Summertime and the Livin’ is Easy…

Summertime is a little easier on most of us. Even if we have to work fulltime- there’s more sunlight and we tend to do pleasurable things in the evenings and on the weekends. This may be a bit different in the year of COVID, but to some extent the rules of summer still apply. This is also the time of year that newspapers and magazines publish those lists of books we should read during the summer. World magazine usually has a whole section on summer reading. I confess that most of those lists just give me a guilty conscience. I read one of the lists once and went down to the library looking for one of the titles. It happens there was a waiting list – so I put my name on the list. When I got the book, I was bored with it. I kept trying, but I just couldn’t get through it. I ended up returning it, half read, and late.
I have a little list for all of us today, that really shouldn’t cause much guilt – and in fact could be just what we need – spiritually – to recharge our batteries. I want to look at these four items just briefly.

1. Spend time with real friends.
Make time to get together with people that you like; people you trust; people who are good for you; people who won’t spend all their time complaining and being negative. (We all spend enough time with them, don’t we?). READ Galatians 6:2. The Apostle Paul tells us to “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the laws of Christ.” He wasn’t just talking about physical burdens. In this trying period, especially, may carry emotional, psychological, grief-related burdens.
So, besides, having time together to relax – you can consider this a summer project – to share burdens with others of like faith and general worldview. Remember always that sharing and burden bearing go both ways. Building a relationship with someone means being able to share your own burdens, too! In order to share burdens, you need to get to know one another; learn to trust one another. For some of us that’s a difficult thing. But God wants us to be brothers and sisters – not in the way we learned at home; not in the sense of sibling rivalries and all the other unhealthy behaviors we may have learned – but in the sense of God’s family. He wants us to love and trust one another – and bear one another’s burdens. That’s what brothers and sisters are for.

2. Spend time in prayer.

READ Phil. 4:4-7. God cares about us. He wants to hear from us. It doesn’t have to be a special kind of prayer you learned in church. Just a conversation w/ God. And it doesn’t always have to be asking for something – just a “check-in” is good!
Is this some kind of magic wand? No. But God wants us to have what’s good for us. Sometimes he even answers us in a way much better than we had hoped. When I lived on Grand Cayman, our water came from a cistern in the back yard. We had no other source of water. When drought hit our part of the island, the cistern got very low. We could see rain fall on other parts of the island. But not ours. The situation was getting desperate. We prayed for rain but none came our way. One day a water truck pulled up and the driver asked if this was the minister’s house. Then he proceeded to fill our cistern to overflowing. God had taken care of us and didn’t need our direction as to how.

3. Spend some time reading the Bible.

Besides being very instructive, the Bible can be very comforting. Here are just a couple of my favorite passages for when things aren’t going exactly the way I instructed God they should be going: Psalm 27:1; Psalm 62:1-2.
A few years back a friend of ours called –sort of out of the blue – and shared a verse with me that she had read that morning. It was a great comfort to her (READ Is. 46:3-4). You know, I found it comforting, too, to realize – again – that God isn’t going to forget about me just because I’m getting older. Just because I’m not the warrior I might have been a few years ago, I’m not less valuable to Him. AND this is not from just some nice book of parables and folk wisdom this comes straight from God’s Word!

4. Spend a little time w/ Jesus.

If you haven’t already – turn to Jesus for the best comfort you can get. READ Matthew 11:28-30.
Enjoy what you can of the summer. You won’t be going it alone.

Truth and the Spiritual World

In a day gone by – but not too long ago – in every schoolhouse in the nation you could the strains of the same song being sung by students and teachers alike:

The Age of Aquarius.
When the moon is in the 7th house

And Jupiter aligns with Mars,

Then peace will guide the planets
And love will fill your heart;
This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius.

This was more than a song: it was an anthem; a theme song; a spirit was in the air. Materialism; naturalism were being replaced by or, illogically, joined by, a new spiritual quest. People were beginning once again to recognize that they are spiritual creatures, but they didn’t know how to define it; and felt that they couldn’t count on the 

traditions of the West – like Christianity. So they sought wisdom from the East.

But neither esoteric spirituality, nor anti-Christian religion was new in what we call the New Age religions. Heresy was part of the Church from its very beginnings. This is why a series of “Ecumenical Councils” were held by the church over the first few centuries of its existence. This why such documents as the Nicene Creed and the Creed of Chalcedon came into existence, to clarify the difference between orthodoxy and spiritualist heresy.

