The Beginnings of Christian Reform (51)

Andrew McColl, 12th November, 2019

              The Case for an Australian Militia (IV)

The Economic Necessity:

  1. The U.S. is in deep financial trouble:

     

A look at US Government debt since the beginning of the 20th century tells the story.[1]

us national debt.JPG

a) The U.S. has been fighting unproductive, expensive wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001.
b) The U.S. defence budget is approaching a $1 trillion, but interest payments to China are now $450 billion. Professor L. Kotlikoff estimated (on Congressional figures, in August 2012) that the true US debt is not 16 trillion, but counting “unfunded liabilities” is $222 trillion.
c) Empires historically over-commit and collapse through debt and war. Think of the British Empire: after two World Wars and all the debt, it’s gone.
d) The U.S. still maintains 64,000 troops in Germany, 33,000 troops in Japan, and 10,000 troops in Italy, with a total of 700 bases on foreign soil. What for?
e) How many wars has the U.S. fought since 1945? The Cold War, Korea, Viet Nam, Afghanistan, Iraq (twice). When was it attacked in this time? Never.
f) The last U.S. budget surplus was when? 1957. The government takes in only 57 cents out of every dollar it spends today.
g) U.S. government debt rises by $120 million every hour; they don’t know how to stop.
h) “Anyone who looks objectively at actions being taken by the U.S. government to bolster its credit or cause its credit to deteriorate has to reach a very negative conclusion. Why? Simply because the country’s leadership has been taking it downhill for decades on end.”
i)“Nearly one-fourth of American homeowners live in houses that are underwater, worth less than the mortgages on them.” Thus there is a massive “shadow inventory” of over 50 million houses.
j) “America today is nothing more than a spoiled brat blowing through the last of their inheritance.”

II. China has 1.3 billion people:

a) China is rapidly developing a modern economy to rival the U.S.
b) “Each empire is replaced by its major creditor… The US was Great Britain’s major creditor. Now, China holds more US paper dollars and debt than anyone” (Bill Bonner, 11/8/2011).
c) The Chinese have 2.25 million soldiers, 1,700 fighter planes, 7,000 tanks and eight nuclear subs. Australia has 30,000 soldiers, with 16,900 reservists. Comparing these statistics (using 47,000 Australian soldiers as a basis), that’s a ratio of 1 Australian soldier to 47 Chinese.
d) China’s booming economy means its defence budget will double by 2015 to $238.2 billion, about four times the size of its nearest rival, Japan, according to a report released yesterday by global defence information provider IHS Janes… Australia, the region’s fifth-biggest military purchaser, spent $23.6 billion on defence last year, a figure expected to rise to $27.5 billion by 2015.

III. There are food and oil shortages in parts of the world:

a)’Global Food Crisis “One Shock Away,” Says World Bank Chief.’
b) Everyone has to eat, and Australia grows a lot of food. Could a nation decide to take ours by force?
IV. Australians must Consider our future Defence Independently, 10 Years from Now:
a) The Golden Rule of Insurance: Hope for the best, but plan for the worst. Why? Famous last words are: “That could never happen!” Eight 20th Century incidents:
i) WW I in 1914.
ii) 1.5m. Armenians murdered by Turkey (the twentieth century’s first genocide), in 1915.
iii) The French renege on their commitment to Poland, to help her in the event of an attack by a third party in 1939.
iv) WW II, 1939-1945.
v) German companies contract to build mass human incinerators in 1942.
vi) The Nazis kill 6 million Jews in World War II.
vii) The U.S. drops atomic bombs on Japan killing some 200,000 people, in 1945.
viii) Some 800,000 Tutsis murdered by the Hutus in Rwanda, in 1994.

Those who say, “That could never happen here!” demonstrate a tragic ignorance of human nature and history. It was Hilaire Belloc who said that
time after time mankind is driven against the rocks of the horrid reality of a fallen creation. And time after time mankind must learn the hard lessons of history; the lessons that for some dangerous and awful reason we can’t seem to keep in our collative memory.

 

[1] Jeff Berwick, “The Great Collapse of the US Empire,” Lew Rockwell website, 11/4/2012.

It’s First About Ethics And Only Secondarily About Politics

Question: Why aren’t there enough votes to elect God-honoring candidates?

Answer: Because there aren’t enough Christians who understand the basic biblical principles of government.

Since the 1976 election, there has been a Christian voting block. Jimmy Carter was the first “Born Again” President. He turned out to be a disappointment. He was pro-abortion, pro-homosexual, and pro-big government. Reagan followed with two terms. He started off well but then succumbed to Establishment pressure.

Gary North writes, “as President, he left a conflicting legacy.”

1. He got Congress to lower marginal tax rates (1981).
2. He accepted hikes in Social Security taxation (1983)
3. He put Bush on the ticket, launching that dynasty.
4. He staffed his administration with Bush’s people.
5. He ignored them on the USSR.
6. He bankrupted the Soviet Union: arms race.
7. He ran annual $200 billion deficits (1983-88)
8. He vetoed few spending bills.
9. He articulated the free market line.
10. He articulated optimism about America.
11. He left Carter’s legacy as “malaise” (Carter never said it.)
12. He galvanized the New Christian Right.
13. He established a new standard for Presidential rhetoric.

