And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in intself, upon the earth, and it was so. Genesis 1:9
For the invisible thing of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse. Romans 1:20
The death of reason is exaggerated. Reason is not dead; rather it is circling the drain of totalitarian despotism.
Reason itself does not exist apart from a moral foundation. It is reasonable to stop at a red, octangal with the word “Stop” posted on it when driving in your car. Why is it reasonable? Because there is a tradition of authority represented on that sign that we understand: our individual best interest is served by stopping. Therefore, as a corallary, it is in our collective best interest to obey the sign. Apart from the historical development of the Stop Sign, there is no reason to stop.
Reason has to be supported by an understanding of truth. The Western Culture of Judeo-Christian belief (hence forth referred to simply as Western Culture) holds that truth is revealed, objective and universal: Revealed by both nature and nature’s God, understood without the judgement of ideology and the same for humanity regardless of time and space.
Contrary to this understanding of truth (revealed, objective and universal) is the dogma of discovery, subjectivism and relavitism. A dogma that does not have a singular home, but rather is wide spread amongs various idealogies that have only one common tenant: The death of Western Culture.
Western Culture believes 1+1=2. The dogma of contraism believes 1+1= anything but 2.
There is no one singular entity that represents a threat to Western Culture, rather there is the singular idea that truth must be discovered, is subjective to the individual and therefore relative. From Muhommad to Khomeni, Rousseau to Ropspierre to Pol Pot, Marx to Stalin to Castro…..it doesn’t matter, the end goal was the same. Death to Western Culture.
Example: Is it reasonable to abort children? If your epistemological foundation is Judeo-Christianity tradition then the answer is “No”. Human life belongs to God, and except for the agency of human government to punish the guilty, the end of a life is His.
If your world view is that an unborn child is the property of the woman, then your answer would be “Yes”. Property can be acquired and disposed of at will of the possessor.
More to follow.
Used up my word count.
…if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? 2 Kings 5:13
We would do well to learn from Naaman’s arrogance and realize that man knows very little, yet claims to know so much.
Naaman “knew” what was necessary for him to be healed; the prophet was to come do something stunningly miraculous to heal him. Instead, the prophet Elisha told him to go “dip seven times in the Jordan”. How utterly simple.
In his arrogance, Naaman was wrath. “There are better waters!” Naaman “knew” there was a better way. It surely could not be so simple.
The problem with “simple” is it robs politicians of glory. There is no feeding of ego when the solution to a problem is easy. In fact, human government has become so convoluted, that politicians make up problems so they can make up solutions that bring glory to themselves.
Witness the issue of “brain drain” in West Lafayette Indiana. Here is the problem: students graduate and move away. Go figure. It is commonly referred to as growing up.
Oh, “But there is a better way!” is the rallying cry of planners, economic developers and politicians.
To stem this natural phenomenon of growing up the city is going to pay $200,000 to lease space for entrepreneurs to incubate ideas. That is a stunning and miraculous idea Naaman! Seems West Lafayette/Lafayette will shrivel up and die if we don’t start creating jobs. Sarcasm intended.
The irony; once seen as the ultimate risk takers entrepreneurs are the new “leeches”: Gimme, gimme, gimme. Obviously the entrepreneurs have already come up with one great idea: “Taxpayers, you pay the bills and we will take the proceeds”. “This is a better way” is the mantra.
There is a simple solution: “You take the risk, you get the rewards”. But there is nothing in that for politicians or bureaucrats. Freedom doesn’t have an interest group that can easily be pandered to.
Free markets have always worked in producing the most efficient means of distributing goods and services. But there is nobody to claim they came up with a “better way”.
Go dip in the Jordan Naaman.
Here is a thought experiment: Suppose I am a well-respected University Professor at a rather prominent school here in the U.S., with lots of academic credentials and I made the following claim: “Romeo and Juliet” was written by Sheikh Bahaii. And the proof is the work fits all the criteria of Sheikh Bahaii writings: the themes of romance, love, jealousy, conflict, religion, the use of iambic pentameter and a few other things.
What would you say?
Now suppose that Hossein Askari, an Iranian-born professor of International Business and International Affairs at George Washington University wrote a paper that claims that Ireland leads the world in Islamic values. To prove it, Askari developed a system IslamicityIndex that measures economic and social featyres that are consistent with Islam’s teachings. Please note, the index was actually developed prior to the paper. Askari applied the index to the Ireland.
What would you say?
You might immediately respond with dismay and skepticism.
