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The Rules of Engagement

On this blog, I will employ warm, human logic based on the Scriptures. I will employ statistics correctly done, where appropriate, including the new causal revolution. I will not attempt to arrive at truth on the basis of emotions.

In the comments:

  • I expressly forbid taking the name of God in vain. Any comment doing so I will not allow through, and it will never see the light of day. Don’t waste the electrons.
  • Certain fallacies, such as ad hominem and ad hominem abusive are just so tiresome I’m not going to allow them through, either. Don’t attack people on this blog, only ideas.
  • I have a certain good faith assumption about readers of this blog: that you are seeking after truth (see definition below).

Definitions

First of all, as always, it is important to define my terms. A term is a word or short series of words defining a single concept. Terms are either clear or unclear: they are not true or false, nor are they valid or invalid.

Truth is the set of all thoughts in the mind of God. A true statement is a statement that is one of those thoughts, and a false statement otherwise. Statements are either true or false: they are not clear or unclear, nor are they valid or invalid. Because God created the universe and everything in it, and because God is utterly logical and without contradictions, true statements will always correspond to reality; and that is the great test of truth: does the statement correspond to reality? Some define truth in terms of how it corresponds to reality, but I prefer to make that the test instead of the definition: God defines truth.

A logical argument is a set of statements, one of which (the conclusion) is claimed to follow, or be implied, by the others (the premises).

A valid argument is an argument in which the truth of the premises forces the truth of the conclusion. That is, it is impossible for a valid argument to have true premises and a false conclusion. An invalid argument, or fallacy, is an argument that is not valid: the premises could be true and the conclusion false. Arguments are not clear or unclear, nor are they true or false: they are valid or invalid.

A sound argument is a valid argument in which the terms are clear and the premises are true. By definition, sound arguments always have true conclusions.

Fundamental Assumptions

  • God the Holy Spirit convinces the believer that the Bible is true. That is, every statement in the Bible is true when understood in context. (There are nuances to this, such as original
    manuscripts versus copies, and how to handle copy errors. These have all been answered many times by biblical scholars.)
  • Every statement that can be soundly deduced from the Bible is also true.
  • The correct method of interpretation of anyone’s words, including this blog, is to see the collection of words as a whole, in context, weighing one passage with another to get the full sense. Original authorial intent always takes precedence over the reader’s thoughts or feelings.
  • There are old things worth preserving, as well as old things that need changing. It requires wisdom to know when to change something, (See Ecclesiastes 7:10.) and when to keep something the same. (See Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, Jude 3, Galatians 1:8.)
  • There is an ethical obligation to believe true statements, and to disbelieve false statements, and to alter one’s life as a result. What you believe and what you do are intricately entwined. (See Proverbs 23:7, Matthew 15:19.)

Short Book Review: Alcott’s Jo Series

Louisa May Alcott wrote Little Women in 1868-1869, Little Men in 1871, and Jo’s Boys in 1886. They form a trilogy of sorts, and are to be read in the order I have listed them. They center on Jo, the second daughter of four in the March family, who is a stand-in for the author herself.

While there are many fun anecdotes similar to Anne Shirley scrapes in Anne of Green Gables, there is something very disturbing about these stories of which Christians should be aware: it is not at all clear to me that Alcott understands the gospel. When Alcott points out a character flaw in someone, which is quite often, the solution is always “encouraging words” which amount to “do better”. Mind you, there are sound things said in these sorts of conversations, but rarely is there ever a mention of Jesus Christ. In particular, with certain characters like Dan (in the second two volumes), I can’t remember anyone ever calling Dan to believe the gospel. Moreover, the basis or grounds for our sanctification is solidly in our justification. While it is certainly true that our good works play no role whatsoever in our justification, the same is not true for our sanctification. We must do good works, but we do them on the strength of God, and realizing that on our own we are utterly unable to do the smallest good work. This kind of theology is foreign to Alcott, and means her works will come across as works-oriented salvation. You should be aware of this!

