Why the Frankfurt Declaration Is Necessary

“…states psychologically manipulated individuals by deliberately scaring them with predictions of horrific mortality rates and agonizing deaths by suffocation, as internal government papers show and some governments have openly admitted. Distrust of others was promoted by portraying them as potential threats to life and limb. Such propaganda enables many states to impose policies that infringed on people’s rights and liberties in ways that previously seemed unthinkable in the ‘free’ world.”

BY TOBIAS RIEMENSCHNEIDERNOVEMBER 11, 2022

(Quoted in Cauldron Pool.com)

In the spring of 2021, pastors from different countries came together to draw up a joint declaration in response to the COVID measures enacted by many governments. The result is the Frankfurt Declaration of Christian and Civil Liberties, which was presented to the public on August 28, 2022, near Frankfurt, Germany. The document was initially signed by fifty pastors and theologians from America, the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, and Africa, including men such as Grace Community Church pastor John MacArthur, African Christian University dean Voddie Baucham, and Apologia Church elder James White. In the meantime, more than 5,000 signatories from all over the world have joined the Frankfurt Declaration.

Even though the concrete reason for drafting the Frankfurt Declaration was the totalitarian response to COVID, it is not primarily about these measures, but about the underlying spiritual reasons that led states to infringe so massively on the guaranteed rights of their citizens. The signatories of the Frankfurt Declaration see this unprecedented disregard for liberty as just one symptom of an emerging totalitarianism of the state over all spheres of society, including the church, that has developed for decades.

The Frankfurt Declaration seeks to address these threats with the timeless truths of God’s Word through affirmations and denials derived from biblical principles.

Article 1: God the Creator as Sovereign Lawgiver and Judge

For centuries, the countries of the Western world have been moving further away from the biblical truth that God created the cosmos and everything in it, including man. Most people’s thinking is now strongly influenced by a radical materialism assuming that all processes and phenomena in the world come from impersonal matter and motion rather than a personal and transcendent Creator.

But if there is no Creator God, then there is no divine lawgiver who has revealed His universal, immutable law to man, and there is no divine judge who at the end of time will judge all men according to this law. And if there is no heavenly lawgiver above the earthly state, then the state is the highest lawgiver, and its laws need not measure up to any higher standard. With no divine judge, human legislators need not consider answering to Him for their actions. The state and those who govern it thus assume for themselves the role of God, freely determining what is good and evil conduct without the bounds of a divine moral standard. The result is devastating: unconverted people, corrupt by nature, turn the commandments of God into their opposite, rebelliously calling good evil and evil good (Isaiah 5:20).

Examples of this tendency during the COVID crisis abound. For example, the state decreed (even for healthy people) that visiting the elderly, the sick, and the dying was evil, although Christ says that such actions are signs by which one knows who is blessed of the Father and inherits the kingdom, and who is cursed and must depart from Christ into everlasting fire (Matthew 25:31-46). But the phenomenon of the state calling things good that have been considered sin for millennia is one we have been observing for years: the state enables divorce and sexual immorality, promotes homosexuality, and transgenderism, and allows the killing of children in the womb.

The state both approves of such evils and demands that its citizens do likewise. Even kindergarteners are indoctrinated accordingly. Anyone who disagrees is considered backward, bigoted, hateful, and a threat to society.

The Frankfurt Declaration affirms that God, as supreme lawgiver and judge, is the ultimate source of ethics, and that He has revealed an unchanging morality that is rooted in His own character and which determines for all people at all times what is good and evil conduct. It, therefore, denies that the state has the right to define morality and to demand unconditional obedience from its citizens when their beliefs contradict God’s law, invoking the clausula Petri, that one ought to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29).

Article 2: God as the Source of Truth and the Role of Science

With the turning away from the truth of the Creator God, other truths also increasingly falter. As Christians, we know that God has ordered creation by objective truths, which man can discover through scientific observation. This knowledge made scientific endeavors possible in the first place, since men once recognized that all scientific investigation is an inquiry into the works of God and hence cannot feign neutrality.

When science no longer serves to glorify God, then science itself becomes a god. Many today are convinced that science can provide answers to all questions and instructions for the right action in all situations. This scientism overlooks the fact that empirical inquiry may not only lead to erroneous results due to the lack of data and the human propensity for error, but that it can in no way provide answers to moral questions. Science can only say what is, but not what should be. Virology and epidemiology can say which measures might be promising to contain a virus, but they cannot answer whether a lockdown or other infringements on rights and liberties are ethically justified to achieve that goal.

However, this is exactly what happened during COVID: individual experts were considered to represent “science,” and their predictions and recommendations guided the policies of entire governments. As C.S. Lewis once explained: “Let scientists tell us about sciences. But government involves questions about the good for man, and justice, and what things are worth having at what price; and on these a scientific training gives a man’s opinion no added value.”

Since man has fallen into sin, all his thoughts, deductions and institutions contain degrees of corruption that tend to distort, manipulate, or suppress the truth. In the hands of ideologically driven people, truth becomes subject to change by reinterpretations, while science is quickly perverted into an instrument of indoctrination through fearmongering, propaganda, and the wielding of political power. Dissident voices are ignored, suppressed, or canceled. During COVID, dissenting doctors and scientists, some of whom had been considered luminaries in their field for decades, were silenced, discredited and sometimes dismissed from their jobs. But we see this trend in other areas as well. For example, the state and the “scientific consensus” have been propagating for decades that scientifically untenable theories, such as Darwinism, were settled truth. We are being told science has discovered that it is no longer possible to determine what a man or a woman is.

The Frankfurt Declaration endorses science which seeks to discover, through the scientific method and debate, the truths that God has built into the natural world, but it rejects scientism as the belief that science necessarily leads to truth and can provide answers to complex ethical questions. Furthermore, it denies that governments, scientific experts, or the media are morally and ideologically neutral and that their presentation of “the truth” should be trusted unconditionally.

Article 3: Mankind as the Image of God

If one no longer believes that there is a personal creator God, but that all processes are determined only by matter and motion, then man is nothing more than the product of an impersonal and ultimately purposeless evolutionary process without any transcendental purpose or value except to serve the “greater good” for society. The states of the Western world have promoted this view of man for decades, and we are now seeing its fruits: the Darwinian view of man offers no protection of the individual against the abuse of power by the stronger.

During the COVID crisis, states psychologically manipulated individuals by deliberately scaring them with predictions of horrific mortality rates and agonizing deaths by suffocation, as internal government papers show and some governments have openly admitted. Distrust of others was promoted by portraying them as potential threats to life and limb. Such propaganda enables many states to impose policies that infringed on people’s rights and liberties in ways that previously seemed unthinkable in the “free” world. This happened even though such infringements are prohibited by the constitutions of most states.

To be clear: The issue is not whether or not certain measures make sense from a virological or epidemiological point of view, but whether or not the state has the right to forcefully impose such measures and thereby infringe on the liberties of its citizens.

According to the biblical worldview, on the other hand, God created man in His image and likeness, whereby all human beings have an inherent dignity and worth which serve as the grounds for God-given, inalienable rights, that the state must respect and protect (Romans 13:3-4). These liberties include the right to in-person relationships, employment, medical self-determination, and participation in the important events of human life such as witnessing the birth of one’s child, marrying in a public gathering, and fellowship with others. When the state deprives a person of these rights and liberties or makes them contingent on the compliance with certain mandates, citizens are dehumanized and made a mere object of state tyranny. This is a direct attack on the image of God, which we have seen time and again, especially in anti-Christian systems like communism and socialism.

The Frankfurt Declaration, therefore, affirms the inalienable worth of every individual as made in the image of God and hence opposes the state’s infringement on their God-given rights and liberties by lockdowns and mandates, which usurp the innate value of mankind by subjecting them to manipulation, enforced segregation, and other unjust deprivations of rights.

Article 4: God-Given Mandates and Limits of Authority

If one neither believes in a God who has supreme authority over all spheres of life, including the state, nor in human beings as created in the image of God, then the way is paved for the state to enact a totalitarian rule over all areas of life. In reaction to the growing nihilism that is the result of this turning away from the Christian faith, the modern state will try to invent pseudo-religious beliefs to keep people under control. Hence the new religion of multiculturalism, diversity, health, climate, planetary salvation, and impending doom unless we are saved by the central planning and control of the highest remaining power, the new god of state, which now assumes the role of ultimate lawgiver, provider, priest, and savior, thereby creating an authoritarian society in which the state is absolute.

In this system, dissidents cannot be tolerated because they threaten the narrative on which the legitimacy of this statism and totalitarianism is based. The state thus tries to centralize beliefs and conduct for their citizens. The state, therefore, has a special interest in gaining influence over children as early as possible in order to indoctrinate them according to the state ideology and turn them into “loyal” citizens, engendering an ideological intolerance that seeks to silence, cancel, re-educate, and punish those who disagree. We have seen this phenomenon not only with COVID, when the state elevated its narrative to absolute truth and deprived dissenters of the ability to even publicly express criticism through bans on demonstrations and unprecedented censorship in conventional and social media. Rather, we see a similar approach in a variety of other ideological narratives,, such as feminism, sexual orientation and gender identity, or climate change.

However, it does not stop at the suppression of criticism; the state increasingly intervenes in all spheres of life to ensure behavior that conforms to the system. Thus, during COVID, the state intervened in the sphere of the family by prohibiting people from visiting and assisting family members or celebrating holidays, and it intervened in the sphere of the church by prohibiting believers from celebrating services, singing hymns, or administering the ordinances.

This totalitarian statism, however, is contrary to the divine order. All earthly powers draw their authority from God to whom all must give an account, and He has established different spheres of responsibility: the family, to whom the rod is given for training the children in the ways of the Lord; the church, to whom the Word is given for making disciples of all nations; and the state, to whom the sword is given for punishing evil and reward good. In doing so, God has at the same time set limits to the authority of these institutions.

The Frankfurt Declaration affirms that the family, the church, and the state are granted limited authority by God only over their respective spheres. It thus denies statism and totalitarian ideologies of governments which do not recognize the boundaries of their authority and usurp the mandates delegated by God to the church or the family.

Article 5: Christ as the Head of the Church

The fact that the state no longer recognizes the God-given limits of its authority and no longer has any fear of God is increasingly having an impact on the church. The state no longer recognizes the spiritual importance of the church but increasingly views and treats it like any other association or event, even as a danger to the states’ own ideologies.

This mindset was clearly demonstrated during COVID. Whereas in the past churches were usually full during national emergencies because people understood that ultimately only God can save them (2 Chronicles 7:13-14), this time worship services were banned for several weeks or months in large parts of the Western world. Once worship services were permitted again, they continued under severe restrictions, such as capacity limitations, distancing, mask or test requirements, or changes to the administration of the ordinances. The state even ordered the congregational singing of God’s praises to be silenced throughout the country for several months. And sadly, most churches obeyed these mandates, many with full conviction, even defending the state’s infringement on the church. We also saw pastors arrested or forced to answer in court for preaching the Word of God.

