February 1, 2015

Christian Manifesto V: The Primacy of The Gospel


Declaration V: The Gospel of Jesus Christ Is Primary

Romans 8:1-4 ~ Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  For through Christ Jesus, the law of the Spirit of life has set me free from the law of sin and death.  For what the law was powerless to do, because it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his Son in the likeness of sinful man as a sin offering.  He condemned sin in sinful man that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in those who do not walk according to the sinful nature, but according to the Spirit.

1 Corinthians 15:3-4 ~ “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures”

The church is not a business but it certainly has matters to deal with. The church does not have a business mission statement but it most certainly has a mission for and from God. Some would see it otherwise but the most important thing in Christianity is the Gospel. It isn't the newest business fad incorporated into the way we "do church".

We need to keep the most important thing…the most important thing. Some will opt to put music or worship first but Christianity without its message of redemption through the death and resurrection of Christ isn’t even a valid religion. We can only fulfill Romans 8:1-4 as regenerate sinners. Only regenerate sinners, born of the Spirit from above, by the power of the Gospel, can be and do what God expects from us.

The Gospel must come first. Every Christian must first be Gospel-oriented and Gospel-driven. We must preach the Gospel, plant churches, train others to witness, engage in ministry and missions and do so via mercy and grace.
“Whatever subject I preach, I do not stop until I reach the Savior, the Lord Jesus, for in Him are all things.  I take my text and make a beeline toward the cross.” ~ Charles Spurgeon
As they say in Star Trek, this is the prime directive. This is numero uno when it comes to living out our faith. It is why God came into the world and then left the world and left his church here on terra firma. We must spread the Good News. We must be dogmatic about this point. This is hardcore doctrine. On this the entire Christian faith sinks of swims. This is thee distinctive feature of Christianity that no other religion can claim. In the Gospel we move from just a critique of knowledge into the realm of physical reality about Jesus Christ. It is a historical narrative through which God Himself fulfils promise of faith.

When we adhere to the precepts of the Gospel it requires a manifestation of certain behaviors that act as indicators of where a believe stands in relation to the faith and what they believe about the Gospel. According to Martin Luther, one of the behaviors that should be observable is (1) repentance, or turning to God, and this turn concerns the entire life of the believer. (2) That divine mercy can only be received in faith as a free gift. (3) The true treasure of the church is the gospel of the grace and glory of God in the crucified and risen Christ, which should be openly exhibited, freely offered, and plainly explained for the sake of those that are willing to repent.

The Gospel needs no additions to dress it up either. We don’t need to decorate the Gospel with frills.  We need not embellish its story; it needs no human emotion nor sensation. It is not improved by flamboyant personality or razor-sharp oratory skill.  A person need only teach or preach the gospel. 

Romans 1:16 ~ “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.

January 26, 2015

Christian Manifesto IV: Prayer of Righteous Men Effects Much

Declaration IV: Prayer Changes Things

I believe prayer changes things. I believe prayer works. Prayer is an essential in the Christian life. If there is no prayer, the person that isn’t praying, isn’t Christian. Period. No exceptions. To fail to pray is to expect to go through life under one’s own will and one’s own power separate of God.

Prayer is an exercising of one’s faith and a manifestation of their hope.

James 5:16 ~ “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

Prayer is actual and literal conversation with God. Prayer is to God alone. Prayer is in the presence of God. It is a place of supplication. I believe that every single time you preface an action or thought with the thought of God (whether as Father, Son or Spirit), you are in reality praying. The resultant action or thoughts are then better aligned with God having consulted with God first. If one puts God first in thought and in all things they are essentially praying without ceasing.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 ~ “pray without ceasing….”

Prayer makes one dependent. Prayer is admitting inadequacy. Prayer puts one in position of humility. Prayer needs to be for repentance, forgiveness and change. No Christian is acceptable the way they are. We all need to improve. Prayer is therefore for the guilty and the sinful. It takes someone realizing that they are sinful to be able to pray for said forgiveness. This means prayer leads to a contrite heart. A bent knee shows that the person bending it knows that God is aware of what is best for us. He being our Creator who is omniscient and omnipotent knows what will be in our best interest.

