Hey! Randy

Archive for October, 2008

The Future of Christianity: It Will Be Subterrainean

Posted by heyrandy on October 18, 2008

It is certain that American Christianity will be driven under ground. This is a serious statement made by one who expects to experience this. American Christianity is under attack from its traditional opponents, other religions, and from an increasing secularism. These forces not only believe Christianity to be false but believe it to be baneful. It is the this secularism that is using the new ideas of political correctness to wage war against the last group that can be defamed with impunity.

It is important to understand the strength of the enemy.  Secularism controls the government at every level and so controls the legal system, the educational system, the transportation system, the communication system, and all of the always increasing the security system. It controls the media through licensing the television and radio stations. It even controls the Internet.

Secularism controls the legislature, and it routinely passes more laws to increase its own power. Its funding is virtually unlimited through taxation of everything and everyone.  When it does not tax to raise money it uses the printing presses that manufacture endless supplies of fiat, paper money. It also has almost unlimited borrowing power. It never has any month left over at the end of money.

It further controls people through employment. Government at all levels employs millions of people. These people will be very reluctant to fight against their paychecks. They are capable of being coerced in spying.  They will do the government’s bidding.  Law enforcement is the sole province of the government.  They have the power of the badge, which is the gun.

The rise of hate speech laws (already in full flower in Europe and Canada) will soon be used to muzzle those whose message is the ever politically unapproved “Jesus is Lord”. Hate speech laws will be used to silence churches and pastors who speak out on moral issues. One man’s righteous preaching is another man’s hate speech. The unpopular statements of those brave enough to speak out will be squelched by the speech law enforcers. Public discourse will be nil. Even private conversations will be subject to the same rules. Censorship will be the normal routine. It is one thing to speak and have the crowd disapprove, but when the government has the legal authority to act against you with fines and imprisonment it is quite chilling.

We see the brake on free speech in the so called “free speech zones” that are set up to control the crowds. These zones are absurd. This entire country is a free speech zone. The government has no right to limit free speech on public property. In fact, the last time I looked at the U.S. Constitution the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of speech and peaceful assembly was still there. But since the Constitution has been defined as a “living, breathing document” that changes itself to meet the times, the courts may render this idea void.   Who gave judges the right to do this?  Is right in the Constitution?

The judges took this right to themselves by themselves. This is simply theft. It is an arrogant usurpation of power the judges do not rightfully have. This arrogation gives the courts unlimited authority over everyone. It gives the totalitarians who run the government the legal cover for their tyranny.

The fairness doctrine imposed on the broadcast media is another choke hold on free speech of Christians. This evil doctrine will be applied to everyone, but Christians can expect to be the targets of the bureaucratic enforcers. It is always the case that precedent is set by first attacking an easy target. Since most Christian radio and television stations do not have huge legal budgets with which to battle the government, it is almost certain that these stations will be among the first targets of “fairness” enforcement.

Tax exemption status most churches have is a weakness in disguise. Most churches think that tax exemption is essential to their survival. Most churches do not have a lot of money, so this helps keeps them going. Tax exempt status is a state issued license to exist. The state in granting this privilege now has a method of control over the organization. If the state does not like what the church is saying, the tax authorities can revoke the tax exempt status. The state can also bring criminal charges against the organization for misusing its tax exemption and demand payment of taxes for the period in dispute. Churches taking this state granted largess have really waived their Constitutional rights of immunity to government control.

How will the churches react? It is always difficult to predict specific future events, but it is most likely that there will be a separation of those who really believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ from those who merely give an outward appearance of believing. This has been the case in the past, and there is no reason to believe that this patten will not prevail in the future. Christianity began meeting in peoples homes and may once again do so. This is the case with the unregistered churches in China.

There is a growing movement in this country to become unregistered.  Right now it is confined to a small group of fundamentalist Baptists , but the movement is likely to spread.  When the crackdown starts the movement will spread.  This has lots of implications for existing churches and their allied organizations.  It is time to start thinking things through.  Preparation is the key to survival.

