Saturday, December 03, 2016

Tony And Shane's Adventures In Missing The Point

I am not sure how I missed this, The Evangelicalism of Old White Men Is Dead. Maybe because I generally don't have time to waste reading the New York Times, all the liberal news that's fit to print. Anyway, two noted non-partisans, Tony Campolo of Sojourners and Shane Claiborne, have declared that the evangelicalism of old, white men is dead. That might come as a surprise to many old, white male evangelicals who have and are and continue to serve Jesus Christ as their Lord and loving their neighbor as themselves.

Now there are some decent points being made in their editorial. It is absolutely true that evangelical Christianity is far too deeply embedded with Republican politics, even when those politics run counter to Biblical teaching (I would point to the love of all things militaristic in the GOP but not to declining to take from some by force to give to others). I have written a lot about that very issue. Unfortunately as is often the case with people like Tony and Shane, the diagnosis is one thing, the cure is another.

Here is one example:

As white male evangelists, we have no problem admitting that the future does not lie with us. It lies with groups like the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, led by Gabriel Salguero, or the Moral Monday movement, led by William Barber II, who has challenged the news media on its narrow portrayal of evangelicals. For decades, we have worked within evangelicalism to lift up the voices of these “other evangelicals.”

But we cannot continue to allow sisters and brothers who are leading God’s movement to be considered “other.” We are not confident that evangelicalism is a community in which younger, nonwhite voices can flourish. And we are not willing to let our faith be the collateral damage of evangelicalism.

Weird. I thought that the future lies with Jesus Christ and His people around the globe from every tribe, nation and tongue. I am not interested in being told that the future has no place for people like me by people who complain about people who don't look like me being described as "others". Which is it? Should we all seek to work together regardless of race or ethnicity to serve our Lord or should we replace one alleged system that divides the church based on race with another system that divides the church based on race? When Claiborne and Campolo laud an ethnicity identified group like the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, they get applauded by the readership of the New York Times or at least are given a bemused pat on the head. If I were to form a group and call it the National White Evangelical Coalition I would be branded a racist, a member of the "alt-right" and a likely reader of Breitbart. What is the difference? Many would say that evangelicalism has always been identified with whites and having a Latino branded group helps to give them a voice but I say that it is nothing less than ethnic identification that serves no purpose other than cementing the divide between the racial and ethnic communities in the church.

Here is another, emphasis mine.

We want to be clear: We are not suggesting a new kind of Christianity that simply backs the Democratic Party. Jesus is neither a Democrat nor a Republican — even if, as William Sloane Coffin Jr. once said, his heart leans left. Many faithful Christians did not vote for Hillary Clinton because of their commitment to a consistent pro-life agenda. True faith can never pledge allegiance to anything less than Jesus.

Did you catch that? Sure, we have to say that Jesus isn't conservative or liberal but we all know He is kind of liberal. If you can read the New Testament and come away with the impression that Jesus Christ was in favor of homosexual "marriage", the church subcontracting our calling to aid the poor to Caesar and his thugs, to abortion on demand, the replacement of worship of God as Creator with the creation as God, then one of us is reading the wrong way. There is nothing quite so sneaky as making a great show of being politically non-partisan while slipping in politically partisan statements. A lot of Christians didn't vote for Hillary Clinton because she was an unapologetic cheerleader for infanticide and on top of that every single policy proposal she put forward was bad for America. Notice also the dig at "a consistent pro-life agenda", which I assume is code for only accepting your reasons for voting against Hillary if your pro-life agenda includes more than abortion. I agree that it should but I also think that opposing someone for no other reason than her slavish devotion to the death cult called "Choice" is sufficient reason by itself. As I have said before, if your idea of social justice doesn't start with justice for the unborn, you have no idea what the word justice means.

Then there is this:

Next year marks the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation, one of the most significant moments in the history of Christianity. The reformers were navigating many of the same currents and contradictions that we face today. Perhaps we need a new reformation — one that invites Christians to return to the teachings of Jesus and offers our neighbors a truer vision of how he lived and moved in the world.

I suppose it would be in poor taste to point out that the Reformers were uniformly white men so I won't. Finally there is this:

The words of Jesus — which are printed in red in many Bibles — could not be more relevant today. Despite the terrible things done in the name of Jesus, a Christianity that stays true to his words has survived for 2,000 years. Maybe this is a moment in our history for evangelicals to repent and be “born again” again as Red Letter Christians.

