The Two Kingdoms

CR Wiley has a good explanation of how to live a quiet, peaceful life. It’s tempting to think we can “win back” America or the West but the Bible offers no such promises. You still want to live a meaningful, ethical, pilgrim life hence the need for Wiley’s book. Be careful not to become a Dominionist in the process. This guy is right: most of what is sold to us as “the good life” is a lie. It’s sold to us by many people, but tragically by many clergy and people in the church. The church has a big problem distinguishing God’s kingdom which is visible only in the church with man’s kingdom which is common and visible. The two are not antithetical but they are definitely not to be mixed. Mixing the two has been a disaster for both the church and the state: it has made the church a compromising, supplicant of the state and culture while demanding more from the State than it can provide while elevating it to a godlike status. All the while, the church has adopted more and more of the culture. Ever wonder why an Evangelical church is run like a modern corporation instead of a church? Two-kingdom confusion. Ever wonder why unbelievers are so cynical about the CHristian church? The church has confused the two kingdoms in embarrassing and awful ways.

If you want to go further in depth on the Christian doctrine of the two kingdoms, the Lutherans are (unsurprisingly) getting it right far more often than evangelicals or Calvinists.

Household economic solutions

Johnny has another good post up about creating economic solutions at home and the constraints posed by zoning and regulations.

After the fires a year and a half ago, he predicted that many people would not rebuild because they couldn’t handle the costs of regulatory compliance. He was right. Half of the empty lots in the county affected by the fire are for sale, even in rich areas. The places that are being re-built the fastest are those lots that have been bought en-masse by huge conglomerates that have enough lawyers and employees to deal with the regulations and permitting. How long until our civilization collapses under the weight of its regulatory burden? How long until the era of Huge Corporations ends? Not long, I wager. Johnny’s posts are about transitional solutions and should be taken seriously.

Up here, the main cottage industry is marijuana. Neighbors two houses down have turned their Chinese-owned rental house into a staging area for interstate marijuana trafficking. There are about 6 cars parked out front: a Chevy Avalanche towing a horse trailer that’s being filled with pot and 5 other cars of various mules being use to bring the pot from the neighboring hills to the house, which is kind of a flop-house for various kin and felons including a meth addict who always has a new bike. I tried to involve local law and even federal law enforcement but ran into opposition and apathy from my other neighbors (“Don’t rock the boat!”). Wouldn’t it be better to have a guy running a small machine shop or re-upholstering business in that house instead? Would these same neighbors who are fine with the flophouse be opposed to an in-home auto mechanic or machinist or welder? I’m not sure. It might be expensive for prospective cottage industrialists to find out, but what are the alternatives? I suppose one way of keeping your neighbors quiet about a home business is by keeping the premises as quiet as possible and minimizing auto traffic. Another way is to hire their kids to sweep up and do other tasks. Who is going to oppose a neighbor who provides on-the-job training? Another alternative is to remind contentious neighbors that you can also make money off the house as a rental property which means new neighbors every 2 years on average and a lot more cars. Better the devil you know than the one you don’t know.

Kinism, Racism, Realism, and Pluralism

Officially, almost everyone in the West agrees that racism is bad but everyone has a different definition of what it is. To whites, racism is the acknowledgement of race. To blacks, racism is anything whites do or think. To Mexicans, racism is fine (Por la Raza, Todo). Asians tend to mimic white Democrats: talk like MLK but live like the KKK.

Generally, the ability to stamp out racism runs into several roadblocks. First, ethnicities look and act different. These differences tend to come from cognitive ability and culture. Cognition and culture often change slowly so there are big differences in socio-economic outcomes between races. Cultural Marxists seize upon these differences in outcomes to further punish the noticing of race (white racism) on one hand while supporting black, white liberal, Mexican, and Asian racism to attempt to close the gap (except that Asians are elite socio-economically, go figure that one out). To cultural Marxists, racism is bad in only in that it results in inequality of outcome (except for Asians who are still a Minority).

