Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Some Thoughts On Senator Cruz

Senator Ted Cruz is undeniably a charismatic and gifted campaigner. But who's side is he really on? To whom is he married? What has he done politically and for whom has be worked?

Ted worked on the Bush 2000 campaign, was a key legal adviser for Bush in the Florida recount, recruiting John Roberts (later appointed Chief Justice) to the legal team, and then received a spoils role in his White House. While this indicates a close connection to the "establishment", it was his Senate record that confirmed to me he is truly an agent for the globalist agenda.

Voting records are very slippery things. Bills are created and tagged as pro-life or pro-gun so that members can vote the right way to get high marks on a particular scorecard. But often such bills have no meaningful effect on anything or can even have a detrimental effect. The meaningful votes are often the procedural votes that set up the highly publicized and reported votes or amendment votes that gut good bills. Unless one digs deeply into the congressional record, these finer points can go unnoticed.

For example, in Texas the bill that made it legal to murder unborn babies (SB319) was highly touted as a "pro-life" bill, so much so that some pro-life organizations gave a vote in favor of making it legal to murder unborn babies double credit on their scorecards. The law was passed by a supposedly pro-life, republican controlled legislature and signed by a pro-life Republican governor. Unless you actually read the bill, you would think all those dutiful pro-life members were doing the duty they were elected to do and fighting for life. Sadly it was just the opposite. Prior to the bill it was illegal to murder unborn babies in Texas. After the bill, Sec 19.006 was added to the murder statute to allow mothers and doctors to murder unborn individuals.

Cruz's record in the Senate is composed of similar tactics. Along with 30 other senators, he co-sponsored Senator Rand Paul’s bill to audit the Federal Reserve, dubbed the Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2015. Ron Paul had been introducing similar legislation into the house for a number of years. It recently started passing. However, it wasn’t until Rand got to the Senate and the Republicans took back control of the Senate that it stood a chance of passing there as well. Cruz said all the right things about auditing the Fed. For example, at a recent debate he said, “I’ve got deep concerns about the Federal Reserve. The first thing that I think we need to do is audit the Fed and I am an original co-sponsor of Congressman Ron Paul’s (R-TX), “Audit the Fed” legislation.” (video here.)

Not surprisingly, the Democrats blocked the bill and thus a 60% majority vote was needed to advance the legislation. But on the day of the vote, Cruz was absent. Yes, it is true he was busy campaigning. But Rubio (another co-sponsor) voted, and Rand voted. Both of those men were also campaigning for president but were still able to get back for this very important vote. Senator Cruz was conveniently absent for the most important vote he could make to dismantle the new world order and make good on his anti-establishment rhetoric.

He played the same sort of game with the secret TPP free trade bill. He was for it until a few days before the scheduled vote when it had enough votes to pass comfortably, then he switched and was against it. That way he could say he voted against it, while he had been promoting it all along. This is the way the game is played. Unless one is paying close attention, it is easy to miss these troubling details. People typically allow a politician a couple of deviations from their “promised” position without removing their support. But when those few votes turn out to be key legislative cornerstones for the new world order, one has to wonder.

Now what about Heidi Cruz? Her resume includes the following:

  • Member, Council on Foreign Relations – if you’re not familiar with this organization, a good place to start is Shadows of Power by James Pearloff.
  • Investment banker for J.P. Morgan in New York City. (JP Morgan was represented at Jeckyll Island.)
  • 2000 - Worked on the George W. Bush presidential campaign.
  • 2001 - Served in the Bush administration under Condoleezza Rice as Economic Director for the Western Hemisphere at the National Security Council, as the Director of the Latin America Office at the U.S. Treasury Department, and as Special Assistant to Ambassador Robert B. Zoellick, U.S. Trade Representative.
  • 2004 – Member of the CFR-sponsored Independent Task Force on the Future of North America whose main output was a report titled, Building a North American Community. (see for more information
  • On leave of absence as the managing partner of Goldman, Sachs & Co. Houston office for Ted’s campaign. Goldman Sachs is a primary dealer with the US Fed– one of only about 20 dealers.

She’s about as tied to the establishment as one could possibly be.

So what do we make of these facts? Who is working for the new world order (i.e. one world government and dissolution of US) and who's not is much like asking who's a Christian and who's not. No Christian acts as a Christian should in every circumstance. But just because no Christian is without sin doesn't make it impossible to discern who is for the Lord and who is not. All those not for Christ are against him. Conversely, there are many people against Christ who at times can be very gracious and giving people.

In an analogous way, many agents for the new world order can say and do good things at times. Unlike the Christian faith, the god of the new world order faith is neither sovereign nor omnipotent and there are no promises or assurance regarding their children. Converts are wooed gradually through the influence of mentors and the environment. Antony Sutton, the Hoover Institute scholar, has written a very helpful book using numerous historical examples illustrating this process of association and influence in recruiting the next generation (America's Secret Establishment, see "Chain of Influence" starting on p41). Servando Gonzalez, in his book Psychological Warfare and the New World Order, analyzes open sources using standard intelligence methods to name the handlers for every US president since WW1. This influence is indirect. No President has always done what their handlers wanted them to do in every situation. But that doesn't negate the very real impact, nor the fact that every American presidency (Reagan included) has basically followed the same agenda. This new world order influence is the key that best explains the course of American history over the past 100 years. The conservative / liberal paradigm utterly fails to account for the overall trajectory of so called "conservative" and "liberal" administrations which have typically contradicted the campaign rhetoric. The ideological liberals were as upset with Obama as the constitutionalists were with Bush.

Not everyone that works for a global, CFR connected company like JP Morgan is a supporter of the new world order. However employment at these places provides exposure to the right people and can serve as a point of entrance. It's from there that she got connected with Secretary Rice (CFR member) and served in the Bush white house. I saw this happen from the inside while a student at the US Naval Academy. The top 10-15 students in the class were invited to join an elite study group that met Saturday morning under the tutelage of a senior professor to prepare them for a Rhodes Scholarship. This is where they were exposed to these ideas. Over the course of their sophomore and junior year their thinking was influenced. While some were more influenced than others, no one I personally knew was really aware of the process. Those that best articulated the new world order philosophy were chosen as Rhodes Scholars. Later there are opportunities for internships at the White House, Langley, or the Pratt house where thinking is influenced further.

I consider the most significant data points in Heidi Cruz's biography to be her membership on the CFR task force on the Future of North America, her senior leadership position in Goldman Sachs, and her close connection to CFR leaders in the White House. A true constitutionalist will never be invited onto a CFR task force, even as a dissenting voice. If one ever did, they, like Admiral Chester Ward, would resign in protest. Likewise, no one will ever become a senior vice president (managing director) in a CFR connected multi-national company without being ideologically supportive of the new world order. The scrutiny of the vetting process that is done for the top positions in those companies far exceeds anything I experienced for TS SBI clearances in the DOD. The White House service in 3 departments under a very senior CFR member was the ticket that got her invited to the task force. If Secretary Rice had not deemed her suitably favorable to the new world order objectives, she would have never received the invitation to serve on the task force.

