We get a mixed message from many pastors, John MacArthur is a prominent example, in the area of politics. In his book Why Government Can’t Save You, MacArthur seems to say on one page that it’s okay to get involved politically but then on other pages he seems to say we shouldn’t waste our time. Should Christians be politically active? Find out right now, on this edition of Vantage Point.
The first place to go to understand the proper relationship between church and state is to study the nature of jurisdictions. Jurisdictional separation deals with the legitimate boundaries of authority. A person who owns a piece of property has jurisdiction over his own property, but he does not have jurisdiction over someone else’s property. A property owner can only “speak the law” (juris = law + diction = speak) within the confines of the boundaries of his own property. In this way, a property owner’s jurisdiction is limited. Property lines are legal entities that limit authority.
Don’t blame “the government.” Don’t blame Democrats or Republicans. Pogo said it best: “We have met the enemy and he is us.” We get the government we want. This is the reason Ted Kennedy was in office for more than 40 years. A majority of people in Massachusetts voted for him. He was the titan of big government, and people loved him for it, even though any other politician would have been run out of office after the Mary Jo Kopechne affair. Kennedy’s ability to bring home the bacon blurred their ability of see his legislative record through the Constitution. They were enamored with Camelot, a fictional story of what the Kennedy’s were not. It’s all about the pork. Actually, it’s about the stealing of pork and using elected government officials to do it for us. Stealing money from a neighbor in one state to fund the education of a child in another state will get you arrested. But if you elect enough congressmen to do it, you’re a “progressive.” Like children, we lack self-control. We want what’s not ours. If we are ever going to turn this nation around, we must understand the makeup of self-government.
What is government? When this question is asked, most people respond by equating government solely to a centralized civil State. Even our language reflects the confusion: “Government? It’s in Washington,” or “The government will take care of its citizens through its many programs.” Both of these statements reflect a misunderstanding of the true nature of government. They portray the idea that the only governing institution is a political one. Historically, however, the term “government” was always qualified in some way, unlike our present-day definitions.
Politicians and activists argue more public transportation is in order for the city of Atlanta and the surrounding area. The way to pay for it is from the pockets of tax payers that will very unlikely ever use the railways or buses themselves. Gary makes the case those that benefit should pay—not all Americans everywhere for one city’s transportation.
How many of you have heard about the November 17, 2009 AirTran Flight 297 from Atlanta to Houston? While there is some confusion about what really happened, there is no doubt some passengers were alarmed enough to leave the plane when it returned to the gate. They believed a terrorist “dry run” was in progress. AirTran has downplayed the “alleged incident.” Were these men just messing with the passengers? I don’t know, but I’m not taking any chances. Were they scouting the reaction of the passengers for another group that has plans to carry out a future terror mission? It doesn’t matter. I refuse to stand by while a bunch of Islamic terrorists use me and my fellow passengers to make some perverted religio-political statement. I’m not going down in an airplane without a fight. I hate flying, but I hate crashing even more.
The city of Atlanta recently announced that it was going to privatize its parking enforcement. As of November 1, ParkAtlanta, a privately-owned company, took over responsibility for enforcing the city’s parking meters and ticketing, as well as the booting and towing of illegally-parked cars. The seven-year contract guarantees the city a $5.5 million paycheck each year, meaning a $38.5 million boost for the city, in addition to getting rid of the hassles of maintaining its own publicly-funded force. Atlanta is only one of many cities that have recently adopted the private option.
In recent months, I’ve been noticing how young families are taking action within their own circles of influence to return our nation to its founding principles. They’re learning that the place to start is in the home.
In a study released in Financial Times in late 2006, it was revealed that the richest 2% of adults in the world own more than 50% of the total assets, while the poorest half of the population hold a mere 1%. Statistics like this were highly prevalent during the Obama presidential campaign, and they are gaining resurgence from Michael Moore’s recent bit of uninformed celluloid propaganda, Capitalism: A Love Story. Although these statistics may help to foster greed and envy among the poor of the world, they really only confirm the "Golden Rule" of politics – i.e. he who has the gold makes the rule – a point that is well-made by Hernando de Soto in his book The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else.