One of the 1st heresies in the new Church was called Gnosticism. A secret-society type of religion with two different gods – a good one and an evil one, fighting for control of the universe. Gnosticism was also a popular movement, characterized by symbolic rites, mystic ceremonies, and the teaching of magic formulas. In the initiation into these associations strange formulas and rites formed an important part. Yet Gnosticism claimed to be Christian in character. Whenever possible, it appealed to the words of Jesus explained in an allegorical way, and to a so-called secret tradition handed down from the times of the Apostles. Many received its teachings as genuine Christian truth.

We see several modern cults with roots in the ancient heresy, most notably Mormonism and masonry; with their adherence to secret knowledge for a privileged class and emphasis on secret rituals and formulas.

But today, we associate spiritualism with something loosely called New Age religion. Though the New Age really escapes precise definition one thing we know is that it is not really new. It’s a blend of ancient heresies; humanism; eastern philosophies, native-American religions, and the fallout from the leftist counterculture of the 60s.

In the next few weeks we will look at a few of the common characteristics of the New Age.  

I’m Loving It. A Mini-Memoir

In the fall of 1965, I was stationed aboard USS Georgetown which was berthed in the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (VA). Soon to be out of the Navy, I had decided I would attend college. I had never been to a college campus. I knew nothing about the whole experience. As far as I knew, I was the first in my family to graduate from high school.
I signed up to take the SAT test at Old Dominion College in Norfolk. I must have taken a taxi, but I arrived on campus, took the exam, and Lo and behold, I was accepted at the only college where I had applied, Southern Connecticut State College, in New Haven. On the date of my interview, I took a train from Providence to New Haven. Then I walked the 3.3 miles to the campus. Successful, I joined the crowd of incoming freshmen. It was an eventful four years which included marriage, anti-war rallies, and falling in love with learning.
Forward to June 13, 1970. Graduation Day. I had earned a BS in Political Science, a discipline I had not even heard of prior to attending college. I was to go on to earn three more degrees.
Fifty years. Hard to believe. There has been no 50th reunion, due to COVID 19. That’s OK. I’ll live.
When I crossed the stage that June day, I passed Dr. John Iatrides, my Political Science mentor. He looked at me and said, “I hope you don’t think this is beneath you.” I looked back and said, “Are you kidding me? I’m loving it.”

You Can’t Handle the Truth

In the past few weeks I have brought up, in various venues, the question, “What is Truth?” With no set schedule, I would like to take a look at that question.

Pilate asked Jesus, “What is truth?” (John 18:38). This is a very good question these days, when everything is viewed as “relative”; law is built on sociology, not truth. Competing religions and belief systems call out to us like hawkers at a carnival: “Hey, you, look over here. I’ve got the best truth.” Others tell us that everybody has the truth – until somebody steps up and says they’re a Christian. Then we get a sort of “selective relativism.”

How can we know what’s true? How can we sort out the charlatans from the purveyors of truth? Related questions include: “What does it matter what’s true? Do we really need to know?”

If Christianity is true, then sin has invaded the world and men need salvation from the consequences of that sinfulness. If I cannot know that this is true, I will be lost – and suffer whatever those consequences are. If there is no God, as many modern teachers claim, then it really doesn’t matter what’s true. Is it worth the risk not to make an attempt to discover what’s true.

The correspondence view of truth, held by the vast majority of philosophers and theologians throughout history until recently, holds that any statement is true if and only if it corresponds to or agrees with factual reality. If I tell you that a hymnal is red I have made a statement which corresponds to reality or it doesn’t.
Another principle of logic, the principle of contradiction states that “A cannot be non-A in the same way and in the same respect.” The hymnal is either red or it is not red.

The theological statement, “Jesus is Lord of the universe,” is either true or false. Its truth or falsity does not depend upon the sincerity or the loudness or the brilliance of the person making the statement. It also does not depend upon the birth culture of the person making the statement. The statement either corresponds to reality or it doesn’t. If I claim that a ladder is sound, and firmly believe that it is, that does not make the ladder sound. It only means that I believe it is. If I’m wrong I could be endangering myself and anybody else who climbs the ladder.

What we’re embarking on, over the course of the next few weeks, (or, perhaps , months) is a study of something called worldview. It has become a popular term in the recent past, but it is a concept as old as mankind.

How we view the truth really matters. Think about abortion, marriage, ethics, euthanasia. How we view truth will color how we deal with such topics.