A. He gave us this: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”
B. He was funny.

Christians entered politics as a defined voting block based on some easily identified single-issue policies. Most did not have a developed biblical philosophy of government. To help remedy this situation, I wrote a three-volume work titled God and Government (1982-1986) that is now available in a one-volume hardback edition.

Available at the American Vision Store

Many of these single-issue Christian voters did not have a comprehensive biblical worldview. They continue to send their children to government schools, embrace a social welfare economic system, and often support unbiblical wars. North described this as “The Intellectual Schizophrenia of the New Christian Right” in The Failure of the American Baptist Culture. It remains with us today. It explains why we are not making much headway culturally and politically and we are stuck with voting for less than desirable candidates to keep from being inundated with what the Democrat Party would unleash upon our nation if they gain control of the presidency and Congress.

Failure of the American Baptist Culture (Christianity & Civilization #1)
Available at the American Vision Store

When a politician starts talking about “income inequality” and promises to use the authority and force of government to “correct” it, that person is a Marxist, and the people who voted for him because he made such a promise are also Marxists. The thing of it is, there are millions of Christians who vote like Marxists rather than Moses. The law of Moses (actually, the law of God) states, “You shall not steal,” and I would add, even if by the vote of a majority or if it feels like the right thing to do.

There are a lot of elected officials who claim to be Christians but who vote like Marxists. When it comes to voting in an election, the majority of candidates running for office are devoid of any knowledge of how a civil government should function. It’s a real dilemma since not to vote until the near-perfect candidate makes his or her appearance — thousands of them from city, county, state and federal elections — means that even less qualified candidates gain power and lord it over us.

The current batch of Democrat candidates running for President is a perfect example. They are some of the most radical politicians that the United States has ever produced.

A Facebook friend did not believe it was a moral problem for people to vote for somebody who was going to use his or her political office to take money from some people to give it to other people. It’s the American way! All you need is a majority. Here’s my response:

Would it be OK to get a majority to rob a neighbor because he has more stuff than you do? But somehow it’s OK to elect people to political office to take some of your neighbor’s stuff and pass it around to you and your friends.

He claimed that “Bill de Blasio does not embrace Marxism, but rather, adheres to ‘democratic socialism.’” I feel so much better knowing that, and apparently you should too. He even helps us out with a definition:

According to the YOUNG DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISTS OF AMERICA, “Democratic socialists believe that both the economy and society should be run democratically—to meet public needs, not to make profits for a few. To achieve a more just society, many structures of our government and economy must be radically transformed through greater economic and social democracy so that ordinary Americans can participate in the many decisions that affect our lives.”

I was hoping that he was only being sarcastic. He wasn’t.

He went on to write, “De Blasio’s hope, as far as I can tell, is to bring greater economic health/balance to NYC via ‘democratic’ means that will help those who are economically less fortunate than the uber-wealthy who are inhabiting The Big Apple.”

There you have it. Theft and coercion by majority vote. He’s OK with this. He actually appealed to the Bible, quoting Matthew 22:21: “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.”

I pointed out that we don’t live under Caesar, and if we did, we should do everything in our power to relieve ourselves from his tyranny and rule.

The naiveté of so many Christians is frightening, especially when such acculturated Marxist sitting in church each Sunday appeals to the Bible to use it as a way to empower Caesar, the same Caesar that crucified Jesus and put Christians to death. Notice how he wraps his confiscatory policies in redemptive terms:

[W]e have the scarlet thread of redemption [in the Bible] that is seen against the backdrop of many principles that are God-centered; principles by which we are to live: i.e., compassion, love, gentleness, understanding, tender-heartedness, mercy, etc. Today, we live in a democratic-republic society where, at least on the local level, people CAN and DO make decisions based on votes. Sorry, that’s the way it is. That’s the system we have. If you don’t like it, well … go vote for what you do like. As for Cuba, North Korea, and Communist Russia/China, making reference to those kinds of regimes in a friendly discussion about De Blasio is a bit … over the top.

This discussion is first about ethics and only secondarily about politics. Yes, we know people vote for immoral policies. That may be the “way it is,” but it’s not the way it should be. Posting pictures of adorable babies is not a remedy for what they might face 20 years from now. The decisions we make today will impact them tomorrow.

It’s always “over the top” until the people who were put into power come after your property. When the Sixteenth Amendment was proposed, the people who naively supported it were told that it was a way to extract money for the super-rich. It was for “the other guy.” The people were warned and duped.

I’m sure those who warned the people about the regimes of Hitler, Castro, Stalin, and Mao were accused of being a “bit over the top.”

