How To End Illegal Immigration, Stop Government Theft, And Save Billions

Hungary doesn’t have a migrant problem. Why do migrants not try to get into Hungary? Cal Thomas writes:

Two summers ago on a visit to Budapest, I asked the spokesman for the Hungarian government about the growing problem of migrants coming into Europe. He told me Hungary doesn’t have a migrant problem because the nation doesn’t have welfare programs. So, he said, migrants continue their travels to other European countries that do.

It also helps that Hungary has declared itself to be a Christian nation.

The only way we are going to win the anti-illegal immigration battle is to go to the root of the problem: America’s unconstitutional wealth-transfer system. We need to remove the incentives for people who come to the United States for a free ride. This will mean dismantling the welfare state that millions of Americans participate in and defend.

We also need to go back to America’s founding principles that were mostly Christian.

The reason many (not all) illegal immigrants are willing to break the law to enter the United States is that it’s attractive to them in terms of monetary benefits. Many come for jobs and work hard at them. We want these types of immigrants, but they are often overshadowed by those who take advantage of lenient immigration policies, don’t want to assimilate, and benefit from our unconstitutional and immoral wealth-transfer system called “welfare.”

Islam is the wild card. There are millions of Muslims who believe it is their Allah-ordained mission to remake the world into a global caliphate by any means at their disposal. They will even use our democratic process to accomplish it as they are slowly attempting to do in the United States. Rep. Keith Ellison is a prime example. He is a nut case who has said, “If they can ban Muslims, why can’t they ban Mormons…?” Of course, Muslims are not being banned. But if Mormons were blowing up churches, mosques, raping, beheading, drowning, and burning Christians, and gunning down people on military bases and airports, then I would be all for a Mormon ban.

There are other Muslim enablers like Nancy “Tell Them You’re a Muslim” Pelosi. Mass immigration from Muslim nations could be a deathblow to our way of life. For many, the welfare state is a way to finance their objectives until they are in the ascendancy.

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Education is where the war of ideas is fought

The great immigrant movements of the 19th and 20th centuries came about because of economic opportunities and the pursuit of social and political liberty. The welfare state was almost non-existent. The Great Society was not implemented until the mid-1960s. Since then we have seen a rise in multi-generational unemployment, fractured families, government dependency, and a solid block of voters to keep the welfare state intact. This is mostly true, in terms of percentages, of black families. It’s a shame. The war on poverty has become a war on the poor, and what liberals want is more poverty programs to keep the war going.

Most people my age (I was born in 1950) are grandchildren and great-grandchildren of immigrants. I lived in a neighborhood of second-generation immigrant families: Poles, Italians, Jews, Czechs, Ukrainians, Irish, and others.

When my father returned wounded from the Korean War (he had his right leg blown off), we lived in a housing development outside of Pittsburgh that overlooked the Monongahela River that was called “The Projects.” It has since been razed.

At the time, the area was a booming steel, iron, and coal center that was populated and worked by immigrants. A dozen smokestacks are all that remain as a reminder of what used to be. The Waterfront — a super-regional open-air shopping mall spanning the three boroughs of Homestead, West Homestead, and Munhall near Pittsburgh — has replaced the once burgeoning steel industry that gave Pittsburgh its nickname — the Steel City.

But it could all turn to dust like the mills turned to rust if Americans don’t say no to the Welfare State. If we don’t, we will be overwhelmed by people who will eat our capital until there is nothing left.

We moved out of the projects when I was five. My parents purchased a house in the South Hills area of Pittsburgh with other families that were just starting out.

Illegal immigration was not an issue. Immigration was manageable because there were laws and a civil religion built on the foundation of Christianity, and our nation was selective. Not everyone got in, but we knew that everyone in our neighborhood shared a common set of moral standards even though we may not have shared a common national heritage.

Everyone worked. Most people lived within their means because they knew there was no Great Society ready, willing, and able to bail them out of a financial fix by taking money from other workers. There was compulsive Social Security, of which Congress exempted itself, but almost no one saw it as the only source of retirement income.

Here’s the hard part for many conservatives who are quick to blame immigrants. Modern-day immigrants did not create the welfare state. We did. Dr. Gary North writes:

Some people think that the big problem with illegal immigrants is that they are taking advantage of the welfare rolls. I’m sure a lot of them are. Whose fault is that? It’s the fault of the Anglos, who created the welfare system. It wasn’t created by illegal Mexican immigrants. It began in the New Deal. It was promoted by graduates of the Ivy League universities. All of this was invented by educated people, and it was supported by grassroots Democrats who used the programs to get elected after 1930. The shock troops of the welfare state are not Mexicans. They are Anglos.

Then there’s government education, the biggest welfare scam that most Americans fool themselves into believing is free. What is the predominant worldview taught in today’s government schools that were designed by the same people that created the welfare and warfare State? Moral relativism and a bigger welfare state. It’s no wonder that leftists are attacking people who identify public schools as “government schools.” Because they are, and leftists like it that way.