There are few movements more arrogant than the "Red Letter Christian" movement, a movement which by their very name presumes that they and they alone are "truly" following the teachings of Christ, as if His teachings for the church are only found in the red letters and presuming further that only their decidedly leftist interpretation of very selective passages in red are correct. In fact with this final paragraph it becomes apparent that the entire op-ed is little more than a thinly veiled recruitment ad for their "progressive" "ministries". One of the sure signs of a cult is an assumption that they alone have a monopoly on truth and also a demonizing those who disagree with them. I am not saying that the Red Letter Christians are a cult but I am saying that if the shoe sort of fits.....

The calling of the church is to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, a Gospel that is not a "social gospel" of sexual libertinism, gender confusion and forcible income redistribution just as it is not a "gospel" of militarism, capital gains tax cuts and crony capitalism. Being born again is a theologically critical doctrine, one that ought not be clumsily hijacked to imply that the rest of the church needs to get on the social justice warrior bandwagon to save us from THE TRUMP. Being born again is not a shift of political allegiances or a change of racial identity politics, it is a completely unmaking of the old man (oops, that sounds patriarchal, the old person) into a new creation in Christ. The church will survive Donald Trump just as it has survived Barack Obama and would have survived Hillary Clinton. 

It is precisely the sort of identity politics being engaged in by Campolo and Claiborne that is decried by them in the editorial. Being old and white and male is bad, being a "person of color" and a woman is great. I am sure the irony is lost on them because they are every bit as intractably dogmatic as Jerry Falwell, Jr., a man who I have very little respect for. Telling people that identity politics are bad and then engaging in identity politics on the pages of the New York Times of all places is wantonly hypocritical and that is something else people catch on to pretty easily.

The real future of the church is found wherever Jesus Christ is declared to be Lord. Jesus is Lord in a church that is entirely white, led by old, white men. Jesus is Lord in a multi-ethnic church. Jesus is Lord in a predominantly black or Latino church. Jesus is Lord everywhere and for all time. Where His Holy Name is lifted up in love and in truth, there He is among them and there His church is found. Our Lord has His winnowing fork in His hand and the chaff is being separated from the wheat even now before our eyes. While some play identity politics and seek the bemused approval of man, the rest of the church has a mission to carry out.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

So...who is the direct threat to our democracy again?

It was almost worth the near crippling assault on my senses to watch Mrs. Clinton haranguing, as only she can harangue, Donald Trump about being a sore loser for potentially not accepting the election results just as the news reports that she is now jumping on-board with leftist loon Jill Stein to recount three states (Oddly enough, only states she lost. Weird, huh?). Calling someone to concede and congratulate someone on winning only to apparently try to take it back. When I was a kid, in a less politically correct world. we called that being an "Elizabeth Warren Giver"



Hypocrisy, thy name is Hillary.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Fake News For Thee But Not For Me

So Politico ran a story with the headline: The world according to Breitbart. Here is the headline but look at the sub-heading (you can click the photo to enlarge it)




Now, I might just be one of those under-edumicated racist, sexist, homophobic yokels living in one of those mostly empty red states but even someone as dumb as people on the coasts assume I am still can recognize that when someone says a news source is something it utterly fails to prove, apart from one out of context comment, that qualifies as misleading or as they like to call it "fake news".

If you peruse the article you will find one whole mention of the "alt-right" in the entire article, a single quote from Steve Bannon:

Bannon himself has described Breitbart as a platform for the "alt-right," a term that encompasses many white nationalists now rejoicing over Trump's win.

That is all. The webpage itself does not feature "alt-right" writers or pro-"alt-right" articles. The one article on the alt-right on their site is a very useful overview of the alt-right movement, no mean feat because alt-right is a huge catch-all for lots of disparate groups that the Leftist media doesn't understand, including some they label "white supremacists". So given the utter lack of "alt-right" material on Breitbart, why would Politico label it an "alt-right" publication? That is pretty much akin to describing The Economist as a NASCAR enthusiast publication (I am sure there are NASCAR enthusiasts who read The Economist but hopefully you understand my point). Here is another example:

The sharp rhetoric on Iran ("terrorist regime" is a typical modifier) is often combined with strong affinity for Israel. In what appears to be a July 2015 opinion piece about the nuclear deal President Barack Obama's administration reached with Iran and five other countries, the author asserts, "Obama wants Iran to be a regional power, because Obama fears Israel more than he fears Iran."

