A New State Agency: Department of Ecclesiastical Subordination

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“Faith-based” alliances and partnerships are all the rage.  Since January 2001 when George W. Bush — within days of being sworn in as president — created the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (later renamed the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships), the lure of federal money to assist in community assistance programs has been irresistible.  Churches and non-profits have lined up to take the king’s nickel, forgetting that there are government-mandated “strings” attached to that nickel.

In my home state of Arizona, the state agency responsible for administering welfare, “child safety,” job training, unemployment, senior, family and other social services is the Department of Economic Security.  The DES.

Last week, Gov. Jan Brewer signed an executive order creating a new state agency: the Office of Faith and Community Partnerships.  It is modeled after the federal program, which Barack Obama renewed in February 2009 — again, shortly after being sworn in as president.  (Government control of churches and charities seems to be a high priority with these newly-elected presidents!)

I suggest a new name for this new state agency:

Department of Ecclesiastical Subordination

Its mission: to protect you from unwanted unconstitutional abuses like… being presented the Gospel and quoted inspirational Scripture verses by church workers or rank-and-file Christian volunteers who overstep their statutory bounds by inadvisedly sharing their faith with the people they serve in the context of showing their faith to the people they serve, while they are engaged in providing state-supported, publicly-funded social services.

It’s for your own good, you know. Separation of Church and State.  Establishment of Religion and all that.

If I were a pastor or church worker, I wouldn’t worry one whit about the state controlling what I say or what I do while I’m “on duty” administering state-supported, publicly-funded social services.  Nope.  I would simply tell that poor mother or handicapped person or jobless or homeless person, “Sorry, Charlie (or Charlene), I know I’m a Christian.  But since I’m helping you here using your hard-earned (or not) taxpayer dollars, I have to play by the unbiblical, religiously intolerant rules.  I can’t say a single syllable that might be construed (by government or ACLU or SCA lawyers) as being “religious” or proselytizing, or else — BAM! — no more tax money.

And we can’t have that.

Better for you to be warmed and fed and spiritually-deprived than for us to violate agency rules and not gain more tax money!   This is called high finance for high callings.

Cainsian Economics

How does this work?  It’s really very simple.  Let’s say you’re pastoring a church that has a legacy of helping the poor and “underprivileged” in the community.  But, the economy being what it is, you’ve fallen on hard times.  Giving is down.  Building projects and expansions are up.  The needs are there.  The means to meet them are not.  What do do?

“Partner” with the state.  Of course!

In exchange for some free tax money, you get to dole out services and shut your mouth.  They’re not paying you to talk about Jesus and all that Christian stuff.   They’re paying you to be the hands and feet of the state.  Do good unto others, but don’t talk about Him who is good.  They want the works without the faith.  It’s the American way.

Why do Christians accept this? Why do Christians believe this?

Because they have been fed a steady diet of artificially-flavored, theologically-homogenized evangelicalism.

Because they have refused the solid teaching, the strong meat-and-potatoes of covenantally-robust, historically-orthodox biblical theology.

Because they have sat under preaching and worshipped in churches that believe in “no creed but Christ; no law but love”: antinomianism.  Pietism.  A perfect recipe for swallowing bad ideas wrapped in good intentions.

And because they have, for the most part, been “educated” in the public school system — a rigorously atheistic, pro-government, pro-socialist system that Christians overwhelmingly support and put their own kids through.  But I digress. (But maybe I don’t.)

This kind of “partnership” is rightly called, Faith-Based Fascism.  Churches get some extra money.  Along with an extra muzzle.  The state gets more useful idiots to do its bidding.  And Christians get to feel like they’re “in the game” and “have a seat at the table.”

Seat at the table? What’s for dinner?  Your faith and religious freedom of speech, that’s what!

If your pastor thinks this is a good idea, tell him that it isn’t.

SCOTUS and God’s Law: Not By THAT Standard!

same-sex-marriageDespite the hue and cry this past week over the most recent landmark Supreme Court decision regarding same-sex marriages, the harsh truth of it is this: the Supreme Court of the United States last week did not do anything differently from what it has been doing for the past 223 years (since its inception in 1790) — ruling and deciding on cases brought before it based on a homogenous, humanistic standard of interpretation that is deliberately and scrupulously compounded from sources NOT based on the biblical laws and precepts of the Old and New Testaments of Holy Scripture.

Were you surprised by the hubris of those five men and women in sober black robes who voted in favor of it?

You shouldn’t be.

