Toleration and Morality

APTOPIX Lightning WeatherChristianity, Toleration, and Moralitysupreme court

By R. J. Rushdoony

 Implications of the Quarantine Laws

             The commandment, “Thou shalt not kill,” as its positive requirement, the mandate to preserve and further life within the framework of God’s law. Basic to this framework of preservation are the laws of quarantine.St. Augustine

In Leviticus 13-15, detailed laws of quarantine or separation are given. The details of these laws are not applicable to our times, in that they have an earlier era in mind, but the principles of these laws are still valid. It should be noted that these laws, in particular those dealing with leprosy, were enforced in the “medieval” era and were instrumental in eliminating that disease from Europe as a serious problem.

The laws in these chapters are of two varieties: first, those dealing with diseases, Leviticus 13: 1-15: 15; and second, those dealing with sex, 15: 16-33; since sexual rites were commonly used as a means of communion with the gods, sex was emphatically separated from worship (Ex. 19: 15). Ritual prostitution at temples was an accepted part of worship in the Mosaic era among pagans. Once again, sexual acts are being restored to a ritual role by the new pagans both within and without the church. Thus, Bonthius has written, “the act of intercourse is itself to serve as an outward and visible symbol of communion, not merely between man and wife but with God.

To return to the quarantine laws with respect to diseases, those cited in Leviticus 13 and 14 are generally described as leprosy and plague. The term leprosy has changed its meaning extensively from its Biblical and “medieval” meaning. The meaning then covered a variety of infectious diseases. In terms of this, the meaning of this legislation is that contagious diseases must be treated with all necessary precautions to prevent contagion. Legislation is thus necessary wherever society requires protection from serious and contagious diseases. Such legislation is plainly required in the Mosaic Law (Num. 5: 1-4). Not only is it declared to be a matter of civil legislation but an essential aspect of religious education (Deut. 24: 8).

It is clear, however, that this legislation, requiring some kind of quarantine or separation for those who are diseased, or who handle the dead (Num. 5: 2), has implications beyond the realm of physical diseases. Even as the risk of physical contagion must be avoided, so likewise the risk of moral contagion must be avoided. This is plainly stated in Lev. 20: 22-24, and it declares that God identifies Himself as the God who separates His people from other peoples: this is a basic part of salvation. The religious and moral separation of the believer is thus a basic aspect of Biblical law. Even as segregation from disease is necessary to avoid contagion, so separation from religious and moral evil is necessary to the preservation of true order.

Segregation or separation is thus a basic principle of Biblical law with respect to religion and morality. Every attempt to destroy this principle is an effort to reduce society to its lowest common denominator. Toleration is the excuse under which this leveling is undertaken, but the concept of toleration reveals a radical intolerance. In the name of toleration, the believer is asked to associate on a common level of total acceptance with the atheist, the pervert, the criminal, and the adherents of other religions as though no differences existed. The believer has a duty of lawful behavior towards all, an obligation to manifest grace and charity where it is due, but not to deny the validity of the differences which separate believer and unbeliever. In the name of toleration, the believer is asked to tolerate all things because the unbeliever will tolerate nothing; it means life on the unbeliever’s terms. It means that Biblical order is denied existence, because all things must be leveled downward.

A clear example, albeit a mild one, of this intolerance appeared in a past Ann Landers column:

Dear Ann Landers: Why do you pin orchids on the virgins without knowing the facts? If you could see some of those white flower girls you’d know they couldn’t give it away. Why not use your valuable newspaper space to praise the sought-after, sexy girl who is constantly chased by men and is sometimes caught?

            I’m a woman in my middle forties who has worked ten years with young girls in a steno pool. I see the goody-goody types in their little white shirt-waist blouses and oxfords, so smug and proud of their chastity, as if they had a choice. They make me sick.

            Only last Friday a darling little redhead, just 21, sobbed out her story in the ladies’ room. Lucy had been jilted by an executive after six months of steady courtship. They had been intimate and she was counting on marriage. It was the fourth time she’d had this terrible thing happen to her. Girls like Lucy need Ann Landers to tell them they aren’t all bad. Give them encouragement, not a put-down. I’ve been reading your silly column for 12 years and I think you are a perfect fool. – Mama Leone.

            Dear Mama: Thanks for the compliment, but nobody’s perfect.

I don’t happen to have any good conduct medals lying around for girls who think the bedroom is a shortcut to the altar. Moreover, a girl who makes the same mistake four times is what I call (in polite language) a non-learner.

This letter by “Mama Leone” reveals a bitter hatred of virtue together with a strong sympathy for the promiscuous girl, who is seen as the finer person. There is no tolerance here, but only a savage intolerance.

