Who’s Gonna Fill Frank Wolf’s Shoes?


George Jones once asked through the lyrics of a country song, “Who’s gonna fill their shoes?” Released in 1985, the song pays homage to country music legends like Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, and Patsy Cline. For a country music purist, the question is a pertinent one.

Empty shoes Frank Wolf PersecutionHowever, many upstarts have volunteered to fill the famous shoes of country music superstars. Indeed, there will be more legendary performances by future legendary singers. Fame (and fortune) will always draw a crowd.

Truly legendary character is much harder to replace. Take, for instance, the retirement of Representative Frank Wolf of Virginia. Russell Moore, President of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, recently said of Representative Wolf, “No one fought harder for the persecuted church around the world.” Moore rightly termed Frank Wolf “a hero.”  Who in congress will replace Frank Wolf?

Sure, there will be plenty of suitors for the office of representative. The Washington Post reports,

The battleground district, which stretches from McLean to the Shenandoah Valley and whose seat has not been vacant for more than three decades, has attracted a host of potential contenders from both parties.

But filling an office is not the same as filling Wolf’s shoes. Just as a great many country music wannabes have sought to become famous for their abilities to entertain, so, too, there will be a host of hungry politicians seeking to increase their political influence through possessing congressional office. But who will fill his shoes?

Who will use the influence of his office to call attention to lowly, politically disconnected Christians suffering injustice around the world? Why bother speaking up for Christians? The media do not care about their plight. Some would say the current administration does not care about their welfare. And a cynical observer of church activities might even make the case that professing Christians themselves are unconcerned. Representative Wolf famously called out Christian leaders as a result of their silence on the issue.

Caring for the persecuted church is not in vogue. It isn’t sexy. It won’t win you very many friends. It might even get you castigated from some social circles of influence. So, again, why bother? It seems to me there is no politically motivated reason to bother. There is no popular reason to bother (as there is with lobbying for gay marriage, subsidizing green energy, or providing birth control and abortion funding through federal healthcare legislation).

Who indeed will care for the most severely mistreated minority on earth? I don’t know, but I am glad Representative Frank Wolf did. His office will be filled, his shoes?

Christians Should Be Politically Active


English: Portrait of a Gentleman (Mr. Wilberforce)

English: Portrait of a Gentleman (Mr. Wilberforce) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

In the wake of the Kermit Gosnell “Slaughter-gate” trial (and the appalling disinterest of many), there is a need for Christians to be reminded of our function as a pillar and support of the truth–a reminder of our calling to be salt and light in an otherwise dead and listless world.  The post below is a little lengthy for a typical blog post, but it is of vital importance for Christians seeking to answer the question of whether we ought to be “politically” active. Issues of human life transcend political parties.

 

The following principles are derived from Romans 13. The debt of love the Christian owes to others necessitates a level of involvement with the government.  There are at least four ways this obligation to love directs the Christian toward some involvement with government.

 

First, above all else, the Christian is obligated (and delighted) to love God (Matt 22:38).  If our hearts are given to love God, will we not wish for His goodness to be on display?  Will we not long to see men give him the honor due him?  If we are instructed to pay honor to those ordained by God to serve in authority, how much more do we pay honor to Him from whom their authority is derived?  The Christian longs to see God honored by all men, including men and women in positions of governance instituted by, bound to, and established ultimately for the glory of God.  Our love for God will include a longing to see Him exalted in all aspects of civil life: art, music, education, science, and government.  He is worthy of such exaltation by all men.  Though the pagan unbelievers will refuse to exalt Him, the church will surely so purely love Him that she will not fail to seek His glory in all the earth (including in the practice of government).

 

Second, the Christian is obligated to express his debt of love to governing authorities.  Love for God and love for neighbors means that the Christian loves those in positions of authority over him.  This love may take different forms in varying contexts, but it will always mean loving in the biblical sense of the word.  Biblical love is a love that honors God above all else and seeks the good of others.  It seems to me, in relation to governing authorities, that this love for God and for others will mean confronting governing authorities in areas which they are rebelling against God.  Governing authorities are put in place by God.  God has a certain standard by which all men (even kings) will be judged.

