Friday, September 04, 2020

BIBLICAL JUSTICE OR "SOCIAL JUSTICE"

 

“You shall not steal.”
Exodus 20:15

Steal = “take (another person's property) without 
permission or legal right and without intending to return it.”

Deuteronomy 16:19 (NASB) 
"You shall not distort justice; you shall not be partial, and you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous.”

 

Diane Becton, Contra Costa County District Attorney, countered biblical concepts of justice Thursday, September 3, 2020, when she ordered her prosecutors to consider “need” when considering charges against looters. Located outside San Francisco, Contra Costa County.

The new mandate makes It difficult to prosecute cases of looting such as those occurring in major American cities since early May. County prosecutors must now consider whether the looting was “for financial gain or personal need.”

Becton’s ruling did not quietly slip by other county officials. Antioch Mayor Sean Wright rebuked Becton calling her plan irresponsible and disturbing. Steve Aiello, president of the Antioch Police Union called the guidelines “reckless” causing hurt to local individuals and businesses. Becton’s ruling begs the question: Who determines what is “need” and what is not? Mayor Sean Wright had this question on his mind when he said, “For the District Attorney to put out that kind of plan is irresponsible and where do you exactly draw the line on need because these are people’s businesses that are being impacted and livelihoods that are being destroyed.”[i]

Does tailoring decisions to prosecute at law based on need or considering circumstances really fit an understanding of justice? At first glance the Merriam-Webster dictionary seems to support a positive answer. Justice is defined as “the maintenance or administration of what is just especially by the impartial adjustment of conflicting claims or the assignment of merited rewards or punishments.”[ii] Added to this, the dictionary defines justice as “the quality of being just, impartial or fair” and “conformity to truth.” Thinking I could find a biblical definition of justice, I turned to Baker’s Encyclopedia of the Bible. I was wrong. The entry for “justice” referred me to “righteousness” which defines that term as “conformity to a certain set of expectations.”[iii]

In my view, the key to understanding justice is an understanding of the word “just.” As I am using it term here “just” is defined as (a) “acting or being in conformity with what is morally upright or good: RIGHTEOUS” or (b) “being what is merited DESERVED.” In other words, justice is the administration of what is deserved. It is deserved judgment (Deuteronomy 16:19, Amplified Bible). A biblical understanding of “justice” is seen in Galatians 6:7, “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.”

Partiality and unequal administration of justice plagues the current American justice system. As noted above, Deuteronomy 16:19 says, “You shall not misinterpret or misapply judgment; you shall not be partial….”[iv] It is not all that difficult to recall instances when the administration of justice was anything but impartial. How often have celebrities and government officials escaped judgment with a slap on the wrist while someone else felt the law’s strong arm? “Justice” personified is supposedly blind. Failure to indict looters for theft, regardless of circumstances, is not impartiality before the law.

Becton’s decision undoubtedly derives from her acceptance of Critical Race Theory. Becton and five other Black female prosecutors wrote an opinion piece in August for Politico which began, “Our criminal legal system was constructed to control Black people and people of color.”[v] This statement not only represents the opinion of the five prosecutors[vi] it is a classic representation of Critical Race Theory propaganda.

Critical Race Theory, which is rooted in Cultural Marxism, defines “social justice” quite differently. According to the National Association of Social Workers, “social justice” is “the view that everyone deserves equal economic, political and social rights and opportunities.”[vii] Social justice warriors express this definition in the demand for ‘equity.” By the way, equity and equality represent completely different concepts. Equality has to do with status, rights, and opportunity.”[viii] When linked to social justice equity means “equality of result or outcome.”

               Equality means citizen A and citizen B are equal. Each enjoy the same opportunity, rights and standing.  Equity means shares are adjusted so both A and B made equal. Equity requires fooling around with the system so there is equality of outcome or result. Critical Race Theory proponents believe equality is merely an illusion. Thus, it is no accident for Becton to see our criminal justice system the means to control minorities. Because of such inequity, the “hurt of the past” – slavery, Jim Crow Laws, lynching, etc. – must be made up so everyone is equal and then, and only then, can racism be eliminated. Looting really is not stealing! It is reparations for past mistreatment. Looting simply makes up for needs created by oppression. Therefore, looters should not be prosecuted.

