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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

“‘How did you go bankrupt?’ Bill asked.  ‘Two ways,’ Mike said.  ‘Gradually and then suddenly.’“ So wrote Ernest Hemmingway in his novel The Sun Also Rises

Although Hemmingway’s book was a work fiction, what he said about bankruptcy is a phenomenon many of us have seen in real life.  Individuals and organizations that appear to be in robust financial health experience sudden financial collapse. 

Perhaps the poster child for sudden financial ruin is Lehman Brothers, a famous 150-year-old Wall Street investment bank.  Having earned record profits during the height of the real estate bubble from 2005-2007, early in the morning on Monday, September 15,2008, Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy.   

The collapse of Lehman Brothers to this day is still the largest bankruptcy in American history. 

Gradually, then suddenly.  That same pattern can be seen in the Scriptures as well.  In Deuteronomy 32:35 we read, “Their foot shall slide in due time.”   Some will recognize this as the text on which Jonathan Edwards based his famous sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” Wrote Edwards,

It [the saying “their foot shall slide in due time”] 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 expressed 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).

Sodom and Gomorrah met with destruction in a single day. 

After centuries of rebellion against God, Jerusalem was sacked in a single day. 

In Daniel’s time, the mighty city of Babylon was overthrown in a single day. 

In Revelation, the voice from heaven prophesies that the destruction of Babylon the Great will come in a single day.  The kings of the earth are said to lament her destruction, crying out, “Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city!  For in one hour your judgment has come” (Revelation 18:10).  

In all of these cases, the sudden final destruction was really the end result of a process that had been going on for many years.   

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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

Major Study Finds The US Is An Oligarchy” was the way Business Insider reported the findings of a 2014 Princeton University peer-reviewed study of American politics.  In it, researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page concluded,  “The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence.”

Since this is a Scripturalist blog dedicated to the proposition that the Bible alone furnishes us with knowledge, readers may question why this author would cite a secular, empirical study to make a point about the state of American politics in the early 21st century.  One reason for doing so is that, while this study reflects the opinion of its authors, he believes that their opinion is an accurate reflection, politically speaking, of the state of affairs in this nation.  Opinion, while not knowledge – knowledge is always true – nevertheless can be both true and useful.    

If this study is right, and the author is persuaded that it is, the United States, founded as a republic, has devolved into a vulgar oligarchy, which is defined as, “a government in which a small group exercise control especially for corrupt and selfish purposes.”  Why has this happened? John Adams, one of America’s Founding Fathers put it this way, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.  It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”  Adams was, of course, right.  Paper restraints are wholly inadequate to hold back sinful man’s desire – and this desire is found both among those who would govern and those who are governed – for big government.  If the American people do not believe in constitutional capitalism, the political and economic expression of Christianity, then there is nothing to stop the nation from devolving into some form of authoritarianism.    

Now it may be worth pausing for a moment to explain that the common understanding of the term “religious” in Adams time meant “Protestant.”  The population of the American colonies at the time of the revolution was 98% Protestant, and it was this sort of religion that the framers had in mind.  Today, it is common for people to understand by “religion” or “religious” that the framers of the Constitution were referring to all religions – e.g. Romanism, Judaism, Islam.  But these three medieval religions are incapable of creating or sustaining a free society.  It is Christianity as expressed in the 66 books of the Bible and systematized during the 16th century Protestant Reformation, that alone provides the necessary ideas needed to constrain government to its proper, limited role of punishing evil doers and rewarding the good. 

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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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An Auto Zone burns in Minneapolis early Thursday, May 28, 2020. (Nick Woltman / Pioneer Press)

Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire.

  • Isaiah 1:7

Writing late in the history of Judah, the prophet Isaiah’s work has long struck this author as having special application to our own time.  In his long career, Isaiah witnessed much, including the final destruction of the Northern Kingdom by Assyria in 721 B.C. and a remarkable restoration of the Southern Kingdom under King Hezekiah. 

In the opening chapter of the book named for him, Isaiah painted a stark and unflattering picture of the current state of Judah and Jerusalem in his day.  Although they had a Godly heritage, the people of the Southern Kingdom had not only abandoned that heritage but were acting in ways that were the exact opposite of what had been laid down for them in the Law of Moses.  Speaking through Isaiah, the Lord called them “children who are corruptors.”  Not only were they themselves corrupt, but they corrupted others.  Further, the Lord said of them that, “They have turned away backward.’  The inhabitants of Jerusalem and Judah not only were off course but were going 180 degrees away from the direction God had called them to go. 

