David Chilton on Our Political Failure

I have been reading through David Chilton’s commentary on the book of Revelations, Days of Vengeance. (It is available for download at this address http://www.garynorth.com/freebooks/sidefrm2.htm ) This book was written during Reagan’s second term after the collapse of Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority and the backtracking of C. Everet Koop.

In light of the current state of the Republican Party and continuing decay of social issues in our country, the following really caught my eye. It is from pages 511-512.

It must be stressed, however, that the road to Christian dominion does not lie primarily through political action. While the political sphere, like every other aspect of life, is a valid and necessary area for Christian activity and eventual dominance, we must shun the perennial temptation to grasp for political power. Dominion in civil government cannot be obtained before we have attained maturity in wisdom-the result of generations of Christian self-government. As we learn to apply God’s Word to practical situations in our personal lives, our homes, our schools, and our businesses; as Christian churches exercise Biblical judgment over their own officers and members, respecting and enforcing the discipline of other churches; then Christians will be able to be trusted with greater responsibilities. Those who are faithful in a few things will be put in charge of many things (Matt. 25:21, 23), but “from everyone who has been given much shall much be required” (Luke 12:48; cf. Luke 16:10-12; 19:17). One of the distinguishing marks of heretical movements throughout Church history has been the attempt to grab the robe of political power before it has been bestowed.

This whole issue has been thoughtfully explored in an excellent essay by James Jordan, and the best service I can provide the interested reader at this point is simply to refer him to it. 25 Jordan concludes his study with these words: “When we are ready, God will give the robe to us. That He has not done so proves that we are not ready. Asserting our readiness will not fool Him. Let us pray that He does not crush us by giving us such authority before we are ready for it. Let us plan for our great-grandchildren to be ready for it. Let us go about our business, acquiring wisdom in family, church, state, and business, and avoiding confrontations with the powers that be…. For as sure as Christ is risen from the grave and is ascended to regal glory on high, so sure it is that His saints will inherit the kingdom and rule in His name, when the time is right.”26

Footnote 25:

25. James B. Jordan, “Rebellion, Tyranny, and Dominion in the Book of Genesis,” in Gary North, ed., Tactics of Christian Resistance, Christianity and Civilization No.3 (Tyler, TX: Geneva Ministries, 1983), pp. 38-80.

Footnote 26:

26. Ibid., p. 74. In this connection, Jordan’s remarks on the so-called “patriotic” tax-resistance movement are also worth repeating: “We must keep in mind that the pagan is primarily interested in power. This means that the maintenance of force (the draft) and the seizure of money (excessive taxation) are of absolute primary interest to him. If we think these are the most important things, then we will make them the point of resistance (becoming ‘tax patriots’ or some such thing). To think this way is to think like pagans. For the Christian, the primary things are righteousness (priestly guarding) and diligent work (kingly dominion). Generally speaking, the pagans don’t care how righteous we are, or how hard we work, so long as they get their tax money. This is why the Bible everywhere teaches to go along with oppressive taxation, and nowhere hints at the propriety of tax resistance” (p. 79).

Jordan’s essay is also available at the URL above. Look for Tactics of Christian Resistance by Gary North.

Off the Rails at the CRA Board Meeting

Yesterday I attended a Board meeting of the California Republican Assembly. I’ve attended a lot of meeting for various organizations and this one was noteworthy for what was done incorrectly.

The highlights or takeaways or whatever metaphor fits the best were related to endorsements for candidates running for positions on the Board of the California Republican Party—the election for these positions will be during their spring convention.

I walked in the door just as Jim Brulte was being introduced. Brulte is the only announced candidate that has stepped forward to run for chairman of the California GOP. Brulte spoke for about five minutes and then fielded a few questions. Brulte did take two questions from me.

My first question was an attempt to get Brulte to promise that in the future, the CRP should not expend their limited funds in general election races where both candidates were Republicans. Please spend money fighting against Democrats. He did seems to agree that would be a better use of our resources.

My second question was concerning CRP candidate endorsements. I was trying to get Brulte to have the CRP adopt a primary system that did not vest all power in Central Committees and the State Board but allowed input from rank and file Republicans. Brulte had no interest in dealing with this issue. The current system was supposed to be only for the 2012 election cycle but no permanent solution has been proposed yet. I think it likely that the current system is here to stay. It is a top down model and works well in an authoritarian/elitist system. As long as this system is in place then the Republicans have no claim to being a “grassroots” Party.

Immediately following his remarks, the chair entertained a motion to endorse Brulte. She called for yea votes, then said “all opposed step outside” and the asked for any abstentions. I wanted to vote “no” based on the brush-off to my second question but I was not allowed to do so. Shortly after this vote, the Secretary called the role for purposes or establishing a quorum.

When a Chairman cannot follow Robert’s Rules of Order I loose respect for them. The rest of the body didn’t want the Chair to look dumber by pointing out that their endorsement vote was illegal and therefore void under both CRA’s Bylaws and Robert’s Rules.
• Quorum was not established prior to conducting business
• No one was allowed to speak in opposition to the nomination which was the case in all other endorsement votes held yesterday

As is often the practice of the Parliamentarian, he was silent on this snafu.

The Agenda for the meeting was poorly done. The main purpose of the Board Meeting was supposed to be to discuss endorsing candidates for the CRP Board and this was not even on the Agenda! The layout was not done as multi-level outline but resembled a grocery list.

My other gripe is much more delicate to discuss. A candidate for another office appeared at the Board Meeting seeking endorsement for his run for a CRP office. Except for Brulte, all other candidates were asked to leave the room. Once this other candidate left the room, the meeting took a trip into the Twilight Zone or some other infrequently charted waters.