Surprised by the fact that, of the nine men and women who sit on the Court, six are Roman Catholic and three are Jewish — even as both of these “traditional” religions ostensibly and officially denounce the practice of homosexuality?

You should be.

But, then again, maybe you shouldn’t be surprised.

It depends on three things: whether or not you believe a person’s religious faith and personal beliefs should influence his decisions and actions as a political, or in this case judicial, figure; whether or not you believe Supreme Court decisions are always legally (constitutionally) binding and therefore to be followed and enforced in any and all cases; and, whether or not you believe the Supreme Court indeed has the last word on deciding so-called constitutional issues such as this one, and is the supreme “law of the land.”

Whose Law Is It Anyway?

If you’re a theonomist, consistent Calvinist or, heaven forbid, a full-on Christian Reconstructionist, you appreciate ethical and moral dilemmas like this one, and you should find this brief, three-part quiz to be a cinch to answer.

First, should a political or judicial figure’s decisions and actions be influenced and informed by his personal beliefs and religious faith?

Of course!  Are they any different from the rest of us who live and work in God’s economy in various capacities of leadership and spheres of influence under the rule and dominion of Christ?  A Christian magistrate should rule first and foremost as a Christian.  A Christian judge should decide cases first and foremost as a Christian.  (We have a nice “church-word” for people who profess one thing and live out (or promote and defend) another: hypocrite!)

The problem is, unless your faith and personal beliefs tell you that, (a), there is no neutrality — it is never a question of law or no law, but rather whose law — and, (b), God’s law has continuing validity and authority in our lives today despite what antinomians, most evangelicals and, frankly, most Christians say to the contrary, then your faith is truncated and based on the shifting sands of an inconsistent, non-covenantal theology.

Two, are ALL Supreme Court decisions to be considered “binding” and thus enforced and obeyed and respected by citizens and presidents (who are also citizens) alike in all cases?

Not by a long shot!

American history is replete with examples of presidents and politicians (and civilians and military) who disregarded and ignored — or threatened to ignore — Supreme Court decisions which they did not agree with.  But there is a difference between disregarding and ignoring for political or expedient reasons and doing so for sound theological, moral and doctrinal reasons.

As theonomically-inclined, historically and biblically-informed Christians (who tend to be somewhat more “liberty-minded” and politically astute than others in the same demographic!), we are empowered and even duty-bound to disregard and ignore, or at least challenge, criticize and (publicly) denounce court decisions — or laws for that matter — that blatantly and explicitly VIOLATE SCRIPTURE and force Christians to do likewise by imposing either unbiblical requirements or unbiblical sanctions and restrictions.

That point should lead us to a lengthy discussion of “Christian resistance” and the proper interpretation of Romans 13… But not right now!

Third, does the Supreme Court have “the last word” on deciding constitutional issues and questions?

No, the Supreme Court does not have the last word on deciding constitutional issues and questions, despite all appearances to the contrary.

Not even the venerable U.S. Constitution says anywhere (including Article III) that the Supreme Court has the power of judicial review (let alone the lofty position of “judicial supremacy”).  This is simply a “well-established precedent” (much like the well-established precedent of following and enforcing decisions of denominational assemblies on similar issues!) that we have all come to assume is, by virtue of custom and tradition, “the way things ought to be.”

Who’s In Charge?

So, we are back to the question originally posed by Rushdoony in his 1958 book, “By What Standard?”

We know the answer.  The biblical laws of the Old and New Testaments.

The problem is, most of the country does not believe this, most CHRISTIANS do not believe this.  Hardly anyone in Congress or on Capitol Hill and no one in the Oval Office believes it.  Certainly no one sitting on the bench of the Supreme Court believes it.  (They haven’t believed it for at least 225 years!)

Where does that leave us?

It leaves is with a political system that has been hijacked at the top, manipulated clear down to the bottom, and corrupted everywhere in between.  It leaves us with an executive branch that behaves less and less like the “servant-leadership” that Jesus and the Scriptures exemplify, and more and more like the tyranny, oligarchy and unbridled monarchy that Samuel warned Israel about.  It leaves us with a legislative branch that promotes an intransigent and intractable bureaucracy which exists to satisfy every whim of the electorate and take away all the “uncertainties” and exigencies of life, carefully placing its demands on the rest of us while carefully exempting and enriching the law-makers and their cronies.  It leaves us with a judicial branch that autonomously judges man-made laws by other man-made laws and seemingly acts with “no controlling legal (or moral) authority” other than itself.

