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.

Case Studies, Combatives, and Resistance

I am a huge fan of James LaFond who writes history, historical fiction, and on other topics like combatives, cultural resistance, and case studies of criminal predation and aggression from personal experience living in Baltimore (Bodymore, Murdaland).  He has been a great help to me in shoring-up my confidence to handle a rainbow coalition of marijuana traffickers who moved-in two houses down whose landlords are in Shanghai.  I wrote to ask James about his work:

You have 16 pages of books on Amazon.  I only own 3 of them: The Violence ProjectDon’t Get Boned, and When You’re Food.
I’d love to know which fall into the category of case studies/after action reports like Don’t Get Boned and When You’re Food.  These types of books are extremely valuable for avoidance of violence.  Your readers can recall how you handled urban yoof from memory when confronted by similar problems.  When you advised me on how to handle those yoof ogling my wife, I wish I’d just read more of these types of books beforehand.  These are books about the moral and mental levels of war.  As John Boyd and Bill Lind remind us, the moral and mental levels of war are higher than the physical level and are thus more important.  Winning on the moral and mental level keeps you out of jail.
The Violence Project is about the physical level.  THis is the best book I’ve read on this topic, and I’ve read Rory Miller and Marc MacYoung.  Which other books are about the physical level: fighting itself?  Since this book also contains information about the stick and knife, do your readers also need the books about agonistics, stick fighting, etc?  THe modern term for this category is combatives.
Which books are about cultural resistance?  This is a topic of my blog.
What other categories are needed? 
I don’t have enough room on my shelf for all of them, but the books on the case studiescombatives, and resistance are the most important to me right now.
James’ editor replied that she created a bookstore on his blogspot site.  James replied as follows.

We have broader categories on the BlogSpot bookstore, so let me try and target the three categories you are looking for.

The hybrid book that falls into all categories is Let the Weak Fall, which is half how to and half what happens.

For cultural resistance I would recommend Alienation Nation from the Harm City Category and everything in the Masculinity Category.

Masculinity

https://jameslafond.blogspot.com/p/masculinity.html

For what I call fractional autonomy information on anarcho-tyranny in Baltimore, that is all of my Harm City stuff beginning with War Drums in 2015.

Harm City

http://jameslafond.blogspot.com/p/harm-city.html

For empty hand and weapons go with The Punishing Art and Twerps, Goons and Meatshields as a how to fight text.

My three how to fight/combatives books, reference the two how to fight titles and are divided into ring, cage, duel and street segments and are:

-Being a Bad Man in a Worse World

-The Combat Space [in editing process]

-On Combat [my final combatives title headed to the editor next week]

Combatives

http://jameslafond.blogspot.com/p/combat.html

Basically how the library evolved from The Fighting Edge and Logic of Steel [comprising the Violence Project] and the Logic of Force [rolled into Let the Week Fall] was into the Harm City urban journaling category and the how to fight category, with some titles written to link the two back up, such as Let the Weak Fall and being a Bad Man in a Worse World.

For case studies of avoidance I recommend:

-When You’re Food: Raw [if you bought the first edition let me know and I’ll send you the Raw PDF]

-Waking Up In Indian Country

-Thriving in Bad Places

-Autumn in a Dying City [banned]

-Winter in a Dying City [pending]

-Harm City to Chicongo [the final Harm City title, pending editorial process]

Survival

http://jameslafond.blogspot.com/p/survival.html

Bone strikes

Never punch with a closed fist in a street fight.  You will break your hands.  I have done it.  Instead, bone strike.  Combine this with The Fence when you can’t talk your way out of a situation you failed to avoid.  The Fence is effective.  I have used it.  Bad people sense your line in the sand.

Since combatives are way more important tactically than gun fighting, I will be writing more about them in upcoming posts.

The Truth Shall Make You Free

We live in a post-truth society.  Consequently, lies are all around us.  The first step in organizing for a greater purpose is deception detection: recognizing liars.   Otherwise, your group is vulnerable to infiltration.  We know that the elites don’t want us to have the freedom of association unless it’s within the confines of their Antifa groups, but cooperation is how things get done.