Christians today, especially in the US are often held captive by the so-called intellectual elites. These are the same people who agreed with the editorial in the Washington Post a few years back which referred to conservative Christians as “poor, uneducated, and easily led.” We’re cowed by them. We allow them to back us into a corner so that we check our intellect at the church door, effectively creating a dichotomy between our “sacred beliefs” and our secular beliefs.

A is not non-A. Either God is who He claims to be in the Bible, or He is not. We cannot have it both ways. If we believe that God is the Creator of the Universe, we have to believe it on Monday as well as on Sunday. More importantly, we have to act as though we believe it – every day.

This is the point of this excellent book by Nancy Pearcey. Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from its Cultural Captivity (Crossway Books, 2004).

Her purpose, Pearcey writes, is to help Christians “recover a place at the table of debate.” In order to do this, she explains, “Christians must find a way to overcome the dichotomy between public and private, fact and value, secular and sacred. We need to liberate the gospel from its cultural captivity, restoring it to the status of public truth” In other words, Christians need to stop checking their minds at the door to the office, the school, the shop, the gym. We need to have a full intellectual understanding of our faith and an ability to apply biblical principles in all areas of our lives.

Pearcey urges that Christians develop a full-orbed approach to their world. She addresses both the political activist Christians and those who would shrink from society and create evangelical ghettoes. Neither approach, she writes, has produced any lasting effect on our culture.

I will continue this discussion in the coming weeks.

I’d like to know your thoughts, now and along the way. Join me in the discussion.

“We gave it all away”

In a novel published in 2012, Oliver North wrote the following conversation between a wife and her retired Marine Corps husband.

“Oh dear, dear Peter, how did we come to this point in this country?”

His response, in part, reads this way:

We gave it all away. In exchange for the promise of comfort and security, ‘We the People’ surrendered our freedoms to the government – and the ‘international community,” whatever that is. Our liberty has been ebbing away for decades and we just let it go. When the economy fell apart, we turned to elites in Washington for handouts and bailouts and did nothing when they took over our banks, industries, hospitals, doctors, even the press [NOTE from Curt: This sounds a lot like what Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders want for America]. Our government surrendered our right to keep and bear arms to the UN, but did nothing to stop the Iranians and a half dozen others from building nuclear weapons. We legalized the use of illicit drugs, opened our borders to armed enemies, and offered amnesty to millions who came here illegally – because they would vote the right way. (Heroes Proved, p. 234).

Set in the year 2032, this “novel” seems all too “non-fictional,” here in the year 2018.

What do YOU think?

Commies in Government

We’ve been reading and hearing a lot recently about FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) and DOJ (Department of Justice)and State Department leaders and employees who seem, at the very least, to have no love for America. Let me state that this is nothing new. Nor is there anything revelatory in recognizing that Ivy League grads tend to be leftists. In a review article I wrote a decade ago I highlighted this tendency in U.S. government bureaus as shown by M. Stanton Evans, in his book Blacklisted by History. For those of you struggling to understand “cold war” history, it might be worth your while to find a copy of this book and give it a read. The entire review article can be found below. Please give special attention to the paragraphs in colored ink.

Blacklisted by History Jeopardizes Standard Liberal Storyline Wild-Eyed Myth Encounters the Real Joe McCarthy

Published in the Pearcey Report-

By Curt Lovelace

At Friendship Street School in the early 1950s, we were taught that hiding under our school desks would save us from nuclear attack –- which, in the lingua franca of the day, the Satan-loving Commies in the Kremlin were poised to rain down upon us at any moment. These exercises were the famous “duck and cover” drills.   Yet, while we feared Communist-initiated death from the skies, as a nation we tolerated -– even fostered -– Soviet activity within our own government.

While trying to find a place to hide from nuclear destruction, we somehow felt safe

enough to vilify Joseph McCarthy, a U.S. senator from America’s heartland who tried to root out the Reds from service in our federal apparatus. So successful were efforts against the senator that the term McCarthyism has become synonymous with wild-eyed fanaticism.

I recall the tales of Joe McCarthy and the anxiety of the 1950s. At the very onset of the Cold War, Americans were told whom we ought to fear, and it wasn’t so much the Communists, though they were bad enough. Why, it was McCarthy and his “ism” that brought terror to men’s hearts.   But was this any way to treat a former ally of WWII? If so, why? Why the about-face to the Soviet Union? This is one of the questions M. Stanton Evans tries to answer in his recently released Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America’s Enemies.