Dr. North continues with some painful truth:

The hue and cry against illegal immigration is a hue and cry against the fact that illegal immigrants come here to take advantage of the unethical social and economic structures that have been set up by the Anglos. Anglo voters look at Hispanic immigrants, and they perceive them as weak people: welfare clients. But at least half of the American population is on the dole in one way or the other. The two biggest welfare programs in the country are Medicare and Social Security. The beneficiaries of these programs are primarily white middle-class voters who got old. The only way that these two systems can remain solvent longer is because of new workers coming into the economy. But these new workers, at the margin, are Hispanics. They are doing in the United States what immigrants out of North Africa are doing to the welfare state economies of southern Europe. They are keeping the welfare system going.

Building a wall won’t fix the multiple moral and political strangleholds that are choking America by Americans. “Any conservative who gets in a dither over amnesty, but who is unwilling to eliminate the welfare state, has his priorities messed up. His ethics can be summarized in this moral axiom: ‘Illegal immigrants should not have access to our loot. We stole it fair and square.’”

What’s The Best Approach To Interpreting The Bible?

If you had to instruct someone on how to interpret the Bible, how would you go about doing it? There are many books on how to interpret the Bible. These books in and of themselves aren’t bad, but the ordinary Christian is not going to spend time taking a hermeneutics course and studying these texts.

R.C. Sproul’s primer Knowing Scripture is helpful. I always begin with the Bible itself. Let the Bible interpret itself. Two recent encounters with specific texts brought this methodology to mind for me.

Someone asked about the mark of the beast and buying and selling. Marking the hand and forehead is not difficult to figure out if you start with the Bible. Many prophecy enthusiasts make an appeal to current affairs, what Greg L. Bahnsen described as “newspaper exegesis.” This is the tail wagging the dog. There are a number of places in Scripture where marking the hand and forehead are found:

  • You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. (Deut. 6:8; also Ex. 13:916Deut. 11:8).
  • The LORD said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, even through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations which are being committed in its midst” (Ezek. 9:4; also Rev. 7:2-3).

These are obviously not bar codes or RFID chips. This is not to say that getting chipped is a good idea; it’s only to point out that the Bible is describing something else. With a little comparative digging, a student of the Bible can figure out what the Bible means about marking the hand and forehead.

If we start to claim that what’s being described in Revelation 13:16-18 is about modern-day surveillance technology, then we have a problem with the first verse in the next chapter of Revelation:

Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads (14:1).

If Revelation 13 is about modern-day technology, then what do we do with the mark of the lamb on a person’s forehead?

By letting the Bible interpret the Bible, we find a passage like the following:

“He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name” (Rev. 3:12).

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Then we get to Revelation 13:17 and buying and selling. Where have we read this before? “And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who were selling doves” (Matt. 21:12; also, John 2:14-16). Access to the temple was corrupted by the money changers and the priesthood that let it happen and most likely profited by it. They had turned the temple into a robber’s den. Those who went along with the system had identified with an obsolete edifice (the temple?) that was about to be judged and demolished (Matt. 24:1-3).

Buying and selling, in terms of the Bible, is not always about commerce; it most likely has something to do with the temple and the religious apostasy that was prevalent in Jerusalem in the lead up to the destruction of the temple. Take notice of Luke 17:28 where “buying and selling” are set in the context of the destruction of Jerusalem in their generation.

The mark of the beast — 666 — applied to both the sea (Rome) and land (apostate Israel) beasts. The corrupt Jews had declared, “We have no king but Caesar” (John 19:15) and continued to persecute the Christians up until the Temple’s destruction. The true temple dwellers in the New Jerusalem have the name of Jesus “and the name of His Father written on their foreheads” (Rev. 14:1). They don’t need to “buy and sell” in the temple because Jesus (“the Lamb”: 14:1) is their access to redemption. He is the temple and we are “living stones … being built as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 2:5).

There may be more going on, but I will contend that these are the places to start. Begin with the biblical material and work your way through the material to get a Bible-eye view.

While working on an article about how to respond to false accusations, I came across this passage:

Paul, looking intently at the Council, said, “Brethren, I have lived my life with a perfectly good conscience before God up to this day.” The high priest Ananias commanded those standing beside him to strike him on the mouth. Then Paul said to him, “God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! Do you sit to try me according to the Law, and in violation of the Law order me to be struck?” (Acts 23:1-3).

Sure enough, there’s a passage in Ezekiel that mentions whitewashed walls in relation to specific events:

Then the word of the Lord came to me saying, “Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who prophesy, and say to those who prophesy from their own inspiration, ‘Listen to the word of the Lord! Thus says the Lord God, “Woe to the foolish prophets who are following their own spirit and have seen nothing. O Israel, your prophets have been like foxes among ruins. You have not gone up into the breaches, nor did you build the wall around the house of Israel to stand in the battle on the day of the Lord. They see falsehood and lying divination who are saying, ‘The Lord declares,’ when the Lord has not sent them; yet they hope for the fulfillment of their word. Did you not see a false vision and speak a lying divination when you said, ‘The Lord declares,’ but it is not I who have spoken?”’”