Sadly, as long as the money machine of taxpayers (church-going, Bible-reading and otherwise) and their central bank masters keeps churning out financial and electoral support for this unbiblical system of political-messianic programs, unscriptural laws and unchristian policies and practices, we can continue to expect more of the same.

How Shall We Then Reform?

We have an enormous library and burgeoning body of literature, including online and offline resources and media at our disposal, including an “action manual” now that gives us clear direction and concrete, historically and biblically-validated steps to take.

This is good, because correcting more than two centuries of political and judicial apostasy is no short-term project and will not be an easy task.

So, Christians, let’s get busy.  We have a LOT of work to do!

“Restoring America”: The Action Manual We Have Been Waiting For!

Restoring America One County at a Time

This is it.  This is the big one.

For more than 150 years, statists and socialists have had their Communist Manifesto–a puny pamphlet full of revolutionary, rabble-rousing rhetoric that gave voice to the repressive, totalitarian leanings of generations of anti-Christian, anti-free-market despots and their minions.

Now, thanks to this monumental “labor of love” from Joel McDurmon, the anti-statists and God-fearing, Bible-reading, libertarian-leaning folks finally have theirs: a “localist manifesto”!

In Restoring America, One County at a Time, Joel McDurmon has written and published his magnum opus.  It is an absolute masterpiece.  It is a historical, political, theological–and rhetorical–tour de force.

Finally!  A book that very compellingly brings together all the practical aspects of biblical Christianity to bear on the reality of what Sorokin called “The Crisis of Our Age,” what Buchanan called, “The Death of the West”, and the civilizational slide described by Barzunin in “From Dawn to Decadence” and Bork in “Slouching Towards Gomorrah.”

Forgive me for gushing like a teenager, but,… this really is a TOTALLY awesome book!

It almost brings a tear to my eye.

Yes, I know, it’s only a book. But, McDurmon’s jam-packed how-to guide for reforming (some would say “reconstructing”) America through a systematic return to localism, fiscal responsibility and transparency and sound principles of government, law and economics, is so well-written, so tightly-focused, so well-argued, thoroughly-documented, comprehensive in scope and yet eminently readable and understandable–and, above all, actionable–for the average person (voter/citizen), that it almost defies all possibility of any negative criticism, at least from me.

But, I am not writing this as a literary critic.  No, sir.  I am writing as an enthusiastic, RAVING fan of biblically sound, intelligently reasoned and concisely presented information that is both historically faithful and intellectually challenging to the status quo of virtually every other book that treats of the same subjects (except, of course, for those written by fellow reconstructionists who have been arguing for 40+ years the principles behind what McDurmon is setting forth here), such that “Restoring America One County at a Time” has the potential to radically change a lot of people’s lives and even change the course of an entire nation.

That’s a BIG deal.

That makes McDurmon’s book a truly path-breaking work.  It is a new manifesto for a new generation of liberty-loving, tyranny-hating Americans.

A Localist Manifesto

This is a ten-step recovery program for a nation mired deep in the throes of a chronic, long-term addiction to statism, centralized government, coercive empire-building, global governance by private corporate interests and, as of late, advancing stages of executive tyranny.

Joel–or, more accurately (now that he has been awarded his Ph. D.), DR. Joel!–has put together an extraordinary combination of historical causation, political and theological foundations for how we can get back our freedoms and restore, little by little, the nation’s collective cultural and societal health, an abundant array of examples showing our ideological short-sightedness, historical ignorance and political laziness (especially of Christians, who have in their possession the best political science textbook and manual of social theory ever written–the Bible!), with an almost “fool-proof” game plan for us to follow–a highly specific “to-do” list of reform measures and simple technological tools (like WordPress and You Tube) that individuals and communities can use to begin the dual process of exposing the fraud, corruption and systemic problems that exist, and presenting the particular biblically and historically based solutions that will correct them.

The unique thing about his proposals is this: none of them are intended to be applied at the federal level. NONE!

This is a road map to recovery that leads straight to local governments.  It never touches Washington.  It is all about counties and municipalities (with states included only as a secondary objective, the “next level”).  The federal government is left completely out of the loop here because, well, to quote the late President Ronald Reagan, “Government (federal) is not the solution to our problem; government IS the problem!”

Think Biblically, Act Locally

The wrong-headed political thinking of so many Americans, and so many Christians, is that the only way to bring about real “change” and national reform and stem the tide of our nation’s decline is by changing the folks in Washington who represent us (or purport to), thereby leap-frogging over and effectively disregarding the state and local government levels because they’re, you know, minor league, and, well, after all, there’s a lot more “bang for the buck” when you head straight to the top and go for the whole enchilada.

