Tuesday, December 02, 2014

The Ten Commandments of Progressive Racialism

Sadly, racialism in America is producing a widening divide in our country and it would appear that many politicians, along with the mainstream media, enthusiastically promulgate this disease. The reader should note that by using the term racialism I am speaking of an idea that is far more specific than racism. If you are unfamiliar with the distinction between these terms, let me offer a summary, but with this important qualification: both concepts of racialism and racism run contrary to the clear teaching of Scripture (also see this article: All Men are Created Equal?). Both concepts of racialism and racism are related ideas based upon the faulty, contemporary notion that men can be distinguished and categorized by superficial distinctions. Current uses of these terms fail to recognize that the word race speaks of the concept of genealogy. In the case of the term racialism (or scientific racialism), we find a contemporary connotation which seeks to offer scientific classifications of human “races” based upon skin color and facial features, rather than genealogy. Thus, when people speak of a person’s race in view of their skin color, they demonstrate much of the confusion surrounding the word’s historic denotation. Thus, racism is an ideology which begins with the false presupposition of scientific racialism, but continues with an assumption of a natural hierarchy of the races (some races are more favorable than others). Because of this, racism is deeply flawed and contrary to all teachings of Scripture, as well as contemporary scientific analyses of the unitary nature of the human race. Despite all this, our society continues to speak, erroneously, of skin color as being the primary indicator of one’s “race. What I wish to remind the reader of is this central matter: the Bible clearly refutes the contrived concepts of racialism and racism seeing that nothing - not skin color, eye color, hair color, nor one’s genealogical background – can either augment or diminish a person’s value as a human being. Scripture is quite clear: all men were created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27) and all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23, 5:12), therefore, all men – without distinction - need the Lord Jesus Christ. Contrary to this, the teaching of racialism is a Gospel destroying philosophy that must never be tolerated by the followers of Christ.

What is sad to see amidst all the discussions of “race relations” here in America is the absence of the Bible’s emphasis on our shared humanity, no matter what our skin color. Such discussions of “race” rip us away from the precious message of the Gospel and it is for this reason that I have called racialism and racism a “Gospel destroying philosophy.” As such, it is a demonic doctrine that is relentlessly propagated by many in our nation today and it must be refuted with all vigor. In this post, I would like to describe the current manner in which such racism is being promoted within our society, to the end that we would refute this pernicious influence by the authority of Scripture. Yes, the recent events surrounding Mike Brown, Darren Wilson, and the ongoing riots in Ferguson MO have triggered this post, but I can assure the reader that what follows has been on my mind for many, many years. In doing this, I will be issuing my refutation in a slightly unique manner. I will first present The Ten Commandments of Progressive Racialism, promoting it as the Devil’s advocate. Then, we will dissect and critique this Demonic Decalogue with Scripture in order to reveal just how Gospel-destroying this philosophy is. Obviously, my Devil’s advocacy is merely rhetorical for the sake of our discussion, and my use of the name “Devil” is not hyperbolic: racialism is the Devil’s own doctrine. In the end, the following Ten Commandments are never admitted by those who use them, but rest assured, they exist and are utilized faithfully by the power brokers of racialism:

The Ten Commandments of Progressive Racialism: Whenever there is an unsubstantiated claim of racism, please remember to observe the following Ten Commandments of Progressive Racialism:

1st Commandment – Remember that Power is More Important than Truth: If an unconfirmed charge of racism arises, be sure to assess the situation’s potential for political influence, societal persuasion, and control over other people groups. If the situation supplies no such advantages, then the matter is to be ignored at all costs. If the situation does supply such advantages, then the matter is to be pursued at all costs. Before matters can be confirmed by forensic evidence, legal proceedings, and the testimony of witnesses, be sure to broadcast a narrative that will support your message. Remember that an immediate response is essential if public opinion is to be swayed prior to the disclosure of the facts of the case. As well, only use officially sanctioned words and expressions as found within The Racialist’s Rules of Etiquette. Compel others to comply with these standards without compromise. Those who violate these standards must be shamed as racists without further consideration of the context or intent of the speaker. This is the foremost commandment and, by it, many have been silenced with little effort at all. You must remember: power is more important than truth.