Therefore, thus says the Lord God, “Because you have spoken falsehood and seen a lie, therefore behold, I am against you,” declares the Lord God. “So My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and utter lying divinations. They will have no place in the council of My people, nor will they be written down in the register of the house of Israel, nor will they enter the land of Israel, that you may know that I am the Lord God. It is definitely because they have misled My people by saying, ‘Peace!’ when there is no peace. And when anyone builds a wall, behold, they plaster it over with whitewash; so tell those who plaster it over with whitewash, that it will fall. A flooding rain will come, and you, O hailstones, will fall; and a violent wind will break out. Behold, when the wall has fallen, will you not be asked, ‘Where is the plaster with which you plastered it?’”

Therefore, thus says the Lord God, “I will make a violent wind break out in My wrath. There will also be in My anger a flooding rain and hailstones to consume it in wrath. So I will tear down the wall which you plastered over with whitewash and bring it down to the ground, so that its foundation is laid bare; and when it falls, you will be consumed in its midst. And you will know that I am the Lord. Thus I will spend My wrath on the wall and on those who have plastered it over with whitewash; and I will say to you, ‘The wall is gone and its plasterers are gone, along with the prophets of Israel who prophesy to Jerusalem, and who see visions of peace for her when there is no peace,’ declares the Lord God” (Ezekiel 13:15-16).

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What is this prophecy in reference to? The destruction of the temple and judgment on Israel under the Old Covenant. Did Paul have this passage in mind in his response to the high priest? The high priest sure reacted swiftly with force after hearing it. He most likely knew the connection.

Was Paul saying that the apostate Jewish religious leaders were like the false prophets of Ezekiel’s day? (1 John 4:12 Pet. 2:1). Were they the “scoffers”/”mockers” that Peter mentioned? (2 Pet. 3:3). Jesus had prophesied about their generation (Matt. 24:34). That generation was coming to a close and many were saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation” (2 Pet. 3:3-4).

The best way to learn the Bible and interpret the Bible is to begin with the Bible.

The Beginnings of Christian Reform (44)

Christianity and International Relations (2)

II. All Nations Under God-Missionaries make the Best Ambassadors:

The second part of a Biblical covenant structure, is hierarchy. God has established a hierarchical structure of authority to govern His three covenantal institutions: church, State and family.

May He also rule from sea to sea and from the river to the ends of the earth. Let the nomads of the desert bow before Him, and His enemies lick the dust. Let the kings of Tarshish and of the islands bring presents; the kings of Sheba and Seba offer gifts. And let all kings bow down before Him, all nations serve Him (Ps.72:8-11).

We know that God is three Persons, yet also one Person. He is God, yet He is plural. Mankind also is one, but many. We are divided religiously, racially, geographically, culturally, and in many other ways, yet we are all one blood. We are all sons of God by birth-disinherited sons. Salvation is by adoption: God adopts the formerly rebellious back into His family through Jesus Christ, and we become sons of the inheritance. Therefore the dividing line within humanity is not blood (or race) but ethics. Every person is either a disinherited son (like Cain and Esau), or an adopted son, through the sovereign grace of God shown to us in Jesus Christ.

The dividing line between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan, in terms of the nations, is the same. It is not a case of blood, or geography, but covenant. Which nations are sons of the covenant? With them, we will have fellowship.

Christ’s victory at Calvary in principle reclaimed the ownership of the whole earth from Satan, and it legally transferred this certificate of ownership to God’s people. The certificate of ownership is the New Testament itself. The New Testament is a covenant: a legal document. It assigns the inheritance to God’s adopted sons (Jn.1:12). The boundaries of this nation of nations in principle are the whole earth. Though sin will restrict a perfect working out in history of these boundaries, the goal of Christians all over the world should be to work toward this goal: the creation of a formally covenanted confederation of Christian nations under God. God’s kingdom must triumph in history over Satan’s kingdom. Christ’s nation of nations must triumph over Satan’s empire of empires (HON, p.51).

Just as the builders of the tower of Babel had “the same words” (Gen.11:1), the covenantal basis of Christian institutional unity will be a common confession or creed. This could be as simple as “Jesus Christ is Lord” (Phil.2:11). The only possible source of empowering for this kind of institutional unity can be the Holy Spirit.

Allegiances to God begin with individuals, families and churches. It must be a “bottom-up” process, but ultimately it must finish up with the nations of the world. Liberty and justice for mankind, is not merely an individual issue, but with implications for families, communities and nations. Does this suggest a theocracy? Of course. (Every government is essentially a theocracy, depending on the values of those in power.) But it is a “bottom-up” theocracy, not imposed from above. For a nation to refuse to confess Jesus Christ as Lord, is implicitly to confess Satan.

Consider what Paul was doing. He was going through the Roman Empire preaching the kingdom of God. The Jews were correct in charging the disciples with preaching another King, Jesus. That is exactly what they were doing. And in the end, pagan Rome fell to Christianity. The triumph of Christianity did mark the end of the pagan Roman Empire. Christ triumphed over Caesar in history through His people.

Was Paul an isolationist? Hardly. He was an ambassador of Christ’s international world order. He warned his listeners of the judgment to come. Christ is King of kings and Lord of lords.

This is the message of God’s internationalism. This message repels humanist internationalists as much as it repels humanist isolationists. It means that God will destroy their pretensions of autonomy. The Biblical answer to humanist internationalism, humanist isolationism, and humanist nationalism is Biblical covenantalism. The covenant is primary. Every institution must be reconstructed in terms of the Biblical covenant. This includes international relations (HON, p.75-76).