It’s not “compassion, love, gentleness, understanding, tender-heartedness, mercy” when politicians take money from some people so they can give it to other people. A person can’t be compassionate with other people’s money. And it’s not “compassion, love, gentleness, understanding, tender-heartedness, mercy” when people vote to take money from some people so it can be given to other people.

It’s called theft. If you want to be loving and merciful, then use your own money as millions of people in America do every day. The politicians want the people to believe that they are the ones who are being compassionate when they vote for higher taxes and more wealth confiscation and redistribution.

What my Marxist-sympathetic friend does not understand is that policies like those of de Blasio and every Democrat running for President of the United Staes have created more misery, poverty, and despair than the “uber-wealthy” have ever done.

So the next time you go to church, you may be sitting next to a Marxist who will vote to have some politician pick your pocket in the name of Jesus and call it biblical truth.

The Beginnings of Christian Reform (50)

The Case for an Australian Militia (III)

The Moral Necessity:
I. America’s Tragic Military Past: Indifference and Contempt for Civilians:
a) The massacre of Indians at Wounded Knee, 1890.
b) The killing of civilians in Tokyo.
Tokyo was firebombed on the night of March 9, 1945, by low-flying B-29’s with increased bomb loads. Seventeen hundred tons of bombs were dropped in a densely populated area (an average of 103,000 people per square mile) of twelve square miles. The result was just what one would expect: as many as 100,000 dead, over 40,000 wounded, over 1,000,000 made homeless, over 267,000 buildings destroyed. The water boiled in some small canals because of the intense heat. This was the most destructive air attack in history. It killed more people than the dropping of an atomic bomb.
c) 200,000 Japanese civilians killed at Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.
the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. . . . My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make wars in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children.
d) The bombing of Tokyo by 820 U.S. bombers on August 14, 1945, after the atomic bombs had been dropped and the Emperor had agreed to surrender.
e) The Me Lai massacre in 1968 of hundreds of Vietnamese civilians. The officer responsible (William Calley), was found guilty of the murder of 109 Vietnamese civilians (mainly women, children and old people). Calley was later pardoned and released by President Nixon.
In the 1970 Me Lai Courts-Martial of Captain Ernest L. Medina, the Prosecution Brief states:
A combat commander has a duty, both as an individual and as a commander, to insure that humane treatment is accorded to non-combatants and surrendering combatants. Article 3 of the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War specifically prohibits violence to life and person, particularly murder, mutilation, cruel treatment, and torture. Also prohibited are the taking of hostages, outrages against personal dignity and summary judgment and sentence. It demands that the wounded and sick be cared for. These same provisions are found in the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. While these requirements for humanitarian treatment are placed upon each individual involved with the protected persons, it is especially incumbent upon the commanding officer to insure that proper treatment is given.
f) 1969-1973: 600-800,000 Cambodians killed by indiscriminate U.S. bombing, directed by President Nixon.
g) Drone attacks today in Pakistan and Afghanistan, killing people on “suspicion.”
Obama is drone-attacking Pakistan. He’s expanded this war greatly. One or 2 million Pakistani refugees have had to leave the Swat Valley. It’s one of the greatest refugee crises since Rwanda. Obama’s bombed Yemen; he’s bombed Somalia; he even threatened Eritrea, this tiny little country near Ethiopia, with invasion.
Thousands of suspected “militants” and civilians have been executed in drone strikes so far. At least 168 children were killed by such attacks just in Pakistan over a seven year period, according to a study released last month by the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism. The real figure is probably even higher.
But few of the targeted suspects, if any, were formally charged with committing a crime before being blown apart – often with their entire families. Even fewer had been convicted in a court of law.
The US government has made war on Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, resulting in massive destruction of homes, infrastructure, and lives of civilians, all in the name of one lie or the other. In addition, the US government is conducting military operations against the populations of three more Muslim countries – Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia, with extensive loss of civilian life in Pakistan, a US ally. Drones are sent in week after week that blow up schools, medical centers, and farm communities, and each time Washington announces that they have killed “militants,” “al Qaeda,” “Taliban leaders.”
h) We now know that Saddam Hussein posed no threat to the U.S. Regrettably, it took 5,000 American lives, more than a half-million Iraqi lives, nearly a trillion borrowed dollars and two presidential election campaigns for voters to realize that. What was the grave, profound, enduring public evil from Iraq that directly threatened the freedom or safety of Americans? There wasn’t one.