Our prayers can be thanksgivings, requests, needs, healing and more. We should also pray for others. Here’s the thing though. As our faith increases, the gap between the prayer and a possible answer may increase because God is attempting to build our faith in that silence. Prayer does not equate to immediate answers. As a matter of fact, to immediately answer the prayers of the faithless builds little or no faith. Other times, prayers will be answered in ways we do not expect. Is it because God is playing a joke on us? No! Again, we must understand God knows what’s good for us and knows what’s better for us more than we do. Sometimes our prayers are answered in ways we can’t comprehend because our views are too myopic or to small-minded. God has better things in store for us.

The proper response after prayer or before it is praise. We know that God loves us and hears us yet he is the God of the Universe. He considers us important enough to listen to individually like children….because we are His children! This should solicit praise.

There is nothing hidden in prayer. Prayer exposes our most hidden desires…and our most hidden sins. Prayer builds trust. Prayer builds and solidifies a relationship. Prayer changes things mostly because in the act of prayer, prayer changes us and gives a stronger heart for God. As James said…

James 4:8 ~ “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.

Scripture Support:

1 Chronicles 16:11 ~ “Look to the LORD and his strength; seek His face always.”

Psalm 145:18 ~ “The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.”

Proverbs 15:29 ~ “The LORD is far from the wicked but he hears the prayer of the righteous.”

Luke 6:12 ~ “One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.”

Romans 12:12 ~ “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

Philippians 4:6 ~ “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

January 21, 2015

Christian Manifesto II & III: Inerrant & God-Breathed

Declaration II

Scripture Is Inerrant

I believe Scripture in its original autograph form or first copies is inerrant. When I say inerrant it simply means that the Bible always tells the truth about what it talks about. If God is sovereign and in perfect control we know that any book written by Him can and would have to logically be inerrant. A book with His words (the Bible) would be an outflowing of His Will. A will and mind that is perfect and infinite.  If correctly interpreted it is entirely true and never false in what it affirms. This includes morality, doctrines and ethics. It can also apply to the social, physical, or life sciences. In this way I adhere to the 1978 statement on inerrancy in the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1

Proof of this inerrancy is shown within the text itself. Regardless of the accusations leveled against Scripture, the Bible contains no errors nor contradictions. Many will state that they believe it most certainly does contain errors, contradiction or inconsistencies but I challenge anyone to post one of them to refute this declaration. It has nearly always been my experience that the supposed contradicts are most often failure to properly interpret the passage in question. It is not a matter of error in the text it is error in the reception or person reading and drawing the meaning out of the text. In this way I suppose you could say that the Scriptures may be inspired but the reader might not be inspired or led of God. That is because many of the things in Scripture are spiritual and spiritual things cannot be discerned by the natural or unbelieving sinful man.

1 Corinthians 2:14-16 ~ “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.

To properly understand why Scripture is inerrant I must make a third declaration.

Declaration III

Scripture Is Inspired By God

I believe Scripture is Inspired by God. When I say inspired I am establishing unequivocally that the Bible is a divine output directly from God through man.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 ~ “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”

In other words, God actively worked through the writing process and had his hand in the outcome of what Scripture would say. Additionally, the perpetuity of Scripture over the last few millennium since it was written, its accuracy has been maintained in its transcription. Not only would God inspire the writing of the original text, He would also preserve the doctrinal and theological accuracy since its inception until now or the accuracy of the original autographs and manuscripts become a moot point. Inspired Scripture is simply written revelation. Scripture is man's word, but also and equally God's word either spoken through man's mouth or written with man's pen/quill.

The term inspired/inspiration is actually  θεοπνευστος / theopneustos which is a compound of God/theo and breath/pnuema. So that is why we have the terms “God-breathed” in some English translations because it is a literal translation from the original Greek text. In is interesting to note that in the very manner that God breathed the vital breath into man in Adam so too he breathed life into His holy Word...the Bible. That is because the Bible is the logos of Christ.

January 17, 2015

In Their Own Words XXVII: Cheapened and Debased Existence


“Knowing there is a world that will outlive you, there are people whose well-being depends on how you live your life, affects the way you live your life, whether or not you directly experience those effects. You want to be the kind of person who has the larger view, who takes other people’s interests into account, who’s dedicated to the principles that you can justify, like justice, knowledge, truth, beauty and morality.”  – Steven Pinker, Cognitive Scientist


I guess I should start my two part commentary on this quote by asking a few questions.

