The Death of Western Christianity

The theme of this blog is “faith, family, survival” because man requires such things in that order to thrive rather than merely exist until untimely death.  I write about faith because the decline of the West has correlated almost perfectly with the decline of Christianity in the West.  Without faith, there can be no family.  We see this already: divorce rates are over 50% and half our children are bastards.  Without family, there can be no survival, even on a local level.  Family is the basic building block of society.

Culture therefore ultimately depends on the cult, which is why the word “culture” contains the word “cult”.  The struggle in our society today is over what will take the place of the cult of Christianity.  This is the reverse of the transition to Christianity from the first century onward.  When Christianity arrived on the scene in the West in the early first century, Greek philosophical traditions were in deep decline and urban Greco-Roman life was brutal.  Christianity eventually provided an attractive alternative for reasons to be explored later.   Now that Western Christianity is dying, no dominant philosophy is taking its place except for Frankfurt School cultural Marxism, which is really an ideology based on turning reality on its head. As the remaining Western Christians die of old age and our numbers drop precipitously, our post-Christian society will likely become a brutal cauldron of paganism, Hinduism, Islam, cultural Marxism and ultimately tyranny.

Patrick Sookdheo, who is not a Westerner except by training, has written an excellent book on Western Christianity’s death, the implications of this death, how Western Christians can start being Christian again, and what to do if there is no revival.  The book is available here.

Pray hard for a new Reformation.

Saving on medical care

GunnerQ wrote a post on up-front pricing in medicine.  I have found everything he says to be true.  Even when I have asked for prices for various procedures, medical providers don’t know.  The bill you receive for service (the price) reflects some average of all the people who pay and don’t pay for the same services and your demographic data which gives the likelihood you WILL pay for the bill you’re receiving.  If you’re a married white man with a house, you’ll get a larger bill than the illegal immigrant from Mexico who claims he has no money despite all the welfare he gets from the state and the huge brand-new truck in the driveway of the house he shares with 10-20 other people.  Medical prices are thus produced by a hospital computer algorithm rather than posted like every other service in every other business.   Expect hospitals to fight price transparency tooth-and-nail.

Happily, there are several strategies to protect yourself from medical provider theft.

Strategy 1: Insurance

You can get the same benefits as health insurance (risk-pooling, contractual pricing for services) using Liberty Health Shares if you are a Christian.  My friend uses this service and loves it and claims it’s very cheap.  Regular health insurance companies are run for their executives and shareholders and executives get paid largely in company shares.  Health insurance companies are not your friends but a necessary evil.  They may be an unnecessary evil depending on their premiums and deductibles which are now in the realm of outrageous.

Strategy 2: Fight the bill

Check our Broken Health Care.  The initial bill you receive from a hospital is for people dumb-enough to pay it.  Never pay sticker price.

Strategy 3: Stiff ’em!

I’ve done this when the first 2 strategies failed or haven’t worked well-enough.  Moralizers will tell you this is the WRONG THING TO DO since it involves NOT PAYING WHAT YOU OWE.  However, the hospital is not charging you what you owe, but what you and Jose from south of the border owes.  This is especially true for OB/GYN care which is why it’s outrageously expensive to have a baby: you’re also paying for Jose’s anchor baby.  This is analogous to taking your car in for repairs and being expected to pay for someone-else’s car repair and yours.  It’s absurd to suggest it’s unethical to pay only what you owe.

I’ve called hospital billing departments, told them I was going to pay what I thought the service was worth (usually 30-50% of the bill), and that they could send the rest to collections as I’d rather negotiate with a debt collector than them.  Laws were recently changed to prevent medical bills from damaging your credit as much as it did in the past.  Debt collectors buy debt from hospitals at 5 to 10 cents on the dollar, so if you offer them 15-20% of what you originally owed, they made 50% profit.  This strategy can be riskier depending on the size of the bill since hospitals will probably sue you if you don’t pay a large bill.  Still, it costs them to sue you and most lawsuits are settled before going to trial.  The last thing a hospital wants is their billing exposed to a jury.