Ireland: a country that historically called itself “Christian”, a European country which developed right along the rest of Europe based on Judeo-Christian principles and values, a country which had no Islamic influence in the development of the laws of political economy or the rule of law in general and only until recently has had a significant Islamic population. How can it be that Ireland ‘lead the world in Islamic values”? It’s simple: make the Judeo-Christian principles that guided Europe’s development and Islamisize them. Then convince the world that Islam is so powerful that in less than 20 years time a throughly Western Culture/Country can “convert” from Christianity to Islam.
The saddest part: Nobody is challenging this non-sense.
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6
Are all religious belief systems the same? Is one “religion” right and all others wrong?
Is a culture based on the tennants of the correct religion better than a culture based on a wrong religion?
According to Hossein Askari, an Iranian-born professor of International Business and International Affairs at George Washington University, “No” or maybe “Yes”.
Askari used the following criteria to establish “good Islamic countries from bad Islamic countries”
“If a country, society, or community displays characteristics such as unelected, corrupt, oppressive, and unjust rulers, inequality before the law, unequal opportunities for human development, absence of freedom of choice (including that of religion), opulence alongside poverty, force, and aggression as the instruments of conflict resolution as opposed to dialogue and reconciliation, and, above all, the prevalence of injustice of any kind, it is prima facie evidence that it is not an Islamic community,” he said. Italics mine.
Leading the list is Ireland. Go figure.
The world is not a vacum. Remove the historical development of Western Culture under the auspices of Judeo/Christian values from a country’s identity and a vacum is created. That vacum is now being filled by Islam.
“Looking at an index of Economic Islamicity, or how closely the policies and achievements of countries reflect Islamic economic teachings – Ireland, Denmark, Luxembourg, Sweden, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Singapore, Finland, Norway, and Belgium round up the first 10”.
None of these countries are historically Islamic. They are Western. They identify historically with the values taught in the Bible. Their cultures, with the exception of Singapore, are historically Western. Singapore was a little late to the Western identification.
So how could Askari identify them as Islamic?
Because we fail to believe: that God spoke to Moses (not to Muhammad), that God came in the flesh as Jesus Christ, that He is coming back again and any position contrary to the proceeding, is wrong.
Truth is very narrow and in the age of tolerance, you don’t want to be narrow. Therein are the seeds of destruction sown.
For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Luke 14:28
Consider two groups of people: Givers and takers.
Each group has 100 people in it at the beginning of the experiment. Further suppose an outside force, government, promises each taker that they, the government, will give them, the taker, $1.00 a year. Consequently, the government will take $1.00 annually from a giver and give it to a taker. It’s pretty simple, as long as nothing changes.
Outside the truth of God’s word, things change and change a great deal.
Now, one year later, there are 90 people in the giver group and 110 in the taker group. Each taker is promised $1.00, but now each giver must give $1.22.
Two years later, there are 80 people in the giver group and 120 in the taker group. Now is giver must give $1.50.
It is clear, this is not a good situation. Nonetheless, this is exactly what is happening. Proportionally, the number of “takers” is growing faster than the number of “givers”. Consequently, the givers are giving more and more of their wealth to the takers.
The Biblical admonition is for man to “consider the cost”. The principle is often applied to Christian discipleship but it certainly is not limited to that. In fact, the context would lead us to understand that the principle is an economic one.
Since the Fall, man has sought his own way based on his sinful nature with tragic results.
There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. Proverbs 14:12
“If you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that God has raised him (Jesus) from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Romans 10:9
A promise is a relatively simple thing to establish, but much harder to keep.
God has promised that “whosoever” believes that He, God, raised him (Jesus) from the dead shall be saved from the ultimate judgement that is to come.
By his nature, God can not lie. What He says, He does and He has all the means necessary to fulfill his promises. Nothing can stop this promise from being fulfilled. God has all the power, knowledge and authority to make this happen.
Man does not posses the qualities: power, knowledge and authority, necessary to fulfill all our promises. While humans have the ability to control their own actions, we do not have the ability to control the actions of others that may be necessary in the fulfillment of a promise.
“Honey, I promise to be faithful to you”. That is something I have absolute control over.
“Honey, I promise to bring home stuffed eggplant from your favorite Mediterranean restaurant”. I can stop at the restaurant, but what if they are sold out of the stuffed eggplant? My promise is dependent on another’s actions that are beyond my control.