An individual got up in front of the group and then stated that he had been sober for ten years and had not been arrested in 17 years but he said that the candidate that we had just heard could make no such claim. Wow!

Then a second person got up and began to talk about the candidate. His attempt to speak was curtailed by the chair. He was frustrated that he was unable to unload on the character of this individual and his conduct during the most recent election cycle. The person complaining was promised that he would be able to bring this up under new business. When he again tried under new business he was shut down by the chair. Clearly this candidate has hit a raw nerve in the minds of several that claimed to know him.

The endorsement was tabled in the remote hope that someone more palatable would be found at a future date.

This incident was one of those where the political response diverged from the biblical one.

The character assassination card was played against this person. He had no opportunity to respond to the accusations since he was not allowed in the room. No evidence was presented that the accusations were true and his reputation was hurt. Lastly the person could have been blocked from getting the endorsement without the tactics that were utilized.

I sensed that there was likely a basis in fact for the accusations but it was equally clear that the endorsement could be blocked without resorting to their use. Disclosure in this way was a punitive act.

The Christian response would be to pray for the person and if he claimed to be a believer then go to him in order that he might repent. Putting someone out of the church is a different issue from blocking a political endorsement. I think some well-meaning folks went too far.

I think my conclusion that we are not yet ready to lead is still true. We need a new paradigm before those in the church are ready to lead in the political world. We need to have a political worldview that is an extension of our faith not a contradiction of it.

40 Years of Roe

When I was younger, I used to stand in front of an area abortion clinic with a homemade sign that read, “Abortion: One dead, One Wounded.” Some Roman Catholic folks that were with me made a suggestion for my sign; this resulted in some additional words being added. My sign then read, “Abortion: One dead, One Wounded and One Rich.”

I was involved with the pro-life movement for many years. During that period in my life I learned much about myself, my faith and the wickedness the men justify in their own hearts.

I had learned the issue as one where our argument was something like this: if we could just convince folks that abortion took a life then they would stop because we all agree that taking a life; especially an innocent one, was wrong. What I found was that the “other guys” never agreed with this premise. For them, the arguments that once started with babies in the womb being parasites and unviable tissue masses were replaced with more selfish ones about “choice.” Their definition of choice was like the proverbial “Russian Election.” Only one candidate was on the ballot and we all were expected to freely cast a vote for that person. The only choice on the ballot was death. In their world, the unborn child never had hope that life might occasionally win.

The result has been that since the passage of Roe v Wade in 1973, one in three pregnancies in the United States has ended in abortion. Legalized abortion in other countries has killed even more children. Europe is collapsing demographically and nothing can stop it. Mohammed is the top baby name in England. France is over 25 percent Muslim and growing rapidly. Ideas have consequences. Abortion is literally remaking the racial and ethnic character of the world. China has millions of men that will never marry because there are too few women in their country due to the one child per family law and a cultural preference for boys. The failed experiments in Social Darwinism continue in those countries that elevated man as the measure of all things.

The world stands at the brink of destruction on a scale never before seen in human history. Last century we endured two world wars and many decades of a “cold war”. Worse events could be in our future. The belief that some men are superior to others has caused the death of millions. Abortion, genocide, euthanasia and other forms of murder seem to be part of this fallen culture of men.

Today, as we reflect on the anniversary of Roe v Wade, our country is marching headlong into forced euthanasia for elderly. It is clear from the paradigm that Obama has instituted in his healthcare reform that his friends will experience a different outcome than those that disagree with him. I thought we just finished a protracted battle with the Soviets where the Party faithful got the goodies and the rest were enslaved and now we are voluntarily adopting much of the same system once dubbed “the Evil Empire”?

In the words of the Litany, “Good Lord, deliver us.”

Disarming Citizens is Tyranny

This month’s lesson in government intrusion seems to be aimed at infringing the right of the people to keep and bear arms.

Amendment II

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

As you can see, the Second Amendment never mentions hunting or sport shooting. The right to bear arms is clearly for military purposes. It is to protect our State and nation from threats. This was a purposeful Amendment to prevent a specific violation of rights that the British had committed upon the Colonies prior to the Revolution.

Furthermore, the Army of the United States was envisioned by the Founders as a defensive force. The Founders wanted to avoid the political entrapments and intrigue so common in the European States of the period. The modern American Military with an offensive force and the capability to “project power anywhere in the world” is the opposite of what was intended by the Framers of the Constitution.

The history of the Amendment was to ensure that citizens could protect themselves against tyranny and foreign aggressors. Or as the standard oath of office phrases it’ “I , _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; …
• Protection from Foreign enemies is a pledge to protect our territory from attack.
• Protection from Domestic enemies is a pledge to defend citizens from the tyranny of the government; State or Federal.

Our dilemma is what to do when office holders have broken their oath and become the tyrants? This scenario was not envisioned by the Framers—at least not as part of their draft of the Constitution.

This leaves us with the right of civil disobedience and the doctrine of the lesser magistrate. These are helpful but the question remains; at what point do we stop submitting to the authority of our government? When does our road to serfdom necessitate a “line in the sand” that requires a response?

The question is further complicated by the fact that the politicians are no more corrupt that our fellow citizens. Do you actually believe that if someone “did a Tom Clancy” that the new leaders would be better than our current crop? I think it might actually result in a worse government and less freedom.

The Second Amendment is the only tool we have to insure that the rights that we have from God are not denied by the State. As long as politicians can’t disarm the population then we have hope that they will acknowledge limits to their power.