Don't think the CFR tells the state department what to do? This video has the words from the horse's mouth.

In the words of former CFR member, Admiral Ward:
“Once the ruling members of the CFR have decided that the U.S. Government should adopt a particular policy, the very substantial research facilities of CFR are put to work to develop arguments, intellectual and emotional, to support the new policy, and to confound and discredit, intellectually and politically, any opposition.” (Admiral Chester Ward, Kissinger on the Couch, p. 151. 1975)

This video ties it all together.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Law of God in the Life of a Christian

In most ethical debates among Christians, the question causing debate is often not what the law means or how it should be applied, but rather what is the law that should be applied. Even among Christians, who all recognize Jesus Christ as the King of Kings, there is significant disagreement about which of the many words that he has spoken are applicable in any given situation and which are not. One doesn’t have to listen to this debate very long before hearing the assertions like, “Old Testament laws only applied to Israelites”, “The 10 Commandments were only for Israel”, or “We are not under law, but under grace.” In fact, the last statement is itself a part of the law of God. (“…for you are not under law, but under grace.” Romans 6:14b) What does it mean? To answer that question, let’s begin by defining the terms, particularly the terms "under" and "law".

In the Bible, Law is used in several different ways. It can refer to:

  1. A doctrine, system, or principle
  2. Romans 3:27 - Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.

    Romans 8:2 - For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

    Romans 7:23 - But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

  3. The commands and ceremonies associated with the OT Temple and Tabernacle Worship.
  4. Hebrews 8:4 - For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law:, or

    Hebrews 10:1 - For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.

    Hebrews 10:8 - Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin you would not, neither had pleasure therein; which are offered according to the law;

    Ephesians 2:15 - Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

  5. The Moral Law (or that which is summarized in the 10 commandments)
  6. Matthew 12:5 Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless?

    Matthew 22:36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

  7. The Pentateuch
  8. Luke 24:44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spoke unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.

    John 1:45 Philip found Nathanael, and said unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.

  9. The Scriptures as a whole
  10. John 10:34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? (Jesus quotes from Psalm 82:6 referring to the Psalms as the “law.”

    Romans 7:22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:

    Matthew 23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law: judgment, mercy, and faith. These ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

    Psalms 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
There are many passages in the NT where law is used to explicitly refer to OT commandments and there are places where law is used without explicit reference to OT commandments. But nowhere does the NT ever limit “law” to just NT commands. The word under is fairly straightforward meaning “obligated to obey” or in the case of a principle, that it is applicable to our situation. So with these definitions, I think most would agree that scripture teaches:
  1. The law of faith and the law of the Spirit of life are doctrines that are applicable to us. But we are not under the law as a means of justification. We can’t be saved by keeping the law. Grace is the principle undergirding our salvation. It is the means by which we are saved from the wrath of God (Ephesians 2:9). Neither are we under the curse of the law. Christ has borne the curse of the law, satisfying the wrath of God and paying the penalty for our breaking of God’s law.
  2. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree: Galatians 3:13.

  3. Neither are we under the law in the second sense of its use. Christ has offered of himself a sacrifice that is far superior to the blood of the bulls and goats. In fact any attempt to obey these laws using animal sacrifices is to deny Christ’s great work on the cross.
But what about the law as defined in senses 3 through 5?

The NT View of Transgressions of God’s Law

First, the Bible defines sin as a transgression of God’s law.
  • Whosoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. 1 John 3:4

  • What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. Romans 7:7
Note that in these passages law is being used in sense 3, 4, or 5.

Secondly, the Bible says that we still sin.
  • If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:8-10)

  • Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. (James 5:16a)

  • Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. (Galatians 6:1)
If sin is a transgression of the law and we still sin, even after conversion, then we must still have a duty to obey the law of God. If there was no obligation for us to obey the law of God, then it would be impossible for us to sin. Sin is only possible where there is a law. “For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.” (Romans 5:13)

Paul tells us that sin is not to have dominion over us and that we are not to use our members for sinful purposes. If we are not to use our members for sin then we are not to use our members to transgress the law of God. That is the same as saying that we have a moral duty to obey the law of God.
  • Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. Romans 6:12-13
John is quite explicit that we if we abide in Christ we are not to sin any more.
  • You know that he appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. 1 John 3:5-6
If we are not to sin any more, that means we are not to transgress the law of God anymore. If we are not to transgress the law of God, then we are under obligation to obey the law of God. This is consistent with what Jesus said in Matthew 5 about not coming to abolish the law.

Jesus taught that the Old Testament law was still something we should obey and called those who broke even the least commandment, least in the kingdom of heaven.
  • Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:17-19

  • And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail. Luke 16:17
Jesus also cited OT applications of the moral law as obligatory. For instance, when Jesus was tempted by Satan to cast himself off the temple, Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 6:16 (Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God,) as the reason it would be wrong for him to cast himself off the temple. In Mark 10:19 he added the OT command "Do not defraud" to a partial recitation of the 10 commandments.

This understanding of our relationship to the law is implicitly assumed or explicitly stated many places in scripture. Jesus said the golden rule is based upon the OT law (Deuteronomy 6:5).
  • Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, you shall love the Lord thy God with all your heart, and with all thy soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Matthew 22:37-40

  • Therefore all things whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do you even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. Matthew 7:12
Jesus appealed to the OT law regarding the necessity of a plurality of witnesses to establish facts in order to show that his testimony about himself was true. Jesus claimed his testimony was true because it was established by two witnesses – the Father and the Son – exactly as required in the law.
  • And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me. It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. I am one that bears witness of myself, and the Father that sent me bears witness of me. John 8:16-18
Jesus recognized the Pharisee’s tithing the increase of their spices was proper and good. But he also rebuked them for not obeying the weightier matters of the law. If the Pharisees were rebuked for forgetting the weightier matters of the law – judgment, mercy, and faith, how much more are we, who have the greater light of the NT, responsible to obey the weightier matters of the law of God?
  • Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Matthew 23:23
Paul acknowledged that the law in Exodus 22:28 was something he should obey.
  • Then said Paul unto him, God shall smite thee, thou whited wall: for you sit to judge me after the law, and command me to be smitten contrary to the law? And they that stood by said, Do you revile God's high priest? Then said Paul, I knew not, brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people. Acts 23:3-5
Consistent with Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 5, Paul applies obligations in the OT law to NT situations.
  • Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in the word and doctrine. For the scripture says, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treads out the corn. And, the laborer is worthy of his reward. (1Timothy 5:17-18)
  • For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treads out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? Or says he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that plows should plow in hope; and that he that threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope. 1 Corinthians 9:9-10
Paul appeals to Deuteronomy 25:4 (Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treads out the corn.) as the basis for paying elders in the NT church. It should also be remembered that Paul goes so far as to say that he proclaimed nothing except what was written in Moses and the prophets. Far from being abolished, the law of God (i.e OT scripture) is the foundation on which the NT is built.
  • Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come. (Acts 26:22)
Paul also said that 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 furnished unto all good works. (2 Timothy 3:16-17) He doesn’t say, “NT scripture is profitable.” If we are going to be thoroughly furnished unto all good works, then we must pay attention to all scripture. We have to be instructed in both the OT and NT law.

