While I’m Thinking Of It

I meant to add to my last post an addendum that ties things together in my mind. In that post we looked at some traits of socialism. Eventually where I hope to go with this is to segue into differences between Marxist Socialism and Fascist Socialism and to show concretely that the political differences that exist in this country among the two major parties is merely a contest over which stripe of Fascism one prefers. Anyway … there is another connector between this and what I have also written recently on Radical Two Kingdom Theology of the Westminster West variety (R2Kt virus).

The connector is that when the Church refuses to deal with, from the pulpit, the kind of issues that I am trying to clarify in my posts on Socialism and Fascism the consequence is that the larger culture loses the sense of the True Transcendent that is required for Biblical civilization to occur. If the Church will not speak a clarion word about how the Transcendence of God needs to be a guiding presupposition in the cultural life of any nation then that culture will embrace a false god with a false transcendence. R2Kt proclaims that culture lies in the common realm where all can participate but what we are already seeing in these posts on Socialism and Fascism is that culture while certainly a common realm is affected by presuppositions that either are or are not Biblical. While all agree that culture is a common realm we are learning that it is not a neutral realm. If culture is affected by presuppositions that are Biblical then those presuppositions along with the texts they grow out of need to be preached from Reformed pulpits and Reformed Churches all across the land.

To refuse to do so in pursuit of some lame academic theory is treason.

America, The Socialist Model?

We have already mentioned that one of the universal traits of all socialist regimes is the eclipse of the transcendent, or better put, the relocation of the transcendent to an immanent source — usually the State.

One implication of this is the elimination of the cultivation of the sense of the individual for the counter-cultivation of the populations sense of the Borg or the hive. This is especially true in socialistic regimes of the Fascist variety since Fascism is not interested in setting fellow citizens at odds through class warfare but rather desires to create a national identity where all classes are lost in their sense of belonging to a ethnicity or a nation. Since the Transcendent has been re-located in the immanent State, and since the State thus becomes the mega-phone of the Rousseauian ‘general will’ all concepts of individualism get lost in the sense of belonging to that which is Transcendent and is speaking as the voice of God. Individuals thus become either cogs in the machine (rational enlightenment version) or organs in the living breathing community (romantic enlightenment version).

There arise from this several implications. First, the nation, or people (ethnos) and even its culture is identified with the State. Any attempt to make distinctions between the country and the Government is completely lost since the State becomes the apex incarnation of the country. Now with the State becoming the apex incarnation of the country what normatively follows in successful socialistic systems is the rise of dynamic individual leaders who themselves become the living representative of the State. So, culture, ethnos, society, and country become exactly equated with the State. The State becomes a Nationalistic incarnation and it produces a dynamic larger than life leader who becomes the incarnation of the State, with the consequence that the leader is the visible manifestation of the State and the people. The leaders becomes the proverbial Queen Bee and all live to serve her and by serving her the hive is served.

Second, since the Transcendent is located in the collectivized Volk and since the mind of the Volk (general will) is known through the State, there is no salvation outside the State. In socialistic systems, it is the case that, ‘in the State one lives and moves and has their being.’ Individualism in this system is not merely an oddity but rather it is rebellion against God and so is a threat that must be removed.

Third, since the true Transcendent has been lost for an immanent transcendent there is no means by which a socialist state can be adjudicated short of implosion. Any other Transcendent that would arise to challenge the immanent transcendent of the State could only arise by means of some kind of individualism and as we have seen that individualism is immediately crushed.

Fourth, in Socialistic systems truth is normatively arrived at by way of consensus as opposed to the way of open debate or conflict. Conflict would be a threat to the idea of one universal general will and so truth is moved towards incrementally and is always cloaked in the idea of societal consensus. The only exception to this would be is when the State desires to demonize some faction within a society. At this point the purpose of introducing conflict into the general will would be in order to expose the minority opinion to mockery and castigation, thus serving the agenda of strengthening the State.

