Dan's Meditations

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


For those of you who do not know, I teach Debate (and Bible, Rhetoric, Math, and Physics) at Summit Christian Academy in Yorktown, VA. Our school will be participating in a Debate Tournament with several other classical, Christian schools on November 5th. Here is the resolution of the first debate.

Resolved: Restricting civil liberties for the sake of national security is justified.

In preparation for this debate, I challenged the students (9th and 10th graders) with a few questions today. Perhaps, we could all benefit from really examining these questions.

What is the source and nature of our rights?
Do we have the right to speak our minds?
Do we have the right to yell "Fire!" in the middle of a crowded building as a prank?
Do people have the right to preach jihad against the United States government?
Do we have the right to be racist?
Do public school teachers have the right to teach that racism is wrong? If so, on what authority?
Do public school teachers have the right to preach the gospel in the classroom? If so, on what authority?
Do judges have the right to base their judicial decisions on the wisdom and authority of the Bible?
How does law fit in to this discussion?

Well, we never made it past the first question. The kids did acknowledge that our rights are from God, but they had this idea that we have the right to do whatever we want, even the right to choose to murder. (This is probably due to the fact that the ACLU and their disciples are probably the most effective teachers of "theology" in America - certainly more effective than most parents, pastors, and Christian school teachers. God help us.) What was interesting is that they differentiated between "the right to choose to murder" and "the right to murder." But they basically were really big into the whole of idea of free will and choice. They are confused about the nature of our rights. So, we spent most of the class discussing the definition of the word "right," and then discussing the implications of that definition.

Webster's Dictionary defines "right" like this:

right - something to which someone has a just claim

But even after establishing this definition, students were still holding on to this whole idea of choice and free will and doing what we want. They admit that there are consequences for their choices and God will punish us for our sins. But they basically said that people have the right to choose to go to hell. So, I pointed them to Galatians 4:4-5 and John 1.

Galatians 4:4-5 - "But when the time had fully come, God sent His son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons."

John 1:12 - "Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God...."

So, I was trying to explain to them (unsuccessfully so far) that God gives his children rights that are fit for children of God. One of the students pointed to a Scripture (I forget where) that talked about the freedom we have in Christ. But she was using it (I think) to make an argument that we have the right to do whatever we want. So, I pointed the class to 2 peter 2:19. I made the comment that this should be America's national motto; although, in fact, this is probably the most un-American verse in the Bible.

2 Peter 2:19 - "They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity - for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him."

We have a long way to go, but I think I fired up some students today. I basically blasphemed the "gods" being exalted by the ACLU, and that riled up the students. The word of God went forth, and students were challenged to truly love God with all their minds. I am excited about where this will lead.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The Tower of Babel vs The United States
Genesis 11

In Genesis 11, the whole world was united in a common language against God. They wanted to make a name for themselves, so they tried to build a tower to the heavens. God confused their languages and spread them out over the face of the entire earth.

Genesis 11:4 – Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth."

Analysis – When the people were united against God, God said that there would be nothing that the people could not accomplish. But the problem was that the people were seeking their own glory. They wanted to make a name for themselves, rather than to praise the Name that is above all names. They were proud and godless. I think God divided them and confused them for the purpose of humbling them, so that they might cry out to Him. I think that the United States could learn a huge lesson from this story. People are so patriotic and committed to making a name for themselves. We are proud to be American. We are proud to bear that name. But, ultimately, our citizenship is in Heaven. God is not an American. Jesus did not come to establish the idea of the United States. People look at this country and think, "What a great country!" Probably, people looked at the Tower of Babel and thought, "What a great tower! Look at what we have done!" But since it was not done for the glory of God, God was against it all. If, as a nation, we do not make it our primary and central focus to glorify the Name of God, then sooner or later, God will pour out His wrath. We should commit ourselves completely to the Kingdom of God. Nations rise and nations fall; but the word of the Lord will last forever.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Analyzing Pat Robertson

