Christianity and The Siren Song of Socialism [Video]

Christianity, Socialism, Communism

Lately, there have appeared some statements by certain church pastors extolling the ‘virtues’ of Socialism and claiming its endorsement in the Bible. Nor are they the only class of religious leaders who have been publicly and strongly advocating the Socialist way.

Though this phenomenon has been very visible recently, it is hardly a new thing. Various portions of Christian church bodies have been enamored with and even actively practiced forms of Socialism in America more than 150 years ago.

“Bible Communists” in 19th Century America

The “Bible Communists” were a group founded by one John H. Noyes and a few disciples in 1841. They got their start in Vermont and later flourished after moving to Oneida, New York.

 

Bible Socialism

Noyes himself was a seminary and Yale Divinity school graduate who embraced an extreme form of the doctrine of perfectionism and promoted it publically. As a result, Noyes was rejected for ordination.

Perfectionism as Noyes perceived it, was the teaching that upon salvation the sinner is immediately able to become perfectly free of sin. This also led to Noyes further embracing the notion that whole communities of disciples could form perfected groups of people living in a utopian paradise.

As many cultists tend to do, Noyes managed to gather a cadre of disciples which numbered 306 people at its height in the Oneida location. There were a few other satellite sites in Vermont, Connecticut, and New Jersey as well.

Moreover, as cultists also invariably do, Noyes took a few biblical truths and then added his own abhorrent notions in abundance thus twisting sacred doctrine to his taste. Here is a small taste of just one of Noyes’ teaching concerning the family system in “Biblical Communism.”

Noyes’s …considered sexual union very important but rejected monogamy and the idea that one man and one woman should become closely attached to each other. The application of his views led to the practice of complex marriage in his community, in which every woman was the wife of every man and every man was the husband of every woman. Noyes also believed that Socialism without religion was impossible and that the extended family system devised by him could dissolve selfishness and demonstrate the practicality of perfectionism on Earth. …Though marriage was complex, the Perfectionists denied the charge of free love. Sexual relations were strictly regulated, and the propagation of children was a matter of community control. Those who were to produce children were carefully chosen and paired. Children remained with their mother until they could walk but were then placed in a common nursery.

The consequences of this system resulted in the first experiments in eugenics through selective breeding of human beings in the Oneida Community. That is, Noyes and the ‘community’ determined who would be paired sexually with whom based on superior human characteristics.

Between 1869 and 1880 there was a selective breeding programme (“stirpiculture”) with parents chosen for intellectual, physical and spiritual characteristics. Fifty-eight children were born.

That these practices were considered remotely biblical was and is absurd. Thankfully, “Biblical Communism” met its demise in a relatively short period of time.

The communities surrounding Oneida in New York began to object to these family practices in particular. Eventually, due to the public pressure, the Oneida Community disbanded in 1881 and Noyes and a few others moved to Canada where he exited this life in 1886.

In case the name “Oneida” seemed familiar to readers you should know that, ironically, they became an independent manufacturer of silver plates and silverware and are still around today. Some of the followers of Noyes had developed skill in this area which they used to generate revenue for the “Biblical Communists” and this ended up becoming a Capitalist enterprise!

The Promise of Heaven on Earth Is the Siren Song of Socialism

6329871274_427534f28e_mAccording to Greek mythology, the Sirens were half-human beings who lured sailors to their doom by singing a bewitching song that was irresistible for any human. For some who claim Christ, the Socialist promise of heaven on earth is akin to a Siren’s song.

The “Biblical Communism” of Noyes and his group was similar to Marxism in all areas with one glaring exception. Noyes tried to include Christianity and God into the mix.

However, even that inclusion couldn’t save his Socialist endeavor for one reason in particular. He confused the inclusion of God with the sovereignty of God.

Marx’s dream of a workers’ paradise and Noyes’ dream of human perfectionism are both versions of a utopian heaven on earth. The problem is God has sovereignly declared that earth and heaven are forever separated and therefore heaven on earth can never exist!

It doesn’t matter how much you or I or anyone might desire heaven on earth, God has decided differently. According to His Word, there is a glorious paradise awaiting the faithful and a new earth and new heavens will comprise the real perfection in our future lives with Christ.

The Siren song of heaven on earth is deceptive and comes from a false notion that imperfect human beings can create a perfect world. In biblical terms, it could be called the lie that sinful people could make a sinless world.

However, this hasn’t stopped many ‘leaders’ today who still attempt to adopt a Socialist view of Christianity within their organizations. A recent exchange on social media concerning a pastor’s insistence that Christianity endorses Socialism is illustrative.

In a twitter exchange, a Baptist pastor made the following claims,

Rev. William Barber stated, “When we embrace moral language, we must ask, does our policy care for the least of these? Does it lift up those who are most marginalized and dejected in our society? Does it establish justice? That is the moral question. If someone calls it socialism, then we must compel them to acknowledge that the Bible must then promote socialism. Because Jesus offered free healthcare, and he never charged the leper a co-pay.”

Congressman Dan Crenshaw from Texas gave a proper rebuke to these claims on Twitter,

Crenshaw tweeted, “Deliberate misreading of Biblical principles by DNC to promote socialism. The Bible teaches charity with one’s own time and money. Socialism teaches charity with other people’s time and money. So….not the same thing.”

The real destructive force of Socialism in practice can only be appreciated when testimony is given by those who have lived under its cruel mantle. Here is an important and timely video posted on Twitter from such a person who escaped the Castro regime in Cuba.

The Erroneous Biblical Justification for Christian Socialism 

The Leftist faith leaders who champion Socialism in Christianity aren’t limited to a Baptist pastor on social media. In fact, the current Pope has recently been tagged with that accusation.

Inset.3.9.5.2019In 2015, Pope Francis produced both an encyclical [a ruling interpreting Christian practice] and a speech with the message of Socialism as a righteous system at its core. He attacked Capitalism as,

the “mentality of profit at any price, with no concern for social exclusion or the destruction of nature,” and an “idolatrous system which excludes, debases and kills.”

His proposed solution calls for the government to guarantee,

rights to land, labor and lodging—

In order for the government to provide these guarantees, it has to exert a Socialist level of control over the means of production and distribution of goods. In other words, the state has to force the people to give their production to the state and trust it will be redistributed “fairly.”

The consequences of this procedure have invariably been disastrous throughout history. What is the justification for such foolishness in both Catholic and Protestant groups?

There is one passage of Scripture used by all who promote some form of Christian Socialism to justify their beliefs. The passage describes the experience of the first community of Christians in Jerusalem from the fourth chapter of Acts.

Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own and with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles’ feet, and they distributed to each as anyone had need.  Acts 4:32-35 [NKJV]

One can easily see that the possibility of living in a faith community like this would be very attractive. However, it is erroneous to believe that this was anything other than a unique event, and human attempts to duplicate it are rife with the failure of human pride.

Inset.4.9.5.2019The Jerusalem church at birth and infancy was unique in two particular areas. First, it was directly administered by the apostles themselves and none questioned the rightness of that and all gave willingly believing in that, at least for a short time.