One final note.  The Left is pushing for national, single-payer health care.  They can push all they want but this idea didn’t even make it to a vote in the California legislature last year.  We’re already spending close to a trillion in Medicare to cover 60 million people in the US.  Try scaling that up to 330 million people and you can quickly see that we’d have to somehow treble tax revenues as our federal budget is $4 trillion.  Medicare and Medicaid account for about 25% of our national budget.  Cutting defense spending to zero still wouldn’t enable us to come close to paying for a single-payer system.  You’re on your own!  This is becoming more true in the twilight of the United States and even the post-Westphalian nation-state system.  You’re going to have to stick up for yourself.  Start with resisting lesser injustices such as medical bills and it becomes easier to resist greater ones.

Archeofuturistic weapons

The modern firearm is a product of the nation-state.  Machining is hard and requires expensive tools, smart men, and the stability to run a machine shop.  Making barrels is the most difficult part.  It requires boring a straight line for a great distance, reaming, and rifling with some sort of expensive button.  Smokeless powder and bullets are even harder.  Smokeless powder is nitroglycerin-based and requires a complicated and expensive process to manufacture.  Only a few countries in the world have ever designed firearms, and all of these countries are found in the high-IQ regions of the world.  Manufacturing knowledge, while difficult, can be transferred to countries like Brazil and Venezuela.  The latter is entering full-rate production of AK-47s in 2019 after receiving the tooling from Russia which is eager to take advantage of our internal strife by arming our enemies to the south.

Many people are now stockpiling weapons and ammunition.  The problem is that stockpiles won’t help.  The Left intends to limit the exercise of the right to keep and bear arms as much as possible.  Even if you have firearms, where do you practice marksmanship in a gun-controlled environment?  If you practice, how do you replenish your ammunition if the Left is controlling the legitimate sale of it as will be the case in California next year?  If you plan to re-load, where will you get the smokeless powder to do so? In war, especially 4th-Generation war, you always have a logistics problem.  Ammunition is difficult to make and scarce when needed.

Guns and ammunition will never go away, mind you, they will just become extremely expensive for otherwise law-abiding people to buy on the black market.  In Australia, plenty of criminals own guns, they just cost several months’ salary for a Western working man on the black market.  Most people in the Third World live on less than $3 a day meaning black-market guns cost several years’ pay in poor countries. Criminals don’t care about the cost because they get their money through drug sales and robbery and guns are just a cost of doing business.  Mujahideen get all of their money, guns and ammunition from Islamic “charities” or Muslim oil states or sheikhs.  Is it any wonder that all 4th-generation irregular forces in the world today are bad people?

What normal people need is a working firearm that can be cheaply and expediently manufactured and fed with cheap ammunition outside of the government’s control: smooth-bore black-powder weapons.  It’s no wonder this type of weapon was the choice of my favorite post-apocalyptic antihero: Max Rockatansky.  Shotgun shells can be expediently-made of modern materials.  Black-powder and other variants of propellant are as old as the hills can be made more-easily using modern methods using 3 ubiquitous chemicals.  The manufacturing process is far easier than modern ammunition.  Black-powder is more volatile than smokeless powder but burns with a lower peak pressure than nitroglycerin-based smokeless powder, making firearm fabrication easier.

Speaking of firearm fabrication, even a shotgun can be fairly complicated and expensive to make since the metal barrel must be bored and the receiver milled.  Lathes and mills are expensive and probably always will be.  Where else can a piece of metal with a straight hole be found?  Piping.  The weakness of piping is its welded seam.  This can be overcome in two ways: a barrel sleeve (a larger-diameter pipe around a narrower-diameter barrel) and wrapping the barrel in biaxial carbon-fiber fabric impregnated with tooling-resin epoxy.  Carbon fiber fabric is an expensive material, but easy to work with compared to buying a lathe or gun-drill and boring a long hole in round steel stock that you’ve straightened.  It might even be possible to use 10 oz biaxial E-glass or S-glass if carbon fiber can’t be found.  The key is using the right powder load for the strength of the barrel which requires experimentation.