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The Black Lives Matter street mural recently painted right next to Cincinnati City Hall. The Mainstreaming of this Marxist organization is all but complete.

“I have heard many such things; Miserable comforters are you all!”

  • Job 16:2

An old saying among military men is that generals are always ready to fight the last war.  Perhaps the classic example of this is the French military leaders, who, having learned by experience in World War I that trench warfare and fixed fortifications were the way to fight, built the Maginot Line to defend the nation against a future attack from Germany. 

From all accounts it was a well-built defensive line.  A very impressive military installation it was. And not only that, according to Encyclopædia Britannica, the 800,000-man strong French army, “was thought at the time to be the most powerful in Europe.” 

Unfortunately, as the French general staff again learned by experience in the Spring of 1940, in the intervening twenty of so years since the last war Germany had developed a new form of warfare, Blitzkrieg (lightning war).  Blitzkrieg, sometimes called third generation warfare by military historians, is based on speed and movement.     Instead of slugging it out toe to toe with the French in the trenches, the German army simply went around the Maginot Line through Belgium and down into the heart of France.

The Germans began their attack through Belgium on May 10, 1940.  France surrendered just six weeks later on June 22.  If it were a boxing match, you’d call it a first-round knockout.

The French generals, who were wonderfully prepared to fight World War I-style trench warfare, did not anticipate Germany’s new tactics and thus failed to defend their people.  In France’s hour of need, they were miserable comforters. 

In the view of this author, Republican and Evangelical leaders are making a similar mistake today.  Thinking that the country is still fighting the civil rights battles of the 1950’s and 1960’s, they seem to think that white racism is the root of all evil in America today.  They can’t wait to denounce white racism, as if there were a Klansman waiting behind every bush, when the truth of the matter is that it is white people, who, more often than not, are the victims of racist rhetoric, racist polices and racially motivated violence, not the perpetrators of it.

And yet, if you listen to leading Republican and Evangelical voices, one could easily believe they’ve all internalized the accusation Hillary Clinton leveled at Trump voters 2016 and really truly believe that their party and their congregations are made up of nothing but a bunch of irredeemably deplorable racists, sexists and homophobes, who, not only are being justly punished by the righteous and terrible swift swords of Black Lives Matter and Antifa, but that they have not yet received from the Lord’s hands double for all their sins.  The beatings will continue until moral improves.  This seems to be the motto of those in positions of authority, both in the state and in the church. 

Not only do Republican and conservative Protestant spokesmen fail to defend their own people who are being subjected to the most vicious psychological, spiritual and even physical attacks I’ve ever seen in this country, not only do they fail to stand up and speak up and refute the slanders of the Marxist mobs howling for the destruction of the country, the very country that was principally built by the people they claim to represent, but these same Republican and Evangelical leaders actually pile on, joining with the enemies of their own people in beating down their congregations and political base.

Miserable comforters are they all. Miserable! Inexcusably, utterly miserable.

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All Seeing Eye

The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed.

  • Psalm 2:2

 

In last week’s post, we considered the many passages in Scripture which speak of conspiracies.  It seemed good to approach the subject of conspiracies in this way for at least two reasons.  If the fist place, this is a Scripturalist blog.  As such, it is the goal of this author to approach every subject with the understanding that that the Bible has a systematic monopoly on truth.  If one can establish that the infallible, inerrant Bible clearly teaches that conspiracies have occurred in the past, this poses a significant problem for those who claim, as some do, that it is impossible for conspiracies to occur today and to dismiss those who have doubts about the official explanations as “conspiracy theorists.”

A second reason for placing a post on biblical examples of conspiracies first in this series is one of interest.  It’s likely that many Christians have not considered the extensive evidence supporting the existence of conspiracies furnished by well-known Bible passages.  Coming to see these passages as examples of conspiracies not only adds to our understanding of Scripture, but gives Christians added intellectual ammunition to analyze events of the present day.

In today’s post, I would like to explore the term “conspiracy theory” itself.  As it turns out, one can make the case that the term “conspiracy theory” is, oddly enough, something of a conspiracy.