The episode of Dan in Jo’s Boys shows another flaw in the series, as far as I’m concerned. Dan is out west, he is protecting a younger man from card sharpers, and gets into a scrape where, in self-defense, he kills a man. He ends up serving one year in prison for manslaughter. It’s understandably a hard year for him, but the chaplain does him some good, and he comes out, on the whole, for the better. But here’s the kicker: when he comes back to Plumfield and finally tells Jo about it, she weeps, and in the context of the story, it’s clear that Jo thinks Dan behaved very wrongly by killing the man. I fail to see any unethical behavior in Dan in the entire episode! Painting self-defense in such a negative light appears to me a symptom of a feminized Christianity – something that has been criticized by many. Not that I’m claiming Christianity is a masculine religion: it’s the only true religion for all people, and God transcends biological sex. (The human nature of Jesus Christ is unquestionably a man, and we follow the Bible’s lead in always using masculine pronouns for all members of the Trinity.)

Alcott’s religion, even to the extent that it’s Christian, lacks punch. It does not have a robust solution for sin. This series is definitely worth reading, but you need to be aware of these theological defects.

Antiracism: A Positive Approach

See my previous post for the Rules of Engagement, which in my opinion are so important that I have stickied them. Those are the rules by which I intend to approach the problem of antiracism.

Racism and systemic racism are topics on everyone’s mind, frequently in conversations, often-Tweeted, and in many other ways a hot-button issue. There are multiple viewpoints on antiracism, however, and it is my intention in this post to outline a positive approach to antiracism.

Definitions

It is important to define my terms. What is racism? We have a few terms to build up before we can get there.

Sin means not doing what God requires, or doing what God forbids.

Repentance from sin is a turning away from that sin, and turning to following God’s law. It involves a godly sorrow over the sin, and a sincere desire not to do it again, as well as a desire to make restitution, if appropriate.

Love is a decision to act in the best interests of the person loved. The best interests of the person loved may vary in many details, but the general principle is that what is best for everyone is to become more like Jesus Christ.

Partiality is a sin that the Bible condemns. Partiality is treating some people worse than others (i.e., without love), typically because of some superficial characteristic such as wealth or appearance. (See James 2:1.)

Next we must define race. Scientifically, there is no basis for the concept of different human races. (See
One Race One Blood, by Ken Ham and A. Charles Ware, 2010, Master Books.) There is only the human race. There are different people groups, such as ethnic groups. We will follow this definition, and essentially line up the term ‘race’ with ‘people group’. Examples would be Black, White, Asian, Latino, etc.

Racism, then, is the sin of partiality applied to a person because of that person’s race. If Joe thinks more highly of Asians than Latinos, and treats Asians with more love because of that, he is committing the sin of racism. Racism can be committed by any person against any other person, regardless of the races involved.

What is systemic racism? This is much more difficult to define, but the general idea is that systemic racism happens whenever institutions of power are structured in such a way as to prevent equal opportunities for different races. In effect, the power structures do not show love equally to people of different races, thus setting up large-scale racism.

Arguments

Racism

All human beings are made in the image of God. (See Genesis 1:26-27.) Jesus taught us to love our enemies; (See Matthew 5:44.) and if we are to love our enemies, surely we are also to love our friends. Therefore we are to love all human beings. Part of loving someone is respecting them. Therefore, we are to respect all human beings.

All partiality is sin, and all racism is partiality. Therefore all racism is sin.

The apostle John taught us we are not to sin, (See 1 John 2:1.) therefore we are not to commit the sin of racism.

However, if someone does commit the sin of racism, there is a solution – the same solution as for any other sin. That solution is repentance in the Lord Jesus Christ. Then the guilt of that sin is removed utterly. There may still be consequences of the sin remaining, but by God’s grace it is possible to mitigate those over time.

The guilt of any sin belongs to that sinner alone, and not to anyone else. (See Deuteronomy 24:16.) Therefore the guilt of racism belongs to the one who commits that sin, and not to anyone else.

Final conclusion: We are to treat all human beings with respect and dignity. We are to love all human beings as made in the image of God.

