Category Archives: Culture Apologetic

Fighting Fascism with Fascism?

So the word ‘antifa’ apparently is what we are calling the people who have committed themselves to going IMG_0921around the country and physically resisting all fascist activists and their activities. Now, the definition of fascism (from the Oxford English Dictionary) is the following:

“Any form of behaviour perceived as autocratic, intolerant, or oppressive; esp. the advocacy of a particular viewpoint or practice in a manner that seeks to enforce conformity.”

So, this group, not being able to tolerate intolerance, is going around and stopping all of the words, actions, etc. of those that it deems fascist, which is, to this group, simply intolerable.

Bottom line: You can’t fight fascism with fascism. You fight it by defending free speech. Not free violence, not free rioting, but free speech. The same machine you use to censor a group with the wrong ideas is the same machine that will be used to censor the group that should be heard. Free speech guarantees that the American public gets to hear all sides and therefore the opportunity to decide for itself what it believes. The problem is that some have decided that people are not capable of doing that so they are deciding for them. Now that’s fasicsm.

 

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When Cat Woman Comes to Church


I want to address something I usually won’t talk a lot about . . .

Recently, as I was leaving church I saw a young lady, and although I didn’t see her face and do not know who she was, she could have been Cat Woman. She was wearing some kind of curve-fitting spandex super hero suit that left absolutely nothing to the imagination. [NOTE: I have since been told that this is called a Catsuit. I could add a picture to this post of what the a Catsuit looks like but they are not decent enough to post.]

Now, I’m 55 years old, I’m strong in the Lord, and so I learned a long time ago how to avoid and evade things that could cause me to have trouble when Cat Woman shows up. But I guarantee, she gave some men fits that Sunday! What struck me was why? Why would any woman show up to church (or if she is a Christian show up anywhere) looking like this? (That day I also ran into another example of a woman who I know is sincerely trying to be a godly woman but gave no thought to the signals she was sending to men by the way she was dressed.)

Now let’s get a few things straight here: I am not expecting ungodly, non-Christian women to do any better than what I have described above. They should! But why would they if they have no godly standard they care about? But many Christian women are guilty of dressing in a way that makes life difficult for the men around them.

Now, the two most common arguments against what I am saying are:

1) Women should be free to dress any way they want to and

2) Christian men should get their minds out of the gutter

No. Neither women nor men should be able to dress however they want to with no regard for others. That is an American value, not a Christian one. In Romans 14:13-15:3, Paul makes it clear that our personal freedoms do not trump the needs of our weaker brothers and sisters.

13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way. 14 As one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that no food is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for him it is unclean. 15 If your brother is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy your brother for whom Christ died. 16 Do not allow what you consider good to be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men. 19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. 20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. 21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall. 22 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves. 23 But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin. 15We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. 2 Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. 3 For even Christ did not please himself…

 

Yes. Christian men should strive to be pure and feed on what is godly and pure, and to walk in the Spirit. And yes, if a man is not walking in the Spirit he can be tempted easily without even seeing a woman! BUT if a woman wears “gutter clothes” a good man can be lured back to the gutter. To not understand this is to misunderstand the fundamental nature of the flesh and our battle against it! And not just our battle but the other person’s battle. That’s why Paul says “We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.” (Rom. 15:1)

So yes! Men ought to be pure! But there is no excuse for a godly woman to dress in a way that will cause men to look at her or to cause godly men to have to avoid her.

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Post-Truth America

As a pastor, I agree with my friend Mark Conley who wrote,

“Rewriting scripture is done at great peril. Unfortunately much of this is being done under the guise of pastoral leadership. He weeps!”

Many pastors, leaders, authors, scholars find a way to twist Scripture and lead their followers astray. The flip-side of this is that many Christians in post-truth America, don’t submit to good leadership but rather forge a trail that seems right to them.

We are living in a time when the diseased seeds of subjective enlightenment philosophy have flowered and are being harvested. The result? A nation of people who are honing the skill of writing their own Bibles, their own Constitutions, their own moralities, their own sexualities, their own genders. Pastors have failed to keep this disease out of the Church and many parishioners have failed to follow those who have tried to.