According to Evans, the real Joe McCarthy has been lost, “vanished into the mists of fable and recycled error.” This new 600-plus-page book is an attempt to separate fact from myth, and in the process, Evans shows McCarthy to be, yes, human (his foibles are not overlooked), a whistleblower, and (gulp!) a patriot.

Coulter Factor

The recovery of the historical McCarthy as a genuine patriot is just one of many reasons liberal academics and “objective” modern journalists might hate this book. Then, of course, there’s the fact that Ann Coulter liked it. Coulter has written positively, in fact, glowingly, about McCarthy in her own book, Treason: Liberal Treachery From the Cold War to the War on Terrorism. She has also penned an essay titled “Joe McCarthy invented the Internet.”

In her review of Blacklisted, Coulter writes, “The true story of Joe McCarthy, told in meticulous, irrefutable detail . . . is that from 1938 to 1946, the Democratic Party acquiesced in a monstrous conspiracy being run through the State Department, the military establishment, and even the White House to advance the Soviet cause within the U.S. government.”   Not quite done, she in her typically understated manner says Blacklisted “proves that every conventional belief about McCarthy is wrong.” For example:

  •  “That he lied about his war service: He was a tailgunner in World War II”
  •  “That he was a drunk: He would generally nurse a single drink all night”
  •  “That he made the whole thing up: He produced loads of Soviet spies in government jobs”
  •  “That he just did it for political gain: He understood perfectly the godless evil of communism”

What can we say? When Ann’s right, she’s right. Based on years of research, Evans has indeed produced the goods. He shows from transcripts of memos, interviews, and testimony that McCarthy had it right.

Evans includes facsimiles of numerous documents that name names and prove connections.   Evans links names of Communists and fellow-travelers to the agencies of the federal government in which they worked as well as to the Soviet or Communist organizations to which they belonged. These federal agencies include the FBI, headed by radical anti-Communist J. Edgar Hoover. The Bureau was excoriated in the 1940s and 1950s for a lack of knowledge regarding the Communist Party and its various front organizations. The FBI was accused of both withholding facts from President Harry Truman and of allowing Reds to run riot in the federal bureaucracy. But according to Evans, the “FBI was neither fooled by nor indifferent to Soviet penetration efforts in the 1940s. Nor was it unaware that the Communist Party USA was a creature of the Soviet Union, up to its ears in spying, pro-Moscow influence schemes, and other species of subversion” (p. 136).  

Evans devotes an entire chapter (11) to Hoover and Truman, quoting from numerous internal FBI memos that prove not only that Hoover knew about the Communist threat, but also that he informed the President and administration. The chapter concludes with a copy of the “FBI Master Chart” from Hoover’s files. The chart offers an overview of memos, and other information, that were disseminated to the White House, the Office of the Attorney General, and federal agencies that employed suspected or known Communists.

Khrushchev 1956, Reason to Be Cocky

According to an AP report released late in 2007, Hoover had planned to arrest 12,000 Americans whom the FBI had evidence demonstrating disloyalty to their country. Evans contends that many in positions of authority knew how great was the infiltration of our government by those who would destroy it. Evidently, when in 1956 Nikita Khrushchev asserted, “We will bury you,” he had reason to be cocky. He knew what Hoover and McCarthy and Rep. Martin Dies before him all knew: The U.S. government was deeply compromised.   Dies, a conservative Democrat from Texas, was the “first and longest-serving chairman of what would become the House Committee on Un-American Activities” (p. 49). McCarthy, by the way, was never a member of this House committee, though his name is inextricably linked to it. He was a Senator, not a member of the House of Representatives.

According to common folklore, McCarthy “was spreading hysteria about an ersatz internal Communist threat and smearing innocent people as subversives, without a shred of evidence to go on” (p. 15). That story was and is knowably false, as Evans has so well demonstrated.   But one wonders why today that convenient mythology is held onto so fervently by liberal types who applaud propagandists Al Gore and Michael Moore for their respective Nobel Peace Prize and Academy Award. Perhaps today’s Left seeks refuge in victimhood, feeling an affinity with those poor, afflicted anti-American souls upon whom Joe McCarthy unleashed what is now recast as a torrent of “hate” and “vitriol.”

