Lex, Rex

Understanding current events, philosophies, politics and worldviews in light of God's unchanging Word!
Tuesday, April 16, 2019 • Gary Fox • Socialism
Scriptures: Acts 2:44-47

It Is Nothing Like Christianity...

Socalism is FORCE

"We want to achieve a new and better order of society: in this new and better society there must be neither rich nor poor; all will have to work. Not a handful of rich people, but all the working people must enjoy the fruits of their common labor. Machines and other improvements must serve to ease the work of all and not to enable a few to grow rich at the expense of millions and tens of millions of people. This new and better society is called socialist society. The teachings about this society are called socialism." -Vladimir Lenin, To the Rural Poor

"All who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved." -Acts 2:44-47 ESV

Please tell me the difference between these two statements. Look them over again. Isn't what Vladimir Lenin called for exactly what St. Luke described in the Book of Acts?

How would Barrack Obama answer a question like that? Bernie Sanders? Elizabeth Warren? AOC? Surely, they would preface their answer and qualify it by assuring us they would NEVER condone the harsh way Lenin went about enforcing Socialism in Russia…but there can be little doubt that they would agree that what Lenin was ultimately calling for in that section of To The Rural Poor is in harmony with what the Book of Acts is describing…and they'd be totally wrong.

Neither Acts 2:44-47 nor any other passage in Scripture prescribes what Lenin or any other Socialist has called for. So, what is the difference then? Isn't it true that both statements are describing a society where materials are redistributed from those with means and given to those with needs? Yep, both do describe redistribution of wealth, no doubt about that. But the means by which the wealth is distributed and the motivation behind it could not be more diametrically opposed to one another. One way is of God, the other way is of the Devil. One way reflects grace, the other way reflects control.

Acts 2 is describing a remarkable outpouring of charity. Lenin is describing bone-crushing submission. Acts 2 is describing free markets and then voluntary alms motivated by compassion. Lenin is describing iron fisted confiscation and acquiescence motivated by fear.

Notice the Bible describes the ancient Christians "selling" their possessions and belongings. They were "selling" their stuff. Their stuff wasn't being appropriated, commandeered or seized. It wasn't being taxed. One cannot sell something under compulsion, strictly speaking you can't force someone to sell something. The act of selling can only be done voluntarily, volitionally and intentionally…or else it's theft. Strong-arming someone to "sell" something is fraud and extortion. The ancient Christians were selling their stuff and then distributing the proceeds to those in need. The context and the way in which Luke describes this certainly leaves one with the impression that both the selling and the distributing were done face-to-face. Later we do read about the Apostles coming up with a system to distribute charity to those impoverished in the church (and that was a Church, not government, program), but that was later. It is almost certain that in Acts 2 Christians were selling their stuff and then giving the proceeds in the form of alms to those in need...personally. These Christians were not forced to sell anything they didn't want to sell, and they were no forced to give the proceeds to people they didn't want to give proceeds to. The whole process was private and done by conviction, compassion, love and benevolence.

Compare that with what Lenin said about socialism! Scroll back up and read over Lenin's comments again. Look at the strong terms he used… "There MUST be" … "all WILL HAVE TO" … "all the working people MUST" … "MUST serve" … "NOT to enable" …do you get it the picture?  

Socialism is FORCE. It is THEFT. It is SLAVERY. It is TOTALITARIAN.

Socialism is utterly contrary to the way of Jesus so don't let the Democrats confuse you when they try to justify it by sprinkling in out-of-context Bible verses into their rhetoric!

Christianity is totally personal, not one bit of it can be forced upon someone against their will. It starts with the personal desire to be forgiven by God for personal sins. It quickly proceeds from there to a personal desire to worship God as a result of being personally forgiven and personally born again. Christians then have birthed within them an intense personal desire to personally do good works, especially personal good works on behalf of the needy. Christians have been doing so with tremendous, unparalleled generosity for 2,000 years. At no point has there been a need for the government to hijack their work with the poor. God never once called the government to feed the hungry, He called His people and His Church to do that.

What Lenin was describing is socialism, not Christianity. Socialism is incompatible with Christianity because Socialism is entirely based upon compulsion. Socialism is theft. Socialism is FORCE.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019 • Gary Fox • Rights

What exactly are "rights" and how are we to identify them?

In 2015, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo famously said, "Rights do not come from God". Well, where then do they come from if not from God? In fact, if not from God how can there even be such a thing as "rights" in the first place? If you think about it, taking God out of the equation really messes the whole idea up and leaves it very hollow and ultimately meaningless. That is not to say atheists can't or don't operate as if rights are real, but they're doing so for no reason beyond personal tastes and social idealism.

In our last installment we confirmed the Bible makes it clear that we do in fact have rights and those rights come from God. The question for this edition of Illume is how are we to know what is and is not a right? For example, is free healthcare a right? Is so called gay marriage a right? Is owning an AR15 tactical rifle a right? We ought to be able to answer these questions with clarity. We ought also to be able to answer this one as well: How do we know for sure? If we believe healthcare is a right, what are we basing that belief on? Who told us it is a right? And conversely, if we do not believe free healthcare is a right, how are we so certain?

How do we sort these things out?