The Significance of Obeying God’s Law

Jesus taught that keeping the law would bring eternal life, if anyone could do it. The problem, as Paul makes clear in Romans 2 is that absolutely no one, either Jew or Gentile, can keep the law.
  • And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, ‘What is written in the law? How do you read it?’ And he answering said, ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.’ And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. Luke 10:25-28
Paul repeats same principle in Romans – those who (actually and in fact) keep the law are justified.
  • For there is no respect of persons with God. For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. Romans 2:11-13
Paul goes on to leave no doubt that even though perfect obedience of the law of God would result in eternal life, no one can be saved that way because no one is able to keep the law. No one can even come close.
  • As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understand, there is none that seeks after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulcher; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes. … Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight… (Romans 3:10-18, 20a)

The Spiritual Nature and Inward Inscription of God’s Law

But as Paul makes clear a little later, the fact that we are justified by grace does not make void the law of God.
  • Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. … Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law. Romans 3:28, 31
Far from being made void, the law is not only established, but it is good and it is spiritual.
  • Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. … For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Romans 7:12, 14, 16

  • I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: Romans 7:21-22
< The NT teaches that God writes the law on our heart. Far from teaching that we are no longer obliged to obey the law of God, Hebrews says that God puts his law into our minds.
  • For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Hebrews 8:10
The Apostle John describes Christians as those who keep the commandments of God.
  • Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus. Revelation 14:12

  • Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea. Revelation 12:17

Love Defined by Obedience to God’s Law

The NT everywhere emphatically affirms the OT. But the obligation for NT Christians to follow the law of God can be shown from a completely different approach. We are commanded in numerous places to love one another. What does it mean to love? Jesus said that to love him means that we keep his commandments. (If you love me, you will keep my commandments. John 14:15) Paul says the same thing in Romans: “love is fulfilling the law.”
  • Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loves another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. Love works no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. (Romans 13:8-10)

Note that the law to which he refers is the portion of the ten commandments dealing with our relationship to our neighbors. The Apostle John says the same thing.
  • By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. 1 John 5:2-3

  • And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it. 2 John 1:6

John also said that keeping the commandments of Christ was necessary to abiding in his love. His commandment is that we love one another. As shown earlier, to love our neighbor means that we obey the law of God with respect to our neighbor – we promote his life, property, chastity, and reputation.
  • If you keep my commandments, you shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. John 15:10

This command to love is not a new command. It is an old command that goes all the way back to creation when God created the heavens and the earth. From the beginning God’s saints have been obligated to love him and keep his commandments. Our love for one another and the fact that we are children of God are both evidenced by our obedience of God’s law.
  • And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says "I know him" but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard. 1 John 2:3-7

Since love is defined as obedience to the law of God, we do not love unless we are obeying God’s law as revealed in the Old and New Testament. Since we are commanded to love, we are therefore obligated to keep the law of God. Thus we are under the law, not as a way of salvation, but as a pattern for our sanctification.

The New Testament Requires Obedience to Old Testament Law

The NT seamlessly applies the law of God to Christians in the NT. From Christ’s requiring the rich young man to keep God’s commandments and equating them with the commandments given at Sinai to Paul commanding the Ephesians to obey the fifth of the ten commandments given at Mt. Sinai, calling it the first commandment with a promise , to John saying that his command to love one another was not a new command but an old one, the NT commands obedience to the law of God given in the OT.

The burden is on those who deny the applicability of the ten commandments or any other portion of the law of God to show from scripture that those laws have been abrogated for the NT Christian. This is not accomplished by merely pointing to the fact that we no longer kill Passover lambs and put their blood on our doors because Scripture teaches that Christ is our Passover Lamb and that he has already been sacrificed for us (1 Corinthians 5:7) and that his sacrifice is not to be repeated (Hebrews 7:27, 9:26). Nevertheless, we are to still keep the passover, albeit in a very different manner. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. (I Corinthians 5:7b-8) If one wants to consider the passover abrogated, I won’t disagree as long as two points are acknowledged:

1. That the OT Passover (or OT other ceremonies) pointed forward to Christ who is the anti-type of the OT Passover (or other OT ceremony) and that what was celebrated in the OT ceremony is still celebrated in Christ.

2. That the abrogation of specific passover laws cannot be generalized to all other laws without a specific scriptural warrant for doing so.

Showing that the OT laws have been abrogated is also not accomplished by merely pointing to laws requiring a fence around one’s roof or forbidding the muzzling of a donkey threshing grain and noting that we no longer do these things. Twice Paul uses the law against muzzling donkeys to argue that NT pastors should be paid. In making that argument Paul also teaches us that the point of the law was more about teaching us that a laborer is worthy of wages than it was about the care and feeding of donkeys. Paul’s example teaches us that even if the specific context of the law no longer directly applies to us, the principle being taught in the law still very much applies to us. If we were to find ourselves in the exact same situation today, then the same action specified in the OT law would be the obligatory for us.

Friday, July 04, 2014

The Free Offer Defended

The “free offer” of the gospel has been the subject of intense debate for many years. On one hand some have argued that if God has foreordained some men to eternal damnation from before the foundation of the world, then how could God sincerely offer his saving mercy to them? Others argue that if he truly desired to gather the rebellious children of Israel under his wing as a hen gathers her chicks, but the Scribes and Pharisees were not willing , isn’t God expressing a desire of some sort to save those who are not elect? All too often one side latches on to the passages that affirm their favored view and then with the club of logic, beat all other passages into conformity to that doctrine.

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Friday, April 25, 2014

Why Not A Constitutional Convention?

I received an email today from a local representative of the Convention of States asking for support for an Article V Constitutional Convention, similar to the one in 1787 that gave us the constitution we now have. After acknowledging our agreement on many things and thanking her for reaching out to us, I told her that her email only reinforced my already firm persuasion that another Constitutional Convention posed a great danger to our country.

An article V convention will have power to revise the constitution. Whether they use that power lawfully or unlawfully, they will change the constitution. That is the problem. Changing the constitution does nothing to restore lawful government. Consider the two possible extreme outcomes: 1. Only "good" changes are made and the constitution is made a better document, or 2) Only bad changes are made and constitution is gutted. If option 1 happens and we get more restrictive statements about what government can and can't do, how will that restore lawful government? If good statements could restrain an out of control government, then the good statements already in the constitution would be doing so. The right to keep and bear arms would not be egregiously violated every time one steps on federal property or buildings. Mass collection of private data would not occur because that violates the 4th amendment. Civil forfeiture would not occur because that violates the 5th amendment. The FDA's egregious predawn raids on family farms would not exist because they have no constitutional authority to regulate what farmers grow or how they sell their milk. The problem is the government is violating the good statements in the constitution. More good statements on a piece of paper won't stop them. On the other hand, the convention poses a huge risk to the constitution if good statements are removed or edited into meaninglessness. Why do something that has huge risk and no benefit?