The same may be said for Afghanistan, about which, shortly before he was fired, Gen. James Jones, Obama’s first national security adviser and a former Marine commandant, stated that the U.S. had 100,000 troops wasting their time chasing fewer than 100 al-Qaida there.
i) Imran Khan acknowledged (15/11/2011) on the ABC’s 7:30 that 35,000 Pakistanis had died in the U.S. War on Terror.
j) The U.S. term to describe the percentage of civilian casualties that would result from a bombing raid? Bugsplat.
k) The 2007 helicopter gunship attack in Baghdad, shooting 18 peaceable, unarmed, innocent civilians in broad daylight using a .50 cal. machine-gun. What was this? Not “collateral damage,” or “unintended consequences of war:” it was State sanctioned murder. Bradley Manning, the officer who correctly reported this atrocity is now… in goal.
l) Last week’s assassination of two American citizens, Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan, is an outrage and a criminal act carried out by the President and his administration. If the law protecting us against government-sanctioned assassination can be voided when there is a “really bad American”, is there any meaning left to the rule of law in the United States? If, as we learned last week, a secret government committee, not subject to congressional oversight or judicial review, can now target certain Americans for assassination, under what moral authority do we presume to lecture the rest of the world about protecting human rights? Congressman Ron Paul, “A Dangerous Precedent,” Lew Rockwell’s website, 11/10/2011.
m) A Marine sergeant who led a squad that killed 24 unarmed Iraqis has avoided serving any time for his role in one of the darkest chapters of the Iraq war. They said his knee-jerk reaction of sending the squad to assault nearby homes without positively identifying any threat went against his training and led to the deaths of the 10 women and children…
‘That is a horrific result from that derelict order of shooting first, ask questions later,’ Lieutenant Colonel Sean Sullivan told the court…Wuterich has acknowledged ordering his squad to ‘shoot first, ask questions later’ after a roadside bomb took the life of a fellow Marine… Military prosecutors worked for more than six years to bring Wuterich to trial on manslaughter charges that could have sent him away to prison for life. But only weeks after the long-awaited trial started, they offered Wuterich the deal that stopped the proceedings and dropped the nine counts of manslaughter.
n) “The US-led war in Iraq killed about 162,000 people, most of them civilians, between 2003 and last month, according to a British non-government organisation that kept track of casualties in the war. Iraq Body Count, one of the few organisations to keep a meticulous record of fatalities in the devastated country, said 79 per cent of the deaths – almost 128,000 people – were civilians, including about 9000 Iraqi police officers.”
II. The U.S. Attitude: Superiority and Arrogance:
a) According to the Constitution, our [U.S.] supreme law which every president must swear to “preserve, protect and defend,” only Congress has the power to declare war. The last time Congress declared war was on Dec. 11, 1941. Since then, it has been abdicating this responsibility and transferring the power to the executive branch under the War Powers Resolution of 1973, a process which circumvents the Constitution and ultimately the American people. Since then, we have had no clear victories in “war,” only an endless series of convoluted, indefinite entanglements with murky goals, murkier results, and thousands of lives lost.
b) Lyndon Johnson wanted to escalate the war in Vietnam [in 1965]. He needed Congressional support. So, he invented a fictitious attack on American ships off the Vietnam coast. Congress sailed into war on the paper boat.
b) Madeleine Albright [former U.S Secretary of State, 1997-2001]: “If we have to use force, it is because we are America. We are the indispensable nation. We stand tall. We see further into the future.”
Albright was asked by Leslie Stahl regarding the U.S. sanctions on Iraq: “We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?”
Albright replied, “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price – we think the price is worth it.”
d) Then there is Guantanamo Bay, abandonment of habeas corpus, the treatment of hundreds of prisoners never convicted of crimes but incarcerated for years, “enhanced interrogation techniques,” water-boarding of “suspects,” and “confessions” made under duress. (See “Four Corners,” 1/8/2011).
* …the men on white horses who lead… are now permitted to label any person sufficiently evil so as to eradicate all legal protections that normal civil process has long considered necessary, appropriate, and universally applicable.
* The [U.S.] President does not obey the War Powers Act, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, US and international laws against torture, or any of the laws and procedures that guard civil liberty…
*People with power use it. And power attracts the worst kind of persons. As Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo prove, democracies are not immune to the evil use of power…Preventative war, indefinite imprisonment, rendition, torture of people alleged to be “suspects” (an undefined category), and assassination are all draconian punishments that require no evidence… Punishment without crime is now the American Way.
The concepts that the Bush/Obama regimes have institutionalized are totally foreign to the Anglo-American concepts of law and liberty. In one decade the US has been transformed from a free society into a police state.