According to Scripture, however, the Lord Jesus Christ is the head of the church. He commands us not only to give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, but also to give to God what belongs to God, thereby establishing the functional independence of the church from the state. The Church must therefore refrain from submitting to an encroaching state when it orders that God be withheld His worship and praise, or that His blood-bought children be prevented from worshiping Him and receiving graces from the Word and ordinances free from state-imposed restrictions on access.

The Frankfurt Declaration affirms that the church belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ at the cost of His life and that it is accountable to Him alone in all matters of faith and practice. The activities of the local church, insofar as they are essential acts of worship, are therefore to be regulated by Christ alone. It denies that any other authority has jurisdiction over the church to criminalize, inhibit, or regulate any of its affairs in matters of faith and practice, or to relegate its activities to a non-essential status.

A Call for Respect, Repentance and Resistance

The Frankfurt Declaration ends with an expression of gratitude to those civil authorities who respect these Christian beliefs and the rights and liberties of each individual, and with a call to repentance to those civil authorities who have disregarded these freedoms, lest in the abuse of their God-given authority they become liable to God’s wrath. It also encourages Christians to steadfastly and faithfully obey the Lord rather than men and stand by one another while praying that God would give us the grace to remain faithful and persevere to the end.

The Frankfurt Declaration is not a politicization of the gospel, quite the contrary, nor is it a call for strife and division in the church or unlawful rebellion against the state. It is meant to provide light and strength for Christians for a faithful witness to Jesus Christ in our time. May God graciously use it in this way for His glory.

Tobias Riemenschneider has been a pastor of the Evangelical Reformed Baptist Church of Frankfurt, Germany, since 2016. He studied law and worked for several years as a lawyer for international law firms. He is married and is the father of three children.

A Tremendous Legal Win After Eight-Year Legal Battle

“…imagine going through eight years of hell and being the subject of 41 legal complaints by a serial litigant and hater.”

Bill Muehlenberg

BY BILL MUEHLENBERGSEPTEMBER 7, 2022

Many have warned that when the secular left radicals get their way, things fall apart very quickly and thoroughly. The path from prohibition to permission to promotion does not take long at all. When a culture and its legal apparatus push extremist ideologies and lifestyles, it does not end with some happy status quo. It ends with those who dare to differ being pursued, persecuted, penalised and punished.

My site has documented case after case of this occurring over the years. And often the worst offenders here are the homosexual militants and the trans activists. They do not want to be left alone to do their thing. They want full societal endorsement and celebration of their lifestyle. And they want the full force of the law brought to bear on any recalcitrants who have the temerity to differ even in the least.

So many of these tragic stories are found on my site – and elsewhere. One champion who has been through hell and back is the subject of no less than 22 articles – in part or in total – on CultureWatch. I refer to Queensland Christian, Bernard Gaynor.

In one of my articles from 2019, I spoke of the terrible persecution he has endured not just from the sexual militants but even the Australian Defence Force! As I said in that piece:

If we think that deleting a few paragraphs here or altering a few sentences there will somehow placate the militants, we are living in dreamland. Books like mine are totally anathema to them. It is NOT a question of making some changes – or even many changes: it is a question of having the book renounced, apologised for, and then destroyed. That would be the endgame of the militants. They are not into compromise – they are into complete dominance. I mentioned to these folks that they should read the latest writings of Bernard Gaynor. The Queensland Christian has known hardcore persecution from the militants for years now, and it has been enormously costly for him. 

He has endured so much for so long. Indeed, imagine going through eight years of hell and being the subject of 41 legal complaints by a serial litigant and hater. Yet after all this misery there is some good news to be shared. Bernard has just posted a statement on “END OF EIGHT YEARS OF LGBT LEGAL PERSECUTION” and it is wonderful indeed. Let me share parts of it with you:

On Friday, 2 September 2022, the New South Wales Local Court dismissed all remaining complaints lodged against me by serial litigant and homosexual activist, Gary Burns, under the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW). As such, I now have an unblemished 41-0 record after eight years of farcical litigation against me.

This persecution has been aided and abetted by the State of New South Wales, the New South Wales Attorney General, the New South Wales Crown Solicitor’s Office, the New South Wales Department of Communities and Justice, Anti-Discrimination New South Wales and the Attorneys General of Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia.

I have faced a system which has claimed legally untenable retrospective and extra-territorial powers. And this system has rubber-stamped complaints so absurd that they involved Gary Burns claiming that he was vilified by his own comments which he left on my Facebook page.

Yet, despite the enormous resources of state that have been arrayed against me, not a single finding has been made against me. It is a fitting epitaph to the sheer incompetence of each of the bureaucrats involved in perpetuating this injustice. 

Nothing highlights the corrupt processes of the New South Wales anti-discrimination industry in this eight-year saga more than these facts:

– The only person who has admitted to breaking the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW) is the former Acting President of Anti-Discrimination New South Wales and current Chief Operating Officer of the New South Wales Bar Association, Elizabeth Wing. In September 2016 Elizabeth Wing admitted that she had failed in her duties and responsibilities to provide me with progress reports of her ‘investigations’ under S.90C of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW). 

– The only organisation found to have acted unlawfully is the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal which was found by the New South Wales Court of Appeal in 2017 and the High Court of Australia in 2018 to be acting inconsistently with Chapter III of the Constitution of Australia.

– The only person who has apologised and withdrawn any statement in these proceedings is Magistrate Susan McIntyre who unreservedly withdrew and apologised for unprovoked and derogatory slurs she had made about my solicitor and, by extension, me during these most recent proceedings.

– In the course of these and other proceedings, Acting Judge Nancy Hennessy (a Deputy President of the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal) was forced to recuse herself from matters involving Gary Burns after uncontested evidence was presented to the Tribunal that she was seen meeting with him.

– A Tipstaff in the New South Wales Supreme Court, Thomas Poberezny-Lynch, used an unofficial and private email address to communicate with Gary Burns. How this email address was obtained and what communications were made with it have never been disclosed. 

– During this and other associated litigation, Gary Burns has been found by the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal to have engaged in conduct constituting contempt of court and to have lodged vexatious complaints. He is now also bankrupt. But he remained free to continue his persecution of me.

He continues:

I stand here today, after eight years of attack, proud that I have been courageous enough to describe this behaviour for what it is: perverted, degenerate and evil. I note that all of this has occurred under the cowardly and craven watch of the supposedly ‘conservative’ New South Wales Liberal government. It has nothing but my contempt. Its pretence of conservatism is nothing more than a charade. 

It is obvious to anyone who has paid the slightest attention to these proceedings that the only reason they have been allowed to continue is because the New South Wales anti-discrimination industry has basely and maliciously abused its power in order to protect and promote shameful evil. All involved are dishonourable and reprehensible. And all involved will one day answer to God, who will provide perfect justice. I look forward to that day.

And he finishes with these words:

I call on the media who would gloatingly publish stories of my destruction to do its duty and shine a light on corruption, abuse of power and evil. For years, mainstream media has peddled fake news that Christians persecute homosexuals. Nothing is further from the truth. It is Christians who face real persecution: the loss of their jobs, their livelihoods, their homes, their reputations, their schools and even the destruction of their churches in the face of this merciless onslaught of evil which has already cowed so much of our society into silence. 

I thank all those who have supported, encouraged and generously donated to assist me over the past eight years. I can truly say, without your help, that I would not have been able to defend myself. This victory as much yours as it is mine. I thank my wife, Elle, who has stood steadfastly by my side. She is the real and silent hero in this battle. Most of all, I thank God who has protected me from the evils I have faced, despite my own failings. 

And on the social media he has a terrific picture of himself, his wife, a few friends and his legal aide having a quiet celebration in a restaurant a few days ago. Under it he says this:

Thanks be to God for this victory! And at lunch time today I enjoyed a glass of bubbly with my solicitor and Marella, Anne and Beverly who all came in for the judgement. Most importantly, I shared a glass with my wonderful wife Elle who has been my rock throughout this 8 year battle. 

And next week it is time to work on costs. Burns has not been ordered to pay costs for a single one of his failed complaints. Unfortunately, it seems clear to me that the NSW Local Court is intent on protecting him once again. I hope we can change this. Thank you for your help, generosity, support and prayers – without them I would not have been able to defend myself today!

Indeed, so many of you have prayed for Bernard and contributed to his legal funds. Thank you for this. He is indeed a champion. There have been some other brave fighters who have not capitulated to the hyper-left mobs. But they are few and far between.

How many of you could have stood strong over eight years and with 40 legal challenges? Most would have given up and given in. Most would have put up the white flag of surrender. But not Bernard. He stood tall. Bless you, mate – you are a hero.

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Published by Bill Muehlenberg Bill is involved in a ministry of pro-faith and pro-family activism. He is head of an apologetics/ethics ministry called CultureWatch.

When A Mother Abandons Her Eggs

“All you have to do is Google child care person arrested and you’ll find, just like the Ostrich that walks away, you put your kids in danger of being trampled or crushed when you’re not present. It doesn’t happen all the time, but it’s not in your control when it does and when it doesn’t, is it?”

BY MATTHEW LITTLEFIELD, AUGUST 19, 2022 Cauldronpool.com

Job 39:13-18 says: “The wings of the ostrich wave proudly, but are they the pinions and plumage of love? For she leaves her eggs to the earth and lets them be warmed on the ground, forgetting that a foot may crush them and that the wild beast may trample them. She deals cruelly with her young, as if they were not hers; though her labor be in vain, yet she has no fear, because God has made her forget wisdom and given her no share in understanding. When she rouses herself to flee, she laughs at the horse and his rider.”

This is an interesting passage, because if you read up about why Ostriches abandon their eggs observers note that they don’t actually abandon their eggs. They appear to abandon them, it looks like they are abandoning them. But really, the Ostrich leaves them behind for all sorts of other reasons, “good” reasons, “necessary” reasons. In other words, the Ostrich will sometimes abandon her eggs, but she “has her reasons,” which is how it is explained.

But to walk away from the young while they are still little, from the Scripture’s point of view, is still abandonment. Because while they are out of the mother hen’s reach, they are vulnerable to being crushed or trampled. That is why she deals cruelly with them. This doesn’t even have to happen every time, it just needs to happen some of the time to be true. 

The analogy with daycare is obvious. All you have to do is Google child care person arrested and you’ll find, just like the Ostrich that walks away, you put your kids in danger of being trampled or crushed when you’re not present. It doesn’t happen all the time, but it’s not in your control when it does and when it doesn’t, is it?

But for those of you who think it’s rare, note research shows, that in a different way, every kid put in daycare is being harmed:

Aggression

The “Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development,” supported by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), said that children who spend time in day care may be more aggressive than children who spend no time in day care. According to the study, the number of hours a child spends in day care also affects his aggression levels; the more hours he is there, the more aggressively he behaves. However, some reject the statistical correlation as too small to be presumed a fact.”