Secondly, it was the closest example to a ‘perfect’ church ever, and even there, just as in the Garden at the beginning, sin crept in quickly. Once that happened, the idea of a humanly perfected Christian church on earth was an impossibility.

The remainder of the New Testament gives abundant witness to this fact. From Acts chapter 5 through all the letters to various churches by Paul, Peter, and John, the story told is of a church broken up into small groups in various cities, imperfectly struggling against persecution, legalism, greed and false doctrine.

Teaching that the Bible, and therefore Christian doctrine, supports a Socialistic system is a prime example of human pride overstepping Divine bounds. As the Word of God reminds us, overstepping Divine bounds is always fraught with terrible consequences.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.  Romans 1:18-21 [NKJV]

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, New King James Version, Thomas Nelson, 1975

Featured and Top Image courtesy of Andrew Aliferis’ Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of Syracuse University Library, Department of Special Collections
Oneida Community Collection
Inset Image 2 courtesy of stu mayhew’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of Republic of Korea Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 4 courtesy of Andrew E. Larsen’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published in TIL Journal

 

 

 

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The Penultimate Power-grab of The ‘New Left’ [Video]

Leftism and antifa

The Left has always been a movement which sought power to obtain their warped view of the ‘greater good.’ Moreover, that view has always trended toward Socialism in one variety or another.

Leftists search for power is through both cultural and political avenues. For the better portion of the last 60 years, the Left has used the public education system at all levels toward gaining influence and control in both.

Thus it was only a matter of time before their movement would produce powerful Leftist leaders in culture and politics. The Left’s quest in America reached its political height when Barack Obama was elected in 2008.

They exulted during Obama’s 8-year attempt to “fundamentally transform” America. Now the Obama years are behind us and Left’s anointed choice to ascend did not win.

In the three-plus years of President Trump’s first term, we have witnessed the emergence of a new set of Leftist politicians, an overtly and aggressive Socialist bunch, along with a more violent Left in society. This is the dangerous and desperate ‘new Left’ of today.

No Longer the Non-violent Left

AntifaToday’s new Left is becoming increasingly violent in pursuit of their nefarious goals. They are beginning to resemble the Leftists of the 1960s and 70s from whom they are descended.

The recent violence by the Fascist Left group Antifa is troubling, but it has not reached the level of protest bombings that characterized the earlier Leftists of the 20th century. Such violence of that level could yet occur if this is not effectively squashed.

In fact, recently an attempt was made by a committed Leftist, who claimed at least sympathy with Antifa in a written manifesto, at an I.C.E. facility in Tacoma, Washington to destroy it altogether.

“Anti-immigration enforcement protester, Willem Van Spronsen, 69, was armed with a loaded rifle and attempted to ignite a commercial-size propane tank attached to the detention facility,” Shawn Fallah, resident agent in charge of ICE Office of Professional Responsibility said in a written statement provided to Breitbart News. “This could have resulted in the mass murder of staff and detainees housed at the facility had he been successful at setting the tank ablaze, said Shawn Fallah, resident agent in charge of ICE Office of Professional Responsibility. These are the kinds of incidents that keep you up at night.”

However, there is one rather startling difference between these eras of Leftist unrest. During the 1960s there emerged a very hardy and effective counter-movement of non-violent protest, led by the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The modern ‘new Left’ has no such non-violent champion who is rallying the faithful in a peaceful manner. Moreover, it is increasingly clear that they aren’t interested in conducting any sort of non-violent campaign.

In fact, the violent anarchists also have the Leftmedia practically cheering them on when they practice violence. This excusing of violence was engaged in by many so-called “progressives” as well.

The only reason actions like these can go unpunished and under-reported is because of the source of the attack and the victim. Antifa is heralded by many progressives as people who simply oppose fascism. They’ve been praised by politicians ranging from Joe Biden to Mitt Romney.

No Longer the Lawful Left

Leftist violence, antifa

Portrait of Luftwaffe staff, Goering in center

Today’s Leftist spokespeople, in media and politics, are reminiscent of the testimony by Reichs Marshall Hermann Goering at the famous war-crimes trial in Nuremberg, Germany, after the allies had triumphed in World War II.

Before I venture into this potentially troubling area, I need to make something clear. I am not claiming that Leftists are Nazis. Rather I am claiming that the Left now employs the same methods to gain power as the Nazis did almost a century ago.

Goering was Hitler’s second-in-command and the head of the Luftwaffe, i.e. the German version of the Air Force. He was very close and loyal to Hitler right up to the very end of the Third Reich.

This was Goering’s answer to a specific question about whether or not Hitler and his cohorts had come to power “legally.”

Goering: Of course the Party had come to power in an entirely legal way, because the Party had been called upon by the Reich President according to the Constitution, and according to the principles in force the Party should have been called upon much earlier than that. The Party gained strength and came to power only by way of normal elections and the franchise law then valid.

The ‘Party’ Goering referred to was the National Socialist German Workers Party, aka the Nazis. A few moments later he explained the rationale for not simply gaining power, but trying to keep that power on a permanent basis.

Goering: It was a matter of course for us that once we had come into power we were determined to keep that power under all circumstances.We did not want power and governmental authority for power’s sake, but …We did not want to leave this any longer to chance, to elections, and parliamentary majorities, but we wanted to carry out the task to which we considered ourselves called. [italics added]

Antifa, Leftism, violence

SA Stormtrooper and his son.

Reviewing Goering’s testimony and other historical facts revealed some interesting items which seem very like the maneuvers of the ‘New Left.’ One such item was the formation and operation of the SA, aka “Storm Troopers,” or “Brownshirts.”

The SA was very instrumental in the rise of Hitler and the Nazi party. They functioned as an ‘army’ of thugs to intimidate Hitler’s foes.

the SA men protected party meetings, marched in Nazi rallies, and physically assaulted political opponents.

The astute readers of this publication, which I of course believe is all of you, will have already seen the parallels between the SA and Antifa today. The Left as a political movement is obviously in favor of Antifa and their like-minded allies and has been for a long time.

Antifa has obliged the Leftists and become their violent head-buster gang to deter conservatives in as many ways as they can. They are the modern storm-troopers of today and many in Law Enforcement are having their hands tied due to the cowardly cooperation of higher city officials.

Witness the pathetic excusing of Antifa in Portland after attacking journalist Andy Ngo, and the Police Association President’s critique of the mayor.

Portland Police Association President Daryl Turner condemned the violence but demanded that Mayor Wheeler allow police to do their jobs. “Where are the voices condemning the lawlessness and violence?” Turner asked in a statement. “If this violence had been directed at Antifa, there would have been an immediate call for an independent, outside investigation. “It’s our job to ensure that our community can peacefully protest without fear of violence but right now our hands are tied,” he added later in the statement.

Nor is Portland, Oregon the only place Leftists attacks are going unopposed by law enforcement. Recently an I.C.E. facility in Aurora, Colorado was stormed by protestors and they took down the American flag and ran up the Mexican flag in its place.