The one constitutional convention in our history is not a promising precedent. I don’t consider it to have been good or successful for the cause of liberty. It posed a grave threat that was only partially neutralized by a minority of astute delegates who doggedly fought to preserve a federal government and knew enough zoology to identify a rat when they chanced to encounter one.

Why do I say the first convention was dangerous to liberty?

The very thing that advocates say could not happen (i.e. a run-away convention) is what actually happened at the first convention.

The constituting resolution was:

“Resolved, That, in the opinion of Congress, it is expedient that, on the second Monday in May next, a convention of delegates, who shall have been appointed by the several states, be held at Philadelphia, for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of confederation, and reporting to Congress and the several legislatures such alterations and provisions therein as shall, when agreed to in Congress, and confirmed by the states, render the federal Constitution adequate to the exigencies of government and the preservation of the Union."

The stated and agreed purpose was to revise the Articles of Confederation. However from the opening volley, it became apparent that the real intention of some was to eradicate a federal government and replace it with a centralized, national government like the European states had.

In rebuting the charge that the convention was illegal, Mr. Farris's article completely misses the point. Whether the convention was legal or not is a straw man argument. The problem is not that the convention acted illegally, the problem is that the convention, legally or illegally, altered the very principle on which our federal government was based.

Consider the following evidence:

In his opening remarks, Governor Randolf proposed 15 resolutions to the delegates as principles on which to base the new government. According to Mr. Yates, “He candidly confessed that they were not intended for a federal government—he meant a strong, consolidated union, in which the idea of states should be nearly annihilated.” (Chief Justice Yate’s minutes, from Tuesday May 29, 1787).

Gouverneur Morris then proposed 3 resolutions:

  1. Resolved, That a union of the states, merely federal, will not accomplish the objects proposed by the Articles of Confederation, namely, common defense, security of liberty, and general welfare.
  2. Resolved, That no treaty or treaties among any of the states, as sovereign, will accomplish or secure their common defense, liberty, or welfare.
  3. Resolved, That a national government ought to be established, consisting of a supreme judicial, legislative, and executive."
Pinckney pointed out that if the first resolution passed, the convention’s business was finished as their task was to revise, not change the articles of confederation (Chief Justice Yate’s minutes, from Wednesday May 30, 1787). (I wonder if anyone noted the irony in claiming that treaties among sovereign states were inadequate to provide for the common defense when they, as sovereign states bound by informal treaties, had just defeated the greatest empire on the face of the earth.) Thankfully, enough alert members agreed with his point and turned down the first two resolutions. But they didn't change the goals of the delegates seeking a national government nor could they match the nationalist's marketing ability and organizational muscle. As a result the very people arguing for a federal government are known to history as the Anti-federalists and the people pushing for a national government are known as Federalists.

And thus the convention proceeded and the coup d'état succeeded. The fundamental principle of rule was shifted from a federal to a national government. The one bright spot is that the nationalists were forced to add significant protections in the bill of rights in order to secure passage of the final document. While this preserved a large degree of federalism in our government for a time, the final document retained some significant Trojan horses, such as the commerce and general welfare clause, through which the federal principles in the Bill of Rights have been eviscerated, nullified, and largely ignored. In seeking to prove that the two constitutions are really the same document, Farris notes that the retention of un-delegated powers by the states stayed in the Constitution. While this is true, he fails to note the equally important point that this principle, contained in the bill of rights, was only added after the fact in order to keep the whole document from being rejected. In modern times this federal principle has been so completely subordinated to the national principles of the general welfare and commerce clause so as to be practically meaningless.

Some of the best men of the day were against it, fearing and predicting the very thing that has happened – men like Patrick Henry.

Why is Patrick Henry's opinion to be believed over the opinion of other founders who supported the new constitution? He recognized the British intentions for what they were, long before most of his peers in the Virginia House. More than anyone else, he can be credited with moving Virginia to prepare for war. Had other courses of action been followed by Virginia, the effort for independence would have certainly been set back and likely never reached maturity.

Many other people were also against the constitution because it lacked strong guarantees against national tyranny. In reading the Anti-Federalist papers, one can’t help but be struck by how many of their concerns have been realized today.

If this happened to a nation that had just emerged from tyranny, what about today? The general population now is no match for the population of that day, not even close. The government schools have worked their poison deep into our culture. I would fear a constitutional convention if it was comprised of just the republican party of Texas. But in any national convention the republican party of Texas would be on the “radical right,” relatively speaking. The response of Convention of States that “It only takes 13 states to vote “no” to defeat any proposed amendment, and the chances of 38 state legislatures approving a rogue amendment are effectively zero” is wishful thinking at best. The fact is that on many occasions more than 38 states have all approved the same or similarly bad legislation.

For example, abortion is legal in Texas because a pro-life republican legislature amended the homicide section of the penal code (Section 19.06) to allow mothers and doctors to kill their babies (SB319 passed in 2002). In fact this bill exempting doctors and mothers from homicide and assault if they intentionally killed her baby was even billed as a pro-life bill and supported by numerous pro-life agencies! If Roe v. Wade were overturned today, abortion would still be quite legal in Texas and in 43 other states. If 44 states are willing to legalize killing unborn children,how can anyone say with a straight face that the chance of 38 states passing a rogue amendment is effectively zero? Maybe they don't consider legalized murder to be a rogue law. One could multiply examples by the 100’s where most, if not all, states have enacted bad laws. In fact, in one case when the legislature did outlaw the murder of unborn children, the people rescinded the law on a state wide referendum. Our problem is not the Constitution or the Supreme Court’s bad decision. It’s not even the federal Congress. It’s us.

If the problem was Congress, it would have been fixed years ago. It takes only 6 years at most to totally clean Congress. But conservative republicans in Texas continue to vote for people like John Cornyn, who sabotaged Senator’s Cruz’s efforts to defund the Affordable Care Act and voted for cloture, allowing it to come to the Senate floor where it was passed by the Democratic majority. It’s not President Obama that’s the problem, it’s the republicans in Texas who vote for people that support ObamaCare. As many flaws as the constitution has, our problem is not the Constitution, it’s not a run-away federal government or congress, it is the people themselves.

The constitution is only as good as the people who hold it. That’s why Ben Franklin is reputed to have answered Mrs. Powel’s question regarding what type of government the convention had given us with, “A republic, if you can keep it.” The constitution could be perfect and we would still be facing the same problems we face today. Fixing the flaws in the constitution, and there are a number of them, won’t fix our problems. Our freedom is only as strong as the people themselves.

