No Props For Propaganda

Rat

I’m going to thread through several things in this blog, but please
stay with me. It’s personal, national and biblical.

Lord willing I’ll be 60 yrs. old next January. I’ve lived happily and
sometimes unhappily in and out of the struggle of poverty- both as a
child with my blood family -and largely by choice and calling for most
of my adult life.

Now, poverty is one thing if one has a sense of calling to poorer
folk… and it’s a relative term. I am rich compared to many of my
inner-city Chicago neighbors, that’s a fact.

I live in one room by choice. I don’t own a car, have never had life
insurance, don’t take a salary as such. My wife and I have needs met
(basic cost-of-living, room and board, etc.) as missionaries via the
local church. But I want to make this clear- it’s part of our calling
in service to truly poor and addicted and in some cases young,
searching people who are trying to figure out what to do with their
lives.

As a musician (since my 12th year) I began song writing at age 13. My
first song was titled “Don’t Lie to Me”. It was a song about love and
divorce, about words, empty promises that meant nothing, about
faithlessness and infidelity.

That’s a bit of background to what has prompted me to write this piece.

We could consider a word like “hype” or maybe “spin” -but I think
there’s a better word to define something that runs like a greased rat
among us.

One of the few things in life that truly disgusts me, that which loses
my respect almost automatically is: propaganda.

prop·a·gan·da
(prop-uh-gan-duh)

information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread widely to help or
harm a person, group, movement, institution, nation; the deliberate
spreading of such information, rumors; the particular doctrines or
principles propagated by an organization or movement

My politics have slowly moved further left-of-center over time but the
fact is that I’m independent and have been for quite a number of
years.

I’m SOOOOOOOOOO sick of political propaganda- often a synonym for “lies”.

I’m tired of the trash-talk and refusal to say even one good thing
about “the opposition” and truly tired of the “win-at-all-costs”
nonsense that the U.S. political system seems to both run and feed on.

Money rules, not democracy. This stinks, it’s sick and it’s an
all-too-apparent fact.

I’m also plain amazed at the fallacy that the U.S. is God’s gift to
the rest of the earth in all it’s ways.

We have messed up plenty, our history is at least as rife with
blunders. greed and indeed, killing of innocent people for our own
business interests as England’s ever was -and I happen to love the
U.S. as well as England!

I grew up singing “This is -my- country”. I have never loved
everything about it nor has anyone reading this. Can we agree on that?

I love this country more than any other. Do you and I share that same heart?

And yet God’s Word is clear: “None is righteous, not even one”.

I own guns, shoot, hunt, am not a pacifist, support our military
personnel (not every deployment, not every war or “military
engagement”).

I disagree equally with abortion -and- the death penalty.

I find things to disgust me (from what I believe to be a solidly
scriptural viewpoint) in BOTH the right and left, both in terms of
morality (sex AND death, left AND right).

It’s easy to list what I agree and disagree with and frankly, I don’t
think in full view of Scripture either major political party lines up
more than about 70 percent (if that) with my own understanding of what
I’ll call a sane, consistent application of biblical Christian
principles.

But the vile, verbal spewing of raw, ignorant hatred, name-calling,
the out-of-context quoting of one’s opponent have been driving me
nuts.

All this and many more reasons are marginalizing more and more young
potential voters right out the door of engagement in ANY political
process. I’m growing weary of apologizing for “adults” whose taunting
rage and fear are sending their kids and grandkids ever farther away
from thinking a voting democracy is worth involving themselves with!

I’ve been a student of war from the time I was very young. Via books,
movies, documentaries, the Military Channel, conversations and etc., I
have always tried to understand WHY and HOW human beings treat other
human beings as they do in terms of the worst of our capacity to do
so.

From my own studies through the years I find myself muttering aloud
“Goebbels would have loved this”. It is as if political strategists
and superPACS (super-puke in my book and you can quote me on that)
studied his approach to publishing lies and simply applied it to the
current national and state elections.

That, my friends, is my own assessment of the sickness of one of the
most primary but rarely-discussed American cultural values: winning at
all costs… winning no matter how it affects “the least of these”
(read the words of Jesus in Matthew 25 for more on that).

Hear what Jesus says to ALL who were listening to Him (not only His
disciples) in the Gospel of Mark, Chapter 8:

v34 “He called the multitude to himself with his disciples, and said
to them, “Whoever wants to come after me, let him deny himself, and
take up his cross, and follow me.
v35 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it; and whoever will
lose his life for my sake and the sake of the Good News will save it.
v36 For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world, and
forfeit his life?
v37 For what will a man give in exchange for his life?
v38 For whoever will be ashamed of me and of my words in this
adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man also will be ashamed
of him, when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy
angels.”

And what would Ayn Rand’s take on these words of Jesus be? Hmmm. I choose Jesus.