 

Christians, in their on-going devotion to God, ought to remind leaders of such things—seeking to see God glorified by all men (remember this is why John the Baptist lost his head).  In so doing, Christians are loving those in authority.  How loving would it be to remain silent while men set themselves on the destructive path of opposing God’s purposes?  Rulers in authority are not final authorities.  They will answer to God.  Pure love will not shrink back from declaring this reality, even as Christ did not shrink from declaring it to his earthly judge, Pilate: You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above, Jn 19:11.

 

Proper love expressed to those in authority may take either of two forms: humble service or humble disobedience.  The former example can be found in Paul’s admonition to Timothy, 1 Tim 2:1-2,

 

First of all then I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, in order that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.  This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

 

The latter finds expression in the actions of Peter and John as recorded by Luke in Acts 4.  In this chapter, Peter and John obey the laws of the land and seek to live a godly life.  A part of living that godly life meant to them that they had to share the good news with others.  When this sharing of the good news was ordered out of bounds by the powers that be, Peter and John had to resolve a dilemma: Should they do what the legitimate authorities demanded, or should they do what God has called them to do?  The resolution was no small matter.  Two proper authorities were calling for their allegiance.  Given such a reality, the two men—for the sake of conscience and in a thorough form of love—determined they could not stop speaking the good news they had seen and heard:

 

“Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you     rather than to God, you be the judge.”  For their part, Peter and John (just as for Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego before them) chose to pay homage to God rather than to man when pushed to choose between the two.  Love for God must always come first.  In expressing such a devotion to the Living God, the men were, to be sure, loving those in authority as well.

 

This brings us to the third obligation of love bearing upon participation in government.  Namely, Christians owe their fellow man a debt of love.  This, I believe, is incredibly important.  Primarily, this obligation concerns the right handling of the word of God.  The Christian must be serious about proclaiming the gospel to the uttermost regions of the earth, including to the neighbor next door as occasions permit.  Gospel penetration is the means by which God is glorified and His laws are kept.  This obligation of preaching the gospel is primary and fundamental for the faithful Christian; this fact, however, is no final proof that the matter ought to end there for the Christian.  Christians love their fellow men and must not wish harm to come to them.  Christians—as the pillar and support of truth—must seek good for all men.  The best good, of course, is Christ Himself (hence our preaching).  But are there not other legitimate goods for which Christians ought to work very hard?

 

In a former generation of English Christians, William Wilberforce gave his life to see slavery end in England.  With a firm conviction that the glory of God was at stake in the practice of enslaving humans as chattel property, Wilberforce with John Newton and others devoted their energy to ending such an evil practice, a practice that denied slaves their status as being created in the image of God and insisted, instead, that they were more nearly related to the beasts of the jungle than to the Living God.  Should Wilberforce have sought election to parliament?  Ought he—under the debt of love—to have been so politically active?  In seeking to see slaves free, did Wilberforce and Newton subject the gospel to enslavement by a political movement?  No, they did not.  Rather, because of the gospel, they began a political movement and stayed with it to the end that men were set free to the glory of God.  Slavery was ended in England, and the movement was fueled for its fight in America.

 

And what about William Carey?  Should William Carey have simply stuck to his task of   preaching the gospel in India while the evils of abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia abounded to the destruction of countless souls?  It was Carey’s sincere Christian conviction that the debt of love he owed had something to say to these things.  As Timothy George records it,

 

“Carey admonished would-be missionaries that they should ‘take every opportunity of doing…good’ to the people among whom they intended to serve.  As we have seen, Carey never forgot that his primary mission was to proclaim God’s redemptive message of salvation to lost sinners.  This did not mean, however, that he lived out his ministry in a ‘gospel ghetto’ sequestered from the real hurts of humanity or the structural evils of Indian society.  Quite to the contrary. [sic] Carey and the Serampore missionaries threw themselves into social reform activities precisely because their commitment to Jesus Christ compelled them to do so,” (George, Faithful Witness, 149).

 

Carey found that his conscience would not allow him to remain silent while human beings were being slaughtered needlessly.  God’s image bearers were cast out, destroyed, and discarded with little regard.  This disregard for humanity was particularly acute in India in the practice of sati, a ritual in which a new widow would be burned alive with the body of her deceased husband in an effort to assure the blessings of the gods over the family.  Rather than shrinking back from this gruesome culture, Carey investigated the Hindu scriptures and showed the governing authorities that such practices were not mandated.  He publicized and spoke out against all of the cruel practices because of his debt of love.  What ought he to have done?

