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Archive for December, 2020

A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself; The simple pass on and are punished.

  • Proverbs 27:12

Here we stand at the end of the Year of Our Lord 2020 and at the precipice of 2021.  My, how time flies.

When I was pondering what to write this week, it took some time, but it finally dawned on me that this would be my last Sunday post of 2020.  “Of course,” I thought to myself, “it’s time for my year-in-review post. Problem solved!”

Before launching into a review of 2020 and casting an eye toward the future in coming year, I would like to take this occasion to thank my Lord and Savior Christ Jesus for all the blessings he has brought into my life over the past year.  For the grace he has shown me in forgiving all my sins and patiently teaching me, for a job to pay my bills, for health to do that which I needed to and wanted to accomplish, for the love of family and friends.

It would be remiss of me not to mention how thankful I am for the Lord’s gracious provision in my life to write this blog.  I began blogging in March of 2009, so it won’t be long before I celebrate 12 years of posting online.  Most blogs make it only a few months.  That I have had the strength to sustain this work for so long is a testament, not to my skill or smarts or energy or anything in me, but to the calling and faithfulness of the Lord.  During my first five years of blogging, I posted occasionally.  Here a little, there a little.  It was in November 2014 that I prayed God would help me to reach the goal of posting at least once a week, and he heard me.  From that time until now, I have not gone a week without writing and posting at least one article.       

I thank God also for the opportunity to resume work on my podcast, Radio Lux Lucet.  I mentioned in last year’s end of year podcast that I wanted to start podcast again more regularly.  As it turned out, although I didn’t start out the year all that well, I have managed to string together about eight weeks in a row of podcasts, so that’s progress!

Finally, I would like to thank my readers for their support during 2020.  It is my prayer with each post that the name of God would be glorified and that my words would edify his people.  With every post, it is my goal to bring you perspective on the events of the day that you won’t be able to find just anywhere.  As John Robbins was wont to point out, the Bible has a systematic monopoly on truth.  This includes truth in the areas that I like to write about, namely, economics and politics.  The psalmist wrote, “I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.”  Writing to Timothy, the Apostle Paul said, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” While I don’t claim to have greater understanding than all my teachers, I can testify to the fact that there is nothing that can prepare the Christian to take on the received “wisdom” of this world more than a solid grounding in the Scriptures.  All the truths of philosophy, politics, and economics are hidden in Christ Jesus.  And there is no other source to which Christion must repair to fight the good fight of faith against the lies of this world – and how many lies there are and how great! – than to the 66 books of the Bible.  It is from the Word of God that Christians must rebuke senators, judges, governors, presidents, prime ministers and popes for their sinful and foolish words and actions.  And this, the Apostle tells us, is a good work for which the Scriptures thoroughly equip the Christian man.  It is this good work I aim to do with each post.

Thanks is also due to those who have graciously donated to support the work of this blog.  I greatly appreciate your kindness.

Special thanks is also owed to John Bradshaw, brother in Christ, friend and keen eyed and patient editor of my posts.  This blog is much better for your work.  Thank you.     

So, with all that said, what about 2020?

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How a Charlie Brown Christmas Almost Wasn’t” by Jennings Brown, New York Magazine, November 16, 2016.

Soldier’s letters bring first world war Christmas truce to life” by Caroline Davies, The Guardian, December 23, 2015.

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Is feudalism in our future? Medieval illustration, circa 1310.

I am the vine, you are the branches.  He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

  • John 15.5

My heart is greatly troubled.  I hate, hate, hate what is happening to my nation and yet am powerless to do anything to stop it.

Mocking arrogant and hateful sinners are exalted.  And truth?  It’s cast to the ground. 

Just this past week, Pete Buttigieg was named as Joe Biden’s nominee for Transportation Secretary.  During his press conference, Buttigieg explained his love of transportation, describing how he proposed to his husband (sic) in an airport terminal.  Said Buttigieg, “Don’t let anybody tell you that O’Hare isn’t romantic.” 

I doubt that even 5 years ago it would have been possible for someone to give a speech like this and remain politically viable.  But that’s just a measure of how fast the deluge of evil has been in so short a time. 

Mayor Pete – Buttigieg went by this title during presidential campaign season when he was running to be the Democratic presidential nominee – is a child of Satan.  Not only does he practice what is an abomination in the eyes of the Lord, but he boasts about it.  Further, he encourages other to follow him in his sin.  And it this weren’t bad enough, while he’s doing all this he has the audacity to claim to be a Christian.     

In many ways, he’s the very embodiment of the antichristian line of thinking that is set to dominate the incoming Biden administration.  Buttigieg is smart, eloquent and highly educated, with the prestige of a Harvard degree to his credit.  He holds all the fashionable ideas beloved by the elite of our day.  The press loves him.  He has, as it were, gained the world.

But he is losing his soul.

Unless he repents, he will face a Christless an eternity in hell for his many, egregious sins.

And yet for all that, in the here and now he is winning.  And not just him, but many others of his ilk as well, chief among them Joe Biden himself.     