Hence the problem with Social Security. Politicians, in their collective limited knowledge of the present, making promises based future actions of others that they, the politicians, can not control and hoping that promise can be kept.
John Maynard Keynes, the progenitor of all things wrong with economic analysis, correctly stated, “In the long run we are all dead”. He is dead, and his economic “long run” has become our economic “short run” and metaphorically speaking, we are the ones that are dead.
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created……
There has been one creative act. Only one. The eternal God spoke into existence time, space and matter. He formed matter in various classifications, placed the creation in space and measured it with time. Since then there has been no creative act.
Man does not create. Man simply refashions what is already in existence. From a wooden pencil to a microchip to baked goods: it is all a refashioning of what already exists. Man uses the physical law’s that God created and the materials that God created to bring about a vast array of stuff.
Unfortunately, sin has tainted the human race and the things it produces.
This is contemporary art, and there are many such examples that could be used. There is no beauty or hope. It is dark. It demeans the individual and by extension, the individual’s creator.
But it does portray an accurate picture of the un-regenerate man: spiritually marred by sin and in a hopeless state.
And that is the problem with much of contemporary art; it offers no hope to a lost and dying world. It reinforces a truth the artist knows intellectually and by experience: Mankind has a serious problem.
But there is hope. There is a God and He is real.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten son…”
The Easter Holiday has provided the world’s media a field day of religious zealotry. My personal favorite this year is a story from Salon posted April 20th, 2014.
“So should Congress raise the minimum wage to celebrate Easter?
I think that would a perfect way of celebrating what Jesus actually stood for. This is a man who was not about income equality; this is a man who was about the reversal of the social order.”
The particulars of the individuals conversing is of no consequence. It is the nature of the conversation that reveals the religious the zealotry.
Since the Fall of Adam and Eve, man has been trying to sew the fig leaves of “good works” to please God; always failing to do so.
Easter is about one thing and one thing alone. The resurrection of Jesus Christ. He was dead, buried and in the tomb.
Three days later God raised Him from the dead. The proper way for any human, or congress for that matter, to celebrate the Resurrection is to fall on our individual faces and thank Him for His goodness to us.
However, the Zealots relive their guilt by sewing fig leaves to solve a non-existing problem (income inequality). Redistributing income through minimum wage laws won’t make anybody “moral”. Good try, won’t work. Guilt is assuaged by faith in the risen Christ. Income inequality is solved by the individuals improving their labor skills. Jesus was not “about the reversal of the social order”. He was about the redemption of sinful mankind.
The Lord’s teaching on labor relations was quite clear. Employer’s and employees enter an agreement of exchange. It is nobody’s business except for the employer, the employee and the Lord Himself.
I have work that I need done. I hire you for $10 for one day’s work. You think the terms of the deal are fair, as do I, and you begin working.
I hire a second person, half way through the day, for $10 for one half of a day’s work. You think the terms are fair, as do I, and you begin to work.
At the end of the day, I pay you both what I owe you.
Is it really anyone’s business how much I paid to either the workers, other than myself and the worker? No.
Who is best to determine what is fair? The parties involved – employer/employee- or some outside third party that has no “skin in the game”?
Unfortunately for the conservative movement, they have bought into a lie told by evangelic Christians who are attempting to establish social justice.
In the April 5th issue of Our Daily Bread, author Philip Yancey betrays Biblical principles and thus promotes an inaccurate worldview.
Yancey, a prominent Christian leader because he sells lots of books, quotes the parable of the workers, which I paraphrased above. Then goes on to give his opinion, “Jesus’ parable of the workers and their grossly unfair (italics mine) paychecks confronts this scandal head on”.
Conservatives have a hard enough time standing for principles of individualism, limited government and the right of property owners to posses and dispose of their property (real or intellectual) according to conscience and the dictates of scripture; the world does not need a capricious standard to follow.
If the workers and the employer agree, then what business is it of government, a labor board or any other arbitrary group to establish what is supposedly “fair” or “unfair”.
But by injecting his opinion, contrary to what the Bible is teaching, Yancey undermines the principles we embrace as conservatism that are derived from the text he misrepresents.
“Grace alone”, regardless of when it administered to recipients is the responsibility of the grantor, God, and the grantee, individual humans.
“Terms of employment” regardless of when it is preformed, is the responsibility of the grantor, the employer, and the grantee, the worker. Not some arbitrary third party.
Unfortunately, Yancey and his kind are marching us to the one world, monolithic government; the antithesis of Christ’s Kingdom.