Advocates of Critical Race Theory, which is becoming rampant in the church, categorize everyone in terms of oppressor and oppressed. Builders of Western civilization constructed culture precisely to oppress people of color and other minorities. Western culture is built by white male capitalist Christians. For true “social justice” – racial justice – to come about Western culture must be replaced and eliminated.[ix] Black Lives Matter is an organization bent on destroying Western culture, Christianity, and America’s constitutional government.[x]

Christian leaders need to get their heads out of the sand and realize how anti-Christian and anti-American Critical Race Theory, particularly as exemplified in the Black Lives Matter organization and a host of pseudo-academics, really is. Thankfully, there are Christians and Christian organizations beginning to speak out in opposition to the Marxist ideology influencing American politicians and captivating many Evangelical Christians and churches.[xi] Should Critical Race Theory become more prevalent than it is, religious freedom and other rights Americans hold dear will be in danger


[iii] “Righteousness,” Encyclopedia of the Bible, Vol. II (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1988), p. 1860.

[iv] Amplified Bible

[vi] Diana Becton, Contra Costa County, California; Satana Deberry, Durham County, N.C.; Kim Foxx, Cook County, ILll; Rachael Rollins, Suffolk County, MA.

[ix] Recent events where Black Lives Matter members publicly burned Bibles, vandalized churches, and killed a Christian counter-protester proves the point.

[x] See http://blacklivesmatter.com and read their “What We Believe” page.

[xi] See Decision Magazine online at https://decisionmagazine.com/the-stated-goals-of-black-lives-matter-are-anti-christian/, Center for Biblical Unity at https://www.centerforbiblicalunity.com/, and material from Eric Metaxas, Jordan Peterson, and James Lindsay.

Sunday, August 02, 2020

CHURCH LEADERS MUST CONFRONT "CRITICAL THEORY"

Inform yourself about "critical theory" or "critical race theory." It is Marxist based and imposes a non-Christian worldview. Not only that, it is divisive creating issues within churches and our culture. For a brief introduction to the subject I recommend Rich Hoyer's three July messages for Louisville's Lyndon Christian Church which contrasts the worldview of those adopting "critical theory" and those holding a biblical worldview. Others who can give you more detail can be found at shenviapologetics.com and the videos of Voddie Baucham, particularly those delivered at "Sovereign Nations."
Why the advice? Because the concepts of "critical theory" rest behind the Black Lives Movement, Antifa, and much of the social unrest in our nation. It under-girds the thinking of much of the radical Democrat party and is being taught in most of our secular colleges and universities.
However, even more importantly, it is making its way into the Christian Churches and Churches of Christ in dramatic fashion. A history professor at a well-known and respected Christian university in "our" fellowship adopts its concepts. Many preachers, without a personal awareness, adopt the language, and thus the concepts, of "critical theory." How do I know. I am beginning to hear terms such as "white privilege," "equity," and "social justice" in sermons and articles. I'm sure most use those terms thinking in biblical terms, but in the language of "critical theory" and "critical race theory" they mean something entirely different. Even the term "racism" now has two meanings. One is traditional, the other can only be understood against the backdrop of the "critical theory" worldview. I'm sure most in our movement think of racism in terms of its traditional definition, but when used in the context of other "critical theory" terms means something quite different and extremely dangerous.
Church leaders, in particular, must -- absolutely must -- become familiar with the subject and its terminology. God gave the elders of Christ's church the responsibility of guarding the flock (Acts 20) and the qualifications for eldership include an awareness of false teaching in order to "refute those who contradict" (Titus 1:9).

Wednesday, May 06, 2020

BEING SET UP

At time I wonder if forces on the loose in our country aren't setting us, the American people, for drastic changes yet to come. Changes resulting in a loss of freedom and the destruction of our way of life.

I don't think I am a conspiracy nut, but some things just seem too obvious to ignore ... and the past demonstrates what I mean. Let me illustrate.

It began in the decades of the '70s and '80s. Television programs, and sitcoms in particular, prepared us for a wider acceptance of generally forbidden sexual issues. If you remember, Lucy and Desi -- a married couple -- slept in twin beds. Sexual contact, even in movies, was more implied that expressed. Viewers began seeing changes in programming following the "sexual revolution" of the Vietnam era. While still a bit questionable, couples began living together prior to marriage and sexual issues became increasingly overt. Then sitcoms came along with 'two dads," "Three's Company" (two women and a male), and living together prior to marriage became acceptable. Popular James Bond movies familiarized us with "Pussy Galore" and "Octopussy." Bond was always portrayed as a sexual stud who could bed any woman he wished. With each perversion portrayed on the screen we, the viers, became increasingly hardened and accepting. Today nearly anything goes on the television and movie screens. Nudity is common place. Programs steamed from Amazon Prime, Netflix, HBO and other providers show all but penetration.