Think of it this way, we have the Bible. It is a perfect document, without error with respect to everything it says. It gives infallible instruction regarding the duties and powers of the civil magistrate. The scriptures were considered the foundation of our founding documents. The Original Constitution of the Colony of New Haven, June 4, 1639 affirmed unanimously that “the scriptures do hold forth a perfect rule for the direction and government of all men in all duties which they are to perform to GOD and men, in families and commonwealth, as well as in matters of the church.” The Massachusetts Body of Liberties (1641) incorporated scripture texts right into the civil law (e.g. Section 94. Capital Laws). Yet even with a perfect document, we’re in a mess today because we don’t follow it. The lesson of history is that even a perfect document can’t preserve liberty.

The reason is simple. Liberty is based on the principle of obedience or duty and exists only as the result of obedience to the law of God. This is why the law of God is called the perfect law of liberty.

  • And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts. (Psalm 119:45).
  • Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. (2Co 3:17)
  • But whoso looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. (Jas 1:25)
  • So speak, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. (Jas 2:12)
But we simply cannot keep the law of God. Ultimately, it is the obedience of Christ through which any and all liberty comes. The result of his perfect obedience to the law of God, which includes his death on the cross, is that we are redeemed from bondage to sin and Satan, his righteousness is imputed to us, and his Spirit, dwelling in us, enables us to walk in his precepts. Political liberty is based on and flows from this liberty we have through Christ’s work. That’s why Leviticus 25:10, a Messianic passage pointing toward Christ’s work of redemption, was put on our Liberty bell. Liberty comes from the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Political liberty requires self-government. Self government requires a heart regenerated by the Holy Spirit. It is the result of a man being led by Christ’s Spirit and enabled by his grace to bring his own actions into conformity with God’s law. 
Without this work which makes self government possible, there can be no liberty. This concept of freedom only through obedience to the law can be seen in many other applications. A train, for example, enjoys freedom to operate as designed only when it is constrained to run on tracks. It is nearly useless and can go nowhere if it seeks to be “free” of the constraint of the tracks.

Freedom is the ability to obey the law of God. Tyranny is inability to obey the law of God. That which helps us to obey the law of God brings freedom, that which hinders our ability to obey the law of God brings tyranny and bondage.

To govern is to direct or control the actions of men. Good government is to do so according to the law of God, bringing freedom. Bad government is to do so arbitrarily, according to the whims of man, bringing tyranny.

The single biggest threat to our liberty is the government school. The most effective means of restoring liberty to his nation would be to eradicate government schools and the massive taxes they consume, not to convene a constitutional convention. If our tyrannical government won't follow the good law that we do have now, why would they respect a new law any more?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

President Jefferson's Wax Nose

Pseudo Christians who profess to believe the Bible, but deny that it is true (aka Liberals) have always confused themselves and Christians. David Barton is no exception – to being a confused Christian, that is. His recent work, The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You’ve Always Believed About Thomas Jefferson attempts to refute those who claim that Jefferson hated the Bible by pointing to Jefferson’s frequent financial support of efforts to print and distribute Bibles, his lifelong efforts to compile and read various extracts and summaries of the Bible in multiple languages, and his assessment and promotion of Jesus as the greatest moral teacher that ever lived.
Compared to the leading atheists of our day who openly denigrate Christ and his Word, Jefferson does appear to be “a horse of a different color.” But is he?

In assessing the religious convictions of President Jefferson and determining whether he was a friend or foe of Christ and his Word, one needs to remember that theological heresy is more frequently defined by what it won’t say than by what it will say. The long apostate Presbyterian church, that once was the home of faithful men like Archibald Alexander and Samuel Miller, was recently assembling a new hymnal. One hymn the committee really loved had a beautiful verse which read,

For on the cross as Jesus died
The love of God was magnified.

However, when they sought permission to use the hymn from the copyright holders, they learned that the correct words were:

For on the cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied.

When the copyright holders, to their credit, refused to grant permission to use the modified words, the committee reluctantly dropped the hymn. Now both of those statements are true, having strong Biblical support. Had they included the altered version in the hymnal, few could have found any theological errors with their work. But in this case their unwillingness to affirm another foundational truth of scripture exposed their heresy. Heretics and infidels are not what they are because they don’t say anything right. They are heretics because of the wrong things they do affirm or the right things they won’t affirm that are foundational to the gospel.

Thomas Jefferson’s views on Scripture and Jesus Christ need to be seen for what they really are – an indirect, but nonetheless deadly attack on Christ. Jefferson was a liberal in the same mold of the liberals of early 20th century. You can identify liberals (I use this word in its technical theological sense. It is not meant to be a pejorative or complimentary descriptor of someone's character.) by their answer to a question couplet. It goes like this:

Ask a liberal, “Do you believe the Jonah account is true?" They will typically say yes. Then ask if they believe Jonah was actually swallowed by a fish? A liberal will say no. Other couplets will also work.

Do you believe the gospel account of Jesus birth? Many liberals will say yes. Do you believe Jesus was born of a woman who had never known a man? A liberal will say no. Do you believe the Genesis 1-11 account of creation is true? Most will say yes. Do you believe the earth is about 6000 years old? They will say no. (Granted, many liberals today would answer no to both questions of these couplets, but these types of honest liberals don’t confuse others and are not my focus.)

A liberal uses the same words as Christians, but he doesn't mean the same thing by those words. This was the case with Jefferson. In defending Jefferson, Barton summarizes his views by saying,

“Jefferson owned many Bibles, belonged to a Bible society and contributed to it, gave out copies of the full, unedited text of the traditional Bible, and assisted in publishing and distributing Bibles. In each of these situations, Jefferson had the opportunity to indicate his personal displeasure with the Bible or at least refrain from participating, but he did not do so.” [Emphasis in original] p69.

But in his short chapter defending Jefferson’s view of the Bible, he never tells us about the fundamental statements that Jefferson won’t affirm or of his blatant denial of Christ’s deity. Let’s take a look at a few of these statements from his own letters.

“That Jesus did not mean to impose himself on mankind as the son of God, physically speaking, I have been convinced by the writings of men more learned than myself in that lore. But that he might conscientiously believe himself inspired from above, is very possible. Letter to William Short Monticello, August 4, 1820, Vol 19, p14

Elsewhere in the same letter Jefferson heaps mountains of scorn on God’s word and the holy men who were moved by the Holy Spirit to write it:

I say, that this free exercise of reason is all I ask for the vindication of the character of Jesus. We find in the writings of his biographers matter of two distinct descriptions. First, a groundwork [i.e. the gospels] of vulgar ignorance, of things impossible, of superstitions, fanaticisms and fabrications. Intermixed with these, again, are sublime ideas of the Supreme Being, aphorisms and precepts of the purest morality and benevolence, sanctioned by a life of humility, innocence and simplicity of manners, neglect of riches, absence of worldly ambition and honors, with an eloquence and persuasiveness which have not been surpassed. These could not be inventions of the groveling authors who relate them. They are far beyond the powers of their feeble minds. The parts fall asunder of themselves, as would those of an image of metal and clay.[emphasis added]

There are, I acknowledge, passages not free from objection, which we may, with probability, ascribe to Jesus himself; [In other words, denying that the whole Bible is the word of Christ, Jefferson even finds some of Christ’s own words objectionable. -PA] but claiming indulgence from the circumstances under which he acted. His object was the reformation of some articles in the religion of the Jews, as taught by Moses. That sect had presented for the object of their worship, a being of terrific character, cruel, vindictive, capricious and unjust. [This is pure blasphemy on Jefferson’s part calling the just and righteous God cruel, vindictive, unjust. -PA] Jesus, taking for his type the best qualities of the human head and heart, wisdom, justice, goodness, and adding to them power, ascribed all of these, but in infinite perfection, to the Supreme Being, and formed him really worthy of their adoration. Letter to William Short, Monticello, August 4, 1820, Vol 19 p13.

