The “Push Me,” “Pull You,” of The Donald

Dear Pastor,

Something I am realizing more as I think about the Trump phenomenon is that there is a difference between White Nationalist politics and Christians. I may put together some quotes even from XXX XXXXXX that are interesting. In a lot of his analysis, he was not concerned in the least with the sort of biblical worldview we would want to start our analysis with. As a result, he was willing be aligned with strong executive power, and use the state, in ways that would make us uncomfortable. I don’t necessarily think Trump is this candidate, but what do we do with the candidate who is not really a Christian but brings good sense to issues of nationality? I think we were both on the same page, at least initially, that Wilson’s comments about Coulter and Trump were inaccurate, but you seem to have drifted more toward what Wilson was saying there. Sorry… very quick thoughts as I had a minute. I ought to stop thinking about this BS and go take care of my family.

Best to you and yours,

Opher Byrd

Dear Mr. Byrd,

Thank you for writing.

I am not drifting towards Wilson, in regards to his comments about Coulter and Trump, though I can understand why someone might easily think so. My problem is that I like what I think is Trump’s immigration policy. (Though after listening to the Brimelow  interview I’m wondering if there are cracks already in the Trump edifice on immigration.) As I was saying I like Trumps immigration policy as stand alone but I don’t like it as it sits in, what I take to be, his Fascist Corporatist Mercantilist worldview. As such it may sound like I’m drifting but I’m not. I think Wilson is in deep error to suggest that a Trump like immigration policy is to be eschewed because there is no current massive repentance. It is, at least possible, that such a immigration policy could be both a harbinger of future repentance or serve as a space of time as hiatus for eventual heaven sent repentance. If I could have Trump’s putative immigration plan as combined with promises to go after Corporate Welfare, and International aid, with a promise to decentralize power from the Feds to the states, (a historic Constitutional platform) I’d be in hog heaven. However, that is not what we are getting with Trump. Instead we are getting a favorable Trump immigration policy inside the plausibility structure of a Fascist Corporatist Mercantilist worldview?

I’m not sure that works, and so, I’m torn between supporting one slice of the man’s policies while being adamantly against the context in which I see that slice lying.

Make sense?

Thank your for the conversation Mr. Byrd. You know of my abiding respect for your instincts and the knowledge base upon which those instincts are pinioned.

Unitarian Universalist Apologetics

Bret,

Ah, a Calvinist. Well, that explains the hostility towards anything a Unitarian Universalist minister might have to say. Unlike you Bret, I respect the rights of others to follow the religious path of their choice. I also believe that humans have the capacity for reason and can determine for themselves what is true and right in life.
 
I will leave it to readers to look up your beliefs. Since John Calvin burned Michael Servetus at the stake for the heresy of freethought, our faith traditions have had little in common. Therefore, I am not surprised at your tone or your presumption to know what is in my heart.
 
Given our widely varying beliefs, I doubt that there is anything I could say that would be useful in any type of dialogue with you. People must be open to revelation from human experience, love, and goodness to move away from concepts such as inherent depravity, and I suspect that you are not at that point. When and if you do reach such a time, get in touch and I would be happy to talk.

Jeff Liebmann
Ordained Minister at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Midland

 
Response,

Jeff Liebmann
 
My hostility, as you call it, has nothing to do with your UU status. My hostility is against your belief system that is destroying Biblical Christianity and so the West in the name of Christianity.
 
You respect the rights of others to follow the religous path of their choice? Really? Do you respect that Hindu family who insists that a young widowed wife immolate herself on her husbands funeral pyre because of their religious path called Suttee? Do you respect the religious path of those who would sacrafice their children in the fires of Molech? Do you even respect my religious path of pointing out how irrational your religious path is?
 
You try to posit yourself as the reasonable one in the conversation and myself as the extremist but in point of fact you are the one who has consistently revealed yourself to be the extremist. If humans, as you say, can determine for themselves what is true and right in life then how can there be any objection from you if, like the Marquis deSade, humans determine to go all sadistic on those who are weaker then them? How can you object if, like Friedrich Nietzshe, humans determine it is criminal for the stronger to esteem and protect the weaker in society? How can you object if, like Joe Stalin, humans determine that 30 million lifes spent is a reasonable price for political reorganziation?
 
You deny inherent depravity. Have you studied the 20th century at all? If 20th century empirical history proves anything it proves that man is inherently depraved.
 