ALYSSA MILANO BATTLES OVER THE BIBLE AND GUNS

Alyssa Milano said the following about Republican Texas state Rep. Matt Schaefer’s tweet that he was “NOT going to use the evil acts of a handful of people to diminish the God-given rights of my fellow Texans. Period.”

Can someone cite which passage of the Bible God states it is a God-given right to own a gun? This guy is unbelievable and is clearly owned by the gun lobby.  Can someone cite which passage of the Bible God states it is a God-given right to own a gun? This guy is unbelievable and is clearly owned by the gun lobby.

Let’s begin by acknowledging that there were no guns in the Bible. Moreover, there were no cars, smartphones, printing presses, or Hollywood actors either. There were, however, lots of weapons in the Bible.

Little has changed since Cain killed his brother Abel (Gen 4). Cain did not use a gun to kill Abel. Consider that “there were 43,516 knife crime offenses in the 12 months ending March 2019” in England and Wales, “an 80% increase from the low-point in the year ending March 2014.” Airplanes were used to bring down the Twin Towers. Timothy McVeigh used fertilizer and diesel fuel – both legal – to murder 168 men, women, and children.

Schaefer went on to write, “none of these so-called gun-control solutions will work to stop a person with evil intent.”

If crazy evil murderers like church shooters knew that people in a congregation were armed, do you think they would attempt an assault? I don’t think so.

Every mass shooting in the United States took place in areas where the people were unarmed: schools, nightclubs, movie theater, and oddly enough, a military base (Fort Hood) where the soldiers were not permitted to carry a weapon.

You may recall the Killeen, Texas, Luby’s restaurant shooting in 1991. “George Hennard … crashed his pickup truck through the front plate glass window of the Luby’s Cafeteria … shot 50 people (killing 23), exchanged shots with responding police, and then hid in a bathroom and fatally shot himself.” He did not use an AR-15.

After the shooting where her parents were murdered by the gunman, Suzanna Hupp, a survivor of the shooting who watched her parents die, spoke out against new gun control measures. “I don’t view myself as a victim of gun violence, I view myself as a victim of a maniac who happened to use a gun as a tool,” she told lawmakers.

“In what she called a ‘stupid decision,’ Hupp said she realized she’d obeyed Texas law and left her gun in her car. At the time, people were not permitted to carry a weapon into public places. ‘It still makes me angry when I think about it. You can’t go up against a guy with a gun with a saltshaker or a butter knife.’”

Gun-Free Zones are soft targets for people who have no regard for the law. The gunman who killed the people in Luby’s Cafeteria had broken the law by bringing a firearm into a place where the law said it was unlawful. Murderers are, by definition, lawbreakers.

Now to the question. Should churches, for example, ensure that there are armed and trained people at every service? Absolutely! Christians might say, “But we should put our trust in God.” God has given us the ability to reason and assess the times like the sons of Issachar, “men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do, their chiefs were two hundred; and all their kinsmen were at their command” (1 Chron. 12:32).

Consider the following from the book of Nehemiah:

But when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the people of Ashdod heard that the repairs to Jerusalem’s walls had gone ahead and that the gaps were being closed, they were very angry. They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it. But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.

Meanwhile, the people in Judah said, “The strength of the laborers is giving out, and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall.”

Also our enemies said, “Before they know it or see us, we will be right there among them and will kill them and put an end to the work.”

Then the Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times over, “Wherever you turn, they will attack us.”

Therefore, I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows. After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”

When our enemies heard that we were aware of their plot and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to our own work.

From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor. The officers posted themselves behind all the people of Judah who were building the wall. Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked. But the man who sounded the trumpet stayed with me.

Then I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “The work is extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall. Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!” (vv. 7-13).

While they trusted God and prayed, they also understood that they were responsible for their immediate welfare by posting a guard (v. 9). Notice that while Nehemiah said, “Our God will fight for us,” we’re also told that “half [the men] were equipped with spears, shields, bows, and armor.” This is not a contraction. Prayer is not enough unless it’s the only act that we have at our disposal.

They never let down their Guard.

So, we carried on the work with half of them holding spears from dawn until the stars appeared. At that time, I also said to the people, “Let each man with his servant spend the night within Jerusalem so that they may be a guard for us by night and a laborer by day.” So, neither I, my brothers, my servants, nor the men of the guard who followed me, none of us removed our clothes, each took his weapon even to the water (vv. 21-23).

One more thing, when Israel’s enemies heard that the men were armed and on guard, they had second thoughts about attacking. Human nature has not changed since Cain killed Abel. What has changed in our culture is a disregard for human life. Let’s not forget that Alyssa Milano killed two of her unborn children so she could further her career. She said it was her “choice.” Well, it was the choice of Cain to kill Abel and the choice of the most recent shooters to kill their victims

How to Get Justice Back into the Criminal Justice System

Gary North – October 05, 2019

The criminal justice system in America really is criminal.

There are multiple reasons for this.

The main reason for it is that it substitutes incarceration for restitution. In California, it costs something in the range of $60,000 a year to incarcerate a prisoner in a state prison. The victims of his crimes get to pay the taxes to keep him housed, fed, and learning new criminal techniques from his peers.

What if he were given the option of paying restitution to his victims instead of going to jail? What if he had to get a job, and 20% of his earnings were used to reimburse his victims? Would that be better for society? Obviously, it would be. It would be better for the victims. It would clearly be better for the criminal. It would be better for the taxpayers. But the system does not acknowledge this.

Lois Forer was a trial judge in Philadelphia. She died in 1994. I quoted her in my book, Victim’s Rights (1990). She got a New York Times obituary here. She wrote these books:

Criminals and Victims: A trial judge reflects on crime and punishment
The Rage to Punish: Unintended Consequences of Mandatory Sentencing
Money and Justice: Who Owns the Courts?

The second problem is this: the court system is a free good. There is an old economic rule: at zero price, there is greater demand than supply. The courts are clogged.