Instead of an attack on individuals, this was a shot at the symbol of the national sovereignty of America, on our soil! Law enforcement stayed away from the immediate scene did nothing to stop the disgraceful act.

There are a plethora of examples of unopposed violence from a number of Left-wing college campuses to public disasters where people have died, such as Charlottesville, VA, where enforcement response was virtually non-existant and could have prevented it. In other words, law enforcement officers were on the scene or nearby, and did not intervene in an adequate measure.

The Penultimate Power-grab Is Coming in 2020

AntifaWe have seen that the Left doesn’t hesitate to use violence to further their Socialist agenda. It has also been noted that the law is not a barrier for Leftists as they have and will continue to abuse as well as use the law when it’s to their advantage.

This brings us to the upcoming national election in 2020. The campaigning has already begun in both political parties and there is still another 15 months before the election.

The Left will make its next attempt for a penultimate grab at political power during the campaign and election process in those 15 months. However, control of the government in America is not the Left’s ultimate goal.

Rather, it is the last step they need to climb in order to reach the Leftist’s ultimate goal. The ultimate goal is not simply government control, but total and permanent government control.

The true idealists on the Left do not even realize that fact. They truly believe the goal is to make humanity a blissful Socialist utopia.

Goering also had declared that the Nazi party wanted power to make things better, not for power’s own sake. Personally, I believe Goering was lying, at least to himself, about his own ideals.

I believe that because Goering also noted that once they obtained the power they were not going to willingly give it up. Trust me, the Left might legally obtain power through our elections, as the Nazi party did but they won’t be satisfied there.

If this modern group of Leftist power-brokers obtains such power, they will try to keep it by any means deemed necessary, just like the Nazis in Germany. Whether the idealists on the Left realize a permanent hold on power for the sake of power is the ultimate goal or not, there are those on the Left who do understand and aim to have it.

Thus it is critical that the Left be opposed in this effort at every turn. Perhaps the most essential area is the preservation of American election integrity.

Things such as mandatory voter identification laws need to be in place, which President Trump supports. Moreover, it is vital that enforcement of election law ensuring that not one living non-citizen can vote in the election is also in place.

Finally, we must be about coming with renewed vigor to the LORD for His Divine aid. Pray for the President and all those who combat the Left on a daily basis, and ask God what you can do to help combat against this dangerous and vile attempt to destroy the nation.

The LORD tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence. Psalm 11:5 [ESV]

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001

Featured and Top image courtesy of Kevin Harber’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of Kaz Vorpal’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of Ryan Crierie’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of RV1864’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 4 courtesy of SS&SS’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published in TIL Journal

The Siege Against Christianity, Part 3: 5 Threats from Within [Video]

10008125983_de0951d57d_k (1)

Parts 1 and 2 of this series covered the determined siege against Christianity by forces outside of the Christian fellowship. This final piece will examine the greatest peril to Christianity if all, the threat from within.

For the purposes of this article, a threat from within is something or someone whose presence and/or purposes are detrimental to the existence and mission of Christianity. The biblical witness is the measuring standard to find and guard against these kinds of dangers.

Based on my experience of two decades as a pastor, and my long examination of the subject, here are my top five threats to Christianity from within.

Five: Embracing the Socialist Leftist Agenda

Inset.1.7.9.2017This journal has extensively chronicled the Leftist influence within the modern church in an earlier series. There is abundant evidence for this claim in the recent prominence of modern Mainstream churches who align with the Left on issues such as abortion, gender ‘identity’, ‘climate change,’ and illegal immigration.

To discern the aims of the Leftward Church, examine what they support and oppose. In every case, the religious and social policies of the Leftward Church are identical to the policies of the political Left. Both entities support abortion on demand, redistribution of wealth, gay marriage, illegal immigration, and any number of other leftist causes. Moreover, the Leftward Church inculcates these policies within their faith as well as advocating for them publically. I can state this definitively because of both extensive research and personal experience as a pastor. One example of how Leftism becomes part of the religious practice is found at Grace Baptist Church in Chicago. This church employed an openly lesbian pastor who lived with her partner. This organization of Christian name and claim chooses a leader whose lifestyle embraces radical feminism and sexuality. Both of which are cherished causes of the political Left.

Since the election of President Trump, the mainstream Leftward Church has taken up the “progressive” cause with renewed desperation. Unfortunately, the 2018 midterm elections have also allowed the Left and their religious allies some new wind in their sails, and the Leftward Church is happily along for the ride.

Thus we should expect to witness more movement by churches with the “Christian” pedigree in the direction of favoring open borders, defending and promoting abortion before and perhaps after birth and pushing for immediate action against the myth of man-caused ‘climate change.’ Moreover, though there is hesitation at the moment, perhaps before the year is out we should see some denomination or splinter group of Catholics, etc. leaping to embrace the newest jewel for the Left, “transexual rights.”

Four: Cultural Appropriation by the Church

Inset.2.7.9.2019Any fellowship of Christian believers exists as a subculture of seekers within an overarching culture which it is, ideally, trying to reach for the LORD Jesus Christ. There has always existed for Christians a delicate balance between being living in the world and living for Christ.

In our modern-day, the balance is increasingly in favor of the culture influencing churches rather than the reverse. The Contemporary Christian group Casting Crowns’ song “What This World Needs” has a particular lyric which fits the phenomenon of churches ‘appropriating’ culture.

What this world needs,
Is for us to stop hiding behind our relevance
Blending in so well that people can’t see the difference
And it’s the difference that sets the world free.

Within the modern-day church, a movement began 40 or so years ago as a way of outreach to create an environment that welcomed strangers and attracted “seekers.” Efforts were made to become more relevant in order to provide opportunities to present the gospel to unchurched youth and families.

This is similar to what the Apostle Paul wrote about in his First Letter to the Corinthian church.

To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings. 1 Corinthians 9:20-23 [ESV]

This is not a bad strategy, as long as one thing remains clear. Don’t neglect to present the gospel because all that is happening, in that case, is showing the outside world that you aren’t serious enough to stand for Christ.

When the gospel is sacrificed to make any church more culturally relevant it will eventually prove destructive to the Church’s continued existence. That is happening in some large churches today.

Listen to the song “What This World Needs” here. There is another portion of it that points us directly to the number three internal threat to Christianity.

Three: Doctrinal Twisting by Leadership

I love that song because it is so on point in so many ways, and Casting Crowns has made a great statement about culture and society and Christianity in it. By the way, I saw them live years ago in Kansas City, and they were awesome.

To be clear, Christian doctrines are simply clear biblical teachings which are meant to help disciples of Christ follow in His footsteps. These particular lyrics by Casting Crowns capture the essence of what I mean by the modern twisting of biblical doctrines,

Another ear-pleasing candyman afraid of the truth,
Another prophet in an Armani suit.

The two types of leaders described both peddle false, twisted doctrine though in different ways. The ‘ear-pleasing” leader does fear the truth, so they bring convoluted positions and policy to bear that are both unbiblical and illogical.