The second problem comes on Sunday morning. Birds of a feather flock together. Ministers constantly remind whites that this is bad, so white ministers are constantly hand-wringing about ways of getting more people of color into congregations. The problem is that they only apply these rules to whites and never Chinese, Koreans, Blacks, and Hispanics. I’ve never heard a white minister say there should be no Korean church, Hispanic church or Chinese church. They definitely never argue against a black church. I typically hear linguistic reasons why churches of all races should not be merged in the US: Chinese, Koreans, and Hispanics speak a different language. This is true only for the first generation. I never hear white ministers talk about the monstrous evil of these other races going to their ethnic churches to the second, third and fourth generation. Whites and blacks on this continent have spoken the same language for 400 years. If racism is bad, it has to be bad on Sunday morning for all races. I have never seen an ecumenical council to merge the various ethnic churches in the United States and I never will.

In Christ, there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free. At this time, in the American church, this appears to be true mostly invisibly, though persecution might get us all working together like the first century church. Even then, the book of Acts suggests that different congregations were dominated by different ethnicities (Jews in the Jerusalem church). The Council of Jerusalem in Acts 15 was convened to resolve errors in faith and practice that came from Jewish conservatives binding the consciences of Gentile congregations. It was not a meeting on how to mix all the congregations ethnically. How would that even work? “Hey Demetrious – you and your family need to get in a trireme and sail from Cyprus to Jerusalem post-haste because we have too many Jews in the Jerusalem church!” See how absurd that sounds when you say it aloud?

The final problem is that God confused our language to separate us into different ethnicities as a way of restraining evil in Genesis 11 after the Flood. The era leading up to Babel was a lot like our current globalist era: man made much use of technology to build a ziggurat that allowed him to try to set himself over and against God and the constraints He has put on man to restrain man’s evil. Technology is a good thing if used for good ends such as saving labor. It’s a terrible thing when used for murder as in the case of abortion or to proclaim the irrelevance of God as in the case of modern communication technologies that allow the wicked to broadcast (Twitter comes to mind). White ministers, hearing this, remind us that Babel was a curse and their reposte is “What about God punishing Miriam for opposing Moses’ marriage to an Ethiopian woman?” What about it? Moses didn’t marry a Canaanite woman. Had he done so, God would’ve punished him because the Israelites were being sent into Canaan to leave no Canaanites alive. Ethiopians were a completely different story. The are natural trade roots between Ethiopia and Egypt. The biggest one is called “The Nile.” The cultural differences between Jews coming out of Egypt and Ethiopians were probably small in the ways that mattered. Finally, wasn’t this woman likely a proselyte?

If you think I’m making an argument for kinism, I’m not. I am, however, undermining the typical arguments used to shame white people in post-American America. I’m also suggesting that much of the condemnation you hear of racism directed almost exclusively at whites is culturally-Marxist in origin and also a cultural artifact of our globalist age. Saints of the past (Dabney, Machen, the Puritans, our grandparents), are not in Hell because their views offended our modern sensibilities. Our solution to the problems posed by having different ethnicities in one nation (under God) was pluralism: a common culture and set of rights and standards we all agreed one while maintaining the cultural differences of ethnicities. Multiculturalism, in this Marxist era, has been set against our old solution. The outcome has been a disaster and has not led to more cultural unity. The other solution has been to have borders so that the influx of new peoples aligns with our ability to assimilate them. This also has been broken since the 1960s and is now too late to fix.

I guess I’m fatalistic about the outcome. It’s not going to be pretty. Ministers will continue to double-down on their fussing about racism as I’ve defined it above. When the cultural winds change as we exit this era of globalism, they’ll likely start acknowledging the realities I’ve discussed above and change their tunes. So much of the hand-wringing we read in the news and on Twitter is nothing more than weather-vaning. Keep that in mind the next time someone is scolding you.

Choose your church carefully

You have to be cautious in choosing a church today, even if it’s a Reformed/Presbyterian church in a conservative denomination. These churches often take away as much or more on one hand as they give on another. On paper, a church might subscribe to a confession of faith and you join only to discover that the pastor’s messages center around various hobby horses and axes to grind rather than the whole counsel of God. This is true at least half the time.