If you can’t afford to travel to Arizona to take a classroom course, online training is also available.

Vindicae Contra Tyrannos

One of the things I learned in reading Kit Perez’ excellent “The Basics of Resistance” is how much resistance depends on ordinary resistance in small things.  Evil should always be resisted, whether it’s from the government or corporations or private persons.  Resistance is not a set of ideals but a set of exercises.  It is the exercise of natural rights extending from natural law against people or groups trying to suppress them.  If we cannot cooperate and engage in lesser forms of resistance, we will not be able to cooperate and engage in greater forms.

For example, Big Tech is trying to eliminate the First Amendment by controlling channels of communication which we’ve grown to depend on for the past 10 years.  Big Tech can easily be resisted because there are no laws requiring us to use social media.  Big Tech should be resisted for many reasons besides its suppression of free speech.  For example, social media distracts us from accomplishing anything in real life or talking to our neighbors and friends which, at the very least, allows us to gather actionable HUMINT.  Before Twitter or even the Internet, we were much better at communicating with our neighbors by inviting them over to barbecues, helping them paint their houses, and talking over the fence with them.  Unsurprisingly, we were much better at cooperation and our government reflected this.  We got things done on our own so we didn’t ask the government to grow larger to take care of us.  Our kids played at each-other’s houses so we didn’t ask the government to provide after care at the local public school.  If we can’t wean ourselves off Twitter, Facebook, Amazon and Google, how are greater forms of cooperation and resistance possible?

Are you afraid of HR? You know, free speech dies at work.  Many of us now have lunch or hallway conversations looking over our shoulders for some aggrieved minority who will report us to HR.  If we can’t stand up for our rights to HR, how much less will we stand up to Hitler? And why are we so dependent on large, Orwellian corporations for our employment?  What happened to small business creation?

Are you exercising your rights to free association and peaceable assembly?  We’re still allowed to go to church unlike in China.  The common men who fought the Revolution were very religious, meaning they attended the same church every Sunday and knew their Bibles which helped them know their rights and exercise them.  They formed local militias and committees with men they knew their entire lives.

What about voting? Are you voting?  Our elections are only partially free but not all of them are rigged.  Perhaps many of them at the local level are completely free.  It turns out your local school board election is really important.  A lot of the crime coming into your city might be due to the fact that your local city councilwoman is importing vagrants from around the state in exchange for donations to her favorite charity.  Your local district attorney determines how state law is applied to you should you have to defend yourself against the vagrants your city councilwoman is importing to invade your home.  If we can’t get good people elected locally and local officials are needed to resist bad state or national officials, why worry about the rest?  Why worry about national gun laws if the local DA will charge you for carrying a butter knife for self-defense?

Speaking of self-defense, I have a friend who lives out in the country near a decent fishing river.  Meth-head vagrants have started living across the river which is usually low enough to cross.  One has started living in nearby bushes.  “Why don’t you tell him to leave?” I asked.  I say this after finding out experimentally that criminals would rather not deal with steady pressure from local homeowners.  He looked at me annoyed, “Naw, man, I work two hours away. If I piss them off, they might come back in a larger group.”  “Huh,” I said, as if to acknowledge a good point.  But I wondered how he was going to stand up to more serious criminals or a Gestapo if he can’t convince these petty criminals that his area is a bad place to live?  Don’t worry, though, when the Revolution comes, he owns an AR (that conforms to ever-tightening state regulations)!  I can’t see how he or any of us will resist tyrants if we can’t resist dope fiends invading our backyards.

What about our families?  Almost every philosopher of every faith or tradition has agreed that the family is the basic building block of civilization.  If ours are coming apart, how will we have the support we need to play IRL Call of Duty come The Revolution?  How can we preserve our way of life if we’re failing to raise our kids?  How will our local prepper group respect us, if our wives don’t?  How can we cooperate on greater levels if we can’t cooperate on a family level?