2nd Commandment - Give Voice to Approved Representatives Only: Before a claim of racism can be confirmed by witnesses, be sure to seek out only sanctioned spokespersons as defined by the mainstream media. Additionally, only qualifying minorities can be deemed as victims of racism and only qualifying minorities can speak publicly about racism. All unapproved spokespersons are to be shunned as ignorant, irrelevant, or even racist if necessary.

3rd Commandment – Remember that Emotionalism Trumps all Facts: Before a claim of racism can be confirmed by witnesses, be sure to make your expressions of grievance loud, persistent, and even violent if necessary. Remember: you never want a serious crisis to go to waste. The more emotional your response is the less attention there will be given to the facts and evidence of the case itself. Those who question your emotionalism should be shunned as ignorant racists through the use of rules 1 & 2 above.

4th Commandment - Observe All Sanctioned Double Standards: Remember that, in ordinary circumstances, the use of mob violence, death threats, along with the publication of personal information that can jeopardize the safety of others, is normally deemed as uncivil activity; however, all claimants of victimization, whether real or perceived, are free from all such standards of civility.

5th Commandment – Always Blame others for Your Problems: Be sure to blame those in the present day for the racism of others from the past. Such shaming of others is sanctioned conduct and can serve as crucial tools in societal manipulation. Guilt-by-association, normally seen as a faulty argumentative method, is acceptable in your case. This method of argumentation must be employed relentlessly despite all reasoned objections. It is crucial to understand that people are easily made to feel guilty concerning matters for which they bear no personal responsibility, and such guilt is a powerful means of control.

6th Commandment - Use Religion as Cover for the Cause: Another powerful tool of manipulation is Religion. Biblical texts, abused and misquoted, can help garner sympathy for your cause while inducing further guilt in others who may disagree with you.

7th Commandment - Remember that all Slander is the Purview of the Claimants of Victimhood: Though slander and bearing false witness against others is normally deemed as wicked activity, all such standards vanish for the claimants of victimhood. Through slander and unsubstantiated claims, you must advance your narrative of victimhood with anyone who will hear you while you still have the opportunity to sway public opinion. It is crucial that you destroy the reputation of others before further facts of a case are made available to the public.

8th Commandment - Remember that Violence is the Purview of the Claimants of Victimhood: Though violence against others and their property is normally deemed as wicked activity, it should be remembered that it is justified under rule #7 since the shift from violent speech to violent actions is marginal, predictable, and, ultimately, needful for the cause.

9th Commandment - Remember to Silence the Opposition: By utilizing all of the previous rules above, it is important to remember that your goal is to shut down dialogue with others. Public discourse is not our goal, but absolute domination is. It is in this sense that these Rules for Racialists are derivatives of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals and must be fully obeyed in order to bring about a radical transformation of our society.

10th Commandment - Above All, Never Let the Truth Prevail in the Public Narrative: Should you find yourself to be on the wrong side of the facts, once the evidence and witnesses have been revealed, be sure to preserve and maintain your narrative of racialism as a means of preserving the cause. Repentance, capitulation, and correction are never an option and would only serve to undermine our mission. Remember the foremost commandment: power is more important than truth.

Now let us evaluate this aforementioned Demonic Decalogue in view what Scripture teaches:

1st Commandment – Remember that Power is More Important than Truth: Lucifer fell from Heaven because of his pride and sinful desire to grasp the very power of God Himself (Isaiah 14:12-14). He could only do this by supplanting the truth that no one is like God (Psalm 86:8, Exodus 15:11). In many respects, the template and image of Satan is seen among the realm of fallen humanity. Since the fall of man, the pursuit of power over truth has plagued the human race. This very temptation and sin is at the heart of all kinds of corruption, and racism is just one manifestation of such wickedness. When men believe that they are superior to others, they entitle themselves to the Satanic delusion of power. The 1st Commandment of Progressive Racialism offers no progress to humanity at all: it is the ancient sin of men and demons, and it is all worthy of the condemnation of God Himself. God’s truth will always prevail over the “power” of men.