But the greatest of all the reformers of the depraved religion of his own country, was Jesus of Nazareth. Abstracting what is really his from the rubbish in which it is buried, easily distinguished by its lustre from the dross of his biographers, and as separable from that as the diamond from the dunghill, we have the outlines of a system of the most sublime morality which has ever fallen from the lips of man; outlines which it is lamentable he did not live to fill up. Epictetus and Epicurus give laws for governing ourselves, Jesus a supplement of the duties and charities we owe to others. The establishment of the innocent and genuine character of this benevolent moralist, and the rescuing it from the imputation of imposture, which has resulted from artificial systems, (*) invented by ultra-Christian sects, unauthorized by a single word ever uttered by him, is a most desirable object, and one to which Priestley has successfully devoted his labors and learning. It would in time, it is to be hoped, effect a quiet euthanasia of the heresies of bigotry and fanaticism which have so long triumphed over human reason, and so generally and deeply afflicted mankind; but this work is to be begun by winnowing the grain from the chaff of the historians of his life. [Who are the historians of his life – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John to begin with. - PA] I have sometimes thought of translating Epictetus (for he has never been tolerable translated into English) by adding the genuine doctrines of Epicurus from the Syntagma of Gassendi, and an abstract from the Evangelists of whatever has the stamp of the eloquence and fine imagination of Jesus. Letter to William Short, with a Syllabus, Monticello, October 31, 1819, Vol 19, p11.

What are the artificial systems invented by ultra- Christian sects from which the historical Jesus needs to be rescued? We don’t have to guess. He lists them himself at the end of the paragraph. They include (*) the deity of Christ, the creation of the world by him, his miraculous powers, his resurrection and visible ascension, the Trinity, original sin, atonement, regeneration, and election to name a few.

In Biblical terms Jefferson was an antichrist in that he denied that Jesus was the Christ and that he was God in the flesh.

  • 1 John_2:22 Who is a liar but he that denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denies the Father and the Son.
  • 1 John_4:3 And every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
  • 2 John_1:7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
In the terms of church history, Jefferson is an Arian who denies that Jesus is God in the flesh or that he had anything to do with creation or our atonement. Arians have been anathematized by the Christian church as infidels since the 4th century. That means the catholic church (i.e. worldwide, not Roman) has long held that people who do not believe Jesus is God are not Christians. He denies the resurrection. Paul said that if the resurrection was not true, then our faith was in vain. Paul even says that those who taught that the resurrection was past have shipwrecked the faith. (1 Timothy 1:19-20, 2 Timothy 2:17-18) What would he say about someone who denies it altogether? Jefferson denies the Bible is the word of God, calling much in the gospels chaff from which the word of God needs to be separated. He denigrates Christ’s power over creation and the grave. Paul’s assessment of such statements is: “Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. 1 Corinthians 12:3

Paul said that if Christ be not raised our faith is in vain. If Christ is not God, he died in vain. Those who don’t believe the Trinity are to be anathematized according to the Council of Nicea (325AD). To deny all these truths about Christ makes one an infidel.

Jefferson was an infidel like many liberals who filled the pulpits of the 20thcentury churches and signed documents like the AuburnAffirmation of 1924. They studied the Bible, but rejected it message and its Savior. These are dangerous people in that they might appear to many to be sheep, they are, in fact, wolves seeking to destroy the church of Jesus Christ.

Yet despite all these clear statements, Mr. Barton inexplicably states that "there was never a time when he was anti-Jesus or when he rejected Christianity." p167. If the denial of the resurrection, the Trinity, the Incarnation, and Christ's eternal pre-incarnate existence isn't a denial of Christianity, I don't know what is! Mr. Barton, what do you think Christianity does believe?

It is true that Thomas Jefferson faced many trials, including losing his wife at a relatively young age. But that is not an excuse for denying God. A Christian will ultimately persevere through the trial by the grace of God. It is also true that Jefferson said many good things, even things that might appear to indicate that was a Christian. But one must remember, heresy is often more defined by what people will not affirm than by what they do affirm. Also it is not uncommon even today for politicians to "speak like a Christian" in order to appeal to the masses. But even some of the "better" thing he said indicate he believed a false gospel. For example, in a letter to Salma Hale on July 26, 1818, he wrote, "[I]t is only by ... getting back to the plain and unsophisticated precepts of Christ that we become real Christians." This, or a variation of it, is common liberal notion. But it is not the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is a false gospel that has deceived many, sending them to eternal judgment under the wrath of God. We are not saved by getting back to the simple precepts of Christ. Precepts are laws. Laws don't save anyone. We are saved by faith in Christ. Keeping the golden rule may make many think they are good people, but God's word says otherwise.

Jefferson may have thought of himself as a Christian because he was a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus. But as we have seen, he denied all the important, foundational doctrines of the gospel. He was a disciple of a god of his own making, not of the historical Jesus who was made flesh and dwelt among us. He may have believed in god, but it wasn't the Triune God of the Bible.

Jefferson may have been a very moral man. But morals don't save anyone. As Jesus said, "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." Matthew 7:22-23

The evidence in Jefferson's own words is clear. Contrary to what Barton writes, "...but what cannot be questioned is the fact that throughout his life, Jefferson was pro-Christian and pro-Jesus in his beliefs, demeanor, and public endeavors" (p192), Jefferson was an infidel. This fact is not altered one bit by the fact that there were many churches teaching similar false doctrine to what Jefferson believed. Even if everyone in the entire world is teaching a lie, God word is still True.

Mr. Barton, please stop promoting an infidel heretic as "pro' Christ and "pro" Christian. You are spitting in the face of your Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

Update: A parallel article by World raises similar concerns. (11/30/2014)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Price of Liberty

This man says it well. Defending yourself takes a lot of practice and a willingness to die doing so. It is worth listening all the way to the end!
See this earlier post for a fuller discussion

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Missing Money Almost Totals Entire National Debt

Why are we not seeing these headlines?

Here's a great graphical overview of the accounting fraud being perpetrated by the United States. Apparently Eron's only crime was that its fraud was not grand enough - or a case of professional jealousy over their inept and puny attempt at imitation.