McDurmon says this is wrong, wrong, wrong!  That is what got us into this fine, socialist, statist mess in the first place.  We got here and have reaped the whirlwind rewards of “salvation through legislation” the old-fashioned way–we earned it–slowly, progressively, and, alas, as Joel elaborates in chapter 4 on States’ Rights, constitutionally!

The broad scope of this little 400-plus-page book is simply astounding.  That makes it all the more valuable and all the more vital to read, especially for “activist”-minded Christians and the rising generation of libertarians (small “l”) who have been searching for a handbook giving them a detailed strategy to follow of how to defeat the tyrants of the 21st century and their enablers and supporters, as well as the failed philosophies, hare-brained theories, hokey economic principles and academic fantasies that have undergirded them for far too long, once and for all.

I won’t do a full-blown “book report” here.  I just want to whet your appetite to entice you to HURRY up and finish reading this article and then click through to your nearest (or favorite) online bookseller and buy yourself a copy of this fabulous book.

There are so many excellent quotes that could be pulled from almost any page you read.  I’ll just give you a sample:

Education in a free society means exclusively “private” education. We are never free as long as we are subjected to compulsory government education shored up by threats, penalties, fines, and taxes—to any degree or at any level.

So, instead of thinking of Social Security as some kind of investment program, a fund you’re paying into on which you can draw in the future, you need to see it for what it is—a tax now, spend now scheme (tax you now, and spend on others now scheme).

In principle, limited and localized government is an outgrowth of specifically Christian thinking; particularly the demands that 1) rulers are not divine, but are themselves subject to a higher law, 2) private property is to be protected and property owners invested with powers against encroachments even from government, 3) social relationships are based on legally binding contracts, and 4) power enables corruption and should therefore be limited, checked, and safeguarded. In short, we have a society based on religious faith, property rights, honoring of contracts, and individual responsibility—all fundamental things derived directly from the Ten Commandments.

But if taxes must exist, they should be as decentralized as possible. Only the most local municipality should have power to tax the individual.

The biblical prescription for markets and business is very simple: non-violence, enforcement of property rights and enforcement of contracts.

Civil rulers are to be representative servant-leaders of the people, and thus biblical government is representative government.

Civil disobedience in egregious cases—necessary cases—is a long accepted and ancient Christian right and practice which modern Christians need to recover.

What is clear here is that God’s society makes no provision for a standing army and none for military conscription or a draft.

…the Constitution defines the President’s power so broadly that he can essentially create new laws by interpreting undefined areas of existing law according to his own agenda, interpreting how to implement existing laws, or he can perhaps even ignore specific laws of Congress if he thinks they infringe upon the broad interpretations he comes up with.

And so forth and so on.

Joel does a masterful job of laying out and expanding upon all of the ten topics he discusses in his book.

  1. Education
  2. Welfare
  3. County Rights
  4. States’ Rights
  5. Taxation
  6. Money
  7. Markets
  8. Courts
  9. Defense
  10. The Executive

His Epilogue is his final “pep talk” to his team-mates, and he follows it with an Appendix calling for the Repeal of the Seventeenth Amendment, which he argues was “an important assault on states’ rights” that ultimately weakened them and “magnified the power of special interests in Washington.”

A Scripture and Subject Index round out his seminal work.  Of course, the iBook and Kindle versions of “Restoring America” contain word-searchable texts with hyperlinked footnotes and links to many of the sources he cites in his dozens of footnotes.

This book is destined to be a runaway non-bestseller among Christians.  That’s because too many of them believe, (a), the Bible has almost nothing to say about politics, economics and the proper role of “biblical” government in our lives, and, (b), what little it does say promotes “Christian socialism” and the welfare state.  (Thank you, Jim Wallis.)   The remainder believe that it is a waste of time to go about trying to “restore’ and reform very much of this world, since, after all, it’s about to be totally immersed in the conflagration of the Great Tribulation, and we (meaning they) won’t be around anyway since ‘Jesus is coming soon’, i.e., any minute now, and the imminent Rapture will make all of this a non-issue anyway. . .  It should be a hit among a large contingent of the libertarians–those who are not seduced by the anarchic, extra-biblical tendencies of so many of the proponents and writers in the liberty and Austrian economics movements.

Be all of that as it may, my advice to you is, get this book (immediately), read it thoroughly and thoughtfully, and then begin to DO what it says.