These denominational bodies which are trying to sanctify sin and justify evil in alliance with the Left…  include the United Methodist Church, the Anglican Communion, which includes the Episcopal Church in America, and the United Church of Christ. In addition, certain leftist strains of Presbyterians, Baptists, Lutherans and even a group called “Catholics for Choice.” All of which are allied officially within the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.

13960795899_4a76df702e_mAs can be seen by the list above, doctrinal twisting and outright denial of biblical doctrine are a widespread infection of evil within the Left-leaning denominations today. However, there are many very visible ‘independent’ church bodies with leaders that deform biblical teaching and then reform it into their own image for their own benefit, and they are the “prophets in an Armani suit.”

Some of these leaders captured large audiences during the so-called ‘televangelism’ movement that came to prominence in the 1980s. A few of these became very bold in their sin and greed, like Jim Baker and Robert Tilton and others, and they lost their churches and some lost their freedom.

However, there are others who either started after the turmoil had subsided, or laid low and continue in ‘ministry’ today. A common doctrinal error among many of the current crop of deceptive leaders still broadcasting today is known by various names, ‘name it and claim it,’ ‘prosperity gospel,’ or the ‘word of faith’ movement.

In my estimation, this is the most dangerous form of doctrine twisting for it can ensnare those newly acquainted with Christian thought and some who boast long tenure within a church but have not grown in their faith. “Prosperity” teachers such as Kenneth Copeland and Creflo Dollar [that’s his name, at least on TV] to name two among many, tempt those within their influence with greed, claiming that God wants everyone to be materially rich and if you aren’t its because you lack faith in God’s promises in the Bible.

A thorough review and exposition of the errors of the “prosperity gospel,” would require another article. However, in short, there is one overarching reason these aberrant teachings have arisen with any potency at all, the abysmal biblical illiteracy among Christians today.

Two: Continuing Biblical Illiteracy among Christians

Inset.3.7.9.2019These final two threats from within Christianity differ markedly from the others. All five are somewhat connected among church denominations, networks and leadership, however, these two are more personal than the rest.

This means that of all the internal dangers to the Christian faith, the top two are dangers which can be directly remedied by personal action. The number two threat is a large number of individuals who claim faith in Christ that are not very literate in the basic teachings and content of God’s Word.

When I began in the pastorate I was like most Seminary graduates, both eager and very naive about the task of being a pastor. I was most naive concerning the apathetic attitude of church members toward knowing and following the Word of God.

My thoughts were that Christians would be clamoring to know Scripture and discern its meaning for application in their own lives. Alas, that proved not to be the case.

My own experience is severely limited as I pastored in just four congregations [two simultaneously for a time] throughout my pastoral tenure. Yet I believe, as was true in my own journey, the majority of church-goers and members seldom seek any regular classes or studies about biblical content.

I am quite sure that there are some exceptions to this situation. However, I would challenge any person curious about this to conduct the following experiment.

Attend the Sunday worship service(s) of a church of any size in your area and then attend a Bible study from the same fellowship. Most cases in Protestant or Independent churches will have far lower attendance for Bible studies than for Sunday worship.

For those who wish further confirmation, I can think of nothing but Biblical ignorance to explain these results of a 2018 study by the Barna research group.

Matthew 28:18-20 is the most well-known biblical record of what is commonly referred to extra-biblically as “the Great Commission.” But despite the significance of these and other verses that call Christians to “go and make disciples of all nations,” a surprising proportion of churchgoing Christians in the U.S. are generally unaware of these famous words from Jesus.

The blame for such widespread lack of a very important part of Scripture could be cast at church organizations and church leaders. However, there is a personal, individual responsibility all Christians share to learn the Bible and know its precepts.

That same sense of responsibility to know the Bible extends into obedience to the teachings in Scripture. Which leads us to the number one internal threat to Christianity, the poor witness of Christians to the world.

One: A Poor Christian Witness to the World

20067121_295da2e2d0_mThis is the single most important factor to be considered as a threat to Christianity, especially in the developed world. In point of fact, some of the previous threats listed here can be classified as examples of the Church providing a poor Christian witness on a large scale.

However, the greatest danger lies not with large groups, but with small groups and individual Christians that present a poor Christian witness in two main ways. The most obvious way is not to give any testimony of the gospel at all.

A study conducted by LifeWay Research helps flesh out the severity of this problem.

The study… found 80 percent of those who attend church one or more times a month believe they have a personal responsibility to share their faith. Yet despite this conviction, 61 percent have not told another person about how to become a Christian in the previous six months.

This problem runs even deeper than simply sharing the gospel. The study also revealed that the same people are hesitant to even invite others to church to hear the gospel, provided they attend a church that preaches the good news of Christ.

Moreover, this reticence extends to personal prayer as well. According to this same study,

If Christians feel comfortable sharing their faith and recognize it’s their responsibility as disciples, why do so few share the gospel? And why don’t they at least pray for others? One-fifth—-20 percent—-say they rarely or never pray for the spiritual status of others. [empahsis added]

This is another area where personal observations over the years come in handy. I have found that a saying I heard years ago is largely accurate; ‘If you want to see an empty building, just call for a prayer meeting in the church.’

20065283_58c831ec26_mConversely, the most effective efforts at any kind of outreach and discipleship all have one factor in common, they rely heavily upon the prayers of the saints. I have been privileged to work with such efforts on both large and small scales, including several campaigns conducted by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

In my estimation, the extent of fervent prayer by the faithful is the single critical item that will either make or break Christianity in the future. It has often been said that ‘prayer changes things,’ and it can result in some remarkable changes in things mundane and serious.

However, the ‘thing’ that personal and group prayer changes the most is the heart of the praying person. It is impossible for anyone to connect with the God of the universe in heartfelt prayer and not be changed and challenged to live for Him. 

Here is where I put on my ‘preaching’ hat for a moment and say, as I often did in the pulpit, ‘When I ‘preach’ I am always speaking to myself as much as anyone else.’ So I will finish by stating that we would better serve the LORD if we sought His face more often and sincerely in prayer.

Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the LORD, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you. Hosea 10:12 [ESV]

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001

Featured and Top Image courtesy of Richard’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of Alisdare Hickson’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of Indiana Landmarks Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of Me Eric Sophie’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
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Inset Image 6 courtesy of Brian Sawyer’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published in TIL Journal

Why We ‘Object’ to the Left [Video]

Leftism

I begin with a note of full disclosure that I am an unabashed fan of almost all things Star Trek. In fact, I have been a fan since I viewed the original series when it ran the first time.

My favorite character from that series has remained my favorite Star Trek character of all; ‘Mr. Spock,’ masterfully portrayed by the late Leonard Nimoy. I was enthralled as a youth by Spock’s embrace of logical thinking and calm clarity in very sticky situations.

Among the multitude of insightful statements made by ‘Mr. Spock’ one, in particular, seemed to apply quite well to the current state of mind of the Left in our society. It is from one of my favorite episodes with the title, “The Squire of Gothos.”