This presentation is brought to you courtesy of

Missing Money
Image compliments of Masters in Accounting Degrees

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Government Medicine Increases Costs

Government medicine plagued us long before Mr. Obama became president. Just as socialized education and socialized medicine began with accepting the government's money, so undoing those evils begins with rejecting their money, as homeschoolers have been doing with socialized education.

This hospital is now following the same path with socialized medicine by rejecting government subsidies and they are getting the same results that homeschoolers are getting. Look at those healthcare prices fall! Parents can educate their own children for a fraction of what it costs socialized education to babysit children. So it's no surprise to learn that hospitals that reject government subsidies can treat patients for a fraction of what it costs socialized medicine to treat those same patients.

Here are a few examples:

  • Mercy Hospital charged $16, 244 for a breast biopsy; the procedure will cost $3,500 at Surgery Center of Oklahoma.

  • Medical Center billed $20,456 for the open repair of a fracture; the procedure will cost $4,855 at Surgery Center of Oklahoma.

  • Medical Center billed $21,556 for a gall bladder removal surgery; the procedure will cost $5,865 at Surgery Center of Oklahoma.

  • Medical Center billed $23,934 for an ankle arthroscopy; the procedure will cost $3,740 at Surgery Center of Oklahoma.

  • Integris Baptist billed $37,174 for a hysterectomy; the surgery costs $8,000 at Surgery Center of Oklahoma.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Family Affair

When was the last time you read an article like this in your local newspaper?

A joyful gathering of a large and happy family at the old homestead.

One of those days that seldom come in the life of a large family, but which is so full of the joy and happiness, was successfully celebrated at the home of Mr. & Mrs. William Shade of Wayne Township, Mifflin county, on last Saturday, August 10, 1901. It was the day set apart for the reunion of their family.

With the children come the grandchildren, and with the grandchildren come the great-grandchildren, and with such kindly favor surely the giver of the ever good and perfect gift looked down upon this family. So strong and mighty has it become that the old house could no longer shelter the family as in the years gone by, so that it was necessary to hold the gathering in the beautiful grove which forms a part of the homestead. Had an all wise Providence allowed man to dictate the conditions that should prevail upon that day, they could not have been better suited to the occasion.

Very early in the morning the dear ones began to arrive, coming from all points of the compass, and as the venerable couple greeted the last arrival their feelings were well expressed in the words of the Psalmist; "Surely goodness and mercy have followed us all the days of our lives, and we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."

At 11 o' clock the exercises of the day were opened with singing by the young people, after which the assemblage was led in prayer by the Rev. Vondersmith, followed by addresses by Rev. H. W. Koehler, Rev. Vondersmith, and Jacob Stine, each dwelling on the happiness of the occasion and rejoicing with Mr. and Mrs. Shade.

The article goes on to list 30 recitations, skits (called dialogues), and songs, and instrumental pieces performed by family members. In closing,

Ten of the eleven children, sixty two grandchildren, and twelve great-grandchildren, together with their wives and husbands, made a gathering that numbered over one hundred, and excellent testimonial to the love and esteem in which Mr. and Mrs. Shade are held by those whom they love and have nurtured and raised.

- Democrat Sentinel Paper of Lewistown, Penna. Saturday August 17, 1901.

The couple mentioned in this article are my wife's maternal grandmother's paternal grandparents.

For good or bad, the press controls the tempo and topic of the national conversation. There is no such thing as a neutral or impartial press. It is  always promoting or denigrating something. The question is, What? Skillful press is able to do so without the typical reader even realizing what is being promoted or denigrated. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Absurd Ridiculous

The budget deficit isn’t our biggest problem, by a long shot.

Furthermore, it’s a problem that is already, to a large degree, solved. The medium-term budget outlook isn’t great, but it’s not terrible either — and the long-term outlook gets much more attention than it should. It’s true that right now we have a large federal budget deficit. But that deficit is mainly the result of a depressed economy — and you’re actually supposed to run deficits in a depressed economy to help support overall demand. The deficit will come down as the economy recovers:
So opined the Fool as Economist, Dr. Paul Krugman, in a recent op-ed piece in the New York Times.

How could a Nobel prize winning economist say something so absurdly ridiculous? Just what are they teaching in the schools these days?

In contemplating this, I first assumed that the Fool was a man of great intelligence whose thinking was logical given some set of presuppositions and premises. But what could they be?

Ah yes, silly me! It's the Federal Reserve. As the Fool is well aware, the Federal Reserve has the legal ability to create money out of debt. They are authorized to buy debt with money they have created out of nothing. Of course no one can create money out of nothing. But they pretend to do so and as long as everyone believes the con, they appear to do so. In a pinch they could buy the entire US debt tomorrow at 2:33 PM or, if you please, at midnight tonight.

Since the 1940's the Fed has been returning the interest on the notes they create to the US Treasury. If they were holding the entire US debt, the interest would be a wash in terms of the federal budget. All the interest the US paid on the debt would be returned to the US Treasury, minus operating expenses, which are an insignificant fraction of the total interest. At that point, the Federal Reserve could simply cancel the debt with no one appearing to lose any money - including the Fed themselves.

Such a move would be hyper-inflationary and it would tend to destroy confidence in the faith and credit of the United States, stealing trillions in the process. But it would remove the debt, or any portion of it that the Federal Reserve desired. If one ignores or denies this devastating effect of fiat money (and John Maynard Keynes was probably right when he said that inflation was a tax that only one man in a million could diagnose), then our Fool appears to be right.

But God is not mocked. He has the last word which is that those who borrow and do not pay back are wicked. (Psalm 37:21) All men, including the respected Federal Reserve, will reap the wickedness they sow.

Friday, January 18, 2013

An Honest Liberal

I was eating lunch the other day with a colleague and the conversation turned to guns. Like most Brits, he considered Texans' paranoid clinging to their guns and the 2nd Amendment both outdated and just plain stupid - although he was too kind to use the latter word. Of course a wide ranging conversation quickly ensured covering all the usual arguments at least once.

There were a few misconceptions of the constitutional position, such as the idea that gun ownership does not prevent tyranny because many European nations did not have guns and their governments had not become tyrannical. (Debate of that assertion was reserved for another lunch. But that’s analogous to saying that sprinkler systems don’t keep buildings form burning down because one knows of several buildings without sprinkler systems that haven’t burned down.  It should be obvious that if the buildings haven’t burned down it’s because no one started them burning, not proof that sprinkler systems are unnecessary. Sprinkler systems do impede or stop a fire once it’s started just like guns impede or stop the advance of tyranny when such sins break out from rulers.)

But the most interesting and revealing comment came following a comparison of the gun death numbers in both countries.

Honest Liberal: Gun deaths in the UK are only 35 compared to 35,000 in the US.

Me: Yes, but violent crime is far higher in the UK than in the US. I pointed him to a UK site with some figures. 

I thought this data from a British source showing a violent crime rate over 4x the rate in the United States (466 compared to 2034) would surely be convincing. While that was not the case, his response did turn out to be highly revealing.