The basic premise of the modern of toleration is that all religions and moral positions are equally true and equally false. In brief, this toleration rests on a radical relativism and humanism. There is no particular truth or moral value in any religion; the true value is man himself, and man as such must be given total acceptance, irrespective of his moral or religious position. Thus, Walt Whitman, in his poem, “To a Common Prostitute,” declared, “Not till the sun excludes you, do I exclude you.” Total acceptance and the total integration are demanded by this relativistic humanism. Thus, this position, by reducing all non-humanistic positions to equality, and then setting man above them as lord, is radically antichristian. It places man in God’s place and, in the name of toleration and equality, relegates Christianity to the junk-heap.

But integration and equality are myths: they disguise a new segregation and a new inequality. “Mama Leone’s” letter makes clear that, in her view, promiscuity is superior to virginity. This means a new segregation: virtue is subjected to hostility, scorn, and is separated for destruction.

Every social order institutes its own program of separation or segregation. A particular faith and morality is given privileged status and all else is separated for progressive elimination. The claim of equality and integration is thus a pretext to subvert an older or existing form of social order.

State control of education has been a central means of destroying Christian order. It excludes from the curriculum everything which points to the truth of Biblical faith and establishes a new [alternative] doctrine of truth. In the name of objective reason, it insists that its highly selective hostility to Biblical faith be regarded as a law of being.

Education is a form of segregation, and, in fact, a basic instrument thereof as well. By means of education, certain aspects of life and experience are given the priority of truth and others are relegated to unimportance or are classed as wrong. Education inescapably segregates and classifies all reality in terms of certain premises or presuppositions. These premises are religious premises and are always pre-theoretical and are determinative of all thinking.

Not only education but law also segregates. Every law-order, by legislating against certain types of conduct, requires segregation in terms of its premises. The segregation demanded by the democratic and the Marxist states is as radical and thorough as any history has seen, if not more so.

All religions segregate, and humanism is certainly no exception. Every religion asserts an order of truth, and every other order is regarded as a lie. Humanism is relativistic with respect to all other religions, but it is absolutistic with respect to man. Man is the absolute of humanism, and all else is treated as error.

Segregation, separation, or quarantine, whichever name is used, is inescapable in any society. The radical libertarian claims that he will permit total liberty for all positions, i.e., a free market for all ideas and religions. But he outlaws all positions which deny his own. In the academic world these libertarians have proven to be ruthless enemies of Biblical faith, denying its right to a hearing. The state cannot exist, in such a libertarian order, nor can the church except on the enemy’s terms. The new libertarians are congenial to Marxists, but not to Christians. While ostensibly against coercion, they are not above a common front with the Marxists, as the libertarian journal, Left and Right hasindicated.

For the truth of Scripture, they have no toleration, nor any “common front” except a surrender on their terms. Every faith is an exclusive way of life; none is more dangerous than that which maintains the illusion of tolerance. An openly heartless faith is surely dangerous, but a heartless faith which believes in itself as a loving agent is even more to be feared.

Because no agreement is possible between truth and a lie, between heaven and hell, St. Paul declared, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you” (II Cor. 6: 17).

 *****

 Article from Chalcedon.edu. Excerpt from The Institutes of Biblical Law by Rousas John Rushdoony – 1973. See book online at Chalcedon.edu.

 

 

 

 

 

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Karma vs. Providence

FKarma vs Providence

By Rev. R.J. Rushdoony

 J.S. Mackenzie, in his Manual of Ethics (London, 1900), declared:

 “To be free means that one is determined by nothing but oneself.” Such a freedom, however, can only be ascribed to God. Mackenzie in effect posited a necessary aseity for man, so that man could be freed from all determination external to himself.

AFrom ancient times to the present, such a view of man has been repeatedly popular, although arising in different contents and cultural traditions. It has had competition, however, from another tradition. Just as Mackenzie represents one extreme, so too does Karma represent another. For the doctrine of Karma, all acts have a necessary and inescapable link to the past and to the future. There is an inexorable chain of causes and effects, so that, instead of man being one who is determined by nothing but himself, as with Mackenzie, man becomes nothing but a brief and fleeting focus of consequences. We may call him a person, but he is really only a moment in a chain of causality, a step, not a determiner.O

In a sense, these two doctrines represent an antithesis. However, to hold so is to overlook a central fact: both absolve man of responsibility. If man is determined by nothing but himself, he is responsible to no one; he therefore cannot be judged by an external law or standard. He is then his own god and law. He is his own universe and causality, and none can judge him. However, if man is simply a link in the chain of Karma, then he again is beyond criticism because he is beyond responsibility. As a product of Karma, he is no more than a consequence of a multiplicity of causes, and he bears a burden not of his making. He is a victim, and hence not responsible. Both positions thus mark man as a covenant-breaker who refuses to acknowledge his sin before God.