Stress

In a study conducted by the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota, children under age 3 who spend time in day care may experience more stress than children of the same age who are not in day care. Children in the study exhibited higher levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, when they were in the middle of full days at day care; the cortisol levels went down when they went back home. Those children were described as being more shy, a trait which could cause stress in a social environment. However, day care might not be the only cause of the stress; children inevitably must participate in some social environments once they reach elementary school-age.

Diminished Bonding

Young children who spend time in day care may bond less with their mothers than children who stay home with their mothers, according to the NICHD study. However, the results were preliminary, and the link may not be significant enough to necessitate parents being concerned about their children’s welfare. Researchers suggest that parents who send their children to day care should focus on finding a high-quality day care rather than fretting about diminished bonding.

Aggressive and Disruptive Behavior

Children who are in day care for a year or more have been shown to be more disruptive in class as long as into the sixth grade, according to a New York Times report on the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development. Even children in high-quality centers were shown to exhibit disruptive behavior. However, children in high-quality centers were also shown to score better on standardized tests. A study by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, reported by CBS, also found that children who spend long hours in day care are at increased risk of becoming aggressive, in addition to developing other behavior problems.”

The article misleads people by noting you should choose better quality daycare. But the research did not distinguish between types of daycare, but the amount of time spent in daycare. 

As other research shows:

The raging debates around maternal guilt, work/family balance, money and childrearing often drown out scientific insights into the developmental impact of day care. But the latest findings, from a huge, long-term government study, are worrisome. They show that kids who spend long hours in day care have behavior problems that persist well into elementary school. About 26 percent of children who spend more than 45 hours per week in day care go on to have serious behavior problems at kindergarten age. In contrast, only 10 percent of kids who spend less than 10 hours per week have equivalent problems.

The worst part about this is that it is known that daycare has a bad effect on kids, and it has been known for some time. But this research is partially kept from mothers: 

Developmental psychologists are sweeping this information under the rug, hoping studies will churn out better data soon, argues Jay Belsky, a child development researcher at London’s Birbeck College and a longtime critic of his fellow scientists. He contends that the field of developmental psychology is monopolized by women with a “liberal progressive feminist” bias. “Their concern is to not make mothers feel bad,” he says…

…Belsky has been outspoken on the issue for decades. In the 1980s, his studies showed that children spending long hours in day care had higher levels of aggression than those raised by their mothers. Detractors excoriated him then for using bad science to criticize working women.

It is easy for data to be manipulated. But consistent data over the long term, which disagrees with prevailing public attitudes, and which I can anecdotally say has been observed by people I know is much harder to explain away. The article then notes that Belsky’s female colleagues disagree with him (obviously). But then notes this: 

Although Belsky’s harsh words haven’t won him many friends, some researchers think he has a point. Kathy McCartney, an education professor at Harvard and another NICHD day care researcher, concedes the aggression results are significant, but won’t offer cautionary advice without more research. “So far it is looking like he’s right,” says McCartney, who criticized Belsky’s claims in the past. “Long hours in child care are associated with behavior problems.”

This woman notes the solutions aren’t obvious. To which I respond: the solution is called mothers raising their kids in the home, like God intended. But you also need to mix this with rejecting avarice, greed, and covetousness. Because these are big reasons why so many women work. 

Many people say they can’t afford to live on one income. This is probably true for some. But for many what they really mean is that they cannot afford the house, car and lifestyle they want with only one income. In other words, they have “reasons,” like the Ostrich.  Wow. Modern woman deals cruelly with her young. Note parents: one day those kids will be deciding where you end up in aged care. That lack of bonding might come back to bite. I don’t think you need data or research to foresee that. 

Two Kinds Of Leadership

“It is a leader’s job to ignore the temptation to be like Aaron with the golden calf, and to be more like Moses and slay sacred calves.”

BY MATTHEW LITTLEFIELD, CAULDRONPOOL.COM.AU, 24/7/2022

Reverend Matthew Littlefield is the pastor of New Beith Baptist Church. He is an ordained Minister in the Baptist Union of Queensland. Matthew has a Masters in Theology.

younggospelminister.blogspot.com

Leadership is an important and necessary part of a good church. But it needs to be the right kind of leadership.

Hebrews 13 shows us that good leaders should be honoured. But what is the right kind of leadership? Well, let’s see. 

Two kinds of leadership: Hebrews 13:7 tells us to, “Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.” 

We see three characteristics of good church leadership here: (1) They speak to you the word of God, (2) their life shows they practice it, and (3) their faith in God’s word increases your faith. So, how do we examine this?

There are many ways to look at this, but I want to do this through the lens of Moses and Aaron who I see as exemplifying the two kinds of leadership we see in this church, the leadership of Moses and the leadership of Aaron.

What I Do Not Mean: Now this could be easily misunderstood, so first let me say what I do not mean. What I do not mean is that pastors and elders are prophets and priests.

Different kind of prophet: Now in some sense, all preachers of the word need to speak prophetically, they need to speak forth the oracles of God as found in the word of God, for sure. But Moses was a particular kind of prophet given a special level of authority.

“The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen— 16 just as you desired of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God or see this great fire any more, lest I die.’ 17 And the Lord said to me, ‘They are right in what they have spoken. 18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him.”

Deuteronomy 18:15-18

Moses and other prophets like him were given a special and unique level of authority and insight into the will of God. Like Elijah who had the power to raise the dead. Pastors are to teach the word of God directly, but we are not prophets in the same way that Moses was.

We may at times see clearly what is coming because we are examining the culture in light of God’s word, but this is more insight and wisdom than prophetic gifting. Anyone who studies God’s word and history together can do the same thing.  

Different kind of priest: All pastors need to act as priests, but only in the same way that all believers are priests.

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” 

1 Peter 2:9-10

The Bible’s teaching and the Baptist Church’s position is that all Christians are priests, and all of us have a responsibility to represent God to our neighbours. So, church leaders are to be priests in the same sense that all believers are. 

But I want to make this clear, I am not saying that church leaders are like Moses and Aaron in the unique sense that they were prophets and priests. What I mean is something different. To me, Moses is the archetypal Godly leader that pastors should aspire to be, and Aaron exemplifies the temptation that all pastors should avoid: people pleasing.

Let’s examine that.

Moses: Moses’ job was to be the voice of God’s truth to Israel, and to hold none of it back and this is what he did.

“On the third new moon after the people of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that day they came into the wilderness of Sinai. 2 They set out from Rephidim and came into the wilderness of Sinai, and they encamped in the wilderness. There Israel encamped before the mountain, 3 while Moses went up to God. The Lord called to him out of the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the people of Israel: 4 ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; 6 and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.” 7 So Moses came and called the elders of the people and set before them all these words that the Lord had commanded him. 8 All the people answered together and said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.” And Moses reported the words of the people to the Lord.”

Exodus 19:1-8

“So Moses came and called the elders of the people and set before them all these words that the Lord had commanded him…” 

This is who Moses was called to be, and this is what he did. He set before the people and their leaders all the things that he was told to tell them.

Moses did this consistently and well. Note this, he was not perfect, he missed out on entering the promised land because of his impatience with the people, but he was consistently bold in telling them the word of God, when it was popular and when it was not.

This is the pastor’s job as well. The pastor is to stare down the evil of this culture, like Moses did. Shelter their people from lies as much as they can, like Moses did. And tell them the truth whether they like it or not, like Moses did.

Moses is the archetypal good leader of the Church: imperfect, but bold with the truth.

Aaron: Aaron shows us the archetype of the bad leader who is swayed by people’s opinions. Now, we have to be fair to Aaron and say that his whole ministry was not terrible, and he was the head of the Levitical priesthood. But early on in his role he made a serious mistake. He instituted idolatry in the famous golden calf incident.

“When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron and said to him, “Up, make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” 2 So Aaron said to them, “Take off the rings of gold that are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.” 3 So all the people took off the rings of gold that were in their ears and brought them to Aaron. 4 And he received the gold from their hand and fashioned it with a graving tool and made a golden calf. And they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” 5 When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made a proclamation and said, “Tomorrow shall be a feast to the Lord.” 6 And they rose up early the next day and offered burnt offerings and brought peace offerings. And the people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.”

Exodus 32:1-6

Why did he do this? The people wanted it, so he gave them what they wanted. This is the archetype of bad leadership; tailoring the word of God to suit the audience. Ignoring aspects of God’s word, or even denying them, as Aaron did here.

He broke the first and second commandments to make the people happy and forged for them a new god, a false god made of metal.

This is a constant temptation for pastors, to pander to the people or to the culture around them. Some ministers live in fear of offending the culture and this affects their entire ministry.

Every pastor faces this temptation, and Paul challenged this in Galatians 1:10, saying: “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

It is a leader’s job to ignore the temptation to be like Aaron with the golden calf, and to be more like Moses and slay sacred calves. But this is easier said than done, because sometimes you have to challenge calves that people cannot let go of emotionally, or that are held to by people you hold dear, and for some, they just cannot abide causing offense.

But this temptation needs to be resisted by leaders, because as Paul said in Acts 20:26-27: “Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.” 

If a pastor hides biblical teaching because of fear of the people, then he becomes responsible if people are led into error. However, if a pastor has declared the biblical truth as Paul did, then he is “innocent of the blood of all.”

So, when it says, remember your leaders, those who spoke the word of God to you, and how they live and believe, this is referring to those who do this diligently. Jesus put it this way in Matthew 23:1-3: “Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 2 “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, 3 so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do.”

In other words, when pastors preach the clear words of God, be quick to obey it. But when they are not practicing or teaching it properly, that is different.

Our Hebrews’ writer even gives some guidelines here. In remembering those who spoke to you the word, we can test the quality of the person teaching you.

Success Indicators and Success

Gary North (www.garynorth.com), “Reality Check” (January 11, 2008)

Success indicators are not the same as success. A student can get an A on an exam by cheating. He is not a success. He can get it by cramming for the exam and remembering nothing a week later. This also is not success. The success indicator is supposed to reinforce behaviour that leads to success, not serve as a substitute for success.

For every known success indicator there is a way to attain it without being successful, unless you define success solely as achieving a success indicator. We do not teach our children this way, so we ought not to settle for a success indicator in place of the intangible goal represented by the indicator. It gets complicated.

Does the name Harold Russell ring a bell? Probably not. But he achieved what no other person has ever received: two Oscars for the same performance. He played a double amputee in “The Best Years of Our Lives” (1946). He was not a professional actor. He had lost both of his hands in World War II. Nobody who saw his performance is likely to forget it.

Years later, he sold his Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in order to raise money for his wife’s operation. He explained: “I don’t know why anybody would be critical. My wife’s health is much more important than sentimental reasons. The movie will be here, even if Oscar isn’t.” That rings true for most of us, I think. The success indicator — the statue — was not the same as success. He did not sacrifice success when he sold it. He did not lose his stature by selling his statue.