Spock is verbally confronted by an almost omnipotent, yet rather childish, alien being known as “Squire Trelane” who has captured the Enterprise crew.

TRELANE TO SPOCK: I don’t know if I like your tone. It’s most challenging. That’s what you’re doing, challenging me?

SPOCK: I object to you. I object to intellect without discipline. I object to power without constructive purpose.

The two phrases, “intellect without discipline,” and “power without constructive purpose” describe the Leftist mentality and goals to a tee. As conservatives, we should oppose the Left and forcefully state what ‘Spock’ declared to ‘Trelane,’ “We object to you!”

The Left Epitomizes ‘Intellect without discipline’

AOCThe prevailing mentality of the modern Left is the epitome of ‘intellect without discipline.’ On just about any subject that requires a modicum of clear thinking and logic, Leftists have zero discipline.

Intellectual discipline demands at least an attempt to be accurate and truthful when presenting arguments, and the Left routinely ignores this principle in every area. A prime example was recently presented via the voluminously ignorant Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortex [D-NY] commenting about illegal aliens in government detention.

In a tweet she remarked:

“The U.S. is running concentration camps on our southern border,…That is exactly what they are. They are concentration camps.”

Note that AOC didn’t simply compare the temporary border detention centers to concentration camps. She literally called them concentration camps.

This level of ignorance combined with defiant confidence in spite of the truth is evidence of a completely undisciplined intellect. That is particularly objectionable in someone charged to represent American citizens.

Examples of this abound among the Left in every arena of life. The whole “climate change” hysteria is a hoax that demonstrates undisciplined intellect on a massive scale, all for political payoffs.

The video reveals the lengths to which ‘climate change’ advocates will go to foster their false and destructive narrative upon everyone else. As conservatives, we rightly object to this demonstration of ‘intellect without discipline,’ and the inevitable harm that results.

However, there is another aspect which needs to be explored. That is, what motivates the Left to push for nonsensical and demonstrably destructive changes in all facets of human existence.

As it happens in human affairs, the motive at the bottom is power and control. Make no mistake, for the Left, it is power without any constructive purpose whatsoever. In fact, the power they seek is inherently destructive to Western society and freedom itself.

The Left Seeks the Power that Destroys

LeftistsIt is no secret that those on the Left seek ever-increasing influence and power within Western nations, as well as globally. Such efforts are aimed at establishing the authority of the state in a Marxist/Socialist manner in the assurance that this would herald the illusionary utopian society of Leftist imaginations.

There is a substantial factual difficulty with the purposes of the Left. At every point in time and at every place on the planet where Socialism has been established, the results are always destructive.

The most prominent example of this today is, of course, the devastation experienced in Venezuela. What was once the most prosperous country in South America, with the largest oil reserves in the world, is now reduced to the status of the third-world nation whose people are starving.

Aside from chubby dictator Nicolas Maduro and his fellow elites, the Venezuelan people are running out of food and medical supplies. In their starving desperation, citizens have resorted to breaking into zoos to slaughter and eat the also malnourished animals; buffalo, pigs and horses are top choices on the menu.

SocialismMoreover, we should not forget the horrific destruction of Socialism throughout history, most notably the bloody tally of the 20th century. It is noteworthy that many on the Left specialize in denouncing Nazism while forgetting that Hitler’s ideology was simply another form of Socialism.

Understand that Socialism has various pedigrees, but the same evil end. The Nazi party in Germany was officially known as the “National Socialist German Workers Party.” Together with Germany’s National Socialism, the Communist Socialists such as the old USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) and Communist China have racked up a body count of over 150 million people!

If one took a cursory look at any portion of life or any sector of culture, a plethora of destructive examples rear their heads in constitutional rights, education, science, politics, entertainment, media, religion, marriage, and the family. Consequently, the question becomes, ‘How do conservatives best object to the use of ‘undisciplined intellect’ towards no ‘constructive purpose?’

How to Object to the Left

I believe the most effective way to object to the Left is with determined, steadfast and immovable opposition to their destructive aims. We must do so with a manifestly disciplined intellect and striving toward a truly constructive purpose.

This means employing a disciplined intellect to invariably counter the Left’s fallacies with actual facts. It means never letting them go unchallenged when making their fraudulent claims.

In order for this to happen, we can no longer remain uninformed or unequipped to counter the destructive squawking of Socialists. A continuing innocent ignorance will only serve to empower the Left toward its destructive goals.

Social Media censorshipThis also requires the ability to engage Leftist arguments in the open arena of social media. Unfortunately, the social media giants of our time are awash with the vapid ideas of Leftists who control the most sought-after platforms such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, making it difficult to have opposing views published and widely disseminated.

There are four possible responses to such Leftist efforts to censor and banish conservatism from social media. One is to attempt creating a new social media platform allowing a free exchange of ideas, however, that task is beyond most of us but a select and daring few.

The second response is to exclusively support and use alternative social media that operate with freedom of speech, meaning to abandon the use of entities such as Facebook altogether. The prospects for success in that venture are only slightly greater than creating one’s own platform from scratch.

The third response is a hybrid of utilizing alternative media as well as the social media goliaths of today. This is a more promising alternative, though I believe it is still short of the real solution.

The fourth response is likely the most effective in both the short and long run. It is a push to break up the social media monopolizing of the Left by advocating legal action.

Rather than take unnecessary space to explain the justification and need for this, I’ll let Bill Whittle lay out the case in the following video.

A thousand more words would not suffice to comprehensively catalog all the incidents of conservative voices being banned or demonetized by the huge social media machine. This must be fought with determined effort until the goal of a truly free internet is realized.

The most precious item destroyed by Leftist ideals is individual liberty. The Socialist Left would rather each individual ‘know their place’ as part of a slave-like society forfeiting all rights to the omnipotent government.

Conservatism inherently believes in individual freedom under representative government accountable to its citizens. Our solution to the purveyance of “bad” destructive speech is to encourage more “good” constructive speech and be free to announce and support it publically.

It is not our aim to ban or shut down Leftist voices whether on social media or not. It is instead our aim to ensure an open and upfront debate in the marketplace of ideas.

Sooner or later [hopefully sooner] we can realize this aim, and a renewed hope for the future can come to light, with God’s help. As was said long ago, we should

pray as if everything depends on God, work as if everything depends on you.

Therefore, with redoubled effort and conviction, let us stridently stand and declare to the Left, “We object to you!” And let us lean upon the LORD who is with us to proclaim and act upon the truth.

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32 [ESV]

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001

Featured and Top Images courtesy of Chris Potter’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of Dimitri Rodriguez’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of Bronson Abbott’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of Ivy Dawned’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 4 courtesy of Matthew Semrau’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published in TIL Journal

The Conservative ‘Long Game’ in The Culture War [Video]

In part one of this series, we examined the state of the culture today and countering the growing influence of the Socialist Left in Western society. The reality is that there is already a war initiated by the Left against the West, and it must be stopped in a strategic manner.