To fabricate the barrel, sand the outside of the pipe with 80-grit sandpaper to make it possible for the epoxy to mechanically-bond to the metal.  Clean with acetone.  Then, insert a dowel into the metal pipe, lay out the fabric on a dirt-free surface, mix the epoxy, and roll it onto the fabric using a 1/8″ low-nap roller.  Then start rolling the wet fabric around the pipe using the dowel like you’d roll paper towels.  You will have to experiment with how much fabric is enough.  Use the equation “enough= plenty.”  More fabric should probably be added where the shell sits in the barrel and is ignited, just like a manufactured shotgun.  When the epoxy has gelled and before it has hardened, mix more epoxy with cabosil and “fill the weave” of the outer layer of fiberglass.  When it dries, sand-out the bumps and rough the whole barrel with 80-grit sandpaper being careful not to sand into the fabric weave.  Coat with a third coat of epoxy and you’re done. The barrel and powder loads could be tested under the pretext of testing model rocket engines or replica smooth-bore cannons.

For receiver fabrication, I recommend Professor Parabellum.  KISS.  The action should be some sort of break-action with a locking level such as your grandfather owned.  The stock can be made of a 2×4 with a jigsaw and a spoke shave.

Proper tactics will be key with this weapon.  You’re not a sniper with it.  This is a close-range personal weapon that gives you the option to run away or close the distance to use a knife at a range of 10-20 yards.  Think of the last battle scene in Master and Commander.  Guns were used to close the distance to sword-fight.  Third worlders use knives and machetes all the time to kill their dinner and each-other.  Knives and machetes are cheap and effective at 0-7 yards where most modern gunfights take place.  So, shotgun in your left hand, bowie knife in your right.  Shoot then close the distance to kill the attackers that haven’t run away.  Presumably, you’re using this in a hallway where attackers can fan-out to shoot at you from different angle.  Choose your terrain wisely and funnel attackers into terrain of your choosing or else run.

James LaFond reviews FerFAL’s “Modern Survival Manual”

I read this book about 12 years ago during the Minority Mortgage Meltdown of 2006 when I realized the United States is not being run for Americans nor are things going to get better.  There are many parallels between the United States and Argentina.  FerFAL’s book is one of very few in this genre that give accurate survival information.  For example, he pours cold water on the idea of a rural bugout.  Instead, he says that things will go on as before, just worse.  You will need to use your personal network to provide safety from criminals and extract yourself from entanglements with the government which doesn’t do much about the criminals but grows more rapacious.  Bad times have a way of bringing out the worst in bad people, so know and surround yourself with good people.  He also discusses finance: how to store money when the banks have become unreliable and inflation is so bad you can’t store wealth in the local currency.  He wrote this before cryptocurrencies existed.  I think stablecoins may offer some alternatives to storing wealth as gold.

Case study in Christian resistance: China

The Chinese Communist Party under Xi Jinping is displaying a level of paranoia that suggests it is highly unstable.  China is deploying a social-credit system straight out of “Black Mirror” designed to track and rate all of your movements using 400 million cameras, internet browsing data, social media data, and card transactions.  They can stop anyone they want from buying a train ticket, buying property, getting a job, or having a bank account.

Revelation  13:17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

They expect to deploy this system by 2020.  It seems many Chinese support it.  Obviously, Christians and other dissidents will be persecuted by this system.  In fact, the government already has increased persecution of Christians.  They recently arrested 100 Christians from a Chengdu Reformed Church including the pastor and other churches in the presbytery.

Li Yingqiang, the sole Early Rain church elder not in custody, told me that when he heard that the police were coming after Early Rain, he shut off his phone, arranged for another family to take care of his children, and went into hiding. After he left his house, police broke down his door, and Li believes they have detained his wife.

