Wednesday, August 3, 2016

A Thank You -- and a Little Advice -- to Faithful Christians

Thanks to all who commented so thoughtfully to the previous post -- you have encouraged me to continue blogging, even if not to focus any more on the decline of the Episcopal Congregations in the United States of America (this blog's new name for the group that calls itself ECUSA), their mostly  corrupt bishops, or their self-centered wrecking of the Anglican Communion. (And if that means that certain ECUSA-enablers will no longer come to test the limits of the comment policies here, then that will be one small gain for the rest of us.)

Instead of those desultory topics, this blog will redirect itself to issues facing Christians who still respect the faith once handed down to us by the saints: where and how to maintain traditional worship in a secular and increasingly divided (and hostile) society; what has happened to bring us to this point; and where things may go from here. That seems more than enough to take on for now -- although since I remain interested in the interfaces between theology and science, between politics and economics, and between law, legislation and good jurisprudence, the usual sprinkling of leavening will hopefully manage to keep your interest to some degree.

As an experiment in this new direction, I want to offer a few observations and comments on the current (and highly frenetic) political scene -- in particular, the lead-up to November 2016.

The first -- and perhaps most essential -- observation is this: It's not even Labor Day yet!

So take a deep breath, dip yourself in a fresh rivulet of faith, and come up to enjoy the cleanliness for at least another month or so. Not only did the current election campaign begin far too early some twenty-two months ago, but that means we are still suffering from a surfeit of mud. (Old saying of Confucius [intentionally not PC, for humor's sake]: "Man who sling mud lose ground.")

A lot can -- and will -- happen between now and November. What will happen in particular is very difficult to predict, but that something completely unexpected will happen is predictable.

Thus the current daily rush for headlines, Facebook and Twitter posts, and general bouncing around as the mainstream media wants you to, are wholly unnecessary. They won't change or influence what is going to happen, and neither can you or I. Indeed the media are on the horns of a dilemma themselves, so sit back and enjoy their self-made predicament while you still can.

I also find the ivory-tower speculations of academics in the law equally enjoyable to peruse at leisure. Even if they may not be your cup of tea, they show the lengths to which the human mind will go to rationalize anything. (And the phenomenon, of course, is not confined to academics -- even cartoonists are susceptible.)

If you find yourself too caught up in the too-awful, seemingly binary choice that the major parties have presented us with for this November, you might find these reflections by the always-readable Doug Wilson to be just what you need to jolt you out of your anxieties. For this election, as is the case with everything else that is going on just now, is indeed in God's hands. That much can be said with absolute conviction.

So pause, gather yourself, repent of any intemperate quarrels or outbursts provoked by what you read in the media, pray often, and take comfort in the faith you have been given by the grace of God. That is the best election advice I can offer to Christians right now.


  1. " For this election, as is the case with everything else that is going on just now, is indeed in God's hands. That much can be said with absolute conviction."
    Thanks, I needed that.

  2. I giggled while reading your last paragraph on this 'thank you' post, and you're welcome. I actually went to post again to the previous post, I rather decided that it will fit in nicely right in now. My family and I really liked your plumber parable:

    In Scalia's dissent (may he rest in God's eternal care) on the King vs. Burwell decision:

    "Just ponder the significance of the Court’s decision to take matters into its own hands."


    "We should start calling this law SCOTUScare. Perhaps the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will attain the enduring status of the Social Security Act or the Taft-Hartley Act; perhaps not. But this Court’s two decisions on the Act will surely be remembered through the years. The somersaults of statutory interpretation they have performed (“penalty” means tax, “further [Medicaid] payments to the State” means only incremental Medicaid payments to the State, “established by the State” means not established by the State) will be cited by litigants endlessly, to the confusion of honest jurisprudence. And the cases will publish forever the discouraging truth that the Supreme Court of the United States favors some laws over others, and is prepared to do whatever it takesto uphold and assist its favorites.
    I dissent."

    Honest jurisprudence is, indeed, sorely needed. The divided GOP is like the divided church in many ways, but the early colonial Americans knew it, too as did Christ himself.

    We must carefully scrutinize the ideas that the lawmakers want to write into laws, and take action by electing those known individuals who will cooperate in government positions without compromising their integrity by breaking the promises they make. Do you or others know of anyone like this who wants to lead us to reason rather than insanity?

  3. Glad you are going to hang around A.S. I enjoy what you write immensely.

  4. Doug Wilson's analysis, while it accurately raises some problems with these presidential candidate choices (the idea that we bring these problems upon ourselves), I found his linked blog post, titled: On Dodging the Flaming Hailstones, to be a misreading of Scriptures, and a politically left answer to the relevant conundrum.

    Considering Exodus 18:21, Doug presents a false dilemma by claiming that this verse requires us to remove ourselves from the election. We do not have the option of selecting such a person in this race, and abstaining will actually help Hillary's election. Doug plans to vote neither for Hillary nor for her only viable opponent (the Pence ticket).

    He also states "But we are not voting for consequences and results." What are we voting for in any election? The hope is that we vote for results, to put our leaders into positions of power to execute just laws. However, here is why Doug's argument is deeply flawed: We do know what Hillary plans to do and God help us if she's able to achieve all that she plans for us.

    Doug and any Christian who plans not to vote for Hillary's opponent should be made aware that choosing not to oppose her in fact promotes harm to others. If victorious, she will take the helm of a very powerful Clinton-Obama-Clinton political machine that has already done great damage to America (including to Christians and unborn children) over the past eight years; and her past makes it clear that she will continue to move it toward its destructive goals. The combined might of the Executive Branch and the left wing Judiciary has proven quite able to trample our Constitution. She will make use of its power despite any efforts of an Opposition Congress, as Obama has.

    Hillary's opponent has no such political machine. He does not have her metastasized network of Federal bureaucracy allies. He does not have an existing political fundraising and activist base. He will have to rely upon the cooperation of disparate non-Democrat groups to accomplish anything beyond the most fundamental presidential functions. He is simply unable to do the damage that she is plainly able and intending to do.

    Finally, a political choice we make toward one candidate over another is not the same thing as lying for someone, and isn't what Jesus meant in the verse Doug cites, Matthew 16:26.