The importance of battling the Left in the short run, or ‘short game’ is akin to holding the line against a multitude of attacks on multiple fronts in the culture war. It cannot be overstated that conservatives must protect Western society against the imminent dangers of a Leftist takeover.

However, it is perhaps even more vital that conservatives work out a strategy to successfully engage in the ‘long game’ of cultural change. Otherwise, the ‘short game’ victories will be short-lived and the overall war will tilt even more toward a Leftist defeat and a disaster for liberty around the world.

There are three critical battlegrounds where conservatives must make a long-term commitment to defeating the Left. These three fronts are the family, the education system, and the churches.

Fight for the Family

Western civilizationThe most important target of the Left in the culture war is the West’s traditional Judeo-Christian family structure. They realize that the two-parent family with children is the fabric of Western society.

Breaking this model apart has been a key goal of the Left wherever they plant their insidious presence. It is at the root of any Socialist effort from the early Soviet Union and moving onto American soil in the early 20th century.

The founding of Planned Parenthood is a prime example of this. It’s founder, Margaret Sanger, was enamored of Socialism, especially the Nazi variety, and hated the traditional family.

From the beginning of the feminist movement’s rise in the 1960s, it’s leaders espoused disdain for the two-parent family, especially if that meant the woman was a stay-at-home mother married to a man. In fact, in less than 20 years, the feminist champions had managed to make marriage almost verbotten for the modern woman and had successfully gotten abortion legalized and rapidly spreading throughout the land.

All of this effort was aimed at supposedly freeing women from the slavery of the family and bearing children. An unexpected result was the liberation of men from responsibility as fathers.

This has devastated the most vulnerable in the family unit, the children. Moreover, it has ironically made women more impoverished and miserable as single mothers forced to care for their children.

All while many men skip out feeling little shame because, after all, that woman could have aborted the child so it is her problem right?!

Leftism and cultureThe Left is just fine with this situation as it hands them the excuses necessary to insist that the government handle the problem. Therefore, they say, we must enact Socialist policies which secure government-funded child care while welfare incentivizes single motherhood by refusing to help as long as a male presence exists in the home.

The traditional family is more than a target, it is an enemy of Socialism. Socialism, when fully formed, can brook no allegiance to anything but the central government planners and their plans.

Loyalty to the party is the overarching theme of Socialist and later Communist nations. Loyalty to one’s family cannot be allowed to compete with the all-powerful state.

Fighting for the traditional Judeo-Christian family model is essential to preserving  Western society and perhaps turning it back from the brink of extinction. In the real ‘long game,’ defending and extending true family values throughout society is vital for now and more so for the future.

Take Education Back from the Left

The second front of the ‘long game’ involves an entity which has, unfortunately, been taken from the people and given to the Federal government and the academic Left. That is the battleground of education.

Education in America has seen a particular turn toward favoring all things regarding the Socialist Left. This is true at both the philosophical and structural level.

The philosophy of public education took a radical Leftward turn with the advent of two Supreme Court decisions in the 1960s. Those decisions took the voluntary observance of prayer and Bible reading out of the public school system, and the results have been disastrous.

This philosophical change was followed in less than a decade by an explosion of protests on college campuses all over America that lasted through the early 1970s. People such as Obama confidant and domestic terrorist bomber Bill Ayers were key participants in violent protests against the government during that era.

Bill Ayers is notable not simply for his violent Leftist past, but more so because of what he went on to become within the education establishment at the highest levels of academia.

Ayers went on to eventually become a distinguished professor in the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His teaching centered on issues such as urban childhood education and social justice. He taught there for 20 years, eventually retiring in 2010. He taught untold numbers of undergraduates his conviction that Socialist political power was superior.

Ayers is but one of many who have arisen in academia to create a system where the radical Socialist Left is teaching those who teach our children and have been doing so for decades.

Leftist EducationThis change to education philosophy has been abetted by the change in structure that took place with the creation of the Federal Department of Education in 1979 under President Jimmy Carter.

How Education became a Cabinet-level office is an example of the Left playing the ‘long game’ in the political realm.

In the period between 1908 and 1975, more than 130 bills were introduced to form a
Department of Education

Control at the highest government level over public education was the Socialist Left’s vision and for 7 decades in Congress and they hammered at the opposition to that goal. Each step along the way the Left gathered and consolidated support from the National Education Association who eventually gave vital help to Jimmy Carter securing victory in 1976.

the NEA released “Needed: A Cabinet Department of Education” in 1975, but its most significant step was to endorse a presidential candidate—Jimmy Carter—for the first time in the history of the organization.

There are already many steps being taken to wrest some of the control of education away from both its philosophical chains and governmental servitude. The emergence and growth of homeschooling, charter schools, and religious education present solid alternatives to public schooling.

However, about 90% of children in America still attend public schools and it will take a concerted effort on all cultural fronts to seize control from the Left there, although abolishing the Department of Education would be a tremendous help in that regard. Fear not, I am not holding my breath waiting for that, although the current Secretary of Education and her boss, President Trump, have at least undertaken to reduce the size of the DOE.

The third essential front of the cultural battleground is needed for any substantial movement from a Leftist-dominated culture and Socialist slavery toward liberty and the continued existence of Western society. This is the battle to return the Christian churches to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

Return the Churches to Christ

Leftism in churchesThe state of the modern Christian church can only be called abysmal largely because of two factors. The primary factor is the abandonment of the authority of God’s Word, along with the embrace and spread of Leftist Socialist philosophy as a consequence.

Both factors are evident with even a cursory examination of both Protestant and Catholic divisions of the modern church. Major portions of both have aligned solidly with the Left on a host of cultural and political positions.

On the Catholic side, that is demonstrated by groups such as “Catholics for Choice,” [a pro-abortion and influential dissident group of Catholics] and their ilk, and the overt support for illegal immigration by this pope in particular.

Last December, Pope Francis took the opportunity of the Christmas season to falsely compare illegal immigrants with the birth of Christ in a manger. His ‘tweet’ demonstrated both incorrect Biblical interpretation and adherence to Socialist goals.

Pope Francis used the hashtag #internationalmigrantsday to compare Jesus to the global immigration crisis. He tried to equate Mary and Joseph being unable to find any “room at the inn” as an excuse to peddle open borders.

Pope Francis

@Pontifex

Jesus knows well the pain of not being welcomed. May our hearts not be closed as were the houses in Bethlehem. #Internationalmigrantsday

He objects to a border wall by conflating legal immigrants with illegal aliens, a typical language tactic of the Left. That, and the fact that Jesus’ mother and step-father were not traveling as immigrants, but in obedience to an imperial decree, show the Leftward tilt of Catholicism.

Churches and abortionThe Protestants, especially those in the so-called ‘mainline churches’ are perhaps even farther down the path of Socialist Leftist indoctrination. A prominent example is the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice [RCRC] that officially includes both ‘Catholics for Choice,’ and a large number of Protestant denominations.