Almost no cases ever go to trial. It costs too much to run a trial. It takes weeks. Then there are all of the appeals. So, the prosecutors and the defense lawyers try to figure out ways of settling criminal cases before they go to trial. The prosecutors offer plea-bargaining, and defense attorneys pressure clients to accept a plea bargain, especially if the defense attorney is court-appointed. He is a free resource. He has way too many cases to defend.

A public defender does not have the time or the resources to do a thorough investigation of each of the defendants he is required by law to defend. He does not have enough knowledge of the specifics.

What if it were possible to supply missing information on the defendants free of charge to the criminal justice system? In other words, what if this information were donated to the court? This would be a tremendous advantage for the defense attorney, and would also be an advantage for the judge. The trial would go a lot faster.

An incredibly creative man has come up with an idea to use the division of labor to supply this information. He has developed a system of criminal defense that can be used by poor people who cannot afford to hire a lawyer. At present, the system he has developed is being used across the country in a relative handful of jurisdictions. It is being used primarily to defend Blacks and Hispanics. But there is nothing inherent in the system that would keep it from being effectively used by poor white people, who in fact constitute a majority of criminal cases in the American court system.

I want you to watch this video. It is a very effective talk. There are no histrionics. There is no visible manipulation of the audience. It is a classic example of the phrase that Jack Webb never actually uttered on Dragnet: “Just the facts, mam.”

What we need is a cadre of lawyers who are willing to devote time and effort to investigating this system, re-working it for their own jurisdictions, and implementing it in local churches where there are volunteers available to do the necessary research

The Beginnings of Christian Reform (49)

The Case for an Australian Militia (II)

I. Australia’s Defence- a brief history:
a) 1901-1941: our defensive links with Britain in 1941 were critically exposed by the Japanese.
b) 1951-today: the ANZUS relationship with the U.S.
c) If our defensive lynch-pin is another nation’s military capacity, what if that nation can’t or won’t help us in a time of crisis?
II. Australia Must Plan Defensively Ten Years Ahead: a) We must begin now (110 years after Federation), to take responsibility for our defence. b) Not with a vastly expanded army, or hundreds of fighter planes, or nuclear powered aircraft carriers, or new submarines. Consider Australia’s purchase of the Collins class submarines:
Stung by criticism of the Collins boats, the chief of navy yesterday sent a signal to all ships in which he made a plaintive defence of the Collins but confirmed that the navy cannot even assemble four submarine crews.
More tellingly, Commander James Harrap, a former captain of a Collins sub, has written a devastating account of what trying to make one of them work is like. Although he loyally asserts that the Collins subs remain a useful capability when they can be put to sea, he describes their engines, devastatingly, as “unfortunately quite possibly the least reliable diesel engines ever built.”
He also says: “The constant stream of defects and operation control limitations makes getting to sea difficult, staying at sea harder and fighting the enemy a luxury only available once the first two have been overcome.”
III. The Swiss Model: The Militia. a) What is a militia? A defence based primarily around civilians, not professional soldiers. b) At 20, men (subject to physical requirements) must join the militia, being available for an emergency for at least 16 years, doing annual training. That would easily give Australia around 1.5-2 million available men, with another Reserve Force of 1.5 million trained, older men, aged 37- 60. c) They have a uniform, a weapon, ammunition and training, and are on-call in the event of an invasion. d) A well prepared militia is always very difficult to defeat in the event of invasion, because fire-power is only one aspect of warfare. The fighters can easily melt back into the population.
Examples: (i) The British (the greatest power in the world in 1776) were largely defeated in the American War of Independence, by militia.
The war was won by the militias. The militias did not deal in direct shoot-outs between massed formations. They shot the Redcoats down from a distance. It was hit-and run-warfare. It tied the Redcoats down in coastal cities. They dared not come inland.
ii) In 1939 Switzerland was the only country in Europe with a militia. It had a common border with Germany, but it wasn’t invaded by Germany in WW II. Russia had 303 divisions (4.8 million soldiers), and Hitler chose instead to invade it in 1941. (iii) The Americans, easily the greatest military power in the world, were largely defeated in Vietnam by militia. (iv) The U.S. in Afghanistan? Its soldiers are still fighting and being killed after 10 years, by militia.
Conclusion: a) In 1941-42, Australia’s defences were found to be critically exposed through an unwise dependence on British military power, and our poor preparation. We could have been overrun and defeated; we cannot risk this again.
b) Prudence dictates that we must independently plan our defence ten years ahead, for a worst-case scenario: repelling a full-scale, determined invasion by a major power. To ignore the facts is to gamble with our future.
c) This necessitates the establishment of an Australian militia: To be forewarned is to be forearmed

PREMILLENNIALISM AMONG THE ANTE-NICENE FATHERS

The place to begin to evaluate the assertion that premillennialism was the only view of the early church would be to survey the writings of the Ante-Nicene Fathers, the writings of the early church prior to the drafting of the Nicene Creed in A.D. 325. The thing of it is, we don’t have all the writings or opinions of Christian pastors and/or writers of that era. There were no printing presses, recording devices, or retrievable blog posts. What we have available to us are copies of works that were written and have survived.