Honest Liberal: OK ... I'll give you that ... statistically more people in Britain may say they have been victims of crime ... but they are alive to talk about it. Getting your purse snatched versus being mowed down with a fire arm ... that's the choice.

Therein lies the heart of the difference. Liberals would rather have their life than their freedom. They would rather live in a world of petty robbery, home burglary, muggings, government directed health care, government mandated education, government monopoly money, government supervised sanitation, government provided water, government approved food, with confiscatory taxation to implement it all and be alive to talk about it than risk death in the cause of liberty.

Of course, liberals want freedom too- freedom to watch the movie of their choice and vacation in the country of their choice, freedom to choose which company will send 3/4 of their pay to the government and which government approved doctor will oversee their health, freedom to vote for which politician will drop the tax on them 10% and raise it 20% on the other guy, freedom to either walk or drive their 1.1 children to the government mandated school, freedom to go to bed at the time of their choosing, freedom from being fired by their employer or injured in their wood shop, and freedom to be robbed and live to talk about it.

Nothing illustrates the contrast between liberals and patriots better than to compare this actual conversation about how liberals view life with this actual flag about how patriots view liberty.

This is the Troutman flag hanging in the Texas State Bar building in Austin, TX. It is blue pigment on a plain white sheet. In 1835 the Texan's fight for independence from the Mexican confederation attracted attention throughout the United States. Although the US rightfully did not entangle itself in this foreign issue, hundreds of individuals properly responded to the call for help. This flag was made by 18 year old Joanna Troutman for one such group from Macon, GA.

The flag was raised when the Georgians arrived at Velasco and became an inspirational symbol in the dark months leading up to the victory at San Jacinto. Virtually the entire GA command along with the Red Rovers from Alabama and the Texans under Col Fannin were taken prisoner and massacred following losses at Refugio and Colete.

Those who are unwilling to risk their life in the cause of liberty usually have neither. Those who are willing to risk their life for the sake of honor and liberty usually have both. But yes, the tree of liberty does need watered with the blood of patriots from time to time.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Christian View of Tragic & Senseless Shootings

In the wake of tragic and senseless loss of life, it is common to hear questions such as,
·         Where was God?
·         Could he not have prevented this?
·         Why do bad things happen to good people?
While scripture doesn't tell us everything, it does provide much that can help us understand why these types of things happen.

1.   Scripture tells us that all people have sinned.

As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understands, there is none that seeks after God. They are all gone out of the way; they are together become unprofitable; there is none that does good, no, not one.
Their throat is an open sepulcher; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways:
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:10-23)

2.   Scripture tells us that the wages of sin is death. (Romans 6:23). Those wages must be paid. That's why there can be no remission of sin without the shedding of blood, which is saying there can be no forgiveness of sin without death. (Heb 9:22). To overlook sin and allow it to go unpunished would be unjust. But God is a just God and therefore He cannot overlook sin. If God were unjust, he would be denying himself, something the Bible says he cannot do (2 Tim 2:13).

3.   Given that all have sinned and that the wages of sin is death, the real wonder is why any of us are still alive! We all deserve to die. The fact that some people have died and we did not is only the mere grace of God in extending the life of those who deserve to die. The fact that God allows some to live into their 80’s, or 90’s or even their 100’s while others only live to 1 or 2 years of age does not make God unjust. If it is pure justice we want, no one would be alive. Praise God for his grace and mercy! He is patient and slow to anger.

The LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, "The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children's children, to the third and the fourth generation." Exodus 34:5-7

4.   In times of affliction, God is present just as much as at other times. When Jesus suffered, it was the hand of God that bruised him. God did not merely "stand by" or "look away" while Jesus suffered on the cross. At the cross God himself poured out his own wrath on his one and only Son. Jesus bore the wrath of God on the cross, not the wrath of Satan or the Jews. 

Surely he hath borne our grief, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? For he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. Isaiah 53:4-10
Isaiah says that Jesus is smitten of God and that the Lord laid on Jesus our iniquity and the punishment for it.
But also note that it pleased God to bruise Christ.

5.   To rightly understand the depth of the love of God, it is important to understand that Christ's crucifixion was not an accident that God never intended or hoped would not happen.  Neither was it merely permitted by God. It was ordained by God. God decreed the death of his Son because He so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son that whosoever believes on him should not perish. The fact that God ordained the cross does nothing to relieve the responsibility of the wicked people who crucified an innocent man.

Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:  Acts 2:22-23
This is the counsel of God which determines all things. As Paul described it to the Ephesians (Eph 1:11)  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who works all things after the counsel of his own will:
for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, Acts 4:27-28

6.   The great wonder of it all is that this death was what we deserved.  For those who are Christ's, He bore the wrath of God in our place. At the cross, Christ's blood was poured out as a vicarious substitute for our blood to appease (or propitiate as Rom 3:25 says) the wrath of God.  At the cross we see the justice of God in demanding an atoning sacrifice for our sin and the grace of God in providing the spotless Lamb for the sacrifice.   The only person that has a right to complain about God's justice for taking a life is his Son, Jesus Christ. But Christ willingly went to the cross. He voluntarily offered himself as a sacrifice.

And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor. Ephesians 5:2
Who needs not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself. Hebrews 7:27
For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. Hebrews 9:26
Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man takes it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
John 10:17-18

7.   But even though Christ has satisfied the wrath of God for our sin so that we are no longer under condemnation for it, we are still not yet yet perfectly holy. We still have sin dwelling in us. Trials and tribulations are one means through which the Holy Spirit works patience so that we become more and more conformed to his image. But our trials and tribulations are chastening done in his love. They are not the wrath of God which was fully satisfied on the cross.

And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaks unto you as unto children, my son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loves he chastens, and scourges every son whom he receives. Hebrews 12:5-6

8.   For those in Christ, even the sting of death is gone. Those who die in Christ are said to be blessed.

Paul said for me to live is Christ and die is gain. ... I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.
In Revelation 14 John tells us, "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on."
Those who experience persecution for Christ's sake are to rejoice for exceedingly great is their reward.
The real tragedy is those who die outside of Christ. Their trials are a foretaste of God's wrath; their death the end of his grace and patience. But even in this, God is just. Abraham expressed this faith in God's character as God was about to destroy Sodom saying, "Shall not the Judge of the entire word do what is just?" Great tragedies may lead some to ask, like Habakkuk did (Hab 1:13), how God can use a more wicked person to execute his wrath on less wicked people. God's answer to him was that the just shall live by faith (Hab 2:4).
Death is a solemn reminder of the reality of our sin and the reality of God's wrath that is upon it. When God takes the life of an unborn baby, it is a reminder that no one is innocent. As Jesus reminded a questioner, "Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.” Mar 10:18 
For a nation that has mocked God’s law, scorned his kindness, banned his name from their schools except if used in vain, and his remembrance from the public square, and used his gifts to persecute his bride and kill children, it is the height of arrogance to ask why God has forsaken them. What right do they have to be insulted or surprised when God replies in his fury and destroys their children in his indignation?