Money is the most common success indicator. “Buy low, sell high” is hardly an ethical manifesto, yet it is the basis of how we make our livings. It puts food on the table. Still, we know that to die as a miser dies, surrounded by his ledgers, makes no sense for anyone who is not afflicted with a view of money that we would not like to see our children afflicted with.

We understand the trade-off between money and significance in life. We look at a person who has laboured in a jungle as a medical missionary, yet we probably do not conclude, “He died broke. So, he wasted his life.” We also probably do not have much respect for the plastic surgeon who gets rich by making starlets look better. Yet his income keeps us from saying, “He has wasted his life.” That depends on what he has done with his money.

YOUR CALLING

I have come back to this theme repeatedly for over 25 years. I define “calling” as follows: the most important thing you can do in which you would be most difficult to replace. For women, this is usually their role as wives and mothers. For men, this is probably their role as husbands and fathers. Women recognize their callings more readily than men recognize theirs. We say, “nobody ever said on his deathbed, ‘I should have spent more time at the office.'” When we say this, we rarely think of a woman saying this on her deathbed. Yet in today’s society, it is becoming more likely that American women will assess in retrospect their lifetime trade-off between significance and money.

Most men know that getting fired is not in the same league of horrors as getting divorced. To fail on the job is not generally regarded as being a failure comparable to failing in marriage. When a young man tells his parents or friends that he has just been fired, they tell him, “It happens to everyone. Don’t worry about it. There’s always another job.” They don’t say something similar when his wife walks out on him and takes the children.

I don’t suppose anyone told Jimmy Carter in December, 980, “Don’t worry about it. You can always be elected mayor of Plains.” That is because being the President of the United States is a calling, not a job. Anyone who has lost the Presidency is not going to be re-elected, Grover Cleveland to the contrary. Being elected to the top political office is presumably a man’s calling: the most important thing he can do in which he would be most difficult to replace. Yet Babe Ruth was onto something in 1930, when someone pointed out that he made more money than President Hoover. He replied, “Why not? I had a better year than he did.”

In most cases, the free market is not willing to pay us more in our callings than in our occupations. That is why callings exist. Why is it so difficult to replace a person in his calling? Because his calling doesn’t pay much. If it paid a potful of money, there would be candidates lined up to replace the present occupant of the position.

A few people are irreplaceable because they can make more money than anyone else. Star professional athletes or box-office movie stars are examples. So is Warren Buffett. The barrier to entry is so great that the person can’t be replaced. This is extremely rare. Buffett is wise. He saw that his gigantic fortune was his greatest achievement, and that he was incapable of doing as good a job giving it away as he did building it. He had someone to give it to: Bill Gates.

Gates is the only man richer than Buffett, and Gates says he is going to quit as leader of Microsoft in order to oversee the giving away of his fortune. Buffett watched Gates in action and concluded that Gates’s foundation deserved Buffett’s fortune. Buffett could then concentrate on increasing the market price of his company’s shares. I think both decisions were correct. Gates should quit as a businessman, while Buffett shouldn’t.

Gates recognizes that possessing great wealth involves great responsibility. (I think his wife Melinda was the educator here, making her arguably the most important woman on earth.) This responsibility involves deciding what should be done in a non-market environment: no profit and loss. Compared to a competitive market, the non-profit world is flying blind. Yet Gates does seem to have established numerical criteria for successful giving, such as the cost per children’s lives saved per dollar in sub-Sahara Africa. This does not solve the problem of feeding these surviving children.

Gates has decided that he cannot solve every problem. But the dying child in its mother’s arms is more likely to survive because of Gates’s cost-benefit analysis than if Gates were spending his waking hours trying to raise Microsoft’s profitability. The fact that there is no market for saving the lives of African children does not mean that saving a million lives is not significant. It means only that value is sometimes not the same as price. Value, unlike price, is not measurable on a one-to-one basis on a corporate balance sheet.

YOUR OCCUPATION

We live in a gigantic auction. The allocation principle of every auction is “high bid wins.”

Each person has specific talents. He also has non-specific talents. Human beings are the most adaptable of all creatures. They can adapt their skills to meet new conditions. Reason governs most of our choices. Our instincts are under control, which is why society is possible.

Our specific talents give us our edge in the workplace. Here, we are less replaceable. Our general talents give us our safety net. If the market for our specific talents dries up, we can fall back on our general talents. But these, being widely available, command low wages. We look to our specific talents as the source of most of our wages, which for most people is their major source of income.

Usually, it takes about 1,000 hours on the job or in training to get the skills sufficient for competence. That is not much time: 5 months. It takes about 5,000 hours to become highly skilled. At that point, we are no longer easily replaceable. We begin to be able to ask for raises and obtain them. Our output is worth more, so we can earn more.

Yet at some point, the raises cease. There are several possible reasons. First, we reach the limits of our innate capacity. Second, we cease striving to improve. Third, the market for our level of skills reaches a point when those with similar skills meet the demand. Demand equals supply, so the price of our services ceases to rise. Fourth, we reach our comfort zone and decide not to test the market by seriously offering to quit. Fifth, our employer has reached his limits in expanding market share. In any case, we begin to tread water occupationally.

Usually, this takes place sometime around age 45. This is when men start looking for significance rather than money. They perceive that whatever they have accomplished occupationally is the limit of their capacity or opportunity. They sense that they have not distinguished themselves in their chosen occupation. They are unlikely ever to be in the top 4% (20% of 20%) in their field, let alone the top 1% (20% of 20% of 20%). They start looking for something else to do with the time they have remaining.

They have spent two decades selling their time for money. They realize that this has not been a wise bargain. They believe they have nothing to show for it. They start looking for something to show for it.

The problem is, they are in debt: mortgage. They have children at home who are entering their highest cost period: college. They are unaware of the loopholes that can reduce expenses to such a level that a student working at a fast food restaurant can put himself through college. Their mobility is limited. So, they stick with what they have, or else they go off the deep end and run off with a younger woman to start a new life.

There are a few men who don’t face this because they are in the top 4% or even 1%. They make a name for themselves as masters of their occupation. They get a sense of accomplishment from their status as role models in their profession. They are close to irreplaceable. So, their calling is the same as their occupation. They make their living — a good living, economically speaking — in their calling.

Peter Drucker, the management guru, was such a person. He made a lot of money writing books, giving high-priced lectures, and advising senior managers in large corporations. He was one of the founders of management science. He died in 2005, still writing. He was a week away from 97. He stayed on the job to the end. He did not do this for money.

Not many people can be a Peter Drucker. Not many men need to be. But because most men never succeed in achieving a sense of significance in their occupations, they are ready to be pensioned off at age 65. The problem is, the era of the pension is ending. Rates of investment return are too low. Life expectancy is too long. Levels of competition from pensionless Asians are too high.

The frustration of staying on the job is high for most men. Yet the income available by quitting and finding new employment is low. When you move from low replaceability to high replaceability, your income falls. The archetype example is the Wal-Mart greeter. The job offers little money and little sense of significance.

MAKING THE TRANSITION

If you choose an occupation that offers high income and high significance, that’s ideal. The career of physician combines both, or can. Yet from what I understand, the occupation of dentist does not. Dentists do not get the same sense of satisfaction that physicians do. Yet the physician’s economic constraints and Medicare paperwork and high liability insurance premiums have combined to reduce both net income and significance. Physicians are becoming wards of the state unless they are paediatricians or free market practitioners: no government money.

There are several ways to gain significance in one’s occupation. One is to choose an occupation that offers little money but lots of significance. A medical missionary is one choice. The low pay scale makes them irreplaceable. Their ability to heal makes them significant. Teachers sometimes can achieve both — again, through low pay. But teachers on the state’s payroll are rarely able to eke out much significance. The level of performance by their students is low. They are perceived by the public as clock-punchers and baby sitters.

I have friends in the day care business. They have combined high income, high retirement income (real estate gains), and real significance. The barrier to entry is prestige. There isn’t any. In fact, the occupation has negative prestige for men. “You do what?” This keeps replacement costs high: barriers to entry. I have written about this repeatedly, but the barrier to entry remains too high, even for my subscribers, some of whom say they would like to become millionaires. They could become millionaires. They just won’t do what it takes. It takes:

www.demischools.org

Another way to gain significance is to become dedicated to mastery. This is the impulse to become the best in the field. This requires long hours of work, attendance at seminars, reading constantly, applying what you have read, and either writing or speaking. But if you have no respect for your profession, this strategy will not work.

A more common approach is to limit your occupation to the minimal 40 hours a week and then allocate another 30 hours a week to something that either can become a new occupation or else is a low-paid area of service. The problem here is the time commitment. For a family man, this dedication has a price tag: absence from the home. So, I recommend time spent in family projects that can become income-producing. Art Robinson did this with his family-run sheep ranch business. He also did it with his scientific research and newsletter publishing (Access to Energy). He did it with his CD-ROM curriculum, which his children worked on as producers.

www.robinsoncurriculum.com

If your occupation is so narrow that your children’s interests and skills are not likely to give them a competitive advantage — irreplaceability — then you cannot do what men have done through history: teach your sons your trade. This is why starting a home business on the side can offer a way for fathers to teach their children the basics of running a business. The trade-off here is that the time required to do this comes from the overtime that most professionals allocate to their occupations. Income falls until the family business becomes profitable.

If you think of your occupation as supporting your calling, then you are less tempted to dismiss your occupation at age 45. There is a man in my church who is a lawyer. I don’t know how successful his practice is. His calling is running a Saturday lawn-mowing service. He has hired about ten inner-city boys, ages 7 to 13, to work on his crew. He picks them up, gives them training, and takes them home. Obviously, his time is worth far more money in his practice than it is mowing lawns. But he has developed a small business that gives him a reason to establish contact with these boys. He serves as a male role model for them. They learn the basics of self-discipline on the job. If they goof off, they lose the job. They have no other job options to match it. They know this. Over time, this experience will provide them with the emotional skills they need to survive in a competitive business world. It is unlikely that they could learn these skills anywhere else, and surely not until they qualify for an entry-level job at age 16.

The opportunity to teach can be converted into money. There are private schools that can use teachers. The schools can’t pay much, but for someone on retirement income, a pay check of any size is gravy. It allows you to invest more, on the assumption that Social Security is not as long-lived as you are.

If you can get into a volunteer situation early, you can make yourself indispensable. When your skills in this position are sufficient, you can probably make the transition to a paid position. This is probably the best strategy to convert calling into occupation. It takes a considerable investment of time. A growing organization is always on the lookout for people who have demonstrated their competence and reliability.