Now, we move to inquire whether or not any of this is relevant for America in 2008. What is interesting about this in terms of America is the way that we have arrived at some of our socialistic (and even Fascistic) leanings. Take for example the issue of individualism. What the Sate has done here to eliminate genuine individualism is to promote spurious individualism. In America over the last 75 years or so the State has worked very hard in breaking down every other covenantal institution besides the State, all in the name of individualism. Both family and Church have suffered in order to give the individual more ‘freedom.’ The consequence of this action though has not been more individualism but rather more Borg like sameness. With the increasing eclipse of these other God ordained covenantal institutions (Family and Church) — institutions that largely help in defining who we are as individuals — all that has been left, institutionally speaking, in order to provide contextual background in order for people to define themselves against, is the State. This in turn has resulted in people who are all being individual in exactly the same Borg like fashion.

In America the pursuit of Socialism has been largely accomplished through the Government schools. The Government schools have never had the purpose of educating children. The purpose of Government schools has always been to create a unified citizenry, who, because they have been taught a common anti-Christ narrative, all have a common anti-Christ purpose. The schools have always been socialistic in their desire to create a Borg culture, and as B.K. Eakman (The Cloning Of The American Mind) and others have pointed out the government schools are getting even more proficient at creating the mind of Borg.

So, we would have to say that, especially beginning with New Deal (yes, you can go further back then that even) legislation, that gave more and more power to the State, often in the name of securing the rights of individuals, and with the accelerated efficiency of Government schools in creating a common mind (school to work programs, no child left behind, values clarification, outcome based education, etc.) America largely has a socialistic mindset and ethos. By emphasizing the individual the individual has been eliminated.

Now there is another twist in the way America expresses its socialism and that is how it is managing to build a mono-culture (one Volk, one people, one nation) by appealing to multicultural categories. Most Americans believe that the pursuit of multi-culturalism would be proof positive that we are not a Socialistic people. What they don’t realize is that the cultural / societal solidarity that is being shaped in America is being shaped precisely because we are, as a people, unified in the way we approach multi-culturalism. We are agreed that all gods and all cultures are acceptable as long as they are privatized and know their place and will not seek to arise above the unitarian safety that comes in belonging to the State. In other words, all religions and cultures are welcome in our socialistic arrangement as long as the adherents don’t really take them with any great seriousness. I would also have to say that in this way we are far more Fascist in our socialism then we are Marxist. The goal seems to be to create a bond that reaches across class distinctions in order to build an America that desires to extend its multi-cultural nationalism, internationally. By emphasizing multi-culturalism we have arrived at a Borg like mono-culture.

Another oddity reveals itself in one of the places where this socialistic mindset and ethos is most clearly revealed. Today, it is in the Church, of all places, that one reaps some of the severest consequences for trying to bring an alternate Transcendent to adjudicate the Culture. So many Christians have bought into the Socialistic mindset that we are speaking of here that any attempt to unwrap the flag from the Cross is seen as heresy and gives reason for shunning. The Christian faith has largely been enrolled in the fight to export American multi-cultural Fascistic socialism. Any doubt of this is immediately eliminated where a challenging word is spoken against the current Warfare-Welfare State.

The reality that the State, in this country, is seen as the incarnational apex of the people and that all distinctions between country or people and State have been lost is revealed in the way that politics has become our Theology. This shows that we have lost a true transcendent and are socialistic. The reason that Americans fight so desperately over Politics is that we understand that whoever controls the State gets to define what the country is, and it has gotten to the point that most Americans don’t even realize that there should be a distinction between country and State.

We could go on to speak of how Americans increasingly identify with the Great leader (President). We could talk about the social ostracization that occurs when people color outside the socialist lines. We could talk about the preference for consensus in this country and the current lack of tolerance for conflict and passionate debate as a means to arriving at truth. (This has not always been the case in America.) All of this points to the reality that we are, at the very least, a Socialistic people.


Religion — A total integrated response to questions about the meaning of existence.

Education — The process by which learners are taught the means to defend themselves against the seduction of eloquence.

Metaphor — An organ of perception by which we interpret the most basic of realities.

Learning — The process of acquiring the critical skill that is able to distinguish diseased ‘facts’ from non-diseased facts.

What’s Coming Down The Pike (Part II)

Of course Genesis hinted that the Gospel would be extended to the Gentiles, and if it turns out the traditionalist view of homosexuality is wrong I’m sure that our grandchildren will find lots of Biblical hints that we missed, too.