On the basis of these few words from Mark 8 alone, can anyone in their
right mind consider the United States a truly Christ-following nation?
The absurdity of such a conclusion isn’t worth debating.

I listened to Paul Harvey daily and would today if he were still alive
and broadcasting. Most early Saturday mornings I listen to the Farm
Report on radio. I grew up in the rural Midwest and could live and
serve happily in farm country again in a heartbeat if God called me
to.

But here’s another fact: most Americans are urban and/or suburban. The
culture wars are in my view, people camping out on “what USED to be”
vs. what is. What was AIN’T No More folks! Trust me, I don’t just feel
your pain, I feel it in the inner city. It’s just a slightly different
pain.

The facts are that rural meth labs have sprung up like field mice,
well, like inner-city roaches. More grass (the smoking variety) is
being grown private, state and national lands in the U.S. than -ever-,
it’s a cash-crop. I don’t think it’s a good idea… but my point is
there ain’t NO part of this land without moral sickness, addiction,
money-before-humanity schemes. It’s not merely urban vs. rural or
suburbs vs. inner-city though I’m sure some want to posit it like
that.

It’s time to face facts rather than merely swallowing propaganda from
folks telling me what they think I want to hear so I’ll vote for them.

Individuals and local groups of Christ-followers (not mere
church-building attendees) make the difference in folk’s lives.
Individuals and small groups who actively love/serve their neighbors
turn individuals and neighborhoods around.

No government’s policies hold the greatest sway, and as a Christian, I
believe and quote the Truth of God’s Word above the pundit’s when I
say the very gates of hell won’t prevail against Christ’s church.

Unbelievers and even some Christians will think me crazy but there it
is. According to Jesus, the devil, demons and hell cannot and will not
have that power. So how is it we think anyone else will?

Between fear-peddling and some actually believing they can somehow
turn back the clock to “the good old days” prior to 9-11, prior to the
Wall Street rip-offs, prior to our own corporations seeking ever-more
profits by moving overseas to do so we have gotten rather far from
loving God and our neighbor. That is, unless our neighbor happens to
agree with us.

God disagrees with you and I every day. Every single day. I think
people on both sides of the aisle need to repent.

Are unions often corrupt? Of course- if you believe the Bible and have
any association with human beings and study human history (in ANY
nation in ANY time frame) you’ll realize exactly what is written (in
The Book) is true: “NONE is righteous.”

But oh how we want things to remain in the peaceful (?? cold war…
the bomb… lack of media exposure of elected officials…
McCarthyism…??) 50’s and early 60’s when “all was well”. It wasn’t.
It isn’t now either, and no winning of office in any four or even
eight-year span is going to cure our sinful human nature, our desire
to WIN… to control, and now I speak as a follower of Jesus Christ…
of our desire to (nearly or actually) somehow force biblical
principles into the law of the land. Ain’t gonna happen. Too many
hands in too many pockets- and I’m not even talking about the
Democrats yet.

My own understanding of the Bible is that in the end times (I think
we’re very likely there…) many will fall away. I personally do not
believe there will be a truly massive in-coming to genuine faith and
surrender to Jesus that I have often heard spoken/prophesied about
over the years. I’ll be HAPPY if I’m wrong, truly! It’s simply that my
own reading of the Word moves me to think we’re not going to earthly
faith, hope and love, rather the bulk of the population is going the
other direction.

Do I still believe, speak, write, relationally interact with people by
trying to share and live out the Good News of Jesus? Absolutely. But I
have zero delusions of grandeur about my country or it’s political
purity and I have found very few willing to refuse to be
bought-and-sold on the basis of personal gain. Read that last sentence
again please.

Do I have hope? For individuals yes, not so much for entire nations.

There is coming a day when this world will be “rolled up like a
scroll” and no flag will exist.

The Father and the Risen Lamb who is the Lord Jesus Christ will put an
end to hirelings, gain-seeking and propaganda for the sake of gaining
or maintaining power.

I’ll close with a few blatant statements from Revelation and Hebrews:

Book of Revelation, Chapter 22

v14 “Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the
right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the
gates.
v15 Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and
murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices
falsehood.”

Book of Hebrews, Chapter 13
v14 “For here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come.”

I encourage you to consider this, and it’s all I can and am myself
doing in light of the things that ail us: live and vote according to
your conscience, prayer and the Word of God best as you understand it.

But wise up: ain’t nobody literally without sin except the risen Lord
Jesus Christ.

-Glenn

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13 thoughts on “No Props For Propaganda

  1. Great, wise and timely words Glenn. May I be salt and light and may God help me to be a reflection of Him. Sold out to Him and faithful to Him. I love you and thank you for sharing hard things in the spirit of Christ and His love. Keep it up and don’t stop.