God’s Holy Mountain:

Isaiah 2:2-3 typifies the mountain is God’s dwelling place, His house. It is the place where He teaches us His ways. Out of Mt. Zion goes God’s law. It is the covenant law of God that subdues the nations. This process of subduing the nations begins with self-government under law, but it does not end there.

What is this mountain? Clearly, it is the institutional church. The institutional church preaches God’s Word. Out of the institutional church flows the law of God. The passage does not teach that the institutional church will control the world. On the contrary, it is the people who obey the law that flows out of the church who will subdue the earth. This is the notion of godly decentralisation. It is God’s Word that brings Christians victory over His enemies (HON, p.156).

This is what began on the day of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit was poured out on the representatives of the nations, who then returned to their respective nations as representatives of God’s heavenly kingdom. It is the missionary who above all, is to announce to the pagan world the two-fold judgment of God: blessing and cursing. It is therefore the missionary who best represents a Christian nation in a foreign land. He is the full-time servant of Christ’s kingdom who is best equipped to mobilize grass-roots support in favour of Christian freedom and against the tyranny of Satan’s empire. He is best equipped to begin the bottom-up process of evangelism that ultimately leads to the establishment of a covenanted confederation of Christian nations.

The office of ambassador (described by Paul in II Cor.5:20), is primarily as a representative of Christ. This office is the model for civil ambassadors. It is not that the office of civil ambassador for some earthly kingdom has become the model for the Church office of witness-ambassador. On the contrary, the Church office of witness-ambassador is God’s model for the civil government’s office of ambassador. The witness-ambassador is the person who brings God’s covenant lawsuit before the people and kings of rival kingdoms, as Jonah did. It is crucial to notice that Jonah did not ask Nineveh to submit covenantally to Israel. He informed them of God’s requirement that they surrender unconditionally to God (HON, p.158).

In a seriously Christian international world, the national witness-ambassador of a Christian nation invites the representative leaders of pagan nations to enter into a peaceful alliance (though not yet a covenant) with Christian nations, thereby giving time for missionaries from Christian nations to preach the gospel to the pagan nation’s people. Then, steadily, as the gospel brings converts into the Church, the once-pagan nation is transformed. Upon becoming officially, covenantally Christian, it is then invited to enter the family of Christian nations on a covenantal basis. It is not asked to subordinate itself to any other nation, but it is asked to subordinate itself to the Christian nations’ covenanted appeals court system. This is Christian internationalism, and it is the standard of foreign policy set forth in the Bible (HON, p.159).

We are all colonialists. Christians promote the colonization of the world under God. Humanists promote the colonization of the world under Satan. Christians do not promote the colonial ambitions of any single earthly nation, but instead promote the creation of a world Christian civilization…the answer to false colonialism is God’s colonialism: discipling the nations under God’s heavenly commonwealth (HON, p.173).

So Let’s Ban Marijuana

Thirty-three states have legalized the medical use of marijuana. Ten states have legalized the recreational use of marijuana (eleven if you count Illinois, where legalization takes effect on January 1 of next year). At least twenty states and more than fifty localities in a dozen states have either fully or partially decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

Yet:

  • The federal government still considers the growing, distributing, buying, selling, possessing, or smoking of marijuana to be a violation of federal law.
  • The federal government classifies marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 801) with “a high potential for abuse,” “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States,” and “a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug under medical supervision.”
  • Marijuana arrests are still rising in the United States. There is now an average of one marijuana bust roughly every 48 seconds. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report (UCR), there were 659,700 marijuana arrests in 2017, 599,282 of which were just for marijuana possession.

The billions and billions of dollars that the federal government is spending every year to wage war on marijuana users is ludicrous—especially considering what Americans are dying of every year.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a total of 2,813,503 Americans died in 2017 (the latest year for which figures are available).

  • Heart disease killed 647,457 people.
  • Cancer killed 599,108 people.
  • Accidents killed 169,936 people.
  • Chronic lower respiratory diseases killed 160,201 people.
  • Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases) killed 146,383 people.
  • Alzheimer’s disease killed 121,404 people.
  • Diabetes killed 83,564 people.
  • Influenza and Pneumonia killed 55,672 people.
  • Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis killed 50,633 people.
  • Intentional self-harm (suicide) killed 47,173 people.
  • Unintentional falls killed 36,338 people.
  • Motor vehicle traffic accidents killed 40,231 people.
  • Unintentional poisoning deaths killed 64,795 people.
  • Firearms killed 39,773 people.

So let’s ban marijuana, which, according to the federal government’s own Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), no one has ever overdosed from using.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were a total of 5,147 fatal work injuries recorded in the United States in 2017 (the latest year for which figures are available).

  • Falls killed 887 workers.
  • Transportation incidents killed 2,077 workers.
  • Cranes killed 33 workers.
  • Confined spaces killed 166 workers.
  • Contact with objects and equipment killed 695 workers.
  • Unintentional overdoses due to nonmedical use of drugs or alcohol killed 272 workers.
  • Fires and explosions killed 123 workers.
  • Guns killed 351 workers.
  • Knives and sharp objects killed 47 workers.
  • There were 91 roofers killed at work.
  • There were 258 farmers and ranchers killed at work.
  • There were 30 refuse collectors killed at work.
  • There were 112 miners and oil and gas extractors killed at work.
  • There were 258 farmers and ranchers killed at work.
  • There were 59 aircraft pilots and flight engineers killed at work.
  • There were 41 fishermen killed at work.
  • There were 14 iron and steel workers killed at work.
  • There were 26 power-line installers and repairers killed at work.
  • There were 244 goundskeepers killed at work.
  • There were 55 loggers killed at work.