The nation’s 3,143 counties are counting on you to implement its vision!

Buy it here (Amazon). And here (American Vision).

I bought the e-book version.  I plan to buy the hardcover as well, because, well, like a lot of you, I still suffer (voluntarily) from Picard’s Syndrome. 🙂

Uganda’s Christian President Shows the World How to ‘Reconstruct’ a Nation

Imagine an American president doing this at our nation’s 250th anniversary celebration of its independence from Great Britain.

Uganda’s longtime president, Yoweri Museveni, a Christian, made history when, at his nation’s 50th anniversary celebration of its independence from Great Britain, he publicly offered a prayer of national repentance and confession, asking God’s forgiveness for his sins and the sins of his people.

Read this prayer all the way through in its entirety, word for word.

Father God in heaven, today we stand here as Ugandans, to thank you for Uganda. We are proud that we are Ugandans and Africans. We thank you for all your goodness to us.
I stand here today to close the evil past and especially in the last 50 years of our national leadership history and at the threshold of a new dispensation in the life of this nation. I stand here on my own behalf and on behalf of my predecessors to repent. We ask for your forgiveness.
We confess these sins, which have greatly hampered our national cohesion and delayed our political, social and economic transformation.
We confess sins of idolatry and witchcraft which are rampant in our land. We confess sins of shedding innocent blood, sins of political hypocrisy, dishonesty, intrigue and betrayal.
Forgive us of sins of pride, tribalism and sectarianism; sins of laziness, indifference and irresponsibility; sins of corruption and bribery that have eroded our national resources; sins of sexual immorality, drunkenness and debauchery; sins of unforgiveness, bitterness, hatred and revenge; sins of injustice, oppression and exploitation; sins of rebellion, insubordination, strife and conflict.
These sins and many others have characterised our past leadership, especially the last 50 years of our history. Lord forgive us and give us a new beginning. Give us a heart to love you, to fear you and to seek you. Take away from us all the above sins.
We pray for national unity. Unite us as Ugandans and eliminate all forms of conflict, sectarianism and tribalism. Help us to see that we are all your children, children of the same Father. Help us to love and respect one another and to appreciate unity in diversity.
We pray for prosperity and transformation. Deliver us from ignorance, poverty and disease. As leaders, give us wisdom to help lead our people into political, social and economic transformation.
We want to dedicate this nation to you so that you will be our God and guide. We want Uganda to be known as a nation that fears God and as a nation whose foundations are firmly rooted in righteousness and justice to fulfil what the Bible says in Psalm 33:12: Blessed is the nation, whose God is the Lord. A people you have chosen as your own.
I renounce all the evil foundations and covenants that were laid in idolatry and witchcraft. I renounce all the satanic influence on this nation. And I hereby covenant Uganda to you, to walk in your ways and experience all your blessings forever.
I pray for all these in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

This is incredible.  Here we have an elected politician–actually, Mr. Museveni is a statesman–who is not only a Christian, but a Christian who is applying his faith and the principles of the Bible to the civil government of his country!

Museveni is no new-comer to Ugandan politics.  He has been involved in its brief but tumultuous history as an independent republic since 1970 when he joined the fledgling intelligence service shortly before Idi Amin seized power in a military coup in 1971.

He was born and raised and educated in Uganda, became a Marxist-leftist radical while in college (surprise!), converted to Christianity later on, and has been the country’s president since 1986.

While he has been commended and lauded by leaders around the world for a number of reforms that he has implemented during his tenure, he has also had no shortage of enemies internationally since he and his nation began moving to the right, politically, especially during the last several years.

Now, he is making a clean, public break with the past and setting Uganda on a course that we haven’t seen an elected government official set his country on since, well, since I don’t know when.

And he didn’t just make a break.  He made a covenant.  With God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  He means business, this Museveni!

Even the Wikipedia article characterizes his term of office as one of “political and economic regeneration”.

He is clearly in rebuilding mode (which usually follows a collapse or disintegration), and this rebuilding is looking more and more biblical and Christian-influenced all the time.

Of course, we would also use that other “r” word to describe what is going on in Uganda.

But that might offend some of our Christian non-Reconstructionist brothers and sisters!

For further reading, click here.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Before Facebook inexplicably erased the share count on Dec. 5, 2012, this article had been shared 79 times!  I don’t know what happened, but I want to thank all of you who thought what was written here was worth sharing–PR.

Dec. 7, 2012: Looks like they reset the share counter to zero, but at least it’s working again!–PR