Many Latin and Greek texts remain untranslated, including those beyond the fourth century. Frank Gumerlock has been translating Latin texts that show that a preterist interpretation of Bible prophecy was popular among many writers on the book of Revelation, Matthew 24, and lesser-studied passages like James 5:3-5. According to Gumerlock, “At least four medieval commentators on the Epistle of James interpreted the ‘day of slaughter’ in James 5:5 as the first-century destruction upon Jerusalem and Judea at the hands of the Romans.”1

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In this short article, I will first deal with the obvious historical errors made by dispensational authors who claim that premillennialism was the only position held by early church fathers.

Dwight Pentecost writes the following about Justin Martyr’s (c. 100-165) evaluation of non-premillennial views in the second century:

Justin evidently recognized premillennialism as “the criterion of a perfect orthodoxy.” In his Dialogue with Trypho, where he writes: “some who are called Christians but are godless, impious heretics, teach doctrines that are in every way blasphemous, atheistical, and foolish,” he shows he would include any who denied premillennialism in this category, since he included in it those that denied the resurrection, a companion doctrine.2

Unfortunately, Pentecost was quoting a secondary source and failed to check the original. Just prior to the sentence that Pentecost quotes, Justin had written:

I am not so miserable a fellow, Trypho, as to say one thing and think another. I admitted to you formerly, that I and many3 others are of this opinion, and [believe] that such will take place, as you assuredly are aware; but, on the other hand, I signified to you that many who belong to the pure and pious faith, and are true Christians, think otherwise.4

Pentecost overstates his case for premillennialism. In fact, there were some in the second century — Justin says “many” — who did not agree with Justin’s eschatological perspective. Justin is charitable and wise enough to state that they too “belong to the pure and pious faith, and are true Christians.”

The heretics that Justin describes are those “who say there is no resurrection of the dead.”5 Those who hold to a different millennial position are said to “belong to the pure and pious faith, and are true Christians.” Those who deny the resurrection “are called Christians, but are godless, impious heretics.”6It’s obvious that Justin has two groups in mind: those who disagree on eschatology (“true Christians) and those who deny the resurrection (“called Christians, but are godless, impious heretics”).

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Charles Ryrie maintains that “Premillennialism is the historic faith of the Church.”7 But not all agree. Take, for example, a master’s thesis presented to the faculty of the Department of Historical Theology of Dallas Theological Seminary, a dispensational premillennial school. The author writes that “he originally undertook the thesis to bolster the system by patristic research, but the evidence of the original sources simply disallowed this.” His following comments show that premillenialism, contrary to Ryrie and other premillennialists, is not the historic faith of the Church:

It is the conclusion of this thesis that Dr. Ryrie’s statement is historically invalid within the chronological framework of this thesis. The reasons for this conclusion are as follows: 1). the writers/writings surveyed did not generally adopt a consistently applied literal interpretation; 2). they did not generally distinguish between the Church and Israel; 3). there is no evidence that they generally held to a dispensational view of revealed history; 4). although Papias and Justin Martyr did believe in a Millennial kingdom, the 1,000 years is the only basic similarity with the modern system (in fact, they and dispensational premillennialism radically differ on the basis for the Millennium); 5). they had no concept of imminency or a pretribulational rapture of the Church; 6). in general, their eschatological chronology is not synonymous with that of the modern system. Indeed, this thesis would conclude that the eschatological beliefs of the period studied would be generally inimical [i.e., contrary] to those of the modern system (perhaps, seminal amillennialism, and not nascent [i.e., emerging] dispensational premillennialism ought to be seen in the eschatology of the period).8

So then, it’s amillennialism that shows up in the early church. Amillennialism and postmillennialism are very similar in that many of the millennial blessings are manifested during the “church age,” and there is no personal reign of Christ on the earth. A reading of Revelation 20 will show that there is no mention of an earthly reign of Christ, a rebuilt temple, the institution of animal sacrifices, or the reestablishment of the throne of David. Boyd continues in his work by challenging his fellow-dispensationalists “to be more familiar with, and competent in, patristics,9 so as to avoid having to rely on second-hand evidence in patristic interpretation.” He suggests that “it would seem wise for the modern system [of dispensational premillennialism] to abandon the claim that it is the historic faith of the church (for at least the period considered).”10

Another graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary comes to a similar conclusion relating to a pretribulation rapture, a major pillar of dispensationalism: “An intensive examination of the writings of pretribulational scholars reveals only one passage from the early fathers which is put forth as a possible example of explicit pretribulationalism.”11

A “Hint” of Evidence

Where, then, is the historical evidence for premillennialism? What was once considered insurmountable evidence, has now turned out to be scant evidence. This conclusion is made even by scholars from within the dispensational camp.

Thomas Ice says that “there’s absolutely no one in the early church that even gives a hint that they believe that things were fulfilled in 70 A.D.” But according to Justin, there were people who did hold a non-premillennial position. This is at least a “hint” of something else, perhaps even the possibility of an A.D. 70 fulfillment.