2nd Commandment - Give Voice to Approved Representatives Only: No one should be exempted from the important discussion about human prejudice. The moment we begin to exclude others from this important discussion, based upon their skin color, we give credence to the corruption of racist thinking itself. As believers, we need to consider what Scripture has to teach us about heralding the Gospel in a world of ethnic divide. While the believer must be careful to avoid unnecessary offense when speaking to various people groups, we must first acknowledge that we are all made of the same, stock of fallen humanity. Our differing ethnicities, skin color, eye color, hair color, facial features, and other physical distinctions among us change nothing about our shared humanity. In the end we must acknowledge that the Gospel is inherently offensive to the natural man, no matter what his background may be. Our encounters with others should be grounded in love and concern for them, but it must never be governed by a fear of man. If we are faithful to proclaiming God’s truth, then we must also accept the reality that we will end up offending some people. When Paul was in Athens, he addressed a deeply ethnocentric group of people who believed themselves to be the supreme descendants of Erechtheus – the mythological progeny of Gaia and Hephaestus who was raised by the Goddess Athena. The thought of a Jew instructing a company of proud Greek intellectuals concerning the origin of creation and the nations would have been deeply offensive and seemingly presumptuous. Despite this Paul proceeded to inform them that the one God who made the heavens and the earth is “not served by human hands as if He needed anything” and that He “made from one man every nation of mankind.” Amazingly, Paul boldly decimated the Athenians’ view of theology, creationism, polytheism, and racialism with a handful of carefully crafted statements. Paul wasn’t looking for personal popularity with his audience, nor did he worship at the altar of political correctness. Instead, he was there to tell them the lie-destroying truth (2 Corinthians 10:4-5) for the sake of their souls despite the racial and ethnic differences that stood between him and his Gentile audience.

3rd Commandment - Emotionalism Trumps all Facts: Displays of emotion and passion do nothing to change the truth. Despite this reality, we live in a world that has been using public grievances in order to advance false narratives and lies since the fall of man. It is simply not true that “the one who complains the loudest wins” in the contest over truth. Paul’s preaching of the Gospel offended the residents of Ephesus because he was informing them that “gods made with hands are no gods at all” (Acts 19:26). His preaching, along with their recognition that he was not a Greek but a Jew (Acts 19:34), stirred the city into a state of hostility such that for about two hours they cried out: “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians.” Paul was an alien in every way in view of his message and ethnicity, and the inhabitants of the city let him know it, but none of this changed anything. Men can stir up all the passion and anger that they wish, but man’s emotions never change facts and reality. This is true in every aspect of life.

4th Commandment - Observe All Sanctioned Double Standards: God’s laws and commandments are universal for all mankind. It is not the case that “you shall not steal” or “you shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” applies to some, but doesn’t apply to others. Yet, despite this, many believe that victimhood justifies the transgression of the law: whether of God or of men. This is nothing more than a poorly reasoned form of anarchy and it is sadly promoted among those who deem themselves as victims. The great darkness and sin that we see exhibited in Israel’s ancient period of the Judges is well summarized in Judges 21:25 “…everyone did what was right in his own eyes” – this is the very definition of anarchy.

5th Commandment - Blame Society for all Your Problems: Many in our society are drowning in the slough of blame and false victimhood. The self-esteem generation of the 60’s has managed to produce scores of introspective, narcissistic individuals who have no interest in taking personal responsibility for their own lives. This is a disease that transcends all cultural and socio-economic classes of mankind. The sins of America’s historic racialism and slavery have scarred our nation significantly, but I can assure the reader that those scars will never be healed through a reversed racism in the modern day. The propagation of philosophies which seek to shame members of society today for the sins of others in the past only serves to increase the divide between men. Every generation must account for its own actions and choices. If this were not the case, the needed reforms of black civil rights would never have come into existence. In order to move forward as a people, we must learn from the past, rather than live in it, while seeking to treat one another as equals as we should have from the beginning, acknowledging that all men are created equal by the Creator. Such a thought as this fosters the much-needed understanding of a man’s personal responsibility before God who is the Creator of everything. One of the central truths of the Gospel is that men have a personal responsibility to answer to God (Jeremiah 31:30, Ezekiel 18:20-21). A father who commits a crime does not thereby make his son guilty – no matter what his skin color is. All sinners who repent and turn to the Lord will find life in Him (Ezekiel 18:21-23, Matthew 11:28). The Gospel is God’s gracious and merciful appeal to a world of lost sinners, and each individual who hears the Gospel is responsible to turn to God in view of His call to all men to believe in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (John 3:16).