So let’s ban marijuana, which, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), no one has ever died from using.

According to the CDC:

  • Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States.
  • Smoking causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

So let’s ban marijuana and keep tobacco—one of the deadliest substances known to man—legal.

According to the CDC:

  • Excessive alcohol use led to approximately 88,000 deaths and 2.5 million years of potential life lost (YPLL) each year in the United States from 2006 – 2010, shortening the lives of those who died by an average of 30 years.
  • Excessive drinking was responsible for 1 in 10 deaths among working-age adults aged 20-64 years.

So let’s ban marijuana and allow people to buy and consume as much alcohol as they can, even if it will kill them.

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), 6,227 pedestrians were killed on U.S. roads in 2018.

So let’s ban marijuana and spend billions to enforce the ban instead of investing in making it safer for pedestrians to cross the street.

The war on marijuana is not only ludicrous, it is unreasonable, irrational, and illogical.

What Does The Bible Say About Citizenship?

In the modern world, then, each Christian is a citizen of two nations: An earthly nation like France, England, or the U.S.A., and the heavenly nation (Eph 2:6; not of this world, John 18:36), the church. Though we belong entirely to Christ, we do not on that account renounce our citizenship in the earthly nations, any more than we leave our earthly families. Indeed, we seek to be good citizens, for those earthly nations themselves, and their rulers, received their authority from God (Rom 13:1-7).1

There is a strong belief among many Christians that belief in an exclusively heavenly citizenship has no effect on the Christian in relation to his civil citizenship since he is simply a pilgrim and a stranger on his way to heaven. What’s the result of such thinking? “In no country except with the exception of Czarist Russia did the clergy become by tradition so completely servile to the political authority of the State.”2 Adolf Hitler took advantage of this belief. Martin Niemöller taught otherwise: “‘We have no more thought of using our own powers to escape the arm of the authorities than had the Apostles of old. No more are we ready to keep silent at man’s behest when God commands us to speak. For it is, and must remain, the case that we must obey God rather than man.’”3 A Christian’s heavenly citizenship, Niemöller concluded, must have an impact in the world in which he lives.

Dual Citizenship

By the thinking of many, the Christian’s heavenly citizenship automatically nullifies any earthly citizenship. The Apostle Paul saw no contradiction in claiming his Roman citizenship (Acts 16:37-3922:22-29) and maintaining that he was also a citizen of heaven (Phil. 3:20). There is no contradiction in Peter’s words when he commands us to submit ourselves “to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right” (1 Peter 2:13–14) and his words to the officers of the temple when he and the apostles said, “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).

The Christian is a citizen of several locales ‑‑ a city, county, state, and nation. For example, the Apostle Paul was a Roman citizen (Acts 22:27‑29) of the city of Tarsus in the region of Cilicia (21:39) and a resident of Jerusalem in the district of Judea (22:3). Had Israel not been subject to the sovereignty of Rome, Paul could have exercised his tribal citizenship as a resident of the “tribe of Benjamin” (Phil. 3:5). Paul had multiple civil citizenships. The concept of a single citizenship has more in common with pagan Greece than with biblical Christianity.

No one could become a citizen at Athens if he was a citizen in another city; for it was a religious impossibility to be at the same time a member of two cities, as it also was to be a member of two families.4

In the United States, an individual has a national, state, county, and city citizenship. In some states, borough governments (e.g., Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Minnesota) and parish governments (e.g., Louisiana) operate. Each of the many civil authorities holds real but limited delegated power and sovereignty in these locales. Their real authority and sovereignty can be used to curtail the power of another legitimate government that might abuse its authority, or an illegitimate governing power assuming rule through coercion.

Through multiple civil citizenships, citizens have access to the seats of power where influence can be exerted on a local level. Abolition of these many civil distinctions leads to despotism and tyranny. Adolph Hitler was able to consolidate his power by eliminating the many civil distinctions within the nation:

[H]e had abolished the separate powers of the historic states and made them subject to the central authority of the Reich, which was in his hands. . . . “Popular assemblies” of the states were abolished, the sovereign powers of the states were transferred to the Reich, all state governments were placed under the Reich government and the state governors put under the administration of the Reich Minister of the Interior.5

One of the tenets of Marxism is the “gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equable distribution of the population over the country.”6 Our American constitutional founders designed a decentralized civil government that also decentralized power and authority.

Ultimately, the Christian is a citizen of God’s kingdom. In Philippians 3:20, Paul mentions this aspect of citizenship: “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly await for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” This idea corresponds to Jesus informing Nicodemus that he must be “born again” [Lit., born from above] (John 3:5; cf. 14:1‑3). In effect, he must become a citizen of heaven. An individual’s Christian “citizenship” does not cancel his earthly citizenships and corresponding civil obligations, however.