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I am certainly no historian, but I do pay attention to the current events that I consider to be impactful. With that said, I offer this concerning the current political divide in America.

Bush/Gore

In my estimation, the great divide we our witnessing today began to manifest itself in the 2000 Bush/Gore election. The Democrats were so angered over the loss of that election that, by my observation, they were scarcely ever able to get on board with Bush. Sure, 911 brought some working together, but legitimacy was never extended to Bush. Then, came Obama. Never have we seen a President so bent on undoing America, nor one who was so successful at it. The right was unable to accept him. Then, as far as the pendulum had swung to the left, it swung to the right with Donald Trump. Unless you are in a coma, you can see just how shamefully the left is rejecting him. It all started in earnest with the Gore loss.

Three Parties

The wrestling together and haggling that we see happening in the Republican Party right now is what we used to see happening between Democrats and Republicans. So, in effect, we have a three party system: the far left, and two wings of conservatives.

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America: Melting Pot No More

Israel Zangwill, a Jewish writer and political activist well known at the beginning of the twentieth century,[1] wrote a play called “The Melting Pot.” In it, the Russian-Jewish immigrant David Quixano says,

America is God’s Crucible, the great Melting-Pot where all the races of Europe are melting and re-forming! Here you stand, good folk, think I, when I see them at Ellis Island, here you stand in your fifty groups, with your fifty languages and histories, and your fifty blood hatreds and rivalries. But you won’t be long like that, brothers, for these are the fires of God you’ve come to—these are the fires of God. A fig for your feuds and vendettas! Germans and Frenchmen, Irishmen and Englishmen, Jews and Russians—into the Crucible with you all!

Zangwill and his Melting Pot Playbill

Zangwill and his Melting Pot Playbill

God is making the American.[2]

That was then. Americans don’t melt anymore. Instead, we have chosen to hang onto our “blood hatreds and rivalries.” Now, we are polarized and offended.

A Lost Vision

I shared this idea with someone and they seemed surprised.

“You want that?” she asked.

“Do I want America to be a melting pot? Of course.”

She had confused the idea of people entering the nation illegally through porous borders with the concept of legal immigrants coming to America and becoming American. There would be no America without immigration. Illegal immigration has tarnished the vision of immigration as it ought to be.

It is understandable that the vision of America as a melting pot would be lost in the midst of daily examples of “Americans” who are offended. This present politically/socially correct disease, with its angst over things as foolish as cultural appropriation is really just the flowering of the failed philosophies of the Enlightenment.

Cultural Coherence

There was a time when it was common to assume that, with all of the cultural diversity in the world, there were certain universal principles to which all humanity could be held to account. But the Enlightenment era did away with such belief and replaced it with a deep selfishness that was delayed in America by our fight for independence and, frankly, by the grace of God. But now, the seeds of selfishness have flowered. Much of this is taken up in the discussion of Cultural Coherence.

Anthony Pagden, in his book The Enlightenment, explains that, with the onset of the Reformation and a new era in which modern thinkers “had made the ‘I’ the center of all inquiries into the human condition,” the fading of Scholasticism in favor of a “mechanistic” view of the universe, religious wars which left millions dead, and even the discovery of diverse peoples in Africa, Asia, and particularly the American Indian, the idea that all humanity in some way cohered together, enjoying some universal set of values, beliefs, and a common human nature, collapsed.[1]

Faced with such uncertainty, the only possible conclusion to which any reflective person could come was that there could be no certainty, no undisputed source of authority, in the world . . . Now everything that was known about the world, the rightness or wrongness of every act, had to be decided by the individual acting on his or her own.[2]

The philosophical, theological coherence provided by the accepted authorities (the Church, the Bible) in the areas of life that mattered most (heaven, hell, the existence of God, the Cosmos, etc.) was gone. The so-called “turn to the subject” which began in the pre-Reformation, was evidenced in the Reformation, observed by Galileo’s telescope, and codified and canonized by Descartes cogito ergo sum and Kant’s call for humanity’s release from its “self-incurred tutelage,”[3] all came together to midwife the birth of the modern self.