Do you know how much land in the United States is owned by the Federal Government? It’s shocking: Nevada : 84.5% Alaska: 69.1% Utah: 57.4% Oregon: 53.1% Idaho: 50.2% Arizona: 48.1% California: 45.3% Wyoming: 42.3% New Mexico: 41.8% Colorado: 36.6% Take at look at the map on the “Strange Maps” site. Post Reply | View Replies
As I was making my way through the channels to watch an episode of King of the Hill, I stopped on a channel that was showing the film I, Robot (2004). I, Robot is based very loosely on Isaac Asimov’s book of robot stories of the same name. The film’s story line, however, is based on the script Hardwired written by Jeff Vintar. The robots have been created to serve humans, but according to a specific set of three laws. The laws remind me of where we are politically.
Lawrence O’Donnell, the stand-in host for loudmouth Ed Schultz of “The Ed Show,” put Rep. John Culberson (R-Tex.) on the spot with a series of questions about Socialism. O’Donnell, sympathetic to Socialism himself, wanted Rep. Culberson to admit that Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare are Socialistic programs, and since they are, why do Republicans object to government-run healthcare; it’s just more of the same.
Enjoy my summary of Dr. Gary North’s presentation this morning: I’m blogging from the 2009 American Vision Worldview Super Conference. Dr. Gary North just finished giving a presentation on the history and theology behind a gold-standard. It was so enlightening that I figured I’d write a blog about it while everyone else eats lunch. In […]
Obama and the Democrats want “more Americans to contribute today so that all Americans can do better tomorrow.” I’m sorry, but I’m already contributing enough, taking into account federal, state, property, school, ad valorem, sales, social security, hotel, entertainment, airline, utility, gasoline, and dozens of other hidden taxes. Taxes on alcohol and cigarettes do not affect me directly since I do not smoke or drink. These taxes, however, still have a deleterious effect on the economy since money is power in the hands of the State. By the way, our health-care crisis is related more to poor health habits – smoking, drinking, and obesity – and bureaucratic regulations that drive up health costs.
My wife and I have spent the last three days – along with a thousand of our closest friends – attending the Reformation 500 Celebration in Boston, Massachusetts. A recurring theme at this conference has been the proper relationship between church and state. This important question must be resolved if Christians in the 21st century desire to continue the legacy that we are now celebrating in Boston. The men and women of the 16th century had determined a course of action, founded upon the Scriptures, that forever changed Europe and England and led to the formation of the very country where we now live. Although we are grateful for that heritage, we should also be looking to the future. The decisions that we make today will determine, 500 years from now, whether our descendants will be celebrating the thousand-year anniversary of the Reformation, or whether it will be forgotten.
According to a radio editorial some years ago, “a man’s religion and the strength of his conviction are his own personal matter” and therefore “religion should not interfere with politics.” Of course, this too is an expression of humanist neutrality designed to silence Christians but allow for every other conceivable worldview to find expression in the public and political arena.
A nation’s culture defines what is normal and acceptable in society; how we view right and wrong, who are heroes are, and what we want our children to believe. Culture is based on the values that are widely accepted by society and that we want to transmit from generation to generation. Many things affect a nation’s culture, but few affect it so directly and profoundly as politics.
Sociologist William Brustein went to Berlin a few years ago to tour the city. As his bus tour passed the bunker where Hitler spent his last days, the guide told how Hitler had seized power and fooled the German people. He assured the tour that “It would never happen again.”
Brustein knew the guide was wrong. His many years of study had convinced him that “It could happen again.” Brustein knew he would need empirical data to prove that the elements that brought Hitler to power lie just below the surface of all societies.