Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Cambridge Synod on the Civil Magistrate's Duty to Enforce the First Table

At Last! The full Disputation translated from the English of then to the English of now...

The Results of the Disputations of the Synod or Assembly
at Cambridge, New-England
Regarding The Power of the Civil Magistrate in Matters of the First Table

On July 1, 1646 a Synod met at Cambridge, Massachusetts to discuss the question:

Does the Civil Magistrate have power to 1. Command or forbid things respecting the outward man in matters of religion, or the first table, which are clearly commanded and forbidden in the word, and to 2. Inflict suitable punishments according to the nature of the transgression against the same [the first table transgressions], and all this with reference to godly peace?

Their answer and the arguments behind it are found here.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Lilliputians on Atheist Civil Magistrates

Lemuel Gulliver on the Lilliputian views regarding the civil magistrate:

In like manner, the disbelief of a Divine Providence renders a man incapable of holding any public station; for, since kings avow themselves to be the deputies of Providence, the Lilliputians think nothing can be more absurd than for a prince to employ such men as disown the authority under which he acts. [Swift, 1726]

It's pretty hard to disagree with those Lilliputians.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

An Honest Bank

Amidst the usual news of ongoing torture in communist China ( Tiananmen dissident Yu Dongyue was recently released from prison physically scarred and suffering from a complete mental breakdown) and ominous credible comparisons of the EU commission to the Soviet Politburo (Former Soviet Dissident Warns For EU Dictatorship by Paul Belien, The Brussels Journal Tuesday, February28, 2006) I came across some very encouraging news, an honest bank., a San Francisco start-up began operations recently combining e-bay auctions and bank lending to bring borrowers and lenders together with minimal risk.

It's honest because the act of loaning does not create money resulting in payments being received for which no work was performed or no capital invested.

It will be interesting to see how long this challenge to the financial monopoly is allowed to exist and how big it becomes. But while it lasts, if one needs to become a servant, at least one can enslave himself to an honest master.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Taxes Not Needed For Revenue!

(Full article published in 1946 can be downloaded from above link)

According to Beardsley Ruml, Chairman of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, the federal government no longer needs to tax its citizens in order to generate revenue. At least that is what he told the American Bar Association during the last year of WWII.
And you thought the Federal Government taxed us in order to raise the funds necessary to conduct the business of government.
Silly you?
Well, hardly. That is, after all, not an illogical thought.
But as unbelievable as it may sound, the government has apparently not had to tax the citizens for over 70 years. This begs the question, if they don’t need our money to operate the government, why do they go through the hassle and trouble of collecting billions of dollars from millions of citizens who really could use the money for their families? Mr. Ruml answers this question, telling the lawyers of his day:

The necessity for a government to tax in order to maintain both its independence and its solvency is true for state and local governments, but it is not true for a national government. Two changes of the greatest consequence have occurred in the last twenty-five years which have substantially altered the position of the national state with respect to the financing of its current requirements. The first of these changes is the gaining o f vast new experience in the management o f central banks. The second change is the elimination, for domestic purposes, of the convertibility of the currency into gold.
The United States is a national state which has a central banking system, the Federal Reserve System, and whose currency, for domestic purposes, is not convertible into any commodity. It follows that our Federal Government has final freedom from the money market in meeting its financial requirements.

He goes on to explain the real purpose of taxation. In so doing he removes all doubt about the existence of a free market economy in these United States.

He says:
What Taxes Are Really For
Federal taxes can be made to serve four principal purposes of a social and economic character. These purposes are:

1. As an instrument of fiscal policy to help stabilize the purchasing power of the dollar;
2. To express public policy in the distribution of wealth and of income, as in the case of the progressive income and estate taxes;
3. To express public policy in subsidizing or in penalizing various industries and economic groups;
4. To isolate and assess directly the costs of certain national benefits, such as highways and social security.

As we knew all along, the real purpose of taxation is to manipulate our economy to discourage productive labor by taking money from those who have earned it and giving it to those who won't work.
This doesn't sound too far removed from God's pomises in Deuteronomy 28.