SIn both positions, moreover, a fundamental principle of polytheism appears, “gods many and lords many.” In Mackenzie’s view, every man is his own god; in the doctrine of Karma, the multiple and accruing causes become the many gods. In either case, man denies responsibility.

The doctrine of creation, however, sets forth, among other things, two facts which make man fully responsible. First, man is God’s creation. The universe and man move, not in terms of an abstract, impersonal, and inexorable causality, but in terms of God and His law. The common doctrine of causality, because of its Greek origins, depersonalizes causality, which is seen as a part of the blind world of matter. This doctrine of causality has great affinity to Karma, and, like it, Alaskapresupposes some kind of ultimate other than the sovereign and absolutely personal God of Scripture. A depersonalized causality is nonsense: it is a myth and a delusion. Second, man is created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26-28), so that, by virtue of that image, he is a responsible creature who has a secondary power of determination. He is not a god, but neither is he a passing link in a chain of consequences. He is man, a responsible creature, and hence, in his fall, under God’s moral judgement (Gen. 3:16-19; Rom. 3:10-19). His creatureliness is an inescapable fact, as well as his creation in God’s image.

treesSimilarly, the doctrine of providence has major implications with respect to man’s responsibility. The Stoics used the word providence as a synonym for nature, necessity, and fate; it was non-personal and no more than a causal nexus. Thus, despite the use of the term providence, the Stoic doctrine was closer by far to Karma than to Scripture.

The Biblical doctrine of providence gives us the personal and triune God whose government totally comprehends all things. This means, first, that because it is a universe of personal facts that surround us, and the personal God, our response and actions cannot be impersonal: they are always personal and moral. Neither we nor creation are abstractions, nor is the movement and nature of things a product of blind necessity. We live, move, and have our being in God and His universe, in a moral context at all times (Acts 17:28) so that we can never escape moral decisions nor moral responsibility. Man was no sooner created than he was confronted by the necessity for moral decisions (Gen. 2:16-17). The moral choice placed before Adam was not something imposed by God on Adam but an inescapable fact of creation and providence. Since God has created man and all things else, and God’s absolute and total government rules providentially in and through all things, moral responsibility is an inescapable part of the constitution of things. There is no neutral, non-moral corner in all of creation. God’s total providence is His absolute wisdom, holiness, and righteousness in action. Man’s life is thus not in a vacuum but in a moral context and continuum. Not even death provides the sinner an escape from this moral universe. Such a view is not acceptable to paganism and humanism, nor to the neoplatonists in the church. In Deuteronomy 23:12-14 we have a law wherein God requires even an army on the march to practice sanitation where defecation is concerned. The neoplatonist is not averse to state laws on sanitation, but he wants God to remain “spiritual” and above and beyond such matters. He thus turns over a vast area of ultimate responsibility and providence to the state. Biblical law makes such a view heresy.

Second, the doctrine of providence means that, at every moment, every man confronts the living God. His response, whether for good or evil, is a personal and a moral response. Man is inescapably a responsible creature.

In Proverbs, we have a strong emphasis on God’s sovereign and predestinating government, as witness Proverbs 16:4 and 20:24, but this goes hand in hand with a strong stress on man’s moral responsibility (Prov. 20:11,17,23, etc.).

God is the living God. So Jeremiah’s words, “the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation” (Jer. 10:10). We cannot isolate morality from religion without denying both in any Biblical sense. God is the Lord, and nothing is outside or beyond Him, so that in all things we are face to face with the living God and His government.

For the ungodly, whatever order, rule, or providence that may exist in the universe is an impersonal, abstract, and exterior fact and government. For us, because God is our Lord, it cannot be seen as such, and is in fact never such for any man. Providence for us means a universe of total and personal meaning which becomes our life and world by the adoption of grace. We then move in the light of God’s providence and grace as responsible covenant-keepers. We have a place then in that total government, a meaning, goal, and calling. Responsibility for us is then not a chore but the key to a world of knowledge, holiness, righteousness, and dominion under God as His image bearers.

 *****

 Taken from Rushdoony’s Systematic Theology in Two Volumes, p. 162

Rev. R.J. Rushdoony (1916-2001) was the founder of Chalcedon and a leading theologian, church/state expert, and author of numerous works on the application of Biblical Law to society.

Article from Chalceddon.edu

 

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New Religions, Liberals, and the Nazi’s

woman of deathA Review of New Religions and the Nazis

By Lee Duigon

  “Few scholars have taken seriously the simple fact that a limited number of determined radical believers could do formidable damage in a relatively short period of historical time.” Poewe, p. 146

all saints dayAnthropologist Karla Poewe (University of Calgary) has written a difficult book on a difficult subject — the role played by “new religions” in making the German people receptive to the excesses of Nazism.