  2. In 1980, I began to see and hear a rise of hateful words coming from Christians who had seemed so full of love before. Political and social discourse has increasingly grown uglier and more vitriolic. I succombed to saying hateful things in return. The Holy Spirit brought me back to Jesus’ words. I pray for The Spirit to convict me when I feel anger rising, because I know it leads to fear, hatred, bitterness, unforgiveness, etc… So many of my friends say such blatantly hateful things about the President one moment, and yet are still capable of loving some people at other times. As James says, "With our tounges we bless God, and with our tounges we curse people who are made in His image. Out of the same mouth come blessings and cursings. Brothers, we shouldn’t be doing this!" 3:9,10

  3. Absolutely true Michael… sometimes we (myself included) believers are our own worst adverts for what our Lord called us to be and do… love. Yep. Thanks. -Glenn

  4. Glenn- I , too, hate propaganda- it’s just theatrics and half-truths. And, in the days subsequent to my conversion, I threw all my Ayn Rand books in the trash- good riddance. However, I have two questions for you regarding the post- one is related to your admission of skewing politically leftwards over the years. The left is known for its reliance on the state as ‘king’ (1 Sam. 8 perhaps?), untrammeled abortion access, and class envy (encouraging folks to break the 10th commandment). Is there a controlling or overarching concern that you have that overshadows what my issues are in these areas?Secondly, I am a theologically conservative post millenialist, so take my question in light of that self-admission! When Jesus said that ‘all authority’ is His, and we were to teach, baptize, and disciple the nations, do you see that as referring only to the people within those nations, and therefore not reflective of the entire socio-cultural aspects of those nations?Look forward to seeing you in Fort Wayne in November w/Mr. Wolfe!

  5. Thanks Tim, excellent questions. Let me answer at least in brief point by point: <br/> <br/>What the left is also known for is a great deal more care for the poor <br/>and for blue collar working class folks. <br/> <br/>Overview: common (and not totally untrue) stereotypes as a <br/>one-size-fits-all for either right or left don’t exist. I keep meeting <br/>folks in both camps who don’t fit on two, three and even four major <br/>issues (such as you list here). <br/> <br/>I vote (truly) independent but lean left socially, not full-on <br/>morally. Example I’m 100 percent against the death penalty just as I’m <br/>about 98 percent in agreement with a pro-life position re. abortion <br/>(exceptions, life of the mother, incest and rape). Neither party is <br/>fully pro-life in my view. Killing, starving, selfish living for <br/>anyone in any party are ALL moral issues before our Holy God. Loving <br/>with God’s love is a moral issue. The unborn baby or the old poor <br/>woman lying in the park dying are equally hideous and preventable… <br/>but many don’t see it that way. <br/> <br/>Tim, I think lots of people want a king, just a different one or <br/>different sort of one. Both parties spend zillions on things I find <br/>immoral and unscriptural. At least we can kick them out every four <br/>years! <br/> <br/>Back to abortion: back to the states. What has the right accomplished, <br/>truly accomplished, and how do they ever thing they’ll accomplish it <br/>when they’ve not overturned it since Roe vs. Wade? I personally would <br/>love to see alcohol and pot both prohibited by law… and it doesn’t <br/>work, people could care less. Constantine… Christians legislating <br/>morality doesn’t work even among we in the churches, but in the end it <br/>comes down to heart-change and we all know this to be true. <br/> <br/>Re. class envy- I’ll see you and raise you Wall Street, Insurance and <br/>off-shore white collar selfishness, crime and graft. Further, you <br/>cannot vote these people in or out of power -as least we can do so re. <br/>politicians! I’m convinced money is indeed (Bible) the root of all <br/>evil, and yep, "to whom much more is given much more shall be <br/>required". Stewardship for sure- "and you can do good to them whenever <br/>you want to". It seems many of us don’t want to all that much. It’s a <br/>bit more harsh: reap what you’ve sown. So… what do those with <br/>millions in offshore accounts call patriotism in that respect? I think <br/>the poor often reap what the rich are sowing… only not much is sown <br/>in terms of percentile. To be clear, I’d have said these very same <br/>things years ago if asked. History seems to only bring me to more of <br/>the same, more solidified conclusions. <br/> <br/>When you work with the poor, when you work in jail and prison <br/>outreach, when you recognize the huge number of mentally ill, minority <br/>folks, breakdown of the family (and this is of course spiritual, moral <br/>and indeed opportunity stuff, not mere government), then consider the <br/>number of returning veterans in the divorce, addiction and healthcare <br/>mess I see continuously, I, just like yourself, begin to wonder where <br/>we as a nation have landed in terms of loving our neighbor. If it were <br/>only about selfishness and sin outside the church, or only about <br/>selfishness and sin among the left, IF it were mere sin, laziness and <br/>corruption on the part of the poor, if there were never any other <br/>issues that fed this mess, I’d think and vote differently. <br/> <br/>Do a through Bible study of both testaments with regard to God’s view <br/>and treatment of the poor (start with widow and orphan, move on to <br/>foreigners in Israel and then the easy part, the poor in general, then <br/>the wealthy) and you begin to understand where I’m coming from. What <br/>does God say about these folks, and what does He say about how we are <br/>(commanded) to interact with them? Tim, this is where we must start, <br/>not merely in our own bank accounts. <br/> <br/>On to your second q, also a good one but I can be much more brief as <br/>I’ve already mentioned Constantine (which is in my and many others <br/>view, an excellent place to recognize the separation of church vs. <br/>state issue). We are commanded to share, live and be examples of the <br/>merciful, risen Jesus to all everywhere. We are not called to <br/>legislate His commandments in civil law to all everywhere. And here’s <br/>the rub: too many Christians seem to have the idea that blowing folks <br/>into submission will somehow help accomplish these things. Ahhh.. <br/>nope. Hard to love a person you’re sending to hell with a bullet, no? <br/>In my own view, this is an extreme form of Calvinism that cannot be <br/>accepted as any sort of definition of sharing God’s love and truth in <br/>the world. <br/> <br/>While I’m pro military, I’m NOT pro-death nor do I think either party <br/>has always deployed them with anything NEAR to this in mind. There <br/>will be an accounting one day, and it won’t be a Republican nor <br/>Democrat nor Independent looking us in the eye. Whew! <br/> <br/>Looking forward to seeing you the Ft. Wayne too! Been too long! <br/> <br/>His, yours, <br/>-Glenn