6th Commandment - Use Religion as Cover for the Cause: Men have been using religion as a cover for their ulterior agendas from the very beginning – this is not new. But true religion sees humanity as God sees it: created in God’s image, fallen in sin, worthy of condemnation, and desperately in need of the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus, rather than using false arguments of racialism in order to divide men, the Christian seeks to proclaim the Gospel of peace in order to unite all men in the risen Savior.

7th Commandment - Remember that all Slander is the Purview of the Claimants of Victimhood: Our society has learned to vilify anyone who is believed to be a racist, whether that belief is valid or not. For that matter, merely an accusation of racism can result in public shunning whether it is deserved or not. It is interesting to note that one of the great double standards of modern American racist witch hunts is that they often entail an abundance of slander, rumors, and false accusations. Prejudice against others is indeed a sin, for God Himself does not show partiality (Acts 10:34, 1 Peter 1:17). But slander, rumors, and false accusations are things that the Lord also hates: “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord…” Proverbs 12:22. When race-baiters are deeply invested in a narrative of presumption, slander, and false accusation against others, the presentation of forensic evidence and eye-witness testimony will rarely change their mindset. This is a grave and fearful sin.

8th Commandment - Remember that Violence is the Purview of the Claimants of Victimhood: According to Scripture, slander is an expression of hatred which reveals a heart of murder: Proverbs 6:16–19: 16 There are six things which the LORD hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: 17 Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that run rapidly to evil, 19 A false witness who utters lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers [italics mine]. It doesn’t take much for a riotous mob to go from shouting to bloodshed – it is a mere shift of communication from the mouth to the hand and it is all wicked.

9th Commandment - Remember to Silence the Opposition: A society that is unwilling to listen to opposing views is a dangerous place to live. When Paul addressed the Athenians in Acts 17, he did so within a forum that invited open discourse [Acts 17:21]. In his address, he didn’t threaten to convert them by force for one simple reason: this is never an option for the followers of Christ. Unlike some religions and political philosophies, the followers of Christ are called to engage those who are deemed as enemies of the cross for the purpose of relating and explaining the message of the Gospel. Such interaction can be messy and even difficult – but it is the means by which the believer loves others through the Gospel. However, from the standpoint of this dark world, dialogue is merely optional. In the worst of all cases, silence from one’s opponent is to be secured by public vilification, arrest, or even bloodshed.

10th Commandment - Above All, Never Let the Truth Prevail in the Public Narrative: “Power is more important than truth.” Though men may never confess this with their lips, it is their true religion of the heart and the idol they serve faithfully. Any philosophy or methodology that brings worldly gain (whether real or perceived) to the individual is to be maintained without repentance. Even a well constructed lie will be protected by its creators if they believe that it will help their ultimate cause. Again – power is more important than truth.

Though you will never see these “commandments” printed or advertised in any formal capacity, I can assure you that mankind has employed these wicked decrees for ages. Will those who use and apply these aforementioned Ten Commandments of Progressive Racialism ever be held to account for their abuses of others? In the end, the answer is yes. This truth Paul proclaimed to his Athenian audience:

Acts 17:30–31: 30 “Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, 31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”