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www.youtube.com/watch

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New York_Times Square_2020_03_23

An almost empty street is seen at Times Square in Manhattan on Monday in New York City. On Tuesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo dismissed rumors that a quarantine would be in place for the state after days of rumors of New York City being put on lockdown. JJOHANNES EISELE/AFP/GETTY

All the days wherein the plague shall be in him he shall be defiled; he is unclean:  he shall dwell alone; without the camp shall his habitation be.

  • Leviticus 13:46

“We haven’t faced an enemy like we are facing today in 102 years – we are at war. In the time of war, we must make sacrifices, and I thank all of our Ohio citizens for what they are doing and what they aren’t doing. You are making a huge difference, and this difference will save lives,” said Governor DeWine. “Right now, we are in a crucial time in this battle. What we do now will slow this invader so that our healthcare system will have time to treat those who have contracted COVID-19 and also have time to treat those who have other medical problems. Time is of the essence.” Thus reads the announcement on the Ohio.gov website where the state’s Stay At Home Order is also listed.

Clearly, Governor DeWine takes the coronavirus [the Ohio.gov website calls it COVID-19] outbreak very seriously.  Note the repeated use of military terminology in the quote above.  We are told that “We haven’t faced an enemy like we are facing today in 102 years” [apparently, this is a reference to the 1918 outbreak of the Spanish Flu]…“we are at war”…“In time of war”…”we are in a crucial time in this battle”…”What we do now will slow this invader.”

With all this military terminology, one wonders when the Governor plans to institute a draft.  Then on second thought, in a way, he already has.  As the website notes, beginning March 23, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. Ohioans are under a Stay At Home Order.  This order is effective until 11:59 p.m. on April 6, 2020 “unless the order is rescinded or modified.”  This order applies to everyone, and as of this writing on March 29, no recension or modification of this order has been announced.  So in a way, all Ohioans already have been drafted into the Governor’s war.

One question that seems not to have been asked in the wake of Governor DeWine’s announcement is, on what authority does he give this order?  Reading through the order, one finds that it contains provisions that shutter a not insignificant portion of the businesses within the state.  What is the legal basis for the Governor’s order?

One possible answer is that Ohio has adopted some form of “Medical Martial Law” legislation that was propagated in the wake of the Swine Flu pandemic in 2009.  Researcher James Corbett produced a video back in 2009 related to the Swine Flu pandemic which he titled Medical Martial Law and which dealt with the legislative response that followed the outbreak of that pandemic.  In his video, Corbett states that something called “The Model State Emergency Health Powers Act” was drafted by the Center for Law and the Public’s Health at Georgetown University (Jesuits) and Johns Hopkins University.  According to the website of The Centers for Law & the Public’s Health, the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act (MSEHPA) “grants public health powers to state and local public health authorities to ensure a strong, effective, and timely planning, prevention, and response mechanisms to public health emergencies (including bioterrorism) while also respecting individual rights.”

The website boasts that forty-four states have adopted MSEHPA in whole or in part, but, curiously, Ohio is not listed among them.  Neither was I able to find anything on other websites linking MSEHPA to Ohio.  That being the case, this model legislation, as dangerous as it is, apparently is not the basis for the Governor’s actions.

According to the language in the Order itself, the basis for the Order is R.C. [Revised Code] 3701.13 which allows the Director of the Ohio Department of Health to “make special orders…for preventing the spread of contagious or infectious diseases.”

That said, although he doesn’t come out and say it directly, Governor DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton (Ohio’s Director of Health) seem eager for the public to see the Stay At Home Order as some form of Medical Martial Law.  This can be seen from the Governor’s own words, laden as they are with military terminology.

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Costco

Signs hanging inside a Costco store notified customers that they were out of supplies on Monday, March 2. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

“Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things.  But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

  • Luke 10:24

What’s my topic?  That’s the first question every writer must answer before starting. Sometimes topics suggest themselves easily.  Other times, coming up with an appropriate subject can be a bit daunting.

With all the events of last week – coronavirus, and the stock market crash to name two – you’d think that finding a topic would be easy.  But it’s been more of a challenge than may seem at first.

I had a number of ideas coming into today and had even written an outline for a possible series addressing ways in which entrenched vested interested manipulate events and the reporting on those events, giving people a false sense of reality and allowing them to surreptitiously advance their own hidden agendas.

Lord willing, I hope to be able to write that series.  But today, it just didn’t seem right.

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