There is hope. Our hope does not come from government, the source of our problem; it comes from the God of heaven and earth. Governments have always tried to silence or control the church. Their success has not been so good. The true church will survive, even thrive. The government can only control the false church. So be it. The false church deserves what it gets. The government may very well be God’s appointed method of judgment upon the false church.

That Christianity, true Christianity, will be driven underground is no problem. I just have to find my shovel.

Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Jobs for the Boys

Posted by heyrandy on October 17, 2008

It is silly season: the time of life when people who should know better run for election to public office.  There is not much I can do to stop this farce, but why should I try?  Someone has to spend my money.  If it can’t be me, it might as well be someone I never met elected by people I don’t know.

It is what is done with the money that I find to be so vexing: it is taken from me.  I am the victim.  I don’t pay taxes because I want to.  I pay taxes because there will come to my house guys (and, these days, girls) with guns.  They will rob me at gun point.  This is usually a felony, but the guys (and the girls) have badges.  This makes it not a felony.  It is only a felony if I don’t pay.

It seems that everyone and his brother wants money they have not earned.  They all have their hands out for tax money for their projects.  Money for the Arts.  Money for the schools.  Money for bridges to Nowhere.  Nowhere must be where the “Money for” ends.  It has to end somewhere.  (We also have bridges to there.)

There is no end of people who want “Money for” and no end of “Money for” people who want it.  Every good, bad, and ugly idea is advanced with a plea for government funding.  Why not? Its free.  Well, no; but who cares if you are the one getting?  I do.

There is a lot of concern about special interest groups giving politicians campaign contributions for political favors, but I have not heard too much about politicians giving out political favors for votes.  This is where the money goes: into some kind of jobs program.  It may not be called Jobs for the Boys courtesy of Sen. Graft, but it really is.  Everyone is getting on the government payroll.

Whenever you hear “Public and Private Partnership” read that as public pay, private benefit.  I have heard many pleas along the lines of “we will get all the public money back in increased sales tax revenues.”  Or better, “the project will pay for itself.”  On this type of reasoning the local political class has built a refuse processing facility that was supposed to turn garbage into fuel for the local power plant (it never worked; the stuff wouldn’t burn very well, and the building is now a recycling center for our household bottles and cans), a minor league baseball stadium (it drinks money), a ferry boat across Lake Ontario to Canada (it sank in a great lake of red ink), a major league soccer stadium (a major league drain on the city’s finances now that the team is going broke), and the purchase and demolition of an indoor shopping mall for a new office building (it is not the city’s building, of course).

Yes, the boys (and the girls) need jobs, and it is your civic duty (and legal requirement) to pay for them.  If you don’t, you may end up making license plates for the prison industrial complex.  That is one way to get on the payroll.  You may even like living in Attica.

Posted in government | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Starting the Needless

Posted by heyrandy on October 16, 2008

Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War. Patrick J. Buchanan, Crown Publishers, New York, 2008

End notes, index, photographs, 519 pages.

Buchanan’s book upsets the accepted thinking about Hitler and the start of the Second World War.  It is Buchanan’s thesis that the war could have been avoided had the British diplomats, especially Churchill,  been more competent.  Buchanan claims Hitler never wanted war in western Europe, and the actions of the British and French encouraged the Holocaust.

Buchanan survey scores of authors to support his ideas.  In fact, the book is really a collection of quotations interspersed with Buchanan’s thinking.  This is my real objection to the book, but any author with such a radical thesis as Buchanan’s needs much support.  Buchanan’s extensive citations of other authors proves that his thesis is not entirely new, but Buchanan does not hesitate to speak bluntly.

In his dealing with Hitler, Buchanan portrays Hitler as a man not wanting war with the west of Europe, but as a man driven by his hatred of Communism.  Buchanan states that England was admired by Hitler as a great empire, a great white empire.  Buchanan does not down play Hitler’s racism or his hatred of the Jews, but Buchanan points out that Hitler wanted a peace agreement with England so he could turn against Russia, Germany’s traditional enemy and the source of the Communism he hated.