Sixty years after the end of World War II, we still wonder how the Third Reich happened: how it could have done what it did, gas chambers and all, with the full support of a whole nation of modern, educated, supposedly Christian Europeans.Hitler

The movie Godfather III offers us an insight that may help us to understand the events analyzed in Professor Poewe’s book. In one scene, Mafioso Michael Corleone meets Cardinal Lamberto at the Vatican. The cardinal shows the don a stone lying in a water fountain.

“Look at this stone,” says the cardinal, holding it. “It has been lying in the water for a very long time, but the water has not penetrated it.” He breaks the stone to reveal its interior. “Perfectly dry,” he says. “The same thing has happened to men in Europe. For centuries they have been surrounded by Christianity, but Christ has not penetrated. Christ doesn’t breathe within them.”

The German Faith Movement

To keep the topic manageable, Poewe focuses on the career of Jakob Wilhelm Hauer, founder and fuhrer of the German Faith Movement, the largest and most influential of a host of “new religions” devised to replace Christianity in Germany.

The neo-pagan movement made the Germans receptive to Nazism, Poewe says; the Third Reich couldn’t have happened without it.

Unlike earlier scholars, Poewe has mined a vast lode of primary sources — letters, diaries, flyers, magazine and newspaper articles, the texts of lectures, popular literature of the time, and conference agendas. She reveals close personal links between Hauer and the Nazi hierarchy, disaffection, apostasy, and disloyalty within the German churches; she discusses the thorough planning that went into recruiting academics, newspaper editors, novelists and lecturers, military officers, local politicians, and clergymen to the neo-pagan cause.

The supreme politician, Adolf Hitler, made deft use of the neo-pagan movement to advance the cause of National Socialism, while Hauer sought always to use Hitler and the Party to advance himself. It was a tacit alliance between the nation’s political leader and an ambitious religious leader: and if that pattern makes you uncomfortable, welcome to the club.

Hauer and Hitler played a game, which Hitler won. There was room for only one fuhrer in the Third Reich. Hitler sucked everything he could from Hauer, and then, in 1936, forced Hauer to resign from his administration of the German Faith Movement (p. 140). “By October of that year [1935], Hitler had lost all interest in making a place for the church in his state” (p. 139). Having served Hitler’s purpose, Hauer was removed from power.

What Was It?

By “neo-pagan,” Poewe does not mean a lot of silly people putting on silly costumes and dancing around a statue of Odin. This sort of thing is increasingly popular today, but Hauer and his ilk were much more subtle and “scientific” in their approach.

Hauer offered a radical celebration of the individual — but only in the context of the Volk, the individual’s biologically determined race and culture. Through “experience,” every individual could become, as it were, his own god — but only as balanced against “the necessity of death” for the individual as key for the eternal survival of the race.

For the adherent of German Faith, the state underwent a metamorphosis into the embodiment of an immortal Volk led by an inspired fuhrer. In the end, Hitler made sure that he was that fuhrer.

Neo-paganism offered a radical amorality, backed up by a “scientific” foundation of social Darwinism and a “spiritual” foundation of “Aryan” Hindu scriptures like the Bhagavad Gita (a text intensely revelatory for both Hauer and for Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS and the number-two man in the Reich). Supporting this was a mentality of siege (the German Volk against the world), conspiracy theory (perennial plots against Germany by “world Jewry,” capitalists, freemasons, the Vatican, etc.), and war — a celebration of “struggle” (kampf) as something of value in and of itself.

How Did It Work?

Poewe differs from other scholars in her insistence that German Faith was rabidly anti-Christian: that Hauer and his minions were effective in their purposeful campaign to corrupt and cripple the church.

Hauer often spoke and wrote of the “clash” between “the Indo-Germanic faith world” and “the Near-Eastern Semitic,” by which he meant both Judaism and Christianity (p. 11). “By blaming anti-Semitism on Christianity,” Poewe says, “scholars have badly misled their readers” — neo-pagans hated Christianity because, for them, it was “Jewish” (p. 14). She supports this with dozens of quotes throughout the book.

The neo-pagans enabled the Third Reich by subverting the church and by offering Germans — bowed under by economic malaise, defeat in World War I, and fear and resentment toward the Allied Powers — a seductive alternative to Christianity.

Hauer brewed a mix of moral relativism, anti-Semitism (blaming the Jews for Germany’s problems), racialism and militarism as a real-world solution to those problems, and an attitude of “hardness” that would equip the Volk to take brutal measures to defeat its enemies.