Systemic Racism

This is a much harder nut to crack. The biblical notion of guilt is that an individual is only guilty for that sinner’s own sins, not anyone else’s. Yet systemic racism implies, by its very definition, that many people have colluded to produce systemically racist power structures. To what extent am I guilty if I live inside racist power structures, particularly if I have no direct power to change any of them? Is not speaking up about racist power structures a sin?

One thing is clear: systemic racism requires racism on the part of some people, and those people are guilty of racism. Therefore, those people should repent of their racism and try to make restitution if possible. This is true if the people who constructed the racist power structures are aware of it or not; ignorance of the law is no excuse. (See Leviticus 4:2 and Luke 12:48.)

The biblical definition of guilt indicates that the guilt of those who construct racist power structures is their own, and not anyone else’s. Therefore, living inside racist power structures is not necessarily committing the sin of racism, precisely because you can only be held guilty for your own actions. If your actions cannot include anything related to the construction of racist power structures, then you cannot be guilty of the construction of racist power structures. This notion does not get you off the hook, necessarily, though: if you are in a position of power inside a systemically racist power structure, and you use your authority to commit racism (made easier because of the systemic dimension), then you are, again, guilty of racism. You must repent!

It is ethical, however, to speak out against racist power structures, and to do anything else within our power to break them down. However, different people have different callings in life, and not everyone is necessarily called to speak out against racist power structures: as an example, how would a child with severe learning disabilities speak out against racist power structures? In the book of Ezekial, God warns the watchman what to do if he sees an enemy coming: he must sound the alarm. (See Ezekial 3:16-21 and Ezekial 33.) It is the duty of the watchman to sound the alarm. But it is his duty precisely so that it need not be everyone else’s. By analogy, it seems reasonable to conclude that some people absolutely should be speaking out against racism and systemic racism, but not everyone need do so.

Final conclusion: Systemic racism is a sin for the people who committed racism in order to create it, and for those who abuse their power inside the system to commit racism. It is a sin for no one else. However, some people should speak out against it, and do what is in their power to dismantle inherently racist power structures.

Marxism and the One Ring of Power

J. R. R. Tolkien hated allegories, so I freely admit that what I’m about to do violates one of those sacred trusts: respecting the authorial intent. But the parallel I’m seeing here is just too good to pass up: Marxism is like the One Ring. Why do I say that?

Well, here are the characteristics of the One Ring: very powerful, seductive, and evil. But the most interesting characteristic I’d like to point out is the reason why neither Elrond, Gandalf, nor Galadriel would take the ring: they knew that they could overthrow Sauron with his own ring, but then they would themselves become evil and tyrannical. To use rather leading language: the One Ring had the ability to replace one kind of oppression with another.

And that’s just what Marxism does. Marxism starts with the incredibly naive (i.e., flat-out wrong!) assumption that all history is based on class oppression, and then procedes blithely to replace one oppression with another. Marxism, of course, insulates itself against all truth or logic, so that the glaring inconsistencies, including the one I’ve just mentioned, don’t bother any poor brainwashed soul inside the system. Indeed, truth, logic, and even language itself are conveniently labeled as weapons of oppression, despite being quite the opposite! Marxism has an inveterate hatred of Christianity so that Christians are 100% certain to be oppressed by Marxists. One is highly tempted to wonder at what point in that oppression (such as happened in the USSR and is happening right now in China) the Christians could claim to be in the oppressed group, but I digress.

I was wondering if we might take another page from Tolkien’s book, again greatly against his wishes, and ask the question: is there a Frodo who can take this One Ring to Mount Doom? Here’s a wonderfully appropriate Gandalf quote during the Council of Elrond, concerning the idea of casting the Ring into the fires of Mount Doom, from The Fellowship of the Ring: 

‘Despair, or folly?’ said Gandalf. ‘It is not despair, for despair is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt. We do not. It is wisdom to recognize necessity, when all other courses have been weighed, though as folly it may appear to those who cling to false hope. Well, let folly be our cloak, a veil before the eyes of the Enemy! For he is very wise, and weighs all things to a nicety in the scales of his malice. But the only measure that he knows is desire, desire for power; and so he judges all hearts. Into his heart the thought will not enter that any will refuse it, that having the Ring we may seek to destroy it. If we seek this, we shall put him out of reckoning.’