Joe Biden is an obvious crook and the head of the Biden crime family.  In addition to his own private crimes and those of son Hunter, he’s the beneficiary of an election stolen by the Democratic party machine.  For all his evil, he is set to be rewarded by being inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States a month from today.

And while Joe Biden goes from strength to strength, Donald Trump and his supports go from failure to failure. 

Bill Barr, Trump’s Attorney General, said there was no evidence of election fraud sufficient to have made a difference in the outcome of the election. 

All the court cases have been a bust.  The Supreme Court, the strong tower in which conservatives put their trust, dismissed the suit brought by the Texas Attorney General with a backhanded slap. 

Last week, Republican Mitch McConnell, the Majority Leader in the Senate, congratulated Joe Biden on his victory in the Electoral College vote.

In short, all the governmental machinery of the establishment has declared that Biden will be the next president, and there seems to be nothing to stop it at this point. 

I have prayed that it would not come to this, but, at least as of this writing, a Biden presidency seems inevitable. 

This does not mean that Christians ought not continue to pray.  Perhaps by some means a Biden or Harris inauguration can be prevented.  January 6th is the final step in the Constitutional electoral process, where Congress finalizes the vote of the Electoral College.  What happens if Trump supporters show up in force in Washington D.C. that day?  I don’t know. 

But given the failures of the Trump legal team so far and the momentum behind Biden, a Biden presidency appears inevitable as well as all the evils that will come with it.

How did it come to this? 

Why do the bad guys win?

Some Christian commentators I heard seem to be of the opinion that evil can’t triumph.  They rightly see Joe Biden as evil and, at least if I’m hearing them correctly, seem to think for that reason he can’t carry the day. 

But in this fallen world, sometimes evil does win temporary victories.  This isn’t speculation.  You can see this right in the pages of Scripture. 

God used the Philistines and other heathen nations to subject Israel from time to time as punishment for their sins.  Things eventually got so bad that the Lord used the wicked nations of Assyria and Babylon to take the Jews into captivity for their rebellion against him. 

In the New Testament, Satan won what he thought was a victory with the death of Christ on the cross.  His victory proved short lived.

If evil can triumph in the Scriptures, it should come as no surprise that evil can score victories in our own day.  Even a brief review of recent history should show anyone just how far from the paths of righteousness governments can stray.  The Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, Communist China are but of few of the evil regimes in recent times. 

All this leads to the question, so why do the bad guys win?

We know that all of history is in the hands of God, and that nothing happens apart from his willing it to happen.  God did not merely allow Joseph Stalin to carry out his reign of terror, he caused it to happen as part of his eternal decree. 

But while appealing to the decrees of God is appropriate, usually when people wonder why it is that evil sometimes wins the day, they’re looking for something more specific.

In the Old Testament, God often used prophets to explain the reason such and such a disaster had befallen his people. 

Today, we don’t have prophets, but we do have the Word of God which gives us example after example of how God deals with nations and their rulers and how he uses them for his own purposes. 

While I don’t pretend to have the exact answer why Joe Biden stands at the precipice of the presidency, but we can look at the Scriptures for some clues why this may be the case.

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“Nearly 8 million have fallen into poverty since the summer”: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/12/16/poverty-rising/

Travel, in my mind, is synonymous with growth and adventure”: https://twitter.com/CBSNews/status/1339260092575846400?s=20

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Is feudalism in our future? Medieval illustration, circa 1310.

I am the vine, you are the branches.  He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

  • John 15.5

There’s not much good news these days.  And not only is the news not good, it’s downright appalling. 

Just to give one example, consider the situation with the presidential election.  Here we are, about six weeks after the election with the nation deeply divided about the winner.  The establishment media have all proclaimed Joe Biden president-elect, yet there is substantial evidence that the election was stolen.  But in spite of what is, in my own opinion, clear evidence of election fraud, the Trump legal team has gone from defeat to defeat.  The latest loss, the refusal of the Supreme Court to hear the complaint by the Texas Attorney General against several other states for their failure to follow the constitution in their election procedures, suggests that there is little hope for Trump and his supporters to find redress for their grievances in the courts.  The bottom line: at this point it appears that, come January, Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th president of the United States. 

As if this weren’t bad enough, there are several other pressing problems facing this nation, any one of which threatens serious destruction on its own.  Taken together, the threats seem overwhelming. 

For starters, we have the abject failure of many mayors, governors, district attorneys and police chiefs to do government’s most basic job:  punish those who practice evil.  For months we have witnessed destructive riots in some of our largest cities.  Not only have those who have deliberately destroyed and stolen property and caused bodily harm to peaceful citizens not been punished, but those who have sought to defend themselves and their property from the aggressors have found themselves in legal trouble.  In 2020 America, good is evil, and evil good. 

The state of our nation’s finances continues to deteriorate.  But the economic pain is not equally shared.  In fact, while many ordinary Americans are struggling financially as a result of losing their jobs and business from government imposed Covid lockdowns, the wealth of billionaires has soared

Wall Street is hitting records highs while Main Street struggles to pay the grocery bill.  This is not the result of capitalism, as many socialists like to point out, but the result of the oceans of printed money by the Fed.  Some observers have noted that about 23 percent of all US dollars were created just this year, 2020!