Are you arguing that homosexuality is a sexually compulsive behavior in a different sense than heterosexuality is a sexually compulsive behavior? Eating, drinking, and sleeping can all be compulsive behavior and if it’s compulsive, it’s a problem. If it causes harm to others, like Jeffrey Dahmer, it’s a problem. If it’s neither compulsive nor harmful to others, then I think you need to be sure you’re on solid ground before you condemn an entire group of people for having the same human desires for love and acceptance that you have.

First, we should note that Matt is playing with a relativistic Bible. It is not that the Biblical view of homosexuality is wrong but rather the traditionalist view. In Matt’s world the Bible has no objective meaning but rather its truth is reduced to ‘views.’

Second Matt has made the ‘no harm to others’ argument as being the foundation of why Buggery should be accepted without taking into account of how it harms people who are involved in it and without taking into consideration how the spread of it will harm others who get involved in it. Still, even were it true that mutually consenting Buggery doesn’t harm anybody Christians would still need to oppose it because God’s Word says it is sin.

Third, while people caught in Buggery do have the same human desire for love and acceptance that most people have they have twisted it and invoking the need for love and acceptance as a reason why that which is wicked should be brought into the Church is hardly convincing. Should love and acceptance from others in a twisted fashion be purchased at the cost of the hatred and rejection of God for defying His word?

I’m a fallen human with fallen human perceptions, so of course I can’t KNOW to a 100% certainty that I haven’t misinterpreted a particular text. Neither can you.

Once again Matt, you are revealing your relativistic undergarments. Since neither of us can allegedly have 100% certainty therefore we must allow for the possibility that anything could be true. The problem Matt is that you do claim 100% certainty in some areas. For example you seemingly are 100% certain that we can’t be 100% certain. How can you know with certainty that there is no certainty? I am not asking you to prove a negative. I am asking you to prove the affirmation that certainty can’t be had.

Can you give me some assurance that 22nd or 23rd Century Christians won’t be shaking their heads wondering how mainstream Christian thought in our time managed to miss the boat on homosexuality?I get your point that it seems obvious; well, so did “Ham shall be the servant of Shem forever” and Nehemiah’s ban on inter-racial marriage. And again, it wasn’t only the lunatic fringe that gave those passages a racist interpretation; 100 years ago it was mainstream.

Christians sometimes getting things wrong doesn’t prove that Christians don’t often times get things right. Following your reasoning would lead the Church to being ethically paralyzed. Maybe it really isn’t the case that pedophilia or bestiality is wrong. After all, we’ve been wrong about others things, maybe we are wrong about those things as well. Maybe we should take a wait and see attitude on moral questions such as grownups taking children into their beds. I mean, after all, those areas seem obvious also.

And you know what Matt? Your position demands that you allow for that since it is the only way that you can make wiggle room for the acceptability of Buggery. People no longer recoil at the thought of Buggery due to the success of mainstreaming that perversion but they still do recoil at the other perversions since those haven’t yet been successfully mainstreamed. The only way that people can even begin to take you half way seriously is because Buggery, due to cultural conditioning and political correctness, has eroded the Christian immune system.

Finally, this argument that we might regret not moving slower in our opposition to Buggery cuts both ways. You ask for ‘assurance’ that the Church of the future won’t be woefully regretting that the Christians of the present were so thick as to not see that we should have accepted Buggery in the Church. I could just as easily ask you for assurance that the Church of the future won’t be woefully regretting that the Christians today were so thick as to even begin to consider the legitimacy of Buggery in God’s Church. After all, Matt, there are also many cases in history also (The German Church between 1933-1945 comes to mind) where God’s people have refused to do what God clearly revealed should be done.

Maybe Matt we should ‘wait and see’ if this itching desire to embrace homosexuality in the Church isn’t more of that sort of nonsense?

Bret, you’ve just demonstrated why your side is losing this particular battle. You’re basically reduced to arguing that being gay is about nothing more than promiscuous sex and that it’s yucky, disgusting and repulsive. And that argument used to work before gay people started coming out of the closet. Now that most people actually know gay people and know that those stereotypes aren’t true, you may as well save your breath. It’s like arguments the Klan used to make about how Blacks are smelly and dirty and stupid and oversexed. Yeah, just enough Blacks fit that stereotype to keep it alive among racists, but people with Black co-workers and neighbors and Sunday school classmates stopped paying attention a long time ago.