Though men may never relent of their slander and malicious gossip in this life, all such matters will be dealt with in the courtroom of God’s final and eternal judgment. As for finding justice in this life, it would be nice to see but our society’s trajectory seems to be pointing away from such an end. Instead, it would appear that we can all prepare for the next racialistic controversy, which will most likely be bigger and charged with more slander and violence. We can hope and pray that this will not be the case, however, the present trajectory of our nation does not instill much hope. Whatever else we can say or think about America’s downgrade into a new era of racialism, one thing is for certain: our only hope is Christ. By nature, we are all bigots and haters of men and of God. Without a transformation of the heart, mankind will continue to march on, relentlessly, in its parade of prejudice against others. The sins of the past find no solutions in the inventions of man. Moreover, black-on-white racism does not cancel the sins of white-on-black racism. The only way out of this is the narrow pathway of God’s word whereby we are illumined to see that the Lord is good, and we are not; that He alone can save us from our sins, and that we cannot save ourselves; that Christ died for sinners so that all those who believe in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life.

Indeed, He is our only hope.

May God have mercy on America.

All Men are Created Equal? from The Armoury Ministries on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

TAMB: Jude’s Prophetic Woe–Cain (Jude 11)

Jude’s historic warnings to the church are gripping, serious, and desperately needed for the modern day. With much gravity, Jude issues a prophetic woe against men whose wickedness and rebellion bears a likeness to that of Cain, Balaam, and Korah. His indictment of such men is brief, however a careful perusal of his instruction brings us through an important “hall of shame” within biblical history. In this message, we consider the nature of Cain’s corruption and treachery as humanity’s first false religionist and murderer.

Friday, October 24, 2014

TAMB: Equal Protection for Gay Marriage

In a recent interview with The New Yorker, President Barack Obama revealed his “evolving” position on gay marriage, indicating that the “…Equal Protection Clause does guarantee same-sex marriage in all fifty states.” Though this is not surprising, Christians must think scripturally about their approach to this controversial subject. From Matthew Vines’ book, God and the Gay Christian, to the President’s recent stipulations, this program addresses the biblical response concerning these important matters. Download the program here, or just listen:

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

TAMB: The Dreamers of Modern Day “Prophecy”

Jude 8 supplies very important warnings about those who claim to have visions, dreams, and prophetic revelations from God. This program reviews some of Jude’s concerns in light of many of the claimants of modern day prophecy like Beth Moore, Mark Driscoll, and John Piper. Download the program here, or just listen:

Monday, October 20, 2014

TAMB: The Joy of Fearing God

[TAMB 43.1 October 20th, 2014] Message from October 5th: The Joy of Fearing God, Jude and selected passages. Download the program here, or just listen:

Thursday, October 16, 2014

TAMB: Doug Wilson, J.R.R. Tolkien, G.K. Chesterton, & C.S. Lewis, Part II

Were J.R.R. Tolkien, G.K. Chesterton, and C.S. Lewis saved? Doug Wilson (pastor of Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho) was recently asked this question and many of his answers reveal the troubling implications of his “Federal Vision” theology. This program addresses Wilson’s answers to this question – Doug Wilson, J.R.R. Tolkien, G.K. Chesterton, & C.S. Lewis, Part II. Download the program here, or just listen:

TAMB: Doug Wilson, J.R.R. Tolkien, G.K. Chesterton, & C.S. Lewis, Part I

Were J.R.R. Tolkien, G.K. Chesterton, and C.S. Lewis saved? Doug Wilson (pastor of Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho) was recently asked this question and many of his answers reveal the troubling implications of his “Federal Vision” theology. This program addresses Wilson’s answers to this question – Doug Wilson, J.R.R. Tolkien, G.K. Chesterton, & C.S. Lewis, Part I. Download the program here, or just listen:

TAMB: The Armoury Ministries Broadcast–Inaugural Program

In this inaugural program of The Armoury Ministries Broadcast, I introduce the theme hymn of The Armoury Ministries: The Sands of Time are Sinking. This hymn’s lyrics, rich history, and beautiful tune are surveyed in this program. Download the program here, or just listen:



The Sands of Time are Sinking is masterfully performed by the Altar of Praise Chorale.