What gives things their value?
What makes things beautiful?
What makes things moral or ethical?
Who measures these things?

Is it possible that the observer or the measure of these things affect the value, beauty or morality of that which is being evaluated?

It is nearly always the assumption of the atheist or non-believer that true unadulterated ideas of justice, knowledge and morality can be truly grasped and understood absent of God. The above quote proves this. Steve Pinker is an experimental psychologist, cognitive scientist, linguist, and popular science author. He is also Harvard College Professor. He is known for his advocacy of evolutionary psychology and the computational theory of mind. According to an issue of Salon magazine, He is also a proud atheist along with his wife. (1)

It never seems to sink in that things like knowledge can only be grasped in a relative way without an objective/absolute knowledge/truth source. True knowledge and true justice can only be understood as such in a perfectly moral context…associated to a perfectly moral and just God. In an absence of God or an ultimate Moral Law Giver, who supplies the gauge for morality? Who could? What is left after God that is cognizant and able make a judgment like this? Man is all that is left. So I ask you, is man really the measure by which you want you morality and justice defined. I cringe at the thought and so should you.

Man becomes the definer of what is moral, what is just, what is beautiful. Therein lies the problem. These things are therefore defined by a capricious ever wayward and sinful being.

Job 5:7 ~ “Yet man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward.”

Galatians 5:17 ~ “For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.”

Romans 3:10-11 ~ “As it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God.

In other words, when sinful men meet a fallen world, sparks fly. There’s something about man born into the world that inevitably leads to trouble. Mankind and their thinking is infamously fickle and unreliable when it is absent an unconditional love towards others. Even in their redeemed state man will struggle in sin and cannot fully think clearly and righteously. Man needs a closely intertwined relationship with God if he wants any hope of making an even remotely moral decision. If this relationship with God is compromised in any way, man quickly falls by the wayside and digresses from true moral thinking and true knowledge and wisdom. Why? Because the fear of God and understanding of biblical precepts is the beginning of true knowledge and wisdom. The man who leaves God behind like the atheist then uses the gauge of the culture and society to measure their morality, their baseline of knowledge and what they consider is beautiful.

The farther the society itself is from God the worse or more inaccurate the measure of these things. I believe this is why we still have some modicum or illusion of morality in society but as more and more of society falls away from Christianity, the more morals begin to wander into an amoral desert. This once Christian nation still has residual morality floating around its system. I believe this is due to some of its foundations being rooted in the God of the Bible and Biblical principles. As time goes on and more and more people apostatize from the One True God, the more we begin to see the underlying moral fabric of the United States dissolve to immorality.

That is why the new measure of beauty is an image of perverted sexuality, not just aesthetic /moral beauty. It isn’t an issue of aesthetics as it is an issue of: What can your beauty or handsomeness do for me. People are things to be cherished not objects on display, objects to be controlled or owned, objects to be used and discarded. Therefore beauty and people’s beautiful character are nothing more than a commodity to be traded or bartered withn today. Many will claim they are “moral” but are in reality self-serving and self-seeking. Marriages are not even institutions of selfless love, many are institutions of selfish love and that is why more than half of marriages today end in divorce. People want to know why so many marriages are failing. I pretty much just told you why. People enter into a Godly covenant….without God.

Marriages without God then become nothing more than sociocultural contracts. It is God that keeps the marriage together when the garbage hits the fan. No God, no restraint. No restraint…failed marriage and divorce. A wandering eye then leads to a suffocating lie. At the point of departure from God men and women become products not people. This is the new measure of beauty when we deviate from God and make sinful wayward man the measure of value. We become nothing more than demoralized or devalued merchandise. We saw the same in the Old and New Testament when people abandoned a proper understanding of God.

Jeremiah 23:14 ~ “But in the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a horrible thing: they commit adultery and walk in lies; they strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no one turns from his evil; all of them have become like Sodom to me, and its inhabitants like Gomorrah.”

