Thursday, June 30, 2005

Supreme Socialistic Sources

Last week, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of a major step toward socialism. Of course, anyone of a paleo-conservative persuasion (as over and against the Reagan Republicans, neo-conservatives, RINOs, etc.) recognizes the downward spiral for decades and even a century. Eminent domain was bad enough for the cause of private property, then they added mill levies—which if not paid (even if you paid off your house) will result in losing one’s house—and now this.

It is clear that righteousness exalts a nation while wickedness devours her soul. Yet, this is simply not another political tirade against the insufferable onslaught of postmodern inanities (witness also the various Donkey Deans of the Democratic Party), but a concise analysis of the spiritual roots of this issue.

I do not claim to know the niceties of the case (reading the long opinions is left to other experts on my side [but who are not in my pocket!])—although I did watch a local PBS Reggie Rivers show wherein two experts agreed that a nuance was accomplished: a nuance that shifted the eminent domain usage of “public use and control” to (the nebulous) “public benefit”, which includes condemning houses for a Megamart which could woo the local city with fantastic—and unproven—predictions of large revenue for the city—but when given certain basic Biblical principles of government and private property, one can a priori determine the illegitimacy of this ruling.

What was the true underlining reason? Could this have been avoided? The answer to the first question depends upon one’s worldview. Mine is rooted deeply in the Reformation doctrine of sphere sovereignty (the demarcation of family, church & state), God’s sovereignty and ecclesiastical and political Republicanism. Yet, part of the root of this problem lies further underground in that first and truly American philosophy: Pragmatism. If it works, do it!

Apparently, part of the rational was that many cities (such as Chicago) were already using eminent domain within this matrix of “what’s good for the greatest is good for all”. (And it seemed to work.) Ironically, this matrix simply expresses the nineteenth century defunct philosophy of Utilitarianism, the cousin of Pragmatism. So: do the greatest good and do the workable. Double whammy.

We so easily forget that these rationales are tools used by postmodern Communists and Socialists. The latter has progressed easily through America by combining both rationales: taxing the rich helps the greatest number; limited land distribution works as well.

Yet, this is not the end of the story: Christians are just as much at fault. The ethics of too many Evangelicals has been that of Utilitarianism or Pragmatism. Laws are passed by the populace because it will “help more people”; politicians are voted in office (again and again) because “they seem to work”. Men are voted into positions of authority because “voting for the right candidate is a losing proposition (not workable), so we vote for the lesser evil (for the greatest good)”. And Christians vote right along with them.

As for the second question (Could this have been avoided?), frankly, given the climate of America in the last thirty years, this could not have been avoided. When the churches spout theological nonsense, it will surely poison the culture associated with it: remember Clinton, Kerry, Jesse and other political and cultural leaders all claim to be Christians!

So, is this blog simply stating a sad state of affairs? No, there is a long-term solution: Principled Politics. Christians need to stand upon the Word and vote the truth—even if it hurts. The American Revolution was accomplished against two-thirds of the populace who were Royalist or indifferent. What’s our excuse? We ought to recognize the sources of the Supreme Court Socialism and act accordingly. We ought to know the Gospel and the power of justification by faith alone in Christ alone instead of justifying our governmental thievery with “well, it works for the greatest number.”

Monday, June 27, 2005

Email-List Withdrawals

Random, sporadic conversations are only the beginning. Eventually after particularly funny jokes, I simply smile or even shape my mouth into an 'o'. Sometimes, I suddenly stop intense discussions and withdrawal to another group of conversationalists. At other times, someone turns to me and asks me a direct question...and I never answer.

I believe these are the classical symptoms of Email-List Withdrawals. That pscyhological condition wherein one carries over the habits of email conversations into everyday life. It even extends into imitating emoticons. It was bound to happen.

At one time I was on four email-lists simultaneously as well as various and sundry personal email conversations. Over time, I dropped these lists. I had to. The blithe emails were becoming repetitive and boring. Engaging in inane and unconducive dialogue (or were they monologues?) was consuming too much time and creating too much frustration. After dropping all the lists and maintaining a short repertoire of private emails, I felt I had the issue under control.

But I like to talk. I like to meet new Christians and engage in real dialogue. (plus, I'm a geek, so I have to do something high-tech all the time). So, I discovered my mind began to imitate email conversations. It was not pretty. It's not a good way to maintain relationships.

I had to do something. The Blog was the answer. Writing this blog is the answer. Hearing from you is the other answer (but I don't remember the question...)

Hopefully, this blog will alleviate some of these symptoms. You know all that random--hey, did you hear the one about the pope and the three presidents, well....


Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The Day is Done

It is done.

The Assembly's motions, perfections, amendments, and substitutions are resolved.
The Assembly's communications, overtures and appeals are finished.
The Assembly's prayer, devotion and worship are complete.
The Assembly's fellowship, joy and rest are fulfilled.

Thanks be to God our Father, our Savior and the work of the Holy Spirit for empowering, gifting and moving the elders and ministers of this Assembly to sacrifice their time for Kingdom work.

Thanks be to God for bringing many volunteers to dedicate their gifts for the relief of the physical needs of the Assembly in accordance with 1 Corinthians 12 & 13.

Thanks be to God for achieving His will in us (in spite of our frailties and sins) and completing the good work which was begun by Him.

By His grace, that work will be continued until the full perfection of heaven.
Meanwhile, the Assembly was dissolved and the work accomplished.

By God's power,
our work here is done.


Sunday, June 05, 2005

hot & heavy

Actually, it has not been that hot. But the humidity has been heavy.
That's right: I'm in Grand Rapids, Michigan. And compared to Denver, it's humid.
But, I can live with that. I'm here for the OPC General Assembly as a commissioner.
Administrative issue come before the body, motions are moved, debates ensue and votes are casted. Disciplinary appeals may also come before us.
All of this is for the work of the Church. Heavy work.
And work that may get heated at times as well (for are we not human and frail?).

As it stands, my room-mate (John the Doctor) and I just found an open computer room after wandering around outside in the cool night (I use that in a relative sense). I'm writing this piece to talk to the world, to complain about humidity and to thank the Lord that this Church takes her work seriously--whether the topics or the environment are hot and heavy.