During the same period of the '60s and '70s movies and television presented homosexuality and lesbianism as normal traits. Before the end of the century numerous television shows portrayed at least one "gay" character. For young people homosexuality became acceptable and any questioning or negative response was seen as bigoted and intolerant. Media did its job, it made what was formerly unacceptable acceptable. Today's programming constantly throw formerly objectionable attitudes and lifestyles at us with the intent of showing them as normal and acceptable. With few exceptions, television shows must have at least one homosexual, lesbian, or transsexual character. The media places sexual or gender related issues on the same level as racial or religious matters. Take "FBI: Most Wanted" for example. Among the leading characters on the program there is a black lesbian, a Native American (Indian), a Muslim, and a white man married to a deceased Native American raising  a racially mixed child.

Don't misunderstand me, but I don't see people of color as "people of color." I see them as people! l do not relate to my daughter as a Korean Asian. She is my daughter. Whether red, yellow, black or white; all are precious in God's sight.  At the same time, I do not relate to my friends in the Palm Springs Sunup Rotary as gay. They are my friends. However, I do not accept their gayness as an appropriate lifestyle. I do not have to accept their lifestyle or their morality as normal or acceptable. I can accept them without accepting their beliefs, customs, lifestyle or morality.

Just as concerning are the expressions of control portrayed as normal in the media. Do you ever wonder how police or the FBI, as portrayed in the media, seems to have constant surveillance on the public? Watch an NCIS or FBI program and you have to wonder how they can track criminals speeding away so easily. Cell phone GPS apps ... well, okay, but do governmental agencies have the right to track individuals at will? And now, governmental agencies using drones to monitor "social distancing." Can authorities really approach a home and willy nilly smash in the doors and enter? Did they actually do that at the home of Roger Stone? The government officials were armed, but they they smash down the door?

Are we being prepared by such portrayals for that kind of loss of freedom? I don't know. You tell me.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Media Lies


Why is anyone amazed at media lies? Those who comprise the media have lied to the American people since before the Vietnam War. It was the Vietnam war, however, that gave new impetus to media lies.

Media lies about the conflict in Vietnam seemed to skyrocket during the North Vietnamese Tet Offensive. Before Tet, the North's National Liberation Front and the North Vietnamese Army spent months infiltrating South Vietnam. Beginning on January 31, 1968 Communist North Vietnamese soldiers and infiltrators attacked 100 cities in South Vietnam. The offensive lasted 26 days with Communist casualties in the multiple thousands and U.S. killed numbering 150. The worst fighting centered on Hue resulting in the death of thousands of Communist soldiers and civilians. One photograph shocked the American public. It was a photograph of a captured North Vietnamese infiltrator being brutally shot on the streets of Saigon. The captured Communist's hands were tied behind his back.

The American media showed this picture, which won a Pulitzer prize for photography, with little comment. Never mind that the man, a Viet Cong infiltrator and since out of uniform considered a spy, summarily faced immediate execution which is the fate most captured spies face in wartime.

In addition, the American press highlighted civilian deaths with little concern as to who caused those deaths. It is strange, too, since the press made little note of the massive civilian deaths in the fire bombing of Dresden or the atomic destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II. The press, because of liberal opposition to the war, reported what it wanted to report and put a massive spin on the rest.

Listening to the great Walter Conkite on the evening news, you heard again and again how American forces lost the Tet Offensive, the greatest media lie of the period. The American media, and a minority of Americans, opposed the Vietnam War, but the media bears the responsibility for stirring up opposition to the war.

(One of the best sources to help gain understanding of American military strategy and an evaluation of American forces in Vietnam is Victor Dais Hanson, "Carnage and Culture." In this book Hanson notes through case studies of western battles from the times of Greeks to the present, that American strength on the battlefield is not simply the result of superior armaments and technology. American strength relies on that to be sure, but under girding the technology is America's freedom, entrepreneurial spirit, resilience, and willingness to consider points of view regardless of rank.)
From Vietnam to the present, the media has adopted whatever the left wants. They have twisted the truth repeatedly in their lies to the American people. Over the years from 1968 to the present the lies only got worse. Now, with few exceptions, the media cannot be trusted to give us unbiased "facts only" truth.