 

What about us?  Like Carey, we must maintain the priority of the preaching of the gospel.  About that, there can be no doubt.  Did Jesus Himself not do more than preach the gospel?  Did He not also live it?  Did he not challenge authority where it was putting burdens on people too hard for them to bear, as in Matthew 23:4?  Biblically speaking, love—along with the biblical imperative to do good before the government—calls the Christian to speak the truth, challenging authorities when they oppose the will of God and taking up the cause of the oppressed, the widow, the orphan, the elderly, the unborn.  We might wish to think it more sanitary and acceptable to God not to intermingle the gospel with government, but government is God’s idea.  And I wonder what our silence might say?  When, as the people of God, we say nothing to the world as they slaughter infants and quietly murder the elderly, what are we saying?  It is often said that silence is golden.  Might it not also be deadly?

 

Finally, the fourth debt of love taken from Romans 16 is the love we owe to ourselves.  Love, by its nature, is given over to another.  Yet, as when Jesus gives the greatest commandments to love (Matthew 22:37-39), the commandment to love is predicated upon the reality of self love.  Self love does not have to be nurtured as does love for God and love for others. Self-love simply needs to be transformed and enlarged.  We have love for ourselves from the beginning of our lives.  What we need to learn is how our love for ourselves involves others and, more importantly, God.

 

Can we understand the joy of love if we fail to express it to the watching world?  The practical rewards of loving others are not to be overlooked.  Showing love to women seeking abortions makes a better life for us.  When we exercise the above mentioned “loves” properly, we are properly loving ourselves and gaining a better life for ourselves (and for our neighbors).

 

As John Jefferson Davis puts it, “Civil laws that are consistent with the teachings of Scripture point society to a higher standard of righteousness, which is fulfilled only in Jesus Christ.  Such laws remain a worthy object of Christian concern and social action,” (Evangelical Ethics, 26).

 

For these reasons, which I believe are biblical, I cannot imagine that we can withdraw from the political process entirely.  I do not think that would pay proper honor to God’s established authorities over us, and I do not think that it would at all honor God.  Rather, I think the work before us is to determine what shape our involvement with those in authority will take.  What are the best ways for us to be involved?

 

We are in a position in which we must help our people think through these issues and understand them biblically.  Silence is not an option.  Neither is withdrawal.  I understand that we must be careful to preserve the primacy and supremacy of the gospel.  Indeed, I believe the message of Jesus Christ—the gospel—has everything to say to culture in disarray. In all things, I know that we must exalt Christ and glorify the living God.  So, my prayer is that we will work together to do just that—to do good and to fulfill our debt of love.

 

 

Yes, America, There Are Pro-life Democrats


Are there any pro-life Democrats left in America? After the Democrat cave-in which came during the passage of Obamacare, and after the concomitant HHS mandate requiring contraception and abortifacient drugs be covered by all health insurance programs, the answer would seem to be an emphatic, “No!” The national platform of the Democrat party calls more or less for abortion on demand.

Still, there are some pro-life Democrats. I follow the blog of one such person, Rebecca Hamilton, a state representative from Oklahoma. From all I can see, she is a devout

Democrats For Life politics pro life

(Public Domain)

Roman Catholic who seeks to live out her faith in every aspect of life (not just during the Mass).  Her blog is tagged, “Public Catholic.”  I have a great deal of respect for her because she seeks to have her political ideals answer to her eternal faith. We all benefit from having such examples.

I encourage you to read through one of her latest blogs, as it will likely offend you whether you are Democrat or Republican. Such offense is good in the sense that it calls for a subjugation of your political party to your Christian identity.  Her concluding comment sums up the thrust of her plea,

I can’t emphasize enough that we need to stand and fight within our parties to change things. You cannot build a culture of life with half the people. It cannot be done.

Her heart is obviously in shining the pro-life light into an abortion-minded darkness within the Democrat political system. While I may not be as optimistic about her potential of success in the endeavor, I am quite impressed and encouraged by her effort.