Breitbart has a Jerusalem bureau, which oversees much of its Middle East coverage. Its stories and opinion pieces in general brook little sympathy for the Palestinians, who are frequently described as terrorists. Meanwhile, people or institutions that try to hold Israel to account for some of its behavior, such as its construction of settlements on land claimed by Palestinians, are often called out. "A very incomplete list of anti-Israel biases at The New York Times," was one such piece in October 2015.

Such pro-Israel coverage stands at odds with the anti-Semitic views of many in the white nationalist community that holds Breitbart News so dear. At the same time, it could comfort supporters of Israel who fear Bannon may have been influenced by such anti-Semitism. (Bannon himself has been accused of anti-Semitic comments by his ex-wife, claims he denies. Trump on Tuesday insisted Bannon was not at all a racist.) Such pro-Israel coverage stands at odds with the anti-Semitic views of many in the white nationalist community that holds Breitbart News so dear. At the same time, it could comfort supporters of Israel who fear Bannon may have been influenced by such anti-Semitism. (Bannon himself has been accused of anti-Semitic comments by his ex-wife, claims he denies. Trump on Tuesday insisted Bannon was not at all a racist.)

Notice what they did there. On the one hand they admit that Breitbart has a "strong affinity for Israel" but then they write "Such pro-Israel coverage stands at odds with the anti-Semitic views of many in the white nationalist community that holds Breitbart News so dear." So which is it? Is Breitbart anti-Semitic or nor? Is Steve Bannon "influenced" by anti-Semitism? It seems unlikely that an anti-Semite would be so favorable toward Israel but if you throw it into a story, even without any evidence to support the idea, people who skim the story come away with "Breitbart is an anti-Semitic, alt-right publication and can be and should be ignored". 

Why would Politico publish an article that has a completely erroneous sub-heading and is full of misleading information? The answer is pretty simple. Politico is a highly partisan publication and like many "reputable" publications they are insanely jealous of their self-declared prerogative to determine what is or is not newsworthy. After being caught with their proverbial pants down on Election night, the media is bound and determined to not let that happen again. Thus the new narrative that "fake news" caused Hillary to lose (instead of her own personal repugnance) and that anyone who is outside of the cool kids club of journalism is of course a publication of the "alt-right", a term itself that almost no one understands or can define but which nevertheless is a useful way to imply someone is a racist without actually being so crass as to just call them a racist.  

I have been watching these developments with no small amount of alarm because they amount to a subtle form of censorship. While the political Left is still equal parts befuddled and enraged, the media Left is already moving to ensure that this never happens again ("this" defined as the peasants in the middle of the country not following orders from their coastal betters). Too many people are basking in the afterglow of the Trump win and not paying attention to how quickly a) he is abandoning his campaign promises, which I fully expected and b) the media is moving to squash and discredit contrary news and opinion sources. People who love liberty and the freedom to exchange ideas in the intellectual marketplace have a lot of be concerned about as Trump takes office. The media/bureaucratic elites and the Trumpian pseudo-populists are about to go to war and the truth is likely to be the first casualty. 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Feeling Thankful? Why Not Help Others Feel Thankful Today!

Most Americans are feeling thankful today, even those taking a break from gnashing their teeth over the events of November 8th. As a sign of our gratitude we are going to eat enough food to feed a village in Bangladesh for a week and prepare to buy lots of stuff we don't need. Maybe we can take some of our disposable income and help people who are probably more thankful than we are and have a lot less than we do. Helping others today is something we can really be thankful for.

This morning I sent small donations to the Hope Community Project, dedicated to keeping Haitian families together, and International Faith Ministries, another Haiti focused on education and health care for Haitians. To learn more about either organization you can click on the links above or watch the video below.

Who We Are from Hope Community Project on Vimeo.