He noted that the church had created plans in case of a government raid such as this, but they could not be carried out because nearly all the church staff had been taken at once. “My feelings are complicated,” he said Monday as he realized he was the only one left.

No one in the Western church plans for things like this.  I don’t even know who I would give my children to should the government decide to haul me off to jail for attending church since the only people nearby who I would trust with my kids go to the same church.

The police have also visited the parents of students at the school, forcing them to send their kids to public schools. The wife of Matthew Su, one of the elders who had been taken, said that at 4 a.m. on Monday, two women from the Ministry of Education showed up at her apartment and told her she needed to send her two oldest children to the local public elementary school. She declined, saying, “You’ve told us, thank you. We will not go. If you want to arrest their parents then arrest us.”

Instead of complaining about indoctrination by the public schools, the Chinese church actually worked together and created an affordable school then defied authorities when they demanded that their children attend.   We keep complaining about our public schools but enrollment in Christian schools keeps declining.  What if we tried working together?

The pastor of the Reformed Church in Chengdu used a proxy to publish a brilliant letter he wrote in anticipation of being arrested.  I encourage you all to read it.

Historically, Christians have been a despised people.  Jesus warned that since the world hated him, it would hate his followers (John 15:18).  Christians have historically put up with much at the hands of governments and the world around them repaying insults and violence with kindness and prayer.  There are cases where physical self-defense is warranted, but it depends on the circumstances.  As Bill Lind reminds us, the Moral and Mental levels of war are far greater than the Physical level.   Above them all is the Spiritual level where our prayers are effective and Jesus has already overcome.  These Christians in China definitely need your prayers and calls to your senator, congressman and the president.  As Christianity collapses in the West, I suspect we will need the prayers of Chinese Christians shortly.

If you want to save the country, go to church

In a letter to a Massachussetts militia in 1798, the Christian Founding Father John Adams famously said,

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

By this, he means that the free people of the United States had to be moral and religious to self-regulate so that the government does not have to regulate them.  As the Bible and RC Sproul explain, government is a necessary evil because man is evil.  The first duty of government is to restrain evil – to be a “terror to those who do wrong.”  It follows that a moral and religious people – a Christian people – are less evil and therefore need less regulation.  Is it any wonder that post-Christian America is so heavily-regulated?  Is it any wonder managerial class and elites believe that the Constitution gives the people too much power and to little to themselves?  Isn’t there a grain of truth in what they are saying? Don’t wicked people need a boot stomping their faces forever?  A moral and religious people, on the other hand, can justly ask their government, “Why are you enslaving us when we only want the freedom to worship and the right to defend ourselves and our families and communities and the right to be left alone?”  This becomes the basis for a moral resistance to tyrants.  Since morality or ethics typically comes from religion, it stands to reason that the battle must first be won on Sunday morning if it is to be won anywhere else and we are losing the battle.    I will go further to say that there will be no “new dawn” of Western civilization without good people in good churches.  As Melanie Phillips argues, “The attack on Western civilization, at its most profound level, is an attack on the creed that lies at the very foundation of that civilization. That creed that must be eliminated is that of the first line of the Apostles Creed: ‘I believe in God the Father Almighty, the Maker of Heaven and Earth.'”  But most Christian churches need no help from the Left in eliminating the Creed nowadays.

Of Americans that say they are Christian, many attend worship sporadically at best and are not members of a congregation.  If you say you are a Christian but do not go to church and are not members of the visible body, I have bad news for you: the Christian church has always maintained that there is ordinarily no salvation outside the visible church.  This means that you are either in the visible church or the outer darkness.  The Reformers went further to distinguish true visible churches from false churches such as the Roman Catholic Church on the basis of their preaching of the gospel, administration of the sacraments, and practice of church discipline.  This does not mean that you are saved on the basis of church attendance, but that your regular attendance and membership in a true, visible church is evidence of your salvation and your lack of evidence and attendance is evidence to the contrary.  The gospel is preached in the visible church.  Your Christian brothers are in the visible church.  Further, Americans used to speak well of each-other by saying, “He attends church every Sunday.”  In early America, there were even Sabbath-day laws preventing you from doing much else besides going to church on Sunday.  For example, you could be arrested for travelling on Sunday.  How far are we from that these days?