She must feel alone much of the time. Her presence in the political arena as a pro-life Democrat is a reminder to all Christians that our faith ought never to be captive to any political animal, be it donkey or elephant.

 

Why Christians Should Care About Who Is Elected in November


For more than a century, Christians have been stretched by the tension of a fundamentalist strand on one side and the evangelical strand on the other, each pulling backwards against the other like a rubber band being pulled apart by two opposing hands.  The result has indeed been tension.

On the one hand, the fundamentalists have sought to protect the purity of the gospel against outside attacks. This fundamentalist tendency seeks to shield the church from outside influences but also has the rather unintended effect of shielding those outside from the church’s influence. Not only is the church protected from the world, but the world is also “protected” from the church.

Evangelicals, on the other hand, have sought to establish the necessity of salt stinging and light shining. So, under the theological influence of Carl F.H. Henry and the Billy graham evangelical vs fundamentalistpopular influence of Billy Graham, the evangelical movement sought to engage the culture, taking every thought captive in obedience to Christ.  Henry would initiate Christianity Today magazine and Graham would begin the practice of meeting with Presidents.  Evangelicals clearly won the debate, but the tension still abides. There are still Christians who wish us to “stay out of politics.”

Because our culture feels so “politicized,” many would prefer we not to get mixed up in politics. Surely, it would be easier if we didn’t have to deal with the deceit and obfuscation made popular by modern magistrates. Even though withdrawing would be easier, I don’t think it is the faithful course for Christians to follow. Here is why.

In Deuteronomy 17, the Lord gave instructions to Israel before she took possession of the Promised Land.  In these instructions, Israel was taught about the proper function of authority (the king).  In effect, the king’s role was to institute the righteousness of God.  A primary function of government, then, is to administer and uphold justice; upholding justice demands following the commands God has given. This was true for ancient Israel, and it is true for us today.

Obviously, we do not live under the rule of a Davidic king in the land of Israel, but the basic principle of Deuteronomy 17 still holds. Paul explains (in Romans 13) that government is to approve of what is good and punish what is evil. No doubt, Paul understands that good and evil are established by God, not merely by man. Thus, government still exists to uphold the righteousness of God (which is good).

Christians have an obligation to do their very best to uphold the righteousness of God in every aspect of life—including public and governmental aspects of life. Such upholding of righteousness in the face of injustice is at least a part of what it means to be salt and light in an otherwise dark and decaying world.

Practically, this upholding of righteousness means Christians must participate in public debate, must participate  by voting, and must care about what happens in the greater world of government and civic life. To withdraw from these responsibilities is not to care more about God and the gospel; it is actually to care less about the gospel and about people in general.  Listen to how St. Augustine explains it,

st augustine politics authority governmentFor both the physician is irksome to the raging madman, and a father to his undisciplined son,—the former because of the restraint, the latter because of the chastisement which he inflicts; yet both are acting in love.

In other words, Augustine understands that doctors and dads must intervene if they care at all for their patients or their children. Love compels their engagement—even if their engagement is taken as a negative or unpleasant intrusion.  Augustine explains further,

But if they were to neglect their charge, and allow them to perish, this mistaken kindness would more truly be accounted cruelty. For if the horse and mule, which have no understanding, resist with all the force of bites and kicks the efforts of the men who treat their wounds in order to cure them; and yet the men, though they are often exposed to danger from their teeth and heels, and sometimes meet with actual hurt, nevertheless do not desert them till they restore them to health through the pain and annoyance which the healing process gives,—how much more should man refuse to desert his fellow-man, or brother to desert his brother, lest he should perish everlastingly…

If the Christian cares at all for his fellow human being, he will not withdraw or be silent on matters which others have politicized. The greatest commandment is to love God with heart and soul, and the second is to love your neighbor as yourself. These two great loves compel our engagement in “political” affairs such as the protection of human life and the honoring of the institution of marriage.

In my opinion, then, each Christian should take up the shaker of the gospel and sprinkle its salt of truth into the world on issues important to the day. Likewise, each individual Christian should both live and act in a righteous manner to shine the light of truth for others groping in the darkness to see. That’s the way things look to me (and to Augustine).  Your opinion, as always, is welcome.