They include the United Methodist Church, the Anglican Communion, which includes the Episcopal Church in America, and the United Church of Christ. In addition, certain leftist strains of Presbyterians, Baptists, [and] Lutherans…

The swerve to the Left taken by the churches is the product of abandoning the inerrancy, and thus the authority of the Scriptures as the Word of God. Inerrancy teaches that the Bible as God inspired it and as it was originally written is totally trustworthy and thus qualifies as the authoritative and final Word from God to humanity.

Therefore, the Christian Church on earth, whatever name they may assign to themselves, has but one legitimate source of teaching God’s requirements for Christ’s people, the Holy Bible. When that is set aside for humanist Leftist causes such as ‘social justice’ instead of biblical doctrine, the result is rampant falsehood leading to destruction.

Leftward church organizations who deny biblical inerrancy reveal that their ultimate loyalty is given to someone or something other than Jesus.

This final piece of what I am calling the ‘long game’ of cultural change is the most important of them all. For, without a healthy Christian presence, the basis of the West’s liberty and prosperity will crumble into Socialist tyranny very quickly.

The true ‘Church’ established by God Himself must become once more under the discipline and direction of His Word. It will take a passion for Christ, perseverance in the struggle, and potent prayers of the faithful for this to happen, and it needs to happen soon.

Let us strive to follow and advocate for what the Apostle Paul taught in his New Testament letter to the Church at Colossae,

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:16-17 [ESV]

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001

Featured and Top Image courtesy of thierry Erhmann’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of Alicia Chenaux’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of outtacontext’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of DonkeyHotey’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 4 courtesy of Armand K’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 5 courtesy of William Murphy’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published in TIL Journal

The Long and Short of Cultural Change [Video]

Leftist culture

There is little doubt that Western culture is in desperate straights today. The assault of the Left on multiple fronts pushes hard at the traditions and values that conservatives hold dear and are necessary to the existence of Western civilization itself, and it is no understatement to say that the Left and Right are at war for the soul of the Western world.

Most of the major cultural battlegrounds of the conflict have seen exposure previously in this journal. Everything from ‘climate change‘ to the leftist radicalization of the mainline churches to the ‘transgender rights‘ movement has been covered, commented on and analyzed.

However, what has been lacking is a strategy to defeat the Leftist enemy on a societal level. Therefore, I propose a strategy that addresses the problem much like playing a strategic game such as chess, or military war games.

In these and other similar contests, there are really two games going on at once. One is the ‘short game,’ as I call it.

The ‘short game’ is the game which focuses on the crucial immediate moves needed to position the player for quick defense and battleground victory. The ‘long game’ focuses on a step-by-step approach, blocking the enemy and opening the way to winning the cultural war/game.

The Short Game and the Long Game

Leftist cultureThis idea occurred to me as I was reading an article about why newly declared Democratic presidential candidate Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke needs to be defeated. The author outlined both the ‘short’ and ‘long’ game approach in the political arena.

He cites O’Rourke as a danger because “Beto” comes across as a bit less radical than the other offerings from the loony Left. That may strongly appeal to the middle of the road voter between perceived extremes.

While that may seem a desirable outcome for conservatives in the ‘short game,’ it could easily prove disastrous in the ‘long game.’ It would insulate the people from the inevitable failures of full-fledged Socialism while moving the political needle steadily towards the Left and eventual Socialistic ruin.

Thus, the article argues, we should welcome the wackier Leftist candidates and their ideas being presented in a general election. This is why it is Mr. O’Rourke who poses a danger as a less radical alternative who could ease these ideas into acceptance.

These young people, millennials, will grow out of supporting guaranteed incomes, abolishing fossil fuels, slavery reparations, abolishing planes and cars, eliminating cow farts (and cows), retooling every building in the country for green energy and all the rest of the foolishness offered by Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Bernie Sanders and the rest of the gang. But an election that fully exposes that idiocy will let the American people drive that socialist nightmare underground for a generation.

This is an interesting premise, and as far as it goes, it appears solid. That is, as long as the millennial voters behave as the author believes they will.

Moreover, this is a great example of playing the ‘short game’ at the political level. The ‘short game’ counters the immediate threat, “Beto” becoming the nominee, with a move to encourage the insane radicalism of the far Left in order to secure a longer-term victory in the political phase.

Leftist cultureHowever, a big problem is that this premise does not go far enough in the ‘long game.’ The ‘long game’ in this instance only looks at the political gains to be had among millennial voters once they ‘grow out’ of their juvenile leftism.

The true ‘long game’ must go beyond politics and reach the culture, especially the youth. For the Left, politics and culture have become inextricably entangled in their personal lives.

Moreover, winning the ‘long game must’ account for more than the millennial generation. It must envision the state of generations to come and make critical moves to ensure the destruction of the Socialist agenda for the foreseeable future.

Countering the Immediate Threats of the ‘Short Game’

Conservatives today are visibly engaged in countering the aggressive attacks of the Left from multiple angles. However, that has not always been true, and as a result of being late to the game, the Left garnered a substantial head start in the cultural conflict.

For this moment the conservative defense of Western society requires steady and strong vigilance to continue to fight the many challenges the Left has put forth in every area of culture. The cultural line must be held at each point of attack.

This means equipping ourselves through self-education concerning the plans and tactics of the Left. Which means learning many unsavory proposals designed to break through societal norms at every point.

Such self-education is not pleasant, take it from one who knows. You will learn terrible things that are true, and be asked to believe terrible things that aren’t.

Leftist cultureLearning that there are people who have no qualms about carving up or poisoning babies in the womb is sickening. Moreover, learning that the present push is to assassinate newborns who happen to survive the murderous onslaught is both infuriating and appalling.

This is but a single point of attack in the Leftist scheme to win the culture completely.

There is the immigration invasion which the Left wholeheartedly endorses. This provides them with new supporters and their children who can be easily indoctrinated and recruited for the Socialist Left.

Combine these with other issues the Left is promoting, such as gun restriction and eventual gun elimination, free-market economics destruction through things like the “green new deal,” and the expansion of a centrally controlled national government (which means the elimination of the Constitution) and the immediate task seems overwhelming.

Nonetheless, these issues are where the fight is the most urgent, and being overwhelmed may be the price which must be paid. That being the case, it makes the warrior mindset all the more imperative for conservatives in the fight.

However, winning the frenetic ‘short game’ battles need not be a daunting task, because of a factor the Left disdains. That factor is the power of our LORD to overcome any odds against those who fight for righteous liberty in His name and for His people.

As long as the odds may seem for victory in either the short or long term war for the culture, they are no longer than what David faced when he made this statement as a boy facing the 9-foot giant, Goliath.

This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. …that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the LORD saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the LORD’s, and He will give you into our hand. 1 Samuel 17:46-47 [ESV]

The short ‘game’ is the urgent one, and vital to purchase time and pave the way for the lasting generational cultural change to be sought via the ‘long game.’ In part two, we will discuss what it will take to implement the conservative ‘long game,’ and help rescue a beleaguered Western civilization from Leftist devastation.

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001

Featured and Top Image courtesy of blugrn’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of Modes Rodriguez’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of Mpls55408’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of Blink O’fanaye’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License.