The first place to start, of course, is the Bible. The Bible is God's Word and has everything society needs to know regarding ethics, freedom, rights and responsibilities. The Bible specifically lists out a number of rights, making our task of classifying these things much easier. Take for example:

The right to disobey unjust laws
The right to self defense
The right to own weapons
The right to think and speak freely
The right to not be murdered
The right to a just trial
The right to remain silent while investigated or on trial
The right to own personal property
The right to not be forced into slavery
The right to not be defrauded
The right to not be raped

I'm sure there are other rights detailed in the Scripture and there are other Scriptures which define the rights listed above. I want you to notice how these rights pertain to human dignity, freedom and individual autonomy. And also notice what the Bible does not mention as rights, that is perhaps as noteworthy as what it does mention. Take for example free healthcare. The Bible says nothing about people having the right to free healthcare and so that alone is good reason to question such an idea right off the bat. The only way for any of us to discover the Will of God for society is to study the Scriptures. But with that said, there are other congruent, common grace, philosophical ways of thinking and reasoning about rights as well...not in substitution for what is declared in the Bible..but in complement to it.

It is easier to think about rights in terms of what you can force others to do for your personal benefit rather than to think of them in terms of what you'd like to be able to do or have done for yourself.

I simply cannot stress how important that principle is. If you can't say you believe it a moral obligation to force someone to do or not do something, then that ought to be a major clue that you don't have the right to it. Rights are worth dying over. Rights are worth killing over. If whatever it is that you desire does not rise to either level of seriousness then it's likely not a "right". Of course, being willing to die or kill over something does not automatically make it a right, but being unwilling to do either indicates it probably isn't.

For example, let's think about the right to have sex with someone you want to have sex with. Mentioning sex always gets people's attention, so let's bring up sex. Is sex a "need"? I suppose one could argue that most people do need to have sex, God created us sexual beings, after all. So, sure, sex could be thought of as a need, or at least as a potential need (depending on the constitution and disposition of any particular individual). Do adults have the right to have sex or would the government need to license adults or to somehow make it legal for for consenting adults to have sex together? Well, since consenting adults have been given the right to control their own bodies and while they will answer to God one day for how they treat their bodies (and the bodies of others), they should only answer to God for it. In other words, no special license is needed for an adult to have sex. Nothing in the New Testament would suggest civil authority includes regulating the sexual habits of consenting adults...so no civil permission is needed for adults to have sex with each other. But what if someone wants to have sex with a particular person yet that person does not consent to having sex? Ahhh…now you see where this line of thought is going. Just because someone wants something…even desperately wants it and perhaps in some way "needs" it…does not mean they have the right to demand it (or take it!) from someone else. One's right to have sex with someone they want to have sex with ends exactly where someone's right to not have sex with someone begins. People do have the right to pursue their desires AND people have the right to say no to personal conduct they do not want to involve themselves in.

Our rights end where the rights of others begin.

Take speech as another example. I have the right to speak, my neighbor has the right to not be slandered. If I violate his right to not be slandered, then my right to speech is immediately halted and I should be punished for it.

In the same way we can look at the question regarding a right to healthcare. Certainly, we all want and need healthcare, but in order to receive it someone must provide it for us. Someone must labor for it. And someone must pay for the labor, technologies and medicines in order for us to benefit from it. Someone being forced to perform labor is a slave, period. Someone forced to pay for the goods and services of another is also now a slave. Your right to healthcare ends when someone must potentially become a slave to you in order for you to receive it. No one can morally force another into their service. There is simply no way that any ethical person can conclude that healthcare is a right when such a position could potentially require slavery and theft!

"No one can morally force another into their service."

Rights are the stuff which makes a person free. Rights define what humans are free to do and not do. Rights establish full personhood. Rights allow people the opportunity to reflect the image of God before all of creation. Man may and often will take advantage of that opportunity and use it for selfish reasons, but any act of obedience must be done freely and rights provide the framework for people to be free. Rights are not necessarily about ensuring things that make us happy or healthy or wealthy or comfortable…just free. This freedom is limited, remember that. People have the right to be their own person, to own their personal property and to protect both his person and his property (and to willingly assist others in protecting theirs). But, our rights are relinquished, and our freedoms end when we presume to take actions which violate the rights of others.

"Rights allow people the opportunity to reflect the image of God before all of creation."

Understanding that rights are what God gives every human in order for society to safeguard individual freedom (and thereby affording humanity the opportunity to display aspects of God's nature and character) will provide anyone with a functioning head and moral heart the appropriate framework to determine what is and is not a "right".


Friday, June 28, 2019 • • Abortion
Scriptures: Jeremiah 1:5

And Everyone Knows It...

Abortion Is Murder

Abortion is, by far, the most heinous legalized human rights violation in American history. It is worse than the betrayals and hostilities shown the Native Indians, it is worse than the slavery of Africans, it is worse than the internment of Japanese Americans…nothing can compare to the abject wickedness and atrocity of legalized abortion on demand. What makes it different and worse than all other American atrocities is the helpless nature of the victims. Throughout history slaves have sparked uprisings and double-crossed nations have retaliated. Albeit the odds of success were not likely, African slaves could have attempted to revolt and the Native Indians could have refused to give up land by putting up even more of a fight. Unborn babies have no chance to defend themselves whatsoever. They have no way to try to reason with their attackers, they have no ability to retaliate or fight back.

Unlike any other people group we could mention, the unborn is the most defenseless. They are totally unguarded; in their agony they cannot be heard, their screams are real but silent.

Any sane person instinctively understands this. People are naturally protective of pregnant women and are concerned for their health and safety. People intuitively recognize that a pregnant woman is sacred, her body is sacrosanct because she is carrying a rapidly growing baby in her belly. It's a miracle and no stable person questions that, we all understand it and act accordingly.

And this awareness is not a new thing, people have been protective of pregnant women since the dawn of time itself. Every people group, every sect, every tribe at every point in human history has universally honored the inviolability of pregnancy. No society in history has ever treated babies with disdain, acted as if having children is a curse or thought of pregnancy like a potential disease that needs prevented…until now.