So it is with Christianity, except that we DO know the end beyond all doubt: we look at the repulsive Marxist ideology, and reject it. Its fundamental assumptions, epistemology, all the way up to its applications are false and ugly. Just like Sauron, Marxism obsesses about power. We must be like Gandalf, here, and, if we ever do get power, we must use that power to get rid of oppressive power wherever we find it!

On DuoLingo and the Usual Tired, Leftist Narrative

Don’t know if you’ve ever used DuoLingo, but I have quite a bit, and I find it nice for learning languages. The thing is, like so many large companies lately, it’s gone quite left, politically. Here’s how it plays out at DuoLingo:

Certain language courses, like Latin-from-English and German-from-English (and probably quite a few more, though I have not noticed it in Hebrew-from-English) introduce obnoxious sentences like these:

Livia uxorem habet. (Livia has a wife; note that Livia is a female name.)

Julia hat eine Frau. (Julia has a wife.)

In the Latin-from-English course, this would be a comical anachronistic error if it wasn’t so deadly serious. Of course, it’s extremely preachy, self-important, not to mention outright sinful.

The problem is, the presence of these sentences makes DuoLingo inappropriate for children. I can grit my teeth and bear it, because I want to learn and DuoLingo is a great platform in many ways. There is NO WAY I would let my children learn a language from DuoLingo if it has sentences like that.

So, just a heads-up: be discerning in your use of DuoLingo.

The Beginning of the Accelerated End of the United States of America

It is Jan. 6 as I write this; yesterday, two Democrats got elected as the Senators from Georgia. Today, the Electoral College votes will be opened. It sounds like there will be objections, both from the House and the Senate, but I have little doubt that Kamala Harris [sic] will be sworn in as President (I don’t consider Biden to be of much weight, nor likely to live long). That the United States of America, the land of the free, could even consider a Communist like Harris for president is astounding. It really means that the United States of America no longer exists. Welcome to the communist Union of American Socialist Republics (UASR). The door is wide open for the persecution of Christians (and people of other faiths, but primarily Christians) in the UASR on a scale not seen since… last week in China.

But the moral and ethical decline of the United States began a very long time ago. It was Alexis de Tocqueville who wrote that America was great because America was good. Well, America isn’t good any more: 
  1. Abortion was the number one killer in 2020. 
  2. Pornography is rampant, and somehow considered to be “free speech”, despite its exploitation of women and children, but also of men.
  3. Sexual ethics from the Bible are largely ignored by most people. Having a child outside of wedlock is considered normal.
  4. Laziness is enshrined and even encouraged in the government welfare system, in direct opposition to what the Bible says in 2 Thess. 3:10b. 
  5. Crimes such as rioting and looting go unpunished.
So these incredibly evil “leaders” that we’ve “elected” are precisely what the UASR deserves. 
 
How did we get to such an evil pass? No doubt there are many reasons, but I would put the blame largely at the feet of the church (including myself), and I mean the true church that preaches the gospel of free salvation crafted by the only true and Triune God who has revealed himself in the 66 books of the Bible as well as in the incarnation of the second person of the Trinity, God the Son, in hypostatic union with a completely human nature in the person of Jesus Christ. That true church has failed to do many things:
  1. Preach the gospel.
  2. Evangelize the lost.
  3. Help the poor and the oppressed (about to become a much larger group of people).
  4. Disciple the nations.
But I would also put the blame somewhat on the shoulders of the Founding Fathers. Bless them, they did well, but they failed to recognize mechanisms of the power grab, such as Saul Alinsky outlines in his book Rules for Radicals, which I would put at the second-most-evil book ever written, just behind The Communist Manifesto. The Founders recognized that a disarmed people is a vulnerable people, and hence you get the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment, unfortunately, wasn’t worded as strongly as it should have been, with that somewhat confusing tie to the militia. It should have been worded like this:
 