  6. Brother-Thanks for your thoughtful and detailed response, Glenn. If I may, I’d like to interact a bit more.I’m w/ya 100% on the issue of ‘stereotypes’ ??? check. I’m an anomaly as well!Abortion? I take no exceptions. There are no longer any medical reasons to destroy or dismember anybody, and an emergency c-section covers those concerns w/out premeditated death being an integral part of it.Alcohol and pot/drugs? A wiser man than me once said that "we shouldn’t turn sins into crimes"- I agree. That’s the difference between legislating something that is clearly heinous (abortion) and something that mere;y has the potential for harm if abused.Class envy/Wall Street, insurance and off-shore white collar selfishness, crime and graft? Prosecute the criminal part, legally forbid the transfers (legislate), sure- but how does that mitigate the fact that the left foments covetousness? Yes, we live in two different cultures- you, urban, and me, rural, but the truth is that in both our ‘Americas’ people are poor for a number of reasons, one of which the Bible says is ‘sloth’, another because of natural disaster, another is simple job loss (and how to fix that long-term? It sure ain’t the State), another because of tyranny (that’s the context of most of the Bible’s teaching on the poor and their oppressors), and in some cases the poverty is voluntary- like you. IMHO, the policies of the left have exacerbated the poverty problem (systemic inefficiency, tax-funded enablement of generational bondage to welfare, increasing entitlement-mentality of recipients) and actually created more ‘poor’ by re-defining the term almost annually. Don’t misunderstand me- you are called to inner-city Chi-town, and I am called to white-trash hick-ville (I count myself in that august body), but in either case, it seems that true charity can’t be enforced at the point of a gun barrel- it must be freely given, or it is, by definition, forcibly taken. You said that ???We are not called to legislate His commandments in civil law to all everywhere???, yet it sounds like you want the civil govt. to somehow legislate in a more just way for the poor. If that’s the case, I would then ask ???where would they get the ethical foundation for such legislation???? If not from Scripture, then where?I am also a student of history, and what really surprised me was your response to my optimistic, victorious eschatology. Have you read what the vast majority of early missionaries thought about the ‘end-times’? Wm. Carey, Adoniram Judson, John Paton, etc.. all of them believed in Christ’s gospel being victorious in history. I’m surprised that you jumped from that to Constantine and forcible ???conversions???. We share God’s love and truth with everyone, knowing that our labors are done for Christ (Matt. 25), and that He effectually calls all of His people to faith and repentance. I am curious- do you consider someone who is reformed (subscribing to all 5 points) to be an ???extreme calvinist???? ‘Cause that would be ‘me and my house…’I’m thoroughly with you (and our Lord) on the radical call to discipleship that is integral to membership in the New Covenant- it’s not an option, and, like you, I have also been fairly consistent with my ‘political’ views over a fair number of years. You got 8 years on me, and I certainly don’t want to be unteachable or assume that I’ve really ???arrived’… (o:I love you, and like I’ve said before- your gospel-centered life has indeed been a great example for me.In Him-Tim