It doesn't really matter who you give to as long as it is actually helping people (if you want to help animals, have another serving of turkey to cut down on the rampant turkey overpopulation). What the two groups above have in common is that I know the people who run them. With the Hope Community Project I know Les Prouty the executive director and Julie Brouwer and her family who live in Haiti from a mission trip I was on with her. With IFM, we know Durwin Miller, the Executive Director, and his family from church. I am a big believer is giving locally and/or to people you know and trust. It is easy to fire off a donation to one of the Wal-Mart style, "big box" Christian aid groups but for me I want to know who is on the receiving end and what they are doing with the funds I am sending (preferably not spending it all on staff and fundraising).

Anyway, give if you feel led to wherever you want. You won't go wrong with either group above but there are lots of great mission groups out there.

Happy Thanksgiving!

The True Meaning Of Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Coming Of The Thought-Police

Last night I noted in a Facebook post that some social media platforms have decided to "police" their content more strictly to make themselves arbiters of what is "real" news or hate speech or whatever else is unacceptable on social media (heretofore a simultaneous combination a great means of side-stepping the mainstream media and a cesspool of misinformation and ignorance):


Then today we get the news that Twitter has fired the first shot in purging unacceptable thought from their platform by suspending the accounts of members of the "alt-right" .

Twitter has suspended the accounts of a number of people associated with the alt-right movement who advocate white nationalism and who supported President-elect Donald Trump.

Among those whose accounts have been suspended is Richard Spencer, president and director of the National Policy Institute, which identifies itself as an "organization dedicated to the heritage, identity, and future of people of European descent in the United States, and around the world."


The Twitter account for the institute and its online magazine, RadixJournal.com, were also suspended.

This is not surprising and the timing is likewise very predictable. A major part of the narrative being spun by the Hillary Clinton camp is that her campaign was undone by a combination of the Comey letter and false news stories. Another take being spun is that racism. misogyny, xenophobia, homophobia, the shadowy "alt-right", etc., in other words members of Mrs. Clinton's famous "basket of deplorables" were responsible. It is unimaginable that people didn't vote for her because she is so thoroughly and openly corrupt and dishonest that no one trusted her so a scapegoat must be found. In order to try to avoid a repeat performance in 2018 and beyond, it seems to me that the overwhelmingly leftist media platforms are seeking to suppress any voices that do not support what they falsely describe as "progress". For so many decades the Left controlled print media and the three major broadcast stations. With the advent of cable news and talk radio and then the internet, the Left largely lost exclusive control of the media and I am sure they blame their current inability to control the narrative (and the redneck ignoramus public in rural America) on the failure of America to anoint Hillary Queen for Life.

Note, I am not defending or advocating for the "alt-right", although I am pretty certain that 99% of people who use the term "alt-right" have no idea what the alt-right believes in and have never read a single thing they have written. What I am pointing out is that it is not that big a step to go from suspending unpopular voices from the alt-right to suspending regular conservatives, Christians, really anyone who dares have a counter-cultural voice. Fortunately there are already independent voices out there like GAB that retain a commitment to censorship-free expression but too many people are so dependent on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram, etc. for their news and opinion that they will have no idea to what extent they are being carefully fed only a certain perspective and how that will impact their opinions and their votes.

Pay attention friends. Far too many of the people at the top of the media/culture food chain are hellbent on destroying anyone and anything that they disagree with. Inform yourself and keep your eyes open.

Monday, November 14, 2016

The Bitter Self-Loathing Of A Liberal Man Holding A 'Rape Melania' Sign

So as you might recall, Donald Trump won the election last week. You might not have heard anything about it unless you really pay close attention to the obscure news items. Anyway, after the legally held elections Donald Trump was the victor, just like Barack Obama twice before him, and George W. Bush, and William Clinton and...you get the picture. This has not set well with the entitlement class and many of them are freaking out in a variety of ways including a number of "protests". Last night a charming "progressive" fella was photographed holding up a charming sign:


Rape Melania. Hoo boy that is some clever political commentary right there.

Which begs the question, what sort of filth would go out in public with a sign calling for the rape of the soon to be First Lady or really of any woman for that matter? After all, aren't Republicans the party of woman hating? What noble progressive purpose could it hold?

Maybe none.

Ready for some amateur pop psychoanalysis?