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In another sense, the Christian’s heavenly citizenship makes him an alien, stranger, and exile on earth (Heb. 11:131 Peter 2:11). The Christian does not repudiate his earthly citizenships while acting as a pilgrim. Rather, his earthly citizenships are not to be considered primary. Earthly citizenships are temporary and have meaning only within the context of a biblical moral order — the kingdom of God that encompasses all citizenships. The Christian is told to “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness… (Matt. 6:33).

The Christian has an obligation to follow the law of God as it applies to all locales. God’s law is the standard whereby all the above-mentioned citizenships must operate. Our heavenly citizenship involves comprehensive law-keeping. Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15). Jesus does not restrict the locale of law-keeping; therefore, we can conclude that the keeping of His commandments includes every citizenship without exception.

The church is spoken of as a citizenship: “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow‑citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household” (Eph. 2:19). The Christian’s heavenly citizenship automatically places him in an ecclesiastical body where a law-order should operate (Matt. 16:13‑19; 18:15‑20; 1 Cor. 6:1‑11).

Paul’s Example

The Apostle Paul saw no inconsistency in taking advantage of his Roman citizenship (Acts 16:37-3922:22-29) while maintaining that he was also a citizen of heaven (Phil. 3:20). Paul did not deny his Roman citizenship and claim heavenly citizenship when he was taken to be “examined by scourging” (Acts 22:24). “And when they stretched him out with thongs, Paul said to the centurion who was standing by, ‘Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman and uncondemned?’” (22:25). Why didn’t Paul just “take it,” content in the fact that he was a citizen of heaven? Instead, he used the privileges of Roman citizenship to his advantage. While some had purchased their citizenship with large sums of money, Paul “was actually born a [Roman] citizen” (22:28).

Nowhere do we find Paul repudiating the privileges that came with being a Roman citizen. We should keep in mind that the Caesars considered themselves to be gods. To be actively involved in the realm of politics does not mean that politics must be free of all pagan thought. Paul proclaimed an unadulterated message to these pagan rulers hoping to persuade them of their religious folly. After hearing Paul’s defense of the gospel, King Agrippa replied to him, either has a question or statement of fact, “In a short time you will persuade me to become a Christian” (Acts 26:28).

On numerous occasions the apostle used all of the privileges of Roman citizenship to his advantage by appealing, not to heaven before the Romans (certainly Paul did appeal to heaven, since he tells us to “pray without ceasing” [1 Thess. 5:17]) but to “Caesar,” the seat of Roman civil authority (Acts 25:11). Of course, he was using Caesar to advance the gospel to bring others into heavenly citizenship.

  1. John M. Frame, “Toward a Theology of the State,” Westminster Theological Journal 51:2 (Fall 1989), 221. []
  2. William L. Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1960), 236. []
  3. Quoted in Shirer, The Nightmare Years, 154. []
  4. Fustel de Coulanges, The Ancient City: A Study on the Religion, Laws, and Institutions of Greece and Rome (Garden City, NY: Doubleday Anchor [1864] 1955), 196. Quoted in Gary North, Political Polytheism: The Myth of Pluralism (Institute for Christian Economics, 1989), 62. []
  5. Shirer, Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, 200. []
  6. The Communist Manifesto, written with Friedrich Engels, 1848. []

The Beginnings of Christian Reform (43)

By Andrew McColl, 17th September, 2019

        Christianity and International Relations (1)

This series is based on Gary North’s 300 page book, “Healer of the Nations,” published in 1987. Extensive excerpts from it will be followed by the note, “HON,” and the page number. I have followed the book’s ten chapter format, but with each of my five chapters generally being made up of North’s chapters 1/6, 2/7, 3/8 etc, to keep to the Biblical covenant format.

Introduction:

There can never be peace in history outside of Christ. There can be temporary cease-fire agreements, but never a lasting peace. What Christians must understand is that peace is attained through the preaching of the gospel and the discipling of the nations. There is no other way. God will not permit peace on any other terms. War and peace are always covenantal concepts. As long as God and Satan are engaged in a spiritual, historical, and cosmic battle, so their covenanted disciples will be engaged in spiritual, historical, and earthly conflict. Foreign policy must be restructured in every Christian nation to reflect this struggle. It, too, must be reconstructed in terms of the Bible. The goal is international peace, but only on Christ’s terms.[1]

I .God Created the Nations – All People are Citizens of Two Worlds:

The first part of a Biblical covenant, is the announcement that God is transcendent- the supreme Creator and deliverer of mankind. God is completely superior to and different from men and the world He created, yet He is also present with it: immanent.

A government, Biblically speaking, is a monopolistic institution created by God. Membership in it is established by an oath or vow before God, explicit or implicit (for example, registering to vote). A Biblical understanding of nation does not always require present geographical boundaries, but it requires boundaries as a memory to be revered and as a goal to be achieved. Israel remained a nation during captivity because of the shared faith of the people and their faith in their future restoration to the land.

The modern humanist defines the nation in terms of political power. That geographical and legal entity which possesses supreme political power is defined as the nation. The nation is today incorrectly identified with the State (HON, p.30). The Bible says that God “made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation” (Acts 17:26).