The Role of Liberal Christianity

It is not possible, Poewe says, to find a hard numerical measurement for the neo-pagan groups’ membership (p. 97). Hauer claimed his German Faith had at least 200,000 members (p. 97), and Nazi authorities estimated that 2.5 million Germans belonged to the whole neo-pagan movement (p. 180). There is no way, Poewe says, to estimate how many Germans were influenced by neo-pagan rallies, books, flyers, lectures, and sermons delivered by neo-pagan fellow-travelers from the pulpits of Germany’s churches.

Perhaps the author’s most controversial claim is that liberal Christianity led the Germans straight to National Socialism, along the highway of neo-paganism: “their path to National Socialism went through the door of liberal theology” (p. 25), and “[t]here is no break between Hauer’s defense of liberalism and National Socialism. The former flowed quite naturally into the latter” (p.50).

Why should that be? Because liberal theology cuts Christians loose from the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the apostolic tradition. Because, liberal theology rejects the authority of the Bible, leaving Christianity without a core, without a definition of itself.

While no longer believing in God’s unchangeable world, liberal clergy and laity remain in the church, weakening it. “To German theologians, who regarded themselves as having overhauled Christianity, this [Karl Barth’s 1919 suggestion that the church ‘move its focus away from Christians to Christ’] was worse than heresy. Modern German theology was founded not on the Bible but on the human being … Christ had been secularized … for the sake of National Socialism” (p. 50). And, “This phenomenon of being official Christians while in fact despising Christianity and practicing non-Christian faiths has done the German church untold harm” (p. 28).

Conclusion

Poewe’s book is dense and difficult, not a word wasted. Its importance lies in its suitability as a lens through which we may view, with great uneasiness, conditions in Europe today.

Hitler and Co. didn’t survive World War II, but Hauer and many other neo-pagan leaders and thinkers did. Under new names, using new terminology, their organizations and publishing houses have remained active to this day.

In light of recent events, such as the nationwide Muslim riots in France, we observe that there are many elements of the European scene today that, if combined in just the right way, could produce an explosion.

  • Loss of commitment to Christianity, especially in Western Europe
  • Europe’s stagnant, overtaxed, overregulated economy
  • The vast influx of Muslim immigrants, their resistance to assimilation, and mutual hostility between them and native Europeans
  • Hordes of young Muslim men partially detached from Islam, alienated from their host countries, unemployed, angry — a weapon waiting to be picked up and used
  • The plummeting birth rates of Western European nations, which opens them to the threat of Muslim takeover or even virtual extinction, and may someday result in European panic

What might be the catalyst? A major terrorist strike on France or Germany; Muslim riots that spill over national boundaries and turn widely lethal; the rise of a “Muslim fuhrer” who rallies Muslims all over Europe; or the rise of a European fuhrer to arouse an anti-Muslim pogrom — with so many combustible elements on hand, the spark might come from anywhere.

Hauer’s heirs are on the scene, doing their bit to undermine what’s left of European Christianity, fanning the embers of ultra-nationalism, teaching, preaching, publishing, and waiting for their time to come again.

The concluding sentence of Poewe’s book is the most sobering of all:

“While the constitutions of western liberal democracies preserve the freedom of new religions, I am not sure whether new religions, including New Age and neo-paganism, preserve western liberal democracies. In Weimar [Germany] they did not.”

*****

Lee Duigon is a Christian free-lance writer and contributing editor for Faith for All of Life. He has been a newspaper editor and reporter and is the author of the Bell Mountain Series of novels.

 

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Letter from Africa

DA Letter from Africa

 March — 2014

I am writing this column from Cameroon during my sixth trip to Africa. Having travelled to some 20 African countries, I find myself, like so many other visitors to Africa before me, intoxicated with the continent. And I am not referring to the animals, as much as I have been enthralled by them during safaris in Kenya, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. Rather I am referring to the African peoples. Here, then, are some observations.

EmilyCarr-Indian-Church-1929First and foremost, just as when I visited Auschwitz and the killing fields of Cambodia, when I visited places here in West Africa from which Africans were sent as slaves to the New World — and places in East Africa from which Africans were sent as slaves to the Middle East — I was overwhelmed by the amount of cruelty human beings have inflicted on other human beings. There is no limit to suffering human beings have been willing to inflict on others, no matter how innocent, no matter how young, and no matter how old.

This fact must lead all reasonable human beings, that is, all human beings who take evidence seriously, to draw only one possible conclusion: Human nature is not basically good.poverty

There is no more obvious example of widespread wishful thinking than the belief that people are basically good. Come here and see where millions of men, women and children were yanked from their families, villages and friends, and then shipped in torturous conditions in ships from hell to a life sentence of backbreaking work. And then tell me that people are basically good. And needless to say, do the same after visiting a Nazi death camp or a Cambodian killing field.

Second, racism — the belief that people of a certain skin color are inherently different (and inferior or superior) — is not only evil; it is moronic. Racism is in equal amounts stupid and vile.