Have you ever listened to someone try to justify an abortion? I have engaged with abortion defenders many, many times. The first thing you'll notice is how badly they want to keep the topic off the baby. More than anything they need the focus to remain on the woman and her "rights". Often times they will make an impassioned case for how a woman shouldn't have to carry the baby of her rapist (which is a tremendous burden of course, and one which Christians ought to have overwhelming sympathy and support for). But even in that case, the issue is the woman…not the baby. Whenever you discuss or debate this issue you can be sure they will do whatever they can to avoid talking about the baby. The next thing you will notice is that if you continue to force the issue onto the baby the abortion advocate will almost always begin to get agitated if not hostile. They'll very frequently get mad.

They get mad because they're human too, with human instincts and a conscience which they are trying to suppress. Being dogged about the life of the baby penetrates deep and forces them to deal with what they are defending which commonly leaves them feeling ashamed and with anger as their only cover.

Abortion is an atrocity; it contradicts everything in human nature. To defend it one must mischaracterize both what it is and those who oppose it. God created people with the desire to marry, make love and have babies. No matter how hard our ever increasingly demonized society attempts to shame those impulses (especially in women) the reality is that we are created in God's image. That will not ever change because it cannot change. People instinctively know killing the unborn is sin, is brutal, and is murder. That's why those who favor legalized abortion will fight so hard to keep the discussion off the baby…don't let them do that. Always, always, always drive the talk back to the baby. The baby did nothing wrong. The baby has the right to life and make her own way. Killing her is cruel and they know that…so remind them.

Proverbs 21:15 ESV
When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers.
Wednesday, April 10, 2019 • Gary Fox • Business
Scriptures: Exodus 20:15

Did You Know The Bible Defines Godly Economics?

Biblical Economics

Define the terms "Christian Economics" or "Biblical Economics".

I wish I could see the stumped look on most of your faces right now. When was the last time your pastor spent time on a topic like that? Or how many Adult Sunday School classes in your life have focused on the Biblical ethics of business? Have you ever attended a midweek Bible study that focused on the way in which God desires markets to operate and how capitalistic/socialistic systems line up with the Bible?

Some of you reading this might assume the reason you have heard so little about economics and business in church, Bible studies or in Christian literature is because the Bible primarily deals with more "spiritual" issues.

Many if not most of you believe that Christians can just as easily be economic capitalists, socialists, conservatives, liberals or whatever they care to be because God doesn't really care...so why would we? And if that is you, you're wrong.

God cares about economics, big time.

Leviticus 19:35-36 ESV

"You shall do no wrong in judgment, in measures of length or weight or quantity. You shall have just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin: I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt.

Deuteronomy 25:13-16 ESV

"You shall not have in your bag two kinds of weights, a large and a small. You shall not have in your house two kinds of measures, a large and a small. A full and fair weight you shall have, a full and fair measure you shall have, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. For all who do such things, all who act dishonestly, are an abomination to the Lord your God.

Psalm 37:21 ESV

The wicked borrows but does not pay back, but the righteous is generous and gives.

Proverbs 19:17 ESV

Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.

Haggai 2:8 ESV

The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares the Lord of hosts.

Ephesians 4:28 ESV

Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.

These verses are just a quick sampling, there are so many more. We are going to spend a few installments expounding on these verses and many others in order to clearly lay out what Biblical economics are and how Christians are to understand them. Topics will include Christian business ethics, Christian labor ethics, Christian employer ethics and God's plan for markets in society.

This nation is as confused economically as it is, in large part, because Christians have been so ambiguous when it comes to preaching and teaching on Godly economics. And the economic and business practices of a nation matters, they really matter. Ungodly economics result in poverty. Ungodly economics result in the oppression of the poor. It results in suffering. It results in fruitless toiling. Ungodly economics is sin with terrible, immediate, unjust, real-world results. The only hope we have in seeing that change is for Christians (like our forefathers) to bring much needed clarity, in the power of the Holy Spirit, to society through preaching and teaching on economics from the Bible. We are called to be salt and light in society…economics, finance and business morality is not excluded.

Monday, February 4, 2019 • Gary Fox • Social Issues
Scriptures: Genesis 1:26

Understanding where our rights come from will go a very long way towards identifying the difference between "rights" and "wants"...

Do people have the right to bear arms? Do people have the right to publicly speak their mind on controversial matters, to worship as they feel is appropriate and to live their lives in privacy? As Americans we have The Bill of Rights which specifically outline certain behaviors the government will not (or should not) seek to control and since it's called "The Bill of Rights", most just assume those activities are indeed rights…but on what basis are those behaviors deemed as such? Who determines what sorts of behaviors are "rights" and which are not?

Generations of Americans have lived their entire lives not needing to give much thought to questions like these. Rights are rights, everyone knows that. But I assure you, as nearly half of this country lurches hard-left these fundamental questions regarding the nature of rights are going to become hotly debated for the first time since at least the Civil War and probably since the pre-Revolutionary War period (it is worth pointing out the end result both times the nation was this divided regarding the basic nature of rights was the nightmare of war).

Do women have the right to an abortion? Is healthcare a basic human right? Is public education a right? Is a living wage a right? Do same-sex couples have the right to marry? The Democrats believe all of those are so and will be running more and more on the basis of being the champions of human rights. They are framing their entire mission around being the torchbearers of civil morality. For example, we are now told it's immoral to become a billionaire and it's immoral for a nation to allow billionaires to exist when that same nation has poor people living in it. Or how about errecting a border wall, is that immoral? According to liberals and Democrats, it absolutely is.

Remember when it was the "religious right" who was accused of jamming morality down people's throats? Yeah.