  7. > Brother->> Thanks for your thoughtful and detailed response, Glenn. If I may, I’d like> to interact a bit more.GK- absolutely Tim!> I’m w/ya 100% on the issue of ‘stereotypes’ ??? check. I’m an anomaly as well!GK- Got it.> Abortion? I take no exceptions. There are no longer any medical reasons to> destroy or dismember anybody, and an emergency c-section covers those> concerns w/out premeditated death being an integral part of it.GK- Understood. My daughter gave birth via C-section. In fact a greatmany C-sections are being done that there seems to be more evidencewere not needed in the first place. In terms of destroying anddismembering (the horror and murder of abortion), where are you on thekilling of already-born innocents caught in cross-fire of othernations? What is your position on the death penalty? If you areconsistently pro-life my ears perk up considerably :)> Alcohol and pot/drugs? A wiser man than me once said that "we shouldn’t turn> sins into crimes"- I agree. That’s the difference between legislating> something that is clearly heinous (abortion) and something that merely has> the potential for harm if abused.GK- Though I believe I can make a strong argument -for- drink andcertain "soft" illicit drugs, I have vast quantities of personal,family and general ministry experience coupled with a lot of studiesfrom other nations as well as our own, I think it’s a Pandora’s Boxthat will bring a great many far from God and in quite a few cases,has and will destroy to the point of death. It does, it has, it will.But great quote, that wise friend had a great point!> Class envy/Wall Street, insurance and off-shore white collar selfishness,> crime and graft? Prosecute the criminal part, legally forbid the transfers> (legislate), sure- but how does that mitigate the fact that the left foments> covetousness?GK- This is too good, I must split it up. The prosecution is notcoming from the right Tim. Now, if you’re a minority, that may beanother thing, but… I personally don’t think either party has theguts or love to legally forbid the transfers. I TRULY hope I’m wrongand live to see the day, truly. Sorry, wealthy folks are often equallyguilty of coveting as are the poor. Then again, the poor and more inthe middle class are dealing with mere survival, not whether to investX million here or rather, over there.Yes, we live in two different cultures- you, urban, and me,> rural, but the truth is that in both our ‘Americas’ people are poor for a> number of reasons, one of which the Bible says is ‘sloth’, another because> of natural disaster, another is simple job loss (and how to fix that> long-term? It sure ain’t the State),GK- I agree with you here entirely until you say the state can’t fixit long-term. I don’t know they will ever get the chance to eventry… but in the end, it’s not about "them", it’s sadly, about "me".Again, this is on both sides of the aisle far too much. Sin nature,same old sin nature. So- let the strong survive and "trickle" (what aperfect term to describe it) fixes it? I’ve never seen it in history.I live in Chicago where the history is fried on both sides, but it’samazing how many professing Christian (and they may well be awaitingus before the Throne, I won’t be surprised if so) mega corp. execs.fought tooth-and-nail against the poor, unions and set up places suchas Pullman which in the end were little more than the urban face ofAppalachian coal-mine kingdom’s company store. Our history is loadedup with such reality. So no, I don’t trust corporate folks who we cannever vote out of office- and in my view they’ve largely run thingssince nearly the beginning. another because of tyranny (that’s the> context of most of the Bible’s teaching on the poor and their oppressors),> and in some cases the poverty is voluntary- like you.GK- Ahhh but we can talk softly and do nearly nothing for the poor interms of helpful legislation. In my view, tyranny comes in severalsorts of packages.> IMHO, the policies of the left have exacerbated the poverty problem> (systemic inefficiency, tax-funded enablement of generational bondage to> welfare, increasing entitlement-mentality of recipients) and actually> created more ‘poor’ by re-defining the term almost annually.GK- Tim you are a guitarist. You own guitars, practice and play ’em.You have at least one if not more amps. You listen to and I believe,write music and play music on somewhat of a regular basis and have sofor years. Correct me if I’m wrong on this, but I think it’s allcurrently the case. I’ve been working alongside a large group of folksin various sorts of ministry to the poor, outcasts and such in a hugeinner city for about 38 years. Please don’t hear me playing the "youdon’t GET IT young man" card. It’s simply that there are elements oftruth in your last paragraph here, but they pale when you work withfolks day in and out and recognize how many don’t fit the stereotype.So many middle-class folks who’ve lost their jobs, so many veterans,so many mentally ill folks who over the years, have had truly goodgroups (half-way houses, hospital wards, various ministries and anumber of govnt. facilities) shut down for good. We see these folksevery day and I can tell you like you can show me an Asus chord allthe way up the neck- there are less and less opportunities for them to-get- work. This is a huge reason prostitution and drug-dealing alongwith other crimes (and sins indeed) happen. Few- amazingly few-residents of such facilities have to do those things because thesesafety nets still at least to an extent, exist. It’s more complex thatthis but this is where experience really teaches my theology anddoctrine and yep, politics to face a continual stream of experiencethat just doesn’t match the rhetoric or theoretical.> Don’t misunderstand me- you are called to inner-city Chi-town, and I am> called to white-trash hick-ville (I count myself in that august body), but> in either case, it seems that true charity can’t be enforced at the point of> a gun barrel- it must be freely given, or it is, by definition, forcibly> taken.GK- While I hear you, agree with you at core, certainly so- the factis (as I’ve written plenty) governments ALWAYS spend millions on stuffyou and I weren’t asked to vote on. Millions and trillions. No matterwho wins our tax dollars and elements of the winning party (some withgreater ripple affect than others) will disgust Jesus as far as Idiscern it. You and I weren’t asked nor will we be happy about all of-any- government’s spending of our loot. Same old story, nothing newunder the U.S. sun.> You said that ???We are not called to legislate His commandments in civil law> to all everywhere???, yet it sounds like you want the civil govt. to somehow> legislate in a more just way for the poor. If that’s the case, I would then> ask ???where would they get the ethical foundation for such legislation???? If> not from Scripture, then where?GK- Jesus’ 2nd "most important" commandment is a great place to begin-and yes, with the church, not the government. If the church is largelyself-centered and coming up with all sorts of escape clauses for nothelping their neighbors (don’t get me started… my brain is floodedwith scripture on the early church and how they loved in deed), forgetabout the nation. My stance is ethics come from the whole of theBible, not merely the parts we like. As I have stated, some havechosen sin, laziness and graft. And so have a good many of ourlegislators. It’s about delivering what folks want and not beingwilling to take the hit for what they may truly need in terms ofresources. My my view, no Bible, no ethics. And yet even common senseand a thin knowledge of world history is clear- loving one’s neighboris the answer, not slamming the door because he comes to you in themiddle of the night asking for bread for his kids. Yes, the fact is ifthe church won’t I think the government should. Feel free to quote meon that, to our (Christian) shame!> I am also a student of history, and what really surprised me was your> response to my optimistic, victorious eschatology. Have you read what the> vast majority of early missionaries thought about the ‘end-times’? Wm.> Carey, Adoniram Judson, John Paton, etc.. all of them believed in Christ’s> gospel being victorious in history. I’m surprised that you jumped from that> to Constantine and forcible ???conversions???. We share God’s love and truth> with everyone, knowing that our labors are done for Christ (Matt. 25), and> that He effectually calls all of His people to faith and repentance. I am> curious- do you consider someone who is reformed (subscribing to all 5> points) to be an ???extreme calvinist???? ‘Cause that would be ‘me and my> house…’GK- Put in a very quick and intense way, God is surely sovereign, theend, God is indeed victorious- but He’s not a rapist. No, I don’tbelieve in 5 point Calvinism (and recognize that also puts myself in aminority at least in terms of some views of the church) but I alsodon’t believe everyone who takes such a position is extreme. I doindeed believe that many in this country are chock-full of manifestdestiny and I also attribute that, certainly to an extent, to reformedviews.What I meant by Constantine was that separation of church and state inmy view makes total sense, unlike what some seem to think in regard toa near-ushering in of a theocracy. It would then seem Old Testamentlaws would then be applied fully and not just the parts that currentlysuit us. This is never-never land. But no, I don’t think everyreformed theologian is crazy. But in my reading of both theologiesover the years, I take serious issue with a great deal of it, yes. Ido happen to have a great many reformed friends who’ve long beenfriends, sharing in mission and Jesus’ love for decades, so it’s notbeen a major point of dis-fellowship for me, nor apparently, them.> I’m thoroughly with you (and our Lord) on the radical call to discipleship> that is integral to membership in the New Covenant- it’s not an option, and,> like you, I have also been fairly consistent with my ‘political’ views over> a fair number of years. You got 8 years on me, and I certainly don’t want to> be unteachable or assume that I’ve really ???arrived’… (o:GK- Ha, well, that sure enough makes two of us!!! It’s the oldiron-sharpens-iron of proverbs. I know your heart and have neverthought you were other than my friend in the Lord Jesus. I see zeroreason that will change. Brothers can and do disagree. Welcome to "Inow" and "we now have… in part".> I love you, and like I’ve said before- your gospel-centered life has indeed> been a great example for me.GK- Thanks Tim, back atcha!!!Love, and early voting!!:)-Glenn> In Him->> Tim