Religion and Politics: A Thorough Review


The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life has just released a new study concerning the increase of “Nones.” What they mean by that is that there is a rise in the number of people not affiliating with any religion at all. Overall, the study shows that we are still (at least nominally) a Judeo-Christian country, but the atheist, agnostic, and nothing-at-all categories are increasing.

More and more, it appears, the religiously unaffiliated are finding a home in the Democrat party, while fewer and fewer of them are becoming Republican. Notice, however, according to the graph, that the numbers are not directly inverted; this means that many of the religiously unaffiliated have no home in either of the two major parties.  I have included a small snippet from the article below. If you are interested in religion and politics, then you should check out the entire study.

nones-exec-20

“The religiously unaffiliated constitute a growing share of Democratic and Democratic-leaning registered voters. In 2007, there were about as many religiously unaffiliated Democratic and Democratic- leaning registered voters as white mainline and white Catholic Democratic voters. And the religiously unaffiliated were only slightly more numerous among Democratic and Democratic-leaning registered voters than were black Protestants (17% vs. 14%).” (From the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life)

Two Examples of Preaching Politics


In response to a couple of posts of late, I offer below two examples of well-known preachers who have made overtly political statements. The first is Bishop E.W. Jackson who calls upon black Christians to leave the Democrat party.  It’s a short, simple, and powerful video.

The second example comes from John MacArthur. You can listen to his sermon here, at Denny Burk’s blog.

Should Preachers Mess with the IRS?


 

A group of Protestant preachers appears to be picking a fight with the IRS this election cycle.  According to this Fox News article, more than 1,000 preachers have pledged to participate in an October 2012 campaign sponsored by the Alliance Defending Freedom (formerly known as the Alliance Defense Fund).

The aim of the Alliance’s initiative is to force the IRS to take action against one or more of the pastors who Preachers Fight IRS Code Challengeintentionally violate the IRS code for religious organizations.  Since 1954, the code has had the effect of muzzling preachers and preaching in relation to anything political. For instance, the code states (on page 8) that preachers,

“…must avoid any issue advocacy that functions as political campaign intervention .  Even if a statement does not expressly tell an audience to vote for or against a specific candidate, an organization delivering the statement is at risk of violating the political campaign intervention prohibition if there is any message favoring or opposing a candidate.  A statement can identify a candidate not only by stating the candidate’s name but also by other means such as showing a picture of the candidate, referring to political party affiliations, or other distinctive features of a candidate’s platform or biography.”

So preachers can’t critique a candidate’s platform or biography? These seemingly overreaching regulations would prevent a pastor from discouraging parishioners away from the Democrat party on account of the national party’s platform calling for abortion and the dissolution of traditional marriage. While one might wonder why a pastor would want to be so political as to call for opposing one of our two major parties, one may also wonder why a pastor cannot—on the basis of the position statements on issues like abortion and traditional marriage—encourage his congregants to vote in accordance with their highest values.

The Alliance Defending Freedom hopes that pastors will follow through with their pledges and specifically oppose a candidate in this election cycle so that the IRS will revoke tax exempt status or take some other legal action. Then, the Alliance will, in turn, sue the IRS and force a court hearing on the subject. The Alliance is confident that the code (never approved as law) is not constitutional and has shut down the free speech of pastors and pulpits across America.

I am curious what your thoughts are on this matter. Should pastors pick a fight with the IRS?  I could see Christians arguing both ways on the issue.  Think about examples in the Bible.

On the one hand, Jesus was marched out and accused unjustly before His government accusers, yet remained completely silent, while, on the other hand, John the Baptist, seemingly unprovoked, took a governing official to task for his personal infidelity (King Herod’s taking his brother’s wife). Herod had John beheaded for his preaching. Why did Paul call for the Roman officials to come and escort him from jail personally (Acts 16), rather than taking his release and getting out of Philippi? At times, Christians go meekly as good sheep; at other times, they seem to provoke the governing authorities. Which time is this with the IRS?

 

De-funding the American Dream


Who is responsible for this bad economy?  Republicans?  Democrats? President Obama, or George Bush?  Pushing aside our partisan passions, we could probably all agree that no single individual is responsible either for a good economy or a bad one.  Although all politicians like to claim credit for the good times (and point fingers of blame during the bad), the truth is, our economy is not driven by any individual.  Rather, it is driven by all the individuals who make up our country.  Together, we control the economy.