Those of us who have been in the business world for several decades, but who are not working with entry-level people, forget just how incompetent most newcomers are. The work ethic has faded. The public schools have declined. So, companies pay a premium for reliable people. There is no question in my mind that a person who has proven in a volunteer situation that he can accept responsibility, perform better than expected, and finish every assignment on time has distinguished himself from the majority of applicants.

I think anything connected with health care constitutes a calling when delivered free of charge and an occupation when salaried. If you are looking for a transition route out of your occupation into a salaried calling, I recommend health care. The obvious growth sector is home health care. To cut costs, the health care delivery industry is going to have to cut the cost of real estate. By using the care recipient’s home and providing skilled labour, the industry will reduce its real estate overhead expenses.

CONCLUSION

I think anyone who serves as the primary breadwinner in a household who does not yet have a calling that provides the bulk of his monthly income is asking for trouble. The unfunded pension is one aspect of this problem. Mid-life crisis is another.

The cost of making the transition from occupation to calling increases as we get older. If a man finds his calling and can make a living at it at age 21, he is in a remarkable position. If I were 18 again, I have no question what I would do. I would major in young child development in college. Then I would start a day care. I would then build a new one every 36 months. Fifteen years after opening a day care, the property is paid off, and it then generates $60,000 a year. I could retire a rich man at age 40 and spend the rest of my life writing. Or I would just keep doing what I had been doing. Increasing your income by $60,000 a year every 36 months is a nice way to escape retirement woes.

A man with children still at home has three time-allocation issues: his job, his family (calling), and his future calling, either paid or unpaid, depending on whether he likes his present job and can keep it. There are not enough hours in a day to allow full success in all three areas. You have to juggle your schedule. If you can find a way to solve the problem of your future income and significance as a family project, that’s ideal.

Here is how I would recommend sorting out these issues, in conjunction with your spouse. You need to get these questions answered.

1. How many years until you retire from your job?

2. How many years do you expect to live beyond retirement?

www.snipurl.com/lifecalc

3. How much money will you need as capital?

www.snipurl.com/retirecalc

4. Do you expect to work beyond retirement, at least part-time?

5. Do you want to retire into a job that is an extension of your present job?

6. Do you want to retire into a job that is an extension of your calling?

7. Are you actively preparing for this transition — intellectually, emotionally, and geographically?

8. Are you actively developing personal contacts with potential future employers?

9. Are you actively positioning yourself to be hired in this field, such as through a website? Too many men are actively ignoring this problem. They will pay a heavy price within a year after their retirement.

Mother’s Powerful Pro-Life Video Goes Viral: “Do You Want To See What You’ll Miss?”

BY STAFF WRITER JANUARY 17, 2022

“Becky said she had considered abortion at the time because she fell victim to a toxic form of feminism that had convinced her that her baby would ruin her future.”

A powerful video of a mother’s decision not to abort her son has gone viral across social media.

Mother of eight, Becky Martin, originally posted the 60-second clip on TikTok, which was last month shared across multiple social media platforms with videos reaching well over a million views.

Becky was just a teenager in high school when she fell pregnant with her now 22-year-old son. Feeling she did not want to forfeit her life or embarrass her family, she scheduled an appointment for an abortion.

The video shows life-snapshots of what Becky would have missed had she not cancelled the procedure all those years ago.

Speaking with Caldron Pool, Becky said she had considered abortion at the time because she fell victim to a toxic form of feminism that had convinced her that her baby would ruin her future.

“I was in high school, and I excelled academically with over a 4.0 GPA and a scholarship to a private college,” she said. “I was sure a child would cause me to lose all of that, preventing me from achieving my goals and destroying my dreams.

“I thought abortion would be a quick ‘fix’ to my ‘problem,’” she added.

Becky said even at that time she was well-aware of what was involved in the procedure.

“I knew that abortion kills, but my heart was cold and my mind was selfish,” she said. “My life and my plans were more important than my son’s life, so I was going to use my born privilege to end his.”

That is until her family had discovered her plans to skip school to obtain the abortion. Prior to the appointment, they held something of an intervention in hopes of convincing her otherwise. Becky begrudgingly complied with her family’s wishes and cancelled the appointment.

“It’s still one of the most awkward, uncomfortable moments of my life, but one for which I’ll be eternally grateful,” she said.

It took about ten years for Becky to become prolife. She said, time, maturity, honesty, and humility, mixed with her exposure to a more compassionate, loving prolife side (mostly through social media) that led to, what she called, a transformation.

“Slowly the scales fell from my eyes, and my heart softened.”

Becky explained: “The weight of a guilty conscience lifted, as peace and healing filled my soul. Owning my actions gave me a sense of strength and purpose. My heart caught fire, and I became a passionate defender of life.

“I realized it wasn’t just my child’s life that was saved, but also mine – saved from a lifetime of despair and regret. If I can prevent other women from experiencing that, I will.”

So transformative was this experience in Becky’s life that she’s dedicated to not only communicating a prolife message but living a prolife life.

“For us, this means sharing parenting and post-abortion resources, adopting, sponsoring, donating, educating, advocating and more,” she said.

Becky and her husband have completed four adoptions and have eight children together.

We asked Becky what message she might have for pregnant women who find themselves considering abortion. Here’s what she had to say:

Please don’t fall victim to the same lies I did. It’s easy to be misled in today’s culture. We notice the #shoutyourabortion on social media, see Instagram posts of women celebrating abortion, watch TikTok videos of women bragging about their abortions, and listen to celebrities loudly proclaiming that abortion helped them succeed. But children are not a detriment. Rather, they’re often great motivators. And there is nothing normal or empowering about abortion. There is nothing brave or strong about paying to have your son or daughter starved, dismembered, or suctioned to death.

Bravery and strength are found in parenthood and protecting your child – whether that means raising him/her or finding another family to do so.

Please don’t make a permanent decision based on a temporary situation. Circumstances change, but death is forever. You can never go back and save your child. The abortion industry doesn’t want you to hear the stories of regret. They profit off of your vulnerability. But you are strong and capable. You don’t need abortion to be successful.

Don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask for help. There are so many caring people in the prolife movement and numerous free resources. Everything from food, clothes, housing, energy assistance, childcare help, medical coverage, etc is available. I try to share the list of resources often on my Facebook & Tiktok accounts. These resources helped me stay in school, graduate from college, and get a job I loved. It may take grit, determination, and hard work, but you have an army of prolife people cheering you on!

You can follow Becky on TikTok at @becky.0121

 A Thanksgiving Message From Geoffrey Botkin

This Thanksgiving we honor men and women who were willing to be serious about a life-and-death issue most modern Americans do not take seriously: freedom. The Pilgrims understood that there was an historic battle between two definitions of freedom, and they risked everything to line-up on the right side. 

The Pilgrims were citizens of the world’s top nation.  England was the superpower of the day.  King James and the religious bureaucrats in the Church of England promised temporal security and religious salvation for simply conforming to the newest ideas of the political masters.  But the Pilgrims knew they had a duty to recognize and resist false doctrine or they would become part of an ancient historical problem:  living like slaves under a tyrant who took the place of God. 

The Pilgrims were not simply splitting hairs about obscure points of doctrine.  King James believed he had divine prerogatives to rule any way he wanted.  He wanted a church hierarchy to answer to him, manipulate the populace, and redefine Christianity his way.  These policies are little different from those that kept Pharaohs in power for three thousand years.  These are the policies that create false, passive, irresponsible religious cultures, which spring up anywhere God’s truth is suppressed in unrighteousness.

The issue was simple, but it takes wisdom to see it unfolding.  James and his followers wanted the licentious kind of freedom that is gained by stepping away from God’s requirements.   This has been the great issue of history since the days of Babel.  Faithless men want freedom from God so they can pursue a political and spiritual agenda of their own design.  All through history, arrogant men have found this form of freedom by living lives of passive irresponsibility.  They become so irresponsible, they become content living as the slaves of political masters.     

The Pilgrims had a much different attitude toward God and his requirements.  They knew real freedom could be found in active, willing servitude to the God of real freedom and true liberty.  The more they studied and obeyed His laws, the more their new colony benefitted from the maturity they gained through obedience. 

In studying the Puritans of the 17th century, author J.I. Packer simply wrote, “The Puritans exemplified maturity.  We don’t.  We are spiritual dwarfs.  The Puritans, by contrast, as a body were giants[1].”

These giants were our relatives.  “We’re all descended,” reminds American historian David McCullough, “every one of us is descended from someone of enormous courage, fortitude, strength, toughness.[2] 

How are modern American Christians doing in the areas of courage, fortitude, strength, and mental toughness?  

J.I. Packer suggests that our modern faith is at best counterfeit Christianity, an “irrational, emotional romanticism disguised as superspirituality.”[3] 

Packer further suggests that if we had maintained a true Christianity “fixed by law and wisdom” we might have been spared “the egocentric, zany, simplistic, degenerate, half-magic-spell type of evangelicalism which is all that the world sees when it watches religious TV or looks directly at the professedly evangelical community.  Such evangelicalism neither honors God nor blesses man.”[4]

Ideas Rule the World

The Pilgrims honored God by their tough-minded interpretation of culture that were in rebellion against God.  The Pilgrims honored God by taking active steps to base their faith on a Christianity fixed by law and wisdom.  Our younger generation needs to acquire moral discernment as they face the complexities of the 21st Century.

The ideas of bureaucratic security are seductive.  Americans need to identify the dangerous ideas that make men passive, contented consumers of messianic care.  Free “school.”  Free diplomas.  Free entitlements.  Free birth control.  Free vaccines.   Once dependency is locked into the minds of a people, it is very hard to introduce a culture to the ideas of active, mature freedom.  

This is a lesson Americans must learn.  The Bible commands men not to be idolaters, as were some of the Hebrews who came out of Egypt.[5]  David says they did not trust in God’s salvation and were not faithful to His Covenant.[6]  They desperately wanted to drift back into the bondage in Egypt, a place where their spiritual, economic, vocational, and family decisions were made for them by a government that promised perfect order.  Perfect security.  Total salvation.  But it was a Christ-less salvation.  No freedom from sin, and no freedom from death.  

Believing in false promises for a false salvation is feeblemindedness.  Observes Dr. Theodore Dalrymple, “We have willingly adopted the mental habits of people who live under totalitarian dictatorship.”[7]

Let us once again take command of the ideas that free the world, and the ideas that enslave the world, and recover the tough-minded powers of cultural analysis used by our Pilgrim forbears. This Thanksgiving I am thankful for their courageous tough-mindedness. 

 “We have an inexhaustible source of strength to draw upon,” states David McCullough, “and wemustn’t forget it.”[8]


[1] Leland Ryken, Worldly Saints, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1986), p x

[2] Ibid, p xiii

[3] Ibid, p xiii

[4] Ibid, p xiv

[5] I Corinthians 10:7

[6] Ps. 78: 22, 37

[7] Theodore Dalrymple, Our Culture, What’s Left of It, “How to Read a Society”

[8] David McCullough, The Founders: The Greatest Generation; Kansas State University Landon Lecture, Feb. 1, 2002. In the words of the citation accompanying McCullough’s honorary degree from Yale, “As an historian, he paints with words, giving us pictures of the American people that live, breathe, and above all, confront the fundamental issues of courage, achievement, and moral character.”