Establishing a Christian Nation:

God creates nations, kingdoms, and all other units of civil government. Men, as God’s delegated sovereigns in history (Gen.1:26-28) create civil governments as agents of God, but not as original creators.

What would be the universal features of a Christian nation? The same five features that we see in every government. The Christian nation would be fully aware of what God requires. It must be stressed from the outset that the creation of such a nation could be accomplished only as a result of the widespread work of the Holy Spirit, not through some bureaucratic, top-down, coercively imposed order on a non-Christian majority by a Christian minority.

  1. A Common View of God:

All citizens would acknowledge the sovereignty of the Trinitarian God of the Bible. Only He would be publicly worshipped. Only He would be called upon publicly in times of national crisis. Only He would be given public praise in times of national deliverance. His Word, the Bible, would be acknowledged as the source of the nation’s law-order.

  1. A Common System of Courts:

There must be a way of settling public disputes. A Christian nation would follow the example of Exodus 18 and establish an appeals court system. Men would be free to do as they please unless they violate a specific piece of Bible-based legislation, or a specific Biblical injunction that the Bible says must be enforced by the civil government. Government is therefore a bottom-up structure, with the individual operating as a lawful sovereign agent under God and God’s law.

The principle of localism would be affirmed. Local courts would handle most cases. Only the hard cases would be accepted by the appeals courts. Local laws would not be overturned unless they could be proven to be in opposition to a Biblical principle or in opposition to the agreed-upon covenantal (constitutional) terms of the next level of civil government.

  1. Common Biblical Law:

The Bible as the Word of God would be the final standard of justice. All laws at every level of government would be judged in terms of the Bible. The national constitution (written or unwritten) would be officially subordinate to the Bible. The courts would render judgment in terms of the Bible. A body of legal precedent would build up over the years, but precedents would always be subjected to the decisions of juries regarding the proper application of the civil code to circumstances. The Bible would be declared to be the supreme law of the land, and it would be taught in public gatherings on a regular basis (Deut.31:10-13).

  1. Judgment by Citizens:

The judges in Exodus 18 were to be men of good character. There were to have been a lot of judges, and they were to have been much more than an elite group of legal specialists. The essence of citizenship, Biblically speaking, is the legal authority to render judgment. Covenanted citizens alone may serve as judges. People who were residents only, were to be excluded from serving as judges and jurors, because in order to administer Biblical law covenantally, a person had to be under Biblical law covenantally.

The preservation of the integrity of the jury system is probably the most important single domestic civil task facing Christians. It remains one of the bastions against judicial tyranny.

  1. Continuity:

Continuity must be over time and also across borders. Continuity over time would be provided by provisions to amend the Constitution and local legal codes, and also by steady changes in common law precedent, as men’s knowledge of God’s kingdom principles improves. Each succeeding generation would be trained in Biblical law by parents (Deut.6:6-7; Eph.6:4), the church (Eph. 4:11-13; I Tim.3:15), and by the civil government through public instruction in God’s law (Deut.31:10-13).

Consistent Christianity:

It is our responsibility as Christians to seek to reform every area of life. The establishment of a godly foreign policy must be part of a program of comprehensive redemption. This requires consistency; no area of life is religiously neutral, and no area of life is outside of God’s two-fold judgment: cursing or blessing. Godly foreign policy begins with repentance, as Solzhenitsyn so aptly stated in 1974:

Repentance is the first bit of firm ground underfoot, the only one from which we can go forward not to fresh hatreds but to concord. Repentance is the only starting point for spiritual growth. For each and every individual. And every trend of social thought.[2]

All Biblical domestic political policies and foreign policies must begin with this assumption: nations must publicly ally themselves with Christ. The Bible speaks of this in numerous places (see Isa.19:18-25; Zech.2:10-11; Mat.28:18-19; Rev.11:15). Foreign policy in every covenanted nation must reflect this commitment.

Our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able to subdue all things to Himself (Phil.3:18-21).

Men are always in the presence of God, for He is everywhere. But His presence is always mediated by the covenant. It is not enough that people are always in God’s presence; they must acknowledge Him as sovereign. People are required to make a choice in life between two declared sovereigns in the universe: God and Satan. They must make a covenant. There is no escape from the covenant. It is never a question of covenant vs. no covenant. It is always a question of which covenant. We are born physically into Satan’s covenant, our legacy from Adam. Whether implicitly or explicitly, we affirm his covenant by natural birth. Only by the grace of God are we adopted into God’s family (Jn. 1:12).

Only by grace do we become citizens of God’s heavenly nation. God calls all men to change their “citizenship papers.” He calls them to leave Satan’s covenanted kingdom and join God’s covenanted kingdom. There is no neutrality. There is no third choice of spiritual nations. There are only two: God’s and Satan’s. This means that all people are citizens of a supernatural nation. Everyone works in history to make manifest his particular supernatural citizenship. He works to manifest heaven on earth or hell on earth. There is no neutrality. There is no possibility of any nation on earth not reflecting one or the other supernatural nation. This is why God will judge the nations at the end of time (HON, p.139-140).