Monday, September 29, 2014

An Open Letter to Kirk Cameron along with Glenn Beck, Dave Dwyer, and all their Respective Employees and Listening Audiences

Update:  Related interview with WorldView Weekend (mp3)
Dear Kirk Cameron –

At the outset let me mention that I celebrated your excellent labors with respect to the movie, Fireproof, when it was released. As a husband, father of six children, and pastor, I rejoiced when this work of yours was made public. Gospel-rich and Gospel-centered productions, of significant quality, have become as rare as summer snow in our generation,

Friday, September 26, 2014

True Marriage: A Covenant of Love

Quaint and pithy sayings are often mistaken for genuine wisdom, especially when they are given to us from historical figures or men of renown. Great danger comes when the hearer becomes passive with such "wisdom" by failing to measure everything by the standard of Holy Writ. No man can match the ancient wisdom of God's Word.[1] Consider the following counsel offered by Dietrich Bonhoeffer to a young couple about to be married:

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Lewis’ and Piper’s Transitive Influences on Evangelicalism

I. LEWIS’ & PIPER’S TROUBLING AFFIRMATIONS OF HEDONISM
II. LEWIS’ & PIPER’S TRANSITIVE INFLUENCES ON EVANGELICALISM
III. THE BAD LEGACY OF MYSTICISM, SUBJECTIVISM, AND SECULARISM
IV. THE GRAVE NEED FOR REAL LIGHT IN A WORLD OF REAL DARKNESS

II. Lewis’ and Piper’s Transitive Influences on Evangelicalism: In a previous column, I examined Lewis’ and Piper’s troubling affirmations of hedonism. In that piece, special notice was given concerning Piper’s troubling praise of atheist Ayn Rand: “I think she [Ayn Rand] points to truth and to Jesus ultimately: she esteemed reason, individualism, and hedonism - and so do I..."[1]

Friday, September 19, 2014

Lewis’ & Piper’s Troubling Affirmations of Hedonism

The following article is also featured at Worldview Weekend (here).

For more background information on the legacy of C.S. Lewis: ataul.thearmoury.org

As a follow up to my September 10th article (Victoria Osteen & John Piper’s “Christian Hedonism”: What’s The Difference?) and my related interview with Brannon Howse on September 11th, I wanted to offer a series of columns addressing the continuing influences of C.S. Lewis’, as promoted through John Piper’s teaching on Christian Hedonism.[1] Originally, this entire discussion was triggered by the following tweet from the Desiring God Ministry on September 4th:

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Altar to an Unknown Love: Rob Bell, C.S. Lewis, and the Legacy of the Art and Thought of Man

 

eBook and paperback - available at amazon.com. For more information about this book, go to: ataul.thearmoury.org. For more information about The Armoury Ministries, go to: www.thearmouryministries.org

2 Timothy 3:1,4: "In the last days...men will be...lovers of hedonism [φιλήδονοι]..."

Friday, September 05, 2014

Victoria Osteen and “Christian Hedonism”

Victoria Osteen’s dark moment of honesty before a watching world has generated much buzz and discussion lately. However, one must wonder why there is so much surprise in this – she has simply admitted to the very core of her theology. Her version of “Christianity” is an idolatrous cauldron of hedonistic pleasure. In her world, self reigns supreme – and the name of Christ is simply a nametag that she attaches in an attempt to provide cover for her heresy. Those who didn’t already know of the Osteen’s theology either haven’t been paying attention, or perhaps they have never heard of the bizarre spectacle of their “ministry.”

Thursday, September 04, 2014

The Bitter-Sweet Lessons of Divine Providence

mjbatwhbcnowredeemerbiblechurchLast month I stumbled upon some sad and difficult news, the likes of which I will not describe in detail, but will only say that it involves a church in the northern Midwest. I heard about this news via a Christian podcast which aired shortly after the crisis in question. When I heard this news, I couldn’t help but to recall to mind several memories concerning one of the most difficult experiences that I have gone through in the ministry. The memories and experiences that I will share will be nameless recollections from the past. To be frank they are difficult memories and past anxieties that I have entrusted to God, lest my own heart be corrupted with a root of bitterness. Yet, these distant memories also bear forth a bounty of important life lessons. Whenever I do think of them, I am immediately drawn to the reflection of God’s kind and faithful tutelage