The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
But there are two other major sources of power that the Founders didn’t account for fully: education and money.
It was in the mid-1800s that the Unitarians took over Harvard from the Calvinists, the single most important event in the entire history of American education. That led to public “education”, the most powerful weapon of brainwashing ever seen. Military oppression pales in comparison to it. So the Founders should have had strong language to prevent public “education” from ever arising. Governments always do things worse than private citizens (unless it’s national defense, making laws, or enforcing laws, and possibly roads), so education should be privatized to be the best it can be.
Money, and I include goods and services of any kind along with that, has been shown in all ages to be a powerful corrupting force when used as a bribe. Let me be clear: the Bible establishes quite clearly the right to private property. It simply assumes that. Moreover, there is nothing inherently evil about being rich, or wealth in general. However, the Bible has a LOT to say about bribery. And what is lobbying these days, mostly, except bribery? If lobbying were simply reasoned debate back-and-forth, who could object to that? But when a lobbyist says to a senator, “Hey, I’ll take your family out to Disney World.”, the line has been crossed into bribery, which is utterly evil. So the Founders should have had strong language about how money, goods, and services get from public officials to private people, and vice versa. Because there is inverse bribery as well, and we’ve seen that on a large scale: the buying of votes. In the 2020 election there was a lot more voter fraud than that, contrary to the completely untrustworthy Far Left Formerly Mainstream Media (FLFMM). And there should be strong laws about voter fraud.
But really, if you have a generally righteous, self-governing people, with all the safeguards in place I have mentioned in order to protect the people from the encroachments of government, then public officials will have very little power, anyway. Those offices will be much less attractive to the power-hungry, and the issue of bribery will likely be a lot less.
So now what are we to do? I just read Psalm 56 this morning for devotions, and I would commend it to you. We must trust in God. God’s people have been in worse situations than this, and God has never let his people down or failed on a single promise. He will not leave us or forsake us. Strengthen yourself in God, as David did when he came back to Ziklag and found all his family gone.
Pray that you will not forsake your God when persecution comes your way, and it is coming. Remember that evil people can kill your body, but not your soul. And you will eventually get a resurrected body!
God is greater than all your enemies; so pray for them. If they do not repent of their evil actions, they will go to a place so horrible you wouldn’t wish it on your worst enemy: hell itself. Communists need the gospel, the same as do we all. Love your enemies, as Jesus said. Hate the evil ideas, absolutely. Tear down every idea or argument that sets itself up against God, as Paul says in 2 Cor. But don’t hate the people who hold to bad ideas, even when they persecute you, hate you, say all kinds of bad things about you, etc.

Pride vs. Humility

Spiritual pride is the number one sin – the worst one – the great granddaddy sin of them all. It’s the root cause of all your other sins. And it’s the sin aimed at in the very first of the Ten Commandments: you shall have no other gods before me. And that gives us a hint as to a very closely related sin: idolatry. As John Calvin said, “Our hearts are idol factories.” We can make an idol out of anything: drink, sex, ambition … SELF.

Humility is the virtue opposed to pride. But what exactly is humility? Andrew Murray in his work on humility defined it as a “right view of God and a right view of self.” When you see God as he has revealed himself in the Bible, and you see yourself as the rotten, stinking sinner we all are, you are getting humility.

There are not many books on humility; Murray is one. One of my previous pastors, Chris Hutchinson, wrote one. He found it hard to do. C. S. Lewis wrote about it some in Screwtape Letters.

As for pride, it’s easier to find stuff on that. Here’s a great, gigantic list of ways to be spiritually prideful. I certainly found myself a lot there. One I would add: if someone is trying to teach you something, but is not doing it EXACTLY the way you think it ought to be done, maybe that’s a sign of pride. Does that person know the subject better than you? Then perhaps that person might have a clue as to how to teach it!

https://saddlebackleather.com/signs-of-pride

The Burden of Bad Ideas

I’ve been burdened by a boatload of bad ideas all my life: sinful ideas, unwise ideas, or just plain idiotic ideas. The burden is both from ideas I’ve held and ideas others have held. As Richard Weaver (should have – I haven’t managed to make my way all the way through his book) taught me, ideas have consequences. What are some of these bad ideas, and why are they so bad?