If all this weren’t bad enough, the federal budget deficit for 2020 hit a record $3.1 trillion.  This means that the federal government overspent its tax revenues by over $3 trillion. 

I doubt our culture has ever been more vulgar.  Sexual deviants are celebrated and those who oppose them are silenced.  Vulgar language and fornication are openly celebrated.  Internet pornography runs rampant. Oh, and did I mention that transgenderism has attained sacred status and that even the mildest criticism of homosexuality is taken for blasphemy? If you don’t think men who claim they are women are awesome, and women who claim they are men must be believed and have praise heaped upon them, then you, my friend, are the one who has the problem. On the other hand, the man in the dress screaming at you for making the mistake of “misgendering” him? He is above criticism. 

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Pharaoh decrees the drowning of every new male offspring among the Israelites by Michiel van der Borch, 1332.

By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s command.

  • Hebrews 11:23

We Christians in the West have been singularly blessed in that we have rarely been faced with the option of either obeying God or our governors.  For the most part, the laws of the state have not required us to violate our consciences.

But that period of relative peace seems to be drawing to a close. 

In the next few years, it is very likely Christians in America and elsewhere in the formerly free West will be faced with a choice either of obeying the civil authorities or God. 

This will come as a new and strange experience for most of us.  In my own life, I’ve not found myself in such a position.  Ideally, this should be the case.  Civil magistrates, if they are properly doing their jobs, will seek to pass laws that are in accord with the law of God.  The Bible tells us that one of the two legitimate functions of civil government is to “praise the good,” by which is meant pass laws that are in accord with God’s law.  If men violate these laws, they are to be punished.  This leads to the other legitimate function of civil government, punishing those who practice evil by breaking those laws.

Perhaps in part because Christians in the West have, for the most part, not had to face the choice of either obeying the civil magistrate or God, many Western Christians are uncomfortable with talk of civil disobedience.  “That’s the stuff of Marxists and radicals,” they may say.  “After all, it says right there in Romans 13, ‘Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities.  For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.  Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.’ That settles the matter.” 

This argument carries a lot of weight with Christians.  It certainly seems convincing, at least if we take this passage in isolation.  Christians, it appears, must without question always obey the government in all things everywhere no matter what.  And if Christians do not obey all governmental edicts to the letter, they get what they have coming to them when they are punished by the civil authorities. 

I have no doubt but that most ordinary Christians who hold this position are sincere in what they say.  They want to be law abiding citizens.  But if we follow out this form of thinking to its ultimate conclusion, we find that the practical effect of their stance – Christians must always obey the government in whatever it says – is some form of tyranny, where right an wrong are determined by the will of the leader.  Put another way, Christians who hold this position are unknowingly endorsing the fuhererprinzip, the leadership principle, where whatever the leader says goes. 

But the fuhererprinzip is not Christian. Christians are not called to blindly follow government edicts, but to compare what their civil magistrates are saying with the Scriptures.  The Christian idea of judging the statements of civil magistrates, and all others for that matter, by the Scriptures is known, not as the fuhererprinzip, but the Schriftprinzip, or the writing principle.

In his essay “Christ and Civilization,” John Robbins provides several quotes from Martin Luther on the Schriftprinzip.    

  • We intend to glory in nothing but Holy Scripture, and we are certain that the Holy Spirit cannot oppose and contradict himself.
  • I have learned to hold only the Holy Scripture inerrant. All other writings I so read that, however learned or holy they may be, I do not hold what they teach to be true unless they prove by Scripture or reason that it must be so.
  • Putting aside all human writings, we should spend all the more and all the more persistent labor on Holy Scriptures alone…. Or tell me, if you can, who is the final judge when statements of the fathers contradict themselves? In this event the judgment of Scripture must decide the issue, which cannot be done if we do not give Scripture the first place…so that it [the Bible] is in itself the most certain, most easily understood, most plain, is its own interpreter, approving, judging, and illuminating all the statements of all men…. Therefore nothing except the divine words are to be the first principles for Christians; all human words are conclusions drawn from them and must be brought back to them and approved by them.
  • Scripture itself…alone is the fount of all wisdom.
  • And even in the writings of the fathers we should accept nothing that does not agree with Scripture. Scripture alone must remain the judge and master of all books.

Now if what Luther said is true, and it is, then this implies that Christians have, not only the right, but the duty before God, to compare what their civil magistrate is saying with the Scriptures.  And if it is found that the laws of the state require what Scripture forbids, or forbid what Scripture requires, then they are bound to obey God rather than men. 

But not only is civil disobedience an implication of the Scriptures, there are many examples in Scripture of believers resisting tyrannical edicts of civil magistrates.  And these individuals, far from being censured by the Word of God, are praised for the stances they took. 

With this in mind, let’s look at some of these examples of resistance to tyranny in the Bible.

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The New York Times: Walter E. Williams, 84, Dies; Conservative Economist on Black Issues

Townhall.com Walter Williams page

Foundation for Economic Education: A review of Walter E. Williams’ book Do the Right Thing by John W. Robbins

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