Third, given how evil racism is, and how much horrific suffering it has engendered, it is as tragic as it is reprehensible that it has been thoroughly politicized, and thereby thoroughly cheapened, in America. What the left — both black and white — has done to racism will one day be regarded as one of its worst moral legacies.

Every person who has called criticism of President Barack Obama, racism, who has labeled opposition to race-based affirmative action as racist, or who has called the tea party racist, has not merely engaged in a libel, he or she has done something even worse: cheapened the evil that is racism. If the Republican Party is racist, if America is racist, if opponents of President Barack Obama are racists, then, let’s be honest, racism just isn’t all that bad.

Fourth, nearly every African who has given the issue thought knows that America is not only not racist, it is the best place for an African to immigrate to. That is why more black Africans have come to America voluntarily than came to America as slaves — a statistic that virtually no college student is allowed to know.

Africans who immigrate to America know how little racism exists there. They suspect it before emigrating from Africa, and they know it after arriving in America. Indeed, America, the left’s depiction of it notwithstanding, is the least racist country in the world.

Fifth, every African economist who has written on the subject and that I have interviewed on my radio show is convinced that most Western monetary aid to Africa countries not only does not do good, it does great harm. The reason, of course, is that it goes mostly to corrupt elites.

Corruption is Africa’s greatest problem. Not poverty. Not lack of riches. Not racism.

The word corruption does not arouse the moral revulsion that it should. We think of it as more a nuisance than a great evil. But corruption kills societies every bit as much as murder kills an individual. Moreover there is no hope for any society in which corruption is endemic.

One final thought: Here in Cameroon, as elsewhere in Africa, the knowledgeable guides who lead tours of the slave centers note that Africans were deeply involved in the slave trade, and that without them, the slave trade could not have existed. If only this fact were taught as readily in American universities as it is here in Africa — not in order to minimize white complicity, but because universities should teach truth. Flawed human nature has no color.

 *****

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The Gay Rights Anti-Christian Crusade

gay paradeThe Cultural War against Christians

The “gay rights” crusade is not about a struggle for justice but rather it is a cultural war.

By Star Parker

picassos loverArizona Governor Jan Brewer was right to veto SB1062, which would have amended the Arizona Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

The bill, per most interpretations I’ve read, would have given broad discretion to business owners, because of their religious convictions, to refuse to do business with anyone associated with homosexual lifestyles.

Religious freedom is about protection of your right to practice your religion and not being forced to violate it.

However, the right to religious freedom does not mean the right to write-off and marginalize into non-existence a whole class of citizens whom you don’t like or agree with.

Under Jim Crow, the problem whites had with blacks was not what blacks thought or did, but that they existed. These laws were designed to relegate one class of citizens to separate and unequal status, simply because of who they were.

Such actions have nothing to do with freedom and everything to do with bigotry and racism.

But, unfortunately, the failure of this poorly conceived Arizona bill will be misinterpreted. Some will incorrectly claim that this means it is not a violation of religious freedom to force a business owner to provide a product or service for activity that is against his or her religious convictions. That is incorrect.

Would anyone question the refusal of a black vendor to sells sheets to the local Ku Klux Klan chapter? Or a Jewish merchant refusing to sell the poster board for a Neo-Nazi rally? Or refusal of a Christian video service to make a pornographic film?

So why is it not perfectly clear that the religious freedom of a Christian merchant is violated if that merchant is forced to bake a cake or prepare a flower arrangement for a same-sex marriage which is not only as personally repugnant to that vendor as any in the cases above, but is also a clear and literal violation of the scripture that defines the faith of these individuals?

And why is it that same-sex couples have such a hard time finding bakers and florists that are not offended by their wedding? Why do they wind up with such regularity trying to buy from Christian vendors?

The reality is that the “gay rights” crusade is not about a struggle for justice but rather it is a cultural war.

Homosexual activists understand the ongoing erosion of traditional values as a pillar of our society and use this opportunity to push Christian reality, once and for all, into the closet and to lock the door.

The cultural script has been re-written such that Christians have been put in a position of either rejecting the precepts and prohibitions of their religion, or being faithful to them and being branded as against “equality.”

The problem, of course, is not what people do in private. The issue is that it all has been dragged into the public square because, again, this is a cultural war.

The battlefront is the core contradiction of legitimization of homosexual behavior that scripture clearly prohibits and then moving on to redefine marriage

Christians have been put in the untenable position that being true to their faith means, by the new standards set in our society, being labeled a bigot and then being exposed to being put out of business.

Let’s keep in mind that the idea of religious freedom only means something as long as religion means something.

It is critical that Christians draw the line and continue the struggle and not allow religion or religious freedom to be compromised. Individuals or businesses forced to supply goods or services for activities against the precepts of their faith must refuse and call forth their protection under the first amendment of the US constitution.