Since we do not have all the opinions of the church fathers, or of all the teachers and preachers of that period, it is impossible to be dogmatic concerning what the early church believed about eschatology. We do know, however, that the early church was not unanimous in its view of the millennium, contrary to what Pentecost, Ice, and other dispensationalists might assert. In fact, we should not put too much confidence in the views of the early church since they were often mistaken on more fundamental doctrines. Boyd writes:

It is this writer’s conviction that historical precedent cannot be employed to disprove a system of belief, but only Biblical precedent. There is much error in the Fathers studied in other areas of theology (e.g., soteriology–incipient baptismal regeneration, a weak view of justification; ecclesiology–incipient sacerdotalism), so it should be no occasion for surprise that there is much eschatological error there.12

One last point needs to be made. Thomas Ice claims that no one in the early church believed in an A.D. 70 fulfillment of much of the prophetic literature, especially Matthew 24:1-34. This would indeed be a strong argument for a dispensationalist like Ice against postmillennialism if it could be proved to be true. Yet, Eusebius, who was present at the Council of Nicea in A.D. 325, and “played a very prominent part”13 in its proceedings, believed in a preterist interpretation of Matthew 24:1-34. This is an important point since there are some who assert that the Nicene Creed advocates premillennialism. Again, Ice overstates his case by maintaining that “there’s absolutely no one” who held to an A.D. 70 fulfillment. Only one person has to be found to prove him wrong.

Eusebius of Caesarea (AD 260/265–339/340)

Eusebius, in recounting the writings of Josephus and his recounting of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in A.D. 70, writes that “it is fitting to add to these accounts the true prediction of our Saviour in which he foretold these very events. His words are as follows: “Woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day. For there shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”

The discerning reader will recognize that these verses are found in Matthew 24:19-21, verses that dispensationalists say are yet to be fulfilled. But Eusebius tells us that “these things took place in this manner in the second year of the reign of Vespasian,14 in accordance with the prophecies of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who by divine power saw them beforehand as if they were already present, and wept and mourned according to the statement of the holy evangelists….”15 What statement of the holy evangelists? Eusebius quotes verses from Luke’s description of the destruction of Jerusalem: Luke 19:42-4421:2023-24. The passages in Luke 21 parallel those in Matthew 24:1-34.

  1. Francis X. Gumerlock, Revelation and the First Century: Preterist Interpretations of the Apocalypse in Early Christianity (Powder Springs, GA: American Vision, 2012), 163. []
  2. J. Dwight Pentecost, Things to Come: A Study in Biblical Eschatology (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, [1958] 1974), 377. []
  3. Notice that he does not say “all.” []
  4. Justin, “Dialogue with Trypho,” chapter LXXX. In Ante-Nicene Fathers, 10 vols. (Grand Rapids, MI:  Eerdmans, 1985), 1:239.  Emphasis added. []
  5. Justin, “Dialogue with Trypho,” 239. []
  6. Justin, “Dialogue with Trypho,” 239. []
  7. Charles C. Ryrie, The Basis of the Premillennial Faith (Neptune, NJ: Loiseaux Brothers, 1953), 17. []
  8. Alan Patrick Boyd, A Dispensational Premillennial Analysis of the Eschatology of the Post-Apostolic Fathers (Until the Death of Justin Martyr), submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Theology (May 1977), 90-91. []
  9. Patristics: Relating to the church fathers (from the Latin pater) and/or their writings. []
  10. Boyd, A Dispensational Premillennial Analysis of the Eschatology of the Post-Apostolic Fathers (Until the Death of Justin Martyr), 92. In a footnote on this same page, Boyd questions the historical accuracy of the research done on the early church fathers by George N. H. Peters in his much consulted three-volume work, The Theocratic Kingdom (Grand Rapids, MI:  Kregel, [1884] 1988).Boyd sides with the evaluation of the amillennialist Louis Berkhof when he writes that “it is not correct to say, as Premillenarians do, that it (millennialism) was generally accepted in the first three centuries. The truth of the matter is that the adherents of this doctrine were a rather limited number.” (Berkhof, The History of Christian Doctrines[London: The Banner of Truth Trust, [1937] 1969, 262). []
  11. William Everett Bell, A Critical Evaluation of the Pretribulation Rapture Doctrine in Christian Eschatology (School of Education of New York University, Unpublished doctoral dissertation, 1967), 27. Emphasis added. []
  12. Boyd, A Dispensational Premillennial Analysis of the Eschatology of the Post-Apostolic Fathers, 91, note 2. []
  13. Arthur Cushman McGiffert, Prolegomena:  The Life and Writings of Eusebius of Caesaria, in A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, eds. Philip Schaff and Henry Wace, (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans [1890] 1986), 19. []
  14. September 8, A.D. 70. []
  15. These quotations from Eusebius are found in The Church History of Eusebius, “Predictions of Christ,” Book III, Chapter VII. []