So here we are, at another significant crossroads in history were Christians need to, once again, be salt and light in society. Part of what God calls Christians to do is to bring moral clarity to culture, not by force or compulsion, but by the supernatural power of preaching and teaching from the Bible. I'll say it again and again…if the people of God will not bring clarity to society when needed the World will be glad to define terms for us. We need to be strong, clear and quick with deep simplicity.

So, how are we supposed to think about all these new "rights" people now claim? Does something become a right if I claim it as my right? Does it become a right if the government endorses it? How this question is dealt with will determine exactly how rights are treated…and that is no small matter whatsoever. This is a big deal.

There is actually a deeper question still which probably needs addressed and that is regarding if rights are a "thing" in the first place or are they just a social construct? Do people have ANY rights by austere birthright? The answers to such questions are found as you might imagine in the Bible. Here are a couple Scriptures which explicitly confirm for us that people do in fact have "rights"...

Psalm 82:3 ESV

Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.

Proverbs 31:8-9 ESV

Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.

There are a host of other Scriptures which detail specific rights but suffice it to say here at the outset that "rights" are "real" …and people have them. No matter if they are rich or poor, strong or weak, male or female, sinner or saint, people have rights.

And since the Bible confirms for us the reality of rights it is not a hard step to take from there to understand that those rights have come from God (because all good gifts come from Him). They are not invented, they are discovered. They are not developed, they are recognized. They are not devised, they are identified. If this way of thinking regarding the origin and nature of rights is not understood and respected chaos will ensue, it has always ensued, it will always ensue, and it did not ensue in America because it was understood and respected! Next time we will begin the hard work of determining which rights God has granted to people and which claimed rights are usurpations.

Genesis 1:26 ESV

Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."

Thursday, June 20, 2019 • Gary Fox • Sexuality
Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 6:18

There Are No "Homosexual" People

Nobody Is Gay

Liberals are exceptionally good at defining the terms of every debate and conservatives tend to get circles ran around them as a result. There are almost countless examples of this, but let's look at the issue of homosexuality. Why do we all but accept the premise that there is a type of person who is a "homosexual" or a type of person who is a "transgender" when there is absolutely no biological evidence for it? Of course, there are men who are sexually attracted to men, but that doesn't mean they are "homosexual" ontologically or biologically. There are men who want to be women and some who actually think they are women, but they're not. There is nothing in their biology or chemistry which would demonstrate anything other than masculinity. Sexual attraction has a host of spiritual, emotional, psychological contributing factors at work, but none of it has to do with biology. People are not born with a "homosexual" gene or a "transgendered" gene any more than I was born with a gene that makes me attracted to women with a pretty face, sweet disposition and some meat on the bone. There is simply no such thing as a "homosexual" or "transgendered" person. There are only people who are excited by or perhaps engage in homosexual sex for various spiritual and psychological reasons. They were not born that way, they became that way. Homosexuality is something that develops, it is not innate or natural.

Sexual attraction is not a "type" of person in the same way as an African, European, Asian, Hispanic or Arab is a "type" of person. We can dig up bones of a 7,000 year old human and can determine with certainty their sex, race, ethnicity and approximate age. There is absolutely no way to determine what type of sex they were into. There is absolutely no way to determine if they were cross dressers either. These are made up categories without any biological basis and yet we have allowed liberals to frame such things as legitimate categories.

When we announce to the world that homosexuality is a "sin" which must be "repented of" and that there is "freedom" from it, do you have any idea how bizarre that sounds to them? You need to understand that to them we might as well be telling Dutch people that being White is a "sin" which must be "repented of" and there is "freedom" from it or telling Egyptian people that being Arab is a "sin". How can something be a "sin" which must be "repented of" and how can there be "freedom" from it if one is BORN this way? If it is part of their inborn composition, if it is a part of who they are by nature and biology, how can one repent of it? How can a white person stop being white? How can a woman repent for being a woman when she's born that way? Likewise, how can a "gay person" repent of their "gayness" when they were born that way?

Do you see the problem? We need to stop assuming people have a proper understanding of basic human ontology and nature. Christians are not telling people they must deny nature to be saved...but most of the world doesn't know we are not saying that! They think we ARE saying that someone is damned because they were created by God a certain way. They think that is what we are saying because we are not bold enough to challenge the underlying presumption that people are by nature gay or transgender. We need to be much clearer that those with same sex attraction and/or gender confusion are being called by God to return to their natural state, not vice-versa. They are not being called to deny who they are, they are being called to embrace who they are. We are not the ones who are twisting terms, those in the world are doing that.

We must be clear about the historic, orthodox and Biblical Christian teaching regarding homosexuality. First, the behavior is a sin according to the Bible. Homosexual sex is not appropriate, regardless of how attractive it seems to someone. It's not as if those with same-sex attraction are the only ones called to abstain from sexually immoral behavior. All unmarried people are called to the same standard of chastity. Just because you want to do it doesn't mean you should do it, same goes with me and my sexual urges. It's called self-control and self-restraint and the Bible calls all men to exercise it. Can you even imagine the jungle we'd be living in right now if morality was simply determined by personal desire, preference and taste? Second, because you were not "born gay", because there is no such thing as a "homosexual person", you absolutely can have your desires changed by the power of the Gospel. Homosexuality is a type of sex, not a type of person. Someone can be labeled a "homosexual" if they engage in homosexual sex just like someone can be labeled an "adulterer" if they engage in adultery. In both cases the power of the Gospel can wash those labels away. Someone who has repented of the sin of adultery is no longer an "adulterer". In that case it should be said they once were an adulterer but now they are not. The same is true homosexual lusts…it can be repented of, forgiven and controlled. In neither the case of the "homosexual" nor the "adulterer" is the condition a natural one. God did not make anyone to be predisposed to either sin, they are both sins are the result of our fallen natures and our choices.