But the American experiment was to be different.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

America was different for a long stretch. She believed in God and decency. But Enlightenment era philosophy was always part of her DNA ,and when she decided that she no longer needed God, the seeds of that philosophy began to grow. In the past sixty years, America has invited God to leave her schools, supported abortion, crowned Evolution in place of a belief in a Creator, and embraced the abomination of homosexuality.

No, America doesn’t melt anymore. Her heart does not melt for God, it does not melt over her sins, and her people do not allow their petty differences to melt into unity.

NOTES

[1] Anthony Pagden, The Enlightenment, (New York: Random House, 2013), 24-64.

[2] Ibid., 40.

[3] Immanuael Kant, Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals and What is Enlightenment?, (New York: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1959), 85.

 

 

 

 

[1] http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/zangwill.html

[2] Israel Zangwill, “The Melting Pot,” Act I.

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Even Conservative FOX Doesn’t Get Trump!

I was disappointed in several of the Fox News team last evening (Hume, Megyn Kelly, Dana Perrino) when they made a big deal about Trump’s unwillingness to accept the results if the election. Are they paying attention? With the Veritas videos, the State Department/FBI situation, the missing 33,000 emails, and a shamelessly biased media, why would anyone expect a fair election? As he said today, he will accept the outcome of a CLEAR (read: FAIR) election but he reserves the right to challenge an unfair one. Would Dems do any less? Would Republicans? No!

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Ellen DeGeneres: Caitlyn Jenner Gay Marriage Stance Is ‘Confusing’

Ok, so let me get this straight: the Olympian Gold Medalist Bruce Jenner, who changed his name to Caitlyn in order to express himself as a woman is being criticized by the lesbian Ellen DeGeneres because he is a traditionalist when it comes to marriage and seems to have a problem with gay marriage. Hmm…Jenner’s stance is “confusing” you say. Hmm . . . (guy has a male body but expresses himself as a woman to another woman who is married to a woman and thinks Jenner is hung up on the word marriage . . .) Yeah, I’d say there’s some confusion going on here.

 

Source: Ellen DeGeneres: Caitlyn Jenner Gay Marriage Stance Is ‘Confusing’

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University Urges Using ‘Gender Neutral’ Pronouns 

How far will American culture go into absurdity?

 

The University of Tennessee has asked students and faculty to begin using so-called gender neutral pronouns in the belief it will create a more inclusive campus.

Source: University Urges Using ‘Gender Neutral’ Pronouns – US – CBN News – Christian News 24-7 – CBN.com

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The Emirates Airline U.S. Open Series? Really? Are you kidding me?

emirates

I guess I have been asleep! It’s not like I am not all over things like this when I see them, but since I pay little attention to tennis, I missed this one! Here’s the official line from the Emirates Airline U.S. Open Series website:

Now in its ninth season, the Emirates Airline US Open Series continues to serve as a true regular season of hard court tennis, linking 10 summer tournaments to the US Open.  Fans follow the action throughout the summer during national broadcast coverage while players battle for $40 million, including a chance for bonus prize money at the US Open.  The Series collectively reached a U.S. television audience of 39 million and drew more than 800,000 on-site fans in 2011.  In 2012, Emirates Airline became the title sponsor of the Series, as well as the official airline of the US Open. 

Could someone please tell me why the U.S. Open Series is sponsored by Emirates Airlines? Emirates Airline is based in Dubai! I understand that they are also located in the United States as is every other international airline you can think of. And as a result, I can understand that various international companies might be called upon to sponsor an event that features international players. But for nine years it has been the Emirates Airline U.S. Open Series! Really? The image this portrays is simply intolerable to me! (Again, I am sorry that I never caught this before -z z z z z z!) If someday there is a truly American company that depicts itself as Muslim or Arabic, so be it if we arrive at that point. But this is an Arab company headlining as the chief sponsor of a major American sporting event! Are there really no American companies, born and bred in America that could step up and sponsor the U.S Open Series? Was this decision a purely financial one: to sell-out our patriotism because we needed money for stadium seats or was this a political statement being made by the United States Tennis Association?

 

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