These are questions I intend to explore in upcoming articles.  As a leading-edge Millennial who was raised by diligent parents who brought me to church and are still married, I still feel like I’ve had to learn everything from scratch.  We have lost all our traditions [L. traditio = hand down] and so no knowledge is being handed down to the next generation and our civilization is dying.  Since this website is a “vanguard movement of Western civilization,” let us begin with ourselves and practice the small-but-important things in the hopes they will lead to greater things.

Will Durant said that civilizations begin in stoicism and end in epicureanism.  We see the latter every day, complete with public orgies found in ancient Rome.  Can our destruction be far behind our decadence?  We may not be able to preserve the United States.  In fact, I think it is near its end.  We can recover our traditions and preserve our way of life, or at least try.  How?  I’ve become convinced that the United States began with good Americans.  In one sense, there were never golden years to look back on because “former days were not better than these” (Ecc 7:10).   However, even secular historians such as Durant and many of our Founding Fathers agreed that civilizations die in licentiousness.  Civilizations follow an arc of birth, life, and death and most indicators point to our death.  If this is the case, we should look forward to rebuilding and we can start with ourselves.

Most of my writing will focus on the moral and mental levels of resistance because there are already enough writers addressing the physical and tactical levels which are not my area of expertise.  But keep reading: Bill Lind frequently reminds us that mistakes on moral/strategic and mental/operational levels nullify victories at lower levels (tactical/physical).  What about the spiritual level? Christian theology recognizes three deadly enemies to our souls: the World, the Flesh and the Devil.  We should consequently add a spiritual level and win on the spiritual, moral, and mental levels.

 

Psalm 73

Do the wicked prosper and flourish?  Do the righteous suffer in vain?  Not at all.

The End of the Wicked Contrasted with That of the Righteous.

A Psalm of Asaph.

73 Surely God is good to Israel,
To those who are pure in heart!
But as for me, my feet came close to stumbling,
My steps [a]had almost slipped.
For I was envious of the [b]arrogant
As I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
For there are no pains in their death,
And their [c]body is fat.
They are not [d]in trouble as other [e]men,
Nor are they plagued [f]like mankind.
Therefore pride is their necklace;
The garment of violence covers them.
Their eye [g]bulges from fatness;
The imaginations of their heart [h]run riot.
They mock and [i]wickedly speak of oppression;
They speak from on high.
They have set their mouth [j]against the heavens,
And their tongue [k]parades through the earth.

10 Therefore [l]his people return to this place,
And waters of abundance are [m]drunk by them.
11 They say, “How does God know?
And is there knowledge [n]with the Most High?”
12 Behold, these are the wicked;
And always at ease, they have increased in wealth.
13 Surely in vain I have [o]kept my heart pure
And washed my hands in innocence;
14 For I have been stricken all day long
And [p]chastened every morning.

15 If I had said, “I will speak thus,”
Behold, I would have betrayed the generation of Your children.
16 When I pondered to understand this,
It was [q]troublesome in my sight
17 Until I came into the [r]sanctuary of God;
Then I perceived their end.
18 Surely You set them in slippery places;
You cast them down to [s]destruction.
19 How they are [t]destroyed in a moment!
They are utterly swept away by sudden terrors!
20 Like a dream when one awakes,
O Lord, when aroused, You will despise their [u]form.

21 When my heart was embittered
And I was pierced [v]within,
22 Then I was senseless and ignorant;
I was like [w]a beast [x]before You.
23 Nevertheless I am continually with You;
You have taken hold of my right hand.
24 With Your counsel You will guide me,
And afterward receive me [y]to glory.

25 Whom have I in heaven but You?
And [z]besides You, I desire nothing on earth.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the [aa]strength of my heart and my portion forever.
27 For, behold, those who are far from You will perish;
You have [ab]destroyed all those who [ac]are unfaithful to You.
28 But as for me, the nearness of God is my good;
I have made the Lord [ad]God my refuge,
That I may tell of all Your works.