To go to a good church, you must be able to distinguish good from bad.  It starts with picking a church with good preaching.  The precursor to good preaching is extensive public Bible reading of the Old and New Testaments of the text to be preached.  If the text is Old Testament, there should be a reading of the New Testament fulfillment of the Old Testament text.   It is much easier to distinguish good preaching from bad if you already know doctrine and have spent years listening to good preaching.  Good preaching “rightly divides” the sermon into law and gospel and explains the text in a lectio continua series of sermons that preach through a book in the Bible and find Christ in the whole Bible.  Most “Christian” sermons these days are an exposition on the Law to make you a more moral person.  However, no one is good but God alone, and the only way to be right with Him is through his Son Jesus Christ.  This is basic Christianity, and it’s largely absent in “Christian” churches nowadays.  In fact, most “Christian” sermons in the United States could be preached in a Jewish synagogue, meaning they’re not Christian at all.  So the strongest requirement of a sermon is that it is Christian.

Once you find a Christian church that preaches a Christian sermon on Sunday morning, the next step is evaluating if the sermons stick to a text and come to a point.  Just as a book of the Bible is organized into (non-inspired) sub-titles that form distinct lines of thought, a sermon should be organized the same way.  The best way to understand this concept is to listen to good preaching.

After you’ve established that you will hear words of life on Sunday morning, you also want to ensure that the sacraments are administered properly.  This is a very contentious issue between Baptists and Calvinists and Lutherans.  Basically, are they having the Lord’s Supper regularly?  Are converts being baptized?  If you’re a Calvinist or Lutheran, are infants being baptized also?

Finally, are there any discernible moral problems in the church?  Are people divorcing or sleeping-around?  Is there a lack of fellowship and brotherly love?  If so, pick another church.  You are trying to go through life with these people and they can either help you or hinder you.  It’s highly possible, even likely, that a church with great doctrine and proper administration of the sacraments is devoid of love and Christian fellowship, like the church in Ephesus in Revelation 2.  I have discovered the hard way that these churches should be avoided at all costs.  You’ll know what type it is if people try to talk to you before and after the sermon when you visit and if they invite you for a meal.  Many large evangelical churches, despite having outwardly-friendly people, lack fellowship also because the people attend because large churches are a good place to be anonymous.  They see church as just a check in the box during the week and have plans on Sunday afternoon such as working or taking their kids to a club sporting event.

Having established a way of discerning good churches from bad, let me suggest some conservative denominations because it’s much harder to find a good non-denominational evangelical church if you have no experience hearing good preaching and you don’t know doctrine.  Conservative Calvnist denominations have organized mostly under the umbrella of the NAPARC.     The Orthodox Presbyterian Church is a conservative offshoot of the liberal mainline church that began in 1936.  It was started by J. Gresham Machen who was the main defender of Christian orthodoxy against Fosdick and other liberals.  The OPC churches can be doctrinally pure but lacking in love depending on your location.   The denomination grows at roughly 2% per year, most of the churches are less than 100 members, and it seems to have trouble retaining its children.  The PCA is another offshoot of the liberal mainline PCUSA.  It split-off much later and it shows in the differences between the conservative congregations and the liberals.  It is undergoing its own internal battle with SJW liberalism and may be headed for another schism.  This was the denomination of the late, great RC Sproul.  The Bible Presbyterian Church is worth checking out.  I’ve had the best results with the URCNA, which is an offshoot of the liberal CRC.  On a case-by-case basis, the EPC churches can be good.  This is the denomination of Andrew Brunson, the missionary to Turkey who was just released from prison.