  8. Glenn-I hope it’s cool, but I want to answer just a couple things (I’ll be ‘TB" this time)You wrote:"If you are consistently pro-life my ears perk up considerably :)"TB-Yes- I can fully say that I am 100% biblically pro-life. That means i oppose our current foreign policy of preemption (Iraq, Afghanistan, etc…), AND I am in favor of the death penalty for capital offenses. As the reformers wrote in the WCF, 23-1: "God…hath armed them with the power of the sword, for the defense and encouragement of them that are good, and for the punishment of evildoers." That’s Romans 13. I can see where we could argue that, in our current situation of judges calling good evil and evil good, we could make the case for a corrupted magistrate, and therefore would NOT want the over-arching state to have that option, but that’s kind of a different argument.You wrote: "My my view, no Bible, no ethics. And yet even common senseand a thin knowledge of world history is clear- loving one’s neighboris the answer, not slamming the door because he comes to you in themiddle of the night asking for bread for his kids."TB- Amen- absolutely. But when things get wierd, that common sense and all those history lessons go right out the window…You wrote: "Yes, the fact is if the church won’t I think the government should. Feel free to quote me on that, to our (Christian) shame!"TB- The current policies actually create a permanent underclass who are now demanding that it is their right to simply come into your house and take your bread. Around these parts, the churches have group efforts to feed the hungry in our county (‘Our Father’s House’ in Warsaw, being one example), and most of the smaller towns have an intra-church food pantry. All voluntary, all true charity. Not perfect, but the difference being that I don’t get a visit from the IRS if I fail to donate to the food pantry…You wrote: "Put in a very quick and intense way, God is surely sovereign, theend, God is indeed victorious- but He’s not a rapist."TB- I think you meant to say ‘cosmic rapist’ (I’ve heard Hanegraaf and Geisler use that term)- I understand what you mean, but coming from our perspective, since we’re ALL "dead in sins", and can’t do that which pleasing to God, it’s the application of God’s love that He lavishes on His elect by giving them the gift of regeneration (Eph. 1)- big difference. And I don’t think that your position is the minority in this country- most Christians are not reformed in their soteriology, not by a long shot. And no, we shouldn’t divide over it…ever.Thanks Glenn- again, looking forward to cigar-box delta nuttiness in Ft. Wayne.Yours-Tim

