What is the first principle of economics? Some economists will claim that it’s supply and demand, while others insist that it’s scarcity or the division of labor. The first principle of economics is “thou shalt not steal.”The word economics is derived from two Greek words: oikos, meaning “house,” and nomos, meaning “law.” Combined we […]
In a parable about stewardship in Luke 19, Jesus tells His hearers to "occupy until I come." The New American Standard translates the verse this way: "Do business until I come." The verse prior to the parable gives the context: "While they were listening to these things, Jesus went on to tell a parable, because He was near Jerusalem, and they [His listeners] supposed that the kingdom of God was going to appear immediately" (Luke 19:11). Since this parable immediately follows the story of Zaccheus’ conversion, we have no reason to assume that Jesus is speaking to a different audience. In this parable, Jesus actually speaks of three groups of people:
I received the following portion of a longer email from someone who disagreed with me on the interpretation of the Constitution related to the relationship between the Federal government and the states. He opened his email with this statement (my response follows his comments):
Every society is founded on some ultimate principle. It might be the absolutism of a single ruler, the majority-rule concept of a pure democracy where the “voice of the people is considered to be the voice of God” (vox populi, vox dei), or an oligarchy where a self-appointed group of experts claim sovereignty and control. A system of values (laws) flows from this fundamental operating principle even among regimes as diverse as Nazism, Communism, Fascism, and Socialism. Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez make the claim that their socialistic system of rule is the best form government. Adolf Hitler made the same argument for his brand of National Socialism as did Lenin and Stalin for Communism. No government ever argues that its system is evil and bad for the people.
The Articles of Confederation was our first constitution. Although it was abandoned in favor of the Constitution because of its defects, it contained principles which the vast majority of Americans wanted in the Constitution. When enough Americans and their statesmen saw that the defects of the Constitution would or could be used to usurp authority and powers from the state governments and create a centralized government which would violate these principles, Americans added what became the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution to protect these principles.
“It can’t happen here!” How many times have we heard this claim? But it can happen here. Many will tell you that it is happening here. It seems that almost on a daily basis we are losing our God-given rights. Some even make the case that there is a direct assault on the Christian religion because it is the only belief system that puts limits on governments. To grow the State means that biblical law must be reinterpreted or made to disappear altogether. Relegating God to a distant corner of the universe or redefining and remaking Him in the image of the politically empowered emboldens governments to “do what they will" without any regard to any fixed moral foundation.
The Tenth Amendment is a guarantee of the covenant between the states whose representatives framed and ratified the Constitution and the new central government created by the Constitution. The Constitution is the covenant which contains that solemn agreement.
The agreement between the several states and the new central government created by the Constitution was really much more than a “deal” as it has sometimes been called.
The framers of our Constitution had a biblical understanding – well buttressed by their knowledge of history – of the fallen nature of man. They were not deceived by Lockean notions of man’s mind being a “blank slate” at birth and man a mere product of the influences of his environment. Nor were they gullible enough to believe Rousseau’s and the Romantics’ notion that man is naturally good. Hence – unlike our “liberals,”
Neither the Framers nor the Ratifiers of our Constitution wanted to make the new national government a democracy. They were, overwhelmingly, republican, not “democratic,” political thinkers. And with plenty of good reasons, for they were not ignorant of the Bible, the nature of man, or the performance of various kinds of civil government in history. Strictly speaking, democracy is a form of civil government ruled directly by the votes of a majority. Democracy is based on the notion that all men are equal.
The world is in a mess, and Christians know it. Too many of us believe that we have not been called to change the world. What if centuries ago Christians had taken a similar position? What would the world be like today? John Newton (1725-1807) was an infamous slave trader. The church knows him best as the author of such well-known hymns as “Amazing Grace” and “Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken.” Even while Newton was a Christian, he was also a captain of a slave ship. “Newton penned the beloved hymn ‘How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds in a Believer’s Ear’ during the leisure time afforded by a voyage from Africa to the West Indies.”1 Keep in mind the often repeated claim that Christians are not called to change the world. Following this line of logic, Newton could have remained a slave trader and a good Christian.
In time, however, Newton confessed “shame” for “the misery and mischief to which [he had], formerly, been [an] accessory.” He eventually denounced his former occupation with the publication of Thoughts Upon the African Slave Trade (1788), “a stinging attack upon slavery that makes scenes from Alex Haley’s Roots seem mild by comparison.”2 Newton believed, prior to his denunciation of the slave trade, that he could be a good Christian and do nothing to fix social evils. “By 1788 Newton considered it ‘criminal’ to remain silent and not inveigh with evangelical fervor against the entire slave system. This conviction did not arise automatically upon his conversion, but from ethical deliberations that [William] Wilberforce set in motion.”3
England’s abolition movement was almost entirely led by the evangelical wing of the church. At the pleading of Lady Middleton and Bishop Porteus, James Ramsay wrote a long Essay on the Treatment and Conversion of Slaves in the British Sugar Colonies (1784). Ramsay was “convinced that men will not respond to lessons of eternal redemption from those who enslave them on earth, or about heaven when kept in hell. . . . He proposed steps to total Emancipation, and suggested that free labour would yield more profit to plantation owners.”4
The Statute’s resolution to the malady of selfish men and their propensity to unfair debate is to merely affirm, “That no man shall . . . suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.”
We’ve been taught that fascism is a foreign-born ideology that spawned the political aspirations of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler. In reality, fascism has had a long history in America and has been resurrected by people who believe that power guided by good intentions can do no harm. They are ignorant of history and human nature. We don’t have to go abroad to find examples of fascism. The political philosophies of presidents Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson are textbook examples of fascism in action. Do you find this hard to take? Here’s what Jonah Goldberg says on the subject in his bookLiberal Fascism (2007)
What is so troubling about Christian involvement in politics? Christians like John MacArthur, Cal Thomas, and Ed Dobson have written on the subject. MacArthur’s Why Government Can’t Save You includes the following subtitle: An Alternative to Political Activism. While MacArthur does not "believe we should remove ourselves from the political process," he does object to "the prevailing mindset that makes political and social activism the primary business of Christianity and reduces faith in Christ to just another political force."
Over the weekend, AMC aired The Godfather (Part 1 and II). I thought this was appropriate given that one of the worst pieces of legislation in the history of our nation was passed by the House and Senate on Friday, February 13, using fear, intimidation, blackmail, and political thuggery. Even John McCain, who admitted Over the weekend, AMC aired The Godfather (Part 1 and II). I thought this was appropriate given that one of the worst pieces of legislation in the history of our nation was passed by the House and Senate on Friday, February 13, using fear, intimidation, blackmail, and political thuggery.
Today is the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin, and evolutionists are celebrating worldwide that they are nothing more than bags of meat and bone with electricity running through them. “Praise Darwin from whom all matter flows!,” their doxology goes. The religious character of Darwin is evident in the way those from the Freedom From Religion Foundation are commemorating his birth. Their billboards look like stained glass windows!
I am deeply disappointed in your vote to pass the "Economic Stimulus Package."The bill is more like Pandora’s box than a package. It is an ill-conceived conglomeration of bad ideas.
Two weeks ago, we discussed the mid-1980s film Maximum Overdrive and its contributions (although gratuitous and simplistic) to the artificial intelligence debate. I promised that we would take a look at another, more recent film, that further moves the debate along. In the process of time between then and now however, I have been alerted to an even more recent film that takes the same basic arguments to a much higher level.
The Christmas season brings out the best and worst in people; it also brings out the ACLU, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF). In fact, Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the FFRF, states, "The state shouldn’t have a Christmas anything. It’s not supposed to observe religious holidays."