1. Man is basically good. This is one of the worst and most egregious lies ever created, and it goes all the way back to Satan in the garden. In fact, it’s one of the father lies – lies that generate a lot of other lies.

2. There are no absolutes. This is perhaps best illustrated by one of the dumbest movie lines ever, in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, when Obi-wan Kenobi is about to fight Anakin, and he says, “Only a Sith deals in absolutes.” Really? Is that true of all Sith? And make no mistake, Obi-wan is making a statement about all people: everyone who is not a Sith does not deal in absolutes. Is that true for all people? Then you’ve got yourself a truth that is true for everybody – and hence an absolute. The badness of this idea lies in obliterating the basis for knowing anything. It’s logically incoherent, and no one can consistently hold to this.

3. Marxism, communism, socialism, postmodernism, identity politics, intersectionality, and critical (race) theory are good ways to think about history, and good ways to combat injustice. Actually, these ideas all tend to intolerable totalitarianism. Together, these ideas are responsible for over 100 million murders. Think of that: don’t you think there’s something wrong with ideas that are that murderous?

3.a. Antiracism can only exist within the framework of identity politics, critical theory, and intersectionality. This is one we’re seeing a lot recently. And I flatly deny this one as much as any of the others in this list. First of all, you must define racism carefully. I define racism as the sin of partiality applied to people based on their people group (as the concept of race itself certainly has no scientific basis). There can be such a thing as “systemic racism”, where the system itself treats people differently based on their people group, but I would argue that the systemically racist aspects of the US system today have more to do with Affirmative Action and welfare and Planned Parenthood than anything else. I would certainly deny that capitalism is inherently racist, but I would argue that all forms of Marxism, based as they are on the erroneous doctrine of evolution, are inherently racist. Affirmative Action and welfare and Planned Parenthood are most definitely racist. Nothing has held down people with more melanin in their skin more than government welfare (more on that in 4.b. below) and Planned Parenthood.

4. Solving societal problems is largely the job of the government. Um, no. The government’s job is to solve a few very specific problems: national defense, making and enforcing and interpreting just laws. And I’m willing to pay taxes to support roads. Otherwise, the government’s job is to get out of my way so that I can largely try to solve my own problems, my family can solve its problems, and so that the church can help as well. At the root, the government should be absolutely the last resort to solving any problem, mainly because the government (especially the US government) was actually designed to be terrible at solving problems! The Founding Fathers of the US knew what they were doing, both in setting up so many checks and balances to prevent a lot of power from getting concentrated in one place, and in locating the US capital in a swamp so that people wouldn’t want to be there very long. The best guarantee of freedom is a limited government from which the people can protect themselves if necessary.

4.a. The government should be in the business of educating people, because we need educated people for a good society. This is related to 4, which is why I’ve labeled it 4.a. What we have seen is that government education, particularly the near-monopoly that public education in the US is, is one of the greatest instruments for perpetuating totalitarian ideas ever conceived by man. The public schools and the public universities now do more harm than good by spewing out their Marxist garbage. Students are not taught how to think, they are taught what to think: that Marx was actually a good person, and that his ideas are the best way to solve the world’s problems (inevitably defined as inequities or disparities among people groups).

4.b. The government should be in the business of helping people out of poverty. If you read the book When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor … And Yourself, by Corbett and Fikkert, which I have read, you realize just how complex the problem of poverty is, and how utterly inadequate the “solution” of throwing money at it is. The government is totally unable to solve this problem. In the US, the first amendment (with which I certainly fully agree) alone makes the kind of solution the authors speak of absolutely impossible for the government to do. This means that all the liberal policies starting with LBJ onwards are not only completely ineffective, they hurt the people who advocate those policies, and they hurt the people the policies are supposed to help! Now I would also add that the typical conservative approach of simply getting out of the way will work for some people, but not all. So I’m not saying the conservative approach is complete, but it will work for some people. The liberal policies work for no one. What we need here is for the church to step in and do what it should have been doing all along: helping poor people by coming alongside them, as Corbett and Fikkert have shown us.