Perhaps, modern Leftists hope to forestall scrutiny of their work lest their anti-Americanism is exposed to the common people and their time in the sun be all too brief. Leftist elitism runs rampant in our media, our universities, even in our pulpits today. As during the Cold War, one wonders about the loyalty and even the intelligence of those who offer aid and comfort to the enemies of our nation.

For example, what makes today’s liberal think that, if radical revolutionaries –- whether domestic born or foreign controlled — should scuttle the American experiment, that liberals themselves won’t be first in line for membership in the vast left-wing gulag or next on the executioner’s schedule?   Evans provides something of an answer to this question. He points out that the Communists who were exposed in Britain and the United States tended to be of the “upper crust.” McCarthy’s targets, Evans writes, “often as not, were Ivy League respectable types in the mold of Hiss or Duggan” (p. 64). Alger Hiss, of course, is one of the most well-known names in American treachery. Evans describes him as “a well-bred, respectable type with all the right credentials.” Hiss was “one of a numerous, often upscale, band of brothers. William Remington, Donald Wheeler, Henry Collins, Duncan Lee, Laurence Duggan, Robert Miller, and others involved in Red machinations in the United States had been to the best schools, spoke in cultured accents, and had upper-crust connections” (p. 62).  

Respectable Haters Of Republic of Freedom Flash-forward to the present and we see that today’s Leftist tends to be from Harvard or Yale and has, if not buckets of money, at least access to lots of cash. Much as with the European aristocracy of old, nationality means little to this modern nobility. Patriotism is something to be scoffed at, ridiculed, and perhaps outlawed. “Wrapping oneself in the flag” is a negative, outmoded manifestation of peasantry.

The global gentry has the ability to see beyond that kind of primitivism to a time and place in which the ever-growing “compassionate” state (manned, not jailed, by that very same nobility) orders our existence. After all, they are smarter than we the people. Isn’t that why the “smartest woman in the world” wants to be President?   The political affiliation of these respectable haters of the republic of freedom has changed little. Nor has their Marxian ability to change viewpoints to suit their need been affected by time. Evans points this up brilliantly when noting how Executive Privilege was then used to keep some federal employees from testifying before Congress regarding what they knew and when they knew it.

As a member of the House, and later as Vice President, Richard Nixon would be party to those discussions, which more often than not upheld the right of Executive Privilege. He, however, would be extended no such privilege during his own time of crisis. “If Nixon had such expectations,” Evans writes regarding the Watergate investigation, “he was in for a rude surprise. It turned out that what had been a sacred constitutional precept when invoked by Ike against Joe McCarthy wasn’t so sacred when invoked by Nixon against Sam Ervin. (p. 580).

Although some may find that this admirable book could be more readable in parts, no student of history should shy away from this wonderful resource. It is well worth mining for nuggets and even whole veins of truth.

In Blacklisted by History, Evans wrote a truly timely book. He sets out to verify what McCarthy tried to tell the nation: that we were being overrun from within. Evans has made his case. Then, as now, there was more to concern America and her freedoms than bombs falling out of the sky.

MY READERS, please note: this article – and the book about which it was written, appeared a decade ago.  The morass in which we find ourselves is no new thing. And it’s our own fault. We keep electing the American jihadis who hate the American way as they hide behind their own walls in their gated communities.

I really want your feedback Americans.

Curt Lovelace holds degrees in political science and history, and pastored several churches. His writings have appeared in Human Events, World, Chalcedon Report, and elsewhere.

Cheapening of the Worship Experience

I must be getting old. There are many who will tell you that it’s too late. I’m already there. This aging process has led me to go back and read some of my old writings. I don’t want to go back too far. That would prove embarrassing. But, as I read some of the things I’ve written in the last decade or so, I find that, for the most part, I agree with myself.

A couple of years ago, I was asked to serve as a mentor to two theological students. In the course of setting up this arrangement, I went through an application process. Besides credentials, I was asked to provide samples of my writing and to answer some theological questions. Below I will share (a slightly revised version) of one of my answers. The question was, “What do you think is the top theological issue facing churches today?” My response:

There are a number of issues which confront the churches today. I will focus on challenges within the Reformed churches. A friend (and pastor)  cites “easy believism” and lack of ecclesiology. Several of the reformed denominations are taking up the issue of racism in the church. I would add to the list creeping dispensationalism, loss of the Regulative Principle of Worship, and the advance of Federal Vision thinking.