  9. Hi Tim, <br/> <br/>And just one more time, I’ll reply within with GK- <br/> <br/>> Glenn- <br/>> <br/>> I hope it’s cool, but I want to answer just a couple things (I’ll be ‘TB" <br/>> this time) <br/> <br/>GK- Yep, no worries! Read on… <br/> <br/>> You wrote: <br/>> "If you are consistently pro-life my ears perk up considerably :)" <br/>> TB-Yes- I can fully say that I am 100% biblically pro-life. That means i <br/>> oppose our current foreign policy of preemption (Iraq, Afghanistan, etc…), <br/>> AND I am in favor of the death penalty for capital offenses. As the <br/>> reformers wrote in the WCF, 23-1: "God…hath armed them with the power of <br/>> the sword, for the defense and encouragement of them that are good, and for <br/>> the punishment of evildoers." That’s Romans 13. <br/>> I can see where we could argue that, in our current situation of judges <br/>> calling good evil and evil good, we could make the case for a corrupted <br/>> magistrate, and therefore would NOT want the over-arching state to have that <br/>> option, but that’s kind of a different argument. <br/> <br/>GK- Yes, I would argue a pro-life stance means zero death penalty. If <br/>today’s judges were judged the same as in the Old Testament a good <br/>many would’ve been stoned dead. <br/> <br/>> You wrote: "My my view, no Bible, no ethics. And yet even common sense <br/>> and a thin knowledge of world history is clear- loving one’s neighbor <br/>> is the answer, not slamming the door because he comes to you in the <br/>> middle of the night asking for bread for his kids." <br/>> <br/>> TB- Amen- absolutely. But when things get weird, that common sense and all <br/>> those history lessons go right out the window… <br/> <br/>GK- They do, and it’s usually folks caught up in fear (not faith), <br/>ignorance (as opposed to wisdom) and anger (the wrath of man doesn’t <br/>work the righteousness of God) who begin to pull the trigger. Please <br/>remember I’m a gun owner, hunter and overall supporter of the <br/>military, not a pacifist as such. <br/> <br/>> You wrote: "Yes, the fact is if the church won’t I think the government <br/>> should. Feel free to quote me on that, to our (Christian) shame!" <br/>> <br/>> TB- The current policies actually create a permanent underclass who are now <br/>> demanding that it is their right to simply come into your house and take <br/>> your bread. Around these parts, the churches have group efforts to feed the <br/>> hungry in our county (‘Our Father’s House’ in Warsaw, being one example), <br/>> and most of the smaller towns have an intra-church food pantry. All <br/>> voluntary, all true charity. Not perfect, but the difference being that I <br/>> don’t get a visit from the IRS if I fail to donate to the food pantry… <br/> <br/>GK- So… there is a solid history of Big Brother coming in with such <br/>a visit time and again around the U.S.? Tim, I know you’re not a <br/>militia movement guy… but I can’t accept the reality of this as it’s <br/>just not a matter of fact. It is truly a matter of rhetoric on the <br/>political right, but… <br/> <br/>> You wrote: "Put in a very quick and intense way, God is surely sovereign, <br/>> the <br/>> end, God is indeed victorious- but He’s not a rapist." <br/>> TB- I think you meant to say ‘cosmic rapist’ (I’ve heard Hanegraaf and <br/>> Geisler use that term)- I understand what you mean, but coming from our <br/>> perspective, since we’re ALL "dead in sins", and can’t do that which <br/>> pleasing to God, it’s the application of God’s love that He lavishes on His <br/>> elect by giving them the gift of regeneration (Eph. 1)- big difference. <br/>> And I don’t think that your position is the minority in this country- most <br/>> Christians are not reformed in their soteriology, not by a long shot. And <br/>> no, we shouldn’t divide over it…ever. <br/> <br/>GK- I appreciate your gracious response on this. No further comment <br/>from me on it. <br/> <br/>> Thanks Glenn- again, looking forward to cigar-box delta nuttiness in Ft. <br/>> Wayne. <br/> <br/>GK- Me too!! Fun stuff, and soooo simple to do. <br/> <br/>See you there Tim! <br/>-Glenn <br/> <br/>> Yours- <br/>> <br/>> Tim <br/>> <br/>> Posterous Spaces is the place to post everything. Just email us. <br/>> Unsubscribe from this comment thread