Why the US First Imposed Socialism

Gary North (www.garynorth.com), October 16, 2021

What is the longest-running socialist experiment? What has its success been?

If someone asked you to defend the idea that socialism has failed, what would you offer as your example?

Where did modern socialism begin?

In America.

That’s right: in the land of the free and the home of the braves. On Indian reservations.

They were invented to control adult warriors. They had as a goal to keep the native population in poverty and impotent.

Did the system work? You bet it did.

Has the experiment been a failure? On the contrary, it has been a success.

When was the last time you heard of a successful Indian uprising?

Are the people poor? The poorest in America.

Are they on the dole? Of course.

Last year, the U. S. Department of Agriculture allocated $21 million to provide subsidized electricity to residents on the reservations whose homes are the most distant from jobs and opportunities. This will keep them poor. Tribal power means tribal impotence.

The tribes are dependent. They will stay dependent. That was what the program was designed to achieve.

For some reason, textbooks do not offer a page or two on the corruption, the bureaucratization, and the multi-generation poverty created by tribal-run socialism. Here we have a series of government-run social laboratories. How successful have they been? Where are reservations that have systematically brought people out of poverty?

The next one will be the first.

WORKERS’ PARADISES

The Soviet Union lasted as a socialist worker’s paradise from 1917 until 1991. As a direct result of that experiment, at least 30 million Russians died. It may have been twice that. China’s experiment was shorter: 1949 to 1978. Perhaps 60 million Chinese died.

The system failed to deliver the promised goods. I can think of no topic more suitable for a class in economics than a discussion of the failure of socialism. The same is true of a course in modern world history. A course in political science should cover this failure in detail.

They don’t, of course. They do not begin with the fundamental challenge to socialist economic theory, Ludwig von Mises’ 1920 essay, “Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth.” Why not? Because most social scientists, economists, and historians have never heard of it. Among people over age 50, the few who did hear of it heard about it from some pro-socialist or Keynesian advocate, who wrote what he had been told in graduate school in the 1960’s, namely, that the article was totally refuted by Oskar Lange in 1936.

They are never told that when Lange, a Communist, returned to Poland in 1947 to serve in several high-level posts, the Communist government did not invite him to implement his grand theory of “market socialism.” No other socialist nation ever did.

For 50 years, the textbooks, if they mentioned Mises at all, said only that Mises had been totally refuted by Lange. The Establishment academics dropped Mises down Orwell’s memory hole.

On September 10, 1990, multimillionaire socialist author-economist Robert Heilbroner published an article in the New Yorker. It was titled “After Communism.” The USSR was visibly collapsing. In it, he recounted the story of the refutation of Mises. In graduate school, he and his peers were taught that Lange had refuted Mises. Then he announced: “Mises was right.” Yet in his best-selling textbook on the history of economic thought, The Worldly Philosophers, he never referred to Mises.

THE VISIBLE FAILURES

The universal failure of twentieth-century socialism began from the opening months of Lenin’s takeover of Russia. Output declined sharply. He inaugurated a marginally capitalist reform in 1920; the New Economic Policy. That saved the regime from collapse. The NEP was abolished by Stalin.

Decade after decade, Stalin murdered people. The minimal estimate is 20 million. This was denied by virtually the entire intelligentsia of the West. Only in 1968 did Robert Conquest publish his monumental book, The Great Terror. His estimate today: closer to 30 million. The book was pilloried. Wikipedia’s entry on the book is accurate.

Published during the Vietnam War and during an upsurge of revolutionary Marxist sentiment in Western universities and intellectual circles (see The Sixties), The Great Terror received a hostile reception.

Hostility to Conquest’s account of the purges was heightened by various factors. The first was that he refused to accept the assertion made by Nikita Khrushchev, and supported by many Western leftists, that Stalin and his purges were an aberration from the ideals of the Revolution and were contrary to the principles of Leninism. Conquest argued that Stalinism was a natural consequence of the system established by Lenin, although he conceded that the personal character traits of Stalin had brought about the particular horrors of the late 1930s. Neal Ascherson noted: “Everyone by then could agree that Stalin was a very wicked man and a very evil one, but we still wanted to believe in Lenin; and Conquest said that Lenin was just as bad and that Stalin was simply carrying out Lenin’s programme.” The second factor (1918) was Conquest’s sharp criticism of Western intellectuals for what he saw as their blindness towards the realities of the Soviet Union, both in the 1930s and, in some cases, even in the 1960s. Figures such as Beatrice and Sidney Webb, George Bernard Shaw, Jean-Paul Sartre, Walter Duranty, Sir Bernard Pares, Harold Laski, D. N. Pritt, Theodore Dreiser and Romain Rolland were accused of being dupes of Stalin and apologists for his regime for various comments they had made denying, excusing, or justifying various aspects of the purges.

The Left still hates the book, still attempts to say that he exaggerated the figures.

Then came The Black Book of Communism (1999) which puts the minimum estimate of citizens executed by Communists at 85 million, with 100 million or more likely. The book was published by Harvard University Press, so it could not be dismissed as a Right-wing fat tract.

The Left tries to ignore it.

BLIND MEN’S BLUFF

The response of academia has been to dismiss the entire experiment as misguided, but not inherently evil. The cost in lives lost is rarely mentioned. Before 1991, this was even more rarely mentioned. Prior to Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago (1973), it was considered a breach of etiquette for an academic to do more than mention it in passing, limiting it to Stalin’s purges of the Communist Party in the late 1930’s, and almost never mentioning forced starvation as a matter of public policy. “Ukraine? Never heard of it.” “Kulaks? What are kulaks?”

The decrepit state of all socialist economies from start to finish is not mentioned. Above all, there is no reference to critics in the West who warned that these economies were large-scale Potemkin villages — fake towns created by the government to mislead the Leftist faithful who came to see the future. They returned home with glowing accounts.

There is a book about these naïve, trusting souls, who were taken in completely, Paul Hollander’s Political Pilgrims: Travels of Western Intellectuals to the Soviet Union, China, and Cuba, 1928-1978. It was published by Oxford University Press in 1981. It was ignored by the intelligentsia for a decade.

The best description of these people that I have ever read comes from Malcolm Muggeridge, who spent the early 1930’s as a reporter for The Guardian in Moscow. Everything he wrote was censored before it was sent to England. He knew this. He could not report the truth, and The Guardian would not have reported it if he had. This is from his volume 1 of his autobiography, Chronicles of Wasted Time.

For resident foreign journalists in Moscow the arrival of the distinguished visitors was also a gala occasion, for a different reason. They provided us with our best — almost our only — comic relief. For instance, when we heard [George Bernard] Shaw, accompanied by Lady Astor (who was photographed cutting his hair), declare that he was delighted to find there was no food shortage in the USSR. Or [Harold] Laski singing the praises of Stalin’s new Soviet Constitution. . . . I have never forgotten these visitors, or ceased to marvel at them, at how they have gone on from strength to strength, continuing to lighten our darkness, and to guide, counsel and instruct us; on occasion, momentarily abashed, but always ready to pick themselves up, put on their cardboard helmets, mount Rosinante, and go galloping off on yet another foray on behalf of the down-trodden and oppressed. They are unquestionably one of the wonders of the age, and I shall treasure till I die as a blessed memory the spectacle of them travelling with radiant optimism through a famished countryside, wandering in happy bands about squalid, over-crowded towns, listening with unshakeable faith to the fatuous patter of carefully trained and indoctrinated guides, repeating like schoolchildren a multiplication table, the bogus statistics and mindless slogans endlessly intoned to them. There, I would think, an earnest office-holder in some local branch of the League of Nations Union, there a godly Quaker who once had tea with Gandhi, there an inveigher against the Means Test and the Blasphemy Laws, there a staunch upholder of free speech and human rights, there an indomitable preventer of cruelty to animals; there scarred and worthy veterans of a hundred battles for truth, freedom and justice — all, all chanting the praises of Stalin and his Dictatorship of the Proletariat. It was as though a vegetarian society had come out with a passionate plea for cannibalism, or Hitler had been nominated posthumously for the Nobel Peace Prize.

This phenomenon did not end in the 1930’s. It went on to the last gasp of the Soviets’ economic deception. The long-term moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the West’s intellectual leaders was finally exposed in 1991 by the acknowledged economic bankruptcy and tyranny of the Marxist regimes that the West had accepted as a valid alternative to capitalism.

No better example of this intellectual self-deception can be found than the case of Paul Samuelson, economics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the first American to win the Nobel Prize in economics (1970), former Newsweek columnist, and the author of by far the most influential economics textbook of the post-war world (1948-present): at least three million copies, 31 foreign languages. He announced in the 1989 edition of his textbook: “The Soviet economy is proof that, contrary to what many sceptics had earlier believed, a socialist command economy can function and even thrive.”

Mark Skousen found that gem. He also found this one, far more damning.

THE SOVIET EXPERIMENT

Felix Somary records in his autobiography a discussion he had with the economist Joseph Schumpeter and the sociologist Max Weber in 1918. Schumpeter was an Austrian economist who was not an Austrian School economist. He later wrote the most influential monograph on the history of economic thought. Weber was the most prestigious academic social scientist in the world until he died in 1920.

Schumpeter expressed happiness regarding the Russian Revolution. The USSR would be a test case for socialism. Weber warned that this would cause untold misery. Schumpeter replied: “That may well be, but it would be a good laboratory.” Weber responded: “A laboratory heaped with human corpses!” Schumpeter retorted: “Every anatomy classroom is the same thing.” (Felix Somary, The Raven of Zurich [New York: St. Martin’s, 1986], p. 121.)

Schumpeter was a moral monster. Let us not mince words. He was a highly sophisticated man, but he was at bottom a moral monster. Anyone who could dismiss the deaths of millions like this is a moral monster. Weber stormed out of the room. I don’t blame him.

Weber died in 1920. That was the year in which Mises’ essay appeared: “Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth.” Weber gave it a footnote in his masterpiece, published posthumously as Economy and Society (p. 107). Weber understood its importance as soon as he read it. Academic economists did not. Even today, there are few references to it.

Mises explained analytically why the socialist system is irrational: no capital markets. No one knows what anything should cost. He said that the systems would either violate the commitment to total planning or else fail totally. He has never been forgiven for this breach of etiquette. He was right, and the intellectuals were wrong. The socialist commonwealths have collapsed, except for North Korea and Cuba. Worse, he was right in terms of simple market theory that any intelligent person can understand. That article is a testimony to the West’s intellectuals: “There are none so blind as those who refuse to see.”