It has been my position for a long time that many liberal men who profess their devotion to the cult of feminism in fact a) more or less openly hate themselves and b) secretly hate women. Their politics prevent them from saying the nasty things about women that they are thinking unless a prominent conservative woman comes along and then they are fair game. For example, witness the ugly stuff said to and about Sarah Palin for daring to be a prominent woman in politics for the "wrong" party. You can see some charming examples of this here and here. If you are feeling especially brave you can look here at The Daily Kos, a cesspool of leftist ignorance, reporting on female feminists taking "progressive" men like Bill Maher to ask. Be forewarned that the language in the report is grotesque and vulgar and the general content on The Daily Kos is breathtakingly stupid and misinformed. I am no fan of Sarah Palin but as a man I don't think wishing harm to her or her children is funny or clever.

I say these "men" who say such vicious stuff about women while parading their own self of superiority for being so enlightened hate themselves because they have, consciously or unconsciously, abdicated their masculinity in the service of a misguided political philosophy. In other words the have emasculated themselves and are enraged by it. I believe they secretly hate women because they blame women for their own self-emasculation and thus they jump at any chance to say the vicious things in their heart about women when they can target without fear of repercussion from feminists.

Men and women are created distinctly and in a complementary way. We are wired differently by design. When you try to deny and defile that created order it has deep consequences, just as defiling human sexuality via various sexually deviant behaviors like homosexuality, pedophilia, incest, etc. is a sign of and a contributing factor to deep psychological disorder. Men who willingly cede to women what they are created for cause some sort of dissonance that occasionally manifests itself in holding a "Rape Melania" sign. Someone who would do that hates women and hates himself.

There are plenty of ways to work in opposition to Donald Trump and people on both sides of the political spectrum will do so. Threatening or wishing his wife to be sexually assaulted isn't one of them. Hopefully this guy gets some therapy and at some point grows up and becomes an actual man who cares for, protects and provides for women instead of secretly loathing them.

See, this is why I am not a psychotherapist.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Free People > Free Will

This is a great although brief treatment of the idea of "free will" from John Piper, Is God Sovereign Over My Free Will?. The key paragraph in his podcast comes here:

So instead of speaking of the will as free or not, I prefer to speak of people as free or not, because that is the way the Bible does. “For freedom Christ has set us free,” Paul says in Galatians 5:1. Christians are free from the bondage to sin and from the oppressive demand of having to perform our own salvation.

A lot of people get all in a twist over the idea of God messing with "mai free will!" but I have long felt that the truer description is not "free will" but "free people". The sovereign grace of God frees people from slavery to sin (Romans 6:17-18), meaning not that He overrides their "free will" but rather than He frees them from sin so that they have a true free will. Someone who is a slave to sin, dead in sin and trespass cannot have a "free will" because they are bound by sin. It is only when God supernaturally frees them from sin that they are free people who are free to follow Christ. Here is the link to the podcast, and you can read the transcript in the link above.


Saturday, November 12, 2016

My Thoughts on the "abolish the Electoral College!" nonsense

The Arsenal of Liberty: Thoughts on the "abolish the Electoral College!" nonsense....


The above links to my thoughts on the cries (pun intended) of many to get rid of the Electoral College in the wake of the election last Tuesday....

A brief note on the election

I have a lot of observations about the election but honestly have been far too busy and/or tired to post them. I will soon, I hope. You have been warned.

I did want to take a trip down memory lane though. I posted below the selfies I took in 2008 and 2012 of my rioting when Barack Obama won. Enjoy!











































Sunday, November 06, 2016

Why So Many Leave The Calvinst Club

No, I am not talking about the doctrines that make up Calvinism proper, when it comes to that I am more solidly in agreement than I have ever been in spite of my more new found affinity for Anabaptism.

I am talking about the subculture that surrounds Calvinist thought, the subculture that charges around with pixels formed into torches and pitchforks to smite anyone who is insufficiently "Reformed". Calvinism attracts all sorts of people from all over the spectrum, I would argue as James White does in the video below, because a consistent hermeneutic reflects divine sovereignty, election, predestination, eternal preservation of the redeemed, etc. It also tends to attract people who are eggheads and argumentative, quarrelsome people for whom Calvinism is a way to lord over the little people just how intellectually superior you are. Like James in the video below I just have little use for the Reformed subculture and it is really a shame because I am sure a lot of people just reject out of hand anything to do with Calvinism without much study because they have run into a few of these frothing at the mouth types (and I used to be one, I admit to my shame).

Monday, October 31, 2016