A recent article by David Goldman in First Things points out what might be the single most significant factor underlying our economic woes: The loss of the nuclear family in America.  If Goldman is right in his assessment, the loss of the nuclear family in America means that our present housing crisis is only just begun and will not improve without an increased priority on the family.  Although the population of the United States has increased by 50% since 1970, the number of two-parent families has remained the same.  The number of houses built for families has kept pace with the population increase.  However, there are just not enough families to fill the houses.  This demographic downgrade of the family means that there are not enough young families capable of investing in the future of America.

Where have all the families gone?  Well, it turns out that while everyone has been focused on the “important” issues on Wall Street and in Washington, DC, the most important issues were being cast aside into the crate labeled “controversial.”  Though a few folks like Dr. James Dobson have been raising the alarms in defense of the family, most have silently acquiesced to the cultural accommodations on abortion, marriage, and no-fault divorce.  The last few decades have indeed brought a bulging economy, but at what cost?

While the economy appeared to be booming because of borrowed money, the family was failing.  Now that the economy is failing, we are finding out that the heart of the American family is barely beating.   The family heart rate may not be sufficient to supply the investment America needs for her future.  So, Wall Street and the White House will keep shuffling a billion here or a trillion there, but their solutions may simply be a study of a forest without any trees.  The disintegration of the family is to the United States what deforestation is to the rain forests.  Sure, it makes you seem prosperous for a day, but it is killing your every tomorrow.

If Goldman’s article is correct, then the deforestation of the American family may well be the de-funding of the American dream.  My prayer is for a revival of family life in America.

For Consideration


How did we get from an America of fierce individualism and personal responsibility to an America of handouts and government control?  Temptation.  That’s the argument Paul Rahe makes here.

Example of Political Importance


As Christians, we are told often to keep out of politics.  I agree that the power, purpose, and glory of the gospel far exceeds political ideology.  Nevertheless, this article from Victor Davis Hanson gets to a few root issues which demonstrate that politics matters.  Political decisions have sweeping influence over the lives of millions.  The dangers are real, and life and death often hang in the balance.  Granted, the gospel is much more significant in that it is the aroma of death to death or life to life; however, the gospel ought to be employed for human flourishing so that we rightly acknowledge that human beings alone are created in the image of God.

Victor Davis Hanson does a nice job in this article of outlining the ramifications of our political actions.  He appears to me to grasp the severity of the various political situations presently being mishandled.

One Nation Under God


The official motto of the United States is more than lip service to ward off the wrath from a potentially vengeful god.  The motto is what I would call a fence, a paradigm for the existence of human institutions and the humanity benefitting from them.  This point—the significance of a corporate, unified belief in the supremacy of the God of the Bible—is underscored this week by Dr. R. Albert Mohler’s response to the cover article from Newsweek editor Jon Meacham. 

 

In his reply, Dr. Mohler points out that the idea of freedom of conscience depends on a greater reality than man if the concept is to mean anything.  Mr. Meacham had argued that America’s unifying force is not any specific faith; rather, the unifying force was a commitment to freedom, particularly including freedom of conscience.  Yet, the bare notion of freedom is insufficient.  On what grounds might one claim to have the right to freedom?  Why not rather assume one has the right to exercise freedom so long as his freedom does not undermine the well-being of the state?  Indeed, is it not the case that freedom is able to exist only insofar as its limits are understood?

 

For example, one may be free to play football.  In his playing football, he is free to run as fast and as far as he wishes.  However, there are other free players on the field, too, who wish to stop him.  Not only that, there is a prescribed area in which the player must run, or he is ruled out of bounds and his play is stopped, along with his freedom to run the football.  The player would not be free to play football if there were no boundaries to the field.  Without sidelines and goal lines, football is not a possibility.  Without boundaries, we have no freedom.  To put it another way, unfettered freedom is nothing short of chaos.  No one has unrestrained freedom of conscience, nor should he.  For freedom to flourish, boundaries must exist.  Boundaries provide the rules of the game by which maximum freedom for the individual and the society is realized.  The question, then, is not whether there should be freedom of conscience, but who decides the boundaries of freedom in America?   

