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Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire; strangers devour your land in your presence; and it is desolate as overthrown by strangers, Isaiah 1:7

“…because of Western civilization’s love of material comforts, there is an unwillingness to face unpleasant realities.”

  • Gordon H. Clark, A Christian View of Men and Things, p.53

Just yesterday, we celebrated the 244th anniversary of America’s independence from Great Britain, while, ironically enough, a substantial portion of the country found itself under house arrest due to dictates from various government officials.  It’s almost as if we’ve come full circle.

Actually, it seems as if we’ve come more than full circle.  Government was much smaller, and the tax and regulatory burdens were much less, under British colonial rule than they are now under own home-grown government.  This is not to suggest that it was wrong to have fought the Revolutionary War, but it does say something about how far America has drifted from its limited government roots.   

What has been the cause of this political sea change?

In his Forward to Gordon Clark’s A Cristian View of Men and Things, John Robbins explained it this way, “A Christian View of Men and Things presents the argument that the West is disappearing because Christianity, on which Western civilization was built, has already virtually disappeared in the West.” 

It needs to be pointed out there that when Clark and Robbins speak of “Christianity,” they are talking about the plain statements and logical implications of the 66 Books of the Bible, the centerpiece of which is the doctrine of Justification by Faith (Belief) Alone.  That is to say, they are talking about the Biblical Christianity of the Protestant Reformation. 

There are other systems of thought that claim to be Christianity, Roman Catholicism for example, but which are not Christian, because they teach that sinful man in some sense is able to put God in his debt, as if salvation were the rightful wages of the sinner’s good works.  These other systems are, in fact, not Christian at all, and their growing presence in the United States and elsewhere in the West are the collapse of the West. 

Western Civilization is rapidly disappearing from the face of the Earth, yet almost no one, even among those who lament its disappearance, understand, as did Gordon Clark and John Robbins, the connection between the disappearance of Christianity and that of Western Civilization. 

Writing about the Northern Kingdom in his day, the prophet Hosea commented, “Aliens have devoured his [Ephraim’s] strength, but he does not know it; yes, gray hairs are here and there on him, yet he does not know it.  The kings and rulers of the Northern Kingdom, for which Ephraim was another name, lacked the discernment to realize the precarious position of the nation and to see that its collapse was nigh.  Some scholars believe Hosea wrote from about 750 BC until just a few years before the dissolution of the Northern Kingdom in 722 BC, when the Assyrians conquered the capital city of Samaria and took the inhabitants of the nation into captivity. 

So why did the Northern Kingdom fall to Assyria?  That is a very simple question to answer, one requiring no speculation: “[T]hey left all the commandments of the LORD their God” (2 Kings 17:16).  It was because of this that “the LORD was very angry with Israel, and removed them from His sight” (2 Kings 17:18).

It is this author’s contention that we in the West, the heirs of the Reformation, are in a position not entirely different from that of ancient Israel.  We have forsaken the Lord our God, his law and his gospel, and have followed after strange gods, which are not gods at all, but the work of the vain imaginations of men’s sinful hearts.  John Robbins put it like this, “the collapse of the West can be viewed as the collapse of the of the attempted Thomistic (Roman Catholic) synthesis of human philosophy and Christ, and the West’s fatal choosing of non-Christian philosophy, not Christ” (A Christian View of Men and Things, 12).   

It’s one thing to read about the collapse of the Hebrew Republic as documented in the pages of the Old Testament, or even about the collapse of the Roman Empire as recounted by Edward Gibbon.  It’s altogether another thing when the civilization in collapse is your own and you have the opportunity to watch it live streamed in high definition.

In the opinion of this author, it is high time that American Christians, and Christians in other nations of the West, face the reality of the situation we are in, as unpleasant as it is, and prepare themselves for the likely further collapse of the West. 

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Unplanned

Just to dispense with one item upfront, I have not seen the movie Unplanned, nor, despite the many encouragements from various conservatives to support the film, do I intend to.

To be clear, my lack of support for Unplanned is not because I’m pro-abortion. Far from it. I’m pro-life

I actually had considered going to see the film yesterday, but elected not to. So what stopped me? A little research on the internet.