1 Corinthians 5:1-2 ~ “It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father's wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you.

[Concluded in Next Post]

January 14, 2015

Christian Manifesto I: I Believe In Absolute Truth



Introduction: 

In a gradually expanding format and on a sporadic release schedule I will be releasing things I feel strongly about my faith in a manifesto form. I guess you could say it will be an Apologetic Creed to defend the Christian faith. It is going to be a Christian Theological / Philosophical Manifesto in the vein of Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer. I consider this an active manifesto of my beliefs. I will publish these mostly because I need to defend my faith from the attacks that come at it on nearly a daily basis. Most of the attacks are unfounded, unreasoned, illogical, irrational, emotionally driven or just pure tripe. Most of the attacks I hear or read are usually recycled red herring arguments, straw man arguments or some other form of mindless fallacy that a first year philosophy student could see coming a mile away. 

I am also writing it because the culture and society standstill for no one and to assure the message stays relevant I am hitting the culture in its "relevance" underbelly because if culture wants to be anything...it wants to be relevant...it wants to be hip. Some of the previous Christian Manifesto like Schaeffer' is becoming dated and we might be due for a slightly more updated one that addresses the most current social immorality issues and attempts to short circuit current unbiblical trends both outside and inside the Church. Every new Christian generation brings with it a new set of Christian enemies that are repleat with a unique set of circumstances that need to be dealt with. The heresies and flawed thinking processes may be the same errors of old but the people each generation brings are new and they will need to learn. They too do not understand sound logic nor do they have a good grasp of philosophies which therefore put them at a horrendous disadvantage right from the start. The Bible tells us to have a defense ready for those that would questions us (or by implication, hammer us) about our faith.

1 Peter 3:15 ~ “…but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.”

So without further ado...the beginning of the Revolution. 

The first declaration

I Believe In True Truth*

I believe that there is an objective/absolute truth or reality outside of myself. That truth/reality does not change because of me but I can change within it. I believe that truth is knowable and I have a moral and ethical duty to submit to it.

In the world or the godless secular view, man creates truth or what they believe is truth, thereby creating their own reality. They then attempt to foist this manufactured reality on me in the form of things like secularism, positivism, empiricism, feminism, sexual immorality, etc.

Yet I am told I am the arrogant and close-minded one for having a view that appeals to this external objective truth. The view I speak of is Christian. I will not let accusation like these stand against myself or any of my brethren without rebuttal or rebuke in logic, rational and reason.

*"Truth" here is a metonymy for God and God's Word, the Bible. Please note the capital letters, they're proper nouns. "Truth" here is also as stated above, it is objective or absolute. Without absolutes there is only relativism and relativism is philosophically untenable and self-referentially incoherent. It layman's terms it is self-negating or it invalidates itself by its own claim.


Scripture Support: 

Psalm 119:160 ~ “The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.”

John 14:6 ~ Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 17:17 ~ “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.”


January 10, 2015

I'm Abandoning A Christianity

I am abandoning a Christianity. Heck of a way to start a post on a Christian website, isn't it?

What I’ve just said is the same as saying, “I am leaving behind a specific type of religion.” It is rather surprising how much an indirect article can change the entire meaning of a sentence. I am being disingenuous and facetious and I am doing it for two reasons. One, to test people’s reading comprehension and two, to bait them into my line of thinking….to make themselves think. People are generally lazy thinkers or do not think at all. The professors were correct, 80% of people do not know how to think critically and the end result is a nation of emotional dolts that react to how they feel rather than rationally reacting having actually thought and reasoned.

As it has been said before, the only way people become truly prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks (1 Pet. 3:15) is by wrestling personally with the questions. By wrestling personally with the problems our God allows us to learn something we didn’t know we could learn:  Empathy. Sometimes our questions will not have answers acceptable to us. That is why God is God and we are merely human. We may even become jaded and disenchanted with life and God Himself. They are what I call the “days in the crucible”. You’ll just have to sit in there and roast. We saw them in Job. We saw them in Jeramiah. We saw them in Habakkuk.