The most awful examples these days are the issues of marriage and sex. The post-modern minister will often point to a lack of explicit definition of sex and its roles in the Bible and assume that the roles of husband and wife are therefore very thinly defined. The husband is nothing more than a servant-leader who, as Aaron Renn explains, is expected to be much more of a servant than a leader. Husbands are to love their wives according to Ephesians 5 so that their wives will not sin – that’s about all husbands are supposed to do. Very rarely are wives exhorted to submit to their husbands because, you see, wives will have no problems submitting if the husband is properly loving and it is therefore the husband’s fault if the wife is unsubmissive.

This might be a persuasive argument if you leave out the opening chapters of Genesis which Jesus and Paul use to argue for marriage and marital roles. Jesus, when asked about whether it was lawful to divorce, said, “It was not so from the Beginning.” In 1 Corinthians 11, Paul uses the order of creation to explain order in church and home. Note that he uses both the order of creation but also that woman was created out of man, “For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man (1 Corinthians 11:8,9). In 1 Timothy 2:13-14, Paul uses the order of both Creation and transgression to order sex roles in the church, “ For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. ” In II Corinthians, Paul urges us to be strong and act like men, so apparently even the Apostle Paul thought there were manly virtues – virtues that distinctly characterize men. Were this not obvious from the created order, Paul would not have made this case.

In fact, in Romans 1-2, Paul says that God is evident from the things that were made and this is enough to convict us before Him. If can learn about God from Creation even though he is invisible, how much more can we learn about visible things by observing the Creation? Indeed, this is what Adam did when God created animals in Genesis 2 and brought them to Adam to see how he would name them. The text suggests ADam observed their natural characteristics and gave them fitting names. The point is, Creation and observation are enough to learn a good many things not spelled-out explicitly in the Bible, and this is also true for marriage and sex roles. This is so true, in fact, that the Westminster Divines and many Reformers affirmed natural theology. Wyatt Graham explains

The Gallican Confession (1559), The Belgic Confession (1561), the Canons of Dort (1618–1619), and the Westminster Confession of Faith (1647) affirm ideas like the book of nature, innate knowledge in terms of common notions, or the light of nature. And in particular, Anthony Burgess, a framer of the WCF, penned a work affirming natural theology (Vindiciae Legis) whose imprint appears in the WCF (So Fesko 2019: 40).

Again, if we can learn things about God, who is invisible, from nature, how much more can we learn from things that are visible? Certain things like sex and marriage are so obvious from our body parts and physical and mental differences that they don’t need to be spelled-out in special revelation. They’re so obvious that Paul and Jesus use them to make theological points about the church. The ugly truth is that in spite of this, many Protestant ministers cannot affirm plain truths about sex and gender and will even go along with the culture to try to set Paul and Jesus against Peter even where Peter is explicit that wives should obey their husbands even when the husband doesn’t obey the word (1 Peter 3). But these ministers are also double-minded. They use the exhortations for men in the New Testament as a cudgel as though men were more fallen than women, sitting in the seat of Moses like Pharisees. There is only one way they affirm nature: white knighting these “less-fallen” women because nature affirms that men are supposed to protect women (physically) even though the Bible denies that women have less moral agency. Actually, Paul says that women sinned first with her eyes open and this has been historically understood to mean that women are more gullible and thus more error-prone. These types of ministers can actually destabilize your marriage and you should avoid these churches like the plague, whether they’re in a conservative denomination or not. The stakes are just too high nowadays to put your marriage into harm’s way. Knowing that, read this. We’ll talk about this minister’s writings in subsequent posts.

The Mushy Middle

Evangelicalism is collapsing into mainline Protestant liberalism. This “Gospel” Coalition author is enabling the collapse by pretending the homosexualists are disagreeing in good faith which is absurd. Liberals always have their fingers crossed behind their backs whenever they say something. Liars are difficult to pin down. They need to be expelled or you can kiss your group good-bye. We’ve had 100 years of proof of this yet “Conservatives” never learn.