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published in TIL Journal

The Left’s War on Science Part 4: Erroneous Economics [Video]

Economics

The first three parts of this series dealt with the leftist distortions of climate change, abortion, and transgenderismPart four examines the Left’s erroneous ideas concerning economics.

Economics is not a ‘hard’ science in the same way as physics or mathematics.  However, economics directly affects ordinary people more than most ‘hard’ sciences.

That is seen whether one is discussing a wealthy nation, such as the United States, or an impoverished country in the third world. The everyday person’s politics are often confined by necessity to economics.

Thus economics is extremely important to the lives of each of us and our loved ones. It is to everyone’s advantage to understand the essential views of economics from both the Left and the Right.

Leftist Economics Exemplify Marxism

Economic theory has many labels. Capitalism, free enterprise, and market economics are some names of the general system favored by conservatives on the Right. Marxism, Communism, Socialism are the Left’s idea of good economics.

CommunismThe basis of leftist economics is found in the economic and political views of Karl Marx. Modern Socialism and Communism trace their roots to his work as a political and intellectual revolutionary in 19th Century Europe.

In 1847, Marx and his compatriot Fredrick Engels wrote the iconic work which birthed  Communism, “The Communist Manifesto.” In short, this formed the marching orders of Communism.

The more important book came much later. The first volume of “Das Kapital” was written by Marx in 1867 containing the philosophy of Communist thought.

It was there that the economic theory of Communism came to full flower. As Marx grew older he focused his thought on Capitalism and what he perceived as its inherent evils.

Marx believed that a Capitalist system was comprised of a class of poor workers who were being exploited by the elite rich. The solution was a state-mandated and enforced “Robin Hood” approach.

That is, the state would take from the rich and give to the poor in order to eliminate both classes and make society economically equal. In the famous words of Marx,

“From each according to his ability to each according to his needs.”

It Looks Great ‘on Paper’

Image 5 9.9.2018 articleAs a hypothesis, Communism looks great…’on paper.’ The problem which persists to the present is the refusal of acolytes to admit that, in practice, Communism has failed every time it has been tried.

The most recent victim to the terrible results of Communism in practice is the beleaguered nation of Venezuela. Though it is not ‘officially’ under a Communist ‘party,’ the government is unabashedly Socialist, which is a gentle way of saying they are Communist.

Socialists are unable to see that it is the philosophy itself which is unworkable. The most recent example of such is being demonstrated in the devastated nation of Venezuela. The annual inflation rate recorded last month in that country was an astounding 46,305%!

Whether under the late Hugo Chavez or his successor, Nicolas Maduro, the destructive pattern continues. What was once the wealthiest nation in South America is now impoverished and in economic freefall.

Venezuelans are fleeing the nation because of shortages of, well, everything! From groceries to medicines, is almost completely gone.

This has forced many who haven’t yet left to turn to the black market for simple food to eat. That is if they have any money left to purchase it.

For the many unfortunates who cannot afford the ridiculously inflated prices, there is a ghastly alternative.

Aside from chubby dictator Nicolas Maduro and his fellow elites, the Venezuelan people are running out of food and medical supplies. In their starving desperation, citizens have resorted to breaking into zoos to slaughter and eat the also malnourished animals; buffalo, pigs and horses are top choices on the menu.

The destructiveness of the Marxist economic/political ideal goes far beyond even a starving populace. The errors inherent in its theory have produced a death toll far beyond anything else in world history.

The Grisly Death-toll of Leftist Economics

Socialism and deathLeftist economics became center-stage as the Communist revolution in Russia exploded in 1917. Since that time, under various names, Socialism of one form or another has killed more people than any other event, natural or man-made, in history.

Understand that Socialism has various pedigrees, but the same evil end. The Nazi party in Germany was officially known as the “National Socialist German Workers Party.”

Together with Germany’s National Socialism, the Communist Socialists such as the old USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) and Communist China have racked up a body count of over 150 million people!

The obvious question this brings to mind is why. Why has Leftist economic practice failed so miserably, and caused such misery?

My layman’s analysis pins down two large reasons for this. One is that governments are not producers of wealth. When the state controls the economy, as in Socialism, it can only control what wealth is already present.

The goal of Leftist economics is to forcibly redistribute wealth in order to eliminate the economic differences between classes in society. In short, to ‘level the playing field,’ economically.

This means that those who potentially could produce wealth as innovators or business owners have no incentive to do so. After all, if they cannot reap rewards for their efforts, why expend the time, energy and money.

Greed

Secondly, Leftism fails because it doesn’t account for the baseness of human nature. It requires a belief that people are basically good; a fatal fallacy refuted by God’s Word and history.

…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23 [ESV]

Marxist-type systems require a blind faith that the sinful nature will not sabotage the goal of redistribution. In other words, it requires people in high authority to be trusted with doling out all of everyone else’s money.

One of the best presentations about this phenomenon was given many years ago by noted economist Milton Friedman. In this short video excerpt of an interview with former TV host Phil Donohue, he presents a clear case against Socialism and for Capitalism.

The Creep of Leftist Economics in Modern America

Leftism has been on a steady creep into American society and politics for many decades. The primary venue where this asserts itself economically is in the progressive income tax system of the Internal Revenue Service, or IRS.

Noted economist Walter Williams characterizes the income tax in personal terms of morality.

Surely if a private person took money from one person and gave it to another, we’d deem it theft and, as such, immoral. Does the same act become moral when Congress takes people’s money to give to farmers, airline companies or an impoverished family? No, it’s still theft, but with an important difference: It’s legal, and participants aren’t jailed.

ObamacareIn more recent times, the calamity of Obamacare has been an example of how the state is at best incompetent as well as immoral when trying a socialistic approach to health care.

America herself received a prime example of a Socialist incompetence during the rollout of Obamacare beginning in 2011. The Federal government spent hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars trying and failing to build the healthcare website. Many pointed out at the time that there were a lot of people who could have done it better for a lot less.

Obamacare came under much-deserved criticism both before and after it was implemented. In part, because of that, it has been repackaged under a new label, “Medicare for all.”

This is but one of many forces pushing the free-enterprise Capitalism element out of the economy. However, it may be the most costly of all and risks virtual bankruptcy of the nation.

As the president rightly notes, this is another attempt at a government takeover of health care which would be disastrous. This must be opposed vigorously both at the ballot box and in society.

The only system which honors individual work is a free enterprise Capitalist system. The freedom of the individual is the basis on which God approaches humanity as well.

Unless the person chooses to follow the LORD, He will not force them to do so. Nor does He endorse human beings forcing their will upon others except where a violation of another’s rights is involved.

It is unwise to adopt a system in contradiction to His will. I pray we soon realize that the Left’s economics is very unwise and destructive.

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001

Top Image courtesy of Petras Gagilas’ Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of Kevin Steinhardt’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of Garry Knight’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of joshua_putnam’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 4 courtesy of See-ming Lee’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 5 courtesy of Jay Oyakawa’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published at TIL Journal