Buchanan supports this idea by adverting to Germany’s the lack of naval power, its allowing the effective retreat of British forces at Dunkirk, and Hitler’s writings in Mein Kampf. Buchanan has a point.  No really good explanation of the German failure to press its advantage at Dunkirk has been presented.  Germany lacked the necessary landing craft to move troops to England’s shores.  Hitler never deviated much from what he had written in Mein Kampf. Buchanan is correct to point out that Germany was a continental power, not a global power such as was England.  It was England that had the huge Royal Navy.  Germany had only two battleships, no aircraft carriers, and a small submarine fleet.  When it came to war, Germany did not have a navy worthy of the name.

Examples of diplomatic incompetence abound.  England did not renew its treaty with Japan when the treaty expired after the Great War.  This insulted the Japanese, making it easy for Germany to form an alliance with them.  England also alienated Italy, driving it towards Germany, even though Mussolini thought little of Hitler.  These two mistakes exposed Britain’s Asian colonies to the Japanese and deprived Britain of a key ally in Europe.

Then there is the treaty the ended the war that made the world safe for democracy:  the Treaty of Versailles.  This execrable document, of which both France and England were signatories, forced a most dishonorable peace upon Germany.  The Treaty was so invidious that another war was inevitable.  Buchanan goes into great detail in discussing this agreement.  He notes that Wilson was so disgusted by the thing that the U.S. signed a separate agreement with Germany and then went home.  France and England stayed behind and cut up the losers.  Britain and France then give their allies pieces of territory to which the allies had no historical claim.  Hitler would use Germany’s claim to these lost lands and peoples as a political tool to advance his cause.

Churchill is shown to be a jingoist, an opportunist, and an self-aggrandizing politician.  In the Great War, as First Lord of the Admiralty, he was pushing for a naval fight.  Later he was railing against renewing the Anglo-Japanese Treaty that has worked so well in the Great war.  When what Churchill’s actions are totaled, he is seen as a menace to the preservation of the Empire.

Although Chamberlain get the blame for the appeasement of Germany, the blame is not his alone.  Churchill pressed for a guarantee of military intervention to the Checks to prevent Germany from reclaiming the Sudetenland by force.  Chamberlain refused, rightly saying that such a guarantee would be worthless because England could not fulfill it.  Churchill also supported the foolish guarantee Chamberlain made to Poland.  It was equally worthless, but England made the promise anyway.  Churchill never repudiated the promise.  It is Buchanan’s opinion that the guarantee to Poland made the Poles stop negotiating with Germany regarding Danzig and the Corridor.  So Hitler turned to Stalin and made a pact with the man he would later attack.

Churchill is also shown to be a Janus-faced hypocrite.  Churchill wanted to invade Russia in 1919 when the Bolsheviks were still weak to kill the monster in its crib.  But in fighting Germany, Churchill not only welcomed Stalin as an ally, but Churchill willing gave away large sections of eastern Europe to Stalin’s control.  It was well known what Stalin was.  Who knows how many were murdered because of this deal?  Churchill conveniently overlooked that both Germany and Russia invaded Poland.  Yet England chose to fight only Germany.  Russia was made an ally.  This from the man would coin the phrase “Iron Curtain”.

Churchill is today regarded as a great man.  Some would say The Great Man of the 20th century.  Buchanan debunks that myth.  The book will win him many enemies among the Churchill adoration cult, but the truth must be made plain.  Debunking the received wisdom is an unpleasant, thankless task.  It is always easier to go with the establishment view.  But the facts are that when Churchill came to Parliament the British Empire was at its zenith.  When Churchill failed to win reelection after the war, the Empire was already beginning to disintegrate.  What was left in 20 years?  Only the Churchill cult.  It is still going and going and going.

Posted in Book reviews | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Secrets of the Secret Team

Posted by heyrandy on October 15, 2008

The Secret Team The CIA and Its Allies in Control of the World, L. Fletcher Prouty, 1997

end notes, bibliography, index, no pagination

Available on line free.

