pick for the ambassador to Israel suppose to signal when that pick refers to Jews supporting a two-state solution with the same word used for Jews who turned in fellow Jews to the Nazis? And who believes that Israel should annex the West Bank?

Or take his campaign statements such as where he says he likes war. Then one can look his lack of self-restraint regarding and respect for women as well as tenuous relationship with reality when confronted with documented past statements and actions.

Christian Trump supporters have shown that they suffer from an acute, and possibly fatal, case of issue-myopia. That myopia covered a multitude of Trump's sins when choosing to vote for and support him. And now, if my fear is right, we have elected a set of crazies just as Germany did when it elected the Nazis into power. Not that the current Republicans are Nazis, but that their passionate embrace of irrationality for the sake of their ideology and/or self-interests puts our nation at risk in terms of survival. Time will tell. And in the meantime, Christians should not confuse disagreeing about Trump with being divided over Trump.


Dec 20

To Jordan Bailor and his blogpost about those who fear Reconstuctionism, a form of strict Christian dominance over society as being a result from the recent presidential election. This appeared in the Acton blog.

Those who think of Christian attempts to control society in all-or-nothing terms will have problems making distinctions between Reconstructionism and other degrees of control. However, one doesn't have to see Reconstructionists to see Christian attempts to control of society because that control exists on a continuum. And as long as there is a sufficient degree of control so that the religious liberties of others are violated, then there is cause for concern.

The recent debate over Same-Sex Marriage (SSM) provides a perfect illustration of the problem. Religiously conservative Christians who opposed the legalization of SSM were not Reconstructionists. However, their attempts to block SSM violated the religious liberties who wanted to participate in SSM and who either had no religious views on the subject or whose religious views were different from the views of those religiously conservative Christians.

There are religiously conservative Christians who yearn for a measure of Christian control over society. And to the degree of control they seek, they also seek a privileged place in society over others rather than looking to share society with others as equals. And to frame this issue of religiously conservative Christians seeking control as Reconstructionist vs. Kuyperian is an all-or-nothing way of framing this issue that allows other degrees of Christian control over society to fly in under the radar.

IMO, many religiously conservative Christians are seeking a paternalistic relationship with society. That is that instead of seeking complete control, they draw various lines in the sand that if society crosses, they feel compelled to step in and gain control over society regarding that issue for the sake of society itself. SSM serves as just one example of those lines in the sand.

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