Not knowing much about Unplanned other than snippets I’d see in the press, I decided to search the web for information on the central character in the movie, Abby Johnson. In just a few seconds, I’d found all I needed to know, a headline in the National Catholic Register that read “From Abortion Worker to Catholic Apostle.” As the subheadline went on to elaborate, “A former Planned Parenthood director, Abby Johnson, tells how an ultrasound of an unborn baby’s fight for life eventually let (sic) her to the Catholic Church and a new apostolate.”

A bit more searching led me to this interview on EWTN’s Facebook page – EWTN is a Roman Catholic organization that owns and operates the National Catholic Register – in which directors Cary Solomon and Chuck Konzleman speak openly of their Catholic faith. At one point, they even note that the “blessed mother” has promised to end abortion.

In short, it’s fair to call Unplanned a Catholic movie.

For Protestants, this represents an insuperable problem.

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colin_kaepernick_unthanksgiving_festival

Colin Kaepernick exudes joy while celebrating Unthanksgiving on Alcatraz Island, 11/23/2017.

Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere may be happy.

    – H. L. Menken

Is any group more hated than the Puritans, or any holiday more than Thanksgiving?

In this very PC age of tolerance, the only unpardonable sin is to lack it.  Speak ill, even in the most hushed tones, of most any people or creed and the cultural Marxists will hew your intolerant self to pieces.  But their fury is selective.

In truth, while they preach universal tolerance, their application of it is quite particular. Same-sex marriage? That’s in. And shame on anyone who speaks ill of it. Or ask yourself, when was the last time you saw any mainstream news outlet take issue with any facet of Islam? It’s the religion of peace, is it not? At least, that’s the official line.

But when it comes to Christianity, that’s another story entirely. Even considered in a broad sense, Christianity certainly finds itself unwelcomed in the halls of power and influence in our post-Christian society.

But if you want to see some real fireworks, bring up the Puritans. We’re told by homosexual movie director and fashion designer Tom Ford they were “uptight.” Noted libertine Hugh Hefner found them to be ” persecuting.”

“Puritanical” has long been a sort of swear word used to denigrate anyone or anything the speaker finds prudish.

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Harvey Weinstein_AP

Harvey Weinstein, AP

 

Their foot shall slide in due time. Deuteronomy 32:35

It’s been quite a tumultuous week plus for famed Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. Here’s a man who went from king of the movie world to fired by the board of directors of his own company in the space of just a few days. To add insult to injury, just a few days later he became only the second person to be kicked out of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the organization’s 90 year history. The official statement of the board read,

We do so not simply to separate ourselves from someone who does not merit the respect of his colleague but also to send a message that the era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behavior and workplace harassment in our industry is over.

I confess to being fairly ignorant of Hollywood generally. As is the case with most people, I watch movies from time to time, but I can’t say I’m a huge fan. Concerning the name Harvey Weinstein, it’s a name that until the past few days was barely known to me. I can’t say that I ever gave it more than a moment’s thought. And yet, here I am writing a blog post on the subject.

So what prompted me to do this? Well, as reports of Weinstein’s behavior dribbled out in the media, and the consequences of it started to come home to roost, it called tom mind, of all people, the great Puritan preacher Jonathan Edwards and his famous sermon Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.

Edwards’ sermon is apropos Weinstein’s situation in a number of ways. First, is the context of Deuteronomy 32:35. the verse on which Edwards based his sermon. This verse speaks of God’s judgment upon his enemies, how he will take vengeance upon them and do so suddenly. As Edwards observed, this passage, “implies that they were always exposed to sudden unexpected destruction.. As he that walks in slippery places is every moment liable to fall, he cannot foresee one moment whether he shall stand or fall the next, and when he does fall, he falls at once without warning. Which is also expresed in ‘Surely thou didst set them in slippery places, thou castedst them down into destruction: How are they brought into desolation as in a moment? (Psalm 73:18-19)’ ”

And so it was with Weinstein. The predator, after years – decades one supposes – is now very suddenly the prey.

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