Do you want to overthrow a government?  Do you need to supply Russian made weapons to an “anti-communist guerrilla group?  Do you need a propaganda campaign to vex a foreign regime?  No problem for the Secret Team.  This group are the professionals, and they have lots of experience.  Just give them the word and off they go.  They offer worldwide service.  You never get you hands dirty.  Everyone will know who did the deed, but you can deny it all, with a wink and a smile.

Thus the work of the Secret Team.  Who are these folks?  Prouty, for many years an U.S. Air Force briefing officer, says they are a sub set within the CIA, comprising about 80% of the Agency.  They are the “black operations” people.  They are what the CIA has become in spite of what the language of the law that founded the CIA says.  For the Secret Team the law is no obstacle.  For the Secret Team nothing is an obstacle.

The Central Intelligence Agency was created to coordinate and process the data gathered by the various U.S. agencies.  The CIA was to be a servant of the National Security Council.  The law that created the CIA also allowed the Council to direct the Agency to do an operation in the field “from time to time”.  A lot has changed since the law was passed, but the law itself has not changed.  The CIA’s working interpretation of that law has certainly changed.  It began changing almost as soon as the law was passed.

Over time the CIA has become a force unto itself.  It no longer waits for the National Security Council to occasionally direct it to do some operation; the Agency develops its own plans and brings them to the Council to approve.  The plan is always approved.  This change in initiative has give the Agency great latitude in its activities.  The Council really does not control the Agency.  The Agency manipulates the Council; the Council routinely approves the Agency’s plans.

The Agency became so influential that it succeeded in getting President Kennedy to abolish the National Security Council as an unnecessary hold over from the Eisenhower administration.  This stratagem left the Agency without any oversight.  The Agency took advantage of this mistake and a lot of people paid the price at the Bay of Pigs and in Vietnam.

It is under the general rubric of fighting Communism that the Agency has spread itself into every part of the world.  The Agency does not feel that it needs a direct order to act; a suggestion will do quite well.  After all, you want the commies stopped, don’t you?

How did the Secret Team develop?  The team slowly began to work its way into the other branches of government by giving those branches free employees.  These employees would be loaned to the needy agency but the salaries would be paid by the Agency.  With the usual employee turn over, the CIA person would soon be assumed to be a regular employee of the host department.  The Agency would then work to get its personnel promoted into more powerful positions.  This action would enable the Agency to benefit from the department’s resources and services, often without any cost to the Agency.  No one knows just how many Agency employees are buried inside what parts of the government.

Transplanted employees are not the only asset that the Agency has in other departments of government.  Often it uses the actual employees of the host department.  It is the excitement of being part of something secret, something special, that entices many people to be part of the Secret Team.  Most jobs are mundane and boring.  It is the same thing every day.  There is little change.  This is also true of jobs within government.  When a opportunity comes to join in a black operation, most people cannot resist.  It is all so secret.  “I am not allowed to talk about what I do; because if I told you, I would have to kill you.”  It is an element of mystique, of romance, of elitism.  It is the chance to be James Bond, without the girl.

The Agency also benefits from the sale of surplus government equipment.  The law requires that other government entities be given first access to surplus equipment.  The CIA uses this to get what it needs on the cheap.  It then uses much of this equipment to supply its clients in foreign countries.  Due to the confused nature of the government’s accounting, the Agency is often not billed for the sale. Most of the time the matter is dismissed with an “It’s all the government’s money, anyway” kind of resigned attitude.  However, the Agency says it will pay for anything it buys if it is properly billed.  According to Prouty, it does indeed pay; it’s just not billed very often.

The Team has had many successes in its black operations.  But it has had some real failures.  But it has managed to avoid the blame.  The two most obvious failures are the Bay of Pigs invasion and the Vietnam War.  In both of these debacles the Agency let the Department of Defense take the largest share of the blame.  How?  It is all those loaned employees.  They help do the research for the investigation committees and help write the reports.  They are Team players.