I am leaving primarily a Christianity of works and effort. I am leaving behind a Christianity of legalism that says I have to be this way or that what because someone either doesn’t see the analogy of Scripture or principles of Scripture or they are taking isolated pieces of Scripture and forming doctrines around them (similar to Cessationism, paedobaptism, Apostolic succession on Matthew 16:18). I’m leaving behind a Christianity that says I need to accept only freewill or hard determinism. I am leaving behind clichés and grouped Christianity that treats some people as outcasts while it treats others with preference. I am leaving behind a Christianity that is more concerned with how I’ve said something (polished rhetoric) rather than what I’ve said (the Gospel). I’m leaving behind a Christianity that turns a blind eye to 3000 poor people 10 miles away to take missions trips to 10 people 3000 miles away. I am leaving a Christianity whose priorities have been inverted and turned on their head.

I am leaving a Christianity that performs worship to entertain men not for God's glory. I am leaving a Christianity that promulgates men’s traditions but fails to preach the Gospel (the same thing the Roman Catholic Church has done for centuries). I am leaving a Christianity that is more concerned with how men feel but not how God feels about men. I am leaving a Christianity that has made man’s business of God worship or who have brought a business into the church like the money changers in the Temple. I am leaving behind a church that is being shaped too much by the culture and does not affect the culture near enough like a city on a hill.

So yes, I’m leaving a Christianity. The same one no other true believer cares for either. The overtly critical and judgmental Christianity that does not firmly plant its measure of godliness and holiness in the word of God, prayer and meditation on God. The one that views personal preference and personal opinion over God’s will. The one that makes an idol of their own estimations rather than doing what is biblically correct. I'm leaving a Christianity that seeks to be served rather than actually serve.

I’m leaving a Christianity that has me often asking for forgiveness while I wage a war between self-righteousness and unearned grace. Leaving a Christianity that oscillates between the rules of my kingdom and the commandments of the King. A Christianity that says it is in the Kingdom but is in overt rebellion against its King. I choose to walk away from living for my own glory and instead I chose to be consumed by the glory of God.

I will not be leaving these versions of Christianity alone. I will be led by the King. He has told me that I am to avoid these Christianitys.

2 John 1:9-11 ~ Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.

1 John 4:1-3 ~ Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.

The King, has welcomed me to his kingdom and it is the true Christianity. You know, the one in the Bible? The Christianity that houses the true Church. The one that everyone seems to feel the need to improve upon to make it more relevant and modern? The church that is supposedly so far behind the times that it is close to becoming extinct even though the Bible says Jesus would build it and not even the gates of Hell would not prevail against it. God does not need my help, he asks me for it so that it shapes me into what He wants me to be.

In the end this is not so much a choice as it is a battle. We are called to discern and distinguish when we are being led astray by false teachings. We are not to sit idly by while others who are Bible illiterate derail true Christianity and trick and deceive people into following other forms of false Christianity and other Christ’s that are nothing more than spiritual chimera and lies. We are to tear down anything that exalts itself against the knowledge of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 10:3-4).

I am leaving a Christianity because Jesus essentially told me to.

Mark 7:5-13 ~ And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.” And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition! For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ But you say, ‘If a man tells his father or his mother, “Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban” (that is, given to God) - then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.”

Traditions of men, therefore false teaching make void or negate the word of God. By making void the word of God it is satanic and therefore needs to be avoided. I should avoid it. I should leave it.

For these reasons and more I am not just leaving a Christianity, I am leaving a few Christianities. All of them false. The world and its false ideas and twisted ideologies battle for control of our hearts and minds. All of the false ideologies vie for the single spot reserved for the One True Christianity that exalts the One True God. The place that only One is capable of occupying. Thrones were made for only One to sit in. Crowns will reside on only one Head. We shall have no other gods before God. It wasn’t a request, it was a command, an imperative. It is imperative that we obey and see the truth. By freeing ourselves from the false images of false Christianities and images of false Christs we free our souls to see God for who He really is.

So...this isn't really like running away from home from the one I love. It is more like running away from an abusive stranger that didn’t belong in the family to begin with. We are not wards of false religion. We are children of the One True God.

I’m packing my bags and hitting the road. How ‘bout you?