THE PROOF OF THE PUDDING

Mises believed that the proof of the pudding is in the recipe. If it adds salt instead of sugar, it will not be sweet. But academia is committed officially to empiricism. It thinks statistical tests should confirm theory. But the tests came for decades. The socialist economies failed them and then published fake statistics. But still the West’s intellectuals insisted that the socialist ideal was morally sound. They insisted that the results will eventually prove the theory right.

Nikita Khrushchev was famous for saying this to Nixon in the famous “kitchen debate” of 1959. He had been a bureaucrat who survived under Stalin by overseeing the murder of tens of thousands of people in Ukraine. He told Nixon, “We will bury you.” He was wrong.

College students are not informed of either the theory of socialism nor the magnitude of its failures, both economically and demographically. In the pre-1991 era, this was easier than it is today. The intelligentsia now has to admit that capitalism is more productive than socialism. So, the tactic now is to say that it is morally deficient. Worse, it ignores ecology. This was Heilbroner’s recommended strategy in his 1990 article. He said that socialists would have to switch from charging capitalism with inefficiency and waste to charging it with environmental destruction.

CONCLUSION

The comprehensive nature of the failure of socialism is not taught in college textbooks. The topic is glossed over wherever possible. It was easier to impose sanctions against anyone in the related worlds of academia and journalism before 1991.

Deng Xiaoping announced his version of Lenin’s New Economic Policy in 1978. But that did not get much publicity.

In 1991, Humpty-Dumpty fell. All the king’s horses and all the king’s men could not put him together again. Gorbachev presided over the final gasp in 1991. He received “Time Magazine’s Man of the Decade” in 1990. In 1991, he became an employed ex-dictator. Socialism failed . . . totally. But the intelligentsia still refuses to embrace the free market social philosophy of Mises, the man who predicted the failures of socialism, and who provided arguments to support his universal condemnation.

That is why it is a good idea to predict the demise of bad economic policies, along with your analysis. “I told you so, and I told you why” beats “I told you so.”

“Book Review: George Whitefield” by David Chilton

By David H. Chilton (1980?)

George Whitefield: The life and Times of the Great Evangelist of the Eighteenth-Century Revival, by Arnold A. Dallimore (Cornerstone Books, 1980). Two volumes, $19.95 each.

Early in the eighteenth century, a high-society lady once joked that Parliament was “preparing a bill to have ‘not’ taken out of the Commandments and inserted into the Creed.” It was not far from the truth. By all descriptions of the period, it was characterized by rampant ungodliness and almost complete disregard for Christian standards in any area of life. J.C. Ryle wrote that “Christianity seemed to lie as one dead…There was…a gross, thick, religious and moral darkness” pervading England. The government and the courts were corrupt: open bribery was a continual practice, and the poor were flagrantly oppressed — which is not to say that the poor were any better.

Crime was abundant, and the attempt of the authorities to suppress it (by making 160 offenses punishable by death) was to no avail. Whole districts were sunk in abject heathenism, ignorant of the most basic principles of the gospel. And what were the churches doing? Says Ryle: “They existed, but they could hardly be said to have lived. They did nothing; they were sound asleep.” In short, England was well down the road which, for a nation just across the Channel, climaxed in the orgy of horror known as the French Revolution.

Yet within a few years, the situation for England had entirely changed. Thousands were converted to vital Christianity; the slave trade was abolished (in a matter vastly different from the Unitarian-inspired Abolitionist movement of America); widows, orphans and poor were cared for; hospitals were established; missionary and tract societies flourished. What made the difference? To a great extent the change can be traced to the labors of one of the most unworthily-neglected men in history — George Whitefield.

While Whitefield’s associates in the revival (John and Charles Wesley, Jonathan Edwards and others) have received much attention through the years, Whitefield has been thrust into the background — largely due to his reluctance to promote himself — and historians have tended to treat him as one of Wesley’s lieutenants. In fact, Whitefield was the evangelist of the revival, a fact undisputed by his contemporaries. He was the founder of Methodism (and even, indirectly, of the Presbyterian Church of Virginia). The extent of his ministry is staggering: he evangelized England, Scotland, Wales and the American colonies, preaching about 40,000 sermons in a thirty-year period.

With the publication of the long-awaited second volume of his biography by Arnold Dallimore, the record has at last been set straight. Dallimore’s treatment is both sympathetic and discriminating (although the work still falls into the typical Banner-of-Truth biographical style, i.e., there is a relative disregard of Biblical standards in law, economics and social relationships).

The story of Whitefield’s conversion bears a strong resemblance to that of Martin Luther. Like the Reformer, Whitefield went through an extended time of trying desperately to be justified by works, and he almost killed himself through severe punishment of his body. At last he discovered justification by faith; he wrote later in his Journals of the “joy unspeakable” that filled his soul “when the weight of sin went off, and an abiding sense of the pardoning love of God, and a full assurance of faith, broke in upon my disconsolate soul!” He began preaching, and the crowds soon became so huge that he initiated the practice of preaching in open fields — a practice which soon became the trademark of the early Methodist movement, as John Wesley and others became convinced of its propriety and effectiveness (Wesley, in his own words, had “thought the saving of souls almost a sin if it had not been done in a church”)

While at first they worked together, a serious split occurred between Whitefield and the Wesley’s. It began as a doctrinal dispute: as Whitefield became more committed to the doctrines of Calvinism, Wesley firmly adhered to the Arminianism of his Anglican upbringing. Whitefield constantly worked for peace (perhaps more than he should have), but Wesley was adamant and offensive in his handling of their differences, indulging in relentless personal attacks. In what is perhaps the single most shocking revelation in Dallimore’s work, he demonstrates irrefutably Wesley’s treachery in taking over the organization of the Methodist movement.

Whitefield sought simply to preach the gospel of Christ; Wesley schemed to build a structure around himself. He followed Whitefield around, denouncing him and trying to draw away his congregations. Whitefield established a school for children; when he returned from a trip, he found that Wesley had quite literally stolen it from him. These dishonest tactics were repeated again and again, with Whitefield never once publicly making any statement against Wesley or bringing charges against him. The result has been a massive misrepresentation of the facts in the controversy, to Whitefield’s damage and Wesley’s immense profit. Yet throughout his life, Whitefield continued, for the sake of his concept of “unity,” to support and aid Wesley in every way possible — often under extreme abuse from the very one he was helping.

This fact illustrates a continuing problem in the last two and one-half centuries of evangelicalism: the combination of neoplatonism and antinomianism. I can think of no outstanding 18th-century leader who was not deeply infected with these two errors. There is no doubt in my mind that God greatly used Whitefield and his associates for the extension of His kingdom; with me, at least, that is not the point at issue. But the presuppositions of their age were not called into question by these men — and one result has been that their followers, whether Wesleyan or Calvinist, have regarded their serious errors as evangelical orthodoxy.

Their working definition of “spirituality” — i.e., that salvation is fundamentally individualistic, internal, and immaterial — comes straight from the Apostle Plato. One example of this is Whitefield’s amusing, and very sad, experience of courtship and marriage (see esp. vol. I, pp. 468-472; vol. 2, pp. 101-113). He couldn’t bring himself to admit he actually loved the girl of his dreams —that would be too “carnal” — and his businesslike proposal (which she rejected) had a human tenderness matched only by that of frozen fish.

When he finally did marry, he became quickly disappointed, and in less than two months he was longing “for that blessed time when we shall neither marry nor be given in marriage, but be as the angels of God!” Marriage, you see, was a hindrance to his ability to serve the Lord. As he phrased it: “What room can there be for God, when a rival hath taken possession of the heart?”

We may laugh (or cry) at this, but let us be careful that our ideas of God, man and salvation are not just as distorted. We need to keep men like Whitefield in the Biblical perspective: neither attaching ourselves to his unbiblical worldviews just because God used him, nor rejecting the validity of much of what he did simply because his views were repulsive. He did preach the gospel, and he preached it with a greater degree of purity than most of his contemporaries. One of my favorite passages in the book comes from the diary of an unlettered American farmer, converted through hearing Whitefield preach on justification:

…he looked as if he was Clothed with authority from ye great god and a sweet solemnity sat upon his brow and my hearing him preach gave me a heart wound & by god’s blessing my old foundation was broken up & i see my righteousness would not save me.

Thus, Whitefield’s preaching did often have the good effect of leading people to flee from their own filthy rags to the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, Whitefield’s neoplatonism was never fully rooted out. Neoplatonism is essentially an attempt to deny one’s creaturehood and humanity, the vain wish to be pure spirit and flee earthly cares and human relationships. Christian spirituality becomes defined in terms of transcending our creaturely limitations, rather than serving God in every sphere of life. We see the same thing today: someone wants to “serve the Lord,” to enter “full-time Christian service,” and so he abandons his trade and becomes a full-time preacher or missionary.

Now, there is nothing necessarily wrong with that, but why do we feel that a preacher is more consecrated or spiritual than a salesman or electrician? It is simply because the preacher’s work seems less tied to earth and creaturely activity. The laborer, who spends most of his time working with material reality, cannot be as spiritual as the preacher, who deals with immaterial things — “the things of the Lord” — a higher level of reality. But the Bible says that all things are the Lord’s. Unfortunately, what someone once observed of philosophy could also be said of modern theology and Christian activity: “a series of footnotes to Plato.”

When we look at the lives of the Revivalists, we can see the needless suffering they endured because of their unbiblical concepts of reality. John Wesley had a very unhappy marriage: his wife constantly opposed him in his work, physically assaulted him on occasion, and finally left him. She is usually condemned (or dismissed as insane) by his biographers, but we should approach this matter with care. Here was a woman who was often left alone while her husband was out evangelizing and organizing, doing “the Lord’s work.”

But notice what the Bible demands of a church officer: he must he a godly husband and father, governing his home faithfully, loving his wife sacrificially, as Christ loved the church. The Old Testament required that a newly married man. “shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken” (Deut. 24:5). Surely this reveals God’s major concern for the home and family. The wife is a helper, and marriage is an asset, not a liability. But the revivalists often considered marriage a hindrance, and they accorded to soul-saving a priority over the clear demands of Scripture.

In examining Wesley’s troubles, therefore, we must ask: Who deserted whom? We cannot excuse Wesley on the mere grounds that many were converted under his ministry. God used him, as He has used many who disobeyed Him. God’s sovereignty is no excuse for man’s irresponsibility. Wesley’s ministry was lawless: soul-saving does not take priority over a man’s duty to his wife.

Whitefield’s marriage was certainly not the stormy ordeal that was Wesley’s, but he held the same distorted view of its proper place. Elizabeth Whitefield was apparently able to cope with the loneliness that had broken Mrs. Wesley. Still, she came to see herself as “nothing but a load and burden to him.” He was engaged in spiritual work, and made no attempt to hide the fact that he “looked back longingly on the days when there had been no husbandly responsibilities to hinder his service for the Lord.”