I myself find the idea of gay sex repulsive. I also find the idea of eating sushi repulsive, but I don’t go around making doctrines about it.

No, Matt my side is losing the battle because they aren’t willing to call sin, ‘sin’ in the face of cultural pressure that opposer’s of God’s word, like you, bring. The Scriptures say do not be transformed to the World, and yet that is exactly what happens as the Church gives in to the voice of the serpent.

Let’s grant you your assumption above. Let us say, for the sake of argument that those who practice Buggery are clean, erudite, well-spoken, and a thrill to be around. That description fits some of my gay friends. Those facts don’t change anything Matt. God says all Buggery is sin, even the kind that finds lipstick on a pig. The fact that anybody would find Buggery repulsive or not is irrelevant. What is relevant is that God finds it repulsive.

Oh … and you’ll be glad to know that God hasn’t weighed in on sushi, therefore that is a red herring.

People see the blatant injustice of the regime you would impose. You yourself would never agree to live under the rules you would promulgate for gays; why should they?

I would never agree to live under the rules that God’s Word promulgate for pedophiles and pederasts either but the reason they should have to is because God’s Word says what it says. Sinners never want to live under the rules that God’s Word promulgates. That is one reason why they are called sinners. They desire there way above Gods.

Does the Bible say that all gay people go to hell 100%?

The Bible says that all who don’t trust Christ alone go to hell. The Bible also says that lifestyle Buggery is the kind of behavior that does not inherit the Kingdom of heaven. Those who struggle with the sin of buggery, like all sinners who are in Christ, must be constantly repenting of their sin.

What does it mean for a gay person to be repentant? It’s not exactly something you can turn on and off, if you follow me.

Somebody who is a kleptomaniac could make the same argument Matt. They could just as easily say, ‘stealing is not just something I can turn on and off,’ and yet we would say that the Holy Spirit of Christ can give us victory over sin. This would include the sin of kleptomania and the sin of Buggery. We would also say that there is forgiveness for where we fail in our struggle against sin.

My church has a gay couple. One of them started coming on his own after not coming to church for a while and, when we made him feel welcome instead of kicking him out, and he started to grow in the Lord. After he’d been coming for about a year he confessed that he had stolen some money from a former employer and needed to make restitution, and because of the growth he had experienced in our church, found the courage to do so. His partner got saved a while later and they started coming as a couple. His partner had a drug and alcohol problem which the Lord has delivered him from. I don’t see how anyone can claim that God isn’t working in their lives – a thief made restitution, and a drug addict is now clean and sober. And if we’d kicked them out, we would have missed the blessing of seeing it happen. If their relationship is sinful, maybe at some point God will deal with them about it. Maybe that won’t ever happen. But the fruits of new life in Christ are clearly evident. Yes, there were some righteous people in the church who were upset when they started coming. But the righteous were wrong in Jesus’ day, too.

Matt, can we come to Jesus while still embracing our sin? Does Jesus receive people who are willing to repent of some of their sins and not of other sins?

The fact that people become moral is no sure sign that God is working in their lives. Mormons, in many ways, are some of the most moral people you will ever meet but that doesn’t mean that God is working in their lives.

Matt if I had a young couple who were living together attending the Church I pastor and if one of them got saved I would tell them that they immediately need to either marry their live in or they need to quit being involved in that sinful lifestyle. I would tell them they could not serve to masters. And yet you want to suggest that because there is a little moral clean up, people knee deep in Buggery are model Christians.

Surely, we want to reach out to people struggling with the bondage of homosexuality but it is not reaching out or being kind to them by ignoring their bondage.

Besides Matt, why would you ever think that stealing and addictive habits are wrong? Maybe those are behavior patterns that we should take a ‘wait and see’ posture on. I am a little ashamed that your church might have brought pressure upon them to give up something that future generations of the Church might see as really being approved by God.

You’ve fallen into a trap often set by social conservatives that basically consists of thinking that because one standard is in error, that no standards are possible. No, being pro-gay has nothing to do with theft or substance abuse; each of those issues stands on its own merits.