January 7, 2015

The Death of the Pax Americana

The Pax Romana was the “peace of Rome”. The term refers to the time period from approximately 27 B.C. to 180 A.D. in the Roman Empire. After Julius Caesar was murdered civil war erupted in Rome. A Second Triumvirate emerged consisting of Lepidus, Antony, and Octavian who was Julius Caesar's nephew. The new triumvirate ruled Rome for a decade, but as happened with the First Triumverate, differences among leaders eventually emerged. Octavian defeated Lepidus in battle and turned his armies against the more powerful Mark Antony. At the Battle of Actium off the coast of Greece in 31 B.C., Octavian's navy defeated the navy of Antony and Cleopatra, who later both committed suicide.

Even though Octavian ruled as a de facto dictator, he maintained the Senate and other institutions of the republican government. In 27 B.C. the Roman Senate bestowed the title of Augustus upon Octavian. Augustus, as he became known, ruled for 41 years, and the policies he enacted lay the groundwork for the peace and stability of the Pax Romana.

Then for nearly 200 years there was unprecedented peace and economic prosperity throughout the Empire. It was an empire which stretched from Europe in the north to Africa in the south. It stretched all the way to Iraq in the east. It was during this time the Roman Empire reached its peak in terms of land area, and its population swelled to an estimated 70-100 million people.

At the end of the Pax Romana as Rome began to deteriorate we see the incursion of foreigners on the borders of the empire. The Pax Romana essentially ended because the Roman state had ceased to grow physically, geographical and financially (GDP). Debt also played into this lack of financial growth or more specifically financial stagnation. Boundaries had been set for the Empire, and for the first time the army had become a drain on the economy of Rome. Till this point the army provided new slaves and riches from conquered countries. Only about 4% of Romans were middle class and the wealthy raised the taxes on the lower classes to bolster their own living standards, which lead to rebellion. Here we see class division. After the death of Marcus Aurelius [the last great Roman Emperor] came a succession of poor leaders, and so began not only the end of the Pax Romana but the fall of the Roman Empire.

Other than the population totals, we see a very similar set up in terms of power, expansion and influential longevity in America. I suggest the Pax Americana is the “peace of America” and it is dying. I personally believe it is happening solely because we've turned our back on God but I will give a little more detail to support my claim. Although Rome didn’t have one issue that brought it to its knees, it still fell gradually over the period of centuries. The decline was so gradual that the enemies were not recognized until they were holding the knife to the throat of the empire ready to bleed it out. So too America, who will fail under multiple threats on multiple fronts. It is dying due to poor leadership and abdication of spiritual roles not only in government but also in our churches. In history both secular and Biblical, corruption in leadership was always the death knell of a nation. We only need to turn on our televisions and Internet on a daily basis to see the same. Because of the extremes in our government we see political polarization to a vicious extreme in some cases. Divided leadership cannot move forward in a productive manner because all energies are being used to resolve internal issues.

Like Rome we have allowed our borders (we police the whole world) to become expansive and poorly protected (the Huns and migration/immigration of barbarian hordes). We have over extended ourselves militarily, financially and ideologically. We rely too much on cheap labor (from porous borders, and bad trade agreements) which would’ve been considered slave labor even in ancient Rome. This in turn can bring down the standard of living someday to the point where there will be no benefit to stay here. There are rising empires in other parts of the world just as in Rome’s time but we are too arrogant and self-important to take proper notice to their viable threatening presence and their clearly threatening ideologies. People need to realize that nowadays wars will not be waged with guns and tanks but with bank accounts, propaganda and ideologies. That is why there is such a powerful push towards globalism or trans-nationalism. When borders come down (mostly electronically) there will be no more borders, nations and national identity to fight over. National sovereignty becomes a historical relic...the United States is slowly being assimilated into the global economic horde.

Proverbs 16:18 ~ “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”

Proverbs 21:4 ~ “Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked, are sin.”

We are morally rotting from within and I believe this is in large part due to the scourge of Postmodernism. Postmodernism is essentially a failure to allow for an absolute or objective truth claims. This undermines and subverts Christianity, morality and therefore society. Postmodernism appears to have run amok in the United States (and in a majority of westernized nations) which is one of the most influential entities in the world. It has also crossed over geopolitical boundaries to other countries but is appears to have jump over what amounts to theological/philosophical boundaries also or the imaginary boundary between Church and State. 