4.c. The government should be in the business of solving COVID. This is the job of the medical community, and of people in general acting wisely. Do the people advocating these draconian lockdowns and mask mandates actually think people want to get the virus and perhaps die from it? If so, I would simply claim that such people are radically mistaken, and out of touch with reality. People always act in their own perceived best interests: that’s the Law of Human Action.

 5. Logic and careful definitions and good statistics are outdated ideas. This idea goes back a ways – all the way to “… William of Occam who propounded the fateful doctrine of nominalism, which denies that universals have a real existence. His triumph tended to leave universal terms mere names serving our convenience.” – Ideas Have Consequences, p. 3. We absolutely must get back to good logic, careful definitions, consistency, and well-done statistics (I would argue with the new causal revolution folded in).

6. Disparities imply discrimination. Thomas Sowell has taught us that this variant of post hoc, ergo propter hoc is no more valid than its parent fallacy. Just because Asians do better academically than Americans with pale skin doesn’t mean that the Americans are discriminated against. There are all kinds of causal questions bound up with why disparities exist, and not all of them are bad. The liberals (and particularly the critical theories and intersectionality folks) would have you believe that if people with more melanin in their skin don’t do as well in college as people with less melanin in their skin, that therefore there must be discrimination against those with more melanin. Sowell has effectively destroyed that argument in the book to which I linked; I would highly recommend that book, which I have read.

7. Christianity has been tried and found wanting. This one is, of course, older than the hills (literally). Chesterton’s refutation cannot be bettered: “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.” And this is really the most important of all the bad ideas I’ve listed. For it is in the Bible that we find the refutation of these bad ideas; perhaps not specifically, but we get wise principles that guide us. We need God the Holy Spirit to show us what the Bible means, for sure.

The Spectre Haunting the World

In 1848, Karl Marx and Frederick Engels published The Communist Manifesto, quite possibly the most evil (and just plain wrong) books ever written in the entire history of mankind. It is not my intention to argue that right now, although the reasons are many.

I want to point out the current situation. The first line of The Communist Manifesto is as follows:

A spectre is haunting Europe—the spectre of Communism.

Marx wrote that line, sort of from the point of view of the opponents of Communism, and it was his intention to explain what Communism is so that the critics would become proponents. However, I interpret the line very differently, and not at all how Marx intended (I would ask forgiveness for yanking something out of context, but Marx deserves to be paid zero attention, anyway.) I interpret that line as someone unalterably opposed to the evils of Marxism, Communism, socialism, and its ugly off-shoots of post-modernism, critical theory, and intersectionality. This spectre is now haunting the entire world!

Consider that the communists now control the media, the state universities, the public schools, and much of the political machinery of many countries in the world – certainly the United States. As a result, the media is not to be trusted an inch on… anything. The public schools and state universities are brain-washing their students instead of teaching them to think, and politics, at least in the U.S., has run amok to the point of seriously considering electing a Communist like Bernie Sanders for the President of the United States.

It would be easy to simply cave in and give up. How can people work against those odds? The Communists in the U.S. are working very hard to curtail both First and Second Amendment rights (this working of theirs is fully in accordance with their bizarre epistemology – see the article “Welcome to Culture War 2.0” by atheist Peter Boghossian for an extremely helpful discussion of this.) so that the American people will not be able to fight back against them, once they gain power.

But here’s the thing, and this is my main point: when the situation looks this black, we must look to 2 Kings 6:16. The context there is that the king of Syria wants to “order” the prophet Elisha to appear before him, as before a tribunal, because Elisha has been repeating everything the king of Syria says to the king of Israel, with the result that Syria has not been able to oppress Israel and defeat Israel the way they want. So the king of Syria sends a huge army to get Elisha. Then the passage reads thus:

15 When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” 16 He said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17 Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

This is what we must never forget. We’re not allowed to despair, because God is in control, and he wins (this is what the book of Revelation is all about). In the end, the current control of the media, the universities, and much of the political system by the Communists will be irrelevant in the face of Almighty God judging the nations. I’ve often heard the phrase, “You want to be on the right side of history.” – usually from the extreme leftists. This represents a fundamental misunderstanding as to what that “right side of history” is going to be. Revelation makes it all clear!