How can the Agency get away with such antics?  Is not the Agency required to keep the elected officials informed about Agency activities?  Yes, and it does.  Prouty points out that in briefings conducted for the overseers, the Agency uses the teaspoon technique.  The overseers get the entire picture, but only a little at a time.  Prouty says it is like seeing a movie one frame a day.  By the time you are through, you do not know what the movie is about, but you have seen the entire film.

A further technique at concealing the truth in the open is the use of surrogates.  Most of the major title holders, the department Secretaries, and the Directors of the most important agencies, are so busy that they must send subordinates to the briefings.  The senior men rarely attend.  By doing this the agency can avoid many hard questions.  In some cases the Agency can actually be briefing one of its loaned employees!  The Agency has worked hard to shield itself.

The ultimate power in the U.S. government is with the President.  Here the Agency is not without influence.  The Agency worked hard to get the right to do a Presidential daily security briefing.  The Agency tailors this briefing to its own ends. The Agency is the only government entity that has the advantage of daily access to the President, so why not use this advantage to help itself?

Prouty wrote to expose the Secret Team.  He felt that it is a serious threat to the America that it is supposed to protect.  He points out that in the case of Vietman the U.S. spent $200 billion and thousands of American live in this futile venture.  The Russians spent only a few billion and no lives.  They clearly won.  Prouty wrote to try to preclude another mistake of this type.

Prouty did live to see the fall of the Berlin Wall and the disintegration of the communist threat.  He wondered what would be the next threat the Secret Team would claim to protect us from.  He suggested an invasion by space aliens.  This did not happen.  Prouty did not live to see the terrorist attacks of 2001.  Had he lived to see them, he would not have been surprised at the response.  After reading his book, neither am I.

Posted in Book reviews | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

The Problem of Dismissed Reality

Posted by heyrandy on October 14, 2008

Unholy Spirits, Gary North, I.C.E., 1994. Index, footnotes, 426 pages

Available on-line

The occult is today a topic of much interest.  There have always been people who would “read your horoscope, change your fate,” but there has recently been a renascence of interest in the hermetic arts.  We have witnessed it in the interest in Eastern Mysticism, crystals, Wicca, and Satanism.  These things are not new, but the sudden recrudescence of interest in the paranormal is.

North traces the origin of the current surge of interest to the year 1965.  It was the year of the beginning of the counter culture movement.  1965 was not the only year that saw such activity.  North also points out that there have been outbreaks of the occult in Roman times as the Empire ended; at the Renaissance; and, to a lesser extent, at the Reformation.  (I would also add that there is a great deal of demonic activity recorded in the four Gospels at the time of Jesus.)  It is in these times of upheaval that demon-ism and its secondary manifestations become popular.

North begins his book with a discussion of the philosophical basis of modern science.  We are all using a paradigm based on Kantian epistemology.  We cannot know the noumenon, the thing itself; we can only know the phenomenon, what the thing appears to be.  It is important to keep this epistemological basis in mind when evaluating the reactions by science to psychical phenomena.

Exposing the problems science has in dealing with occult phenomena is the real value of North’s book.  The book does examine some of the more well known psychics such as Edgar Cayce and Jean Dixon, but it is really the reaction of the scientific community to the things they have observed but cannot explain where North does us the greatest service.  North shows that the science establishment is a prisoner of its own paradigms.  The facts do not fit what science says is true, so rather that change its model of truth, science just ignores the facts.

This dismissal takes different forms.  Usually it is a charge of fraud; there is often a lot of fraud.  Quacks and fakes abound.  But when fraud cannot be proved, and science cannot offer a rational explanation, the scientists often refuse to accept any proof, averring, “It just can not have happened.”  (North cites an example of an observed psychic surgery that was filmed by a team of North American scientists.  The frame by frame examination of the film showed no sleight of hand tricks.  After the operation the scientist was offered the tissue that was removed so he could take it to his laboratory for analysis.  The man refused it.)

There is the famous “Just give us enough time (and enough of you money) and we will explain it.”  The explanations never come.  Science of this sort counts on people forgetting.  Science is rarely disappointed.