On the Lutheran side, the LCMS seems to be in the same situation as the PCA with some congregations wanting to go liberal and others holding fast to the faith.  I’ve visited a couple LCMS churches and was impressed, though the ones on the West Coast are in the same situation as the Calvnist churches: the members are old and the kids have left for other states or have left the faith.  More on this later.  The WELS is much smaller than the LCMS but more conservative.  The ELS is also good.  As a Calvinist for 18 years, I have far less experience with Lutheranism but am impressed by the conservative Lutheran churches I’ve been to.  Many of them also have Christian classical schools with real Lutheran distinctives.  The Calvinists (Presbyterians, Reformed) typically don’t have Christian schools even though the URCNA claims to promote Christian education.  The public schools used to be basically Calvinist since the Pilgrims landed so the Presbyterians have had a hard time accepting that it’s mostly time to leave them.

Above all, avoid the mainline strains of Lutheranism  – the ELCA – and Calvinism – the PCUSA.  I am not a Baptist and don’t know anything about Baptist churches in the USA.

 

The NuMale Evangelicals

Dalrock’s new post is about Matt “Mad Dog” Chandler, one of the next wave of evangelical leaders who, like Russell Moore and Al Mohler and Tim Keller, just want a place at the table.

Russell Moore: influence, thought leader, and humble supplicant
Russell Moore knows what’s right for you, bigots.

These men began pushing their agenda of feminism, racial social justice, and homosexualism in an era when it was politically-expedient to do so: during the Obama administration.  Recall that President Obama was no friend of evangelicals or even the Christian church.  His administration sued an ELCA “Christian” school for discriminating against a lesbian in employment even though school employees are officers of the church.  He lost 7-2 in the Supreme Court.  He filed amicus briefs on behalf of the homosexuals in the Obergefell case – the “Roe v. Wade” of our lifetime that was immediately used against Christian bakers in Oregon and Colorado.  Once homosexuality was codified into law, the Obama administration moved onto transgenderism.  There are now boys using girls’ bathrooms in public schools endangering our daughters.

Though Russell Moore and other “Gospel” Coalition lackies have had a place at the table, their influence on behalf of the church and culture has either been nothing or negative.  Worse, it could be that these men are in favor of the new radicalism.  Proofs to this effect are now offered.  Consider their embrace of Anglican minister Sam Alberry – another homosexualist out of the UK.  The word “Anglican” should raise red flags in the mind of any believing Christian in this age.   The apostate imbecile Rowan Williams  was archbishop of Canterbury for 10 years until 2012.  The heretic NT Wright is another prominent bishop in the Anglican church.  Bishops and the archbishop are the guys in charge and they don’t believe the basic tenets of Christianity, so “Gospel” Coalitioners would be wise to avoid the entire church.  Instead, they’re promoting Sam Alberry.  His destructive doctrine is documented on Rev. Shawn Mathis’ blog here  and here (read the comments).  The “Gospel” Coalition is even promoting a children’s book that promotes homosexuality.  Since transgenderism seems to follow homosexuality, I can only believe their next campaign will be the promotion of “loving transgenders in the church” contra Paul who mandated strict gender roles in the church.

The evangelical NuMale war on gender proceeds on all fronts.  It is also feminist.  Here Matt Chandler is Stonewall Jackson to the Lee of Mohler and Moore.  Chandler wants men to “man up” while removing all of the reasons and moral authority men use for doing so.  Chandler is a pastor in Austin TX, so he must be giving his audience what it wants, which isn’t Christianity or Christian gender roles.

Christianity is largely not preached by megachurch men with big platforms such as the “Gospel Coalition” who want influence in the culture.  Subsequent posts will discuss how to find a Christian church where pastors stick to Christianity.  These types of churches – I warn you – require you to die to yourself and sacrifice the entertainment and sensuality you find at megachurches run by NuMales.  However, you may be saved if you attend a real church and you will be saved if you believe the gospel preached therein.