It’s like the oft-repeated canard that liberals don’t believe in moral absolutes. Of course liberals believe in moral absolutes; they simply disagree with conservatives as to what they are.

And you are missing the reality that sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. Perhaps it is the case that you would like substance abuse and theft to still be seen as sinful and wrong. But what of the ‘Substance abusers for Jesus’ lobby? Why shouldn’t we listen to their case that since the Church has gotten things wrong in the past that we should take a ‘wait and see’ posture about the sinfulness of substance abuse?

You want moral absolutes? Fine. Now prove them from Scripture. Do so would mean beginning to attempt what you haven’t even begun to attempt.

Lying is a sin, but in a case which someone sins by lying, there was another course of action they could have taken that would not have been sinful, i.e. telling the truth. But with being gay, there is no other way for them to go…they can’t just be straight. Since one sign of repentance seems to be stopping, as much as possible, the sin in question, then homosexuals can’t be repentant unless they’re just supposed to stop acting on it and ‘live a lie’ so to speak.

Are you actually arguing that stopping ones sexual urges is not possible? Are you actually arguing that being chaste isn’t possible?

Homosexuals can be repentant by not yielding their members to sin and when they stop acting on their sinful urges, they are for the first time ‘living the truth,’ so to speak.

What’s Coming Down The Pike (Part I)

The conversation started off with my making the following observation regarding homosexuality seeking to draw some comparisons,

What would people think if Wheaton College invited a pederast or pedophile or someone who likes to bed farm animals to come and declare that these kind of perversions are ‘justice issues.’ Now I think (definitely not sure) that people would freak out over such an invitation precisely because such perversions are clearly beyond the pale. After all, who is nut case enough to actually want to listen to that kind of disgust? Is an invitation, to come speak at a Christian college, extended to somebody who is pro-buggery, indicative of the fact that among Christians Homosexuality is no longer seen as beyond the pale – every bit as detestable as pederasty, pedophilia, or bestiality?

Matt the pro-buggery advocate chimed in,


If somebody wanted to argue that God smiles upon pedophilia I would be dying of curiosity to know what his argument is so I would be inclined to give him a hearing just to find out what he had to say, even while expecting to disagree with him.

To answer your question, my perception is that among most Christians, even conservative evangelicals, homosexuality no longer is beyond the pale. The conservative church isn’t quite ready to embrace it just yet, but that’s the direction in which things are moving.

And there are two possibilities. One possibility is that the traditional position is true, God hates it, and judgment is coming. The other possibility is that the Holy Spirit is moving and it is a justice issue, and fifty years from now the church will view its previous anti-gay prejudice with shame, much like racism. (The racists had a pretty impressive set of proof-texts too.) Since we can’t predict the future, maybe taking a wait and see approach isn’t a bad idea. The Holy Spirit has surprised us before.


Let’s get this straight… you’re saying that you would be willing to suspend disbelief that it is prima facie true that pedophilia is an abomination before God and you would allow that it is possible that there might be a legitimate Biblical argument that grown men having intercourse with children from the age of 3 and above is perfectly acceptable? You might expect to disagree with him but you are admitting that it is within the realm of possibility that you could agree with him.

Immediately we must hold as suspect everything you will now say in the future on any subject touching morality. If it is the case that your moral compass is so broken on the issue of pedophilia (and presumably pedestry and bestiality as well) why should we entertain what you have to say about buggery?

Second, I would say that Christians are likely apostate Christians if they accept buggery, though unfortunately I have to agree with you that the acceptance of buggery seems to be the direction the Church is moving. Still, you certainly wouldn’t argue that all because the German Church between the years 1933-1945 moved in the direction of seeing Jews as less than human that made the idea that ‘Jews are less than human’ to be true. Counting noses has seldom been shown to be a acceptable way at arriving at truth Matt.

Third, I categorically deny that there exists an equivalence between the issue of civil rights and homosexual rights that you are trying to introduce into the conversation. People are born black but there is not one shred of non-homosexual science anywhere that people are born buggers. Certainly the case can be made that differing amounts of skin melanin alone should not be the determining factor in how people are treated. People didn’t choose to be black, it is the way that God made them. However, people do choose to be buggers and if we start extending civil right to whatever perversion people choose what will happen is that the civil rights of people who don’t choose those perversions will be violated.