No, the fact of the matter UUJ is that you are a non sensible person who has staked out positions that have no cohesion or coherency — and you have done so in the name of a Christianity that is vile and foul beyond reckoning. You may be full of good intentions. I don’t know. But regardless of your possible good intentions your belief system, when examined, is destructive and inhibitive of human flourshing.
 
Next you complain about my presumption. I don’t have to presume to “know what’s in your heart.” You tell me and the readership all the time. There is no presumption here. There is just taking your words seriously.
 
Finally, you insist that people must be “open to revelation from human experience, love, and goodness.” This statement leaves me incredulous. I contend that if man wants to live the good life we must come under God’s revelation of Scripture. You contend that if man wants to live the good life man must be open to the revelation from human experience, love, and goodness. Where as your revelation led us? Well, just most recently we see,
 
1.) Aborting babies and selling their body parts
2.) Sadism and Masochism on a wide scale (“50 Shades of Gray” anyone?)
 
You are correct though when you imply how little commonality we have. The difference between us is the difference between the Serpent who said, “Hath God really said,” and the Scriptural Prophet who has always said, “Thus saith the Lord.”
 
And yet, the Lord Christ died for sins such as yours and still commands all men everywhere to repent. Will you not repent Jeff?

Ask The Pastor — Alienism’s Strange Blend

Dear Pastor,

Weren’t you saying something recently about how Alienism is a strange blend of Gnosticism (eschewing the physical in one sense) and Marxism (eschewing the spiritual in another sense)?

Habakkuk Mucklewrath 

Dear Habakkuk,

First, a little background before I try to answer your question.

Biblical theology includes the subcategory of Anthropology. Anthropology is incredibly important because if we get the doctrine of man wrong it means we have our doctrine of God wrong also since there can be no improper and errant doctrine of anything that does not begin with a errant doctrine of God.

In Biblical anthropology man is a bipartite being comprised of body and soul. Through the centuries some have argued that man is a tripartite being desiring to add that man is body, soul, and spirit. I think this is significant error but I don’t want to get into that right now.

When we say that man is body and soul we look to Genesis where the text teaches us that God formed man from the dust of the ground (body) and breathed into him the breath of life (soul). So, we do see these two parts of man. However, having established that it is not as if those two parts are not minutely integrated. Because we believe that there is the closest relationship possible to body and soul we speak of things like “mind-body relationship,” and we routinely recognize the effect that the mind has on the body and the body has on the mind.

Because this relationship is so intimate between mind and body some have eschewed the idea of “dichotomy” when speaking of man and have opted instead for the idea of “modified unichotomy.” When speaking this way there is the admission still that man is body and soul (mind) but what is added, by speaking of “unichotomy” is the intent to see the closest possible relationship between the body and soul in man.

What many heresies throughout Church History have done is to overturn this Biblical anthropology. This was the problem with many of the Christological debates in Church History.  Apollonarianism, for example, wanted to deny that Jesus had a human soul, insisting that instead of a soul that Jesus, the man, was indwelt by the eternal Logos. Likewise, different forms of Gnosticism went the other direction and insisted that Christ was not really incarnated because it was not possible for the Divine to take on human flesh.

This anthropological error finds itself in many quarters today. For example in Marxism, with its materialism, there is the conviction that man has no soul but is just matter in motion. On the other end of the spectrum we see a Gnosticism that, while not well thought out, still suggests that the only really important aspect of man is his spiritual or soul-ish component.  This Gnostic Christianity, for example, is outraged whenever any Christian theologian speaks of man in terms of his material and corporeal realities, seemingly insisting that in Christ Jesus corporeality is sloughed off.  In this modern Gnostic Christianity there seems to be some kind of consensus that when the Scripture teaches,

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

The old that is “gone” is man in his God-given corporeality so that man now no longer is to be considered in his manishness with all the attendant DNA and familial God-givenness. Seemingly, once man is in Christ, man as a “new creation” no longer is man but is now a “Spiritual being.” This is just a updated version of Gnosticism where man’s corporeality and materiality is denied in favor of a super-spirituality.