None of this should surprise us.  Science cannot deal with the paranormal.  Science has spent its entire life in the world of the rational.  Demons do not fit the paradigm.  No scientist will be regarded as anything other than a fool to espouse that the real explanation for the paranormal is Satan.

For Christians the message is two-fold:  Science retreats into scientism when it blithely dismisses the supernatural; and when it comes to the occult, Scripture is the only sure guide.

Posted in Book reviews | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

The Shia Revival

Posted by heyrandy on October 13, 2008

The Shia Revival How Conflicts within Islam Will Shape the Future, Vali Nasr, W.W. Norton, New York, 2007.  310 pages, index, end notes.

The subtitle is really the essence of the book: the 1300 year old conflict between the two main divisions of Islam will shape the future of not only Islam but also that of much of the rest of the world.  Events in the Middle East as well as the “War On Terror” (such as it is) have brought Islam to the attention of many in the West.  Until recently, in this country Islam was only vaguely known. There is still much that is unknown by westerners about Islam, and much of what is known is not well understood.  The divisions within Islam are as profound and deep as any in Christianity.

Nasr begins the book with a survey of Islamic history.  It seems that Islam was designed to divide.  The founder of Islam, Mohammad, did not leave any instructions as to how his successor should be chosen.  Nor did he leave any surviving male heirs.  The only direction Mohammad gave was that the Muslim community would not err when it collectively decided upon something.  It seems that Mohammad erred in this belief.  The community was very divided about the succession of Mohammad.  This division resulted in the major division of Islam into the rival Sunni and Shiite camps.

The issue of succession is only the beginning of the differences between the two groups.  It seems that the Shia are much more given to pageants, shrines and ceremonies than the Sunnis.  These practices have lead the Sunnis to regard the Shia as either misguided brothers to be gently corrected and brought back to the pure Islam of the Sunnis or arrant apostates and heretics to be destroyed.  This has lead to periodic pogroms of the Shia in the area dominated by the Sunni.

There is little chance of a major reconciliation between the Sunnis and the Shia, the two major sects.  Their differences are severe, their customs too diverse.  The Shia seem to tolerate the Sunnis better than the Sunnis tolerate the Shias.  In the history of Islam, the Shia have always been the minority.  The Shias have always been considered not pure Muslims.

It is the major goal of the author to present the Shia as not representing the major threat to the West.  The author believes that it is the Sunnis who will be the real problem the West must face.  He points to the only elected government in the region of Iraq: Iran.  Iran is the Shia’s stronghold.  Iran is the only major country where Shia dominate.  It also the only country where a President stepped down at the end of his term in office and lives in peace in his own house inside Iran.

As the book’s title implies, the Shia are poised for a major revival.  The author thinks that the three major factors in this revival are the emergence of Iran as a major (i.e., the major) regional power; the Shia majority in Iraq; and the empowerment of the Shia in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Kuwait, and the UAE.  He is probably right.  Just what this does for the stability of the region, Western interests (oil, what else?), and “the war on terror” is not mentioned.

This book will be useful to all who seek to understand the events in Iraq and Iran.

Author, an Iranian (a Shia, perhaps?) educated in U.S. (Ph.D. Harvard), teaches at the Naval Postgraduate School and is an Adjunct Fellow at CFR.

Posted in Book reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The Saints Keep on Being Saints

Posted by heyrandy on October 11, 2008

The final letter in the TULIP acrostic stands for the doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints.  This means that those who believe with saving faith, having been chosen to salvation by God from before the foundation of the world, will continue in that faith until the end.  This doctrine is sometimes called “the eternal security of the believer”.   While eternal security is true, the traditional term has the advantage of implying the struggle, the need to persevere, that is part of the Christian life.

The doctrine of perseverance follows from the doctrine of election.  If God chooses some to salvation, those chosen will indeed be saved.  Perseverance is also related to the other points we have discussed.  By now it is obvious that the entire five points form a cohesive whole.