Again, these men often felt it was their duty to live as close to poverty as possible, and much of their activity was spent in trying to take care of the debts they incurred. Their sermons and writings flow incessantly with longings to leave earth and go to heaven — a common theme in evangelical hymns since their time. The fact that the Bible tells us little about heaven, and a great deal about our duties on earth, seems not to have occurred to them.

As I noted, Whitefield was better than most. His meetings never approached the irrational fervor (e.g., spasms, fainting fits and glossolalia) that were common under the ministry of many of his contemporaries. His humility and willingness to be corrected were exemplary, and guarded him from the errors into which many of his colleagues fell. But in the course of bringing revival, he and the other preachers took the reigning philosophical ideas and presented them as Christian orthodoxy. Christianity became a mystical experience of the spirit, rather than the whole man submitting all his thought and activity to the covenantal demands of Jesus Christ.

This false spirituality has tainted virtually everything in the last two centuries of evangelicalism. Consider two ways in which it has affected Christian schools. First, in contradiction to Scripture, teachers are often paid the lowest wages possible. Why? Because, like preachers, they are doing “the Lord’s work”; it is a ministry, and they should therefore be satisfied with their heavenly reward. The laborer is worthy of his hire unless he’s in “full-time Christian service.” (Incidentally, when Paul said elders should be paid “double honor,” he meant double wages. I’m not sure how much “double wages” are, but I’ll bet my Social Security it’s more than minimum wage.)

Secondly, Christian schools are often seen as centers for evangelism: instruction and preparation of the children for godly dominion in every sphere of life takes second place. We want the kids to get saved, but we don’t bother much with things such as economics, law, labor principles, training in useful trades, preparing for family life, and so on. This is not a practice derived from Scripture. It derives from our view that man’s purpose on earth is to get saved. Period. (A variation might be that man’s purpose is to get saved, and then to get everybody else saved, but that’s about the extent of it.) But man’s purpose is godly dominion — salvation is necessary in restoring fallen man to the place where he can again serve God as ruler over the earth. This central Biblical teaching was neglected in the revivals, and that crucial omission was the deathblow for Christian dominion in the following generations. True, the face of England was remarkably changed — evidence that the revival was genuine — but the nation as a whole was not captured. Eventually, the good fruit of the movement was taken over by the humanists — and there, I think, is a lesson. Many in our day are praying for another Whitefield-type revival. But if it is not accompanied by Scriptural reformation and Christian reconstruction, it will fail

Prophecy Prognosticators are Part of the “Thought Collective”

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2020 BY GARY DEMAR

Like clockwork, when something bad happens in the world, Bible prophecy prognosticators start with their end-time claims. They are part of a “thought collective” where adherents share their beliefs in a closed system using the same language and shortcut responses to those who criticize their conclusions. When challenged with this question, “Where in the Bible does it say that?,” they avoid answering directly by offering a formula response that comes from the safety of the “thought collective” bubble.

It happens every time some new prophecy claim is made about current events and challenged. Here’s the latest since Joe Biden might be our nation’s next President:

It is amazing to see prophecy being fulfilled right before our eyes. 

How many times have you read something like the above? How many generations of failed prophetic predictions do we have to endure before Christians say “enough”?

Then I saw this:

There are only four passages in the Bible that use the word “antichrist.” You won’t find the word “antichrist” in the book of Revelation. The fact surprises a lot of prophecy enthusiasts. Not one of these passages mentions anything about the antichrist ruling anything. Read the passages for yourself from John’s epistles that were written before the temple was destroyed in AD 70:

  1. “Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour” (1 John 2:18).
  2. “Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the ChristThis is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son” (1 John 2:22)
  3. “By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world” (1 John 4:2–3).
  4. “For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the fleshThis is the deceiver and the antichrist” (2 John 7).

When I pointed out these biblical facts, I was dismissed with, “I respectfully disagree.” He didn’t tell me why he disagreed. It might be due to the fact that the passages are as clear as can be and do not fit today’s general understanding of the antichrist.

Notice that there were “now many antichrists” (1 John 2:18). “Now” refers to John’s day, a point made in again 1 John 4:3. In 1 John 2:22, we find, “Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichristthe one who denies the Father and the Son.” In 2 John 7, we find a definition that compliments what we read in 1 John 2:22: “For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist.”

John’s definition of antichrist is exclusively theological. Nothing is said about a charismatic leader solving the Middle East conflict, promising to rid the world of terrorism, getting the Jewish nation and the Arab nations to sign a peace treaty that will pave the way for the long awaited Third Temple (of which the New Testament says nothing), a satanic superman, namely, “the most evil man that ever lived.”

John was describing antichrists (plural) in his day as evidence that “it is the last hour” (1 John 2:18). What did John mean by “the last hour”? It’s a reference to the prophecy Jesus made in the Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24; Mark 13; Luke 21) and other places (Luke 11:46–5213:34–3517:22–3719:41–44) that a prophetic event was going to take place before their generation passed away. When John wrote his first epistle, the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 was near, possibly only a few years away. “Last hour” is not being used to describe thousands of years of history.

Who were these antichrists? They were Jews who understood the claimed relationship between Jesus and His Father. “I and the Father are one,” Jesus said (John 10:30). The Jews objected “and took up stones again to stone Him” (10:31).

Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?” The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.” (10:32–33).

The unbelieving Jews understood the claim that Jesus was the Christ, that is, the promised Messiah. In John’s day, unbelieving Jews were the antichrists because they denied that Jesus was God incarnate (John 1:114) and that He was the promised Messiah. This is why Jesus was accused of blasphemy and the Jewish religious and civil rulers wanted to kill Him.

“If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing; it is My Father who glorifies Me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God’; and you have not come to know Him, but I know Him; and if I say that I do not know Him, I will be a liar like you, but I do know Him and keep His word. “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” So the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple (John 8:55–59).

John described these unbelieving Jews as a “synagogue of Satan” (Rev. 2:93:9), a type of “thought collective” who denied the reality of God’s revealed Word and instead adopted a type of anti-Messianic group think.

While tens of thousands of Jews embraced Jesus as the promised Messiah (read the book of Acts), many Jews rejected Him. They held on to the tradition of the elders and chafed under the claim that the old covenant was temporary and was in the process of passing away (Heb. 8:13).

After answering some of the responses about the antichrists and how those defining the term were not following the biblical definition, the topic of the great tribulation came up. It is during this supposed future event that the antichrist is said to make his appearance. John does not say anything about this claim. Neither does Jesus in Matthew 24:21.

I responded with the following:

The great tribulation is a past event that took place before the generation to whom Jesus spoke passed away. See my book Last Days Madness. John described himself as a “fellow-partaker in the tribulation” (Rev. 1:10).

What was the response of the person who posted the meme?: “I respectfully disagree.”

I responded with: “Disagreeing is not a refutation.” His answer is typical of a “thought collective” response in that it must stay within the narrow confines of the prophetic paradigm. Any attempt to question it must be rebuffed even if it goes against what is specifically stated in Scripture or what’s not stated.

The tribulation that Jesus describes in Matthew 24:21 is now an event of history. It happened in the past. Jesus said in Matthew 24:34, “This generation will not pass away until all these things take place.” “This generation always refers to the generation to whom Jesus was speaking. It never refers to a future generation.

  • “But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces who call out to the other children…” (Matt. 11:16).
  • “The men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation at the judgment and will condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here” (Matt. 12:41).
  • “The Queen of the South will rise up with this generation at the judgment and will condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, something greater than Solomon is here” (Matt. 12:42).
  • “Then it goes and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation” (12:45).
  • “Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation” (Matt. 23:36).

F. F. Bruce wrote: “The phrase ‘this generation’ is found too often on Jesus’ lips in this literal sense for us to suppose that it suddenly takes on a different meaning in the saying we are now examining. Moreover, if the generation of the end-time had been intended, ‘that generation’ would have been a more natural way of referring to it than ‘this generation.’” ((F. F. Bruce, The Hard Sayings of Jesus (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1983), 227.))

More biblical examples could be given regarding the definition of “this generation” (Mark 8:128:3813:30Luke 7:3111:2911:303132505117:2521:32), and many more statements by commentators could be referenced that support the claim that “this generation” meant the generation to whom Jesus and the NT writers had in view. See my book Wars and Rumors of Wars.

How is it possible that the tribulation leading up to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 could be “a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall” (Matt. 24:21). Because this was a covenantal judgment event. Jesus was not describing what would happen to the whole world. Jesus uses the same wording that’s found in Ezekiel 5:9 that describes Jerusalem’s desolation and judgment that took place in the 6th century BC:

“Thus says the Lord GOD, ‘This is Jerusalem; I have set her at the center of the nations, with lands around her. ‘But she has rebelled against My ordinances more wickedly than the nations and against My statutes more than the lands which surround her; for they have rejected My ordinances and have not walked in My statutes.’ “Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD, ‘Because you have more turmoil than the nations which surround you and have not walked in My statutes, nor observed My ordinances, nor observed the ordinances of the nations which surround you,’ therefore, thus says the Lord GOD, ‘Behold, I, even I, am against you, and I will execute judgments among you in the sight of the nations. ‘And because of all your abominations, I will do among you what I have not done, and the like of which I will never do again. ‘Therefore, fathers will eat their sons among you, and sons will eat their fathers; for I will execute judgments on you and scatter all your remnant to every wind. ‘So as I live,’ declares the Lord GOD, ‘surely, because you have defiled My sanctuary with all your detestable idols and with all your abominations, therefore I will also withdraw, and My eye will have no pity and I will not spare. ‘One third of you will die by plague or be consumed by famine among you, one third will fall by the sword around you, and one third I will scatter to every wind, and I will unsheathe a sword behind them (Ezek. 5:5–12).

This type of language is rhetorical hyperbole that’s used often in the Bible (e.g., Ex. 11:6Acts 2:5Col. 1:231 Kings 3:12 compare with Matt. 12:412 Kings 18:5 compare with 2 Kings 23:25). One of the commenters wrote that the “great tribulation is defined in Scripture as ‘a rut that cannot be escaped from.’” If this is the definition of the great tribulation, then it does not comport with what the Bible says about escaping it.

The great tribulation described by Jesus could be escaped on foot by fleeing “to the mountains” outside of Judea (Matt. 24:16). The conditions described by Jesus are indicative of first-century Israel: houses had flat roofs, the Sabbath was still operating, and a person’s cloak “is the one thing that is so precious and needful that it cannot be taken as a pledge during the nighttime hours, but has to be returned each night to its owner [Ex. 22:26-27].”

Luke’s version includes some of the same generation-defining elements of the prophecy and includes, “when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is at hand” (21:20). This means that the great tribulation described by Jesus could be escaped and was escaped by those who listened to Jesus and headed for the hills like Lot did. Those who did not, ended up like Lot’s wife, caught in the fiery conflagration.