It has breached into not only our government but also our churches. If churches are to be the last bastion of truth and even they are becoming polluted with this pluralistic mindset of truth, where are people to turn? Where will truth be found? It will be found in the State-as-god and that truth will be relativistic and horribly flawed. People will nearly always accept moral relativism/postmodernism because they want to be viewed as tolerant and non-judgmental. But in reality they are opening the door to amoral politics of manipulation and coercion. The loss of objectivity in moral thought does not lead to liberation. It leads to oppression. 

Secular ideologies preach liberty, but they practice tyranny. If there is no secular State entity to form morality, the authority will be found in the global entity thus far unnamed and unidentified. Most likely it will either be a socio-religious ideology or it will be found within an economic philosophy/system. What else is there? This is why has there been such an intense push for political correctness in modern society. It is because there is no other form of correctness. If objective moral knowledge is impossible to attain, then we are left with only man-made political and legal measures to coerce people into compliance. With the flawed measure of a man as the distinction between right and wrong it is no wonder the world is so screwed up.

With no obvious anchor for truth, therefore no anchor for morality to be based on, morality and truth are cut loose and left adrift on an indefinable sea of uncertainty for both church and the culture. It is because the real hidden danger of postmodernism to western thought is that it seems to deny the ability to know things with certainty. It can even undermine the construction or deconstruct language by stating that words can be interpreted differently (equivocation). In this way it can even attack critical things like the Bible, the United States’ founding documents like the Constitution and the basis for meaningful rules and laws. Because of this, textually extensive documents like the Bible, the Constitution and Bill of Rights becomes this ever shifting morass of language that would need to be open to everyone’s subjective interpretations and subject to individual reader’s presuppositions.  

This is exactly what we have begun to see in the culture. Socialists come to the text with a “Social Gospel” style approach where man needs to make the changes to usher in the Kingdom of God. Homosexuality comes to the text with a favorable hermeneutic towards homosexuality and so on. Due to these factors, the underpinnings of both moral and spiritual truth become subject to question and opened perpetually to re-evaluation. This means that the absolute truths or objective truths contain within the Bible then become forever suspect to a Postmodern philosophy. Morals and ethics become relative or worse…irrelevant.

The very foundations of western civilization begin to erode. Once the foundation is attacked and undermined, the entire edifice of a nation is compromised and doomed for collapse unless something dramatic is done to stem the tide.

In less time than it took Rome to fall I believe the Pax Americana will fail disastrously in a train wreck. I believe this is because the United States is so much more technologically advanced than the Roman Empire was. The greater the perceived intelligence of a nation and the more dependent it is on technology the greater its arrogance and therefore proclivity towards a more dramatic implosive failure. In other words, we have much more efficient means at our disposal to immorally and ideologically destroy ourselves.

The more arrogant a nation becomes, the harder and quicker it will fall. All the signs of moral decline are already in place to undermine the primary institutions that drive American society and therefore our nation. The largest of which is the undermining of families and marriages which are the building blocks of society. We should pray that things turn around soon because right now we are starting to look like a Roman chariot speeding headlong for a steep and deadly cliff.

January 4, 2015

The Master's Master

Once early in the morning, at two or three in the morning, when the master was asleep, the books in the library began to quarrel with each other as to which was the king of the library. The dictionary contended quite angrily that he was the master of the library because without words there would be no communication at all. The book of science argued stridently that he was the master of the library for without science there would have been no printing press or any of the other wonders of the world. The book of poetry claimed that he was the king, the master of the library, because he gave surcease and calm to his master when he was troubled. The books of philosophy, the economic books, all put in their claims, and the clamor was great and the noise at its height when a small low voice was heard from an old brown book lying in the center of the table and the voice said, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” And all of the noise and the clamor in the library ceased, and there was a hush in the library, for all of the books knew who the real master of the library was.  

~ Louis Nizer ['Ministers of Justice', Address Delivered to the Eighty-Second Annual Convention of the Tennessee Bar Association at Gatlinburg (June 5th, 1963). In Tennessee Law Review (Fall 1963), 31, No. 1, 19.]
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