This brings us to the term “Alienism.” It is the term that has been landed on to describe these types of Gnostics. Other terms might be used. One that has been banded about is “Oikophobia,” which literally means “fear of home or household.” Alienism and Oikophobia are attempts to communicate the tendency in these kinds of Gnostics described to so identify with their Spiritual-ness that they no longer see that they bear any significant relationship to who God has made them to be in their corporeal reality. For the Alienist any talk of family, land, place, ethnicity, nation, tribe, clan, race, is verboten since who we are in Christ has erased those categories and made them insignificant.

Now, to your question, I do think that in Alienism (as a form of Gnosticism) and in Marxism, where the only reality is the material, there is a common core. My theory is, is because each have lost their ability to make distinctions in this matter (i.e. — Marxism = all is material, Gnosticism = all is Spiritual) they therefore have a great deal in common even though they give the weight of reality to opposite ends of the spectrum.

For the Marxist, if all is material then even the spiritual is material and so monism. For the Gnostic if all is spiritual then even the material is spiritual and so monism from the other direction. The Marxist pours all the spiritual into the material and so all is one. The Gnostic pours all the material into the Spiritual and so all is one.

At the end of the day they really can be theoretical allies, since each is chasing one-ness. And when you throw in the bad anthropology factor of the Alienist Christians, it is not a wonder that they don’t see that they, at times, are chasing one-ness (Monism) from the opposite directions. It is also interesting that both Marxism and Christian theonomic Alienism also both pursue a type of Egalitarianism. If indeed all reality is monistic then it, by necessity, must be the case that egalitarianism must be prized.

This makes for some strange alliances. You will find, at times, the most ardent Materialist and the most ardent Christian theonomic Gnostic Alienist both supporting the idea that realities like ethnic distinction don’t exist or are superfluous. This can happen because each have embraced the presupposition of Monism at some foundational level. Now, the good Alienist Christian theologians would never admit this but when their doctrines begin to play out their concrete cash value is a kind of Egalitarianism.

Indeed, I’m so convinced about this that I would wager good money that within a generation the Christian Alienists will be embracing the idea that gender is a social construct. Their Gnosticism pushes them in that direction.

In the end the Biblical Christian embraces a Unichotomy in their Biblical anthropology because the Biblical Christian understands that body and soul are not to be separated or divorced. Christ is our great King and Spiritually provides the basis of unity for all those who claim Christ. However, these Spiritual realities as who we are in Christ do no negate creational categories as those pertain to who we are in our humanity in terms of our God-given corporeality.

The fact that God takes our corporeality serious even after conversion is seen in our Covenant theology. God makes a promise to us and to our children. Grace, by God’s ordination, does run in familial lines, and that not because of our blood but only because God is faithful to the generations. Family matters to God. When a man ceases to care about the creational categories of home, lineage, and place man has given up basic covenant theology and has become an Alienist.

Whether such a man remains Christian, when embracing this kind of Gnosticism, only God can say.

Thank you for your question Habakkuk. You probably got more of answer then you thought you might receive.

 

Ask the Pastor — What of Babel and Pentecost?

Dear Pastor,

I’m confused a bit. I’m hearing some people who call themselves Theonomists saying that the division of languages at Babel was not a curse. So, in light of that I’m wondering if you could help me out on that issue.

“Is the division of language and geographical location in Genesis 11 to be considered a curse? ”

Peter Bryans
_________________

Dear Peter,

Thank you for writing to ask.

First, you have to recognize that the Theonomic and Reconstruction movement has changed a great deal in the short time since Rushdoony’s death. What is happening is that Rushdoony and Theonomy is being reinterpreted through a Libertarian grid. The consequence of that is great division in Rushdoony’s legacy of  Theonomic / Reconstruction heritage. For my part, I believe that RJR is being overturned.

As to the question at hand I would say that the confusion of the languages and the scattering of the peoples recorded in Genesis 11 was a curse. Consider the parallels with Eden that one finds in the Babel account. God had given a specific command (fill the earth) just as Adam and Eve were given a specific command (keep the Garden).  In both cases the sin was one of denying God’s requirement of the Creator creature distinction.  In both cases the consequence of sin is alienation between the people in question (Adam contra Eve and The people of Babel contra one another.) In both cases we learn that God investigates the matter and in both cases those who had violated the commandment were “cast out,” and so cursed.

So, if we consider Adam and Eve cursed as a result of their sin then the juxtaposed narrative of Babel suggest that the scattering and confusion of tongues was indeed a curse, temporally considered.