  10. Hi Glenn- Happy election day! Vote early and often…In response to my comparison of voluntary charity and tax-funded welfare ("I don’t get a visit from the IRS if I fail to donate to the food pantry…."), you wrote: "So… there is a solid history of Big Brother coming in with such a visit time and again around the U.S.? Tim, I know you’re not a militia movement guy… but I can’t accept the reality of this as it’s just not a matter of fact. It is truly a matter of rhetoric on the political right, but… "No- that’s not at all what I intended to communicate. All I meant was that in the first case there is no state-enforced penalty for NOT helping out, and in the second case there most certainly is- that’s all. What do you think is the best long-term solution to poverty in the US? See you this Friday!In Him-Tim

  11. Thanks for clarity Tim! See you Fri. 🙂 <br/> <br/>Long-term solutions to poverty in the U.S.? Several come to mind, all <br/>would help greatly. Not fully in order, I’d say: <br/> <br/>***That Christians in the body of Christ actually love, give, share <br/>out of His love helping actually meet poor folk’s practical needs <br/>Regulary on several levels: sharing/helping provide food, clothing, <br/>housing, job-offers, free health exams/clinics and medical <br/>assistance… would all be a nice start. If the whole church acted <br/>-as- the church to those in need political discussions among us all <br/>would pretty well cease. In that this will likely never be the case, <br/>we have the discussions on politics we’re having with regard to the <br/>poor. <br/> <br/>***That an attitude of faith, hope and love be expressed those we <br/>consider "our enemies, a drain on society, those ‘unworthy’ of our <br/>love, time or concern". If such people actually begin to sense our <br/>genuine welcome (a miracle of spiritual maturity and change in all our <br/>hearts including mine at times…) we’d likely see a sea-change in <br/>U.S. culture unlike even that of the Welsh revival or 1st or 2nd great <br/>awakenings in this nation. <br/> <br/>***IF these sort of things don’t happen, I’d say (sorry, I won’t quote <br/>a ream of verses in context here but I assure you I could) the <br/>government ought to step in and provide. If whatever sitting govn’t <br/>does not, it does not to the nation’s peril not in the sense of roving <br/>bands of armed lunatics but rather individuals who don’t see much else <br/>but crime, theft and black-market as a practical way of survival for <br/>themselves and those they love. <br/> <br/>Alas, we can be sure plenty of those not of the Christian faith aren’t <br/>willing to sacrifice for "them"… and the can be sadly said about far <br/>too many who profess to be true Christians. <br/> <br/>I personally believe (and have for many years) fear of loss of <br/>control, even domination (financial, material, political, racial, <br/>ethnic, cultural and subcutural) and anger at "a lesser slice of the <br/>pie" is core to such an adamantly (often hostile) response to the poor <br/>among us. No doubt folks don’t want any govt taking more money from <br/>them (via taxes) but name one that doesn’t take and spend our money on <br/>things we are fully against? This is reality and always has been. <br/> <br/>No doubt there are lazy and conniving folks trying to milk the system <br/>for whatever they can get out of it. In that I’d say the poor are less <br/>a problem than Wall St. or major corporate cons in terms of actual <br/>damage done to society and the world. <br/> <br/>So there’s my nickel (pun intended…). <br/> <br/>See you Tim! <br/>-Glenn

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