Some have objected to the idea of perseverance saying that such a doctrine breeds carelessness in a Christian’s life.  It is usually replied that such carelessness is not evident, and when it is it is a sign of a false believer.  Perseverance is not an excuse for idleness.  It is a motive to activity.  Perseverance encourages effort.  Perseverance tells the believer that it is not up to him; God is working within him to ensure success.

The realization that God is working in the believer to “do His good will” is in keeping with the previous four points.  Salvation is God centered from beginning to end.  There is no room for man to glory, to brag, about his success.  The Christian can only “glory in the Lord”.

If the believer was left to himself, he would fall away.  No human is strong enough to resist all that the devil will throw at him.  This is why perseverance is so vital.  There is struggle in the Christian life, but there is sustaining grace from God to prevail in that struggle.  The Christian is not abandoned.

It is further objected that perseverance means that the Christian can sin all he wants.  After all,  if once saved, always saved, why not just indulge in sin?  Again, as with the previous objection, there is the issue of evidence of a false believer.  Perseverance does not mean that Christians are sinless.  Perseverance fully realizes that Christians do sin and do so frequently.  Perseverance says that one does not lose one’s salvation by committing a sin.

Those who raise this objection often say that sinning does cause one to lose one’s salvation.  If it is true that one does lose one’s salvation at every sin, how does one ever know that one still has that salvation?  Does not the Scriptures say If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us? 1 John 1:8

The apostle Paul take up the matter of perseverance in Romans 8:30: and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.  The key word is “He”.  It is all of God.

Sin is a fact of Christian living.  There is no escaping it, even with our new nature.  This is why perseverance is so important.  We would have no hope without it.  Without God to bring us through we would never get past the first day.

Posted in Calvinism | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Grace is Irresistibly Good

Posted by heyrandy on October 8, 2008

Irresistible Grace is the fourth letter in the TULIP acrostic.  It means that those on whom God has bestowed his eternal love will respond to that love by believing in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  The elect cannot do otherwise.  They do not want to do otherwise.

It may seem that this doctrine is a violation of man’s freedom of choice.  It is not.  Man is free to chose according to his nature.  In the natural, unregenerate state, man always chooses to not believe.  It is man’s natural desire to flee from God.  Man, until changed by divine grace, cannot do otherwise.  It is as if one jumped from an airplane: falling is an inevitable effect.

This why there must be a heart of flesh place into man before man can believe the gospel.  The heart of stone can do nothing other than reject the truth.  The heart of flesh can do nothing other than believe the truth.  It is the nature of the hearts that determines their action.

Irresistible grace is sometimes called effectual calling.  This is a good synonym because it emphasizes the effectiveness of the divine command upon the new heart.  The purposes of God are not thwarted by unregenerate man.  The new heart of man is designed to obey the divine command to believe.  The new heart always does what it is designed to do.

It is this calling, this application of grace, that enables man to respond.  Without such grace, man will give his natural response: rejection.  We see this in the account of the encounter of Nicodemus with Jesus in John 3.  Jesus explains how the new birth is necessary.

The effects of the new heart are given to us in Ezekiel 11:19-21:  “And I will give then one heart, and put a new spirit within them.  And I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances and do them.  Then they will be My people, and I shall be their God.  But as for those whose hearts go after their detestable things and abominations, I will bring their conduct down on their heads,” declares the Lord God.

Here the effects of the new birth are evident: walking after the ways of God.  Also evident are the effects of not having a new birth: their “hearts go after their detestable things and abominations.”  It is a matter of will; it is just that nature determines will.  It can be no other way.  Will is not neutral.  It is determined by one’s nature.  This is why grace must be applied to the heart before the proper response to the gospel can be made.  With out this calling, this irresistible application of grace,  we would always go after “detestable things and abominations.”

The doctrine of irresistible grace follows from the doctrine of total depravity.  Since man is in a state of total helplessness, man cannot extricate himself.  Man requires what only God can give.  Let us be thankful that God does give it to those He loves!

Posted in Arminianism, Bible, Calvinism | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »