Replacing One People For Another — An Illustration

The Church across the street is the grist of a decent illustration.

The Free Methodist Church across the street has had somewhere around 7 pastors since I’ve been here. Finally, the denomination decided to close the church because it could not meet budget. Well, they kind of decided to close the doors. The denomination came upon a brainstorm that I’ve read about other denominations pursuing with struggling churches. What the denomination decided to do is to close the church for 6 – 9 months with the intent to reopening the church once the community was convinced that the old church no longer existed. The present congregants of said church were dispersed in favor of a hoped for new and vibrant congregation.

So, in pursuit of that the denomination put a large sign in front saying, “THIS CHURCH IS CLOSED.” This sign lasted a few months and just recently a different sign replaced that sign saying “Future Home of DISCOVERY FELLOWSHIP.” The denomination refurbished the inside in anticipation of opening this “new” church. They removed the stodgy old pews and doubtless will make the interior architecture look more “hip.” I would bet my bank account that “Discovery Fellowship” was poll tested in terms of how receptive strangers would be to attending a church named “Discovery Fellowship.” I would also wager large amounts of money that phone surveys have been done or door to door polling asking the question, “If you were to attend a church what would you want to see in the church service.” All of this is right out of church growth management text books.

Now, I see this as a somewhat apt illustration for what is happening in this country. There are those in leadership in this country who think that this country can’t make it with the people we have and so they are willing to chase the original people off so that they can open up the country for a new people who they think will be more desirous than the people that they finally turned out. These new people will be more willing to support the Governing authorities than the previous inhabitants were. They will be more manageable and malleable, so the thinking goes. Also, just as the old notions of worship were ended with the ending of the old church in favor of the new pizzazz worship that will be in favor in “Discovery Fellowship” so in this country the old notions of morality are being ended in favor of the new morality of no morality.

In the end though even if “Discovery Fellowship,” is a “success” given the theology under-girding the new endeavor it will not be a Church regardless of what it might be called. Just so, whatever attains in this “new country” that results in a multiculturalism where the current majority is minoritized will not be a nation regardless of what it might be called.

The leadership of the Free Methodists with their attempt to remake their church in Charlotte and the “leadership” of this country with their attempt to remake this country have this in common; even if they succeed they will have failed.

It is not a perfect parallel. I can find holes in this illustration myself but it illustrates what I’ve given.

Foundation of Successful Epistemology

“Since God is the controller of all things, it is for him to determine whether or not we gain knowledge and under what conditions.”

John Frame
A History of Western Philosophy and Theology — pg. 30

The triune God is the one who gives meaning to all things. He is the one in whom meaning finds meaning. God’s transcendence is the necessary context against which everything as text becomes understandable. To be cast apart from God then is to be cast apart from meaningful meaning in favor of autonomous meaningless meaning. Only in Christ can true meaning be restored to otherwise meaningless man. Without God in Christ as the context wherein all else as text finds meaning we are left trying to understand the world it terms of the world or in terms of our own finite minds.

God, in Christ, furnishes the only criteria by which we can discover true truth since in Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Christianity is the sine qua non for epistemological success.

The Subterfuge of Lincoln’s 1st Inaugural Address … Part 3

L – 1st – I

Descending from these general principles, we find the proposition that in legal contemplation the Union is perpetual confirmed by the history of the Union itself. The Union is much older than the Constitution. It was formed, in fact, by the Articles of Association in 1774. It was matured and continued by the Declaration of Independence in 1776. It was further matured, and the faith of all the then thirteen States expressly plighted and engaged that it should be perpetual, by the Articles of Confederation in 1778. And finally, in 1787, one of the declared objects for ordaining and establishing the Constitution was “to form a more perfect Union.”

Bret untangles,

Lincoln is giving us poetry here and not reason and he depended upon the poetry to create a sentiment that was not examined by rationality.

Looked at closely Lincoln is arguing here that the whole (the Union) is older than the document that gave birth to the whole. Lincoln ignores that the Unions formed by each successive document was a different Union then the Union that preceded it. The Union shaped by the Articles of Association was a different Union as birthed by the Declaration of Independence was different than the Union formed by the Articles of Confederation was different from the Union formed in 1787.  The fact that these were different Unions is established by the fact that different bylaws governed each Union. Each document gave birth to a different Union even though the parties might have been the same.

If the same 13 people enter into different contracts several times the Union of those 13 people is a different Union each time as dependent upon the new contract they enter into each time. Each new Union obviates the previous one and creates a new Union.

Lincoln is clearly in error when he says that the Union preceded the Constitution. He may have been correct if he had said, “a series of Unions preceded the Constitution.” For Lincoln the same mystical presence was always present to inhabit whatever new union was struck upon. He needed this idea to advance his duplicitous purposes.

The Union was not older than the Constitution that formed it.

2.) Even the idea of forming “a more perfect Union,” implies that there was a previous Union that this new and different Union supplants that was less perfect than this new and different Union now newly and uniquely formed by the Constitution.

Major Kudos for Lincoln’s ability to take an absurd idea and turn it into a poetry that still convinces people. If I am ever to be judged by a jury of my peers I’d want someone with Lincoln’s ability with the use of  language to conceal to represent me.

L – 1st – I

But if destruction of the Union by one or by a part only of the States be lawfully possible, the Union is less perfect than before the Constitution, having lost the vital element of perpetuity.

It follows from these views that no State upon its own mere motion can lawfully get out of the Union; that resolves and ordinances to that effect are legally void, and that acts of violence within any State or States against the authority of the United States are insurrectionary or revolutionary, according to circumstances.

Bret deconstructs,

1.) Of course the first paragraph depends upon Lincoln’s idea that “The Union” preceded the Constitution and that has already been dismissed as unfounded and novel. Remember “The Union” is Lincoln’s mystical poetic entity. There was no “The Union.” There was only a series of Unions. Lincoln assumes what he has not proven except by magical linguistic hocus pocus.

2.) No where in any of the documents mentioned is there any idea that eternal perpetuity is a mark of approaching perfection.

3.) Touching the second paragraph above,

Once again, that the South was in insurrection and revolution was only true if one assumes that Lincoln was correct. On the contrary, if one assumes that secession is legal (as we have demonstrated) then insurrection and revolution is what that which Lincoln and the North were guilty. The North was guilty of insurrection and revolution against the Constitution.

4.) Keep in mind that Lincoln here is saying that the authority of the United States is pre-eminent over the authority of the States which created the Federal Government in keeping with very precise delegated and enumerated powers.  This is like saying a co-op, created by a group of 13 pair of parents, delegated only with the task of litter clean up has the authority to tell certain parents they can’t opt out of the co-op once the co-op has determined that the co-op is responsible, without amendment of the original co-op agreement, the role of telling the parents how to raise their children.

5.) We would not that in that second paragraph above Lincoln is putting the case as emphatically as George III and his ministers formulated the law when dealing with the original thirteen colonies. If Lincoln is right here then the original thirteen colonies were in insurrection and revolution when they departed England.

L -1st – I

I therefore consider that in view of the Constitution and the laws the Union is unbroken, and to the extent of my ability, I shall take care, as the Constitution itself expressly enjoins upon me, that the laws of the Union be faithfully executed in all the States. Doing this I deem to be only a simple duty on my part, and I shall perform it so far as practicable unless my rightful masters, the American people, shall withhold the requisite means or in some authoritative manner direct the contrary. I trust this will not be regarded as a menace, but only as the declared purpose of the Union that it will constitutionally defend and maintain itself.

Bret responds,

1.) Obviously, the “Laws of the Union” can not extend to those who no longer were in the Union.

2.) Lincoln’s implied threat here is that he will pin the Union together by bayonet if the South does not come to heel. Lincoln indeed was good on his threat but the nation he saved from disunion was a different nation then before he “saved” it.



The Subterfuge of Lincoln’s 1st Inaugural Address … Part 2

Lincoln spends some time in his 1st Inaugural considering the issue of the “Fugitive Slave Law.”


There is much controversy about the delivering up of fugitives from service or labor. The clause I now read is as plainly written in the Constitution as any other of its provisions:

No person held to service or labor in one State, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall in consequence of any law or regulation therein be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due.

Lincoln spends time here insisting that this law would be upheld and yet for a Lincoln administration to have upheld this law they would have run, face first, into the reality that the the Wisconsin Supreme Court, in 1854, had declared the Fugitive Slave Act unconstitutional. Other states had not gone so far as Wisconsin but they were turning a blind eye to this clause of the Constitution and it was one area in which both Northerners and Southerners were exercised about. Why should Southerners believe Lincoln’s verbiage about his commitment to the Constitution when the constituency that elected him in the North was routinely ignoring this provision of the Constitution? Would Lincoln have risked contretemps with Wisconsin in order to satisfy Southern demands on Fugitive slaves? Would Lincoln have raised an army of 70,000 to invade Wisconsin if Wisconsin refused to return Fugitive slaves per the Constitution as he did when the South, in his misplaced opinion thought the South was violating the Constitution? Would Lincoln issue an arrest warrant for the Wisconsin Supreme Court for ruling contrary to his diktat as he eventually issued an arrest warrant for Chief Justice Roger Taney because Taney dared to issue Ex-parte Merryman against Lincoln’s wishes?

No, all this language about honoring the Constitution and the Fugitive slave law was just so much political kabuki theater in order to attempt to speak to Southern concerns.

L – 1st – I

“I hold that in contemplation of universal law and of the Constitution the Union of these States is perpetual. Perpetuity is implied, if not expressed, in the fundamental law of all national governments. It is safe to assert that no government proper ever had a provision in its organic law for its own termination. Continue to execute all the express provisions of our National Constitution, and the Union will endure forever, it being impossible to destroy it except by some action not provided for in the instrument itself.”

Bret untangles this,

1.) Notice that what “universal law” Lincoln was referencing, or what it had to do with the question of the perpetuity of the union, Lincoln did not bother to explain. One would have dearly loved to have heard Lincoln to prove, from his “universal law,” how it is that union of these united States was in perpetuity.

2.) Note here that Lincoln urges the fact that no government ever provided for its own termination as a proof of his false conclusion that no government was terminable. Can you say non-sequitur?

3.) Lincoln makes a “Captain Obvious” point when he offers, “Continue to execute all the express provisions of our National Constitution, and the Union will endure forever.”  This could have been easily said also of the Union under the previous “Articles of Confederation.” Of course the South had no intention to continue to execute all the express provisions of the National Constitution. One suspect if Lincoln is hinting here at his revenue raising tariffs threatened by the South’s secession.

4.) Thankfully, a personage from Lincoln’s own era crushes Lincoln’s reasoning here. Here is a segment from just 12 short years prior as given by a US congressman when discussing Texas’ secession from Mexico.

“Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable, a most sacred right—a right which, we hope and believe, is to liberate the world. Nor is this right confined to cases in which the whole people of an existing government may choose to exercise it. Any portion of such people that can may revolutionize, and make their own of so much of the territory as they inhabit. More than this, a majority of any portion of such people may revolutionize, putting down a minority, intermingled with, or near about them, who may oppose their movement.”

One wonders how the Lincoln of 1860 would have replied to this US Congressman’s speech from 1848?

Oh …. the US Congressmen making this 1848 case?

US Congressman, Abraham Lincoln.

L – 1st – I

“Again: If the United States be not a government proper, but an association of States in the nature of contract merely, can it, as a contract, be peaceably unmade by less than all the parties who made it? One party to a contract may violate it–break it, so to speak–but does it not require all to lawfully rescind it?”

1.) The answer to Lincoln’s question is “no.”  That “no” is the answer is seen by the conditional ratification of the Constitution by three of the original thirteen states, which carefully reserved the right of secession. They were Virginia, New York, and Rhode Island. This conditional ratification was the explicit language placed by the Constitutional Ratification of those states which insisted that said states retained the right to reverse their decision of joining the union. The fact that three of the states were allowed, by the other states, to join upon conditional ratification included a tacit understanding that secession was permissible. Naturally, the same expectation would be owned by future new states.

2.) Lincoln, in his Gettysburg, invoked the Declaration of Independence as a foundation for his reasoning of pursuing his course of illegal war against the South. As such we will appeal to the Declaration of Independence on this issue.

“Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of the ends for which it was established, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, . . .”

3.) Much more could be said here but we will round off here by invoking the 10th amendment to prove that individual states had the right to secede without all the states deciding to secede.

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”

Given the language of the 10th amendment the Constitution would have had to enumerate or delegate to the Federal Government the responsibility and power to stop states from seceding. This the Constitution does not do. Lincoln’s predecessor, James Buchanan understood this which is why Buchanan did nothing when South Carolina left in December of “60.”

To the contrary the US Constitution did not have to provide explicit language that allowed the states to secede since,  “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Secession, because unmentioned in the Constitution was a power reserved to the States.




The Subterfuge of Lincoln’s 1st Inaugural Address … Part 1

I have a young friend who was recently challenged about his decided animosity towards Abraham Lincoln, especially in regards to Lincoln’s first Inaugural address. I told him I would analyze Lincoln’s 1st Inaugural in order to see through Lincoln’s sleight of hand and dis-ingenuousness.  I will not be examining the complete address but just what I think are the points where Mr. Lincoln was playing the three card Monte with his dissembling lawyer language.

I am greatly helped here by Edgar Lee Master’s, “Lincoln The Man.” A biography I highly recommend to get a balanced view of Lincoln.

Lincoln’s First Inaugural (here after, L-1st-I)

“Apprehension seems to exist among the people of the Southern States that by the accession of a Republican Administration their property and their peace and personal security are to be endangered. There has never been any reasonable cause for such apprehension. Indeed, the most ample evidence to the contrary has all the while existed and been open to their inspection. It is found in nearly all the published speeches of him who now addresses you. I do but quote from one of those speeches when I declare that—

I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.”

Bret Responds,

1.) There was more than reasonable cause for the South to have cause for apprehension.

a.) First, there was Republican Seward’s own “Irrepressible Conflict” speech. Seward, a favored Republican Presidential hope in his own right was tabbed as Lincoln’s Sec. State. In the aforementioned 1858 speech Seward had offered,

“It is an irrepressible conflict between opposing and enduring forces, and it means that the United States must and will, sooner or later, become either entirely a slave-holding nation or entirely a free-labor nation.”

This kind of language would have given Southerners more than reasonable cause to fear a Republican administration.

b.) However, it was not merely Lincoln’s subalterns from whom the South had reasonable cause to fear a Republican administration. Lincoln’s own “House Divided” speech would have given ample evidence that a Republican administration would be a threat to the Southern way of life. In that 1858 speech Lincoln offered,

“If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could then better judge what to do, and how to do it.
We are now far into the fifth year, since a policy was initiated, with the avowed object, and confident promise, of putting an end to slavery agitation.
Under the operation of that policy, that agitation has not only, not ceased, but has constantly augmented.
In my opinion, it will not cease, until a crisis shall have been reached, and passed.
“A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free.
I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided.
It will become all one thing or all the other.
Either the opponents of slavery, will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become alike lawful in all the States, old as well as new –North as well as South.”

This speech belied Mr. Lincoln’s statement that he had no inclination to interfere with the institution of slavery.

2.) Notice an important nuance in the Lincoln speech above. Lincoln says, “I have no intention to interfere with the Institution of Slavery in the states where it exists.” Any bright Southerner hearing this would have easily heard, “I do have intention to interfere with the Institution of Slavery in the new would be states (Kansas) where it does not exist.” Southerners, who revered the Constitution would have known that Lincoln had no Constitutional authority to do that and so had just cause for apprehension in Lincoln’s occupation of the oval office.

Given all the *un-constitutional measures that Lincoln would soon undertake it is easy to see that the Southerners, not believing Lincoln’s specious assurances from his 1st Inaugural, were indeed justified in their mistrust.


1.) On April 15, Lincoln called up the militia from all of the states to put into the field an army of more than 75,000 men. The Constitution puts this power with the Congress: Article I, Section 8, sets forth the powers of Congress: “To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections….”

2.) Also on April 15, Lincoln called Congress into session, as required by the Constitution for “extraordinary Occasions,” but delayed the meeting of Congress almost three months and during those three months Lincoln acted unconstitutionally and dictatorially in preparation for war.

3.) On April 21, he ordered the purchase of war materials, five naval vessels, which under the Constitution required congressional appropriations.

4.) Also on April 21 he ordered the navy to blockade all Southern ports. A blockade is an act of war, requiring the resolution of Congress.

5.) On April 27, he suspended the right of habeas corpus. Under the Bill of Rights, a person cannot be charged with a crime except by an indictment from a grand jury, nor can a person be convicted except by a jury of fellow civilians. No military trial of civilians was permitted, or so said the Constitution.

Because of this over 10,000 citizens were arrested and kept in Lincoln prisons without charge and / or trial.

6.) And of course there was the countless violations of the 1st amendment “Freedom of the Press” that the Lincoln Administration would soon transgress. Instance after instance of burning down Newspapers that wrote contrary to his “truth,” or alternately the wrecking of printing presses that refused to print Lincoln propaganda.