Fourthly, all because we can’t predict the future, that doesn’t mean taking a wait and see approach is a good idea. What should we, who oppose buggery, be waiting for? Should we be waiting until it becomes even more widely accepted before we accept it? Are we waiting for a homosexual Church to report a Pentecost experience thus proving the Holy Spirit is surprising us? Should we wait for the ‘Holy Spirit’ to whisper to us that God’s Word is wrong? What are we waiting for?

Good night, Matt, you could drive a Mack Truck through this reasoning. All because we can’t predict the future and all because the Holy Spirit has surprised us before we should therefore take a wait and see attitude towards prostitution, or towards mass murder, or towards pedophilia, etc.

Finally, the Holy Spirit has NEVER surprised us before by bringing into the Church sin. Even with the issue of race, which you are trying to glom on to in order to support this ‘line of reasoning,’ the Church, following the Scriptures and the Spirit, sought to fold the black man into the Christian faith.

Responding to another conversant Matt offered,

The attempted gang rape at Sodom is no more a fair reflection of all gays than Ted Bundy is a fair reflection of all heterosexuals.

But here’s what I see as the issue: If you had been asked to predict, in advance, that the Gospel would be extended to Gentiles, or that Messiah would have two comings, or the Protestant Reformation, I doubt you could have done it. In hindsight there were hints, but absolutely nobody saw any of those coming. How can you be so sure this isn’t yet another example of the same phenomenon?

Remember Gamaliel? When the Pharisees were wondering what to do about the church, he advised them that if it was of God they couldn’t stop it, and if it wasn’t of God it would die of its own accord. That’s not bad advice.

Actually Matt, the attempted gang rape as recorded in Genesis was intended to communicate that it was a fair reflection of all gays in Sodom. Also keep in mind that God’s anger was kindled against Sodom precisely because of the presence of sodomites — whether they were of the gang rape or non gang rape variety (Genesis 13:13). Still, perhaps you are right. Perhaps you can show me from Scripture that God’s disposition towards non-gang raping sodomites is different than His disposition towards gang raping sodomites.

Secondly, it was the Scriptures that were appealed to in order to teach the inclusion of the Gentiles and the two advent appearance of our Lord Christ. It was the Scriptures that were appealed to in order to bring about the Reformation. Are you suggesting that an appeal to Scripture will reveal to us that God is not only not opposed to Buggery but quite to the contrary, the Church having been wrong from Genesis onward, that God approves of Buggery? Is that what you are arguing? In short the way we can know that God being pro Buggery is not an example of another phenomenon like inclusion of the Gentiles is that Scripture doesn’t teach it.

Finally that God used Gamaliel’s advice to help the cause of His people doesn’t suggest that should be our response towards evil.

Here’s why I think it’s at least possible that Wallis may be right: the clear, unmistakable Biblical and historical trend is to include people who had previously been excluded. I know of no case in which God limits grace more narrowly than it had previously been understood; he always expands it and finds a way to bring people in. Wallis’s theology certainly fits that pattern.

What you’re missing here is repentance from Sin Matt. God always expands grace and determines to bring repentant people in. You are advocating a Gospel that has a God without wrath bringing people without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross (HT — Richard Niebuhr). Both you and Wallis are fitting into that pattern Matt.

Here’s what I think it will ultimately come down to: Is homosexuality something a person IS (like being a Gentile) that they have no control over, or is it something a person DOES (like fornicating). What exactly are we talking about here? Because if it turns out that we are talking about a fundamental part of a person’s identity – like being a Gentile – then I think it’s all over for the traditionalist position.

Well I will have to agree here Matt. If it comes down to finding a Buggery gene the Homosexuals will have won, temporarily. I say temporarily because if homosexuality is genetic and if homosexuals don’t breed then I’m not sure how they reproduce both themselves and their position. This is one reason I don’t believe that homosexuality is genetic because if it were genetic it would have largely died out and whatever presence it might have would be of such a minuscule report we wouldn’t be having this conversation. No, Buggery is either chosen or learned Matt. Ontologically speaking God did not constitute Man perverted though with the fall Man may certainly have predispositions to certain varying besetting sins.