An issue which has far-reaching implications is the decline of Biblical corporate worship. Having lived and travelled in many parts of the world, I have witnessed and been part of worship services of many kinds. The church has redefined “worship” to mean that period of singing and entertaining which comes before – and takes precedent over – any mention of God’s Word. I was once in a devotional session at a missionary conference, which was led by the newly commissioned leader of the organization. He said to us, “Well, we’re going to have a time of worship, then I’ll say a few things from the Bible.”

Worship as entertainment has been justified by the thought that we need to get people in the pews (or chairs) so that they will hear the Gospel. This is viewed as “seeker friendly.” The problem here is twofold. First, we use the world’s music, with little to no theological content to draw people in. The second problem is that precious little of the Gospel is presented in many of these seeker friendly congregations.

We need to understand that corporate worship is not intended to be evangelistic. Corporate worship is a family affair.  Worship is for worshippers – those who, in spirit and in truth, worship our Holy God. The writer to the Hebrews states “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” To whom is this addressed? The writer refers to his readers as “holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession” (Heb. 3:1). Certainly this does not mean that non-believers should not be invited to our worship services. The Gospel should be proclaimed in our corporate worship gatherings. The focus, however should be on the Savior and King, not on those assembled.

I am not against modern hymns or instruments other than piano and organ. I am against cheapening of the worship experience. I am not in accord with the modern trend of lessening the roles of prayer, scripture reading, and preaching the whole counsel of God.

The changing meaning of worship is one of the top theological issues in the churches today. From it arise all sorts of improper understandings of the Gospel and theology.


Self-Hate as a Societal Norm

As I have been looking for work, I have tended to keep away from controversy online, recognizing that prospective employers may read what I write and attach their own meanings. “He’s not in favor of my ‘isms’” is a an easy way to pare down the numbers of recruits and interviews. Now, however, recognizing that I may well have been “aged-out” of meaningful employment in the fields for which I have been trained and educated and spent decades mastering, I will once again enter the fray.

I’ll start with this: I am white. So were my parents. So are my siblings. My wife is also white, as are our children. No apologies here. In the words of that great philosopher, Popeye the sailor –Man, “I yam what I yam.”

I also fit into a number of other categories which are generally despised by progressive society today. I am married to a woman. I am a Christian. I am pro-life. Deal with it – or don’t. Not my problem. I refer you back to Popeye.

My thoughts on the destruction of American society are not recently acquired. In fact, I am reposting, below, an essay I penned a couple of years ago. My thoughts on the subject matter were not new then, either, but a lot of my thinking on societal issues is revealed.

So, have at it. Enjoy it. Hate it. Comment on it. Try to employ a little civility, though.

“Duke offers men a ‘safe space’ to contemplate their ‘toxic masculinity’” reads the headline in a news story published online Sunday morning October 2, 2016. The dateline might have been “Moscow, USSR, 1960.”

This is America, 2016. Everyone (except a few now-anointed minorities) is considered toxic and offensive. By virtue of having been born male, or white, or middle class, entire segments of the population have been deemed worthy of scorn.

The news story defines the mission thusly,

The Duke Men’s Project, launched this month and hosted by the campus Women’s Center, offers a nine-week program for “male-identified” students that discusses male privilege, patriarchy, “the language of dominance,” rape culture, pornography, machismo and other topics.

While nations of the former Soviet bloc seek to distance themselves from their communist past, America rushes headlong into the numbing and dehumanizing morass of Marxism-Leninism. Consider this excerpt from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia.

Marx regarded “the weapon of criticism” as an effective means of the proletariat’s class struggle under the conditions of capitalist society, with its inherent social antagonisms. Lenin stressed the vital importance of criticism and self-criticism for carrying out the socialist revolution and for the work of the Communist party. In the course of the workers’ and communist movement and the national liberation struggle of peoples the weapon of criticism has been extensively employed to expose the exploitative essence of capitalism and the policies of the ruling classes and to bring about the revolutionary overthrow of the capitalist system and the liberation of the toiling people from social and national oppression.

Under socialism, the change in the nature of social relations and the elimination of antagonistic contradictions and exploiter classes fundamentally alter the purpose and nature of criticism. The weapon for the destruction and revolutionary overthrow of the old system becomes an instrument for the creation of socialism and communism.

Notice the aim of the self-criticism: to get rid of the old system (capitalism and democracy) and replace it with the glorious socialist and communist state.

Self-criticism is neither unheard of nor totally unwelcome in Christian circles. In fact, confession, as it is properly called, is one of the duties of the Christian. James 5:16 tells us, “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.”

The purpose of such declarations of our own sinfulness is not the creation of a Godless state, however, as is the aim of the self-criticism session. Rather, the aims of confession to one another are unity and healing. We are not confessing for the party bosses to hear us. We are proclaiming our need for prayer and claiming for ourselves the prayer of the Godly. The admonition to pray for one another, for the other members of the household of faith, is found in many places throughout God’s Word.

America is in a bad place. Americans today are thin-skinned and intolerant; easily offended by the least offensive statements and acts.

Perhaps these modern self-criticism sessions are a plea for prayer. Certainly our nation needs it. Pray for our country and for the generations of Americans affected by the current wave of self-loathing called for by those who do not recognize the image of God in mankind.


If I were Emperor

In just a few days the Electoral College will convene and confirm the election of President-Elect Donald Trump. There is just one problem. He has not called me yet to fill some post in his administration. So, I will offer to him, free of charge, this post I wrote a presidential election cycle ago (with very few alterations).

If I Were Emperor…

I have become less and less interested in politics in the last couple of presidential cycles. I guess it would be more accurate to say I have been dismayed at the quality of candidates we’ve had. Then I realize that we get the candidates we deserve.

God is in control.

But there are days, like yesterday, when I say things like, “That wouldn’t be a problem if I was King – or Emperor.” Believe me folks, neither you nor I really wish that were true.

But what if….

If I were Emperor…

  • We would not be dependent on foreign oil. We wth-2ould drill on our own land, being careful, of course, not to be destructive. Why is it, I wonder, that compassionate liberals find it wrong to disturb the tundra to drill for oil in our own nation, but think it’s OK to drill in other lands. (See this very current story).
  • English would be the official language of the land. I don’t have a problem with people speaking whatever language they want, but in order to do business, we should speak the same language. As I travel to other countries I find nearly everybody speaking English or wanting to learn. Not Here (unless I was Emperor).
  • We would not be moving toward a planned economy. We would actually learn from the history of the Soviet Union that planned economies do not work. We would recognize that all the former Warsaw Pact nations are striving after capitalism.
  • Illegal immigration would go away. I understand that people still want to come to this country for its many benefits. This Emperor would make sure that they do it legally. All benefits of any kind would be cut off to those who sneak into our country. I recognize that there would be hardships. Compassion would be part of the formula, but….
  • We would have a flat tax of some sort. We would get rid of the thousands (maybe millions) of pages of tax law, and the IRS.
  • We would rid ourselves of much of the bureaucracy which exists in government at all levels. The Education Department would be the first to go.
  • Recognizing that strong fences make good neighbors, I would fund the Department of Defense adequately.
  • I would either fight the war in Afghanistan on terror to win – or get out. We should have learned in VietNam that you cannot fight a war half-heartedly.
  • I would separate church and state. This means that I would not interfere with the religious beliefs of the people unless they constituted a danger to the nation. Remember, I’m the Emperor and I decide what constitutes danger. I would not allow foot washing stations to be built in public places (like airports and schools) at public expense, while denying manger scenes.
  • I would review all government policies having to do with health care. Maybe if the government got out of the way, health care would be more affordable. Did I mention no free health care for illegals?

This is a partial list. What would be on your list?

Not-So-Strange Bedfellows

Not-so-shocking revelations regarding the ties between FBI Director James Comey and the Clinton Foundation, reminded me of a review I wrote some years back of a book about Senator Joe McCarthy. One of the paragraphs I wrote in that review reads this way:

231155Leftist elitism runs rampant in our media, our universities, even in our pulpits today. As during the Cold War, one wonders about the loyalty and even the intelligence of those who offer aid and comfort to the enemies of our nation. For example, what makes today’s liberal think that, if radical revolutionaries –- whether domestic born or foreign controlled — should scuttle the American experiment, that liberals themselves won’t be first in line for membership in the vast left-wing gulag or next on the executioner’s schedule?  (The entire review article can be read here.)

The elites of our nation are no different from the royals of Europe who, in times gone by, intermarried regardless of nationality or supposed loyalties. They only mixed with their own kind. Even in our democratic republic, breaking through the lines of elitism, old school ties (Ivy League, don’t you know), and family money is no easy task.

Will members of the current administration ever be held accountable for their high crimes and misdemeanors? Not likely. But keep the faith.

Despite all this, my friends, God remains in control. Never doubt it.