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 Article from http://www.urbancure.org

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God, Man, and Property

occupy and the eliteGod, Man and Property

By R.J. Rushdoony

earth It is the custom among ecclesiastical socialists to deny that there is Biblical warrant for private property. Their ground for this is the often repeated Biblical declaration, “The earth is the Lord’s” (Ex. 9: 29, etc.) However, they choose to neglect the total witness of Scripture to private property. The so-called communism of Acts 2: 41-47, also cited by ecclesiastical socialists, was simply a voluntary sharing by some (Acts 5). It was limited to Jerusalem. Because the believers took literally the words of Christ concerning the fall of Jerusalem (Matt. 24: 1-28), they liquidated their properties there. The wealthier members placed some or all of these funds at the church’s disposal, so that a witness could be made to their friends and relatives before Jerusalem fell. Very early, persecution drove all but a nucleus out of Jerusalem (Acts 8: 1).firewater

 The earth is indeed the Lord’s, as is all dominion, but God has chosen to give dominion over the earth to man, subject to His law-word, and property is a central aspect of that dominion. The absolute and transcendental title to property is the Lord’s; the present and historical title to property is man’s. The ownership of property does not leave this world when it is denied to man; it is simply transferred to the state. If the contention of the liberals that the earth is the Lord’s, not man’s, is to be applied as they require it, then it must be applied equally to the state; the state then must be denied all right to own or control property.

 The Scripture, however, places property in the hands of the family, not the state. It gives property to man as an aspect of his dominion, as a part of his godly subduing of the earth. If the doctrine of dominion in and under God is weakened, then all the law is weakened also.

 God grants dominion to man under His law, but He does not grant His sovereignty. God alone is absolute Lord and Sovereign. To deny God’s sovereignty is to transfer sovereignty from God to man, or to man’s state. Thus, Thomas Paine, in the Rights of Man, affirmed as a fundamental principle the sovereignty of the nation-state, declaring, “The nation is essentially the source of all sovereignty; nor can any individual, or any body of men, be entitled to any authority which is not expressly derived from it.” Paine and the French Revolution clearly affirmed their totalitarianism by this statement. The state as god became the source of authority, morality, and dominion. Quite logically, the French Revolution became a boot, grinding down the face of man, but, by the grace of God, not forever.

 God’s purpose is not the dominion of sin but the dominion of redeemed man over the earth under God. According to the Apostle Paul, the very creation around us groans and travails, waiting for the godly dominion of the children of God (Rom. 8: 19-23). Because of the fall, creation is now under the dominion of sinful man and is being laid waste by his perverted use of power. Even as the plant turns to the light, so creation turns with longing to the restored dominion of godly man. Even as dust and stones move in terms of gravity, so they move also in terms of God’s purposed dominion of man over them. The people of God must therefore be schooled into the nature and requirements of godly dominion. Anything short of this is a contempt of the supreme authority of God, who declares in His word that He will make a covenant with the very beasts of the field to ensure man’s prosperity in the day of his obedience (Hosea 2: 18).

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 Excerpt from the “Institutes of Biblical Law” by Rousas John Rushdoony.

See also Chalcedon.edu.

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God, Man, and Taxation

AAGGod, Man, and Taxation

By R.J. Rushdoony

 Commentaries and Bible dictionaries on the whole cite no law governing taxation. One would assume, from reading them, that no system of taxation existed in ancient Israel, and that the Mosaic Law did not speak on the subject. Galer, for example, can cite no passage from the law concerning taxation, although he lists various passages from the prophetic and historical writings which refer to confiscatory and tyrannical taxation. He does note, however, that the census was taken under the law “for tax purposes.”AAB

 This failure to discern ant tax law is due to the failure to recognize the nature of Israel’s civil order. God as king of Israel ruled from His throne room in the tabernacle, and to Him the taxes were brought. Because of the common error of viewing the tabernacle as an exclusively or essentially “religious,” i.e., ecclesiastical center, there is a failure to recognize that it was indeed a religious civil center. In terms of Biblical law, the state, home, school, and every other agency must be no less religious than the church. The sanctuary was thus the civil center of Israel and no less religious for that fact. Once this fact is grasped, much of Biblical law falls into clearer focus. There were, then, clearly defined taxes in the Mosaic Law, and these taxes were ordered by God, the omnipotent King of Israel.