 

The wisdom du jour would have us believe that the boundaries must not be provided by God for this would artificially and prejudicially inject religion into an otherwise non-religious sphere of political machination.  Yet, is this the truth?  The founders—many of whom were not Christians—did not shun the God of the Bible in determining the contours of our freedom.  They referenced Him specifically in the declaration of our freedom—the Declaration of Independence. 

 

The founders of the United States understood that Christianity provided a foundation for freedom and conscience in a way that other religions (like Islam) could not.  As Dr. Mohler says, “Though the founders included those who rejected the Christian Gospel and Christianity itself, Christianity had provided the necessary underpinnings for the founders’ claims.”  Claims to freedom require foundations somewhere beyond the individual man or woman in order to avoid a disintegration of social order into mass chaos, where every man does what is right in his own eyes.  

 

Democratic freedom—the kind of freedom that comes from majority rule—will prove (as it has in the past) to minimize freedom and maximize tyranny.  If we are one nation under God, then there will be one God to whom all men must answer, regardless of rank, title, or power.  In other words, when an understandable and knowable God exists who judges all men impartially, then all men can be said to be under the authority of that God’s law ultimately.  Law and order is made possible by the Lawgiver and Orderer of all things—God, meaning the Judeo-Christian God.  Mr. Meacham and many like him are unwilling to yield this point, apparently thinking that if a nation allows God to stick his divine foot in the door, then soon he will own the house and enslave everybody within it.  Again, this is not at all the case.  Our gravest danger comes not from letting God in, but in keeping God out.  Do you doubt this?  {Part 2 still to come}

Bloated Cow’s Milk


I have not commented thus far on the ridiculous notion of Obama’s “stimulus” package.  I don’t want to confuse anyone about the importance of the gospel.  Truly, the gospel and the work of the kingdom transcend politics.  We are about to be railroaded into socialism, and socialism is not good for anyone (except those in power); it certainly is not good for Christian believers.  So, here goes a comment on the bloated bill from Obama.

Not only is this bill a bloated cow from which democratic cronies alone can get milk (folks like Acorn and Planned Parenthood), but the bill truly is a huge step toward socialism in America.  I mean this comment both fiscally and authoritatively.  Fiscally, as I said, the bill will be a stimulus only if you depend on the government.  For everyone else, the bill is a de-stimulating, oppressive mess of government intervention.

Even more to the point of faith, however, this bill (as is often true w/ big government money) is targeted against Christians.  There is a provision in the bill which says you can spend billions at your university only if the buildings do not allow religious worship services.  Senator DeMint attempted to amend this section of the bill, but the democrats voted down his amendment; discrimination is still in the bill against people of faith. 

I have linked here an action forum from Newt Gingrich and the American Family Association.  You can contact your senators and congressmen and ask them to oppose such pathetic politicking and covert socialism.  If that first link doesn’t work, try this one.

Pocketbook Politics


You probably know that I don’t think it is good to vote based on how it affects your pocketbook.  At least, that isn’t the first priority.  But there is a case in California that has Christians and conservatives actually voting with their pocketbooks.  Read about it here

 

Huck’s Building Momentum


This morning on ABC, Mike Huckabee was interviewed concerning his building momentum in his bid for president.  A few conservatives have spoken against him, but specific allegations have been lacking.  The two quotes against him on ABC were by Phyllis Schlafley and Betsy Hagan, each of the Eagle Forum.  His response to them was to acknowledge that he did make folks mad while he was governor, implying that there would always be detractors when one has a strong message.  I find the comments from Betsy Hagan interesting.  She asserts that Huckabee is pro-life but then says that we ought not be surprised if he changes once he gets in office.  This is interesting to me because Huckabee has never changed on the pro-life position.  He remained firm throughout 10 years in the governor’s office.  Mitt Romney, however, has changed, and Rudy is on the other side of the issue.  It seems to me that, though it is possible–as anything is–that Huckabee might change after elected, he is the only viable candidate who can be counted on to actually be pro-life.  Sure, there is always a possibility he might change, but he never actually has.  Neither has Rudy (but he needs to).