Deu 28:15 But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:
Deu 28:31 Thine ox shall be slain before thine eyes, and thou shalt not eat thereof: thine ass shall be violently taken away from before thy face, and shall not be restored to thee: thy sheep shall be given unto thine enemies, and thou shalt have none to rescue them.
Deu 28:33 The fruit of thy land, and all thy labours, shall a nation which thou knowest not eat up; and thou shalt be only oppressed and crushed alway:

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Rutherford Proven Right

(External pdf file from Lt Klingerschmitt can be downloaded from above link)

Chaplain Klingenschmitt's recent battles with the Navy over not being allowed to pray "in Jesus Name" are proving that pluralism is not really about tolerating other relgions. It's more accurately characterized as nothing less than a direct attack on Christ and his disciples.

How right Rutherford was when he noted: "man should remember, there is a Christian external peace, which, in an ordinary providence, can not be kept where there be divers religions, and sundry ways of worshipping Christ."

This seems downright harsh to us today. What, we exclaim! Isn't America proof that this is not so? Well, I would point to our country as proof that it is so. During the first 185 or so years of our country's existence, the culture was dominated by Christian thought. I realize that over those years many political and religious leaders may not have been Christian, but they had to act like Christians if they wanted to stay in power. Even today, despite the fraility of the American church, no President has yet dared to swear their oath of office on anything other than the Word of God -although that day is probably not far away. It is only in the last two generations that our cultural framework has become explicitly non-Christian. True to Rutherford's words, it is in this time frame that we have seen the concurrent rise of "culture wars" over Christianity.

This is no surprise. Christ claims to be the Only Way, not just a way to the Father. No man comes to the Father except through him. That is saying there is no life outside of Christ. That is saying that every other religion is wrong.

Given Rutherford's position, it should be no surprise that the Westminster Divines, of whom Rutherford was one , considered tolerating a false religion to be a greivous sin for a civil magistrate.

According to the Westminster Larger Catechism, one of the sins forbidden in the 2nd Commandment is "tolerating a false religion".

Question 109: What are the sins forbidden in the second commandment?

Answer: The sins forbidden in the second commandment are, all devising, counseling, commanding, using, and anywise approving, any religious worship not instituted by God himself; tolerating a false religion; the making any representation of God, of all or of any of the three persons, either inwardly in our mind, or outwardly in any kind of image or likeness of any creature: Whatsoever; all worshiping of it, or God in it or by it; the making of any representation of feigned deities, and all worship of them, or service belonging to them; all superstitious devices, corrupting the worship of God, adding to it, or taking from it, whether invented and taken up of ourselves, or received by tradition from others, though under the title of antiquity, custom, devotion, good intent, or any other pretense: Whatsoever; simony; sacrilege; all neglect, contempt, hindering, and opposing the worship and ordinances which God has appointed.

Lest there be any misunderstanding, I should add that since not all people exercise the same authority, the culpability in tolerating a false religion does depend on one's position.

Lt. Klingenschmitt, an episcopal chaplain in the US Navy, merely wants to pray as scripture commands him to pray, In Jesus Name. He is quite willing to allow others to pray to their heathen gods in place of his prayer, as long as he has a turn to pray to the true God. As much as I admire Lt. Klingenschmitt, such a notion would have be considered a transgression of the 2nd commandment. This is to consider it acceptable for people to incur God's wrath on themselves. While we may not be in a position to stop other people from so doing, we should never be on record as considering it acceptable for them to do so. We wouldn't stand idly by, if we could do otherwise, while someone broke the 6th Commandment against their own body. Why would we think and act any differently in regard to the 1st and 2nd Commandments?

The Church of Jesus Christ has to start believing their King is what he says he is, King above all other kings and Lord above all other lords. All men born of Adam are responsible to worship the Jehovah and sin when they fail to do so. There is no true law by which to regulate society apart from God's law.