"When the perfect government is established during the Millennium, Jesus Christ will combine in Himself the offices of prophet, priest, and king. This will be a perfect theocracy, made possible because the perfect law of God will be universally accepted by all mankind, and "the earth shall be full of knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea" (Isaiah 11:9). Perfect government comes from God and is controlled by God. Short of that, the next best government is a limited democracy in which the people acknowledge rights given by God but voluntarily grant government limited power to do those things the people cannot do individually. Contrast these forms of government with Communism, which maintains that the dictatorship of the proletariat is supreme and an essential evolution of history; that God does not exist; and that citizens have only those privileges granted by the state." -Pat Robertson (http://www.cbnindia.org/200Questions/article.php?topic=15)

Hmmm... I will have to think on this for a while. It seems to me the whole "Short of that..." statement is a defeatist compromising attitude that requires no faith in Christ. Since the perfect government "comes from God and is controlled by God," then we ought to demand for that government. The Bible does not give us the freedom to settle for the lesser of multiple evils. We must fight for the ideal - trusting in God to fulfill His promises.

The problem is this. A government whose central focus is not to give glory to God is a government that is based fundamentally in philosophy that is idolatrous, shallow, hollow and deceptive - sinking sand. The logical conclusion then becomes a government that then forms policy based on the will (and anxieties) of the people. Making big decisions based on the anxiety of the masses is a very foolhardy thing to do. That is why I am against democracy. Statesmen should make decisions based on faith in God - considering all decisions in light of God's promises.

It seems to me that Pat is trying to win politically by taking practical steps in our sin-sick world. Since he is so obsessed with winning, he criticizes people like Roy Moore, but calls a person like Rudy Giuliani (who is fundamentally a secularist and pro-choice and pro-homosexuality) a good man. (http://www.issues2000.org/Celeb/Rudy_Giuliani_Abortion.htm, http://www.realclearpolitics.com/Commentary/com-5_3_05_JA.html)

This would seem like wisdom. But making decisions based on electability or the current, cultural, political climate of America is not wise. Frienship with the world is hatred toward God. (James 4) The wise man attacks the city of the mighty and pulls down the strongholds in which they trust. (Proverbs)

We must be principled in our stance, and we must not waiver. Don't tell me that by doing so we can not win. That is slander! (Numbers 13, 14). Don't spread a bad report. Meditate on the promises of God. Seek the counsel of Scripture. Make decisions based on faith and wisdom. Be courageous. God will give us victory as we continue to do things God's way. Pat needs to repent for endorsing a man who is pro-abortion. And the Christian community needs to wake up and stop following Pat Robertson as if he was the Lord Himself. Pat is nothing but a sinner. God have mercy on him. God have mercy on us.

I think Pat is doing more harm than good by taking the stances that he does. We need leaders with faith, wisdom, and commitment. Good intentions are not good enough.

Incidentally, that is also why Sean Hannity is wrong. He has some pretty good intentions; but he is not making his decisions based on the promises of God. Rather, he is making decisions based on beating Hillary Clinton. Again, it seems wise. I myself am tempted to rally behind the "Stop Hillary" movement. But that is reactionary politics. Reactionary politics is not wise. We need pro-active faith politics.

We all would do well to meditate on the promises of God as we engage our culture. Look not to the surrounding storm. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus. Against all hope, in hope, hang on to faith.

It is time to break from the secular-ness of the Republican party and all their secular arguments. Secular arguments are based on sinking sand. Even if you make a secular argument for a tenet of the faith (for example standing up for the unborn based on the presuppositions of democracy the way Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter say we should), you are on sinking sand. That strategy can very easily backfire. The tide of public opinion can turn - and then endorsing democracy would mean that abortion remains legal. Besides, a trained logician will be able to expose your logical fallacies, contradicting statements, and contradicting presuppositions. Do not use secular arguments to fight for God's purposes. That is complete foolishness. Use logic, rather, to expose the false presuppositions of the opposition, and then take off the gloves and speak the truth in love - contending for the faith. When you identify the stasis of an opponent's argument, the argument doesn't end; that's where it really begins. That's when we start tearing down those idolatrous strongholds.

The issue is really a matter of the heart. We must not be half-hearted in our commitment to establish justice.