There is no way to speak clearly the life changing Gospel if we continue to allow liberals, humanists and atheists to frame the terms of the debate. That doesn't mean we won't catch major blow back when we finally get bold enough to say, "there are no gay people". We will probably get banned off social media platforms for saying that. Articles like these will get buried off Google search results. I get it, believe me I get it. I don't write articles for my health; I want people to read what I write just like any other author does. I understand that writing provocative things like this will hamper the scope of my potential readership. I get it. But they can't muffle us all, they can't turn the lights off in our churches, they can't rip down our signs, they can't prevent us from talking to people and they can't haul us off to jail for saying it…not yet at least. The question is this…do we care about the "gay community" or not? Do we care about their souls? Do we care about their burdens? Do we care about their salvation? If we do, then it will cost us to reach them just like it has always cost God's people to reach hostile people groups. Has there ever been a people group who has ever been glad to be told they have been misled by people they LOVED? Has there ever been a people group who were not initially hostile to being told their traditions, beliefs and practices are offensive to God? No…this is always the case, at first. Reaching the gay community with the Gospel will cost us, we need to stop being afraid and realize this is nothing new. Taking arrows for the advancement of the Gospel is par for the course.

Monday, June 17, 2019 • Gary Fox • Elections
Scriptures: Romans 13:1-7

A Great Way To Start Civil Wars!

Presidential Elections

Let's just cut to the chase…the way in which we select our President is going to destroy this country.

The popular vote, which is a direct result of the influence of democratic thinking in American culture, will be the end of this nation as it was founded. The United States is going to end in civil war one of these days, mark those works. Inevitable civil war is exactly why the nation was not designed to select a President the way we are doing it right now and it sure as heck is the reason why they rejected any semblance of a nationwide popular vote. We too frequently act like our system "just is what it is" as if there isn't a point behind the way it is set up…and that is simply wrong. There is a reason why the founders selected the mode of presidential election that they did. They direly wanted to tamp down the volatile influence of democracy (and of course they wanted to end the monarchial system of divine right to rule as well).

Do you understand how badly they wanted to avoid democratic rule? Stop and think about the impression you commonly have been given in public schools and in the news media regarding the intention of Constitutional government. The fact of that matter is that the whole system is set up in opposition to democracy, yet do you get that impression today? Are we not told that "our democracy" is the most sacrosanct facet of the American heritage? It's just not true, this was never intended to be a democracy. The American patriots were anything but ambivalent about the democratic election of the President. They were aware of the appeal of democracy and categorically rejected it.

Their intention to avoid electing Presidents by way of popular vote really is common sense. Every time you ask people to vote you are asking them to divide themselves up and pick sides. In order to be sure you get a majority vote you need to demonize the opposition in such a way that at least 51% of the population is so appalled by the other side that they will want nothing to do with them. You need to fire people up and motivate them with the desire to win. You must make it clear to them that if the other side wins, they will lose. You must convince them that those others must be "defeated". You must convince them that the whole nation is in peril if the other side wins. Hate and fear are tremendous motivators and they win elections...they also justify the escalations leading to violence.

A nation can only pit its people against each other like that for so long, sooner or later things will overheat and then melt down. Read President Washington's Farewell Address and look at how earnestly he pleaded with the people (and future American generations) to avoid "factions" at all costs...he knew our day would come otherwise.

Perhaps as we look back with 20/20 hindsight, we can identify a few flaws in their foresight, which they expected and allowed an amendment process to exist for future generations to fix such oversights. I would argue that they should have been much clearer as to how the electoral college should work. The choice of President ought not involve a popular vote at all…ever. Not even at the State level. There should be no national campaigns because there should simply be no need for such a thing.

State legislatures ought to appoint Electors to the Electoral College and those Electors ought to caste their votes for the POTUS independently from those legislatures and independently from direct public pressure. They ought to be selected by the legislature, but not controlled by them much in the same way as judges are selected but independent and not a controlled body. They ought to only serve once with new electors being installed every four years. If the people are upset by who their state legislatures have appointed to the Electoral College, they can of course either recall those legistlators or vote them out at the next election. This would provide some accountability to the people for who is elected President…but not directly. This isn't, never was and never should be a democracy. We must get back to electing Presidents the way the Founders intended. If we don't, we will start shooting at one another someday. Civil War will be inevitable if we don't stop it, the Founders had enough sense to recognize that and set us on a different course.

The Bible does not prescribe a way to recognize national leaders, it just says that we are to be submissive to them so long as they remain His servant. However, there can be little doubt that God intends for a nation to remain unified, not hatefully divided. Anything that fans the flames sectarianism, tribalism and balkanization will inevitably lead to civil war. It is just human nature to allow things to go that way, so as Christians we ought to strongly oppose any form of government which pits American's against one another in vitriolic ways. Our current system does that, that's not even debatable. People will always oppose each other philosophically, we do not need a system which exacerbates, inflames and weaponizes those differences…and the way we elect Presidents does just that.

Thursday, April 4, 2019 • • Government
Scriptures: Proverbs 21:15

Our criminal justice system is so terrible that we have no choice but to impose a temporary moratorium on the death penalty...

Capital Punishment MUST Be Halted...For Now.

We are going to wrap up our series on Capital Punishment, a series inspired by the interesting way California Governor Gavin Newsom explained his reason for shutting down death row facilities in his state. Instead of offering up the usual "the death penalty is immoral" argument, he said he refused to continue with the practice in his state while knowing innocent people are getting swept up into a broken system and wrongly killed. That line of reasoning changes things and any true pro-life Christian ought to slow down in criticizing him in a knee jerk reaction, it's easy to do that whenever a liberal Democrat does ANYTHING. Don't be so quick to dismiss the concerns of a liberal Democrat, especially when one is taking a pro-life stand. Remember, he's not stopping the practice because he feels killing murderers is wrong, he is stopping it because he said he believes killing innocent people is wrong…and as far as that goes, he's right! As we detailed in our previous edition, the Bible is very clear in commanding the death penalty for murders. But only in an impartial, fair, unbiased and reasoned way! Both Deuteronomy 17:6 and Numbers 35:30 instruct that two witnesses must confirm guilt before anyone can be executed. There is no such thing as circumstantial evidence described in the Bible, the threshold to clear certainty was set very high in the Bible.

Pro-life Christians should have no problem whatsoever temporarily ending the death penalty if there is reasonable evidence to show systemic injustice leading to executions. If there is good reason to believe innocent people have been and at this rate will be executed, we shouldn't even have to think twice about an impermanent moratorium on the practice.

But is that a reasonable assumption to make? Is it reasonable to assume our system is so screwed up right now that we have innocent people being (or preparing to be) executed?

It is reasonable to believe that. Actually, it's more than reasonable to conclude our criminal justice system is that messed up, and I will provide the following reasons to demonstrate that:

The process in the United States is totally and completely arbitrary, and that is a massive ethical problem. The Bible says murders should be executed by the state. Not some murders. Not murders from certain classes. Not murders without good lawyers. Not murders who are mentally sane. Just…murderers. All of them. Is that the case today in the United States? Absolutely not! According to the FBI, in 2017 there were 17,284 murders in the United States. How many executions did we have in the United States in 2017? 23. Total. We had 17,284 murders and only 23 executions! We had 17,284 murders in this country in 2017 and only 39 people were sentenced to death!

What is that? Obviously, these numbers would never be equal because everyone isn't caught, tried and executed all in same year. However, these numbers ought to be in the same ballpark if we had anything approaching equal justice! Just sit back and think about these discrepancies, good grief! What did those 39 who were sentenced to die in 2017 do that was so much more egregious than the other THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of murderers in this country who aren't sentenced to death? Nothing…and that's a problem. What on earth is the standard for capital punishment? It certainly isn't being found guilty of murder, that's for sure. This inequality and terribly random system ought to be harshly condemned by Christians. The Bible is very clear that the criminal justice system must be impartial. Numbers 35 and Deuteronomy 17 lay out detailed procedures of justice which the ancient Jews had to adhere to in order to executed. Due process and equal justice wasn't a goal to aspire to, it was a minimum requirement in order to operate! How can we have over 17,000 murders, only 39 death sentences handed out and just 23 executed in the same year and call that equal justice? The law is obviously not being applied equally and there are a HOST of reasons for it, none of which is the point. It doesn't matter why it's not being applied equally; the point is that when it comes to the death penalty, it needs halted until that is fixed. You can't have different standards when it comes to exectuting people for crying out loud!

Not only do we have a terrible application of the death penalty where only a small fraction of convicted murderers get it (in defiance of the Bible which says all of them should get it), but the number of likely innocent people awaiting the death penalty right now is horrifying! According to researchers from the University of Michigan, as of 2014 at least 4.1% of prisoners on death row are innocent! Can you imagine being handed a gun and walked into a room of 100 convicts and being told you had to kill each one of them, knowing it is likely 4 or 5 of them are innocent? That scenario is so obscene that any pro-life Christian ought to be repulsed by the thought! Again, Numbers 35 and Deuteronomy 17 make it clear that before the state can execute someone, they must be certain of the prisoner's guilt. How can anyone be certain of guilt when there is good reason to believe 4-5% of death row inmates are innocent?

Still not aghast yet? Then let this stat sink in…from 1973 to 2015 the United States executed over 1400 prisoners. During that same time span 156 prisoners were exonerated off of death row. So that means, for every 10 executions, 1 death row inmate was exonerated! Is our criminal justice system run by Keystone Cops? What is this? Are they throwing cases up against the wall and just hoping some stick?

From 1973 to 2002, a total of 36 people were convicted of murder and sentenced to death in New Orleans. Of those 36 convicts, 9 had exculpatory evidence withheld in their cases! Once this miscarriage of justice was discovered 4 of them were thankfully exonerated!

I could highlight the radical injustice, corruption and ineptitude in capital murder cases over, and over, and over, and over

The Bible is clear, murderers are to be executed by the state. All of them. But the state must be positive and certain they are not executing innocent people! That's not an option, folks. If our government cannot abide by the Biblical mandate regarding the death penalty and the threshold of certainty needed (by way of due process and equal application) then the sword should be removed from its hand until it can do so responsibly. Pro-life Christians must educate themselves regarding the terrible system which is leading to innocent people being sentenced to death and then be the loudest ones calling for a moratorium until significant corrections are made to our system of criminal justice.

This isn't a game, we either speak for the innocent and defend the helpless or we are hypocrites.

If authorized by law I'd personally pull the trigger, flip the switch or kick the stool out from under a murderer's feet myself and not lose much sleep over it. My sympathies are with the family of the victim. But the system by which the state investigates, prosecutes and executes people must be right. We can't get it wrong 4-5% of the time, are you kidding me? That is absolutely not acceptable. That cannot happen, and until we are sure that won't continue to happen we must institute a temporary moratorium on executions in this nation.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019 • Gary Fox • Marxism
Scriptures: Ezekiel 33:6

Full blown and open Marxism is rising at (what should be) an alarming rate in America, yet churches are hesitating to sound the alarm...

The rise of Marxism in the United States is breathtaking, really. No longer is it in the fringes of the radical left, it's gone mainstream in a big time way and seems to be at least somewhat appealing if not attractive to about half of this country (this is particularly true with young people). The philosophy and worldview of Marx is shouted from nearly every university rooftop in this country, echoed throughout the mainstream media and now we even have it being promoted by leading and prominent elected officials in our federal government. And all of this is bolstered by a strong, passionate and very aggressive grassroots network of pawns activists more than willing to protest the National Anthem, hit the streets with profanity fueled harassment of political enemies, block traffic, interrupt speeches, riot, send terroristic threats and one left wing activist even shot real bullets at Congressmen!

The Marxist playbook is always the same and is no different today, it starts with hyper-division. No nation divided can stand so their first step is to work tirelessly at creating deep, bitter divisions within the nation. You do that by making those with a differing perspective into rivals, and then turning those rivals into monsters. From there it's just a small half step to go from dealing with monsters to dealing with full blown enemies. Pick any nation which has fallen to the Marxists throughout history and you will see that exact same pattern played out. The Soviet Union, China, Vietnam, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela…it's always the same.

And it always ends the same way...dystopia.

That is why it is so important churches and church leaders in America wake up and begin to use their prophetic voices to speak out against this incoming tsunami. It seems like Christians in the pews are far more tuned-in to what is happening and the dire consequences which await the nation if this threat is not beaten back than church leaders are (this is especially true in larger churches and influential church networks which insist churches need to stay out of politics no matter what is going on) …and that's not good. God calls leaders in the church to stand as alert watchmen and to serve and protect the sheep both from doctrinal heresy but also from the consequences of avoidable atrocities.

Ezekiel 33:6 ESV

If the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them, that person is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman's hand.

Marxism isn't a game, it's not cute and rebuking it over and over and over is not "preaching politics" or "getting political". This isn't about politics, this is about the sanctity of life and the perseverance of human dignity. Marxism is, by far, the most damnable heresy to ever hit the world and heresy it is. It is based in doctrine, philosophy and a certain worldview…and all of it is contradictory to what God has revealed in the Bible. Marxism is another gospel, it is accursed. And any nation which operates according to it is accursed as well.

I am going to avoid the temptation to really dive deep into the history and philosophical underpinnings of process philosophy and later what we now call Marxism, but I do not want to leave those of you with a desire to take that deep dive without direction. I can't recommend the book "Prevailing Worldviews Of Western Society Since 1500" by Glenn R. Martin more strongly to you. Buy it and read it.

But for now, I'll try to boil it down to the big, overarching doctrine of Marxism which contradicts the message of the Bible: The Marxist worldview sees the struggle, peril and suffering of man as being rooted in the economic exploitation of the capitalist class (aka owners of the means of production) over the laborer class, rather than it being the consequence of human sinfulness (i.e. sinners hurting themselves and hurting other sinners). The "savior" in the Marxist worldview is the government who alone can set things straight rather than Jesus Christ and the "Promised Land" is a Communist Utopia rather than Heaven.

The crucial need to understand this fundamental worldview difference simply cannot be overstated…the need is URGENT…because the resulting dead body count from misunderstanding it is right at around 100 million and still counting. Just to give you some perspective on that number, the combined death toll of WWI and WWII was about 103 million…the numbers are mind boggling. And all of it is the direct result of the Marxist worldview taking root in the minds and hearts of countless credulous, susceptible and gullible people. It can hardly be questioned that the pervasive appeal of Marxism despite its dreadful, atrocious history and unswerving end result wherever tried does nothing but prove the depraved blindness of man and the demonic origin and influence of the doctrine.

Radicals in power such as Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are the very reason why we have a 2nd Amendment. They and their ilk are a far greater threat to our lives and liberty than Osama Bin Laden could have ever dreamed to have been. Pastor, do you understand that? Do you understand how serious it is to have government officials in prominent positions of authority who are full blown Marxists? Do you understand how ungodly that is? Are your people aware of just how ungodly that is and how dangerous that is? Long before this government is completely overthrown by Marxists, forcing the people to take up arms to resist it and protect themselves, Christians ought to be calling it out. Preachers ought to be warning the people of the evil that is wrapping its tentacles around their throats. Marxism is a lethal cancer; a poisonous heresy and it must not be treated with kid gloves. Now is the time to sound the alarm, preacher. If these emerging Marxists coming to power are not stopped, they will disarm the people. They will drive Biblical churches underground. They will starve millions. They will arrest pastors. They will operate firing squads. They are Marxists and this is what Marxists do.

Satan is behind this movement, and churches ought to preach against it…if we can't speak out against this what good are we?

Friday, March 29, 2019 • Gary Fox • Social Media
Scriptures: Psalms 106:3

They Can't Have Their Cake and Eat It Too...

Social Media Bias and How To Fix It

I'm not going to take time linking to stories proving the overt bias in social media and the way in which Christians/conservatives/libertarians/nationalists are shadow banned, censored and often times outright banned over expressing their right-wing moral and political views. It's so rampant that there's just no doubt that it is happening. It's blatant, constant and undeniable.

It's a big time issue and would take you no more than 2 minutes to verify.

Social media at one point was what the internet was supposed to be about. It connects people and keeps them in touch unlike anything in human history. Think about that. Part of "connecting" of course is "sharing". Sharing pictures, mile markers, hurts, victories and big announcements are all part of it. So is sharing thoughts, opinions, ideas, philosophies, morality, religious worldviews and political positions. This was the beauty and genius of social media. Having the ability to connect with others by expressing ourselves intellectually and emotionally in a way that we may not be comfortable doing in immediate social settings is just fantastic. This openness allows you to get to know what make me tick a bit more clearly, and I can get a track on you and your thinking as well simply by observing how you post. Social media has the amazing potential to help people better "connect" with others by making them more comfortable to "share".

I love the idea, count me in! I think it's cool.