I know it is difficult to avoid sprinkling personal bias in the stores reported. When I took a class in reporting at Kansas State University it became obvious to me how any reporting from the majority of students tended to move left. I seriously doubt many recognized their perspective as bias because they had been inundated with such thinking since grade school.

My point: Listen for the spin and do your best to identify the bias. By the way, reporting and opinion pundits on Fox aren't innocent of presenting a biased perspective. Theirs just tends to move more toward the right. Thus, be careful and seek out facts on your own. And...if you are Christian, let Romans 13 help you sort out the role of government and apply it to the political realities of today.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

P.C. IN THE CLASSROOM

While serving with First Christian Church in Canton I was asked to teach a summer school course at Malone College (now University). Malone University is a "Christian" school associated with the Evangelical Friends (a version of the Quakers).

MU asked me to teach a course in Multiculturalism so I looked over the syllabus a previous instructor used then developed my own six-week course plan. The previous instructor used James Sire's book, "The Universe Next Door" as a core text. I boned up on the subjects and entered the classroom prepared. I expected Malone's status as a "Christian College" to promote a Christian world-view. Boy, was I wrong. Most of my students were teachers taking summer work to maintain their certification. They were a mix of racial, ethnic, and religious (or non-religious) backgrounds and projected a totally secular worldview. While I tried to avoid cramming a hard-nosed Christian worldview down their throats, I did present the material from a Christian perspective. Well, as you might expect, that was the first and last time I taught for Malone. I was not even permitted to view expected course evaluations. Nothing else was ever said to me about the course and I was simply never contacted again.

This did not come to me entirely unexpected. During my tenure at First Christian Church, the Adult Christian Education Department presented a Creation Seminar. I had hoped the science department at Malone would at least let students know of the seminar. Not one word was given to students despite publicity sent directly to the Malone science department. I did not expect Malone professors to agree with all aspects of the program, I hoped that since Malone professed its Christianity there would be a willingness to at least let students hear a variety of creationist view.

I have not done any research on this issue, but I expect many of our "so-called" Christian Colleges and Universities offer their academic from a Christian perspective. With the exception of a few weak Bible course, there's just not much there to promise a Christian worldview or Christian behavior.

Surely, you're thinking; this is true in these denominational "Christian" Colleges, but not in our Christian Church and Church of Christ Christian Colleges and Universities. As they say in France, au contraire mon frere!!!

When Alexander Campbell established Bethany College, he offered liberal arts but built each course and each department with a strong biblical emphasis. Yes, even science and math were taught with a biblical worldview.

I taught online for the Consortium of Christian Colleges for Online Eduation from 2001-2014. The Consortium ended in 2014. I taught Restoration History and History of Christianity in tandem with Dr. James North. During those years, the schools participating in the consortium maintained a strong biblical emphasis and worldview. Most emphasized preparing ministers and church leaders. I had students from Manhattan Christian College, Ozark Christian College, Cincinnati Christian University, Nebraska Christian College, Boise Bible College, Mid-Atlantic Christian University, Maritime Christian College, Johnson University, and possibly one or two others. One summer I taught both courses with 54 students enrolled. Some of these schools developed their on online programs. That fact contributed to the consortium's demise.

Another school identified with the Restoration Movement asked me to teach sections of World Civilization online. I found that a rewarding and challenging opportunity. However, after a few years teaching for them my relationship with the college came to a rather abrupt end. While I can't prove it, I think I know why.

Students for my World Civilization courses came from a variety of backgrounds and ethnic groups. They were located across America. When the subject of slavery in the United States came up in discussion groups, I interacted with the students. I pointed out that slavery, while sometimes vicious and awful, was the result of varying economic systems north and south. The northern manufacturing economy employed "free labor" but often mistreated, misused, and abused workers often creating indebtedness to company stores -- virtual slavery. Laborers on factory floors, sometimes as young as five, had no guarantee of medical treatment in case of injury and were usually fired if unable to work leaving them destitute. At the same time, with the importation of slaves illegal shortly after 1800 the cost of slaves went sky high. Plantation owners -- a plantation was defined in the south as a farm with at least 50 slaves -- often paid more for a healthy slave than a farmer would pay today for  an expensive combine or other piece of equipment. Many slave owners provided at least rudimentary medical treatment and food. Still being a slave meant no freedom of movement and the possibility of separation of families.

Several students undoubtedly reacted negatively to my accurate descriptions. Thus, I was not politically correct. Academic freedom meant little and neither did truth. I fear this is the sort of thing that happens on College campuses--even those associated with "our" movement.