 There were, essentially, two kinds of taxes. First, there was the poll tax (Ex. 30:11-16). The fact that atonement is cited as one of the aspects of this tax misleads many. The meaning of atonement here is a covering or protection; by means of this tax, the people of Israel placed themselves under God as their King, paying tribute to Him, and gained in return God’s protecting care. The civil reference of this tax is recognized in part by Rylaarsdam, who cites its relation to the census, “which is a military act.” The amount of this tax was the same for all men, half a shekel of silver, and it had to be paid by all men twenty years of age and over. The shekel at the time was not a coin but a weight of silver. Later on, the shekels were coined and were 220 grains troy (like a U.S. trade dollar), and half a shekel was thus about 110 grains. This tax was the basic and annual tax in Israel. As Patrick Fairbairn noted:

 “…there is the clearest proof of its having been collected both before and after the captivity; allusion is made to it in 2 Ki. Xii. 4; 2 Ch. Xxiv. 9; and both Josephus and Philo testify to its being regularly contributed by all Jews, wherever they were sojourning, and to a regular organization of persons and places for its proper collection and safe transmission to Jerusalem (Jos. Ant. xviii. 9, sec. 1; Philo, De. Monarch. Ii. T, 2, p. 234). This, then, is what the collectors came to ask of Peter; and which, as having reference to a general and indisputed custom, he at once pledged his Master’s readiness to give.

 The fact that it was called the temple tax in the New Testament era misleads many; the temple was the civil as well as the ecclesiastical center. At the temple, priests officiated who had nothing to do with civil law. But at the temple, the Sanhedrin met as the civil power in Israel, directly under the Roman overlordship.

 The second tax was the tithe, which was not paid in a central place but was “holy unto the Lord” (Lev. 27: 32). It went to the priests and Levites as they met the necessary ecclesiastical and social functions of society. Sometimes the Levites served in civil offices as well, as social conditions required it (I Chron. 23: 3-5). Their work in music is well known to us from the Psalms as well as all Scripture, and their teaching duties are cited often, as witness II Chronicles 17: 7-9 and 19: 8-11. The Levites and priests were scattered throughout all Israel to meet the needs of every community, and they received these tithes as the people gave them.

 Both forms of taxation, the head tax and the tithe, are mandatory, but a major difference exists between them. The state has a right to collect a minimal head tax from its citizens, but, while perhaps the state can require a tithe of all men, as has often been done, it cannot stipulate where that tithe will go. The state thus controls the use of the head tax; the tither controls the use of the tithe tax. This is a point of inestimable importance. Since the major functions are, in terms of Biblical law, to be maintained by the tithe, the control of these social functions is thus reserved to the tither, not the state. The head tax supports the state and its military power plus its courts. Education, welfare, the church, and all other godly social functions are maintained by the two tithes, the first tithe and the poor tithe. A society so ordered will of necessity have a small bureaucracy and a strong people.

 The head tax is thus the support of the civil order, and the tithe is the support of the social order. In Biblical law there is no land tax or property tax. Such a tax destroys the independence of every sphere of life and government – the family, school, church, vocation, and all else – and makes every sphere dependent on and subordinate to the state, or civil government.

 Since Scripture declares repeatedly that “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof” (Ex. 9: 29; Deut. 10: 14; Ps. 24: 1; I Cor. 10: 26, etc.), a land tax is not lawful. A tax on the land is a tax against God and against His law-order. God Himself does not tax the land which he gives to men as a stewardship under Him; He taxes their increase, or their production, so that the only legitimate tax is an income tax, and this is precisely what the tithe is – an income tax. But it is an income tax which is set at 10% and no more. Beyond that, what a man gives is a freewill offering; the tithe is a tax, not an offering.

 The subject of taxation belongs properly to both the sixth and eighth commandments. Ungodly taxation is theft. But, the modern power to tax is used as the power to injure and to destroy, and it is thus basically connected with the sixth commandment. A Biblically grounded tax structure will protect and prosper a social order and its citizenry, whereas a (Biblically) lawless tax structure spells death to men and society.

 Increasingly, the function of taxation has become to re-order society. By means of property, inheritance, income, and other taxes, wealth is confiscated and redistributed. Thus, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has declared, through its Secretary-General, that the number of people working in farming must be decreased, and, at the same time, “The average size of farm enterprises has to be increased.” Thus, two methods became open to the various states as disguised means of confiscating land and reshaping farmers and farming.

First, price supports favor, as Thorkil Kristensen (“Agricultural Policies Reconsidered”) pointed out, the big farmers rather than the small farmer.

Second, taxation can be used to wipe out the small farmer and make room for large farm operations alone. Both methods are being extensively used, and both are forms of theft and means of murder, means of destroying men and societies.

 The power to tax in the modern world is being used as the power to destroy. It is no longer the support of law and order. The more taxes increase in societies the less law and order people have, because ungodly taxation serves the purpose of promoting social revolution. As such, modern taxation has become eminently successful.

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 Excerpt taken from the “Institutes of Biblical Law” by Rousas John Rushdoony.

See also Chalcedon.edu.

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