This points to the fact of history: the earth is a battlefield between two rival forces, the followers of God and the followers of Satan. This battle is primarily ethical in nature. Two rival law-orders are involved: Christ’s and Satan’s. There can be no ethical neutrality; therefore, there can be no judicial neutrality. Ethical neutrality is a myth. So is natural law. God has already established the basis of citizenship in His kingdom: ethical perfection. Only Jesus Christ has (or can) achieve this perfection in history. Thus, the basis of the Christian’s citizenship in heaven is God’s imputation of Christ’s perfect humanity (though not His divinity) to those whom He graciously redeems. God the Father declares them “not guilty” because of the work of His Son in history.

But never forget: we are citizens of earth, too. We are not of the world, but we are in the world. We are citizens on earth. More to the point, the whole concept of earthly political citizenship is based on the Bible’s concept of supernatural citizenship.  Heavenly citizenship is the God-required model.

There can be no religiously neutral society in history, or religiously neutral nation. Nations, like people, are either covenant-breakers or covenant-keepers, as Sodom and Gomorrah learned too late. There can be no people who hold citizenship papers in only one nation, earth. In history, we all hold earthly citizenship papers and supernatural citizenship papers, heaven or hell (HON, p.141-142).

 

 

[1] Gary North, “Healer of the Nations,” 1987, p.118-119.

[2] Quoted in Gary North, “Healer of the Nations,” p.39.

 

Why Pay Equality Is Irrational, Criminal, And A Job Killer

The USA women’s soccer team won the World Cup. Now they want to be paid what male soccer players are paid. Women’s soccer and basketball don’t draw the same crowds, interest, and money that the men’s teams do.

The total prize money for the women’s 2019 World Cup was $30 million, with the champion taking away about $4 million. The total for the men’s 2018 World Cup was $400 million, with the champions winning $38 million.

This seems blatantly unfair until you take into account the vastly different viewership and revenue from the two events. FIFA raked in more than $6 billion from the 2018 men’s World Cup. The women’s 2019 World Cup has been projected, when all is said and done, to make about $130 million.

The women’s tournament this year may have garnered about a billion viewers across all platforms, nothing to sneeze at, but the 2018 men’s World Cup had more than a billion viewers just for the final game.

Men’s soccer brings in more than 40 times as much revenue as well as much higher ratings and viewership. “People seem confused about World Cup pay. Each team gets paid from a total pot.” In the end, it’s about how much money is in the pot. In terms of percentages, it looks like men “men get paid less than women in proportion to the funds generated by the respective tournaments.”

If the women get their way, it won’t be long before biological women soccer players are replaced with transgender women, men masquerading as women, like this one:

Did you know that eight members of Iran’s women’s soccer team are men who “are awaiting sex change surgery”? (Breitbart)

Liberals have been pushing “pay equality” laws for some time. Many of them are already in effect. Pay equity would require employers to pay women what men receive if their educational standards, work experience, and time on the job are equal. “Equal pay for equal work,” as the saying goes.

“Pay equity” is similar to the minimum wage. No matter a person’s skill level or experience, minimum wage laws require that every worker gets paid at least so much.

All of this sounds good on the surface. Why shouldn’t someone with the same skills, education, and experience get paid the same?

First, it’s no business of the government how much an employer pays anyone. If I want to pay someone a dollar an hour, I should be permitted to do so. Will I get anyone to work for a dollar an hour? Probably not. Not even my grandchildren will work for a dollar an hour.

Second, it shouldn’t matter to the government who I employ. It’s my company. I’m taking the risk. I’m paying the bills. If I want to discriminate, I should be allowed to do so.

Third, if a person, man or woman, is getting paid less for doing comparable work, then the simple thing to do is to go to the employer and ask for a raise. If the employer says no, the employee has three options, (1) stay put with the same salary at the same job, (2) look for a new job, or (3) start a new business. Maybe the employer can do better with a new employee and won’t have any problem if you quit. Maybe you are indispensable and making the company a lot of money. In that case, you might get the raise. There is, of course, the third option: Go out on your own and start your own company and pay yourself and your own employees what you believe is equitable.

Fourth, pay inequity as it is presented by (mostly) feminists is a myth. Men and women choose different career paths for a variety of reasons. Many women want flexibility in their jobs so they can have children. They might drop out of the workforce for a time in order to raise children. Some women chose jobs that give them more freedom in their career paths because of family considerations. This is one of the reasons there is “pay disparity” between men and women. Some jobs are just harder for women to do no matter how “equal” men and women work at the same job.

Fifth, once the government gets involved in determining what’s “fair,” the trial lawyers will have a field day.  We already have the EEOC making it difficult for employers on the issue of “discrimination” in terms of sex, handicap, religion, etc. We don’t need any more government intrusion.

One last point, women are making their way as entrepreneurs. The rise of female-owned businesses may be the result of past discrimination, but it’s most likely related to the fact that women got their training in mostly male-dominated companies, learned what they needed to know, started businesses that became attractive to investors who saw ways they could make money. Consider this from an article that appeared in USA Today (June 5, 2012):

[A]n emerging class of early-stage tech start-up executives is helping dispel the notion that there isn’t a leading role for them in the male-dominated valley. Company founders and leaders are coming out of Google, Salesforce.com and elsewhere for the excitement of shaping a young business.

This is being done without the help of “pay equity” laws. Government … keep out!