Now at to Pentecost God reinforces the theme of Unity in diversity. Yes, understanding is facilitated by the speaking of tongues but the understanding of the Gospel proclaimed is a understanding of the Gospel that reinforce distinct Nationhood. Many are those who will say that “Pentecost reverses Babel.” I think that inaccurate Peter. I think it more accurate to say that “Pentecost sanctifies Babel,” or alternately “Pentecost takes the sting out of Babel in the context of Christianity.”

I hope that helps Peter.

Bret

Ask the Pastor — What Should We Make of the Current Higher Education Scene?

Dear Pastor,

Can you elaborate on the concept that University academia is inherently flawed and anti-Christian? I have always noticed that the Christians I know that have been to University tend to be more political leaning in one way, more sympathetic to humanistic ideas, anti-death penalty, more sympathetic to homo ‘rights’ etc etc.

Obviously you can be a Christian and be extremely infected with worldly ideas…which Universities of course specialise in propagating. What would be the practical alternative in an ideal world?

Thanks in advance,

Felix

______________

Dear Felix,

Thank you for writing.

The modern University system is flawed and anti-Christian because, in the great percentages of cases, it is owned and operated by the Cultural Marxists. As such, when you attend a University you are paying top dollar to be propagandized into one form of Marxism or another. Christian parents who pay to send their children to University are shelling out 20K a year for the privilege of having their children indoctrinated against Christianity. Christian Universities and Colleges are usually the worst because they take the same doctrines and teachings and cover them with a thin patina coating of “Christianity,” thus convincing students that the Marxist faith is, in point of fact, the Christian faith. Because this is so, I wouldn’t send my dog to modern Christian Universities – Colleges, never mind God’s covenant seed.

Second, there is the whole student debt angle. Many students graduate University with house mortgage type debt and a lousy degree. This insures that they will remain controlled and ineffectual as they are beholden to what jobs they can find and as they will be so consumed with working to pay off their debt that they will likely not take the time to ever think for themselves. Once you’ve interacted with professional Academicians one easily begins to see why our church and culture is in the shape it is in.

However, Felix, this is not anti-intellectualism on my part. It is, rather, anti-humanist intellectualism on my part. It is simply the case that by in large Christian intellectualism is dead on the vine. Harry Blamires made this point over a generation ago in his book, “The Disappearance of the Christian Mind,”

“We are all caught up, entangled, in the lumbering day-to-day operations of a [social] machinery, working in many respects in the service of ends which we as Christians reject. This situation, the present [schizophrenic] situation of thousands of thinking Christians is the end product of a process that began the day Christians first decided to stop thinking Christianly in the interests of national harmony; the day when Christians first felt that the only way out of endless public discussion was to limit the operation of acute Christian awareness to the spheres of personal morality and spirituality.

From that point, the spheres of political, cultural, social, and commercial life became dominated by pragmatic and utilitarian thinking.”

The only way the Christian mind will be recovered is to not marinate our children’s minds in the paganism that is typical of Universities, Colleges, and Seminaries Christian or otherwise.

Third, there is the whole Frat house – whore house college experience which emphasizes College as a Summer camp – Animal house experience. Hardly healthy.

Yes, I fully realize Felix, that exceptions to all this exist but the exceptions are indeed exceptions. We are floating in a sea of Academic Humanism.

What are the alternatives …

1.) Autodidact
2.) Education by Extension (College Plus)

In college plus one can get the Bachelor’s degree without being indoctrinated.

3.) Forget formal education and become Entrepreneur.

One more point on this score that you did not ask about but I want to mention. Christians, in order to overcome this current situation, simply have to get over the whole idea of “accreditation.” Educational establishments like to tote that they are “accredited.” Christian needs to start asking, “Yes, but accredited by who?” You see, the point I’m making is to ask why Christians think it is important that their children attend schools accredited by the humanist enemy who wishes to destroy us. Consider Gordon College. Recently, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges’ Commission on Institutions of Higher Education considered whether Gordon College’s ban on “homosexual practice” runs contrary to its Commissions Standards for Accreditation.

Why would Gordon College care? If the Cultural Marxists don’t want to Accredit our schools that should be a reason for rejoicing. Christians, should they desire to return to Academic and Intellectual respectability, simply have to give up trying to curry the favor of Humanist Accreditation agencies.