Big tech no longer wants us to connect. Understand that. They want us to go back to yesteryear when openly sharing thoughts about religion and politics in public was frowned upon and considered impolite. "Connecting" is still the buzzword they use, but they don't want us to really connect anymore. They want us to censor ourselves and if we won't censor ourselves, they'll just censor us themselves. This is especially true for conservative Christians; they don't want non-Christian, non-traditional and/or liberal people "connecting" with us. I can't say for sure why that is, but I certainly suspect they don't like our uncanny ability to convert openminded people. Whatever the reason, they want to stifle that potential for "connection".

Let's get this straight before we proceed…Private companies have the right to determine the way they operate; they have the right to set the rules and nobody has the right to hijack the sites these companies have created. Take for example our Christ Is King Ministries website. This website is ours. We paid for the domain. We paid for the development. We pay for the hosting. It's not yours, it's ours. We own it. You don't have the right to publish on the site and if we do give access to someone in order for them to publish an article, we maintain the right to take it down if we don't like it. This site is ours; we own it. Facebook has the right to censor their site, as does Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Reddit, LinkedIN…whoever! The same goes for newspapers, magazines, book publishers, tv networks and radio stations as well. Companies have the right to tailor their sites any way they wish. This is America and private ownership of property ought to still be sacrosanct.

So that's it? Social media companies have own their sites which they own, therefore have the right to censor them as they wish, and conservatives and Christians can just go pound sand if they don't like it?

Not so fast.

The "free market" response would be totally fine IF social media operated within a free market…but they don't. The Congress has carved out a very special exemption for them that no other publisher in this country enjoys. It's Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Internet companies, blogs and outfits which have become known as "social media" are not treated as "publishers" by law. Instead, the law has a new category referred to as "public forums" or "platforms". All that means is that while they do contain content, they are not content creators OR editors. They are simply providing a "public forum and public platform" for others to "publish" their content on. As "platforms" they are not overseeing the content or making any editorial oversight other than ensuring crimes are not being committed on their "public forums" or "platforms".

That designation and resulting legal protection changes things when it comes to thinking about how "free market" dynamics should apply here. Up until the last two years or so, social media and other online platforms have abided by this agreement. They prohibited illegal activity from being conducted using their services. Eventually they began expanding those narrow parameters and started to include otherwise lawful expressions of racism. Stuff like that began to be referred to as "hate speech". And since so few Americans are racists, few minded. But even that was a breach of their designation as "platforms". Once they waded into those waters, they suddenly began to assume content publishing responsibilities. And of course, the umbrella of what they consider "hate speech" has expanded tremendously lately and includes far more than just racism. Nowadays if you criticize the immorality of the gay lifestyle or if you "misgender" someone by referring to them by the gender God gave them when He assigned their biological sex or if you espouse what the establishment considers a conspiracy theory you are engaging in prohibited "hate speech" or "bullying". Each of the big social media corporations now have LEGIONS of full time editors scanning their sites for "hate speech", reviewing complaints of "hate speech" and censoring their sites when they believe they have found someone publishing it.

And that's FINE, but they need to give up the shielding of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act if that's how they want to run their sites. They can't have it both ways, but as of now they do. They are either publishers who are legally responsible for the content on their sites and can be sued for libel just like any other publisher, or they are "public forums" or "platforms" who are not responsible for the otherwise legal content on their sites. It's either one or the other.

Congress must amend Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act immediately and clarify that any online company who enjoys this liability protection must honor the 1st Amendment in return. If they are a protected public forum then they must act like the public square. That is more than a fair trade off for the American people who are providing them this legal shielding after all. Again, they do not need to agree to such terms and that is fine. They have the right to censor the content on their sites, they have the absolute right to do that. But we the American people do not need to provide them extra liability exemption that no other publisher in the country enjoys. Newspapers aren't exempt from legal action for materials they publish, no content publisher is! If social media companies are going to enjoy libel shielding, claiming they are a "public forum" then they must be forced to allow their platform to function like a town square. If they want to use editorial discretion regarding what they will allow to be broadcast on their sites, then they are not a public forum and should not be shielded from liabilities associated with publishing content.

Why are we letting them have their cake and eat it to? That's crazy.

I'm not calling for government corrosion, get that right. The government has no business busting the doors down of ANY private company and demanding they operate in a certain way (other than in compliance with the same laws which apply to all). What I am saying is we must let THE COMPANIES decide what they are and then let the law apply to them accordingly. If they are a public forum that honors free speech (i.e. does not punish certain speech with bans, shadow bans, algorithm games) then we can in good faith apply the protections laid out in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to them. If they are not comfortable allowing just anything to be stated on their sites (which is understandable! Truly nasty, hateful things are none the less lawful under the 1st Amendment) then that is fine! Again, that's how newspapers, tv, radio and magazines all operate and have operated for 100 years or more! But in that case, there's no reason to apply Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to them. Why should we? Why should they get such protection when no other publisher does?

Leave the ball in their court. Tell us what you are, you can't be both. This isn't hard to figure out.

There's no need to commandeer them. No need to break them up. No need to regulate them like utilities. Just make them decide if they are public forum and platform or if they are a publisher and then proceed accordingly. Leave it up to the users to censor content they don't like. Leave the block options in place for people. Allow them to block content creators who are saying things they disdain, allow them to block certain words from ever even popping up on their feeds. There's nothing wrong with allowing the end users the ability to control the ideas and content they expose themselves to…that's how the public square works! In the public square you have the right to speak and I have the right to not listen to you.

Do that and I promise you the problem with conservatives and Christians being censored will be SOLVED instantly. There's no social media company in this country willing to give up Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act…it's the secret to their success! Take that away and they might as well shut their sites down.

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